It seemed to take forever, but Justin finally turned his head to smirk over the shoulder of the cute PA with the clipboard. JC lifted his chin, and soon Justin was touching the PA’s elbow and sliding past to make his way through the cluster of cameras and lights and people, most of whom JC didn’t know.


“Hey, J.” JC patted the couch next to him and Justin flopped down, tipping his hat down over his nose and propping his feet on the edge of the coffee table.


“Just thought you needed a break.”

“Naw, I’m good.”

Someone was talking really loudly on the other side of the suite, shouting almost, and somebody else was laughing. Something was happening over in the mini-kitchen, cabinet doors opening and slamming shut, and Lance went by with a bottle of Cristal and several glasses and somebody blond. JC could hear a voice saying, “Justin! Justin!” but Justin just scrunched his nose and grabbed JC’s water bottle, tilting his head to drink, throat moving with every swallow.

“Cool. You up next?”

“Naw, Joey.”

The makeup girl had hold of Joey, dabbing at his face with a white sponge as he sat there with his non-expression of complete boredom, listening to a different PA with a clipboard and two guys in suits. Somebody laughed again, and Lonnie stuck his head around the suite door and then disappeared, and one of the photographers started testing some shots, throwing flashes of light around the room.

Justin wiped his mouth on his wrist and handed the empty water bottle back. “Whatcha doing?”

“Watching Chris.”

“Really? Where is he? I don’t see him.”

JC jerked his head.

“Where? I don’t –”

The girl Chris had cornered in the hallway by the bathroom had that bemused expression they all got, teetering between thrilled and annoyed as he leaned in to jabber away in her ear, brushing against her, just a little bit. Justin said, “JC,” and it was hard at first to look away from Chris, but Justin was biting his lip, eyes darting from side to side under his hat. JC elbowed him gently and pointed with his chin again.

“Fuck, JC, why you got to — Fuck!”

“Uh huh.”

“That girl’s going to slap him.”


“I’ll bet you a million dollars,” Justin said, grinning.

Chris kept talking, of course, gesturing extravagantly, but the girl seemed to stop listening after a while, scanning the rest of the room over his shoulder. Justin snorted, rolling his eyes at JC.

“Keep watching, smarty pants.”

“Yeah, we’ll see,” Justin said, pulling at his lip as he peered from under his hat. “It’s Chris.”

The back of Chris’s hand grazed the side of the girl’s breast on one of its swoops through the air, and her eyes flew to Chris’s face and her lips parted, and Justin sat up.


“Keep watching.”

“Lonnie’s gonna be pissed.”


“Fine, jeez,” Justin grumbled, crossing his arms and settling back, bumping JC on the way, “I’m watching. Although I don’t know why you’re so interested in some girl.”

Chris had that little smile on his face like he knew a secret, and the girl was hanging on his every word now, watching his hands as they shaped his story. He crowded in a little closer, or maybe she did, and he kept touching her, casual brushes against her shoulder and her arm, picking up her necklace and then letting it drop. Justin made a highly skeptical noise, but said nothing.

One of the touches landed and stuck, soft stroking over her collarbone, and when she inhaled and lifted her chin, baring her throat, Chris slid his hand down and away, briefly skimming the curve of her breast.



“Damn, all these people!”

“I know. Just–”

“You’re killing me with that just watch stuff,” Justin said, gnawing at a finger. “I’m watching, JC, believe me. Man, this is –”

The girl seemed unaware of anything but Chris. He leaned over to whisper in her ear, slipping an arm around her waist, and she let him and leaned into him, arching into his hand when he finally made his move. The noise that came out of Justin this time was anything but skeptical, and this time it wasn’t difficult at all to look at him, fingers at his mouth and eyes narrowed, watching Chris watch the girl as he groped her and made her squirm.

“He’s. Fuck.”


“He,” Justin started again, but Chris did something with his hand that made her gasp and jump a little, and Justin seemed to lose track of his words. Then Chris started rubbing his thumb up and over her nipple and pressing gently, and she shuddered and closed her eyes.

“Holy shit,” Justin whispered through his fingers.

“Once I watched him make a girl come that way,” JC said.

“God, JC. God.

The voice was calling for Justin again, annoyed now, and Joey was grinning at one of the suits as he got up, released from the makeup girl’s captivity. Lance came back through and disappeared again, and suddenly a heavy beat rolled through the room, Cypress Hill, total old school. Chris and the girl were gone.

“But, how did he know,” Justin said, his voice slow and heavy and dazed.

“Sometimes you can just tell,” JC said, running his thumb along Justin’s lower lip. “Anyway, you can owe me the million.”

September 2006