"Where were you?" he asked as he came into the bus. They'd made
it back to the bus just as the show was ending. The small van had
almost not made it back due to the security that surrounded the areana, but
they were pulling up and loading back on the bus just as Loni called out
to Eric that they needed to leave soon.
"Hi," she said with a calm voice, "I missed you too."
"Where were you?" he repeated.
He was looking very tired and very aggitated. She would have
expected him to pace, but the bus didn't have enough room to do so.
She thought about telling him, but she knew that if the word hospital
that he would completely freak out and have a heart attack right there.
She tucked the picture into her pocket and looked at Eric with a warning
look. "I ran an errand with Eric."
His shoulders relazed. "I thought you were--I thought something
was wrong with you--you didn't show up before the show and I swear I spent
most of my night praying that nothing bad had happened to you."
"Nope," she said telling the truth. She moved across to him and
hugged him. "Nothing is wrong."
"Good," he said, "Come here." He kissed her softly then looked
her in the eyes. "What's wrong?"
"I missed you," she spoke into his chest as his hug pulled her closer.
"I just missed you today."
"You ready for bed?" he asked.
"No," she said, "I haven't seen you all day. I want to hang out
for a while and I think we should see Joey for a while. He's worried
"I'm worried about who?" Joey came up the stairs.
"About the other night," Serena explained, "I thought that we could
celebrate tonight and watch a movie or something."
"I don't know," she said, "Our engagement."
"Another reason to drink," Joey said, "I'm in."
Serena laughed and said, "I don't know about my drinking, but you can
have mine Joey."
"I thought I get yours."
"You can't get too liquered up or I won't be able to take advantage
of you later."
His eyes opened and he rolled onto his side and grabbed up his phone.
He didn't realize that he had enough room to do that until he saw that
Serena wasn't in their bunk with him. He grabbed up the phone and
held it to his ear. "This is Lance."
"Honey, it's your mother," the soft voice of his mother eased his mind
a little, but he still was wondering where Serena was.
"Hi mom," he said, "What time is it?"
"Seven am honey. I know I should have left you alone to sleep,
but we need to talk."
Lance pushed himself out of his bunk and found that the early morning
light was leaving the bus looking a little spooky. It wasn't until
he got out to the living room. Serena was sitting at the table looking
at something, but when he came out and sat down next to him she put it inside
the book she was reading and leaned against him as she turned the page
and pretended to continue what she was doing.
"What do you need mom?" he asked softly feeling Serena tense next to
him. He smiled and leaned and kissed her temple.
"Honey. We need to talk about this. I want you and Serena
to come home and to talk to us."
"Talk to you?" he asked, "I tried that already and clearly all you
want to do is make me feel horrible so that I'll stay away from my fiance."
"That's not what we want honey," she repeated.
"You know what mom?" he asked, "I'm not feeling good right now and
I need to get back to sleep. I'll call you later."
"Honey no," his mom protested.
"Mom. You've never once asked me who's idea this was. You've
assumed it was her and I just want to assure you that it was my idea so
leave me alone about it. I have work to do." He clicked off
the phone and threw it across the small room so that it hit the couch and
bounced off and hit the floor.
When his breathing seemed to calm a little he leaned forward and mumbled,
"Is this really worth all this?" His head popped up when the words
came out of his mouth and he looked at Serena. "I'm sorry Sugar.
I didn't mean to say it like that. I just wonder if my parents know
what they're doing to me."
"Maybe you should listen to them," she said softly.
"Listen to them?" he asked.
"Yeah," she said and pushed against him to make him move. "I'm
going back to bed."
"Serena?" he called after her. "What woke you up earlier?"
"Nothing," She curled her book up into her arms. "I'm tired
Lance. I'm going to bed."
"Serena?" he called again, "I love you."
"I love you too," she mumbled.
Lance put his head back down on the table and groaned. It seemed
like everything was falling apart. He was so close to having everything
he wanted, but so far away from what he really needed.
"You ok man?" Joey said sitting down across from him.
Joey leaned his arms against the table top. "Are you ok?
It's a simple question, but I have a feeling the answer is going to be
a little more complicated than I'm expecting."
"You don't want to know," Lance said.
"Tell me," Joey said, "I live here man. I know that things aren't
great right now. Come on. I'm a dad and I've been with Kelly
for years. I've been through this. I can help you out if you
"Even you couldn't get yourself mixed up into anything like this,"
"Try me," he said, "I've had people tell me I'm their baby's daddy.
Nothing can be that extreme."
"Yes it can." Lance made eye contact with him for a long moment
before putting his head down again. "Yes it can."
Joey leaned a little across the table and patted his shoulder.
"Come on Lance. It's me...Joey."
"Even you couldn't think up a plot like this," Lance said moving his
head up again he began to rub his shoulder and neck. "It's like
As the World Turns or General Hosptial. Think of the worst thing
that you could think of and double that and you still haven't come close
to the amount of drama that I have in my life."
"What did she sleep with your bother?" Joey asked, "Wait...you don't
have a brother...please tell me she didn't sleep with your sister or your
father? Are we gonna end up on Jerry Springer because I've always
wanted to meet that guy Steve."
"No," Lance said, "It's not even worth the time. This is serious
shit Joey. It's my family and it's real and everything is about
to fall apart."
"What's so bad?" Joey asked, "I bet your mom thinks that Serena tricked
you into having her baby."
"No," Lance said, "That would have been Billy's job if she hadn't started
"Nevermind." He sighed, "None of this was in the plan."
"She tried to trick Billy into getting her pregnant?" His shocked
look and immediate tensing of his back showed his thoughts on the situation.
"Joey." Lance put his hand up towards his friend. "Don't
start. Please don't start." He turned to look to see if the
door was shut and it was so he turned back to Joey. "You don't understand."
Joey leaned back and stared him down. "Lance she tried to trap
Billy and now she's trapped you. What is there to understand?"
"You'd never understand. It wasn't supposed to be this complicated.
I'm the one who made it this way. I'm the one who turned a simple
arrangement into something bigger than it should have been."
"What the hell wouldn't I understand? No wonder your mother is
pissed off. I'd be pissed off too if Brianna ever got mixed up in
something like this."
"Joey," he sighed, "Stop. My mom doesn't know about this.
No one knows about this. I have my reasons for following through with
her plan and you need to keep your nose out of it. At the time I was
looking for someone to be with that I could have an understanding with.
I wasn't looking to fall in love and she seemed to be the one to fill the
"Get a fucking prostitute or something," Joey said, "Believe me.
It's a lot easier that way."
"Joey you just don't get it. No one will ever get it, but I love
her and I'm not going to just jump ship now no matter how fucked up our
"How can you even think that she loves you?" Joey folded his
arms across his chest. "She probably is just still using you to get
child support out of you."
"How do you know that Kelly loves you Joey?" Lance asked. He
found it completely ironic that Joey could be the flirtatious guy that
he was and wonder if Lance's woman was being faithful to him.
Joey seemed offended as if he was trying to insinuate that Kelly might
be unfaithful to him. "What the hell does that have to do with anything?"
"Just answer the question," Lance said.
Joey thought for a moment. "I know because she tells me that
"It's the same for me. I know that she loves me because she tells
me and I know that it's not just some bullshit game because if it was I
have a feeling that she would have been out of here long ago if she didn't.
You know how messed up our lives are like...no one would voluntarily put
up with that."
"Well if it was real why haven't you gotten her a ring?" Joey asked.
"I haven't had time," Lance said. He closed his eyes knowing
full well that this was going to bother everyone. He hadn't wanted
to be traditional. He hadn't wanted to be tradtional. Nothing
of their relationship was so he hadn't wanted to start now. Besides,
the cufflink was something that he thought had been unique. He knew
that she'd forever remember him because of that.
Joey's eyebrows came down over his eyes angrily. "You'd think
if you loved each other then you'd make a point of getting her a ring."
"I haven't had time," Lance repeated.
"Get her a fucking ring then so at least it'll look legitimate."
Joey pushed himself up and out of the booth and moved towards the back
of the bus. "Someone is going to find out about her sooner or later
and it's going to go to fucking hell if she doesn't have a ring on that
finger. You know how the press gets."
"Where are you going?" Lance asked.
"Back to sleep."
"Joey don't get pissed off. Don't talk to Serena about it.
It's not something that she wants anyone to know about. We're together
and that's what is important."
Joey frowned. "I'll keep my mouth shut unless it needs to be
She came into the room with her phone in her hand and stood a little ways
away from him when she spoke. "Honey can you do me a favor?"
"What's that Serena?" he asked looking over at her from where she was
sliding in to sit across from him at the table. He smiled at her, stuck
his pen behind his ear and stretched his arms out, cracking a few knuckles
on his hands before taking a deep cleansing breath.
She moved to her knees and leaned over the sit of the table, careful
of her pregnant stomach. "I want you to do something for me and I
don't want you to get mad when I ask you to do it." She put up her
hand when he started to talk. "I know that you don't normally get
that upset, but this is serious and I know it needs to get done."
His eyebrows raised with her comment, but his eyes returned to his paperwork.
"Get on the phone with your mom and talk to her." She took his
hands away from the paperwork he was looking over. "Baby please do
it for me. I don't like you and them fighting."
"Do we have to talk to about this?" he asked with a groan.
She didn't hesistate when she answered. "Yes." She watched
his eyes go from bright to dark and wanted to reach over and grab him by
the neck. He wasn't going to make this process easy like she wanted
it to be. It wasn't at all something that she could get around. If
she could have forgotten about him not speaking to his parents it really
would have showed how much she didn't care about him, but to see him push
himself into his work the last two days had made her worried. He was
definitely a work-a-holic, but his paperwork had never been that interesting
"Serena." He pulled his hands away from her and picked up his paperwork
and looked at it again, pulling the pen from his ear to make a mark on the
page. He sighed when she didn't seem to leave him alone so he put the
papers down and looked straight at her with a cold look to his eyes. "I
don't want to talk about this. I was having a good day up until--"
Serena threw her hands up in defeat. "Lance this is silly. I'm
not going to be what keeps you from your family. I'm going to make
you talk to them. I don't know how I'm going to do it, but I'm not
going to be called a homewreaker because you and your parents aren't talking."
"Did someone say homewreaker?" Joey said.
"Joey SHUT UP!" Lance said defensively.
"What's that supposed to mean?" she looked at Joey. "Do you have
a problem you'd like to discuss with me or are you content to eavesdrop?"
"Either way is fine with me." He sounded cocky now, like he knew
something she didn't know or had something up his sleeve that might send
even more drama their way.
"Joey SHUT UP!"
"Lance?" she said and focused on him. "What's he talking about and
why do you keep telling him to shut up?"
"It's nothing," Lance said and glared at his band mate. "Right Joey?"
Joey didn't say much to them, just started to mumbled stuff under his
breath as he turned away.
"What was that all about?" she asked.
"He knows about our deal," Lance said.
"The whole idea that you and I would--at the begining of this--that we
were going to be a couple basically only so you could get a baby out of it--"
"So he thinks I'm a gold digging whore now?" she said. Tears came
to her eyes and she blinked at him. "How could you do that to me?
I know the beginning of this was fucked up beyond belief, but I didn't
think that you'd tell your friends about it. Especially one who is
probably a bigger whore than me."
"Serena calm down," he said, "Joey is pissed off right now about God knows
what and he's got a temper. He's not really mad at you."
"Well it sure didn't sound that way," she said.
"Baby please don't do this," he said, "I don't want to fight with you.
I just want us to be together."
"Well maybe I don't want you to be with me." She yanked on her necklace
and threw the cufflink at him. "I knew that this was going to happen.
I knew that having a boyfriend, excuse me FIANCE was going to FUCK
my whole world up! I should have known not to trust this. It was
all too easy to get this all set up nice and comfy."
Everyone else in the bus was now crowded near the door to the back area.
"Don't call me that," she said, "You're soo sickenly sweet about this
you almost had me fooled into thinking you actually gave a shit about me
and about this baby. Hell these babies. I might as well tell
you now that you're having twins. Now you'll be able to tell your parents
that your girlfriend slash FIANCE--" She looked towards the door and
saw Joey watching. "What was the word Joey? What was it? HOMEWREAKER?"
Joey started to speak.
"Well consider yourself a saint Joey because you got what you wanted.
When we get to the next city I want off this bus, off this tour...hell
off this planet if I can make arrangements!"
She turned and began to walk towards the door and the crowd parted like
the red seat, leaving lance sitting there staring down the hall wondering
what had just happened.
Lance dropped his head down to the table and took a deep breath. His
whole body felt as if it had been hit by a truck and for the first time in
a long time, even in his great shape, he felt like he wanted to give up and
crawl in bed and sleep away the rest of the day, maybe even the rest of the
week. He shut his eyes for a moment and then pushed himself up from
the table. He walked by everyone in the hallway without a word and
went towards the back room, knowing that she'd closed herself into the back
Joey started to talk to him.
"I think you've said enough for one day Joey," Lance said angrily turning
and pointing at him, making his arm extend to keep space between them.
Joey looked concerned now, but as far as Lance was concerned it was too
late for him to do anything about what he'd done to Serena. He'd caused
trouble when he had told Lance that he wouldn't. "I didn't expect her
Lance turned away from him and Joey's voice faded out. Everyone
seemed to instantly made themselves at home in the front room while Lance
knocked on the back door. He knew that they would all be watching
and listening, but there was no private place on the bus to talk. He
hoped that she would at least let him talk to her instead of keeping that
door between them.
"GO AWAY!" she screamed.
Lance took a deep breath and turned towards his bunk. He looked
back towards the front room and saw everyone watching him and felt instantly
ashamed of the situation. A man in his position didn't have much choice
in the matter. He felt like breaking the door down and forcing her to
talk to him, but with that move came along a whole set of issues including
two bodyguards that would wrestle him to the ground and beat him senseless
if he hurt or scared Serena in any way.
Feeling the need to be away from everyone, Lance pushed back the curtain
on his bunk and climbed in. He shut the curtain and lay on his stomach
gripping his pillow to his face as his heart finally was let to feel the
pain that he'd just caused.
It wasn't long before Joey came to the bunk area. Lance expected
it. He knew that he'd be concerned and Joey would be the spokesperson
for the rest of the group to try to help because Joey had a knack for being
in the blaming place for things, but smoothing things over quickly. He
pushed back the curtain and started to talk to him. "Lance. I'm
sorry. I didn't think it would get this out of hand. I didn't
know she'd freak out this bad. I--"
Lance lifted his head and glared at him. "I told you that I thought
you'd already said enough today Joey so why don't you FUCKING SHUT THE HELL
UP AND LEAVE ME THE FUCK ALONE!" He pulled the curtain shut and rolled
over onto his side so that his back was towards the curtain.
When the bus slowed Serena looked out the tiny back window. It wasn't
the best of situations, but her plan was to go out and get her phone and
call Lance's parents. She didn't know how or when she'd be able to
get away from the tour, but her first priority after the call was going to
be to find Chris and tell him that she was quitting.
When they finally were parked she opened the door and slipped out into
the hallway. She could hear everyone up front and knew that she had
to face them, but when she entered the front area of the bus she quickly and
quietly found her phone and went back into the back area of the bus again,
dialing as she went.
Her breath quicken as she heard the woman on the other end of the phone
Serena cleared her throat and coughed. "Mrs. Bass?"
"This is Serena." She took a deep breath. "I don't want to
waste your time so I'll be quick about this. I just wanted to tell you
that I'm going to be out of your son's life in a few days. I broke
things off with him last night for a few reasons, but The main one was that
I don't want to be the cause for a family fight. I know that Lance
is really upset about this and he's going to probably need your support right
now, but I thought it best that I leave before I cause any more trouble than
I already have."
"Serena," his mother spoke smoothly with her southern accent sounding
more like Betty Crocker than someone who wanted her to be out of her son's
life. "I want to thank you for calling me. I know that I was
aweful about this whole situation, but--"
"You don't have to explain anything," Serena protested. "Its alright.
I hope that I love my children as much as you love Lance and that when
I'm faced--if I'm faced--with a situation like this that I'll be as protective
of them as you are of your son."
"Children?" she asked, "What do you mean children?"
"I'm having twins," she said, "I don't know what Lance and I are going
to do about the kids, but I'll definitely stay in touch and of course you
and your husband and Stacey and Lance will all have access to them--"
"Are you sure you know what you're doing?"
At any other moment Serena would have loved to hear some concern for her
well being, but at the moment Diane Bass was the last person she would consider
taking comfort in being around. "You know I think horrible timing runs
in your family. I don't mean to be rude, but this really isn't the
time to start caring. Just be there for your son when I'm not. That's
all I'm asking of you." She hung up the phone and began to cry again.
"Girl are you ok?" Eric had thrown on jeans and a security team
shirt and was watching her with a critical eye.
"I don't want to talk about this. I'm going to go and talk to Chris
and maybe stay on his bus. Please don't follow me. You work for
Lance and I don't want you reporting back to him because I'm sure that's
what he'll want you to do."
"I'm your guard though," he said watching her.
"Just leave it alone," she said, "Please."
She left the bus and looked around for a moment.
"What are you doing up?" Anthony asked coming over to her from where
he was helping park buses into spots.
"Which one is Chris on?" she asked.
Anthony looked at her closely for a moment. "The third one over
there. I think he's asleep, but I don't think that Fred has packed
it in for the day to take his time off. Go knock."
"Thanks," she said and shuffled towards the other bus.
He rolled over, turning towards the curtain. He opened his eyes
and found, not Joey, but Eric looking in at him. "What?"
"What?" He sat up a little, almost hitting his head. "Where?"
"She's going over to Chris's bus, but she's left and she won't let me
"Oh," he said and lay back down. He was still in his clothes, but
he didn't care. His head hurt, his eyes felt puffy, and his lungs
seemed to be not expanding enough. In a nutshell he felt as if he'd
been hit by a train and he knew that there was nothing at this point that
would fix it. If Serena wasn't going to be able to talk to him about
this then there was nothing that he could do.
"Lance get your ass out of bed and go after her." Eric opened the
curtain again. "Your woman is about to take herself and your kids
out of your life and you're sitting here like an ass letting her!"
"It's none of your business Eric," he said, "Leave it alone."
"It is my business," he said, "You need to go after her. If you
let her get away now she'll keep running from you, but if you go over there
and force her to talk then she's gonna know that you at least give shit or
not if she leaves."
"Leave it alone," he growled.
Eric's arms reached into the bunk and pulled him out.
"What the hell is going on?" Joey asked opening his curtain to stare at
"Nothing," Eric said, "Lance is on his way to go tell his woman that he
loves her and that she can't leave him. "Right Lance."
His voice got caught in his lungs as Eric manuvered him out of the bunk
so that he was standing. He coughed. "Fuck you."
Without warning, Lance was pushed towards the front of the bus. Eric
pushed him half way down the stairs then made him leave the bus all together.
Once outside he turne to go back in, but Eric wouldn't let him. He
locked the door and stood in the window staring at him.
Anthony appeared. "She's on Chris's bus." He spoke before
being asked and pointed across the parking lot. Lance looked towards
where he was pointing then started off towards the bus that she was supposedly
in. He didn't know if this was going to work, but he thought he'd at
least try since he didn't want to be wrestling Eric is whole morning.
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Last updated: 07/09/04.