Part 4

Sitting round waiting was driving them crazy, all they could do was look at one another, not knowing what to say, especially to Justin who was slowly disintegrating before their eyes. His jaw was set firm, his eyes glistened and were rimmed in red from hours of crying. Chris described the phone call from JC as delicately as he could. Justin paled physically as he told them of JCís screams as his hand was pounded with a hammer. The blond shoved his hand in his pocket and pulled out a disc hanging on a black cord that had been cut in two. He opened his hand letting his friends see what he held.

"JCís Leo pendant, where did ...."

Justin cut lance off. "It was in my mail this morning, this too." He handed Lance a note, typed on a small piece of paper.

Joey leaned over trying to see what it said "Read it Lance"


They all looked at the FBI. agent who was busy tapping the phone, the young man flushed at their collective stare. "What? ..... OH donít worry about that. They always say that. They expect the police to be involved. They want the money, they will keep him alive till after the deadline. When they call you demand to talk to him, insist on proof that he is still alive." He carried on with placing the tap, talking while he worked. "They are using Joshuaís own cell phone to make the calls so your phone numbers are known to them. Change them. All except you Chris. They have called you once already, lets make it so they can only contact you."

Chris shook his head unwilling to take the responsibility. "No let one of the others do it, I donít want to, Its my fault they bust up his hand."

"They would have done it regardless of whoever answered that call. These people are not stupid. They had to get your attention, hurting him while you listened was a means to an end. They also know $25,000,000 doesnít just appear over night. Even for people such as yourselves. You got to start gathering the money together as if you intend to pay."

Justin sat bolt upright his face burning with rage. "Agent Gosman we intend to pay, thereís absolutely no question of us not. I want Josh back alive and if I have to bankrupt myself to do that then I will."

The FBI man was taken aback by the venom in the young mans voice and the determined look on his face.

"I have to ask. Do your friends feel the same way?" He was greeted with a chorus of YES. The Agent pursed his lips deep in thought, then shrugged his shoulders and turned back to his work. "Then get your money together then. It may not come to handing it over, hopefully weíll find him before it gets that far. But if the worse comes to worse and you intend to pay, I recommend that you be neither late or short with the payment". He flashed a quick look at the young shaven headed blond worried at the boys reaction to what he was going to say next. "Just because you pay up donít mean that they will let him go."

"But ... but they said theyíd let him go .... they said!" Justin jumped up out of his seat tearing at his hair terror written all over his pretty face "You mean that even if we pay they .... they will still kill him?"

This was the part Agent Gosman hated, telling the family and loved ones the truth. "Iím sorry Mr Timberlake, truth is nine out of ten times the victim is killed. They can identify their assailants, maybe seen their faces, heard their voices. You should prepare yourself for the worse." Justin staggered backwards the room spinning round him and fading away. Lance dived forward catching him before he hit the floor.

When he woke up he was in JCís bed the quilt pulled up to his chin, the blinds had been pulled down providing protection from the strong sunlight. He scrunched the thick quilt between his fingers, it was warm and snuggerly, the pillow smelt of JCís cologne. He let go of the quilt and pressed his face into the soft downy cushion, inhaling deeply, getting as much of his boyfriends scent as he could. "I miss you"

He climbed out of bed and went to the bathroom, relieving himself. As he washed his hands his eyes fell on the washing hamper, JCís tee shirt, the one he had spilt the OJ on. The one he had changed out of after the fight. The last thing he had seen JC wearing before he had screamed Fuck you Justin and slammed out of his life.

"Josh" Justin found himself on the plush blue carpet of JCís bathroom crying into the piece of clothing. "Baby Iím sorry, Iím so sorry, I should have been there, you needed me and I wasnít there." he cried harder his body shuddering with the effort. In his mind he saw his Josh, His eyes flashing with lust, a warm loving grin plastered over his beautiful face. But then his face changed, his bright blue eyes dimmed, filled with water, tears started to trail their way down his cheeks. His skin sallowed and shrunk back to his skull, clinging to his bones. He reached out pleadingly.

Justin shook the vision from him. The police had said he had been taken while he slept. JC always slept nude. Did the kidnappers give him something to cover himself? were they feeding him right? he was already so skinny, Justin couldnít bare the though of JC suffering. He said a silent prayer as he took a deep breath taking in the musky smell of the dirty shirt. "I love you Josh, I love you so much. Hold on angel .... please hold on" He got off the floor and looked out of the window clutching the tee shirt to his chest.