Somebody Needs You 4
[New York, NY]
She was surprised to see a line at the lobby's check-in desk. She would have imagined that an exclusive hotel like the W Hotel would have had some kind of curbside service and would have whisked it's guests from the limo to the penthouse, but that night there were two people ahead of her in line. She would have turned around right then and braved her way through the crowd outside and gone back across town on the subway to her hotel room, but she needed to see him. He'd committed a crime really and she needed all the things in the bag that he'd stolen. This wasn't right and she needed to not let him get away with it.
"Can I help you Miss?" a woman said coming up to her where she stood in line. She didn't realize why she'd been singled out, but maybe it was because she was in her navy blue and white United Airlines flight attendant uniform and happened to be the only one in the line that didn't have an overnight bag with her. Her purse probably was bigger than some of the people's bags, but it still didn't have a handle or wheels on it so it would have seemed small for an overnight stay.
She took a deep breath before she spoke and wondered for a moment if she shouldn't just leave right then. She couldn't explain that a rock star had stolen her bag off the plane and left a card with the address of the W Hotel on it in the bag's place. No one would have believed a story like that. She'd been trying to think of a story all the way over, but couldn't think of anything that sounded plausible that would have let her inside the hotel and near the music group that clearly, from the size of the group waiting outside, wasn't accessible to the average person. "I'm wondering if--Well actually I'm pretty sure that NSYNC is staying here considering the crowd outside, but I was wondering if I would be able to go up to see Mr. Bass?"
The older women pursed her lips, as if she'd been dealing with requests like this all day. It was nerve wreaking to see the woman smooth a hand over her hair a clear sign that the woman was trying to keep her temper in tact by speaking slowly to her when she replied. "I'm sorry. Our guests usually leave a list of welcomed visitors and I'd have to confirm that you were on that list to let you up to the floor."
"I doubt that I would be on that list," she said bringing her coat further around her. She should have just ignored him. She should have just called the gamble a loss and left the bag with him. All that was in there were pajamas, three t-shirts, a pair of shoes, and a pair of jeans for the night's stay in New York. She doubted that her toothbrush and deodorant would be of use to him anyway. "I don't think he's really expecting me."
"Why don't we check, just in case." The woman pointed the way over to a side desk and she went around the little podium and began to type on a computer a moment later she looked up. "What was your name?"
"Colleen--" Colleen instantly wanted to start chewing on her nails. She felt like she'd just cheated her way through a test and now the principal was going to punish her for it. "Colleen Blanch--"
The woman's eyebrows lifted. She wasn't sure if this was a good sign or a bad sign until the New York accented woman spoke again, "I'm sorry Miss Blanchard." The woman instantly seemed nervous. "I didn't realize that it was you. Mr. Bass left a note on here saying that I should escort you upstairs myself. He said that he wasn't sure what time you would arrive, but that you were not to be bothered and that--" She began to breathe hard and Colleen wondered what she was getting herself into. "He didn't leave a time for your arrival."
"He was expecting me?"
"Yes," she said, "You didn't sound so sure."
Her eyes flew to the sound of screaming that entered the lobby when the door opened and a few people walked through the lobby towards the elevators. They looked slightly familiar, but she didn't see who she was looking for in that group. "I wasn't sure what day I'd be able to visit him," she said nervously.
The woman smiled and became instantly more hospitable. "I'm sorry about that crowd outside. It seems that they are waiting for your friend to make an appearance." She sighed. "I feel bad for the poor kids. Some of them have been there for two days now waiting." She typed something else into the computer then looked up. "Well come with me and I'll take you up to his floor."
"Thank you," Colleen said as she made her way across the lobby to the elevator.
The trip up to their floor only took a few moments. The guard at the door told them that Lance would be with Colleen in a few minutes and while the hotel clerk went back down to the lobby, the bigger security guard brought her down the hallway.
The man's deep voice rumbled next to her. He seemed extremely mean from looks, but his voice was one that she'd imagine that anyone would want a lullaby sung to them by. The Barry-White sounding voice was soothing despite the seriousness of the situation. "Lance is in a mini-meeting at the moment, but said that you should wait for him in the room."
"Ok?" Colleen said. She was getting a headache and wanted to get something to eat, but she wasn't about to ask this guy for food. She'd probably get herself in even more trouble if she asked for something other than what was owed to her.
The guard left her alone in the living room of the suite. Colleen kept her jacket on, but put her bag next to her on the couch and took a seat facing out the window. She couldn't seem much, but sky and building, but after a long day she was glad for the seat. She'd been up since early that morning and she vowed that within the hour she'd be asleep in bed across town, WITH her bag in her custody.
"Good, you're here."
"Yes," she said and got up from the seat she was in as he came walking into the room. He wore different clothes that he'd been wearing on the plane and looked a little tired, but that kind smile on his face was still there. She was having a hard time being mad at him. She realized that she should be extremely upset with him though considering the circumstances. "I'm here. Of course I'm here. I should be here with the police, but I chose to play this game your way." She held up the card that had been found on the plane. "This is cute and all, but where is my stuff?"
"I've got it," he said, "But you have to do one more thing before I give it back."
"Come on. I've played along so far. I just want my stuff and a good night's sleep before I have to go back to Los Angeles. Please just give me my stuff."
He instead his hand came out and held an envelope up to her.
Her eyes narrowed. She didn't take it from him. "What is that?"
He sighed. "You're making this so difficult."
"Difficult?" she asked, "You don't even know the meaning of the word. I work hard during my days and I expected to spend my evening with a book relaxing considering that I was up at three am to get to work today, something you'd probably know nothing about."
"I traveled about two hundred and ninety days a year," he said, "I KNOW about early calls for flights and traveling through a million times zones so please spare me the story."
"You can put your hand down," she said, "I'm not going to take whatever you're going to offer me. All I want is my bag so I can leave."
His eyes met hers for a moment and softened. "Are you sure?"
She nodded in defiance.
"Are you sure you don't want this?"
"Yes," she said.
He retracted his arms and put both hands on the envelope looking like he might rip the white business sized container in half. "I guess these tickets to John Mayer will go to waste then."
Her eyes went wide. "What? Wait. No." She took a deep breath and wondered if he'd drugged her early that day. She hadn't found herself this drawn to someone in a while and even though he was a big star she didn't see herself becoming any man's groupie any time soon.
"I saw you lip syncing to the song on the plane so I called and got us tickets. I swear no strings attached." He chuckled at that remark. "Just go with me to the concert...it's only a three hour commitment on your part then we'll be done, you can have your bags back and I'll leave you alone forever."
"I can't." She instantly refused. She didn't know why she couldn't. There wasn't anything in the world that would have told her that spending a night alone in a New York hotel room would be more exciting that going to see John Mayer live, but she wasn't sure that she should be going to the concert with Lance Bass of all men in the world. "I can't jump off to a concert. I'm working and I have to get to sleep."
"I'll have you home by midnight," he said with a teasing tone. He must have seen the shocked look in her eyes and must have realized from earlier that she was a real fan of the artist because he was now using that as leverage.
"I can't Mr. Bass." She closed her eyes and prayed that she would have the strength to stay away from the concert and him. "Really."
"It's Lance," he said, "And you will go or you won't get your bag back."
"Fine then," she said and reached for her bag. "Keep the bag."
"Come on," he said, "Miss Blanchard this will be the best night of your life. VIP passes to a concert in New York. I mean who else would have a date like that planned out for you?"
"This isn't a date," she said.
"So you'll go?"
"I can't go in this," she said, "I'll need my bag."
"I'll give you the jeans and a shirt and shoes and maybe stuff for a shower, but that's it," he said, "The bag will stay with me."
"You little jerk. You looked through my stuff."
"No," he said, "They opened it up when I came off the plane. I just happened to take a peak inside."
"Ugh," she said, "You're so awful."
"Look. If we're going to go you'll need your stuff. You can use my shower and I'll leave you to yourself while I make some phone calls, but you have to be ready by seven because we're going to have dinner with John."
"John Mayer," he said with a smile. "I told you that we're getting VIP treatment and you're going to meet him."
"Really?" she said.
"Yes," he handed over her things without the bag. "No get ready. Our limo is going to be coming for us in about a half hour."
"Hey there gorgeous," a sweet female voice filled his
She sighed and he could hear her doing whatever it was
she was doing on the other end of the line. "I bet you're busy
all weekend aren't you?"
"Where are you?"
"I probably need a nap," he mumbled to himself.
"I'll let you go," Carrah said over the line. "Have
fun today and call me tomorrow and we'll have yet another
one of our oh so fun--OUCH! I think I hurt my eye when I rolled
them up into the back of my head--I'll talk to you soon."