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Desert Rose

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DESERT ROSE
One

 

The young man sighed with relief as the large building loomed up before him at the crest of the hill. He shouldered his backpack, stretched his neck a bit, and continued walking. As the building got closer, he saw a few smaller buildings on the perimeter of the yard. A shed, a large garage, and some sort of picnic pavilion. All three were in various states of disrepair. He allowed himself a brief smile. This was looking good already.

 

“Lonnie! Door!” A voice yelled from the front parlor.

“Some people seem to think I’m DEAF!” The large black man yelled as he headed for the door. “I heard the door, Timberlake.”

“Just trying to help!” Came the sweet reply.

Lonnie sighed and opened the front door. He looked the ragged figure over, smiling with amusement. “Yes?”

“Is this, the, uh…” The blond man on the front porch blushed deeply.

“Yes, it is, if it’s making you blush like that. We’re not open yet, though…and I doubt we have what you’re looking for.”

“Oh, I, uh…” The man blushed even darker. “No! I’m not interested in, well, THAT. I thought I might work here.” The black man laughed heartily. “NO! Not as one of THOSE! I just…I do repairs. Handiwork. I thought I might earn my keep for a few weeks.”

“Oh. You don’t do THAT, huh?” Lonnie couldn’t stop chuckling. “Well, come on in outta the dust and sit there.” Lonnie pointed to a chair in the foyer. “I’ll get the owner.”

The young man obediently sat down and Lonnie went up the stairs, still laughing to himself. The man looked around at the tastefully furnished hallway. He figured that the art alone would be enough to feed him for a week. He looked up in surprise as someone leaned in a doorway. “Hello,” the boy said as he munched on an apple. He looked to be in his early twenties, with unruly blondish-brown curls and inquisitive blue eyes. His body was long and lean, and he lounged arrogantly, obviously comfortable in the fact that he was quite attractive. “Who’re you?”

“Um, Lance,” the man on the chair replied softly.

“Hi, Lance. I’m Justin.” Justin gave a smile that reminded Lance of the sun. “You here for a good time? I’m the best one…though I’m expensive.”

“I’m, uh, sure, you’re, uh, good,” Lance mumbled. “But I’m here to work.”

Justin raised an eyebrow. “YOU?”

“Outside,” Lance all but snapped. “I work with my hands.”

Justin smirked. “Who says I don’t work with MY hands?”

Lance looked down at his knees, picking at a hole in his jeans. This boy unnerved him. He was sexy and alluring, and he knew it. “I do repairs,” Lance said sullenly.

“You got any money?” Justin asked, tossing his apple core into a trashcan. “I could give ya something quick. You like boys, dontcha, Lance the Handyman?” Lance’s blush was all the answer Justin needed. “You’re so cute!” Justin declared.

“Justin, don’t you have somewhere to be?” A bearded man asked, slowly walking down the long staircase. Lance nervously stood.

“I was just being friendly, Joe,” Justin said.

“Well, go be friendly somewhere else.” The man named Joe smiled at Lance. “Hi, there. Joey Fatone. I own this place.”

“Lance Bass,” Lance said, nervously shaking Joey’s hand.

“Let’s go into my office,” Joey said, leading the way down the hallway.

“Bye, Lance,” Justin said, bestowing the sunny grin once more.

“Don’t mind Justin. He likes to tease, but he’s really a good kid. Friendly and considerate,” Joey said. “He’s just a little full of himself.” Lance nodded and sat where Joey pointed. “Lonnie says you’re looking for work?”

“Yes, sir. I do any kind of repairs…I do carpentry and can do some auto maintenance.”

“You don’t LOOK like a man who works outside,” Joey observed.

“I know. My skin refuses to tan unless I’m outside like twenty hours a day,” Lance replied. “But I’m a hard worker, and I know my way around tools. Looks like your shed and garage could use some work…house could use some paint…”

“The desert does some serious damage to buildings,” Joey admitted. “But why here?”

“I figured you probably don’t get many offers to do work on your place,” Lance said quietly.

“So you know what we do here?” Joey asked.

“Yes, sir. I know you’re a legal house of prostitution, and that you cater to, well, men who like men, sir,” Lance whispered. “I don’t care about that. In fact, I think I’d be very comfortable working here.”

Joey stared at him admiringly. “You are something else, Bass. You seem like a little Southern belle, but seems like you got some steel under that fair skin. I like you. And you’re right, we need a lot done here. Most people don’t care what the place looks like on the outside, as long as they get what they want inside. But it can’t hurt.” Joey leaned back in his chair. “I can’t pay much, just a little cash and room and board.”

“That’s wonderful,” Lance said. “That’s great.”

“Okay. I have a room on the third floor you can bunk in, and I’ll get Lonnie to show you around.” Joey stood and Lance followed. They shook hands. “And just ignore Justin. After a while he’ll get tired of playing with you and become your friend. Or are you interested in what Justin might offer you?”

“I…he…” Lance stammered.

“I don’t care if the help samples the wares here, but you still have to pay. Understand?” Joey said, and Lance nodded quickly. Joey smiled. “But I think we won’t have too much of a problem with you, Bass. Go on out in the hall, and I’ll get Lonnie.”

Chapter Text

DESERT ROSE
Two

 

Lonnie led the way up to the third floor. “The boys all sleep up here,” he told Lance. “You don’t have to worry; they don’t work up here or nothin’ like that.”

“Okay,” Lance said, and inside he was relieved. He wasn’t a very sound sleeper, and he was afraid of what he might hear through the thin walls.

“Here’s your room. It’s small, but I’m sure you don’t mind that,” Lonnie said, and Lance nodded. The room WAS small, but it was clean, with a tiny bed, nightstand, dresser, desk and chest of drawers. “You need anything else?”

“Uh, no, sir, thank you. Um…Is Mr. Fatone busy? I should probably check back in with him, find out what he wants me to work on first.”

Lonnie looked at the clock on the wall. “It’s almost suppertime. After that, he’ll probably want you outta sight. I’m sure he’ll talk to you tomorrow about things he wants you to work on. Why don’t you get cleaned up? There’s a bathroom at this end of the hall and two at the other end. We eat at six; you can come down and get something, then hide yourself up here and get some rest as you settle in.”

“That sounds good. Thank you, sir.”

“Don’t call me sir, boy,” Lonnie said with his wide grin. “I’m just Lonnie. Butler, bouncer, all around muscle.” Lance couldn’t help but grin back.

 

Lance was thankful to wash the grit and grime of the road from his hair and body. He took a long hot shower, finally making himself turn off the water and get out. He dried off and pulled on a pair of boxer shorts to walk the short distance back to his room.

“Lance the Handyman,” a voice said, and he whirled around.

“Oh, uh, Justin, right?” Lance said weakly. He looked at Justin and tried to smile.

“Nick, this is Lance,” Justin said, motioning from Lance to the tall handsome blond standing next to Justin in the hall.

“Nice to meet you.” Nick’s blue eyes ran over Lance and he blushed. “New, huh?”

“Not that way.” Justin gave Nick a playful shove. “Lance is a good little boy. He’s just working outside, doing carpentry and stuff. Right, Lance?”

“Right,” Lance said, nodding. “Nice to meet you, Nick.”

“Nicky here is almost as good as me,” Justin said. “Almost as popular.”

“TWICE as popular,” Nick countered. Lance blushed and wished he had on more clothes.

“Justin, are you bugging this kid?” A short Latino man came ambling down the hall. “I saw you come in. You’re the new fix-it man?”

“I guess so.” Lance inched his way towards his room. “Lance.”

“Hi, Lance. I’m Howie. Ignore these infants. They just like to play.”

“We’re not infants!” Nick and Justin said as one.

“If they bother you, just ignore them. If there’s anything they hate, it’s being ignored,” Howie continued, pretending that they had never spoken.

“Right. Thanks. I, uh, have to go get dressed for dinner,” Lance said shyly. “Nice to meet you, Howie.” Lance darted into his room.

“He is SO adorable,” Nick said.

“Nick, leave him alone. Can’t you see you two made him uncomfortable?” Howie asked.

“You’re no fun, Howie,” Justin said. “But he IS sweet. And he seems nice. We’ll behave,” he promised. “I'll take him under my wing and make sure nothing happens to him.”

“I’d hate to see what life would be like under YOUR wing, Timbers,” Howie said, and Justin glared at him.

 

Lance found his way down to the large dining room. Twelve young men were finding seats at the long table. Lance stood in the doorway uncertainly. Joey Fatone was already at one end of the table.

“Lance, sit here,” Justin said, patting the chair next to him. “I swear, I don’t bite if you don’t ask.”

A few of the men groaned. “C’mon, Lance. I’ll make sure he doesn’t bite,” Nick said, slipping into the seat on the other side of the empty one.

Lance sighed and sat down. The steaming plates on the table smelled heavenly, and he was suddenly hungrier than he had been in ages. He sat down and politely placed his napkin on his lap. He waited to make sure others were serving themselves before reaching for the platter of ham. “So, Lance, where are you from?” Justin asked.

“Justin,” Joey said in a warning tone. “Too many questions are rude. You know we don’t ask that stuff around here.”

“No, it’s okay. I don’t mind,” Lance said, slightly flattered by the attention. “Originally I’m from Mississippi. I just kinda wander, you know, getting work.”

“I’d love to travel like that,” Nick said wistfully.

“You can always leave,” Justin said, arching an eyebrow.

“You’d LOVE that, wouldn’t you?” Nick snapped, but he didn’t sound upset. Lance could tell that Justin and Nick were actually good friends.

“Nevada’s a far cry from Mississippi,” Joey said. Lance shrugged.

“I wanted to see things.”

“You’ll see a LOT here, Lance,” Justin said, serving himself some mashed potatoes. He gave some to Lance without asking. “Maybe more than you’d like.”

“I can handle it,” Lance said boldly. Nick snickered and patted Lance’s knee.

“You’re so cute, Lance.”

 

Lance quickly scooted up to his room after dinner. He didn’t want to see any of the ‘guests’ arrive. For all his bravado, the very idea of what the men would be doing later made him blush down to his toes.

“Hey, Lance,” Justin said, leaning on the railing of the staircase. Lance turned around. “I know your room is pretty bare…so, ya know, if you wanna watch TV in my room, you can. I’m two doors down from you, and it’s unlocked.”

“Thank you,” Lance said, smiling. “Will you be back early? I mean, so I’m not in your way if you wanna go to sleep.”

“Probably not until after midnight, if I’m lucky,” Justin said with a grin. Lance blushed. “Have a good night, Lance.”

“Yeah, uh, you, too,” Lance said quietly. He watched Justin go back downstairs

Justin’s room was a nightmare. Clothing was thrown in every corner, and shoes were all over the floor. Lance carefully picked his way to the bed and sat down, picking up the remote control. He looked around the room. Posters of Michael Jordan and other basketball stars lined the walls, which surprised Lance. He supposed that deep down underneath, Justin was just a kid like him. Lance thought of himself doing what Justin did, and he felt his face burn red with embarrassment. He could NEVER do something like that.

Chapter Text

DESERT ROSE
Three

 

Lance woke up at eight-thirty the next morning and hopped out of bed. He was ashamed for sleeping so late on his first day of work, but it had been so long since he had been able to enjoy an undisturbed night of comfortable sleep in a real bed. He pulled on a pair of jeans and a tshirt and opened his bedroom door. There wasn’t a sound in the hallway, except for a few snores from a couple of bedrooms down the hall. Lance went to the bathroom to wash his face and brush his teeth, then pulled on his work boots and tried to go down the stairs as quietly as possible.

When he entered the dining room, he was surprised to find it empty. He followed his nose to the kitchen, where a large woman was frying bacon. She turned around in surprise. “Hi, there. You must be Mr. Lance.”

“Mr. Lance?” Lance said blankly. “I’m just Lance.”

“I call all the boys Mister, honey, you’re no different.” The woman smiled. “I know what you’re here for. Sit down at the table, honey.” She pointed to the large kitchen table. “We won’t be seeing any of the other boys before noon, but Mr. Joey and Lonnie will be down soon.”

“Thank you,” Lance said shyly. “Do you need any help?”

“Heaven’s no, honey, but thank you. Why don’t you help yourself to some coffee and juice there?” She pointed to a counter. Lance poured himself some coffee and sat down. “It’s good you’re up early. It’s gonna be another hot day, and you’d better get most of your work done before lunchtime.”

“I think I’ll just be looking things over for most of the morning,” Lance replied. “Finding out what kind of tools I might need, things like that.”

“Well, Mr. Joey’s been talking about fixing this place up for ages now, and since you’re here, he might actually do it.” She plunked down a plate of pancakes, eggs and bacon. “I’m Mrs. Lansing, by the way.”

“Thank you, ma’am,” Lance said gratefully, reaching for the syrup.

Lance was into his second helping of pancakes when Joey finally ambled into the kitchen. “Lance, good morning.”

“Good morning, Mr. Fatone,” Lance said, trying not to talk with his mouth full.

“I see Mrs. L already got you hooked on her cooking, huh?” Joey gave the woman a smacking kiss on the cheek. “She’s an angel. And you can just call me Joey, okay? Everyone else does.”

“Okay,” Lance said. “Uh, I was planning on looking around to see what’s needed…like tools and things.”

Joey waved a hand in the air. “Make me a list. Everything we have is in the shed.”

“Uh, how early am I allowed to work?” Lance asked. Joey stared at him. “I mean, um, I don’t want to waken anyone with hammering and such.” Lance blushed.

“Oh, that. You just hammer away, Lance. I’m afraid that one of these nights we’ll end up having one of our big parties and that will keep YOU awake, so don’t think twice about it.” Joey dug into his pancakes. “This is the ONLY way to start the day,” he said with his mouth full. Mrs. Lansing slapped his shoulder.

“Your mamma taught you better than that,” she said. She thought for a moment. “We’re having a party on Friday, remember?”

“Already?” Joey groaned. He sighed and looked at Lance. “I’m selective about who I allow to spend time in this house, Lance. Not just any riffraff off the street, understand? The nights are usually quiet, but profitable.” Lance nodded and begged his skin not to turn red. “However, to keep people interested, every three weeks or so, I have an open house, if you will. Anyone can come, if they have the money. I hire some of Lonnie’s brothers and cousins for extra security…and sometimes we need it.”

“I see. Well, if I can help in any way,” Lance said, standing and taking his plate to the sink. “Ma’am, that was the best breakfast I’ve had since I can’t remember when,” he said truthfully. She turned pink.

“Well, thank you, honey.”

“I’ll just go on out there, then,” Lance said, nodding towards the shed. Joey nodded in return and kept on eating.

 

“Hey, there, Handyman,” a voice called. Lance turned around and wiped his brow. He hadn’t done any hard work, but the shed and garage were dusky and hot. He was out in front of the shed, going through a box of tools he had found.

“Oh, hello, Justin,” Lance said, leaning against the shed. “How are you?”

“Good. Just got up. I saw you, and thought you’d like this.” Justin handed Lance a thermos. “Mrs. Lansing’s best lemonade.”

“You ARE a sweetheart,” Lance said gratefully, taking the thermos and opening it. “Mmm…cold…” Lance grunted as he took a huge swallow.

“How long have you been out here?” Justin asked.

“Since nine,” Lance replied. He looked up at the sky. “It’s what, one, maybe?”

“One-fifteen,” Justin said. “You’ve been busy.”

“Yeah, well, there’s a lot to do, thank goodness,” Lance said. “I can use the money,” he admitted.

Justin flashed his grin. “You could come work inside.”

Lance turned red under his already red skin. “I don’t think so.”

“I’m just kidding, Lance.” Justin gave him a kind smile. “Really. But we DID do good last night.”

“That’s, uh, that’s good,” Lance stammered, looking down at the toolbox.

“Lance, have you ever…you know?” Justin asked softly. Lance looked up sharply, but Justin didn’t look like he was making fun of him.

“Uh, no. I just…kissed a few…but, uh, no,” Lance whispered.

“That’s okay. We get TONS of virgins in here…and some of them are SO sweet,” Justin sighed. “You really end up wanting to treat them good, ya know?” Lance didn’t reply. “Lance, if you ever want to, uh, you know…”

“I don’t have the money for you,” Lance said softly, wishing the ground would open. “And Joey said…”

“Oh, Joey.” Justin waved his hand in the air. “He’d understand. You’re sweet, Lance. You just think about it.”

“I…I don’t think so, but thank you just the same,” Lance said, not believing he was even talking about it. Justin laughed.

“And polite. Well, I’ll get myself outta your way. You take it easy.”

“Okay, thanks. And thanks again for the lemonade.”

“You need a refill, you call, okay? I’m right inside the living room, and the window’s open,” Justin said over his shoulder. Lance nodded and looked down again, still in shock that a prostitute had propositioned him…for free.

Chapter Text

DESERT ROSE
Four

 

“It was amazing!” The young redhead said. “He’s so fucking incredible. His dick, man…”

“Ohhhkay,” the shorter man said, laughing. “Let’s get you into a cab.” He motioned to a large bodyguard.

“But you’ll give him my number, right? He said he loved me! He’ll call me, I know it! I’m a great lay,” the redhead persisted.

“Got your number in my pocket. You have a great life.” The short man turned and headed back to the hotel room door once he had passed his baggage onto the bodyguard. He knocked, then swiped the keycard through the reader. “What the hell was THAT?”

“Oh, Chris…wanna drink?” A thin figure on the sofa slurred, holding up a glass.

“For God’s sake, Josh, get some clothes on.” Chris picked up a pair of jeans and tossed them towards the sofa.

“Are these even mine?” He sat the glass down and sat up slowly.

“I hope so,” Chris snapped. “Josh, you can’t keep doing that. He wants to give you his number. He was telling me about your dick!”

“It IS nice,” Josh said admiringly, looking down at himself. “It does a lot of good in the world.”

“God,” Chris said, annoyed. “One of these days we’re gonna get one who doesn’t keep his mouth shut, and your career is over.”

“Christopher, I am a millionaire. I have more gold albums than I can count. I’m an international star. I am also one hundred percent out of the closet and everyone knows it.” Josh stood up, zipping himself into the tight jeans.

Chris had to admit that if he had swung that way, he’d be drooling over JC Chasez. He was long and lean and pretty, and had a voice like an angel. He had an amazing creative mind, and not only did he write gold albums for himself, but co wrote with other performers as well. But being his manager, partner, and all around babysitter was hard enough, without throwing a relationship into it. Chris was grateful yet again that he was straight. “You’re not even that drunk,” Chris pointed out. “You know better.”

“Chris, I am a young American male. I deserve to get laid just like everyone else,” JC said, stretching and smiling at Chris. “You’d deprive me of sex?”

“Of course not. But you need to be more discreet! I know everyone knows you’re gay. I know that you deserve to get a piece of ass, just like any other famous person,” Chris said before JC could start up the old argument. “But this…Josh, I hate having to deal with them once you kick them out. It’s a pain in the ass.”

“I’m sorry, Chrissy.” JC put an arm around Chris and kissed his cheek. “What would I do without you?”

“You’d be penniless and no one would know your name, that’s what,” Chris said, squirming slightly.

“Do I make you horny, baby?” JC purred into Chris’ ear. Chris gave a laugh and pulled away.

“Puhleeze, Chasez. I’ve known you for fifteen years, and you’ve never given me a boner.”

“Maybe I have…maybe I can be the one to turn you to the Pink Side,” JC cooed, chucking Chris under the chin.

“The Pink Side? How quaint,” Chris snorted. “You need sleep, and then we need to talk about this tomorrow.”

“There’s nothing to talk about!” JC sighed, heading for the bedroom.

“Look, JC, we’re booked at Caesar’s for a week. There’s NO way I’m letting you drag groupies into your room every night,” Chris said sternly. “I’ll find a way to get you some, okay? Just promise me you’ll behave.”

“Fine,” JC pouted. “I’m not some nympho, Chris, I promise! I just…I get lonely.” JC flopped onto his bed. Chris stood in the doorway.

“I know you do, Jayce. And I’m on your side in this, I swear. I just don’t want you making the wrong decision and getting hurt.”

JC smiled slowly, a ray of light that warmed Chris through and through. “Thank you, Chris. I love you.”

“Love you, too, Josh. I’ll see you in the morning.”

“And quit calling me Josh!” JC yelled as Chris closed the bedroom door.

 

“What’s this?” JC looked at the piece of paper on his plate.

“Eat up, babe. We gotta get on the bus and move it on out to Vegas,” Chris instructed, his own plate full of eggs and sausage.

JC wrinkled his nose at the greasy mixture, and carefully placed a bagel, cream cheese and fruit on his own plate, after removing the paper. “What is it?”

“Eat while you read,” Chris ordered. “Damn, I can never get used to room service. Love it!”

JC obediently spread cream cheese on his bagel, then began to read. He choked on his second bite of bagel. “Chris, this is a…”

“Yeah, it is!” Chris said cheerfully. “Hurry up, Jayce!”

“Chris, this is a whorehouse.”

“It isn’t, really. I mean, it’s selective and classy and it’s discreet. DISCREET, Joshua,” Chris said sternly. “You can stay the night there, and I don’t have to get anyone a cab and listen to any more stories about your penis.”

“But…losers go to whorehouses!” JC whined. Chris raised an eyebrow. JC never whined. “I mean, it looks like I can’t get my own piece.”

“Do this. For me,” Chris said softly. JC frowned. Chris never asked for ANYTHING. “It’s outside the city, it’s LEGAL, and we know you’re safe. There’s some sort of party the first night you’re there. Let’s just check it out, okay?”

“You’ll come along?” JC asked.

“Of course,” Chris said. He wasn’t missing this for the world.

Chapter Text

DESERT ROSE
Five

 

“That was a great show,” Chris told JC as they rode down in the elevator. “You were so on.”

“Caesar’s is just a big piano bar,” JC bragged, but Chris knew he was proud of himself. Playing something like a casino club was totally different from playing a large arena.

“Ready to have some fun tonight?” Chris asked as they were escorted to a limo.

JC groaned. “I still can’t believe I let you talk me into this.”

 

“Okay, Lance? I need to ask you a favor,” Joey said, leaning in the doorway of the kitchen.

“Sure, Joey, what is it?” Lance put down his ham sandwich. The kitchen was so busy with preparations for the party that night that he hadn’t wanted to bother Mrs. Lansing for a meal. The other men would be eating at the party.

“I, uh…” Joey sat down next to Lance. “Look. I know you’re uncomfortable with what goes on here, even though you’ve seemed to fit right in. But I need something.”

“Okay,” Lance said slowly.

“Lonnie got a lot of people to help him out, but I was wondering if you’d kinda be on guard duty. Keep an eye on the lot next to the house, where cars will be parking, keep an eye on keeping things full, like ice and beer and stuff, just generally keep an eye on the little things. Lonnie and his guys can worry about security, and you’ll be there to help with everything else.” Joey’s brown eyes were begging. “I promise that you’re not gonna see any kind of orgy; they’ll take all that upstairs. But if you don’t feel right, I understand.”

“No, Joe, that’s fine,” Lance said, relieved. He picked up his sandwich. “Totally fine.”

“Thank you,” Joey said, releasing a breath he didn’t know he had been holding. “You’re a lifesaver.”

“Should I wear anything special?”

“Just comfy clothes…like jeans and a nice shirt or something, if you have one.”

“I don’t,” Lance said apologetically.

“Hold on.” Joey slid back his chair and headed for the door. “JUSTIN!”

“What? I have to grab a shower, Joe,” Justin said, trotting down the hall to the kitchen. “Oh, hey, Lancey, how are ya?”

“Remember that short sleeved shirt your mom sent but you hated? The preppy one?”

“Yeah,” Justin said. “My mom thinks I work in an office,” he told Lance. “I can’t bring myself to tell her the truth.”

“Doesn’t she come visit?” Lance asked. Justin shook his head.

“No, I go out to her. Why do you need the shirt?” Justin asked Joey.

“Lance needs it. He’s helping out tonight,” Joey said.

“Oh, good!” Justin’s face lit up. “You can watch me work a room, Lancey.”

“Just get the shirt,” Joey said, smacking at Justin’s behind. Justin laughed and left the kitchen.

 

Joey had been right, Lance decided as he did another sweep of the parking area. It was just like a big…dance. Men of all legal ages were streaming into the house, some staying for a while, some leaving almost immediately. Lonnie and his cousins kept a close eye on everyone coming and going, and there didn’t seem like there was going to be any trouble…until a limo pulled up.

It was about midnight, and Lance was surprised that someone would be arriving this late. Most of the people were already inside who were planning on actually “conducting business,” and he knew that Lonnie was hoping to give his guys a break. Lance leaned on a car and looked at the limo. Two men got out, one short, one tall and thin. He didn’t recognize them, though the tall one looked vaguely familiar.

 

“Oh, my God,” Justin gasped as he saw two men enter the foyer. “Oh, my God.”

“What is it?” Howie asked. He just happened to be near Justin’s side.

“That’s JC Chasez!”

“No, it isn’t.” Howie took a closer look. “Oh, God, yeah, it is.”

They watched Joey hurry over to shake JC’s hand, as well as the hand of the man who was with him. “If Nick even goes over there,” Justin began to grumble, but Nick had his hands full with another customer. Joey scanned the room and found Justin. He gave an almost imperceptible nod of his head, and Justin practically yelped with joy.

 

“Looks normal enough,” Chris said as he and JC got out of the limo.

“Looks like a gay frat party,” JC observed. He followed Chris to the house, where they were greeted by a man in a black suit.

“Hi, I’m Joey Fatone, I own the place,” Joey said, shaking their hand.

“Chris Kirkpatrick, we spoke on the phone,” Chris said.

“And JC Chasez. Very nice to meet you,” Joey said. JC nodded, but his eyes flitted around the room. “Not what you expected?”

“No,” JC said.

“It never is. We run a clean place, and everyone who works here is healthy and safe,” Joey said.

“Do you work as well?” JC asked, and Joey laughed.

“No, sorry. Straight.”

“So’s Chris. You two can chat,” JC said. He almost looked disappointed. He liked men who looked like they could do a hard day’s labor, not little pansy-ass girlie men.

Joey looked around and found Justin, giving the signal for him to come over. “Let’s get you something to eat and drink. I know you just drove out from Vegas.” Justin walked over and Joey put an arm around him. “This is Justin…one of our more popular boys.”

“Hi, Mr. Chasez,” Justin said, obviously impressed.

“Hello, Justin. Man, I could eat a horse,” JC said. Justin dimpled at him, took his hand, and led him to the buffet. Chris let out a sigh of relief.

 

When Lance got up the next morning, he was surprised to see that the parking lot was still half-full. Joey would be happy with the money that had been made. Lance went down to the kitchen, where Mrs. Lansing was making her infamous pancakes. “Morning,” Lance said, getting his juice and coffee.

“Morning, honey. Looks like the party was a success. Celebrities and everything.” Mrs. Lansing handed him a plate.

“Was that who came in the limo?” Lance asked.

“Mr. Joey said it was some singer…JC something?”

“Oh, JC Chasez. I’ve heard him on the radio,” Lance said. “He can really sing. Wow. He was here?” Lance was surprised. “I bet you ten to one he ended up with Justin.”

Mrs. Lansing laughed. “I bet you’re right, honey, if Justin had any say in it.”

Lance whistled as he washed his hands after breakfast. Joey hadn’t said he couldn’t work, even if there were special guests in the house. Lance didn’t see the limousine anywhere, so he wondered if JC Chasez and the other man had left before the party was over. Lance was surprised to see the other man leaning against the shed, looking out across the yard of the house.

“Can I help you, sir?” Lance asked.

“Oh, sorry. Is this off limits or something?”

“I don’t think so,” Lance said, hooking his tool belt around his waist.

“You don’t work inside?”

“Uh, no,” Lance said, blushing. “I’m Lance. I’m, uh, the handyman, I guess.”

“I’m Chris Kirkpatrick, JC Chasez’s manager,” Chris said. Lance nodded.

“So, he’s inside?” Lance asked. Chris nodded. “Your limo…”

“We’ll call for it when he’s up,” Chris said. “Apparently your boss has a rule about guests being out by ten, but I bet he’ll make an exception. Everyone makes exceptions about JC.”

“I see,” Lance said. “Well, I need to work, so…”

“Don’t let me stop you.” Chris moved a few feet, but didn’t go back inside.

 

JC looked at the boy next to him in the bed and smiled. He was going to like Nevada. Not only was the food good and the party intimate and discreet, but this Justin was amazing. He could see why he was so popular. He had an athletic, limber body, and he seemed to actually enjoy the sex, which JC hadn’t expected a prostitute to do. Plus there was the fact that he was beautiful to look at…

JC got up and stretched, carefully climbing out of bed. It was only eight-thirty, yet he felt totally refreshed. He pulled on his boxer shorts and went to the window, kneeling on the floor so he could look out. He knew that this wasn’t Justin’s bedroom; Justin had informed him that the rooms on this floor were for “entertaining” only. JC pushed the curtains aside and realized he was looking down on the yard and shed. He saw Chris leaning against the shed, talking to someone. The other man was blond, with pale skin and muscular arms. He worked as he talked to Chris, his blond hair glistening in the sun. JC gulped and looked back at the bed. He had a gorgeous boy just waiting to let him fuck him again, but he couldn’t take his eyes off the man working by the shed.

 

“Hey, Jayce!” Chris called to the figure walking across the yard. “What are you doing up?”

“I’m done sleeping,” JC said simply. He wore a tshirt and jeans, and a pair of sandals. Lance looked up briefly and then continued with his work, obviously not all that impressed.

“Lance, this is JC Chasez,” Chris announced. Lance expected a flourish of trumpets by the tone of Chris’ voice. Lance stood up and held out a dirty hand.

“Hello,” Lance said. JC gingerly took the hand, then wiped his own palm on his thighs. “Nice to meet you.”

“You, too,” JC said indifferently. “Are we leaving or what? I’m tired.”

“You could have stayed in bed with your new friend Justin,” Chris teased. Lance smiled. So Justin had won the big prize.

“He’s not my friend. And I want to go back to our hotel,” JC almost pouted. Chris pulled out a cellphone. Lance went back to his work as Chris called the hotel. JC looked at Lance. “You don’t work inside?”

“Uh, no,” Lance said, blushing as he always did. “I work out here.”

“I see. You don’t look the type, anyway,” JC said.

“You’re absolutely right,” Lance said, wondering why he was actually offended.

“Well, they’ll be here in a half hour,” Chris said, slapping his phone shut.

“There’s breakfast set up in the dining room, I’m sure,” Lance said.

“Thanks, Lance. See you.” Chris started for the house.

“It was nice meeting you,” Lance said politely. JC nodded once and turned to follow Chris.

Chapter Text

DESERT ROSE
Six

 

“Oh, my GOD.” Justin grabbed Lance’s arm.

“Justin! God, you scared me! I almost hammered you in the head!” Lance said, letting his hand fall safely to his side.

“I wouldn’t even notice.” Justin pranced back and forth. “JC Chasez, Lance!”

“What time is it?” Lance asked.

“Almost lunch. I need to buy you a watch. Lance, JC Chasez. I got to…you know…with JC Chasez!”

“I thought you didn’t care about who you were with,” Lance said shyly.

“I don’t usually, you know, but, damn, Lance. He was HOT. He’s even musical during sex. And he’s good…better than what I’M used to, anyway. We did it like THREE times, so he must have liked me, right?”

“I’m sure he did,” Lance said loyally. He was finally getting used to having these conversations with Justin. “I met him this morning. You were still sleeping. He seemed kinda…snotty.”

“Of COURSE he is, Lance. He’s won Grammy awards, and he’s rich, and he’s talented. He can AFFORD to be snotty.”

“I really wasn’t all that impressed,” Lance said. Justin stared at him.

“Lance, you’re insane. He’s like the poster child for gay hotness. Damn…” Justin looked away dreamily. “Think he’ll come back again? Maybe ask for me?”

“His manager friend said he’s playing Vegas for the week. Maybe he will come back,” Lance said reassuringly. “And I’m sure he’ll ask for you.”

“You’re a doll, Lancey.” Justin kissed Lance’s cheek. “Let’s go have lunch.” Justin took the hammer from Lance’s hand and tossed it to the ground.

 

JC woke up around two in the afternoon, wondering why he felt so tired. Then he remembered his bedpartner from the night before and grinned. That Justin had been insatiable. JC rolled over, remembering the boy out by the shed. Lance, he thought his name was. He hadn’t seemed to even care who JC was, which JC wasn’t used to. He was polite and everything, but he seemed more interested in talking to Chris than talking to JC. That just wasn’t right.

JC sat up slowly, rubbing his eyes. Maybe it was because he was so in awe of JC that he couldn’t say much. That HAD to be it. JC thought back to Justin. Justin was everything he had been hoping for when they had arrived at the party. He wished he could just tuck Justin into his suitcase and carry him along everywhere he went. JC looked at the nightstand and saw the brochure from the “hotel.” He picked it up, thumbing the edge as he looked at the phone number. He bit his bottom lip and picked up the phone.

 

“Justin,” Joey said, poking his head into the dining room.

“Yeah?” Justin looked up. He had been going into detail about his night with JC. Nick and a few of the other men were listening eagerly, while Lance simply looked embarrassed.

“You got a request for tonight.” Joey leaned in the doorway with a smirk. “Looks like you pleased the songbird.”

“JC CHASEZ? Again?” Justin shrieked with delight.

“That is NOT fair,” Nick grumbled.

“It’s a request,” Joey said, shrugging. “I need to talk to you about some details, then, Justin. See me after lunch.”

“Okay,” Justin said, almost wriggling in his seat.

“I gotta get back out there.” Lance wiped his mouth on his napkin, thanked Mrs. Lansing for lunch, and left the dining room.

Lance thought about JC as he walked towards his work. Actually, he had thought about JC Chasez most of the morning. Meeting him had been interesting, and it had been hard not to be the fawning idiot that the singer was obviously used to. Lance had always been impressed with JC’s voice, and the package it came in was simply amazing. Curly soft hair, incredible blue eyes, and a body that didn’t quit. He carried himself with a confident arrogance that was almost a turnoff, but then he would move in a catlike way that seemed to hit Lance right in the groin. JC Chasez WAS beautiful, if it wasn’t for the fact that he seemed to expect everyone to grovel at his feet. Lance didn’t have experience with other men, and he didn’t exactly meet a celebrity every day, but he had been through too much in his twenty-four years to grovel at ANYONE’S feet.

Lance leaned against the shed, staring into space. For a moment that morning, he had almost been jealous of Justin. He had never had sex, hadn’t even done more than kiss someone, but he had wanted to do all that and more with JC Chasez. Lance blushed deeply, then turned back to his work.

Chapter Text

DESERT ROSE
Seven

 

“Trust me, Chris, I think I can get out to the desert and back without causing a national crisis,” JC joked as he stepped into his shoes. “Okay?”

“I don’t like you going places alone,” Chris said, frowning.

“I’ll HAVE the bodyguard, Chris. He’s driving the car, for God’s sake. Unless…” JC grinned as he looked at his best friend. “Unless you want to go out there and get some booty of your own.”

“No, thank you.” Chris held up a hand and shook his head. “I’ll find some booty with the chorus girls, thanks. I don’t need your kind of booty.”

“The gentleman doth protest too much,” JC said, laughing. Chris gave him the finger, then sighed.

“Be careful, Josh. I mean it.”

“You can’t be my guard dog forever, Chrissy.” JC gave Chris a hug. “And I appreciate the concern. You’re the only person I know who would be concerned because they care, and NOT just because I earn them money.”

“Well, there’s that, too,” Chris said, and JC slapped him on the ass.

 

“Mr. Chasez, good evening,” Joey said politely as he opened the door. “Did you have any problems finding your way back?”

“No, not at all.” JC looked around the foyer. The house was a lot quieter and a lot calmer than the night before. He saw one or two “clients” sitting and chatting with men in the living room, but not anyone else.

“Shall I call Justin down for you?” Joey asked. JC snapped his fingers.

“Shit. I left my pager in the car. If I’m not reachable at all times, Chris will think I was kidnapped. I’ll be right back in…Justin can come down.”

“Great.” Joey beamed at JC, then went to call Justin.

JC trotted out to the car and reached into the back seat for his pager. As he approached the house once more, he was surprised to see the handyman sitting on the front porch. He was on a swing in the shadows, and JC hadn’t even noticed him when he went up the front steps. “Oh, hello there,” JC said with a charming grin. He could just make out the man’s features in the dim light from the hall.

“Evening,” the man replied.

“Lance, right?”

“Right.” Lance nodded, surprised that JC Chasez would remember his name. “How was your show tonight?”

“Oh, uh, great,” JC said. “As usual.”

“That’s what I hear,” Lance said. He took a swallow from his beer and stood. “Well, I had a long day, so I’ll be turning in.” He wiped the condensation from the beer bottle onto his thigh and held out his hand. “Enjoy your evening, JC.”

“I will. Thank you.” JC felt foolish saying the words, but he shook the outstretched hand. As Lance went into the house, JC couldn’t help but notice that Lance was wearing a clean pair of blue jeans that hugged his thighs and backside.

 

“Mr. Chasez, it’s nice to see you again.” Justin smiled his beautiful smile and his eyes danced. He was waiting at the bottom of the long staircase when JC entered the house. Lance was nowhere to be seen.

“You, too, Justin.” JC smiled back and looked Justin over. He nodded in approval.

“Shall we go upstairs?” Justin didn’t wait for an answer, and instead just led the way up. JC followed a few steps behind. Justin led him to the same room they had used the night before, closing the door behind JC. He walked to the center of the room and turned around. “Do I meet your approval?” Justin said in a teasing tone, sliding his hands into the back pockets of his jeans. The movement made his hip jut out a bit, and the thought flittered through JC’s mind that Justin had a body made for sex.

“Yes, you do,” JC murmured. He looked Justin over, from the cowboy boots to the blue jeans to the faded flannel shirt. A few buttons were unbuttoned at Justin’s throat, and his smooth skin peeked out.

“Joey said something about a tool belt, and I would have worn one, but I couldn’t find one quick enough. Lance’s was all dirty.” Justin wrinkled his nose.

“I guess it was an odd request.” JC laughed in embarrassment.

“No way,” Justin assured him. “You don’t KNOW the things I’ve had to wear. Naughty school boy outfits…leather cat suits…you name it.”

JC’s laughter was more relaxed. “I can definitely see you as the naughty school boy.”

“I draw the line at skirts and dresses. We have drag queens here for that kind of thing.” Justin met JC’s gaze and he smirked. “So…the handyman’s here, Mr. Chasez…what can I help you with?”

 

JC ran a finger down Justin’s spine as he slept. His body was truly amazing…a long line of creamy skin that covered strong muscles. And Justin was flexible. JC had bent him over the bed with little effort, and the sound of Justin’s groans and pants was almost musical. But it wasn’t quite right.

Joey had done what JC had asked for. He had dressed Justin exactly in the way that JC had requested. And it wasn’t that Justin didn’t turn JC on…JC thought that maybe Justin was the best fuck he had ever had. But he kept seeing someone else, thinking of someone else’s body. JC sat up and began to dress.

“Something wrong?” Justin said groggily, sitting up.

“No. Not at all,” JC promised. “You’re everything I asked for and more. I just…these late nights make my voice sound like hell. I need to go back and get some rest.”

“Oh,” Justin said, almost disappointed. “Well, um, okay. I hope you enjoy the rest of your stay in Nevada,” he said politely.

JC reached over and ruffled the short curls. “I’m sure I will.”

Chapter Text

DESERT ROSE
Eight

 

“I will be SO glad to get home,” Chris said, leaning back in his chair.

JC obediently closed his eyes as the makeup artist dusted powder over his face. “Really?”

“Yeah. I mean, I love you and all, but I miss living in a house instead of out of a suitcase,” Chris said. He leaned over and wiped a smudge from his shoe. “I’m ready to settle for a bit.”

“Well, the tour is over as of tonight, and you are free to go home.” JC smiled up at the makeup artist. She smiled back and packed up her things. JC waited for her to leave before he continued. “I think I’ll hang around here for a while.”

Chris’ mouth fell open. “What? And when were you going to tell ME?”

“I just did,” JC said innocently. “Vegas is fun. And I can find a lot of things to occupy my time.”

“JC, the hotel thinks you’re leaving tonight!” Chris said frantically. “I don’t have a reservation for you anywhere else.”

“Relax, Chris.” JC began to flex his fingers as a warm-up exercise. “I have it under control. I wouldn’t stay here, anyway.” JC wrinkled his nose. “I got a suite at the Luxor. That place ROCKS!”

“And you weren’t gonna tell me?” Chris looked hurt.

“Chrissy, I just kinda decided this today. This morning. And you’re welcome to stay with me, if you want to,” JC said.

Chris looked at him for a moment. “This has nothing to do with Vegas. This has to do with what’s OUTSIDE Vegas, doesn’t it?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” JC said arrogantly.

Chris grinned. “This has to do with that little piece of ass with the curls, doesn’t it? You coulda just SAID so.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” JC repeated, but this time he smiled. Let Chris think that for the time being.

 

“You got us what?” Lance gasped.

“Tickets. To see JC Chasez’s last performance at Caesar’s tonight,” Joey said. “What…you don’t want to go?”

“Of course he does!” Justin yelled, grabbing the tickets from Joey’s hand. “I love you, Joe!”

“What’ll I wear? I mean, I’ve never even BEEN to Las Vegas,” Lance said quietly.

“I’ll find you something,” Justin promised.

“No, I’LL find him something,” Nick interrupted. “If we let YOU dress him up, he’ll look like a two bit whore.”

“Nah, he’d definitely look better than you,” Justin replied, which earned him a headlock from Nick.

“So, uh, why?” Lance asked. Joey shrugged.

“Every now and then I’m a nice person. Is that a crime?” Lance quickly shook his head and Joey laughed. “Teasing, Bass. I just…last time that manager guy was here…uh…Chris…he told me to call if I wanted tickets. And since you three are the only ones I can count on to behave out on your own…”

“Lemme guess. I’m babysitting?” Lance asked, and Joey laughed again. He put an arm around Lance’s shoulders.

“You’re a good kid, Bass, and I get the feeling you haven’t had too many breaks in your young life. I thought you’d enjoy it. You told me you like good music…”

“And JC Chasez is awesome!” Justin crowed as he weaseled out of Nick’s hold.

“Thanks, Joe, thanks a lot,” Lance whispered.

“Nick, why don’t you go bug some of the guys for clothes for Lance while he gets back outside to finish what he’s working on?” Joey said. “You’ll need to leave around seven.”

“Thanks,” Lance said again, blushing as he went out the door of the house. He tried to do his work correctly, but his mind kept wandering to JC Chasez.

 

“Your little boyfriend’s out there,” Chris said as he bounced back in to JC’s dressing room.

“Which boyfriend would that be?” JC murmured, reading through some sheet music. He had fifteen minutes before curtain.

“The one with the curls and the legs that don’t quit. The one with the smile like sunshine. The one with the eyes blue as the ocean,” Chris said. JC stared at him.

“I’m shocked for about a hundred reasons right this minute, but I'll narrow them down to two. First of all, you’re saying that…uh…boy from the…place…is out there?” JC asked. Chris nodded. “And you noticed all that about him?”

“That’s not the point,” Chris said, and JC raised an eyebrow. “At any rate, he’s out there with two other guys…I couldn’t really see them. Check out stage right about halfway back. Have a good show, man.” Chris gave JC a hug and disappeared.

 

“Okay, remind me to give Joey the blowjob of a lifetime for free when we get back,” Justin whispered about halfway through JC’s performance. “He’s incredible.”

“That he is,” Lance agreed. JC basically stayed behind the piano, but his voice and his fingers were like magic. And when JC looked in their direction, Lance felt a spark from head to toe and back up again.

“And to think that I had his…” Justin began, but Lance shushed him. He didn’t need Justin’s slutty talk ruining his evening.

 

JC found Justin’s curly head immediately, and sent a quick smile in that direction. He briefly froze when he recognized the handyman sitting next to Justin. Lance. He wore a dark black shirt that seemed to outline the cream of his skin, and JC’s fingers itched. He made himself concentrate on the music and the people in the audience. He had to concentrate on everything but looking at that table.

 

“I went and said hi to them,” Chris said later, as they were escorted back up to JC’s suite. “You going out there tonight?”

“Nah. I think I’ll stay in the hotel and gamble a bit before heading to the Luxor,” JC said, rubbing a towel through his sweaty hair.

“Oh,” Chris said, and he almost sounded disappointed.

“Ya know, I’m beginning to get the impression that you want to experiment with the Pink Side,” JC teased.

“Shut up, Joshua,” Chris snapped. “You don’t know anything about me.”

“Sure, I don’t,” JC said lightly. “Did they enjoy the show?”

“Yeah. It was Justin and Lance and Nick, who I think works there like Justin,” Chris said. “They were full of compliments for you.”

“Of course they were,” JC said, smirking. “I would have gone out there, you know, but…”

“But you don’t like the idea of reminding yourself that they’re prostitutes and you know them,” Chris finished for him. “Like anyone else would know. They looked perfectly respectable, and you’re an out and about gay man. No one would care.”

“Nevermind,” JC said, and quickly changed the subject.

Chris bowed out of gambling, saying he had to pack the rest of his things. He had decided to stay in Las Vegas for a few days at least, saying JC needed someone to look after him. JC rolled his eyes but smiled as he said he was glad Chris was hanging around. JC went into his suite and showered quickly, throwing on a blue shirt and jeans. Before leaving the suite, however, he found the brochure and picked up the phone. “Mr. Fatone? JC Chasez. Yes, I know they were here. I hope they enjoyed the show. Mr. Fatone, it ends up I’ll be hanging around the city for a while yet, and I had a request to make…”

Chapter Text

DESERT ROSE
Nine

 

Joey stood in the front doorway of the large house, watching Lance work. Lance had done the small minor repairs first, and now was up on a ladder, inspecting the roof of the garage. Joey rubbed his beard thoughtfully as he watched Lance.

“Morning, Joe,” Howie said, walking up behind Joey.

“You’re up early,” Joey commented.

“I had an easy night,” Howie said with a grin. “Regulars never stay over.”

“True,” Joey said, nodding.

“Hey, listen…my brother called this morning, which is why I’m up. Do you care if he comes out for a day or two?” Howie asked.

Joey turned to look at him. Howie’s brother, Alex, visited now and then, and Joey liked him. He had no problems with Howie’s lifestyle, and stayed out of the way when he was there. “The room we usually give him is where we have Lance,” Joey commented.

“I know. He can sleep with me,” Howie said.

“Sure. I don’t mind. But I need you to keep working. With Drew not feeling well and some of the others dropping in and out lately, I’m running on a low staff.”

“Sure, Joe, no problem,” Howie said quickly. “Alex is just on his way back out east…he’s been in Seattle, so he thought he’d stop in.”

“Sure, Howie.” Joey clapped Howie on the back. “You’re lucky to have a family member who would visit you.”

“I know,” Howie said softly, turning to walk away. “Oh, he’ll be in this evening sometime, okay?”

“Yep.” Joey heard Howie walk away. He turned back to watch Lance, sighing deeply. He wondered how in the world he had ended up running a whorehouse for gay men in the middle of nowhere. And it was a strange mix of a whorehouse and boarding house. He felt like some sort of den mother sometimes. Joey looked at Lance again, his heart hitting his shoes. This was going to be harder than hell.

 

Joey’s day had started just fine. He had almost forgotten the phone call he had received late the night before. He was used to late calls, though; some clients preferred to keep things as discreet as humanly possible. But this particular phone call had knocked the wind right out of him.

“I had a request to make,” JC Chasez said. Then he stopped.

“Yes, Mr. Chasez?” Joey said politely.

“I don’t know…okay. I was interested in one of your employees.”

“Justin again?” Joey asked with a smile. “I’m glad you were pleased with him.”

“I was immensely pleased with him, Mr. Fatone. I see why you said he’s so popular. But…it’s not him.”

“Okay,” Joey said slowly.

“It’s another employee…I think his name is Lance?”

 

“Guess what?” Howie said at lunch. “Alex is coming to visit. He’ll get here tonight.”

“Great!” Nick said, beaming. He loved Howie’s brother. He was a lot of fun, and sexy as well. Not to mention that he was gay also, and now and then he was known to pay for a bit of action. “He’s so much fun.”

“You would know,” Justin muttered. He had “worked” for Alex only once, and hadn’t enjoyed it.

“You’re just mad because Alex didn’t come back to you asking for more,” Nick taunted, laughing.

“Hello, my brother here,” Howie reminded them. “Anyway, thought y’all would like to know, since he’ll be staying up with me.”

“Watch out for him,” Justin said to Lance in a low tone. “He’s creepy. Seriously. He’ll pounce on you, especially if he knows how innocent you are.”

Lance blushed and looked down at his plate. Justin almost made it sound like a bad thing. “Well, uh, I stay in my room most of the time anyway,” Lance said in a low voice.

“I know. I didn’t mean anything bad,” Justin promised. Lance looked up at him and smiled.

Joey stood up from the table. “Justin…Lance…when you’re done eating I need to see you both in my office.”

“Okay,” Justin said, looking at Lance, who shrugged.

The two men finished their lunches quickly, curious to see what Joey wanted. Joey motioned them into the office and they sat down. “I got a call last night…an odd call.”

“It wasn’t…it wasn’t my family or anything, was it?” Justin asked nervously.

“No, Justin. Nothing’s wrong with your family,” Joey said reassuringly. “Actually, it was about Lance.”

“Me?” Lance said, staring at him. “But no one I know…I mean…no one knows I’m here.”

“It was JC Chasez,” Joey said. It was Justin’s turn to stare.

“What does JC Chasez want with Lance?” Justin said. As soon as the words left his mouth, his eyes widened. “You’re kidding.”

“No, I’m not,” Joey said softly.

Lance blinked. “What are you two talking about?”

“JC Chasez asked for you. Asked to…uh…hire you,” Joey said.

Lance laughed out loud. “Okay, guys, is this some kind of weird initiation thing? New kid in the house, make him freak out?”

“No, Lance,” Joey said gently. “JC Chasez wants to pay for your time.”

“Pay for what time?” Lance said, his voice rising slightly. “I don’t…I never…”

“For fuck’s sake, Joe, Lance hasn’t even had his dick sucked before!” Justin said almost angrily. Lance’s face flamed and he stared at his shoes. “He’s a fucking cherry.”

“I know that, and I told Mr. Chasez that. I made a point of saying that it wasn’t why Lance was working here…that it wasn’t like the handyman job was some kind of thing on the side. Mr. Chasez said he realized that, and that he didn’t care. That he was interested in Lance.” Joey’s brown eyes were dark as he looked at Justin. “And I think you need to apologize to Lance for what you said.”

“I was only stating the truth,” Justin said. “But I’m sorry, Lance.”

“He IS telling the truth,” Lance whispered. “I can’t.”

“Justin, Mr. Chasez DID say that he enjoyed his time with you, and that you were worth every penny and then some. But he’s…interested…in Lance.” Joey turned his gaze to Lance. “I told him I’d get back to him, Lance. I couldn’t say yes or no on your behalf without talking to you first.”

Lance’s hands were shaking as he clasped and unclasped them. “I…I wouldn’t know…I never…”

“I thought Justin could help you out,” Joey said. Justin snorted.

“I’m not some kind of training whore, Joey.”

“For God’s sake, Justin!” Joey snapped. “You’re being a real asshole. Push your jealousy aside for one damn second, okay? This is crazy, I know it. And I don’t know what to do about it. Part of me is saying that I’m your employer…both of you. I can make Lance do this, and I can make you help him, or I can fire you both. But the human being inside of me wanted to just hang up the damn phone last night. I don’t want to force you, Lance.”

Justin took a look at Lance. “Shit, Lance, I’m sorry. I just…wow.”

“Yeah, wow,” Lance said weakly. He looked at Joey. “Was he offering you a lot of money?”

“He said whatever I charged, he’d pay,” Joey said, and Justin sucked in a breath. “And of course you’d get a cut of it. And you’d only work with him, Lance. No one else. It would be discreet and quiet and only if you want it.”

Lance thought for a long moment. Someone like Justin made it seem so easy. And it wasn’t like Lance wasn’t attracted to the singer…he was. And the fact that someone like JC Chasez wanted someone like HIM was a big charge to his battered ego. If Justin would help him…

Lance looked at Justin. “Will…will you help me?” Lance whispered. “You can tell me what to do…what to say…”

“I can’t believe you want to do this,” Justin said, shaking his head. “But yeah, I’ll help you, if it’s what you want.”

“It’s what I want,” Lance said quietly, then repeated the words more firmly. “Call him back, Joey, and tell him…uh…tell him yes.”

Chapter Text

DESERT ROSE
Ten

 

“Hi.” Justin stepped into Lance’s room and closed the door.

“Hi,” Lance said, fidgeting nervously.

“Wow…you’ve made this place look almost homey,” Justin said, looking around.

“Joey had some old pictures and stuff in the attic, said I could use whatever I wanted,” Lance replied. “I liked the scenic stuff…reminded me of home.”

“I know the feeling,” Justin said. They had decided to use Lance’s room for their “training,” because it was farthest away from everyone else’s. No one knew about the special arrangement between JC Chasez and Lance, and no one WOULD know until it actually happened.

“So…uh…that guy was Howie’s brother?” Lance said, referring to the man who had arrived the night before.

“Yeah, isn’t he a scream?” Justin said, flopping onto Lance’s bed and bouncing a bit. “He’s hot, I guess, but…”

“He seems to just want something every time he looks at you,” Lance finished. Justin nodded.

Lance hadn’t liked Alex from the start, though he had politely smiled and said hello. Alex had looked him over, amusement and want shining from the dark brown eyes. Tattoos snaked across his thin arms as he leaned against a wall and asked if Lance was a “new boy.” Justin had quickly jumped in and told him no, and the disappointment on Alex’s face was obvious. No, Lance didn’t like Alex one bit.

“I hope you can stay away from him, Lance. He’s not like gonna rape you or anything, but…he can be convincing when he wants to,” Justin finished, sitting up and leaning on his hands.

“I bet,” Lance said simply. He looked at Justin, shuffled his feet nervously, then began to pull his tshirt up over his head. Justin simply watched, then sat straight up in surprise as Lance started on his jeans.

“What are you doing, Lancey?”

“Aren’t we…don’t…I need to be naked, right?” Lance stammered.

“Yeah,” Justin said with a chuckle as he stood. “But we’re not doing that.”

“We’re not?”

“Lance, I’m not gonna have sex with you. Joey made a huge point to JC that you’re a virgin and all…and I don’t wanna make him a liar. I’m just here to show you how to DO things…how to act and how to move and what to say, okay?”

“Oh, okay,” Lance said.

“Not that I don’t plan on making some moves on you,” Justin teased, and Lance was able to smile a little. “Just to see how you react.”

“Okay,” Lance said. “I trust you, Justin.”

Justin looked at him, his smile softening. “C’mere.” He surprised Lance by hugging him. “Lancey, you are a real sweetheart, and I’m sorry for some of the stuff I said last night. Forgive me?”

“Of course,” Lance said. “I already forgot it.”

“Good.” Justin pulled back. “Trust is important. I don’t think you’ll have to worry about JC Chasez, though; he seemed to be a pretty nice guy.”

“Does it bother you, that he wants me after he had you, I mean?” Lance asked.

“Does it bother you that he had me first?” Justin countered.

“No. I mean, kinda, because how do I compare to YOU, but otherwise, no. It’s, well, it’s your job.”

“Right. That’s all. It hurt my ego at first, but I got over it. And, you know, if he wants you, that’s fine.” Justin smiled. “You are pretty hot.” Lance blushed, as Justin knew he would. “C’mere.” Justin sat on the bed and Lance sat next to him. “Why don’t I just kiss you, and we go from there, okay?” Lance nodded and Justin placed a hand on his shoulder. “Some guys will gross you out. If you ONLY knew. But JC…I bet he’d kiss nice.”

“You didn’t, uh, kiss him?” Lance asked.

“He said he didn’t want to,” Justin said, shrugging. “But, just in case…”

Justin leaned forward and met Lance’s lips. Lance tried not to be nervous and concentrated on kissing Justin. At least he had kissed someone before, if nothing else. “Uh, well?” Lance asked when Justin pulled away.

“If you weren’t THINKING so hard about it, it would be nice,” Justin teased. “Relax, Lance. Pretend you’re at least attracted to me.”

“I am!” Lance said, then blushed again. Justin laughed.

“Thank you.” Justin leaned in again, and this time Lance relaxed. Justin’s lips were soft and warm, and Lance forgot himself enough to reach a hand up to twine in Justin’s curls. “Better,” Justin whispered when they pulled apart again. “MUCH better. Now…do you think you’re a top or a bottom.”

Lance turned beet red. “Well, uh, I don’t…uh…bottom?”

“Me, too,” Justin replied. “Nick’s a top. Howie’s a whatever the guy wants. I topped a few times, when I was on the street, but I prefer bottom. I feel safer.”

“What street?”

“In Los Angeles. I worked the streets for a while, then I moved with some guys to Vegas, and the streets were a LOT worse there, believe it or not…and then I learned about this place and Joey hired me.”

“Oh,” Lance said softly. He could imagine Justin making a lot of money in a big city, but he thought it would be scary.

“So.” Justin rubbed his hands together. “Let’s start by how you talk to him.”

 

“Let me get this straight.” Chris downed his shot of bourbon and looked at JC. “You called that place and asked for Lance?”

“I asked if I could have him, yes.” JC waved his empty glass at the bartender.

“JC, Lance isn’t a prostitute. Lance is a handyman. Lance works with tools and gets sweaty.”

“I can give him a tool to work with and I can get him sweaty,” JC said with an arrogant smile.

“JC, the boy is totally innocent. You KNOW that.”

“And Joey Fatone reminded me countless times on the phone. He’s…he’s what I want. And Fatone talked to him, and he agreed, as long as I promised Fatone that I wouldn’t hurt him. Which I wouldn’t. I’m not a monster.”

“I’m beginning to wonder,” Chris muttered. “So…when will you get with him?”

“Fatone said to give him a few days…I’m supposed to call in three days,” JC said, sighing. “Can I go without sex that long?”

“Fuck you, Chasez,” Chris muttered, knowing that JC was teasing him. JC laughed. “I can’t believe you’d do this to someone.”

“Chris, I’m not DOING anything. All I did was ask. They could have told me no, and I’d have hooked up with that Justin kid you like so much.”

“I don’t like him,” Chris said, but he didn’t say it with much conviction.

“Three days,” JC repeated. “Maybe you could hook up with Justin while I’m there.”

Chris gave him a glare and got up from the bar as JC laughed.

Chapter Text

DESERT ROSE
Eleven

 

“So…you like working here?”

Lance turned around to see Alex standing behind him, munching on a carrot. “Yes, I do. Everyone’s been nice to me here,” Lance said simply. He reached down into his toolbox for his hammer and began to pound at the piece of wood that was loose.

“You’ve done a lot around here. It looks great,” Alex said, looking at the newly painted shed. “A lot in a short time.”

“I’m a hard worker,” Lance replied, then winced. Alex smiled.

“I bet you are.” Alex moved to stand between Lance and the wood of the garage. “Ya know, I’m good.”

“I’m sure you are,” Lance said politely. “You’re in my way.”

“Oh, am I?” Alex didn’t move. “Look, Lance…I’m clean, and I’m good. And I know you’re attracted to me.”

Lance couldn’t help but smile. He was attracted to Justin, attracted to Nick…he even thought Joey was handsome. But he was NOT attracted to Alex. “I’m afraid I’m not, Alex. I’m sorry. And I don’t just have random sex,” he lied, ignoring the picture of JC Chasez that jumped into his brain.

“Sex with me would NOT be random,” Alex murmured, running a finger down Lance’s dirty cheek.

“Lancey!” Lance turned to see Justin walking from the house. “I brought you some ice water since it’s so damn hot out here. What did I tell you about working through the hottest hours of the day?”

“Thanks, Justin,” Lance said, grateful in more ways than one.

“And after our late night last night…” Justin winked as he handed Lance the glass of water.

“I thought you said you didn’t DO random sex,” Alex growled at Lance.

“Honey, sex with me is NOT random,” Justin said, and Lance had to chuckle. It sounded so much sexier coming from Justin.

“You two are a thing?”

“We have a thing, yes,” Justin said honestly.

“Well, I’m sorry,” Alex said grudgingly. “You’re a hot little piece, Lance, but I’m not one to step on toes. My bad.” Alex put up his hands in defeat, then returned to the house.

“I told you not to be alone with him!” Justin hissed.

“I was out here working, Justin. It’s a free country…he can go where he wants,” Lance snapped back. He was hot and he was tired and he couldn’t get JC Chasez out of his mind.

Justin smiled suddenly. “How did it feel to be wanted?”

“I…” Lance paused. “Nice,” he admitted. “Even if it WAS him. Do you think JC Chasez will want me like that?”

“Lancey, he already DOES, or we wouldn’t be doing what we’re doing.” He kissed Lance’s cheek. “Take it easy today, babe. Tonight we’re getting naked.” Justin turned on a heel and walked away.

“Naked?” Lance asked weakly.

 

“Man, this is like a vacation!” Justin said that night as he came into Lance’s bedroom. “Though I think Joey’s fretting as he counts the money. He’s cool, though.”

“Isn’t it weird…having sex for money?” Lance asked softly. The question had been jumping around in his brain for a while, and he felt comfortable enough to ask it now.

“At the beginning, it was. I mean, no little boy grows up planning on being a whore, right?” Justin said, smiling a little.

“You’re not a whore, Justin. You’re better than that,” Lance insisted.

“I thought I was gonna be a singer,” Justin said suddenly. “I moved to California from Tennessee to sing. I wasn’t gonna do Nashville…I’m not a country singer. But it’s not as easy as I thought…and it ended up that I had to do whatever I could to get something to eat, ya know?”

“Shit, Justin.” Lance sat down next to him. “I…I know how hard it is out there on your own. I mean, look at me…wandering around looking for work. But you…”

“Don’t think about it, Lance,” Justin said, shaking his head. “Old news. We need to concentrate on us and what we’re doing now.” He smiled bravely. “Okay, so…” Justin stood. “Watch me.”

Lance nodded and watched as Justin tugged off the heavy sweatshirt he wore. He watched as Justin made short work of the tshirt underneath. Justin almost fell as he stumbled out of his jeans. Lance was thankful that Justin had on boxers underneath. Justin looked at him. “Okay,” Lance said, confused.

“Was that sexy?” Justin asked.

“Um, yes?” Lance asked. Justin laughed.

“Be honest.” Lance shook his head. “Exactly. It’s all about attitude, Lance.”

Justin pulled his jeans back on, and put on both shirts. He stood in the center of the room and smiled at Lance. Justin’s hands slid down his chest to the hem of the sweatshirt and slowly pulled it off. As soon as his curly head was revealed, his blue eyes were glued to Lance’s face. Lance swallowed deeply. Justin arched slightly, and the tshirt slid up his smooth stomach and chest. Justin carelessly tossed the shirt to the floor. He took a few steps towards Lance, then flicked open the button of his jeans.

Lance had to sit on his hands. He wanted to touch Justin, but knew he wasn’t supposed to. “Oh…” he said faintly as the zipper went down.

“It’s all about attitude,” Justin said again. He didn’t push the jeans down, but instead moved to lean over Lance. Suddenly Lance found himself on his back. “You have to make them want it.” His lips were on Lance’s neck as he slid his hand up under Lance’s tshirt. Lance gasped as Justin’s fingers found a nipple and lightly rubbed it. “Do you want it?”

“I think…I…oh…” Lance panted as Justin’s hand went down to Lance’s zipper.

“I want to do something for you, Lance,” Justin breathed. “I know it’s moving fast, but we don’t have a lot of time…plus I want to do it for you anyway. I want to do SOMETHING special for you…even if we can’t have sex.” Justin slid down Lance’s body. “If you’re gonna do this, you should at least know what a good one feels like.” Lance could only watch as Justin pulled his jeans down, taking his underwear with them. “Damn, Lancey,” Justin murmured, taking Lance’s hard length in his hand. “Impressive.”

Lance hissed at the warmth of Justin’s touch. His head fell back and he stared at the ceiling. “That’s so good…” he whispered.

“It gets better,” Justin said with a grin. “The secret is to watch your teeth, and to pay attention to every inch. Use your hand, too.”

Suddenly Justin’s tongue was on Lance’s cock, and Lance cried out, arching up to the wet lapping. His hands fisted in the sheets of his bed, and Justin released him long enough to move one of Lance’s hands to Justin’s head. Justin’s hands moved to rest on Lance’s hips as he took in more and more of Lance. Lance moaned, fisting his hand in Justin’s curls. Justin’s mouth and tongue were everywhere, even on Lance’s balls. Lance panted, trying to thrust up, but Justin’s hands held him in place.

“Justin, I can’t…I’m sorry…” Lance groaned, feeling himself start to throb.

“Go ahead,” Justin whispered, and Lance came into his mouth.

Lance fell back, gasping. “It was so quick…but I couldn’t help it…”

“That’s a compliment,” Justin said, grinning. He moved up to kiss Lance, and Lance felt a bitter, salty sensation. “You probably won’t want to swallow,” Justin said. “It’s hard to get used to.”

“Do you want me to…” Lance began. Justin shook his head. “I want to do SOMETHING,” Lance said. He reached down, and with careful hands pushed at Justin’s open jeans. “Teach me to touch you,” Lance whispered, and Justin groaned.

“With that porn voice, you won’t even HAVE to undress,” Justin murmured, taking Lance’s hand in his own.

Chapter Text

DESERT ROSE
Twelve

 

“I still can’t believe we’re doing this,” Chris muttered as he turned onto the narrow road.

“Chris, if I have to hear you say that one more time, I’m jumping out of this car WHILE it’s moving,” JC snapped. They had skipped the driver, deciding instead to rent their own car for the time they were staying in Nevada. Drivers were paid well, usually good enough to keep their mouths shut, but you never knew. Most of the music world had easily accepted the fact that JC Chasez was openly gay, but they probably wouldn’t be so easygoing if they found out he was making regular visits to a homosexual brothel.

“Josh, this is like some odd movie. You’re rich and famous…you can have any man you want…and we’re going to a whorehouse for you to hook up with someone who isn’t even a prostitute!”

“As you said, Christopher,” JC began patiently, and Chris knew he was angry, “I can have any man I want. And I want this one.”

“He’s had no experience, Jayce, and…”

“So he says. So Joey said. I don’t believe it. No one who looks like that and plays the innocent so well is really that innocent,” JC said decidedly. “Just let it drop, okay?”

“I just wanna know what I’m supposed to do while you’re in there,” Chris grumbled. “I know you’ll end up staying all night.”

“I already cleared that up with Fatone. He said there’s a tiny room they have downstairs for special situations. You can sleep there undisturbed…unless you brought some extra money with you,” JC said, a twinkle in his eye.

“Money for what?” Chris asked blankly. Then he frowned. “Dammit, Chasez…”

 

“Okay…so…I look okay, right?” Lance faced Nick anxiously. Justin was busy with a “guest,” so he could not be with Lance when JC arrived. Nick was the first to be let in on the “secret,” and he was being very supportive.

“Trust me, Lance, you look like a million bucks…or whatever he’s paying for you,” Nick gently teased. He took a step back. Lance wore a pair of tight black jeans and a grey-green button-down shirt that brought out his eyes. On his feet were his nicest pair of cowboy boots. He had thought he should wear something sexier, but Nick and Justin had convinced him that JC was drawn to his rugged side…like what he wore when he worked. “You look edible.”

“Edible?” Lance asked, but he blushed with pleasure. “Nick, Justin taught me all this stuff, but what if I can’t do it?”

“First of all, Lance, it has to be you. Justin can teach you things, I can teach you things…but it’s gotta be something personal in YOU that makes him come back,” Nick said. “I know you’re scared…I was my first time. But you’re lucky. He asked for you, and you’re in a place where you’re safe.”

“I guess,” Lance said simply. “I’m sorry, Nick. I apologized to Justin earlier today, and I want to apologize to you, too.”

“Apologize?”

“I’m not a…well…I don’t do what you do for a living. And I’m kinda taking money from you guys…stepping on your turf, if you will.”

“Oh, God, Lance…” Nick waved a hand in the air. “There’s plenty of booty to go around here. We’re not sitting around bored,” Nick said with a grin. “We all know how lucky we are to have a place like this and someone like Joey to run things. Besides…I’m free tonight, which gives me a chance to hook up with Alex.”

“You actually like him?” Lance asked, shivering slightly.

“He’s a hard nut to crack, I know, but he’s not too bad. And he’s hot in bed, lemme tell ya,” Nick said, drifting away for a moment.

Someone knocked at Lance’s bedroom door and he opened it. “Lance, JC’s here,” Joey said. Lance swallowed and nodded. “You have ANY trouble, you yell, okay? Me or Lonnie will come up and set things straight.”

“I’m sure I’ll be fine, but thanks, Joe,” Lance replied. Joey nodded and left the room.

“Knock ‘em dead,” Nick said, and Lance nodded again.

 

“Well, Prince Charming, you have a nice evening with Cinderella,” Chris said as they entered the foyer. “Behave yourself.”

“Fuck off,” JC said, wondering why he felt nervous suddenly.

“Lance will be right down,” Joey said as he came down the steps. “Chris, I can show you to the room you’ll be using tonight.”

“Thanks.” Chris clapped JC on the back and followed Joey.

JC looked up the stairs and froze. He stared as Lance slowly walked down. “Hi,” Lance said shyly.

“Hi, there,” JC said, putting up his shields at the last moment. His superstar smile flashed across his face. “How are you?”

“Fine,” Lance said formally. “Want to follow me up?”

JC silently followed Lance to a room on the second floor, a room at the far end of the hall. It was not the room that he had used with Justin. It was smaller, but more tastefully furnished. He thought it suited Lance perfectly. “So…” JC said, sitting on a chair.

“So,” Lance repeated softly, shutting the door and locking it. “I, uh, was surprised that you asked for me. Flattered.”

“As you should be,” JC said, smirking. Something flared behind Lance’s green eyes, then they returned to their icy green.

“What do you want?” Lance asked. He crossed his arms and looked at JC.

“Well, whatever it is you do best,” JC taunted, leaning back on one elbow. Lance forced a smile, then began to unbutton his shirt. JC stared at Lance’s fingers. He didn’t notice the calluses and scars, but he DID notice the way the strong fingers shook. At first he thought it was nervous pleasure at actually getting to be with someone famous, then Lance met his gaze. Lance’s light skin was unusually pale. “Are you okay?”

“Fine,” Lance said, tossing his head back and keeping his eyes on JC’s face. “Why?”

“You…nevermind.” JC moved to the edge of the bed as Lance undid the last button. He placed a slender hand on Lance’s flat stomach, and Lance let out a surprised hiss. JC removed his hand as if he were burned. “What’s going on?”

“Nothing. What do you mean?” Lance asked quickly. “Is something wrong?”

“You can cut the baby act. I’m here, okay, you hooked me,” JC said, laughing. “I’m all yours, and you can say you got fucked by a Grammy winner.”

“It’s not an act. I mean, I’m not a baby!” Lance snapped. “I’m a little nervous, okay? It’s to be expected.”

“Just because I’m famous doesn’t mean I’m anything special,” JC said. “Well, I am, but…” he joked.

“God, are you always so arrogant and egotistical?” Lance said. “Me saying yes has NOTHING to do with you being famous. I could care less, and now, I’m wondering why I DID say yes. I’m nervous because I’ve never DONE this before. I told you that the day we met, and I thought Joey told you.”

“He did, but of course I didn’t believe him.” JC stopped and stared at him. “Jesus…you’re serious, aren’t you?”

“Yes, I am,” Lance said, tired of apologizing for his virginal status. “Yes, I am new to this. Yes, I’m a virgin. Yes, I never even had my dick sucked until Justin did it the other night to show ME how to do it to YOU. I’ve never done more than kiss a man until Justin taught me some things…things I am supposed to do to please you. But now, all I want to do is get the fuck outta here, because the thought of doing ANYTHING to an asshole like you is making me softer than melted better.” Lance slammed his mouth shut, shocked at what he had just said. He saw the piles of money suddenly float away on the back of his angry words.

“Then explain to me exactly WHY you did say yes!” JC retorted, angry at Lance’s words yet embarrassed by his own attitude.

“Because I can use the money. Because I WAS attracted to you. And because I wanted my first time to be with someone beautiful,” Lance said quietly. JC stared at him. “I wanted my first time to be with someone I would always remember, someone who wouldn’t hurt me.”

“Hurt you?” JC whispered.

“Most gay men I know don’t look back fondly on their first time. It was always by someone older who just used them, someone they didn’t even care about. And though I don’t know you, I just knew you wouldn’t be like that.” Lance shrugged. “Or so I thought. I guess I was wrong.”

JC stared at him for a long time. “I am still pissed to hell by what you said. But I guess you had every right.” Lance blinked. “I honestly thought it was all an act. I thought you were another prostitute.”

“I’m telling the truth,” Lance insisted. “I only did one thing, and that was with Justin.”

JC smiled a little. “This relationship is gonna get old if you keep bringing Justin into the room.” Lance blushed, then realized JC was teasing.

“Yeah, well, you liked him good enough,” Lance teased back. He sat down next to JC. “Look, if you don’t want to do this, I understand. I’ll tell Joey it’s all my fault.”

“No.” JC put a hand on Lance’s knee. “I’ve…I’ve never been with someone like you before. I’d like to see what happens.”

“But you’re paying to be pleased, and I don’t know if I can do it,” Lance whispered, ashamed. JC tilted Lance’s chin up and gently kissed him. “Justin said you didn’t kiss,” Lance said before he thought. “Oh, sorry.”

JC smiled. “I usually don’t. But you looked like you needed it, and I wanted to do it.” He kissed Lance again. “I’m sure you can please me in all kinds of ways, okay? I swear, just looking at you with your shirt unbuttoned is making me very happy.” JC took Lance’s hand and placed it on his groin. Lance blushed, then smiled as he felt the hardness under JC’s jeans. “I can’t wait to see every inch of you.”

“Thank you for understanding,” Lance said quietly.

“I plan on getting my money’s worth, though,” JC said, and Lance pulled back slightly. “Eventually,” JC said with a grin, leaning in to kiss Lance again.

Chapter Text

DESERT ROSE
Thirteen

 

“Justin, what are you doing up?” Lance said, shielding his eyes against the morning sun as Justin walked towards him. He wore old sneakers, a pair of pajama pants, and a white wifebeater. “It’s only nine-thirty!”

“I couldn’t wait to find out what happened! I was SO mad I couldn’t be there for you…but I got busy…”

“Don’t worry about it.” Lance blushed and waved a hand in the air. “No problem.”

“So?” Justin crossed his arms over his chest.

“I need to paint, Justin.” Lance turned back to the wall he was painting.

“So?” Justin repeated.

“So, nothing. We didn’t do anything but kiss and fight,” Lance said, then bit his lip.

“What?”

Lance sighed. “He thought it was all a lie…an act. He thought I was pretending to be a…well…virgin, and that I was as experienced as you are.”

Justin snorted. “No one’s that experienced, baby.”

“I got mad and told him I really didn’t want to touch him with a ten foot pole, basically, and I think I called him an arrogant asshole, or something to that effect.”

Justin’s mouth fell open. “You WHAT?”

“But then he realized it WASN’T an act, and he was really nice about it. He apologized and everything.” Lance blushed and smiled. “He…he said that even looking at me without a shirt on turned him on.”

“Of course it did. You’re hot,” Justin pointed out.

“And then he kissed me, twice…and then we kissed a bit more, and ended up just talking about stuff and we fell asleep. He’s still there, I think.”

“Uh, no.” Justin blinked as he looked towards the house. “He’s right there. With his friend.”

Lance watched as Chris sat down on the porch swing and JC started out across the yard. “Oh,” he said weakly.

“I’ll see you later.” Justin started back to the house, greeting JC in a friendly manner as he passed by.

“Hi,” JC said, standing in front of Lance.

“Hi,” Lance said shyly.

“I was surprised to wake up and find you gone,” JC said.

“Oh…well…I usually start working around eight or so. I have a lot to do today.”

“Oh, right.” JC nodded, his mood softening. “I guess I forgot about that. I hope…I mean…we weren’t up too late, were we?”

“Nah…I can go on just a few hours of sleep,” Lance said.

“Maybe next time I can, uh, come out here earlier? That way you can get your rest,” JC suggested. “I know this is your REAL job, out here.”

“Whatever works for you,” Lance said nervously. JC grinned.

“I’m out here on vacation, Lance. I have all the time in the world to be with you.” Lance blushed again. “You are absolutely gorgeous when you blush,” JC said suddenly, then HE blushed, as if he hadn’t meant to say the words out loud.

“Thank you,” Lance said, studying his shoes.

“Well, uh…I guess I’ll go.” JC turned around.

“When…when will you come back?” Lance asked shyly. JC whirled back around.

“Is tomorrow okay?”

Lance nodded. “I’ll try…I mean…I want to do more for you tomorrow.”

JC smiled. “I’ll see you tomorrow night, then.”

 

Chris pushed the swing back and forth with one toe while he waited for JC to get his butt in gear. He looked up as someone approached the house.

“Hi. I’m Justin,” the man said, giving him a grin. “You’re with JC?”

“I’m his manager. I’m Chris.” Chris stared at Justin. He was even more beautiful than he had remembered.

“You stayed the night, too?” Justin asked. Chris nodded. “Who with?”

“Who with? You mean…oh, no!” Chris chuckled weakly. “I…no. I was alone. In another room. Away from the…uh…I’m straight,” he finished defiantly.

“Oh, I see,” Justin said, smirking. “You sure?”

“Of course.” Chris glared at Justin.

“Okay,” Justin said lightly. “Well, Chris, it was nice to meet you, and I’m sure I’ll be seeing you again. If you ever decide to change your mind about the straight thing, or you wanna experiment…you just ask for me.”

“I’m hardly going to do that,” Chris snapped.

“Then why were you looking at me that way?” Justin whispered, then winked.

 

“That place is nothing but trouble,” Chris grumbled as they headed back to Las Vegas.

“Why is that?” JC asked.

“No reason. It just IS,” Chris insisted. “How was YOUR night?”

“He was telling the truth,” JC mumbled. “He really isn’t a hooker, and he’s never been with a man before.”

“I knew it!” Chris yelled, and JC winced. “So…did you teach him anything?”

“No,” JC snapped. “We kissed and talked. That’s it. I’m going back tomorrow.”

“You’re going alone, by the way,” Chris said.

“Chrissy!” JC whined.

“Joshua Chasez, you are old enough to go to a whorehouse all by yourself,” Chris said, and JC laughed. “I’m not going.”

“You’re going. You’ll miss drooling over Justin if you don’t,” JC teased. Chris gave him the finger. “Is THAT what this is all about?”

“There’s nothing more to talk about.” Chris kept his eyes glued on the road.

“Maybe we could find you something pink to wear,” JC continued. Chris ignored him.

Chapter Text

DESERT ROSE
Fourteen

 

“So…” Lance wiped his wet palms on his jeans. “How are you doing?”

JC frowned as he looked at Lance. “What are you wearing?” He had had a long day, even though it was vacation. He had done a lot of shopping to try and waste the time, but all he could think about was Lance. He had finally gotten on the road around seven, driving up on his own. Chris had conveniently disappeared.

“I, uh, this?” Lance ran a hand down his chest. He wore a tight black long-sleeved shirt of Justin’s. “A friend loaned it to me. I thought you’d like it. I mean…”

“I don’t.” JC’s blue eyes bored through Lance. “Not at all.”

“Oh.” Lance’s face burned with shame. “I just…”

“Justin’s shirt?” JC asked, and Lance nodded. “It’s Justin’s shirt, Lance, not YOURS. It’s not you at all.”

“Oh, I…sorry. I just thought I’d look…sexier, or something.” Lance wanted to cry. He had really hoped to please JC.

“You’re sexier without all that crap. Were you dressed like this ANY of the times I saw you? Did you dressing like this make me want you? No.” JC realized he was almost yelling and calmed down. “It’s just not you, Lance. It’s like you’re pretending to be something you’re not.”

Lance looked JC in the eye and slowly peeled off the shirt. “Is this better?”

“God, yes,” JC said in a husky tone, swallowing deeply. Well-defined muscles were revealed as the shirt left Lance’s body. Lance smiled, relaxing a bit. “Much better.”

“Good.” Lance walked over and sat next to JC on the bed. “Can I kiss you?”

JC’s reply was a passionate kiss on Lance’s mouth as his hand slid down Lance’s bicep. Lance shivered, but it wasn’t because he was afraid. His mind was spinning. He still couldn’t believe he was doing this, yet it all felt so good, so right. He briefly wondered if Justin felt this way with any of his customers. Lance let a shy hand slide up into JC’s curls. He felt JC moan against his mouth, and suddenly they were falling back onto the bed.

JC let his mouth wander down Lance’s neck, to the tender skin at his collarbone. He nipped there, and Lance shivered again, his body rolling unconsciously. This made JC moan once more, and he licked at Lance’s throat. “Take off my shirt,” he ordered softly, and Lance slowly slid his hands to unbutton JC’s shirt. His fingers shook slightly, but he was determined to continue. His hands moved across JC’s slim frame, moving the shirt from JC’s shoulders. JC wriggled out of it, then moved back over Lance. “Better,” JC murmured, resuming his kissing of Lance’s neck and shoulder.

Lance let his hands slide up across JC’s back, not even noticing the way he was arching up to meet JC’s body. “JC,” Lance whispered. “What…what do you want me to do?”

“Nothing but what you’re doing now,” JC replied, his hand sliding down to caress Lance’s chest. Originally, he had wanted a lot more. He had dreamt of the way he would use Lance’s beautiful body, the way he would act and think and move. All that was changed now. He couldn’t get enough…and it was more than he ever thought he would feel. “You’re not a performing monkey, Lance.”

“That’s you, right?” Lance teased softly, and JC froze. The smile left Lance’s face and he looked at JC worriedly. “I’m…I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be. I guess I am the performer here, aren’t I?” JC slowly rolled back and lay down again. “Touch me, Lance.” Lance reached out his hand and ran it down JC’s chest. JC hissed and arched up. Lance traced the line of JC’s stomach, smiling as it fluttered a bit. He then moved up to JC’s nipples, teasing them slightly with a fingertip before he cautiously leaned in with his tongue. JC gasped and grabbed at the back of Lance’s head. “God, I love that,” JC said in a strangled tone. As Lance continued to torture him, JC slid his hand down and opened his own jeans. He reached inside and began to stroke himself. Lance looked down, watching the slender hand rub across the smooth skin. He took JC’s hand and moved it, using his own hand. “Lance…” JC panted, arching up. He held Lance’s head in place as he thrust into Lance’s hand. “Oh…God…” JC wanted it to last, but it was all too good. Soon he was cumming hard, some of it landing on him, some on Lance. He grabbed at Lance’s hair, pulling him up for a brutal kiss. “Fuck,” JC breathed, letting his head fall back.

“I guess…I guess that was okay?” Lance said. JC opened his eyes and looked at him.

“Hell, yeah,” JC said, and Lance blushed with pleasure. “There’s that blush again.”

“I hate it,” Lance confided. He left the room and hurried down to the bathroom. He came back with a warm cloth, and handed it to JC. JC cleaned himself up and tucked himself back into his jeans. He leaned towards Lance, who shook his head. “You don’t have to,” Lance said. “I’m fine. Really. Not your job to please me.”

JC blinked. For a moment, he had forgotten their odd situation. It had been like…like he was with a boyfriend, or something. “Oh, right,” JC said, falling back onto the bed.

“Where did you get this?” Lance asked, lightly fingering the pendant at JC’s throat.

“Oh…an old friend,” JC said with a sigh. “His name’s Tony. We started out in the business together…but I haven’t talked to him in years. He works on Broadway now.”

“You fought?” Lance asked.

JC shrugged. “Something like that.”

“I’m surprised you don’t do Broadway. I mean, you’ve done everything else,” Lance said quietly. “Your lyrics are great for the stage.”

“No,” JC said. “No Broadway for me,” he almost snapped.

“But I think…”

“I doubt what you think about music is really important,” JC said, then regretted the words.

“I guess you’re right,” Lance said softly, then finally changed the subject.

Chapter Text

DESERT ROSE
Fifteen

 

“Can’t I just like, sit in the car, or something?” Chris groaned as he pulled up the all too familiar driveway.

“You really want to sleep in the car?” JC asked, running his fingers through his hair and checking himself in the rearview mirror.

“Sleep? You’re not gonna be here that long, right?” Chris said hopefully. “We’re here awfully early.”

“Yes, I probably will be, Chrissy. I told you…Lance has to get up early and do his real job. You have that nice room inside…unless there’s somewhere else you’d rather spend the night,” JC teased.

“Shut up, okay? Just shut up. Why do I put up with your shit?” Chris grumbled as they got out of the car.

“Because you love me,” JC said simply.

When they entered the house, Joey was waiting in the foyer. “Good evening, Mr. Chasez, Mr. Kirkpatrick. Lance is waiting upstairs for you…I hoped you wouldn’t mind going up on your own.”

“Of course not,” JC said. “Say, uh, is Justin around?”

“You want Justin?” Joey asked, confused. Chris shot daggers at JC with his eyes.

“No…I was just wondering, thought I’d say hi.”

Joey still looked confused. “He’s, um, under the weather tonight. I guess you could say he has the night off.”

JC smiled as Chris sighed with relief. Something WAS going on there, and JC knew it. “Okay, well, guess I’ll head on up, then.”

“You know your way to your room, Mr. Kirkpatrick?” Joey asked. Chris nodded and started on his way.

He was mentally planning all the different ways he could kill his best friend as he opened the door to the room he spent time in. He turned on the light and gasped. “What are YOU doing in here?”

“Waiting for you,” Justin said with a lazy grin, getting up from the bed.

 

“Hi,” JC almost squeaked, staring at Lance.

“Hi.” Lance smiled bashfully, but he stood up. He wore only a pair of dark green boxers. “I was hot from working today, so after my shower, I just slipped into these. I didn’t even eat dinner downstairs.”

“Are you, uh, hungry?” JC cursed himself for his lack of ability regarding coherent thought. He had slept with dozens of men…but Lance was driving him crazy by doing pretty much next to nothing.

“I could eat,” Lance admitted. “But I could wait, too.”

“I could, um, call down, right?” JC said, taking a few deep breaths. His eyes traveled over Lance’s fair skin, lingering on the muscles in his arms and legs. He sighed without noticing, and Lance smiled a real smile.

“Wow…I was nervous about meeting you like this, but I guess you like it.”

“I like it,” JC repeated. He walked over and ran a hand over Lance’s chest. “Lance, I’m pretty sure I’ll like anything you do, as long as it’s YOU, and not something Justin or anyone else did that you think you need to do.”

“This is all me,” Lance whispered.

JC’s hand slid down to cup the package between Lance’s legs. Lance moaned deeply, and it made JC even hotter for him. “All you,” JC repeated again, licking at Lance’s neck.

 

“I thought…he said you were sick!” Chris said accusingly.

“Why do you care?” Justin said nonchalantly. He wore a pair of plaid pajama pants and a white wifebeater. Chris pressed himself against the closed door as if Justin were about to pounce on him.

“I don’t! I mean, JC asked…and Joey said…nevermind. Why ARE you in here?”

“I really am sick…not really feeling well,” Justin confessed. “And it’s nice and quiet in here.”

“Don’t you have a bedroom?” Chris snapped.

“I’ve been up there ALL day,” Justin pouted. He looked adorable, and Chris had to look away.

“Well, now you can go back.” Chris inched his way over to a chair and sat down. Justin smiled.

“Why are you scared of me?”

“I’m not.”

“Then why are you hiding in that chair.”

“I’m not. Look, do I have to call Joey in here to get rid of you?” Chris asked.

“I’m not a pet,” Justin said, annoyed. He stretched tall, and Chris couldn’t take his eyes off of him. “Unless someone asks me to be. Have you ever had a pet?”

“Not quite like you,” Chris said before he thought. Justin smiled and padded over on his bare feet. He curled up on the floor, putting his head on Chris’ knees.

“I’d be a good pet. I’m potty trained and everything.”

Chris’ hand itched to run through the shining curls. “You’re crazy. Why are you doing this to me?”

“Because you’re fighting so damn hard, and it’s cute. YOU’RE cute. I noticed you watching me the first time we saw each other. And you’re fighting so hard…convinced you’re straight.”

“I am. I’ve never…”

“Never?” Justin raised an eyebrow.

“College doesn’t count,” Chris snapped. Justin sighed and stood.

“You’re gonna be a harder nut to crack than I thought. And you don’t even have to pay…I’d give it to you for free, just to know that I did it,” Justin said. He smiled down at Chris and touched his cheek. “I’ll let you alone now.”

“Good,” Chris said as Justin left the room. He ignored the lonely feeling that came over him as soon as Justin shut the door.

 

“God…JC…” Lance moaned, arching up to JC’s touch. They were both naked, and Lance couldn’t get enough of the way JC felt against his body.

“Lance…I want you to suck me…please…” JC begged.

“I’m not…I haven’t…”

“I don’t care…I want your mouth on me…” JC gasped.

Lance slowly slid himself down JC’s body, kissing and sucking along the way. JC’s cock was thick and hard, and Lance slowly took it in his hand. He licked at the head, trying to remember everything Justin had taught him. He slowly slid his mouth around the thickness, knowing that there was no way he’d be able to take in the whole thing.

Apparently, JC didn’t care. He arched his hips up, trying to control the thrust, but unable to keep away from the heat of Lance’s mouth. He grabbed Lance by the hair, slowly thrusting into his mouth. “Lance…so fucking good…”

Lance moaned deep in his throat, and the vibration sent a shock through JC’s body. He whimpered and clutched Lance’s hair tighter, trying to keep from shoving himself inside. Lance fondled JC’s balls with one hand, allowing JC to pretty much control the movement of the situation. JC soon began to gasp Lance’s name, and Lance felt all the muscles in JC’s body tighten. Suddenly he came, shooting into Lance’s mouth. Lance choked slightly, trying to swallow as best he could. He felt some liquid run out of his mouth, however, and he wiped at his face with the sheet.

“Was…was that…” Lance stammered as he moved to sit next to JC’s limp body.

“Yes, it was,” JC murmured, looking at Lance through sleepy blue eyes. “If that was your first time…I’d hate to see what happens when you actually get experienced at it.”

Lance giggled and blushed slightly, but it was a pleased blush. “I was afraid…I wanted it to be good.”

“It was.” JC slowly sat up, then pushed Lance onto his back. Lance looked at him questioningly. “My turn,” JC said with a smirk.

“But I’m the…you’re not supposed to…” Lance stammered.

“It’s whatever I want, right?” JC asked, running a hand up Lance’s thigh. Lance moaned quietly, unable to form a real answer.

Chapter Text

DESERT ROSE
Sixteen

 

“Morning, Bass,” Joey said as he approached Lance.

“Morning.” Lance wiped at his forehead and put the paintbrush down.

“This is looking really good. You’re making a lot of progress in a short amount of time,” Joey observed, looking at the garage.

“Yeah…soon I’ll be able to work on the house.”

“Take your time, Lance. I won’t be able to keep finding work for you forever,” Joey teased. Lance blushed.

“Yeah, I know…it’s just that I enjoy doing it.”

“Speaking of enjoying your work…” Joey looked Lance in the eye. “Is everything going okay with JC Chasez?”

Lance turned beet red. “Uh, yeah, why? Did he say something?”

“Oh, hell, no! He’s totally satisfied. I wish all my customers walked away looking as happy as he does,” Joey said, knowing Lance would only blush more. “I just…I worry about you, Bass. You’re out here all day, and then…”

“This is what you hired me for, Joey, not that,” Lance pointed out.

“Well, as your boss, I’m changing some things,” Joey said. “You finish painting this garage…what, today?”

“Yeah, I think I’ll be done today.”

“Finish this, and then stop for a while. Don’t worry about it.”

“But…”

“Like I said, Lance, I won’t have work here for your forever, and I like having you around. Just worry about keeping Chasez happy, and I’ll be happy. He pays good, and maybe he’ll spread the word around to some of his friends about this place,” Joey said with a sigh. “He coming up tonight?”

“I guess so, he didn’t really say,” Lance said.

Joey smiled. “He’ll be back.”

 

“I can’t go with you tonight,” Chris told JC as soon as JC came out of his bedroom. They were sharing a suite and Chris was on the balcony eating his lunch.

“Good morning to you, too,” JC grumbled, fumbling in the cupboard for his teabags.

“It’s afternoon, dumbass,” Chris said. “And I was just telling you I can’t go. I have a date.”

“With who?”

“A blackjack dealer I met yesterday,” Chris said.

“What’s his name?”

“HER name is Tammi,” Chris corrected. “She’s from Alabama and she’s cute as a damn button. I plan on getting busy while YOU’RE getting busy.”

“Getting busy with a blackjack dealer is not gonna help you figure out your Justin issues,” JC said. He put the teabag in a mug, filled it with water, and popped it into the microwave.

“I don’t HAVE Justin issues.”

“You’re afraid of him.”

“I am not.”

“You’re afraid that you’re bi.”

“I am NOT.”

“You want him.”

“I do NOT.”

“Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt, Chrissy,” JC said. He picked up his tea and went to take a shower.

 

“This is a different room,” JC observed as soon as he followed Lance into the bedroom.

“Yeah, uh, this is my room.” Lance shoved some clothes from a chair and offered the chair to JC. JC stared at him. “I felt weird in the other room. I mean, I know you’re paying for me and everything, but…I don’t know.” Lance looked at the floor. “We can go back down there, if you want. I know, I’m probably reading too much into it and…”

“No, this is fine,” JC said, looking around. “This reminds me of my first apartment. I think it was the size of this room.” JC chuckled at the thought.

“Oh, uh, if you want to come later, you can. I’m done with most of the outside work for right now, and Joey’s giving me some time off, if you wanna call it that,” Lance said. “So, whatever’s convenient for you.”

“Cool,” JC said simply. He looked at Lance. “I want you.”

Lance blushed slightly. “Well, I figured that’s why you were here,” he teased lightly.

JC walked over and passionately kissed Lance, his hands sliding down to grab at Lance’s backside. “I WANT you,” JC repeated hungrily. “I’ve thought about you all damn day. I can’t even write my music. You’re like a drug.”

“I’m sorry?” Lance gasped as JC sucked on his earlobe.

“You should be,” JC said, giving a light swat at Lance’s ass as he pulled away. “I’ve never felt this way about someone before…wanting them so bad. Maybe because I know it’s all new with you.”

JC was acting differently and it bothered Lance. “Are you okay? Did I piss you off or something?”

JC stopped unbuttoning his shirt. “No. I just…I’m feeling outta control with this and it bothers me. I got up at noon, ate something, then got ready to write. I felt like I was inspired…but all I could see was a certain pair of green eyes.” JC removed his shirt, then began to tug at Lance’s tshirt.

“You don’t have to come around here,” Lance reminded him. JC’s hands were warm on his skin. “You’re the one paying for this.”

“I know,” JC growled. “You don’t need to remind me.” JC smirked. “Only losers pay for sex, right?”

For some reason, Lance felt insulted. “Look, maybe you should just go.”

“Excuse me?” JC blinked.

“I have the right to say no, and you’re in some sort of fucked up mood tonight. You want sex, we can have sex. But if you are looking for someone to blame or treat bad, you can go somewhere else.”

“I don’t want to go somewhere else,” JC said softly, letting his hand trail down Lance’s back. “I…I don’t want to go. You’re right. I’m in this fucked up mood today, and I took it out on you.” His movements were gentle as he undid Lance’s jeans and slid them to the floor. “I want to be here with you. I want to get every dollar’s worth, and I intend to.” JC cupped Lance and sighed against his neck. “I’m just…fucked up,” JC finished with a laugh. “I’m sorry if I freaked you out.”

“What brought all this on?” Lance asked, sliding his hands into the back of JC’s jeans.

“Chris. He’s fighting something…and I know he should accept it and told him so. But the stupid thing is, I’m fighting something too and am in NO mood to accept it.” JC kissed Lance’s nose and stroked his erection. “But I’m not paying you to listen to me bitch and moan. I’m paying for THIS.”

Lance moaned and pushed at JC’s pants. JC released Lance long enough to undress himself the rest of the way. He then pulled Lance to the bed, pressing their bodies together as he kissed him. “JC…” Lance whispered, arching up. “What do you want?”

“I want you inside me,” JC mumbled against Lance’s ear. “God, but I want you inside me.”

“What?”

“You’re gonna fuck me, Lance,” JC said, stroking Lance steadily. “I want it.”

“But I…”

“I KNOW I’m supposed to fuck you, because I AM a top, really, and I KNOW it’ll be your first time, but I want it,” JC said, his voice more urgent. “Do you have stuff?”

“Uh, yeah, Justin gave me some,” Lance said, his voice shaking. He dug through a box on the floor and came back with a condom and lubricant. “JC…”

“Lance,” JC said hoarsely. “Watch, because I’ll only do this once…” He grabbed the lube from Lance squirted some onto his fingers. Lance barely breathed as he watched one of the slender fingers slowly disappear. “Just do that until I’m ready…God…” JC hit the right spot and arched his back. He removed his finger and handed Lance the lubricant.

Lance squirted some onto his finger, then slid his hand down. He felt the tightness and wondered how his cock would ever fit inside. JC moaned as his finger slowly moved in. His fingers were slightly thicker than JC’s, and he had to work a bit before he could add another one. He must’ve been doing something right, however, because by the time he easily had two moving in and out, JC was whimpering on the bed. He finally pulled away and looked down at JC. “Um, now what?”

JC silently took the condom and slid it onto Lance’s hard cock. Lance gasped as JC stroked him, adding lubricant over the condom. “Now,” JC whispered, spreading his legs and wrapping them around Lance’s waist.

If Lance would have tried to concentrate on one sensation, he couldn’t have. He felt the heat of JC around him, the tightness of the warmth he was pushing into. He felt JC’s arms and legs around him, urging him on. He felt fear as he pushed into nothing he had ever experienced before, and he felt something in his heart as he looked down at the virtual stranger beneath him. He thrust slowly until JC begged him for more. In the back of his mind, Lance quickly thought about how many men would pay to be him, then he lost that thought as JC clamped around him as he came.

 

“Mr. Chasez?” Joey said in surprise when JC appeared downstairs at nine the next morning. “Is something wrong?”

“No, not at all,” JC said, sighing. “I just didn’t sleep well. Nothing is wrong that you can help with.” JC took a deep breath. “I need to ask a favor…something out of the ordinary. But, as usual, I plan on paying well for it.”

Chapter Text

DESERT ROSE
Seventeen

 

Lance slept until almost ten the next morning. He was shocked when he looked at the clock, thinking that he was still working outside. He then remembered that Joey had given him permission to stop working for a while, and relaxed. He rolled over and realized, to his dismay, that he was all alone. He hadn’t even heard JC get up, and he felt a bit hurt that he hadn’t even bothered to say goodbye.

Lance rolled onto his back with a sigh. Here he was, making more of the entire thing then he needed to. Yes, he had partially given the man his virginity (he wouldn’t consider it complete until it happened the other way someday), but that didn’t mean JC owed him anything.

 

Lance skipped breakfast, not feeling really hungry. He felt useless and bored, and decided to go for a walk. He threw on a pair of jeans and a tank top, and headed out of the house, waving a good morning to Nick over his shoulder. He had made it about a half mile from the house when he heard someone calling him.

He turned around to see Alex, Howie’s brother, walking towards him. He sighed. Alex had decided to extend his visit, and it made Lance uncomfortable to be around him. He felt like a little pig to Alex’s big bad wolf. “Hi, Alex,” Lance said politely. “I was just heading back in,” he lied.

“I’ll walk back with you.” Alex fell into step next to Lance. “So, you’re not working today?”

“Uh, Joey decided I’d earned a few days off,” Lance said. He was pretty sure that Alex didn’t know about the whole JC situation, since it was something that Lance had asked Joey to keep fairly under wraps. Gossip flew, of course, but Alex wasn’t close to all that many of the men in the house.

“That’s cool,” Alex replied. “Hey, Lance, I was wondering…”

Lance stopped walking. “Look, Alex, I thought I told you, I…”

“LANCE!” Joey yelled out of a window, much to Lance’s relief. “Phone call.”

“Really?” Lance paled slightly, wondering who was calling. He had called his sister briefly, to give a contact number in case of an emergency, but that was it. “Oh, God,” he said weakly. “I need to go, Alex. My sister’s the only one who has this number.” Lance took off at a run.

“Calm down, Lance,” Joey said as soon as Lance came in the door. “Relax.”

“Is it my sister?” Lance panted.

“No,” Joey said with a laugh. “Take a few deep breaths. He can wait.”

“He?” Lance asked. Joey smiled and pointed to his office.

“Go on in and use the phone.”

Lance went in and sat behind Joey’s desk. Joey closed the door. “Hello?” Lance said almost fearfully.

“Uh, Lance? This is JC Chasez.”

“Oh,” Lance said, sighing with relief.

“Wow, nice to hear your voice, too,” JC said sarcastically.

“No! I mean, I’m sorry! It’s just that the only person who has this number is my sister and I thought there was something wrong.”

“Oh,” JC said in a kinder tone. “Sorry if I scared you.”

“No problem. Uh, what did you want?”

“Oh.” JC paused, and he seemed nervous, though Lance couldn’t figure out why. “I was…okay. I left, you know, but before I left, I talked to Joey, and I asked him something, and he said it’s your decision.”

“Okay,” Lance said slowly.

“I want you to come to Vegas with me for the weekend. Stay here with me.”

“Are you serious?” Lance gasped. “The only time I’ve been there was for your show!”

“Yes, I’m serious,” JC replied, sounding a bit more confident. “If you want, you can even have your own suite, just for fun…but I’d like you to stay with me at least SOME of the time.”

“Of course,” Lance said immediately. He sat back in the chair, clutching at the phone. “Hey, JC…can I ask a favor?”

“You can always ask,” JC teased.

“Can I bring someone with me? This is like, I don’t know, scary for me, for some reason, and I’d feel better if it wasn’t just you and me. Is that okay?” Lance asked anxiously.

“Uh, sure, Lance…who did you have in mind?”

“Um, Justin.”

Lance could hear the grin. “Justin? That would be PERFECT, Lance. Of course you should bring him.”

Chapter Text

DESERT ROSE
Eighteen

 

“Fuck ME!” Justin yelped. Lance raised an eyebrow. “I mean…really? You mean it?”

“Yeah. He said to bring you,” Lance said.

Justin let out another whoop, then looked at Joey. “I can go, right?”

“Like I could handle you if I said no,” Joey said with a sigh. He winked at Lance and left the room.

“This is NOT fair!” Nick grumbled.

“Is it my fault JC Chasez wants me and Lance and doesn’t want you?” Justin asked, throwing an arm around Lance’s shoulder. “We’re two hot little pieces of ass, Carter. Watch and learn, baby.”

“You’re a jerk,” Nick grumbled, stomping out of the kitchen. Justin giggled and kissed Lance’s cheek before sitting back down at the table.

“You know he didn’t ask for you that way, right?” Lance asked.

“Oh, hell yeah, I know that,” Justin said, waving a hand in the air. “I just liked making NICK think that he did.”

“You’re evil,” Lance grinned, pouring himself a glass of lemonade. “So…I need to call him back, but it looks like we’re leaving tomorrow afternoon and coming back Sunday.”

“A whole weekend in Vegas. This SO kicks ass, Lance,” Justin said, beaming. “And we won’t have to pay for a thing!”

“I didn’t even THINK about that,” Lance said, sighing. “I don’t have any spending money, and I don’t have any clothes.”

“Lance, listen to me.” Justin picked up Lance’s hand and held it. “I know you don’t consider yourself a whore, a hooker, a rentboy, whatever. But in this instance, you are.” Justin words were not unkind. “He’ll pay for everything. Even for me, because you asked to bring me along. I know I’m not having sex with him. I’m just enjoying the fact that I get an all-expense paid trip to Vegas. And we’ll get you clothes.”

“How?” Lance demanded.

“We’re in a house full of men, Lance, and a lot of them are your size. Worst comes to worst, we get there and go shopping quick.”

 

“You gonna be around this weekend?” JC asked Chris, kissing his cheek as he sat down for lunch.

“Where would I be going?” Chris asked.

“Well, I didn’t know if you and your little friend were busy,” JC said. He smiled brightly as he served himself some Caesar salad.

“What is wrong with you?” Chris growled. “You’re…weird. Sweet, even.”

“Chrissy, I love you. Is that a crime?” JC cooed.

“If you’re trying to seduce me, Chasez,” Chris began. JC laughed out loud, almost dropping his fork.

“Hell, no, Chris. I knew long ago that I was NOT the one to bring you over to the Pink Side,” JC replied. “I just…I’m having some people over for the weekend and I thought you’d want to hang with us.”

“Sure,” Chris said immediately. For the most part, he enjoyed JC’s friends. “Anyone I know?”

“Definitely,” JC said, smirking. “I’m gonna drive out to pick them up tomorrow. They should be in town around noon…I have a suite reserved for them down the hall.” He smiled into his teacup and said nothing more.

 

Lance sat on the porch swing, watching the road for JC’s car. He had hardly slept the night before, and that was only partially because Justin had kept bouncing in to talk. Business had been slow that night, and Joey had finally sent Justin upstairs because he was too hyper to entice anyone.

Lance stared into space, wondering what would happen during this weekend with JC. He obviously was doing something right; JC wanted to spend an entire weekend with him nonstop. But he was scared. He had thought that he was tough like Justin or Nick or Howie, that he could just DO this and not worry about it. But he was starting to have feelings for JC Chasez, feelings that scared him.

“Hey.” Alex sat down next to him on the swing.

“Hey,” Lance said softly, wishing that someone else would come out on the porch.

“I have a question for you,” Alex said, putting a hand on Lance’s knee. Lance looked at the hand and said nothing. “I was wondering why you keep lying to me. I know you’re not with Justin.”

“I need to go finish packing.” Lance jumped up and went back into the house. Alex followed him, cornering him near the staircase.

“Lance, I know you and Justin aren’t fucking. I know you’re not anything more than friends. I’m not an idiot.” Alex gave Lance a charming smile, but his eyes were dark. “So why the hell won’t you get with me?”

“I didn’t lie! I’m with someone. I just…” Lance stammered. He desperately wished for someone to come along, but most of the men were still in bed. “Look, Alex, I’m sorry. I…”

“You’re not as innocent as you seem, Lance,” Alex whispered, running a hand along Lance’s cheek. “But I want you anyway.”

Lance knew he could push Alex away. He was definitely stronger. But Alex still intimidated him. “I’m sorry, Alex, but like I said, I’m with someone.”

Alex smirked. “I know most of the people here who’d wanna get with you, Lance, and none of them are with you. So who, exactly, are you with?”

“Me,” a voice said behind them, and Alex whirled around. Lance’s eyes widened. “Are you ready to go, Lance?” JC held out a hand and Lance took it.

“Oh, uh, hi. Alex McLean.” Alex held out his hand, but JC ignored it. He simply nodded instead.

“JC,” he replied, though it was obvious that Alex knew exactly who he was. JC kissed Lance’s cheek and gave him a tender smile. “Why don’t you go find Justin? I’m sure that Alex here would love to help me load up your bags.” JC motioned to the suitcases by the door.

“Okay.” Lance darted away. JC looked at Alex, blue eyes calm.

“If I hear that you fucking TOUCH him, I will have your ass kicked so fast you won’t know what hit you,” JC said in a quiet voice. “Lance is mine, and I don’t like people touching what’s mine. Got it?”

“Yeah, sure,” Alex said hurriedly, still shocked that he was standing in front of JC Chasez.

“Good. Now grab the damn bags.”

Chapter Text

DESERT ROSE
Nineteen

 

“Sweet! A limo and everything,” Justin said enthusiastically, bouncing on the seat slightly. He looked at Lance, who was seated between JC and himself on the backseat. “Are you okay?”

“Yeah.” Lance looked at JC. “I’m sorry.” Lance’s face was red with embarrassment. “Really. That was…”

“What happened?” Justin demanded, putting a hand on Lance’s knee.

“Alex,” Lance said simply.

“Oh, him.” Justin dismissed the situation entirely.

“Does he always treat you like that?” JC snapped. “You let him?”

“Holy hell, Lance, what happened?” Justin gasped.

“When I came into the foyer, this Alex guy had Lance pressed up against the wall. He looked like he was threatening you.” JC’s blue eyes were icy as they looked at Lance.

“He, well, he was, kinda…I had told him that I was involved with someone, Justin, really, so he’d leave me alone. But now he said he knew it wasn’t Justin, and wanted to know why I lied to him and why I wouldn’t get with him. I told him a while back I wasn’t into casual sex, and I guess he didn’t believe me.” Lance looked at his hands. “I guess I was a real chicken, I mean, I shoulda stood up to him, but no one’s ever wanted me like that, so I wasn’t sure how to act.” Lance sighed. “And I’m sorry you had to see it, and be there, and jump into it like that.”

“It’s not a problem,” JC said, relaxing a bit. “It wasn’t your fault. Even people who are smaller than you physically can intimidate you if they have something to hold over you. Trust me.”

“I’m sorry, Lance,” Justin said. “I told you he was harmless and everything…I should have seen how he treated you.”

“It’s okay, Justin,” Lance said, smiling at his friend. He looked over at JC. “My knight in shining armor,” he said timidly. JC snorted, but he shifted his body so his leg pressed up against Lance’s.

 

“Here you go, kids,” JC said, swinging the door open. “Chris and I have a suite similar to this right down the hall.”

“Okay, I could SO get used to this.” Justin started darting about the suite. Lance wanted to do the same thing, but felt like an idiot.

“Don’t you like it?” JC asked.

“I, wow. I love it. I…I don’t think I’ve ever even LIVED in a place this big,” Lance said.

“Lance, you should SEE this bathroom!” Justin yelled.

“I’m glad one of you is impressed,” JC said with a grin.

“Oh, I’m impressed. Trust me,” Lance assured him.

“Good. I wanted you to be. I want you to have a really good time this weekend.” JC pulled Lance close to him. “I want US to have a good time this weekend,” he said suggestively, and Lance moaned quietly. JC’s cellphone rang and he answered it with a sigh. “What? Oh, Chrissy. Yeah…we’re down in fifteen-ten. The door’s open.” He hung up. “Justin’s entertainment for the weekend,” he told Lance, who looked confused.

JC was out on the balcony, pointing out the sights to Lance, when Chris arrived. “Jayce?” Chris called.

“Out here,” JC called back.

Chris started through the large living room when someone came out of one of the bedrooms. “Hey!” Justin said in surprise. “How are you?”

“No WAY.” Chris went to the balcony and saw JC kissing Lance. “No fucking way.”

“What’s wrong?” Justin tilted his head innocently.

“What are you doing here?”

“Well, JC’s, you know, getting it on with Lance,” Justin explained slowly.

“I’m NOT an idiot. I meant YOU. What are YOU doing here?”

“Maybe he wanted both of us.” Justin leaned against the wall and smiled.

“Hardly. I mean…he only wants Lance. I mean…he likes Lance. Oh fuck what I mean.”

“Lance didn’t feel comfortable coming here alone,” Justin said in a more serious tone. “So I came along.”

“That was nice of you,” Chris said sincerely. “Isn’t it weird?”

“VERY weird, but I plan on relaxing and enjoying my free weekend,” Justin said with a grin. “Are YOU busy this weekend?”

“JC!” Chris all but screamed, and JC finally broke away from Lance. They came into the living room. JC smiled when he saw Chris looking at Justin with fear in his eyes. “We need to talk. NOW.”

“Why don’t you two get settled in,” JC suggested, “I’ll be back for you in a half hour, and we can go laze around the pool before dinner.”

“That sounds fine. Um, hi, Chris,” Lance said.

“Hello, Lance. Joshua…NOW!” Chris snapped.

“Did you bring a Speedo?” JC said hopefully to Lance. Lance blushed and said no. “Oh, well. See you in a while.” JC sauntered out of the suite with Chris on his heels.

Justin laughed and fell into a chair. “This is SO awesome!”

“It is,” Lance sighed, going back to the balcony. He could still taste JC on his lips, and for a moment, it had felt so comfortable, being in his arms as they looked out over the skyline. Almost like they were…together.

“You okay?” Justin asked, concerned. “Still freaking about Alex?”

“No. Alex is the LAST thing on my mind,” Lance promised.

 

“You said you were bringing friends that I knew!” Chris said accusingly.

“I DID!” JC protested.

“They’re not friends. They’re…”

“Let’s not go there,” JC interrupted. “Relax, Chris. Why are you so afraid of him?”

“I’m NOT,” Chris said. “I just don’t get it.”

“I’m looking forward for a weekend full of amazing sex. Here and there we’ll probably go run around the town, but otherwise, I plan on having that beautiful boy horizontal and naked,” JC told him. “You can either play by yourself, or play with Justin.”

“I don’t WANT to play with Justin, Josh! How many times do I have to…”

“Infinity number of times, Chris, because I will NOT believe you,” JC said, grinning. “Go take a shower or something. You’re gonna bust a blood vessel.” JC headed for his room, whistling cheerfully.

“Dammit,” Chris muttered, trying not to think of things like Justin in a bathing suit and Justin in the shower as he headed for his own bedroom.

Chapter Text

DESERT ROSE
Twenty

 

“Are you okay?” JC asked when Lance opened the door to the suite thirty minutes later. “You look upset.”

“No, I’m fine.” Lance looked to the sofa, where Justin was tugging on a pair of sneakers without socks to walk down to the pool. “Ready, Justin?”

“Yeah.” Justin stood. “I guess there’s towels and all that down there, right?”

“You’ve learned to live in the lap of luxury quite fast,” JC observed, smiling. Justin smiled back and patted him on the cheek as he walked by.

“Hey, I don’t get to sit in that lap very often, so I gotta take advantage of it while I can,” Justin said cheerfully. Lance glared at him but said nothing.

“Chris said he’d be along,” JC said as they headed for the elevator. He wore a baseball cap pulled low over his face.

“You gonna swim with that thing on?” Justin teased.

“Nah…just to get down there. I’ve had a few run ins with fans since I’ve been here, and I want to have a nice time while you’re here,” JC told him. Justin whistled and walked a few steps ahead. “You SURE you’re okay?” JC asked, stopping Lance.

“Yeah, I just…” Lance looked down at himself. He wore a pair of swim trunks and a tshirt. He then looked at Justin, who was sauntering down the hallway in only swim trunks and sneakers, his muscular chest out in the open for the world to see.

“I picked you, didn’t I?” JC said gently, but his voice had a firmness to it. “I had that, and it was nice. But you’re the one I’m paying for, and you’re the one I invited to spend time with me. Not him. Okay?”

Lance blushed slightly, amazed that JC was reading his mind. “Okay.”

“Hey, Chris!” Justin said cheerfully as he jabbed at the elevator button.

“Hi,” Chris grumbled. “The record company called. They want to talk to you about that Broadway thing.”

“Haven’t we gone over this already?” JC snapped, his eyes dark. “I don’t want to talk about it.” He put an arm around Lance’s waist and pulled him close. “Not now. It’s my vacation.”

“We need to talk…”

“Fuck them,” JC spat. “Not now.”

“Okay, okay,” Chris sighed.

 

The pool was beautiful, a sparkling aquamarine sight against the arid desert day. Lance sighed, still amazed that he was even there. “Wow.”

“Oh, I could so get used to this,” Justin sighed quietly.

“There are some chairs,” Chris said, pointing. They found some lounge chairs in a secluded corner and dropped their things. Justin immediately dove into the pool.

“Go ahead. I’ll be in soon,” JC told Lance. Lance smiled and went in after Justin. JC looked at Chris. “You need to be somewhere else tonight.”

“I don’t care if I hear your little sexcapades,” Chris said.

“I care. You’ll be somewhere else. Take Justin out.”

“I don’t WANT to take Justin out!” Chris said, exasperated.

“Please, Chris. Just be nice to him. I can tell that he doesn’t get this kinda thing very often, being cooped up in that place,” JC said softly. “Be nice to him.”

“Fine,” Chris grumbled, and JC grinned.

“Like it’s such a hardship,” JC teased, and Chris glared.

Lance and Justin were hanging on the side of the pool, just enjoying the cool water and talking. JC slipped into the water next to Lance, and Chris sat on the edge by Justin’s head. “This is so nice,” Lance said. “Thank you. Really.”

“Yes, thanks,” Justin added.

“No problem. It’s not like I’m not getting something out of it, too,” JC said, running a finger down Lance’s side under the water. Lance shivered.

“What are YOU getting out of it?” Justin asked Chris innocently.

“Nothing but trouble,” Chris said, and Justin laughed. He squeezed Chris’ leg but said nothing more.

“So…I thought we could all go for a nice dinner,” JC said. “And then Chris volunteered to take Justin out on the town. I thought we could stay in, unless you want to go out,” he said to Lance.

“I’m not into clubs or anything,” Lance said.

“Really? A night out on the town in Vegas?” Justin almost yelled. “Chris, you are the BEST!”

“Please keep reminding me,” Chris said.

“We’ll need to go shopping,” Justin said, and Lance punched him under the water. “What? We do? I have a nice suit to wear for dinner, but you don’t.”

“You need clothes?” JC asked quickly.

“I don’t, uh, see, I really only have work clothes, and the guys back at the um…place…they loaned me other things, but nothing for a nice dinner.” Lance wanted to crawl into a hole and die.

“After we get out of here, you go buy something. Go to the shops at Caesars or something,” JC said. “I’ll give you some money.”

“This is turning into Pretty Woman,” Chris grumbled. Lance blushed and JC gave Chris a look to fry him.

“Yeah, but in Pretty Woman, wasn’t Richard Gere’s partner or whatever a real jackass?” Justin asked. Chris bit back a reply.

“Lance is much prettier than Julia Roberts,” JC said suddenly, and Lance blushed again. Chris looked at JC for a long moment, then looked away, deep in thought.

Chapter Text

DESERT ROSE
Twenty-One

 

“Oh, my,” JC said weakly as he stepped into the hallway.

“What?” Chris said, adjusting his tie as he closed the door.

“Nothing,” JC answered quickly as he strode down the hall. “Hi, Lance. You two ready?”

“I’m STARVING,” Justin announced. He wore a black suit, as did Chris. JC had on a dark blue suit with a white shirt. He wore no tie, and the shirt was unbuttoned. Lance wore a grey suit with a grey shirt and black tie, the grey seeming to bring out the green in his eyes.

“Yes, we’re ready,” Lance said, trying not to sound too disappointed. Shopping had been interesting, with Justin dragging him from store to store until they found the “perfect” suit at Armani. Lance had almost fainted at the idea of an Armani suit, but Justin pointed out that JC had given them more than enough money. He had hoped that JC would at least compliment him, for as much as the suit cost, but JC hadn’t even kept his eyes on Lance for more than a brief second.

“I have a car for us downstairs,” JC said. “We’re going a few miles down to this great little place.”

“JC has a LIMO downstairs,” Chris corrected, and Justin let out a small squeal. Even Chris had to smile.

“I must say, you clean up pretty damn good,” Chris said to Justin, trying to relax. “No one would ever suspect you’re…”

“Chris!” JC growled.

“I was GOING to say, no one would ever expect he’s the devil in disguise,” Chris finished, and JC actually blushed. “God, Josh, give me some credit.”

“Your name is Josh?” Justin asked.

“Yes, though I prefer JC. Chris has known me forever and therefore has earned the right to use my real name,” JC said.

“I like Josh,” Lance said softly as the elevator doors opened. “You look like a Josh.”

JC didn’t say anything, just led the way to the limo. Chris and Justin sat on one side, with JC and Lance facing them. “So, anything special you’d like to do tonight?” Chris asked Justin.

As Justin began to chatter excitedly, JC slid an arm around Lance’s shoulders. He leaned back, as if looking at something on Lance’s far side. Letting his head fall behind Lance’s, JC said, “You about floored me in that suit. You look absolutely edible.” Lance blushed and leaned his head down slightly. “You make me hungry for much more than dinner,” JC continued in a whisper. The blush moved to Lance’s ears, and he unconsciously reached over to JC’s knee. JC took Lance’s hand, slid it further up his thigh, and let it rest there. JC leaned front, licked behind Lance’s ear, then turned his head to look out his window, a smile on his face.

 

The restaurant was indeed amazing. The ambience was subtle and quiet, no one came over to bother JC, and they were able to have a delicious private meal. Against his better judgment, Chris found himself getting along very well with Justin, and he was actually looking forward to hanging out with him later. They both loved basketball, and spent most of the meal arguing about teams and players. Lance quietly ate his meal, enjoying the food and laughing at the way Justin was fighting with Chris.

“So…you have a problem just spending time in the suite with me tonight?” JC asked as Lance finished his pasta.

“No…of course not,” Lance said. “I mean, it’s why I’m here, right?”

“Well, if there’s something special you wanted to see…” JC trailed off.

“We can go see it tomorrow, right?” Lance said. “And we have Sunday, too.”

“Right,” JC said, grinning. He could hardly wait to get Lance back to the room.

 

Justin and Lance went to their suite to change clothes. Lance took his time, trying to find something comfortable. He knew he probably wouldn’t have it on all that long, and in all actuality, he didn’t mind. The idea of sex with JC was a welcome thought, which scared him.

“What do you think?” Justin danced out of his bedroom.

“Good God,” Lance gasped.

“What?” Justin twirled around. “It IS Vegas…I can get away with this.”

“It’s not that. It’s just…damn, Justin,” Lance said weakly. Justin wore a pair of baggy blue jeans and a shear black tshirt. Every inch of his muscled chest and stomach was visible, and he looked incredibly sexy. “I…I wish I could look like that.”

“You’re fine just the way you are,” Justin said. He bent down and kissed Lance’s nose, and Lance smelled a nice cologne.

“Chris is gonna faint.”

“I hope so,” Justin said with a grin. “He’s the first person in a LONG time that I’ve just WANTED to sleep with.”

“Justin…”

“I know. I shouldn’t think that way. But he’s just…Chris. He’s smart and funny, and SO in denial. He’s not like sexy hot like JC is, but he is attractive in his own way. And he’s so adorable, trying to fight the fact that he wants me.”

“How could he help it?” Lance sighed, and Justin laughed.

“You’re cute, Lancey.”

“I guess I’ll go down to JC’s room,” Lance said, standing and taking a ragged breath.

“Relax, Lancey. You like him, he likes you.” Justin studied Lance carefully. “You’ll enjoy it.”

“I don’t LIKE him. He’s not my boyfriend,” Lance scoffed.

“But you want him to be, right?” Justin asked.

“I need to go. See you tomorrow,” Lance said in reply.

He passed Chris in the hallway. “Have fun,” Chris said with a wiggle of his eyebrows. Lance rolled his eyes and actually didn’t blush. “Door’s open,” Chris called after him.

Lance let himself into the suite, closing the door. JC came out of the bedroom in only a blue bathrobe, drying his hair with a towel. “Hey,” JC said, smiling.

“Hey,” Lance said, unconsciously running a hand through his own hair, which was still damp from the shower.

JC walked over to him, carelessly dropping the towel on the floor. He grabbed Lance by the tshirt and passionately kissed him. “Wanna take this in there?” JC motioned to the bedroom.

“Yes,” Lance sighed, shivering at the thought.

JC smiled and took him by the hand, leading him into the large bedroom. He kicked the door shut behind them, and untied his robe. Lance swallowed deeply as he watched JC’s long body escape from the robe. “You’re overdressed,” JC said lightly. He pulled the tshirt from Lance’s body as Lance kicked off his shoes. JC then tugged at the jeans, smiling as he saw that Lance wore nothing underneath them.

“I figured why bother,” Lance said, trying to smile.

“God, Lance,” JC mumbled, lightly shoving Lance to the bed. “You’re so fucking hot.”

“JC…” Lance sighed, fisting his hands in JC’s long hair as JC kissed up his thighs.

“I could put my mouth on you for HOURS,” JC whispered, licking at Lance’s cock.

“Josh…” Lance moaned without even realizing it. “Yes…”

“I want to be inside you, Lance,” JC murmured, climbing up Lance’s body but stroking Lance’s cock. “Do you want that?”

“I don’t know,” Lance said, momentarily frightened.

“It’ll be so good,” JC panted in Lance’s ear. He bit at Lance’s shoulder as he moved his body over Lance’s. They rubbed together, and Lance grabbed at JC’s backside to continue the friction. “Don’t you want to feel good?”

“I want to make YOU feel good,” Lance gasped, thrusting up. “Want it so bad…”

“Lance, you are like no one else ever…” JC moaned, burying his head in Lance’s neck. He sucked at the warm skin, then pulled away. He briefly rolled to the side of the bed, then came back with lubricant. “You need to relax for me, baby, okay?” JC said softly.

Lance nodded, fear in his green eyes. JC slid back down, positioning himself between Lance’s legs. A probing finger sought entrance as JC’s mouth moved over Lance’s cock. Lance groaned, moving his hips without even realizing it. The finger slid inside, and Lance froze. It wasn’t exactly uncomfortable, just odd. JC changed direction slightly, and suddenly Lance felt a spark of pleasure. “Oh, Josh…”

“Mmm…found it…” JC said, grinning a bit. He sucked at Lance’s head. “You’ve never done that to yourself?”

“N-no…want more…” Lance hissed.

JC slowly worked that finger before adding another one. “I want you ready, Lance,” JC whispered. “Not gonna rush this.”

“JC…” Lance begged, arching slightly. He hadn’t even noticed that JC had pulled away from his cock and was only working him with his fingers. “JC…”

“God…” JC groaned, unable to wait any longer. He moved away, grabbing blindly for the condoms on the nightstand. He pulled back and quickly sheathed himself, putting on a generous amount of lubricant. “This will hurt, baby,” JC whispered, kissing Lance’s mouth. “But then it will get better.”

“Okay,” Lance said, nodding.

JC didn’t move. He looked down into Lance’s eyes. “Remember when you said that you decided to be with me because you wanted your first time to be with someone you’d always remember, who wouldn’t hurt you?” Lance nodded. “I promise to do my best to be that person.”

Lance relaxed slightly, and JC took the opportunity to start to push inside of him. Lance winced and tried to remember to stay relaxed. The pain was like nothing he had ever felt, however, and he closed his eyes tight against the tears. He felt JC’s lips against his forehead, and suddenly he felt full. JC was completely inside of him.

“Is that…”

“I’ll wait,” JC said. “I won’t move until you’re ready, but fuck, you’re so damn tight…”

“Go ahead,” Lance said, and he felt JC slowly slide out. Lance clenched at the bedspread, but he made himself remain calm. He looked up at JC. JC’s eyes were closed, and he was biting at his bottom lip. “Are you…is it…”

“Oh, damn, Lance…you feel so good,” JC panted. “I’m trying not to hurry, but I just wanna push inside of you and then do it again and then do it again.”

“Oh,” Lance said, feeling a rush of something that wasn’t pain. JC opened his eyes and looked down at him. “It almost, it felt…”

“This?” JC slowly pushed in again.

“Yes, that…” Lance said, and JC took that as a sign that he could move a bit faster.

Lance soon relaxed enough to wrap his arms around JC’s slender waist, pulling him in closer with every thrust. The pain soon dulled to something that wasn’t QUITE pleasure, but it was bearable. The best part was looking up at JC’s beautiful face, seeing the ecstasy there and knowing he was causing it. JC finally leaned on one hand, using the other to stroke Lance. Lance felt the orgasm building, but he knew it was more from the idea of what was happening then the actual act. JC let out a cry and buried himself in Lance one last time, not even able to hold on for Lance. Lance didn’t mind, though. He closed his eyes, welcoming the feeling of JC’s body against him.

Chapter Text

DESERT ROSE
Twenty-Two

 

“You look…comfy,” Chris said when he saw Justin.

“I like to get my groove on, and I need clothes that breathe.” Justin smiled, recognizing flattery in Chris’ tone, words and gaze. “You like it?”

“I guess,” Chris replied, shrugging.

“Chris, you’re allowed to like me. It’s not a crime,” Justin said in a more serious tone. “Really. I’m not out to hurt you.”

“Whatever,” Chris said, but he looked a little less nervous.

 

Chris realized that Justin had NOT been exaggerating. He loved to dance. He ordered a beer, and drank it quickly, but he soon gravitated towards the dance floor. He kept coming back, ordering more drinks and trying to get Chris out on the floor with him, but Chris politely refused. He much preferred leaning against the bar, throwing back shots, and watching Justin. It was a straight bar, so Justin behaved himself, but even obviously straight men couldn’t keep their eyes off of him. The women wanted him, and the men wanted to BE him.

“You sure you don’t wanna come out there?” Justin panted as he came back for his fourth Jim Beam and Coke. “This music kicks ass.”

“I’m not much of an asskicker,” Chris said, trying to grin. The room was spinning slightly, and Justin was the only steady object.

“I think you are,” Justin said, leaning in. He put a hand on Chris’ shoulder. “This is so much fun, Chris. Thanks.”

“I didn’t want to do this,” Chris said suddenly, and Justin actually looked hurt. “Josh made me, so he could fuck his boy.”

“Lance wishes,” Justin mumbled, then looked as if he wished he hadn’t.

“What?”

“Lance wishes he was JC’s boy,” Justin said. Chris looked at him.

“JC wants him that way, too.”

Justin sighed sadly. “But it will never happen.”

“No.” Chris shook his head.

“See? That’s why you gotta be like ME. Ya don’t care who ya fuck or whatever,” Justin said, leaning on Chris. “Not that I don’t CARE. I mean, I like you a lot, and I’d love to fuck you, but I can’t get involved.”

“Exactly. That’s why I don’t have anyone. I don’t have the time or anything for it,” Chris said.

“You understand!” Justin beamed with inebriated brotherhood. “I knew you would.”

“You wanna fuck me?” Chris asked. Justin nodded.

“Sure. Why wouldn’t I?”

Chris took a long look at Justin, finally giving in to all the feelings and desires that had been hounding him. “How much?” He asked quietly, below the pounding of the music. Justin stared.

“I think we should leave,” he said finally. Chris nodded and threw down a wad of money for their tab. They went outside and flagged a taxi. Chris gave the name of the hotel. Justin looked at him. “Did you ask me how much?”

“Yes.” Chris looked at the driver. “This isn’t one of those Taxicab Confession cars, is it?”

“No,” the driver laughed. “Everyone asks that. I promise it’s not.”

“How much?” Chris repeated to Justin. Justin slid across the seat, his hand warm against the base of Chris’ neck.

“You don’t have to pay me, Chris.” Justin’s tongue slipped into Chris’ mouth, then quickly pulled out. “I’m yours for free.”

 

Chris controlled himself in the taxi. He controlled himself in the elevator. He controlled himself getting through the door of the suite, for two reasons. Number one, he could barely get the keycard into the slot without concentrating, and number two, because he didn’t want to disturb JC and Lance. Justin silently followed Chris into his bedroom. Chris shut the door.

“What do you want?” Justin asked softly, pulling off the wisp of a shirt he wore.

“I don’t know,” Chris admitted. “I really haven’t ever…I mean, with a guy…”

“Chris, you’re sure about this?” Justin asked. “I want you and all, but I’m not all about taking advantage of someone who’s drunk.”

“I’m not that drunk.” Chris ran a hand up Justin’s chest, which was still damp with sweat. “You’re gorgeous.”

“How about a shower?” Justin suggested. He began to unbutton Chris’ shirt. “We can just relax and clean up, and then see what happens.”

“Okay,” Chris said obediently. He went into the large bathroom and turned on the water. When he turned back around, Justin was leaning against the closed door, wearing nothing but his beautiful smile. “Oh…”

“Relax,” Justin said. He came over and kissed Chris softly. Suddenly Chris had him pressed against the wall, his mouth searching Justin’s frantically. “Damn, Chris,” Justin joked, but his hardness was pressing against Chris’ jeans.

“I can’t…I want…” Chris couldn’t put it into words, but suddenly Justin was too hot, the room was too hot, he was too hot. He yanked at his belt and shoved at his jeans.

“Nice,” Justin said approvingly, running his hand down across Chris’ stomach. “The shower. C’mon.”

Justin led Chris into the shower, stepping under the hot water briefly before moving to allow Chris to get wet. Chris pulled Justin into his arms, kissing him again and again as he ran his hands over Justin’s back and ass. “I don’t know what I want. I want you.”

“You have me,” Justin reminded him. “All yours.”

Chris allowed Justin to wash him quickly, but he took his time running his hands over Justin’s body. He wanted to feel every muscle, every inch of skin. He took pleasure in the fact that he had Justin moaning under his touch. “Are we clean now?” Chris whined, and Justin laughed.

“You’re a baby.”

“Fuck you.”

Justin raised an eyebrow. “If that’s what you want.”

“Shower’s over,” Chris said, turning off the water. He climbed out, threw a towel at Justin, then quickly toweled himself off. He was laying on the bed before Justin was out of the bathroom.

“Eager much?” Justin asked, though he himself was more than ready. He hadn’t felt this way about sex with a man for a long time.

“I don’t have…well…whatever we need. I mean, I have condoms…” Chris said.

“Always prepared. Justin Boy Scout, here,” Justin said, digging for his jeans on the floor. He pulled out a tiny tube of lubricant and smiled. He bent down and began to lick at Chris’ cock.

“Yes.” Chris fisted his hands in Justin’s curls. Justin’s tongue and mouth were magic, and Chris finally had to push him away. “Can’t…wait…”

“Good. Me either.” Justin pushed back a bit and smiled, unrolling the condom onto Chris.

 

Chris woke up an hour later, feeling as if a train had hit him. He rolled over and looked at the man sleeping next to him. Not really a man…more like a person stuck between adult and child. Justin was beautiful in his sleep, and Chris ran a finger down Justin’s cheek. Justin had the face of an angel…an angel who had just thrown Chris’ whole world for a loop.

Chapter Text

DESERT ROSE
Twenty-Three

 

When Lance opened his eyes, he saw that JC was watching him. “What?” Lance asked, embarrassed. “Am I drooling on my pillow or something?”

“No,” JC said with a smile. “I was just wondering about you…where you came from, what you want.”

“I thought you weren’t supposed to ask a…um…someone that, in our circumstances,” Lance said. JC shrugged.

“I think our circumstance is a BIT different than what usually goes on,” JC said.

“I’m from Mississippi.” Lance rolled onto his back. JC leaned up on one elbow and trailed a finger up and down Lance’s chest and stomach. “I left home when I was twenty, because I just couldn’t take it anymore. I was afraid to be who I really was, and no one wanted to know that person, anyway.”

“You don’t talk to your family at all?” JC asked.

“My sister. She’s great, and I try to always let her know where she can find me. That’s why I was so freaked that day you called. I thought it was her, that something had happened.” Lance reached up and fiddled with JC’s pendant. “Even though I don’t talk to them, and they don’t accept me, I still love my parents.”

“How’d you end up out here?” JC said, trying to change the subject and get the sadness out of Lance’s green eyes.

“Just worked my way across the country, I guess. You always heard how back in the thirties and forties, men worked their way around to get enough to eat…that still happens. If you go out into the country enough, someone always needs a handyman.”

“And you make it a point to find the gay whorehouses?” JC asked, and smiled to show he was teasing.

“No, this was a first,” Lance said, laughing a bit. “Definitely a new experience. But it’s one of the nicest places I’ve ever been. Everyone’s kind and accepting, and they have no problem leaving me alone.”

“ALMOST everyone,” JC said, thinking of Alex.

“Yeah, almost,” Lance agreed. “Maybe he’ll be gone when we go back.”

“What are you gonna do with all your money?” JC said, and Lance stared at him blankly. “Joey IS giving you your share, right?”

“Oh, yeah, sorry. I kinda forgot about that,” Lance said, looking away. He hated thinking about the fact that it was money that bound he and JC together. “I’ve always wanted a ranch.”

“A ranch?” JC sounded surprised.

“Yeah. I love the outdoors. I love horses and animals and just being out there.” Lance looked up at JC and blushed a little.

“So you ride?” JC asked, meaning the question to be innocent.

Lance looked at him for a moment. He had tried to ignore the way his body had been shivering under JC’s gentle touch on his chest, but he couldn’t hide it any longer. He rolled over so that JC was flat on his back, and he was pressed over him. “Yeah, I ride,” Lance said in a voice that sent chills down JC’s spine. “Wanna see?”

“Holy hell,” JC gasped as Lance squirmed against him. Lance was hard, and it didn’t take JC long to become the same way. “Are you sure you don’t hurt or…”

“I don’t care,” Lance said, and he didn’t. He knew things were going to change as soon as he was out of Vegas and back at the house. JC couldn’t be on vacation forever. He slid down and took JC into his mouth, carefully sucking until JC moaned and writhed.

“Lance…” JC begged. Lance sat up and grabbed for the lubricant, surprised at how easy it was to sit in front of JC and have him watch as he prepared himself. “Oh, God…” JC said in a strangled tone.

Lance put the condom on JC, then added lubricant. He straddled JC’s waist, his strong legs kneeling on either side of JC as he slid down. He made a face; he was still a bit sore, but JC easily slid inside. “Fuck,” Lance breathed.

“Exactly,” JC said, letting his eyes flutter closed as Lance began to move.

 

Lance almost tripped over his own feet when he left the bedroom at ten in the morning. Justin was in the kitchen, making a pot of coffee. “I AM in JC’s suite, right? I didn’t sleepwalk?” Lance asked.

“Morning,” Justin said softly. “Nah, you’re in the right place.” Justin gave a meaningful look in the direction of Chris’ bedroom.

“Hell,” Lance whispered. “He’s, uh, sleeping?”

“Yeah,” Justin said, pouring a cup of coffee for Lance. He got one for himself, then grabbed the newspaper. “Let’s go out on the balcony.”

They slid the door closed behind them, and sat on the loveseat. It was a warm morning, and they had a gorgeous view of the city below and the mountains on the horizon. “Gorgeous,” Lance sighed, sipping at his coffee.

Justin took the sports section and offered Lance the paper. Lance shook his head. “What’s going on?” Justin asked casually.

“Well, obviously, JC and I had sex last night. I mean, I let him, you know.” Lance waved a hand in the air.

“And?”

“It was scary and hurt a bit the first time, but then we did it again and it was incredible.” Lance’s voice faltered on the last word and Justin set down his mug.

“What happened?” Justin asked. He took Lance’s mug and set it down on the floor. “What did he do to you?”

“He didn’t do anything, Justin, I swear. Not on purpose.” Lance angrily wiped at his eyes. “God, am I a girl or what?”

“You love him,” Justin realized. He smiled sadly. “You’re in love with JC.”

“No!” Lance almost shouted. He closed his eyes, remembering the way JC had smiled at him the first time before entering him. “Yes,” Lance said sadly.

“C’mere.” Justin put an arm around Lance and pulled him close. Lance let himself lean on Justin, saying nothing.

Chapter Text

DESERT ROSE
Twenty-Four

 

“I cannot believe we’re doing this,” Chris grumbled as they waited in the lobby. JC pulled down his baseball cap and poked Chris in the bicep.

“Lighten up, Chris. Like we ever take the time to go sightseeing.”

“We’re in Vegas. You don’t leave Vegas to go sightseeing. You sightsee IN Vegas,” Chris snapped.

“For someone who got hella good sex last night, you’re awful grumpy,” JC observed. He kept one eye on Justin and Lance, who were quietly talking a few feet away.

“I’m not talking about that,” Chris said. JC’s mouth fell open.

“Damn, Chrissy…I was just kidding.” JC looked at him. “You and Justin really…”

“Yeah, we did,” Chris replied, and JC took a good look in his eyes.

“You look scared to death.”

“I am. What does this mean?”

“It means that you’ve come to the Pink Side,” JC said lightly, then threw an arm around Chris’ shoulders. “I know it’s hard, Chris. And I’m being totally serious when I say that if you want to talk about it, about ANYTHING, please come to me. I know what it’s like, finding out new things about yourself that you never dreamed possible.”

“Thank you,” Chris said. He looked at Justin and sighed. “So, uh, did you two have a good time last night?”

“Yes,” JC said, trying not to stare at Lance, but he couldn’t help it. Lance only wore a simple pair of cargo shorts and tshirt, but he was so attractive.

“Ya know, someday we’ll have to go back to work, right?” Chris said carefully.

“Of course. It won’t be a big deal,” JC said. He saw the rental car pull up in front of the hotel and started out the door.

“SURE it won’t,” Chris said to himself.

 

“I really appreciate this, JC,” Lance said, taking his eyes off the road for a moment to smile at JC. “I mean it.”

“I’m glad,” JC said, smiling back. “We wouldn’t want this weekend to be ALL work for you, now would we?”

Lance blushed slightly but smiled back. “And I’m glad you could come, Chris,” he said in the direction of the backseat.

“Sure,” Chris said faintly. Justin was leaning against him, having pulled one of Chris’ arms out to drape around him. He wasn’t sure if he was comfortable with it, but he DID like the feeling of Justin’s body sitting casually against his.

“I mean, Hoover Dam…it’s amazing what they did for the time period they were in. Did you know that they all but invented the hard hat while building this thing? I can’t IMAGINE how it was, trying to stay safe without safety restrictions.”

“Didn’t someone like fall into the concrete and die or something?” Justin asked.

Lance rolled his eyes. “Urban legend, Justin. It never would have settled if a body was in it.”

They arrived at Hoover Dam in about forty minutes. JC had gotten direction from the front desk, and Lance had offered to drive, as long as JC would navigate. JC didn’t mind. It gave him an excuse to watch Lance. They got out of the car and stretched their legs. “Man, I’m gonna hate going back on tour again,” JC groaned, yawning and stretching tall.

Lance absentmindedly watched a patch of JC’s stomach as his tshirt stretched up. “Uh, when do you go?”

“They’re talking about next month, but God only knows,” JC griped. “I MUCH prefer playing in one place for a while…I don’t really like touring.”

“All the more reason to do the Broadway thing,” Chris sing-songed as he and Justin walked towards the ticket office.

“Shut up,” JC snapped. He turned to Lance. “Let’s go.”

They joined a tour group, JC keeping his hat pulled down low. Lance kept lingering behind, rereading every exhibit’s description. “Sorry,” he said after the third time that someone had to come back to get him. “It’s just so interesting.”

“You should have been an engineer,” Justin teased him. It was his turn to bring Lance up to speed.

“Nah…I like math, but not enough to work with it every day. I prefer to be outside,” Lance said.

“Have you said anything to JC about your feelings?” Justin asked, and Lance stopped walking.

“No, Justin, and I don’t plan on it. It’s not like that. I’m stupid for even feeling like this. It can never work.”

“I’ve watched him watching you, Lance, and even Chris said that JC likes you.”

“JC likes YOU, too, Justin, and all you guys were was employer and employee,” Lance said, trying to be polite.

“It’s not like that with you, Lance!” Justin said. “God, why won’t you try to be happy?”

“Because it will only hurt to get rejected, Justin,” Lance snapped. “Let it drop.”

 

“So, what do you and your little Georgia Peach have planned for tonight?” Chris asked as they waited for Justin and Lance.

“He’s not from Georgia. He’s from MISSISSIPPI, bonehead,” JC said. “And I don’t know. Whatever Lance wants.”

“As long as there’s sex at the end, right?” Chris asked.

“YOU have sex on the brain,” JC pointed out. “I don’t know, but that would definitely be nice, yes.”

“I thought that’s why you brought him down here,” Chris said.

“It is.” JC turned on his heel and walked away before Chris could say anything else.

Chapter Text

DESERT ROSE
Twenty-Five

 

“I thought you had to show me something,” Chris said to Justin. Justin smiled and shut the door behind them.

“I did. This is our suite. Isn’t it nice?” Justin asked as he dragged Chris to the bedroom.

“Justin, what the hell?” Chris asked, though his dick seemed to know EXACTLY what Justin wanted.

“Whatever the hell you want,” Justin murmured. He fell to his knees in front of Chris, unbuckling Chris’ belt.

“We’re supposed to meet JC and…oh God…Lance…” Chris panted. “For dinner.”

“You’ll be on time, don’t you worry,” Justin said, smiling up at him devilishly.

 

Chris regained his brain about an hour later. The blowjob had been incredible, and he hadn’t missed the fact that Justin had positioned them right in front of the mirror. Chris could watch Justin work him, and he could also watch as Justin used his hand to work himself.

“You might NOT be on time if you don’t get moving and get cleaned up,” Justin pointed out to Chris. Justin lay naked on the bed, while Chris still had his shirt on, and his jeans around his ankles. “JC seems very punctual.”

“Josh likes things his way, true,” Chris agreed. “But he’s earned that right. He’s worked damn hard.”

“And he doesn’t have someone?” Justin leaned over and ran a finger up and down Chris’ thigh.

“No. I wish he did, but in our lifestyle, it’s rough,” Chris said. “He doesn’t know who to trust.”

“He can trust Lance,” Justin said carefully. Chris looked at him, and understood.

“And Lance can trust him,” Chris replied. Justin sighed sadly and fell back onto the bed. “And what about you? You don’t have someone?”

Justin chuckled. “Would I be doing what I’m doing if I did? If I had someone permanent, I’d be hanging around the house all day, playing Playstation and basketball.”

“Sounds like a dream come true to me,” Chris said, and Justin laughed again.

“Well then, it’s good you and I aren’t hooking up, or we’d waste all our money doing nothing.” Justin smiled at him. “You should find someone, Chris.”

“I…I…”

“I’m not saying a man…maybe a nice girl. You’re a great guy, Chris, and you deserve someone that wants to be everything to you.” Justin stood and began to dress.

 

Lance didn’t really remember tasting his dinner. He knew that Justin and Chris were flirting dreadfully, and he knew that JC was laughing at them. But it was all he remembered. JC offered to take him to a show, and he remembered declining. He remembered the way JC’s eyes seemed to light up at the thought of just being alone with Lance, and that was fine with him.

The sex was intense, with no words spoken. JC clasped Lance’s hands over his head as he entered him, and his blue eyes never left Lance’s face throughout the entire act. When everything was said and done, and JC was sleeping next to him, Lance allowed himself to drink in every inch of the beautiful, talented body. Heaven only knew when he’d get the chance again.

 

“You don’t have to drive us back,” Lance said at breakfast the next morning. JC froze in midbite of his bagel.

“Why?”

“It’s insane. Why waste the time driving all the way out there and all the way back? We’ll be fine,” Lance said, smiling. “Besides, I don’t want you kicking Alex McLean’s ass again.”

“You’re so tough, Joshy,” Chris said, and JC poked him with his fork.

“He’s right,” Justin said quickly. “I’m sure you guys gotta get outta here soon. Didn’t you mention something about important work that needs done back in Florida?” He asked Chris.

“Don’t remind me,” JC groaned. “I’m so used to time off I don’t think I CAN work.”

“You can and you will. You need to pay my salary,” Chris said.

“You could just work it off in trade,” Justin said innocently, and Lance spit his apple juice everywhere.

“Nice, Lance,” Chris said mildly, wiping off his shirt with his napkin.

“Sorry,” Lance muttered, blushing.

“Well, if you really don’t want us taking you back, I’ll call down for the car,” JC said. He almost looked disappointed.

“Thanks,” Lance said softly, toying with his bacon.

 

“So…thanks again for the weekend,” Justin said to Chris. “It was fun.”

“Yeah, fun,” Chris echoed softly. He kept one eye on Lance and JC, who were nervously fidgeting and not speaking. “You, uh, taught me a lot.”

“You’ll find that special someone,” Justin promised him. “You’re just a little more open-minded now.”

“I was open-minded before!” Chris retorted. “I just never thought I’d…”

“It’s okay.” Justin gave Chris a smacking kiss. “You can owe me one for enlightening you.”

“You think they’d ever hook up?” JC asked Lance, nodding in Chris and Justin’s direction.

“I don’t know. I thought Chris wasn’t bi or anything, but now…”

“I don’t know, either. And I don’t know if CHRIS even really knows,” JC said with a laugh.

“Thanks for a great weekend,” Lance said politely. “I had a wonderful time.”

“Me, too,” JC said. He put a hand on Lance’s face and pulled him for a kiss. “You are the best money I ever spent,” he said gently. Lance winced slightly but said nothing.

The phone rang and Justin answered it. “Car’s downstairs,” he said after hanging up.

“Well, see ya,” Chris said cheerfully.

“Right.” Justin smirked and winked at him. “Remember…open mind.”

“Shut up,” Chris snapped, and Justin laughed. Justin lightly tugged at Lance’s sleeve. “C’mon.”

“See you around,” Lance said briefly. Their luggage was already in the lobby, so all he could do was give JC one last look and follow Justin out of the suite.

As soon as the door closed, Chris turned on JC. “Why the HELL did you let him walk out of here?”

“Because it was time for him to go?” JC asked, confused.

“You SO want him. He wants you.”

“Don’t ever say that to me again!” JC snapped, shocking Chris. “It’s over. It was nice, and now it’s done. We’re back to work, and that’s the end. Got it?”

“Yeah, sure,” Chris said quietly.

 

Lance held on until they hit the backseat of the limo. Justin looked at him. “Let it out,” he said softly.

“Dammit,” was all Lance said. He clenched his hands into fists and stared out the window.

Chapter Text

DESERT ROSE
Twenty-Six

 

“Did you guys have a good time?” Joey asked as Justin and Lance climbed the front steps of the house.

“Yeah, Joe, we did. Thanks for letting me go, man,” Justin said, giving Joey’s shoulder a light punch.

“Just as long as you’re ready to get back to work,” Joey said, but he punctuated his sentence with a wink.

“Of course,” Justin said cheerfully. He picked up Lance’s bags as well as his own and struggled into the house.

“I didn’t expect to see you back so soon,” Joey said to Lance. “Was it that bad?”

“No, it was, uh, great,” Lance said softly. He looked at Joey, then looked away.

“Did he hurt you?” Joey said, taking a step towards him.

“No! I swear. JC Chasez was nothing but a gentleman the entire time,” Lance promised.

“The prodigal sons return,” a voice said from the doorway. Lance looked over Joey’s shoulder to see Alex in the doorway.

“I thought you would have left by now,” Lance said lightly.

“Tomorrow. You were just lucky enough to get here before I left,” Alex said.

“I’m gonna go take a shower and rest. It was a wild weekend,” Lance said to Joey. “I’ll get back to work tomorrow.”

“You don’t think he’ll be back?” Joey asked. Lance shook his head.

“He has business back in Florida. It’s probably the last we’ll see of JC Chasez around here for a while,” Lance said. He smiled at Joey and went into the house. Alex followed him up the stairs.

“Did you have a good time?”

“We had a fabulous time…we hit a few casinos, had some great dinners…went out to Hoover Dam…”

“Sleep with him?”

Lance stopped walking and turned around. “I don’t think what I do in my private time has anything to do with you, Alex. Get it through your thick skull that I am NOT interested in you, okay? I have SOME pride.”

“Not enough to keep you from sleeping with any famous person that asks, apparently,” Alex snapped.

Lance reached out, but caught himself just in time. Shoving Alex down a flight of stairs would not make him feel any better “I guess I have taste, too,” Lance said simply. He continued up to his room, locking the door behind him.

 

Lance was up early the next morning, wandering around the grounds, inspecting his past work and studying what needed to be done. “You could have slept in,” Joey said, striding across the back yard.

“I know…I wanted to get back to my real job,” Lance said. He squinted up at the house. “I probably could do some work on the windows…definitely the front porch.”

“Won’t it be too much for you?”

“Not that…the roof and siding is something you should look into, though,” Lance said. He looked Joey in the eye. “How exactly do you have my money from JC?”

Joey looked startled, then cleared his throat. “Well, he paid me with checks…and I cashed them. I put my cut into my account, and I have a box at the bank with your part in it. It’s in cash…I figured when you wanted it we could put it however you wanted…traveler’s checks or whatever.”

“After I do the porch and whatever else you want, I’ll need my money,” Lance said. Joey stared at him. “I think it’s time for me to move on.”

“You know you’re welcome here as long as you want, Lance.”

“I do. You’ve been so nice to me, Joey, and I appreciate it. But I…I need to get moving,” Lance said.

“Okay, if you want.” Joey put a hand on Lance’s shoulder.

 

“Thank God we’re home and I don’t have to deal with you anymore,” Chris grumbled as they left the plane. “You’ve been nothing but a flaming bitch since we left Vegas. No, I correct that. Since LANCE left Vegas.”

“When I want your opinion of my personality, I’ll ask for it,” JC said.

“Whoa.” Chris put a hand on JC’s chest. “You can treat anyone else that way, but you don’t treat ME that way. I knew you way before you were the Diva Extraordinaire. Don’t give me that crap.”

“Sorry,” JC said, but he didn’t sound at all repentant. “When do we need to be at the offices?”

“Day after tomorrow.”

“See you then,” JC said, and headed for the limo that was waiting for him.

“Dammit,” Chris muttered, staring at JC’s back. He wondered what it would take to get Lance to come to Florida…and if JC would even admit his true feelings if he DID come.

Chapter Text

DESERT ROSE
Twenty-Seven

 

“Do you really have to go?” Justin said unhappily. He sat on the ground, hands behind him, propping himself up.

“I’m going to drip paint on you,” Lance warned. He was working on the front porch.

“You’d LOVE to put paint on me,” Justin flirted, and Lance rolled his eyes.

“And yes, I really have to go. I’ve been stretching this job out longer than I should, anyway,” Lance said, his eyes unconsciously wandering towards the road. He often found himself watching for a car that never came. It had been two weeks since his weekend with JC Chasez, and he had never seen him again.

“You could just stay here, Lancey…work here. With me. Ooh, yeah!” Justin sat up. “We could be like a team…like they could only hire us together. Wouldn’t that be hot?”

“NO,” Lance said, blushing slightly.

“You don’t think sex with me would be hot?” Justin said, insulted.

“Yes, I do. I mean, no, I mean, you’re a jerk,” Lance snapped, and Justin laughed. “Besides, I can’t DO what you do.”

“You have already,” Justin said lightly.

“That was different,” Lance mumbled.

“You could call him. I bet Joey has some sort of contact number for him.”

“I don’t WANT to call him, Justin. Whatever JC Chasez and I had is over. I’m ready to move on.” Lance stopped painting and looked at Justin. “You could come with me. I’m looking to settle down somewhere. We could be roommates, you could go back to school…”

“And do what?”

“I don’t know. Learn music production or something. I hate to think of you doing this forever.”

“I won’t do it forever, Lancey. I’ll get old, and no one will want me anymore.”

“Someone will ALWAYS want you, Justin,” Lance said, and he was sincere.

Justin got up and hugged Lance tight, surprising him. “I will really really miss you, Lancey. You’re like the best friend I’ve ever had.” Justin laid his head on Lance’s shoulder. “And you’d better keep in touch…who knows, one day I may get sick of this, and I’ll come looking to take you up on your offer.”

“And my offer will always stand,” Lance said, kissing Justin’s cheek.

 

“So, will you have the songs ready or what?” The record exec snapped. JC glared at him, but the glare was wasted behind his sunglasses.

“I told you I would. You gave me a deadline of six months…which doesn’t end for another two weeks.”

“Normally you have something to show,” Chris said gently.

“I HAVE something to show,” JC said evenly. “I just didn’t feel like showing it. You will have more than enough in two weeks.” JC stood. “If you’ll excuse me, I have a party to get ready for.” JC left the conference room with Chris on his heels.

“You’ve been acting like a real ass lately, you know?”

“They rub me the wrong way, Chris. They always want more than they originally agreed on.”

“I almost think you need another vacation!” Chris said. “You’ve been so miserable…”

“I am NOT miserable. I am back in my hometown, and I have been out almost every night. I’m writing well, and I never sleep alone.”

“Too much information,” Chris said, shaking his head.

“I’m sorry if I take shit out on you, Chris. I don’t mean to,” JC said softly. “You’re really my best friend.”

“And don’t you forget it,” Chris muttered. “Have fun not sleeping alone tonight. Call me tomorrow, okay?”

“I will.” They separated at the door of the office building. As JC slipped into the backseat of the limo, he heaved a sigh. He knew he was acting miserable, because he WAS miserable. The part about not sleeping alone wasn’t a lie; there was always someone beside him. What Chris didn’t need to know is that JC never touched that person more than a few caresses and kisses.

 

“I swear…I’ll just walk and take the bus,” Lance insisted.

“Lance, I’m driving you to the bus station and that’s final,” Joey snapped.

“Can I do it?” Justin popped his head into Joey’s office. “Can I drive him?”

“Uh, sure, Justin, thanks,” Joey said. “Close the door, please.”

Justin closed the door and Joey went into his safe. “I’m gonna miss him,” Lance said. “He’s a good guy.”

“They all are, really,” Joey said. Joey straightened up and handed Lance two large envelopes. “One of these is cash. One is traveler’s checks. You sure you don’t want me to keep some, send you it along the line?”

“No, I’ll be okay,” Lance promised. “I already have an idea of where I’m going, so I won’t be on the road for long. And it’s not that I don’t trust you…I just like the idea of having it.”

“It’s your money,” Joey said. He handed Lance the envelopes. “We’ll miss you. Keep in touch, okay?”

“I will,” Lance said, nodding. “I promise.”

 

Early the next morning, Justin sat in the front seat of Joey’s truck, waiting for Lance. He nervously tapped his fingers on the steering wheel. Lance soon came out, waving over his shoulder.

The ride to the bus station was brief, and they didn’t talk much. Justin helped Lance get his bags out of the vehicle, and waited with them as Lance bought his ticket. “The bus leaves in ten minutes…so you can go,” Lance said. “No need for you to wait.”

“Right.” Justin gave Lance a hug. “He really cares about you, Lance,” Justin said softly. “Chris told me. You could have a chance.”

Lance shook his head and smiled. “That was a dream life. This is reality. Once I’m settled, I’ll write you, okay?”

“Yeah,” Justin said faintly. “Take care, Lancey.” He gave Lance another hug, then hurried back to the truck.

Chapter Text

DESERT ROSE
Twenty-Eight
Two Months Later

 

“I really think we have something here,” Chris said, beaming at JC. “Man, this is the best stuff you’ve ever written!”

“You say that every time I prep for an album,” JC said, but he smiled back. He held his wine glass up and slightly shook it. The waiter came over immediately and removed the glass. He soon brought back a new, full glass of red wine.

“I mean it, Josh,” Chris said seriously. “It’s like a whole new side of you.”

“I was inspired,” JC said softly, and Chris didn’t pursue the matter.

“Okay.” Chris opened his planner. “Everyone’s happy with the songs…so we can get you out to California and start recording. We’ve booked…”

“We’ll have it laid down in two weeks,” JC interrupted. Chris stared at him.

“Two weeks?”

“I’m not getting holed up in that studio for any longer than two weeks. I need a vacation before this thing goes live…and I’m gonna start as soon as we’re done.”

“Josh…”

“I’ll go to L.A., I’ll do what I’m told, then I’m outta there.”

“Fine, fine, whatever,” Chris sighed, used to dealing with JC the Diva. “Am I allowed to know where you’re going on vacation?”

“Of course, because you need to come along and babysit me,” JC teased. Chris frowned. The record label had approached him the week before, asking him to “keep an eye” on his client. JC had gained quite the reputation for hitting the clubs and partying, and they were worried about what he might be doing to himself. Chris had immediately ranted and raved to JC about it, but JC had only been amused. If they only knew that it was all for show. “I promise to behave.”

“I’ve seen your idea of behaving and it isn’t pretty,” Chris mumbled. JC leaned over and patted him on the cheek.

 

“I don’t believe this,” Chris moaned as he looked at the plane ticket in his hand. “You have, what, two months of vacation or something, and you want to go HERE?” He stared at the ticket. “To most people, vacation equals someplace new and exciting…London, Bermuda, Australia, for God’s sake. But, no, you can’t BE like most people.”

“Shut up, Chris,” JC said, though he was grateful for Chris’ ranting. He was afraid his friend would bring up something else, and he didn’t know what he could say about it.

“Whatever,” Chris sighed. “The things I do for my friends. Las Vegas, here we come.”

JC felt even more grateful when they arrived in Las Vegas, and Chris came down with the flu. Not that he wasn’t sorry for his friend, because he hated to see Chris suffer in any way, but it kept Chris safe in his room. Even better than that, it kept Chris quiet.

“Are you sure you won’t need me?” JC asked. “I don’t have to go out tonight.”

“No, I’ll be fine.” Chris coughed pitifully. “I’ll just lay here and die.”

“Do you need anything?” JC asked sympathetically. “Chicken soup?”

“I just need to die,” Chris repeated, moaning. JC rolled his eyes, gave Chris a kiss on his feverish forehead, and left the suite.

 

“Well, you are the LAST person I expected to see here,” Joey said in shock. “Hello, Mr. Chasez.”

“Fatone,” JC said, shaking his hand. “How are you? The place looks great.”

“We’re all fine here,” Joey said.

“Is, uh, Lance still here?” JC asked, unable to keep the question from tumbling out.

“Um, no, Mr. Chasez, I’m sorry. He left a few months ago.”

“Oh, well, I just wanted to say hi,” JC said quickly. “For old times’ sake.”

“Of course.” Joey paused. “Shall I call Justin for you?”

“That would be great,” JC said.

“Wait here.” Joey trotted up the steps. A few minutes later, Justin came running down.

“Good Lord…I never thought I’d see YOU again,” Justin said, grinning.

“Hello to you, too,” JC said casually.

“C’mon upstairs.” Justin gave JC a sultry look, then began to go back up. JC followed him, with Joey giving him one last odd look. “In here.” Justin led the way to the very first room they had ever been together in.

“You look good,” JC observed.

“I look damn good,” Justin corrected. He slid his shirt off and smiled. “You look mighty tasty yourself.”

JC shrugged and allowed Justin to remove his shirt. He felt Justin’s light nibbles to his neck and sighed. Justin didn’t forget anything. “I want you,” JC murmured.

“I’m yours, baby,” Justin replied. He seemed to slither right out of his jeans, and suddenly he was beautifully naked before JC. And JC DID think Justin was beautiful…at least most of him did. To his shock, his dick remained absolutely limp. No need for Justin to see that quite yet, though.

JC pulled Justin to him, licking at his shoulders. Justin sighed, letting JC push him to the bed. “I’m gonna do you so damn good, you won’t remember anyone else,” JC mumbled, to Justin’s surprise. Justin said nothing, just let his hands run across JC’s back.

When Justin finally got around to stripping JC, he was shocked to see that JC had absolutely no erection. Of course, Justin did not bring attention to this, but instead used every trick he knew to remedy the situation. He was almost ashamed when, after about a half hour, nothing had worked. “JC…”

“Dammit.” JC shoved Justin aside and got up. “Do you know how many months it’s been since I had sex? Do I even need to tell you?”

“I can figure it out,” Justin said softly as JC began to dress. “I’m sorry.”

“It’s not YOUR fault I can’t get it up. You did EVERYTHING that should have worked.”

“C’mere.” Justin pulled JC down onto the bed. “How’s Chris?”

“He’s fine. A little insane with all the work we have, but then again, he’s insane without it,” JC said. “He’s not seeing anyone.”

“Oh?” Justin tried to sound casual.

“I think you broke something,” JC teased. “He keeps trying to date girls, but he never has any fun. And yet if he just starts talking to some guy, even if it’s just about sports, in a bar somewhere, he has a great time.”

“Ah,” Justin mused. “Ya know, you have perfect timing. This weekend’s my last here. I’m leaving…moving in with a friend.”

“Really?” JC gave him a genuine smile. “That’s great, Justin.”

“Yeah, I decided I’ve perfected this, so now it’s time to learn something new,” Justin said, and JC laughed. “Just sleep here with me tonight, okay, JC?” Justin put his head on JC’s shoulder. “And I don’t care if you pretend I’m someone else.”

 

“Are you feeling better?” JC said when he entered the suite at noon the next day. Chris was at least out of bed and at the table.

“I actually breathed normally for about five minutes earlier,” Chris said. “It’s a start.”

“Good.”

“Did you have a good time?” Chris asked.

“Yeah, I just went out, you know.” JC dug into his pocket for his wallet. Justin had refused to even charge him, glaring at JC when he had pulled out his wallet the night before. “I just…” A piece of paper caught his eye. It was sticking out of the billfold area of his wallet. “What the hell?” JC unfolded the paper. He paled slightly.

“Are YOU getting sick?” Chris asked hopefully.

“No.” JC silently read the note.

JC…you need this more than even you know. You BOTH do. He’s just as miserable without you. This is where I’m going. You should come, too. Justin.

At the end of the note was an address in Wyoming.

Chapter Text

DESERT ROSE
Twenty-Nine

 

“It’s not much, and I only have like three horses right now, but they’re so beautiful.” Lance led Justin into the farmhouse. “I can’t even use much of the house right now…too many repairs need done, but it keeps me under cover if it rains, you know? I’m getting a truck next week, so you’ll have a ride into the city when you start school.”

“How do you know I’m even starting school, Lance?” Justin asked, dropping his bags onto the floor.

“Oh, and yeah, I know there’s only a mattress there for right now…I can build you a bed frame over the weekend,” Lance said bashfully. “And don’t think I’m gonna let you just lounge around here. If you’re not working, you’re going to school. And since I really don’t see you working well around a ranch…”

“No working it off in trade?” Justin asked hopefully, and Lance slapped him on the side of the head.

“No. For lots of reasons.”

“Lance.” Justin put a hand on Lance’s shoulder. “Thank you…for wanting me here.”

“I hate being alone,” Lance confided. “I’ve been alone for too long…and I’ll enjoy having you here, though you may get bored.”

“It’s been a long time since I’ve been so close to nature,” Justin said, walking over to look out a window. “But it’s so beautiful. And you can afford it?”

“I think Joey padded my bankroll from…uh…you know,” Lance said, blushing. “I had enough to buy the land and the horses, and a few things. There’s a small town where we can get supplies, and from what I’ve seen, they’re REAL good about giving you credit.”

“I thought you didn’t like small towns,” Justin said gently, referring to Lance’s stories of how he had been treated at home.

“This one’s different. We’re out here fighting with the land, not each other,” Lance said with a happy sigh. “I’m gonna be happy here, Justin.”

“Happy out on a farm with horses? Yes. Happy with another man who’s just your friend? No…not for long,” Justin said.

Lance held up a hand. “Don’t start, Justin. That’s one condition about you staying here. Understand?”

“Yeah, sure,” Justin said, changing the subject quickly. “So…who gets to be the cook?”

 

Justin surprised even himself by quickly adapting to Lance’s little ranch in the middle of nowhere. He remembered a lot from his grandfather’s farm back home, and he could easily help Lance take care of the horses and do minor repairs. He had brought his own money along, and was able to sign up for two courses at the community college as well as give some money to help Lance out.

He had been at the ranch for three weeks when he noticed someone driving up the dirt road. Not many people traveled by the ranch, so he was both curious and suspicious. He got up from his seat on the front porch and walked to the road. Lance was in the barn with a new colt, and Justin saw no need to worry him.

Justin blinked against the dust, then blinked harder when he saw who got out of the SUV. “Well, fuck me,” he said quietly. His mouth actually dropped open.

“Wow,” JC said, looking at Justin. “Aren’t you looking tan and buff?”

“I’ve decided I want to be Lance when I grow up,” Justin said when he finally found his tongue. “Hi.”

“Hi.” JC poked Chris in the side. “Chris, this is Justin. I know you remember him, since you’ve been looking for him in every man you’ve met since the last time you saw him…say hello.”

“Hello,” Chris said, looking at his feet.

“Uh, Lance is in the barn,” Justin said, pointing to a large building. “We got a new colt, and he’s introducing him to his surroundings.”

“Thank you.” JC wiped his hands on his thighs and started to walk towards the barn.

 

“See? Everyone’s gonna be nice to you here,” Lance said gently, leading the horse by the halter. The horse gave a snort, but he continued to follow Lance around the large barn. “You’ll eat here, and you’ll sleep here. It’ll be great.”

The horse gave a start and Lance whirled around. Justin knew better than to sneak in on a newcomer. Lance was the one who gave the start, however, when he saw who was in the doorway. “He’s gorgeous.” JC slowly approached the horse, holding out his hand. The horse sniffed it, and gave an indifferent toss of his head. “What’s his name?”

“Mystic.” Lance continued to stare at JC.

“I like it. Heya, Mystic.” JC scratched the horse’s face and behind its ears. “You’re a handsome one, aren’t ya?”

“Uh, JC? What are you doing here? How did you even GET here?” Lance stammered.

“Me and Chris came in a car,” JC explained slowly, as if Lance weren’t quite right in the head. “And I realized I owed you an explanation.”

“Um, okay,” Lance said. He closed the barn door and let Mystic sniff around the barn.

“I never told you why I was so against the whole Broadway thing,” JC said, and Lance stared at him. “When I got my start way back when, with Tony, all I wanted was to write for Broadway. He wanted to write AND perform, and I only wanted to write. But he talked me into auditioning…and I wasn’t chosen. He was, and he moved on without me. I was pissed at him, basically because I was embarrassed.” Lance said nothing, just waited for JC to continue. “Plus, he broke up with me.” Lance’s eyes widened. “Yeah, we were a…well…a thing, I guess. He was the last boyfriend I had, and that was years ago. I felt like he was ditching me for his career…but I’m sure I woulda done the same thing. Now I’m famous, and I have awards, and I get all kinds of recognition…but all I want is to get a show on Broadway. That’s my dream come true.”

“You’re good enough,” Lance said softly. “You know that.”

“Not deep down inside,” JC said. He picked at a beam. “I’m afraid they’ll shoot me down again.”

“And if they do, so what? You’re JC Chasez…you can find something else.” Lance smiled at JC, then grew serious. “That can’t be the only reason you’re here.”

“No,” JC said. He sighed. “I, well, I missed you.”

“I’m not for sale anymore,” Lance said, looking away. He walked over to Mystic and stroked his face. “I never was. That was the biggest mistake I ever made.”

“Oh,” JC said, and Lance could hear the disappointment without even looking at him. “Because, you know, it WAS the best investment I ever made, but it would have been just as incredible if I had paid five times that much…or nothing at all.” JC was silent for a moment, then said, “I was someone with you that I haven’t been for a long time. I liked it. I like you, Lance. Hell, no I don’t,” JC said with a laugh. “I fell in love with you from the first time…the first time when I realized you weren’t lying, and that all the innocence and shyness and blushes were really you.”

Lance whirled around. “You could have anyone.”

“I could…but I only want one person,” JC said, shrugging. Lance was shocked to see tears in JC’s eyes. “I’ve tried…God knows…but I couldn’t. Hell, I tried to hook up with Justin and I couldn’t even get it up. With JUSTIN, of all people.”

“He never told me that,” Lance gasped.

“How do you think I got this address?” JC said. “He told me that you were as miserable without me as I was without you…was he telling the truth?”

Lance finally turned around. “Yes,” he admitted. “But this is me, JC. This ranch, these horses, the dirt under my nails…it’s me. I’m not someone who belongs in the spotlight.”

“And you won’t have to be,” JC promised. “Granted, there will be some publicity, but no one needs to know that this is where you are. I only ask that now and then you can fly to be with me at premieres and stuff…and if I’m gonna write this Broadway show you think I have in me, you’ll have to come to New York now and then.”

“So…you want…you…you love me?” Lance asked timidly. JC simply nodded, and Lance released a breath he had been holding for months. “I love you, too.”

 

“So…he finally gave in?” Justin asked Chris as they leaned against the car. Chris nodded.

“He has been impossible to deal with,” Chris said.

“Lance has too, but simply because he holds it all in and won’t admit it,” Justin said. “I’m glad you got him to come out here.”

“Me, too,” Chris said.

“So…you’re single?” Justin asked. Chris looked at him quickly. “Me, too,” Justin said. “I don’t like it, though. You know, I’ve never really even HAD a boyfriend.”

“Me either,” Chris said in a small voice. Justin turned to look at him.

“Would you like one?”

“You’re offering?”

“Yes. We can try and see.”

“You’re ten years younger than me!”

“And you ACT ten years younger than that!”

“I won’t be around much.”

“I’ll try not to miss you too much.”

“I’ll send you presents.”

“Send yourself and it’ll be worth it.” Chris was speechless for once, and Justin smiled. “Is that a yes?”

“Um, yes,” Chris said almost defiantly. Justin pressed himself against Chris and gave him a tender kiss.

“Good. About time you came around,” Justin mumbled against Chris’ lips.

THE END