~*~ 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 Twenty-Four

~*~ Six-sided Carousel ~*~



Of course, paparazzi lights blind the pair as the walk up to the entrance of the restaurant because the media preys on celebrities there and almost everywhere else. Justin and Chad walk together, talking and laughing as if they are alone and completely ignoring the endless stream of flashing lights. People yell and scream for them to get that special shot but nothing happens as they are immediately ushered into the restaurant and away from the rest of its patrons to have some semblance of privacy. He looks back to see the actor still sticking closely to him because the place is crowded. The security guard's trip finally comes to an end at the very back of the exclusive restaurant where a private room awaits them both. Timberlake tips the large man and they are left alone and he enters the room first. Chad looks around before he sits right across from his new friend in the spacious room to get something to eat.

"Wow---this place is nice," the star of One Tree Hill comments.

"Yeah it's cool. Are you ready to order?" Justin asks as he picks up the fancy menu from in front of him.

"In a hurry?"

"Just hungry---look for an appetizer or two we can munch on. I want something to drink."

The R&B singer orders alcohol for the table, a bottle of Krug, and wastes no time in pouring himself a glass when it arrives. He knows the public believes that he has so much time to hang out and eat out of fancy restaurants but with his increasing workload from Jive, there is barely any time life to unwind. The former model looks at him before he too pours himself a glass of the expensive liquor. It will help them to relax and enjoy the evening even more. This night is all about mellowing out and enjoying each other's company as friends. Justin's phone vibrates against his pocket and he retrieves it while keeping it under the table to look at it. Have fun. Be good. Call me later. -Kobe The phone message disappears from the screen and he becomes more relaxed now. Chad has his eyes on him but the momentary feel of quietness is overshadowed by the waitress coming to take their orders.

"I'll have the grilled steak salad with a side of the potato gratin," Murray confidently orders his dinner.

"And for you sir?" the beautiful brunette waitress addresses Justin.

"The char-grilled duck breast with the Aztec wild rice and the honey glazed sauce on the side."

"Exotic---" the young actor comments while the waitress walks away.

"You've never had duck before?'

"No---is it good?"

"Yeah---it's great. You should try it sometime," Timberlake persuades.

It is already his third glass of the liquor Krug and the bottle is dangerously close to being empty but another one just like it or something else will be ordered in its place when the first has run out. He and Chad together have almost drunk the whole bottle of the highly alcoholic beverage and they both seem to be fine. He wishes that he and Kobe Bryant could do this together but it will never be this way. Careers have to remain intact. The singing star's stomach grunts because of the lack of food and the alcohol being in his stomach alone. Another few minutes go by before Murray decides to order another bottle of the alcohol for the table. The room is private and no one except for a select few people knows that stars are within their midst so they both get the privacy they need. Justin is unsure as to why he is drinking as much as he is but it feels good. It makes him forget about everything and just relax himself.

"Damn Justin---ease up a little man. That's what---your fifth glass," he notices.

"You're the one that ordered another bottle Chad. We can't have it going to waste."

"---True. Pour me another glass then singer."

"You got it actor," Justin answers back.

Their food arrives on the table and they both dig in like a pair of kids because of their aching stomachs. By now, the alcohol in their systems has made both men tipsy but neither is drunk or within the dangerous vicinity. They are just acting goofy and being mellow because work for them both can be so stressful at times. And, being at the top can sometimes get quite lonely. The former N*SYNCer cuts a large portion of his moist duck breast and sticks it into his fork before picking it up and resting it on the side of his new friend's plate. Murray looks at him weirdly for a moment but continues to eat his food as Justin does the same. The meat goes without taste by him for the moment. He feels so comfortable around Chad; it feels like they have been friends longer than they actually have. Timberlake is really starting to trust the man sitting across from him in the private quarters of the restaurant.

"Do you like your food?" the blonde former model asks his friend.

"Yeah. Try the duck---it's good," he reminds and encourages.

"Only because I'm drunk---"

"Go ahead--- and you're not drunk."

"How do you know that?"

"Because---" the songster surmises. "You're still forming sentences that make sense."

They continue to talk and sometimes argue about the piece of foreign meat that is on Murray's plate but neither of them is taking into consideration that they should not be driving anywhere tonight. It is the furthest thing from their minds. They are not drunk but their judgment is highly impaired because of the exported fine liquor that is now on its second bottle at the private table. He finally decides to be brave and try the duck breast by cutting a small piece off and popping it into his mouth with his fork. It is not half bad. It is good actually. Chad takes another bite and then another before the large piece of moist meat is gone. It is delicious and he drinks another few sips of alcohol. Justin looks at him and smiles and nods because of his ability to experiment and try something new whereas most other people would simply refuse. It is endearing. Variety is the spice of life after all and it is proven again.

"Damn Justin---that was good," he smiles.

"I told you man. You should trust me---I have good taste."

"You do---I should start trusting you more."

"Yeah---it's good."

"How about another bottle of Krug?" the One Tree Hill actor asks.

"Nah---I've had enough. I didn't come here to get drunk and at the rate I'm going, I would be with probably one or two more drinks."

"Come on JT---we're here to relax."

Justin sighs and says, "Chad---who's going to drive us back to the hotels? You and I are tipsy."

"I got it---you worry too much."

"Don't drink anymore okay---"

"Okay father," he retorts, a little frustrated.

The young actor shoots him a mean look but it does not hold out for long and they both laugh at how silly the situation really is. But he knows Timberlake is right so he stops drinking and tries to get his body to sober up as much as it can within the remaining time they are here so that he is able to drive them both back to their hotels. At least his thinking is not as far intoxicated as it could be. His smile is overwhelmingly beautiful. It is why he was a model to begin with Justin supposes. The pair laughs and continues to finish up their respective meals as they still genuinely enjoy each other's company. When the check comes, the songster is about to grab it when Chad reaches over him and slides the check into his direction before pulling out an American Express Black card and resting it with the bill. Justin tries to reach for it but he pulls it away from his grasp and rests it on his lap underneath the table.

"Why are you paying?" the former boybander questions.

"Relax Justin. You'll get it next time okay?"

"Are you sure there's going to be a next time?"

Chad looks into his eyes before replying, "Yeah---I mean I hope so. You're a really cool guy Justin and I have fun with you."

"You're not so bad yourself Chad. I like hanging out with you too."

"So you'll get the bill next time---deal?"

"Deal. Let's get out of here."

"Yeah. I'm full. Everything was good."

Justin stands up from the table and immediately feels dizzy; it is all the alcohol now swimming in his bloodstream. They room spins for quite a few minutes before it is regained enough for him to continue to function. He uses his fingers to prop himself against the table for the support he desperately needs and his head is in the clouds or at least it feels like it is. Murray too tries to get up and he feels himself slightly dizzy but he knows he is well enough to drive. Timberlake shakes his head and drinks a glass of water from the table and Chad retrieves his card back before they walk out of the private dining room and back into the public. The exit out of the restaurant is speedy and his Porsche is already ready and waiting at the entrance by the curb. Flashes are blinding and making their heads spin even more because of the brightness and all the unwanted attention they are experiencing.

"Damn---don't they ever give up," Chad vents as he shifts the car into gear and takes off.

"Take it easy man," Justin tells him as his head is resting on the headrest of the seat and his eyes are hardly open. "Are you sure you can drive?"

"Don't worry Justin---I got it. Justin---"

He looks over to see the R&B superstar resting in the passenger seat with his head slightly tilted over to the side. He looks like he is about to pass out or just needs time to filter out some of the alcohol. Chad knows he feels like doing the same thing but he has to drive and concentrate on the road but he wants to make sure his passenger is okay. It looks like he is asleep. Neither planned to drink as much as they did at the restaurant tonight but he knows that he can make it back somewhere. The young actor is unsure if he can make it to Justin's hotel and then back to his apartment plus, he is unsure of how to get back to it in a city full of hotels and tricky turns. Right then and there, he decides it will be the safest bet to just drive them back to his apartment for the night. Timberlake would not mind and he looks too peaceful to wake. It will be this way for the safety of them both. He knows his body's limitations.

It is a longer drive than earlier but he is focused on getting them there safely so he drives within reason and also not to arise any suspicion. The car is a target because it is an expensive sports car that is meant to challenge the wind. If he were to get pulled over, it would definitely result in an arrest because he is in no shape to be driving and his head is still light but his concentration will not waver. Murray's concern is Justin and getting them to the safety of his upscale apartment. It is very rarely that he drives his sports car this cautiously but the situation requires just that. Anything can become a risk. After what seems like a longer drive than ever, Chad finally pulls into a familiar neighborhood and cuts through streets to get to his apartment in the sky. The sleek black Porsche pulls towards the back of the building and finds a parking spot by itself and the blonde actor cuts off the engine and remains still.

The former model does not want to wake his passenger but he reaches his hand over and shakes him and speaks in a dreamy tone that only exemplifies his tiredness, "-----Justin---we're here. Wake up buddy."

"---Huh---" Timberlake straightens his head and opens his eyes. "We're here?" he clears his throat. "Was I sleeping the whole time?"


"I---just wanted to rest my eyes---"

"It's cool. Let's go---" Chad responds and is about to open his door but stops.

"Where are we?" he finally notices as he looks straight outside through the windshield. "This isn't my hotel---is it?"

"---No---we're at my apartment. I don't think I can drop you off and then make it back here," he explains.

"Okay---you don't mind?"

"Are you kidding---let's go. Unless you want to sleep in the car."

"It's an idea---" Justin says as he cracks his neck because it is strained.

"Come on."

The duo steps out of the sports car and a cold gust of wind greets their faces and exposed skin. It makes Chad feel better slightly but Justin is still feeling dizzy and just wants to fall over and sleep. His body is weak and his mind feels like it is unraveling because of how hard he pushes himself for work. And everything with Bryant. His senses do not come to a conclusion as to why he drank so much earlier and he does not care to think about it at the moment. The handsome actor clicks the pad on his keychain and the car glows momentarily, signifying that it is locked and armed, and they both walk away from it and to the building via a back entrance. Two large metal doors split open and the elevator is revealed. Timberlake's eyes are open and he stares out as Murray is fiddling with keys in front of him. The doors separate again and he follows the other blonde to one of the three black doors on the floor.

Chad opens the door and moves aside to let his guest in before saying, "Make yourself at home J---"

"My head won't stop spinning."

"And you said I was drunk---at least I was able to drive us home."

"---Barely---" Justin voices his concern of the situation that just passed.

"How would you know? You were sleeping the whole time."

"Can I sit here?"

"I said to make yourself at home---"

Justin sits on a large and comfortable sofa and tries to relax himself and concentrate on making his head remain still if only for a moment. It is not working and sleep might be the only remedy to get him away from this dizzying sickness. Murray looks at him before he looks back to make sure the front door to his apartment is securely locked. It is late, almost two in the morning and he knows they are both tired. The evening turns out to be a great release for both entertainers but now rest is eminent. The apartment is nice and captures the feel of a bachelor's pad explicitly. With the exception of a few things being out of place, the apartment is immaculately clean but the singer's eyes are closed so it goes unnoticed. Chad walks into the kitchen to grab himself a bottle of water and walks into his bedroom to pick up a few things. Timberlake remains still as if he is trying to get some energy back.

His head is drowsy as well and his body is yearning for sleep. The young actor's room is as clean as the rest of his place with a few minor exceptions so he puts everything where it needs to be for right now. He sits on the edge of his large bed and removes his shoes and socks before tossing off his shirt and remaining in his tight tank top. Cold air reaches both his forearms and biceps and the windows are showing signs of frozen water. Justin's visage resting on the sofa is warm and innocent as he makes his way back into the living room with the empty bottle to discard. The water helps but not by much because sleep is the only necessity for either of them. Chad finds himself back in the kitchen so he disposes of the bottle and turns off the light because that part of the spacious apartment will not be needed for the rest of the night. He walks over to the sofa and sits next to his tired house guest.

He softly shakes the other man and calls out, "Justin---Justin. Wake up."

"What---I'm not sleeping," the singing star's voice sounds disorientated.

"Okay then---go and not sleep in my room," Chad says as he sits next to a somewhat awakened Justin.

"What---no. You don't have any guest rooms?"

"I do but you can sleep in mine and I'll sleep in one of them," Timberlake rubs his temples and tries to focus his eyes.

"No. I'll be fine---"

"Justin---you can barely stay awake. Do you really want to argue right now?" Chad asks, amused.




The former model sighs before, "I'll go and watch TV until you fall asleep. How's that?"

"I can use a guest---"

"No---let's do that."

The former N*SYNCer's mind finally forces him into agreement and he pushes Chad into the room with him so he can keep up with his end of the bargain. Justin's palms are touching the bare skin of his shoulders as he is being led into his own bedroom and they feel surprisingly warm compared to the harsh bitterness of outside. All that is missing is the snow to complete the winter wasteland motif all of New York is in. The master bedroom is furnished with expensive furniture and looks like paradise. The wooden bed frame and headboard are black with exotic carvings marked into its tapestry and the dresser and nightstand matches it. There are three mirrors hanging on the wall as well as a painting of Murray hanging right over his bed against the wall. It looks so much like him. The bed is made neatly and the large windows lead outside to a balcony that offers a wonderful view of life below.

"Aren't you sleepy?" Timberlake asks him.

"Not yet---" comes the lie. "Get in bed. I know you are."

"Turn the TV on."


Chad Michael Murray fetches the remote from the black nightstand so close to his bed and flicks on the large plasma TV resting comfortably against one wall of the large room as he notices the R&B star getting into his bed. He is fighting a lost cause because he knows he is tired. They both know it. Justin takes his shoes off and manages to get both his socks off too before his mind can no longer think or function for him. Sleep will have its way very soon. He reaches for a pillow and lies down on the cozy bed and starts watching the TV before his eyes begin to close in on his surroundings. Murray is sitting on the other side of the bed and flicking through the channels to find anything interesting to watch. Some cartoons manage to catch his eye momentarily and he yawns after he gets bored with it. The handsome blonde looks over to see Timberlake already fast asleep on his bed. Oh Justin---

He smiles to himself and looks on for a while longer before concentrating on the TV once again. Another yawn happens and his body is getting really tired now. The One Tree Hill actor feels too comfortable to just get up and head to another room; it is his bed after all. Tonight was great. He and Justin are getting to know each other and are becoming good friends. Chad feels deep down that the singer is someone he can trust and someone he definitely wants as a friend in his life. He looks over to the other side of the bed to see him slumbering. Taking a cue from that, Murray turns off the TV and rests the remote back on the black nightstand before cutting off the lamp that one lit the entire room. Darkness befalls and he drowns the lower half of his body under the blanket because he already feels the goosebumps crawling all over his skin due to the cold weather outside. It is not long before sleep surrenders him.


Morning light pours into the once dark room and recedes the blackness into the mist for another day to truly begin. Chad Michael Murray has not moved since the night before and is resting comfortably in his bed. His body is supported and pressed into the headboard of the bed and his hands are at his side while his head is gently tilted to the side. The blanket only moves slightly because of Justin's motions and the handsome actor's chin rests on his shoulder slightly. It is the same upright position as before and he looks so cute while he sleeps. The Sun may be emerging but it is still another cold day in New York City as both entertainers continue to sleep and recover from the night before. The night of drinking and becoming closer friends. Timberlake twists his body and turns to his side to face Chad while sleep still invades the room. Bustling noises from the ground go unheard and unnoticed up here.

Murray's eyes twitch as soon as the sunlight touches his sensitive lids and he lifts his hand to cover his eyes but it manages to wake him up instead. His eyes adjust to the light and they look as dreamy as ever; he yawns and then looks beside him. His neck and back shoot off an uncomfortable pain because of how he slept last night and he attempts to stretch both while looking over at his guest. Justin is facing him but he is out like a light. He skin looks so pure and his short hair is messy and unlike him. All the photo shoots have him being perfect. Chad laughs before jumping out of his bed and trying to get away. It was inappropriate. He looks at the singer as he is fully awake now so he walks to the bathroom to brush his teeth and find something for breakfast. For them both. His lightheadedness is gone and he is thinking straight; it is what scares him. Last night was the excuse. Today there is none.

In the kitchen, he finds only eggs and bread in the refrigerator; his friends ate everything yesterday so this will have to do. It will have to be eggs and toast for right now. His stomach does not care much because he is hungry. Chad starts preparing breakfast and the thoughts exit his mind. Justin moves closer to the center of the bed and eventually takes it over while his eyes are still shut serenely. He forgot to call Kobe last night. It was the alcohol. The Sun becomes too much of a bother and the young star finally forces his eyes open from his slumber. He blinks a few times and sits up on the comfortable bed and looks around. Timberlake does not recognize his surroundings and his head is still foggy from the night before. Bits and pieces are there but the puzzle is still broken. Too much to drink but he was not drunk. Something has to be triggered to find all the pieces and fit them in place.

"Damn!" the former boybander curses under his breath as he jumps out of the bed and reaches for his phone in his jacket draped on a nearby chair.

He looks through it and sees that he has no missed calls. Kobe did not call him; Justin was supposed to call last night but he did not. Time got away from him and later, he forgot or was too gone to even do so. And there is no privacy in this place. He knows where he is; he recognizes Murray's clothes that he wore last night. His shirt is on the other side of the room anyway. A few moments is granted for him to collect himself before he looks for a bathroom to at least wash his face and mouth. Timberlake feels his head refocusing right before his eyes in the mirror but his blue crystals are invaded by hints of red streaks. The almost seem bloodshot but he did not have that much to drink. They are not. The R&B star finds a nearby towel and wipes his face on it before he leaves the bathroom and mirror behind. The scent of food hits his nose and he immediately and his stomach growls in unison.

Timberlake retrieves his phone from the now messy bed and contemplates it for a long while. He wonders why Bryant did not call him. At least to see how his night went. The aroma still bothers the room and it seemingly only gets stronger. He puts the device back in the pocket it spent the night in and takes in the personal space of his new friend once more. He spent the night here. In another man's bedroom. It feels weird but they are just friends. Friends do such things all the time he imagines. The food becomes too overwhelming and his stomach leads him out of the room. It growls and grunts for more than just a smell. Justin finds himself in a beautiful upscale apartment he hardly remembers from last night. This is bad. Everything is okay until he spots the other blonde far away in the kitchen. He is in a tank top that shows off his nice broad shoulders and arms. He inches in closer and closer.

"Oh---hey---" Chad turns around and says, startled. "How long have you been there?"

"Not that long. Morning---" is the reply.

"Good morning. How did you sleep?"

"Good. Your bed is comfortable," the response is awkward.

"---Thanks. Are you hungry?"

"I am. Do you need any help or anything?"

"No no. It's just eggs and toast---my friends cleaned my fridge last night," Murray laughs in an attempt to dissolve the uneasiness both of them are obviously experiencing.

"That's good. I woke up real hungry."

"Me too. I'm done."

Justin finally crosses over into the kitchen and opens the fridge to see only a half-empty carton of milk. He usually drinks orange juice in the morning but it will have to do considering the circumstance. He is grateful for this, no matter how simple because someone else thought of doing it. To have someone make breakfast for him is something special and he is thankful for that. Chad directs him to where the glasses and he pours two full ones of milk before walking over to a nearby table at the corner of the kitchen. The star of One Tree Hill follows shortly with two plates containing the same amount of food on each and he rests one right in front of his newest friend. They are sitting across from each other at the cozy table and enjoying breakfast. A breakfast that Chad took upon himself to prepare for them both. It is so thoughtful. Timberlake slathers eggs on a piece of toast and munches it.

"Well---what do you think?" he asks with vivid eyes. "The eggs are a secret recipe my mom taught me."

"It's really good. You'll have to teach it to me sometime---" the former N*SYNCer smiles and takes a gulp of milk.

"It's got to stay in the family Justin---" the handsome actor laughs. "Do you cook?"

"A little. I'm usually so busy though."

"I am too but my parents taught me how to take care of myself from a young age so."

"That's good. You don't have to depend on anyone."

"Tell me about it."

The conversation throughout the rest of the impromptu breakfast is light but it starts to become easier for each man to open up and let their barriers of defense fall away. Almost all of the awkwardness has melted away and the pair reminisces about last night and Chad's challenges of driving home in the early hours of this morning. Breakfast is great and Justin can honestly say that he has another friend amongst him and it is a great feeling. Food is just what he needs because his head is clear and sharp once again. Any trace of alcohol from his body is gone and he is ready for the day. Murray has his eyes on the dark blonde singer across from him and both pairs of blue eyes finally meet one another's in the center. Timberlake shifts away only after a second and finishes his milk; everything else on his plate is gone. The pair finishes about the same time and takes their dishes to the kitchen.

"You want me to help you?" Justin asks, referring to the dishes in the sink.

"No---I'll wash them later. Go relax."

"I just woke up---you should be the one relaxing. You did make breakfast after all."

"I was hungry. Figured you'd be too."

"I appreciate it Chad. Thank you---" the songster gratifies as their eyes meet again.

"You're welcome. I'm glad you liked it."

"I did. Move---I'm going to wash the dishes---"

Murray sighs, "Justin---no. It's okay man."

"Move over!"

He pushes himself further into the kitchen and uses the weight of his body to drive Chad away from the sink so he can start cleaning up. He hears the other man laugh and just look at him as the find themselves in a more comfortable place than they have been all morning. It is a blessing. Together, the pair makes short work of the mess in the kitchen and Justin sneaks another glass of milk because he is thirsty. His throat is dry and the rich liquid coats it and stomach once again. The glass is washed and put away to dry and he feels the actor's body close to his. Their forearms are touching because they are both by the sink and hairs on each forearm mingle and brush up against one another. Justin finishes and grabs a paper towel to dry his wet hands before he steps aside and props himself against the wall to let Chad finish straighten up his kitchen. He seems to be am immaculately clean guy. Just like him.

"I didn't mean to put you out like that last night," he starts to recall the night's past and says into the quiet kitchen.

"What---no. It's cool. I wanted you to be comfortable."

"Sorry. I'm not sure why I drank that much last night. I didn't mean to."

Chad looks at him as he rips off a paper towel from the roll hanging in the air and says, "Justin it's okay. We were having a good time so I understand. And don't forget, I had more than a few myself too. I'm not here to judge you---especially since I had about the same to drink too."

"Were you drunk last night when you drove us home?"

"No. But I didn't want to drive more than I had to. I was buzzed. Neither of us was drunk. I would've failed a sobriety test though," Murray laughs.

"Where'd you sleep last night?"

He hesitates for a moment before, "My bed."


"I was watching TV and you fell asleep and I must've fallen asleep after."

"It's cool. It's your room after all," the former N*SYNCer states the known fact.

"You're okay aren't you?"

"Yeah---why wouldn't I be?"

"Because---" Murray lingers while he moves closer to the other blonde. "I don't know."



The two are very close to each other now that awkwardness creeps right back into the apartment. He is still against the wall with Chad being close to his body and mind. His eyes show confusion and excitement and intrigue all in one. The signal is unknown but time around them seems to have reached a stalemate. A cruel joke played by time and fate. Murray extends his hand and plants it so close to Justin's head but it still is not touching as their eyes never waver. His hand pressed into the wall is for support but the true reason is shrouded for now. It is an uncomfortable position to be in but neither backs off because something is here and it is evident now more than ever. Before was denial and uncertainty but that stage is long gone at this time. Intense stares and strong body language does all the talking even though everything else is still and in its place. The language screams at them both.

Chad's brain pushes him forward and it is dangerous because he has had feelings before but never acted on them. They have always been suppressed because of his career and fear of being found out. These are stronger than he has ever felt though and warrants a chance to be experienced. A chance to be felt. With hesitation and frightfulness and passion, the blonde actor propels further than he ever has to another man and aims straight for Justin's lips. He rests there for a second, afraid to move but when he feels something back he goes on and kisses his new friend. Timberlake is completely thrown by this but his eyes close and his lips accept something that is sacred but wrong. Kobe Bryant has to be on his mind to stop this. It will always be wrong but at the time, his young mind does not register it is such. All that registers is pleasure and the wanting of more. Everyone wants to feel wanted.

Thoughts and emotions fly away and go haywire as this continues to happen and the soft assault becomes prominently factual in reality. It is pure sin but that is what makes it taste so good. The R&B singer's hands are dead at his sides and the rest of his body uses the wall as its means of life support because his body is frozen and tensed up. It only remains innocent because the whole point of this is to explore. It is nothing sexual. Murray's free hand rests freely against his side while his other digs deeper and harder into the kitchen wall of his apartment. Fingernails hurt and fingers are tense but it feels damn good. If this is what it takes then so be it. Justin does his share by kissing back even though he should not be. This is not happening but it is in reality and it will create a mess as soon as the initial magic is over. And the magic will be over when the kiss stops. This should not be happening but it is.

When he is finally able to open his eyes, the reality shocks him hard and confirms what his brain already knows to be true. His new friend is the one kissing him with those soft pink lips and they feel right pressed into his own. It will be a secret; it can be nothing else. Keeping his eyes open only enhances his confusion so they close once again where he can avoid it for the time being. It is a refuge from everything. But so are Chad's lips. So is his body pressed so close to Justin's. No! Kobe! What am I doing! Screaming over and over in his head, this is the only thing that makes sense but his brain will not let him pull away. This is completely out of his mind now. Their lips are together. They are sharing a kiss that is seemingly going on forever. The handsome former model uses his lips to subdue Timberlake's one last time before he breaks away and opens his eyes. Then they finally stare at each other.

"Justin I've wanted to do that for a while now---" he confesses while his dreamy eyes stare into the songster's blue and confused ones.

"Why?" his voice is unsure and low while he looks down at the ground.

"I don't---know. I---felt it."

He falls into the same habit as before because it is so easy for him to. He has to run but this is his new friend. But he cannot and is unable deal with this right now and the guilt that he is in a relationship with someone else is sinking in even deeper and causing more damage by the second. The walls are closing in on Timberlake here and he has to get out of this place and away from this man. It is a reckless day already and the morning is not even over yet. The former N*SYNCer's eyes are still attached to the ground and if he could have his way, it would stay like this until he knew better what to do or say or even feel or think. Chad senses the hesitation and discomfort and it makes him step back and evaluate what just happened. What he just did. Everything converged together and he gave in to it all. He kissed another man and all he wants is for it to happen again. And again because he is attracted.

"Don't stay so quiet. Say something J---" the One Tree Hill actor almost pleads.

"Why'd you---do that?"

"So you didn't punch me in the face---does that mean you liked it---" the sexy actor concludes but it is in no way cocky.

"I---have to go. I have a lot to do today---" Timberlake ups and says while he moves away from the devilish corner.


Justin feels his increased heartbeat and pulse even more pronounced as he walks back to the large room he spent last night in to gather what is his to run away. Far away from what just happened. He still has no idea why Chad kissed him and is fighting with why he allowed it to continue for as long as it did. It felt like his brain was not thinking about Kobe. It should have though, especially now when everything is still so difficult and raw between them. When things still need to be worked out and talked through. Now Murray being in the picture complicates things that much more. The R&B crooner gathers up his jacket, making sure the cell phone is tucked serenely in its place, and slips it on before looking around to see if he has everything. He is alone in the room that is not his. Timberlake puts both hands in either pocket of his jacket and starts to make his way out of the lonely room.

"Hey---just answer me one thing," Chad requests as he grabs the former N*SYNCer's arm before he passes him completely. "I didn't lose my friend did I? I wanted to do it bad Justin but if I made you uncomfortable then I'm sorry. I couldn't help it."

"---I really have to go man---" he replies urgently as he gently tugs his arm away from its trap.

"Okay. Do you need me to drive you back to your hotel?"

"It's cool. I'll see you later."

"I am sorry Justin."


It is the only think he can think of to say while he opens the door and gets ready to run out of yet another problem he is facing now. The habitual behavior that is neither helpful nor worth it in the end. It is only selfish procrastination but the singing star can think of nothing else. He honestly had no idea Chad was into him in such a way and did not think he was into men at all but they kissed. Until they kissed. And it was good. There is no point in denying it. It feels cold between them as Justin passes him and walks out the open door. He wants to look back to let Murray know that he is mainly upset and scared of himself than anything else but he cannot or will not do so. It is better this way. Looking back will only cause more doubts and self-inflicted confusion. He stands in the doorway and watches as Timberlake disappears from his apartment and down the elevator. Damn it! Justin---