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Josh stared at the handsome face staring back at him, the man lost in the familiar look of need in those blue eyes.
"Bryce. . .what. . .what are you doing here?"
The man stared at Josh, his face softening into a softer look.
"I'm back in New York for a few days, Josh. Taking care of some family stuff."
Josh lowered his eyes for a moment, pushing his cart forward, three people still ahead of him, the man trapped in the line, Bryce right behind him, a cart with groceries separating the two.
"You're looking good, Joshy. You haven't changed in the last two years." he said, Josh's eyes lowering again, looking away from the younger man, Bryce continuing to stare at him.
Josh's eyes stared into his cart, trying to gather his thoughts.
"So who's the cake for? Someone named Lucky?" the younger man said, Josh staring at the frosted words on the top of the black forest cake.
"For a friend, Bryce. For a good friend."
The younger man nodded, looking into Josh's now turned blue eyes.
"Enough said, Joshua. I take it you've moved on?"
"Yes. . .yes I have."
The young man smiled, a soft look of mirth showing on his face.
"So it all worked out according to his plans?"
Josh stared at the man, not sure of what he was talking of.
"Why are you here, Bryce? Here in this store specifically?"
"I'm staying in the area, Josh. Last time I checked it was a free country."
Josh stared at the young man, their eyes gazing at each other.
"I know you still hate me, Josh. But if you're going to hate me be genuine in its truth. Hate me for the right reasons."
Josh stared at the young man.
"I don't hate you anymore, Bryce. I've gone on with my life. You hurt me and I recovered. It's best if you go on with your life as well."
"I am going on with my life, Josh. Or what's left of it." the young man said, his eyes looking towards Josh's SUV outside.
"I didn't realize you'd gained notoriety again, Josh. I heard your show was cancelled."
Josh looked at the reporters, then back at Bryce.
"They're fawning over me to get to Justin."
"Ah, the blond beauty. What's he been up to? I've heard he's been keeping everyone happy. He's never far from the spotlight."
"He's found a new group that's edging towards stardom. I'm happy for him."
"I'm sure you are, Joshua. As you've always been proud of the mighty Justin Timberlake."
"At least he's always been my trusting friend. Which is more than I can say for you, Bryce."
Bryce's eyes softened, Josh seeing a soft look of hurt showing in their centers.
"We need to talk, Joshua."
"No we don't, Bryce. I said all I had to say." Josh said, moving his cart forward, looking around to see if anyone was listening to their conversation.
"That's just it, Joshy. We didn't talk. You just threw me out when confronted with their charges."
"Those charges were proven true, Bryce. You stole from me, you used me." Josh softly said, lowering his voice.
"You never heard my side of the story, Joshy. You believed Justin and Joey without giving me a chance to defend myself."
"Defend yourself with what? Lies, fantasies? I heard the truth and I saw you for what you were."
Josh moved forward, the young man lowering his head.
"You saw what you were made to see, Josh."
Josh turned and stared at his ex-lover.
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"Why don't you ask you supposed friends, Josh?"
Josh stared at the young man, the cashier smiling at him and the young man behind him, the woman showing a look of recognition, Josh beginning to put his items on the conveyor belt at the register, his eyes looking back at Bryce.
"Half an hour, Josh. Please give me half an hour for the
truth." Bryce said softly.
Josh stared at him, looking back towards the register.
"I. . .I have friends waiting, Bryce. I have to go."
"Tomorrow then. All I'm asking for is half an hour, an hour at the most. I think what we once had deserves that ending hour of truth." Bryce said, only Josh hearing his soft words.
Josh stared back at the young man, Josh handing the woman at the cash register his credit card.
"I. . .I can't, Bryce. I. . .I can't focus on the past. I have a new life now. I have. . ."
"You have someone, I know. I'm happy for you, Josh. At least
you haven't walked around for years in pain."
Josh stared at the young man, the security guard walking up to the cash register.
"Everything okay, Mr. Chasez? Did one of them scamps sneak in? He bothering you?"
"It's okay, thanks. This man's an old acquaintance of mine. We were just reliving the past." Josh said, staring at the large guard, the man looking towards Bryce.
"Okay, sir. When you're ready I'll go out and bring your car to the door so you can slip away unencumbered." the guard said, Josh nodding at him.
"Thank you, that would be great."
The cashier smiled at Josh, Josh smiling back.
The woman handed him his bill and credit card, Josh depositing the receipt in one of the bags, placing them in his shopping cart.
"Please, Josh. One hour tomorrow. I'll be at Sophie's tomorrow at eleven."
Josh stared back at the young man, remembering their favourite New York restaurant.
"I. . .I can't, Bryce."
"You can't, or won't? He's really brainwashed you, hasn't
"Who? What are you talking about?"
Bryce stared at Josh.
"I never hurt you, Josh. Your eyes should look to someone else for that deceit."
Josh stared at the young man, then moved through the checkout, heading towards the guard, Bryce staring after him.
The guard walked out of the store, Josh's keys in his hand.
Josh stood in the store's entrance with his groceries, Bryce wheeling his cart beside Josh's, the young man having gone through the checkout.
"It was nice seeing you again, Joshua."
"Please walk away from me, Bryce. I don't need you in my life now."
"I was once your life, Josh. I believe I have a right to tell you the truth. All I'm asking for is you to listen to me."
Josh stared at the young man.
"You haven't changed either, Bryce. I see the familiar determination in your eyes. Was it ever really focused on me?"
"I loved you, Josh. And I was too stupid to see what was conspiring against me."
"Nothing was conspiring, Bryce. I think you're conspiring to lure me back to you and it's not going to work."
"I lost what I had, Joshua. Perhaps I never really deserved it. But I did deserve to be treated fairly." the young man said, moving forward, then stopping and looking back at Josh.
"I still love you, Josh. I never stopped loving you."
The man moved, walking out into the late day sunshine, Josh
staring after him.
Why now, Bryce?
Why walk back into my life now?
What are you trying to do?
I don't need you anymore, I. . .I can't feel that way again.
Josh's blue eyes stared after the man, seeing him piling his groceries into the trunk of a small Volvo, the man closing the trunk.
The young man leaned against the closed trunk, lowering his head, looking as if he was trying to steady himself.
His hand went to his face, Josh watching as he wiped his eyes, the man walking around the car and climbing into the vehicle.
Josh saw his own SUV pull up at the entrance to the store, the guard climbing out of it, walking around the black Chrysler SUV.
Josh moved forward, the man helping Josh put his groceries in the backseat, the guard's eyes scanning the surrounding reporters who stood back on the far side of the street, cameras focused on Josh.
"Thanks, Bill." Josh said, looking at the man's ID badge
pinned on his uniform.
"No worries, Mr. Chasez. Thank you for shopping at Briscoe's."
Josh smiled, handing the guard a tip, the man smiling and refusing, Josh nodding.
Josh smiled again, walking around the vehicle and climbing in.
He didn't look at the paparazzi, his eyes were focused on the silver Volvo pulling out of the parking lot behind them.
The car moved, driving past Josh's SUV, his and Bryce's eyes meeting briefly.
Josh saw the redness of those blue pools, the young man silently driving away.
Andrew smiled, opening the door, taking two of the bags from Josh's filled arms.
"Wow, your man really gave you a list!" the young attorney said, smiling at Josh.
"I picked up a few things of my own." Josh said, Andrew smiling at him, Trish taking a bag as well.
"Where's Lucky?" Josh said, the two smiling at him, looking at the one remaining cake-filled bag Josh held.
"Where do you think? In the kitchen." Trish said, kissing his
Both smiled, Steve walking up to his brother.
"I'll take the rest, Joshy."
"Thanks, bro. I need to use the washroom. Don't let Lucas see this bag, guys." Josh said.
"Sure thing, Josh." Andrew said, Josh nodding, walking down the hallway, Trish watching him go.
Steve's eyes went into the bag he held, smiling up at everyone.
Josh locked the bathroom door behind him, sitting down on the toilet seat.
He stared forward, his hands hanging between his legs, wringing together.
Why are you here, Bryce?
Why walk into my life again now?
Can't you see I'm happy, can't you see what we had was. . .was a lie?
Josh lowered his head, his mind on the look on Bryce's face when he'd driven by.
The man had seemed lost, lost in a silent pain, his eyes filled with wet redness.
Why were you crying, Bryce?
You looked so hurt.
What did you mean by what you said?
Joey and Justin?
They showed me the truth of your existence.
The lies and deceit you'd hidden from me.
Josh's mind went back to that meeting that day in Los Angeles over two years ago, the truth unfolding before his eyes, his friends showing him Bryce's theft and deceit.
Bryce had walked into Josh's living room a half hour later, Josh confronting the man with the incriminating paperwork, the man looking surprised, his blue eyes filling with tears.
Josh had stared into those blue eyes, his soul exploding.
Josh had lunged at him, Justin and Joey holding him back, Josh screaming obscenities at the young man, screaming for him to leave and never come back.
Bryce had hardly spoken anything, his face showing a hurt confused look.
Josh had thought it all a ruse, an attempt to win back his love.
The look in Bryce's eyes to Josh was one of shadowy deceit.
Bryce had cried that he'd loved him, Josh screaming for him to leave, Justin holding him close, Joey escorting the young man out of Josh's life.
Josh hadn't spoken to the young man in over two years.
The pain had been long and numbing, Josh finally going on with his life, Justin and his friends steadfast in their love for him.
Josh and Justin had even entered into that brief relationship, that ending with their friendship still intact, Josh finding the strength to go forward, walking to where he now was.
Josh thought on all of Bryce's words, some of them deeply confusing.
Ask your friends?
What did he mean by that?
Josh sat in silence, his thoughts mulling over everything.
Josh pulled out his cell phone from his pocket, flipping it open, punching in some numbers, waiting.
"Hey, Joey. It's Joshy."
Josh listened to his friend's words of greeting back, his mind on his own thoughts.
"Doing good, bud. Hey Joe, are you doing anything? No, that's good. Would you like to come over for supper? Lucas is filling the table with a mountain of food and you'd be well in your heart's desire. That's great, see you in an hour."
Josh hung up the phone, slipping it back into his pocket.
He stood up, his face looking in the vanity mirror, staring into his own blue eyes.
Why do I feel that something's wrong?
Something not right here?
What are you doing to me, Bryce?
Is this one of your games, or is someone else behind all this?
Josh sighed, a soft rap coming to the bathroom door, Josh hearing a voice enriched with love.
"Did you fall in, Beamy?"
Josh sighed, looking at himself for a moment, then walking to the door and opening it, a smile crossing his face.
"No, babe. Just lost in my thoughts." he said, two arms going around him, his Lucky's lips meeting his, Josh lost in the love he felt filling his soul.
"I miss my man for hours and then he disappears when he returns? I can't help feeling like I am being shunned." Lucas said, a soft smile of mirthful love enhancing his beautiful face.
"I'd never shun the sun of my heart. I'll forever need your
love's warmth. The blazing heart of Orion. My musical beauty. But even
your lowly slave needs to use the washroom."
Lucas smiled, kissing Josh's lips again.
"Kinky. I'll have to get you a sexy uniform. Something in
kinky chains and a loincloth?"
Josh laughed, Lucas smiling, looking into his blue eyes.
"You okay, my love?"
Josh stared at Lucas, softly smiling, wrapping his arms around him.
"Yeah, Lucky. Just a little stardom backlash. I ran into some reporters at the market, you and your friends' whereabouts their bloodthirsty desire. They were trying to get info from me about you four."
"Really, Josh? The paparazzi? We're attracting that much
Josh smiled, kissing Lucas' lips.
"Be ready for it, my love. The four of you are gaining popularity. The spotlight of fame has you in its sights."
Lucas softly smiled, snuggling against Josh, the man holding him close.
"I'll only ever be myself, Beamy. Your loving Lucky. Fame holds no egotism in my eyes or my hands of giving friendship."
Josh smiled, his hand going to Lucas' ass, squeezing one cheek.
"My hands hold heaven."
Lucas laughed, lifting his head, their eyes meeting.
"Steve's guarding some secretive bag in the living room. He won't let me near it. What gives?"
Josh smiled, slapping that firm ass cheek he held.
"Come on, Lucky. I want to show you my love."
Lucas smiled, following his man out of the bathroom, their hands entwined.
Lucas smiled, staring at the large cake laying in the center of the dining room table.
"Oh, Joshua. It's beautiful. Thank you so much." he said, Josh's arms around him, everyone smiling around the two men.
Lucas stared at the large black forest cake, reading again the saying written across its top.
Our luck began with your love
My love began with you
"You've been cooking your heart out for all of us the past few days. I thought maybe you could use a rest on dessert." Josh said, Lucas smiling into his blue eyes.
"Thanks, sweetie. This is so nice! And it looks so delicious!" Lucas said, one finger moving across the side of the cake, Lucas bringing the icing to his lips.
"Mmmm, delicious indeed. Not as tasty as my Virgin White Divinity Cake, but sweet nonetheless."
Finn laughed, Josh smiling at him.
"You don't have anything virgin, Lukey. Josh has seen to that. And there's no divinity in your white ass."
Lucas burst into laughter, Josh blushing red, everyone joining the laughter, Lucas smiling and kissing Josh's lips.
"The divinity here is your showing love, my Beamy. Thank you
for the sweetness of your heart."
Josh smiled, a knock coming to the condo door, Finn laughing and heading for it.
"That'll be Joey. I invited him for supper, love. I hope you don't mind?"
"Ah, I knew there was a reason I doubled the recipes." Lucas smiled, looking down at the cake again, Josh's lips kissing his cheek.
"You double the love, the crowd doubles."
Lucas smiled, looking towards the condo's front door.
Joey walked towards everyone waving, he and Finn talking.
Lucas smiled, his hand going into Josh's, his lover smiling at him.
Josh's eyes then went to Joey, his mind on other thoughts, Lucas pulling him towards his old friend.
The two hugged, Josh smiling at Joey, introducing him to Trish and Lucas' parents.
Lucas stood back, quietly watching Josh.
Justin smiled, his blue eyes staring at the young man seated across from him in the restaurant.
The young man smiled, sipping at his glass of red wine, Justin holding a glass of white wine in his hand.
"An excellent meal, Justin. My compliments to your chefs."
"Thank you, Sheridan. My mother handpicked them herself. From southern Tennessee restaurants, the men moving to New York to provide authentic southern cuisine. My grandmothers always said real southern food comes from a southern soul."
The young man smiled, setting his glass down, smiling softly
"She seems to have selected well. I have dined in a lot of countries, but American food offers such uniqueness. It was all delicious."
Justin smiled, nodding at the young man.
"Thank you for all of this, Justin. It was more than enough repayment for yesterday's accidental happenings. A coffee would have sufficed."
Justin smiled, the man smiling back.
"I couldn't let you off with just such a small token of my apologetic self. This seemed a good compromise."
The young man nodded, their eyes meeting.
"Your heart oversteps its bounds of giving charity. I am deeply humbled and appreciative. And I appreciate the company more." the young man said, Justin quietly listening to his melodic tones and rich vocabulary.
"Your voice is so enriching, Sheridan. Have you ever thought
The young man laughed, Justin smiling at him, the laugh brightening his soft handsome face.
"I'll leave that to the professionals like yourself, Justin. I am only a small antiquities dealer."
"That must be an amazing career? Travelling the world in search of hidden, lost treasures?"
"Some treasures are not lost, Justin. They only need to be found before us, hidden behind dramatic moments."
Justin smiled, lost in the man's educated words.
"You have a wonderful way with words, Sheridan."
The young man smiled, their eyes meeting again.
"I have many wonderful attributes. What I lack in stardom I make up for in tenacity."
Justin nodded, the young man staring at him with a soft look of smouldering sensuality.
The man looked around, smiling.
"I've been enlightened with your beautiful food and your
effervescent conversation, Justin. I feel I know a lot about your life. Thank
you for opening the doors to your friendship."
Justin smiled again, the man having talked throughout their meal, the young man asking polite questions, genuinely intrigued by Justin's famous life.
"Music is my soul, Sheridan. And now I have branched out into many other fields."
"Yes, a man of many talents and aspirations. I bow to your determination and skills, Justin."
"Thank you, Sheridan. And now I'd like to hear the story of
Sheridan Whitecastle, entrepreneur and treasure seeker."
The young man smiled, sipping his wine glass again, his ice blue eyes staring at Justin.
"I think I've found another treasure."
Justin softly blushed, the young man smiling at him.
"It's your friendship, Justin."
Justin smiled, a waiter walking up to their table.
"Will you be having dessert, Mr. Timberlake?" the young man said, smiling at Justin.
"No thank you, Justin. I need to walk off this meal before I even think of something sweet."
Justin smiled, looking at the young waiter.
"Just the bill, Royce." he smiled, the young man nodding, smiling and removing their plates.
Sheridan smiled at Justin, patting his stomach, Justin smiling.
"Again, thank you Justin. For the food and the company. This big city feels less daunting."
Justin smiled, finishing the glass of wine in his hand, Sheridan setting his empty glass down.
"A walk does indeed sound nice, Sheridan."
The young man smiled, their eyes meeting again.
"I don't live far from here, Justin. We could walk to my place and then back. I still have the chocolate Haagen-Dazs in the freezer."
Justin smiled, nodding.
"You risked a lot to win that ice cream treat, Sheridan. I'd hate to eat it all on you. Chocolate is my favourite."
The young man chuckled, their eyes sparkling at each other.
"Friendship is shared, as are its sweet treats."
Justin smiled, the waiter walking back towards their table, their bill on a tray.
Joey smiled at Josh, the man standing on the balcony of Lucas' bedroom.
"You wanted to talk to me about something, Josh?" Joey said, walking up to the balcony's railing, looking out onto the dying New York sunlight, the sun setting behind some buildings.
"I always loved spring, Joe. The freshness of life reborn. You can take in its scents and sounds." Josh said, Joey smiling at his friend.
"Ever the songwriter, Joshy. Beautiful words."
Josh smiled, looking over at his friend standing beside him.
"Can I ask you something, Joe?"
"Sure, Josh. We have no secrets, our friendship's open and
Josh smiled, Joey's hand going to his shoulder.
"What's going on, Josh? I sensed an underlying quietness in you all through dinner and after while the guys were playing cards and pool. Are you okay? Is there something wrong between you and Lucas?"
Josh smiled, looking into his friend's blue eyes.
"No, Joe. Lucas and I are totally in love. He's my happiness and he loves me."
Joey smiled, patting Josh's shoulder.
"Great to hear, Joshy. I'm so glad you've found total
happiness after the last few years. I'm glad love flows through you from Lucas.
He's a together guy."
Josh nodded, looking at Joey.
"I've been thinking lately on that past, Joey. Ever since that day you barged in here and faced me with those false accusations about Bryce."
Joey frowned, leaning against the balcony wall.
"I'm sorry if in any way my doing that has clouded your mind
with thoughts of that man. Forget about Bryce, Josh. He's your past, Luke's your
Josh nodded, smiling at his friend, Joey smiling back, his body language relaxing.
"I never really thanked you for what you did for me that
night in L.A., Joey. You and Justin coming to my aid, freeing me from Bryce's
Joey smiled at his friend, Josh smiling back.
"We are your friends, Josh. We'd do anything to keep you safe
and unharmed. Bryce would have bled you dry. I'm glad Justin found those
discrepancies in your accounts. He clued into everything. It was amazing how
devious the young man was, how underhanded his dealings were. He had you totally
Josh stared at Joey, his friend continuing to talk.
"When Justin showed me the paperwork I came with him for protection. You then faced him, Josh. His silence as good as nailed him to the proverbial cross. The man was robbing you, Joshy. I'm glad we could show you that."
"Yes, his silence. I never even let him say a word. I just threw him out of my life."
"And that was only fitting, and well-deserved. If I wasn't focused on holding you back from him I would have kicked his ass to Canada myself."
Josh nodded, leaning against the balcony wall.
"Thank you, Joe. For always being my friend and looking after
me. For your protective, loving friendship."
Joey smiled, his hand going to Josh's shoulder again.
"I love you, Joshy. I'll always have your back. Justin's as well, Lance and Chris also. We were always more than just a music group, Josh."
"I know, Joe. We were--and still are--five of friendship and brotherly love."
Joey nodded, smiling.
"Let go of the past, Josh. Lucas loves you, that's all that matters."
Josh smiled, nodding.
"I love him, Joey."
"You don't have to tell me that. Now get back in there or old violet eyes will be looking for you."
"For sure, Joe. I'll join you in a second. I just want to take one last breath of fresh air before I become lost in my Lucky's love."
"You said you wanted to ask me something?"
"It's okay, Joe. It wasn't important."
Joey nodded, smiling and hugging Josh close, Josh hugging his friend back.
Joey patting his shoulder again, the man walking back through the balcony doors, leaving Josh alone.
Josh stared out into the darkening sky, his mind on his own thoughts.
His right hand gently tapped the stone railing, his mind on the past.
Justin smiled at the young man walking towards him, a tray in his hands.
The two had walked back to Sheridan's condo, Justin talking and listening, Sheridan filling him in on the small aspects of his life.
Justin had learned that the young man was American born but schooled and raised in Europe, hence his European accent.
His looks were of the debonair British aristocracy, the image one of fashionable fantasy.
Underneath the noble upbringing Justin found a young energetic man of worldly attributes.
And the young man seemed to have a lightheartedness underneath the levels of nobility.
His life had been one of education and then industrial work, the man finding his niche in antiquities and history.
Justin marvelled at the stories he told of the places of historical significance he'd seen and found treasures in.
Before Justin knew it he was walking into the young man's expensive-looking condo, atop a high rise condo building overlooking Central Park.
"Make yourself at home, Justin. I'll make us some Espresso and bring out the ice cream." the young man said, smiling at Justin, Justin nodding, walking into the large spacious modern decor living room, taking in the large view of Central Park, the night's darkness making it seem like a large shadowy forest.
A few minutes later Sheridan walked into the room, carrying a large tray laden with cups of Espresso and two bowls of ice cream.
Justin cleared some of the knickknacks off the coffee table, Sheridan smiling as he sat down beside Justin on a large white leather sofa.
"The Espresso will blend well with the chocolate ice cream."
Justin smiled, Sheridan handing him a bowl of ice cream, Justin taking it, their fingers brushing against each other's.
Sheridan smiled, picking up his bowl, relaxing back in the leathery couch, Justin smiling at him as the two sampled the rich chocolaty ice cream.
"Mmmm, delicious." Justin said, Sheridan smiling at him.
"Yes, delicious indeed." he said, his blue eyes staring at Justin.
Justin smiled, Sheridan leaning forward, his finger touching Justin's chin.
"A little escaped, my friend." Sheridan said, bringing his finger to his lips, Justin watching him as he seductively brought the finger to his mouth, sucking the chocolate he'd removed from Justin's chin off.
Justin slowly moved forward, Sheridan moving as well.
But not where Justin wanted him to.
The young man smiled at Justin, leaning over to the tray, picking up the two cups of Espresso.
"Our coffee is getting tepid. Here you go, Justin." Sheridan said, smiling at him.
Justin thanked the young man, his voice showing a soft edge of trembling uncertainty.
"I'm assuming by that look that you were on a path of need, Justin." the young man said, sipping his Espresso, Justin staring at him with soft wonder.
"I. . .I was just. . ."
"It's alright, Justin. As you've previously said, I'm a man of the travelling world. I've always been able to read people very well. I'm flattered by your infatuation, albeit not deservedly so." the young man said, Justin softly blushing, Sheridan's eyes staring at him.
"I'm. . .I'm sorry, Sheridan. I. . .I was too forward."
"As I said, it's alright, Justin. To confess, I saw the same look yesterday when we first met. Or rather when I did my impromptu strip show. I saw the look of desire cross your beautiful eyes."
"You. . .you think my eyes are beautiful?" Justin softly said, Sheridan smiling at him.
"You are a very stunningly handsome man, Justin. To have you
stare at me like that prompted me to accept your invitation this morning. It's
not often I'm wooed by someone so unbelievably unique."
Justin smiled, Sheridan smiling back, his face then taking a soft look of concern.
"I understood that you were in a relationship, Justin. I. . .I don't want to be a hindrance on that to you."
"No, I'm not in a relationship. I was dating Jessica Biel but we've since parted. We remain friends but I was seeking more in my life."
The young man nodded, staring into Justin's blue staring eyes.
"I believe I may have much to live up to. You are bisexual?"
"I can honestly say that I'm not sure, Sheridan. I've had relationships with both sexes, and the line stands divided. I could go either way, it just depends on the person." Justin said, Sheridan smiling at him.
"That took courage to say, Justin. I take it your relationships are as you Americans say under the radar?"
Justin smiled, nodding his head.
"A heavy mantle to carry. Whomever takes on that weight takes on the world." the young man said, Justin nodding at him.
"I'd like to. . .would you like to date?"
"I'm gay, Justin. I don't hide it, but I begrudge you no disrespect for leading your private life. I'm touched that you're wanting to date me."
"You're a together guy, Sheridan. Handsome, worldly, debonair. I like everything about you. You're a refreshing change of pace from the men I've met before."
The young man smiled, staring at Justin.
"Walking the paths of hidden fame, Justin? I'm sorry, your
former transgressions hold no sway in regards to me. As do mine to you. The past
is the past, as we say in Europe."
Justin nodded, staring at the young man.
"You can walk on the path you wanted to earlier, Justin. I
won't move this time."
Justin smiled, the man moving forward, Sheridan moving in a little as well, their lips meeting.
Justin felt a surge of desire flow through him, the man's lips laced with enriched need.
Justin's arms went around the young man, gently pushing him back on the couch.
Justin lay on top of the young man, Sheridan breaking the kiss, their eyes meeting.
"I believe I'm trapped under your needs, Justin. I take it you want me?"
Justin moved back, staring at the young man.
"I'm. . .I'm sorry, Sheridan. I came on a little strong there." Justin said, the young man smiling.
"You didn't hear me complaining, now did you?"
Justin smiled, the young man smiling back.
"I'm intrigued by the hidden desires I feel flowing through you, Justin. I feel they're laced with need, and hurt as well. I take it you've not always found the love you've sought in everyone you've met?"
Justin lowered his head, Sheridan's hand going to the man's shoulder, their eyes meeting.
"We all walk paths of trembling memories. I won't delve too
deeply into your past. But I do want to be in your future. For as long as you'd
like. I'd really like to get to know you. On all levels. The emotional and yes,
the physical. You're a stunningly beautiful creature. I'm sure every aspect of
you is beyond unique."
Justin smiled, lost in the young man's words.
"There you go again with those moving words."
"I must have been a psychiatrist in a former life." the young man said, Justin laughing.
The young man smiled, sitting up again, leaning against Justin.
"Shall we walk back to your car? It's getting late." Sheridan said, Justin's face dropping a bit, Sheridan smiling and tenderly kissing his lips again.
"Let's take it slow, Justin. You've seen most of me, I want to undress all of you, all the layers slowly."
Justin smiled, nodding.
"Just call me Jus, Sheridan."
The young man smiled.
Justin chuckled, the young man lightly kissing his cheek.
"I'm Sherry, Jus. My good friends call me Sherry."
Justin smiled, staring into his blue eyes.
"And your lovers?"
The young man laughed, smiling at Justin's soft flirting.
"They call me amazing."
Justin laughed, Sheridan smiling.
"Okay, Sherry. Something to look forward to."
Sheridan nodded, the two men rising up from their seats.
Sheridan smiled as Justin took his hand in his.
"One for the road?"
Sheridan nodded, Justin leaning in, his arms going around the younger man, their lips meeting more passionately now, the kiss lasting a few moments.
They both pulled back, Justin sighing.
"I didn't realize we walked that far. Wow!"
Justin smiled, the two heading for the condo's door.
Sheridan walked back into his condo, throwing the keys in the glass bowl by the doorway.
He looked around his condo, seeing the lights on in the living room, the man walking around a divider in the foyer, staring into his living room.
On the white couch where he'd recently sat with Justin sat a man, his brown eyes glaring at him.
"About time you got back. How was your tryst with Timberlake? Have you forayed into his celebrity world? Was his ass as remarkable as he seems to think it is?"
"Working on it, my friend. But the path is better walked cautiously. One needs not draw attention to the surrounding watchers."
Haven Marlowe's brown eyes stared at the young man.
"I said to infiltrate Lucas' inner circle, not bang a faggot singer."
Sheridan smiled, walking into the living room, sitting down on the couch beside Haven.
"Jealous are we?"
"No, not jealous. I know who owns you." Haven said, patting the young man's knee.
"So how was he? A total bottom or a bitch in heat?"
"He was neither. He's an interesting man. I sense a lot of intrigue and uncertainty behind that famous face. I didn't have to bang him--as you call it--to gain his friendship."
Haven nodded, staring at the young man.
"So you'll be led into Lucas' trust?"
"Eventually. I am rather looking forward to meeting the young
man. To become a thorn in your side the man must be quite remarkable."
Haven's eyes narrowed, Sheridan chuckling.
"Calmness, sir. Your simmering fire is showing. Speaking of jealousy."
Haven stood up, staring down at the young man.
"I own you, Sherman. Or Sheridan, or whatever you pompously deem yourself to be. Let's get that straight."
The young man stood up, staring at Haven.
"There's nothing straight about me, Haven. You of all people know that. I am after all moulded in your image."
Haven's hand flew, striking the young man across the face, the man not moving, the slap registering in his soul.
"Don't forget that I know all of you, Sherman. All your
secrets and all your weaknesses. I can destroy you as easily as I nearly
destroyed Lucas' father. That which I shall do soon enough. That task I'll have
you or myself finish."
The young man stared at Haven.
"So you use whatever means you need to make Timberlake swoon at your feet, or wave his ass at you in submission. And once you've done that, you walk into Lucas' circle. I want to know everything the man's doing and going to do. Understand me?"
The young man nodded, staring at the older man.
"So you can bang his brains out. Think of that as a side benefit. Use Timberlake any way you want to get at Lucas. And then you do what I need you to do. End his life and I'll give you yours."
The young man stared at Haven, the man's hand going up to his face, gently brushing the cheek he'd slapped moments before.
"I only hit you to calm your attitude, Sherry. You know I am your master?"
"Yes, sir. Always and forever." the young man said, Haven smiling.
"I like you better this way, Sherry. It seems Timberlake's lit a fire under you. I don't think you should waste it, since you didn't extinguish it in his waters." Haven said, staring into the young man's blue eyes.
Sheridan stared into Haven's brown pools of control, the young man's mind hardening, his soul giving in to the inevitable.
"No one stokes that fire as you do, Master. Let my flames
temper against your needs."
Haven smiled, the young man lowering himself to his knees.
Haven gasped when he felt the man's fingers on his center, Haven feeling old feelings for the servant below him.
The man he controlled totally.
If he'd looked down he would have stared into two blue piercing eyes of total hatred.
And into the soul of a man about to explode in a final gasp of truth.
Who knows who'll survive that final moment?
A tortured soul or a condemned one?
End of Chapter 30
And so Justin's walking into a sham friendship and a controlling destiny.
Is Sheridan truly Haven's slave?
Is Justin a pawn in Haven's game of conquest?
Will Lucas' life be the prize claimed?
Josh seems worried about Bryce.
And something's brewing under the confusion.
Will he meet Bryce the next day?
Or will he flee to L.A. with Lucas?
Intrigue is brewing beneath the surface.
I'll light a match to that powder keg.
Get ready for an explosion!