FOURTEEN:

 

"Go away," he heard from the other side of the door. Her voice was strained and he wished to God that it wasn't his fault, but he knew that it had been.

Justin kicked the door with his foot. "Not until you hear what I have to say," he growled, "I did that when we first fought and I'm not gonna do that again."

"Justin Gritty is going to come back soon and if you're standing there kicking at my door he's gonna call the cops!" she warned.

He sighed, "You've got to be kidding me."

"I'll call your mother."

Justin kicked the door, "You've got to be kidding me."

"Justin stop it!" Meredith screamed at him.

He'd scared her and that wasn't his intention at all. He'd driven over there after finding out that she'd suddenly left. It was completely rude of her to do to Rodney, but he'd smooth things over later with that matter. He had other things to deal with at the moment. He took a deep breath, stepped back from the door and paced a little moving the CD from one hand to the other before returning so that his face was close to the wood that separated him.

"Meredith," he said, "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to scare you. I just want this to be settled and you being in there shutting me out isn't helping."

"I hate you," she said, "Why would I ever want to see you again?"

"Fine, hate me," he said, "Just...just please...Please Meredith, just listen to me. You don't even have to open the door again...just listen, ok?"

"Just say what you have to say," she said through the door. He heard movement and figured that she was leaning against the door from inside.

"Meredith, I didn't cheat on you," he said closing his eyes and trying not to remember too much from Vegas. He'd been shocked to find out that she'd left town and when he'd tried to contact her she had told him only that things were over and to stay out of his life. "I went that night to find you because JC told me that you were coming into town to surprise me. It was late and I didn't know where you were and I went to find you but Britney found me instead. She and I had a drink figuring that I'd wait around a little for you, but I swear I don't know how things got out of hand. She crawled into my lap and started kissing me and that's when you walked in."

"What about the next morning?" she asked.

Justin leaned hard against the door jam finding it hard to stand now after explaining all that to her. He'd told his part of the story and now she wanted more. He was beginning to wonder if this was all worth it. If she didn't trust him then why would he want to be with her anyway? "The next morning?"

"I came looking for you and Britney told me that you both had just woken up."

"I don't know what you're talking about," he said, "I left after you did, but when I went to go find you Gritty told me to leave you alone and said that you didn't want to talk to me so I let it go and went to bed. When I woke up you were gone and then when I called you I couldn't get through ever."

"I couldn't talk to you after that. She told me that you--"

"Bear, let me in..." He leaned and rested his forearm on the door and put his forehead against that. Tears were coming to his eyes due his frustration level and the emotion that surfaced from the discussion. He'd had it, but it wasn't going to give up until he put that demo CD in her hand. "Bear please, just open the door, take this CD and play it. I wrote this song for you the other night and flew two days ago, woke JC up out of a deep sleep and spent two days in the studio to finish it. I want you to hear it before it goes on the album. I just want you to hear it."

He could hear her crying inside and a moment later he heard her voice, "Just go away Justin. I can't do this any more."

"Please Bear," he said, "I'm sorry that this has all been up, but please just take this CD. Just listen to it and I'll leave you alone."

The door cracked open, just enough to be able to have a hand come through and take the CD from him.

 

 

The CD felt like a brick in her hand when he put it in her grasp. His fingers touched hers for only a moment sending a wave of electricity up her arm. It was a jolt of warmth after having her feel so cool all evening. It was a demo, like any other demo with a printed sticker on the front with the name of the song and the artist and all on it.

"Something Like You"
(Justin Timberlake)
Produced By JC Chasez

She moved across the room and put it in the CD player next to the television and waited for the song to come out. She still didn't understand why she needed to listen to the song, but she did as she was asked anyway.

So many times I thought I held it in my hands,
But just like grains of sand
Love slipped through my fingers.
And so many nights,
I asked the Lord above
Please make me lucky enough
To find a love that lingers
Something keeps telling me
That you could be my answered prayer
You must be heaven sent I swear

Cause something happens when you look at me I forget to speak.
Something happens when you kiss my mouth my knees get so weak.
Could it be true this is what God has meant for me cause baby
I can't believe that something like you could happen to me
Something like you

Girl in your eyes, I feel your fire burn
Oh your secrets I will learn
Even if it takes forever
With you by my side
I can do anything
I don't care what tomorrow brings
As long as we're together.
My heart is telling me
That you could be my meant to be

She walked over to the door, letting the song still play in the background and put her hand against the door. She knew he was still there. She couldn't see him, but she felt him only inches away from her and that's when she heard it.

Her eyes went wide when she realized what was going on. He was crying and he was mumbling something, or as she came to find out a few moments later when she opened the door, he was mumbling to someone.

He'd sat down on the porch near the doorway, with his knees bent and an arm propping him up a little. His head was lowered and his shoulders hung with fatigue. "I don't know." He said angrily sniffing back tears and a runny nose. He pressed the phone to his ear and covered his face. "I thought it would work, but I don't know now. I...I thought that I could get to her, but it doesn't seem like she's even willing to try anymore."

Meredith stepped out onto the porch. His head was bent so far that he didn't notice her so she continued to watch him.

"I don't know," he said sounding angry now, "I didn't cheat on her. I loved her--love her with everything in my being, but it's like..." He sniffed. "...it's like it's not enough. I mean I always thought that if I just loved her enough that things would work out and that happened for a while, but now...now I don't know what I'm gonna do without her. I mean be really without her." He looked up enough to wipe his face a moment later. He paused and held the phone close to his mouth, "I've gotta go."

He hung up the phone and Meredith just stared at him. He wasn't sure how to start this conversation, but she knew it had to happen. "Come in...I think we need to talk."

 

 

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