As she starts to explain the schedule I find my phone in my backpack then slip out of the room and dial Lisa Timberlake's cell number.
"Hi Lisa," I say. I hate that I have to walk away from where I really want to be to have this conversation, "It's Vivian."
"Oh hey girl." I hear noises in the background, probably the sounds of the TV on and I picture her standing in the kitchen, hair up in a ponytail hugging the phone to her ear with her shoulder while she does her daily chores while dodging the boys.
"I was just wanting to make sure that the boys got home ok," I say, "I'm not bothering you am I?"
"They made it fine and you know you aren't bothering me. They're actually both watching movies right now--" She sighs, "Well Jonathan is, Steven looks like he's out for the count."
"Really?" I say, "He probably didn't get much rest last night. He had a hard time getting to sleep. Justin and I had to calm him down before he finally went to closed his eyes for the night and this morning he seemed a little cranky."
"Poor guy goes through too much on these trips. If I had it my way sometimes I think I wouldn't send him. He loves to visit, but he's so upset after seeing his brother it almost makes it worse rather than better."
"Justin is the same way. I feel like I have to calm the two of them down when they get away from each other."
"I don't know what we'd do without you. I don't know what Justin would do without you."
"Well I'm not going anywhere any time soon," I say with a smile.
"How's he doing since--?" she asks.
"He's better," I say.
She's the only one of the parents that I would talk to about this. Lynn is too close to her son to see things objectively sometimes, Randy isn't really the heart on your sleeve kind of guy, at least with me and Paul and I don't really speak, not because he's not a great guy, but mainly because he's busy with his own life and only flies in and out of Justin's life when he's needed. He loves Justin more like a son than a step-son, but knows when to be involved and when to just let things just happen. "He and I have been talking a bit and--"
"Is he getting back to himself?"
"Yeah," I say, "He and I are talking about maybe dating or something--"
"Dating?" Lisa says and sighs, "Awwee...honey that's so great."
"It's nothing big," I say and turn a corner and look for a drink machine. "We're seeing if things are going to go in that direction."
"I think that's great," Lisa says, "You are really the only one who knows him anymore and as shocking as it sounds, I think he's kind of always depended on you to be there for him, not just for the job parts, but for someone to lean on when he needs it. I know that this summer when he was out of the loop with all of us, that he'd talk to you."
"Yeah," I say, "I'm glad that he would talk to me. He really was starting to worry everyone."
"Well I should let you get back to work and I have some chores to get done around here, but the next time Justin is down this way you and I should have lunch," she says.
"That sounds great Lisa," I say, "Tell Jon and Steven that I miss them and if they want to call me that they can and if they don't get me I'll call them back."
"And tell Randy and Granny Timberlake and Grandpa Timberlake that I say hello."
I pause for a moment thinking of everyone else back home in Tennessee. I call Tennessee home because as much as I've been away and traveling, I've also been included on many trips home to see Justin's family. Any time we were within a three state radius of Tennessee we'd stop by to say hi and spend the night so I've become part of Justin's extended family in the eyes of his blood relatives.
This summer it showed the most. I would get calls from his step mother and from Lynn asking me to plead with Justin to talk. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn't, but either way I was given the chance to help his family and him that had NOTHING to do with my job title or description.
"Will do," Lisa says, "That reminds me. I need to make sure that the Timberlake's have enough potting soil. They're repotting the plants on the deck this weekend."
"Talk to you soon honey," Lisa says, "And tell Justin to call us in a few days when he has time."
We hang up the line and I find myself feeling insanely better about my relationship with Justin. With his family on my side I know that I'll have an easier time of things.
My confidence is high as I move back into the room to see what they're up to with Justin. Just as I'm coming in Nate Richards from Music Mania takes a seat across from Justin and I settled into the chair just off camera with my magazine open on my lap so I wouldn't look like I was paying too much attention even though I was going to be listening intently to this interview anyway. This wasn't going to be the first interview between Nate and Justin. They'd known each other for about three years since Nate had started his correspondent job.
Nate takes a drink of water, settled his notes on his lap and smiled before pointing at the camera that had been set up. "I want to get into the album."
Justin nodded and seemed to sigh a sigh of relief. Everything lately had been about Britney so much that it was about time that they paid attention to the album. He sits up and gets a serious look on his face.
"Now working on Justified, being on your own and doing a solo thing by yourself, what was the experience like for you?"
Justin hated this question. Sometimes it made him seem like he was running away from the group instead of just growing out of them. He sits back and rests his elbow on the arm of the chair and crosses one leg over the other in that manly sort of way. He reaches to play with his shoelaces as he speaks, "It was cool, a little bit different. You don't have as many people there to double check your ideas but for the most part I think my main mission was to create something completely me, just taking what inspired me growing up in Memphis which is kind of a blues town growing up and singing in a gospel church, just taking from my influences and making a record."
"And are you happy with it?"
Justin rubbed his hands together and looked at the camera then winked. "Yea, I'm very happy with it."
"Now you talked about Memphis and I know you're a basketball fan, dude, what's going on with the Grizzlies?"
I try to push back my laugh, but didn't do a good job of it. Justin was such a big supporter of having an NBA team in his home town, but the team hasn't proved itself yet in the league, a sore spot for him since he's so into his sports.
Justin leans a little and glares at me. "Hey man."
Nate glances at me then back at Justin. "And the Lakers which is your other favorite team."
I laugh again.
Justin looks at me and Nate turns a little towards me again.
"Yea, I have no comment on that."
Nate laughs a little then settles back in his chair. "Back to the album, what was the most challenging process of doing the album?"
"Honestly, I think I got spoiled making this album." I watch him for a moment. I know this process wasn't shiny and happy, but being there with the guys and away from the spotlight really had calmed him. "It was so much fun. All the producers that I worked with, we just had a blast in the studio. I think for the most part the biggest challenge was trying to remove everything NSYNC has done and not worrying about that so much but just try to make a record that you feel is completely you."
"Do you think, as far as NSYNC goes, a lot of people have been talking about you moving from NSYNC and then you're doing your own thing, do you think that a lot of people have been to quick to judge?"
I wince at this one, but Justin calmly answers. "I don't think people have been very judgmental about it. I just think they wanna know what it sounds like because they're so used to hearing my voice in the group. At first it takes people a second to realize this is something a little bit different."
"Have you read any reviews for the album?"
I suck in a breath of air and pray that he hasn't read much of what I had picked up earlier. Most of it was left overs from the VMA performance where everyone seemed to not be able to get away from the Michael Jackson comparisons. "I've read a couple of the reviews." He shrugs.
"And what have they been like?"
"They've been great. They've been great." He looks at me and nods. I sigh a huge sigh of relief and close my eyes for a moment as another disaster passes.
"Now a lot of artists say reviews don't matter. Do they matter?"
"I think everybody wants to get great reviews and everybody wants everybody to like their music. I just think, as an artist, at the end of the day, if you make a record that best describes where you're at, at the time, that's all you can really do."
"The first time anybody had a chance to see you do you own thing live was at the VMA's you did your solo performance. People knew that you were nervous but what they didn't realize that you were actually sick that day."
Justin sighed. "Right, yea. I'm gettin' sick. I'm fallin' apart. I think I'm gettin' too old for this job."
"No, you know what there's a lot of people here that wanna take care of you."
Justin meets my gaze and he winks.
"Anyhow, back to the show though, the next day the reviews came out, what did you think about the reviews about the performance?"
"For the most part, I really didn't get to read a lot of the reviews that came out the day after. I think everybody obviously compared me to Mike and that was flattering and at the same time it made me a little more nervous about what people might expect me to do in the future because I look up to him. I think a lot of the people in the industry especially this generation do. It was flattering and definitely nerve-wracking at the same time."
"Now the first single, Like I Love You, features the Clipse, it was produced by the Neptunes and Pharrell says some amazing things about you."
Justin didn't really seem to know how to react to that. It wasn't really a question. "Ok." He shrugs.
"The Clipse are cool guys aren't they?"
Justin laughs, "Oh ya."
"You had the opportunity to work with some heavy-hitters. What was it like to get all those people involved in your project? Was it an easy thing?
He shrugs and uses a very innocent expression to explain. "Honestly, really, I didn't set out to make too many collaborations. The ones that worked out, I kinda go by the theme that things happen for a reason and the Clipse were in the studio while I was making this record and I expressed to them how much I enjoyed "Grindin'" and how I thought they were the truth and I think it got everyone in a good spirit in the studio and I think it helps along and they just contributed their vocals and sometimes I think people get too involved in doing duets and sometimes they don't make sense when you collaborate with people and I think, for the most part, I wanted to make sure those collaborations made sense. You get big names on a record that doesn't always mean it's gonna be a great song, so I just thought, on top of all that, especially with the Clipse, for the first single because I kinda look at myself as a new artist and I'd look at them as new artists also and I thought it made sense for us to do that song together."
Nate lifts his notes and puts them under his other papers. "I have the new Details magazine in my hands. Damn dude, you open it up and the front cover is pretty innocent and you open it up and what are you holding there Justin?" He holds it up and points towards his crotch in the picture. "Have you seen the pictures?"
He leans across and looks at the magazine. I have a permanent picture of him in my mind from that day. It was an amazing shoot and definitely a time when I had to stop myself from saying or doing anything more than be there as his friend and as his assistant. "No I haven't. What does it look like?"
"Well you're holding uh...wow they're nice pictures. You're very photogenic."
His eyebrows raise and he lowers them again, "Oh."
"Now the girls think you're sexy and he's cute as hell and the women wanna know what it is you liked in women. Now in Like I Love You, you finally tell everybody what it is you like about a girl."
"You like the brain huh Justin?"
I raise my eyebrow at this.
Justin blushes and starts to laugh nervously. "Ya'll are too funny."
"You like the intelligent ladies right?"
"What can I say?"
"Now for those who didn't get it, oh well."
I start to laugh and Nate turns and glares at me this time. "Now the writing on your album is a little saucier than the stuff you did for NSYNC. How is it different writing for yourself as opposed to writing for NSYNC?"
"As far as anything that people think as a little more risky, I don't think I went out on a limb too far especially with music today. I think it's something that people may have not expected from me but at the same time I don't think that I said or sang anything that a 21 year old wouldn't say. I think, for the most part, writing for myself, the challenge was to take yourself away from the whole big movement that NSYNC had been a part of- the teen pop movement ad just try to make a record that was completely me and don't hold anything back."
I hate question and answer sessions because they tend to be a little more than boring. "What's the status on the group?"
"Oh, we're happily together. I think we're planning on sometime next year, gettin' back in the studio, making another record. I think with Celebrity we showed a lot of people that we could have a bit of a different sound and that we have a bit of versatility to our song writing and out sound, so I think the next album would be a modification of something else. I just think you have to go where the inspiration takes you and see what we come up with in the studio."
"Aside from your music, everyone is all up in your business. Everybody is talking about who you're with, who you're not with. How is the media attention regarding your relationships affecting you?"
"Nobody's really hit the nail on the head yet. So it's kinda funny but it think as far as people speculating who I'm dating or not dating, it's kinda funny to me and at the same time it really doesn't effect my relationships with the people around me. I have my friends and they're dear to me and nothing could change that." He looks at me only momentarily then notices Nate watching him and turns away.
They cut for a moment and Nate explains that when he edits he'll be inserting a clip of Cry Me A River.
"Now that song is obviously about a breakup and just watching the clip of the video, it's very dark, it's an emotional video. What's that song about?"
"It's a kiss-off song for the guys out there who didn't get to say it. I think the video is far-fetched and I got to play a part in the video and when it comes out I think people will see that-it's fun!"
"Now speaking of relationships, once again, I apologize, everybody's really into the whole thing that happened with Britney and because your relationship was so out there. One thing I respect about both of you is that you guys both had the chance many times to dog each other in the media but neither of you have chosen to take that route. What does that say about your relationship?
Justin closes his eyes for a moment. "It says we're just good people and I think the world of her. I think she's awesome and I love her so I'm not going to say anything bad about her, ever."
"You sound like a good guy," Nate says.
I personally don't think he sounds nice. He sounds fake, like her, but it's done its job and gotten him out of the questioning.
"We hope to see you soon. Before you leave though, you have a hidden talent-beatboxing- could you do something for us?"
Justin stretches a little. "Oh man, ok, let's see here." He starts out slowly doing a beatbox.
"Thank you Justin," Nate closes with.
"Cool thank you."
Nate waves to the camera, "Justified is in stores now and keep watching MusicMania for the full video of Cry Me a River."
There is another interview lined up after Nate's but since most of the questions turn out to be the same I find a comfortable place to take a nap and don't think about anything else until I'm being woken up and pushed towards the car to leave.
Photo shoots aren’t the most exciting thing in the world. Everyone always seems to be crabby and today when Justin and I show up with Tiny on the set that they’re using, a very urban looking warehouse setting, Justin already isn’t in a good mood. A morning of interviews and an afternoon of more promotions would put anyone into a bad mood, but he’s definitely in a foul foul mood now.
“I want to take a nap,” Justin scowls at himself in the mirror as Credence Waters applies some make up to his face for the shoot.
“Don’t we all,” Credence says laughing a little.
I lean against the counter in front of him and check out a few of the shoots that the photographer has done in the last few weeks. He’s no Herb Ritts, but he’s definitely got an edge to him. I personally like the pictures of Justin at home or just hanging out, but this guy is going to pose him a little and I’m not sure that Justin is going to like it.
“Marta,” Credence yells a moment later, “Throw on some tunes for Justin and grab up that outfit so we can see him in it. I don’t want to make the man look like a fairy with too much make up on.”
The music comes on and Justin’s head bobs to the music as he mouths the words.
When I pull out up front u see the benz n dubs
When I rolled 20 deep is 20 knives in the club
Niggas heard I fuck with Dre now they wanna show me love
It cracks me up when he says these lines with such passion, as if he was the one to write them himself. A lot of people get on him about being white and liking what everyone considers black music, but I have to admit there are certain times that rap music can express something better than pop music and it just happens to be that Justin listens to more rap and hip hop than pop music these days.
When you sound like Eminem and the hugs they wanna fuck
But homie ain't nothing change hoes down, G's up
He lifts his hands in the air and raises the roof and then cracks a laugh before continuing. If Trace were around the two of them would be dancing around a little more, but since he’s by himself this week he’s got to do all the dancing himself.
If you watch how I move you mistake me fo a playa or pimp
Been hit wit a few shells but I dont walk wit a limp
In the hood the ladys sayin 50 you hot
they like me, I want them to love me like they love pac
His eyes go cross eyed as he dips his shoulders a little and taps the beat to the song on his thighs.
But my plan is to put the rap game in a chooke-hold
Im fully focus man, my money on my mind
got a mill out out the deal and Im still on the grind
now shawty said she feelin my style she feelin my flow
Her girlfriend with it get ride and we ready to go
Justin closes his eyes then sighs and moves a little in the studio chair he’s sitting in. “Vivian?”
“Hmm?” I ask not looking up.
“Can you do me a HUGE favor?”
“What’s that?” I want to add an endearment onto the end of that sentence, but it’s not the time or place for it. My eyes scan the pictures for one more second then look up to find Justin still with his eyes closed.
“Can you massage my hand?” he asks.
“What?” I ask looking up at him, startled a little by the request.
He pouted, “You kicked my hand yesterday and cracked my knuckle and it’s hurting.”
“You’re insane,” I say flipping the pages of the magazine.
“You’re a meany,” he said with another pout. He put his foot up on the edge of the counter and holds it there as he speaks. “I’m telling the boys that you hate me and we’ll all gang up on you—“
“What ever, your brother’s would be on my side more than yours any day.” I state with some attitude.
“I just love how you two fight,” Credence says with a laugh, “Like an old married couple, brother and sister and lovers all wrapped into one.”
Justin’s foot drops to the ground with a loud thud and his eyes fly open just as I turn towards Credence. We both speak at once, “What?”
“Good lord kids,” Credence says, “You need to get laid or something.”
“That’s totally rude Credence,” I say firing the first shot back. “I can’t believe you’d say something so insulting.”
“I think you kind of need it too,” Justin says with a laugh.
I slap at him and move away towards the catering table to get a drink of water.
Justin turns in his chair. “Come on Vivian,” he says, “Don’t be upset about it. I’m sure there is someone out there who will fix that for you.”
“JUSTIN!” I yell at him, “Shut up!”
I hear Tiny laughing from the corner of the room and I glare at him. “You too big guy or I’ll call both your mommas and tell them just how horrible you are to me.”
Tiny shuts up and Justin sticks out his tongue.
“You ready?” the photographer comes over to Justin’s side.
“I need the clothes,” Justin says.
The girl slides to a stop in front of them, scaring the crap out of Justin. She smiles at him and shoves the clothes at him and practically runs away.
“What was that all about?” I ask moving closer to Justin.
“I’m going to change,” Justin says looking at me with this strange look in his eyes.
“Go then,” I say.
He moves behind a sheet that makes up make-shift dressing room. I can see his head and shoulders as he pulls off his pants and shirt and changes into black jeans and a black tank top. Ugh, the man’s naked shoulders are my weakness and his tattoos are killing me lately. This morning runs through my head again and I wish that I could have stayed in bed with him a little longer before having to run away.
“Hmm?” I say.
Justin’s eyes are down and I’m figuring from the way he’s standing that he’s doing up the fly of the new pants he’s changed into. “You feeling ok?”
“Yeah,” I said, “Just tired.” I sigh. “How are you holding up?”
“Need another nap,” he said, “But I think I’ll crash out tonight on the plane.”
I freeze with nervousness. “Don’t mention crash and plane together.”
“Vivi,” he says with a sigh, “I still can’t believe after all this that you’re scared about flying.” He pushes the sheet aside and comes to stand in front of me. He leans to whisper, with that cocky smile on his face, “I’ll hold your hand.” He kisses my ear or rather cheek near my ear quickly and winks at me with that funny wink of his. “It’s gonna be ok.”
“I know,” I say and have to swallow a few times before I regain my composure.
Justin walks over towards the backdrop that they are using and stands there for a moment.
“Kick off your shoes,” the photographer says. He looks through the camera for a moment and I take a seat behind the photographer to watch as Justin kicks out of his shoes. “Now the socks.”
Justin leans to pull off his socks and throws them to the side. I collect them up and shove them inside his shoes for later. He laughs a little then sways to the music as another song comes on.
Confusion never stops
Closing walls and ticking clocks
Gonna come back and take you home
I could not stop but you now know, singing
Come out upon my seas,
Cursed missed opportunities
Am I a part of the cure?
Or am I part of the disease?, singing
Justin moves around without much direction as the photographer snaps pictures. His arms move freely and he dances a little, but mostly he stands there like some greek god, playing with the hem of his shirt and the waistband of his pants showing a little skin here and there to tease everyone with. He turns at one point to the side and holds onto his jeans at the pockets and shoots a wicked smile off into the distance before turning his head towards me. He winks then turns his back and looks over his shoulder at me with this coy look on his face then cracks into a smile.
You are, you are, you are
You are, you are, you are
And nothing else compares
And nothing else compares
And nothing else compares
Home, home where I wanted to go
Home, home where I wanted to go
Home, home where I wanted to go
Home, home where I wanted to go
His eyes close for a moment as he stares at his toes. His eyes lift and look towards the camera again with a sexual look that almost blows me over. I’ve seen him this fliratous before, but never in front of a camera like this. It amazes me to no end that he’d be that into this shoot.
“OK,” the photographer stops shooting. “Try getting into that all white outfit and we’ll get some different lighting and try something a little more—“ He glances at me then stops and stares for longer than I’d like him to, “I may have an idea that might work.”
Justin moves away from the camera and walks back over towards the changing area as Marta appears with a pair of white pants and a shirt for him. She holds up the shirt and shakes her head. “Put on the pants and I’ll be right back.”
Justin nods and dances around as Hotel California by the Eagles plays.
On a dark desert highway
Cool wind in my hair
Warm smell of colitas
Rising up through the air
Justin turns his head towards the ceiling and smiles as he sings and fixes his clothes around.
I smile at him over the edge of the sheet and laugh a little as he dances in a circle. He almost trips and has to lean over to steady himself. I stand on my tip toes and find him with his pants around his knees trying not to fall over. He smiles up at me, but continues to move out of his clothes and sings along with the stereo.
Up ahead in the distance
I saw a shimmering light
My head grew heavy, and my sight grew dim
I had to stop for the night
There she stood in the doorway
I heard the mission bell
And I was thinking to myself
This could be Heaven or this could be Hell
He stands back up again and sticks out his tongue at me before leaning again quickly to get into the white pants.
Then she lit up a candle
And she showed me the way
There were voices down the corridor
I thought I heard them say
Welcome to the Hotel California
Such a lovely place
Such a lovely place (background)
Such a lovely face
Plenty of room at the Hotel California
Any time of year
Any time of year (background)
You can find it here
You can find it here
When he moves out of the dressing room and smiles at me, but keeps his hands on his hips.
“What’s wrong?” I ask.
“Nothing,” he says and jumps a little to hike up his pants.
“Are you sure?” I look at him a little sideways.
My eyes meet his waistband and I smile, “Your boxers are showing.”
“What?” he looks down and we both notice that his darker colored boxers are showing through the material of the pants.
He looks up with a laugh and just as he does the photographer looks over. “You have to take those boxers off,” he says.
“Are you kidding me?”
“Nope,” he says.
Justin groans and moves back over to the dressing room. “Vivian, the next time I have a shoot, make sure I’m wearing white boxers,” he says.
I blush a little when he says this so loud.
“They’d have to come off anyway,” the photographer says.
Justin groaned and glared at the man and mumbled, “He just wants to see my cock.”
I totally trip over myself when this comes out of his mouth. I’ve always known Justin was a bit on the shy side when it came to showing himself off to the public, but I didn’t think he’d be so angry about stripping down a little to take some pictures. It wasn’t like he wasn’t going to have the pants on anyway.
“Ok,” the photographer finally says and as Marta is coming back he brushes her away. “We’re going to have you go stand by the window and use some natural light. We’ll make it look as if you’re standing outside in the sun against that wall back there.”
“Ok,” Justin jumps into position.
“I want this to be your—“ He smiles, “Your Playgirl look.” He walks over and tugs on Justin’s pants a little, lowering them so that they’re almost falling off his hips. “Like that.”
Justin puts a hand on the one side of his pants and pulls them up a little. “Like this?”
“Fine,” he says, “Don’t pull them up anymore. And take off that tank top thing.”
Justin shrugs, “I’ve got a tan line though.”
“Even better.” He moves to look around for a moment then sighs. “And then I want you,” he motions towards me for only a second then turns back. “I want you to take off your shirt.”
My jaw drops. “Excuse me?”
“Hey—“ Justin defends me.
“Fine,” he says and turns to yell at Marta for a moment. “Get her a white wife beater or something.”
”You’re not using me in this photo shoot.”
“We won’t show your face,” he said, “I just need your shoulder and your neck and your hair…I’m going to have Justin standing looking at me and you’re going to face him and he’s going to hold you and look over your shoulder towards the camera.”
I look at Justin and wish that someone would tell this photographer that he’s on crack. “I’m not sure—“
“I promise you this will be a great shot and you’ll like it and I won’t shoot your face.”
Marta’s hand appears next to me with a wife beater and Justin stares at it. “It’s up to you.”
“Fine,” I say and tromp over to the sheet. I duck a little and pull of my shirt and replace it with the wife beater. I shiver a little in the cool air and fold my shirt and throw it over my arm so that I can place it on the table instead of the floor. While I’m there I pick up Justin’s clothes and fold them, giving me a little more time to myself before I have to face the camera. I’m still not sure I should be doing this. If Sonia was here I’m sure she’d be freaking out over the idea of using me in the shot, but she’s not so I take a breath and move out from behind the curtain.
Before I move across the room towards where Justin is standing in the sunlight, I watch him a bit. I set our clothes on the table and try to take deep breaths to calm myself. This is going to be a very interesting afternoon. The photographer has now made him take his shirt off and is shooting a few shots of him alone. The top button on his pants is undone and he’s got his thumbs hooked into the belt loops.
“Vivian,” he smiles at me, “Does this look ok?”
“Yeah,” I say with a sigh. “Definitely.”
“Ok,” the photographer says turning away from where he’s shooting. “I need you—Vivian?”
I nod my head.
“I need—“ He looks at Justin then tips his head sideways a little. “I need you standing with your back to me and facing Justin.” He guides me to stand where he wants me then positions my arm over Justin’s shoulder and has Justin stand there.
“Marta can you grab me a chair?”
Marta brings over a folding chair and we both look at it.
“Sit down Jusitn,” the photographer says.
Justin sits and the photographer makes me sit on his lap so we look like we’re swinging on the swing set spider style. I try to move so that I’m sitting more on his knees than in his lap, but the photographer pushes me forward so I’m sitting flush against Justin. “Now, put your arms around each other. This is supposed to be an intimate moment. I want Justin to nuzzle your neck and maybe kiss your shoulder.”
“Are you ok with this?” Justin asks.
I nod confidently, but inside I want to cry. I’ve never done anything like this with him at all and having him be in front of a camera at the time really isn’t helping me get used to the idea of being so close to him.
“Marta, bring Vivian some lotion or something. We’ll make her—“ He turns around, “Credence!”
“Do you have lotion or something that has sparkles in it?” the photographer asks, “Remember that photo shoot we did with Natalie Portman and had that sun-kissed look on her shoulders?”
I turn my head to look at my shoulder and Justin smiles at me. “I like your shoulders.”
“I like yours too,” I say nervously.
Justin’s hands rest on my hips for a moment. “Don’t worry about it. No one is going to see anything that they don’t need to be seeing.”
I sigh. “Sonia is going to kill us.”
“Have fun with this,” Justin says lifting his leg to bump me a little. “When else can you put your hands all over me at this time of day and have it be ok?”
“I’d like to put my hands around your neck about now,” I joke. “This is insane.”
“Just run with it girl. You’ll be ok.” He moves me back on his lap a little and shifts his legs a little.
“If you say so.” I sigh. “Am I crushing you?”
“No,” Justin says and moves his hand up to
Soon Credence is spreading lotion over my shoulder and down my arm. Justin sits back and watches this all with a smirk on his face.
“Don’t get jealous,” Credence says, “Although even a gay man would love to put his hands on her, but you’re more my style.”
“Credence,” I say, “Don’t tease him.”
Credence looked down in the space between me and Justin and smiled, “I think you’re teasing him enough on your own.”
I keep my eyes on Justin’s face and I can see him trying not to look down.
“Oh My God,” I say and back away.
Justin’s hands tighten on my hips. “Please don’t move.”
Blood rushes to my brain and I seriously think I’m going to die of a heart attack at the same time. I don’t want to be sitting here. I know someone is going see this and a story is going to hit somewhere saying horrible things about me and him. “Ummm.”
“Stay put,” Credence says finishing with my arm. “Just act like nothing is going on.”
Justin moves a little to get comfortable as Credence leaves.
“Are you sure this is ok?” I ask him seriously. I hate being in situations like this. I like that I’m turning him on, but at the same time I wish I wasn’t doing it in the middle of a photo shoot.
“It’s fine,” he said and leaned and smelled my shoulder, “You smell pretty.”
I turn a little and see the photographer finally getting ready to shoot. “Thanks.”
“Ok, Justin, I want to have you hug Vivian as if you’re slow dancing. Put your lips against her shoulder and nuzzle her neck a little and then when I say to do so, look up towards the camera.”
Justin only glances at me for a moment before I move my arms around him. His hands keep me in place on his lap, but as he leans forward I can tell that it’s not going to look right if I don’t move closer to him.
Settling against him I hear a moan escape his lips. His mouth touches my shoulder and he kisses me there then mumbles, “I wish to God that this wasn’t being watched—“ His hands splay over my back, warmth hitting me now from his chest and his arms and hands. He tries not to get to comfortable with me in his arms, but I can feel the pressure of his fingers against my back and I know this is torturing him.
“Really?” I ask softly.
“I’ll show you later why,” he says then pauses as the sound of Billy Joel’s voice fills the air.
She's got a way about her
I don't know what it is
But I know that I can't live without her
“I love this song,” I mumble.
“OK Justin,” the photographer says. “Look up at me a little.”
Justin pauses and I can feel his breath on my skin as he does this. His hand slips down a little and sneaks underneath the wife beater a little.
She's got a way of pleasin'
I don't know what it is
But there doesn't have to be a reason anywhere
She's got a smile that heals me
Justin pulls back a little and glances at me, humming along to the music with this lost sexy look in his eyes. It’s a new attitude from him. I’ve seen him with countless other women and for the first time today, hell ever really, I’ve seen the way he really feels for me.
“Vivian, can I have you move your shirt a little more towards your neck?”
I don't know why it is
But I have to laugh when she reveals me
She's got a way of talkin'
I don't know why it is
But it lifts me up when we are walkin' anywhere
I turn a little and move my shirt. Justin’s fingers move up my arm and towards my neck, pushing at my shirt with his fingertips. He smirks at me for a moment then kisses his fingertips and places the “kiss” right near my ear before cupping my chin with his hand and full out kissing me. I want to pull away, but his other arm locks around my back and his hips move a little as he delves into one of the longest kisses I’ve experienced in my life. I lose all thought until I think I hear feet hitting the floor.
She comes to me when I’m feelin’ down
Inspires me without a sound
She touches me and I get turned around
His hands move the strap of my shirt off my shoulder and I find myself pulling my arm out of it so that my shoulder and back are now bare. My mind has totally shut off now and as much as I want him to I know he won’t touch me other than to hug me to him. His mouth slides from my lips to my shoulder and back again and his hands grip at my skin, but they stay in that safe zone. This is what torture is. Foreplay in my mind is one of the worst things imaginable. You tease each other senseless until you want to snap and fuck on the floor.
My mind registers that I’m not in a place where I can do that, but his lips on my ear and the feeling of his arousal against me knocks all thought out of my head.
She's got a way of showin'
How I make her feel
And I found the strength to keep on goin'
She's got a light around her
And everywhere she goes
A million dreams of love surround her everywhere
She's got a smile that heals me
Oh I don't know why it is
But I have to laugh when she reveals me anyway
My head whips away from Justin’s and I take a deep breath then feel all the air in my lungs rush out of me when I realize that it’s Sonia standing there with her chin hanging down. At her side is Mr. Cadler from Jive Records.
“Oh my God,” I push myself away from Justin, duck my head and move across the room to change clothes. While I’m putting my shirt on Sonia is already yelling at Justin and Mr. Cadler is watching everything a little shocked as the photographer tries to explain what was going on.
“That was some pretty hot stuff,” Credence says putting his head over the sheet to look at me.
“Leave me alone Credence,” I say trying not to be too angry with him.
Credence smiles at me. “You’re really in deep now sister,” he says with a smirk, “Don’t get your feathers ruffled. You and that boy are hot together. I’m glad you two finally are seeing it.”
I push back the curtain and stalk across the room, throwing the shirt onto a chair. “I’ll be back,” I say and glare towards Justin and the photographer avoiding Sonia’s stare as I fly out of the room with the intention of staying outside the rest of the day.
“Girl wait up,” Tiny says from behind me.
I ignore him and keep walking down the street, not having a clue where I’m going, but I know that I can’t go back into that room.
“Girl wait up,” Tiny grabs my arm and pulls me around and I find myself sandwiched into a hug. “Calm down a minute.”
I point up the street to the warehouse. “That was the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to me.”
“Definitely not,” Tiny says with the shake of his head. “I’ve seen you do worse.”
“Like what?” I ask.
He thought a moment then laughed. “Germany, the fall of 1997 when everyone went to the amusement park and you had white shorts on and sat in gum.”
“That wasn’t me sitting there like a whore and having Sonia scream Jesus Christ at me,” I argue.
“She didn’t scream it,” Tiny said and hugged me again. “I think you’re just nervous. I’ve actually never seen you this nervous over a man. It must be deep.”
“Tiny,” I say and sigh. “I can’t let this fuck things up. He and I have to work and do our day to day stuff without pissing off the record label.”
“You won’t piss off the label.”
I whip around and find Mr. Cadler standing there in front of me. Alone.
“Mr. Cadler—“ I start to say then don’t really know what words I’m going to use. “Mr. Cadler—“ I take a breath. “Mr. Cadler—“
“Well at least you know my name,” he says with a laugh.
I duck my head a little. “I’m sorry.”
“No reason to apologize. You’ve done nothing wrong in my eyes.”
“I haven’t?” I ask not sure that I’ve heard him correctly.
“You and Justin have been a team for longer than I’ve worked with the young man and I see a difference in him since you’ve both come to work with me. I met with him the other day in the car and he seemed as if his brain wasn’t on the work at hand, but when you two are together, he relies on you to help him through his day—“ Mr. Cadler sighs. “I’m not sure that being as romantic as you were just now is the right way to go about it, but I’m not going to stop you from being with him on a day to day basis and I’m not going to pull those pictures from the shoot. The photographer showed me the preliminary Poleroids and they look great. You wouldn’t believe the emotion that you can pull from that young man. It’s just what we need for the upcoming promotions. I’m going to recommend them for the Vanity Fair article next month. I hope that he picks one picture of you and him, one picture of him alone then plaster in a shot of the album cover.”
“Are you sure?”
“I’ve been doing this long enough to know not to mess with the private lives of my artists. I just ask you to not do anything that might embarrass yourself or him and from what I’ve seen of your restraint—“ he coughed a little. “You and Justin have found where your boundaries are and where they mesh and the fact that you’d run out and be embarrassed and worried about his career being messed up tells me that you’ve got his best interests in mind. Plus a call from his mother and step-mother didn’t hurt either.”
Mr. Cadler looks at his watch. “I believe you have just enough time to get dinner for our young performer before the promotional party starts. The red carpet shouldn’t be too bad tonight, but I’ve been known to get a little crabby when I skip a meal, so I’d suggest getting Justin something to eat and get over there and celebrate a little.”
“Mr. Cadler?” I ask when he starts to turn away.
“Thank you,” I say then sigh. “Have you gotten a clue about what the numbers are going to be like for the album?”
“Good,” he says, “Not NSYNC level, but respectable.”
I smile at him. “That’s all I want for him.”
Mr. Cadler nods at me. “I know Vivian.”
Tiny starts to laugh a little as Mr. Cadler moves away and down the street.
“Leave me alone,” I say.
“Are you going to go back?”
“In a minute,” I say with a sigh. I really feel as if I want to curl up in a ball and die, but I know I can’t do that…so I’ll have to go back inside eventually. “I think I’ve totally embarrassed myself.”
“Don’t worry about Sonia,” Tiny says.
“No,” I say, “I mean with Justin. If I hadn’t composed myself well enough to stand up I think I would have smacked him or something that he didn’t deserve.”
“You probably both were a little niave for getting yourself into that kind of a situation, but I’m sure it’ll be fine.”
I start to walk back towards the warehouse and see Sonia coming out the door. I duck my head. “Are you sure?”
“I don’t know,” Tiny says as Sonia gives us a look, then turns and get into the car that Mr. Cadler was just getting into, “I think what matters is between you and Justin and as cliché as it sounds, Sonia really doesn’t matter in all this.”
“Thanks Tiny,” I say.
“Not a trouble at all,” he says and moves to push the door open for me.
As I’m walking in Justin is walking out and he looks at me. “You ok?”
“I’m fine,” I nod.
“Are we done here?” he asks.
“Definitely,” I say, “We’ve got enough time for you to take a breather before you hit the red carpet for a few minutes then party the rest of the night away.”
The Nate Richard's interview comes from:
In Da Club by 50 Cent -- http://www.sing365.com/music/lyric.nsf/SongUnid/51001203552DA0AE48256CC600050DB4
Clocks by coldplay -- http://www.sing365.com/music/lyric.nsf/SongUnid/8143B57E9AA9F5DD48256BF70004A6D2
Hotel California by The Eagles – http://www.lyricsfreak.com/e/eagles/23228.htm
She’s Got a Way by Billy Joel -- http://www.lyricsfreak.com/b/billy-joel/18077.htm
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Last updated: 07/03/04.