< 2 >

"Oh, uh, hi." he replied nervously after his moment of silence.

"I'm sorry to call you out of the blue but I really need your help or I wouldn't have bugged you." she said as she looked around the parking lot.

Justin cleared his throat and continued. "I uh, wasn't really expecting to hear from you guys again."

Christina dropped her head as her chances of getting Justin's help was diminishing. "I'm sorry."

"That's ok. I am glad to hear from you but I don't think I will be able to help you."

Christina sighed. "Will you just listen to what I have to say?"

Justin paused and thought for a second. "Ok. Go ahead."

"Ok, well its about Ashley. Ever since you guys broke up she kept getting herself in difficult relationships and now I am starting to get scared for her."

"What kind of relationships?" Justin questioned.

"Well, like guys that cheat on her or treat her like crap. She goes out with guys that have no respect for women. She keeps blaming herself for what happened between you two and so she punishes herself by going out with the wrong men."

"And what are you scared about?"

"The guy she is with now, Brandon. He is a real psycho. He wont let her go out with her friends, he tells her what to wear, how to act, what she can or can not do. Most of all he is abusive. She constantly has black and blue marks but she makes up excuses for them."

"How long has she been with this guy?" Justin asked.

"About a year." she bluntly replied.

Justin snickered to himself. "Well I think if she's been with him for that long and she wants to put up with it then its her problem."

Christina sighed. "You're telling me that you don't care?"

Justin was silent for a moment and then replied. "Of course I do. But there is nothing I can do."

"I think there is."

Justin shook his head. "Like what?

"I need you to come out here."

"What?" he replied as if he hadn't heard what she said.

"You're the only one that will make her come to her senses."

"Whoa, you've gone way to far over your head if you think I'm just gonna drop everything here and come rescue my ex-girlfriend who I havent seen or talked to in like two and a half years!"

"Well, yeah?" she added.

"You are nuts."

"Please Justin? You're my only hope."

"Sorry but you'll need to find yourself another rainbow." he tried to be sarcastic.

"I know you want to!"

Justin snickered. "What makes you think that?"

"Because you still love her." she sighed.

"Well," Justin paused. "of course I do. But not that much to rescue her after all these years."

"I bet you do." she added stubbornly.

"This has nothing to do with me. You call me up out of the blue and expect things to go back to the way they were. Its not going to happen." he replied as he started to get agitated.

"I wasn't expecting anything. I just want you to get her away from this guy because I know deep down that you are the only one that is gonna get her up out of the water."

"And what do you want me to do here? Beat the guy up? Tell him to stay away from her? Ya know, we're not in school anymore."

"I don't know what I want you to do but I'd feel better if you were here."

"Uggh, Christina. Why are you doing this to me?"

"It's not like I want you two to fall in love all over again. Although that would be nice but its not the point right now. I just need you to make her see what is going on." she added as she got back out of her car to get better reception.

"Do you guys still both live at home?" he questioned.

"Well, no. Ash lives with Brandon. I live at home yet though."

"Ok then. I still have your number there." he replied as voices were heard in the background.

"Who was that talking? Where are you anyways?" Christina asked curiously.

"I'm at the compound in Florida. The other guys just came in. I need to go."

"Who are you whispering to?" Chris yelled across the room.

"Uh, no one. Just a wrong number." he yelled back.

Christina grumbled. "I'm sorry that I was just a wrong number."

"I'll get back to you. Gotta go. Bye." he finished and hung up quickly.

"Yeah, bye." she said to herself and hung up the phone. She threw it back into her car and walked back into the building.

"Yes she's in, thanks for asking." Ashley's mother said sarcastically as Christina walked right past the front desk and ran down the hall.

"Ash!" she yelled as she knocked on the door once and let herself in.

"What do you want now?" Ashley answered as she turned herself away from the computer.

"I wasn't going to tell you anything but I'm too excited to keep it in." she giggled as she walked up to the desk.

"You won the lottery a year ago and finally found the ticket?" she replied.

"Uh, no."

"Well hurry up and spit it out, I need to go out on an assignment."

"Ok." she paused and took a deep breath. "I called Justin."

Ashley looked at her strangely. "Justin who?"

Christina rolled her eyes. "Hello? Were you born yesterday?"

Ashley looked away and stared at nothing on her screen. "Why did you call him?"

"I wanted to see if he could come visit."

Ashley looked back sternly. "Why?"

"Why not? I mean, we haven't seen him for so long and its not like just anyone can call up Justin Timberlake and ask him to come over. You don't think thats cool?" she continued to lie.


"Aww, come on. It would be great to see him."


"What's it gonna hurt?"

Ashley turned her chair back around. "Why did you have to do this?"

Christina's excited smile turned into a frown. "I thought you would be happy."

"You thought wrong. I don't need this right now. I don't want to dig up old news. I want to move forward not back."

Christina leaned closer to Ashley. "You're not moving anywhere right now."

"Don't even get started with me and Brandon. You can't compare that to Justin."

"That's because Justin was a real man."

Ashley stood up and became defensive. "Yeah, a real man who couldnt forgive me and take me back, right?"

"He did forgive you. He didnt take you back because he loved you so much that he thought you deserved more than him. But, looking back compared to now, Justin was the best you ever had."

"You have some nerve, ya know?"

"Why? Because I'm telling you the truth?"

"Me and Justin will never be anything ever again. Our love is dead and everything is history." she huffed as she sat back down again.

"You and Justin are kindred spirits. You will always belong to each other."

"And where did you read that horse shit from? One of your sickening sweet love stories?"

Christina ignored her and continued. "You know, you didn't even ask me what Justin said."

Ashley snickered. "Does it look like I care?"

"I know you do." she grinned.

Ashley sighed. "Ok, fine. What did he say?"

"Yes, tell us what he said. I would love to hear it." Brandon said from behind them. The girls quickly looked behind them to the door.

The look on Brandon's face spoke a thousand words.

< Chapter 3 >