Stuck In Fire 2 - Justin Bieber

Justin is finally reunited with Katie.. and that's awesome. I don't know what to write, 'cause i haven't read the story o.o IT'S NOT MIIIINE. I JUST POST IT TO READ IT :P


16. 16

A couple of days later, I was being grilled again, in my pretend witness chair. Selena watched me with these sorrowful eyes…I had been trying to answer like the marshals had said…but it was getting way too hard now, hours into the questioning.

"How long does this have to go on?" I asked, almost pleadingly after a very difficult question about Victoria.

They actually asked me if I loved her and wanted her…and I had to answer that in front of Selena. I lied. I'd said no, never. But I know I once did think that I loved her, back when I was royally fucked up and didn't know any better…before Selena came and opened my eyes.

"You could be on the stand for days.", Benson, the blonde haired woman marshal informed, "You can't break. Stay strong. The defense will be wanting you to weaken. Don't give them that."

"And does James get to be on the stand too?", I asked, unsure of how court actually worked.

"Not unless he wants to.", Morrison said.

"This is so unfair.", I said to myself as Benson was now coming at me like she was the attorney.

"Mr. Bieber, you are a submissive, is that correct?" she asked next.

"Not exactly.", I stayed collected, "A submissive is there willingly, to serve his Master or Mistress. I was called a slave. I was bought for fifty thousand dollars by Victoria. Once I stepped into that, I was caught. There was no getting out. Submissives have choices, and safewords. I didn't have that. I did what I was told and like it or not, I had to."

"You were free to go anywhere you wanted, though, isn't that right?", Benson continued, "You had a car, you were free to come and go when you weren't working…"

"My daughter.", I reminded, "I told you…they would've killed her or WORSE if I left. I wasn't really free to come and go…"

"You could've gone to the police."

"The police don't care.", I stated like a fact, "And cops in New York are dirty. I didn't know who I could trust. I wouldn't ever take a chance on my daughter's life that way."

"Come on, now, Mr. Bieber, we're all adults here…", Benson said, "Weren't you a willing submissive, working and playing with Victoria Spears of your own free will?"

"No!", I answered and Benson put her hand up, motioning for me to keep the volume lower.

"No.", I repeated, taking a breath, trying to remain aloof and quiet.

"You have to try to give yes or no answers, too, Justin.", Benson coached me, "You're saying too much. Don't give them more than what they ask for. You could hurt yourself."

"Yes, let's not hurt myself, that would be terrible.", I replied sarcastically, shaking my head at Selena, who smiled back at me, trying to put on a brave face.

"Mr. Bieber…", Benson went on, "Tell me how you met…Raven Daniels."

"She was a client.", I said honestly.

"You prostituted for her."

"Yes.", I sneered, my jaw tightening.

"What kind of activities did you do with her?"

"Activities?", I asked, "Interesting choice of words."

I so loved turning things around on them for once. It felt good tossing their own words back in their faces.

"Please answer the question, Mr. Bieber."

"She played a mean game of shuffleboard.", I said, muttering, "Activities."


"She liked to dominate me.", I replied, keeping it short like they'd said.

"She tied you up?"


"She chained you?"


"Did she whip you?"


"Don't people know what the word dominate means?" Selena came to my aid again, "Why do you have to draw them a picture like that?"

"It has to be clear what she did to him.", Morrison said, "The jury may feel sorry for him if they know all the details of what's been done to Justin."

"Oh, the pity card.", I said, "Beautiful."

"Well, if he has to answer yes to everything she ever did to him, we'll be there all year!", Selena interrupted.

"You're not going anywhere, are you?", Benson asked, "Look, court takes time. Trials take time. A judge won't care how long it takes. The facts have to be presented."

"Can't you see how this is affecting him?", Selena asked, her voice tender as she looked at me, "How is he supposed to go through this over and over again? And when the trial comes, it'll take months and months of this before it's over? Justin is the victim here. It's not right!"

"It's all right, Selena.", I said, trying to calm her down, "I'm fine."

"You are not fine.", she argued, sitting down and crossing her arms, fuming.

"Go on.", I looked at Benson, my eyes ready and hard as I regarded her.

"You willingly drove to this Raven Daniels home, alone?"


"No one forced you to go there?"

I took a breath and said, "Yes, I was forced to go there. But I drove there alone."

"Isn't it true that you had to be hospitalized after a few days at Raven's home?"

"Yes.", I answered, "She wouldn't let me leave. I was dehydrated and I had lost a good amount of blood. I nearly died."

"But then you went back to her place after that incident, correct?"

"Yes, six months later.", I answered, "Victoria ordered me to. She said Raven promised not to go too far like that again."

"And did she hurt you again?"

"Yes.", I said, looking at Selena, "She single tailed me for hours."

"Single tailed you?"

"There is a whip called the single tail.", I explained, "It's long and thin but deadly. It can do a great deal of damage if not used safely. Raven never uses it safely. She liked to watch me bleed. She licked the blood off me…then began again."

Later, I couldn't contain my emotions while they were talking about that night Selena came to the club to save me.

I felt tears come to my eyes while I told the story.

"I fought as hard as I could…" I said, "But there were too many of them…and they had Selena behind me. I felt them chain me to the hook overhead in the dungeon…and then in a split second, Selena was right there in front of me, nose to nose with me…they were chaining her up on the same hook with me. I knew they were going to hurt her…I begged and tried anything to stop them…"

I looked down and felt a couple of tears fall.

"Then what happened?", Benson asked, her voice a tad softer.

I almost sobbed the words. "They were taking Selena's clothes off…"

"Enough.", Selena ran up and held my head in her arms, talking to Benson, "You've been on him for hours! Take a fucking break!"

They left, going out the front door, talking to each other as Selena stroked my hair.

"Baby…are you alright?", she asked me, touching my face as I looked up at her.

I nodded, blinking back the tears that threatened to overflow. I was about to apologize to her for that night…for not stopping them from stripping her clothes off and trying to whip her. Thank God they made a game of it so I took most of the pain from the whip. Just thinking of being chained while they whipped Selena over and over again…I nearly lost my mind.

I was going to beg her forgiveness but I knew she'd tell me not to be stupid, that it wasn't my fault. She'd said that before and I already knew her opinion of that night.

"Sorry.", I fingered away the tears in my right eye, "I guess I'm just so tired."

"I'll get you to sleep again tonight…if you want.", Selena massaged her fingers in the back of my hair and it did feel incredible…I nearly let out a very deep, satisfied purr at her touch.

"I want.", I smiled, snuggling my cheek into her palm, "I love how you put me to sleep. You're so smart, the way you help me. Thank you, Selena."

"No thanks required.", she smiled down at me, stroking my cheek with the back of her hand, "I love helping you, when I can. I'm sorry I can't help more…with your homework…with what these jerks are doing to you tonight. I love you so much…I just want you to be happy. I hate watching them question you all night like this. It's like they're trying to strip away all the progress you've made…trying to make you look like….it sucks."

"It's not that bad.", I tried to sound stronger than I felt, "I can handle it."

"We'll get through all this.", Selena said, full of hope, "I know we will. We've already overcome so much. I know we'll be alright…someday. We just have to hang onto each other and have faith. I can't believe fate would bring us together just to destroy us now."

"You're my faith.", I said, kissing her palm, "You're my hope. And don't worry, about the trial. I won't let them get you, Selena. I'll give myself up first."

"No you won't.", she said, "We're not going to jail, Justin, either of us."

"Alright, Selena.", I said, not wanting to argue with her now.

"Real love is very hard sometimes.", Selena said gently, "My Dad told me once…it's more than just flowers and pretty words…real love means keeping promises, even when they're hard to keep…and holding on, even when you don't want to…or it hurts too much…it's being strong for each other, leaning on each other…and even through all we've been through together…the good and the bad, and all the stuff in between…there's still no one else I'd rather spend my life with. I know now the price of real love and how hard it is to get to those anniversaries that most people think are so easy. I understand and I'm by your side, no matter what comes. I don't regret a single thing, Justin. I know I've chosen the right man for me. It's okay that it's hard. It'll be that much sweeter when we've made it…and on our tenth anniversary we can look back and see all the struggles of the past…and laugh at them. We won't throw our love away like so many people are doing now…because we'll know how precious it is…and how rare. We will make it. I know that."

I clung to her and knew it too. I just wish I had as much true faith as she did. I'm so glad she never had to survive in my old world. That sweetness and innocence would've been crushed out of her in time. And what a tragedy that would've been.

"I love you Selena.", was all I could possibly say to her now, "I'll always love you."

She sat on my lap and kissed me hard…and I gave right into the kiss…loving it all the way down to my toes.

Just when it was getting good, the damn marshals came back to begin again.


"MASEN!", I heard the next afternoon as I was washing off Psycho with the hose.

I turned and saw it was Clyde, one of the guys who helped take care of the horses with us.

"Jenna's asking for you.", he informed, "She wants you to meet her on horseback on the hill out back."

"Why?", I asked, feeling myself frown.

"Don't know.", he walked by, "Something about her horse. Better get out there."

Bob wasn't around at the moment so I put Psycho back in his stall, and saddled up Midnight Sun.

"Wanna go for a little ride, boy?" I asked him sweetly as he neighed quietly.

"Okay, boy…", I said, mounting him and slowly walking him out to the hill.

What did she want? She couldn't possibly make a move on me while we were each on horseback, could she? Either way, I wouldn't hide from her. I would confront this and make it stop. Dr. F. said not to be cruel. I wouldn't be. I would try being a friend…maybe she would respond to that. After all, I had known some pretty messed up people in my old world…maybe I could relate to her after all.

I saw her out there, on a beautiful black stallion. Her hair was blowing in the breeze as I slowly approached her…I was a couple of feet away when I cleared my throat, letting her know I was here.

She turned a little towards me, her eyes meeting mine. This time I kept my eyes on hers, letting her see I was not looking down. She smiled at me, staring into my face.

"What did you want, Jenna?", I asked nicely, not letting any fear or anger come into my voice.

"Anthony…just the one I wanted to see.", she began, seeming friendly enough.

She looked back at me and squinted a little.

"You have beautiful eyes, Anthony.", she complimented, "Green…but with emerald highlights…little flecks of gold…and a thin line of dark blue around the edges…gorgeous."

Then I made the mistake of looking down. I felt like she was looking too deeply into my eyes. That never happened to me until Selena. My eyes were always to be pointed down, and no one really looked into them that much. Well, except for Raven. But she looked at my eyes in a different way. She was excited by my looks but that excitement turned to violence and pain. I felt like letting her look this close into my eyes was like cheating on Selena. My eyes were for her alone.

"Tsk.", Jenna sounded when I'd looked down then.

"Sweetie…", she cooed, "What's happened to you? Why are you so afraid of me? I just like you. Is that so terrible?"

Then I looked up at her.

"Jenna, I don't want to be mean to you.", I said calmly, "I really don't. You seem like a nice person and all…but I told you, I'm with someone else. That's not going to change. Please stop…"

"Stop what?", she asked, smiling more, almost amused by my little speech.

"Stop this.", I said firmly, not needing to explain it any further.

"Give me one little kiss and I will.", she grinned. She's playing with me now.

"No, Jenna.", I said gently.

"Come on.", she turned her horse so she was coming closer to me, "If you're that much in love, one little kiss wouldn't mess anything up."

"Please, Jenna.", I turned my head away from her and found myself looking down, "Stop this. It makes me very uncomfortable. And I have work to do."

"You have work to do right here.", she said and before I knew it, she grabbed onto my shirt, and pulled me to her, and her lips were crushing against mine.

I felt my lips tighten as I yanked away from her violently. She almost fell off her own horse when mine pulled away from her as well.

"JENNA!", I wiped my mouth off, "What the HELL?"

"What the hell is wrong with you?", she yelled, "Are you queer or something?"

I rode off, away from her, not bothering to say anything more. The look I gave her before I turned was enough.

"Anthony!", she was yelling after me as I trotted away on my horse, "You're going to be with me, sooner or later! I promise you that! FAG!"

I rode away harder, hearing Victoria's voice in my head as I escaped. I got Midnight Sun cleaned up right away and put him back in his stall. I went back to what I had to do…expecting Sharon to show up at any moment and fire my ass. But nothing happened.

"I mean, I said no nicely, what else should I have done?", I asked later, "No means no…didn't women make up that line? What do you think?"

Yoyo whinnied in reply, shaking his head a little.

I thought about it and said, "Yea, you're right. Thanks, man."

Yoyo is a great listener.

Psycho made a snorting sound at us nearby and I frowned at him.

"Shut up, Psycho.", I scowled at him, holding my pitchfork, "What do YOU know?"

On the way home that night, Bob sensed something was wrong with me, but I didn't tell him anything about Jenna. I kept it to myself.

Saturday came so fast and Selena had a great idea about how we could spend it. There was a play going on at her college, Sleeping Beauty. Katie couldn't wait. She never saw a real play before. And if this was as close to theatre as I could get my daughter, that was fine with me.

I was surprised at how great it was, for a community college production. The actress who played Sleeping Beauty was exceptionally good and even funny at times. And her voice was magnificent. I think I showed a little too much enthusiasm over her because I saw Selena getting a little jealous in the seat next to mine. I held her hand and squeezed it, kissed it…and smiled at her. She seemed to forgive me then and she kissed my cheek in return.

When it was over, Katie was on her seat, standing on it, clapping with all the vigor I'd ever seen in her.

"Say 'Bravo'!", I yelled in her ear against the thundering roar of the audience.

"BRAVO!", Katie shouted and I laughed, loving her spunk. Tanya was right. Katie did love the theatre. I'm glad I was the one to bring her to it for the first time and that I got to see this look in her eyes.

When Sleeping Beauty came onstage last to take her bow, I put my fingers in my mouth and gave one of my giant loud whistles. She seemed to hear it and laughed, blushing and shaking her head. And someone handed her a bouquet of roses from below the stage. I smiled, glad that she had someone who cared. She's really talented. She took the red roses and blew a kiss to the blackness below her, joining her cast mates and all of them took one big last bow together.

I looked at Selena and she was smiling at me, shaking her head at me. I put my arm around her and gave her a little kiss. Just because I appreciated a good princess doesn't mean I've forgotten my real life one. Never fear, fair Selena. No other maiden will ever steal my eye from thee.

After the performance, the cast were onstage and meeting people from the audience. Katie was dying to meet Aurora, the princess we'd all grown so fond of.

"Please, Daddy, PLEASE?", she hopped as she looked up at me. I looked at Selena, silently asking.

"Come on, I'm sure Daddy wants her autograph, too.", Selena joked…I think…and we got in line to meet the princess.

"I just think she's got great acting skills, that's all.", I explained to Selena as we stood online.

"Uh huh.", Selena looked away, muttering to herself.

"What?", I asked, feeling like I was in big trouble now. Christ, if I ever made Victoria jealous…I'd be sure to bleed that night. But I was more worried that Selena seemed upset.

She didn't answer but I leaned into her ear and whispered, "You're the only princess in my heart. You know that."

And I got her smile. The one that said she loved me. I could breathe again.

Finally, we were next to see her. I could hear her talking to the little girls in front of us and she was being so sweet to them.

"It's nice being a princess, but I'd much rather be playing softball, like you guys.", she'd said to them as she signed their programs, "I love getting dirty."

She was cool. It's nice that she's encouraging girls to be more than just pretty in fancy dresses.

Then they said goodbye to her and we stood in front of her.

"Hi!", she looked at Katie and gave a wonderful smile to her, extending her hand, "I'm Aurora. What's your name?"

I smiled down at Katie as she said her full name, "Kaitlyn."

Even she's trying to impress the princess. I chuckled to myself.

"That is beautiful, Kaitlyn.", she replied, "That's even prettier than MY name!"

"Nah.", Katie denied, adding, "We thought you were GREAT! Even my Dad said so!"

Oh, thanks Katie. Now I'm embarrassed.

"Oh yea?", the princess asked and looked up at me…and stopped dead in her tracks.

I smiled politely back to her and said, "It's true, you were great. I think your voice is even better than the original Sleeping Beauty…whoever that was."

Selena laughed a little but the princess didn't answer. She stood up and was looking right at me. For a minute I thought she was going to faint. What's her problem?

"Are you alright?", I asked.

She had tears in her eyes…what the hell?

"Michael.", she breathed the word.

I was confused…my brow furrowed.

"No, his name's Justin.", Katie used my real name accidentally, then covered her mouth and gasped. I shot her a little look that said it was alright.

"Michael…it's me…", she grabbed her blonde wig and pulled it off, taking a pin or two out of her dark hair, and it fell around her shoulders, her bangs over her right eye…and then my mouth fell open.

"Melody.", we both said at the same time.

Oh God. No…not here. Not in front of Katie.

I was frozen and stood there, in shock, as she threw herself into my arms. She whimpered and I felt my hands on her back, not knowing how they got there.

"Oh God…", she wept quietly onto my shirt, "I can't believe it! Michael…."

I felt my heart stop in my chest and I'm sure Selena and Katie were watching in horror but all I could think about right now was how the hell I was going to get out of this.

Then she released me from her embrace and looked up at my eyes.

"What are you doing here?", she asked, a single tear falling down her face, "Do you live here now?"

"Uhhh…", was all I could say.

"Yea, we ALL do.", Katie said from below and I looked at her. She looked super pissed that some strange woman was hugging me and calling me Michael. I didn't even want to DARE look at Selena's face now.

I had to get her away from them now.

I glanced at Selena and asked, "Selena, can you take Katie to the car? I'll be right there, okay?"

I heard her say the word "Okay." She sounded confused and concerned…but not angry. I would have to explain to her later. FUCK!

"Is there somewhere we can talk?", I asked Melody in a soft voice.

"Yea…come on.", she took my hand and led me onstage and behind the curtains, it was dark back here but I could see her in a blue light from overhead.

She hugged me again, this time tighter, crying.

"I knew you were alive, I knew it!", she breathed a sigh of relief, "My mother kept saying to let you go…but I never did. I always knew I'd see you again. My Michael…"

I felt my eyes close and my insides twist in agony. She didn't deserve this. I should be shitty to her and let her move on with her life…but when I looked down and saw her eyes filled with tears…her cheeks covered with them…I couldn't do it.

"Melody…", I began and my voice clenched in my throat.

"Shhh…", she held my face and smiled at me like I'd come back from the dead…and to her, I guess I had.

"I still love you, Michael.", she whispered, more tears falling, "I've always loved you. I've missed you so much…"

She kissed me and I tried to kiss her back…but I couldn't…I wasn't a toy anymore…a hired lover…I was ME now…and Justin Bieber loved Selena Gomez. I couldn't play my parts anymore. And this girl was one of the innocent victims in my wake…she deserved the truth, even if she hated me for it.

"Melody…", I said as I broke the kiss gently, my hands on her arms, moving up and down to comfort her as I started to break her heart all over again.

"Yes, Michael?" she asked, her eyes drinking in every detail of my face. The love in her eyes for me was too much…it almost hurt physically.

"I'm not a soldier.", I admitted, "I'm not anything. I'm not even Michael."

"What are you talking about?", she gave a weak grin, thinking I was playing a game.

I took her hands into mine and looked at her sweet eyes. They reminded me of Selena's eyes…they were blue but they had that same light…that same innocent magic. And I was about to destroy it.

"I'm a…", I began and she kissed my hand, laying her cheek on it.

"Melody, please listen to me…", I pleaded…and she looked at me again, concerned.

This is so hard.

"I'm not Michael.", I began, "My name is Justin."


"My name isn't Michael.", I said, "I lied to you."

"Do you think I really care what your name is?", she raised a brow, "I don't. I love you and I've been waiting for you to come back to me. And now you're here. It's fate. We belong together…you said so that last night…before you had to leave."

"Melody…", I heard my voice crack as I looked up then down into those eyes again, "I lied. You're a very sweet girl…a wonderful girl. I really like you. You were one of the few girls…that were far too good for me. I know I said I loved you…but I lied. I was incapable of love when I was with you."

"I don't know what you're saying…", she looked puzzled...and hurt.

"I was paid to love you.", I blurted it out, "I won't say who paid me. But I was hired to be your first love…I'm not a soldier…I'm not SHIT. I'm so sorry I lied. You didn't deserve that. You were supposed to forget me after I left."

"No.", she took a step back, looking dazed, "No…you…you wrote me letters after you left…you wrote me poems…"

"I didn't write anything.", I informed honestly, "My job was over and I went back to where I lived. A few miles from your house, actually."

"I have the letter that says you were killed in battle!", she shrieked and came at me, her fists flying.

I caught her arms and I felt tears come to my own eyes now, saying, "I'm sorry, Melody. I never wanted to hurt you. You were one of the most wonderful girls…women…I've ever known. I felt like shit when I had to leave, that's the truth! I didn't know they'd tell you I DIED! I wouldn't have done that to you. I know it doesn't mean anything, but I'm truly sorry. I didn't know you'd go on loving me…I thought you'd forget…"

"HOW could I FORGET all we had together?", she shouted, sobbing, "You said death was nothing compared to our love! You said my love made you indestructible and that you weren't afraid anymore! You said to wait for you! You SAID you'd be back!"

"I KNOW!", I shouted back, my vision blurred now, "I was a total PRICK! I don't know why I said all those things! Maybe I just wanted it to be true. I play my part as the lead in love stories all the time…but I never felt it! Not until about a month ago."

"Who hired you?", she shoved me now, angry and hateful, "My MOTHER?"

"I can't tell you that Melody.", I said again.

"Don't bother, I know it was HER!", she sneered, "Who else could it be? She probably wrote those damn letters too! Well, I guess you two had ME fooled, didn't you?"

"It wasn't like that, Melody…", I tried to cushion the pain, knowing I couldn't.

"DON'T TOUCH ME!", she yanked away from me, freeing her arms. And the way she looked at me now was the total opposite of earlier. She looked at me like I was pure shit. And I was.

"You made love to me!", she hissed, her princess costume gleaming in the bluish glow, "You were so…gentle…so patient…so wonderful. I should've KNOWN you weren't REAL!"

"I'm so sorry, Melody, please believe that, if nothing else…", I heard my weak response and I hated it.

"How much?", she asked, her face painted with betrayal.

"How much what?"

She closed her eyes and braced herself, "How much were you PAID?"


I took a breath and decided to tell her the truth, for once.

"Forty thousand dollars.", I looked down, waiting for her to behead me.

She gave a cold, humorless laugh.

"That's a lot…", she said, almost to herself, "But my mother is rich. You're stupid. You could've gotten much more if you haggled a little bit."


"DON'T TALK TO ME! DON'T SAY MY NAME!", she screamed, covering her ears for a moment…then taking her hands away when I stayed silent, not moving from the spot I was stuck to.

She was silent for a long time but I waited.

"For over two years I've been dreaming of you…missing you…wishing you'd come back.", she said in a monotone voice, "I haven't been living…not really. It's just recently I've moved out here to start over again. I've been going to school, pursuing my music and acting…trying to look happy. But I wasn't. I needed YOU. I love you, whatever your name is…you stole the last two years of my life…you stole my love…you stole even my virginity…and you say you're sorry…"

I felt a tear or two on my own face now and a jagged breath escaped me. I couldn't say anything. I was a piece of scum underneath a giant piece of shit.

I wanted to tell her that not everything was a lie. I had enjoyed being with her…getting to know her…making love to her…at the time, it was the closest thing I really had to a real love. I really did like her…so much. She was perfect. But I wasn't.

"I almost let you go when I moved here…", she said, still like a robot, "I almost gave up the dream of you being alive somewhere…maybe with amnesia or something…and that someday our paths would cross again. And today, they did…and I feel dead inside. It's like I traded places with you, Michael…"

I didn't correct her this time. I kept praying I could fix this somehow. I realized then that I'm not the only victim in the world. I can't keep crying tears over my past…look at what I'd done to this amazing girl. And how many others were out there, suffering because of my lies?

I just stood there and let her say all she deserved to say to me. I wouldn't leave until she did. I owed her that much.

"Those dog tags you gave me…", she said as I remembered it, wincing, "They weren't real, were they?"

I couldn't speak. I felt another tear fall as I shook my head silently at her.

I had those tags made at some little joke shop in town. They cost $4.99 plus tax.

"Those were so precious to me.", she said sadly, "I still keep them under my pillow at night."

"I'm sorry I didn't love you back…that way.", I whispered, "I didn't know how. It's not because you weren't right. I wasn't right. You're perfect. You deserve someone a lot better than ME. I can't believe no other boys…"

"They've tried.", Melody answered, looking at me with a stern face, that light now gone from her eyes, "I didn't want anyone else. I loved YOU. Only you."

"It may not have been the way you wanted, but…", I tried to lessen her pain, "I did love you too…in my way…but I couldn't let myself really feel it…I wasn't allowed to fall in love…I had turned my heart off, in a way."

I didn't want to bring Victoria into this conversation.

"What am I supposed to do now?", she asked, to herself.

There's where I can help her.

"You forget me.", I stated, dead serious now, "Hate me and let me go now. You have so much going for you. The way you can sing…the way you acted onstage just now…it was brilliant. I didn't recognize you but something inside me was really touched by you. My heart remembered you. You've really got something, Melody. You ARE really something. You deserve to be happy. You deserve all the great things life has to offer you. Now you can go out there and get them. I'm sorry I got in the way of that. If I could take it all back now, I would."

She sniffled and wiped her eyes.

"I wouldn't.", she half smiled at me, "It was painful…but it was a great first love. You made me feel things I never imagined before. I flew. I danced. I touched the stars. WE…touched the stars."

I felt my face twist again in agony as I looked down at my fists.

Then I felt her hands cup my face and make it look into hers. I was confused by her kind touch suddenly.

"Thank you, Michael.", she wept, placing a soft kiss on my lips, touching them one last time with her trembling fingers, "Thank you for the truth. Thank you for letting me go…and even, thank you for all the time we had together. True or not, I'll always have those memories. They've kept me alive all this time."

I told you guys she was too perfect. Why doesn't she slap my face or something? She's too good to be true.

"Goodbye, Justin.", she used my right name this time…and then she brought her knee up fast, right into my groin.

I heard myself let out a huge yell and fall to my knees…a second later, I was on the floor, face down, writhing.

"I'm sorry, but I think you deserved that.", she said above me, sounding so strong and Xena-like suddenly…even though I was dying, I was proud of her.

"Definitely.", I groaned from the floor, trying to make the stars in my eyes go away.

"I'm going to go back out there and meet my little fans now.", she announced and I peeked at her while she put her wig back on.

I nodded in response, still unable to get up, holding my crotch with both hands.

"Then I have a very important call to make to my bitch mother.", Melody said and I was even more surprised. Melody had always been a little princess herself, never daring to curse or do anything unladylike…she sure had changed for the better. Or had I just changed her?

"Thank you.", I said to her as I grimaced, "I needed that kick in the balls."

"You're welcome.", she looked at me with a hint of sadness now, "I really did love you, you know. You were very good. A better actor than me."

"I'm done with that life now.", I breathed, "I'm trying to live a good life. I'm glad I found you. I need to do major penance. And I'm glad you were the first to smash my junk."

"Me too.", she smiled down at me, "Bye. Have a nice life."

"Bye. You too, Melody.", I huffed, rolling over to my other side as she moved the curtains and vanished through them.

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