~*~ 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 Thirteen

~*~ Visceral Incarnation of Hope ~*~

 

 

Shining light creeps past the shades of the room and wreaks havoc on his rest. It proves to be too disturbing and he is finally awakened by the unrelenting brightness of outside. The meeting is soon and the pop star has to prepare his mind for it. A cool shower peels his eyes wide open and when he looks into the mirror while brushing his teeth, he sees happiness behind the two blue crystals. It glimmers softly but it is definitely there. It is something he has not seen in a while and it both calms and scares him. Things he should not be feeling is making him happy. Things that could destroy him professionally are bringing him joy. The road ahead will be a dangerous and unrelenting one but the reward is too good to give up on or forget. His mind cannot continue on feeling this good but being this uneasy at the same time. Something has to give. Justin finishes up and orders himself breakfast.

Timberlake is on his way to the Jive offices in Los Angeles to listen to what his team has to say. He hopes it will be nothing bad because he is putting his all into every record and to have his managers and bosses dislike it will have a bothering effect on him. Especially at this stage of the album's progression. He does not want to go back and have to rerecord tracks for it will be a definite waste of time, money, and talent on everyone's part. But, people are not as receptive to the new and unknown as they are to the old and familiar. This could all backfire and blow up in his face. Justin knows the risks involved but he also knows his fans. They are growing and evolving just as he is. He cannot continue on putting out the same song types he did when he was sixteen and part of a band. Maturity has to be shown on this record over anything else. Growth inspires change and the fans will embrace him for it.

The tall skyscraper houses many international offices and businesses and the former N*SYNCer takes the elevator to the floor he needs to be at to get the meeting underway. Once he manages to escape the confines of the cramped metal box, he walks into Jive and smiles at the receptionist, who then gets up to guide him to a meeting room. Justin sits at the square table but his legs get up and guide him to the large window only steps away. He stares down at the bustling city below him. Kobe crosses his mind slightly and he stays preoccupied with the same thoughts of the morning. There is something happening between the two of them. No matter how much Timberlake's mind tells him to feel scared or confused, feelings are pushing through those to create some semblance of a tranquil vortex. Bryant's voice is caught in the center if this chaotic bliss.

"Nice view right?" Christian, one of his managers at Jive states as he enters the meeting room and closes the door behind him.

"Yeah," Timberlake turns around and agrees. "What's up?"

"Nothing much. How's it going?" he asks back as their hands firmly shake.

"The same. What's going on?"

"Take a seat so we can talk."

As Christian says this he takes a seat. He produces a folder from what seems like thin air and Justin takes his word and sits himself. Now is not the time to think about the brainstorm going on inside his head. Kobe Bryant's effect has to wear off and full business mode must come into play. The pair is facing each other across the table and he looks on as his one of boss shuffles through papers from the folder and grows impatient. He wants to know what is going on already. Being in this position, especially in the industry they are both a part of, is never a good thing. The waiting can sometimes become excruciatingly unbearable but Justin holds his composure and waits for his turn to speak. Maybe a tour is already in the works for him; the industry is so much more streamlined now than before. He has to lighten up the tense mood that is starting to creep into the room seemingly through the walls and windows.

"What's going on Chris? Am I in trouble?" Justin almost playfully asks.

"When are you not in trouble? You are Justin Timberlake after all---"

"---Funny guy---"

The manager looks up at his client and smiles before saying, "No, you're not in trouble. Well---not this time anyway. The record label talked it over and decided they would like you to produce a single."

"A single---so soon?"

"Yeah. It's to get you back out there and give your fans a taste of the new sound and hopefully bring in new fans."

"When?" He asks with full attention.

"Now. We want to promote you now so you have to shoot a video."

"Wait wait. Did you guys pick a single for me too?" the pop star wonders out loud.

"No. We actually will leave that up to you but I need an answer before this meeting is over."

He thinks about it while his boss keeps on talking about marketing strategies and how to capture the global audience with this new album. Justin hardly pays attention to the strategies being explained as he is concentrating hard on which song can finally sever his ties with the pop genre while simultaneously entice fans into the new urban sound without going overboard. He wonders what song to make lead single but it torn because he likes all the ones he has recorded so far. Timberlake worries that if he makes his collaborative song with T.I. his first single, it might deter fans because it will be too far too fast. They will understand and appreciate the song with the Atlanta rapper much better if they are conditioned into his more urban flare of music beforehand so he holds back on it being the first single. It is a delicate rope to walk with one slipup being potentially detrimental to the album's success.

"I'm not sure---" the singer shakes his head confusingly.

"If anything, we can always choose it for you."

"No---no. I'll think of something."

"Everything should be taken care of in terms of the video shoot---" Christian informs him as if it will make the decision any easier.

"---So all that's left for me to do is just choose a single."

"Yes."

Timberlake thinks on it some more as the room falls silent. He wants the first single from his new album to be strong, of course, but also to be a good song for the clubs and parties. Beats and lyrics from everything he has recorded so far come to him so he can try and figure out which direction to take. The first single off any album can either create tremendous hype for the final product or drown out into nothingness. The intense pressure is on and the young singer revels in it. He remembers Timbaland telling him that the song SexyBack will be a major hit in the clubs as well as around the world because of its entrancing beat and the entwined lyrics. After reviewing all the other possibilities in his mind, Justin finally narrows it down and starts envisioning the video in his mind according to the lyrics. The concept has to match with the lyrics precisely for it to be successful in his mind.

"I'll go with SexyBack."

"It's got a good beat. Fast and intoxicating---"

"Look who produced it---of course it's hot," the former boybander reminds his boss.

"He's producing everything right?"

"The whole album."

"Okay. So SexyBack it is then?"

Justin contemplates it for one last second before answering with, "Yes. I'll have fun making this video."

"You already have ideas?"

"Something like that. Are we done here?"

"Just about---" Christian sums up the business meeting with those two words.

The meeting concludes with Timberlake's brain flourishing with more ideas than ever for his upcoming video shoot. He will have to stay in Los Angeles now because everything is basically set for him to start shooting the video in two days. The pressure is on for this first video to carry the album beyond platinum status and he is more than up for the challenge. Both men shake hands as they step out of the conference room and chat a little longer before splitting apart and going their separate ways. He leaves the building shortly after feeling both a sense of relief and a newfound one of inspiration for the video. A video brings life to a single so this concept is important and has to speak to as many people as possible. Having a single out before the album is completed is something he has never done before. Justin's eyes squint at the protruding sunlight once he is outside the tall skyscraper.

The streets are even busier than before as he quickly hops back into the ride awaiting him on the curb of the street and instructs the driver to take him back to the hotel while he sits back and relaxes. The day is pretty much clear from here on out seeing as he was not planning on staying out in LA much longer after the meeting. Timberlake has to call his publicist and let her know what part of the world he is in so she can schedule appearances for him to make and things for him to do, even if it is for only two days. This industry works like that and this precious time he can spend now promoting his first official single off his sophomore album. It is already highly anticipated by his fans because his website has been bombarded with questions of the new album's release and content and even suggestions on how to make it sound. Now it is time to give them all what they want.

Justin orders himself lunch and lets his mind run wild with new thoughts on concepts of the video and how he can make it unforgettable. SexyBack integrates core lyrics into molten a molten hot beat and now that needs to marry into a climactic visual representation on how far he has come as a solo artist. How much he has grown since his boyband days and even through his first solo album. In a short while though, he stops thinking about work altogether and his concentration centers on the basketballer Kobe Bryant. Their conversation from the night before still resonates in his head as he vividly recalls everything that was said by both of them as well as every emotion he felt. Timberlake is starting to feel them again and he is only thinking about the other man. It is comforting but unfamiliarly strange that he can feel this calm and happy by thinking about another man.

He stops and washes those thoughts aside to resume thinking about his upcoming video shoot. The Los Angeles Laker cannot be a distraction for him right now. Work has to be done and he will not even begin to let up until the album is as successful on the global market as it is in his mind. The pop star knows he wants his producer Timbaland to be a part of the shoot in some way so he decided to call him to see where he is. Because, without him, the new and more sophisticated sound may have never been created or fully realized as it is beginning to be. He is pushing Timberlake to his absolute limit in terms of sounds and lyrics and the end result shows the hard work and drive. Justin retrieves his cell phone from his pants pocket and browses through his list of recent calls to find the right number he is looking for. Another button crunch and it begins ringing.

"Yo Timberkid---what ya up to?" he seemingly screams into the phone.

"Man not so loud. Are you drunk or something?' the former N*SYNCer teases.

"Forget you! Why are you bothering me---I am a busy man after all."

"Something we both have in common. Listen---"

"---That's what I'm doing," Timbaland easily replies back.

"SexyBack is the first single. I'm shooting the video two days from now out here in LA."

"Oh word? That's a good song."

"Yeah. I want you in the video. Are you up for it?"

"Oh I don't know Timberkid. What would people think? I mean, a producer of my caliber appearing in a music video with someone like you," his voice is dripping with satire.

"Man come on! You produced this whole album."

"I know," the super producer laughs because he wanted to hear that.

"Are you in or what?"

"Okay okay---don't gotta yell. Yeah---I'll do it."

"Good. It's in two days so let me know when you get out here."

"Will do boss."

"---I am paying you after all---"

They talk for a while longer before hanging up and now more than ever, Justin is excited about the video. He can already envision it in his head and having Timbaland at his side will create an atmosphere he is sure that he alone cannot bring to the set by himself. The new Justin Timberlake is already falling into place and it feels surreal. He drops the phone on the dining room table in front of him and stares off. Days of being in the band together were some of his best in the industry so far and they have all grown so close from the experience but he cannot see himself putting out that type of bubblegum pop music anymore. It was fine when he was much younger and had platinum blonde hair because he thought it looked cool but he has grown so much during and especially after the band dismantled. Timberlake can only look to the future with fond memories of his past life.

The rest of the day is simple for him. He does not go anywhere, except to the hotel's gym to work out. The people he finds there were great in that some noticed who he was but he was never once bothered for an autograph or anything of the like. More days should be like this. He can no longer even walk into a gas station to buy a quick drink without being hounded and his privacy ripped to shreds. The world feels a sense of entitlement to know every intimate detail of his personal life because they buy his music or come to see him in concert. It does not work like that. The stage Justin Timberlake and the real man behind the performer share many qualities together but there are differences between them. The performer inside him basks in and craves the limelight while his regular self is a little more reserved and shy, especially when it comes to relationships. The day proves to be relaxing is so many ways.

When blackness steals all the light away, the songster is relaxing on the sofa in the great room of his suite watching TV. He took a short nap earlier in the day for his body to catch up on rest and even found some inspiration to write lyrics. A concept and hook is written down on paper but it still needs a lot of work before it can become an official song. On TV, Justin saw two of his videos from the past as well as one from his days with N*SYNC. Back when he had that curly hair and the same boyish grin as he does today. He has grown so much but some things, like his smile, will stay with him forever. He reminisces about all of them before turning his attention to the TV once again. It is around eight when he hears a loud knock at the front door. Timberlake's eyes dart over to it and he stays still for a moment wondering who it could be as he is not expecting anyone.

"Who is it?" the slightly anxious singer calls from the sofa.

"Room service," a dark voice replied from behind the thick wooden door.

"I didn't order any room service---" he says under his breath.

The former N*SYNCer lowers the volume on the TV in front of him and continues to look at the door only feet away from him. He gets up from the sofa and cautiously approaches the door to see who it is and what is going on. Looking through the peephole, he cannot recognize the person on the other side. It could be a rabid fan that somehow managed to figure out he is staying here and slip past hotel security. This extreme sense of entitlement is what turns normal fans into dangerous stalkers without any moral senses. Timberlake remains still and contemplates opening the door or calling for security when there is another, slightly lower knock this time. Looking out again, he still sees nothing and ends up going for it rather than cause uproar in the hotel. Justin swings the door open and sees that Kobe Bryant is looking back at him and smiling serenely. It is silent for a while and his eyes close with relief.

"I'm sorry sir---the kitchen is out of fries," the baller continues with his smile.

"Kobe---where---what are you doing here?" Justin recovers from his mind's thoughts to deliver.

"Aren't you going to invite me in or do you want to talk out here?"

"No---come in. Come in---"

Kobe enters the room and there is immediately weirdness there. Neither is sure of what to do next. Since everything is still so new to both of them, they are unsure of whether they should hug or kiss or even hold hands. Their relationship is still far from any type of description or labels so Justin is not certain how to greet the basketball star. Nerves build inside but his entire body feels calm and carefree. The awkwardness that lingers in the air increases and still neither man says or does anything. It cannot always be like this but it will take a lot of adjusting. The songster is happy to see another man and his body does not know how to entirely deal with that yet. But he does know that he wants Bryant here. He wants to be close to the other man. Their eyes are locked together and Timberlake finally works up nerve to say something but it is lost to him a second later. Only a smile happens.

"This is the third hotel I called to find out where you were staying," Kobe then says as a way to ease the tension between them.

"They gave up information just like that?"

"I can be persuasive when I want to be---" he replies back. "You feel weird."

"---Yeah---"

"It's okay. I do too---a little bit."

Justin sighs as he leads them to the sofa he was just sitting on by himself and they both sit. The quietness is maddening as he tries his best to come up with something to say to get over this awkward phase but nothing happens. His mind seems to be void of all thoughts and actions. The man next to him looks so good and he does not know how he managed to surprise him like this. He is supposed to be in Chicago and Timberlake wonders how many plans he had to cancel to do this. A twinge of guilt surfaces and he tries his best to swallow it but it is hard. Bryant looks around and keeps his cool demeanor but nerves are there as well. All he knows is that he wants to kiss those soft pink lips badly but he would never willingly force himself on the young singer. If something is to happen then they both have to be comfortable with it and want it as much as the other. It is too much.

"Can you be here---I mean---" Justin gets a hold of his mind and begins his thought.

"Relax Justin. Everything's taken care of. I want to be here."

"I didn't know what to say or do at the door. I didn't know if I was supposed to hug you---or kiss you---" he smiles but says uncertainly and lowly as if his confidence is slowly seeping away from him.

"Well---you're not supposed to do anything," Bryant matches his smile. "It's all on what you want to do."

"---Oh---"

"Do you want to kiss me?" Kobe stares through his blue crystals of eyes and asks.

"Yes," Timberlake answers back shortly.

"Good---because I want to kiss you too."

He waits for Justin to make the first move. He will not force anything because he does not deserve that. No deserves to be forced upon. He looks at Bryant and then their eyes lose contact for a brief second before it is met again. These nerves have to leave him because this is what he wants. He moves closer to the much taller man until their shoulders are touching and he initiates the first kiss by leaning in close and pressing his lips against Kobe's. They are so soft and warm from a man who is supposed to be rough and dominating. His eyes immediately close and he allows himself to fall deep into the blissful moment. It feels like time has stopped only around them. The baller smells so good and tastes so sweet. With his eyes still closed, Timberlake continues the kiss without fear or worry they may get caught or that it is wrong to feel this way about another man.

The kiss retains its innocence throughout its lifetime and when he breaks away, Justin feels like doing it all over again. Although he very well can, he pulls away because it is still so new to him. The former boybander initially thought that since he was in a few serious relationships in the past, this one would be easy to handle but he is having a harder time navigating thought it than expected. It is his mistake to think that a standard relationship with a woman and now a new relationship with a man would be exactly the same thing. It has to be the fact that he is involved with another man and he was comparing it to his past relationships, which have all involved women. There is no comparing the two. Of course there are differences and Timberlake is still trying to figure everything out. But he is happy. The nerves are good ones and his heart rate increases every time they are together.

They look at each other momentarily before Kobe surprises him by going in for another kiss again. He, of course, falls into it willingly and never wants this one to stop or for them to escape the perfect moment they have found themselves in for the second time of the evening. Justin's eyes are closed and his heart is thumping in his chest as he feels the baller's full lips overtake his own. When he opens his eyes after they break apart, his lips feel as if they are missing something. Bryant is looking at him with a small smile on his face so he returns one as well. Tension is still there but it is decreasing rapidly now since the kiss happened. The night's air sways against the window while both men seem to be more comfortable with the situation. It is silent though with Timberlake's eyes darting from one place to the next. He jumps when he hears his name being called out loud.

"Justin---"

"Huh?"

"I want to do it again," Kobe says to him slowly and softly.

"What---kiss me?"

"Yeah---"

"---Okay---" he trails off.

In another surprise move, Kobe Bryant reaches over and touches their hands together gently before squeezing it softly and holding it within his own. Their skin tones are so far apart in the spectrum that it is simply amazing. Justin looks down at where their hands are connected and he stares there. When he looks up, Bryant sweetly moves in and they kiss again. It is definitely better than the first two times combined. It is not possible but it is so. He leans forward when the basketball star tries to end the kiss again for their lips to stay connected for another split second before it is over again. Seeing how eager he was, the singer pulls back and is sure that he is blushing. Nothing or no one has made him feel and act the way he is currently acting. Timberlake turns his face away but Kobe does not let this happen. He guides his finger to his chin and easily tilts his head back to face each other.

"It's okay---" the NBA player serenely says.

"I don't know why I'm acting like this," he unsurely and softly replies.

"It's okay."

Nothing else is said because there isn't anything left to be said. The tension that once blanketed the room is strangling the air no longer and he feels like he can be himself. Aside from his family, Timberlake shows his true self to so few people and the fact that he feels he can trust Kobe this much after such a short time is meant to be something special. The pair talks for hours with the time floating by effortlessly. Their conversation just flows so smoothly from one topic to another and Justin is surprised to realize how much they two of them have in common. How important trust is to them and how valuable having someone to talk to truly is. His blushing is gone but he knows his cheeks are warm and he still cannot convey the right words at times. It is like he is tongue-tied and he knows he sounds crazy. Bryant's smile assures him that everything is alright though. That smile of his.

When Justin starts to get tired, he suggests they go into his room to continue watching TV and talking in there. They walk together into the private sanctuary and he immediately begins having second thoughts about it but remains open to the idea and willing to go with the flow. The room is dimly lit and creates too much f a mature ambiance for them to simply be there. It is all in his mind. It has to be. Kobe sits on a sofa in the room; he goes nowhere near the bed. Timberlake feels the weirdness seeping out of his body but hopes against everything it does not infect the room; it is the distance that is now between them. Bryant is almost across the room while he is on his bed watching TV. The conversation is light and different from what it was outside but he still remains cool. All the progress made outside will not be lost because of his fear of the unknown. This is worth pursuing.

"Are you okay?" the former N*SYNCer asks his guest when they both stop talking.

"Yeah---why?"

"I don't know."

Kobe smiles and says, "I'm fine Justin."

"Come here."

The Los Angeles Laker takes in the words before getting up and walking the length of the room, finally stopping at the bed where the other man is resting. He feels nerves running through his body but does not know why they are there because he does not get nervous. But this is different and something worth exploring is definitely here. When Justin looks at him with those blue eyes, he slowly sits on the edge of the large bed without their eyes ever falling apart or ever blinking. Noise from the TV bounces off the walls and mainly goes unnoticed by the two men who are clearly taken by one another. A subtle fear mixed with an intriguing fascination incorporated in each of their eyes. Timberlake moves from the head of the bed and follows what seems like a predetermined path down. He rests his hand on top of Kobe's as soon as he is close enough to do so. Everything is new and unknown and right.

"I like when we hold hands," the basketballer says with nothing else in his mind.

"Why did you sit over there?"

"I'm not sure---"

"I wanted you to sit over here."

"I am now," he tries to smile.

"This is too weird," Justin says in an uncomfortable voice.

"I know."

The songster is deep in thought, his mind racing with more questions and scenarios than answers. He constantly asks himself why, at times, things are still so awkward between them. It is almost like he cannot bring himself to like Kobe. Something feels like its stopping him from going all the way. Justin wonders what he is thinking and more importantly, what he is feeling. Everything between them is unspoken. He tries to put all that aside, if only for tonight and completely loosen up. This is not who he is, at least not to this extreme. But finally being able to admit that he is gay and accepting it has been two completely different aspects altogether. That is what is blocking him from letting go and allowing Bryant to get closer to him. All he knows is straight relationships but he wants the baller so bad. Timberlake wants to figure out where this leads and be at peace with himself being gay.

"Do you have to leave?" Timberlake asks into dead air.

"What time is it?"

"I mean---were you planning to leave?"

"Yes," he hears the other man answer his question.

"So you have to leave?"

"I don't have to---"

"---Stay here---with me," Justin words interrupt him.

"---I---"

"You don't have to if you don't want to."

"But Justin---" he falters, then stops. "It's not that I don't want to---"

"We won't do anything. I don't think I'm ready for that---" the singing star says honestly.

"I'm not either. I don't want to rush this. That's why I didn't know how to respond earlier."

"I want you near me. I like when you're near me."

The tension is being relieved from the air once again when a true emotion is revealed. It is something about them being in the same room with one another that makes him feel so special and not like the self he puts up for the world. The veneer begins to peel back and Bryant can see him as a real person with true feelings, hopes, and dreams just like everyone else. Justin wants Kobe to sleep on the same bed as him to see what it would be like. He wants his strong arms around him to protect him when they sleep. He does not want intercourse or anything sexual for that matter because it is not the right time. Timberlake is scared of that prospect of their relationship at this stage in time but wonders what it would be like to be with him. To be with another man. The superstar just wants someone to hold him and he wants to see the basketball legend when he wakes up tomorrow morning. It will be innocent.

"Justin---are you sure?"

"Yes. I want to know what it feels like---" the former N*SYNCer truthfully responds.

"What?"

"I'm not sure---" he mysteriously answers.

Kobe looks at him and then down to where their hands are connected together. He wants to spend the night here too but he does not want Justin to think that he is eager to move too fast, as most of the world believes he does due to the press. The image the media created and maintains of him and his actual self are two different people completely. It is better just left alone because the media will always have their own opinions on how celebrities behave or who they truly are when they know absolutely nothing. He suspects the very same holds true of Justin Timberlake and vows only to get to know the person behind the fašade. The real man. When both become more comfortable with the idea, Kobe Bryant takes off his shoes and socks before gently lying on the overly large bed next to him. The television is on but has never been interesting in the entire time they have been in here together.

Their attention is on each other and as Timberlake turns to face him, a sudden urge comes over him. The kiss he initiates is passionate but sweet at the same time and feels different from the ones before. Bryant is caught by it but it is a welcoming and wanted distraction. Suddenly, the prospect of sex seems all too real for both and he wants Justin to back off before things go too far and he cannot control his actions. And he knows he will be unable to control himself if things are pushed too far. He cannot stay mad at the man he is kissing though; he does not have the heart to either. Sex is a frightening idea at this stage of their relationship. Neither has been intimate with another man before and although they know what to do, everybody does, it is still a huge step to take and taking that step could potentially lock them in a serious and intimate relationship. That prospect does not seem worth it right now.

Timberlake wants someone to cuddle with. Even though his hormones are uneven and flowing profusely throughout his body, he knows he will not allow it to get that far. They are not ready to take that step. He will be nervous when they are though; the pop star starts feeling it from now. You're getting ahead of yourself. Stop---stop---stop. He tries to clear his mind and enjoy the kiss. He doubts he will ever get tired of kissing this man because of how good he is at it. Kobe's fingers gently caressing his face sends a small shiver down his spine and produces a few goosebumps on his chest and forearms. They are lying on a bed kissing one another. The thought is floating around in his head but it has not sunk in yet that it is really happening. It feels so good though. Justin does not even hear the TV anymore as all his concentration is on the kiss and trying to find ways to get even more out of it.

The pop star uses his tongue to gently lick Bryant's lips and he is greeted by another tongue a short while later. It morphs into a more passionate dance within only a few seconds. Their two tongues play with one another in a sinfully sexy game as the kiss becomes one that could potentially get each man into so much trouble with the other. Things are passing him by and he cannot slow down and it scares him. It feels like he is in a black tunnel travelling so fast though it that the lights on either side are merely visibly blurs of color in rapid succession. Timberlake is starting to think and feel things that he should not; things that he was taught to be wrong. Maybe these beliefs from his childhood are what make him agitated and scared at what he is doing. Justin becomes a little anxious and tense when blood is allowed back into his brain and he immediately pulls away and opens his eyes.

"Are you okay?" Kobe's voice taps against his eardrums.

"---I wasn't expecting that---"

"The kiss?"

"Yeah," he sighs and looks anywhere in the vast room but in the other man's eyes.

"Hey---it's okay. No pressure remember---"

"Yeah."

"Do you still want me to stay here for the night?"

Justin does not think about this and answers in a boyish voice, "Yes."

"Okay."

The sensations he feel inside is making him go crazy. That and the fact that he has no idea what Bryant is feeling or thinking is making him feel unsure of himself and his actions. They end up kissing again but Justin does not pull away this time because his body is preventing him from doing so. It only recognizes pleasure and wants more. The minute their tongues become entwined into the equation again neither flees. He can do this. The basketballer's lips are so cushiony soft yet delicately strong at the same time. The touch of his fingers is blissfully satisfying against his creamy white skin. They are in contrast so much but that will never matter. Both their bodies are pressed against each other's on the bed now and Timberlake keeps going forward because he does not want to stop the momentum again. One of Kobe's hands rubs the short hair on his head as his fingertips caress his scalp.

There is no wind in the unseen sky and exquisite light from high above enthralls the city. The city is quieter than it usually is and only a solitary silvery strand of light from the Moon invades through the glass balcony doors and finds two bodies sleeping on the large bed. His back is up against Kobe's chest with his long arm serenely wrapped around his neck while the other lies lifeless across his narrow hip. The blanket barely comes up below their hips and one pair of legs is cuddled up right in front of another much longer pair. His forehead is pressed against Timberlake's shoulder slightly and his arms are securely fastened to their respective as they both rest themselves. Something deeper is happening here. Something more evolved that can be felt on a primitive level and each begins to know it. It is too strong to deny. The sight is purely innocent. Justin is becoming his more and more.