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.
Finally, Chapter Twenty, the conclusion of Blind Revolution. Looking back over the last year I'm amazed that not only are people still reading the story but some of them actually think I've improved. While that's up for debate and an argument I really don't want to have, I do want to say thank you for all the loyal readers who have stuck with the story through infrequent postings to crappy editing to just downright bad writing. And to my partner, Angel, a dream is only a wisp of smoke until turned into reality by actions.
And finally, to Ann for her invaluable input and tireless effort in all things glacier boy related. Long hours spent over multiple pitchers of beer and nuclear hot wings to just listening to me as I pick apart every word in every sentence. And to her editing this chapter and suggesting the changes. A writer is only as good as his/her editor. You give me the wings to fly. Cheers and tears.
CHAPTER TWENTY: TEARS ON STONE
Justin Timberlake, his hair matted and his clothes soaked through with sweat, had a determined look on his face as he glared intently at his bodyguard, Lonnie. In one hand a towel hung limply and in the other was a bottle of water, no longer usable because of being smashed in his anger. Lonnie was looking anywhere but at the young singer, his black eyes glassy from the painkillers Doctor Phelps had injected into the big man. Justin looked on as the private tour doctor skillfully sutured the wound together. Biting his lip in frustration, he managed to hold in his anger. Even though Doctor Phelps was Nsync's private physician and had signed a none disclosure agreement long ago, Justin knew there were certain things the good doctor didn't need to know. But it took all his concentration to fight back the words that threatened to spill from his lips at any moment.
Even with the night's events weighing heavily on his mind, the nights show was one of the best on the entire tour. He had been so keyed up and nervous about Gabriel, the energy transcended itself into his performance. And subsequently, his performance swept the other members up and all of them gave heart and soul. After the show, even the crew had commented on the high level of energy they displayed.
He had managed to push it away during the concert and for a few brief moments afterward, he still rode high on the euphoria of performing in front of thousands of screaming fans. All that came crashing down when Mike informed him quietly that Lonnie was in bus 5 with the doctor. He had left the backstage area without bothering to shower or to change, the reality of the situation washing over him. Now as he watched the final steps of Lonnie's surgery, he had so many unanswered questions to ask the big man and too many people around to voice them. So patiently he waited for the doctor to finish.
Finally, an hour after the show ended, the doctor finally allowed Lonnie to be helped back to the lounge in the back of the bus where they had fixed a makeshift bed for him to rest on. With a few parting words to Lonnie, the doctor smiled weakly at Justin and disappeared back to the front of the bus, leaving the two alone. But not before he shut the door with a grim look on his aged face.
As soon as the door closed, Justin asked, "What happened Lonnie? And don't give me that there are things I don't need to know shit."
Lonnie, stretched out uncomfortably on the bed, shifted in discomfort, stalling for time as he reached for a bottle of water. Grunting, he took a long drink before answering weakly, "I followed him like you told me too."
"Who cares about that? What happened?" He interrupted angrily, adding. "Is he alright?"
Nodding, Lonnie stated, "Last time I saw him he was fine. It seemed that I didn't need to save his life after all. Matter of fact, he kind of saved mine."
Lonnie quickly filled Justin in on the night's events. Starting with the strange conversation he overheard between Gabriel and the mystery man and ending with the harrowing gunfight on the catwalk high above the stadium floor during the last song of the concert. Even with the influence of the painkillers, he still managed to keep the part about Gabriel being an assassin a secret, along with the revelation that his real name was really Tommy Cain.
While he waited for the doctor to come for him, he had mulled over the conversation in his mind till the pieces fit together like a perfect puzzle. He had his own suspicions about the identity of the mystery man and he would have bet a dollar to a million that he was right. It was just too perfect in a kind of sickly twisted in a way if he was right. But that was something he'd have to find out about later. After all, he knew Gabriel's real name, now it was just a matter of time before his friends could find out all there was to know about Tommy Cain.
When he finished his tale, Justin stood there quietly, a thoughtful expression on his face. After a few moments, he stated, "So he's going back to the hotel to stop this Tom guy right?"
Lonnie shook his head drowsily, the pain medication working its magic. "Yeah and by the look on his face, Tom's a dead-man."
Smiling stupidly, Justin said in wonder, "He really stopped to save you."
"Yep." Lonnie grinned back, hoping it was just the drugs talking. "He had the man dead to rights but let him get away."
"Do you think Tom will go after the Senator tonight? Even though Gabriel shot him?" Justin asked, suddenly remembering all the security the Senator had with him.
Lonnie replied groggily, "He has too. Gabriel said the contract had to be filled tonight. It's now or never."
Lonnie winced as he saw the wheels turning in the singers head. Remembering how intelligent the boy was, he suddenly had the feeling that he said too much. His fear was solidified when Justin stated, "He's not on the Senator's security team is he?"
Lonnie laid his head back on the pillow and shut his eyes, ignoring the question. Justin had said it so pointedly that he couldn't bear to confirm it.
Justin knelt down and brushed his hand across the black man's cheek tenderly and asked softly, "Look at me."
Lonnie turned his head and met his eyes reluctantly. Justin spoke again, "What haven't you told me?"
"I can't." Lonnie whispered. "Please don't make me. I promised."
Standing up, Justin said gruffly, "As far as anyone knows, you hurt yourself on something backstage. It's nothing serious but Doc thinks you should stay in the bus tonight. He'll stay up front to make sure you're okay and that no one bothers you or asks any questions."
"Yes, that's good." Lonnie slurred, his eyes shutting involuntarily. Just as he was drifting off to sleep, he heard Justin say, "I'm sorry for dragging you into this. It's my fault; you could've died because of me. I'm sorry my friend."
He tried to respond but his mouth wasn't working properly. Giving up, he let the blackness wrap around him, holding him, carrying him off to dream.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Tom Pavone sat in his car, absently chewing on an unlit cigar. He had bandaged his shoulder somewhat and took some morphine, but at the edge of his mind, the wound throbbed. Luckily the bullet had missed any major arteries and had already coagulated. But he knew any amount of activity would open it back up. Having his shoulder out of commission altered his plan drastically. Now he couldn't trust himself to make the clean shot, now he had to get more up close and personal. A feat hard to do with twenty secret service agents all over the hotel, a bloody arm and not to mention one pissed off assassin hunting him. Whatever he decided to do needed to be quick and had to be finished before the night ended. As he waited in the car, he replayed the events over and over in his mind. Cursing himself for losing the upper-hand, he saw his mistakes clearly. Mistakes he would not make a second time. He might be rusty but there were several tricks left in this old dog. And the next time he saw Gabriel, that faggot would die. With a grunt, the big man opened the car door and disappeared in the shadows, the moonlight reflecting off his pistol.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
In the hotel garden, Gabriel knelt down patiently in the shadows, his eyes scanning for any signs of Tom or the Senator's guards. After leaving Lonnie, he retraced his steps down through the stadium, stopping only long enough to call Scott. The pudgy man accessed the Stadium's security codes and informed him that Tom had left by the South Gate three minutes earlier. Rushing to his car, he headed towards the Hotel, the one place he knew the big man was headed for.
Now, thirty minutes later, he was crouched down in the Hanging Gardens, deep in the shadows of an evergreen tree, waiting. His right arm throbbed from where the bullet had grazed him and his white shirt was covered in blood. The wound was not too bad, just bad enough to irritate him.
Inhaling, he took in the fragrance of the garden. The thousands of flowers gave off a heady aroma, a clean crisp outside smell that promised better days and better times. It was just two days earlier that he had met Justin there; the thought brought a crooked smile to his face. So much in so little time had happened to alter him from one simple encounter in the garden. Two days earlier he was naively assuming that Tom was his closest friend, someone he could trust, someone he could turn too for help. Two days earlier he was happily single, a loner content with a string of one night stands. Now, his entire world had turned upside down. His best friend tried to kill him, not once but twice. He realized he was completely in love with Justin Timberlake, a fucking entertainer. And some strange man who knew way too much about him dogged his every step, going so far as to find out his real name. Something about the man spoke of familiarity, a feeling that only comes from years of trust. Much like the relationship between a father and son.
Shaking his head to clear his mind, Gabriel stood up and made his way silently to the entrance of the indoor pool. After picking the lock, he opened the door softly and quickly slipped inside the building. Almost immediately he felt something slam into his right shoulder. Crying out at the unexpected pain, he instinctively covered the wound with his left hand even as he brought his own gun to bear. But he was too slow a hand gripped his gun tightly. Tom was suddenly in front of him, a hulking mass with a maniacal grin, gripping his hand tightly. For a second, he struggled with the man. But when he heard bones breaking, he let go of the gun. Tom raised a massive hand back; Gabriel tensed as the hand rushed towards him, knocking him flat on his back on the floor.
Gabriel looked up at his so called friend while the big man kicked away his fallen pistol. His vision started to blur at the loss of blood and he fought to maintain consciousness. Tom cackled evilly and backed away from him, his pistol aimed at Gabriel's defenseless head.
"I can't believe you Tom. My friend." Gabriel spat out in anger. "I trusted you."
Laughing again, Tom looked at him with wild eyes, "I fooled everyone. Me, Tom Pavone. Who would have thought that I could beat you? The most dangerous man in the world my ass." Another evil laugh spilling from his lips.
Tom suddenly stopped smiling and took a step forward; stating coldly, "Finally I get my due."
Gabriel snuck a glance at his pistol, twenty feet away. Too far to ever reach it in time. He had another gun tucked into the back of his pants, but he couldn't figure out a way to get it without tipping Tom off. So trying to buy time, he asked, "Was it just for the money or did you do it for the satisfaction of killing me?"
A smile slipped back across his features, Tom answered, "You might say that the opportunity to put you in your place was incentive enough." He paused before adding. "Though twenty million dollars is a lot of money when you think about it."
"Too bad you won't live long enough to enjoy it." Gabriel said threateningly.
Laughing, Tom stepped closer, his pistol steady in his hand, "Oh I don't think I'll have a problem. I'm the one holding the gun."
"My partner knows it's you." Gabriel said through clenched teeth, shifting his body as if in great pain. With his good arm, he tried to push himself off the floor. Giving up, he slumped back down. "And you can bet that twenty million that he won't stop until you're dead."
"You mean that fat nerd you've got working for you?" Tom asked with a grin. "I don't think he'll be too much of a problem.
Walking closer, Tom stated, "Well, enough chit-chat. I've still got to take care of another problem." Leaning down, he asked in a quiet, deadly voice, "How does it feel to finally stare death in the face Gabriel?"
With a sneer, Gabriel replied, "I'm not impressed."
Smiling wickedly, Tom cocked his pistol. "A smartass even up to the very end huh Gabriel."
"At least I don't stab my friends in the back." Gabriel said softly.
"This isn't personal." Tom argued. "But it is going to be enjoyable. No one here to save you this time."
With a grin, Gabriel replied, "Except for him."
Tom's eyes widened as he heard the distingue sound of a pistol being cocked behind him. His mouth opened to say something but the bullets ripping through his body cut him off. Wordlessly he stared at Gabriel as the blonde lifted his own gun up. Cocking the powerful handgun, Gabriel stated softly, "This is personal."
Tom's head snapped back, a small hole appearing in his forehead. The big man toppled over, his blood pooling around him as he took his last breath.
"You could've shot sooner you know." Gabriel complained, pushing himself up. Walking over to Tom's body, kicking the gun away as he bent over and casually checked the man for a pulse.
The mystery man covered the distance from the exit over to where Gabriel was standing hurriedly. In a rush, he demanded, "Give me you're gun."
Gabriel focused his attention on the man before him. And much to his chagrin, the man's hat still hid his face from view. And even though the man had saved his life twice already, he wasn't about to give up his only gun. Shaking his head, he replied, "I don't think so."
The man glanced across the room towards the hall where the elevator was and replied, "Those shots weren't silenced. In about two minutes, a lot of men in bad suits are going to walk through that door wondering what all the fuss was about. If they find you here holding that gun it's going to be tough for them to believe my story."
Gabriel winced as he pressed against his wounded arm to stop the bleeding. But he did ask, "And what's that story?"
"I'll show them my badge and tell them that I have been tracking the assassin known as Robert for the last five years. And that trail led me to Hershey Pennsylvania where I found him trying to assassinate the Senator. So I terminated him." The man created the lie so smoothly; it spoke of a man with lots of practice. "But since Robert was shot with two different guns, I better have both guns in my hand don't you think?"
"So Robert's dead?" Gabriel asked, a small smile creeping on his face.
"As far as I'm concerned he is. But this won't work unless you're really retired like you say you are." The man added quickly as he glanced at the doorway again.
Tossing the gun at the man, Gabriel assured him, "Robert's gone. You'll never hear of him again. I promise."
"Good enough for me." The man stated as he wiped the fingerprints off the weapon. Gabriel walked over to his other gun and bent down and picked it up. Shoving it back inside his holster, he started for the exit door. As he opened the door, he turned and faced the man. With a smile, he waved and said, "I owe ya."
The man held up his hand, his first two fingers extended, "That's two you owe me."
Grinning, Gabriel disappeared from the building, leaving the man to tell his story. Sticking to the shadows, he headed back towards the car. Struggling to pull his cell phone from his right pants pocket, he stopped when he heard a voice call out softly.
"So is it all over?"
He turned slowly around and saw Justin sitting on a bench in front of a cascade of colorful flowers, the very bench he had been sitting on two days earlier when they first met. Christ, was it only two days ago? Grinning despite himself, Gabriel answered softly, "Yeah. It's all over."
Taking a hesitant step forward, Gabriel asked, "How's Lonnie doing?"
"Good. Doc says he'll be fine. He's sleeping right now." Justin replied quietly. "He told me what you did for him. Thank you."
Gabriel didn't know what to say. Instead he stared at Justin. The singer was still in his stage costume and despite the chill in the air, he had no coat on. His hair was messy and Gabriel could smell the strong body odor emanating off him. He looked good enough to eat. He had his legs pulled up and he was hugging his knees, a far away look on his young face.
Speaking softly, Justin said, "I was sitting out here wondering where you were and if you were alright. Hoping that somehow you'd make it through all this shit okay. But when I heard those shots a few minutes ago I didn't know what to do. I froze. A part of me wanted to run up there and see if you were alright and a part of me wished that you were dead."
Not knowing how to reply to something like that, Gabriel shook his head, his mind fuzzy with pain, and his vision blurry. Quietly he spoke, "I never meant to hurt you Justin. I never wanted to cause you pain."
"And yet you do." Justin said simply. "I wonder if it's always like that."
"Is what always like that?" Gabriel asked, confused.
"When you love someone."
He had said it so calmly Gabriel cocked his head to the side to make sure he understood what the boy had said. "You love me?"
Standing up, Justin's face flashed in anger, "The most fucked up thing in the world is I don't even know you. I don't know you're name or even if I was some kind of perverse game you always play with people. Or if you feel the same way about me." Raising his arms in frustration, he declared, "Is that fucked up or what?"
"Justin..." Gabriel started to say but was interrupted by the singer.
In his anger, Justin had walked closer to where Gabriel was standing. And unconsciously, Gabriel had taken a step towards him as well. When he walked out of the shadows and into the soft moonlight of the garden, Justin took a deep intake of breath and ran the rest of the way over to him. "You're hurt." He declared simply, wrapping his arms around the weak man.
For the first time, he noticed Gabriel was slurring when he replied, "Whatever I might be, whatever lies I might have said, you were never a game to me. In a way, you were the best thing that ever happened to me."
"Shut up." Justin ordered, taking off his shirt. Placing the shirt over the wound and applying pressure, he stated excitedly, "You need to go to the hospital."
"No." Gabriel admonished, wincing in pain. "They have to call the cops if a gunshot victim is brought in."
"But you'll die." Justin argued, concern covering his face.
"Reach in my pocket for my phone." Gabriel instructed, using his good hand to point to his right pants pocket.
Justin didn't hesitate, but immediately reached into the pocket. Gabriel couldn't help but giggle and say, "That's not my phone."
"You wish." Justin said with a grunt, pulling out the phone. Gabriel reached for it and dialed Scott's number. After only one ring, Scott answered, "Hello."
"Scott, I need to go to the butcher. And I don't think I can drive myself."
"Where are you?" Scott asked, already standing up and heading for the door.
"The hanging gardens. Almost to the parking lot." Gabriel informed him as he fought to stay conscious.
"Be right there." Scott promised before hanging up the phone.
Leaning back into Justin's arms, Gabriel looked up at the sweetest face he ever saw. His vision was already blurry, his body numb from shock and loss of blood. Reaching up with his good hand, he caressed Justin's face tenderly and said, "I do too."
The last thing he saw before he passed out was Justin's smiling face. Then it all went black.
Email me at Wolfflyer26@Yahoo.com for any comments or questions. Anything concerning Angel, FIreangel197502@Yahoo.com See ya.
Copyright 2003 Glacier Boy