~*~ 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 Forty-Seven

~*~ Convoluted Redness Within ~*~



Having Jessica at the game with him was meant to be a distraction to him but Justin is becoming increasingly aware that he is changing. He has never in his life wished anyone was hurt but when Kobe was distracted and his game showed it, he wished it was because he was hurt. All the pain and lies are blinding him to the man he once was. The man he wants to be again. Now he is no better because his only concern is getting revenge and he is going about it by lying to Jessica Biel as well as the whole world, who thinks they are in a serious relationship. The former boybander really needs to stop and analyze what he is doing because one very special person will get hurt if it were to ever get out. But his head is too clouded and his heart too guarded to stop and consider the remote consequences of his actions. Justin is only being selfish and wanting his own needs.

Outward appearances are deceiving because he looks and is acting the same as he always did. No one suspects a thing about his true hurt and anger because he hides it extremely well. Sex with his girlfriend happens as often as she wants it and when their schedules permit it and he is the master of making her feel like she is the only one for him. Justin does not know that this road of revenge and betrayal he is on will only lead to a dead end with no way of turning back. Or maybe he does and simply refuses to accept it and move on with his life. Kobe Bryant will never be his again. They will never have the relationship that once made them both feel so special and safe. All the trust is gone now and all the singing star is left with are broken memories and promises. And they fuel his rage. He is starting to feel like a psychopath because he is able to function so well in society but dark thoughts consume him.

She is away shooting another movie in Australia and he is still coasting on the success of his album. Jive will finalize the plans of a tour soon because there is no way they would not capitalize on his global success and the chance to bring in more money. While on tour, Timberlake will have less time to spend with his girlfriend so that will be a positive. She has no idea how horribly he is using her for his own selfish means. There will be plenty of time to feel guilt after Kobe is broken and bleeding. If he is able to feel that emotion anymore anyway. Everything has snowballed together to create a black hole where his heart is supposed to be. From Bryant breaking his heart to his still raw feelings about his father, Justin biggest threat to himself is his own self. Holding everything in and resonating in all this negativity will only hurt him in the end. He has to find a way to move past the breakup.

The Sun remains low in the skies of Miami and threatens to put itself out sooner or later as he is in the shower letting water touch him intimately. He has to attend a celebrity function at the Viceroy Hotel in the heart of South Beach though he really does not care for it. Another chance to network and see what his peers' latest projects are and he also might find inspiration for his next project. Whether it is a collaboration or a role in a movie, people from all walks of entertainment attend these parties. Justin shakes water out of his hair while still in the shower before stepping out and grabbing a towel to dry himself off. He has not really looked himself in the mirror for a long time because some part of him knows he is wrong in what he is doing. But that will not be thought about tonight. If he could be featured on a collaboration with someone then his status will be solidified even more. Even more.

In the hotel suite the R&B crooner emerges from the bathroom to begin getting ready by putting lotion on his naked body and arms. He pulls up a pair of boxers and gets a pair of jet black Armani jeans on that fit his lower body just right. A long sleeve midnight blue shirt covers his pale chest and instantly enhances his handsome features because blue is his color. His skin shines with a dramatic flair whenever he wears the color. Timberlake opts to leave the shirt dangling outside and makes his way over to the bed to sit on it and put on his sneakers. A brand new and all black pair of Jordans covers his feet and brings him one step closer to a complete look. Maybe tonight will be fun and he will go out clubbing after. Justin has to keep an open mind about tonight's event even though he is not interested in going. It will give him a chance to get out of his own head and away from his self-inflicted negativity.

"Dammit!" the songster exclaims when the remote control from the TV accidentally falls on his finger.

He puts it up to his lips to suck on it for a little while before the momentary pain subsides and he continues getting dressed to finish up and head out the door. A belt holds the already fitted jeans against his waist even more and he returns to the bathroom to slick some gel into his short hair. A few sprits of cologne later and he is mostly ready to leave. The hotel calls to inform the superstar that a car is waiting for him downstairs and he wanders around the suite one last time to make sure he has everything. His wallet is secure in his back pocket while his phone remains in his front one. Timberlake ties a giant watch on his hand and he leaves the room behind to attend the party with his peers at the Viceroy hotel. Maybe something interesting will happen or he will meet someone to just relax with. Justin has been so guarded and careful lately that all the stress is driving his body into overdrive mode.

There will be pictures and questions of course. There are always pictures and questions whenever he steps on the red carpet and they are almost never about work. It is a tiring cycle but the former N*SYNCer has to take it in stride because this is his job. The car ride over is silent and he knows they are almost there when he sees two large spotlights dancing against the night's sky. It is a classic but it works. He finishes sending out a text message to his publicist ensuring that he has made it to the event and snuggles the device back into the casing of his front pocket. Justin is glad that his girlfriend is halfway across the world because them being here together would only incite a media frenzy that he is in no mood for right now. Tonight he wants to be as low-key as possible and fly under the radar. The car pulls to a complete stop in front of the sharks and he waits for the door to open to him to get out.

"Justin! Justin! Over here! Over here Justin!" a bevy of reporters and cameramen call him over and immediately begin snapping pictures. "Where's Jessica?"

"Ugh---" he sighs as he begins the line.

Timberlake smiles only when he feels like it as picture flashes from every angle is taken and they are still obnoxiously calling his name and trying to pry into his personal life in such a public forum. They are paid to get the scoop or picture so he does not fault them because this is controlled. When they start the following and snapping pictures of private moments, then it becomes dangerous. For now though, the R&B crooner gives them what they want in terms of pictures but he has to be careful about the questions about his girlfriend. He wants the keep them in the paper as often as possible so he will stop and talk to a few reporters about her but only give them enough to keep them and the world wanting more. Always wanting more. Justin walks over to the final batch of photographers until he leaves all the lights and enters the reporters' sanctum. He will be dodgy but give them little scraps as well.

"Justin---E! News," a short reporter addresses him.

"How's it going?" Timberlake stands close to the railing and greets.

"Good and you?"

"Great. Just came out to relax."

"So the rumor is that there is a tour in the works to follow up your successful album. Can you comment on that for your fans?"

"Nothing has been inked yet but there are talks definitely. I will be out on the road eventually."

"Any plans to do movies?"

"If the right role comes along then sure---why not?" he is cool and coy as he waits for the questions he knows are coming.

"So where is Jessica tonight? How's she doing?"

Justin smiles because the situation is exactly the way he wants it to be and, "She's---off shooting a movie. We're good."

"Really?" the reporter is persistent. "Because the rumor on the street is that you two are having problems---"

This is exactly what he needs. To keep the world guessing on the status of their relationship and not giving too much away. The singing superstar smiles his patent smile and informs the reporter that he has to go inside already. Other reporters heard the question and are now in a maniac frenzy to get answers. They scream and shout his name as he walks past all of them to enter the hotel and the party. A sly grin hangs on his face as he leaves all the noise behind and walks in to the security of the building. Justin has to almost stop himself from laughing and agrees that little impromptu interview is one of his most fun ones so far. Event planners guide him through the hotel and to the spacious deck of the spectacular hotel where he is needed. They are in a large room that opens up outside to the pool and lights are everywhere. The DJ is already blasting music and many of his peers are already mingling.

He looks around and takes a deep breath and walks deeper into the venue to eventually get lost from the beginning. There are four open bars with two of them being on the inside while the other two are on either side of the pool outside. Timberlake walks around and sees Kim Kardashian and her two sisters Kourtney and Khlo sitting at a table and laughing with one another. They have been at a lot of industry parties as of late but they have never formally met. Wanting to be outside and by the pool, the former boybander bypasses the trio and walks through the large opening to be poolside. The night is warm and the air is humid but he will remain out here and attempt to unwind for a couple of hours. This might be just what he needs to take the edge off and forget about Kobe Bryant. And even Jessica Biel because keeping up with the charade of a relationship is sometimes exhausting and tiring.

Justin walks around the entire pool as if he is lost or has nowhere to go. Since being here, he has not associated himself with anyone. There are so many people here and he knows he will begin talking to other at some point in the evening so it is not a big deal. He ends up at one of the bars and sits on a stool to order a drink. They have been here together before. In this city with no one ever linking them together. He tells himself he is over the whole situation but saying it out loud does not necessarily make it true. The drink arrives and the songster gulps it down until it is gone before ordering another one and looking back at the party to see if there is anyone he wants to talk to. Many celebrities greet him at the bar as they get drinks and move on but he turns back to face the bartender and has himself another drink. Timberlake is responding to his girlfriend's text when someone sits next to him.

"I thought that was you Timberkid," the producer Timbaland taps his back and greets loudly over the music.

"Hey. What's going on man?" Timberlake catches his larger hand in a shake and smile. "It's been a while."

"Yeah. A nigga's down in the trenches with you creating a hit album and then I'm all forgotten about. You don't write. You don't call---"

"You're busier than me so I have no idea what you're talking about."

"Uhuh. I'll have what the kid here is having," he motions to the drink in Justin's hand. "By the way, what is that?"

"Amaretto on the rocks," comes the answer.

"Well that's too soft for me. Let me get a bottle of your top shelf tequila for me and my friend here," he puts his hand around the singer's shoulder. "And two shot glasses. I'm in that mood."

"Forget you man!"

At least he can spend some time with someone he feels comfortable with. During the process of making the album, the pair of them did get very close, and sometimes to the point where they would finish each other's lyrics. The bond between them was tight but work got in the way like it always does. They are still great friends but Justin knows they have not spoken to each other as much as they should have over the past months and he feels regret. It is largely because of this man that his album turned out so scorching hot and now everybody in the world wants a piece of him. The bartender returns to the duo with an ornate bottle of Gran Centenario tequila as well as two separate shot glasses as per requested. Timbaland's eyes light up like a child's does on Christmas morning when he begins opening the bottle. And he knows he is not determined to drink the bottle by himself so the look starts.

"What?" the R&B crooner asks when he knows the eyes are on him.

"I know you're not going to let me drink by myself."

"I'm already drinking."

There is just something about the more muscular man that makes him laugh. All the time they were in the studio together, most of the time was wasted because they would crack jokes and play pranks on one another. He is like an older brother or a best friend and Justin smiles when the bottle opens and liquid pours out onto one of the glasses. Timbaland sucks it down in one breath and is ready for another only a moment later. The party is in full swing with many people approaching the bar to get drinks and talking to each other about roles and tours and collaborations he suspects. It is a great way to get exposure but the former N*SYNCer is starting to realize that these events can be shallow as well. This is evident because there are quite a few reality stars present that have no real talent but being obnoxious in front of cameras. These events are becoming more diluted and with less real talent.

"Another one," Timberlake informs the passing by bartender.

"No---no. You're drinking what I'm drinking. That is why I got two shot glasses. Don't mind him bro," the mega producer waves the order away. "Get your glass."

"Yeah screw it. Give me a shot."

"That's what I'm talking about. Loosen up and relax."

The steady stream of liquid fills the small glass and he looks it over only momentarily before they clink their glasses together and each take the strong shot. It burns and soothes at the very same time as it goes down and enters his stomach. He uncharacteristically yells out as the hot liquid invades his body and the man next to him smiles and nods his approval. Justin has no idea where the scream came from but it felt and continues to feel good to get out of his mind and do something that is not like him. Now he does not have to worry about hurting anyone because Kobe Bryant is out of his life and Jessica Biel provides nothing more than a media image for him. A confirmation to the world that he loves only women. He requests another shot and it is granted to him; the bottle is quickly becoming empty. Timberlake swallows the latest one with greater ease but still feels it sting in his throat.

"Another one. Hit me again Timbo---" the singing star puts his shot glass close to the bottle of alcohol and requests.

"Damn Timberkid. You sure not the same dude that approached me to collaborate with you so long ago," he notices the change.

"I'm sure not."

"Aight---if you say so."

"I do. So let it flow."

His small glass fills up with the top brand tequila and it does not take long for it to disappear once again. Timberland looks at him as if he does not know the man sitting next to him but he himself takes another shot and enjoys every minute of it. Their shared bottle is dangerously close to being empty but both men seems like they are just getting started. With the alcohol and the party. Timberlake is unraveling now and leaving his hectic and complicated life at the proverbial door to enjoy himself as well as his company. The pair continues to talk and laugh and seem to be the life of the party outside by the pool. Now the likes of Enrique Iglesias and Flo Rida are at the party and plenty of people are on the dance floor hanging on the DJ's every beat. The music is intoxicating and Justin takes another shot and slams the glass back onto the bar, almost breaking it. He is past tipsy but not drunk.

"Wow. Relax there man. You're about to break the glass," the producer says.

"No I'm good. Just got a little excited there," he sounds dreamy and not sober anymore.

"I think that's enough for you Timberkid."

"No man. I need this right now. Give me another."

"No. Maybe later."

Justin annoyingly asks, "What are you my dad? Let me relax. You're more of the party animal than I am anyway."

"What the hell?"

He lets his grip on the bottle loose and the former N*SYNCer pours another shot to empty the bottle. The large and muscular man only looks at him to wonder what is wrong. The Justin Timberlake he knows is by no means conservative, but he is not this wild either. And especially with alcohol. But it feels weird to him to ask the questions he really wants to so he keeps them to himself and just looks after him. Something is definitely going on. Finally, he orders an orange juice from the bartender and remains sipping it. Maybe pushing him was a bad idea. Timberlake looks around and feels his head already in the clouds so hopefully the juice will bring him back down to the planet. But he is feeling liberated and worry-free for the first time in months. He does not have to plan to get revenge. Or trick an innocent girl into a ravenous paparazzi relationship. He does not have to think about anything.

"Get on the turntables," Justin looks over to his friend and tells him. "Let's give these people a show!"

"What? You're not serious."

"Why not? I'm buzzed. You are too. It's the best time to give a concert."

"Just buzzed huh?" the super producer notices. "Okay."

"Let's go. Don't get shy on me now."

"Me shy? Never. Let's go entertain these people then."

Justin gets more liquid confidence through one last mixed cocktail before leaving the bar with his producer to the DJ's station. The concert will happen because he wants it to. And these people are his peers and he is just in the mood to entertain them. It is mainly the liquor taking over but he also has something to prove to Timbaland. He remembers their first meeting well and how soft he was. Especially with the alcohol. But no more. It is his past due time to toughen up and to stop relying on others. Or love. The R&B crooner walks through the crowd until they both reach the DJ and his turntables. The muscular producer informs the disc jockey of their plan and he looks below his station for a mic to give to Timberlake. There is little commotion at first but then guests start looking in their direction to see what is going on. They are all looking at him. This party suddenly becomes interesting in every way.

He flicks on the mic and screams into it, "You ready for some live music?"

The entire crowd is intrigued now as all the attention is on him; he is the life of the party. They cheer loudly at his earlier question and more of his peers are coming outside by the pool to where the makeshift stage is. In the meantime, the DJ has stepped back and the producer is busy finding the appropriate records and plugging cords into amps and speakers to make sure they are heard. This is so crazy and not like him but this edgier Timberlake has the crowd hanging on his every word while he waits for everything to get prepared behind the scenes. Timbaland retrieves a pair of large headphones as he is almost ready to put on the impromptu concert. All eyes are on him and this is not what he had in mind when he decided to come to this party. But Justin is tired of always following the rules and playing it safe. Playing it safe got his heart broken and a love diminished. It is enough now and he feels it.

"I'm ready Timberkid. SexyBack?" he wants to make sure because it is the first song he has access to.

"You know it."

"Make it great."

There is murmuring in the vast crowd until it is drowned out by familiar beat that the whole world knows by now. That is how catchy his lead single has been and people immediately begin singing even before he has a chance to. So many of his peers and entertainment friends singing his track for him. He instantly knows that this is the right move even though he had to consume so much alcohol to loosen up enough to do this. The mega producer is behind him and on the turn tables modifying his original beat to suit the situation as everyone watches them. Drinks are in their hands and selected members of the paparazzi are allowed inside to photograph the event for the magazines and their attention is on him as well. Justin knows the performance is going well and when he looks back to see Timbaland smile at him, he knows they are good. The edgy makeshift remix makes them want to lace it down.

"I'm bringing---" he sings into the mic and then points it towards the populace.

"SexyBack!" they all sing back.

They are all in the palm of his hand and he feels powerful. It is one thing to have unknown fans following his every step but to have his peers and other celebrities hanging on his every move gives him a taste of the power he thought he lost so long ago. It will never be enough for what he believes Kobe took from him but it is a start. And Justin is so close to bringing the basketballer to his knees that he can taste it. It is coursing through his blood. And this is what it has always been about since he realized that he was unable to pick up the pieces and fix the shattered shards of his heart. He never deserved him. He never deserved to be treated that way and now retribution is a must. The R&B songster imitates some of the moves, the ones he remembers anyway, on the small stage to entertain the masses even more. If there is one thing he is sure of aside from his singing, it is his ability to entertain people.

No one is going to keep him down. And if it means making his heart stone to not feel this way anymore then so be it. Timberlake was nothing but good to him and he does not deserve to feel the way he is feeling right now. But time will heal everything and when Kobe Bryant's heart breaks the same way, the process will be sped up extremely quicker. Vengeance drives him these days and getting a taste of power and control from this crowd reminds him to keep going forward and to neglect anyone who has or will be hurt in his quest. The producer spins like a pro and he is even sounding better than the professional DJ hired to play the party. Justin easily segues into the next song on deck and everyone is still focused on him. The Kardashian girls are in the front smiling and dancing and taking pictures on their camera phones. What Goes Around plays and he slows it down ever so slightly for them.

This song might not have been the best choice to entertain them with because it is making him think about his ex boyfriend and how demented their relationship is now. And the lyrics of the song explain how he feels and how badly he wants to forget what Kobe did to him to get back at him. Or worse. Maybe he should tell her. Maybe he should curse his soul unlimited and cross that line. His life would definitely be ruined then. It has to be the alcohol talking. Timberlake is almost to the end of the song and he gives Timbaland a look to signify speeding up the beat to remix his newest single even further for this performance. He starts beatboxing to show off his urban side and the crowd cheers for him and his skills. He really gets into it and shows off something most people are unable to do. The former N*SYNCer holds the mic close to his lips to emphasize his sounds and he can hear the positive reception.

He finishes the more vindictive part of the song, talking it out instead of singing it and he knows he sounds convincing doing so. It lends more authenticity to the performance and he does feel some of the twisted emotions he is singing through lyrics. It is ironic because he and the mega producer behind him fought about this song being on the album because he did not want it but now he is experiencing it firsthand. No one can know this however. And finally, the performance is over and they all applaud him for livening up the party. Justin rests the mic on the stand next to the turntables and he and Timbaland grip their hands and hug in front of everyone to officially end the small concert. He is smiling and happy but wants another drink because his throat is dry and feels jagged. He waves and bows one last time before jumping off the stage walking off feeling extremely satisfied with himself. A performance does that.

"Nice performance Timberkid," the muscular producer compliments.

"Nice remixes back there. I'm thinking about doing a remix album. Come on---let's go to the bar."

"Again? Damn man."

"What---I'm thirsty. Plus, we should congratulate ourselves for your show back there," Timberlake tries to convince the other man to have another drink with him.


"Come on."

Justin gets behind the very muscular and built man and pushes him forward until they are at the bar again. Not at the same two seats as before but there nonetheless. The DJ has since made his way back to his post to blast back music that is not live but two songs is enough. It was not meant to be a full concert but just something he wanted to do on a whim and it is successful. The bartender sees their two familiar faces and takes Timbaland's cocktail order but the young R&B superstar vetoes that and tells him to bring them another bottle of the top shelf tequila both finished before the performance. They exchange quick glances and looks back out at the party while the order is being processed. He knows he is beyond his limit but it is feeling too good to stop. Timberlake wants another taste of the fiery drink. He wants it to burn a hole through his esophagus. Anyway, it is a celebratory drink for the show.

The young man, he looks no more than Justin's own age, returns with another flamboyantly decorated bottle of the expensive liquor and he immediately rushes the cork open to serve himself a shot. His friend only looks on and waits for his turn to pour a shot for himself and they begin working on the bottle. More people are loosened up and talking business and even dancing because even though it is an event to network, it is still a party and most just come to relax from their schedules. Alcohol is more than in his system but he does not care nor does he stop as almost half the bottle is gone already. Timberlake is rapidly on his way to becoming drunk but he does not have to drive home so it is not an issue. His head is beyond dizzy but he still does not stop but instead drinks some water to give himself a breather. This party is now at its peak after his performance and he intends to enjoy every second.

"I'm going to dance old man," the former N*SYNCer announces to the bar practically.

"Old man?"

And of course women follow him onto the floor to dance with him and to be seen in pictures with him. He takes a full shot glass of liquor out on the floor and begins grinding on no one in particular. Jessica will not like his behavior but she is not here and he does not care. Kobe would be worried about him and what is going on. Good. He dances as if he is a club goer. Timbaland looks on but has stopped drinking by this point. This Justin is someone he does not know and he decides to keep an eye on his young friend. They have been at a couple of parties together and he has yet to see him act like this. And especially drink this much. So the muscular producer remains at the bar and looks out at him while he hopefully dances off the alcohol from his drunken body. He has to be drunk. The R&B songster is playing a dangerous game with himself. He is pushing himself to his absolute limits as his heart screams.

After about an hour and a few more drinks, he still shows no sign of slowing down even though the party has been stagnant for some time now. The women are still all over him through but he is not acting inappropriate. He has not groped or tried to kiss any of them; it is more like he is dancing with himself and they just happen to be around him. It is almost three in the morning and Timbaland wants to leave because he has events to be at in the morning and a recording session later in the afternoon. But he is too worried about Justin and what is going on inside that head of his. He gulps a soda and still looks on because it is enough liquor. Timberlake came back over and over to finish off the bottle. He even wanted to order another bottle once the second one was finished but the producer put a stop to it. It is time for him to go. It is time for them to go. He gets up from the bar and walks away.

"How did you get here?" he asked a drunken Justin Timberlake.

"Huh? A driver---" his speech and vision is slurred simultaneously.

"Come on. I'm taking you back."

"Back? Where?"

"To your hotel Timberkid. The party's winding down and you need to sleep off all this alcohol."

"What---no. I want to stay," Timberlake tries to convince himself more than anyone else.

"No Justin. Something is going on with you and this is not the way to deal with it," Timberland's tone is severe but also compassionate.

In all the time they have known each other, he has never called him by his name. He always calls him Timberkid or, on very few occasions, Timberlake or JT. But never Justin. Ever. His eyes give away his worry and he decides not to put up a fight but leave instead. And quietly because the paparazzi will have a field day if they know he is drunk like this. The pair of them walks inconspicuously away from the bar and pool of the Viceroy hotel and into the giant ballroom it is attached to. The mega producer has to hold his hand and in some instance help him walk as they make their way to his car. Aside from invitation only, the paparazzi is not welcomed on the property so they get away mostly unscathed as they walk to the hotel's parking garage to leave this place. He has the singer's hand around his neck and they walk slowly to his car because he is falling asleep. His body is shutting down on them.

"Stay awake Timberkid. What hotel are you at?"

They finally reach a highly embellished Hummer H3 and he is half awake and half asleep as Timbaland puts him on the passenger seat and buckles the seatbelt to keep him is place as much as possible. No one is in sight and the windows are tinted black so hopefully no one notices him passed out through the windshield. He gets into the driver's spot and turns on the machine to drive them to Timberlake's hotel; he said the name softly before passing out. The night is not turning out how he thought it would. Instead of taking a girl somewhere, he has to do this but he is more worried about his friend than annoyed. He may be a lot of things but he is not an alcoholic and not so irresponsible. Justin is a good kid with a great talent to sing and entertain people. This is so far unlike him and his character. The black H3 slips out onto the streets without so much as a flash against it and he settles in to drive.

He wonders what is going on with him and when he is forced to stop at a traffic light, he looks over to his passenger as he rests against the leather headrest and seat and sleeps. This is wild. The radio is off and he drives in silence back to Timberlake's hotel. This person is so completely different from that guy that was so nervous to ask him to work on his album. That guy knew about boundaries and knew not to fall into any of the pits that came along with being a celebrity. Timbaland cannot help but to wonder what is going on with him. His album has sold millions of copies. The fans, and his peers alike, cannot seem to get enough of him. And he is dating a beautiful girl. Justin seemingly has it all so he should not be acting this way. After a few twists and turns throughout Miami they arrive at his hotel and he finds a spot in the back to park. He shuts it off and looks around to see if they are in the clear.

He shakes the songster and says, "Yo Timberkid. Wake up. We're here."

"Huh? Where?" his words are still stilted.

"Where's your room?"


"Come on."

It is obvious that he cannot walk anywhere so he opens the door and walks over to the passenger door to get him out. It is an initial challenge at first but he is on his feet and walking slowly with the support of the much larger producer. They enter through a back entrance and sees eyes on him from the very few guests that are up this hour. In the elevator, there is no one and he is grateful. Justin mumbles something inaudible and hangs his head down while the small metal box takes them high into the sky and his room. Timbaland still has to hold on to him to support him and remains patient until the elevator finally reaches its destination on the top floor. He is completely gone now though. There is no waking him and he carefully walks over to the only door he finds and has to rustle through Timberlake's pockets to find his wallet and ultimately, the keycard to the door. The door clicks open instantly.

Once the door shuts close behind them he looks for the room he is sleeping in. Justin's body is absolutely shut down at this point so he just scoops him up into his hands and walks him into the master bedroom. He is not heavy at all and the room is clean; the maids have clearly been here. Next to the bed, he rests the passed out superstar on the bed and digs in his pocket to retrieve his phone and puts it on the nightstand along with his wallet. Timbaland then quickly swipes his shoes off and leaves them by the bed. He looks so innocent and does not seem to know that he is back at the hotel. He really is gone from the alcohol. The super producer knows he will have a massive hangover tomorrow. They both will. He needs something to drink so he leaves the bedroom to go to the kitchen to retrieve a bottle of water. Now his body is beginning to shut down on him too. He has to get out of here.

"Crazy ass white boy," he says when he returns to the room and leaves after turning off the lights.


Clouds are over the skies above and it looks like rain is coming. It is very dark outside and looks like an extension of the night but it is almost one in the afternoon. A lone raindrop stains against a large window of the bedroom and it only takes a second before more starts hammering the glass and everything else in its path. Now the city is wet and people below are running to find solace from the unrelenting droplets or pulling out umbrellas to protect themselves from it. Miami is known for its unpredictable weather and rainstorms usually pass through quickly but this one looks like it is here to remain. At least for the rest of the day. The bedroom is still darkened but not as much as it once was. It is quiet and peaceful even though the day began so long ago. It starts to become too much. The constant pounding against all surfaces outside is resonating deep inside his head to wake him up.

Justin Timberlake turns on the bed as the noise is thumping over and over in his head. He calls out that name. He stirs some more before sitting up in the bed to feel like his head is about to fall off and roll away from his body. His head rests in his both his hands and his eyes are forcing themselves to open but they will not yet. Every sense is heightened because he hung over from last night and has no time to think straight yet. Justin shakes his head a few times until his eyes open and everything in front of him is so blurry that he does not recognize it as his own hotel suite. The rain of outside is giving him a proper headache and he feels like his insides are on fire. As the former N*SYNCer sits there to try and recover enough to move, the past night slowly inches back to him. The industry party and the impromptu concert. Hanging out with Timbaland and the excessive drinking he partook in while out there. It is all there.

But most of the thoughts after the concert are still in a flurry of emotions and fogginess. He groans and coughs as his chest is set on fire and figures he needs a shower in the worst possible way. His body does not feel good and his head is empty. Timberlake has no energy but he has to force himself forward until he reaches the edge of the bed and rests his feet, still covered in socks, on the floor. He never wants to drink again and hates himself for allowing someone to do this to him. The bathroom door opens and he walks in to get the shower started and that will hopefully give him the energy he needs to start this already sluggish day. There is no way he can go anyway like this. In the mirror, the reflection starting back at him has deep red, bloodshot eyes and its skin is pale and unlike his normal alabaster color. Justin looks away and begins stripping away last night's clothing to get into the shower.

Now water is beating down on him as it is doing to the entire outside. A lukewarm waterfall forcibly makes his skin wake up but he is in no mood to be doing this right now. His head is still a mess and hurting worse than before but his body is responding to the water in a positive way. Justin positions himself directly to where the water projectiles fall onto the tub and sits down in the tub. He has to recover himself here so he sits under the spout of water and hangs his head while his eyes are closed. The water hits the back of his head and neck and falls everywhere as he pieces together the rest of last night in his mind. Timberlake hates himself a little right now but the past cannot be changed. It can only be looked upon in an attempt to improve the future. But his stubborn need for revenge and childish behavior is blinding him to the simple man he used to be. The simple man he loved being.

The memories, though still foggy, fall into place after the concert. He still drank after the concert. And his producer was telling him not to but he was behaving out of control. But it stops after that. Everything is blank until he woke up this morning with a massive headache and body ache. The former boybander deems the situation useless so he gets up from the shower floor and gets into a proper shower by soaping his skin and shampooing his hair after. A window accessible from the shower still shows unrelenting rain and darkness and he decides to stay in today and regain himself fully. Justin makes a promise to himself while washing out conditioner from his hair that he will never act this irresponsibly again. He is an adult and is a hard worker and responsible. No one or no situation is going to take his dream away from him. The dream he is living every day. He will not sabotage himself.

After he orders lunch, the R&B songster is sitting on a comfortable sofa looking the glass sliding doors leading out to the soggy balcony to see rain still hammering outside. And he remembers how he used to play in it when he was small. And how simple everything was back then when he had nothing to worry about. He hates what is happening to him. He hates what his resentment for his ex boyfriend is pushing him to do physically and especially emotionally. Timberlake knows he is not this person. He is never this vindictive, manipulating, or callous. It feels like he does not have a heart anymore. Heartless. But he is this person. He is dating a beautiful and innocent girl to just use her to get back at him. Justin is always plotting at ways to get back at the LA Laker he used to date. The man he loves. And now he does not know how to control himself anymore. The cell phone rings nearby.

Hoping it is not anything related to work he looks at the number and picks it up, "Hello?"

"Ah you're up. How are you feeling hotshot?" Timbaland greets and asks.

"Hung over. Thanks for asking. Or rubbing it in. I don't know anymore."

"No. Not that Timberkid. I wanted to see if you were aight."

"Yeah I am. Thanks," Justin feels so embarrassed and ashamed of his unprofessional behavior. "Listen---I'm sorry---"

"What---no. I didn't call for that man. Just wanted to make sure you're aight."


"What do you remember?"

The question is not completely out of thin air but he was not expecting it to be asked because he does not have an answer for it. But he has to be honest because he is almost positive that this man brought him home last night and was looking out for him when he was unable to do it for himself. The producer will never look at him the same way again. Justin remains quiet and his insides go cold when he realizes how far things really went at the party. There was a point in time where he considered telling Kobe's girlfriend about them. He actually considered doing something so underhanded and vile while in his drunken stupor. It would ruin his life but it will not bring him back. And that would cause so many unwanted and unneeded problems. Timberlake is slowly losing his mind in his emotions and he desperately needs someone to talk to. Someone who knows what is going on. He remembers.

"The concert. The tequila. And getting in the car with you," the singing star recounts.

"You remember that huh?"

"What---that didn't happen? Something else happen?" he is nervous.

"No it did. You were gone Timberkid."

"I know. Don't remind me," Justin is sure he is blushing from the discomfort.

"Ay so you're alright?"

"Yeah I'm good."

"Okay I have to get some sleep," the super producer yawns.

"Where are you?"

"In the air. Heading to Tokyo."

"Thanks for looking out for me Tim---" he has to say. "For what you did---"

"Don't make it a habit Timberkid," Timbaland laughs.

They only stay on the phone for a few more seconds before the line dies and the entire suite falls into silence again. The rain is obviously not going to give the city a break from its clutches because the clouds are darker than they were earlier if it is even possible. It cannot become a habit. He will not allow it to become a habit. And this drinking will not become his crutch or excuse because he has navigated through this industry long enough to know that drinking and drugs only lead to the death of a career. And Timberlake's parents have raised him to be better than substance abuse. To be above it. Even if his father disowned him, he always taught him to do the right thing. The recovering megastar has to talk to someone like he used to talk to Bryant. There is no one that even comes close but he can talk to his best friend. They have not talked in a while and he wonders if JC is in Paris. He gets the phone.

After dialing it begins ringing until, "J---what's up bro?"

"Hey JC."

"What's wrong? Are you okay?" he immediately notices and asks.

"If okay means losing control and hating everything inside me then I'm great," Justin threatens to break down.

"What's going on Justin? Why are you talking like this?"

"I think I'm losing my mind Josh. I'm losing it---"

"Hey. Calm down and talk to me."

Tears want to burst free but he is stronger than that. Kobe was the last person to make him cry. No more. Maybe this was a mistake calling him and he suddenly wants to hang up. But he desperately wants someone to talk to. To get so much off his chest. Justin is dangerously backing himself into a corner to where there will be no options left. No way to turn or nothing else to do. Chasez says nothing else because he knows his best friend is gathering his thoughts and he will not push because he is obviously in a fragile emotional state. So many things can be said and should be said but his throat is closing up and making it nearly impossible to talk. The former N*SYNCer has to move past all this and be himself again. The revenge entrenched inside his heart has to be let go of. It has officially consumed him and he can no longer be himself. The scars are all too real and not going away.

"I got---wasted last night," Justin tells.

"Well that's not so bad."

"I practically passed out at the party and have no memory of being driven back."

"What? How did you get back?" JC is intrigued and also a little scared for his friend.

"Timbaland brought me back. I remember getting in his car but nothing else."

"Huh? Really? You guys didn't---"

"What the hell---no JC!"

His former bandmate laughs and unmercifully teases, "How would you know? You were plastered---"

"Believe me. I would know. We didn't have sex. He's not even like that," Timberlake feels as if he has to defend himself.

"I used to think you weren't like that."

"I'm sorry I disappointed you."

The conversation is not going the way he wants it to and now he knows he is truly alone with no one to talk to. Justin decides to leave everything where it is and they hang up shortly after he asks for his goddaughter. The momentary piece of happiness he gains from JC talking about his little girl is far in between his mind. One bad breakup is making him lose control. Someone he knew was his future is causing him to lash out in unimaginable and extremely painful ways. The R&B star focuses his attention back outside to the rain to think about the road he is on and his future. These ill games and unhealthy thoughts are consuming his mind and are leading to his unforeseen downfall. But he has become addicted; he cannot stop now after coming so far. Justin is too determined to see him suffer to focus on anything else. The obsession. There are still lines that he will not cross though. Like telling her.