The phone only rang a few times before it was answered. “It’s JC,” he wept. “I need to see you. Same place.”
George listened to the distressed man. “What happened?” he asked, his voice thick with sympathy.
“Please George, meet with me,” JC pleaded.
George sighed. “I’ll be right there.” The pregnant man hung up and took the battery and sim-card out of his phone. He turned and handed it to his boyfriend, grinning widely.
“Well?” his boyfriend asked.
Georgina laughed and tossed her hair. “We got him,” she boasted. “He believed the whole thing, even down to me being a man.”
“So he’ll pay for the surgery?”
“Well, I still have to convince him, but he will. Then Phillips will have his new guinea pig and we will have our thirty five grand. The con woman picked up her glass of wine, raising it up before her. “Cheers,” she said and rubbed her belly, now her baby would get well looked after.
The diner was busy when JC arrived but he managed to get a booth never the less, his waitress remembering the huge tip he left her the last time he had been in. Without asking she brought him a coffee and smiled at him showing her concern at his bloodshot, watery eyes. He jumped up seeing George arrive and beckoned him over.
The man hugged him, letting him cry against his chest. “What happened Josh?” he asked.
“Justin,” JC wept, “Justin knows about the surgery.”
“Well that’s good isn’t it?” he cooed reassuringly.
“He said I was an idiot for believing it. That it wasn’t possible. He was so angry with me.”
George pulled JC into his arms and rubbed his back, making all the right comforting noises until the slender singer began to calm down.
“Its okay honey, you cry, just get it out. George is here now to look after you.” He sat JC back down. “Take a deep breath and tell me all about it.”
JC gulped down his coffee, not really knowing where to start. “He read the pamphlets while I was asleep. He said I was an idiot. I got mad and broke up with him, what am I going to do? I lost him.” He started to cry again.
“You haven’t lost him. He’ll be back as soon as he’s calmed down.” George lifted JC’s chin and dabbed a tissue under his eyes, drying his tears. “What you have to decide is what you want him to come back to.”
JC hiccupped, “What do you mean?”
George sipped at his cup of coffee before he spoke again. “Do you want to go through with the procedure? You don’t have to, but when you and Justin get back together just think, he’s going to be eating his words.”
“I don’t know if I want to. I can’t think.”
“Why don’t I take you home?”
JC shook his head. “NO …I don’t want to, Justin might be there.”
“Well then,” George said. ”You had better come home with me.”
JC sniffed, “won’t your boyfriend mind?”
“No sweetie he won’t. Simon will be really stoked to meet you. He’s a huge fan, and we got plenty of room. You can stay for a few days if you like.” George hissed and rubbed his belly.
“Are you okay?” JC asked as the pregnant man leaned forward, rocking slightly.
George nodded. “Little tyke keeps kicking me in the ribs, but it’s worth it. I’ve never regretted going through with the surgery.” He took JC’s hand and pressed it against his belly, letting JC feel the baby kicking. JC’s eyes betrayed him more and more with each sharp kick. He closed his eyes as a tear leaked from the corners once more.
“I want this, I want a baby,” he whispered.
“Why don’t you sleep on it Josh, it’s a big decision and if you still feel the same way in the morning we can make the arrangements. There is one thing, will you be able to get the money on short notice, they won’t consider doing it unless the funds are in their hands, they got burned a couple of times so they changed their policy.”
JC chewed on his nails. “I can get it, its no problem,” he said. “Can we go now please?”
George smiled kindly and hugged JC around his shoulders. “Of course honey. Lets get you home.”
George’s home was on the edge of the city, a beautiful house built on two floors, set in a small but perfectly kept garden. George unlocked the door and ushered JC inside.
“Sy I’m home and I brought a guest.”
A short blond man came out of the kitchen, his hands encased in soapy rubber gloves. “Wow, you’re him aren’t you? Oh wow! And in my house too. Gerogie you could have called, I’m a mess. It’s really a big, big pleasure to meet you,” George’s boyfriend gushed. “Would you like a drink? Oh my manners, come in, come in.” Simon ripped off his gloves and guided JC into his living room. “Sit, sit. I’ll get you a drink. Oh you probably like a beer?”
JC blushed at the attention. “Juice would be very nice.”
Simon clapped his hands with glee. “I’ll get you some pineapple, excuse me. George would you give me a hand?”
The two men left JC alone and went into the kitchen closing the door behind them. Simon turned around and pushed his lover against the door. “What’s he doing here?” he hissed angrily.
Georgina wriggles her hips against her husband. “Patience lover, Joshy is on the verge of handing over $50.000. I’ll have him signing the consent forms by the morning.”
“And what if he discovers that you’re not the man you’re claiming to be?
“He won’t so long as you don’t get all panicky on me. Now sweetness get Josh a drink and get him comfortable. I’ll go and phone Phillips and let him know that we have a new volunteer for him. “
“That man is unethical. You know his last patient died and he’s no closer to succeeding,” Simon said as he walked over to the fridge.
“Keep your voice down,” Georgina snapped. “He’ll hear you. Anyway what the hell do we care. No one can link us to him and if JC Chasez is stupid enough to believe in male pregnancy then its his fault. All we are doing is introducing him to a surgeon and collecting a finders fee.”
“Phillips isn’t a surgeon, he’s a butcher,” Simon replied.
“He has qualifications. It’s not our fault he’s a little eccentric.” Georgina gave her husband a kiss. Keep JC occupied, I’ll go upstairs and make the call.” Simon sighed, hesitating, “Now what?” Georgina hissed in a low voice.
“JC is a nice guy, everyone says so. I been reading about him since you told me about him. Can’t we just let him go? Someone else will come along they always do.”
“No we can’t. JC is perfect, he’s insecure, just broke up with his boyfriend and he’s not going to want people knowing he is an idiot. I’m making the call.” Georgina slipped back into her George persona and went back to where JC was waiting patiently. “I’m just going to call the clinic, I mean there’s no use getting worked up if they can’t fit you in until next year is there?”
“okay. I don’t know how to thank you.”
George smiled sweetly. “Seeing you happy is thanks enough.”
Justin barged into JC’s house. “JC,” he screamed at the top of his lungs as he charged from room to room. He took the stairs two at a time and burst into the bedroom that he and JC had shared on so many occasion. Lance and Chris followed him, hanging back slightly in case there was an emotional make up scene. “He’s not here.” Justin sat down on the unmade bed, sheets still stained from the night before.
“Maybe he just went out to get some air.” Chris said helpfully. “You know Jace, he gets lost in his thoughts. He’s probably sitting in a coffee house somewhere, sulking because you fell out.”
Justin looked up at Chris. “You really think so?”
Chris looked at Lance who bent down to pick something up, then back to the youngest member of their group after seeing what it was Lance had found. “No. I think we need to be worried,” he replied.
Lance put the small black phone he had just picked up off the floor onto the bed next to Justin. “JC knows better than to go anywhere alone without that,” Lance said worriedly. “Did JC mention anyone that he’d spoken to, someone connected to the group?”
Justin shook his head then looked up. “Yes! He said he had met a man that had the surgery, at least I think that’s what he said.”
“Do you have a name, number?” Chris asked.
Justin shook his head dejectedly. “we were fighting at the time. Oh shit, why the hell didn’t I just listen to him?”
Lance sat down next to him and squirmed as he noticed a big white patch on the black sheets. He moved to Justin’s other side and put his arm around him. “Don’t beat yourself up J. Jace is a big boy. I’m sure he’s fine. There was a number written on the file you gave me,” Lance said, suddenly remembering the line of digits scribbled across the information packet. “Justin check his phone, try redial. Chris you try redial on the house phone I’ll try the number on the file.”
“Mine says cell phone is cancelled,” Chris said hanging up.
Justin held JC’s phone to his ear, his eyes wide with anticipation. He closed his eyes crestfallen. “cancelled,” he said sadly. He looked at Lance who dialled the number on the file. He listened for a while then hung up. He shook his head.
Justin hid his face in his hands. “What if he does it, what if he really does it?” The singer started to cry, his band mates watching on helplessly.