When Justin woke up the next morning with the realization that he had made up his mind, he immediately began to have second thoughts. He went back and forth between Kelly and Becca, his mind changing every time he turned around. After a week of doubting his decision, he got together with the guys to start working on their new album. They could tell he was not all there, but no one wanted to say anything. It was obvious that his mind was not focused on the task at hand.

"What's up?" Joey asked as he twisted the cap off his water during a break.

"Huh?" Justin frowned and bent to tie his shoe.

"What's up? Where are you?"

"What do you mean?" Justin stood up and sighed as he placed his hands on his hips.

"Well, you're not in that room with us, so I was wondering where you were." Joey smiled.

"I'm there."

"Oh yeah?" Joey asked. Justin nodded and shuffled his feet. "What’s the first track on the album?" Joey smiled and stared at Justin who remained silent; "You're not there." He shook his head.

"I'm there Joe. I was sitting right across from you." Justin sighed and ran his hands through his hair.

"Then get your head in the game and speak up." Joey laughed and walked out to the hall.

Justin sunk into the couch in the corner and scratched at his jaw line. "Hey C?" He shouted across the office.


"What're the plans for tomorrow?" Justin asked.

"We're here till three."

"After that?"

"After that I'm going to bed for two days." JC laughed. "You taking off?"

"Yeah, I think so." He nodded.

"When you come back will you be normal?" JC asked loudly.

Justin forced a smile and gave JC the finger as he closed his eyes and leaned his head back. He'd been slacking off in a major way all because he couldn't make up his mind for more than a few hours at a time. He'd be all set to go over to Kelly's house to break up, when out of no where he'd think of all the good things about her and change his mind yet again. The same thing for Becca.

Justin rubbed his eyes and yawned, he needed to see them both again before he could make up his mind officially. He couldn't keep going on like that, the other guys would kill him.

Over the next two days the guys finished up the shop talk in the studio offices and scattered off in their different directions to rest up for the next week when they'd start recording. They were set free at three on Friday and weren't expected back until Monday morning at six. Justin hopped on his usual commuter flight to Las Vegas and went to Becca's house to spend the rest of the day, and night with her.

He watched her carefully during those hours, and tried to take everything in. How she talked, could he listen to her voice day in and day out? The way she chewed, was that something he wanted to see every night? Her laugh, would it grow old? Her smart-ass attitude, would that grate on his nerves after a few years?

He had so many questions of his own to answer that he didn't really enjoy the days in Vegas. Becca noticed the miniscule difference in him, but wrote it off the work stress. He left on Saturday night promising to call her during the week, whenever he got the chance.

"How long are you gonna be in LA?" She asked as he trotted down the stairs.

He stopped halfway down and turned around, "I don't know." He shrugged slightly, "A couple months, two at least."

"It takes two months to record an album?"

"Yep." Justin yawned and adjusted his backpack on his shoulder.


"Well it's not just standing in front of a mic and singing." Justin smiled and shaded his eyes.

"That's right, you have to have coffee with the producers and mingle with the band." Becca rolled her eyes.

Justin just shook his head, she would never understand his life, and he could never explain it to her. "I'll call you later in the week, okay?"

"I’ll be in San Jose."

"Well then when you get back." Justin took another step down the stairs and looked back at her.

"Are you sure you can pencil me in?"

"I'm pretty sure." He nodded.

"Lucky me." She laughed as she rolled her eyes. Justin waved as he crossed the courtyard to the waiting cab. Becca leaned on the little railing and shook her head slowly, he had changed since the last time she saw him, but she couldn’t quite put her finger on the difference.

Justin flew back to Los Angeles and was on Kelly's doorstep at nine Sunday morning. He'd checked with Dominic and he knew she would be in town until Monday night, so he had to act fast.

Kelly was surprised to see him, but thrilled nonetheless. They spent the day on Sunday together in her backyard just kicking back and lounging by her pool. The same thoughts ran through Justin’s mind, would the curl of her hair always make him smile? Could he watch her crinkle her nose when she smiled forever? Would her melodic laugh always sound like music? Would he be able to watch her pick at her nails for years?

"Hello? Justin? Are you there?" Kelly smiled and waved her hand in front of his unseeing eyes.

"Hmm?" He snapped back to reality with a new clarity. His heart sped up and he realized he hadn't heard a word she said.

"Will you be able to come over on Wednesday?"

"Wednesday?" He asked, with no clue what that meant.

Kelly laughed and shook her head, "I have to leave tonight for Toronto, but I'll be back Wednesday morning, and I was asking if you could come over then."

"I thought you were here till Monday? Dominic said you'd be around, and I thought we could, you know… hang out." Justin frowned and tucked his hair behind his ear, mentally reminding himself to get it cut next time he saw Mandy their hair girl.

"Change of plans." She crinkled her nose again and Justin stared. "Toronto for three days to help promote the tour."

"You're doing Canada?"

"Four shows, yeah."

"Hmm." Justin nodded and stood up.


Justin shook his head and checked his watch, "So you’ll be back Wednesday?" He sighed.

Kelly noticed his shortness and reached for his hand, "I’d stay if I could. But work comes first… right?"

Justin looked at their fingers entwined on the table, "Yep." She was right; work came first, for both of them. Work had to come first in this business and anyone he dated would have to be clear on that. Kelly understood that better than anyone. "I’ve gotta get going."

"You have to go? Justin it’s only four o’clock."


"I don’t have to leave until later, I’m taking the red eye."

"I know, but I was kind of planning on staying here tonight, so now I’ve gotta go let the guys know I’ll be at the hotel so I can get a room."

"Don’t you have your room the whole time you’re here?"

"Yes." Justin sighed. "But Stacey and Diane are coming to visit Lance and I said they could use my room this weekend."

"Where’d you stay last night?"

"Chris’s room." Justin thought on his feet… so much for being honest.

"So stay there."

"Jess is in town." Justin stood up and wiped his hands on his pants. "It’s no biggie, I just have to go let them know and everything. I’ll give you a call Wednesday after I get done in the studio." He leaned down and kissed her quickly. "Have a safe trip and all that good stuff."

"Are you mad?"

"No." Justin smiled. "Just tired." He kissed her again before heading for the front door.

Kelly watched with a frown as he shut the door behind him, she shook her head and yawned then stood up to lock up and begin her packing.


Justin appeared in the studio on Monday a new man. He hit the notes, joked with the guys, gave his input and offered up suggestions. He'd made up his mind that morning over breakfast and hadn't changed it back since then. He was certain that his choice was the right one, and all he had to do now was tell her. And he could hardly wait.

Wednesday took forever to arrive, but when it did he dressed himself nicely and explained to Johnny that he would be late to the studio. He had something important to do that just couldn't wait. Joey and JC would be laying down their harmonies so Justin had until noon to get his "errands" done. That would be more than enough time.

Justin stood on Kelly’s doorstep and nervously shifted his feet. He rang her bell and waited patiently as he heard Chloe run up the slate floor toward the door. She pulled the door open with a look of surprise, "Justin? What… what are you doing here? I thought you were in the studio till five?"

"I need to talk to you." He looked closely at his shoes and furrowed his brow as his preplanned speech slipped from his mind.

"What? What is it?" Kelly's face registered concern as she shooed Chloe back with her foot. "Come inside, we can talk in here."

"Nah… I uh… it's cool." He sighed and looked up to meet her eye, "I’m sorry Kelly, I just… I think it would be better if we didn’t see each other any more." Justin said softly.

"What?" Kelly asked as the blood rushed to her face.

"I’ve been… I met someone else. Kelly we’ve been, I just… I have to be honest with you, I don’t want to lie anymore." Somehow Justin managed to stutter out the words. "We’re both too work focused and that just doesn’t work good together."

"What are you saying?" She asked, suddenly out of breath. His admission hung in the air for a moment before he took a deep breath and tried to explain.

"I think I’m in love Kelly. I’m sorry… I can't help that. I had a great time, and you’re a great person. I love you Kell, but as a friend." He took her hand and squeezed it in a way he hoped was reassuring, considering he’d just broke her heart. "I’m sorry." He dropped her hand and turned to walk back to his car by the curb.

"Justin… you can’t just leave." She said loudly as the tears started. She pulled his arm, forcing him to trip over the tiny step up to her porch.

"I have to Kelly. The guys are waiting." He whispered as she let go of his arm. If it had been Becca, he would have expected the slap in the face, but from Kelly it came from out of the blue. Her hand made impact with his left cheekbone and shook his skull.

He collected his pride in the moment or two it took for the shock to wear off then flexed his jaw, "Okay, I deserved that." He nodded and turned to walk down the path to the driveway.

"You’ve just kissed your career goodbye Justin." She shouted after him.

He rolled his eyes, glad that she couldn’t see his face through the tears, and waved over his shoulder. He climbed into his rental car and headed for the studio.

Justin turned his cell phone on and cradled it to his ear as he maneuvered down the hill away from Kelly's house. His cheek still burned where she slapped him, but he couldn't stop smiling. He dialed Becca's number and listened to it ring through to her answering machine, "Hey, this is Becca and Brodie. Brodie is here but she can't get to the phone. Becca is in San Jose and won't be back till Thursday. If you can wait that long, leave a message. If you can't, then hang up." *beep*

Justin sighed and turned his phone off instead of leaving a message. He'd have to wait until Thursday to call her back.


Thursday morning, Justin and the guys were shuttled off to Orlando to meet with Johnny at his offices, but not before Justin made his important phone call.

"Hey Bec." Justin smiled as he jumped into the van. The engine started and they were on their way before he even had a chance to sit down.

"Hey Just, what’s up?" Becca got that girly feeling every time he called.

"Not a whole bunch. Are you busy this weekend?"

"As in two days from now?" Becca glanced at her Sexy Fireman calendar.

"Um, yeah."

"No, I’m not busy. I have to work tomorrow, but I can get out of that if I need to. Why? You were just here."

"I’d like to come out. To see you I mean." Justin said softly. He grabbed a Pepsi from the tiny ice chest between the seats and popped it open. Lance and JC were the only others on the van and they were in the back playing hand held video games.

"You can come out whenever you want, you know that." She laughed and pulled her feet up on the couch beside her. "But you were just here like, last weekend."

"I know, I just… I have some big news and I wanted to make sure you had free time so we can celebrate."

"Big news?"


"Big like how?"

"Big like wow." Justin laughed.

"What is it?"

"It’s a surprise."

"I don’t like surprises." She frowned.

"You’ll like this one."

"Justin…" She whined.

"Oh stop. So you’re free then? No plans?"

"I’m not telling you." She smiled playfully.

"Fine, I’ll be out Saturday afternoon and we can go out that night. How does that sound?" She didn’t answer, so he laughed and said, "If you don’t answer me, then I’m not going to come out." Again, he was met with silence as Becca tested his stubbornness. "Okay, be that way. I’ll just stay home. Talk to you later." He clicked the phone off and dropped it into his backpack, staring at it with a satisfied smile, knowing it would ring in another minute.

Becca waited five minutes before calling him back, making him sweat it out and worry a bit. "I bet you thought I wasn’t going to call, huh?" She laughed when he answered the phone on the first ring.

"Ha ha." He scoffed. "So, is that okay? Saturday afternoon?"

"I’ll be here." She sighed, but couldn’t hide her smile.


"Can I go study now?"

"Sure, go get smart."

"I am smart."

"Okay, go get smarter." He laughed. "I’ll talk to you later."

"Bye." Becca laughed and rolled her eyes and she hung up and grabbed her over stuffed book bag.

Becca spent a couple of hours in the university library catching up on the studying she had put off during her trip to San Jose. She grabbed fast food on the way back to her house, and ate it standing up in the kitchen, tossing Brodie a french fry every couple of minutes.

"What is that?" She asked out loud, but to herself. There was a soft sound coming from the other room so she put her drink down and listened carefully.

Becca frowned as the humming sound lured her toward the family room. It had been going on for more than ten minutes in short intervals and it was driving her nuts. She turned the TV off and listened carefully as the sound stopped. She stood perfectly still while Brodie watched her with interest and confusion. More than a minute later, the sound started again, and Becca followed it to her right; it had to be coming from the couch. She lifted the couch cushions as the sound stopped again. Becca sighed and looked under the couch and in the magazine rack by the wall, finding nothing that could be the source of the humming.

It started again a minute later and Becca tracked the sound to the end table at the far end of the couch. She lifted the magazines and junk that were piled on the table, and knocked a small black pager to the floor. She laughed and picked it up as it vibrated in her hand. "You must be dying right about now…" Becca said softly. She knew instantly that it was Justin’s, and his lifeline to the "real world" as he put it.

Brodie gave a quick, short bark as Becca pressed the buttons on the front to make it stop vibrating. The number appeared on the small screen and Becca recognized it as a Los Angeles number. "You’re not going to find your pager babe, no matter how many times you page yourself." Becca laughed lightly and picked up her phone. "Oh well, I’ll put you out of your misery." She dialed the number quickly and sat on the arm of the couch. She was glad to have an excuse to call Justin.

"Hello?" Kelly answered the phone with a sigh. Becca stopped, the female voice was completely unexpected and she instantly reached to hang up the phone. "Hello?" Kelly repeated, more annoyed than anything.

"H-hi." Becca said quickly. Her mind raced, trying to make a connection before the thought hit her. "Is this Kelly?" She asked the question but she knew the answer before she finished. Of course it was Kelly, according to MTV and the tabloid TV shows, Justin and Kelly broke up that week. Becca had a sinking feeling in her stomach as she realized they might not be lying.

"Who is this?" Kelly rolled her eyes and pulled her bottled water out of the refrigerator.

"You don’t know me but my name is Becca. I think we might have something in common." She said softly.

"How did you get this number?"

"Are you dating Justin Timberlake?" Becca avoided her question.

"Who is this?"

"This is Becca." She repeated.

"You’re not too observant, are you?"

"Excuse me?"

"News of our break up has been all over the tabloids. And I have no comment, so if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to hang up now. You need to call my reps for comments, not my home."

"No, wait!" Becca’s heart raced in her chest as she jumped out of her chair. "Wait, just a second. You were dating him?"

"Who is this? Where did you get this number?" Kelly insisted after a minute’s pause.

"My name is Becca and I got your number from Justin’s pager." Becca said slowly.

"You got my number where?"

"I think we need to talk." Becca rested her hand against her forehead.

"Pardon me, Becca… but who exactly are you?"

"I’m dating Justin, and I have been for eight months." Becca finished her sentence and waited for Kelly’s response. She was answered instead by a soft click and then silence.

It was now or never, Becca redialed the number but wasn’t surprised when it went to Kelly’s machine, "Hi, this is Becca again. I really think we need to talk, because if Justin was seeing you any time in the last eight months, he and I are going to have words. I’d like to get the facts before I feed him his privates, so if you can please call me back my number is 702-853-5937. If you don’t call, that’s cool, but if he’s been playing both of us…" Becca sighed, "Anyway, bye."

Becca waited for a few minutes then decided Kelly wasn't going to call back. She'd try again later, but she needed a long hot shower first.


Becca stepped out of the shower and wrapped her towel around her body a half hour later. She tossed her hair up into her towel turban and reached for her lotion as her phone rang in the other room. "Shit." She said under her breath as she dropped the bottle onto her bed and sprinted for the phone. "Hello?" She answered as she landed on the couch. The dark green towel began to fall so she held it up with one hand and held the phone with the other.

"Is this Becca?" Kelly asked tentatively.


"Why should I believe that you’re… that you’ve…" She cleared her throat and tried to sound angry as the tears welled up in her eyes, "That you’ve been seeing Justin?"

"I got your number off his pager, you paged him this afternoon." Becca sighed and pulled the towel tighter.

"I didn't page that asshole." Kelly snapped.

"The pager has been here since last weekend apparently, so sometime between then and now, you did." Becca picked up the pager and dropped it from hand to hand.

"That doesn’t prove anything."

Becca sighed, this girl wanted proof? She’d get it. "The nipple ring? I paid for it; he got it a couple weeks ago when he was here in Las Vegas with me. Right before he allegedly went to Nashville, though he was probably in LA with you." Kelly cringed; he was in fact in Nashville with her. He had been half honest at least. Becca continued, "He also has a triangle shaped scar right above his left butt cheek… um… " Becca wracked her brain trying to think of another example that wouldn’t be crude, "Ahhh, I met you in Vegas by the elevators. Justin was on his way back to his room after coming to my house after the show."

Kelly’s lips turned icy as she blushed deeply, remembering that night. "What kind of whore are you?" Kelly asked as her voice began to shake.

"Excuse me? I’m a whore? I think you’ve got your signals mixed here. If you want to be mad at someone, be mad at Justin."

"I am mad at Justin. But you’re the one who was sleeping with him."

"And you weren’t? Honey, I didn’t know about you and you didn’t know about me. We were both played, so trying to place this blame on anyone other than him, is ridiculous."

"Our relationship was covered everywhere, it would have been impossible for you to have missed it."

"He told me you all were friends. That’s all he’s ever said about you two, and you’ve said the same thing. Not that I follow the teenybopper pop scene, but when it came to Justin I made an exception. I know you’re pissed, and I can promise I’m just as livid… if not more." The two rivals sat in silence for a full minute. "So… he was seeing you then too?"

"Yes." Kelly said softly.

"Hmm." Becca furrowed her brow in thought. "Are you busy this weekend?"

"Excuse me?"

"This weekend. As in two days from now. Are you busy?"

"What do you mean?"

"Jesus, I mean are you busy? I refuse to be made a fool of. Justin is coming out on Saturday with some ‘big news’ and if I can make it a few days without killing him, I plan on doing it then."


"So you’ve been used just as much as I was and I figured you might want to spice up your life a bit and get involved."

"In killing someone?" Kelly scoffed.

"In slapping him around." Becca rolled her eyes.

"I slapped him already." Kelly smiled slowly.

"You did huh?" Becca grinned; maybe this girl wasn’t as bad as she thought.

"Yeah. When he broke up with me two days ago."


"He said he’d found someone else."

"Oh." Becca said after a pause.



"Exactly." Kelly nodded. "So you’re her? The one he can’t live without huh?"

"Jesus, did he say that?"


"What a sap."

"He chose you, you should be happy."

"Ha, not when he’s been bouncing from one bed to another for eight months." Becca frowned, "I wonder if there are others…"

"He wouldn’t have time." Kelly shook her head.

"I never thought he’d have time for two, and look what happened."

"True." Kelly sat in silence for a second. "So what did you have in mind?"

"I’m not sure. In two days I’m sure I will have calmed down a bit. But he needs to be taught a lesson. You don’t fuck with me and expect to get away scott free."

"Which is why I went public. He hated that."

"Good for you." Becca nodded. "So, are you in?"

"Where are you?"

"Las Vegas." Becca said softly.

Kelly nodded, though she knew the girl on the other end couldn’t see her. Of course, Las Vegas. She should have known. "You want me to come out there to see you?"

"Justin is coming over on Saturday, and I think we should confront him. Besides, if I’m going to rip him a new one, we might need a referee."

"How do I know you won’t turn on me?" Kelly asked a minute later.

"Because I’m not mad at you." Becca shrugged. "Look, you don’t have to come. I was just giving you the opportunity to watch him squirm."

"What time will he be there?"

"His flight gets in around ten thirty." Becca said as a wave of excitement washed over her.

"Is there an earlier flight?"

"There are a couple." Becca smiled and waited anxiously for Kelly to answer.

"I’d have to leave by two." Kelly sighed.

"That’s fine."

"Are you sure he’s going to be there?"

"Yeah, he has some big news, like I said. I can only imagine what it is."

"Right." Kelly said sarcastically.

"So you’ll come?"

"I’ll be there Saturday before ten." Kelly took a deep breath as her stomach sunk.

Becca gave Kelly her address and quick directions, then hung up. Four hundred miles apart, the two very different girls from very different words were having the exact same thought, "I can’t believe I’m going to meet the other woman."


Kelly's silver rental car pulled up at the curb in front of Becca's apartment building at nine on Saturday morning. Her flight had been delayed for a half hour, but looking up at the apartment complex in front of her, she wished it had been longer. "Ugh, Justin… this is where you spent your time?" She wrinkled her nose and stepped out into the desert heat with a bag of bagels in one hand and her purse in the other. Kelly made sure the car doors were locked before cautiously making her way through the courtyard to the steps leading to Becca's apartment.

The thought of turning around and forgetting all about Becca's little plan crossed Kelly's mind more than once as she stood at the bottom of the stairs looking up. She had never the confrontational type, and she wasn't sure she wanted to start with Justin. She quickly tucked her hair behind her ear and straightened her blouse before hopping up the stairs. Kelly tapped on the screen door before she could change her mind, and rubbed her lip-gloss coated lips together in anticipation.

Becca nervously opened the door and tried to keep Brodie back, "Hi." She nodded.

"Hi." Kelly said shakily. She wasn’t usually nervous around people, considering her profession it was hard to be. She didn’t know whether to shake Becca’s hand, or smile, or stomp into the house.

"Come on in." Becca held the door open and let Kelly in to her newly tidied apartment. "I don’t know if you drink coffee, but I just made a pot if you’d like some."

"That’d uh, that’d be great." Kelly nodded and suddenly remembered the bag in her hand. "I brought bagels."

"Great, thanks." Becca forced a smile and nodded toward the kitchen before leaving Kelly alone in the entry.

Kelly watched closely as Becca crossed the room. This was the lady Justin had chosen over her. At first Kelly could see nothing that would attract Justin, but as Becca reached into the upper cupboard to get mugs down, Kelly saw it. Becca’s simplicity, her normal life, her frumpy dog and her tidy but dingy apartment were what attracted him to her. She was the normal life he wanted and could never have. For a split second Kelly admired Becca, for being more than the object of Justin’s affection.

"Cream?" Becca asked as she held a cup of coffee out to Kelly.

"No, uh, black is fine." Kelly nervously licked her lips and took the cup. "Thanks."

"So… wow, this is really weird." Becca laughed uneasily and hopped up on the counter then spooned heaping mounds of sugar into her mug.

"Yeah." Kelly laughed softly, glad to break the tension a bit.

"Well I don’t know about you, but I’ve spent the last couple nights thinking about you and what you’d be like in person and everything." Becca watched her coffee swirl in the cup as she stirred. "You seem pretty normal, for a mega star."

Kelly nodded, "I’ve wondered too."

"I never could figure out why Justin kept coming back. I mean, in his life of limos and beachfront homes, autographs and awards shows, this place has got to look like a dump. I never got that." Becca shook her head. "You just seemed like the natural choice for him. I can’t believe that I actually believed him when he said you guys were only friends. It was so obvious."

"This is the life he wants though." Kelly looked around the tiny kitchen and sipped her coffee carefully. "A normal life I mean. I can see the attraction there." Kelly nodded. "But… don’t take this the wrong way, but it wouldn’t have lasted."

"Are you kidding?" Becca laughed. "Of course it wouldn’t have. He’d drive me nuts. He was fun and all that, but he had a lot of growing up to do. Seeing him a couple times a month was fine, but… no… I don’t think it would have lasted either." She shook her head and reached into the bagel bag.

"As much as he wants a life like this, he can never have it." Kelly shook her head again. "Not to sound like a bitch, but he needs someone who understands the lifestyle he’s living in now."

"What he needs is to be bitch slapped." Becca scoffed. "It doesn’t make a difference which lifestyle he wanted or anything like that. He was trying to have the best of both worlds, and that’s not cool with me."

"Me neither." Kelly took the bag after Becca chose hers and the two girls stood in the dim kitchen eating their bagels and coffee in silence. "Do you know what time he’s coming?"

"He said around eleven." Becca said softly.

"What are you going to say to him?"

"I don’t know." Becca shook her head. "Part of me wants to wail on him and just go off. But then, I guess another part just wants to really freak him out by staying calm. He doesn’t deserve an ounce of the energy it’d take for me to be mad."

"Yeah." Kelly nodded.

"What about you?"

"I don’t know." She smiled. "I was thinking about that on my flight here. I want to let him know that as far as I’m concerned he’s out of my life. But I also want to let him know that with two phone calls I can have this all over the tabloids and basically spank his PR person."

"You hold the power." Becca smiled at Kelly over her mug. For being a stereotypical "Young Miss USA", Kelly sure did have a vindictive streak.

"I guess, but I’m not going to use it." She shook her head. "I’m going to hold that over him."

"Will that work though? I mean, look at Hollywood. People cheat on people left and right, that’s nothing new."

"No… but being a member of Nsync, the notoriously clean cut group of boys, well… his fans would be less than pleased, to say the least."

"And you’re not going to say anything?"


"Why is that again?"

"He’s a prick, I’m not saying he’s not. But this isn’t worth damaging his career over."

"What if I did it?"

"No offense, but I don’t think you’d hold the credibility, or have the right contacts." Kelly frowned. Becca began to object, but Kelly shook her head, "Besides, it’s not worth it. The last thing you want is a pack of teenage girls on your doorstep hating you for hurting their future husband." Kelly rolled her eyes.

"True." Becca nodded.

"This is really weird." Kelly set her cup on the counter and leaned back. "I'm not sure what to feel here."

"Meeting me you mean?"

"Meeting the girl who took my Justin away."

"Hey. I didn't ta - "

"No, I didn't mean it that way. It's just… he chose you over me, and it's just weird to meet you." Kelly frowned, "That came out all wrong."

"I think I know what you mean." Becca nodded. "This is definitely weird."

"He told you we were just friends?" Kelly asked.

"Yeah." Becca sighed, "But I should have seen through that."

"He can be pretty deceptive. Apparently." Kelly averted her eyes and took a deep breath. "Wow, I just don't know about confronting him. I mean, what if he gets mad?"

"I hope he does. It'd be fun to knock him out and have the excuse of self defense." Becca laughed and poured the remainder of her coffee out as she took a bite of her bagel.

"You're going to hit him?"

"I'm going to try not to."

"He'd deserve it." Kelly said softly.

"Yep." Becca smiled. She glanced over her shoulder at the bird shaped clock above her sink and hopped off the counter, "He'll be here soon."

Butterflies danced in Kelly's stomach as she followed Becca out to the living room. Brodie immediately dropped her head in Kelly's lap and she looked startled. "Is he nice?" Kelly left her hands at her sides.

"She's a girl, Brodie, and she's an angel." Becca smiled and sat at the opposite end of the couch.

"Hi Brodie." Kelly smiled and pet her behind her ears. "You probably smell my Chloe on my pants, don’t you? She'd be a snack for you." Kelly laughed lightly then looked up at Becca, "She's cute."


"We have to stick together on this whole thing." Kelly looked back at the dog and continued to pet her.

"What do you mean?"

"I just mean that we can't back down."

"I don’t plan on it." Becca laughed shortly. "He'll be lucky to leave in one piece."

"I think I was saying it more for me." Kelly smiled and shook her head. "This is so not me, this whole confrontation thing." She took a deep breath and looked around the apartment, "I just hope I can do it and not make a fool out of myself."

Becca nodded and laughed, then a thought struck her. Kelly Sullivan, teen pop princess was in her living room on her couch. How surreal was that? And in another few minutes, Justin would be there to complete the odd picture. She laughed again and stood up to adjust the blinds to let in more light.

There was a sharp and sudden knock on the screen door causing both girls to jump. "Is that him?" Kelly asked as she stood up from the couch.

"Yeah, I think so." Becca pulled the blinds to the side and saw Justin standing on the little landing with his backpack hanging from his hand. The little bastard looked happy. "Yep." She nodded over her should at Kelly who wiped her sweaty palms on the front of her pants and took a deep breath. She paused with her hand on the door handle and looked at Becca nervously. "Go on." Becca gave her a smile of encouragement and relaxed when Kelly smiled back.

"Hi." Kelly said sweetly as she pulled the door open. Brodie forced her way past Kelly's legs and through the screen door to greet Justin.

Justin’s breath caught in his throat as the full realization of what was going on struck him, "K-Kelly?"

"Why don’t you come on inside Justin, I think Kelly might like to hear your big news too." Becca said from the living room.

Justin cleared his throat and shuffled his feet as he looked over his shoulder at the now empty street. His cab had left as soon as he hopped out, and he was stranded. There was no way to escape what was coming, "I uh…"

"Come on." Kelly held the screen open for Justin, and held his gaze as he stepped through. "Well, I’m glad to see I didn’t leave that bad of a mark." She traced his cheek with her finger, barely able to make out the faint discoloration where she’d hit him.

"What’s going on here?" He asked as he shoved his hands in his pockets. His heart was racing a thousand beats a second and tiny beads of sweat presented themselves on his forehead.

"I’m not sure you’re the one to be asking questions today." Becca frowned from the couch. "Maybe after we’re done." She looked up at Kelly who followed Justin into the room.

"Which may not be for a while, so maybe you should write your questions down?" Kelly looked around for a pen or pencil.

"No, it’s okay. I uh…" Justin fidgeted as Kelly walked around him and dropped herself on the couch beside Becca.

"Make yourself comfortable." Becca patted the empty cushion between her and Kelly.

"I’ll stand."

"Suit yourself." Becca shrugged.

Kelly pet Brodie’s head by her feet, and looked at Becca, "Do you want to go first?"

"No, you go ahead. If I go first there might not be enough left for you to talk to."

"Okay." Kelly laughed lightly, "Justin… Justy my dear." She shook her head and took a deep breath. "I’m not going to threaten your career, or comment on your professional life or well being. That’s not my place. However, you’ve proved yourself to be a liar and that can’t be overlooked." Justin stared at the carpet as she stared a hole through him and continued. "I could very easily make a few phone calls and have this all over everywhere. You know I can Justin. And I have half a mind to do that, to see if there are any others out there. Any other girls on the side, or shit… maybe even a wife somewhere."

"Come on Kell." Justin looked up quickly.

"Were there others?" Kelly asked softly.

"That I was lying to?" Justin asked. The second the words left his mouth, he knew he'd just buried himself.

"You mean there were others you weren't lying to?" She asked with a surprised look.

"I think he means there were flings he didn't have to lie to because they didn't give a shit who else he was sleeping with." Becca added from the couch.

"Were there?"

Justin realized it was too late to turn back now, and he was already so far into the doghouse that he may as well go for broke, "A couple."

"A couple?" Kelly asked as her heart skipped a beat. "Two?"

"Or three." He nodded and took a step backward.

"Or four?" Becca challenged with a scoff.

"Four." Justin nodded.

"You had sex with four random girls in the last year?" Kelly practically shouted as she stood up.

"They weren't random." Justin sighed. "I'm not going into this now."

"You know what? I don't even want to know." Becca shook her head and held her hands out as if to block him from her sight as she stood up. "You make me sick. You make me physically sick to my stomach." She brushed past Kelly and stomped down the short hall to her room.

Justin watched Becca go, then looked back at Kelly, "Kell, I - "

"You can add your comments when I’m through." Kelly said as she raised her voice a notch. Her self-confidence and power stance were new to Justin, and shocked him into silence. "You know that in a matter of minutes, I could let every girl out there know what kind of trash you are, what kind of a user you are. But I’m not. I’m going to rise above that and be the better person. Don’t mistake that for being nice though, because from now on, I’ll have that tiny tid bit of information under my thumb. So think of it as a pawn I guess." She smirked and licked her lips. "I will however make sure your band mates know exactly what went on there."

"Bu – " Justin started.

"When I’m done." Kelly held up her hand. "You lied Justin. You used your parents, the guys and your little brothers as excuses and lies, which I’m sure they wouldn’t be happy about." Becca sighed loudly from the hall where she stood with her arms crossed. Justin’s eyes darted from Kelly’s angry face to Becca’s solemn expression then back to face the final blow from Kelly. "And right now… I can barely stand to look at you." Kelly kept her composure as she took a deep breath and turned on her heel. She put her hand over her mouth as she walked into the kitchen and let her angry tears overflow.

Justin watched after her with an anxious look, he did not want to be left alone with Becca without a referee. He nervously looked up and shifted his feet again before glancing over his shoulder at the door; "You want to leave?" Becca asked softly, her calmness surprised even herself.

Justin looked up and met her eye, of course he wanted to leave, he wanted to walk out the door and forget this every happened. His world was crumbling at his feet and all he could do was stand there and let it. He had come with a high heart, ready to make a lasting commitment to Becca, ready to make changes in his life to straighten up, and be a man about it. Now it was all for nothing. "Bec, I’m sorry."

"No you’re not. You’re only sorry you got caught." She said evenly.

"I came here to tell you."

"No you didn’t." She shook her head and walked into the room.

"I came here to tell you that I’m ready to – "

"How long has this been going on?" She clenched her fists at her side and Justin took a step backwards toward the door. "Since when?"

"A while…" Justin said softly. "I wa-"

"Are you actually going to try to explain your way out of this?" Becca laughed shortly. "This I've got to see." She raised her eyebrow and remained silent for a minute, waiting to hear what he said. He kept his mouth shut, which was the smartest thing he'd done so far. "You're not going to explain?"

"There's nothing I can say." Justin said. "You won't listen to me an-"

"I'm listening. Rationalize to me how you thought it was okay to date both of us. Not to mention the four others. Go ahead Justin, you have my undivided attention."

Their strong wills met in the center of the room and they stared each other down for a solid minute. Justin finally raised his eyebrow and shrugged, there was nothing he could say, and he wouldn’t even bother trying. He admitted defeat with a sigh and looked toward the kitchen where Kelly was standing in the doorway. "Get out of here." Becca said firmly, with a perfectly still voice.

"Bec, I –"

"Leave." She grabbed Brodie’s collar and pulled her back to her side.

"I’m sorry."

"Kelly’s being nice about this, and she’s letting it go. If you keep talking, you’ll find out just how much this can hurt you."

"I am hurt." Justin said softly.

"Go to hell." She said a bit louder than necessary.

"Becca calm down." He held his hands up as she took a threatening step toward him.

"I am calm. If I wasn’t calm, the better portion of your face would be under my fingernails." She said slowly.

"Becca, I’m sorry."

"I’m serious Justin. Leave. Or you will grow to regret this moment. Turn around and walk away."

"So this is it?" He asked softly, as he looked from one girl to the other. Both were perfect in their own ways, and together they would have made the dream girl for him. But apart, they created his own personal hell.

"This is it." Kelly nodded.

He looked to Becca, "This is it." She said with cold eyes.

Justin nodded and with his stomach in knots, he turned around slowly and pulled the front door open. The backpack in his hand had cut off circulation to his finger from holding it so long, so he flexed them at his side as he trotted down the stairs. He didn’t look back as he crossed the courtyard and hit the sidewalk. It would be a long walk to the nearest payphone to call for a cab, but it gave Justin time to think. And time to regret.

He’d made all the wrong decisions, and being alone was his cruel reward.


 It's over - any final thoughts?


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Copyright � 2001, Amy Lynn