DISCLAIMER: Story is fiction. None of it's true. Not even the imaginary lives I've created for the celebrities. So don't go running to the magazines to sell the story that Justin, Lance, Jc are really gay. It would be a lie. And we don't want you telling lies now do we. Besides, I would hate to sick Gabriel on all of you.
CHAPTER TWELVE: YOU'RE THE LUCKY ONE
It's always the same Seems like nothing will ever change We pay to wear the blindfold But look out They're moving in for the kill In for the kill Yankee Doodle leadin' lambs to slaughter Just for the thrill...R Beach
Justin opened his eyes with a start. Something woke him up and in the half-light he tried to figure out what it was. But everything was as it should be. Gabriel was still there beside him, lightly snoring. All was quiet.
Then what woke me up he mused as he shifted slightly behind Gabriel? The movement caused the longhaired man to groan softly but he snuggled back into Justin's warm body.
Justin smiled and looked at his lover. He was beautiful to say the least. How can a man be so mysterious awake and so innocent looking asleep? In the morning light that filtered through the heavy drapes, he could just make out the slightly darker scars that covered his back.
Tracing them lightly with a finger he wondered where they came from. What kind of life did the blond lead outside of this hotel? They marred his skin, the pain evident in the angry stripes.
The bullet hole scar ran to the forefront of his mind. That half healed wound that still looked tender. Then there was that fresh bruise on the man's shoulder. That had to have happened in the last week. Where were you last week Gabriel he wondered slightly. What were you doing that caused that bruise?
What am I getting myself into? Is there any way we can mesh our lives together? All these questions with no answers troubled the young star.
Resting his head on his hand, he wondered if he should cut his loses now and forget about the last two days. It would be easy, after all there had been no promises made. Gabriel had his own life to get back to and he had his path to walk. But I will miss the times we shared together he whispered silently, brushing his lips on Gabriel's neck.
Gabriel whimpered in his sleep as Justin's lips brushed him. Then he sighed audibly and gripped Justin's arm tighter. Justin could not help himself but to smile. Never in his twenty-two years of living had he ever felt this oneness with another person. Not his parents, his siblings, his bandmates, not even Britney, the first love of his life. This felt right, perfect like they had been waiting to find one another. Like every path they walked led them to this particular time and place.
His own words that he uttered to Josh came back to haunt him. `It's about his journey, that life is made up of thousands of small journeys. It doesn't really matter where you wind up but how you got there. The start of the journey is pointless as is the end, life is the journey.' If that was true then what was he scared of?
When he had spoken those words to Josh he had believed them. Now, when it came down to it he was full of doubt. But that was different he argued. With Josh and Lance both parties loved each other. He had no clue what Gabriel felt about him. Nor did he truly understand his own warring emotions. But that's the journey he stated emphatically in his head. So what if our paths were different they could converge into one now.
Giving up the duel between his heart and head, he looked at the clock. It was only seven thirty. He had only slept for a few hours. Noticing for the first time that he had no hangover, he lay down on his back. Staring up at the ceiling he rubbed his stomach thoughtfully. No matter what happened when Gabriel woke up, he would find the singer next to him in bed. Last night would not be repeated.
Noticing that Gabriel was stirring; he caressed his back gently. Gabriel rolled over and their eyes met. Gabriel smiled and stated, "So that's what you look like in the morning."
"Yeah, pretty isn't it?" Justin replied lightly. "Bad breath and bed head."
Reaching over to trace his cheek, Gabriel said, "I've never seen you more beautiful."
"Ah shucks. You'll make a girl blush." Justin said musically with a southern accent.
Laughing a deep rich laugh, Gabriel propped his head up on his hand. "I don't think anything can make you blush."
"You'd be surprised." Justin stated comically. "I've been known to pull a few boners at the most awkward times."
"Boners. Have you pulled one right now?" Gabriel said mischievously, peeking under the sheet with a grin.
Smacking his hand, Justin said, "Pervert."
Grinning like a fool, Gabriel covered a yawn with his hand. Pushing his long hair from his eyes, he stated, "I half expected you to be gone when I woke up this morning."
"I couldn't leave." Justin said with a straight face. "After all this is my room."
"And you had no where else to go." Gabriel replied sadly.
"Something like that." Justin said with a grin, stretching.
For a moment they were silent. Both knowing that this was the last day they could be together. Justin rolled over and faced Gabriel, his hand finding the scar and tracing it again. When his hand reached Gabriel's neck, he could feel the man's pulse, like a steady rhythm assuring him of life.
Looking directly in Gabriel's eyes he asked, "Where did you get this?"
"A long time ago." Gabriel replied softly. "Car accident."
"Haven't you ever thought about getting it fixed?" Justin asked. "They are doing wonders with plastic surgery nowadays."
"I did when it happened. But then I relished with being unique." Gabriel stated slowly, like he was remembering happy times in ages past.
"You are unique. I've never met a person quite like you." Justin whispered, kissing the man's hands gently.
"I did long ago." Gabriel stated wistfully. Noticing a small scar hidden in Justin's eyebrow he asked, "Where did you get this?" He rubbed his fingers over it.
"I fell." Justin laughed. "I was four or five years old. Running in the house and tripped. Banged my head on the edge of the coffee table."
"Klutz." Gabriel teased.
"You know it." Justin smiled his eyes shining brightly. "But I don't think you want to get into comparing scars with me. You would definitely win."
"Yeah." Gabriel stated softly, a haunted look crossing his face. "Too many to count nowadays."
"I sorry. I didn't mean that." Justin said gently, caressing his cheek tenderly. "You don't have to talk about it."
"Thanks." Gabriel grinned weakly. "Besides, it's all boring stories anyway."
"I doubt that." Justin said, getting out of bed quickly. "I've got to go to the bathroom."
Gabriel watched him go one hand on his cheek and a thoughtful expression on his face. He could see the wheels turning in Justin's head. Obviously he saw the marks that covered his body. And as usual he was dying to know about them. Gabriel shuddered at the thought of telling him the stories. Cursing himself for living a life of hiding he got out of bed.
It was amazing what sleeping next to someone could do for you. After all the drinking of the previous night he felt excellent. No hangover, no nausea, nothing. Except for a feeling of dread, he felt fine.
Moving into his morning katas's, he tried to put his emotions from his mind and concentrate on the day's events. This was the moment of truth; it all came down to this. Either the Senator would be dead by night or he wouldn't. Everything hinged on him getting his head together. He had no time for regrets with Justin.
Moving his body into the complicated stances, he lost himself in the numbness of routine. The simple pleasure of doing something familiar. He always felt safe when doing his katas's, a throwback to his early teenage years when everything was much simpler.
When Justin opened the door his eyes widened. Gabriel was naked and doing some kind of complicated dance in the center of the room. Already a slight sheen glowed on his skin from his excursion as he kicked and moved about the room.
Justin watched him briefly before he started mimicking his movements. Next to Gabriel's flawless motions Justin looked like a clown miming him. Justin was always a step behind, one eye trying to figure out the routines and the other looking out for furniture and other obstacles.
Gabriel noticed him and smiled his entire face lighting up. Pausing he said, "It's harder then it looks isn't it."
"A bit. What are you doing?" Justin asked, breathing heavily.
"My morning katas." Gabriel informed him. "I've studied martial arts my entire life. It's my exercise and daily meditation."
"Okay." Gabriel nodded. "Do what I do."
Gabriel started at the beginning. With his feet together he reached down and touched his toes. Justin did this easily. Gabriel smiled and put his head against his legs, wrapping his arms around his body. Justin tried but only got his head about five inches from his legs.
"Now breathe deeply. In through you mouth and out of your nose." Gabriel instructed.
Next he led Justin through some easy stretching exercises before he began the more complicated movements. Doing each form slowly so Justin could mimic him, he started in on the katas's. Surprised that Justin could pick up the forms so easily, he sped up the pace slightly.
For an hour Gabriel walked through the exercises with Justin. Neither saying much, both enjoying the time together. Having a partner with him brought long forgotten memories to Gabriel. Memories of someone moving along with him in the early morning Alaskan sun. Both bodies in tune and mirrored movements. It was like traveling back in time and Gabriel felt a longing for the past.
Breathing heavily, Gabriel sat in the lotus position. Justin sat down across from him. By the twinkle in his eyes, Gabriel knew that Justin had enjoyed the workout. Placing his hands on his knees, Gabriel instructed, "Now clear your mind of everything. Concentrate on your own breathing. Empty your mind of all thought and breath like this."
Justin followed suit and shut his eyes. All the stress melted away as he breathed. It was as if an ocean crashed into him, stripping away his fears and laying his mind bare. Emotions that he had long ago suppressed filtered to the surface and demanded reckoning.
As Justin sorted out his churning emotions, Gabriel watched him. By the look on his face, Gabriel knew that Justin was hooked. The first time someone experiences meditation and gets it right is a marvelous thing. Like a veil has been lifted from their eyes and they no longer see life through a hazy shade. Justin would take this small thing and run with it, Gabriel was sure.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Lance opened his eyes and groaned loudly. Could someone stop the banging, he anguished as he held his head tightly? His mouth was dry and had a nasty aftertaste that no amount of swallowing could rid it. The light from the windows burned in his head and a slow steady pounding that threatened to explode his head.
As he moved, he clutched his stomach tenderly. He felt like he wanted to throw up and then the smell hit him. A putrid smell that informed him that he had already spit up at least once. Noticing the smell came from the pillow he had been clutching he rolled over, trying to get as far away as he possibly could.
That's when he saw him, sitting in a chair. Jc was sprawled out in an armchair, his head resting against the arm at an angle that he would feel for days to come. In his lap was an empty water bottle filled with cigarette ashes and one was still burning in his hand almost to the bandage, just inches away from catching it fire.
"What the fuck happened last night?" Lance groaned as he tried to sort out the dark images assaulting his cloudy mind. Everything was a dark blur, the bar, the shots, someone singing to him.
Shaking his head, then vowing never to do that again, he tried to sit up but the blackness threatened to engulf him again. Deciding that he should stay right where he was, he called out, "Josh."
Not getting any answer, he actually used his voice this time, "Josh. Wake up man."
Jc stirred, his eyes opening slowly. Seeing Lance peering at him, he yelled as the cigarette reached his fingers. "Fuck." He scrambled to put out the burning ember into the water bottle.
Launching himself to the side of the bed, he knelt and asked, "Lance are you alright?"
"I think so." Lance replied. "But I could be dead and I wouldn't know it."
"I have something to tell you and I don't want any interruptions." Jc stated excitedly. "I love you."
Through the haze the words registered slowly. Did he just say he loved me? "What?" Lance asked, trying to wake up from this dream.
Jc only leaned in and kissed him gently on the lips. "I said I love you."
"I don't know when I fell in love with you. I only know that these last months have been the worst months in my life. Ever since I made love to you so long ago in St. Louis I can't get you out of my head." Jc stated quickly. Not giving Lance any time to speak he continued.
"It's everything about you. I think about you when I'm singing. When I'm trying to read a book on the bus my thoughts drift to you. I see you everywhere, in everyone I meet. Your laugh, the way you try and keep Justin in line. The stupid way you eat your soup. When you try and not laugh at Joey or Chris's stupid pranks you get a look on your face that sends my heart soaring."
Grabbing Lance's hands in his, Jc sniffled, "I think about you from the time I wake up to the time I go to bed at night. During performances you're there, strong and supportive behind me. Through all the bullshit that makes up our life you're there, silent and knowing. Even in my dreams I think about you. What I wouldn't give just to kiss you or tell you how much you really mean to me. You're the reason I live. The only reason I have to smile. You're the only one that understands when I cry. It's always been you and I love you more then I've ever thought possible." Jc was sobbing now; his words running together like he was scared that if he didn't say them now, he would never get the courage to say them again.
Lance squeezed his hands tightly; tears flowing down his cheeks as he finally heard the words he had been waiting to hear for years. Tears of joy fell down his face and a smile found its way on his countenance.
"Josh, I..." Lance muttered before rolling away from him. Barely making it to the edge of the bed he emptied the remains of his stomach on the floor.
Jc watched in horror as Lance dry heaved over the side of the bed. He crawled on the bed and tried to comfort him as best as anyone can while someone is heaving up his dinner. When the spasms ceased, Lance rolled over and stared into the perfect blue eyes that are Josh, his Josh.
"Josh." Lance mumbled through his tears. "I know this isn't really the best time but could you get me some water."
"Yes." Jc almost shouted as he ran over to the mini bar and retrieve a bottle of water along with the empty ice bucket. Sitting next to him, he held up his head and guided the cool liquid to his lips. "Here, wash out your mouth and spit it in here."
Lance did as instructed and washed away the burning bile that coated his mouth and throat. Finally he took a big swig and emptied the bottle. This caused Jc to run over to the mini bar again and this time he brought back two bottles.
Lance thanked him with a smile and stared at him. "Josh—I don't know what to say."
"Don't say anything." Jc stated as he put his fingers over the man's mouth. "I'm sorry that I've put you through this. Can you give me one more chance? This time to start out right."
Lance nodded as Jc leaned in and kissed him again. This time Lance returned the kiss and found Jc's tongue begging for admittance. The fact that he had just thrown up didn't seem to matter to either of them and they gave into months of yearning.
Breaking the kiss, Lance smiled, "You taste like cigarettes. Since when do you smoke?"
Giggling Jc replied, "You taste like vomit. I think I would prefer cigarettes to that."
"Josh...my Josh." Lance said, trying out the words and finding out it was everything he always dreamed it would be. "I do love you. I've always loved you from the first day we met."
A smile broke out on Jc's face, splitting his face and causing his eyes to sparkle. "I love you too." He replied, snuggling against the man and sighing.
"Do you think we can get a shower and have someone clean up this mess? It's making me nauseous again." Lance stated as he wiggled his nose.
"Yes." Jc yelled out. "Anything you want."
They got up and while Lance shuffled to the shower, Jc called room service and explained the situation and asked if someone could come up right away. Room service assured him that it would be taken care of immediately and he almost ran to the shower. Lance was already standing under the stream of water and he quickly shut the bathroom door and locked it. Shucking off his shorts he joined his love in the shower.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The man was dressed in a finely tailored gray suit with a soft blue tie. His red hair was styled nicely and his green eyes were hidden underneath a pair of thick glasses. When the elevator doors opened, he walked into the fifth floor hallway. In one hand he carried a briefcase, brown and worn.
Stopping in front of 538, he knocked on the door loudly. Hearing no movement in the room, he reached inside his jacket and pulled out a small leather case. Opening it, he turned on the small hand held computer. Grabbing the card that was attached to it by a cord, he pushed it into the key card slot. The light turned green and he pushed the door open and stepped inside.
After checking the room, he thumbed through the pictures that littered the floor. Smiling to himself, he quickly checked all the bags in the room. The smile drained from his face and he shook his head sadly. Noticing the bed was still made he wondered where the assassin had slept.
Opening his briefcase, he laid a packet of pictures along with a videotape on the bed. Then he laid out all the equipment from the bags in the bathroom neatly around the pictures. This would get his attention he thought.
Making sure all was how he wanted; he opened the door slightly and peered out into the hall. Seeing no one, he shut the door behind him and headed for the elevator. Resolving himself that Gabriel Foster would be stopped, he whistled as he waited for the doors to open. Soon Gabriel, he sent his thought out. Soon this will all be over and you will pay for your crimes.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The man sat at the laptop, a single light bulb shining in the darkened room. His eyes peering intently at the screen as he answered an email.
"All is according to schedule. Is it still a go for tonight?"
"Yes. And what of Robert?"
"No problem. He's attached himself to Justin Timberlake of Nsync. He is not a problem."
"This Justin, can you use him as leverage?"
"Negative. Justin has him so mixed up that to interfere would be directly opposite of our goals. Any interference with Justin would cause Robert to wake up. For now he is happily ignorant of the situation."
"Make sure he stays that way. And Frederick, no unnecessary viable need to be erased. Only the two marks. Am I clear?"
"Crystal. Until tonight."
The man terminated the connection and went back to cleaning his high-powered sniper rifle. He would not miss again. The next time Gabriel was in his sites would be the last time Gabriel drew breath. Either way, he would be forty million dollars richer by midnight. And if civilians got in his way it would only be a bonus. He never liked that boy band shit anyway.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The ringing of the phone caused Lonnie to jump out of bed with a start. Noticing that it was his private phone and not his business phone, he cleared his throat before answering, "Hello."
"Lonnie thank god. I've got to talk to you." Fred Worthington's voice shouted through the phone.
"Jesus Fred." Lonnie frowned. "What's so urgent?"
"That picture you sent me. Where did you get it?" Fred shouted, ignoring Lonnie's request.
"Why? I thought you said everything was fine?" Lonnie asked, leaning forward on the bed slightly. All his instincts tuned into the frantic way his friend was speaking to him.
"Do you know where this man is right now?" Fred asked excitedly.
"Yeah, what's this about?"
"Okay." Fred stated, breathing deeply to calm himself down. "After I hung up with you I did some checking. Just some background information on the man. I think I made a mistake about his identity."
"What?" Lonnie exclaimed. "What kind of mistake?"
"Listen. I mean this. When I ran him through the computer my system locked up." Fred explained in a quiet tone. "That file is a restricted file and it sent a red flag to Internal Affairs."
"What does that have to do with anything?" Lonnie asked, knowing that most undercover agent's files were highly confidential even in the department.
"This morning when I came into work Internal Affairs were waiting for me. It seems our mysterious man isn't what he appears at all and I stumbled on a top-secret investigation about someone called Mehmet. They confiscated the picture and warned me to forget everything I found out."
"What? But is he one of you or is he one of the investigated?" Lonnie asked, fear creeping into his voice. What the fuck did you get yourself involved in Justin?
"I don't know." Fred admitted. "But they were serious enough to threaten me with the loss of my job so I know something big is happening."
"Fuck. This is not good." Lonnie muttered. "I didn't mean to get you into trouble."
"The worst part of it is, they're sending out another two agents to Hershey today." Fred stated again. "Something to do with the Senator's safety."
"Fuck me." Lonnie yelled. "My boys are going to be with the Senator all day today."
"Listen. What ever is going on has the entire department nervous. I suggest that you keep your boys away from this man and make sure you never let them out of your sight. Something is going down today and I don't want you in the middle of it." Fred warned, stressing it again. "Keep away from this man. Whoever he is, he has everyone here petrified."
"Thank you for warning me." Lonnie said sincerely. "I know how much trouble you can get in."
"Hey, us army buddies have to stick together." Fred said with a forced smile. "Be careful Lonnie. If half of what I expect is true, you are dealing with one of the most wanted man in the country."
"I'll do that." Lonnie assured him. "Thank you again."
Lonnie hung up the phone and groaned loudly. Reaching for the other cell phone, he dialed Mike's number.
Mike answered, his voice deep and strong. "What' up boss?"
"Where's Justin at?" Lonnie asked, veiling his worry from his employee.
"Still in his room along with Jc and Lance. They're all having breakfast together." Mike answered, sipping a cup of coffee.
"Is Gabriel still with him?" Lonnie asked hoping the man was long gone.
"No reason. Call me when he leaves okay, I've got to talk to Justin about something." Lonnie lied smoothly. The last thing he needed was Mike to find out. He was still nursing a grudge against Gabriel and who knows what he would try to do if he found out the truth. If Gabriel was the man everyone thought he was, Mike would only serve to get himself killed and possibly Justin as well.
Lonnie hung up the phone and dressed quickly in a pair of jeans and a yellow T-shirt. Walking over to his bags, he retrieved his Glock and loaded it. Wishing that Gabriel had never come into his life, he waited on the call from Mike. It was going to be a very long day.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
"Congratulations guys." Justin beamed, again hugging Jc tightly. "That is the best news I've gotten in a long time."
Jc and Lance had a hint of redness in their faces; neither could really believe that it finally happened. Every few minutes one of them would reach out and touch the other just to make sure it wasn't a dream.
"Thank you." Jc beamed at Lance. "And I mean thank you."
Justin played dumb and grinned, "Your welcome, even though I had no idea that was going on between you two."
Lance only grinned, "It was something private between just us. I'm just glad that you had that talk with him." He caressed Jc's cheek fondly.
"But what about you?" Jc exclaimed. "Lance told me all about that guy you were with last night."
"Yeah, Gabriel." Justin mused with a stupid grin on his face. "I know, it's a shock to me as well."
"Looks like our baby is finally growing up." Lance spoke to Jc with a grin. "Now we'll have the house all to ourselves."
"And I mean to make the most of it believe me." Jc growled, giving him a kiss on the cheek.
"So where is the mystery man at?" Lance asked, looking around the sitting room.
"He's in the shower. But I told him that we were having breakfast so he should be out here soon." Justin informed him, glancing over the menu. "What do you guys want for breakfast?"
"Bacon and eggs." Jc shouted licking his lips loudly.
"Same here." Lance echoed.
Justin winced as he sat down. His body was sore and stiff in places he never knew he had. Not only from the lust filled night but also from the exercise that Gabriel had led him through early that morning.
"Justin." Gabriel announced as he walked into the room wearing a pair of Justin's shorts and a white tanktop. The shorts were a comfortable fit but the tanktop was stretched across his upper body tightly. "I think this shirt is too small." He complained to Justin with a grin.
"I think it's just right." Justin gave him a look filled with lust.
Gabriel noticed the other two men and smiled warmly. "Good morning. I didn't know you were here yet."
"No problem." Lance said approvingly. "I think the shirt is a great fit as well."
"Hey, remember me." Jc scolded him but not before he lingered a bit to long on Gabriel's well defined physique.
"And how could I forget you." Lance said as leaned into his lover, his lips barely brushing Jc's arm.
Jc smiled, but you could see a touch of hesitation in his manner. Accepting Lance was one thing but showing it in front of a stranger was something else.
Seeing the awkward moment, Justin asked, "So Gabe what do you want for breakfast. We were just about to order."
Sitting down next to Justin on the couch, he said, "A tall glass of orange juice and a wheat bagel."
"That's it?" Jc exclaimed. "I would die before lunch."
Patting his tight stomach Gabriel answered with a grin, "Have to keep myself in shape you know." The whole time curious about the bandages covering Jc's hands. So that's why the gloves last night, he mused.
"Yeah I can see. You're getting fat and all." Lance teased easily. From the first moment he had met the longhaired man he took an instant liking to his easy going manner. Something about his smile or the way he looked at everyone and everything without seeming to.
"Fat comes in ounces you know." Gabriel fired back. "What are you having?"
"Bacon and eggs." Lance shot back, daring him to say anything.
Gabriel made the motions of having a heart attack, finally falling against Justin dramatically. "Ha, ha." Jc said dryly. "Very funny."
"Besides, we're celebrating." Lance stated, grabbing Jc's hand tightly.
"You two finally got together after all." Gabriel said with amazement on his scarred face. "Bout time if you ask me."
"We didn't." Lance said with a grin. "But thanks for the input anyway."
Justin shrugged and ordered the breakfast. Unlike Gabriel he needed more than a bagel to hold him off till lunch so he ordered a bagel and a basket of fruit along with orange juice.
"Don't forget about coffee." Jc piped in during the order. "I gots to have my coffee."
"Gots." Lance teased him. "That's not even a word."
"It is now." Jc said sarcastically.
"Can you see why I love him?" Lance asked Gabriel with a grin.
"Nope. But then I've always thought love was a bit cock-eyed." Gabriel shrugged ignoring the look Jc gave him. Remembering last nights conversation with Lance he said, "Hey Lance. I guess Jc didn't have to much to drink last night, huh."
Smiling wickedly, Lance laughed. Justin and Jc exchanged looks, confusion on their face. They shrugged and ignored the other two who were laughing at a joke only they knew.
They chatted for twenty minutes until the breakfast cart arrived. Justin opened the door and after signing the bill called out, "Breakfast is served."
To Be Continued
NOTES: I can be reached atWolfflyer26@Yahoo.com for any questions or comments.
Copyright©2002 Glacier Boy