| 11 |

* As told through Mya's thoughts and seen through her eyes *

Silence. Even through the drama there was an eerie quietness through my mind and through my heart. There were so many machines. So many. I didn't know what they ment. Justin was still unconscious. It scared me. I held onto his hand so tight, hoping for the slightest movement, a sign of life. The paramedics sat close to the front of the ambulance. They kept watching all those machines. But, they didn't seem to be in much of a hurry or panicked state. Did they know who was lying helpless in front of their eyes? Did they really? He means more to me then they could ever know. He means more to his million fans than even I know.

The blood was dripping off the stretcher and onto the floor. In puddles it layed. The paramedics didn't seem too concerned but yet I couldn't ask why. I was still in a traumatic silence. All I could do was think. The drive to Orlando seemed to take forever. Justin was starting to get cold. I looked at the machines again. Out of all the buttons, numbers, and wires that I didn't understand, I knew what a flat line ment. I could hear the loud ringing in my ears. The paramedic on my side pushed me down to the end of the ambulance near the doors. For once now the silence had stopped. The sirens started to blare loudly outside.

The lines were still flat when the driver opened the doors in the back. Some ER doctors were also waiting outside. They told me to jump out quickly. As soon as I did, they were already out of the ambulance, still trying to give Justin CPR. They were pounding on his chest so hard, trying to regain a heartbeat. The tears were streaming uncontrolably down my face. My mother pulled behind the ambulance. Joey, JC, Lance, Chris, Amy and Drew all jumped out almost simultaneously.

His best friends saw the same trauma that I had seen in the ambulance. It looked as if they had seen a ghost. They became even more panicked as they ran behind all the doctors. My mother grabbed me and walked with me into the ER. There were security everywhere. It was obviously *NSYNC's security team. They guys were talking to them with tears in their eyes. The security was yelling at them, trying to get them to calm down. It wasn't working. I felt so bad for them. They had known him for so long. They were his best friends, his brothers. They felt ten times worse than I did. All I could do now was help to support them.

We were all lead into a private waiting room. All the guys sat at a different spot in the room. I heard that Justin's mom and their manager, Johnny, were on their way. I wondered if the media had gotten a hold on to any information yet. In the back of my mind I hoped not. It would be devastating to his fans. They were more important than any of us. I couldn't stand to hear the slight weeping and sniffing in the room without trying to console them. I had to do something.

"Guys, if there is anything I can do.." my voice echoed through the silence.

"If it wasn't for you, we wouldn't be in this situation. Justin wouldn't be lying helpless, he wouldn't be dying!" Joey yelled at me. His anger was so uncontrollable.

"Now wait, stop!" Lance interrupted. "None of us knew that was going to happen. I'm sure Mya didn't either. She would have never put him in this danger." he tried to calm him down.

Joey just grumbed something and gave me a mean look before turning away. Chris and JC kept their heads in their hands and their eyes on the floor. I wondered if they too felt the same way as Joey. I only hoped they felt the same way Lance did. I hoped that their fans wouldn't hate me either. Seeing Brady anymore after that day with my car was the last time I had hoped to see him. I never knew he would be a threat. But, yet, I would still get the blame.

My mom, Drew and Amy tried to console me. We didn't know what was going on. We haven't heard anything for awhile. We just waited and waited. Lynn and Johnny showed up. The guys surrounded him, asking for answers. Lynn looked at me and I held on to my mother tighter. I was waiting for her to act like Joey. I was hoping she wouldn't be filled with anger. But, instead, she leaned down to me, her eyes filled with tears, only looking for her own answers. She made me start to cry.

"What happened, Mya? Please tell me." she asked with a tender voice. I had never met her before, but she knew my name and she looked at me as if she knew me for a lifetime.

"Brady..." I studdered as I tried to think. "I was seeing him a while back," I sniffed as I tried to talk. "We broke up and he beat up my car pretty bad. I put him in jail. Today was the first time I had seen him since then. He had a knife at my throat. Justin tried to save me. I never ment for him to get hurt!" I cried. "I love him. I would never hurt him!"

Everyone stopped talking and looked over at me. It was the first time they heard me say that I loved Justin. It was the first time that I heard myself say it. Did I really mean to say it out loud? Did I really mean to say it at all? They probably thought I was crazy. I hardly know him and yet I love him. Did they think it was too hard to comprehend?

"I believe you, Mya. I don't know why, but I can see it in your eyes. I can feel it in my heart that you are telling the truth." she grabbed my hands as fresh tears flowed down her face. "We need to be strong for him now."

"So, he is going to be okay?" I asked. It was obvious she knew more that I did.

She looked to the floor and back up at me again. "They got his heart started, which is a good thing. But, he lost so much blood. They took him to surgery. They had to get blood in him and they had to fix the big cut in his side. I don't know what is going to happen. They wouldn't tell me that he was going to be okay."

I heard Johnny's cell phone ring. He cursed loudly to himself as he walked towards the door. He cracked it open and closed it quickly. He flipped the phone back closed with a distraught face.

"The media's caught wind of what happened. They're all out there like a pack of wolves."

I put my head in my hands. That was the last thing we all needed. Somehow we knew it was inevitable. We knew the media would be here. But, we didn't want to think about them. We didn't want to think of how the fans would react. By now, we knew most of the local news stations had said something. MTV would surely wait until they heard it from a direct source before airing it on national TV. We were sure though, that they were getting a lot of calls. I was sure that everyone at Paramount/Touchstone had heard something, too.

Then again Johnny's phone rang. We sat in silence as he talked quietly. We still didn't hear from any doctors. We were all scared so much. But, we hoped that no news was good news. Johnny was still talking as he paced around in a circle. He looked at me a couple times. I wasn't sure what that was all about. But, he hung up and came right towards me.

"Mya, I'm Johnny Wright. I know you know who I am but we never had a formal aquaintence." he said almost above a whisper as he shook my hand. "That was one of the people choosing the cast for the movie 'Stardust' at Paramount." There was a bit of silence as he gathered his thoughts. "They said you met Justin while auditioning for the movie and that they were supposed to let him know if you got the final cut for the second reading."

"Yeah?" is all I muttered out. I must have sounded like I was thirteen.

"They heard about what happened today and that it was involving you."

I put my head down and looked at the floor. I felt hands on my back as tears started to form. I saw my career as an actress flow right down the tubes. I looked to my right and saw that Lynn also had a hand on my back. I could never understand how supportive she was of someone she didn't know. I don't think she knew either.

"Mya?" he asked, conserningly putting his hand on my knee. "They picked you for the final cut."

I looked up quickly. It felt like I was finally breathing again. "Really? Are you serious?"

"They are not letting what happened get in the way of your chances of auditioning. I told them that it wasn't your fault and they agreed. They think you have a really good chance of getting the role. They didn't want to lose this opportunity with you."

"Oh my God. Thank you so much." I said to no one in particular. It felt as if half of the weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. I didn't want to get too excited though. Justin's life was still on the line. And, without him, I didn't want to even be in the movie.

An hour later a doctor entered and everyone immediately stood up and hovered around the center of the room. I started to shake, my mouth became dry, my heart started to beat a thousand times a minute, I swallowed hard.

"As you all know, we brought Justin in here with a large amount of blood loss and no heartbeat. Well, we got his heartbeat back and rushed him to surgery for more blood and to repair his injury. While in surgery, his vitals became better. His color came back, his blood pressure looked good and his heart was good. We finished up the surgery successfully. He had an angel by his side thats for sure."

Everyone started beaming. My heart rate went back to normal. We were all relieved. But, Lynn still had one question.

"So, what are you saying? Is he going to be okay?" she asked. We all waited for an answer patiently.

"Amazingly, he will be fine. He is in recovery now. You can all see him in a little while." the doctor smiled and then quickly went back out the door.

We all stood silently for a second, hoping that what we heard was true. "Thank you God!" Lynn shouted loudly and everyone started smiling and hugging each other. Amy and Drew were so happy that they practically smothered me. Lynn gave me a quick hug and walked away with Johnny. I looked at the guys who were all in a big group huddle. They broke apart as they saw me come closer.

Joey looked at me with just a blank stare. They all looked at him, hoping for some final peace. "Come here girl!" he yelled as I joined in on their group hug. I'm glad they weren't mad anymore. I'm glad it was now time for happiness and healing.

We all stood outside of Justin's room. He still had so many wires and machines surrounding him. He was still asleep. He wouldn't be awake for awhile yet. Only Lynn was allowed to go in and see him. We waited patiently for hours.

The media had followed us down to Justin's room. They kept hounding us. They kept looking for answers to questions we didn't want to answer. The security had done a good job at keeping them away from us but we could still hear them doing live broadcasts. There were occasional questions flown in the air every once in awhile, hoping for a reply, but our eyes were set on Justin still. The doctors kept checking his vitals. There were no sudden changes. Everything looked fine.

One by one we all started to yawn. It was way after two in the morning. Lynn had stayed in Justin's room while all of us went back to the waiting room. Most of the night we had all shifted from one side to the other. None of us were in the same spot twice. Johnny had left a couple times to go over other business at the record company, but, the rest of us had stayed put. My mother, Amy and Drew never left either.

I must have fallen asleep at one point in the night. I opened my eyes and everything was so bright. It was now morning and the sun was shining brightly through the blinds that was on the one window. I looked around. The guys were gone and so was Johnny. Amy and Drew were still asleep. My mother was awake and drinking a cup of coffee.

"Where is everyone?" I yawned.

My mother looked at me quickly, startled by my sudden question. "Justin is awake, hunny. They are all down to see him." she smiled at me. Her face was gleaming.

"Oh my God! Did he say anything yet? I need to see him." I said excitedly. I woke up Amy and Drew while I jumped up and ran to the door.

My mother grabbed my arms before I reached for the handle. I almost got scared by her reaction. I didn't know why she was stopping me. "He did ask for you. Lynn told him that you were sleeping."

I smiled. I'm glad Justin asked for me. It made me feel like he was better. Before I opened the door, I did ask a question that I needed answered. "So, what is going to happen with Brady?"

My mother sighed a long sigh. She sipped her coffee slowly before replying. "He's in jail right now. He won't be able to fight the lawyers that Justin has, I'm sure. He will probably go to prison for a long time."

I hugged her tightly. At least now I felt safe. If only I didn't have to worry about Jess, then I could be home free. But, she is my half-sister. I could never get rid of her. I released myself from my mom's clutches and quickly led myself out the door. I ran down the hall towards the media that were still standing around. They regrouped and held out their microphones as I came near. *NSYNC's security made their way over as I pushed everyone away from me.

The guys were all standing outside the window. JC came out of the room and smiled as I came near to them. The doctor's went in for another check up, so I waited impatiently for them to come back out so that I could talk to Justin for the first time in over 12 hours. I could see him nodding and responding to their questions. They smiled as they looked him over. They were so happy with the work that they had done.

JC walked over to me. He was glad that his best friend was going to be okay. "Johnny left a statement with MTV this morning. It's all over the country now. I'm gonna go live tomorrow and let everyone know that he is going to be okay."

"Oh yeah?" I asked as I kept my voice down. "It will be good for your fans to hear directly from you then. At least they won't be so worried."

"You should see how many are outside. There were so many in the lobbies this morning that they had to keep everyone out in the parking lots. There are so many cards, flowers and gifts already that they have to put them all in an empty room."

"Wow." is all I could say as I looked at him with a surprising expression. But, I wanted to change the subject. I had things to say to him that i hadn't had the chance to yet. "Um, I never got to thank you for everything you did to help, ya know, with Brady and all." I shifted nervously as I stared at the floor.

"It's no problem, really. I would do anything for him or for any of the other guys without hesitation. It was natural instinct to protect him. We all feel the same for each other." he smiled.

I smiled back and continued. "That's really great that you all are so close to each other without being related. The love between all of you is alot thicker than blood."

"Without a doubt." he bluntly finished as the doctors finally came back out of the room. I quickly ran through the door before it even closed.

"Justin?" I asked, just to be sure he was still awake. I walked up to him and stood by his side. His blue eyes glistened as he looked at me with an emptiness that I had never seen. I sat down beside him as he began to talk.

"Hey baby." he said softly.

"How are you doing?" I asked as I grabbed his hand. The one that seemed so cold was now warm and nourishing.

"I feel okay. They got me on good meds, so right now I don't feel any pain. How are you?"

I smiled lightly. "Alot better now that you are going to be okay. I was so worried about you."

He looked away from me for a moment and closed his eyes. "I'm sorry that this trip wasn't like I wanted it to be for you."

I grabbed his hand tighter. "There is no reason to be sorry. I should be the one apologizing for getting you in this mess."

Justin quickly looked back at me. His eyes fluttered open again. "No, you aren't to blame. If I wouldn't have been there, then you would be laying in this bed or even worse. I would have risked what happened a million times over before I could ever live with myself if you got hurt."

"Justin." I started to get teary-eyed. I cried so much that I didn't think I had any tears left.

"Now, come on, let's not start crying. We might not ever stop." he laughed a little bit. "Have you heard from Touchstone?"

I almost forgot about Touchstone and the good news that I had received. That seemed so unimportant compared to Justin and what was going on here. "Yeah, I did."

"And?" he asked impatiently.

I smiled excitedly. "I got the cut for the final reading."

It had to be the highlight of Justin's day. His face glowed from his happiness. "I am so happy for you. I know you are gonna make it."

I quickly changed the subject. "But the readings are in two days. I'm not leaving without you."

"You won't have to. The doctor's say that I'm doing great. I'll probably be able to leave tomorrow."

"No, I don't want to rush you around." I insisted.

"Listen to me. I don't want to be in here any longer than anyone else does. As long as I take my meds and I get lots of rest, then I will be okay to leave tomorrow." he paused before he began again. "The filming of the movie might be a bit delayed but everything will be okay."

I sighed at his willingness to leave. "Only if you are positively sure that you will be okay."

He rolled his eyes and smiled. "Don't worry. They stitched up my side, they checked my stats. Everything looks good. I could get up and walk right now if I wasn't so tired." he laughed a bit.

"Then maybe you should go back to sleep."

"Yeah, maybe I should." he yawned. "Did ya mind?"

I smirked as I stood up. "Not a bit. I'll talk to ya soon."

"Okay, baby." he finished and I leaned down to give him a kiss. His lips were nice and warm, the way I always remembered them. "That was nice."

"Get to sleep." I demanded as I walked towards the door.

"Okay. Stop by later this afternoon." he said as he closed his eyes.
"I will." I finished as I looked back and smiled. I walked out the door and headed to the cafeteria with everyone around me. For once we all finally believed that he was actually going to be okay.

~ Chapter 12 ~