~*~ Every last word of the pages to follow is from an author's vast imagination and is therefore not supported in true reality. Although the characters to be featured are prominently factual, the numerous scenarios, situations, and events they will encounter throughout the course of the tale are not! Its principal objective is that of enjoyment and entertainment to you, the reader.

~*~ Underage reading or any other illegalities is not condoned nor encouraged in any way by said author. He also will not tolerate any form of plagiarism towards any of the words to come as they are his and his alone. Neither the author nor the Nifty Organization makes a profit from this, or any story, posted on their site. He does it of his own freewill.

~*~ Address any type of question and/or feedback to jc71883@hotmail.com, making sure to add a relation to the story on the subject line of the e-mail as to guarantee its reception.

 

 

Chapter Twelve

~*~ Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained ~*~

 

 

Los Angeles is his home for the next few days as he continues enjoying warm weather kissing his skin. His manager informed him while he has back in Miami that he needs to attend a meeting with his record label and they requested that it takes place in the California city. Timberlake thinks nothing of it and when he arrives a day earlier than expected, he simply heads to a gym and wonders if Kobe Bryant is anywhere near him. It would be more than convenient if he was. Maybe there is a possibility the two can meet up and head off to another secret dinner away from the limelight. He knows how hard it will be and how careful they both have to be in order to keep their budding friendship away from the cameras but it is worth a shot. Justin still cannot explain to himself the feelings he gets when he is around the NBA basketball player. It will be figured out though.

The singing star lifts free weights and does some crunches before running a mile to simply keep his heart rate up. Sweat drips off his alabaster skin and his muscles tense up as he continues to push them beyond their normal limits. It creates more of a chiseled look that he has come to greatly appreciate. In an industry that considers looks to be on the same level as talent, if Timberlake were to gain one extra pound the media would hound him endlessly. Talent alone should be more than enough but with a planet obsessed on features and toned body everyone has to do what they must to survive, including him. The high experienced from exercising is great but it nowhere near rivals the blast of adrenaline and excitement he feels every time he steps on stage. He considers that to be his nirvana. Justin is at his best when he is out there performing for people who are there to see him perform.

With a towel around his neck, the former N*SYNCer strips away the tank top that is securely adhered to his body due to sweat and rests it on a nearby bench while he goes into a locker to retrieve his bag. He is by himself in the locker room. The upscale gym knows how to cater to its celebrity clientele so he does not worry about privacy seeing as it was assured to him by the front desk staff. The workout is just what his body and mind needs. The showerhead above him shoots out cold water and he winces at it before it starts to warm up enough to become pleasant. Water hits the top of Justin's head and trickles down to the rest of his body as he relaxes and enjoys it. This small moment in time is his. No one can rob him of it. He does not worry about work or his life or anything else. It is just about him climbing down from his high after a glorious workout.

Timberlake starts lathering the small bar of soap over his broad shoulders and back before coming around to his neck and chest. All his nerves are on end because of his touch and he lets out a slight moan. No one has touched him like this or in these places in a very long time and he immediately starts to feel the strong sense of deprivation. The deprivation of human touch in the cold, void world he has created for himself. Justin wonders how long it has been since he has been intimately touched. The timing always seems to be just off. His hand travels down his flat stomach, with the bar of soap still secure within it, and makes its way to his soft member. It is trimmed neatly and he begins to soap it up. It starts to feel so good.

It stirs and comes to life because he needs release badly. Justin feels and knows it so he does not bother fighting it for right now. It would be worthless to do so because his body can already taste the release. He is alone and there is no risk of him being caught so he relaxes into the idea of pleasuring himself in a public place. The spontaneity of it along with the adrenaline now pumping into his veins creates another high that he never wants to come down from. Timberlake cannot even remember the last time he pleasured himself because he life has been such a tornado during the past months that there has been no time for him to be by himself. It cannot wait because in a matter of mere seconds, his dick is rock hard and point upwards with his two balls hanging directly below it. It has been far too long so it will happen here and now. Even his nipples are hardening at the intimate touch.

The pop star rests the bar of soap on a nearby soap dish and uses the lather he created before to lubricate his hands into action to please his needs and desires. A want to feel human again. For the past weeks and months it has always been about work or personal drama that isolated him from the world. Justin has to remember that his needs are just as important and to deal with them regularly. The organ is full of blood and awaiting sensuous release into paradise. The last time he got this aroused was when Kobe Bryant kissed him the second time in his hotel room. He could not control it and a small part of him wanted things to go further than they did. But it is far too soon for that and his libido will have to stay in check until then. Timberlake's feeling of confusion and fear kept him from doing anything about it that night but today is different. He feels as if he is going to explode if it is not released.

He uses his right hand to gently massage the full length of his dick slowly to extract as much pleasure from the sensation as possible. A jagged shiver shoots down his spine and then up again at the mere feel of denied pleasure. It is far more sensitive than he thought and he feels that he is ready for release at any moment. Timberlake's mind is in blackness but then a small memory of Kobe comes to him. The kiss in the hotel room comes to him. Their late night conversations come to him. And the part of him that wanted to go so much further that night takes over his senses. The way the baller makes him feel palpates his heart and fuels his raging hard member. Some of the most intimate moments and thoughts shared with another man. Justin feels all control slipping away from him because he cannot use these thoughts. He cannot think of Kobe this way. It is not right.

The former boybander cannot help himself though. Just the mere thought of their lips pressing together is making everything in his body stand up and pay attention to his advancing and seductive touch. Skin is littered with goosebumps and feels the sensation of every drop of water crashing into it to create a heightened experience of bliss. It is almost too much too fast and his body wants to go into sensory overload. His mind cannot be controlled now and he suddenly wants Kobe in the shower with him so bad. The things he would do to him. They way he would feel. Timberlake's mind is clouded and his judgment lapsed but he is in so desperate need of intimate attention. Something he has not had in so long so nothing else matters. He knows his body is pleading with him to give it the attention it deserves and it will not be denied. It has been for too long. Not this time.

Justin increases his stroking according to his body's desire for it and even involuntarily lets out soft moans under his breath because of the pleasure. They becomes faster and stronger as he presses his other hand into the wall to prop himself up. His head is down and the water from above beats into the base of his neck and falls away while he strokes the rigid shaft of his dick. No other sound is heard as the songster is in his own world; a world he has neglected for work. With even more powerful strokes than before, his knees become slightly weak momentarily and his body thrusts forward before his dick spits out white liquid onto the floor. He keeps with the strong fondles as more and more cum leaks out of his still hard dick. Timberlake grunts and breathes harder than usual and now drives his left shoulder into the tiled wall in front of him to support his entire body. It is perfect release.

He watches as his cum washes away with water and lets the endless rain hit his neck and back as he does so. Justin's dick is softening and he suddenly feels the high once more. It is strong and addicting and his heart is pounding in his chest, partly because of the activity he just completed but mainly because of where he is. Even though he is guaranteed privacy, there is still some risk involved and that makes the entire act more captivating. Living on the edge for a moment before regaining senses and returning to responsible behavior. Celebrity allows for all kinds of weird and exotic behaviors but he rarely ever indulges in anything obscene because he is a brand and has to protect that. This brand has to be protected at all costs if his career is to keep moving forward. Timberlake's breaths revert back to normalcy and he is able to stop leaning on the wall for support.

It takes a few moments to gather the rest of his thoughts and finish his shower the way it was meant to be taken. He feels a sense of relief but also fear because he has never thought about another man while pleasuring himself before. Something is embedded there and it is beginning to unravel and consume him. Justin quickly ends the shower and retrieves the draping towel nearby to cover his nakedness. He feels naked in so many different ways. He feels like his soul has been exposed to Kobe without the man even being close to him. The feeling is uncomforting and puts him on edge for what could possibly happen between them. What his thoughts could possibly mean and how he will allow them to affect him. The former N*SYNCer remains still with the towel around him as if he is trying to sort through the multitude of thoughts that are now bombarding his mind.

Drying off his hair and the rest of his skin, Justin Timberlake returns to his locker for the day and looks in his duffel bag for clothes to put on. An eerie nervousness blankets him and he looks around as if someone is there or he is being watched in some way. It is paranoia and it will drive him insane. The singing star slips on the clean pair of boxers he packed earlier as well as a pair of shorts and a black tank top. He does not have to impress anyone but he thinks he looks sexiest when he is dressed down as he is now. There is no pressure or need to look handsome in the classical sense but rather down to Earth and ordinary. Justin sits on the cold bench to tie his shoelaces and still cannot shake the feeling that he is being watched or that someone saw what he was doing while taking a shower earlier. A hat completes the outfit and he is off to his suite so his body and mind can relax. It is deserved.

With the phone forgotten on the kitchen bar, it is on silent; he rests on the comfortable bed of the master bedroom and looks up at the ceiling to let time get away from him. The Sun is waning but he barely notices it as he begins to nod off to sleep. Justin curls up on the large bed and offers his body to rest. What seems like hours later, the pop singer opens his eyes to see the Sun completely gone and his room blanketed with darkness. He sits up and yawns lightly as he rubs his shoulder and looks reaches over to flick the lights on to the room. The elegant grandfather clock tells him that the time is only a few minutes before eight and he hops off the bed. Timberlake has a few missed calls when he walks into the kitchen to retrieve his phone. Two are from his publicist; he knows it is to remind him of the meeting tomorrow. There is also one from JC Chasez. He fingers on the device immediately.

"Justin---what's up bro?" his former N*SYNC bandmate greets him.

"Nothing much JC. What's going on?"

"Nothing. I called to see how you're doing. Are you good?"

"---I'm fine. Why?" a puzzled Justin replies back.

"That's good to hear. I thought maybe you wanted to talk---" Chasez keeps with the vague words.

"Talk---about what?"

He senses that his best friend wants to say or ask him something but he apparently does not know how to approach the subject. The sofa greets his warm body as he sits and tries to remain patient through this annoying position the other man is trying to put him in. Now that he has time to think about it, Justin realizes why JC is having so much trouble getting at what he means. He wants to talk about what they spoke about before; the day he came out to him. Timberlake sighs softly and closes his eyes and waits for JC to say the next thing. It is beginning to make him uncomfortable. He stays quiet to think about the shower at the gym earlier and how Kobe Bryant managed to slip past his defenses at a most vulnerable time. There is so much that is unknown about them that he is setting himself up for failure rather than taking things one step at a time like he should be doing.

"---Justin? Are you there?"

"I know what you want to talk about. Just ask me JC. You're making me feel uncomfortable---"

"I'm sorry Justin. I didn't mean to."

"It's okay. It's new for both of us," Timberlake comes back with as he lays his full body on the sofa and looks up at the ceiling.

"So everything is good then? No dream?"

"No---not anymore. I'm okay."

"Just making sure. If you need to talk then I'm your man," Chasez reminds him.

"I know. Thanks."

"Ay listen, lets' go out tonight---just you and me."

"Wait---you're in LA?" Justin asks him, his hopes suddenly rising.

"Yep. Let's go to a club or dinner or something. Did you eat?"

"Nope. It sounds like a plan to me."

"I'll come get you in about an hour?"

"Okay."

Justin suddenly revels in the idea of spending time with his best friend and is excited about their new meeting. It is the perfect opportunity for him to get out of his head for a while and just loosen up to enjoy life. Possibly a chance to get away from himself and to simply relax. Timbaland pushing him and his record company still breathing down his neck is creating so much stress on him. Before heading back to his room to get ready though, a thought comes to him in the form of Kobe Bryant. A thought of his sweet smile and the mysterious aura around him that makes the former N*SYNCer feel both nervous but accepted at the same time. Timberlake does not know where the baller is and wonders if he should call him right now or wait until he ends his night with JC. He decides on the latter and gets up from the comfortable sofa to get himself ready for a night on the town.

After a quick shower and brushing his teeth, Justin begins finding something to wear out. Bryant is still stuck on his mind even though he tries to think about something else. He honestly cannot remember the last time he thought about someone this much. Shortly after an hour has passed his phone lights up and rings in the middle of the bed in the master suite and he looks at the screen before picking it up and informing JC that he will be down within a few moments. A quick glance in the mirror and a spray of cologne later and Timberlake is out the door and heading into the metal box that will take him to the first floor of his hotel. The lobby is unusually busy but with mainly elderly couples so he is able to slip by with ease as he is sure that most of them do not recognize him. At the very front of the hotel he sees an awaiting Lexus and a valet immediately opens the passenger door for him.

"Hey Justin---looking sharp there," Chasez smiles when he enters and sits.

"You're not looking too bad either best friend," he compliments back and they both smile and pound their fists together.

"So where are we going?"

"I was just about to ask you the same thing---"

"Well, first off, do you want to go to a club or out to dinner or both?"

"Dinner first---I'm hungry."

"Dinner it is then."

"We'll see what we feel like doing after that," Justin offers the rest of the haphazard plan.

"That's a good idea."

He rests his back against the leather seats of JC's Lexus as they are off when he realizes that he has been a passenger quite a few times in the past weeks. Mainly it is with Kobe and now it is here. Timberlake smiles to himself at the revelation. The thought then crosses his mind if he should tell his best friend about Kobe. He does not want to keep anything from Chasez; he has been so good to him already but he is not sure what he would say anyway. The singer does not know the full extent of his relationship with the Los Angeles Laker or even if there is any kind of relationship. Nothing is formal between either of them. It is best to keep things quiet for now or to maybe never tell anyone. Taking it slowly is important because Timberlake is not sure what he is doing or even where their friendship will end up. Going slow is the best thing for right now.

Talking in the car, they both decide to go to a quiet restaurant where either won't be hounded by the media and they then decide on seafood. The restaurant the pair decides to try resides in the suburbs of LA and they find it by driving around looking for an interesting place to eat. Justin hears his stomach growling and he wants food now. This is another reason they finally decide to give up their search. They are seated in a cozy both and the restaurant is dimly lit so that works to their advantage. JC orders appetizers first and snack on them and talk before their main course arrives. The ambiance of the restaurant is tranquilly intoxicating and Timberlake wonders what it would be like to be here with Kobe. He wonders where their relationship is at the moment and what it could develop into. No. Now is not the time to be preoccupied with thoughts of what could be. He stops himself.

"Justin---Justin!" Chasez repeats with more assertion in his voice.

"Huh---yeah?" he snaps back to reality and feels the whiplash of it.

"What happened? Are you alright?"

"Yeah."

"Did you like the crab cakes?"

"Yeah---they were good."

His best friend eyes him and wait for their waiter to leave them in privacy before asking, "What's the matter? You look like something's bothering you."

"No---no. I was hungrier than I thought I guess."

It is another lie he will have to answer for later and he will do it but for now, this is the way it has to be. He, of course, trusts JC but he is not sure how or even if he can begin to explain what Kobe and him have. He does not even know if it is anything at all or worthy of an explanation. In a way, the singer does not want to put it into words and then have them be the wrong ones. He hates eating his own words once they have been given life. Timberlake feels his best friend's eyes on him again and a slight relief washes over him when their waiter interrupts them to serve the main course. Justin almost immediately digs in with a pair of heated eyes on still on him. Maybe he knows he is lying; they are best friends after all. After a while though, Chasez's concentration and focus breaks and he starts eating as well. There is a small awkwardness at the table now but it will not be there because of his lie.

"Do you like the place?" he asks his former bandmate.

"It's nice---and all because your stomach couldn't hold out any longer," JC laughs.

"Shut up! I had so little to eat today. I can't help it---"

"How's that demo coming along?"

"Oh man! I completely forgot JC," Justin suddenly remembers. "That's why I'm in town actually. I have a meeting with Jive tomorrow."

"Out here?"

"Yeah---I was surprised too. It's nothing too big though. I can get you a demo then---"

"Sounds good."

"I'll remember this time."

He is extremely anxious to hear JC's opinions on what he has done so far and eager for any insight he can provide for future songs. Back in the days of the band the two of them were a strong writing team and wrote a lot of songs for N*SYNC together. Justin knows to himself that a small part misses having someone else there to bounce ideas or lyrics off of. But propelling his solo career forward is his only concentration so writing songs alone now is natural. The superstar singer picks up his fork with coconut rice and is about to put it in his mouth when he feels his phone vibrate against his leg. His pocket is alive. Timberlake rests the fork full of food on the side of the large plate in front of him and reaches under the table to see who is calling him. Chasez takes note of him and looks on. He looks at the phone's display screen to see Kobe's name spread across it in black letters. His heart skips a beat.

"Who is it?" he hears JC ask.

"Huh---oh it's work," Justin lies while ignoring the call.

"You're not going to get it?"

"Nah. I'll deal with it tomorrow."

"Okay."

The pair finishes their meal and JC forces his credit card as payment before Justin has a chance to and they leave as quietly as they came in with no one recognizing them. The meal was great and the atmosphere created by the quaint restaurant made the night even more carefree and fun because neither of them had to worry about being accosted by the paparazzi or unruly fans. They walk back in the darkness to the car with Justin's head swimming with thoughts of the missed phone call. A small part of him hopes the evening is over now so he can go back to his suite and call Kobe back. It is selfish but he has been waiting for this call all day; their friendship is starting to evolve into something Timberlake trusts and can rely on. Nerves are still present most of the time but through it all; Bryant is someone he can talk to on a much deeper level than anyone at the moment. Even his best friend.

"Okay---where to now?" Chasez asks as he looks over to him.

"Um---I don't know. You don't have any ideas?" comes the reply as he is tucking away all his thoughts.

"We could do a club. Do you feel up to it?"

"Whatever. It's not about where we go anywayŚwe're spending time together," Justin states when the car starts moving.

"Yeah. Let's go hang out for a couple hours then."

"It's a plan."

JC speeds down interstate highways that connect the entire state together while they decide on a place to simply mellow out. They have not been able to do this in such a long time that they are going to make the most of it. Timberlake wants the time together with his best friend so he goes along with it. They see each other so rarely since the group dismantled so they have to hang out whenever time and their schedules permit. He sees Lance, Chris, and Joey even less and feels guilty about it from time to time because of how close all of them used to be. They were his second family when he was away from his own but after the band separated, everyone just went their own way and getting all five friends back together to simply hang out is next to impossible. Justin has to be better about it though because the guys are still a part of his life. Together, they all once took the world of music by storm.

Giving the keys to a valet at Arena, the duo exits the car and walk into the club but not before being hounded by the media. It is like they stalk out every nightclub in the area to see who they can snap. They give the paparazzi what they want before disappearing into the club to continue the rest of their relaxing evening. People immediately recognize them and they smile for more pictures before two bouncers escort them away to the exclusive VIP section. Music blasts and people dance as they look on. Sometimes Justin wonders what his life would be like if he was able to do that without the fear of the paparazzi accosting him and seeing his face printed on every gossip magazine the following morning. He and JC order cocktails and enjoy them while they sit in the VIP section, which is virtually empty. The club scene is rather bland and uninspiring beneath them.

Timberlake feels a slight buzz after his next drink and they are talking about the next time they will play golf together seeing as their weekend in West Palm Beach was ended prematurely. Chasez informs him that he and Jive have finally come to an agreement in terms of his contract for his first solo album and both men drink to it. The news is surprising and accepted wholly but somehow feels out of place. He is honestly happy for his best friend; it does feel weird that he has been the only one to successfully branch away from their N*SYNC days. The pressure was solely on him but now it can be shared in a way. He wants all his close friends from the group to be successful, whether they continue in this industry or not. But fame, being the fickle oddness it is cannot be controlled or manipulated and many times it is simply about being in the right place at the right time.

Justin is relaxing comfortably on a sofa in the VIP section talking when he feels his phone vibrate against his skin again. It feels tingling and soothing at the same time. He fetches it from deep down in his pocket and feels the same pair of eyes burning through him like at the restaurant. Two unanswered phone calls should not be such a big deal. The same name reads on the phone and the singer stares at it before, once again, ignoring it. He cannot take it at the moment but he wants to talk to the NBA star. The device returns to his pocket and he closes his eyes, trying to get himself lost in the music and ambiance the club around them is creating. Chasez looks on but says nothing for the moment but he begins to wonder what is going on. Loud music and strobe lights will not be enough to keep him silent however. He feels a small level of awkwardness again because of JC staring eyes.

"What?" the former N*SYNCer questions when his eyes open.

"Work again?"

"No. An alarm reminding me of something I have to do tomorrow."

"You mean today---it's almost one."

"It is? Where did the time go?" Timberlake talks, mostly to himself.

"That's how it always is when we hang out J. You know that."

"Yeah. Let's head out of here. Early day tomorrow."

"Yeah me too. This was fun," Chasez says after he gets up and stretches out his limbs.

"I had fun too."

The entire way back and Justin only thinks about him. He and JC talk but he is hardly paying attention because he is both tired and wondering where Kobe is and what he is doing. He has called him twice today and the call has been ignored both times. He concentrates hard until the car ride ends to pay attention to his friend and when they say good night to each other, he hops out of the car and walks up towards his hotel. Timberlake swings the door open to his suite and enters it before shutting it behind him, guaranteeing solitary. It is quiet and he loves that. He finds his way to the bedroom and immediately takes his shirt off and walks into the bathroom to brush his teeth. His head feels a little dizzy; it is all the alcohol, but he gets prepared for bed. The songster reaches for his phone in the dark after he settles into bed for the night. He dials the number he missed twice earlier and waits for a response.

"I was wondering when we would finally get to talk," Bryant's deep, strong voice comes on the line.

"Sorry---I got your calls but I was out with a friend."

"Really? Who? Anyone I know?"

"JC. He was---" Justin begins but is cut off.

"---In N*SYNC with you I know. You guys were only one of the most famous boybands in the history of the world," a laugh escapes.

"Yeah."

"So what did you guys do tonight?"

"We went out to dinner and then just hung out at a club after. We don't see each other much like we used to."

"It must be hard."

"Sometimes," he admits. "Guess where I am---"

"Where?"

"Your basketball team's hometown."

"What are you doing out there?" Kobe interestingly asks him.

"Meeting and stuff. You know me---I can't stay in one place for too long."

"Yeah. I sort of got that---"

Timberlake yawns and rubs his eyes because of his tired and slightly tipsy state. But tonight was fun and it was great spending time with his best friend. The industry is full of so few people to trust that when someone trustworthy does come along, extra effort must be taken to nurture the relationship. Outside is dark and still as if everyone else is already sleeping but this is never the case in this busy metropolis. Justin's phone is stuck to his ear and his other hand rubs his hairless stomach because it feels good. Movements are involuntary but the sensitive touch of his fingertips to his flat stomach makes him want to keep going. His fingers trace across every ridge and indentation as he talks to the famous baller. It suddenly occurs to him that JC's favorite basketball player is Kobe Bryant. Or at least he used to be back when they were in N*SYNC together. There is irony there and he smiles at it.

"I just remembered---you're JC's favorite player."

He laughs and responds cockily, "I'm a lot of people's favorite player Justin."

"Maybe that ego helps it along," Justin sarcastically says.

"It's a possibility. So your night was fun?"

"Yeah. I had a good time."

There is a long silence before Kobe asks, "Is JC---you know---"

The question catches him off guard and he does not know how to respond at first so the line is dead. In all the years the pair has known each other his best friend has never once given him a reason to believe that he is gay. The irony is remarkable because in those same years Justin has never given him or anyone else a reason to believe that he is gay either. But everything has changed now. His life has changed into something he is still trying to figure out and deal with outside the eyes of the media. Unwanted attention will only make the situation worse and not to mention negatively affect his career. Even if JC was gay, Timberlake could never see him as anything more because they are as close as brothers so it would be far too weird. Plus it would not be worth it to pursue a relationship that could potentially destroy the friendship. He has to laugh at Kobe's innocence in attempting to phrase the question.

"No---he's not gay. As straight as they come."

"How do you know?" the basketballer continues on the path of this interesting conversation that has suddenly found them.

"Because he would've told me if he was."

"Did you tell him about you?"

Timberlake remains quiet for a second before answering with, "Yes. I told him a few weeks ago and he accepted me."

"You must really trust him."

"I do. We're brothers."

There is another silence before, "Did you tell him about me?"

"---No---"

The pop star is suddenly intrigued by their conversation now more than ever and focuses all his attention on what is being said between them. There might be a strong possibility that he could find out right now exactly what Kobe sees them as and the prospect of that alone will keep him moving forward. There have been many questions since the first kiss took place but no answers seem to come in sight and Justin has been looking for a way to get them talking about their status. About their friendship. He does not know whether they are in a relationship or if they are talking or even if they are just friends. But friends do not kiss each other like they have though. And twice. His attention is fully on the conversation now as Bryant remains silent on the line as well. Perhaps he is thinking of what to say next or maybe he knows it is time to try and answer the questions that are between them.

"I was just curious," the Los Angeles Laker tries to cover his tracks.

"Can I ask you something?" he decides to be straightforward and ask the question he wants so desperately answered.

"Sure," his calm voice comes back.

"What are we doing---I mean---where are we?" Timberlake stumbles out and sounds foolish.

"I don't understand---"

"I don't understand our relationship---friendship---"

"I see."

"I'm not sure---"

"Do you want us to be in a relationship Justin?" Kobe asks him point blank.

"---I---"

The former N*SYNCer continues to hold the phone to his ear, not believing what he is hearing. It is what he wants so it has to be real. He is not in a dream and a slight pinch on his arm proves that. He is stumbling over his words and getting more nervous by the second but the feeling is addicting. The feeling of Kobe Bryant talking to him is addicting. Timberlake takes a breath in and lets it out while his eyes are glued to the ceiling high above him. A part of him feels the relief but he is getting ahead of himself once more. Being in a relationship with another man is wrong but he wants it. He knows his body wants Bryant's lips to touch his again but it is all so confusing. The silence on the line becomes almost unbearable because it is beginning to sound like a rejection but that is not it. Justin knows he wants this and is going to do it his way no matter what anyone else thinks. He deserves as much.

"Justin---are you okay?" the baller asks after the long quietness.

"---Huh---"

"I didn't want to pressure you so that's why I didn't say anything. I know how shaken up you were after our first kiss so I didn't want to push. Whatever developed after that had to be your choice only," he begins to explain.

"---I---" Timberlake prattles again.

"I want to be in a relationship with you Justin but if you're not ready then I won't pressure you."

He comes to his senses and finally says, "I want that too. I like you a lot. I think about you a lot."

"Me too. It's confusing I know---"

"---I don't care. I want to try it so I'll get past that."

"I will too. Now I want to see you," Kobe cutely whines.

"Where are you?"

"Up here in Chicago doing some promo events. I head to Detroit in the next few days."

"We're never in the same place at the same time---"

"Don't say that. We'll catch each other eventually. We all have to stop running eventually right?"

"Right."

Justin gets all his questions answered with asking one simple question. He and Kobe are now in a relationship; he is in a relationship with another man. His first ever. The thought makes his stomach weak because the future is unknown to him. They talk for a while longer until he physically feels his body shutting down on him. Bryant bids him good night and their phone call ends shortly thereafter. Everything is put into prospective now and Timberlake smiles before drifting away to sleep. The dream has stopped. He never has them anymore and his nights are sleepless no longer. The singer is not used to it as yet because of how heavily integrated the dream was in his psyche. His nights are peaceful now as the Moon's light bathes over his creamy and smooth skin. He has a boyfriend. He is in a secret relationship that the world will never know about. The satisfaction is surreal.