Here we are at part six.
I've really been looking forward to writing this, but I just haven't had
enough time! Thanks to everyone who e-mailed me as always.
Oh and by the way, I'm writing this on my new laptop!
This story is not meant to imply anything
about the sexuality of any of the celebrities who appear in it. Of
course we are all entitled to our own opinions... This is a work
of fiction and if you should not be reading this then don't.
A Model Romance- Part Six
It had been a week and a half since I left Florida
behind. November was here with a vengence and winter wasn't far behind.
I buttoned my long gray overcoat against the wind's biting fingers and
hurried to my apartment building. It had been another rotten day
at work. My heart just wasn't in modeling at the moment. The
photographers were bitching at me, Cherise and David both wanted to know
what was wrong, and I didn't have answers for anybody. For the first
time since coming to New York I was not happy. There was just this
overwhelming feeling that I was missing something. And I was lonely.
I had plenty of people to talk to and hang out with, but I needed something
more. And I couldn't find it. I went out on a few dates, other
models, an actress, and a girl I met in a club, but it wasn't very fulfilling.
I tossed my overcoat onto the couch as I walked
into my apartment and flopped down in the overstuffed armchair next to
it. I flipped through the channels but I could find anything to watch.
'What was wrong with my life? I had everything I wanted, didn't I?
I was rich and famous and idolized wasn't I? If there was nothing
missing than what the hell was wrong with me?' That last thought
made me think of a song. Reluctantly I went to the stereo, selected
a cd and put it in. I didn't want to play track number seven, but
it just seemed too fitting. I wanted to curse Britney for singing
the damn song, but I had to listen to it. I turned to look out the
window at the sunset and as another day died I felt the tears welling up
in my eyes. I whispered the chorus as Britney sang it.
If there's nothing
Missing in my life
Then why do these tears
Come at night?
From "Lucky" by Britney Spears
There was something missing and I was going to
find out what. I finally gave in and let myself cry, something I
almost never did. I could count on one hand the number of times I'd
cried in the last ten years. As the silent tears rolled down my face
the phone started ringing.
JC stood in the doorway of his friend's bedroom.
Justin was sprawled out on his bed, moping as usual.
"Justin what's wrong with you? You never used
to be like this." Still nothing. JC came into the room and
sat down next to his friend. Justin rolled away from him, hiding
his face in the pillows. JC pulled him back. He could see Justin
had been crying. Again. "Justin this isn't healthy. All
you do is mope. Look we're leaving tomorrow to go on tour, I need
to know you're gonna be ok."
"I'll be fine. I am fine. I've just
been working some things out."
"Bullshit. You haven't worked anything out.
But I promise you one thing. You are gonna get this straightened
out. Have you even talked to Zack?"
"No. He doesn't want to talk to me."
"And how do you know that?"
"Because he hasn't called me."
"Did you tell him to call you?"
"Does he have your number?"
"Well he could get it."
"Uh huh. Why don't you call him?"
"Because I don't feel like it ok. Look I said
everything is fine. Why don't you go finish packing?"
JC left with a sigh. Justin could try to pretend
like he didn't care, but JC new him too well. Whatever this thing
was with Zack, it was tearing Justin apart. He didn't know what had
happened but it was obvious they had some issues to work out. He
went into his room and dialed Britney's number.
"Brit? It's JC."
"Oh hey, what's up. Ready for our big tour?"
"Yeah I think so. Listen I called cause I
need a favor."
"No it's nothing big. I just need Zack's phone
"You mean like super model Zack who all the tabloids
think I'm in love with? What makes you think I have his number?"
"Ha ha. Seriously can you give it to me."
"Yeah, but why do you want it? I thought Justin
was the one who was in love."
"He is but he's trying to pretend like he's not.
You know how Justin can be. He doesn't want anybody to see him hurting."
"Yeah I know."
JC got Zack's number and made a few plans with Britney.
They were all going to New York to kick off the tour tomorrow. NSYNC
had a TRL appearance with Britney on Thursday. The Backstreet boys
were in California and wouldn't be there in time. Neither would Christina,
she was somewhere in the Caribbean. But they were all going to meet
Friday morning for breakfast to work out the final details before the tour
kicked off Friday night at Madison Square Garden. It was going to
be interesting to see how well everybody got along. He personally
thought that this was great publicity but Nick still wasn't speaking to
Justin and everybody knew Britney and Christina had their problems.
He got off the phone with Britney and immediately dialed Zack's number.
After a few rings a shaky voice answered.
"Zack? Hey it's JC. Form NSYNC."
"Oh hey JC. What's up with you?"
"Not much. Hey are you ok man? You sound
like something's bothering you."
"No...it's nothing. I'm fine. How have
"So I here you guys are coming to New York tomorrow
to kick off the big tour."
"Yeah, are you coming to the Garden tomorrow night?"
"I wouldn't miss it. I'm not sure exactly
what David has planned, but I think I'm going with him."
"That's cool. Listen the reason I called...It's
The change in Zack's voice was immediate.
"Why? Is he ok? Nothing's happened to him?" Zack sounded genuinely
"No...nothing like that. It's, well he's been
really depressed lately, and I'm not really sure why, but...um..I think
it would be good if you talked to him."
"Me? I hardly know him."
"Yeah I know, but you two seemed to hit it off pretty
well, and he wont talk to anyone else."
"Well ok, what did you have in mind?"
"Ok, that's the tricky part. Justin can be
really shy sometimes, and I mean it's not that he wouldn't come, but I
think...if we catch him off guard he might loosen up more."
"So I was thinking that I'd tell him to meet me
for an early dinner tomorrow night. Say at like six. I'll tell
him that I have some errand to run after we do TRL but I want to have dinner
with him. And then when he shows up...you'll be there instead of
"Sounds great. I love suprising people.
Where do you want me to be?"
"Well I'm sure you know New York restaurants better
than me, do you have any ideas? I think something quiet and roma...uh
just someplace nice and quiet would be best."
"Um, ok I think I know a good place. Tell
him to be at Tavern on the Green at six. I'll take care of the rest."
"Great Zack. Thanks a lot."
"It's my pleasure. Have a safe trip.
I'll see you Friday."
JC hung up the phone with a smile. Something
told him he was doing the right thing. Justin would kill him for
it, but it still felt right. Now if he could just figure out how
to keep Britney and Christina from getting into a cat fight during the
After I got off the phone with JC I called Perry
and made reservations at the Tavern for six o'clock. It seemed a
little weird, but at the same time I was excited. I found that I
was really looking forward to seeing Justin again and spending some time
with him. Just the two of us. I checked my calendar and saw
that I had a photo shoot at nine the next morning, which meant that I had
to be in the studio by eight, but I saw on Friday that I had nothing scheduled,
which was unusual. On impulse I decided to take Friday off, and I
made a note to tell David in the morning. As it was though I was
going to have to get up early to I went to bed right then.
Even though I was exhausted from a long day of work,
sleep did not come easily. I hadn't really been sleeping very well
lately, but tonight I was more restless than usual. I kept running
that line from the Britney Spears song through my head. "If there's
nothing missing in my life, then why do these tears come at night?"
In the dark the loneliness seemed to take on physical presence. It
was almost mocking me, taunting me. Finally sleep took me and I drifted
off into unpleasant dreams.
It wasn't bad enough that he'd had to get up at
six. No, of course the plane ride had to have been bumpy too.
Justin sat in the limo with the other members of NSYNC en route to the
"So," Chris said a little too cheerfully, "everybody
get enough sleep last night?"
"Shut up Chris," a half asleep Joey mumbled.
"Oh come on, aren't you looking forward to all those
screaming TRhell fans?"
"Yeah about as much as I'm looking forward to my
next root canal."
"Well I don't know what your problem is. I
mean take Curly here, he sure is looking chipper this morning."
Justin ignored him, He didn't really feel
like talking to anyone at the moment, but Chris was relentless.
"Come on Justin, what's buggin ya?"
"Oh I don't know, I'm sure it has nothing to do
with the fact that I got no sleep last night. Then of course it could
be that we have to have lunch with a bunch of stuffy business types.
And you know how much I'm looking forward to seeing Carson Daily again."
"Yeah, well I can't blame you there."
'Of course not,' Justin thought bitterly.
Carson could barely hide his contempt for NSYNC and Justin in particular
when the camera was rolling. Backstage he made no such effort.
He let out a loud sigh. It was going to be a long day.
"Zack, babe, you're not being very cooperative this
"Sorry, I just didn't get much sleep last night."
"Alright that's ok. Why don't you try giving
me sleepy then?"
I almost laughed. I had no idea how photographers
managed to be so perky all the time. I decided they must drink lot's
of coffee and do lots of drugs. After another fifteen minutes of
trying to do "sleepy" they finally let me go. I normally enjoyed
photo shoots but today I was too distracted. I kept looking at the
clock and waiting for it to be time to go. After I finished I went
up to see David.
"So how's my little gold mine today?"
"Just peachy David. Listen is there anything
else really important that needs doing today? Or tomorrow for that
"No, looks like life has cut you a small break.
Monday morning though you have a meeting with some Jive Records execs."
"Oh what's that all about?"
"You find out," David said with a mischievous grin.
"So anyway, why don't you take the rest of the week off. You've been
overworking yourself lately. I think you need a little break."
"You read my mind. Thanks David."
"No problem. Look I wont pry anymore, but
whatever is wrong please try to fix it. And let me know if you need
"Thanks David. And I will."
"Don't forget the concert tomorrow night.
The limo we'll be there to get you around seven. And remember that
it's gonna be a media circus so look good."
"I always look good," I said with an almost straight
"Of course you do. Enjoy your little mini
As I walked out of David's office I felt a lot better.
I was really lucky to have such a great boss. I grabbed my coat and
bolted out into the cold before anybody else could bug me. It was
just after three and I figured I had time for a little nap before I had
to get ready for dinner. When I got home I flopped down on my bed
and turned on the TV. TRL was just starting. It was almost
funny to me to watch it. Carson Daily so obviously hated his job,
and none of the fans seemed to notice. Or maybe they just didn't
care. Speaking of fans the crowd in time square was unbelievable.
Between the Britney fans and the NSYNC fans traffic was at a standstill.
It was weird to think that what I was watching was taking place just a
quick subway ride away.
Apparently having so many major stars on one show
was a good enough excuse to call of the countdown for one day. Instead
they had half and hour of Carson interviewing the bands. Britney
was being her usual perky self and Chris was answering most of the questions
for the guys. Justin didn't say a word throughout the whole thing.
I thought about what JC had said. Dinner was going to be interesting.
After the interview Britney and the guys got up to perform "Crazy" together,
followed immediately by "It's Gonna Be Me." It went over really well.
By the time the show was over most of the screaming
had died down. Apparently teenage girls' voices don't last forever.
Britney seemed to work really well with NSYNC. I really couldn't
wait to see the concert. I glanced at the clock, it was four thirty.
'So much for a nap,' I thought sourly. I hopped up and went to go
take a shower. I didn't really need one, but I wanted to look good
tonight. I told myself it had nothing to do with Justin.
As the steaming water ran down his smooth chest,
Justin let all the tension out of his body. TRhell hadn't been as
bad as he'd feared. Carson had been obnoxious, but no more than usual.
And the fans really seemed to like the idea of the joint performance.
They'd been taking a lot of crap from the critics over this tour, but then
again the critics had never really given any pop stars a good review.
He shut off the water and toweled himself off.
Checking the clock he saw he was going to have to hurry to be at Tavern
on the Green by six. He didn't know why JC had insisted on meeting
him there. None of the other guys seemed to know what was going on
either. There wasn't much he could do though, JC had been pretty
insistent. He put on a light blue shirt and a black suit. JC
had told him to dress nicely. He grabbed his heavy coat and headed
for the door of his suite. Now came the tricky part.
He slowly opened the door and peeked out.
The security guards were no where in sight. That was lucky.
Every time he snuck out without them, they started watching him more closely.
He tiptoed down the hall and bypassed the elevator. The stairs were
probably a safer bet. At last he was outside. He hailed a cab
and headed to the restaurant.
"So who are you meeting this time?"
"No one Perry, just a friend."
"Uh huh, and who might she be?"
"It's not a she, it's a he. And don't look
at me like that. I'm just doing someone a favor."
"Ok, so who are you meeting. The last time
you were here for dinner you brought Britney Spears."
"Well it's not Britney this time. Don't you
have other tables to wait on?"
"God, you're really driving me nuts! Just
tell me who it is."
"From NSYNC? How'd you get tangled up with
him? Through Britney?"
"Yeah something like that. So now that you
know why don't you quit bugging me. Some of your other guests are
starting to look impatient."
"Fine, I can see when I'm not wanted," Perry said,
pretending to be offended. "Can I get you anything to drink, sir?"
"No just water."
"I'm sorry I must not have heard correctly.
Did I just here Zack Peterman order water?"
"Yeah, well let's just say I had a messing drinking
experience last time I was around Justin."
"Ok, I wont ask. Enjoy your water."
He walked away with a snort and I settled back into
my chair. I really wanted this to go well. I hoped Justin wouldn't
be upset that JC and I had tricked him. I looked up and saw him coming
across the room. It seemed that I was about to find out.
Justin got out of the cab and walked into Tavern
on the Green. He'd never been there before, but he'd heard of the
place. It seemed a little too stuck-up and classy for his tastes
though. He was suprised that JC wanted to eat here. He walked
up to the hostess and put on his very best fake smile.
"Hi, I'm supposed to meet somebody here."
"Of course. You must be Mr. Timberlake.
Right this way."
Justin was mildly suprised that she didn't recognize
him. It was a nice change though. Sometimes it was good to
just blend in. He followed the hostess to a dim table at the far
end of the dinning room, but the person sitting there was not JC.
He was wearing a gray three-piece suit and a black shirt. His hair
was bleached blonde and spiky. His green blue eyes lifted up as Justin
approached the table and his face lit up with a smile.
Justin must have looked almost as shocked as he
felt because the smile quickly faded from Zack's face.
"Ouch Justin, don't look so happy to see me."
"Oh sorry. You're just...not who I was expecting."
"Yeah, well this was JC's idea. He said you
needed someone to talk to."
In spite of himself Justin grinned. "That's
JC. Always putting his nose in other people's business. Well...I
am glad to see you. And...uh...I guess thanks for doing this."
"Well I'm here for you. Look, don't feel like
you've got to open up to me. I know we hardly know each other, and
to be honest I've been kinda moody myself lately. I know how annoying
it can be to have everybody asking you what's wrong all the time.
So how about if we just eat, and if you feel like talking, then I'll be
glad to listen. But no pressure."
Justin felt the last of the tension melt away.
It was so nice to be here with him. He was going to have to kill
JC for what he was trying to do, but still, it was great to see Zack.
"Thanks for being here Zack. It really means a lot."
They talked through dinner, which was delicious
of course. Justin couldn't imagine anything not being good at a place
that was as expensive as Tavern. Justin couldn't remember the last
time he felt so good. It was as if when he was with Zack he didn't
feel so alone in the world. Zack introduced him to their waiter,
who's name was Perry. He seemed nice and he kept coming over and
telling jokes while they ate. If anyone had recognized the two stars
eating in the corner they gave no indication. Justin mentioned the
fact to Zack while they were waiting for dessert.
"It's nice to finally go someplace where you don't
have everybody staring at you. Even the hostess didn't recognize
"Oh April knew who you were, I told her you were
coming. Actually a lot of the people here probably recognize you,
but they wont act like morons. That's why I like coming here.
It's like if you've got enough good taste to come here to eat then that's
all that matters. We're all the same in here."
"That's an interesting way of looking at it.
I think they're all just a bunch of snobs."
Zack shrugged. "Even snobs have to eat."
After dessert and coffee Justin excused himself
to go to the bathroom. He really didn't want dinner to be over.
He started thinking of how he could keep Zack around a little longer.
He checked his watch. It was only eight o'clock. He didn't
have to be ready to go until ten tomorrow, so he could stay out for a while.
When he got back to the table Zack had already paid the bill and was talking
to Perry. Justin insisted on paying for his half but Zack just laughed.
"Hey, you snooze you lose. Shouldn't have
gone to pee until after the check was paid."
"But that's not fair! You have to let me pay
"Sorry Justin, you'll just have to owe me one."
They stepped out into the cool night air still laughing
and joking. Justin's mind was furiously trying to come up with an
excuse to stay with Zack a little longer.
"Hey Justin, I was thinking. Why don't you
come hang out at my place for a while. I'll drop you off at the hotel
"I'd love to. That sounds great."
I breathed a sigh of relief when he said yes.
I was afraid he'd think it was weird if I invited him to come over, but
I just didn't want the night to end yet. Talking to Justin was just
so easy. It seemed like we always had something to say to each other.
And even when we weren't talking the silence was never uncomfortable.
There was something else too. I didn't feel so alone when he was
around. I pulled my car into the parking garage and we hurried
up to my apartment. The night was not getting any warmer. Justin
requested the grand tour on the way in, so I gave it to him.
"This is a great place, Zack. You've got an
"Well I was lucky to get this place. I guess
sometimes I forget how lucky I am."
"You, you are pretty lucky. You've really
got everything you could want."
'Lucky am I?' 'Lucky?' "If there's nothing
missing in my life..." I broke that chain of thought and turned my
attention back to Justin. I wasn't really sure what JC was so worried
about. Justin seemed fine to me. At least on the surface.
There was something underneath it though. I looked at him.
He was staring out the window. He looked so sad all of a sudden.
As if he wanted something he could never have.
"Justin, what's wrong? I know I said I wouldn't
ask, but..." I didn't know how to finish that sentence. Instead
I moved closer to him and put my hand on his shoulder. He jumped
but didn't turn around.
Justin cursed himself for jumping at Zack's touch.
Right there he decided that tonight he was going to confess how he felt.
This was too important to ignore. He knew that if he turned around he'd
never get the words out so he continued staring out the window.
"Zack, I don't know how to explain what I'm feeling.
It's just...well it's like there's something missing from my life."
"That's weird. I think I know exactly how
you feel. I've been feeling the same thing. Like I should be
happy, but I'm not."
Justin felt a surge of excitement. Was it
possible that Zack felt something for him? Maybe he wasn't crazy
and this would work out. He summoned up his courage and went on.
"Well it took me a while, but I think I know what's
wrong with me. I...I'm..."
"Justin, whatever it is you can tell me. I'm
here for you."
Justin took a deep breath and turned around.
He looked deep into Zack's eyes searching for the longing that he felt.
There had to be something there.
"Zack, you don't know how much I want to believe
"What do you mean? I'm serious Justin.
If you need a friend I'm here."
Justin's eyes burned with anger and tears.
"Damn it Zack I don't need a friend. I need, oh hell..." He
started crying. "I need a lover," he whispered. It was now
or never. He was going to settle this. Justin took a breath
and kissed Zack.
Justin kissed me. It caught me
so off guard that I jerked back in suprise. As soon as I did I felt
guilty. He looked crushed. It was as if his heart had
"I...I'm sorry Zack. I didn't mean to offend
Justin was backing away form me towards the door.
I was still in shock, fighting for the words I needed.
"I'll just go. I'm really sorry."
Justin was crying heavily and still backing away
from me when he tripped over the couch and fell on the floor. He
just sat there, crying. I could see that he was in so much pain, not from
the fall, but from something deeper. And at that moment, when he
was sitting there so helpless and vulnerable I felt something. It
started deep inside me, and I knew I'd felt it before, but I had ignored
it for so long and kept it locked inside. But now I couldn't run
anymore. I walked over and knelt beside him. He looked up at
me with tears streaming down his face. I knew that I needed him.
I wouldn't deny it anymore. I couldn't deny it any more. I
took his face in my hands. All the longings I had denied, all the
pain, all the fear, it was all there. Everything that had been torturing
my soul was released. And as I bent down and pressed my lips to his
I knew that I had found what I was missing.
At first he didn't return the kiss and I was afraid
I'd made a mistake. I started to pull away, but then he wrapped his
arms around me and held me tightly. I felt his lips part and our
tongues intertwined. We stayed there holding each other and kissing
for what seemed liked forever. If it had been forever I couldn't
have been happier. It was so soft, so sweet, and so pure. We
both just needed each other so badly, and we wanted nothing more than to
be together. As I held him there I was sure I could here music.
Maybe it was in my head, but then again maybe not. There was something
magical about that night that I could never explain. A thousand words,
even a million would never be able to do it justice.
And I will take you in my arms,
And hold you right where you belong,
Till the day my life is through,
This I promise you.
From "This I Promise You" by NSYNC
We were finally interrupted by Justin's cell phone ringing.
He reluctantly let me go to answer it.
"Hello? Oh hey JC. Yeah, I figured.
Well actually I think I owe you big time. Yeah. Oh I'll tell
you eventually. I'm at Zack's. Not sure. Maybe.
Ok. Bye." He hung up the phone and made a point of turning
it off. "That was JC, he wanted to know if I was having a good time."
"Hmmm...yeah I guess." He grinned at me and
I smiled back.
I saw Justin in a totally different light now.
I'd never looked at a man like this before. Suddenly I started to
worry about what everybody would think. How was I going to explain
this to my friends? To my parents. I could just see the disappointment
on my mother's face when she found out I wouldn't be giving her any grandchildren.
I started crying, for the second time in two days. And I never cried!
Justin came over to be and hugged me tightly.
"What's wrong? You're not upset with me are
I could hear the worry in his voice and the fear
that I was going to say this whole thing had been a mistake. Then
I looked up at him. I looked into his eyes and what I saw there made
me realize that it didn't matter what anybody else said. They would
understand because this was how it was supposed to be. I stopped
crying and kissed Justin again.
"Nothing's wrong. I think things are finally
"I know what you mean. So can I ask you something?"
"Can we get off the floor? My butt hurts."
We both laughed at that and got up. I sat
down on the couch and Justin plopped down right next to me. He was
smiling so hard it must have hurt his face, but I could tell it was a real
smile, not the fake one he used in front of the cameras.
"So," I said casually "what now?"
"What do you mean?"
"I guess I'm trying to say where do we go from here?"
"The bedroom," he asked with a mischievous grin.
"You know that's not what I'm talking about you
He looked at me seriously. I knew he was just
as nervous about this as I was.
"Well, I think I know what I want. I...hope
it's what we both want."
I ran my hand through his curly hair and smiled.
"I think it is."
"So I guess we're going out then?"
"Yeah, looks that way."
It was a silly conversation to have, but I just
wanted everything to be official. I stretched out on the couch and
pulled Justin on top of me. I wrapped my arms around his neck and
kissed him. I could feel him pressing into me and it turned me on,
but I tried to ignore it. I knew I wasn't ready for that yet.
We kissed and just held each other for a long time before he finally spoke.
When he did his voice was barely more than a whisper. It was cute
that he was still so shy.
"Can I stay with you tonight?"
"I wouldn't have it any other way." I checked
the clock, it was almost midnight. "Let's go to bed. Unless
you've got better things to do."
"Nope. I'm all yours."
I loaned Justin an old tee shirt to wear.
While he was in the bathroom brushing his teeth and changing, I stripped
down to my boxers, pulled on another tee shirt and climbed into my bed.
Justin came out of the bathroom wearing nothing but boxers and my shirt.
He smiled shyly and got into the bed with me. I'd never felt this
way about anyone before. I was just looking forward to being with
him all night. Nothing sexual even crossed my mind. He snuggled
up next to me and put his arms around me. Lying in his arms I felt
so safe and so at peace. All the problems in my life stayed out of
that bed. They might be there waiting for me tomorrow, but right
now everything was perfect. I fell asleep in minutes and I slept
better than I had in months.
Writing this chapter really made me smile.
I hope it gives you a little joy too. E-mail me as always at firstname.lastname@example.org.