"Fallen on hard times, Timberlake?"
You freeze, a cruel mix of disbelief and amusement making it almost impossible to breathe. "Oh, you fuck," you choke, so yeah, apparently you can still curse. Useful. You have a feeling you may be doing a lot of that in the next couple of minutes.
There's no music, thank god; that would be pretty cliched, the dancer statued while the beat jangles on. As it is, you're just slowly turning, clutching at your last fragments of poise while trying very hard not to appear to care about anything. You're not sure how well you're doing.
Nick's watching you -- just like everyone else. Of course, you didn't mind it when it was everyone else, merely everyone else. Since when does Nick know Britney's cousin, anyway? This world is way too small for comfort. "Nice threads," Nick says, idling closer. You instantly want to check the leather falls flat against your thighs, check the copious flakes of black glitter haven't all drifted to one side of your chest, but you settle for standing straighter, figuring you need all the height you can muster. He stops, well inside your personal space. Every inch counts.
"What are you doing here, Carter?" you say, sounding surprisingly steady. You want to reach back, find the wall, find some stability, but that'd look ridiculous, so you stay put, trying not to sway. He smells almondy.
"Lookin' good, Jup," Nick says, and that's out of nowhere. And, like, for God's sake, of *course* you look good. That was the deal. No matter that Joey and Chris got to think up your punishment for managing a significantly smaller number of jello shots than Lance -- solid bastard sure puts it away when he wants to -- you made sure you'd look good doing it. Terms. Costume terms; gotta play to the strengths. Yeah.
Nick looks like he appreciates it. "What are you doing here?" you repeat, quickly, steeling yourself against anything else he might throw at you.
He glances around, still smiling slightly. "What do you think?" he says, eloquently spreading his arms. Eloquent. Fuck. You must be drunker than you thought, to think shit like that, to mistake Carter's slouching for articulate minimalism.
All that Evian, gone straight to your head.
Britney's cousin, what'shername, she's staring at you with the same incredulous lust as before-- although she's staring at Nick now, too, almost more interested, more intrigued, and you hate that with surprising intensity. Why does it matter to you that your shock factor's worn off? It does, though, that now they're expecting a good show from you and maybe some more skin, while Nick is exotic merely by stalking in uninvited.
It's a second after you ought to have answered, and his eyes sharpen; he's caught you off guard, and you both know it. You say, "Crashing a party?" in hope of distracting him.
He reaches inside his jacket, pulls out a silver slip you recognise, and a thicker one you don't. Invite, the first one. "I bought this party," he says, light verb emphasis, butter on his tongue, acid in your ears. He glances over his shoulder. "Hey, Kim."
Kim, yeah, that's her name.
"Nick, hey," she says, and she's only a year younger than you but she sounds like a fucking infant, all impressed by the sly blond Backstreet Boy, all breathless at meeting him. A predictable voice in the back of your head starts to make noises about your own breathing, which is getting more shallow every minute Nick stands in front of you, but that's caution and embarrassment, ok? so that little voice can shut the fuck up.
"You like your present?" Nick says, still looking at you, the slowest once-over in the history of the world or maybe his gaze just can't tear itself away from the gleaming terrain of your torso, and it comes clear as to why the hell Joey and Chris picked such a weird forfeit.
Nick arranged that they did.
Which, in a freaky way, makes sense to you. What had Brit herself said, after all? You're a fucking cunt, but I promised Kim there'd be an Nsync boy at her graduation, and if you've drawn the short straw then I may as well watch you suffer. Someone hadn't been very happy about your nocturnal habits, and water doesn't flow that quickly under the bridge, all in all. This whole thing had seemed kinda strange, even for her, though.
However, add another boyband into the mix and suddenly you have a feeling you've been taken for the rockiest of rides.
"Yeah," Kim's saying, and you can see her nodding at the back of Nick's head, "yeah, yeah... though," and then she's gone all shy, and you feel a wave of irritation for the whole goddamned party, and just wanna get out of here and get Nick naked and--
--and, backtrack. Stop that. You dont -- you've never done that, not with him. He's so totally not on.
"Though?" he's saying, looking at you like you might've been purposefully disappointing her. You want to tell him that if he hadn't burst in, the kid would've gotten the entertainment of her life, probably literally. As it is, you're tempted just to leave.
You're not in so much denial that you don't know full well you won't, of course.
"You kind of interrupted," Kim says, and you want to give her a few pointers on looking cute and wistful, because she's got the mouth thing totally wrong. You wonder what on earth her relationship with Nick is, if she's practically drooling just because His Highness has wandered in, then realise there probably isn't one. The only relationship with any degree of history in here? That'd be you and Nick, then.
"Oh, now we can't have that." Not that there's ever been dirty weekends, or even, a faintly soiled pillowcase -- just growls, at all sorts of pitches, and now, him leading you out the room, winking at Kim in a way that makes you want to sock him one and pushing you smoothly against the floral wallpaper in the hallway even as he calls over his shoulder, "just gimme a minute, check he's got the attitude we want."
You struggle, but there's a picture frame digging into your shoulderblades so you can't get a good purchase, and Nick's stronger than you, like he always has been. "What," you hiss, wanting him to finish the job and kiss you or else back the hell outa your space, and furiously aware he's not gonna do either.
"Hey, now, that's not good, that's no way to treat your boss."
"Fifty dollars," you say. Brit had sent it to Chris, master of the dare, but now you think it probably came from Nick's pocket. "You gotta be kidding."
"Not my fault you're cheap," he says, and you almost start struggling again, then don't bother. You've already decided to stay-- no point letting Nick think he's broken your resolve, when actually you don't have one.
"I'm not gonna leave," you say, lightly.
He doesn't react. "Good. I thought so," he says, then smirks. "I wanna watch you dance."
You fizz at the thought, but keep your face neutral. "Dangerous, Nick," you promise, "you'll only go and get off on it," a taunt, ready to crow when he denies it because the last time the two of you fought it led to rough-housing and his dick was like a fucking microphone against your thigh, and then he says,
"probably," with a tiny blasť shrug, then adds, "depending how good you are," and leans in, like he might lick your neck a little, just enough to leave you shaking.
"I'm with Britney," you say quickly, and the pressure of his hands increases a little.
"What, she'll mind?"
"Yeah," you lie, because Brit told you last month that you were fucking welcome to them, all of them, all your boys, your flings, and you have a feeling that telling Nick Carter something like that isn't a fantastic idea.
Nick raises his eyebrows, skeptic and sinner blending. "And you think I'm gonna believe you'd pass up the opportunity to make my night?"
Ah. He slipped up there, you think, because that sounds distinctly like a concession. "A seven year-old nodding to you in the street makes your night," you say, making it disdainful, and then you wish you'd picked a different insult, because Nick gets a thousand screams every time he steps out for cigarettes and you both know it.
"Fuck, yeah, I'm so short on fans," he's saying, and you feel a brief triumph that you knew he'd say something like that, even though it leaves you somewhat struggling at the wrong end of a verbal left hook.
Oh, talk about mixed metaphors. "Still, I can't imagine it'd be difficult to leave you happy," you say, heaping on the scorn to make up for the vagueness of the insult, and push him off you. You pick your bag off the floor, rooting through for a cigarette. JC will kill you, but right now? you really don't care.
The bag holds your real clothes, the half-empty bottle of golden massage oil and a spare vial of glitter. There's also a dutiful pair of earings for Brit, tight in their silver box, which you think you'll take home now. Give them to JC instead, to make up for your coal scuttle of a voice tomorrow morning.
Hell, JC chose them. He must think they're nice.
"You got a light?" you ask, rooting through the bag. You won't be able to smoke inside, but hey -- maybe Nick will come out into the back yard, and you can seduce him by the dustbins.
"Oh, no, this is much more interesting," Nick says, reaching for the oil.
"Fuck off," you say; you already applied, to make the glitter stick, and if you have to take if off him your fingers are gonna be way too slick to be able to smoke.
Nick plucks the bag away and drops it on the floor, and you feel pleased your MP3 player's safely wrapped up in your jacket. "I don't think you should smoke," he says conversationally, pushing your shoulder back against the wall, uncapping the bottle and drizzling a line across your collarbones, leaning in close. "I think you should finish your set."
In your head, you curse him, and then you curse yourself for shivering when his fingertip cuts a sleek zigzag through the oil. There are particles of glitter on his finger when he lifts it away, and he strokes your lips. You bat his hand away irritably, feeling the grease and grit of it, wanting to wipe your mouth and not wanting to give him the pleasure. "Fine, c'mon then," you settle for saying, turning back to the lounge, and he catches your wrist and pulls you back and goes first instead. And you want to hit him.
The other people in the party barely matter to you now. AJ's in the corner, you realise abruptly, but no other Backstreet Boy seems to be gracing this little whorepit with his illustrious presence. AJ's drinking a bottle of beer, torn label, dark glass. He's in shades, too. Surprise. You envy him; you really could do with a drink right now.
The anonymity, hey, whatever. It's not like you weren't made to perform.
Everyone else is thoughtfully not meeting your eye; Kim glances over, and you almost feel sorry for her -- birthday all interrupted and shit -- before remembering that she's getting one of the biggest stars in pop do gyrate for her pithy little graduation thing. You don't owe her anything.
You rub your palm across your chest, smoothing the fresh oil down to your stomach, then wipe your hand off on the back of your neck. Oh yeah, the stripper glistens. Imagine feeling his skin, boys, all slippery-soft while you work yourself into his pretty slick mouth, watch your friend take his ass and use it hard enough that you feel the quaking through his tongue.
You swallow, reminding yourself that this is basically a tea party. These guys are probably thinking they want to cuddle you, or at worse, lick the oil off your left nipple and worship for a while.
"We on?" Nick says casually, sitting down where Kim had been before, legs wide apart, leaning back expectantly. It's barely a question, so you don't credit it with an answer. His hands fall either side of his thighs, fingers graceful, and something about him is inviting you to suck them. You stand in front of him, rub your lips together thoughtfully, feeling the glitter catch, a few sparks working into your mouth. Isn't glitter fragments of glass? Something like that.
The rest of the room shuffles behind you, and you swallow, getting ready to dance, then regret it. Nick smiles at you, charming and, and, and fucking hot, and you feel a full-body flash of lust course through and linger, and you want to swallow again.
Instead, you stamp, needing some element of noise to work with that isn't the metallic ring of your blood in your ears, or the over-eager breathing from the rabble, and you're fucking positive you can hear AJ's teeth clink on the mouth of his bottle, and it's just--
You flick into a different pose, and that feels worse, so you pretend that was just a stretch and throw a smile at Kim, then drop to the floor. Your pulse is too fast, and you're agitated, but you've always been able to dance, and this is nothing, a game, a test. Totally doable.
You figure you may as well impress them from the outset. Splits, gripping your ankles, sinking your torso right down to the floor. Nick must be squirming with joy to see you laid out in front of him like this, and so suggestive. Your chest brushes the carpet, and you wonder if it'll stain. Thank Christ for leather's flexible properties.
Chris used to fire challenges at Wade in their break, bodypop challenges; he'd demand ankle to thumb, and Wade would send him one of those dark grins and do it, a ripple flowing across his body in whatever direction Chris wanted, oddly sexy, unforgivably hypnotic. You'd corner Wade afterwards and get him to teach you the latest combination -- for free, because as much as he wants a blowjob, as much as it's practically glowing in his eyes every time you finish beatboxing and wipe your mouth, he's not gonna push you to the floor any time soon. He'd give you the dark grin, talk you through it, cool hands on your muscles, coaching them.
Bodypop, then. That's as good a start as any.
You send a pulse from wrist to wrist, as slow as you dare and still smooth, gripping your ankles lightly to anchor yourself. Nick can't do this, you're pretty sure, as you pick up the pace and start to lift your shoulders off the ground, higher, until you're twisting like a snake trapped in honey.
Your heart sounds good, now, a beat to move to, and you look up, pretty sure there's just enough colour in your cheeks to make it look like you've just been fucked, just now, hard. Nick's looking down at you, his hands turned over on the seat, fingertips pressing down visibly. That makes it easy to push up off the floor, feet coming neatly beneath you, a warning twinge through your thighs telling you that you mustn't do that again soon.
Nick has to look up at you now, and he moistens his lips, and that would make double the pain worth it. You do another pop, ankles to both wrists, mouth tight in concentration as you start searching for the perfect beat to get your hips working prettily enough to dry every mouth in the room-- and there, there it is, the groove, the rhythm, whatever, snapping through you like a charm. Nick's looking less comfortable, more and more turned on, and that makes you smile, gives you the private spark that you know dances behind your eyes.
His hands lift, fingers curled -- helplessly, you like to think -- and he almost touches the shuddering slant of your hip before you reprimand him with a sharp twist, and he snatches his hand back, and you can see in his eyes that he's shocked he's conceded a point. You slide your hands down your stomach, dipping your fingertips lewdly deep beneath the leather waistband before slipping them out again, palms pushing down the flats of your thighs, enjoying the heat of your own body; there is absolutely no doubt that Nick wants to enjoy it as well.
You're tempted to touch him, slip your hands under his knees and pull him half off the chaise longs and grind deep into his lap, feel him lift up underneath you, lips parting, eyes fluttering closed, almonds enveloping your senses-- but you don't, because you've no idea how long you'd be able to stay impartial, although that little voice is back counting ten, nine, eight...
You turn round instead, cutting your gaze against the rest of your audience, taking in the frankly hungry faces and deciding you must be doing something right. You don't look at AJ, his familiarity.
Okay -- you start to show them what fifty bucks buys, in terms of a dance by Justin Timberlake. It's almost ludicrously easy, letting your eyes relax, until you know that every person in the room thinks you're staring at them, dancing for them, sneaking private looks at them again and again.
It's good, too, knowing Nick's behind you, almost expecting him to stand up and jerk you back against him, almost hoping he will. That'd be one hell of a thrill, his hands kneading down your sides, the tough urgency of his body dancing steps made clumsy with heat. You let yourself start taunting, closing your eyes, movements slipping and sliding into each other, pelvis talking about fucking and fighting and lust.
You give yourself a mental pat on the back for all those hours in the gym this week, the warm-ups that mean it's no pain at all to keep a dance like this, unremittingly nasty, a dance like sex going as long as you need.
Behind your closed eyes, it's even easier to make them beg; you know, utter certainty, that every person in the room wants to be sitting where Nick is, except Nick, who wants to get you the hell on your own.
You decide it may be time to treat him, start slowly, slowly, raising your arms, crossing your wrists like they're cuffed or even, possibly, like someone's pinning your wriggling body against a wall. It's easy to sway, now, shuddery flurries of movement threaded through the relentless grind of it, and your dick's hard, and you'd bet JC's entire Sting collection that everyone else here's got a similar problem.
Of course, it's not a problem for you, is it, no, because you're in control now, and the fact that Brit clearly dislikes you even more than you previously realised, and the fact that Nick's quite possibly somehow bribing your best friend, and the fact that anyone walking now would see a cheap glittery whore and a room full of clients--
Win some, lose some; that's life, baby. And fuck, you are so heading towards victory tonight.
Nick's shifting in his seat; you can hear the scrape of the fabric against Kit's cheap chaise longs, stuttered and ungraceful, not like you. His breathing's picking up too, you notice, and start a new arc of movement with your hip, a visible shiver cutting right up to your wrists-- and then you twist them, inhaling sharply, and hear the satisfyingly startled murmur flowing round the room.
Go with it, keep going, you tell yourself; let them start panting, let them get to a point where they have to make noise, where they're desperate and they want to tear you apart and suck the blood off each other's fingers and bite and growl.
You can do it, too, you know, feeling the wickedness building in your hips; all you have to do is think about Nick, that armour peeling off, his skin smearing with damage as you suck his throat while he gasps and scratches slices of ice down your spine--
--Imagine, the broken noises in his throat as you kiss his mouth, two fingers pushing inside him, those golden calves rubbing mindlessly up and down the backs of your thighs; it's all about the rhythm, always, the embellishments Wade taught you, the arrogant little twists you worked out for yourself--
--and then something shudders deep and perfect inside you and that's it, you're fucking him, fucking Nick Carter, teasing him, holding his hips steady and rocking deeper, malicious nudges and someone across the room coughs and a shuffling upheaval breaks out and, "yeah, no, hurry up," AJ's curt voice, and reality swirls in and you realise that ha, the room's being cleared, you really are making an impression.
You open your eyes, still dancing, head still full of Nick wriggling back against you; "Justin, Justin," Nick's saying, real life, like he can barely force out your name, and you take your sweet time making the turn, blinking a couple of times, sliding one hand leisurely down your chest-- and then Nick's leg's hooked round the back of your knees, tumbling you down on top of him, his body like someone left a block of rubber in the desert, all submerged heat and surface tension and resistance pushing up gloriously hard. Almonds, too.
Your head fills with stars, the friction so fucking welcome, Nick trembling as he presses open-mouthed kisses over your collarbones and up your throat, a hand in your hair, arm locked around your shoulders, lips smearing oil across your jaw.
"Whatever the fuck you were thinking just now, I want you to do it, y'hear?" Nick's muttering, heat rushing directly against your ear, and his body's angled so you could just slide against him, shimmying down, winding up naturally on your knees with your face between his thighs, and you realise he's heard the rumours you're a total sub.
Still, he'll know the truth by tomorrow.