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.
Trace sat in the booth, a warm cup of coffee between his hands.
He stared quietly at Justin sitting across from him.
Justin hadn't said much in the last hour.
"You okay, Jus?"
Justin's eyes found Trace's, the two staring at each other.
"He disappeared, Trace! Right out of the back seat!"
Trace put his hand on top of Justin's.
"Calm down, Jus. I know, I saw it too!"
Trace's eyes scanned the diner, the small restaurant empty, save for the waitress who was in the kitchen with the cook.
The two young men were in Oberson Falls, a small village on the edge of nowhere.
One of those quaint little antiquing villages that lined the highways of upstate New York.
Backwater America at its finest.
Through the summer months it thrived on passing tourism, and in the winter it became a lost hamlet of only local inhabitants.
They'd barely made it to the village, the SUV sputtering its last breath as Trace drove it into the closed garage lot.
They weren't surprised to see it closed, it being only five thirty in the morning.
They'd left it there in the garage's parking lot, having three hours to wait until the garage opened.
They'd walked over to the diner across the street, which had opened at six, sitting now in its cozy warmth.
Trace looked at Justin, Justin shaking his head.
"Where did he go, Tray? One minute he's there, next minute he's gone!"
"You're asking me, Jus? I'm as much in the dark as you!"
The waitress came walking out of the kitchen, her hands full of plates.
She smiled at the two young men, placing the plates in front of them.
"There ya goes, boys. Extra toast and bacon." she said, smiling.
She was in her late fifties, a touch of grey in her drawn up hair.
"Thank you, it all looks so delicious." Trace said, smiling at her.
Justin remained quiet, the waitress looking quietly at him.
"Something wrong, son?" she said, Justin looking up at her, hearing the caring in her voice.
"No, nothing." he softly said, looking down at his food.
"We don't get many visitors this time of the year, the occasional passerby sometimes." she smiled, pouring each of them another cup of steaming hot coffee.
"So what brings you boys to our neck of the woods? Just passing through?" she smiled, Trace looking at her.
"Yeah, heading for a friend's cottage near Utica."
"You're kinda off the beaten path, son. That's at least a four hour drive from here."
The diner door opened, two burly police officers walking into the restaurant.
"Morning, Shelly." the older looking one said, smiling at her, taking a seat in a booth.
"Morning, Sam. Morning, Jim. Be right with ya." she smiled at them, picking up her coffee pot.
"What time does the garage open?" Trace asked her.
"Usually eight-thirty, but Gus sometimes comes in late. Have some trouble?"
Trace looked at Justin.
"Yes, we had a little trouble. Hit some rocks in a ditch."
Her face changed to seriousness, looking at Justin.
"You boys have an accident? You two okay?"
Justin smiled at her, sensing her motherly tone.
"Yes, we're fine. Thank you." Justin said, smiling at her finally.
"A smile brightens your face, son. For a moment there, ya looked like you'd seen a ghost." she smiled back at him.
Justin's face changed a bit, Trace looking at him.
"I think we have." Justin softly said, the woman staring at him.
Trace saw a shocked look come over her face.
And her eyes quickly went to the police officers.
Trace noticed a trembling in her hand as well, Shelly walking away towards the officers.
Once she left, Trace looked at Justin.
"Relax, Jus. Don't make a scene here. We don't know these people."
"What happened out there, Tray? Who was that boy? And why did he vanish into thin air? Maybe he is a ghost. Ever think of that?"
Trace looked at his friend.
"I refuse to believe that, Jus."
"What do your eyes believe, Tray? He was there and then he was gone!"
Trace saw Justin getting upset again, putting his hand on his friend's hand.
"Calm down, Jus. Let's get the car fixed and then we'll get the hell away from here. You should call Jess soon. Just to let her know we might be delayed."
"I'll call her when the garage opens, that way we'll know more of where we stand." Justin quietly said, his eyes looking downward.
Trace nodded, looking down at their food.
"Let's eat, Jus. You need some energy."
Justin nodded, picking up his fork.
Trace and Justin ate their meal in quiet silence, Trace's eyes occasionally watching the waitress.
On several occasions he saw her watching Justin.
Just as she came back over, refilling their juice glasses, an older man walked into the restaurant.
He looked around seventy but walked with a light step, a smile on his face.
"Good morning, Shelly."
She smiled at him, the man winking at her.
"Morning, Doc. The usual?"
"Yes please, dear." he smiled, sitting down at one of the small tables across from Justin and Trace.
"Good morning, gentlemen." he smiled at them.
"Good morning, sir." Justin smiled back, Trace nodding as well, his mouth full of eggs.
Shelly looked between the two tables, Trace seeing a concerned look on her face.
She returned to the counter, then took a quick look around and walked back into the kitchen.
Trace and Justin returned to their food, the older man quietly looking at them.
"Hey Doc, how ya doing this morning?" the older police officer said from the other table.
"Doing well, Sam. Doing well. How's Leanne and her hip?" the man smiled, his hands folded in front of him.
"She's getting around now, Doc. On the mend." the officer said, smiling.
"Good to hear, Sam. Tell her if the pain gets going again to give me a call. I can try and ease her pain."
"Will do, Doc."
The younger cop looked at the old doctor, smirking.
"How's the veggie, Doc? Still drooling?"
The older cop elbowed the younger one, their eyes meeting.
"Show some respect, son. Sorry about that, Doc."
The doctor didn't answer, his eyes lowering.
Shelly had been standing in the kitchen doorway, three plates of eggs and bacon in her hands.
Her brow furrowed, walking up to the policemen.
She dropped two of the plates in front of them, her and Sam's eyes meeting.
The other cop looked surprised, looking up at her.
"Sometimes Jim Wilson, you don't have any sense in that small mind of yours!" she said, walking away from him.
She set the last plate gently in front of the old doctor, he smiling up at her.
"There ya go, Doc. Enjoy. I'll bring ya some marm."
"Thank ya, Shelly."
She smiled at him, walking back into the kitchen.
Trace and Justin had taken in this whole scene, not having a clue about what was going on.
After a few moments, the diners all settled into their breakfasts, silence echoing off the walls of the restaurant.
Half an hour later, Justin sighed, drinking the last of his juice.
"Feeling better, JT?" Trace smiled.
"Yes. That hit the spot. How much time do we have left?"
Trace glanced at his watch.
"Almost an hour. Let's have another cup of joe and just relax."
Justin nodded, looking towards the waitress.
The two cops were at the register, paying for their meals.
"Have a good day, Sam. See ya tomorrow." she smiled at him, the older man smiling back.
She totally ignored the younger one, the man feeling her resentment.
"I'm sorry, Shelly. Ya know I was only funning with him."
She shook her head, the young man walking quietly out of the diner, Sam looking over at the old doctor.
"Later, Shelly. Have a good day. See ya later, Doc."
"Alright, Sam. Bye." the doctor replied, wiping his mouth with his napkin, his meal finished.
The officer left, closing the door.
Shelly walked over to the doctor's table, sitting down across from him.
"Sorry about that, Doc."
"It's alright, Shelly. I know the mindset of all of them. But I know your heart as well. I must be getting along. Joe needs tending to."
She nodded, shaking her head.
"Why do ya do it, Henry? Ya should be enjoying life in your later years."
"Now who says I ain't enjoying life? He is my life now."
She nodded, smiling at him.
"I know, Henry. I know."
He smiled, getting up, putting his hat back on.
"Come by later, there's fresh preserves waiting for ya. My garden was grand this season."
She smiled, walking him to the door.
"I'll drop by later, Henry."
He smiled, walking out of the restaurant.
That left only Justin and Trace in the diner again.
She stared at them for a moment, then walked over to the coffee pots.
She walked back, pouring each one a new cup of coffee.
"Ya's got about half an hour before Gus shows up. You're welcome to relax and sit."
They both smiled at her, thanking her, Justin seeing her kind eyes shimmering with water.
"Everything okay?" he asked, his voice sincere.
"Yes, doll. Everything's fine."
"He seems like such a kind, gentle old man." Trace smiled, she looking towards the door.
"Don't let Doc fool ya. He's full of pep an vinegar. But his heart is the largest." she said, smiling.
"What did the policeman say that upset you and him? Something about a veggie?" Justin asked quietly, the woman looking at him.
She set the coffee pot down, then turned around and grabbed a chair.
She sat down beside them, looking at both.
"First off, I'd like to know what happened to you two in regards to your accident."
Trace and Justin exchanged looks, then their gaze returned to her blue eyes.
"We had an accident about four miles from here. Our car went off the road into a ditch."
"Fell asleep at the wheel son?" she quietly said, her own question sounding false.
"No, we swerved to miss hitting a man standing in the middle of the road." Justin said.
Her head came up, both men seeing a strange look in her eyes.
"A young man?"
Both looked surprised, staring at her.
"Yes. How did you know?"
The waitress got up, walking to the door, looking out, scanning the street.
She returned, sitting down again.
"Tell me everything that happened. Quickly." she said, staring at Justin.
The two men quietly told her everything, her face changing to surprise when Justin told her about what the young man had said to him.
After they'd finished, she remained quiet for a moment.
"Truly remarkable. He's never spoken like that before...."
Justin and Trace exchanged looks.
"You know who this young man is?" Justin said, putting his hand on top of hers.
She looked into his blue eyes.
"I don't know who he is, but I know what he is."
Trace's brow furrowed, not understanding her answer.
"What he is?"
She looked at both of them.
"He's a lost soul."
The door of the diner opened, a group of men coming in.
"The morning rush is here. Relax and finish your coffee." she smiled quietly, getting up, greeting the newly arrived people.
Justin and Trace stared after her, the waitress going about her morning tasks.
"A lost soul? What does she mean by that?" Trace said, Justin shaking his head.
"I think he may really be lost, Tray." Justin said, remembering the lost look in the young man's grey eyes.
The two young men sat there, the waitress busy with the other customers.
She glanced at them every now and then but made no other move to talk to them.
The time idled by, more people coming into the diner.
A gruff-looking young man in coveralls walked in, Shelly smiling at him.
"Coffee and a couple of egg sandwiches to go, Gus?"
"Yeah, thanks Shell." he said, smiling.
"You have some customers. Their vehicle's in your parking lot." she nodded towards Justin and Trace.
The man looked towards them, nodding quietly.
He walked up to them, smiling.
"Hello, I'm Gus Granger. Shell tells me you had a bit of trouble boys?"
"Yes, we ditched our SUV. I think the rad's leaking and other stuff." Trace said, shaking the man's hand.
"Well, come on over to the shop. I'll take a look see." he said, Shelly handing him a thermos of coffee and a paper bag.
"Thanks, Shell. Your smile brightens the morning shadows."
She smiled, Trace and Justin getting up and heading to the register with the mechanic.
Justin paid for their breakfasts, giving her a sizeable tip.
"Thanks for everything, Ma'am." Justin said, the woman looking into his eyes.
He saw her looking around.
"No problem, sweetie. Best to let it go out of your mind. Go on back to your life, son." she quietly said.
Justin nodded, walking out of the diner with Trace.
The woman watched them walk across the street.
"What are you seeking, lost one? Why him?"
An hour later, the mechanic walked out of the garage bay.
"Well, the rad's definitely toast. Ya got a three inch hole right through it. Musta been a big sharp rock. Your sensor timer is toast, too. I'll have to order a new one. It will take a few days to get it down from Utica."
"A few days?" Trace said, agitated.
"Yep. No part store around these parts for miles, my friend. Ya can leaves it and I'll call ya when it's ready."
"Better call Jessica, Justin. We may need her to come down and get us."
Justin nodded, flipping open his cell phone.
The mechanic wiped his hands looking in thought at Justin.
He walked over to his counter, opening his thermos.
Justin dialed Jessica's cell.
He waited for a few moments.
"Jess, it's Jus."
"Hey babe. What time is it? Where are you? Mom called me and said you haven't made it yet."
"I'm stranded in a small town about four hours from Utica. What do you mean your Mom called you? Aren't you there with her?"
"No, Jus. I'm still in New York. The movie ran overtime last night, we're behind schedule. Looks like I won't make it up to the retreat at all this weekend."
Justin looked shocked.
"Why didn't you call me? You mean I drove out here for nothing?" he said, Trace staring at him.
"Not for nothing, Jus. You still could meet my aunts and my Mom's there. You can have a relaxing weekend with them."
"I didn't fly half way across the country to spend my weekend with your family. I wanted to spend it with you."
"I'm sorry, Jus. This came up all of a sudden. It can't be helped."
"So I'm stranded here for nothing! Thanks a lot, Jess!" he said, anger in his voice.
"Don't take that tone with me, Justin! I told you it wasn't my fault! And what's wrong with my family?"
"But you could have had the decency to let me know before I drove up here! We could have been together in New York! Thanks for caring about me, Jess!"
"Oh, I forgot! The Great Justin Timberlake needs to be babied! I have to go, Jus! When you've calmed down, give me a call! I've a morning rehearsal!"
Jessica disconnected, Justin quietly putting his phone back into his pocket.
He walked out of the garage, Trace and the mechanic watching him leave.
The two men exchanged looks, Trace sighing.
Trace walked outside a few minutes later, seeing Justin sitting quietly on a bench, Trace sitting down beside him.
"I take it we've been hung out to dry."
"Don't start, Trace. I'm not in the mood."
Trace looked at his friend, putting his arm around him, Justin tensing a bit, then relaxing.
"Alright, Jus. I won't."
Justin looked at him, then sighed.
"She's in New York City, Trace. She was going to leave me stranded all weekend with her family. This whole trip was a waste. How that for being sweet?"
Trace nodded, hugging his friend a little closer.
"I'm sorry, Jus. You didn't deserve that."
Justin nodded, looking back at Trace.
"Thanks, Tray. So what's the verdict?"
"Well, looks like we may be relaxing here for a couple of days. Unless you want to call Jessica's mother to pick us up? Or I can call some friends in NYC?"
Justin looked at Trace for a moment, then across to the diner.
"To hell with her family. Let's stay here, Trace. Something's going on here and I want to find out what it is."
Trace looked at Justin.
"Jus, let's not get involved in this. Let's get back to New York and back to our lives."
Justin looked into Trace's concerned eyes.
"I saw something in that young man's eyes, Trace. I saw fear. And need. That boy's all alone and needs our help."
Trace sighed, looking into Justin's blue concerned eyes.
"Okay, Jus. Okay."
Justin smiled, the two getting up and walking back into the garage.
The mechanic looked up, smiling at them.
"So, what shall it be?"
"Order the parts. Is there anywhere in town to stay?"
"Well, Mr. Timberlake. Shelly at the diner and her daughter run a bed and breakfast during the tourist season. I'm sure Shelly can open up a room for ya."
Justin looked at the young man in surprise.
"Even out here in the boondocks we know your music, sir. You won't be mobbed here, Mr. Timberlake." The young man smiled, Justin smiling back.
"Thank you, Gus."
Trace rolled his eyes, signing the order sheet, the mechanic giving him a copy.
"Go back to the diner, I think Shelly should still be there. She usually works the morning shift till eleven. "
Trace pulled out their bags from the back of the SUV, closing its hatch.
The two thanked the mechanic, walking out into the morning sunshine.
The day was relatively cool but sunny.
"Welcome to the real America, Jus." Trace said, looking around.
They both spotted Shelly walking out of the diner, a purse in her hand, heading towards a car.
Justin crossed the street, Trace following.
"Excuse us, Ma'am. Gus said you could help us."
The woman looked up, surprise registering on her face.
"Oh! You two, again! I thought you'd both be gone." she said, looking at Justin.
"The car's choosing to stay here a while. Looks like we're stranded for a couple of days. Gus said you might be able to get us a room at your place."
Shelly looked at both of them, as if weighing her words.
She looked around, Justin and Trace looking at each other.
"Very well. Hop in. I'll drive you over to my place."
Justin opened her car door for her, Shelly smiling.
He walked around, getting in the passenger seat, Trace hopping into the back with the bags.
It was a short drive to her home, Shelly remaining quiet mostly, the two friends being cordial.
They drove into the front yard of a large, majestic, older home.
"Wow, nice house." Trace remarked, smiling at her from the back seat.
"It was my father's. I've lived here all my life." Shelly smiled, getting out of the car.
Justin and Trace were out in a few moments, looking up at the two story home.
Justin noticed the sign on the front lawn.
Carruthers Bed and Breakfast
Home Away from Home
Justin smiled, following her up onto the porch.
The three entered, Shelly yelling into the quiet house.
"Cynthia? I'm home with some new guests."
Justin and Trace heard a metallic rolling sound, looking towards the end of the hallway.
A young woman of around twenty-five came wheeling down the hall in a wheelchair.
Justin and Trace stared at her in surprise, the young woman smiling at her mother.
"Hey, Mom. Back so soon? Is it after eleven already? I was mending the duvets all morning."
Shelly smiled, leaning down and kissing her cheek.
"We have guests, dear. These two young men are stranded in town while their car is being fixed. Can you air out the south end rooms for them?"
The young woman looked up at Justin and Trace, her face changing into a shocked look.
"Oh my God! You're Justin Timberlake!!!" she stuttered.
Her eyes then flew to Trace's, Justin's friend quietly staring at her.
Shelly looked confused, Justin blushing.
"Even in a quiet place like this, I guess I can't hide." Justin smiled, the young woman blushing.
"Mom, do you know who this is??"
Shelly shrugged her shoulders, looking confused at her excited daughter.
"Mom, it's Justin Timberlake. He's a famous singer!" Cynthia said, blushing at her Mom's ignorance.
"I'm sorry, Mr. Timberlake. I didn't realized you're someone famous." Shelly smiled, Justin laughing.
"It's quite alright, Shelly. Actually I am relieved that you didn't know me. It's nice to have anonymity every now and then." Justin smiled, both Cynthia and Shelly smiling.
"I take it you're a fan, Cynthia?" Justin smiled, the young woman blushing.
"Yes, I am. I have all of *NSync's and your records, Mr. Timberlake." she blushed, Justin smiling.
"Please, you've invited me into your home. It's just Justin. And this is my friend Trace." Justin said, looking at Trace.
Trace was still staring at Cynthia, the young woman smiling back at him.
"A pleasure to meet you, Justin. And you as well, Trace." she smiled, her mother looking between the two staring at each other.
"Come this way, Justin. Let's relax in the kitchen. I'll get us some lunch together while Cynthia readies your rooms." Shelly said, her hand pointing towards the end of the hall.
"Do you need some help, Cynthia?" Trace said, smiling at her.
"I can manage, Trace. But you're welcome to come along." she smiled, Trace nodding.
Shelly looked quickly at her daughter, then headed down the hallway.
Justin looked at Trace with a smile, then followed Shelly down the hall, leaving the two alone.
"This way, Trace. It's upstairs."
Trace nodded, following the young woman to an elevator lift.
Justin sat at the kitchen table, Shelly working at the counter.
Justin sipped the cup of tea she'd made for him, Justin thanking her.
He quietly watched her moving around the kitchen, finding her similar to his own Mom in her movements and organizational skills.
"This is a lovely big kitchen. So homey and open." Justin smiled, Shelly looking towards him.
"Yes, it always been home to me."
"Your family lives all around here?" Justin asked, Shelly looking towards him.
"I'm it, Justin. I was an only child, my parents now gone. Cynthia's father died of cancer ten years ago. It's just her and me. But we get by. Our love is ours, and our spirits are God's."
Justin nodded, seeing a lot of strength and love in this remarkable woman.
Cynthia came wheeling into the kitchen, Trace walking right behind her.
"Everything's set up. Trace put your bags all in your rooms, Justin."
Justin smiled at her, the young lady wheeling her chair up to the table.
Trace smiled at her, sitting down beside Justin.
Shelly brought two cups, lifting the teapot off the table.
"Tea, Trace?" she smiled, Trace nodding.
"Thank you, Shelly. This is a great house."
Shelly smiled, putting a plate of sandwiches on the table, as well as a large bowl of salad, sitting down across from the two men.
Everyone filled their plates in silence, Justin quietly looking at his friend.
He saw his gazing eyes directed towards Cynthia.
Justin smiled inside himself, looking over at Shelly.
"If it's not too indirect, I'd like to continue our conversation from this morning."Justin said quietly, looking at the older woman.
The woman looked at her daughter with concern.
"I'd rather not, Justin. Best to let the past lie where it is."
Cynthia looked at her mother, then at Justin.
"How did your car end up incapacitated, Justin?"
Justin looked at Shelly.
"We had an accident a few miles from here. Just made it here before it died on us."
"An accident, are you both alright?" she said, looking at Trace first.
Trace smiled at her.
"We're right as rain. Just a damaged car, and some volatile nerves."
The young woman looked at Trace, then at Justin, and finally at her mother.
"It was on Cutter's Road, wasn't it Mom?"
Shelly lowered her eyes, the two men looking at both women.
"It's alright, Mom. You don't have to shelter me from everything." she said, patting her Mom's hand.
Shelly's eyes teared, nodding her head.
"They saw him. They actually tried to help him."
Cynthia looked at both men with a look of quiet awe and respect.
"You saw the beautiful angel?"
Justin and Trace exchanged looks, Justin smiling at the young woman.
"Yes we saw him. He was indeed beautiful. As for being an angel, he looked and felt real to me."
She smiled, looking at her mother.
"Have you told them the story, Mom?"
"No, Cynthia. I haven't."
Shelly looked at both men, then her daughter.
"That young man you almost hit, who caused your accident, saved my daughter's life."
Both men looked surprised, Cynthia looking down at her plate.
Shelly put her arm around her daughter's shoulders, Cynthia smiling at her.
"Let me tell them, Mom. I was there, I saw him and what he did for me."
Shelly nodded, a tear falling down her cheek.
Cynthia smiled, looking at Trace.
"That boy–as I'm sure my Mom's told you–is a lost soul. But to me, he's an angel of love."
"Three years ago, I was on my way home from New York City. I'd been working there as a teacher, having graduated and gotten a job in a Lower East Side school in Manhattan. It was my life, my happiness and my destiny. In those young smiling faces, I found so much hope and courage. I was so happy, my life on its journey's path."
Trace smiled at Cynthia, her cheeks blushing.
"I was coming home from school, to spend the Thanksgiving weekend with my Mom. I never made it."
Shelly teared up, Cynthia's hand going in hers.
"It was a wild kind of night with blizzard conditions. Snow squalls and blowing snow. I wasn't that far from home, just coming off the end of Cutter's Road when it happened. I hit a patch of ice, sliding out of control, skidding off the road and plunging over an embankment, rolling down into the ditch."
Trace's eyes never left Cynthia's calm face.
Justin quietly watched his friend, Shelly watching her daughter.
"How long I lay in my car upside down, I know not. Only that the snow continued to fall and I was unable to pull myself out of the car. Gas was leaking everywhere. My legs felt like dead weights. I couldn't move. It was so dark and silent. So frighteningly silent. Only the wind howling."
Trace's hand went across the table, Cynthia quietly taking it.
Shelly and Justin exchanged looks.
"It was almost daylight, the sky turning to a lighter hue, I was now able to make out my surroundings. I was so cold, so cold. I thought for sure no one would find my wrecked car where it lay, hidden in a deep ditch. Then I heard something, like someone walking around the car. Then I saw two feet. Two bare feet. Someone was walking in the snow barefoot! I just couldn't believe it. Then the man knelt down beside my door, looking into my car. His face, it was so young and beautiful. His eyes so grey and silvery. He looked at me with such caring, with such love. He reached into the car, gently pulling me out, once I'd released my seatbelt. He was so strong, so caring. He pulled me out of the car within moments. And none too soon."
Justin and Trace were silent, listening to all her words.
"He dragged me away from the car, gently pulling me upwards to the road above. I looked back at the car, and saw it smoking. Like it was simmering with heat. Then it exploded, into a raging fireball. The intensity of the heat knocked the young man down, his body protecting me against the fire. Then the young man continued pulling me upwards until I was laying on the side of the highway."
Cynthia's eyes were lost in the past, her mother looking at her with deep love.
"He looked down at me, his eyes so filled with love. But behind that love, I saw deep hurt and anguish. He then said something, what he meant I don't know. Then I heard the sound of a car coming from somewhere. I saw the young man stand up and walk into the forest a ways. A truck came around the corner, slamming on its brakes, stopping a few feet away from me. Someone got out rushing to me, kneeling down. That's the last I remember. The last thing I remember seeing was the lost soul walking back into the darkened woods."
Cynthia still held Trace's hand in hers, the young man smiling at her.
"That young man saved me that night. He pulled me out of that car before I died inside it in the flames. He somehow knew I needed to be saved, I believe. His dragging me up to the roadside had saved my life."
Shelly kissed her daughter's cheek.
"I thank God every night for that young angel's protective love." Shelly said, Cynthia smiling at her mother.
"Who–or what–is he?" Trace said, his eyes still looking at Cynthia.
Shelly looked at her daughter, Cynthia smiling at her.
"It's alright, Mom. I know they won't laugh at us."
Shelly smiled, looking at Justin.
Justin was looking at Cynthia.
"You said he said something to you. What did he say, Cynthia?"
Cynthia thought for a moment, looking into Justin's blue eyes.
"He asked me if I'd seen Jennie."
Justin nodded, smiling at her.
"He asked me the same thing. And he asked me more."
Cynthia looked surprised, Justin smiling at her.
He and Trace both told her everything that had happened to them the night before.
After it was all said, Cynthia looked quietly at Justin.
"I think he's sensed something in you, Justin. Some kind of help. In all the years he's been seen he's never spoken to anyone, save me."
Justin and Trace looked at each other in surprise.
Shelly nodded, looking at both men.
"That young man has walked that road for over four years. A few people have seen him, always the same thing happening. When they stop to help, it's as if he's totally lost, looking for someone. For this girl you've mentioned, I believe. And in all cases, he seemingly just disappears before anyone can help. Right before their eyes. People don't like to talk about it, here among ourselves. They tend to believe he's some form of apparition, or ghost. A lost soul walking the same path through eternity. I myself believe this is something more."
Justin looked at Cynthia.
"He's so real. He feels so real."
Cynthia smiled, patting his hand.
"He is, Justin. To me–and now I believe to you–he really is real. That's what's so confusing about this. That night he saved me, he felt so real, so truly real. I sense you felt the same last night."
Justin nodded, remembering holding the young man in his arms.
"I held him against me, he felt so real."
Cynthia's arm went around Justin, Justin looking into her mesmerizing green eyes. Green like her mother's.
"Keep that in your heart, Justin. I have always."
Justin smiled, Shelly smiling at her daughter.
"So no one's tried to find out what's going on? Who the young boy is?" Trace said, looking at Cynthia again.
"I have, Trace. I spent a year looking for him, for some trace of him." Shelly said, looking at the young man.
"I went through all the missing persons reports, newspaper articles, everything. No trace of a young boy that fit his description missing around these parts. Or a young girl, since that seems to be who he's seeking."
Justin nodded, the four quietly thinking amongst themselves.
"It truly is a mystery." Trace said, Cynthia's green eyes staring at him.
"Yes, a mystery that won't be solved any time soon." Shelly said, the four continuing to eat their lunch.
"How often does he materialize?" Justin asked, Cynthia looking at him.
"Well, the general consensus among everyone, when they do talk of him, is that he seems to appear during the full moon cycle. Perhaps whatever happened with him happened during the full moon."
Justin remembered the full moon he'd seen last night.
"So he might come out again tonight?"
Trace looked at Justin with surprise.
"Justin, I know what you're thinking. There's no way in hell I'm going out there again after dark! This is all so strange, so weird. Don't give in to the absurdity of this, Justin. Let's relax here and when the car's ready, let's leave."
"Absurdity, Trace? You saw what I saw, you talked to him. How can you say it's absurd?"
Trace lowered his head, Cynthia's hand going into his again, Trace raising his head and looking into her eyes.
"Trace is scared, Justin. Scared of the unknown. It's only understandable. It's not everyday you meet a ghost." Cynthia said, no trace of humor in her sweet words.
Trace smiled at her.
Shelly looked at all three.
Justin sensed there was something more on her mind, that she was holding something back.
"For four years, this young man has walked a path lost unto himself. Who he is or who he was isn't the real question here. The real question is what he's running from. Or who? I sense some danger in all this. I don't want my daughter–or you two nice young men–getting hurt."
Cynthia smiled at her mother, kissing her cheek.
"That young man gave me a second chance at life, Mom. I'll do all I can to help him. And I feel Justin wants to help him, too."
Justin smiled, remembering the last words the young man had said.
"He asked me to come back for him.... to not leave him in the darkness. I will do all I can to help him."
Cynthia smiled, patting his hand again.
Shelly looked at her daughter, nodding.
"Alright, my child. I'll help any way I can."
All three then looked at Trace, the young man suddenly feeling alone.
Trace sighed, looking at all three of them.
"Alright. Do you have any flashlights, Cynthia?"
End of Chapter 2
Who is this young man, and what is his story?
Is he a ghost?
Or is he something more?
Is Shelly telling them everything?
What's going to happen when the four go out into the dark night again?
Will our lost soul reveal himself?
Read on dear friends.
It only gets more intriguing.
For those wanting to read more of my work, here is the link to my first story.