OK! I know!
I'm sorry! All I can say is that since Thanksgiving my life has gone
straight to hell. I'm am totally confused about everything, all kinds
of weird things have been happening to me, and as if that wasn't enough,
my hard drive crashed! Arrrgghhhh! Originally I had planned
to do a nice Christmas story and then something else for New Years.
However, since I am running a little behind I'm going to use Part Fourteen
to play catch up. For those of you who don't remember what's going
on in this story I'll remind you. (Don't feel bad, I had to remind
myself too.) Anyway Sebastian beats Justin up and then splits, leaving
Zack to find him. Long story short they decide to call the cops and
Justin is a real mess. If that makes no sense to you then you'd better
go back and re-read. Like I said, I'm going to be bringing the story
back up to speed so this might seem a little jumpy. My apologies
if that is the case. And now, here we go again....
Disclaimer: This story is a work of fiction and is not meant to imply
anything about anyone. If you shouldn't read it then don't.
Model Romance- Part Fourteen
Sebastian whistled as he strolled down the
sidewalk on his way back to the hotel. Things were going to be much
better from now on. He and Justin would be much happier now that
they understood things better. But he needed to get him away from
his life. It was hurting him. They needed to go somewhere where
they could be alone. Yes, then everything would be perfect and no
one would bother them anymore. As he turned the corner his grin slipped
a little. There were police cars sitting outside the hotel.
He quickly darted back around the corner.
It was probably nothing, but better to make sure. He pulled out his
cell phone and dialed Justin's number. After the second ring someone
Sebastian didn't even hear the second hello because
he had hurled the phone into the busy street. He didn't notice the
honks from passing drivers. The crunch of the phone being run over
was drowned out by the roar of the traffic. Sebastian walked steadily
away from the hotel. Apparently there were a few more obstacles to
be removed before he and Justin could be safe and happy.
The paramedics and the police arrived at almost
exactly the same time. While JC handled the officers Zack stayed
with Justin as he was examined. After a few minutes he was given
a clean bill of health. They told him to put ice on his nose and
lip and to get some rest, but nothing was broken. They didn't ask
any questions either. Zack reminded them not to mention this to anyone
and they left.
It had already been decided that Justin was in no
shape to handle the police. JC was feeding them a carefully concocted
story at the moment. Since they obviously couldn't reveal Sebastian's
real connection they made him out to be an overzealous fan who had been
staying at the hotel and had snuck onto the private floor reserved for
the bands. Lonnie and the rest of the security staff had to endure
a lecture from the police sergeant about paying more attention to their
jobs, but that was the worst of it. Through some divine miracle the
press hadn't caught wind of any of this. Sebastian was to be arrested
quietly on charges of assault and battery and not to be questioned until
Justin decided whether or not to press charges.
"Man, I'm glad that's over with," JC sighed as he
came back into Justin's bedroom.
"They're gone then," Zack asked.
"Yeah. They bought the story, but they're
still gonna want a statement from Justin when he feels better. How
you doin Curly?"
"I'm...better. JC...Zack thank you both for
everything. I just...if you hadn't come in..." He shuddered,
unable to finish the sentence."
"No need to think about that," Zack said softly.
"The important thing is that you're ok. And as soon as they pick
up Sebastian we can put all this behind us."
"The cops just called," JC said quietly. He
and Zack were in the hallway outside Justin's room. "They still haven't
"I've been thinking about that. I think that
was who called Justin's phone earlier. When he heard my voice he
must have figured out that he'd been busted and he ran."
"Good. Maybe we wont have to deal with him
"I wish I could believe that. Should I tell
Justin or do you want to?"
"Let's not mention it. Maybe he wont think
about it. How did it go with the others?"
"Oh it was fine. They all want to help out,
but I told them Justin just wants to be alone tonight. Chris and
Joey had some interesting ideas about what to do to Sebastian."
"I'm sure they did. I do too."
"Yeah I know. God, if only I'd come sooner..."
"Hey, you can't blame yourself for this. You
had Sebastian pegged from day one and we didn't believe you. Come
on, let's go see if there's any food left."
They walked into Justin's suite where he and Britney
had ordered room service. They hadn't eaten much. Neither one
of them was hungry. Justin was laying on the couch with his head
in Britney's lap.
"Hey bud, how ya doin," Zack asked.
"I'm a lot better now," Justin said. "I really
want to thank you guys for taking care of me. You're my best friends."
Zack winced slightly at that, but no one noticed.
He smiled and said, "that's what friends are for. We'll always be
here for you Just."
"I know. But now I think I'm going to call
it a night."
"Justin it's only 8:30," JC said.
"Yeah, but I'm really tired. Sides, we've
got another early day tomorrow."
"Ok, we got the hint. You sure you don't need
"No Josh, thank you. I'm fine. I'd actually
like to be alone for a little while."
"Will do. Come on Brit let's go. Wanna
watch a movie?"
"Yeah that sounds good. Zack, want to join
"Um, maybe in a little while. You guys go
JC and Britney returned to there own room and Zack
sat down on the couch opposite Justin.
"Are you really ok? You seemed awfully shaken
"Yeah, I'm fine."
"Y'know I can stay and keep you company if you don't
want to be alone..."
"Zack," Justin sighed. "After everything that's
happened I don't think that's a good idea."
"You know what I mean. Look I know you still
have feelings for me and maybe I still have feelings for you but this isn't
the time to find out."
"Please! Don't say anything else. It...it
hurts so much...I just can't..." He got up and ran into the bedroom
shutting the door behind him.
Zack sat on the couch staring off into space.
His mind wandered through it's misty halls and his body drifted into sleep.
A few hours later JC and Britney had just finished
watching The Sixth Sense and we getting ready for bed.
"Zack never came down, I wonder what happened?"
"I've got a pretty good idea," JC chuckled.
"You think he's with Justin?"
"I'm not sure. I'd love for that to happen,
but I don't know. Justin been through something really hard.
I hope he doesn't shut himself away from us."
"Should we go talk to him?"
"No," she sighed. "I think we'd better let
him try to work this out. He knows we're here."
"I guess. We'll no point worrying about it
until tomorrow then. Ready for bed?"
"Yeah. I think I'd like to sleep for a couple
Justin lay in the darkness with the covers pulled
up to his chin. His skin was damp with cold sweat. His heart
was pounding and his eyes were wide. He looked at the clock: 11:30.
He had been trying to sleep for almost two and a half hours. But
instead he lay awake, reliving the nightmare of that afternoon. He
shivered and his breath came more rapidly as feeling of panic threatened
to overwhelm him.
I can do this. I'm strong. I have
He decided to get up and get some water.
He slipped out of bed and put on his robe. He got a drink of the
bathroom but he couldn't go back to bed yet. Instead he walked out
into the living room. Zack had fallen asleep sitting on the couch,
his head propped against one hand. Justin looked at him and smiled.
Zack would sit there forever just to keep him safe.
He walked over and sat down quietly next to his
would-be boyfriend. His boyfriend. It sounded right in his
mind. Watching the gentle rise and fall of Zack's chest, looking
at his long eyelashes covering his big blue-green eyes. The line
of his jaw, his chin resting on his hand. He was so beautiful.
And he loves me. But do I love him?
Zack stirred, as if sensing the unspoken
question. Quickly he got up and darted back into his room.
I can't love him yet. Not yet.
Zack woke with a start. He was sure that Justin
had been there a minute ago, but it must have been a dream. Seeing
how late it was he got up quietly and started towards the door. He
hesitated, debating whether he should go check on Justin.
If he wanted me, he would have come. He
must be asleep by now. I wont bother him anymore. It has to
be his choice.
The next few days were hectic. There was no
sign of Sebastian, but everyone was so busy with the tour that it was easy
to forget him. There was little time between rehearsals for anything
but sleeping. Everyone was constantly tired. Zack didn't say
more than two words to Justin. The tension between them had melted
away, but there were still the unresolved feelings that neither of them
had time for. As a result, they avoided each other. At last
the day came and everyone got to sleep late. Then there was a big,
rushed lunch and they were bundled off to the stadium. The crowds
started pouring in, already screaming. The sun set. At last
it was time.
Zack walked out onto the dark stage. In front
of him he could hear and feel the sea of bodies waiting with anticipation.
The stage lights came up. A spotlight struck him. The cheers
from the crowd became a deafening roar. He was terrified and exhilarated
at the same time. He couldn't remember his lines but they flowed
from his mouth without any thought at all.
"Welcome ladies and gentleman. My name is
Zack and I will be your host for this evening. Perhaps you've heard
of me? Well maybe, and maybe not, but I've got a few friends here
that I'm pretty sure you'll know. Please put your hands together
for AJ, Brian, Howie, Kevin, and Nick...that's right....the Backstreet
The boys did they're set and they were followed
by Christina, and then Britney, and then NSYNC. The screaming fans
showed no signs of losing their voices, there was a constant and deafening
roar, that prevented anyone on stage from hearing anything except what
came through their earpieces. When NSYNC left the stage, Zack came
"So did you all have fun tonight?"
This was followed by thousands of affirmations.
"I guess so. Well, I've got one more little
suprise for you. I'm going to sing a song. Before you start
booing hear me out! It's something you've probably heard before.
And since my dance moves aren't quite as good as the original performer
of this song, I've asked a couple of people to help me out. Ladies?"
Christina and Britney reappeared on-stage and the
crowd went crazy. They performed and updated version of "Smooth Criminal,"
and even if a good part of the audience was too young to remember when
it was a popular song, they loved it just the same. When that was
over the guys came back out and everyone sang a few Christmas songs.
After a big finale, let stage lights went down, the house lights went up
and the performers ran off the stage.
"God, what a rush," Nick exclaimed. "I'll
never get tired of hearing all those screaming fans."
"Yeah you gotta love those teenyboppers," JC chuckled.
Zack didn't say anything. He was still overwhelmed.
The feeling of having thousands of people watching him and cheering for
him was incredible. It was addictive. He fell in love with it instantly,
and somehow he knew the the rest of his life would be different.
Some things might seem a little smaller. But no matter what happened
he could always remember the time that all those people cheered for him.
In that moment the audience loved him, and he loved them.
Johnny Wright came in all smiles. "OK people!
Fantastic! Spectacular!" Yada yada...you can read it all in
the papers tomorrow. But now it's time to hop in those limos and
get back to the hotel. We're packing up and moving on tomorrow and
I expect you all to be ready to go by 9."
There were a few grumbles and groans, but everybody
was tired and in no mood to argue. In no time at all, thirteen starlets
and their entourage of dancers, security guards, managers, producers, and
miscellaneous were back at the hotel and getting ready for bed. Zack
came to JC and Britney's room at their insistence.
"We just wanted to tell you how proud we are of
you," JC said. "You handled that like a pro."
"You were amazing," Britney added. "Will you
come to all my concerts?"
Zack laughed and blushed a little. "I did
all right. And I had fun. And I made some people happy.
That's all that matters."
"Spoken like a true superstar," JC joked.
They talked for a few more minutes. Christina
came in and congratulated everyone. So did Lance and Nick.
And then Brian, and Chris and Joey. At last Zack decided to
retire to his own room. A few minutes later there was a knock on
"Come in," Britney yelled.
The door opened, and there was Justin. He
seemed hesitant to come in now that he had opened the door. "Hey
"Hey sweetie. Come on in. Don't just
stand on our doorstep. You did great tonight."
"Yeah Curly, I think you broke a few more hearts
"Oh...ha...thanks. You guys did good too.
Um, actually I was looking for Zack. Christina said he was here..."
"He just went back to his room. If you hurry
I'm sure you can catch him before he goes to bed."
"Oh no, I shouldn't bother him. It can wait."
"Don't be silly. Go. Do I need to take
you down there?"
"No mom that's ok," Justin said sarcastically.
"I think I can find his room."
He made no sign of leaving.
"Well," JC asked.
"Are you going to go?"
"Yeah. I'm going. Night guys."
"Good night Justin."
After he was gone JC turned to Britney and rolled
"Think they'll ever work things out?"
"Who knows. For the sake of my sanity I hope
Justin walked slowly down the hallway to Zack's
room. He glanced over his shoulder to see if Britney was watching,
but she wasn't. Maybe he should just forget it and go to bed.
Zack was probably asleep and he wouldn't want to be bothered. He
knocked on the door. There was a long pause and he was getting ready
to turn away when the door flew open.
Zack was standing there in a pair of flannel pajama
pants and nothing else. His smooth, chiseled chest was bare, and
so perfect. There was a toothbrush hanging out of his mouth.
He looked a little suprised when he saw who was at his door, but motioned
for Justin to come inside. He disappeared into the bathroom and finished
brushing his teeth. In a moment he was back.
"Hey. What's up Just?"
"Nothing. I, um, just wanted to tell you you
did a good job tonight."
"Thanks. You did too."
"Yeah. Thanks." There was a long pause.
Zack was obviously waiting for something else.
"So...was there anything else?"
"No...no I just wanted to say congrats."
"Um, ok. Are you sure there was nothing else
you wanted to say?"
Zack was starring at him hard. His big bright
eyes seemed to pierce him. Like he could see inside him. Justin
shifted from one foot to another. There was so much he did want to
say, but he couldn't.
"Well," Zack sighed, "I promised myself I wouldn't
bug you. So if you want to talk you know where to find me.
Otherwise I'm going to bed."
"I..." he began.
Zack waited expectantly. But Justin just stood
there. He couldn't think of what to say. All the emotions inside
him refused to be formed into words. Finally Zack signed again and
"Good night Justin." his voice sounded very
sad. He started toward the bedroom.
Justin stood and watched Zack's back as he retreated
into the other room. The door closed slowly and he was alone.
He walked out into the hall and back to his own suite.
At breakfast the next morning Britney pulled Zack
"So," she whispered excitedly.
"So did you talk to Justin last night?"
"No everything's just fine Brit. He just can't
seem to say more that two words to me before his mouth stops working."
"Maybe he's just so utterly infatuated with you..."
"Save it," Zack broke in. "I'm really not
in the mood." He walked away before she could say anything else.
The next few weeks were hectic. The tour made
stops in Phoenix, Dallas, Chicago, Minneapolis, and other big cities.
Zack saw more of the country in a month that he had in the rest of his
life. The grueling schedule made it easy for everyone to put their
personal problems aside. No one had time to fight with anyone.
On Thanksgiving everyone had a much welcome day off. Britney and
Justin's moms flew in. So did Lance's parents and Chris' girlfriend.
Zack spent the day with Christina and Nick. Nick was not very pleased
that Lance through him out when his parents came to town, but he did understand.
They had dinner with Chris and his girl and Joey and the rest of the Backstreet
Boys. Zack called his parents after dinner. It was the first
time he had talked to them in weeks and he'd forgotten how much he missed
In no time it was December and the tour was still
going strong. They went all over the country. There last concert
was back in New York, at the Garden. Being back in the city was like
going home. Zack had lunch with David and his friends from Boss.
"So kid," David said, "I've been keeping up with
the tour. Looks like you've become quite the sensation."
"Yeah. I guess."
"Why so down? I'd think you'd be thrilled.
And hey, after the holidays you know you're calendar is booked solid!"
"Come on man, what's going on?"
"Nothing David, I'm just a little distracted.
I'm going home for Christmas by the way. I'll be back after New Years."
"Ok, sure. And Zack, get some rest.
You look tired."
The last concert was a huge success. Everyone
went out afterwords to celebrate. Management had reserved a private
room at Tavern On the Green. It had been Zack's idea, but he wasn't
really looking forward to it. Dinner was wonderful of course.
He was quiet through most of it. Afterwards he stepped out into the
night. Central Park was cold and silent. He was alone.
Then there were footsteps behind him.
"I saw you sneak out after dinner. What's
Zack turned to face Justin. "I don't know."
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"Nothing. Forget it."
"No, that's not what I want to say. God, you
make me so crazy sometimes, Zack."
"I make YOU crazy?"
Justin snorted. "Look, do you want to go somewhere
and talk? Somewhere a little warmer?"
"I don't know. Are you actually going to talk
to me? Or are you just going to wind up walking away like you have
everytime we've tried to talk since before Thanksgiving."
"You know this isn't easy for me. I don't
need this from you."
"Oh like it's been real easy for me?"
"You don't know what I've been through! I
needed some time and space."
"Then why couldn't you just say that?"
"I tried...I don't know."
"Justin, I'm not going to play these games anymore.
I'm not going to go around and around in the same circles. I can't
"That's not what I want..."
"Then what do you want," Zack yelled. "I've
been trying to figure that out for a month! Every day I see you and
all I want is to hold you and I can't, because I'm afraid you'll push me
"Zack, I'm sorry that I couldn't just erase all
the shit that has happened to us lately. I wish to God I could.
I wake up in the middle of the night and I'm still afraid he's coming back
for me. Do you know what that's like? To lie awake at night,
alone, in the dark, and wonder if this is the night that he comes for you?
"But nothing. You can't understand what I've
been through. I'm really trying to get over this, but it's hard."
"It would be a lot easier if you didn't shut me
and everyone else out!"
"I know that."
"Then why do you do it?"
"I can't help it. I'm afraid."
"That it will happen again!"
There was silence.
"What," Zack asked in disbelief.
"That's not what I meant..."
"You really think I could ever..."
"Zack, that's not what I meant."
"I don't know. I'm just afriad ok?"
"Fine. I can't help you until you let me Justin.
I want to, but I can't. I hope you work this out but I can't deal
any more. I'm going home. I'll see you around."
"Don't you dare run out on me again!"
"What do you mean? I'm leaving Justin, I don't
want to fight anymore."
"No you're not. I'm not letting you run away
again. None of this ever would have happened if you had just trusted
me in the beginning."
"So now you're blaming all this on me? What
was I supposed to do Justin? One of your best friends accused you
of using me and it all made a little too much sense. I hardly knew
"You knew me better than that!"
"So now what? I get all the blame? It's
my fault that you ran away from your friends and shacked up with a psychopath,
who, by the way, I tried to warn you about repeatedly."
"Don't go there, Zack. Don't you dare fucking
"Then after he beat you up, I tried to help you
and what happened? You ran away! And now you come out here
and have the nerve to blame me when you did the same damn thing I did?"
"You abandoned me," Justin sobbed.
"I was scared! I went my whole life thinking
I was straight and then all of a sudden you come along and turn my whole
world upside down. Did you ever stop and think how hard that was
for me the first time I kissed you? It scared the hell out of me!
It still does!"
"Yeah it scares me too! But you didn't even
give me the chance to explain!"
"Yes I did! And you just stood there with
you mouth open!"
"I was in shock!"
"Ok, what about now? Are you still in shock?
Explain to me now."
"Zack I fell in love with you, that's all there
is to say!"
"Bullshit! If you loved me why did you go out
and find somebody else."
"Because you ran away and I thought you hated me!"
"I loved you!"
"And I loved you too!"
"And what about now?"
"I don't know."
"Maybe you'd better figure that out."
Justin took I deep breath, stepped towards Zack,
took his head in both hands and smashed their lips together. Neither
one of them moved for some time. Slowly Zack's arms slipped around
Justin's waist and brought him closer. Justin's arms wrapped around
Zack's neck. Tears ran down their faces.
"God, I'm so sorry," Justin whispered.
"So am I. Let's go someplace warm."
They went back to Justin's hotel room, both physically
exhausted from the long tour and emotionally drained. There were
few words between them. They were both deep in thought. Soon
they were lying in bed, drifting off into a comfortable sleep, safe in
each other's arms.
The phone rang bright and early the next morning.
After about the fifth or sixth ring Zack finally grabbed the receiver and
mumbled into it.
There was a pause on the other end before he heard
"Um, good morning dear. I thought I called
"Oh. So that's what happened to you last night.
I guess this means everythings..."
"Just fine," Zack said, looking down at Justin whose
head was lying on his chest.
"Thank god," Britney sighed. "I was afraid
you two would never get back together."
"Well, nothing's been decided for sure."
"But don't you think..."
Zack stopped paying attention as Justin stirred.
He groaned sleepily and then tensed for a moment when he realized he wasn't
alone. Then, realizing who was in bed with him he turned his big
blue eyes up to look into Zack's green ones.
"Morning," he said shyly.
"Hey. Sleep well?"
"Best I've slept in weeks."
"That's good. I'm..."
He was interrupted by Britney's voice, tiny but
insistent one the phone.
"Hey! What's going on! Answer me Zack!
Where are you?"
"I'm right hear Brit. Don't need to yell.
Justin just woke up."
"Well do me a favor, don't get out of bed until
you two are back together, ok?"
"Um, I don't know if we..."
"And make it quick, breakfast is in five minutes."
There was a click as she hung up the phone leaving
Justin and Zack alone.
"What did she say?"
"Oh...just want's us to be at breakfast in five
"Not really. Well...she said...oh forget it.
"It's nothing. I'll tell you later."
"No," Justin grinned, straddling Zack's chest, "You'll
tell me now. Or I'll tickle you until you pee your pants."
"Ha! I'm not wearing any pants so there!"
"Then I'll tickle you till you piss right through
your boxers and wet the bed," Justin cried, and began to make good on his
Zack squirmed underneath him, but he really ticklish
and therefore helpless against Justin's attack.
"Alright! I give up. No more.
I hate being tickled."
"I know," Justin giggled. "Now tell me."
"I'm not really sure this is the right time..."
"No time like the present model boy. Now talk!"
Zack let out a long sigh and looked down, until
he realized he was staring almost directly at Justin's crotch and shifted
his vision to the ceiling.
"She said not to get out of bed until we're back
"Oh," Justin said slowly.
"Look, I'm sorry. I don't want to pressure
you. Lying in bed with you makes me feel better than anything else
in the world but..."
He was cut off when Justin put a hand over his mouth.
His other hand tilted Zack's head down until they were looking into each
other's eyes. He studied Zack's face carefully. It was a beautiful
face, but it was marred by the scars of a tormented soul. Here was
one who had been innocent and good, but had been jaded by the imperfections
and passions of life. Looking deeper though, his eyes reflected that
forgotten innocence. They hinted at a shred of purity that was still
buried deep in his soul. That was what he loved about Zack.
His true beauty was hidden from sight, but still there, if you knew where
Zack gazed back into Justin's eyes. He saw
someone who tried very hard to be a good person within the confines of
a life of excess. He saw a shy, insecure child, who hid behind a
flashy, confident exterior. That was what he loved about Justin.
Underneath all the glamour and glitz he was the gentle, caring person he
had always been and always would be.
Justin took his hand away from Zack's mouth.
There unspoken exchange lasted only a few seconds, but in that fleeting
moment came a new understanding more important than the knowledge of love.
It was the knowledge of why they loved. And that was what healed
the wounds between them. Love is an intangible thing; it can't
be put into words or made simple. But knowing it's cause, knowing
why we feel it, that makes it real. There lips met and their embrace
was like the warmth of the sun after a long, cold night.
They were interrupted by a knock at the door.
Suddenly there were both very much aware that they were in nothing but
boxers and that the bedcovers were lying around their knees. Justin
reached for the blankets as Zack tried to get out of bed to find some clothes.
But since Justin was still on top of Zack the result was that they both
went off balance and Justin collapsed against Zack's chest. And then
the door opened.
"I hate to interrupt whatever you two are doing,"
Britney said with a smirk "but like I said, it's time for breakfast."
"You could have just called," Justin mumbled.
His face was bright red, but he stubbornly made no move for the covers.
"No I couldn't. Did I forget to mention
we're having breakfast in your room Justin? We're all out here waiting
for you two. But maybe I should just have everybody come in here.
"No," they yelled together.
"We'll be out in a minute Brit," Zack added.
"Could you close the door on your way out?"
"Sure thing stud," she chuckled.
"So," Zack began. "I guess this means..."
"And you're not..."
Justin silenced him with a kiss.
Ah, finally. Like I said, sorry if it's a
little jumpy and I know it got a little preachy there at the end, but I
wax poetic when I get tired to sue me. And I promise that Part Fifteen
will be out very soon. Really. Believe me! Until then
send all your question/comments/hate mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.