JOSH and Justin were on their plane to Paris an hour later.
"I'm so afraid that one of us will blow our cover now that Lance's dad is gone. He helped us cover up so well." Justin
"Justin, you have been doing this for six years, since you were sixteen, I've been doing it since I was twenty-one, and
Lance has been doing it since he was seventeen. We would have already been uncovered if it was going to happen, Justin."
Josh replied. "We'll be fine."
"I hope so. Otherwise, what the heck are we fighting for?" Justin asked. "It's just SO stressful, Josh. Especially
since Mr. Bass was killed while helping me with a mission."
"How'd that happen anyway, Jus?"
"He was trying to keep me from falling off a ski-lift, and after he pulled me back up, he slipped and fell twenty thousand
feet to his death."
"See? It was an accident, Jus." Josh said.
Justin sighed. "No. It was all my fault."
"Does everyone have a glass?" The 32-year-old man asked.
His 34-year-old wife nodded. "I believe so, Chris."
"Wonderful. Danielle, do the honors." Chris said.
His wife lifted her glass of champagne. "To my beautiful daughter Heather, I wish you luck on your engagement to this fine
man." She nodded at her 16-year-old daughter, then the 26-year-old standing beside her. "May the two years to wait make your
As far as Heather Thomas was concerned, romance would never blossom between she and Joey Fatone.
Her mother, Danielle, had given birth to her at eighteen, married her father that same year, and then divorced him at twenty.
Heather never really knew her father, a man named Harold. Danielle met Chris Kirkpatrick, who had just become the head of
a steel company, and married him a year later. Since then, Chris had become the world's leading steel magnate, making 75 billion
Heather hated her stepfather, and thanks to him, her mother had become a rude snob. They both were trying to force her
to marry one of her father's colleagues, Joey Fatone. Personally, she didnt like him, but was convinced that no males would
ever want her, so, just to please her parents, she agreed to marry him. The wedding was planned to be on her eighteenth birthday,
She could care less.
The four of them clinked glasses, then turned them up and drank them.
Just then, Heather happened to glance up.
A tall man wearing a tux stepped through the door. He was about 5'10, with black hair that was slicked back, and dancing,
pellucid blue eyes that just seemed to lighten up the entire room. He adjusted the collar of his black tux jacket as he stood
in the doorway.
Heather pulled up one of the spaghetti-thin straps of her slinky black evening dress and glanced at her stepfather. "I
have to go to the restroom, father." She told Chris, and handed her glass over to him.
Josh glanced up to see the young woman staring at him. She was wearing a slinky black evening dress with incredibly thin
straps and a high slit up the side. She had dark brown hair that was pulled up in curls against the back of her head and the
biggest blue eyes hed ever seen, that were the color of his own.
She pulled up one of her straps, then turned and said something to the older man, whom Josh recognized right away. The
man nodded and took her wine glass from her.
It was then that the young woman started to walk towards him.
Heather approached the mysterious young man (who was decidedly older than herself) with a smile.
"Good evening, sir. I do believe I've not seen you at any of my fathers parties. Are you a friend of Monsieur Len`ard?"
"I guess you could say that." He had a soft, calm voice.
"My name's Heather Thomas." She extended her hand.
"My name's Chasez. JC Chasez." he said, mystery dancing in his seductive voice. He shook her hand. "Pleased to meet you."
He paused. "You're a very beautiful young woman."
"Are you just saying that because of who I am?"
"Well, who are you?"
She sighed. "The stepdaughter of a rich and powerful steel magnate."
"No, I'm not. You're a really beautiful young woman, Miss Thomas. And you seem like a very nice one, also." he said, smiling
at her. "You seem as though you regret being his stepdaughter."
"What makes you say that, Mr. Chasez?" she asked curiously.
"Call me JC." he said. "The way you that you were his stepdaughter was well, you seem as if you're not proud of it."
"I'm not." she admitted. "He's a jackass." She sighed. "I have no idea what possessed mother to marry him. I hate that
self-righteous S.O.B." In an instant, she wondered why she was being so open with this stranger, and her cheeks burned red.
Justin watched Josh from across the room. He had entered it before Josh had, and was surveying Josh's progress as he sipped
"Man, why can't I make an entrance like that?" He wondered silently.
"Care to dance, Miss Thomas?" JC held out his hand, trying his best to get her to trust him.
"Surely, JC." Heather agreed. "And you don't have to address me in such a formal manner. Call me Heather."
"All right, Heather. Shall we dance?" His grin was extremely mischievous.
She took his hand. "Yes, sir."
"All right." Justin whispered as he saw Josh leading Heather onto the dance floor. "Score. We're halfway there." He headed
over toward the girls parents and fiancée. "Hello. Good evening, Mr. Kirkpatrick, Mr. Fatone, Mrs. Kirkpatrick. My name is
J.R. Timberlake. I'm the head of the J.R. ship lines. We use your steel all the time, Mr. Kirkpatrick." Justin smiled.
"Hello, Mr. Timberlake. I believe I haven't heard of that line." Chris shook his head.
"It's new, Mr. Kirkpatrick. It's only ten months old. It's my baby." Justin beamed.
"I should imagine so." Danielle commented.
Justin beamed again, playing his role perfectly. "I'm building a new line of ships, which are much like that of the R.M.S.
Titanic. Id like to talk how much steel..."
JC and Heather continued to slow dance, and Heather felt enveloped in the gorgeous stranger's arms.
"Where are you staying, JC?" Heather asked quietly.
"Well..." He paused, trying to remember the hotel name Lance had given him. "The Phillipe`. "
"So are we." She smiled. "I'm getting quite tired. Would you walk me to my room, sir?"
"Sure thing, Miss Heather." JC smiled politely back at her, letting go of her.
"I'll be back." she said, leaving him and walking over to her parents.
"Mother, stepfather, Joey..." She looked over at the young man with curly brown hair and blue eyes. "Hello." she said politely.
"I'm Heather Thomas."
"J.R. Timberlake." He extended his hand. He appeared to be not much older than herself.
"Pleased to meet you." Heather shook his hand, then looked back at her parents and Joey. "I'm feeling a bit tired. I'll
be going back to my room now."
Joey kissed her cheek. "Goodbye, my dear." He smiled, and she turned to leave.
Josh watched as the man with spiked, dyed red hair and brown eyes kissed Heather's cheek. Suddenly, a pang of jealousy
hit him as he realized that he was attracted to the girl. But how could he be? He was twenty-seven, and a spy, and she was
sixteen, and the stepdaughter of a crime-ring leader. He shook his head.
Heather walked back over to JC. "Shall we go, sir?"
He nodded, holding out his arm.
The two walked in silence to the hotel, and as they entered the lobby, it was JC who broke the silence.
"Heather, you are a lovely young lady." he paused. "I've heard some really horrible things about your step-father. How
do you put up with him?"
Heather was a bit stunned by the question, but answered it anyway. "I'm not around either of them much anymore. I'm always
surrounded by my servants." She sighed. "And Chris is as bad as you've heard."
"In that case, I feel as if I can trust you with some information, Heather. I must speak with you in private." JC said.
"All right." She stared at him curiously. "You can follow me into my room when we arrive there."
They arrived in her room about twenty minutes later. Heather made sure no one was in the room, then shut the door. "Well?"
"Don't ask who I am or where I really got the info, but your stepfather is the leader of a crime ring here, in Paris."
JC said precisely.
"WHAT?!?" Heather cried.
"Yes, he's trying to start a war with Japan." JC replied.
She said nothing. She just fainted.