“Local gangster Justin Bieber is being released today after serving three years in prison. The teenager was arrested shortly after murdering—” I shut the TV off, carelessly throwing the remote to the side while letting out a much needed breath.
All morning; every news channel, radio show, magazine and newspaper has been filled with the buzz about Justin and how he’s being released out of jail.
Meanwhile all I could think about was how the hell I was going to react when I saw him for the first time in a little over three years.
Just the words; saying them, hearing them, reading them… it didn’t seem normal. It all felt so surreal like this was all just one big, bad, horrible dream and that if I pinched myself, I would wake up and everything would be back to normal.
I would be having dinner with my boyfriend and family, enjoying the food, laughing at the jokes shared amongst us and we would all be bonding; making up for the horrible catastrophe our last dinner had turned into.
But, no, instead, I was hit with the news that my boyfriend—the one who I was supposed to be able to love and trust, no matter what—was arrested for killing the one guy I thought was behind us all.
My phone buzzed in the pocket of my jeans, startling me from my deep thoughts. Shrugging the intensifying feeling growing in the pit of my stomach, I took it out, the screen illuminated with the words “One new message: John”.
My breathing hitched in my throat as I slid my finger across, unlocking it, the message instantly popping up.
I froze, my heart beat accelerating greatly, my body going numb, palms sweaty. This isn’t like me. Licking my lips, I fought the courage to fight through my nerving behavior, typing back quickly, my fingers doing the talking while my head screamed another.
Yeah, I’m ready.
‘Ready’ my ass, my subconscious sneered at me, taunting me of the numerous amounts of doubt and unreasoning I felt in the mist of all the anxieties in my stomach.
I swallowed hard, shaking my head, trying to steer my head in the right direction of where my thoughts should really be.
I should be happy, ecstatic, relieved and all the above of all positive emotions…. But why was it that not even an ounce of my being felt any of those?
Why did I, instead, feel lost, scared, disappointed and most of all… disoriented?
The bell’s ring thrashing against the walls of the four corners of the house, bouncing in my eardrums, brought me out of my daze causing me to snap my head up and over to the door. Several soft yet demanding knocks were heard soon after and that’s when I knew… this was it.
Biting the inside of my cheek, I slowly stood up, grasping onto my phone for dear life as I walked over to the front door. The moment I unlocked it, there was no turning back. Taking a deep breath, I grasped the doorknob, twisting it before tearing the door open, revealing both Carly and John standing on my front porch.
Carly’s eyes held compassion, knowing exactly what I was feeling due to the countless nights she stayed with me, holding me while I cried into her chest, repeatedly telling her that I was sorry and that I should have listened to her from the beginning.
To say I was hurt was a complete understatement. I was beaten lifeless of any feelings known to man. I was numbed from head to toe, not knowing how to handle myself any longer but slowly but surely I found the inner comfort in me and fought to keep myself contained.
I did one hell of a good job getting back on my feet too and starting my life up again, that was, until I was told that Justin would be released after serving his rightful time in jail.
John stared over at me with a shaded look of sympathy in his eyes, knowing first hand, before anyone, what I was feeling.
“You okay?” Carly asked me, breaking the thick silence that fell amongst us and immediately she squeezed her eyes shut, mentally cursing her.
John wrapped an around her waist, pulling her into his side and squeezing her hip, silently telling her to shut up.
I gave her a wry smile, trying hard not to frown. “I’m fine, Carls.” I closed the door behind me before maneuvering my way past them and down the front pathway that led from the sidewalk to my house and vice versa.
I nodded towards the rest of the guys that happened to be seated in the car, watching me intently, for any signs of distress. Giving them a small wave, I gave a thin lipped smile this time, turning to make sure John and Carly were behind me while waiting until Carly made her way beside me.
Opening the door, she slipped in first before I sat down beside her. Bruce stepped on the gas petal, revving the car up before silently streaming down the sidewalk towards the correctional officer’s facility.
Neither of them bothered to ask questions, already knowing the answer.
I turned my gaze outside the window, the blurred images outside catching my attention, my mind vanishing into thin air and towards the memories of the past.
“I don’t want you to get hurt.”
“Don’t say that.” I shook my head. “Don’t feed me lies.”
“You are.” I emphasized strictly. “You’re not invincible from the world, Justin. You may not be taken down by the cops but there are far more powerful and dangerous people out there who want to take you down.”
I squeezed my eyes shut, trying hard to mask away the pain, desperately wanting to forget.
“I’m afraid.” I whispered. “Okay? I’m afraid that one day I’ll just get a call from Bruce or John telling me that you’re dead.”
I bit my bottom lip, feeling my emotions overwhelm inside of me, everything I said, all the things he promised coming back to me, haunting me of what was all lies.
“God damnit Kelsey…” He muttered, “Don’t think like that.”
“How can I not?” I looked at him incredulously. “If you haven’t noticed, your life is pretty fucked up.''
“You don’t think I know that?” He spat. “But, I’m trying, okay? I can’t just turn off the bad that comes in my life. Trust me, if I could, I would.”
I pressed my head against the cool glass, taking in several deep breaths, trying to relax myself.
“I wish I could be normal and just be with you without any worries but I can’t. Not with the way that I live.”
“Not with the way that I live…” I repeated his words to myself, wincing at the memory. Licking my lips, I swallowed hard. I couldn’t help but feel my stomach lurching in all kinds of directions, my heart pumping in my chest faster than ever before.
I groaned as my eyes fluttered to an open, the illuminate lights practically blinding me. My whole body felt sore and I had a killer headache.
“Kelsey! Oh my—Kelsey you’re awake!” Furrowing my eyebrows at the sudden urgency behind her tone, I turned to see my mom running over to me, her arms circling around my fragile body as she held me close to her chest. “Thank God.” She cried into my shoulder, caressing my hair with my hand.
I held her despite my confusion, not knowing what was going on. “Mom…” I trailed off, looking up to see my dad and Dennis staring over at me with wide, teary eyes. “What’s going on?” I murmured.
I had noticed the red linings that surrounded their eyes and the bags under them. Gulping, I pulled away from her. I finally managed to look around and I nearly fainted. The white walls, medical equipment, machines, flowers… I was in the hospital. “Mom, dad… why am I here?” I licked my chapped lips, my voice hoarse from the lack of hydration I received.
“Drink some water first honey.” She grabbed a cup from just beside the bed I was laying in, pouring water inside before bringing it over to my lips, keeping my chin in place with her other hand while tipping the cup back so that the water went in.
Gulping down the cold liquid, I let out a refreshed sigh before retrieving back to my previous question. “Mom…?”
Her eyes shadowed a look of the utmost sympathy making the pit of my stomach churn painfully. “I’m so sorry.” She whispered.
“For heaven’s sake, Melissa!” My dad roared, pulling her aside, vigorously shaking his head at her. “We’ve already discussed this.” He seethed through gritted teeth, his eyes dark with disgust. “This is his entire fault that she’s in the hospital.” He spat venomously, his voice strict and to the point causing Goosebumps to rise on my skin. “Nobody else’s but his so quit defending that god forsaken boy or I swear to God—”He cut himself short, his jaw twitching in anger.
“Can someone tell me what the hell is going on?” I muttered, not being able to handle being in the dark of this all.
My dad let go of my mom’s arm, turning to look at me, his eyes immediately softening. “Kelsey…” He trailed off just as speechless as my mother. His Adam’s apple bobbed slowly indicating he had swallowed hard.
“Enough stalling,” I hissed, growing impatient. “I’m in the hospital and I demand to know why.”
My mom switched from looking at my dad to me, repeating several times before laying a hand to his arm. “I’ll handle this.” She murmured, gently encouraging him out of the room with Dennis behind before walking back over to me. Grabbing a chair, she sat down on it before grasping onto my hand. “Kelsey…”
“Mom, just tell me already.” I demanded, my nerves getting the best of me.
She tucked a strand of hair behind her ear before grabbing onto my hand, cupping it into her palm before covering it with the back of her other. “You fainted.”
I furrowed my eyebrows together. “Fainted?”
She nodded her head, the hold she had on my hand tightening. “You were helping set the dinner table and I had asked you to shut off the television. You left to do so and didn’t come back. I began to get worried so I went to check on you. I saw that something was wrong so I called your name. You didn’t answer me and I kept doing so when all of a sudden you just… fell. You skimmed the rim of the table and hit your head so hard that you had to get stitches and had a concussion.”
“Stitches… a concussion?” I cried out incredulously, taken back. “But…” I paused, trying to wrap my head around this all. “Why would I faint in the first place?” I shook my head in disbelief, trying to understand what she was telling me.
“I didn’t know either sweetheart until I looked up at the television and saw for myself.” She whispered, sadness engulfing the soles of her eyes.
“What did you see?” I questioned, desperate to put the missing pieces of the puzzle that turned out to be my life back together.
She shook her head, biting the inside of her cheek, not wanting to say anything more.
“Mom,” I muttered with a hardened gaze. “What did you see on the TV?”I frothed harshly.
“Justin.” She breathed out, her laminated eyes meeting mine. “He was arrested for murder sweetheart.”
And that’s when it all came rushing back to me like a ton of bricks.
Carly grasped onto my hand, giving it a slight tug. Snapping out of it, I shifted in my seat, turning to look at her.
A wretched look crossed her face as she reached over, brushing the tips of her fingers under my eyes. I blinked a few times before coming to realize that I had been crying. Mentally cursing myself, I pulled away from Carly’s touch, wiping myself dry instead.
All eyes were on me now, each gaze burning holes into my skin from all sorts of directions making me squirm uncomfortably in my seat. I sniffled, looking down at my hands. I was not going to crash down now. I had to stay strong. Looking up, I refused to break down any further.
After a few more minutes of complete quiet, Bruce finally managed to make it on time, driving up the path that led into the parking lot. After circling around the various cars, he finally achieved to find a spot. Slipping into it, he killed the engine.
Nobody moved, the air around us still, our slight breathing the only thing being heard at the moment.
Biting the inside of her cheek, Carly looked over at John, his eyes meeting hers soon after as they communicated inaudibly. Nodding his head, John opened the door, being the first to slice through the thick barricade of silence.
Carly nudged me moments later, pointing over to the open door. I stared at the door before looking up to see John looking down at me. I gulped, slipping out of the seat and standing up beside him.
Grabbing onto Carly’s hand, John turned to me. “Are you sure you’ll be able to do this?” He murmured softly, a knowing expression crossing his face.
I took a deep breath, nodding. “Yeah, let’s go.” Brushing past him, I began walking ahead, following Bruce, Marco and Marcus’s lead.
Carly took hold of my arm, pulling me back. “You don’t have to do this you know. I can wait with you at the house if you want. John will drive us back—”
“No.” I shook my head, cutting her off. “I came all this way, I’m staying.” I sighed. “Besides, what kind of girlfriend would I be if I didn’t show up?” My heart tightened as the word foreign to my vocabulary for the past three yearsescaped my lips.
“Alright,” Carly breathed out, letting me go. She turned back to John who continued their hushed conversations which most likely were consisted about me and what I’m going to do when I see Justin.
Hell, I don’t even know what I’m going to do. All I knew was that I wasn’t going to faint like I had when I found out what happened.
Bruce came to a stop near the entrance of the facility. “Wait right here, I’ll be right back.” He informed us before walking inside.
I fumbled on my feet, not being able to handle the suspense any longer. My stomach felt as though it were about to fall off, my palms were damp from the perspiration that formed against them and my head was pounding immensely.
Carly wrapped an arm around me, pulling me to her side; her own pressed against John’s whose own arm was around her. “We’re all here for you, okay? Don’t worry,” She softly encouraged.
I nodded, giving her a grim smile as her arm tightened.
Taking deep breaths through my nose, I felt completely nauseous, ready to vomit from the amount of emotions that were running through me all at once.
My head jerked up the second Bruce walked out and over to us. “They said he’s going to come around back. Let’s go.” He motioned with his head to the side of the building where we each began to follow except for me.
“Kels?” Carly asked the second she noticed I wasn’t beside her anymore. Turning, she frowned. “Kelsey, are you coming?”
“Yeah,” I breathed out. “Just give me a second, please.”
She nodded, waiting behind with John as I ran my fingers through my hair, counting to ten in my head as I closed my eyes. Relaxing, I released the grip on my hair, letting it fall freely down my back once more before walking over to Carly.
“Yeah, I’m fine. Let’s go.” Hooking my arm with hers, we ended up reaching the guys as they headed around back to what looked like a deserted area. There was nothing but a door that led in and out of the back of the center.
Looking around, I knitted my eyebrows in confusion. “Where is he?”
Bruce shrugged, hands in his pockets as he looked around as well. “The lady behind the desk told me he was exiting out back here.”
“Maybe he—” Marcus was cut short the moment the door I had spotted once we arrived opened, a shadow of a figure shown before slowly but surely they had resided and walked outside.
A gasp emitted from my lips as my eyes widened. A shaking hand fell to cover my mouth as I watched Justin emerge from inside.
He looked… the same yet different. His hair was buzzed at the sides but the top was spiked. His eyes held a dark color to them and his jaw was hardened. His arms budged from the muscle shirt he wore as his jeans hung low on his hips, Supras covering his feet.
He ran his fingers through the tip of his hair before digging his hands into the pockets of his jeans, his thumbs sticking out.
Glancing over in our direction, Justin came to a slow stop, his eyes wide with surprise, lips slightly parted.
He looked up at Bruce maneuvering his way to Marco, Marcus, John, Carly and then finally to me. Staring into my eyes, I felt my heart beat pick up as I froze under his gaze, not being able to move.
His eyes softened at the sight of me, a string of feelings transferring from the depths of his eyes to mine, making me fidget under his strong lock on me.
“Kelsey,” He rasped and it was then that everything vanished into thin air; all the anger, disappointment, sadness, shock, grief and alarm.
Swallowing hard, I glanced beside me to everyone that resided to my right before looking back over at Justin. Not being able to contain myself any longer, tears engulfed my eyes as my lips quivered under his presence. Walking forwards, I took a couple strides before I found myself walking faster and before I knew it, I was running.
Opening his arms to me, I let out a choked sob before leaping into them, wrapping my arms tightly around his neck, my legs around his waist as I buried my head into his neck. “I missed you so much.” I cried, holding onto him for dear life as if I were to let him go he would disappear and I would be alone all over again.
“I missed you too.” He breathed out against my hair, his fingers combing through it as he held me tight, his free hand grasping onto my thigh so that I didn’t fall. “Fuck baby, I missed you so much.” He murmured, his grip on me tightening.
Pulling away from his neck, I wiped my face clean of tears before looking down at him. His round brown/hazel eyes, button nose, perfect heart shaped lips… not being able to contain myself any longer, I held onto the sides of his face before crashing my lips down onto his.
Taken back by the sudden movement, Justin melted into my lips as he moved his against mine, holding the back of my head in place as he pushed up against my lips, wanting to savor this moment for eternity. Setting me down on my feet, our lips still attached, he held my hips with his hands, pulling me close.
After a few seconds, Justin pulled away, breathless, his eyes falling all over me, his fingers brushing the hair that fell in front of my face behind my ear, as he took in everything, mentally taking notes as he licked his lips. “You’re so beautiful.” He murmured, pressing his forehead to mine.
A faint blush crawled on my cheeks as I circled my arms around him. Closing my eyes, I took in this moment, never wanting this overwhelming feeling of love to disappear.
Taking my face into his hands now, Justin brushed the paddings of his thumbs against my cheeks. “I love you so much.” He whispered before pressing his lips to mine gently, all the passion he felt conveying through.
Pulling away, he held my hands in his own, rubbing my knuckles as he leant into me. “God I love you.” He repeated, closing his eyes.
Leaning up, I chastely kissed his lips. “I love you too.” I whispered and that was the truth. Despite what I felt today and coming here, no matter what, in the end, I will always love him.
Enveloping me into his arms once more, Justin held me close, inhaling my scent as he nuzzled his nose into the nape of my neck, pecking the skin gently. “I missed you.”
I couldn’t help but giggle slightly due to his multiple repeated phrases. “You already said that.” I whispered as his fingers brushed against the skin of my back.
He smirked, shrugging. “It’s the truth though…” He mumbled, pecking my lips once, twice, three times before pulling away. “The entire time I was in that cell, all I could think about was you and how much I wanted to hold you in my arms.”
“Justin…” I mumbled, pained. I shook my head, signaling that I didn’t want to talk about that right now.
Furrowing his eyebrows together, he stared frazzled a bit by my reaction. Playing with the ends of my hair, he grasped onto my chin, forcing me to look up at him. “You okay?”
I timidly nodded, my lips pressed together in a firm line and all the previous emotions I felt came tumbling back making me feel queasy. “I’m fine,” I whispered.
Staring blankly down at me, Justin licked his lips, contemplating whether or not he should continue to question me further but immediately decided against it. Taking hold of my hand, he gave it a reassuring squeeze. “Alright then, let’s go.” Tugging me alongside him, we made our way over to the guys and Carly who each stood staring from me to our interlocked fingers to Justin.
Bruce ripped his eyes away from us and over to Justin. A flash emitted in his eyes and he let out a wolfish whistle, smirking. “Damn Bieber, you sure grew up.”
“Can’t stay eighteen forever, now can I, Bruce?” Justin smirked back, letting go of my hand to clap hands with Bruce before they engulfed each other in a brotherly embrace, my stomach churning at Justin’s recent words.
I shuffled uncomfortably, staring down at my hands, not wanting to look up because I could feel Carly’s blue eyes burning through my flesh, demanding to know what the hell all of this was about and quite honestly I couldn’t give her an answer because I didn’t know what was going on myself.
I had officially lost my mind.
“Damn bro,” I shot my head up to see Justin standing in front of Marcus now. “You’ve grown more than I have.” Slapping his biceps, he nodded his head in approval. “You’ve been working out.”
“Had to keep in shape if we were gonna keep the cycle running. You may have been gone but things didn’t end there. We still had shit to take care of.” Marcus nudged Justin to show he was merely teasing but Justin didn’t buy into it.
Tensing up, his muscles tightened as his hands balled into fists at his side, clenching and unclenching them until he let out a low ruffle of a breath, calming himself down. “You guys kept up good without me?” Even though he passed off as relaxed and keen to the conversation you can sense the bitterness behind it.
“Of course we did.” Marco shrugged, feeling the tension in the air between Justin and Marcus. “We wouldn’t be standing here in front of you if we didn’t.”
Justin nodded, keeping his gaze free of any relations into what he was feeling. “That’s good to hear.” He paused, glancing at John, his eyebrows rising slowly as he pursed his lips at the sight of his hand locked with Carly’s.
“Sup man?” John nodded towards Justin, letting Carly go for a brief second to take him into his arms in a friendly-brotherly gesture before pulling away and re-collecting Carly’s hand in his.
A grim smirk twitched against Justin’s lip. “I think I should be asking you that question, man.” He mused, still arrayed from the surprise he had just received.
Carly pulled her lips into her mouth, feeling quite nervous under Justin’s scrutiny. Her red polished nails bit into John’s hand as she nervously shuffled.
John lopsidedly smiled. “I’m sure you can guess.” He held a chortle, his cheeks heated from the sudden inspection Justin was giving.
Justin chuckled, shaking his head. “Who would’ve known you would get with Risi…” He paused, taking this all in. “Out of all people.”
Carly’s mouth fell open. “What’s that supposed to mean?” She glared, her blue eyes piercing with coldness.
Justin smirked, digging his hands in the pockets of his jeans. “Exactly what I implied.”
“Which is…?” Carly compressed her lips into a stern pull, fire blazing in the depths of her eyes.
Justin didn’t respond. Instead, he gave John a pat on the back. “Good luck.”
Carly’s mouth fell open and before she had the chance to charge towards Justin, John held her back.
“Glad you still have your humor.” Bruce pointed out, his chest shaking from the laughter he produced.
“Not everything died in me since I left.” Justin curtly replied back, a grin standing in place of his smile, a tight pull at the edges of his eyes.
My heart swelled as I held my breath. What the hell did that mean? His snarky comments were driving me up the wall and I was just about ready to lose it.
Bruce cleared his throat, slightly taken back by Justin’s bold answers. Not sure exactly how to answer to him, he held a firm gaze. “We better get going. I’m sure you’ve missed your bed.”
Justin stifled a laugh. “You can say that again.” He exasperated a brief sigh. “I’ve had enough of springs digging into my back every night,” He rolled his eyes. “But, I can’t exactly say that’s what I’ve missed the most…”
Bruce arched an eyebrow, wanting Justin to elaborate. “Oh?”
“Mhm,” He cheesed, grabbing hold of my hand. “I’ve missed being with my baby girl.” Pulling me over to him, Justin circled his arms around my waist, drawing me against his chest. Nuzzling his head into my hair, I bit my lip, avoiding the look of tense bewilderment coming from the guys.
Swallowing, I forced a smile on my lips as Justin gazed longingly down at me as if he couldn’t believe I was standing here in front of him right now. Grazing the tip of my nose with his lips, he pulled away, taking my hand in his. “Come on. I’m ready to go.”
“’Bout time.” Bruce rolled his eyes, shooting Justin a grin to show he was merely teasing as he turned on the heels of his boots, showing us the way back to the parking lot.
Once we reached the car, John opened the door for Carly as she slid in first, Marco and Marcus following after. Just as I was about to sit inside, Justin slipped in before I did, lugging me onto his lap instead.
He smiled up at me, pecking my chin as the door closed beside us. I took in the stubble on his chin, the beauty mark on his right cheek, his pink lips inviting. Biting my bottom lip, I reached forwards, my hair drawing curtains around our heads as I pressed my lips eagerly to Justin’s, wanting to savor this moment.
Moaning silently into my mouth, Justin held a vice grip on my butt after he forced my legs apart so that I was now straddling him. Digging his fingers into the fabric of my jeans, he nibbled gently on my bottom lip, getting me completely aroused.
Gasping lightly, my eyes fluttered open as I stared into his lingering hazel ones.
The need, the want…. The love, it was all there. Evident in the specks of gold that hid in with the hazel swirls of chocolate in his eyes.
I let out a breath I didn’t know I had been holding in as I fell into a pit of uncertainty, knowing this moment was close to being over.
I closed my eyes, forcing back the tears that wanted to fall. Why did this have to happen to us? Compelling my eyes open, I laid my head against his chest, desperate to feel his arms around me.
Instinctively, Justin’s arms enclosed themselves around my body as he held me close.
Breathing in his scent, I let my eyes drift to a close once more, a peaceful thought of what could have been sprinkling into my mind, haunting me of what will never happen.
Justin rubbed my back soothingly, a soft hum retrieving from his parted lips and into my ear, comforting me vastly.
“We’re here.” Bruce startled me out of my restful stage, causing a huge lump to form in my throat.
Groaning, I lifted myself off of Justin, maneuvering my way out of the car as I stood outside of it, the view of his house coming to stare back at me.
Taking hold of my waist, Justin held me to his side as he began walking up the front steps, stopping just in front of the door. “Nothing seemed to have changed.” He pointed out, a pleased look on his face.
I bit the inside of my cheek, refusing to retort back with the truth behind his words.
Twisting the knob of the door, Justin pushed it open, his legs carrying him forward, hauling me alongside him and immediately his face fell at the surprise that waited. “Wow,” He breathed out, his eyes wide.
John stood beside us. “You like it?”
Justin pressed his lips together, clicking his tongue to the roof of his mouth, showing no signs of emotions. Turning to us, he shrugged. “It’s… different.”
“I know it’s not what you expect but we thought we needed a bit of a change.” Marcus chided, looking around the house as well.
“You changed the couches.” Justin’s jaw twitched unpleasantly, his face unfaltering to show us what he truly felt behind his façade. “And the carpet…” He paused. “Wow.”
Bruce had switched the burgundy couches with new, crisp black leather ones. The carpeted floors shredded and now covered in hardwood.
“Yeah,” I leaned up, pressing my lips to his jaw to relax him which worked because he warmed to my touch. “I like it. It fits the house.”
Justin looked down at me, his eyes shadowing disapproval. “Was this your idea?” He murmured softly.
I bit my lip. “Maybe.” I whispered.
Sighing, Justin looked around once more. “It’s not bad…” He raked his brain for the simplest answer he could muster. “It’s weird since we’ve had the house the same for years but I guess a change is good.” He shrugged and I couldn’t help but smile up at him.
Marco scoffed, knowing exactly why Justin had said what he said.
I shot him a glare which he returned the gesture before melting under my eyes and slouching, a scowl taking place. I giggled lightly, knowing he couldn’t be mad at me.
“What’s so funny?” Justin snapped me back to him, giving him his undivided attention as my stomach leaped into cartwheels under his intense gaze.
“Nothing.” I mumbled, turning so that my back was now to Marco.
Frowning, Justin’s arm around me tightened. “My room’s…”
“Still the same.” John finished for him. “We thought about changing it but Kelsey convinced us otherwise.”
Justin stared appreciatively down at me, his lips pressing against my forehead. “That’s my girl.” He whispered so that I only heard him.
I didn’t say anything. Instead, I kept frozen at his side, knowing this cute demeanor of his will disappear in a moment’s time.
“Come on,” Bruce cut in, brushing past us so that he now stood in front of us all. “Let’s sit down.” He gestured to the couch with his head and we all obliged, following his lead.
Sitting down beside John, Justin pulled me onto his lap. Kissing the back of my neck, he held me close to him.
Shifting uncomfortably, I tugged at Justin’s hands until he released me. Giving me a confused look, I ignored him as I slipped from his lap, seating myself on the couch a few inches away from him.
Furrowing his eyebrows, he parted his lips to say something to me when Bruce interrupted.
“Are you hungry man? Do you want something to eat? I know the food there’s shitty as fuck.” He exclaimed.
Justin shook his head. “I’ve lost all sense of my appetite in that god forsaken place. I don’t even know what real food looks like.”
“I’ll get right on it then.” Bruce stood, smiling broadly over at him. “It’s good to have you back man.”
Justin beamed, nodding his head in mutual agreement. “It’s good to be back.”
Clapping hands, Bruce walked to the back of the house where the outside patio stood, a barbeque ready to be turned on and used.
“Kelsey, can I have a word with you?” Carly stands and before I have the chance to respond, she grasps hold of my hand, halting me up and pulling me into the kitchen. “What the fuck do you think you’re doing?”
“What are you talking about?” I blink at her, taken back by her sharp questioning.
She let out an exasperated sigh. “You know what I’m talking about Kelsey.” When I didn’t say anything, she ran her fingers through her hair. “Justin, Kelsey. You need to stop fucking with his head.”
“Yes, you are. You can’t expect him not to notice how you’re lovey-dovey, kiss-kiss one second, then distant the next.”
“I was just in the heat of the moment…” I mumbled, looking down at my fingers.
“No, his release was how you just described it. The car…” She shook her head, “not so much.”
“What do you expect me to do?”
“Tell him the truth about how you really feel.” Carly emphasized, her eyes sadly staring into mine. “I was there through it all. I saw what he did to you and how pained you were when he was taken away. He needs to know how much ache he caused you.”
I swallow, looking away, knowing she was right. I couldn’t hold it in any longer even if I wanted to. No matter how hard I tried to mask my hurt, it still crawled back up. I bit my lip, nodding. “Alright, I’m sorry.”
“You have nothing to apologize for. I know it’s hard… but it’s what’s best for you.” She heaved me into a hug. “The truth will set you free, Kelsey.”
I nodded, pulling away and tucking a strand of hair behind my ear. “You’re right.” I breathed out. “It’s now or never, right?”
Carly gave me a shrill lipped smile, knowing just how hard this was going to be for me. “I’ll be here if you need me.”
“Thanks Carly.” I sighed, walking away, back into the living room with Carly following behind. Bruce came back from the patio, now joined with the guys on the couch, his arm around Justin’s shoulders as they discussed something in whispers.
Once our footsteps were heard they stopped talking, looking up at us. Bruce mumbled something into Justin’s ear, having him nod in return.
Sitting opposite them, I took a deep breath, chewing on the layer of my bottom lip. Carly decided to sit next to me as she laid a comforting hand on my leg, giving it a small squeeze to show that she was there for me.
I looked up at her, giving her a small smile, avoiding Justin’s eyes on me as he tinged to know why I decided to sit where I had instead of next to him.
“What were you guys talking about?” Carly cogitated out loud, her smirk directed towards the guys as she leaned back, her lips pursed, arms now crossed against her chest.
“Business.” Bruce retorted smartly, his eyes beaming playfully.
“And?” Carly paused, her eyes narrowed. “What about business?”
“None of your damn business.” Justin shot back, his jaw set, eyes hard on hers.
“I don’t believe I was talking to you, Bieber.” Carly hissed and I knew right then if looks could kill, they’d both be dead right now.
“Carly…” I mumbled with a shake of my head but she chose to ignore me.
“I do believe this is my house you’re currently sitting in right now so I’d shut that mouth of yours real quickly.” Justin warned, a storm brewing within his eyes.
“Or what?” Carly challenged, refusing to back down under Justin’s harsh antics.
Justin chuckled darkly. “Let’s just say we learn a few things in prison…” He sickly smirked, his face clear of any sentiment, “things I’m sure you don’t want me to do to you so if you were smart, you’d stop talking.”
Carly kept her mouth closed; not daring to talk back and I knew then that he had finally gotten under her skin enough to keep her quiet.
“Good girl,” Justin smirked, his eyes gleaming with laughter but hidden beneath it is seriousness and that’s when I knew, he wasn’t kidding.
“Relax man,” John cut in, his eyes traveling from Carly to Justin. “She was just joking.”
Justin shrugged. “Didn’t seem like it.” He settled back comfortably on his back, turning away from John to Carly. “Were you just joking?” He licked his lips, his fingers laced together on his lap.
Carly felt the tension building in the air, her chest heaving up and down, her breathing shallow. Simply nodding, she looked down at her hands.
“Answer me.” Justin spat, his voice thick with venom.
Carly snapped her head up, eyes wide in surprise. “What?”
“You heard me.” Justin gestured with his hands to her. “Answer me. Nodding does shit unless I hear it coming from those lips of yours.”
“Justin…” Bruce began but was soon cut off by Justin’s hand in the air, silencing him.
“No, let her speak. I may have been gone for a few years but that doesn’t mean she could come here disrespecting me and butting into our business.” Justin scolded. “So, Carly, were you just joking?”
Carly didn’t say a word. Instead, she kept silent, just staring at Justin, rendered speechless to say the least.
“Carls…” I nudged her side, trying to snap her out of it.
Shaking her head, she stood her ground. “No.”
Justin’s eyebrows up in astonishment. “What?”
“You heard me,” She sat up straight, not letting Justin affect her any longer. “I said no.”
Justin laughed, a smile playing on his lips though it didn’t match his eyes. “Get out.”
Our faces fell, an immediate silence following soon after. Carly paled, not knowing how to react to that. “What?” She mumbled, taken back.
“I said get out.”
“Justin,” John stood. “Relax man.”
“You can leave with her then if you have a fucking problem.” Justin spat, staring daggers. “Don’t think just because she’s your girl I’m going to let things slide.”
“All I’m saying is to relax, okay? No one’s going anywhere. This was all just a miscommunication.” He sighed, running a hand through his hair. “Tell him it was just a joke Carly.” John looked at her, his eyes begging her to go along with it.
Despite the way she was feeling, Carly huffed, not pleased at all with how this was all playing out. “It was just a joke.” She mumbled.
“I’m sorry, what?” Justin pressed an open palm against his ear. “I didn’t hear you.”
Carly scowled. “I said it was just a joke.” She licked her lips. “I didn’t mean to disrespect you.” She muttered.
“And?” Justin smirked and I knew what he wanted. He wanted an apology.
Carly soon figured that out too as realization hit. Fighting the urge to punch him in the face, Carly sighed. “I’m sorry.”
“You’re forgiven though if you pull something like this again, an apology won’t cut it. I’ll just throw you out on your ass. Got it?”
Carly nodded, not daring to say another word knowing that if she did, it would be a string of curse words all directed towards Justin.
John now sat down, glad this was all over with and I couldn’t help but feel his relief. I had been holding my breath throughout this whole situation.
“So,” Marco stood. “Who’s hungry?”
We all stared up at Marco as if he had about five heads. Out of everything that had just happened, all that he gets out of it, is hunger?
I giggled gently, shaking my head. “You’re so weird.”
Marco smirked. “Gotta cut the awkwardness somehow,” He winked playfully. “So,” He looked at all of us. “I’m the only one then?”
Bruce shook his head, standing up as well. “I’ll save you from yourself. Come on,” Clapping a hand on Marco’s back, he looked at all of us. “Let’s go eat.”
Justin watched as we all stood up, his eyes never leaving mine. “You guys go ahead without us.”
“Us?” Marcus looked at him.
He nodded towards me. “I want a word with Kelsey for a second.”
Marcus looked at me knowingly before nodding at Justin and disappearing down the hall with the rest following behind.