The following story is fictional and is intended for an adult audience. It is not meant to suggest anything about the sexuality of Justin Timberlake or any other celebrities included in this story. This story is fiction, meaning not real. It's all for fun. If you are under age, it is illegal in your country, or you don't like stories about gay sex, please stop reading this now.
Justin walked into the house, finding his best friend waiting in the front hallway.
Trace pulled Justin into a tight hug, Justin feeling his friend's love.
The two hugged each other tightly, Cynthia wheeling her chair quietly down the hall from the kitchen.
"How are you doing, Jus?" Trace said, Justin seeing the caring and concern on his friend's face.
"I'm doing okay, Tray. Doing okay."
Trace nodded, guiding his friend into the living room.
Justin sat down on the couch, Trace sitting beside him, Cynthia quietly looking at both men.
"I'll leave you two to talk." she said, smiling at Justin, Justin seeing her friendship in that kind smile.
"No, Cynthia, please stay. You're a good friend, and you're with Trace now. We've no secrets, my friend."
Cynthia smiled, quietly sitting and watching the two men.
Justin looked at his friend, and Cynthia.
"Jessica and I have broken up."
Trace's eyes went to Cynthia's.
"She basically told us that, Justin. And she wasn't too happy that you left. She left under less than congenial terms." Trace said, looking at Cynthia.
"She's gone? Good. I really didn't want to see her any more. What's done is done. I have to move on." Justin said, Trace hearing the hurt still there in Justin's voice.
Trace's arm went around his friend, Justin feeling his support.
"You were right, Trace. She was controlling me. I was too blind to see it until today. Until we talked face to face. Then I saw it plainly. Her using me to fulfill her needs. I wasn't anything more than a feather in her cap. And she showed that to everyone. I wasn't even enough to satisfy her."
Justin lowered his head, Trace seeing the hurt in his eyes.
"She cheated on you? I'm so sorry, Jus." Trace said, knowing how much that would hurt Justin.
Trace had been with him through the Britney years.
"Yes, Trace. She tried to seduce me outside. Attempting to take me under her spell again. To make me forget the truth. I saw a hickey on her thigh. It was fresh. I know she's been unfaithful."
Trace tightened his hold on Justin, Justin's blue eyes looking into his friend's.
"Why can't people be true to me? What makes them want to hurt me?" Justin said, the tears beginning again.
"It's not you, Jus. A kinder, gentler, more giving soul I've never met. I've felt your love, Justin. It's not you."
Justin nodded, wiping his eyes.
"I finally told her about my inner feelings, Tray. About my feelings in regards to my sexuality."
Trace nodded, looking at Cynthia.
Cynthia wheeled her chair up to the two friends, her hand going on top of Justin's.
"It's not hard to see that you're a giving man, Justin. You've given your love to so many, Jessica included. It's not your fault that she couldn't see her concept of fame being in the way of your love. You didn't deserve that kind of relationship. Hopefully, with him you'll find what you've been searching for."
Justin's eyes widened, staring into the green eyes of the young woman in front of him.
Cynthia smiled, her smile touching his heart.
He saw total acceptance in that smile.
"It's not hard to see that you've developed deep feelings for Joe, Justin. And Trace and I totally understand why."
Justin nodded, looking at her and his best friend.
"I've never met anyone like him. Perhaps he's the one I can finally find truth and honesty in."
Cynthia nodded, patting his knee.
"I want to tell you something from my heart, Justin."
Justin nodded, waiting for her to speak.
"You never deserved that woman I saw today, Justin. In her, I saw a conniving shrew. A first-class bitch."
Justin and Trace both widened their eyes in surprise at Cynthia's use of that word.
"But I believe in my heart that it would have been only a matter of time before you saw the real her, without what's happened here today drawing it out sooner. I'm glad it happened now before you made the mistake of marrying her. You deserve so much more, Justin. In the last few days, I've seen a young man with a giving heart, a nurturing soul and a steadfast loyalty. Those are all traits that woman didn't have. Trace is lucky to have your friendship, and now so am I. Joe will be even luckier to have your love."
Justin smiled, a soft smile of hope.
"I need to give you some advice, Justin. Take it as a friend's loving advice."
Justin nodded, smiling at her.
"Take it slow with Joe, Justin. Joe's on a rollercoaster ride of emotions. But he'll soon see your love as plainly as we do. And you yourself are volatile right now. I know it must hurt to have someone you trusted deceive you. To have someone you loved be untrue to that vow of love. The heart is a fragile thing. We've all felt the loneliness of despair and heartache. But the greatest feeling is a heart filled with love. In time, I think you'll find that in Joe's love."
Justin teared up, Cynthia leaning forward, Justin hugging her tightly.
"Thank you, Cynthia. For what you've just said."
"Call me Cindy. My friends always do."
Justin smiled, as did Trace.
"Right now you need to freshen up. Those eyes will give too much away. Joe's up and in the kitchen. He's started cooking supper. He's been asking where you and Jessica went. We haven't told him anything."
Justin nodded, wiping his eyes.
"I'll let Joe know what's going on. I'm not going to hide anything from him."
Cynthia nodded, Trace nodding as well.
"I'm going to change and clean up. Back in a few minutes."
"Take your time, Jus. We'll all be in the kitchen." Cynthia said, Justin hugging both of them again, and then walking out of the room, Trace hearing his feet ascend the stairs.
Trace looked at Cynthia, the young woman smiling at him.
"That was a beautiful thing you did, Cindy."
Cynthia smiled, Trace leaning over and kissing her tenderly.
"Justin's soul and heart are hurting, Tray. He needed to have some hope."
Trace nodded, looking towards the hallway.
"Do you really think he and Joe can find in each other what they need?"
Cynthia tenderly kissed Tray again, Tray lost in her green eyes.
"It's all up to Joe, Tray. Justin's heart is already there, it's just Joe's that needs to see that."
Trace smiled, the two walking out of the living room.
Justin walked into the kitchen fifteen minutes later, his nostrils hit with a heavenly aroma.
"Man! Something smells delicious!" he smiled, two grey eyes turning and looking towards him.
Justin stopped in his tracks, seeing the look on Joe's face.
It was the look of deep concern and emotional caring.
Joe was standing at the stove, stirring a pot slowly.
He moved the pot off the burner, shutting it off.
He walked across the room, enveloping Justin in a tight hug.
Justin was surprised, as were the other four sitting at the kitchen table quietly staring at the two.
"It's okay, Jus. Everything's going to be okay."
Justin looked stunned, not understanding what was going on.
Joe stepped back a little, his arms still around Justin.
"I'm sorry that she hurt you, Justin. No one–especially you–deserves that."
Justin stared in shock, looking at Trace and Cynthia.
Both looked just as shocked, Justin immediately sensing they hadn't told Joe.
Shelly and Henry sat at the table as well, their faces showing just as much shock.
Trace and Cynthia had quietly told them about Jessica's departure.
"How did you know, Joe?" Justin said, his eyes staring into Joe's two pools of liquid silver.
"I sensed something, Justin. A feeling that something was wrong with you. And I felt it had something to do with Jessica. It actually woke me up. . .the feeling, I mean."
Justin looked quietly at the people sitting around the table, his eyes returning to Joe's.
"Jessica and I broke up, Joe."
Joe continued to look into Justin's blue eyes, his arms still around Justin.
"I'm sorry, Justin. I know how hard it must be for you."
Justin quietly nodded, Joe guiding him to the table, pulling out a chair for him.
Justin sat down, Trace quietly looking at Joe.
"Do you need anything, Justin? A drink, something to eat? I'm making dinner but I can whip you something up fast." Joe said, Justin hearing the tenderness in his voice.
"No, thanks. I'm okay Joe. I can wait with everyone else."
Joe nodded, sitting down beside him.
"How long were the two of you together? " he said, the other four quietly watching the young man.
"For almost two years. Two years of lies and deceit." Justin said quietly.
Joe nodded, his hand on top of Justin's.
"We sometimes let our hearts overshadow what's in front of our eyes. Truth can be hidden behind false love."
Justin looked at the young man.
"I've heard that before, Joe. What's it from?"
Joe looked quizzically at Justin.
"I'm not sure. It just popped into my head. But I know it's true. When you're in love you can overlook what's in front of you. No one faults you for that, Justin. I don't know her that well, having only met her today, but I sensed right away that she was not what she appeared to be. People can hide behind masks. I saw her mask was beginning to shatter. I'm sorry it's you that she's hurt. I know the pain's fresh, we won't go into details. You just relax and we'll all be here for you. That's what friends are for."
Justin couldn't help but smile, seeing Joe's unbreakable friendship.
"Thanks, Joe. I'm glad you're here. All of you."
The other four smiled, Shelly patting Justin's shoulder.
"I don't know if this helps Justin, but you're better off without her. I've met a lot of people in my life and I'm usually good at judging people's character. She was as phony as a three dollar bill." Shelly said, Henry smiling at her.
"Perhaps underneath all that glamour and phoniness there's a real sincere, descent person. I believe that was who you fell in love with. I'm glad you saw the truth before it cost you more of your heart."
Justin nodding, feeling her kindness.
"There are plenty of fish in the sea, son. Look at the beauty I landed." Henry said, Shelly blushing.
That made Justin laugh.
Joe smiled, as did Trace, seeing their friend more himself.
Justin's eyes met Joe's.
"Yes, lots of fish." Justin said quietly, Joe smiling and standing up.
"I'll get back to cooking. It won't be long. You five relax and talk."
Joe walked back to the stove, opening the oven door.
Justin quietly watched him, the others talking amongst themselves.
Trace watched Justin watching Joe, his mind on his friend.
Yes, lots of fish.
And Justin's fishing for a unbelievable one.
Half an hour later, Joe had Trace and Henry set the dining room table, Justin and the ladies relaxing and talking in the kitchen.
Joe called everyone together, the group sitting down to dinner.
They all scanned the table, seeing the dishes of rich food all laid out.
"I remembered a few more recipes." Joe said, blushing a little.
They all stared in amazement at the food before them.
"Wow, Joe! Was your mother a chef?" Trace said, Joe quietly looking at him.
"I haven't a clue, Tray. It just seemed to come naturally to me."
Trace smiled, Joe asking Henry to say grace.
They all bowed their heads, Henry reciting a dignified short grace.
After that, all their eyes locked on the delicious food Joe had prepared.
There was a bowl of potatoes, mixed with mushrooms, onions and green peppers, seasoned with spices.
A plate of succulent roast beef lay in the center of the table.
Other bowls held other meat and vegetable dishes.
Another basket held steaming chunks of homemade bread.
"Dig in everyone, before it gets cold."
They all smiled, diving into the rich food.
"God, Joe. This is unbelievable!" Shelly said, her plate full of samples of every dish.
Joe smiled, everyone heaping words of praise.
They all ate to their hearts' content, the food too delicious to warrant light eating.
Justin and Trace both had two plates full, Joe smiling at Justin's warm words of praise.
He knew food was a good crutch in moments of sadness.
He quietly watched his friend, Justin eating with gusto.
But Joe still saw the sadness in his blue eyes.
Yes, Justin was hurting, and Joe sensed it was the hurt of betrayal.
He knew he'd have to talk to him and bring his feelings to the surface.
Joe's mind was on many things at that moment.
And most of them surrounded the young man sitting beside him.
Joe felt Justin's friendship so easily.
The man had grown on him almost immediately.
In the young man, Joe had felt true friendship.
And his heart had smiled when he saw the truth in Justin's wanting to really be his friend.
Joe couldn't believe that Jessica hadn't seen the man's inner soul.
Joe saw it easily.
Justin was a man of deep friendship, tenderness, trust, and giving love.
He thought her a complete fool for ever thinking of hurting this young man.
All I'd want to do is love him, Joe thought.
Joe froze, his mind zoning in on those words he'd just thought.
Where did that come from?
Could his feelings for Justin possibly be that deep?
Joe's eyes stared ahead, Trace looking at him with concern.
And for a very specific reason.
"Joe! Your eyes! They're glowing!!"
Everyone looked up from their food, staring at Joe.
Justin stared in disbelief, seeing the soft silver glow in both eyes.
"Wow!" he said, Joe still staring ahead.
Justin touched his arm, Joe's mind coming out of its trance.
He blinked, the glow gone as fast as it had appeared.
"What?" he said, looking at the five sets of eyes staring at him in shock.
Justin looked into those grey sparkling eyes, Joe staring back at him.
"Your eyes were softly glowing, Joe." Justin said, Joe's face changing to a shocked look.
"What....what are you talking about?"
Trace and Cynthia were staring at him, Joe suddenly feeling uncomfortable.
Justin sensed his emotions.
"It's okay, Joe. It was just such a surprise. You didn't feel it happening?"
Joe shook his head, Justin seeing his obvious concern.
Justin put his hand on top of Joe's.
Joe smiled, then stood up.
"I'll bring in dessert and coffee. Everyone relax." he said, quietly walking out of the room.
Justin watched him leave, his eyes returning to the others watching him.
"What was that, Jus? I've never seen anything like it!" Trace said, Cynthia nodding as well.
"I saw it this morning. I'd mentioned it to Justin." Henry said, Shelly quietly looking at him, Henry telling the `others what had happened that morning.
"Your guess is as good as mine, Tray. It's really strange. But I sense there's a lot of specialness surrounding Joe. That doesn't change my feelings for my friend."
Trace nodded, Cynthia quietly looking at him.
"He looked like he was in a trance. Maybe his mind's overloading or something. With what happened out there, his inner body walking alone and now this, the man's really different, Jus."
"I know, Tray. But he's still something else. He's Joe. I–and I know Henry feels the same way–am not going to treat him as anything else. I think Cynthia knows of what I speak."
Cynthia smiled at Justin.
"Yes, Justin. I know what you're saying. People treated me differently at first because of my handicap, and I had to deal with it. Look at me now. Joe's got a strong heart, he'll handle it well."
Justin smiled, agreeing with her thoughts.
"Excuse me for a moment, I want to give Joe a hand."
Justin got up, walking down the hall into the kitchen.
He saw Joe at the counter, standing quietly, cups of steaming coffee in front of him on a tray.
Another tray sat beside him, laden with what Justin thought looked like small cakes.
Justin walked up to him, seeing Joe staring into the silver coffeemaker's side panel.
He was staring at his own reflection.
"Why did my eyes change? Was it because of what I was thinking about?" he softly said, not realizing Justin was behind him.
"What were you thinking about, Joe?"
Joe jumped a bit, Justin looking at him with concern.
"You startled me, Jus. I wasn't thinking about anything really. Dessert's ready."
Justin smiled, sensing Joe wasn't being honest with him.
He remained quiet knowing Joe would talk to him when he was ready.
"I came in to give you a hand."
Joe smiled, looking into Justin's blue eyes.
"How are you doing?"
"I'm doing okay, Joe. I know it will all come back to haunt me when I lay down to sleep tonight. Right now, I don't want to think about it."
Joe put his hand on Justin's shoulder.
"You were here for me last night, my friend. I'll be here for you tonight."
Justin quietly looked into Joe's eyes, seeing the deep friendship and smiling heart present there.
"Trace's grumbling for some sweetness, we best be moving." Joe said, Justin chuckling.
Justin smiled, Joe walking back into the dining room carrying the tray with the plates of dessert upon it.
Justin walked behind him carrying the tray of coffee.
"This is walnut hazel pudding cake. I hope you like it." he said, handing each a plate of the dessert.
Justin and Joe sat down again, everyone sampling the dessert.
"Oh my, this is delicious! It's a piece of heaven! Another family recipe?" Shelly smiled, Joe smiling.
"I guess so."
Justin smiled, patting his hand.
"I kept getting little flashes of recollections flying through my head. Those recipes pop up easily. It's like there's a room filled with all my memories, and a little is pouring out the keyhole. It's not much but at least it's something."
Justin nodded, squeezing his hand.
"Time will open that door, Joe. All the barriers will come down."
Joe smiled, finishing his dessert.
The ladies helped Joe clean up, he reluctantly accepting their offered help.
The other three men took a walk around outside, the evening air refreshing to their minds and bodies.
"Autumn's coming to a close. Soon the snow shall fall." Henry said, smoking a pipe while he walked between Trace and Justin.
"I love the first snow fall. It's always so magical. Like God's shaking out the sheets of time." Justin said, Henry smiling.
"Nicely put, son. God's bed fluff is covering us."
Justin laughed, as did Trace.
"We need to talk about something, Justin." Henry said, Trace eyeing him quietly.
Justin sensed both men were on the same level of thought.
"Okay, what's up?"
"You're taking Joe to New York in the next few days. He'll be put through a battery of tests. I'm concerned about that."
"Why? What do you think they'll find?"
Henry stopped, leaning against a rail fence that ran the length of his property line.
"I think they'll discover some very interesting things about that young man. I think what we saw out there on that road is just the tip of the iceberg in regards to his abilities. I think Joe is someone unique. Unique in his own self. I want you to promise me something, Justin."
Justin stood in front of Henry, nodding.
"Don't let them experiment on him, Justin. If they find what I think they'll find, don't let them go further. Let them help him with his memories. But don't let them hurt him."
"You have my word that no one will hurt Joe. That's on my heart's honor."
Henry nodded, looking at Trace.
Trace looked at his best friend.
"Henry and I think you should take Joe out to Cutter's Road, Jus. Show him where we found him. Where perhaps all of this started. Henry thinks it might open up his mind, perhaps trigger some memories. What do you think?"
Justin leaned against the fence, nodding.
"I had been thinking that myself, actually. I was out there today. That's where I went when I left Jessica."
Trace remained silent, his eyes on his friend.
"I truly believe something happened out there to Joe, and I think to his family as well. Let's do it. How about tomorrow? I don't think it's a good idea to do it at night."
The other two nodded.
"Justin, Trace and I see what Joe's coming to mean to you. And Trace told me what Cynthia said to you in regards to Joe's feelings. I want to tell you what I think. Seeing those glowing eyes tonight made me think of something."
Justin looked at Henry.
"This morning Joe's eyes were glowing because he was happy. He was singing that strange song, and I believe the happiness he felt came from you. And that was making his eyes glow."
Justin thought on that, tonight's incident confusing.
"Then what happened tonight to make them glow?"
Trace put his hand on Justin's shoulder.
"Henry and I both think Joe was in a trance of love. He was lost in his thoughts of you. He'd been looking right at you when it happened. I think he's happy that you're free now. Perhaps now he can love you."
Justin looked stunned, staring at both of them.
"That's pretty wild, guys. Joe's made no overtures to me or any of you on his feelings in regards to romance."
"We know that Justin. But the last few days I've watched him watching you. At first he felt for you as a protector, as someone who was there for him, to help him and to just be there for him. Now he's seeing you in a new light: as a real friend, and perhaps as something more."
Justin nodded, his eyes going towards the house.
"Do you really think so?"
Trace put his arm around his friend, Henry smiling at their close friendship.
"If his eyes glow because his heart's filled with happiness, you'd better buy sunglasses. Your love and his, I believe, will be spectacular."
Justin smiled, Trace smiling back at him.
"I think the two of you need to have a heart-to-heart talk with each other. Joe needs to know your true feelings, Jus. You see that, don't you?"
"Yes, Tray. I do. But what if I'm not what he wants? What if I hurt him again? What if his refusal hurts me?"
Trace hugged his friend a little tighter.
"If you aren't what he's needing, you'll still remain his friend. Friendship is part of this, Justin. And I truly believe now there's more here than just that."
"Let's go back, I need to talk to him."
The three walked back to the house, Justin walking with a full, nervous heart.
The friends said their goodbyes after the kitchen was cleaned.
Shelly and Henry drove Trace and Cynthia back to Shelly's house.
Henry was going to stay the night there, giving the two young men some time alone.
The four friends hugged both, sensing tonight was a moment of change for these two.
Justin and Joe stood on the front porch, watching the van disappear down the road.
"Ever get the feeling we're being abandoned?" Joe said, Justin chuckling.
"Hey, this is great! Two friends with the place to themselves!"
Joe smiled, walking into the house, looking around.
"Well it's only nine-thirty, too early for bed. What would you like to do, Justin?"
Justin stood beside the closed front door, Joe quietly looking at him.
"Are you okay, Jus?"
Joe felt Justin's nervousness, wondering what was wrong.
"I'm fine, Joe. Just a lot on my mind."
"You go into the living room and start a fire. I'll make us some drinks. Then we'll have a heart-to-heart, my friend."
Justin smiled, watching Joe smiling back, the two walking off to accomplish their tasks.
Ten minutes later, Justin and Joe sat in the living room, both quietly talking.
Joe had made both of them steaming cups of hot chocolate.
Justin was enamoured with how easily Joe seemed to be able to talk with him.
Joe opened the conversation with all that had happened to him, of all he still wasn't certain of.
He talked of the strange man he'd met, of what was going through his mind.
Of the little flashes of memory that kept igniting in the fires of his mind.
Justin gave him words of encouragement and hope.
Then Joe gradually turned the conversation towards Justin's problems.
Joe had a great ability to bring all Justin's thoughts and emotions to the surface.
His voice was soothing and calming, making Justin's own inhibitions relax.
He ended up telling Joe all his inner thoughts.
"Almost everyone that I've loved has hurt me in some way, Joe. It started with Britney."
Joe had been sitting in a wing chair beside the couch that Justin sat on.
He got up, sitting down beside Justin.
Justin felt his caring closeness, Joe there for him if need be.
"What did Britney do?"
"She broke my heart, Joe. She cheated on me. I was totally blindsided by it. I hadn't seen it coming at all. I was totally in love with her. And she betrayed our love. My innocence was lost. I grew up after that."
Joe nodded, his hand rubbing Justin's shoulder.
"You were both young, Justin. Perhaps she was too young to see how real your love was."
Justin nodded, Joe's words calm and filled with meaning.
"Then I was with Cameron for over four years. We grew apart through our careers and I guess our age differences. I think she expected more maturity from me. I wasn't what she wanted. We parted on amiable terms."
"No one can change a person's personality, or their mirthful heart." Joe smiled, Justin smiling at him.
"Then came Jessica?" Joe said, Justin nodding.
"I thought she was the one. The one to stand by me, to love me and be my soulmate. And again, I was wrong."
Joe's hand continued its massage, Justin feeling his tenderness.
"I'm sorry it didn't work out, Justin."
Justin raised his head, the two men staring at each other.
"I'm not, Joe. Yes, I loved her greatly. But something was missing. I'd felt it for quite some time. It all finally came to a crest today. I learned the truth about her, and she learned my inner truth."
Joe quietly looked at Justin.
"Your inner truth, Justin?"
Justin's eyes looked into Joe's grey pools of calmness.
"Yes, Joe. I told her the truth in regards to my own feelings, my own heart."
"That you were falling out of love with her?"
"Yes, Joe. But that was only part of it. Something's been happening for quite some time. It's been building in my soul and my heart. I walked away from it when I was just a teenager, not able to have the courage to go with my heart. I just recently realized the truth of who I am, of what I am, and who I want to spend my life with."
Justin stood up, walking up to the fireplace, looking at the pictures of Henry's family lining the mantle.
"What happened when you were a teenager?" Joe said, his eyes not moving from Justin's face.
Justin turned, looking into his eyes again.
"I fell in love with my best friend."
Joe looked surprised, Justin staring at his beautiful face.
"I fell in love with Lance."
Justin turned his head, not wanting to see Joe's reaction to that statement.
He remained silent, hearing soft footsteps coming towards him.
A hand went to his shoulder, Justin turning his head, staring into Joe's grey eyes.
"That took a lot of courage, Justin. To open your heart to that truth. And to tell me your innermost truth. I'm so glad you have that great a faith in our friendship."
Justin saw no anger, or hurt, or disgust in Joe's grey eyes.
He saw only friendship and acceptance.
"I'm bisexual, Joe. I'm attracted to men and women. Lance was my first lover. He loved me with all his heart. But I didn't have the courage to follow that love, to see where it might lead to. I now think with all my heart it would have led to real happiness and love."
Joe nodded, guiding Justin back to the couch, sitting down beside him again.
Justin opened up his heart, telling Joe all about his relationship with Lance.
Their first moments of love, and the continuing moments through Justin's adulthood.
How Lance had always been there when Justin needed his love–or his body–to fulfill his latent desires.
Joe saw the deep bond he felt the two shared.
"All the women I have been with have hurt me, Joe. Lance never hurt me. Perhaps I should have seen that, that perhaps it's only with a man I can really be loved."
Joe quietly watched his friend, Joe's own feelings brewing under the surface.
He's attracted to men?
He was in love with Lance?
Lance must have been so loved if Justin's heart was his.
Joe's hand found Justin's shoulder.
"It sounds to me that you've carried those feelings for Lance all your continuing adulthood. His love never left your thoughts."
Justin nodded, his eyes still looking into Joe's grey eyes.
"I think this is a sign, Justin. A sign that you need that love again. The love of someone who doesn't love you for your stardom, but for the young beautiful man with a heart of innocence and needful love I see sitting here."
"Lance did love me for me. I was such a gangly, shy, innocent boy when we first met. It was new for both of us. We both felt such happiness in each other."
Joe smiled, seeing Justin's eyes sparkling, a look of happiness on his beautiful face.
"Where is Lance now?"
Justin looked at the young man, staring into those grey eyes.
"He's in New York City. He's totally open now about his sexuality. He's gay, Joe. He came out to the world. I've never been more proud of him. His heart is free, his path in life set. He'll always have my love."
Joe saw the pride and love in Justin's eyes for his former bandmate.
Joe patted Justin's knee.
"I think you should go for it!"
Justin looked at Joe, Joe's smiling face staring back.
"Go for what?"
"I think you should get off your ass, go out that door and go to New York! I think you should take a chance with Lance!"
Justin looked stunned for a moment, then he lowered his head.
"It's okay, Jus. I feel the nervousness in you, the uncertainty of whether you can win his heart again. From what you've told me about him, I'm sure Lance would welcome your love again."
Justin raised his head, Joe seeing tears in his eyes.
"What's wrong, Justin?"
"Oh God, Joe! You've gotten it all mixed up!"
Joe looked confused.
"I love Lance, he'll always have a special place in my heart. He opened my eyes to so much love. To so much hope and courage. My mind has thought through all my doubts, all my uncertainties. And now my heart's ready, as is my soul. I want to find that love again, that special love I had with him. It's just not him that I've now fallen in love with."
It was Joe's turn to look surprised now, Justin's blue eyes staring at him with a new look in them.
Justin took Joe's hand, Joe still staring into those blue pools of determination.
"It's you, Joe. It's you that's captured my heart and soul."
Joe looked totally stunned, pulling away from Justin, Justin watching his every move.
Justin stood up as Joe began to stand, slowly backing away from him.
"No, that can't be! Not me! I am.. . .I'm not. . ."
Justin walked up to him, looking into his grey eyes, where Justin now found confusion, but he also saw something else.
He thought he saw hope and need.
"Yes, Joe. I love you."
Joe stared in shock, Justin remaining still, letting Joe decide what to do.
Joe's eyes began to tear, Justin remaining still.
"How can you love me? I. . .I am nothing."
Justin's own eyes were tearing.
"You aren't nothing, Joe. You're everything. Everything I've searched my whole life for. Your love, beauty, sweetness, kindness and giving heart."
Joe began to sob, Justin beginning to worry that this was too much for the young man.
Joe moved, pulling Justin against him.
Their bodies joined, Justin's arms wrapping around the young man.
"I'm not good enough for your love, Justin. I'm not good enough. But I. . ..I need it so much. . .I need you so much."
Justin felt a sob in his own throat at hearing Joe's heartfelt words.
Joe sobbed against Justin's chest, Justin holding onto the man tightly.
Joe calmed down, backing up a bit, his head raising.
Justin stood in amazement, seeing Joe's grey eyes softly glowing.
"Your eyes Joe? They're glowing again!"
Joe looked into Justin's blue pools, seeing so much love there, so much need.
Justin stared at those now sparkling eyes, Joe beginning to stagger.
"Joe, are you okay?"
Joe stumbled, Justin's arms going out, the young man falling forward.
Justin had him in his arms, the young man almost collapsing.
Joe's eyes were back to normal, Justin looking down at him with deep concern.
"I.. . .I need you, Justin. Please, don't ever leave me."
Joe's eyes closed, Justin holding onto the man he now loved.
End of Chapter 10
And so, love has been exposed.
Justin's heart has opened to Joe.
And Joe's heart may be opening to Justin's love.
What's wrong with Joe?
What do the glowing eyes mean?
Where do the two young men go from here?
I hope you've all enjoyed the path so far, up ahead it widens in a few directions.
Your guide will lead you through it all.