~*~ 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-Eight

~*~ The Application of Reality ~*~



Latticing thoughts cast over his mind like a wrapped up net when he is backstage in a greenroom to relax and be ready to go out onstage. It is extremely early in the morning but he has an interview on the Today show with Meredith Vieira. It has been promoted as no holds barred so no question will be bypassed or ignored by him. Justin trusts the news anchor's judgment and knows that he is in good hands because she is not the type to dig up dirt or want to spread idle gossip. In a strange way he feels safe here even though he will be in front of millions soon enough talking about both his professional and personal lives. Timberlake munches on a bagel topped with raspberry jelly as he cycles through countless messages and texts. He rarely gives these types of interviews so he has to train his mind on what is truly off limits. The songster has to do some damage control and put some of the rumors to rest.

He has not given a proper interview about his personal life since falling onstage so long ago and he knows that will be one of the topics because the whole world is still transfixed by it apparently. The album's skyrocketing success will be another one but that will easily be handled. The former N*SYNCer will just have to listen to each question carefully and provide the best answer possible so as not to allow any follow up questions. It will be impossible but he will try. Jive has been on him to get a tour going but dates refuse to come together and the enthusiasm Justin once had to be out on the road has diminished greatly. Yet something else he chalks up to the way Kobe Bryant hurt him. The tour will happen but the pressure from his bosses is only a hindrance at the moment. Saying that name in his mind makes him both sad and angry at the same time. He has to let go of this resentment.

There is a knock on the door and an assistant enters to deliver, "Mr. Timberlake---you'll be on in five minutes. Do you need anything before you go on?"

"No I'm good. I'll be out in a few."


The assistant, who looks to be about his own age, leaves with the door closed behind him and the R&B crooner has enough of the bagel. In the bathroom, he uses floss and then mouthwash to have his teeth their whitest for the camera. Nerves are serenely settling in but he is still comfortable enough with Vieira so it is nothing major. He checks himself out in the mirror one last time before leaving the greenroom behind to wait on his mark to be called out. Most of the country is either now getting up or rushing their way out the door to get to work so he is unsure of who will be seeing this candid interview. Justin silences his phone and places it in his front pants pocket when it is time to go on. He swallows all the knowledge he never wants anyone else to know and puts a smile on his face to step out in front of the cameras. The people on the opposite side of the window cheer and clap for him.

"Hi Justin. How are you?" Meredith Vieira greets him as he sits on the comfortable loveseat across from hers.

"I'm great Meredith. And how about you?" the signature smile reveals itself.

"Good. Good. Shall we get started then?"

"I'm ready."

"You seem to be on top of the world these days. The album is both a commercial and critical success. What's your formula?"

"A lot of hard work. I wrote most of it myself and had a great team behind him to help and for support."

"And don't forget your producer Timbaland. How did you two meet and decided to work together?"

Justin smiles at the name and, "We met at a club actually and I asked him if he would be willing to take a chance on me and my vision. He agreed and here we are."

"Yes---millions of records sold later. The rumor going around is that there is a tour in the works. Is that accurate?"

"We're trying to make it happen but it is still in the preproduction stages so nothing is set in stone yet."

"Okay Justin---hang tight and we'll be right back after this commercial break."

"Of course."

The camera stays on them both for a little while and then shuffles through the people outside before the cameraman gives the signal that they are off for a few minutes. Meredith Vieira smiles at him and they talk lightly while she has her makeup and hair touched up. She does not need it but being in front of the camera means always looking perfect so it has to be done. Questions are relatively simple at first but they will probe deeper and delve into personal aspects of his life. Justin is ready for it and is waving at the fans behind the large glass windows when the stage manager tells them that they will be back on within the next thirty seconds. Both return to their original positions to get ready to continue with the interview again. The young singer knows the day will be long because he has a lot to do but it is better to be productive than remain motionless or be with his girlfriend. She still has no idea.

"And we're back with Grammy-winning singer Justin Timberlake. So Justin, do you keep in contact with the members of N*SYNC?"

"I try to. We see each other at press events every once in a while but it's hard to keep up when you're no longer recording or touring together."

"Do you think any of them are jealous of your success?" Vieira asks.

"I would hope not. I'd like to think we are still a close group of friends who has shared some amazing experiences in this industry."

Some of it is just embellished because he does not want to stir up any bad blood between any of his former bandmates. He has not spoken to either Joey or Chris is over a year because he does not have their numbers anymore. And they do not have his. As for Lance, they met up at an industry party about or month or two ago and hung out the whole night but it was different. Timberlake felt as if he might be jealous of all his success but no words of that nature were ever spoken between either of them during that meeting. He feels a twinge of guilt for not keeping in touch with them because they were all a close-knit group of friends that took the industry by storm but now everything has fallen apart. Chasez is the only one he has remained close to because they were friends even before the days of N*SYNC and they continue to remain fiends long after the band has dismantled and moved on.

"Will there ever be another album from N*SYNC?" he hears the anchor ask.

"Everyone is doing their own thing now and moved on so it's hard to say."

"Would you be interested in doing another record with the group?"

"It's a possibility. Anything is possible in this industry we work in," the songster laughs.

"Let's get to what happened a few months ago. I know you haven't spoken about it to anyone but can you tell us what happened to you that night on that stage?" the interview takes the turn he knew it would.

"That was a very hard time for me."

"Really? Why?"

"I had a lot of personal stuff going on in my life and just spilled over into my professional life. I have always been able to keep the two separate but I wasn't able too," Timberlake starts to recall his past mistakes.

"What was going on?" Vieira continues to probe.

"I wasn't eating and hardly getting any sleep. I guess the exhaustion caught up with me in the end. I was stupid for acting that way."

"And you're a whole lot better now right?"

"I'd like to think so."

"So I have to ask. The press has seen you out and about on a very few occasions with Jessica Biel. Are you two dating?"

Justin takes a moment to answer, "Well---yes. We're dating."

Biel told him that whenever he wanted to publically acknowledge them as a couple would be fine with her and he could no longer bait the hook because of the whole kissing scene at the airport. So he has to be truthful and hopefully Kobe Bryant has heard or will hear of his truthfulness. The interview wraps up a while later and then to cut to another commercial break. Meredith Vieira thanks him for his openness and wishes him well as he steps off stage and back into the greenroom to see if he has forgotten anything. A car is already waiting to take Justin away to another appointment so he makes a quick round of the room and is away from the Today stage not a moment later. Everything went smoothly and a small weight has been lifted off his shoulder in that he was able to tell his side of the story about falling on stage and put the rumors and media speculation to rest. This day is already a great one.


Jessica Biel has left Los Angeles International Airport and is headed directly to his house of course. She has finished shooting scenes from her new movie overseas and is coming back to be with him. Timberlake was forced to clear his schedule today so they could be together because he is supposed to have missed her and her body. But it is the furthest thing from the truth. He is a little annoyed that he had to put work off to spend time with her but the charade must continue. If fact, the singer does not know when it will end as he is supposed to. Every detail up until this point has been meticulously planned out and executed but now it all seems to be falling apart on him. There is no control anymore and Justin is starting to wonder if it is worth it. No amount of scheming or manipulating will get him what he wants. And he really hates the person he has become. He knows better than to act like this.

He is outside by the pool lounging in the shaded sunlight thinking and getting himself mentally prepared to see her and pretend to seriously like her. It is becoming tiring but he presses on. The skies above are partly cloudy and the wind is humid but not uncomfortably so. His cell phone lies at his side on the chair while his eyes are shielded by sunglasses. The water is blue and pristine and is tempting him to get in with its tantalizing ways. But he is in no mood to go swimming or to see her. Justin's mother has been calling him but he does not pick up and when he does, the conversation is cut unbelievably short by him. Maybe it is time to admit to himself that Bryant hurt him deeper than anyone else has ever managed to and move on. He is hurting more now than when his father hit and disowned him. Timberlake sighs and continues in his thoughts until his phone buzzes and comes to life by his side.

"Hello?" the former N*SYNCer picks it up without even looking at who it is.

"Hey baby. I'm outside. Come let me in," the beautiful Jessica Biel informs him.

"On my way now."

The phone clicks shut and goes into his pants pocket when he gets up and walks across the large patio to enter the mansion through the back. Cool air greets his face and body upon entering his home because the AC is on. He is supposed to be happy to see her. Happy like he used to be when he saw him. When they would meet up if their schedules permitted it to be together. Timberlake walks through the house to go and retrieve her. In the kitchen, monitors show her along with the driver getting her luggage out of a black car. No part of him is happy to see her but he will make her believe that he is. He gets to the door and opens it to greet her. Upon his permission, the driver begins taking her luggage into the house and Jessica hugs her boyfriend. Her arms stroke his back at first until both decide to settle on his lower back. His ex boyfriend's spot. Justin has to go with the flow as it is the only thing to do.

"Thank you," the beautiful actress says and tips the driver before he gets in the car to leave. "Hi boyfriend."

"Hey. Let's go inside."

Again she is pressed so close to his body and her lips on his almost as if it is an intrusion. And, in a way, it is but he allows it. Justin kisses back with passion but it is not the same. She has become his best friend that he sleeps with because she wants them to sleep together. It will never actualize into the true relationship Biel believes they are in. He opens his eyes during the kiss to see that hers are still closed and just looks anywhere until it is over. She will be spending a few days here and must be exhausted after shooting her movie and the long flight to get back home. Everything becomes clear between them when Jessica grabs his butt through his basketball shorts and begins grinding her soft inner thigh against his. Timberlake rolls his eyes and tries very much to get into the mood to give himself to her. So many men would kill to be in this position he is in with his girlfriend right now. He sighs inside.

"Let's go upstairs. I'll show you how much I missed you," Jessica entices him.

She pulls him by the hand away from the entrance of the house and soon they are at the foot of the stairs leading skyward. They kiss once more before heading up to the second floor and ultimately, to his room. Once in there, Biel turns him to the bed and pushes him down. She begins attacking his lips and is pulling down his shorts at the same time. The tank top from before is ripped off and she is becoming a lustful she-devil right in front of his eyes. Justin cups her breasts in his hands and she takes off her blouse not a moment sooner. His dick is surprisingly hard and the boxers that were hiding his modesty has been pulled down and thrown away under her longing claws. Her thighs are still covered in jeans and are grinding against his manhood and hips to create a textural sensation that manages to keep him hard. Timberlake closes his eyes and act as if a certain tall and handsome man is on top of him.

"Come on baby!"

They both move up to get a better position on the bed and she ravishes his body under hers before stopping at his pole and putting it in her mouth. He gently grabs a fistful of her hair to encourage more and bucks his hips up to meet her lips. Jessica is usually not this aggressive but they have not been together for more than a few weeks. And being away from someone you care for is extremely hard and sometimes frustrating. She reminds Justin of himself when he and Kobe used to be apart for so long and how much passion and lust exploded when they saw each other. Now he is on the receiving end of all this emotion but it is with the wrong person. Still, during sex with this beautiful girl he cannot get his mind off of Kobe Bryant. Biel continues to suck and lick him while she is busy removing her pants to get to the next round. Foreplay will not last much longer because her mind is not wired into it.

"Where are your condoms baby?" she is quick.

"On the bottom drawer over there," the former N*SYNCer points but remains still.

She can do all the work and she does not seem to notice or maybe she does not care that she is practically doing all the work. All her raw emotions must be blinding her. Justin just pretends he is on a movie set and sleeping with her is just another part of the film. He senses the movement on the bed and then stares at her when their lips come back together for a rough kiss. It is unlike the one from downstairs because his girlfriend is nibbling on his lower lips and then he feels and instant of pain because she bites him. In an erotic and eerie way. Timberlake winces and pushes himself away as his tongue instinctively runs over his pink and smooth bottom lip to see if there are any traces of blood. It must have been only a flesh wound because there is no taste in his mouth. Biel smiles and moves in for another kiss but the songster braces himself for another bite. She is definitely entrenched in her lust for him.

"You're such a baby," she ever so cutely states.

"You bit me!"

"And you loved it. You ready?"

Timberlake goes with it and, "Oh yeah. I have to get you back somehow."

"I'm sure you will."

The stunning actress grazes her teeth along the length of his body and his nipple gets erect because it happens to be in her path as she makes her way down to his dick. There is a slight tearing sound and the slippery condom is out and on the head of his dick. Rolling it down on him provides pleasure itself but it is hardly enough to be sustainable. Timberlake wants to get back into Kobe so bad. He wants his ex boyfriend to get back into him and have the visceral connection they once shared. If this is the only way to make that happen then so be it. Sacrifices must be made in order to get things done. Jessica slips the condom down all the way to the base of his pole and runs her index finger over the head to stimulate it even more. A slight groan escapes her boyfriend's lips and he feels it when his balls are also played with. She then mounts him and massages her warm thighs against his manhood.

While their eyes never disconnect from one another's she reaches down under and grabs him at the base of his dick to stand it up. It is provocative and actually quite stimulating as she readies him to enter her. Eyes barely blink while Biel's legs sit astride of his body and she lowers herself on his pole. Her hand comes away and the skin of his hips and thighs are touching the skin of her hips and inner thighs. Justin closes his eyes and tries to make believe that it is Kobe that has just mounted him and is about to ride him. Although it is becoming easier in his mind to have sex with her, it is becoming increasingly unsatisfying because this is not what he wants. And after they have sex he is left to feel lonely and in some cases, is hornier than he was before the act itself. And it is not just the sex; there is no intimacy between them. Nothing real or worthy anyway. Zero comparison to what he had with him.

"Uhuh baby! Give it to me," his girlfriend is getting carried away by her passion. "Harder."

He has to put the work into it now because she is asking for it so he begins thrusting his hips up into her to give her the pleasure she is asking for. Warmth between their connecting bodies creates a smooth friction that enhances the mood as well as the satisfactions felt by both. Justin holds onto her hips and drives himself deeper and faster into her because although it is gratifying, he wants it over already. Biel bends down to kiss him and he closes his eyes and lets his mind hope it is Kobe Bryant kissing him back. The pacing is in sync and their bodies seem to be acting as one as she moans out for more and claws into her chest for more sensation. He winces at the scratching but continues to do his work because he feels himself close to erupting into the condom. Maybe thinking of him is helping the songster along. Jessica whips her hair back and grinds down onto his dick as she screams out in orgasm.

"Ahhh! Ohhh---yeah. Keep going," she cries out.

"Scream my name. Scream my name!" Justin suddenly gets into it and seizes the dormant power.

"Oww! Justin! Justin! Give it to me. Fuck me---just like that."

Timberlake speeds up his plunging to an almost surreal level because she is begging for it and it becomes all the more erotic to be in this situation. Skin smacks against more skin with loud results and she is grinding harder into him in the attempt to get him off. It is working but he has to keep going until it is all over. Her breasts bounce up and down and brush into his chest when they kiss again and he moans out and bucks his hips up as he cums into the condom while still inside her. The thrusting slows down dramatically and his girlfriend feels him softening inside her. Biel collapses on top of him and is kissing his neck as he closes his eyes to relax for a minute. It was intense for him not being in it and now Justin's body is giving him mixed signals. He rolls her over so that she is on the bed and slips out of here to go into the bathroom to take the sheepskin glove off and clean himself up.

"That---was amazing!" Jessica exclaims from the room when she composes herself enough to do so.

"Yeah. It was."


"Huh?" Timberlake responds after he flushes the used condom.

"There's a gala coming up for pediatric research this weekend. I want you to come with me."

"On Saturday? Or Sunday?"

"Saturday night. It's a formal dinner and presentation style event and black tie," she is trying to convince him to go. "I want us to go together."

"We might as well. The press already knows about us."

"So you'll go?"

The former N*SYNCer returns to his bedroom and gives her a smiles that can only be construed as a yes. It will be a great outing for them and maybe give his cold heart a chance to thaw for the evening and return to his normal self. He hops his naked form into bed with her so they can relax and he can make her feel even more secure to continue with his plan. The pair shares a short kiss and he reaches over for the remote to flick on the large TV far in the front of them. They will soon be hungry and probably order in but he needs to be with his thoughts now and contemplate his actions. Jessica rests her head on his chest and has taken the remote from him to find anything interesting to watch while he just stares out and wonders. The conversation is light but she notices nothing. Timberlake is rubbing the huge scars she left on his chest only a few moments ago. She can be pretty wild in bed.


Media coverage of the gala event is a blitz frenzy as it is noisy on the red carpet with stars giving interviews and fans begging and screaming for autographs and pictures and flashbulbs shining everywhere. Timberlake is the first to step out of the limo onto the carpet in a black Armani suit with a blood red button up shirt and black skinny tie around his neck. His hand is held out for his girlfriend to take it and flashes instantly barrage them from everywhere at once. Jessica Biel steps out of the vehicle and is beautiful in a red strapless and floor-length dress that matches her man's shirt under his suit jacket almost perfectly. They seem to look like the ideal couple as they begin to walk the red carpet but both agreed beforehand that they would not give any interviews. Justin leads her in front of the photo box and they both smile for the paparazzi and many other media outlets.

Once inside, the singing megastar feels something in his stomach and chalks it up to hunger as they did not eat before they came because the event is revolving around a sit down dinner. She is hand in hand with him and they are guided by many coordinators to the grand ballroom where everything is slated to happen. Justin learned the day his girlfriend told him about this gala that she is an overwhelming advocate and does many charitable actions for pediatric research to help keep as many diseases and illness away from children as possible. It is commendable and only enhances her character without her even being aware of it. The pair enters the large room and is guided to their table by an attendant. Many of their colleagues are already there talking and taking pictures or simply waiting for the event to begin. They end up at one of the many large oval tables of the room that offers a great view of the stage.

"I didn't think there was going to be so many people here," Biel says when he is pulling the chair out for her.

"You're not nervous are you?" he smiles and asks.


"You have no reason to be. You're the most beautiful girl here," Justin pours on the charm to make it seem believable.

"Well---come and show me how beautiful you think I look."

He moves closer to her when they are both sitting where place cards tell them they have to and share a short kiss while waiting for the event to begin. They do not even bother to look at who they are sharing the table with; they are the only ones present so far but the room is quickly filling up. Justin looks around when their lips are apart to see technicians finalizing the set and testing mics on the stage. His mind wanders away and he gets that feeling in his stomach once again. Now he is unsure if it is hunger or not but again it is swept under the rug. The two of them talk among themselves until Jessica excuses herself to go powder her nose in the bathroom. He uses the opportunity to walk over to the open bar to get a drink before it becomes a mob scene. It almost becomes true because an abundance of people storm through the doors to find their seats. The singer returns to his table and gets a chill.

"Hey---Justin," his former boyfriend Kobe Bryant is the only other one sitting at the very same table.

"What---what are you doing here?" he is shocked.

"The same thing you're doing here J. I'm making you nervous---"

"Hardly," after regaining his composure.

"Okay. We can't even shake hands?"

The assertion of nervousness is not completely off the mark but that stare and snarky smile is making him angry. It should not be this way and he does not want to be resentful or full of rage anymore. Carrying all this around is becoming too hard and stressful for no reason. Why the hell is he here? Here of all places? Justin remains quiet and takes his seat while he sees that Kobe's seat is directly across from him on the oval table. The sensation deep within him has returned and is bothersome now more than ever but he will not allow himself to become ruffled. Timberlake will play it cool and remain on top of his nerves because this man cannot nor will he get the best of him again. Their failed relationship is only fueling him forward and will keep him from getting lost in his thoughts. He sips his drink and is about to talk when he notices Jessica returning to their table with someone else. Both men stand.

"Hey---you're back," the former N*SYNCer greets as he pulls out the chair for his girlfriend.

"Everything alright?" Bryant asks as he kisses the other girl at the table and pulls her chair out as well.

"Yeah. I just thought my tag was showing."

"I fixed it for you so it should be good now," Biel is the one to speak.

"Oh Jessica---this is Kobe," Vanessa introduces her man.

"And this is my boyfriend Justin."

He watches as his former boyfriend shakes his girlfriend's hand and Justin is forced to touch her hand. The woman who has been in a relationship with Bryant far longer than he had and while they were together as well. It is sickening but be cannot afford to lose his cool here or say or do something that will draw unwanted attention to himself. So he shakes her soft hand and then they have to shake each other's hand as if they are formally meeting for the first time. Everything is so awkward and emotions are running haywire inside him. As much as the R&B crooner does not want to admit it, he looks the same. The way he carries himself is the same. His eyes are the same. Kobe holds on to his hand much longer than expected but then it falls apart and all four sit as more guests find their place at their table. Timberlake eyes her through the corner of his eyes harshly. She is the reason they are not a couple.

Now the mood of the table is awkward and his hands fidget but he holds on to his girlfriend's one because she is the key to it. This is the reason he began dating her and she will serve her purpose without ever knowing what it was. And he knows Kobe well and catches him when he quickly looks at her and turns away as if no one noticed. He looks regal in a navy blue pinstripe suit while Vanessa in a black off the shoulder gown. Justin meets his eyes once but both look away not a moment later so as not to cause confusion. It is still there; it is all still there. Jessica leans over and whispers if everything is okay because of how tightly he is gripping her hand and he smiles to play it off. Justin has to get a grip on himself and his emotions. Bryant got the element of surprise over on him but now that is over and it is game time. There is no holding back now and his mind formulates a devious plan inside. It will work.

"Ladies and gentleman. If you would take your seats please. Dinner is about to be served," a representative is up at the podium and addresses the now packed room.

Many waiters and waitresses spill out into the ballroom with the beginnings of a formal meal. Timberlake waits until everyone is settling into their main course of grilled lobster tail with mushroom wild rice and charred asparagus to easily slip his right foot out of its shoe. This is a very careful procedure and has to be done with the utmost accuracy. It goes slow at first to feel out where it is in the darkness but his sock-covered foot stretches deeper under the table while everything above it seems to be normal. Light chatter and laughter is about as servicemen pass by to refill water goblets or special drink orders. The R&B crooner's big toe runs into a wooden leg of the table but it is easily bypassed. Kobe has not looked his way in a while but this is certain to get his attention. Justin lifts up his foot once it is in the right position and ever so gently brushes his toes against his former boyfriend's inner thigh.

Bryant slightly jumps up, "Huh?"

"What is it honey? What's the matter?" Vanessa asks.

"Nothing---nothing. I just dropped my napkin."

The basketballer's eyes instantly go to his as he pretends to reach his hand down to pick up a napkin that was never on the floor to begin with. There is a glare there but Timberlake only smiles and continues on eating and talking to his girlfriend as if nothing is going on. But his foot is still poised to strike and the next time, it will be deeper. Only a couple of minutes pass by before his mind pushes him forward again and he stretches his leg out completely and his toes nudge at Kobe's balls. Eyes meet again but his foot does not stop stroking or feeling up the man he once loved. The man he gave everything to only to have it thrown back in his face hard. Both continue to eat as if nothing is wrong but Bryant's face is upset and his eyes are fiery. He stops for a moment to make sure no one will catch on. Justin feels a surge of adrenaline doing this while both their girlfriends and so many others are around.

"Justin and I went to one of your games. Isn't that right baby?" he hears Biel out of nowhere.

"Huh? Yeah? Courtside."

"You played well but you seemed distracted. Were you hurt?"

"No. I had a lot on my mind I guess."

"Yeah he gets like that sometimes. He becomes so wrapped up in his own head that he doesn't hear what I'm saying to him. He gets pretty intense," Vanessa explains and smiles.

"You have to let the people around you in Kobe. No one can deal with it all by themselves," Timberlake says in a somewhat condescending tone as he continues to stroke him.

"Dually noted," the Los Angeles Laker says in between his teeth while his manhood is repeatedly being felt up under the table. "But sometimes you just have to stop! And---be by yourself I mean."

His stare is intense when says to stop but he has to bring himself back and remain calm. His dick is responding as much as he does not want it to and it is getting hard. Justin's foot grazing and tantalizing him is starting to wear his resistances down and he almost let out a moan as this continues to happen. A costly mistake that would expose them both. He is being so wicked without even looking as if anything is going on. The big toe runs up his shaft and Kobe has to pull back because this is getting out of hand but Vanessa will see him hard so he has no choice but to remain at his ex boyfriend's mercy for now. And when he kisses Jessica, he gets upset all over again. Bryant knows he should move on but he cannot help but to feel a little jealous. Those lips used to be kissing him but now they are on someone else and he is being cruel about it. This cannot go on for much longer but it feels so good.

Dessert begins to be served with the songster smiling at the rise he is still able to get from his ex boyfriend. His pole is rock hard under the touch of toes and he refuses to give up anytime soon. Kobe is becoming frustrated by the situation but at some point grinds his crotch into the invading foot because it feels so good. And the chance of getting caught makes it all the more erotic and sensual. Timberlake senses the change in attitude and that he is becoming more susceptible to it so he ups the game even more. Just when the baller is beginning to get into it and fights off his body's impulse to jump across the table and ravage the man there, it stops. It all stops. Everything from under the table stops and Justin recedes his foot back to his side of the table and rests it into his shoe to put it back on. The looks come suddenly and their eyes connect over the table. This game has just become that much more fun.

"Excuse me," he says as he grabs his jacket and puts it on while getting up from the table. "I have to head to the little boys room."

"I'll go with you. I've been holding it in since before dinner," Timberlake hears himself say.

"Okay. Hurry back---they're about to start the presentation," Jessica Biel tells her man.

"Sure thing."

He kisses her on the cheek and excuses himself while Kobe buttons his jacket to use it as a shield to block his throbbing dick from the rest of the world because it would be embarrassing if anyone saw him this way. He is confused as to why Timberlake is coming to the bathroom with him but in order to avoid any confusion, he silently says nothing and they both walk away from the table in search of the men's room. Nothing is said between them and the uncomfortable tension between them is far worse now than it was earlier at the table. An attendant points them to the private bathrooms reserved for the patrons of the gala and they walk as if they are friends or at the very least know each other to the surprisingly empty bathroom. Most must be comfortable in their seats and waiting for the presentation to begin. Behind the doors and another one, they are alone in the bathroom that smells softly of lilac.

"What the hell was that? What were you thinking?" Kobe Bryant starts to tear into him.

"What do you mean?"

"That stunt at the table. You're still a bad liar Justin."

"You're right. Maybe you should've taught me how to become a better one. Because you're the best one I know."

"I don't---"

Both men immediately stop and the basketballer steps away and into one of the stalls because someone has entered the once private domain so they cannot continue their conversation. It is almost like he is out for blood and Justin is unsure of how to feel about it. He is not scared of this man; there is no need to be. An elder business man enters only to wash his hands and grab some paper towels and check his reflection in the mirror before he is out and the two of them are alone again. Kobe remains in the stall and says nothing so the room becomes quiet again. Everything is so fragile between them that it is impossible to be friends. And the former boybander has to laugh at himself or fate for putting them both here together tonight when each of them could have been so many other places. Just then, the door opens and his jacket is unbuttoned. He walks over to a urinals and Timberlake gets closer to him.

"Are you looking?" Bryant asks when he notices where his ex boyfriend's eyes are.

"I've seen it all before. Were you jacking off in there?" the question is snide.

"No. What are you doing?"

"What do you mean?" Justin asks and pretends he is using the urinal as well to throw off any unwelcomed guests.

"What's she doing here?"

"She's my girlfriend. We're dating. Or so they say in the press," his cocky smirk is increasingly hurtful.

"You don't like women remember?" Kobe suffers through gritted teeth.

"Neither do you the last time I checked---"

"I do."

"Well---so do I. Now---"

Kobe finishes and zips up his black slacks, "What does that even mean?"

He passes by and softly brushes Justin against his shoulder on his way to the sink to wash his hands. He is trying to understand what is going on here but is failing at it miserably. Lukewarm water filters onto his hand and he easily looks around for the soap while nothing is being said between them. He was about to finish pretending to use the urinal when another guest of the gala walks in and heads straight for one of the stalls to grant himself more privacy. Very soon, noise ricochets off the wall as and it takes a few moments before it finishes and he emerges to wash his hands as well. Nothing is said between the three men and the stranger; neither of them recognizes him, leaves with damp paper towels in his hand to throw in another receptacle that is outside. They are spending too much time in here and the longer they stay the higher the chance increases of them getting caught. But he has to.

"You can't be---jealous," the young singer spits out as if it is acid and meant to burn its recipient.

"No. I'm not jealous."

"So it's okay for you to date a woman but not me? What kind of twisted double standard is that?"

Bryant remains calm but states a fact, "You don't love her Justin."

"You don't know that. And you might think you're in love with a woman but your dick was saying something else under the table just now."

"Why are you doing this to yourself? To me?"

He inches himself ever so closer, "I'm going to nail your ass to the wall."

"Okay. I'm getting mixed signals from you."

"You want a clear signal? Here---"

Timberlake quickly extends his hands and snags and tugs on Kobe's bowtie with slight force. He slips it in between his fingers and twists it in every which possible way until it has completely loosened out and hanging lifelessly around his neck. His hands are shaking after doing it and he knows that things between them are going too far. His former boyfriend just looks on as his neck survives the onslaught but his bowtie is not so fortunate. It is even ripped so there is no way he can wear it out there. Their eyes lock together as if it is supposed to mean something or some breakthrough is supposed to happen. All Bryant sees is anger and rage though. His blue crystals never used to look like this and they can partly explain why he has become so vengeful. Justin turns around so they can no longer face each other; his heart threatens to burst out of his chest. This is so unlike him and he wants to go.

"What happened to you? You never used to be like this," Kobe is still gentle with his words because he will always care deeply for this man whose back is to him at the moment.

"I changed," is the simple answer.

"Did you want to hurt me? Is that why you brought her to the game?"

"She wanted to see a game and I thought it would be fun to go. No big deal," he is still facing away.

"Is that what you want to hear?" the shooting guard tries his best to remain emotionless but it all is getting to be too much.

"I don't need to hear anything from you."

"Fine. You did---alright? You did hurt me at the game. It is what you wanted to hear isn't it Justin? You hurt me."

It comes as no solace to him like he thought it would. It is supposed to bring him some sense of peace and accomplishment because he has essentially gained his power back but there is only destruction and ruin before him. Somewhere deep inside, Justin knew if this moment ever presented itself he would not be happy but he feels ten times worse for harboring these dangerous feelings and screwing up so many lives. Especially his own. But it is still not enough to make him stop. He has to bring Kobe to his knees to gain retribution for his broken heart. His vital organ that still has not even began to repair itself and try to move in. It has been permanently destroyed into pieces that will no longer fit together. Again the bad boy Timberlake is feeding off that and getting stronger. Now things are truly out of control and as much as he wants to stop, the force within is too strong and is overwhelming him.

"Maybe I should tell her about you---" the R&B crooner says softly but enough to be heard by both of them.

"You couldn't possibly hate me that much Justin."

"You don't know that. You have no idea what I feel."

And with that, he walks away from the man he still loves with all his heart and out of the bathroom to rejoin the gala. Kobe has to remain back for a few minutes so that it does not seem suspicious that they both entered and exited the bathroom at the same time and he needs the extra time to get his mind to stop spinning. He is still unsure of what all just happened in the bathroom of a very public place but things between them can never be the same again. It has become painfully clear that he pushed Justin too far and that there is a strong possibility that he may never return to compassionate, honest, and caring man he once was. Bryant looks in the mirror for a few more seconds and leaves the bathroom behind just as a few men enter it in his place. Their conversation finished just in time it seems. The production is in its introductory stage when he returns to his seat and the heavy mood of the table.

"What happened to your tie? Why don't you have it on?" Vanessa immediately notices upon his return.

"It was bothering me so I took it off. I have it in my pocket," is the rehearsed response as the jacket drapes over the chair again.

"It is black tie you know---" Timberlake drags out to try and get him in trouble. "You should've kept it on."

"Yeah maybe. But I felt like I couldn't breathe in the bathroom," he shoots him a look. "It actually got pretty intense."

"Okay you can leave it off," his fiancée ends the subject. "I don't want you to be uncomfortable baby."

As much as the singing megastar wants to feel a sense of accomplishment for what just happened in the bathroom, his insides are torn because he wants the man across from him hurt as badly as he is but he still loves him. The latter has never changed but it somehow got twisted, buried, and lost within the turmoil of their relationship shattering right before them. Timberlake is left feeling so empty and alone inside and he no longer wants to be here or around people. His attitude has changed from wicked to more reserved and to himself. He would not even think of using his foot that way he did before now. There just is no point to it. Somewhere inside him may have finally realized that he and Bryant can never recapture what they once had. Too much has transpired between them and the blood is bad to even think that they could be in a relationship anymore. Not to mention that Vanessa is in the picture.

Justin stays mainly quiet throughout most of the presentation so far and does no object when Jessica grasps their hands together and rests it on her lap. He is too preoccupied to care and has not even bothered looking at Kobe since their return from the bathroom but that does not mean that eyes are not on him periodically from time to time. He has spent so much time plotting for revenge and has dragged so many people into his plans that it is not worth it anymore. And now it is known that it was never worth it to begin with. The R&B star's emotions dip low and he only wants to be by himself to sort out the mess his life has become. The event's end cannot come soon enough for him. All this is wrong. He is supposed to be sitting on the other side of the table next to the basketballer. No one would know they were together of course but they would. This day has been too draining and full of realizations.