Part II: Tennessee
"Natalie." Justin smiled as he walked off the stage. The little girl grinned up at him as he bent over and picked her up. Justin kissed her cheek. "Thanks for watching her Brenna."
"Your welcome." Brenna, the "tour" babysitter, said. She followed behind Justin as he walked towards his dressing room. "Will you be fine for the night?"
"Sure will. We'll see you tomorrow morning at nine." Justin said. He set Natalie down on the couch in the room. Brenna walked out of the room. "Did you enjoy the show Natty?"
"Yes. Good job." Natalie grinned. "I liked it." She yawned and then lay down on the couch her head lying on her pillow.
"I am going to take a shower okay. So you need to stay in here." He grabbed her stuffed dog and set it down next to her. Natalie took the beat up stuffed toy and wrapped it in her arms.
"Okay Daddy." She said.
"We'll go to the hotel right after I am done." Justin said. He leaned over and kissed her forehead. "Get some sleep." Natalie nodded and closed her eyes. Justin walked over to his bag and grabbed a pair of clean clothes from them before going into the bathroom.
"How are you doing Britney?" Justin asked sitting down on the bed in the hotel room. He had just finished putting Natalie down for the night.
"I'm doing fine. I can't wait till you guys get home on Saturday." She smiled through the phone. "How is Natalie doing?"
"She is doing fine. She watched the show tonight and then fell asleep in the dressing room while I was taking a shower. I know that she is ready to come home too." Justin said and pulled his shoes off. "How was your doctor's appointment today? The baby is fine?"
"It went well. And yes he is." She answered her hand traveling to her stomach. "The doctor said that everything is going well. He just wants me to take it slow for the next month."
"That's great. I am so glad I get to be home for that." He pulled his shirt up over his head. Justin looked at the clock. "Well I just wanted to call you and see how everything is going. I'll let you go now."
"Okay." Britney said, "Have a good night. And give Natalie a kiss for me."
"I will. I love you."
"Love you too." Justin said and then hung up. He pulled back the covers on the bed and then climbed in.
"Natalie! Don't pick up that phone." Justin said as he stood up from the floor in the playroom. She was already at the table and had reached to pick it up. The receiver was by her ear before he even had a chance to grab it.
"Hewo." She answered innocently.
"Nat, I told you not to answer the phone." He said and took the phone from her. She stomped off back to the puzzle pouting. "Timberlake's." He answered. Justin heard someone clear their throat before speaking.
"Justin, this is Janie Bradley." She paused and laughed, "Well it's actually Kirkpatrick now but anyway that is beside the point."
"What?" He sounded confused, "When did you and Chris hook up?" Justin walked back over to the puzzle he and Natalie were working on. He sat down across from her.
"We got married seven years ago. So shortly after you guys you know. Anyway " Janie paused, "Chris wants to have a little get together with everyone at the end of June. So I get the joy and pleasure of hunting the other four of you down."
"A reunion?" He asked picking up a piece of the puzzle and putting it in the right spot. Justin sat back and watched Natalie turn a certain piece several directions before realizing it wouldn't go there.
"Yes." Janie nodded even though he couldn't see her. "Chris misses you guys and would like to see you all again."
"Sounds like fun." He smiled at the look on Natalie's face.
"It would be the last weekend in June, since our kids will be out of school by then and I'm sure whoever else has kids they will be out by then too." Janie rambled.
"Yeah that is fine." Justin paused and reached for another piece of the puzzle and put it in its place. Natalie scowled up at him and Justin laughed. "I will make sure my schedule is clear and talk to Brit." He said.
"I'll let you guys know more details later as I get things in order. So before I forget could I get your mailing address?" She requested.
"Sure." He rattled off the address and then asked, "How many kids do you guys have?"
"Well I adopted James after we had been married for about a year. We have two boys Andrew who is six and Randall who is four." She answered, "Plus I am five months pregnant with another boy."
Justin laughed, "They've got you outnumbered." He fit another piece into the puzzle.
"As usual." She laughed too, "And you?"
"Natalie is three." Justin smiled when she looked up at him. "The light of my life and Britney is supposed to have a boy at the end of May."
"Daddy?" Natalie interrupted.
"Hold on a second, Janie." He said and put his hand over the mouthpiece. "What do you need?"
"Can I have a snack?" She asked.
"Yeah. Just give me a second." Justin said, "Hey I got to go. Do you think I could have your number?" He stood up and walked out of the room in search of pen and paper. Natalie followed.
"Ready?" Janie asked over the phone.
"One second." He found a piece of paper and pen sitting on the counter. Natalie climbed up onto a kitchen chair and sat down. "Ready." Janie told him their number. "I'll talk to you later then."
"All right. Have a good evening then." Janie said. "Bye." Justin hung up the phone and set it on the counter. He mentally reminded himself to put it back on the charger. "What should we have for a snack?"
"Crackers and juice!" Natalie answered.
"Justin!" Britney yelled from the bedroom.
"One second!" He said back and walked to the pantry. Justin pulled out a box of graham crackers from the shelf and apple juice from the fridge. He quickly poured some for himself and for Natalie and opened the box. Pulling out four crackers he set two on each of the napkins he had grabbed.
"I'll be right back." Justin said setting Natalie's crackers and juice in front of her. He walked out of the kitchen and towards his and Britney's bedroom. "What's up?" He asked.
"Who was on the phone?" She asked curiously. Britney looked up from the book that she was reading.
"Do you remember Janie, 'N Sync's PR?" He asked leaning against the doorframe.
"Really?" Britney asked sounding shocked.
"Yeah. She and Chris are married." He stated and nonchalantly brought up the reunion that was to happen at the end of June. "Anyway Chris and she invited all of us to go to Pennsylvania the last weekend in June and I told her we would be there."
"Are you sure that you want to go?" She raised an eyebrow. Justin nodded. "Okay." Britney said and then looked back down at the book that she was reading.
"I'm missing my snack with Natalie. Would you like anything?" Justin asked.
"No thanks." Britney smiled. Justin stepped out of the doorway and walked back to the kitchen. He sat down at the table next to Natalie who was just finishing her first cracker.
"Wait a second let's do that again." Justin said into the microphone. The music started and he began to sing. This time he was interrupted by another voice cutting him off.
"Justin, your phone is ringing." The producer held up a phone in the glass window. Justin sighed and took off the headphones. He set them on the music stand and then walked out of the small room.
"Yeah?" He asked sounding frustrated. Justin listened for a minute. "All right I'll be right there. Where's Natalie? Okay. Love you." He hung up and stuck the phone in his pocket. "I have to go. Britney is at the hospital."
"All right man. Good luck."
"Thanks." Justin smiled and walked out of the room. His keys were already in hand. Driving as quickly as he could he head over to the hospital. When he got to the hospital, Justin headed up the elevator to the maternity ward. He checked in at the nurse's station and was led to the room that Britney was in.
"Hey." He smiled walking into the room. Britney's Mom, Lynne, looked up from where she sat next to Britney.
"Hi J." Britney said. Justin walked over to her and leaned down and kissed her. "I'm glad you made it."
"Me too." Justin said. "How much longer?" He sat down next to her on the edge of the hospital bed and took her hand in his.
"The doctor said about forty-five minutes to an hour." Lynne answered for Britney. Justin nodded. Britney squeezed his hand when a contraction started. He put his other hand over hers as well and squeezed it in response.
"It's okay." He said reassuringly. "Natty's got to be excited." Justin continued to talk to Britney to keep her mind off of the contraction.
"I am going to get you some more ice chips." Lynne said and stood up. She left the two alone in the room. The doctor walked into the room a minute later.
"How's everything going in here?" He asked. "Glad you could join us Justin." He nodded towards the other person in the room.
"It's going good." Britney said quietly. Justin kept his eyes on her as the doctor checked her progress.
"All right the good news is you are fully dilated. So we will move you into delivery as soon as possible." He said and stood up.
"That's great." Justin smiled. Lynne came back into the room just as the doctor was saying this.
"Knock knock." Justin said quietly tapping on the door to Britney's hospital room. He held Natalie's hand in his as he led her into the room.
"Mommy!" Natalie exclaimed and let go of his hand. She walked over to the bed quickly and climbed up.
"Hey Natty." Britney gave her a hug. Justin walked over to the bed and kissed her quickly.
"How are you feeling?" He asked.
"Sore." She answered. "Did you take her to see Caleb?"
"Not yet. We thought we'd stop by and see you first." Justin answered sitting down in one of the chairs. "Did you sleep okay?"
"What do you think? They interrupted me every five seconds." She asked. Natalie had leaned up against her and had her head resting on Britney's chest. Britney ran her fingers through the child's hair. "What did you two have for breakfast?"
"Me and Daddy made pancakes and had strawberries too." Natalie answered.
"That sounds so good." Britney smiled.
"Hello." They heard a knock outside of the room and then one of the nurses came into the room pushing Caleb in his crib. "How are you guys doing this morning?"
"Great." Justin answered. He stood up and walked over to the bed. Justin reached for Natalie.
"She can stay." Britney looked up at him.
"Are you sure?" He asked. She nodded. The nurse picked up baby Caleb and carefully handed him to Britney.
"If you need anything let me know." She said and quietly left the family to themselves.
"Natalie this is your baby brother, Caleb." Britney said. She pulled the blanket down from his mouth when he started to stir. His eyes opened and his mouth widened in a sleepy yawn.
Caleb looked up with wide eyes at his big sister. Natalie peered over the little body and wrinkled her nose. "He's ugly." Justin stifled a laugh and Britney looked up at him with wide eyes.
"Natalie." Justin said trying to keep a straight face, "You looked just like him when you were born."
"I did not." She crossed her arms defiantly over her chest and looked up at him with a pout. Justin reached over and picked her up. Natalie wrapped her arms around his neck and legs around his waist. She rested her head on his shoulder.
"Don't be such a sourpuss." He laughed and kissed her forehead. Caleb started to whimper in Britney's arms and eventually started to cry loudly.
"Let me get him." Justin sighed. He climbed out of the bed, the cold air hitting his legs, before Britney had a chance to get up. Caleb's cries echoed over the baby monitor next to the bed.
"Okay." She mumbled, "Bottles. Fridge." She fell back asleep.
"I know." He said to himself and walked out of the room. Justin walked down the hallway towards the living room. He turned a lamp on in the living room before heading to the kids rooms on the other side of the house. Caleb's room was at the end of the hallway. He flipped on the little lamp in the corner and than walked over to the crib where he picked up Caleb.
"You are a noisy boy." He sighed and held him close. "What seems to be the problem?" Justin turned around and saw Natalie standing in the doorway; her stuffed dog was in her hands. Her right hand covered her right ear and she had some tears traveling down her cheeks.
"Can't he be quiet?" She whined with a pout.
"Go back to bed Natty." He said softly. Justin walked out of the room. The little girl followed behind him as he walked to the kitchen.
Justin sighed, "Go get in bed with Mommy. I'll be in, in a few minutes." He stated and watched the little girl go down the hall to his and Britney's bedroom. Justin walked into the kitchen and opened the fridge to get a bottle. "Oh I know. I know."
He put the bottle in the microwave and waited while it heated up. After he walked into the living room and sat down on the couch to feed the little boy. "Are you going to drive me insane?" He laughed and looked down at the baby.
Fifteen minutes later Justin had put Caleb back down in his crib. He walked back to his room not even bothering to turn out the light in the living room. Justin smiled seeing Natalie curled up next to Britney on the bed. He climbed into bed next to the two.
"She really hates this." Britney whispered quietly.
"I know." Justin nodded in response. He fell asleep soon after.
The road seemed to stretch out for miles in front of them. Justin's grip on the steering wheel tightened as Caleb's cries enhanced. He glanced over at Britney who was leaning over the front seat to see what was wrong with Caleb.
Britney huffed and then sat back down in her seat, "Pull over as soon as you see the next rest stop." She sighed putting her seat belt back on.
"We're making good-" He started with a smile and knowing that it would tick her off. Justin tried to cut through the tension.
"Justin " She warned.
"I'll stop. Geez." Justin rolled his eyes. He looked back at Natalie who was sound asleep in her car seat. "How can she sleep through that?" Justin laughed and turned the stereo on hoping that it would calm Caleb down.
Fifteen minutes down the road Justin exited at a rest area. He pulled into a parking space and shut the car off. Britney got out of the SUV and opened the back door to get Caleb out. Justin got out as well and stretched. He watched her pick up Caleb and sit back down in the front seat.
Natalie started to stir in her seat and Justin smiled when she opened her eyes and looked around.
"Out." She said and started to unbuckle the strap that held her in her car seat. Justin opened the door and helped her out. Natalie hopped out of the car seat and onto the pavement. She looked up at her Dad, "Where are we?"
"Pennsylvania." Justin answered and she nodded. "Watch out for cars Natty." He stated as she walked around in circles. Justin put his hand on the back of her head and directed her towards the sidewalk in front of the SUV. "Do you need to go to the bathroom?" He asked her a minute later.
"Yes." Natalie answered.
"Okay." Justin nodded, "Hey Brit," he stuck his head inside the vehicle. "I am going to take her to the bathroom. We'll be right back." He said.
"All right." Britney smiled and adjusted the blanket so that it covered her and Caleb while he ate. Justin shut the door and grabbed Natalie's hand. He led her inside of the rest area.
"Here's his street." Justin said to himself. He glanced over at Britney who smiled at him. "These are nice homes." He stated.
"It's just like our neighborhood, only a different state." She grinned. Justin rolled his eyes. "What is his address?"
"2023." Justin looked down at the paper in his hand briefly and then at the passing houses to his left. "It'll be on this side of the street." He slowed down when the numbers got closer to the one he was looking for. Justin stopped the car in front of a two-story home. They were the first to arrive.
"Are you ready?" Britney asked him as she unbuckled her seatbelt.
"Yeah. This will be nice." He nodded softly and turned the car off. Justin took his time unbuckling his seatbelt. Britney was out of the SUV already and was opening the back door to get Caleb out. Justin got out as well. He helped Natalie get out of her seat once again.
door of the house in front of them opened as one of its occupants stepped
out. Justin didn't even notice until he heard his name yelled out loud.