Carry This Picture 2

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The last shred of celebrity left them at the curb out in front of the Mississippi house.  A limo service had been scheduled to pick them up and drop them off due to the fact that their flight had gotten them to the house at four in the morning.

The modest four bedroom home, sat next door to Lance's parents four bedroom house.  Despite the Bass family being millionaires, the way that they lived in Mississippi hadn't changed much over the last few years.  Their cars were new and their lawns kept pristine, but for the most part there was no mansion living here.

"You got the bag?" Lance said as he took the handles of the two bigger bags expecting Colleen to follow him with the two smaller rolling suitcases while they both carried backpacks on their backs.

"Yeah," she said tugging her bag over her shoulder. 

Their suitcases made loud noises on the cracks of the sidewalk and paver stones that lead to the front door.  Lance lived on a quiet street and when they'd first arrived at the airport he'd had a thought about the whole neighborhood hearing them arrive home and coming out to say hello.  He didn't mind them, hell, it had been years since he'd been home for long enough to really get to know them well, but having a meet and greet in the middle of the night wasn't something that everyone would appreciate.

Lance reached for his keys, the set that had been FedExed to them in New York the week they'd returned home to the United States, as he moved his head to look across the front of the garage to see the light on the porch next door flicker on.  His father stood in a bathrobe on the front steps, his mom tucked against him.  They waved quickly then turned and disappeared into the house.

Colleen yawned loudly and laughed a little bit.  "They didn't stay up did they?"

"They probably camped out in the living room and woke up when the car turned the corner," Lance said finally finding the right key.

"I hope they get back to sleep ok."  She yawned again.  "As you can tell, I'm ready for bed.  Your parents aren't expecting us for breakfast or anything like that?"

"Nope," he said with a smile.  He planned to sleep in a little or at least wake up with Colleen and sit in bed for a few hours and relax.  If he had nothing to do for the next month then he was going to do nothing for all thirty of those days.  "They're making dinner tomorrow night and if we want to come over we can, but it's nothing formal."

"NO offense, but THANK GOD," she said, "I'm going to sleep the rest of the week away."

Lance took a deep breath and unlocked the door.  The popping noise of the lock was a welcomed noise, but as it came, he thought he heard something in the house.  "I know."

"What?" she asked.

"I thought I heard something," he said pushing the door open even more.  He moved one of the bags inside then went over to punch in the code for the alarm that was on the house, the only real luxury item in the house that wouldn't be found in most of the other houses in the neighborhood.

Her eyes widened and she seemed to wake up a bit.  "You did?"

Neither of them had been alone over the last month.  They'd had security all the way up to boarding the plane and to be standing there alone on the street really was making them jumpy when they wouldn't normally be.

"Yeah," he said, "I thought I heard--"

Colleen leaned to look inside then stepped back.  She set each of the suitcases back so that they could stand without her holding onto them then tugged on her backpack.  Each of them had a phone and when in doubt they would always be able to go next door, but neither of them seemed to want to move.  "Maybe we should call the police."

"It's the middle of nowhere Mississippi," he said with slight attitude, "It's not like we're in Times Square New York."

"Then why do we have the alarm on the house?" Colleen asked sarcastically.

"Because--"  He turned and looked back at her.  He gave her a twisted look realizing that she was just being sarcastic.  Despite everything else, both of them still could keep their cool even if both of them were at the point of falling over from exhaustion,  "Because--"

Another noise came from inside the house.

"Really Lance," she said in a more somber tone, "I think you should call the--"

"I'm sure it's--"

There was another noise and a few moments later the sound of something crashing and a scream.

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Last updated: 08/20/2004.