This is a sexually explicit story (at times) involving homosexuality. By continuing to read, you affirm under penalties of perjury that you are not a minor or in the company of a minor and are entitled to have access to this story.
The following is a fictitious story with no real basis or credibility. It is solely for the enjoyment of the reader. It's all just fun. It does not imply anything about the sexual preferences or lifestyle of Justin Timberlake or any other celebrity mentioned in the story.
Lance looked back at Michael, Lance suddenly hearing a voice in his head.
"You remain here, Michael. I am going to see where this leads."
"Alright, Lance. I can't understand what this path means. Be careful."
"It doesn't look very long. I won't be gone but a moment."
Michael nodded, leaning against the wall.
Lance looked at him for a moment, then walked forward.
He walked through the entrance seeing ahead of him a faint light.
He walked for a few minutes, the light suddenly in front of him.
He stood in an open room, seeing a stone bench in front of him.
Sitting on the bench was someone who surprised him.
"Hello, Lance. It's time you as the Guardian know the truth."
Lance nodded, sitting down beside the man.
"This is Michael's truth isn't it?"
The man put his arm around Lance, smiling at him.
"Yes, my angel. The truth of my son's fate."
Lance looked into Ramon's golden eyes.
"Tell me the truth, Ramon. Tell me what's really going on here."
Ramon smiled, lifting his hand.
In it was the little teddy bear.
The bear with the embroidered initials.
"It began with this bear......"
The Dawning Truth
Michael felt Lance's hand upon his shoulder, having heard someone walking towards him in the darkness.
"Are you alright, Lance?" he softly said, his arms going around his friend.
"Yes, Michael. I am alright. Come on, let's return to the world above."
Michael's head moved side to side.
"What was down there, Lance? Where did that corridor go to?"
Lance stared at his friend, seeing the look of concern on his face.
"It went nowhere, Mico. Only to an empty room."
Michael nodded, Lance taking his arm.
"I sense our time is done here, Michael. I know the truth now, and we go forward to what must be."
Michael nodded, Lance kissing his lips.
"What was that for?"
"That was my thanks for bringing me here, Mico. For letting me see the truth in all this."
Michael nodded, Lance still seeing the concern on his face.
"Upstairs waits your heart, Mico. Your Justin waits for you."
Lance felt the tremble in Michael's soul.
"We all have to face our deepest fears at some time in our lives, my friend. Always know that love and faith run together. I think your happiness is just beginning."
Michael nodded, Lance turning them both back down the path they'd walked.
They walked all the way back, Lance stopping them at the entrance to the Hallway.
He turned, looking back, staring at nothing.
All the pictures were gone, as were the torches.
All the walls and floor bare of any sight.
"The Hallway of Truth is gone, Michael. Its purpose finished."
Michael nodded, the two walking back into Adrian's room.
Lance stopped, looking around.
That room, too, was empty.
Nothing remained in it.
No paintings, no furniture, nothing.
Even the statues were gone, as was the rising wall that was the entrance to the Hallway.
Lance looked forward, seeing the double wooden doors gone as well.
"Everything is gone, Michael. Nothing remains."
The two men stood in a carved hole in the stones beneath the Villa Tavarro.
"The purpose of the room and its destiny is fulfilled. It's now lost in time." Michael quietly said.
"Come, Mico. Let's go back above." Lance said, walking across the echoing cavern, heading down the stone hallway, his lantern lighting the way in front of them.
Justin, Josh, the kids, and everyone else sat waiting in the resting room.
Most of their eyes were on the darkened hole in its center.
They'd all heard noises down there, as if someone was moving towards the light.
Justin and Josh sat together, their little ones in the laps of their friends.
They all heard footsteps on the bottom stone steps of darkness, Justin and Josh rising.
Everyone else remained still, all of them waiting quietly.
Within a few moments, Lance and Michael's heads came into view, everyone staring in shocking wonder.
The two men walked out of the darkness, standing on the resting room's floor now.
Behind them the floor moved, the entrance disappearing again into the fireplace.
Everyone stared at both men, Josh walking slowly forward.
"Lance, oh my God! Your hair!"
Lance looked confused, letting go of Michael's hand and walking over to the mirror on the wall beside Justin's couch.
Justin moved forward to Michael, Josh following Lance.
Lance looked into the mirror, stepping back in surprise.
His hair, those blond spiky streaks that Josh loved, were now all white.
Streaks of white hair ran through his darker waves .
"God, that's a surprise!" he said, Josh's arms around him.
"A sign of seeing God." Father Nico said, staring at the young man.
His eyes then turned to Michael, his looks remaining unchanged, the dark glasses hiding his injured eyes.
Justin's arms were around Michael, his lips upon his.
"I'm so happy you are back, my love!"
Michael remained quiet, Lance turning back and looking towards him.
"The Trek of Truth was long, but we both survived. And Michael's time is at hand."
Michael looked towards Lance's voice, Justin feeling a tremble within him.
"What's wrong, my love? I sense fear in you."
Lance left Josh's arms, going over to his two friends.
He took Michael's hands in his, everyone watching them.
"Speak from the heart, Michael. Speak from your loving heart. It's time this was told. He needs you to be free of any doubts."
Michael had tears running down his cheeks, Lance looking quietly at Justin.
"I am the Guardian. I know now the truth of everything. There is one truth that Michael himself must tell all of you. One truth he needs to tell you, Justin. One truth of his past that will free his heart of its doubt. Let's give him a moment."
Lance gently guided Michael over to the couch, sitting him down gently, Justin going to his right side, Lance sitting on his other side.
Justin took Michael's hand in his, looking into his emotional face.
"Whatever you witnessed, whatever you've done, it shall not change my love for you, Mico. I love you. We all love you."
Michael began to cry, Justin looking into Lance's green eyes.
Josh sat down on the arm of the couch beside Lance, his hand going to his shoulder.
"What's going on, Lance? What did you see down there?"
Lance looked around the room, everyone looking at him.
"I saw the truth of Michael's existence. And what tomorrow shall bring. It starts here. It starts at this moment. With Michael unburdening his soul. Talk to us, my friend. Tell them all the truth."
Michael's head raised up, his blind eyes scanning all around him.
"The truth is that I am weak. That I never had the strength."
Justin put his arms around Michael.
"You are the strongest man I have ever met, my love. There isn't a weak bone in your body."
Everyone voiced their agreement, Michael moving from Justin.
"I am strong now because of your love, Justin. I wasn't always that way. I've done something wrong. Something dreadfully wrong. This is my atonement for that. This is my trial. God gave me one last chance to make it right."
Justin looked unfazed, taking Michael's hands in his.
"There is nothing that you could do that would change my love for you, Michael."
Michael trembled, his hands moving out of Justin's, coming together in his lap.
Michael rubbed them, Justin and others seeing him rubbing the returned scar on his right hand.
A sign of his being upset.
"I wasn't strong enough.... the pain was too much.... I didn't have anyone to love me!!!" he said, half sobbing.
Justin stared at him, sensing deep hurt emanating off Michael's soul.
"Let it out, Mico. Let it all fall away from your soul. I'm hear to bear anything that hurts you." Justin softly said, kissing Michael's lips.
Michael felt all of Justin's love, it wrapping itself around his heart.
Michael stood up, walking forward, Justin and Lance watching him intently.
He walked with his hands outward, up to the fireplace.
His hands came to rest on the blue-eyed lion.
He slowly rubbed its head.
"Guardians of love. Guardian beasts of destiny."
Lance looked quietly at Michael, sensing his pain letting go.
"I have my own Guardian, my wonderful Lance. He knows now the truth of my existence. He now knows my deepest truth. And he's guiding me to tell all of you. I do this now for you, Justin. For only you. Because I can't lie to you anymore."
Justin stood up, walking up to Michael.
He put his arm around him, Michael's head going to his chest, where it had lain so often.
Vicky sat with Chris, quietly watching her best friend.
She saw the pain in his face, the worry and hurt.
She also saw Justin's steadfast support of his angel.
Chris put his arm around her, Vicky feeling his loving support.
"I refuse to believe that you have lied to me, Mico. Whatever it is, I have full faith in it not being your fault."
Michael stepped away from him, Justin still holding his hand, Michael reluctantly letting go.
"I wasn't strong enough, Justin. I wasn't strong enough to stop."
"To stop what?"
Michael's hands went together, Justin seeing him rubbing his hands.
Justin saw the tears falling from Michael's eyes under the sunglasses.
"That night on the cliff. That night you all walked out of your dreams to save me."
"Yes, Michael. What of it?"
"You were too late, Justin. You were too late."
Justin looked totally focused, his eyes watching him.
Josh looked totally confused, as did Joey and Chris.
Lance remained still, his eyes on Michael.
Michael sank to his knees, sitting down on the hearth of the fireplace.
"I killed myself, Justin. I jumped off that cliff."
The room came alive with loud gasps, everyone staring in deep shock.
Justin face showed deep calmness, his eyes looking down at Michael.
Michael's head was between his knees, sobs issuing from his trembling chest.
Justin sat down beside him, his arm going around him.
"It's okay, Mico. Shhh, it's okay."
Michael started to move away, Justin pulling him into his strong arms.
"I'm so sorry, Jus! I didn't have enough love, enough faith. I was so all alone!" he sobbed, Justin gently rocking him in his arms.
"Let it all out, Mico. Tell us everything."
Lance was looking at Justin in surprise, his own arm going around a stunned Josh.
Justin held Michael for a few minutes, Justin looking around the room, seeing all their stunned faces.
His eyes fell upon Josh and Lance.
He motioned them towards him.
The two got up, going to the fireplace, sitting on both sides of the two men.
"Our brotherhood of love is surrounding us, my love. Open up your heart to us."
Michael parted from Justin, wiping his eyes under his glasses.
"I had blocked it all out, Jus. I didn't remember it until I walked the Hallway the first time. There, I saw it in the pictures. I saw my own death."
Justin's hand was on his shoulder, Michael feeling his strength and love.
It was calming his heart.
"Tell them, Mico. Tell us the story."
Michael's head moved around, everyone remaining quiet.
Darian and Shauna sat on the couch beside Lynn and Paul, both little ones staring at their father.
Noah sat beside Darian, his arm around his best friend.
"Alright, Jus. I will tell it all."
They all moved forward, staring at a young man in an emotional state.
Michael's voice filled the room.
"I stood in the darkness that night, my mind and soul ripped apart. I'd been hearing voices, in my head and mind. And I'd been having nightmares. Reliving the torture and screaming at the visions in my mind. The visions from that weekend at the cabin. And how Paul had destroyed me. I'd seen their staring eyes, the eyes of pity and disgust. All my friends, neighbours and people I'd known for so long.
They all looked at me with disgust. How could I ever face them? My heart, my soul and my hopes were dead. The only thing living was my body and mind, and they were in constant pain. I walked out that day to the lake to silence that pain. My heart was decided on what that fate should be."
Justin moved his arm around Michael, Michael feeling that unending love.
It totally surprised him.
Justin wasn't pushing away, Justin was beside him as always.
Lance was seeing the same thing.
Zach was sitting with tears flowing down his cheeks, his arms around Michael's sister.
He was remembering all the pain that Michael had endured.
Now realizing he hadn't been strong enough to fight it.
"I stood in the setting sun, looking down at that cold dark water. I stood there for over three hours, staring at it, watching it take its claim on me. And all through my mind, I replayed all the moments of pain in my life. Of all that had been taken from me, all the love I'd been denied.
I didn't know, Jus. I didn't know that I'd find you, that my heart one day would have a love greater than my dreams. At that moment all I felt was pain.
I saw below me the way to ease that pain. I'm sorry, but for me, at that moment, it felt so right. So truthful in its obvious release. And so I jumped, face forward, to my death."
Lonnie was in tears, holding a crying Rachel.
He stared at his friend, hearing the anguish in his moving words.
Sensing the deep hopelessness that Michael must have felt at that moment.
How heartbroken, alone and unloved he must have felt at that moment.
Lonnie's heart filled with love for his hurting friend.
"I felt the darkness and coldness of the water. Then I felt nothing. And then I sensed the darkness clearing. And the light beginning to shine around me.
And standing in front of me was a child. A young child of seven or eight. A child with blue eyes.
The deepest blue eyes I'd ever seen.
He smiled at me, his teeth perfect, his smile so beautiful. He stared at me intently, then his soft voice asking me a question."
Chris and Vicky sat in tears, sensing the truth in all that he'd done.
"What was the question, Michael?" Chris said, his voice showing his emotions.
Michael raised his head, looking towards his friends.
"He asked me why I didn't have faith in myself."
Michael lowered his head, Justin holding him gently.
"He wanted to know why I gave up on life, I guess. I told him I couldn't live without love. Then he said something strange."
"What did he say, love?" Justin said gently, looking at him quietly.
"The boy said I wasn't who I was. He said that I should have stayed. That he was on his way. That I'd missed him by moments. I think he was talking about you, my love."
Justin kissed his cheek, Michael trembling.
"What happened next, Mico? Did he send you back?"
"He told me that he would set things right. That he wasn't giving up. That God had told him he had a right to life, a right to live. That no matter what was done to him by the other, he would go on."
"I don't know what he was talking about, Jus. All I know is the boy was so gentle and calm, so beautiful and giving. I think he was an angel."
Josh looked at Lance, the two quietly looking at Michael.
"Then I was given the choice."
"The choice? As in heaven and life? Like what happened after you were shot?" Lonnie said, Michael listening to him.
"No, Lon. My choice was Sarcosa, or redemption. I believe he was telling me to stay on destiny's path. The destiny of the path I now walk. To turn my back on that path would result in my going to purgatory. Or I go forward to the end. I chose this life again."
Justin tightened his hold on Michael, Michael sensing his unchanged love.
Michael broke from his hold, Justin staring at him.
"I awoke again on that cliff, in total darkness. Alone as always. I didn't remember anything of what had happened, believing it was just a moment later than before I'd jumped. Then I stood on the cliff crying. Moments later the four of you appeared around me."
Josh lowered his head, remembering his not being there for Michael.
"Don't you see, Jus? I died! I took the coward's way out! I didn't have the strength to face my fears and go on! I was a coward, and what you and I have isn't real. It's all fabricated with God's intervention. I don't deserve your love! I don't deserve anything!"
Justin pulled Michael against him, Michael sobbing.
"Oh, my sweet angel! That's is so totally not true! You weren't a coward, Mico! You were a young man trapped in a nightmare. Hurt beyond healing, hurt to the core of your being. The only thing you were denied was love, Mico. God gave you that love when he returned you to yourself. I am that love, Michael. Darry, Shauna and I are the love you need, the love you deserve. Nothing–and no one–shall ever destroy our love. I love you, Mico. Your three angels love you."
Darian and Shauna got down off the couch, running up to their fathers.
They both stood against Michael's knees, between his legs, their hands on his face.
"No cries, Papa. You's not bad. You our angel. We wuvs you. Little boy make it all right. He be with you again."
Justin stared at the little ones, both smiling at him.
"The little boy make it all right? Do you know who he is, Darry?" Justin asked, the little boy smiling.
"Yep, Dada. Me knows, but me no can tells. Me's asked not toos. We five bring him back."
Michael picked up the two little ones, both hugging him tightly.
Everyone stared in awe at what they'd just heard, Michael surrounded still by their love.
Michael looked towards Justin.
"I'm sorry, Jus. I'm sorry for lying to you. I'll understand if you can't forgive me." Michael said, lowering his head.
Justin raised his head gently, kissing him deeply.
"As I've said already, my love for you hasn't changed. I love you, Michael."
"Why are you not mad, Justin? I lied to you. I am not the strong man you thought I was!" Michael said, tears in his eyes, the little ones snuggling tighter against him, their love in his heart increasing.
Justin smiled, looking around at everyone.
"There's a very good reason for that, Michael. I already knew."
Michael sat dumbfounded, Justin feeling his shock.
"Yes, my love. Someone very special told me that hidden truth inside you. She'd only found out about it after she'd gone to her reward."
Michael stared at him.
Justin smiled, kissing his cheek.
"Yes, Mico. I had another dream of her, Augustus and your Adrian in the clearing. That first time I met Augustus and Adrian. She told me all of what happened there, she being deeply hurt by it as well. She sensed that she had failed you. That her love hadn't been enough to stop the pain in your soul."
Silas was in tears, knowing that she would feel that way.
"That's not true, Jus! Her love was everything to me! It wasn't her fault, it was my own!!"
"Michael! It wasn't your fault, either. It was life, Mico. The tragic life you endured. No one, her, your grandfather, or myself or anyone here would fault you on that count. I'm just glad God gave you back to us."
Michael smiled a small smile, hearing the love in Justin's words.
"Why didn't you say anything?"
"Because you needed to confess this yourself, Mico. You needed to say this final truth yourself."
Michael nodded, looking downward.
"I don't know why I was allowed back, Justin. In the eyes of God, what I did was a sin. He gave me life and I threw it away. I can't wrap my mind around why God's given me you and our angels. I never had this kind of love. I never had this deep feeling of utter happiness."
Justin smiled, feeling that happiness again in Michael's heart.
"But now that I have it, now that I see what love really is, I want it. I need it! And I'll fight for the rest of this life and always to keep it! I love you, Justin."
Michael looked down, feeling the two little ones in his lap.
"And I love our angelic treasures. My son and daughter."
Both smiled, leaning upwards and kissing Michael's face.
Michael smiled, looking towards Justin.
"So the man you see before you is here for a purpose. For the destiny of the chosen ones. For the destiny of life. God has put me on this path. I now have to see it done. But I suddenly realize something new."
"What's that, my love?" Justin said, his arm still around him.
"I have love, Justin. I finally have real love. And it's the most beautiful gift God could ever bless me with."
Everyone smiled, hearing deep truth in Michael's words.
"So are you, like, an angel?" Chris said, Joey rolling his eyes.
"Geez, Chris! He's right here in front of us! He's not an angel! He's Mike! Our friend!"
Michael smiled at Joey's touching, heartfelt words.
Joey smiled, Brianna in his lap.
"Okay, I see your point. So you're like the New and Improved Mikey!" Chris said.
Vicky groaned, Lance laughing.
Michael looked at him.
"You find humor in all this, Lance?"
"Yeah, I do Mikey. I think we'll just call this the Second Coming of Michael!"
Michael burst into laughter, everyone looking shocked.
"Nice one, buddy!" he laughed, Lance laughing with him.
Justin smiled, seeing his Mico returned.
Their laughter died down, Michael looking around, wiping his cheeks.
"I ask all of you for forgiveness. For my not believing in what lay ahead for me. For doubting the love I never knew existed. Now I've felt that love. In each and everyone of you. And it's more that I've ever dreamed of. I hope you all can find it in your hearts to still love me."
Vicky stood up, as did the others, all walking to him.
Michael stood, the little ones going in Justin's and Lance's arms, Michael hugged by all his friends, family and relations.
Their teary kisses sent his heart soaring.
Once they'd all hugged and kissed him, Michael stood in the center of all of them.
"Tomorrow is the final truth. The moment I've been prepared for. God sent me back for this confrontation. For this final judgement. And I intend on seeing it done. Grandfather, I shall go to the church tomorrow. Nothing shall keep me from my destiny."
Alberto teared up, taking his grandson's hand.
"They will try and deny you acclamation. It shall be a hard day."
Michael smiled, looking around.
"My Carrier of Truth shall walk with me. No one shall stop us."
Tomas looked at his cousin, a tear falling down his cheek.
"My first moment to carry you?"
"Yes, my Tomas. The families shall see your beauty. You and I shall walk in together. And the eagle shall soar."
Tomas smiled, Seth's arm around him.
"What time is it, love?" Michael asked, Justin looking at the watch on his wrist, his Easter gift from Michael.
"It's almost ten, Mico."
"It's well past our angels' bedtime. Come, my little ones."
Shauna climbed out of Lance's arms into Michael's, Justin putting his arm through Michael's.
Darian was in Justin's arms, Justin smiling at his son.
"A good night's sleep shall help all of us. Tomorrow comes as it must." Justin said, Michael nodding.
Everyone hugged them both, kissing the little ones.
Noah climbed into Josh's arms, Lance taking Josh's hand, everyone quietly watching the seven walk out of the room, words of good night given by everyone.
Alberto watched the door close, sitting down on the couch in front of the fireplace.
He looked up at Adrian's portrait.
"A walk in the clouds of hope begins. Onward goes the Messenger." he softly said, Doris looking down at him.
"Good night, everyone. Bertie and I are going to sit for a while, we'll see all of you in the morning." she said, sitting down beside him, Alberto smiling at her, taking her hand in his.
Everyone smiled, quietly saying their goodnights, leaving the two alone.
Justin smiled down at the three little ones all tucked in their bed.
Lance stood beside him, the two looking at them.
Noah was between the twins, Darian and Shauna snuggled on both sides of him.
Darian's head was against Noah's, the three sound asleep.
"Those two are inseparable. It's like they are two of the same heart." Lance said, Justin smiling.
"Yes, Lancy. Our boys are there for each other. And Shauna has two protective brothers."
Lance smiled, the door of the bathroom opening.
Josh and Michael walked out of the bathroom, both wrapped in towels, Josh's arm around Michael.
Justin and Lance had showered quickly together with the little ones, washing their kids, then Justin and Lance got them ready for bed.
Josh had showered with Michael, helping him get cleaned up.
Josh guided Michael over to Justin and Lance, both men standing in robes.
Justin wrapped his terryclothed arms around Michael, kissing his lips.
"Feel better, my love?"
"Yes, Jus. Josh was tender in his washing."
Josh smiled, Lance's arms now around his smooth naked chest.
Lance and Josh both smiled at their friends.
"We'll leave you then, guys. Get a good night sleep, Mico. We love you." Lance said, leaning over and kissing Michael's cheek.
Michael's hand went to Lance's chest, holding onto the robe, Michael looking towards him.
"I need you, Lance. I need you Josh. Will you stay here tonight with me? I need all of your love."
Josh and Lance looked at Justin, Justin smiling.
"Of course, Mico. Your family is here for you." Josh said, kissing his lips tenderly.
Michael smiled, pulling off his towel.
All three stared at his beautiful nakedness, seeing his body now healed from the bombing.
The only scars upon his body were the scar on his hand and the one on his back, the old scars of pain.
Michael moved towards the bed, pulling back the quilts, his ass on full display.
He climbed into the bed, crawling to its center.
Justin smiled, removing his robe, his body open to his friends.
Josh smiled, his towel thrown on the chair.
He walked around, climbing into the bed on Michael's right side.
Lance removed his robe, smiling at Justin, climbing into the bed on his left side.
Michael put his arms around his two friends, both men snuggling against him.
"And just where do I belong?" Justin smirked, all three smiling.
"Right here on top of me, my love." Michael said, his face showing deep love.
Justin smiled, Josh and Lance staring at his beautiful smooth body.
Justin climbed up the middle of the bed, laying on top of a covered Michael.
"Room under here for one more angel." Michael smiled as Justin kissed his lips.
Justin smiled, Josh pulling the covers down, making room for him, Justin laying down between Josh and Michael.
Josh pulled the covers over them, the four snuggled together, Michael in their center.
Justin smiled, kissing his husband, Josh's arm going around Justin.
Josh leaned across, Lance kissing him tenderly, then Lance kissed Michael.
"Goodnight, Mico. You need rest. Tomorrow is almost upon us."
Michael nodded, feeling Justin and Lance against him.
Josh kissed Justin, Justin staring into his blue eyes.
"Goodnight, brothers." Lance and Josh said together, Justin and Michael smiling.
Michael moved, his head on Justin's chest, Lance spooning against him.
"Goodnight, brothers of love, and my treasured Jus. I love all three of you." Michael said, closing his eyes.
The four settled in, their love sinking them into slumber.
Michael awoke, sensing something.
He felt those around him–his husband, his Lance and Josh.
Lance's arms were wrapped around him, his body tight against him.
Michael felt his center against his backside.
Michael smiled, turning gently, Justin murmuring, Lance remaining still.
Michael unwound himself from Lance's embrace, gently moving down the bed away from them.
He felt around, finding the chair at the end of the bed.
He picked up a robe, putting it on.
He smelled Justin's scent, knowing it was the one Justin had been wearing.
He sighed, looking back towards the bed.
He would have, at that moment, given all his dreams to see the sight laying asleep in that bed.
He knew in his heart that Justin was wrapped in Josh's arms, and Lance had moved against the two as well.
He held no jealousy in those thoughts, their love in his heart as well.
He felt around, finding his sunglasses, moving forwards, his hands outward.
He found the door, gently and quietly opening it.
He walked out into the hallway, quietly closing the door.
He stood still, quietly listening.
No sounds could be heard, Michael deep in thought.
In his mind, he remembered all that was in the upstairs hallway, slowly walking forward.
He found each table, chair or obstacle, quietly maneuvering around them.
He walked down the spiral staircase.
Within a few minutes, he opened the door to the resting room.
He stopped when he'd entered, listening.
No sounds were heard.
He walked slowly over to the fireplace, feeling his way to it.
Michael almost fell over a chair that someone had moved in the way, Michael stubbing his toe.
He softly gasped, holding in his pain.
He made it finally to the fireplace.
Michael raised his hands, the portrait rising upwards slowly.
His fingers went forward, finding the indentation in the wall, the small shelf wherein lay his treasures.
He felt both boxes, sighing gently.
"Safe and sound." he softly said.
He suddenly heard a soft sound, as if a door had opened.
Then he heard someone walking across the carpeted floor.
He felt a hand go to his shoulder, and a soft manly voice fill the night air.
"Are you okay, Mike?"
Michael smiled, his fingers letting go of the two boxes.
"Yes, I'm okay Joe."
Joey smiled, his arm going around Michael's waist.
"I saw you walking down the stairs from my room's door. I was on my way to the kitchen. You know, late snack."
Michael smiled, nodding.
"I couldn't sleep. I was just checking on things."
Joey looked at the shelf, seeing the two boxes.
One he recognized as the box containing Michael's teddy bear, the other was unknown to him.
"Is everything as it should be?"
"Yes, Joe. I think so."
Joey nodded, Michael stepping back, Joey guiding both of them to the couch in front of the fireplace.
The two men sat down, Joey sitting close beside Michael.
Without hesitation, he put his arm around Michael.
"You okay, Mikey? I sense you're troubled by something."
"I don't know what's going on, Joey. I sense something running through this house. Like a feeling of longing, a feeling of need. It's as if someone walks in darkness searching for freedom. It was strong enough to wake me in the depths of my brotherhood's love."
Joe looked at Michael.
"I take it your three loves were sleeping with you?"
Michael's head turned to Joey.
"It's fine, Michael. We all see Lance and Josh's love for the two of you. I put two and two together. I know the four of you are lovers."
Michael smiled, Joey holding Michael a little closer.
"We love each other deeply, Joe. But Justin and I are soulmates. We love each other in a different way that we love Lance and Josh. It's not what you think."
Joey smiled, kissing Michael's cheek, Michael surprised by Joey's affection.
"I take it I'm surprising you?"
Michael nodded, Joey smiling.
"You told me a while back, when we were at the lake, that you thought you and I didn't have as close a relationship as you had with the other guys. I'm happy to say you're wrong, Mikey."
Michael remained quiet, sensing Joey wanted to talk.
"I've respected you from that first moment I looked into your golden eyes at Justin's. That first day you stood up for Justin's love against his mother. I saw the deep love in you that day. And I saw a man I wanted to know deeply. My bandmates have always been very important to me. The five of us forged a deep bond of strength, respect and love. I've always cared about them deeply. You, that day, showed your deep love for our little Justin. And I saw his love for you. That made you an instant friend to me. For I saw in you not someone who was infatuated with Justin Timberlake, but a man who was in love with Justy."
Michael smiled, remaining quiet.
"Chris has always been the clown of the group. Josh the serious, deep one. Lance has always been the faithful, and I'm sorry to say, easily manipulated one. His love for us making him give in to all of us whenever we wanted. Justin has always been the baby. All five of us treating him like our little brother. We always felt we needed to protect him. To keep him safe."
"And you, Joe?"
"I've always been the protector of all of them. The protective strength they needed. They all have thought of me as the big brother, the one to fight their bullies. But I've been something more, Mike. I've been their watchful friend. I've watched all four of them turn into giving, caring, loving men. And I feel so happy to be included in their lives."
Michael smiled, sensing Joey's deep love for his four friends.
"And in the last few months, I have seen Justin Timberlake disappear. Here now stands only our Justy. A young man of caring, loving and deep sensitivity. You, my friend, have made him his true self."
"I love him, Joe. I love the real him."
"I know, Michael. And that's why I love you."
Michael felt Joey kiss his cheek again.
"I've always sat back and watched people, Michael. Remaining quiet in the background, watching life unfold. I saw Justin blossom into a talented singer, knowing before anyone else how talented he really was. I knew that one day he'd break away from us, his voice too great to be denied its creativity. And its freedom. I watched him strike out on his own, leaving us behind. I felt no hurt from that. I knew it was as it was destined to be. His greatness couldn't be reined in. But I also saw the timid, sensitive, young lost soul he always had been. I saw his need for love, his need to be loved. He has never changed, Michael. The man you love today is the man he's always been. I've always been worried about him, hoping against all hope that one day he'd find that person who would be the person he needed. I saw him rush through failed relationships, sensing before him the reason they failed. And then one day I saw him with you. With someone who stood with him, not judging him or leading him, but someone who walked beside him, giving him love, strength and kindness. You are the one he's always needed, the one he was destined to love. I didn't need any of this faithful or spiritual stuff to see that. All I needed was to see the love."
Michael teared up, Joey taking his hand in his.
"I see your love, Michael. I see the love both of you share. It's unbelievable."
"Thank you, Joe. For saying that. For being there for him always."
Joey smiled, looking at the man before him.
"I sense what tomorrow may bring, Michael. I just want you to know that I'll still be his protective brother. We all will. We shall all be there for him."
Michael smiled, hugging the man beside him.
"That's all I can hope for, Joe. And thank you for loving him. And for loving me."
Joey was in tears, Michael now kissing his cheek.
"I think it's amazing, Joey. "
"That hidden in all of this has been your silent love for us. Your watchful love."
Joey blushed, Michael sensing it.
"I take care of those I love, Michael."
Michael smiled, looking towards the fireplace, Joey seeing where his eyes were turned.
"So what's really going on here, Mikey? I and a lot of others have sensed something else underlying this story."
"Yes, Joe. Something else is at work here. Something not in total mesh with my destiny. And I think it's about me."
"You, Mikey? You mean about you coming back from death? The reasoning behind that?"
"Perhaps, Joe. But I think it's something more."
Joey got up, walking to the fireplace, looking at the two boxes on the darkened shelf.
"What's in those boxes, Michael? I know one holds your bear that Augustus left for you. What's in the other? The true prophecy?"
"Yes, Joe. The true prophecy of the chosen. Written by Adrian himself. The lines of destiny left out of the one laying in the church. To draw in the evil, and this true one to contain it."
"To contain it? You mean like in a prison?"
Michael stood up, walking over to his friend, guided by his voice.
Joey put his arm around him.
"Whatever lays written therein shall set in motion the final moments of the judgement. And then evil shall be destroyed."
Joey looked at the box, his hand rising towards it.
Michael's hand went on top of his, lowering it.
"No, Joe. That is not for you to see. Only one can carry it and read it–our easily led Lance."
Joey looked at Michael, lowering his head.
Michael kissed his down-turned cheek.
"Lance was once like that, Joey. His love for all of you his underlying weakness. For all of you used that to manipulate him. It's okay, I know it never was malicious. You all love him deeply. Lance is love at its finest. He's so giving, loving and nurturing. You all took advantage of those traits in him. That's why he was chosen as the Guardian. For who better to guard all of us than someone of giving love?"
Joey smiled, nodding to himself.
Joey then looked into Michael's sunglass-covered eyes.
"Why didn't you pick me as one of the twelve?"
Michael took Joey's hands in his, Joey quietly looking at him, both their eyes full of tears.
"Because you are someone more special, Joey. You are the one destined to set free the final truth."
"Yes, you Joe. For God's love is deepest in you. You, my friend, will see the final truth before anyone else. And your love for me–and for all of us–will unleash it."
Joey's body trembled, Michael leaning forward, kissing his cheek.
Joey calmed immediately, watching as Michael removed his glasses.
Joey stared into Michael's eyes.
He saw a pair of deep hazel eyes staring back.
"Look to my soul and feel my love."
Joey became lost in their deepness, Michael focusing on his inner love.
Justin moved around in bed, feeling lips upon his neck, and a weight upon him.
He opened his eyes, seeing Michael on top of him.
Michael's lips were kissing his nose.
Justin felt his hardness against his own.
"Michael, my love. That feels so good."
"Yes, my angel. And this feels even better."
Justin felt other hands on his center, and on his chest.
He looked to his left, staring into two emerald eyes.
"Hello, Jus. Your loves are here for you."
Justin felt the lips again on his neck, knowing now it was Josh.
"You are surrounded by love, my angel. By the love of your triad of destiny. Let us all love you." Josh said, his body lowering.
Justin moaned, feeling a set of lips gently licking his right nipple, a shock of energy flowing through him.
He felt someone taking into himself his center, Justin gasping.
He then felt Lance's lips upon his own, his fingers on his cheeks.
He felt Michael's tongue licking across his chest, his lips gently licking his nipples.
Lance was kissing him, Michael was loving him, and Josh was worshiping him.
Justin's mind filled with love.
A different love.
A complete love.
His eyes opened, finding himself on a white cloud.
Floating in the whiteness of heaven.
And he saw around him three naked angels.
His three angels of love.
Josh, Lance and his forever loving Mico.
"Welcome to the center of our love, our Jus." Lance said, his eyes of green sparkling.
"Welcome to our life, Jus." Josh said, his blue eyes glowing with love.
"Welcome to eternal love." Michael said, his golden eyes now blue also.
"Mico, your eyes?"
"I will be with you three always, Justin. I need your love always."
Justin teared, feeling the love wrapped around him.
He felt the three joining with him, their bodies and their minds.
He cried, feeling the complete love.
Justin awoke in the darkness, Michael snuggled against him.
Josh's arms were across his chest, Lance's wrapped around Michael.
Justin felt Josh move a bit, a lamp igniting beside the bed.
All three were awake, their eyes upon him.
Justin looked into Josh's blue eyes.
"Did that really happen?" he softly said, feeling his body covered in a light sweat.
"Yes, my angel. You went to our new heaven." Michael said, his lips kissing Justin's.
Justin kissed him tenderly, feeling Michael's deep love.
"Our new heaven?"
"Yes, Jus. Our new heaven. We four are true now to each other forever. Nothing to stand in our love's way. We give each other ourselves, our love and our happiness. Let's show Josh that heaven as Lance also will be shown."
Justin looked into Lance's green eyes, Josh moving on top of him.
Josh stared down at him.
"I love you, Jus. I love you, Lance and Michael."
Josh leaned forward, his lips against Justin's.
Justin felt his love, his best friend's love.
And he felt something more.
He felt his desires, his needs and wants.
Justin gently rolled over, now on top of Josh.
Lance and Michael moving as well, now on both sides of Josh.
Josh felt their love, and he felt their hands.
He sank into the heaven of their new love, Justin licking downward.
Later in the deep night, quietness descended on the remaining rooms of the house.
One lone figure walked silently through its darkened halls.
He walked down the spiral staircase, his feet making no sound.
He walked room to room, reliving lost memories.
Lost memories of childhoods gone by.
Of moments lost, and love lost.
He found himself in the room of destiny, finding it now empty, only stone bleak walls.
"All gone now." he said softly.
He walked up the stairs, waiting as the fireplace returned to its final form.
He looked at the portrait of Adrian, watching as it rose upward.
He stared at the shelf.
His hands found the first box, opening it, seeing within it the ancient parchment.
"Do good with it, Lance." he softly said.
He stared for the longest time at the last box, sensing what it might contain.
He lifted it down, gently opening it, seeing the blue cloth on top of its hidden treasure.
His fingers moved across the cloth.
He remembered the cloth, and what it was from.
His body trembled, raising the cloth.
He gasped, seeing the emblazoned initials staring up at him from its furry chest.
A sob of joy issued from his lips, his hand taking the object into it.
He set the box on the shelf again, moving backward, sinking onto the couch behind him.
The portrait lowered, the shelf hidden as always.
He sat in his loneliness, holding the little bear in both hands.
Tears fell from his eyes, their wet drops glistening on the bear's face.
A gentle laughter filled the silent room.
The lost one faded into nothing.
End of Chapter 174
A chapter of intense love and revelations.
The truth revealed of Michael's deepest secret.
That he'd died that night on the cliff of tears.
And the revelation that Justin had always known.
That that hadn't changed his love for him.
I always wanted to bring Joey into this story a little more, and I think I have found a wonderful way.
We also saw the joining of the four brothers of love in all ways.
I sensed that needed to happen.
For what Justin and Michael now might have to go through.
And now for the questions.
Why didn't Lance tell Michael what he saw in the corridor?
What did he and Ramon talk of?
What is Joey's part in all this?
What happened between him and Michael at the fireplace?
Who is the one who's taken Michael's teddy bear?
Up next, the final day is at hand.
I hope you shall be amazed at what I am going to reveal.
And I hope a few of you may sense what it is.
I'd love to hear your thoughts.
The holidays are soon upon us.
I'm hoping to show the judgement day in its entirety before then.
But it's a busy time for me.
I can only do my best.
But never fear, it shall all be shown, filled with love and truth.
P.S. If this is indeed late, blame my editor. He's a Lance groupie.
(Editor's Note: I am not! Blame the author! He is slowing in his old age!)