Aloha, my loyal readers :) Good to see you all. Here is the much anticipated next installment of Just Around the River Bend. Ok, I am listening to one of my favorite songs right now. Tail of the Sun by Stroke 9. Awesome song, highly recommended.

I am gonna make this short cause I want to get to the story. It gives me great honor to thank a couple special people. I would like to thank Jill, for everything! Gabriella for her support. PJ and Matt, you two crack me up :)

Disclaimer: I disclaim myself. Everyone knows the drill...BLAH BLAH BLAH...

I had to pee so bad earlier. I drank a forty ounce slurpee. Ok, this is annoying, the spell checker underlined slurpee. Slurpee's are as American as apple pie!

Just Around the River Bend

Chapter Nine

You're A God

Sometimes in life, it takes a small tragedy to make you pull your head out of your ass, sometimes it takes a small tragedy to stick that head even further up your ass. Until time passes, you don't really know which one you are doing. We learn our lessons in life, sometimes the easy way, and sometimes the way that hurts many.

I woke up in a dimly lit hospital room. There was some light coming from the window but not a lot. I figured it must be early in the morning. I found the clock on the wall and it read 5:25. My memory was not all that well, but I do remember being hit by a car in the middle of an intersection. Josh was with me, I remember that too. We were crying about my family. Hey, would you look at that, I am not that old!

Oh boy, I thought as the moments passed. I was in a car accident with J.C. Chasez. If the press hears about this, it will be bad. My thoughts were all slowly wiped away as sleep took over me. The drugs the hospital had given me knocked me out.

Dreaming seldom happens when I sleep. I never get into a really deep sleep, deep enough to dream. Today was an exception. I had a dream. I was sitting in my parents living room talking to my mom. We talked like we always did. My mom was born and raised Roman Catholic. Her children were born and raised Roman Catholic. From stories I have heard from aunts and uncles, she was a totally different person before she married my father. She was fun, she had a life, but what surprises me most is that she was opinionated. She to this day is opinionated as hell, however, before, she was liberal, not conservative as she is today.

My mother is pretty much the stereotypical house wife. When we all were old enough she got a job at the church as a part time secretary. She went to all the social events. She belonged to the Mothers Club of Saint Matthews. All it really was is just a bunch of women who sat around one night a month and gossiped.

"Mom, I think I love him." I paused. "Mom, I know I love him."

"Dear, this is not an acceptable thing in this family." She said sternly.

"I know it isn't mom, but I love him. He is different then Kyle." I said.

"Who is Kyle?" She asked.

"He is a previous ex-boyfriend. He was abusive and he cheated on me. I loved him because he was the only person who was around for me to love. I had a crush on Josh before I knew he was gay." I said to her with tears forming in my eyes.

"Does this Josh boy love you?" She asked.

"I think so. I am not sure." I said to her.

"Well, if you love him, so be it. Be forewarned. He is a celebrity. His homosexuality cannot and will not be made public. He can't love you the way you would like him to because of this. He is something you're not, he's something you will never be." my mother said to me.

The image of my mothers face faded and I was abruptly awoken in a cold sweat. The room was much brighter now. Dawn was at my side.

"Hey babe, you alright?" Dawn asked.

"I think so. I am kinda sore, I have a headache. I feel like someone hit me with a semi." I said.

"Nope dear, you got lucky, it was just another cab." She said a little giggly.

"Oh." I said. I felt kinda dumb because it was possible that it could have been a semi. I think if it was a semi though I wouldn't be here talking to her right now. "So, how did you find out?" I asked her.

"Yeah, funny story, some boy named Justin Timberlake called me. I think I would rather Charles Manson have my telephone number then that boy. He seriously needs to like cut off the fro. We aren't in the seventies anymore." She said in her Dawn like manner.

"You are on my list of emergency contacts. He must have gotten it from Karen." I said as I turned my head toward the clock. Eleven.

"If there is a next time, hopefully Karen will call me, she is a nice woman." Dawn said.

"Yup, she is." I said, agreeing with Dawn.

"However, she wasn't too happy with you or that boy you got in an accident with." Dawn said.

"What do you mean?" I asked her. I was a bit curious as to why she would be mad at me.

"I don't know, she wouldn't say much about it to me. She said something about Josh keeping it in his pants. You being put here as a distraction to Josh. Something about Johnny is gonna get his ass kicked." She said as she rolled her eyes.

"Great." I said unenthusiastically as I slumped into the bed.

"So was this a date you were on?" Dawn asked me. She was never one to beat around the bush or for that matter have any idea of when the `right moment' to bring subjects up was.

"Yup." I said.

"Ya like him?" She asked.

"Yeah, I think so." I said.

"He like you?" She asked.

"Yeah, he does." I said.

"Well, you really aren't sounding all that enthusiastic about this. What's the problem?" She asked.

"Nothing really." I said. I was lying.

"Bullshit. What is the problem Jeff?" She said to me harshly.

"Nothing, I told you, nothing is wrong." I said, raising my voice a little.

"Now, you are going to tell me or I will break your wrist!" She said as she grabbed and twisted my right wrist.

"God you bitch. I'll tell you. Stop!" I said to her. She let go of my wrist.

"Ok, now, what is the problem?" She asked me.

"As is if isn't remotely visible." I said.

"Is it because I hate him, because if it is, I am sorry. I don't really hate the person, just the genre of music." She said hoping to ease my mind.

"No no, it's not that. It just won't work at all. He is JC! I mean come on. Yeah great, we had a date. Which didn't go all that well considering I broke down in the middle of a restaurant. Then we get into a car accident. Dear, it was fun for like the day, but, I am just gonna stop it now before anyone gets hurt." I said to her, looking her straight in the eyes.

"Alright, I don't agree, but alright." She said. As she said this Karen and a doctor came into the room.

"Well it's nice to see that you are awake and talking." The doctor said. She was a middle aged woman, maybe 45. She was chubby.

"You had us all worried." Karen said to me. "It's good to see that you're ok."

"Thank you." I said.

"Doctor Lewis said that if you aren't having any problems you can probably get out of here sometime tonight." Karen said to me. It's nice to have a name for the woman that is keeping me alive.

"We want to do some X-Rays and draw some blood. If everything checks out good we will release you later this afternoon. I am going to get a nurse to take the blood and someone from radiology to take you to get your X-Rays. It will be just a couple minutes." Doctor Lewis said as she walked out of the room. The room was silent for a moment.

"Dawn, could you please excuse Karen and I for a minute?" I asked dawn politely. Dawn nodded and left the room.

"I don't know what to say to you Jeff. I am a little shocked." Karen said as she sat down where Dawn was previously sitting.

"What are you shocked about?" I asked her.

"You, Josh, just, wow." She said.

"What's so shocking about it. It's not any big deal, it was just a date Karen." I said to her.

"Well, Josh seems to be pretty convinced that more dates are to follow, if you understand what I am saying." Karen said.

"God Karen, just be blunt for Christ's sake. You are saying that he fell for me right?" I asked her.

"Yeah basically." Karen said.

"Where is he anyway, how is he?" I asked, realizing that I wasn't the only one in the accident.

"He is fine. They brought him here to be checked out and then they released him, he is at the hotel. We thought it would be best if he didn't come here. We don't need the media finding out that he was in a car accident." She said.

"Ok, that's understandable." I said to her. I was starting to get depressed. I had to let him down. I didn't know how, or when, or what to do. She must have noticed something was on my mind.

"What's wrong?" Karen asked me, she had concern and care in her voice.

"Nothing." I said, maybe a little harsh.

"Look, I am sorry about the way I sounded. I am happy for you two. I really am." Karen said, trying to make me feel better. It only made me feel worse.

"Karen, I can't date Josh, it wasn't anything you said. I just can't date him, he is JC from N Sync. I know how much of a celebrity he is. I have to break this off before anything gets too serious." I said to her.

"Alright, I understand, I think it's stupid, but I understand." She said as a nurse walked in. The nurse and I made small talk and Karen just sat there with a blank look on her face. The needle hurt but I don't think it was nearly going to hurt as much as what was to happen later would. The nurse left and a man in scrubs came in with a wheel chair and took me to radiology. Karen had fallen asleep in the uncomfortable hospital chair. When I got back after an hour or so Dawn was laying in my bed talking to Karen.

"Just go on, have a party without me, I see how you are." I said with hurt on my face. They both laughed as did the nurse guy pushing me. We all sat around and bs'd for a while. I got my bed back and Dawn sat in the other chair that was in the room. Our good time was interrupted by Dawn's pager going off.

"Dammit!" Dawn said.

"What?" Karen and I asked her.

"I have to go. Some stupid diplomat probably needs their ass wiped." Dawn angrily said as she got up to leave the room.

"I'll try to call you later ok?" I asked her.

"Yeah, that's cool, hope to see you again soon." she said and we kissed each other on the cheek. She left the room and it was just me and Karen. We were quiet and I just thought of what I was going to do about Josh. He had a flight home tonight. I decided on the easy way out. I'll write him a note and tell him not to read it till he gets home. I decided on my plan and then noticing that Karen was asleep, I put the hospital provided headphones on and turned on the radio. First it was BSB, The One, which I hate, I didn't know how to change the station so I was stuck with it. Next was a song that I do enjoy, You're A God, by Vertical Horizon. This song reminded me of Josh, then I had an idea.

"Ok Jeff, I have the results from your blood tests and X-Rays back." Doctor Lewis said as she came in the door. She startled me and Karen.

"Am I gonna live?" I asked her jokingly.

"Yeah, you'll live." Dr. Lewis said.

"Damn." Karen said jokingly.

"Hey!" I said. Dr. Lewis laughed a little.

"Your tests came back fine and you didn't break anything. Just a concussion and you got knocked unconscious from the crash. If you are feeling ok, I will get the papers ready for you to be released." She said to me.

"Yup, I feel fine." I said to her.

"Alright, I will be back in a couple minutes." Dr. Lewis said. By the time we were out of the hospital it was almost six. I had wasted a whole day laying in a hospital bed. Damn. Karen and I took a cab back to the hotel, where again there was a mob of screaming girls and other assorted fans. We made it up stairs and went to our separate rooms. She informed me that they would be leaving for the airport at 8. She told me to stay and after argument I convinced her to let me go and do my job. I wrote the note to Josh. Him and the guys went out to do some shopping or something. I had a note in an envelope that someone must have slid under the door but didn't open it because I didn't have the time and would read it later on. I folded the note and put it in my pocket. I was at the elevators at eight as I was told. All the guys except for Josh were there.

"Where's Josh?" I asked. Karen told me earlier that Justin was the only person besides her knew that anything was going on between Josh and I.

"He should be here soon." Justin said. Right as Justin said that Josh came down the hallway with two suitcases and a backpack on his back. Which was the basic attire of everyone else, except for Lance, he didn't have any luggage with him, which was a little odd, but I just brushed it off.

"Hey guys, sorry I'm late." Josh said.

"Yeah Yeah, whatever." Karen said. "It doesn't look like we are all going to fit on the same elevator."

"How about you guys go on one trip and me and Jeff will take the next one down?" Josh said a little excitedly.

"Sounds good." Chris said as the elevator door opened. I was dreading this, I didn't want to spend time alone with him, it would make me crumble, I had to be strong.

"Cya in a minute." Karen said as the elevator door closed. It was Josh and I.

"It's nice to see you." Josh said as he pulled me into a hug. I hugged back, of course.

"It's good to see you too." I said as he released the hug.

"I had a good time last night, I wish it wouldn't have been cut short by that stupid accident." Josh said.

"I know." I said. We were looking into each others eyes. That was all it took, we started to kiss, the kiss was good, but I don't know, it wasn't what I expected. It's almost as though that kiss opened my eyes. I broke the kiss.

"Is everything ok?" he asked me.

"Yeah, I am just not feeling well." I said. Which was partially true.

"Maybe you shouldn't go to the airport." He said with concern in his voice.

"I don't think I should." I said as the elevator doors opened.

"Well, I will miss you." He said and brought me into a hug and kissed me briefly.

"I'll miss you too." I said and pulled the note out of my pocket and put it in his hand.

"It's a note. Don't read it until after your settled and stuff, ok?" I said to him.

"Alright babe, I won't, thank you" He said to me as the elevator doors closed. God, he was thanking me for breaking his heart. I reread the note which I had written in my head as I walked back to my room...

Dearest Josh,

Hey babe. I am so sorry that I am doing this to you. I want you to know that I love you. I love you with all my heart, but not the way you want me to. I can't love you like that either. You and I are two different people. You are still recovering from your previous relationship, you are vulnerable. I am just a rebound, I know you don't mean it to be that way, but it is. I love you Josh, there will always be a special place for you in my heart.



P.S. You still have the CD I burned, listen to track 13.

I've got to be honest
I think you know
We're covered in lies and that's OK
There's somewhere beyond this I know
But I hope I can find the words to say

Never again no
No never again

'Cause you're a god
And I am not
And I just thought
That you would know
You're a god
And I am not
And I just thought
I'd let you go

But I've been unable
To put you down
I'm still learning things I ought to know by now
It's under the table so
I need something more to show somehow

Never again no
No never again

'Cause you're a god
And I am not
And I just thought
That you would know
You're a god
And I am not
And I just thought
I'd let you go

I've got to be honest
I think you know
We're covered in lies and that's OK
There's somewhere beyond this I know
But I hope I can find the words to say
Never again no
No never again

'Cause you're a god
And I am not
And I just thought
That you would know
You're a god
And I am not
And I just thought
I'd let you go

Chapter Ten

Blessing in Disguise

When I made it to my room there was a note taped to the door. I pulled the note off the door and went into my room. I laid on my bed and read the note.

Hey Babe,

It's me, I'll miss you. Sorry we didn't have as good of a time yesterday as I had planned. Hope to make it up to you sometime soon. See you soon.



I deserve to feel like shit, I really do. Sleep never sounded so good right now. Right as I was drifting off to sleep the phone in my room rang. I picked up and was shocked to hear Jill's voice.

- "Hello?" I said groggily.

- "HEY!! It's Jill!" Jill nearly screamed into the phone.

- "HEY!! I've missed you!" I said enthusiastically back. Just hearing Jill's voice cheered me up.

- "Damn right you did!" Jill said into the phone. I laughed.

- "Can you give me a minute, I want to turn on a light." I said

- "Ok, hurry up." She said. I turned on the lamp next to the bed and saw the envelope sitting there that I found earlier in my room. I didn't read it then and as I noticed my name written on the envelope it wasn't Josh's handwriting.

- "Alright, I am back." I said as I opened the envelope.

- "What are you doing?" She asked, hearing me open the envelope in the background.

- "Opening the mysterious letter I found in my room when I got home from the hospital." I said

- "You were in the hospital?!?!" She screeched into the phone. I set the envelope down so I could explain the situation.

- "Yes, I was. I'll tell you what happened, but you have to promise me you will not tell a single soul, not even Alli!" I said to her, I knew I could trust her, I just had to tell her that she couldn't tell anyone.

- "Alright, I won't, I won't, it must be serious if I can't even tell Alli. I am shutting up, tell me." She said

- "Ok, so I went on a date, with someone. I broke down on the date so we left right after we got out food and we took a cab back to the hotel. The cab got hit by another car and I got knocked unconscious. I was in the hospital all day and got released around six. I am ok though, they just kept me there for observations." I said to her. I heard her gasp through the phone.

- "My God! That's horrible, but you're ok. Thank God for that." She said.

- "Yeah, I know." I said.

- "So who was this date with? Was it an N Sync boy?" She asked me eagerly.

- "Yeah." I said.

- "Oh My God, one of them is gay. I always thought Lance was, is it Lance?" She asked me.

- "No, and I don't think Lance is gay, I haven't really talked to him that much either. He has an accent though, where is he from?" I asked her.

- "Mississippi. Now who did you go on a date with?" She asked me.

- "Josh, JC." I said.

- "Oh My God! JC is gay?!?!" She nearly had a stroke.

- "Yeah, calm down, you are gonna wake the dead." I said to her.

- "Ok, I am calm, breathe Jill." She said.

- "You good?" I asked her.

- "Yeah, I am good." She said after a moment.

- "Anyway, I gave him a note before he left and told him not to open it until he gets home. I told him that I don't think we should see each other." I said to her.

- "Oh my God, are you crazy?" She asked me.

- "The original reason I did it, I think so. But I kissed him before he left. Like our first major kiss, and it just didn't feel right. I didn't get anything out of it. I am pretty sure I made the right decision." I said to her.

- "Ok, well I hope it doesn't have anything to do with Kyle." She said to me.

- "Nothing to do with Kyle, I am over him. I am Josh's rebound. Maybe in a way, he was my rebound. I just don't have that feeling. I know its been like two days, but it just wouldn't work."

- "Ok babe, I believe you, now what's in this envelope? Something from Joshy poo?" She asked me.

- "Surprisingly, no, the name on the outside of the envelope isn't in Josh's writing." I said as I pulled the piece of paper out of the envelope.

- "Well read it out loud!" She said to me.

- "Ok, ok, here:

Dearest Jeff,

Maybe it's intuition
but some things you just don't question
Like in your eyes
I see my future in an instant
And there it goes
I think I found my best friend
I know that it might sound more than a little crazy
But I believe

I knew I loved you before I met you
I think I dreamed you into life
I knew I loved you before I met you
I have been waiting all my life

There's just no rhyme or reason
Only this sense of completion
And in your eyes
I see the missing pieces
I'm searching for
I think I've found my way home

I know that it might sound more than a little crazy
But I believe

I knew I loved you before I met you
I think I dreamed you into life
I knew I loved you before I met you
I have been waiting all my life

A thousand angels dance around you
I am complete now that I've found you

I knew I loved you before I met you
I think I dreamed you into life
I knew I loved you before I met you
I have been waiting all my life

I knew I loved you before I met you
I think I dreamed you into life
I knew I loved you before I met you
I have been waiting all my life

I wish I could tell you this face to face, maybe one day.

With Love...

That's it. What the hell?" I said, a little pissed.

- "Maybe it's from Josh?" She said.

- "No, I already got a note from him, this handwriting is different. Do you realize how many people I have met in the past day. I met like all the people from the crew yesterday. Supposedly only the guys, the tour manager and I can get on this floor." I said.

- "Maybe Lance is really gay, and you and him will have wild rabbit sex!" She said, and started to laugh.

- "That's not even funny." I said, she was still laughing. I heard a knock on the door. "Someone's at the door dear." I said.

- "Ooh, tell me who!"

- "Ok, hold on, hold on." I said as I walked to the door.

- "Maybe it's Lance!" She said.

- "What is your obsession with..." I opened the door. "Lance?"

"Hi, you busy?" Lance asked me.

"Uhm, I am on the phone." I said to him. "Wait a minute, let me get off the phone with Jill."

- "Jill, this is annoying." I said as I walked away from Lance. "It's Lance, I have no clue why he is here, he is supposed to be on a plane, I will call you soon. Bye babe, love ya." I said to Jill.

- "Love ya too, don't do anything I wouldn't do." She said as I took the phone away from my ear. I pressed the talk button on the cordless phone and put it back in its cradle. I was kinda annoyed. I hadn't talked to Jill since Friday. I wanted to tell her everything that has happened, and I am sure she wanted to know as well.

"Alright, what's up?" I asked Lance, maybe not as nice as I should have been.

"Nothing really. All the guys are gone so I figured I would stop by and say hi." Lance said as he shut the door. Great.

"I thought you were going with them." I said.

"Nope, I have some stuff to take care of in New York." he said, sitting down on the couch, I sat on the chair next to the couch.

"Oh Ok, I guess that would explain why you didn't have any luggage." I said. I put two and two together.

"Yup, very perceptive." he said.

"I try. So how was the ride to the airport?" I asked.

"It was alright until Josh started crying." Lance said.

"Why was he crying?" I asked, trying to play dumb, I told him not to open it until he got home.

"I don't know, he talked to Justin and then he was kind of ok. He wasn't crying but he was definitely upset. He'll be ok, I doubt it's that big of a deal." Lance said.

"Ok, I hope so." I said.

"So, are you hungry?" he asked me.

"Yeah, a little." I said.

"Ya wanna get some room service?" he asked me.

"Sure, I could go for some food right now." I said.

"Alright." Lance said as he went over to the phone. I ordered a Chicken Caesar Salad and he ordered chicken something or other. He put the phone to his chest and asked me if I liked Chardonnay, of course I do, so I said yeah and he ordered a bottle of that. We talked for a little while and then the food came. We ate and talked just had a good time, we hadn't cracked the wine yet. We talked about our families, he told me about growing up in the south and making it and what it's like and all that. I told him about my life. My dad is an attorney so I was quite comfortable growing up. He wasn't as lucky, his family was comfortable though, but not as comfortable as mine. I am not spoiled though, I paid my way through college by working and scholarships. We talked and talked. The I had to go to the bathroom and when I came back out he had popped open the bottle of Chardonnay. It's like one in the morning, I am tired, and here I am about to drink. Smart boy Jeff.

"Here you go." Lance said as he gave he a glass of wine.

"Thanks." I said.

"This is good." He said as he took a sip.

"Very good." I said. We talked some more. I had another glass, as did Lance. I don't have that high of an alcohol tolerance, I was pretty well buzzed after I finished my second.

"You're a little drunk." Lance said to me.

"Nah, I am fine, this wine is so good." I said, waving my empty glass. I filled it up for a third time.

"Yeah it is, the first time I had it was when my sister graduated college. I have been attached ever since." Lance said.

"The first time I drank chardonnay was with my ex boyfriend Kyle on our six month anniversary, he got me to like wine." I said.

"Whoa, wait, you're gay?" He asked me, sounding a little shocked.


Alright peoples, that's all for now. See you soon. Have a peachy day! E-Mail me Again, I must thank, Jill, Gabriella, an everyone else. Bill, thanks for helping me with the London stuff. Bye Bye Bye!