21: bottom feeder, violin, rayon

by Chris J

Justin broke the pencil in half and flung both parts against the wall opposite him. It had been the nearest thing to him at the time, and he eyed the table for something--anything--else to break.

There was just his phone, and even in this state he wasn't going to be flinging that against a wall. Not when there was a chance that he would be getting another call, a better call, a call to get his mind off everything that was going on. He glared at it, trying to make it ring by force of will alone, then turned away abruptly.

He didn't want to do it. No, that was an understatement. He hated--positively hated--that he was being forced to do this, forced to lie. He'd hoped that the vaguely worded evasions would be enough, that the public appearances would say all they needed to without blatant confirmation. But no. No. And now he was going to have to do the one thing he vowed he wouldn't.

He snatched up the phone and stuffed it in his pocket, then stalked over to his closet and threw it open. He was still going to have a romantic dinner tonight, no matter what. He wasn't going to let this ruin his night, even if it ruined everything after. He rummaged through the series of shirts hanging there and paused on a colourful rayon one that he knew his boyfriend loved. It would be perfect.

The moment he'd taken it off the hanger his phone rang, emitting a shrill noise and simultaneously vibrating in his pocket. He dropped the shirt and answered the phone breathlessly. "Josh?" he said hopefully.

"Hey hon, of course it's me. Were you expecting a call from someone else?"

"I already got a call," sighed Justin, sitting down in a nearby chair. "They're making me say I'm dating Brit, Josh. On Rosie, no less."

"Shit," he said. "You're kidding me."

"I wish I were," he said, anger building again. "Fucking bottom feeders, don't care what I want at all. All they care about is keeping their fucking jobs, and our image, and all that shit. I hate being a product."

"I know," said Josh. "So do I." He sighed heavily. "That's really shitty, Justin, but at least we know the truth. At least our friends know the truth. Even if they make you say this, at least we have that."

Justin could hear Josh moving around a little, then heard some violin music start up in the background. After a few seconds he recognized it as Vivaldi...music that he and only he knew Josh used to calm and centre himself. "I love you," said Justin, out of the blue.

"You, too," said JC, the music becoming fainter as he moved away from it. "Are you ready for tonight?"

"Just getting ready now," said Justin, eyeing the shirt on the floor nearby. "It's our last night before the big announcement. I want it to be special."

"It will be," said JC. "Especially with the rest of the guys at the RMAs. I'll see you in an hour?"

"I'm counting on it," said Justin, smacking a kiss into the receiver before disconnecting. The pending announcement loomed over him, but after talking to Josh it just didn't seem quite so bad.

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