Latise lay her head on the mounds of paperwork that sat on her desk. Natalia continued to speak to her about ongoing affairs with the center. Latise closed her eyes and sighed. “There is way too much to do. I need a vacation. No matter what I do I can’t seem to get from underneath all of this work.” Natalia nodded her head in agreement. “I feel you. My desk is the same way. Shoot, I need a vacation too.” An 11 year old Latina girl ran into the office. “Miss Latise! Miss Latise!” She stopped in front of the desk and was breathing hard from her run. Latise hopped up from her seat to see about her. “What’s wrong Angie? Are you ok?” The girl took in deep breaths and attempted to speak. “Miss Latise, you have to come out on the playground! It’s an emergency!” The girl grabbed her by the arm and the three of them headed for the playground.” As they stood out on the blacktop Latise quickly surveyed the area and didn’t notice anything unusual. Natalia stood beside her and continued to look until she saw Justin standing beside a nearby tree. Smiling she tapped Latise on the arm and pointed towards him. “I found your emergency.” Latise shook her head and started laughing. Turning toward Angie she playfully shook her finger at her. “You are in so much trouble. Guess who’s going to banging chalk board erasers for the next five days?” The smile dropped from the young girl’s face. “That’s no fair. I was just doing what he told me to do.” Natalia pulled Angie into a hug. “She’s kidding with you. C’mon let’s go back into the center and I’ll give you a special treat for your good deed.” Her face lit up as she peered into Natalia’s face. “What is it candy? Do I get a Twix?” Natalia started walking back with her. “Of course, what other type of candy bar is there?” Natalia looked back to Latise, “Have fun. Work will be here when you get back.” Latise grinned and turned her attention back to Justin.

As she reached him, he extended a hand, and kissed hers. She looked around as he had a sheet on the ground so they could sit. He had various picnic type foods on the blanket. When she turned back to him he presented her with a white rose. Latise inhaled the scent of the rose and blushed. “Thank you Justin. You didn’t have to go through all this trouble for me.” Justin helped her sit down, before he sat next to her. “This was no trouble. Besides I’m so glad you could meet me for lunch.” Latise batted her eyes as she spoke, “I’m so glad you invited me. I thought we’d be going someplace.” Justin’s face became serious, “Oh. If you want to go someplace we can.” He immediately started packing the food and placing it in the basket. Latise grabbed his hands. “This is fine. Really it is. It’s more intimate than sitting in a restaurant anyway. I love the fact that you even went through the effort.” Justin beamed as she squeezed his hands. “It pleases me that you’re pleased.” Latise nodded in the direction of the food. “So what did you bring?” Justin rubbed his hand together and handed her a plate. “For your drinking pleasure, I brought Sparking Apple Cider. I know you’re on duty with the kiddies.” He poured a glass for the both of them and handed her a glass. “I was a busy man today. “I did a lot of running around to get this lunch together. We have a little bit of any and everything here. We have some hoagies that I made myself. We have cupcakes for dessert. Oh and potato salad that I also made to go with the sandwiches.” Latise took part of a hoagie and put it on her plate. “Hold up. You, Justin Timberlake made potato salad?” Justin was playfully offended, “Yes. I peeled potatoes, cooked them, mixed everything. I told you that I cooked. Why are you still a non-believer?” Latise finished chewing, “I’m sorry that I even doubted you. You did tell me this morning that you cooked and that you even watch the Food Network. You cooking for me, better be careful. A girl could get used to that.” Justin leaned his head on her shoulder. “That’s what I’m betting on.” She gently swatted him on the head to get him off her shoulder. “Hey! You’re supposed to kiss the chef, not hit the chef.”

He immediately sat up and fixed his plate. Latise looked at him with flirtatious eyes while she spoke. “You should know by now I’m a non-conformist. I’m not like everyone else.” She took a forkful of potato salad and popped it into her mouth. Watching her mouth, he hummed to himself in agreement. She stopped chewing and noticed him fixated on her. She liked how Justin wasn’t afraid to show his interest in her. The guys of her past, she had to chase them to be with them. Everything was always a guessing game. Does he like me or not? Should I call him or should I wait for him to call me? Should I initiate this and that or wait on him? It was a nice to let this relationship play out and she could be a slightly passive player in it all. She was glad to have the opportunity to have someone show that he liked her and actively pursue her.

Latise stared at Justin and tried to figure him out silently. Justin looked up from his plate, to notice her staring, "Is something wrong? Is the food bad? I'll gladly get you something else to eat." he stood up and rummaged through his pocket for his keys. She reached out and touched his arm. "No, it’s not that. I'm just trying to figure you out. Why are you trying to impress me so much?" Justin sat back down and playfully shook his head like the women in the L' oreal commercials, "Cause I think you're worth it!" Latise laughed and threw her head back. "Okay, silly boy. I'm older than you and I’m not your type. Joshua told me about your ex, Britney." Justin demeanor change and he was silent for a moment as he used his fork to mess with the potato salad. "JC talks too damn much...What did he tell you?"

"I'm not gonna get him in trouble. But when he was on the road and she would visit, he said that she was a very interesting girl and that sometime the guys felt like she was the sixth member of NSYNC." Justin continued to stare at his potato salad. "She is…was."

Latise cocked an eyebrow as she opened a can of soda. "She is, what? Interesting? Or a sixth member? And the way he said it, I don’t think they meant that as a good statement."

Justin sighed a bit. "She was interesting, and a sixth member." As he closed his eyes he spoke softly, "Why do you say they didn't mean it in a good way?" Latise knowing this was a sensitive issue tried to act accordingly to Justin. "I can tell when Joshua gets stressed with someone...He and my brother Daryl are - were so much alike it was spooky. And they both had this tone that spoke volumes. Whenever he would call to talk, he would have that sound a lot. So, I just know. But I just wondered why would you be interested in me, when you had her? Wasn't she your soulmate?" she asked biting her food. "At one point and time I thought she was until...she did something. When she did my whole thought on her changed and I realized she was not the one." He reached for a sip of his drink

“Okay. I know when to shut up and mind my business. Since I was nosy…you have the right, right now to be nosy with my life. As me anything and I'll answer it," she said facing him “Why did you say you're not my type? And exactly, pray tell what is my type?" A slight smile grazed upon his lips. Latise bit her lip and pondered it. " Well, blonde, blue eyed, tall, model type, in shape, famous, big plastic boobs, younger, an arm piece. Do you need me to go on?" Justin laughed aloud and covered his hand over his mouth. "Sure I like that so sue me, but that's not all that I like. Girl..." he hit her on the hand. "You think you know but you have no idea." Latise got bold and stood on her knees. "Well, learn me then. Teach me what I don't know." She said putting her hand on her hips and rolled her neck. Justin laughed harder, "Learn you? You have been hanging out with JC way too much!" Latise threw her hands in the air. "He's family. He's gonna rub off on me." She smirked.

"Well, tell me what I do not know of, Mister Timberlake." Justin played with his chin and eyed her. "Well I like women with dark brown eyes and dark colored skin. It reminds me of chocolate." He sighed again and licked his lips, "And I do like chocolate. I like long legs and gorgeous smiles with full luscious lips." He took his finger and ran it over her lips. Latise got bold and seductive. "Lala wants to hear more. This sounds good."

Justin raised his eyes surprised by her reaction. He sat beside her and took her hand in his. Moving his head to her ears he whispered, "I like curly hair and soft skin." He took his hand and ran it lightly up and down her arm. “Be careful, Mister Timberlake. We're all alone. And that can be dangerous." She took his finger and dipped it in the dessert and licked it off. The touch of her tongue swirling around his finger caused his body to shudder. He perched up to look around the playground area and noticed the children were a good distance away. He leaned back into her and hissed, "Do that again!" Latise smirked and slowly stuck his finger in the dessert again and slowly pulled it out. She then stuck it in her mouth and pullerd it out to lick it slowly. She smiled and licked the corners of her mouth. "How's that Mister Timberlake?" She grinned. With his mouth open, he caught himself and quickly shut it. He narrowed his eyes at her, "You are an evil, evil, woman."

"Okay. Then I'll stop." She said as she started to eat a piece of chocolate cake. "I'll save it for one of my many men. I have met some interesting men , Justin." Her comments raised his interest. "Really? You're seeing someone? You didn’t tell me that." Latise froze in mid motion. 'I didn't know I was supposed to tell you. Besides, I met him at a club...I haven’t seen him at all. Just got a number because he was interested. Since you aren't, I can call him." Justin put his hands out before him. "Wait a minute, who said I wasn't interested? I want to know you, cause if I have to... What's his name, I'll take him down, if it means I get to spend more of my time with you." Latise clicked her tongue and pushed her plate away. "Okay, Justin lets have it out now. I've been flirting with you knowing that you are a total opposite of what I date. But I want you in every way. So, be honest with me from now on. Say what you feel and think." Justin was caught off guard by her sudden frankness and could tell she was serious from her tone. "Latise, I think you're a beautiful, funny, and good person. I really want to get to know you better and I hope you feel the same way about me too. Maybe we could possibly, let a friendship develop into more."

"I'm gonna be honest. I've been daydreaming of those sexy lips saying that since Josh introduced you," she smiled at him. Justin pushed his lips outward. "Do you mind showing me what you'd do with these sexy ass lips?" Latise’s eyes widened. "Oh, don't temp me. But I am a professional. And there are young impressionable minds around." She laughed wiggling her finger at him. Justin took her finger and shook it, "I got it, I got it. What say you and I head to club to get our dance on? You could bring Natalia and I'll bring JC. We could double date. Maybe later you can show me in the appropriate environment what you'd do with my sexy ass lips." He wriggled his eyebrows and waited for her response. "Okay, its a date. Where is this going with us?" she asked him as they started to pack up. Am I gonna be more?" Justin dumped the paper plates into a plastic bag. He stopped for a moment and set the bag down. "I'd like for you to be more" he said with all seriousness. "Is that what you want?" With intensity in her eyes she spoke again, "Yes, I do. I wanna be yours. And I wanna give you a sample of what I can do with those sexy ass lips." Latise took Justin lips and sucked on them and raked his hair with her fingers. Justin moaned into her lips, "Remember the kiddies are present and I don't think I can contain myself."

"They aren't paying attention to us. Natalia will make sure they aren't being nosy. I want what’s mine." She climbed on his laps and licked his lips. "You know, I'm a good girl and I wasn't like this until I met you." Latise leaned down and licked his ear as she rubbed her hand on his chest through his shirt. "Oh so I'm the bad influence that causes you to wanna do things? I think I should be taught a lesson," he wrapped his hands around her waist and turned her so she straddled him. Justin smiled wickedly as his lips met her neck, “And what lesson will I have to learn and what’s my punishment?" Latise smiled as she licked her lips. "There are so many things I can do to you. How about, this? "She licked his ear and sucked on the earlobe. Latise then rubbed herself against his body and moaned. "You just don't even know what you do to me," he hissed against her neck. "I don't even know what I'm doing to me," she said with her eyes closed closing the distance between them as she moved up on his lap.

His hands crept up her back. "On second thought I don't want to share you with anybody, why don't the two of us just go out tonight. We can do the whole double date thing tomorrow. I want this to be us time. Latise opened her eyes and looked into his as she spoke shyly. "What about Nat and JC?" Justin let his hands glide down her back and wrapped them tightly around her waist. "What about them? We haven't even asked them to go out with us tonite, so nothing is set in stone." Latise started playing with Justin’s hair. "Okay. So, what are you gonna do to me. I mean with me. Damn! I mean where are we going to!" She stammered and blushed. Justin chuckled at her apparent embarrassment. "I don't know, Ladies Choice." Latise pondered what would be a good first date. Latise pondered what would be a good first date. "Something that is private and intimate. That we can get to know each other. My place. Dinner. A nice home cooked meal? Is that okay or a terrible idea." she hedged waiting for his response. Justin thought about the idea. "I like that idea a lot. Do you think you're mom will mind cooking for us?" Latise slapped him on the arm, “What about me?" She said looking hurt. "I can cook some things." Justin began laughing, "I also heard you burn a lot of things too." Latise frowned at him, “I can make a few things, like banana pudding, baked pork chops and rice a roni…or you can always date, JC." She said moving away to throw the trash away in the nearby can.” Justin got up from the blanketed ground and started to fold the blanket. "Don't be mad, I was just kidding. I would love for you tom make dinner for me. Especially the broccoli and cheese rice a roni." Latise turned around and stood near the trash can. "Okay meet me at my place in two hours." Justin gathered the picnic equipment and walked over to her. Looking at her with puppy dog eyes he spoke softly, "Lala, I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings on the whole cooking thing. I know you are quite capable in the kitchen." Latise just kept a straght face and folded her arms. "Just be there on time, in comfortable clothes, and no overnight bag." Justin nodded and slowly backed away from her, his gaze held on her. "Two hours, no overnight bag." Latise turned away and walked toward the building to get her things and go home to prove Justin and everyone that she can cook a little.

chapter nine: