Ok I really tried to get this
one out as fast as possible. Really. Anyway sorry for making
such an awful mess out of things last time. I promise to fix everything
this time...(not). I've just been particularly miserable lately so
I figured I'd share the wealth. I'd also like to say that this chapter
is going to be a little more serious than most. It'll have it's lighter
moments too, but I just wanted to give y'all a heads up. Don't expect
to finish this feeling happy. Send all your hatemail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disclaimer: This story is a work of fiction and is not meant to imply
anything about anyone. If you shouldn't read this then don't.
Or go ahead and read it. I don't really care. It's your ass
Model Romance- Part Eleven
"Zack, everybody," Justin said slowly, "this is Sebastian.
My new boyfriend."
For a minute nobody moved. Zack had turned
a sickly shade of white. Britney's mouth was agape, JC buried his
face in his hands and Christina seemed to be examining her feet.
At last Zack found his voice. He took a deep breath and steeled himself
for what he needed to do.
"Well...um, I'm very happy for you Justin."
Actually his voice wasn't that shaky. It sounded a lot better than
he felt. Barely even a tremor, at least to his ears. "I'm glad
you're back safely. I...we were all worried about you." Inside
his stomach was doing some sort of contortionist's act and his heart seemed
as if it would cease beating at any moment. It no longer had the
will to beat. He turned to Sebastian and offered his hand.
"You're a very lucky man Sebastian I hope you two will be very happy together."
Sebastian simply stood there examining Zack coldly.
He made no move to accept his offer of peace. After a moment of awkward
silence Zack retracted his hand and turned to Justin. Now for
the hard part. "Justin...I'm sorry for what I did that night
and I hope that you'll forgive me. I hope we can still be...f...friends.
I'm going t..to go now."
Justin looked at Zack as if he wanted to say something
and then glanced over at Sebastian and seemed to change his mind.
Zack walked passed him slowly and didn't look back when he shut the door
behind him. Once out in the hall his strength left him. Only
the force of his will had let him be strong until this point, and now that
force was exhausted. His knees buckled under him and he gripped the
wall for support. He lurched slowly down the hall, unsure of where
he was going. His only thought was to get away and soon even this
simple directive was swallowed by his greif. This time it was really
over. Justin had moved on and he was gone for good. He felt
the earth spin beneath him and then he was falling. Before he blacked
out he was dimly aware of being caught by someone.
When the door clicked shut behind Zack it was as
if a spell had been lifted from the rooms occupants. They all began
to move slowly. Christina just looked from Justin to Sebastian
and then shook her head. JC got up slowly and stood behind Britney.
For her part Britney was still in shock. How could this be happening?
It was all going to be so perfect. Shock quickly turned to anger,
a feeling she tried to avoid when possible. Now she regarded Justin
and this rude bastard he had brought in off the street with icy contempt.
"How could you," she whispered to Justin, loudly
enough for the whole room to hear.
"Save it Justin. Your friends have been through
hell for you in the last 24 hours and this is how you repay us?"
"Just listen to me for a second!"
"I don't want to talk to you right now."
As she started towards the door she could feel JC
following her. His silent glare probably hurt Justin more than anything
she could have ever said.
"Josh I..." He trailed off, as if realizing
there were no words to fix this. Not right now. The wounds
were too fresh.
Britney walked out into the hall, looking for Zack.
Her anger quickly turned into guilt. She had brought him here.
This was her fault as much as it was Justin's. Well maybe not quite,
at least she had had good intentions... Then she saw him about 50
feet down the hall. He was leaning heavily against the wall, sort
of stumbling in the direction of the elevator. He seemed overcome
with fatigue, as if all the sleepless nights he had suffered through had
finally caught up to him. She began running towards him even as she
was aware that JC and Christina were in the hall with her. Zack slowed
and his head drooped. His legs were shaking and she doubled her pace.
Christina ran with her but JC quickly outdistanced them both, reaching
Zack and catching him just before his head would have it the hard, unyielding
"Is he ok," Christina asked, breathing heavily.
"I don't know. I'd guess a combination of
no sleep and high stress finally got to him. But I'm not a doctor."
"You're right. We need to get him to one though.
Christina, call an ambulance. JC you stay here with him. I'll
go get a cold wash cloth and a blanket. He might be in shock.
"...called the ambulance?"
"They're on their way."
"Look I think he's waking up. Thank god! Zack?
Can you hear me?"
Zack slowly opened his eyes and quickly blinked
them shut again. The light was much brighter than he remembered.
Opening his eyes again, he realized that he wasn't out in the hall anymore.
He was laying on a bed. "Wha...what happened? How did I get
"You fell down in the hall," Britney said worriedly.
"We called an ambulance..."
"Oh...you didn't need to do that," he said slowly.
"I'm fine. Just a little tired. I'll be fine. Just let
me get up and..."
"Bullshit," JC butted in. "You're exhausted
and stressed out on top of that!" He pushed Zack back down onto the
bed easily. "You're staying here until you see a doctor."
"Ok JC. I'll stay here," Zack said wearily.
"Maybe I'll just go back to sleep." He was out as soon as he finished
The ambulance was there in remarkable time.
The paramedics checked Zack out and after questioning him found that he
hadn't eaten in over 24 hours. They lectured him about the dangers
of anorexia and told him to eat something and get some rest. He figured
they thought he was just the typical airhead anorexic model stereotype.
Maybe they were right...
"...and we all love you and support you. I'm
so sorry for dragging you out here and putting you through this.
I'm so sorry."
"Britney, it's not you're fault. I should
never have left him in the first place. I screwed this up and now
I have to pay for it."
"You're both wrong," JC growled. "It's Justin's
fault for running away like a little child and then picking up some new
toy on his way back."
"As opposed to waiting for his old toy to come back?"
"Sorry, that's not what I meant, I..."
"It's ok JC. I couldn't really expect Justin
to wait around for me could I? I admire him for moving on.
"Zack, you are almost as bad at lying as your boyfrie...as
"Yeah? Maybe. But then again maybe it
doesn't matter. Look I should be getting to the airport. It's
a long flight home."
"Airport? You're not staying," JC asked.
"I thought you were just going to hang with the tour now since you're performing
with us in a week."
"Well the situation has changed somewhat don't you
"No it hasn't," Britney said firmly. "We all
still want you here. You're a part of our family and we will not
let you run away when you're hurting."
"Brit," Zack said slowly, "what do you think it's
going to do to me to see him everyday? I mean I'll come back for
the tour but then I'll be busy. Now I'd just be sitting around."
"Zack don't just give up. Why wont you fight
for him? I know you still love him and I would still swear on everything
I believe in that he still loves you. Even of he doesn't show it,
"What am I supposed to do," he said angrily, "bust
down the door, punch out Sebastian and say 'give me back my boyfriend?'"
"Actually you know..."
"JC shutup. Don't even say it. That's
not what I meant."
"OK, so then what, sing one of those cheesy love
songs to him? Maybe I can get Backstreet to back me up on "I'll Never
Break Your Heart! Oh no wait! I've got something even better
He began to sing. His voice was filled with
sarcasm at first, and anger, but his tormented heart quickly overcame it
and his pain rang true with the words:
Lying in your arms,
So close together,
Didn't know just what
Now I toss and turn,
Cause I'm without you,
How I'm missing you so
Where was my head?
Where was my heart?
Now I cry alone in the
Tears ran down his face now, but his voice
was stronger than ever. Britney was crying too. JC simply sat
open-mouthed. His voice was pure soul, it elevated the song to a
level he'd never thought possible.
I lay awake
I drive myself crazy
Drive myself crazy
Thinking of you
Made a mistake
When I let you go baby
I drive myself crazy
Wanting you the way that
When he got to Justin's part he started crying
in earnest, but JC took the back up, singing with him, supporting him.
I was such a fool,
I couldn't see it,
Just how good you were
to me (just how good you were to me),
You confessed your love
(you confessed your love),
I confessed my need to
And now I'm left,
With all this pain,
I've only got myself
The last note was so powerful it was almost
a scream. It was pure emotion, almost to the point where you stopped
hearing the music and started feeling it. Christina and opened the
door in shock with Chirs and Joey almost falling in behind her.
Zack began to really lose it though.
I lay awake,
I drive myself crazy,
Wanting you the way that...I...do...
"I Drive Myself Crazy" by NSYNC
"...the way...that...y...you do..." He
completely broke down and started sobbing. Christina, Chris and Joey
who had truthfully been listening at the door the whole time came in and
closed it behind them.
"See," Zack said when he regained a little of his
composure, "I can't even get through the stupid song, so it wont work."
He laughed bitterly. Britney cried quietly and hugged him tightly.
"Well," JC said in a tight voice, "I'd sing with
you any time. You're really good."
"Yeah," Christina said a little to brightly.
"What the hell are you doing modeling? You should be a singer!"
Zack laughed again. Not quite so bitterly
this time. "Yeah, I always really wanted to be a singer, but I couldn't
figure out how to get into the business. Now here I am and I can't
even finish one lousy song."
"Hey dude," Chris said patting him on the back,
"if you're coming on tour with us this is your chance. You've got
too much talent to waste."
"Come to think of it," Joey said slyly, "you're
getting a little old Chris. Maybe we should replace you. Hey
scooter how's your dance moves?"
Everyone laughed at that, Britney even stopped crying.
"Y'know Chris is right. I just figured out why you're not going back
to New York."
"Oh and why's that?"
"Because you and I are going to work on some music
for the tour. How well can you dance?"
"Pretty good, but..."
"Oh this is going to be so cool, I want in," Christina
said excitedly. "I mean, if you don't mind Britney."
"Um, no I'd be happy to have you with us."
"Joey, quick look outside," Chris yelled urgently.
"Is the sky falling? Are pigs flying? Did Hell freeze over?"
"Be quiet Chris. Look Christina, I know we've
had our differences, but maybe it's time to put them behind us. Friends?"
"Friends," Christina said taking Britney's extended
hand and shaking it.
"Damn Zack, you should sing more often. See
what the power of music can do?"
"I'll keep that in mind Joey. Guess I don't
have any choice but to stay now. Maybe I could refuse one gorgeous
woman, but not two."
"Are you really sure you're gay," Christina asked
"So it is true what they say Britney. All
the good ones really are taken or gay."
"Hey, I got a good one," Britney said, sitting on
JC's lap and wrapping her arms around him.
"I know stop trying to make me jealous."
"Um scuze me, "Chris said. "But there are
two very attractive and very available guys right here."
"Where? Are they invisible?"
"Ha ha ha. You're so funny. Hey Joe,
maybe we should pretend to be gay for a while and see if we get any more
"Oh Christopher," Joey said in his best flamer voice,
"I don't have to pretend."
Zack smiled as his friends laughed. Maybe
this would be fun afterall. Around his friends, the pain that was
Justin didn't feel quite so sharp.
The next two days passed quickly. The concert
was a huge success, which was not exactly unexpected. What was unexpected
was that Britney and Christina had started getting along, even being friendly.
Equally suprising to some was that Zack was staying with the tour.
Certain people were less happy than others about the news. True to
her word, Britney kept Zack very busy. In return Zack managed to
get JC and Britney to spend some time alone. During those periods
Zack was usually hanging out with Christina who turned out to be a much
nicer person than anyone had generally given her credit for. If not
for his recent experience with Justin, he probably would have considered
dating her. She made no secret that she was interested, but she also
recognized that he wasn't ready for another relationship and that she wasn't
exactly his type either.
The bands had a five day break in LA before the
next segment of their tour commenced, which would be more of a holiday
show with Zack as the emcee. This holiday tour was designed to raise
money for various charities. At each concert a few charities were
going to be recognized and underprivileged children were going to be brought
up on stage. The whole thing would end up back in New York the week
before Christmas for a sort of grand finale. It was projected that
the tour would raise millions for charities around the country.
As it happened it also boosted record sales for every artist on the tour,
but Jive's execs pretended like that was only an afterthought.
Justin spent most of his time with Sebastian.
Nobody really saw either one of them except at the concert and at the daily
rehearsals. They didn't eat with everybody else, and nobody really
knew where they went and nobody really talked to them. It made things
much easier for Zack to not have to see Justin very much or talk to him,
but it also made it harder. Just thinking that Justin was spending
all of his time with someone else kept him awake at night.
Nevertheless Zack worked with Britney and Christina
putting material together. They had worked with the dancers and choreographers
to put on a show that would bring the house down. Britney and Christina
had taken time out of both their sets to make room for the extra material.
The were both really excited and their voices complemented each other well.
Then came the announcement from management that they wanted Zack the perform
in the final set with all the bands That meant he had to be at all
the dance rehearsals and work with Justin.
"Ok that's a wrap! Good work everyone."
Zack grabbed a towel and wiped the sweat from his
forehead. Anyone who thought what these performers did was easy was
very wrong. Across the room he saw Justin talking to Sebastian.
Probably because he was about the only person who would talk to Justin.
All of his bandmates had been giving him the cold shoulder. Even
Britney wasn't talking to him. He tried to pretend like he didn't
notice, but Zack could tell it was beginning to wear down his former boyfriend.
It was time to put an end to this, no matter how hard it was. And
there was his chance, Sebastian appeared to be leaving, obviously pissed
off about something. Zack walked over to Justin.
He turned around, the sweat glistening on his forehead
and dampening his wife-beater that was stretched tightly over his sculpted
chest. He looked at Zack with those big blue eyes and for one moment
he was sure he saw some remnant, a memory of what was, maybe even a desire
for what might have been. Then Justin lowered his eyes and concentrated
on his shoes.
"Hey," he mumbled.
"Look, this needs to stop. It's not doing
anyone any good."
"What are you talking about?"
"You know what I mean. Don't try to pretend
like you haven't noticed that all of your friends aren't speaking to you."
"Hey, that's their choice."
"Yeah, but I feel like it's my fault and I can't
"Why? Everyone's already decided that I'm
the one to blame. You're the new golden boy, why don't yo go enjoy
it," he said angrily.
"I don't want to start a fight with you. I
just wanted you to know that I'm going to ask Britney and the guys to stop
being mad at you and give you another chance."
"What? Why would you do that? Don't
you hate me too?"
"Justin, I could never hate you, and neither could
they. I wont pretend like it doesn't hurt to see you with somebody
else, but I think that I can learn to deal with it eventually. I
have to. And if I can accept it then so can they."
"Oh. Thanks. Zack...I," he hesitated,
obviously unsure of what to say. He glanced over his shoulder in
the direction Sebastian had gone, but he made no move to leave. It
was almost like he was making sure Sebastian was gone. "I...never
meant to hurt you. That was the last thing in the world I wanted.
Please believe me?"
"Of course I believe you."
The relief was evident in his face. It seemed
to make the words come more easily to him. "I didn't go out looking
for a new boyfriend. I was just sitting at this cafe and Sebastian
found me and we started talking, and I told him about what happened."
"Just like that huh? You told a random stranger
your life's story."
"That's not fair," he said in a pained voice.
"You don't know what I was going through. It was just so good to
have someone to talk to that was outside the whole mess. He was so
understanding, so caring, I just..."
"Do you love him," Zack said quietly, dreading the
There was the hesitation again. And again
he looked over his shoulder. At last he shrugged. "I don't
know. I guess. He says he loves me, but I don't know.
I thought I loved you too."
Now it was Zack's turn to be hurt. "Thought
"Oh shit, I don't know. How can you expect
me to sort out these feelings. Zack, when you were there it was like
the best thing I had ever had, and then it was all gone. It all happened
so quick. All my emotions got mixed up."
"Yeah. Well for what it's worth I never stopped
His mouth opened to say something, but no words
came out. His eyes glistened with unshed tears and then Sebastian
was there. When his hand fell on Justin's shoulder he jumped like
he had been shocked.
"Sebastian! You scared me."
"Why? Been doing something you shouldn't,"
he responded coldly.
For some bizarre reason Zack felt the need to jump
in and save Justin. "We were just talking Sebastian. I wanted
to ask him about some of the choreography."
"Well if you're done Justin then lets go get some
lunch. Unless of course you'd rather stay here?" There was
something in his tone that implied that that might be a dangerous choice
for Justin. Or at least one he'd regret.
"Yeah, I'm done." Justin gave Zack one quick,
guilty glance and allowed himself to be escorted out of the arena.
Zack watched them go, and as he did he felt something.
It was like a shadow over his heart, vague but impossible to ignore.
Something was wrong with that picture and it wasn't just him being jealous.
The retreated figures looked more like a stern teacher and his errant pupil
than two lovers. It was time to talk to Britney.
"So what are you saying?"
"I don't know, I just know something's wrong Brit."
"Wells there's the obvious..."
"No it's not that. I mean yeah, of course
I'm kind of jealous, but that's not it. Brit, I'm not sure that Justin
wants to be with Sebastian."
"What do you mean," JC asked.
"I don't know," he admitted with a helpless shrug.
He did know. Deep inside he did. He couldn't turn his feelings
into words, but his heart knew that something was very wrong.
"Look, I'm the last person to stick up for Sebastian,
but from what I've seen he's really good to Justin."
"Sure JC, but how often do you see them? Or
haven't you noticed that they spend all their time alone?"
"Actually," Britney said, "I thought we made it
clear we didn't want to hang out with him."
"Yeah, that's the other thing I wanted to talk to
you about. I want you guys to stop treating him like that.
I can't stand it anymore."
"What? After what he did to us? To you?"
"JC if I can deal with this then so can you.
We have to for the sake of NSYNC and this tour. What you guys have
is too good to give up over something like this."
"If that's what you want," Britney sighed, "the
I'll try to forgive him for what he did to you. Josh?"
"Yeah, fine. Alright. I guess I can't
stay mad at my best friend forever."
"Good. Now will you do me one more favor."
He paused, waiting for them to nod before he continued. "Will you
just watch Justin when he's with Sebastian? I don't know what's going
on, but I know it's not right."
"I still think we should just make him disappear.
Joey was telling me..."
"No, I'm not going to do that. If you rip
Sebastian away from him Justin will just wind up hating us all."
"As you say wise one." JC made a little mock
"Alright. I'm beat and I'm going to bed.
I'll see you guys in the morning."
"Night," Britney called after him.
"YOU STUPID LITTLE BITCH! DON'T YOU DARE LIE
TO ME EVER! NOW WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU TALKING TO HIM ABOUT?"
"Nn..n...nothing Sebastian, really. He just
wanted to ask me about the dance moves and..."
SMACK! Justin's thoughts were interrupted
by the impact of the back of Sebastian's hand into his jaw. It sent
him reeling backwards and he ran into the bed, tripping and falling on
"You think you can lie to me little boy," his boyfriend
asked dangerously. "Now you tell me what he really said or I swear
to god you wont walk for a week."
"H..he w..want..ted to..." Justin stuttered.
He was trying so hard not to cry, but it wasn't working.
Sebastian's fist came down hard on his gut.
Justin grunted in pain.
"Shut up and stop blubbering. I want to know
what he said, and I want to hear it without any of your whining and crying
you stupid baby!"
"He...wanted to get everyone t..to stop being m...mad
at me. He s...said that he's trying to deal w...with...us and that
if he could everyone...else c...could to."
"Better. And is that all?"
"Y..yes, I mean no," Justin yelped as Sebastian
raised his fist threateningly. "He...he s...said he...s...still...l...l...loves...m..me."
"You stupid cocksucking slut," Sebastian said in
an icy voice. "I should have known you wouldn't just give him up
so easily. So you thought you could have us both huh? I'll
bet you've been sucking his dick behind my back this whole time haven't
"No, no Sebastian! Please, that's not true!
I'd never do that." Justin's voice was quick and panicked now.
"Don't you lie to me with you filthy cocksucking
mouth you dumb slut. Get up. I SAID GET UP!"
Justin got off the bed slowly. He didn't come
any closer to Sebastian, but he managed to avoid his first instinct to
"Now come over here. Come over here and take
"Sebastian, p...p...please. I swear I never..."
"Shut up bitch. You had better get over here
now because if I have to come over there this will be ten times worse."
"N..no you have not right to..."
"I have ever right!"
"No you don't! I didn't do anything!"
Sebastian sighed. "Maybe you're right.
Maybe you aren't lying. I'm sorry. Come give me a hug."
Justin walked slowly towards Sebastian, thankful
this was over. He had been really scared for a moment.
Just as he got within arms reach, Sebastian's fist struck him below his
eye. It knocked him down onto the floor and he made no move to get
up. Sebastian's foot sailed into his stomach. He curled himself
up into a little ball and wept. Maybe this was what he deserved.
That thought was accentuated by Sebastian kicking him in the ribs.
"That's for talking back to me. Look what
you've made me do. You stupid dirty bitch. I'm going out for
a little while. I just can't stand to look at you right now."
Justin didn't say anything. He just wept quietly.
It must have been his fault. Sebastian was usually so gentle and
caring. What had he done to change that? It was all his fault.
Eventually he fell asleep, curled up in a ball on the cold, hard floor.
I warned you. I know it looks bad now, but
it'll get better I promise. Comments are always welcome.