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.
"You must be mistaken, Henry."
"No, Justin. I saw it as plain as day. His grey eyes had a mesmerizing silver glow. Then he scanned back to the stove for a moment, then looked back at me. They were then their normal grey."
Justin looked confused, as did Henry.
"What does that mean?"
"I don't know, son. All I know is that Joe is someone very unique. I've never seen anyone recover from a coma like he did, Justin. No one walks out of a bed like that. It takes weeks of intense physiotherapy and renewed strength to return to a normal life, let alone a productive one. The boy shows no signs of his ordeal. It's truly amazing. I think the boy's healed himself."
Justin nodded, trying to grasp Henry's words.
"So what do you propose we do, Henry? Do we treat him like a stranger? Like a freak? I could never do that. All I see is a young, kind, beautiful man."
Henry nodded, patting Justin's shoulder.
"I would never treat him as anything more than he is. I see him as the same thing you see him as, Justin. He's Joe."
Justin smiled, nodding.
"A remarkable, unique Joe." Henry smiled.
Justin nodded, Henry opening his bedroom door.
"I'll go back down to him. You take your shower. I just wanted you to know, that's all. He's still our friend, Justin. That's never going to change for me. He's still my Joe."
Justin smiled, hugging the man, Henry surprised at Justin's tenderness.
"Joe's lucky to have a good friend like you, Henry. I'll always make sure he knows that."
Henry smiled, walking towards the stairs.
Justin walked into the bathroom, closing the door, discarding his clothes and hopping into the shower.
His mind was on all Henry had told him.
The water flowed, Justin showering, his thoughts also on the young man.
Singing a strange song?
His eyes glowing?
What did that mean?
Justin kept running it through his mind, no answer coming forth.
Only time and Joe's acknowledgment would solve those questions.
He thought of the young man he'd held against him last night.
The smoothness of his skin, the warmth of his body against him.
Justin felt his desires rising, his hand going to his center.
Justin moaned thinking of the young man, his own actions increasing his desires.
He reluctantly turned the hot water off, his body feeling the ice cold water hit him.
He jumped back, shrieking.
He turned the other faucet, the water stopping.
Get ahold of yourself, Jus.
Keep those thoughts out of your mind.
You don't even know his sexual preferences.
And anything else about him.
Justin grabbed a towel, drying himself off.
He quickly walked across the hall to his room, changing into new clothes.
He took a look in the mirror, running his fingers through his wet hair, leaving the room and walking downstairs.
He walked again into the kitchen, the room now full of people.
Trace hugged his friend, Justin saying good morning to Shelly and Cynthia.
"Henry told us you were in the shower. But man, that was fifteen minutes ago. Having some fun in there?" Trace winked, Justin blushing.
"No, I was just lost in the warmth of the warm water." he said, his eyes looking at Joe.
"Well, we've been dying to dive into Joe's delicious-looking meal." Shelly said, Justin looking at the table.
It was full of food, Joe having outdone himself.
A plate of sausages, a plate filled with pancakes and johnny cakes.
Bacon, a warming tray filled with scrambled eggs, and a mountain of toast.
"Wow, Joe. You feeding an army?" Justin said, Joe smiling at him.
Justin stared into his grey eyes, seeing no difference.
"Trace told me how ravenous you are when you wake up. Don't worry, there's more on the stove."
Trace laughed, as did Cynthia, Joe smiling.
Justin blushed but smiled at Joe.
"Let's eat." Shelly said, setting the coffee pot on the table.
They all sat down, diving in.
Joe quietly watched as they all sampled his food.
Shelly's eyes widened when she tasted his scrambled eggs.
"God, Joe. These are heaven! What's in them?"
"Well, instead of milk, I use cream. There are green onions, bacon, green peppers and some special seasonings. It's my Mom's recipe."
Everyone silenced, staring at Joe.
Joe stared back, suddenly looking shocked.
"My Mom's recipe? I remembered my Mom's recipe! " he said, astounded at his own words.
Justin's hand went to his shoulder.
"It's coming back to you, Joe! One little thing at a time. That's awesome!!"
Joe smiled, his eyes staring at the tray of eggs.
"She always cooked them like this. I remember that. But, I still can't remember her face."
Henry patted his shoulder.
"It will come, Joe. Slowly but surely, it will come."
Joe smiled, looking at everyone.
"Please, everyone. Dig in. Let's enjoy it all."
And enjoy it they did.
An hour later, six contented people sat in the living room, relaxing.
"That was fantastic, Joe! I've never eaten so much!" Trace said, sitting on the carpet, his head resting against Cynthia's leg, Cynthia sitting in her wheelchair.
"Thanks, Trace. Glad you liked it." Joe smiled, sitting in a rocking chair, Justin sitting on the couch with Shelly and Henry.
"Hey, it's Tray. All my friends call me Tray."
Joe smiled widely, nodding.
"So when are we heading to town? We got to outfit our boy here." Trace said, smiling at Joe.
Joe looked uncomfortable.
"Guys, that's not necessary. I have this outfit already from Justin. It's enough."
"Like hell it is. We're going to outfit you in everything, my friend." Justin said, smiling at him.
"Justin I can't let you do that. I can't take your charity."
Justin's brows furrowed, standing up.
His arms were folded, staring at the young man.
"Okay, enough of that! It's not charity. It's me helping my friend. And you can pay me back when you're back on your feet. I fully expect that. I'm doing this because you need it done. Nothing else. Got it?"
Joe nodded his head, seeing Justin's determined stare.
"Yes, Justin. I got it."
Justin's face changed into a smile.
"Great. End of discussion. So let's go. Coming guys?"
"We'll tag along. Besides, we need a woman's perspective. Right, Cynthia?" Trace said, smiling at her.
"Yep. And I'm always honest." she said, smiling.
Joe blushed, but smiled at her.
"You kids go ahead. I'm going to call Dr. Withers and see about getting you a referral to NYC, Joe. And I need my lady to spend some time with me." Henry said, Shelly smiling at him.
"Scoot, kiddies. The elders are gonna play." she said, sitting in Henry's lap.
The younger ones all laughed, going out of the room.
They walked out onto the front porch, the morning sunshine warming and welcoming them.
"Your Mom's the best, sweetie." Trace said, kissing Cynthia's upturned lips.
"Yep, she's a card. And I'm just like her."
"Fantastic!" Trace said, kissing her again.
Joe and Justin looked at each other, rolling their eyes, then smirking at each other.
"Lead on, fashion mogul. Your guinea pig is ready." Joe said, Trace and Cynthia laughing.
Justin smiled widely, the four heading for the van.
Three hours later, four friends walked out of the last clothing store in the small village.
Trace's and Justin's arms were full of bags, as was Cynthia's lap.
"I don't think those smiles are ever going to leave their faces. You bought out most of their inventory." Joe said, looking at Justin.
Justin laughed, stopping beside the van.
His bags and Trace's joined the others in the back of the van.
"Well, I think you're fully set now, Joe. Shoes, pants, shirts, accessories, and suitcases to carry them in." Cynthia said smiling.
Joe blushed, looking at Justin.
"Yes, my friend's bought me enough for a year."
Justin grinned, patting Joe's shoulder.
"Yep, our first year of friendship. You're going to be an urban savant now."
Trace smirked, Cynthia grinning.
"Watch it Joe. I think Justin's trying to mold you in his image."
Justin blushed, Joe smiling.
"That would be cool. The man's a fashion dynamo."
Justin smiled widely, accepting Joe's heartfelt comment.
"That I am, Joe. Okay, guys. Where to next?" Justin said, Cynthia looking around.
"How about a sundae? Arthur's store is open. He makes the best banana splits!"
Trace agreed, the four heading across the street, Justin hitting the van's locking system.
They walked into the small ice cream store, an older man at the counter.
The store was practically deserted.
"Hello, Cynthia. What brings you out on a Monday morning so late in the season?"
"Just shopping with some friends. How's business Arthur?"
"Almost time to close up for the winter, Cynthia. It's been a good year, after such a hot summer. The kids were packing the place."
Cynthia smiled, asking the guys what they'd like.
They all agreed on two colossal banana splits, all agreeing to share.
Arthur smiled, making them up quickly.
"Let's go onto the patio, it's such a sunny day, and its rays are warming." Cynthia said, the others agreeing while Trace paid for everything.
They said their thanks to Arthur, walking through another door onto a small patio overlooking the village street.
They all sat down, Justin and Joe sharing one banana split, Trace and Cynthia sharing the other.
Justin's eyes wandered around the street, seeing the quaintness of the small village.
"This place is so nice and cozy. So small and friendly."
Cynthia smiled, Trace smiling at her.
"It's home, Justin. My home. I'm going to miss it. It's always in my heart, though."
"As is everyone's hometown." Justin said quietly.
He looked at Joe, the young man spooning a cherry out of the bowl.
Joe's eyes looked at him, Justin smiling, Joe smiling back.
Joe looked around, noticing a man sitting quietly down the street on a bench.
The man appeared to be elderly, sitting in quiet solitude, a cane in his hand.
And he seemed to be quietly staring at the foursome on the patio.
Joe felt a sudden feeling, his eyes on the man.
"Finish the split, Joe. I can't eat anymore." Justin said, Joe's eyes returning to Justin's.
"You haven't eaten much, Jus."
"And you look like you're ravenous. Finish it up. I'll grab us some Cokes." Justin said, getting up and walking back into the store.
Joe continued eating the split, Trace and Cynthia smiling at him.
"Cynthia, do you know that man over there, the one sitting on the bench?"
Cynthia's eyes scanned the street, taking in all the benches.
Joe's head turned, seeing no one on the bench now, further down the street.
"There was a man sitting over there. I thought it looked like he was watching us." Joe said. "I thought maybe he knew you."
Cynthia shrugged her shoulders, still looking around.
"Well, whoever he was, he's gone." she smiled, Joe smiling back at her.
"Yes, he's gone. Never mind." Joe said, putting his spoon in the empty bowl.
Justin walked out of the store, handing each of them a bottle of Coke.
They sat chatting, Joe's eyes occasionally scanning the street.
They finished their Cokes, four friends enjoying each other's company.
"This has been a nice day." Trace said, Cynthia smiling at him.
"I'd like to thank all of you. It's nice to be outside again. And I can't thank you enough for all that's gone on here today. Especially you, Justin. You've loaded the van just for me."
Justin smiled at Joe, Joe smiling back.
"You're welcome. But we've all been given something today, too. Your friendship and your smile. We've seen it all day."
Joe smiled widely now, the other three smiling back.
"I'd like to thank you by cooking a nice dinner tonight. I want to repay you."
"That's sweet, Joe. That would be great." Cynthia said, smiling.
"Ok, but I'll need to get some groceries."
"Next stop, the village market!" Justin said, the four getting up and walking back through the store.
They climbed into the van, Trace storing Cynthia's chair in the crowded back of the van.
"Better make it a light fair for dinner, Joe. The van's about to burst at the seams."
Joe laughed, Justin smiling at his good mood.
Justin drove the van down the street, Cynthia directing them to O'Malley's Grocery.
Justin parked the car, Trace helping Cynthia into her chair.
Joe and Justin lifted her chair up onto the front landing of the store, Trace walking up the five steps.
"Trace, can you do me a favor while we do the groceries?"
"Sure sweetie, what is it?"
"Can you go to my place–it's just down on the end of that block–and pick up Mom's glasses and my sweater? It will be chilly after supper and I know Mom will need her glasses to read the paper we're bringing back."
"Sure thing, sweetie. You keep the van, I'll just walk over. Back in a short while."
He leaned down, kissing her tenderly on her lips, Joe and Justin smiling.
The kiss lingered for a while, both reluctant to part.
"Geez, you'd think Tray was going off to war, judging by that kiss!" Joe said, Justin bursting out in laughter, Trace breaking the kiss, looking at Joe.
"Eat your heart out, Joe. I've got my sugar for the journey."
Cynthia smiled, her love for this man growing.
Joe smiled, as did Justin, Trace taking Cynthia's keys, walking back down the front steps, heading down the block.
Justin looked at Cynthia, her smiling face staring after Trace.
"Ah, young love! It makes the heart happy." Joe said, the other two looking at his smiling face, then laughing, the three going into the market.
They spent about twenty minutes picking out items, Joe set on what he wanted to make.
The other two watched him with interest, picking up vegetables and other items, his mind focused.
"Seems your man knows what he's doing, Justin." Cynthia said, Justin beside her, the two out of Joe's range of hearing.
"Yes, he looks determined. This day has done him some good. He seems more relaxed."
She smiled, nodding her agreement.
They wandered around the store, Joe filling the cart with different items.
"I think that's about all I need." Joe said, rubbing his head as they walked towards the checkouts.
"Headache again, Joe?" Justin said, looking at him with concern.
"Yeah, it just started. It was probably from all that ice cream. I ate it too quickly, it was so good."
Cynthia smiled, Justin nodding, taking the cart from Joe.
"You go outside into the sunshine and sit on the bench and Cynthia and I will take care of this."
Joe nodded, walking out of the store.
Cynthia watched him go through the front exit door, looking quietly at Justin.
"He's still having those headaches? That's not good, Jus. That could mean his head may still be a little shook up. Or maybe something more serious."
Justin nodded, Cynthia sensing his concern, patting his hand.
"No worries, the doctors will see to his well-being. They'll make him better. Thanks to you."
Justin smiled again, the two waiting in the checkout line.
Trace was enjoying the short walk, seeing the quaint little houses he walked past.
Each one a home of love and happiness.
He smiled, his mind on the beautiful woman he'd left behind at the market.
On the lovely Cynthia.
No one had ever captured his heart like that wonderful girl.
For once in his young life he actually felt really loved by someone.
He smiled, his pace quickening, his need to return to her even more urgent.
This path of love would lead him back into her loving arms.
His eyes caught the front lawn of Cynthia's home, nestled on the end of the street.
He saw a new vehicle parked in its front driveway.
Trace walked down the street, standing now in the home's driveway.
His brow furrowed, his eyes zoning in on someone standing at the house's front door, knocking fiercely on the wooden door.
The person turned, their eyes meeting.
Joe sat out in the afternoon sunshine, his head resting against the bench's railing, looking upwards.
His eyes were closed.
"A sunny, beautiful day. One of God's finest."
Joe opened his eyes, staring up into the face of an elderly gentleman.
The same gentleman he'd spotted before, when they'd been sitting on the patio.
"Yes, it is just that." Joe said, staring at him, Joe sitting up more on the seat.
"May I sit down? I've been walking a bit. These tired old bones need constant rest."
Joe nodded, moving a bit on the bench.
The man smiled a tender smile, sitting down a few feet between him and Joe.
"Waiting for someone, son? "
"My friends, they're in the store."
The man nodded, looking around the street.
"A quaint town. Nestled in the forested heart of this country. You can feel its loving charm."
Joe sat quietly looking at the man.
He appeared to be around seventy, but Joe thought his looks belayed his real age.
His eyes were hidden behind dark glasses, his head moving around as if taking in all that surrounded them.
His complexion was darker, as if the man had been in the sun for a long time.
And Joe sensed the man had at one time been strong and powerful, his body's form showing its powerful bulk.
"You appear lost, my son. As if you need to be guided back to your original path."
Joe looked at him, wondering how he knew that.
Joe sensed in his calm voice that this man had a kind soul, a giving heart.
"Yes, sir. I've been through a hard time."
The man nodded, his face turning, looking into Joe's grey eyes.
"We all become lost at some time in our lives. We only have to look for the key to bring our lives back on track. The music of our past must play again."
Joe nodded, not sure of what the man was alluding to.
The man's hand went toward Joe, taking his hand in his.
Joe felt a sudden feeling come over him.
His mind flashed for only a moment upon an image.
His mind cleared, the old man letting go of his hand.
He smiled a warm, giving smile.
"He will be your key, Joe. He will show you what your life really is. The day of Snow and Truth shall be a day of love." he said.
Joe heard the market doors opening, his eyes moving from the man to the doorway, looking up towards the steps.
Justin and Cynthia came through the market doorway, Justin carrying a couple of bags.
Joe turned back, the seat beside him empty.
The man was gone.
He scanned everywhere, seeing no sign of him.
How could he have vanished like that?
He was an old man.
Joe stood up, looking all around.
"Take these bags Joe, and I'll carry Cynthia down the steps." Justin smiled at him, suddenly sensing Joe's worried look.
"You okay, Joe?"
Joe looked at him for a second, then reluctantly nodded.
He walked up the front steps, quietly taking the bags from Justin, Justin looking at him.
Joe started walking to the van, Justin watching him go.
He saw Joe looking all around, as if searching for something, or someone.
Cynthia looked up at Justin, smiling.
"I think I heard some famous singer offer me a lift?"
Justin's eyes focused on Cynthia's smiling face.
"Well, I'm not as cuddly as Trace, but will I do in a pinch?"
She laughed, Justin laughing as well.
Neither noticed the other car pulling up on the far side of their van.
Justin gently lifted Cynthia out of her chair, the young lady's arms wrapped around his neck.
"Oh wow! I'm in Justin Timberlake's arms! Every teenage girl's dream come true!"
Justin smiled widely.
"Yes, isn't the fantasy unbelievable? Want a kiss from a superstar?" he laughed.
Joe stood by the van, smiling at the two friends' laughing souls.
"Oh wow! I'm going to kiss Justin Timberlake!!!" she mimicked a swoon, Joe laughing.
No one saw Trace walk around the van.
Justin leaned in, kissing Cynthia on the lips.
Joe smiled, seeing Justin's giving heart on display.
He saw nothing behind it but mirthful friendship.
The twosome's fun was interrupted by a shrill voice.
"What the hell's going on here????!!!!"
Justin parted from Cynthia, staring in disbelief at the owner of the voice, now standing beside Trace.
Justin stared at Jessica Biel's glaring face.
Jessica stood with her arms folded, glaring at Justin and Cynthia on the front steps of the market.
"Who the hell's this bitch?!" she said, her eyes glaring at Cynthia.
Cynthia looked in shock, Justin's arms still holding her against him.
Justin was standing in a trance, staring at Jessica.
Joe stood by the van, taking in the whole scene.
Trace's eyebrows furrowed, walking forward.
He walked up behind his friend and Cynthia, grabbing her wheelchair, carrying it down the steps, setting it down in front of them.
"This is Cynthia Carruthers, Jessica. She's my girlfriend, and you owe her an apology!! Right now!!" Trace said, Justin quietly setting the young lady down in her wheelchair.
Jessica's eyes were on his every move, her face changing once she saw the wheelchair and heard Trace's words.
This girl was Trace's girlfriend?
What was she doing in Justin's arms, and why were they kissing?
"Well?" Trace said, Justin hearing the edge of anger in Trace's voice.
Cynthia's hand went into Trace's, Trace immediately calming down when he looked into her upturned eyes.
"You're dating a cripple?" Jessica said, Trace's face changing to sudden anger.
"How dare you!" he said, walking forward.
He was stopped by Justin, his friend's arm going in front of his chest.
"Everyone calm down. Jessica, what are you doing here?"
"Well, I came to make sure you were alright. Apparently, you seem to be just fine." she said, glaring at him.
"Calm down, Jess. It's not what it looks like. We were just fooling around. Cynthia is Trace's girlfriend. I was carrying her down the stairs."
Jessica's eyes went from him to Trace and Cynthia, looking at all of them.
"He's correct, Miss Biel. Justin was just carrying me down to the van. We were just joking around, my swooning at having a big star carry me. We're just good friends. Trace is my love, you have no reason to be jealous."
"I can see that very plainly, girl." Jessica said with sneering sarcasm, Cynthia's face changing to a hurt look.
Trace's eyes were burning fire, glaring at Jessica.
Justin looked trapped in the middle, between his friends and Jessica.
Joe saw the look on his face, walking up to all of them.
"I think you've walked into a genuine misunderstanding."
Jessica looked at the new person, her face changing.
She instantly saw the beauty of this young man's face, his grey eyes staring into hers.
"Who are you?" she said, staring at him.
"My name is Joe. I'm a friend of Justin's. And you must be Jessica. He's talked a lot about you."
She looked at the genuine calmness of the young man's face.
"Yes, I am Jessica Biel."
"I think we all need to calm down. I was standing here watching it all. Justin is telling the truth. It was just two friends having fun. Nothing else. Cynthia and Trace are in love. And Justin's heart is yours."
Justin was quietly looking at Joe, his mind focused on what Joe had said.
Jessica seemed to calm down, smiling at the young man.
"Okay, I see that you seem to be a honest bystander. Alright, I'll believe you. I'm sorry for overreacting."
Joe smiled at her, the young woman staring at him still.
"It was all a misunderstanding. How about we go back to Henry's and relax? I've got everything I need." Joe smiled at everyone, everyone smiling back, except for Trace who was still glaring at Jessica.
Joe's calm manner had diffused most of the situation.
"I'll go with Jessica, Joe. You and Trace and Cynthia can take the van." Justin said, looking at his girlfriend.
Joe nodded, seeing a worried look in Justin's eyes.
He still saw the trapped look there.
"Okay, Justin. See you back at the house."
Justin smiled, Jessica looking between the two.
Trace took one last steady gaze at Jessica, then helped Cynthia over to the van.
The friends parted, Justin getting into the driver's seat of Jessica's car.
Jessica took one last look at Joe, then climbed into the car.
Joe sighed, climbing into the van's backseat.
"Okay, Justin. What's going on here?"
Justin looked to his right, Jessica staring at him.
"That wasn't a very nice way of greeting new people, Jess. You really hurt Cynthia's feelings, and Tray's. You owe them both an apology."
Jessica remained still, still looking at him.
"I'm sorry, Justin. But when I saw her in your arms, and the two of you kissing, I just lost it. I had every right to be mad."
"Oh come on, Jess! A relationship is based on trust! Don't you trust me?"
"I trust you, I just don't trust others. You're easily fooled by fast friends, Justin. And then I get hurt. What was I supposed to think? You kissing her while I was away!"
Justin sighed, his eyes on the road ahead.
Jessica sensed something new in Justin.
And that bothered her.
What was going on around here?
Why did Justin seem different?
"I'm sorry if I overreacted, sweetie. It's just I hate the thoughts of someone else interfering with our love."
Justin looked at her, his mind on someone else.
"Love is based on trust."
Jessica nodded, now feeling that she hadn't handled the situation well.
She felt Justin was a little upset with her.
"Alright, Justin. I'll apologize to them both. You are right, I did overreact."
Justin looked at her, she smiling tenderly at him.
He then smiled back, she seeing him relaxing.
"So what's going on here? Who's Joe? He seems like a nice guy."
Justin looked at her, seeing her interest in the young man.
"Yes. Joe's one of a kind. Wait till you hear the whole story."
Justin began talking to her, telling her all that had happened, from the accident until now.
Jessica sat back with a surprised look upon her face.
The two drove towards Henry's, Justin talking all about Joe, Jessica quietly thinking to herself.
Joe walked into the kitchen, Trace and Cynthia following.
Justin and Jessica had fallen behind, Trace sensing the two had a lot to talk about.
Trace's eyes were casually focused on Joe.
Joe had been almost silent the whole way to Henry's.
Trace's anger had calmed, Cynthia's tender touch defusing his anger towards Jessica.
Cynthia was a bit quiet, Shelly sensing it when she wheeled into the kitchen.
"How did your day go, guys?" Shelly smiled, taking the coffee pot off the stove.
"It was great. . .until the last few minutes." Trace said, folding his arms.
Shelly looked between them, sensing something was wrong.
"Where's Justin?" she said, Joe looking at her quietly.
"He's coming behind us with Jessica." Trace said, nonchalantly.
"Jessica? Who's Jessica?" Henry said, walking into the room, kissing Shelly's cheek.
"Jessica is Jessica Biel, Justin's girlfriend from New York. She's followed him here." Trace said, Cynthia quietly looking at him.
"Oh, I see." Shelly said, looking quickly at Joe.
"What is she doing here?" Henry asked, pulling down some cups for Shelly.
"She's come to bring Justin back. It's her territorial way. She doesn't like him out of her sight, the controlling shrew." Trace said, his eyes on Joe now as well.
"I need to put my stuff upstairs. I'll be back." Joe said, walking quietly out of the room.
Trace watched him go, sighing.
"What the hell's she doing here now? Why can't she let him be?" he said, more to himself than the others.
The other three heard his words.
"Did something happen?" Shelly asked, Cynthia looking at her mother.
She told her and Henry all that had happened.
"She overreacted, that is true. She could have waited until Justin explained the innocence of the moment. She sounds like a very determined–and possessive–woman." Shelly said, looking at Cynthia.
"That she is. And I've never liked that about her. She wants to control Justin. And I've done my best to see that she doesn't." Trace said, Cynthia's hand going into his.
Trace smiled down at her, Cynthia looking up at him.
"My champion, defending my honor!"
He smiled, leaning downward, kissing her tenderly.
"I'll always defend those I love."
Shelly smiled, Henry's arm going around her.
Justin walked into the house, seeing some of Joe's bags of clothing still sitting on the bottom step of the stairs.
He assumed Joe had taken the rest upstairs.
He took Jessica's coat from her, hanging it on the hooks by the door with his own.
"We're back!" he shouted, hearing people coming down the hall from the kitchen.
Trace wheeled Cynthia down the hall, both looking at them.
They remained quiet, walking into the living room.
Henry and Shelly walked after them, greeting the two people at the door.
"This is my friend, Jessica Biel. Jessica, this is Doctor Henry Chambers and his girlfriend Shelly Carruthers. Shelly is Cynthia's mother."
Jessica smiled at them both, her smile slipping when she heard who Shelly was.
"Welcome to my home, young lady. A friend of Justin's is always welcome here."
"Thank you. But Justin understated it. I am his girlfriend." she said directly, Justin not moving.
Jessica smiled at the two older people, Shelly's eyes on her intently.
"Let's go in and see Trace and Cynthia." Justin said, Jessica reluctantly looking towards the living room.
"Alright, sweetie." she said, her arm going in Justin's.
Shelly remained quiet, her eyes now upon Justin's concerned face.
They walked into the room, Trace sitting beside Cynthia, the two quietly talking.
"Trace, Cynthia. Jessica has something she'd like to say to you." Justin said, gently nudging her.
Jessica looked uncomfortable, but her gaze turned to the young couple.
"I'd like your forgiveness for my overreaction at the market. I had no cause to be so venomous to you, Cynthia. And I'm sorry that upset you, Trace."
Trace looked up and her, then his gaze turned to Justin.
He saw the pleading look in Justin's eyes.
"What do you think, Cynthia?" he said, Cynthia looking at him, then smiling.
"It was all a misunderstanding. Thank you for apologizing. I accept it completely. Let's start fresh. My name is Cynthia. I'm Trace's girlfriend."
Jessica looked relieved, smiling a wide smile.
No one else could see it, but Trace picked up on the fakeness of that smile.
Cynthia wheeled over to Jessica, the two shaking hands.
"I'm Jessica Biel. I'm Justin's girlfriend." she smiled again, Shelly and Cynthia smiling back.
"Everyone sit down, I'll get us some drinks. Joe said something about cooking us all supper?" Shelly said, Justin nodding, then looking around.
"Where is Joe?"
"He took some of his things upstairs." Trace said, looking towards his friends.
"Okay, I'll grab the rest of his stuff, you relax here, Jessica. Be right back." Justin smiled, not giving her a chance to object.
He walked out of the room quickly.
Jessica smiled at everyone, quietly sitting down in a wing chair.
Henry smiled at her, Jessica smiling back.
"Justin says you're an actress. Ever work with the great Sophia Loren?"
Justin walked down the hallway seeing Joe's doorway open.
His arms were filled with the remaining bags, Justin walking into the room.
"The rest of your treasures, your Lordship." Justin quipped, smiling as he walked into the room.
He spotted the other bags sitting on the floor, nothing removed from them.
Joe lay on the bed, his back turned to Justin.
Justin dropped the bags with the other ones. looking towards Joe.
"Everything okay, Joe? I hope Jessica didn't come off as too strong." he said, Joe still not moving.
"You okay, Joe?" Justin said, walking to the bed, looking down on his friend.
He put his hand on Joe's shoulder, the young man's face turning to look at him.
Justin stared in shock, Joe's eyes staring back at him.
Both were filled with tears, Justin sitting down beside Joe's side.
Joe moved, Justin letting the young man hug him tightly.
"What's wrong, Joe?"
"Someone's following me, Justin."
Justin looked confused.
Justin held the young man, Joe trembling.
"I don't know, Justin. He didn't tell me his name."
Justin couldn't understand what Joe was talking about.
And Justin was worried.
He hadn't seen Joe talking to anyone.
Joe moved a little, his head rising upwards.
Justin stared at him, Joe's grey eyes staring back.
"He told me you're the key, Justin. The one to help me."
End of Chapter 8
And so Jessica has arrived in town, in a menacing, uncomfortable way.
Will Justin and the others put up with her attitude?
What is going on with Joe?
Henry's revelations seem strange.
Who is the stranger who talked to Joe?
I always seem to leave a lot of unsolved questions!
A few admirers have been drawing similarities between this story and my last.
It's purely unintentional.
I'm trying to make this a totally different experience.
It will be much darker and perhaps much more intriguing.
I know there are similarities in the mystical end of it, but it isn't the same.
That shall be shown eventually.
The last story was more spiritual, this will be more philosophical.
I hope you'll all stay for the ride.
Let me know your thoughts.
For those wanting to read more of my work, here is the link to my first story.