Somebody Needs You 10


His eyes closed as he leaned back on the bed and his phone fell out of his head and onto the comforter.  The hotel room was the best of the best, but it still wasn't home.  He needed his TV and his VCR and he wanted his own mattress, the one with the slight sag in the middle with his own sheets.  That had the smell of Spring-Fresh, rather than Hotel-Sterilized.  He'd been at it for almost eight hours and he didn't think he could handle another day of watching people sing.  It was an open call and they had about a minute of time to be seen, but he was sure that they were all melting into one person in his head.  He had a few girls in mind already for he group, but he could only pick four or five of them out of ten thousand entries that they'd be seeing that month.

The sound of his phone ringing made him turn his head.  He flipped open the phone and looked at the caller ID and sighed.  It was Gabby.  He knew the number by heart and as much as he wanted to speak to the sweet little girl that had now become like his little sister, he wasn't sure that he wanted to talk to Patty.  The last few times Gabby had called he'd avoided talking with her, but this time he had a feeling that she was going to get onto the phone and start talking before he could hang up.

With a groan he pressed the TALK button and closed his eyes again as he greeted the caller.  "Hey there Gabs."

"Lance did I wake you up?" she asked.

"Of course not honey."  Even if he had been woken up by her he knew what their calls meant to her and he wouldn't at all make her upset about wanting to call.  "What did you need?"

"I'm coming to the US for summer camp next summer."

"Really?" he sat up and looked around the room as if news about the summer that was a year away was something he should start preparing for now.  "You're going to summer camp here?"

"Yeah," she said, "Daddy is going to be working on a soundtrack in Australia in the desert with some company there so I get to go to summer camp in Portland, Maine."

"Wow, really?"

"Yeah and we're going to come to Orlando and visit Johnny and go to California to see Farzana and JC and--"

"Slow down there sweetie."  He chuckled and went to look out the window.  "You're going to lose your voice."

"No I won't," she said.

"So how has summer been so far?" he asked.

"Mommy and I got to go to the Isle of Wight and go to the beach and Daddy took us to the movies in London and we got to go to France and go to Euro Disney."

He smiled.  "Sounds like a lot of fun."

"What about you?" she asked, "What have you been doing?"

"I'm holding a contest to make a new girl group," he said.  His mind wandered to other things again.  He pictured Patty's face for a moment and a few , "I'm going to be in Los Angeles, in Chicago, and Orlando and New York.  I'm gonna be very busy."

^V^V^V^V^V^

"So what are the rules?" Lance asked squatting down to where Gabby was looking at the candy section. Her eyes moved over the candy bars and gum as if she was looking at a stack of bars of gold.

"No candy after the shows," she said looking at him with a serious statement, "Too much sugar. It rots your teeth."

With a nod of his head Lance recorded the information into memory. "Any other rules?" he asked.

"I'm not allowed to go run around after boys," she said, "And I gotta get my work done first."

"You're seven and your mom won't let you hang out with boys?" he asked, "I wonder what she's gonna do to you when your sixteen."

"Nooo," she said with an exaggerated rolling of her eyes. "I'm allowed to like boys like Rodney and Oakly and Frank and the rest of our crew. I'm just not allowed to like you guys. Mom says that running after boys is a waste of time."

Lance looked over to where Patty was standing looking at the snack foods down the way. "Really?"

"Yeah," she said, "Boys are dumb...well that's not what I think, but Mom says the boys are an interior species."

"Interior?" he asked with a smile. Lance immediately knew what Patty had said.

"Something like that...she says it, but I can't pronounce it."

"Did she say inferior?" he asked picking up two Twinkies. He held them in his hand and watched her eyes stay on the packages.

Gabby nodded.

"Figures," Lance said.

"What?" Gabby asked.

"It figures that your mom would say that--" he cut his thought off and tried to think of something good to say. "She seems to be a pretty smart lady. She must know us guys really well."

"She doesn't know that many boys," Gabby said, "Just my daddy and Rodney and the crew."

Standing up Lance kept the Twinkies in his hand and walked with Gabby back up to the front when they saw Patty ready to leave. Lance paid for the Twinkies then handed one to Gabby. "Stick it in your shirt," he said with a whisper, "For later."

Gabby smiled up at him.

^V^V^V^V^V^V^

"Mommy is going to be busy too," she said, "Right now we're on the way to the studio because Mommy is going to be looking at a new person to manage."  She sighed, "But don't tell Farzana.  Mommy doesn't want her to be upset."

He smiled at how sweet the girl was.  She didn't even know how much he loved the fact that she remembered to be that way.  It spoke highly of her and her upbringing which of course only redirected his brain to think about Patty again.  She'd had something that he'd been in love with, even if things had never gone that far with them.  He'd wanted it and would have stepped up when he needed to if Reese hadn't come back into the picture.  "I won't."

"Here."

Moments later Patty's voice filled his ears.  "Hey there stranger."

His voice caught in his throat.  He couldn't imagine that she'd still have that many feelings for her.  "Hi."

"I hear you've been keeping busy."

"Yeah," he said, "I'm working a whole bunch and I--"  He tried to figure out if he should tell her about Colleen.  He had this feeling that he wanted to reveal all his secrets to Patty.  He'd never had that before other than with Carrah but with Carrah he'd been doing it in a friendship manner, which didn't count as being deep and meaningful in that romantic way.

"That's good to hear."

"I was wondering if we could talk--"

"Maybe later," he said looking at the clock.  "I need to make some phone calls.  Tell Gabby to call me in a few days and we'll make plans for next summer--"  He shut off the phone and made a motion as if he was going to throw the phone, but before he let it go he grabbed onto it.  It was the only way that he would be able to get in touch with Colleen that night so he wasn't about to break his phone over something like that.

"You need to get laid," he said with a sigh and fell onto the bed again.  He knew that it wasn't the reason.  He'd had sex a few days before, but with all the women in his life suddenly popping in to say hello he really was in need of some way to get rid of the tension.


Colleen barely walked through the door of her small apartment when someone was knocking on her door.  She didn't know why she thought it might be him, since he didn't know where she lived, but she still felt the adrenaline rush of the moment as she saw the time.  She had about a half hour until she expected a call from him.  This of course hadn't been the first time she'd about the call, but it left the biggest smile on her face of all the times she'd thought of him that day.

She opened the door to see Ree standing there with two armfuls of groceries and her bag slung over her shoulder, clearly a sign that she wanted to have the talk that Colleen had promised her three days before.  After hopping off a redeye flight from New York to step onto a flight from Los Angeles to Seattle, up to Juneau, Alaska and then back down again to Los Angeles again, Colleen was tired but she knew there was no way she was getting out of this conversation.

"Ree."

Stacey pushed passed her into the apartment, already starting in on the conversation, acting as if she left even a moment for her to speak that Colleen would find some excuse not to talk.  "I knew this wasn't going to be a simple pint of ice-cream type of conversation so I came prepared," she said as she forced her way into the apartment.

"Ree..."  She looked at the clock again, watching the minutes tick by.  " I know that we are going to have this conversation but I am just telling you I am exhausted and I really don't know how long I am going to last."  She didn't want to tell her that she was going to be meeting up with Lance that night or she'd never hear the end of it.  If she told her that sleeping over tonight to talk girl talk was out of the question it would not only be an insult, but Stacey would want to go with her on the date and make sure things were on the up and up.

"Hmmm yeah well having sex with a pop-star will do that to you..."  She moved into the apartment and set the bags down then turned to look at her, tipping her chin up to look in her eyes.  "Damn he must have been good you are still glowing even after two days and a day of work--”  She pointed a finger at her.  "We should have done this the night you got back you know."

"I've been working too hard this week to even think about this--"

“Rough day at the office honey?” Ree joked.

Colleen just smiled to herself..."You have NO idea."

"Well I am about to get a good shot at an idea..."  Stacey was a little over powering at times like this.  The actions came from good attentions, but that night it seemed as if she was thinking that Colleen didn't know how to take care of herself.  "Get the pj's on and wash your face...I'll get us set up."

"I--"

"Go!"  Stacey pointed.  "You'll thank me later."

"Isn't Spencer home tonight?" she asked, "Doesn't he usually like to--"

"Spencer is on a trip doing interviews for a new lawyer for the firm."

"They sent him?" she asked.  "Shouldn't it be the other way around?"

"He wanted some time off--"  She put her hands on her shoulders and turned her and walked her towards her bedroom.  "And they are redoing his office so instead of bringing the people out, he went to go see them.  It's a half work, half play for him this time."

^V^V^V^V^V^V^

When Colleen walked out of her bedroom and Ree was already in her pajamas and was sitting on the couch with tons of blankets and an open pint of chocolate fudge brownie ice cream.  She licked the ice cream off the spoon in her hand then motion for her to come over.

Colleen stopped short when she heard the music that was playing in the background... she knew Ree was evil but she didn't think she was this bad Colleen thought as the song switched to Your Body Is A Wonderland on the John Mayer Room for Squares CD.  The soft beginning of the song started playing through the speakers as Colleen blushed furiously.

"OH KNOW YOU DID NOT SLEEP WITH HIM AT THE CONCERT!" Ree screamed.

Colleen blushed a deeper shade or red as she sat down and began to tell Ree the story.  Stacey knew that songs had this kind of effect on her.  When she heard REM's losing my religion she turned almost purple due to the fact that the first time she'd ever been with someone had been just after hearing that song.

"Start from the beginning and don't leave ANYTHING out... ESPECIALLY the good parts!"

^V^V^V^V^V^

"What are we doing?" she asked as he moved his lips to her neck again and pulled her even closer.

"I was kissing you," he said, "You seemed to like it before."

"Why?" she asked.

"You seriously want to get into a discussion with me about this?" he asked tipping his head back a little to look at her.

"You just seem so caught up about stuff earlier that I didn't think I was even--"  She nervously stared at his lips.  "I didn't think that I was in the running for something like this."

"Something like what?" he asked.

She moved back from him and closed up the sliding glass doors that connected to the rest of the arena so that they could hear each other a little better.  "I don't know."

"Hey hey," he said and tried to act a little drunker than he was.  He was seeing her pull away and didn't want her to and knew that if he acted that way, maybe she'd relax and actually talk to him thinking that he might not remember it in the morning.  "Come on.  You and I are all about having fun," he said, "Sing for me again like you did on the flight."

"No," she said and blushed, "I'm horrible at it."

"But you have personality though!"  He pulled her closer.  "Sing for me.  I'm always singing for other people, but no one ever sings to me anymore."

"I'm really bad," she said.

"Please," he said and began to pout.

"What should I sing?" she asked.

"The next song.  I know you have to know it.  You know them all."

"Ok," she turned her head a little and he reached up and caressed her neck with his hand.  He liked the way that she leaned into his touch a little and felt himself get completely aroused when she turned back and smiled and began to sing to him.

We got the afternoon
You got this room for two
One thing I've left to do
Discover me
Discovering you

His hands were pulled from his side and her neck and she put them on her hips.  She began to move her lips a little and he held onto her as she swayed and sang the words to him.  His eyes started where his hands were at her hips and moved across her belly before moving up towards where the t-shirt dipped low between her breasts.  He moved his hands up her sides, gripping her ribs lightly before touching his hands to the undersides of her breasts.

One mile to every inch of
Your skin like porcelain
One pair of candy lips and
Your bubblegum tongue

His lips were met by hers as she leaned an put her arms around him.  He finally made contact with her eyes and she was drunker than he'd first suspected.  She seemed to be ok on her feet, but she wasn't wearing her heels so he had a feeling that she would be steady on her feet.

"Come here," he said.  His hands slid low now and reached the hemline of her shirt.  He pushed the fabric up and looked again at her mouth as she sang more lyrics.

And if you want love
We'll make it
Swimming a deep sea
Of blankets
Take all your big plans
And break 'em
This is bound to be a while

Your body is a wonderland
Your body is a wonder (I'll use my hands)
Your body Is a wonderland

Her hands moved down his chest as his slid her shirt up a little farther as her hands reached his fly.

^V^V^V^V^V^

As Colleen finished the story of her wild night her face remained as bright red as it was right before she started. Ree sat there as long as she could before she finally busted out laughing. "Well Lee you did say that you wanted to marry someone rich and famous I guess you got a good "jump" on it."

"OH SHUT UP!"

"Seriously though what happens now?"  Her friends eyes had tripled in size in anticipation of what was coming next.  "Are you guys gonna see each other again?"

"We exchanged numbers... I don't know if we will see each other again."  She sighed.  "He's supposed to meet me tonight, but he's working so I'm not sure if that will happen."  She moved away from the couch and went to go get a drink, taking the chance to make sure that her cell phone battery was still charging.  She didn't want THAT to be an excuse for not getting his call.  "Whatever I don't care. I had a good time, he is a nice guy and I met John Mayer and saw him in concert. What more can a girl ask for?"

"Lee I know you... you aren't the type for a one night stand. Tell me that you aren't going to get all depressed again if he doesn't call you."

"I won't freak out.  REE."  She could see it happening already.  She'd thought about him too much that day and that definitely wasn't a good sign for the coming weeks or even days or presently hours or minutes.  "I know what I got myself into. If I never see him again yeah that will suck but I have prepared myself for it. It will be fine!"

"Lee you aren't the type of girl that just sleeps around!"  Her friends mouth turned into a frown.  "It means too much to you. I mean I am happy that you had such a good time that  night but... well I am worried about you"

"Dammit REE!"  She went over and grabbed her phone up and plugged it into a plug that was closer to the couch.  "Just cause I don't prostitute myself like some of our other friends doesn't mean I can't have a one-night stand and be okay with it."

Ree held up her hands to show that she was backing away.  "Don't get all defensive! I am just trying to look out for you."

"I know you are and I appreciate it..."  She sighed again and wondered what was gonna happen with Lance.  She wanted it to be all perfect and special, but he was sending her so many mixed signals that she wasn't sure how to take anything that he said.  "It is just that I am a big girl and I can handle a one night stand with out getting my emotions.."

Colleen froze as the phone rang. Ree just rolled her eyes and mumbled to herself... "Yeah sure she is fine sure she isn't getting her emotions all crazy..." as she leaned over and grabbed up the phone.  "Hello?"

"Colleen?"

"No this is her friend may I ask who is calling?"


"This is going to be harder than I thought," he mumbled.

"Excuse me?"  the voice on the other end of the line said, "Who is this?"

"Is this Colleen?"

"No," she said, "This is Stacey.  Who is this?"

"Is Colleen there?"

He heard a struggle for the phone then another voice came onto the line.  "Hello?"

"Colleen?"

"Yeah."

"Hey," he said, "It's Lance."

"Oh--"  she turned away from talking to him for a moment.  "Ree, leave it alone.  I'm on the phone."

"Is this a bad time?" he asked.

"No," she said, "Not at all.  My friend is just freaking out because I told her I'd talk to her and she's not getting enough attention."  There was a pause and then she laughed.  "I had to stick my tongue out at her.  "How was the rest of your day?"

"Good.  It was--"

"Hey, can I ask you to call me back on my regular phone line?" she asked, "I forgot to plug in my cell phone today and the battery is about to run out."

He paused for a moment then jumped up off the bed and went to find a pen.  "Sure.  Lemme get a piece of paper."

She rattled off her number a moment later and he hung up.

When he called back Colleen answered the phone.  "Sorry about that.  Ree, My friend Stacey came over and she's a little more nosey than I wanted her to be."

"So you've already told her about me?" he asked getting angry.  He wished that it wasn't such a big deal to be hanging out with him.  He wanted it to be important  because it was him, but not because of who he was.

"I haven't been dating much so she gets a little crazy when guys call me," she said, "It's embarrassing, like that little sister that picks up the other line to listen to the conversations."

"That was me," Lance said.

"You were a little girl?" she asked.

"No," he said, "I used to listen to my sister's conversations."

"What a nice brother," she said.

"So what are you up to right now?" he asked.

"Just hanging out.  Stacey hasn't seen me since last week so she had to come over and check on me.  She thinks that me going off with a stranger wasn't cool."

"A total stranger?" he asked.

"She thinks she needs to know everyone in my life."

"Oh."  He sighed at the strange way the conversation was going.  It had been three days since he'd seen her and he prayed that in that amount of time they hadn't lost whatever connection they'd had.  Spending time with her had been strange due to the activities they'd engaged in, but he knew that there had been some sort of friendship before she'd left him there in New York to come back to Los Angeles.  "Well if you need to get back to her then maybe we should do something some other night."

"No," she said, "Its ok.  I'm just hanging out waiting to hear from--"  She stopped.  "I wasn't gonna make any plans until I saw what you were going to do tonight."

"I'm not up for much," he said, "I've been in the middle of people all day long and clubbing or dinner or whatever doesn't seem like something I want to be in the middle of."

"How about movies and ice cream?"

He sighed thinking about how much trouble it was to just go to the movies.  He should have grown up to be something else.  It was a crime that a person couldn't go have movie theater buttered popcorn.  "Movie theaters and I don't get along."

"No," she said, "I'm thinking me and you in front of the boob tube and Ben and Jerry's or something."

"Really?" he said, "Do you want to come over here?"

"How about I pick you up in about a half hour and we'll hang out over here?  I mean if you can leave and not get in trouble."

"You want me to come over to your house?" he asked.  That was a first.  Most girls he knew wanted to be a part of the hype and sit right in the middle of "the show" otherwise known as his life.

"Yeah," she said, "My couch is pretty comfy and the television has a DVD player."

"Sure," he said, "That actually sounds like what I need."

"Ok," she said, "Well wait...where are you staying?"

"At the W up in Westwood."  He looked around the room.  "When you go in ask for James Madison."

"James Madison?"  She laughed.  "Like the president?"

He shrugged and laughed a little.  "Yeah, I guess."

"Ok," she said.

"Do you know where the hotel is?" he asked.  He looked around for a moment and caught his reflection in the mirror.  He looked tired and felt suddenly gross like he hadn't showered in days.  "I don't want you running all over LA on my account."

"Yeah," she said, "It's the one that's on Hilgard, right?"

"Lemme check," he said.  He went and found the stationary that was in the desk drawer.  "Yeah.  It's nine hundred thirty Hilgard."

"Ok," she said, "It should be about a half hour.  I'll give you a call from the lobby."

"Sounds good.  I'm gonna go jump in the shower real quick and change."

"You don't have to dress up or anything," she said, "I'm in my pajamas."

"You can't come and pick me up in pajamas."

"It's not like I'm in lingere."

Lance almost tripped over his feet.

"I'm in pajama bottoms that look like sweatpants."

"Oh," he said, "Well let me go get a shower anyway.  I've been in three cities this week and I can't remember the last time--well I can remember the last one--"

"Um yeah," she said, "I'll give you a call when I get there."

"See you in a little while then."

By the time Lance put the phone down he was already out of the clothes that he'd been in all day.  He stepped into the shower and ran through the motions of a shower quickly, the whole time thinking about the shower that he'd shared with her in New York.  He wasn't assuming that something like that would happen again, but on the off chance that he and she still had that chemistry he was going to be ready for it.


Her heart pounded as she parked the car across the street.  She had the same feeling in her chest that she'd had when she'd gone to collect up her bag from him in New York, but this time she also had another type of nervousness.  She couldn't get the things that Stacey had said to her out of her head and how the next few minutes were either going to ruin her or boost her up to the heavens depending on how he received her as a visitor.

*****

"Lee I know you... you aren't the type for a one night stand. Tell me that you aren't going to get all depressed again if he doesn't call you."

"I won't freak out.  REE."  She could see it happening already.  She'd thought about him too much that day and that definitely wasn't a good sign for the coming weeks or even days or presently hours or minutes.  "I know what I got myself into. If I never see him again yeah that will suck but I have prepared myself for it. It will be fine!"

"Lee you aren't the type of girl that just sleeps around!"  Her friends mouth turned into a frown.  "It means too much to you. I mean I am happy that you had such a good time that  night but... well I am worried about you"

"Dammit REE!"  She went over and grabbed her phone up and plugged it into a plug that was closer to the couch.  "Just cause I don't prostitute myself like some of our other friends doesn't mean I can't have a one-night stand and be okay with it."

Ree held up her hands to show that she was backing away.  "Don't get all defensive! I am just trying to look out for you."

"I know you are and I appreciate it..."  She sighed again and wondered what was gonna happen with Lance.  She wanted it to be all perfect and special, but he was sending her so many mixed signals that she wasn't sure how to take anything that he said.  "It is just that I am a big girl and I can handle a one night stand with out getting my emotions.."

*****

Her feet kept her feet on the curb for an extra moment and stared at the building in front of her.  She was about to turn around and leave when flashes of the night in New York went through her mind.  It hadn't been one hundred percent good, but the good times that she'd had with him out weighed the bad.  She took three deep breaths and prepared herself for the best and worst possible outcomes of them meeting up again.  Her voice was scratchy as she mumbled, "Here goes nothing."

Dodging traffic, she found her way into the lobby and got a few curious looks from people, but once at the desk she curled her keys up into her hand and leaned against the counter.

"May I help you?"

"Yes," she said, "I'm looking for a guest here..."  Her heart pounded even harder.  "James Madison?"

"The president?"

"That's what she said," she heard a voice behind her as he slid his arms around her from behind and hugged her.  She felt his lips press a kiss to her cheek and he laughed a little.  "How are you Sugar?"

She turned in his arm and stood back from him.  "Hey there Mr. Madison,"  she leaned kissed him lightly, "Don't get fresh with me."

"My hands are aren't doing anything," he said pulling her close.  He smiled at her then looked at the desk clerk before looking back at her.  "Are you ready to blow this joint?"


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