He turned over in his sleep onto his belly, the quilt slipping down to his lower back revealing the slow curve of a smooth buttock. His face pressed heavily on a plump pillow as he flung his left arm up over his head, his mouth slightly open as he breathed softly, evenly, in and out. His right arm tucked behind him resting on his lower back, his fingers twitching as if he was picking out a melody on a piano in his dreams.
With the lifestyle he had lead for the past six years he had learned to sleep regardless of comfort, regardless of noise and disturbances, that fact alone had cost him. Too many times had he fallen victim to his four bandmates practical jokes. Joey had even taken the time to film him sleeping, letting all his fans know how easy it was to have a laugh at his expense. Sure watching Lance scare the life out of him was funny to watch, but at the time he thought he was having a heart attack.
His bedroom door opened noiselessly, there was a muffled sound of thick cloth brushing against the chest of drawers, muted whispers as three men surrounded his bed. Dressed completely in black their features concealed by ski masks they crept silently, not wanting to disturb the sleeping man, not till they were ready. Each man held a different object, one had steel handcuffs, another thick black duck tape and the third a thick woollen blanket. The man holding the blanket lifted his finger to his lips cautioning his associates to be silent. He nodded to the man with the tape and pointed at JC. Then he repeated his action with the handcuff man. He lifted three fingers indicating the count.
One, Two, Three. He bent each finger in turn. The man with the tape fell upon the still sleeping JC pinning him down, pressing his knee savagely into his back. The blanket man grabbed a hand full of hair yanking the brunettes head up and backwards as tape was wound round his eyes and mouth. The cold metal cuffs snapped shut on his slender wrists, and he was dragged from the bed and thrown on the floor. The blanket man then pulled a length of rope from his pocket and bound JCís ankles together. They stood round the naked figure bound , blindfolded and gagged as he squirmed and fought against his restraints. The leader picked up the thick blanket from where he had dropped it and wrapped it over JCís head using the belt from his victims discarded jeans to fasten it tightly round his waist. The tape man hauled the struggling man to his feet and threw him casually over his shoulder in a firemanís lift. Calmly the three men walked out of JC Chasezís home taking their kidnap victim with them.
* * *
Justin paced back and forth inside the lobby of Jive records and checked his watch for the fifth time in as many minutes.
"For Peteís sake sit down dude, Cíll be here." Joey stood up and guided the hyper blond back to his seat.
"JCís never this late." Justin chewed his nails nervously "You think I should call him?"
"Dude you already called him."
"Twice" Chris added.
Justin stood up again. "Heís not answering. You donít think maybe he changed his mind about another album and has fled the country to get away from us do you?"
The three seated men all burst out laughing at the seriousness in Justinís voice.
Lance folded his laptop and slipped his glasses down to the end of his nose peering over the top of them, his green eyes focusing on the worried pacer. "No" Lance took of his glasses, folded them and slipped them into his breast pocket. "You now how excited Jace was about getting back into the studio with us all, Heíll be here."
An hour later four men paced the jive lobby, checking their watches, worry plastered over their faces.
"Maybe he had an accident."
"No, weíd have heard by now Jace always carries ID"
"He could have gotten lost" Chris piped up. Justin, Joey and Lance just looked at him. "Ok maybe not." Chris conceded and sat down determined not to make anymore suggestions on their missing friends where aboutís.
Johnny Wright came out of the main office "Still no JC?"
Justin shook his head no.
Johnny rubbed his eyes "Do you want to reschedule or go in without him? Its your choice."
"Reschedule" all four members of Nsync agreed. They all hugged goodbye and went to their respective cars all cursing their absent bandmate.
* * *
The phone slammed back down into its cradle, Justin clenched his hands together, biting on his thumb nails, panic building in his chest. Where the hell was Josh? He had left message after message on his answer phone. Rang his cell time after time only to be told it was turned off. He stared at his phone willing it to ring, jumping when it did. He grabbed it up and almost screamed down the mouthpiece. "Jace!"
Lanceís soothing deep voice came back to him. "I guess you havenít heard from him either?"
"Lance, hi, no. Iím worried man. Its not like Jaycee to go AWOL."
Lance was silent for a minute or so. "I agree. Call Chris, Iíll call Joey. I think its time we head over to JCís place."
The dialling tone roared in Justinís ear as lance hung up. Where the fuck are you Jace?
One of the rules the guys all agreed on was that they all had access to each others homes. So as the four cars pulled up each was able tap in the access code to the huge gates. The met up outside the main door.
"Cís car is here." Chris pointed out.
Joey grunted "I bet heís in his damned studio, probably been there all night."
The others nodded in agreement as they made their way to the door. They stopped slightly shocked to find it ajar. Joey pushed it open the rest of the way
They split up, Chris took the basement and studio, Lance took the downstairs, Joey set off prowling the grounds while Justin headed upstairs. He headed straight to JCís bedroom expecting/hoping to find his friend sleeping. He stood in the doorway stunned at the mess. The black covered quilt was in a heap at the foot of the bed. A glass of water was knocked over and was dripping onto the pale cream carpet and the blinds were still down. He leaned back against the door frame suddenly feeling sick and giddy. He closed his eyes and breathed slowly in through his mouth and out through his nose, using the calming method Josh had taught him when he was a teen. His voice shaking still he called for the others to come quick.
* * *
He was cold, his feet felt like ice and he couldnít stop shivering. Heíd been in the trunk for hours, days, maybe it was only minutes, he didnít know. He realised this wasnít a prank. Even Chris wouldnít pretend to kidnap him, and if he did he wouldnít keep up the pretence this long. The car hit another bump in the road causing JCís body to jump up and hit the metal trunk top, banging his hip hard as he landed again. It hurt, everything hurt. His shoulders, his knees. His mouth was dry beneath the sticky tape used to gag him. The glue had seeped into his eyes stinging them. He prayed, prayed that this was all a nightmare and that any minute now heíd wake up and heíd be wrapped up all safe and warm in his silk covered quilt. That heíd be-able to take his shower and meet the guys at Jive to finalise a date for their new album. The car hit yet another bump and JC let out a muffled cry. It wasnít a nightmare, Heíd really been kidnapped.