Soundtrack: "The Earth, the Sun, the Rain" by Color Me Badd
Note: Sweetness and fluff - you know that's what I like best... And it's all here, yay! *g*

Part 1

Coming out of the bathroom to face Kevin for the second half of their recording session felt like one of the hardest things AJ had ever done.

He wanted nothing more than to stay someplace cooped up with Howie, if possible forever wrapped up in each other's arms. But he knew that they had to join the real world again, no matter how inviting the thought of just ignoring it might be. So, like the good boy he tried to be, he followed Howie out of their refuge.

When they entered the studio, where in the meantime the staff had arrived again, Howie dropped his hand and AJ fought hard to suppress the irrational stab of anger. Of course Howie couldn't walk in there holding his hand - one never knew who might be interested in the extra cash a tabloid would pay for such juicy information. But still, AJ could have used the added support of physical contact. Specially after seeing the closed off look on Kevin's face.
AJ told himself to stop being such a baby - both Nick and Brian supported them and deep in his heart AJ believed Howie's assurance that Kevin only needed some time. It could have been much worse!

But despite all this there was no denying the tense air in the studio, very different from the relaxed atmosphere of the morning, as Howie and AJ joined the others to record one of their new songs.
Howie made sure to stand beside AJ, a gesture AJ really appreciated, specially when he felt a warm hand resting lightly on his back - an innocent enough move, but one that held so much meaning and comfort. And Nick and Brian did their best to diffuse the tension, goofing around. It was almost as if the days of Frick and Frack had come back and not even Kevin could hold on to his thoughtful mood when Nick chased Brian all over the recording booth.

With relief AJ saw a smile quirk at the corners of Kevin's mouth. No matter what - the group would survive, him being in love with Howie wouldn't break them up as he had silently feared.
Howie seemed to feel the weight lift from AJ's shoulders with that almost uncanny perceptiveness he had, because he smiled at AJ and slipped his hand innocently to AJ's waist, its warmth spreading all over AJ's body, causing him to relax even further. He answered Howie's smile and mouthed 'love you!', relishing in the look of pure joy on his lover's face. How could things be bad when he had Howie to make them right?

The rest of the afternoon went by faster. AJ noticed very well that Kevin did not once speak to him or to Howie directly, but there was no hostility, no contempt in his eyes when he watched them, so AJ decided to let it go. Instead he concentrated on imagining how to spend the evening, when it would hopefully be only him and Howie. He had some very nice ideas, mostly including the creative use of food...

But AJ should have known better.

It had of course been Nick's idea originally, but after some hesitation Brian was all for it, too. AJ noticed the secretive glances those two exchanged on the way back to the hotel and saw the excitement shining in Nick's eyes.
He leaned over to Howie, who was now holding his hand without any attempt to hide it, and whispered loudly: "Do you think we should be worried?"
Howie looked over at Frick and Frack who failed miserably to look innocent. "Oh yes - I think we should be very worried, lover!"

AJ felt a hot flush creep over his cheeks at the endearment and couldn't help but grin widely. Nick elbowed Brian and pointed exaggeratedly, but AJ could have cared less. He leaned even closer and whispered, this time only for Howie's ears: "Lover? I really like that! Reminds me of last night - and of this morning... The way you felt around me..."
With satisfaction he saw Howie swallow hard and his tongue sneak out to wet his suddenly parched lips. That, of course, was all the invitation AJ needed and he closed the remaining distance between them. Howie responded eagerly and once more AJ almost drowned in their kiss, revelled in the way their mouths seemed made for each other.

From far away he heard catcalling - Nick was obviously having the time of his life - and reluctantly he broke their kiss. Howie's eyes were glazed over and he smiled at him warmly, licking his lips as if wanting to savour AJ's taste on them. AJ thought that he had never seen anything more beautiful in his life. "Love you..." he whispered, surprised at how soft his normally raspy voice sounded. It was the most sincere thing he'd ever said and he didn't care one bit if the others heard him.

The look on Howie's face was the best reward. A mix of awe, joy and love reflected clearly that AJ's words had reached their intended goal - Howie's heart. AJ had never felt better - nothing could equal the perfection of this moment. It was so intense that he thought he could touch the emotions charging the air around them. Looking for a word to describe what he was feeling, AJ could only find one - he felt alive, as if his life had only just started, as if the last 23 years had just been practice for this, for the real thing.

"I love you, too..." Howie's voice betrayed that he, too, was moved by what was going on, that he, too, could feel the intensity and brilliance of this moment.
They gazed into each other's eyes, completely lost in their own world, until it got too much for AJ and he turned slightly away, but not without lifting Howie's hand, that was still entwined with his own, to his lips. He tried to convey all he felt in this gesture.

As he put it down and rested his head comfortably on Howie's shoulder, his eyes met Kevin's, who was sitting across the aisle from them, watching them intently. The green orbs were filled with conflicting emotions, but when Kevin noticed AJ's slightly challenging look he smiled. It was still a bit strained, but Kevin's voice was sure as he said: "I'm sorry for the way I behaved - I see now that what you two have is special... And who am I to stop two of my best friends from being happy?"

AJ felt his heart swell - it was a rarity that Kevin apologized and he was really sincere. Looking at Howie he saw the same mix of relief and pride and they shared a quick smile. Obviously their little display had not moved just them, but also shown to Kevin something he needed to see in order to accept them.
Letting go of AJ Howie quickly leaned over and hugged Kevin. "I'm glad", he said simply and AJ nodded at Kevin to let him know that he felt the same.

The atmosphere in the car was still highly emotional and naturally it was Nick who couldn't stand it anymore. Pretending to vomit he announced that he was in the process of developing serious cavities and if they could please stop it.
Knowing very well that Nick had effectively killed the mood AJ swatted him. He had enjoyed this little Kodak moment, it was not as if that was a normal occurrence in his life! "You're just jealous, junior!"

Ignoring AJ completely Nick now turned to Kevin, obviously having one of his brilliant ideas. "Now that you've seen the light, too, Kev, why don't you come with us tonight?", he smirked with such devilish delight that AJ began to be very worried at that point.
Curiously Howie inquired: "And where would that be? Because me and my sexy boyfriend here already have plans for tonight..." He grinned at AJ, whose stomach did a little flip flop at that.

But now Brian added his two cents, knowing very well that they would take him more seriously. AJ hated it sometimes how they could all press each other's buttons - he had a sinking feeling in his stomach that he wouldn't get a chance to find out what plans Howie had for them...
"Well..." Brian began, his ears reddening slightly, but going on bravely, "Nick thought - and I kind of agree with him here - that we should spend tonight together, relaxing together, getting the group dynamic back on track after everything that has happened today."

AJ groaned inwardly - Brian always managed to make things sound so terribly sensible! He didn't want to agree with him, specially since Nick had obviously planned something extraordinary and possibly disastrous. But exchanging a glance with Howie he saw clearly that Brian was in fact right - it would be good for the group if they spent this evening together. Defeated he asked: "What is it, Rok?"

But it was Nick who answered, because Brian seemed just a bit embarrassed. "We're going to a gay club!" he announced cheerfully, as if it was the most natural thing in the world.
"Just tell me, Nicky - why the hell should we all go to a gay club?" Howie's words mirrored AJ's thoughts exactly. His boyfriend - his heart still jumped a bit whenever he called Howie that - was just as surprised and puzzled by this as he was.
Glancing over at Kevin he saw the same emotions, coupled with apprehension, on the older man's face. That was no surprise, AJ thought. After all Kevin had just managed to accept him and Howie - he was certainly not ready to go to face the completely alien world of a gay club.

Seeing their doubtful faces Brian hurried to explain: "It's just that it would give Howie and AJ an opportunity to relax and be themselves without having to hide - and I think they deserve that chance! And we others would get the chance to get used to you two being together..." He looked around, trying to gauge their reactions.
Much to AJ's surprise it was Kevin who reacted first: "I think that might really be a good idea." Seeing everyone's shocked faces he shrugged and explained: "You're going to have to hide your relationship - and I know exactly how hard that is, so I think that you should have at least one night of freedom. Plus, it could really help me understand a bit better."

Nick was beaming with pride that everyone had accepted his idea, but all AJ saw was the joy on Howie's face after Kevin's words. That was all the incentive he needed to say: "Okay, cool - as long as no one wants me to wear lip stick or glitter I'm all over the idea actually!" A sudden image formed in his mind and he leaned over to Howie and whispered, his voice husky: "Can't wait to dance with you again - this time just the two of us..."
Howie giggled, a sound that should have been ridiculous coming from a 29 year old, but that instead sent shivers down AJ's spine. Shit, was everything Howie did a turn on?

Going to the gay club seemed really appealing now - the thought alone of dancing with Howie, their hips grinding against each other forced AJ to readjust himself. No girls this time... Just them, dancing and touching, sweaty skin against sweaty skin.
AJ wondered whether they would have some time for themselves before leaving for the club.

They arrived at the hotel at that moment and everyone climbed out. AJ thought he felt Howie's eyes on his ass as he walked before him and turned to catch his eyes. Howie blushed a bit and winked, a contradiction that seemed endearing and sexy at the same time. But this brought AJ just back to his earlier musing about Howie's sexiness.

They weren't touching anymore and as they greeted the fans who had gathered in front of the hotel AJ discovered that he already missed it. He caught himself trying to stand right next to Howie, brushing his hand as inconspicuously as possible. That was of course a bad idea because it made Howie smile at him and AJ forced his legs to walk him over to where Nick was standing. Autopilot was a really useful thing he decided, because he managed to write autographs and hug crying girls without having to stop thinking about what he wanted to do to Howie once they were in their room.

Those thoughts involved a lot of naked skin and a lot of thrusting and kissing, so it was no wonder that AJ was in a hurry to go upstairs. Once in the elevator Howie took just one look at him and his eyes turned almost black with desire, something AJ had only discovered this morning and that he found almost irresistible.
The others watched their determined faces and rigid postures on opposite sides of the elevator with amusement and were not in the least bit surprised when Howie took off towards his room as soon as they had reached their floor. AJ was close behind him but managed to ask: "When do we leave? - And I'm talking about leaving for the club, not for dinner!"
Nick grinned and said: "You two have three hours - we'll be pounding on your door at exactly 10.30!" That was all AJ wanted to hear and he almost ran to what he now considered their room, where Howie was already waiting for him.

"Fuck!" was all he managed to croak as he pushed open the door. Howie had probably broken several natural laws but had somehow managed to get completely undressed in the short time AJ had remained behind. And now he was lying on the bed, wearing an inviting smile, his cock almost fully erect and just beckoning for attention.
"You like?" he inquired playfully, but AJ had lost control over his voice and could only nod dumbly. "Then what are you standing over there for?" Trailing one hand down his chest, around his nipples and over his abs Howie licked his lips seductively - and AJ almost lost it right then and there.

Who was AJ to resist such an invitation? He almost tripped over his pants in his haste to reach the bed and get undressed at the same time. Howie expected him with open arms, pulling him into a tight embrace, their bodies flush against each other.
"How long do we have?" he inquired before tracing AJ's jaw with his tongue. Answering was difficult but AJ managed a husky "Three hours..." before closing his mouth over Howie's and kissing him deeply. After that words became mostly redundant.

Part 2

Two hours later AJ had started to give some long thoughts to the possibility of quitting the group and everything else in order to stay in bed with Howie for the rest of their lives.

They had made love, an almost frantic encounter that - although it had seemed to be over almost at once - had been one of the most intense and passionate encounters AJ had ever experienced. And he had experienced a lot in his crazy pop star life. But only with Howie had he realized that what people said about sex with love being so much better than casual fucks was true.

After that first round they had shared pizza from room service, feeding each other, laughing and talking happily together. Then they had napped for a while - and that time AJ woke up the way he had imagined it, two sweaty bodies curled around each other in a way that should have been uncomfortable but turned out to be the perfect way to sleep. And the perfect way to wake up, specially because Howie looked so goddamn sexy waking up!

That of course caused AJ to initiate some more love making - this time slower, their movements almost lazy, while they gaze into each other's eyes. AJ was still amazed at the love he could see shining in Howie's chocolate brown eyes and he fought the urge to close his eyes as long as possible. That was no mean feat when Howie was touching him in all the right places and letting out a steady stream of incredibly erotic sounds that in AJ's mind easily matched his own famous raspy talking in sexiness.
It would be over soon and as much as he wanted to savour the moment it became increasingly harder - no pun intended - to keep control. Howie chose that moment to reach up and twist AJ's right nipple gently while stroking his hard cock firmly. With a low curse AJ sped up his movements, lifting himself up and gliding back down on Howie's erection, feeling it graze his prostate over and over again. "Fuck, I'm gonna..." That was all the warning he could give before exploding.

Next thing AJ knew was that he was turned on his back, Howie still buried deep inside him. Gripping Howie's hands tightly he managed to gasp: "Let go, D, let go!" He felt Howie's whole body tense at his words and then, with a series of expletives escaping him, Howie began to thrust into AJ quickly, his thrusts getting shallower and shallower. AJ loved to see the expression of almost mindless passion on Howie's normally so collected face - and to his surprise he felt a familiar stirring in his groin as Howie kept hitting his prostate.

"Love you - god, Aje..." With that Howie came, too, collapsing on top of AJ who held him close, enjoying the feeling of being blanketed by Howie's warm body. "Love you, too, D", he said softly, smiling when he felt Howie nuzzle him in return, obviously to exhausted to speak.
Glancing at the clock AJ realized that the others would be at their door in less than an hour, but he decided that they still had time to relax a bit. For afterwards AJ had already some plans involving a hot shower and a naked Howie...

That of course turned out to take a lot more time than separate showers would have taken. Therefore they were just towelling each other dry, pausing every now and then to smile at each other and kiss, when Nick made good on his promise and pounded on the door.
"Shit, is it already so late?! Aje, you said that we still had a lot of time!" Howie swatted his lover, but AJ only grinned unrepentantly.

He pretended to pout, batting his eyes at Howie: "Don't tell me you regret our little fun with water experience?" His strategy worked perfectly, because Howie couldn't help but smile and shake his head.
"Never..." he whispered and leaned in for another kiss that made AJ's knees go weak. But of course Nick had to ruin the moment, choosing that moment to open the door, probably with Kevin's emergency key card.
"My eyes, my eyes!" he exclaimed, pretending to have gone blind from seeing Howie and AJ in nothing but towels, kissing each other hungrily.

Brian was right behind him, laughing at Nick's antics. "Oh, guys - come on! You still haven't had enough?"
Howie and AJ exchanged a look before saying in unison: "Never!" Laughing they let go of each other and Howie shooed Nick and Brian out so that they could get ready.
Nick pouted: "Oh, please, D - it's not as if we haven't seen you naked like a thousand times!" But the door was closed in his face anyway.

Fifteen minutes later Howie and AJ emerged, both dressed completely in black and holding hands, both things which of course caused some more sassy remarks from Nick that were completely ignored by them.
"Okay, let's go paaarty!" AJ crowed, not able to contain his excitement. He couldn't wait to dance with Howie again - this time without the pretence of dancing with girls. It was hard to believe that it had only been twenty-four hours since his life had changed so drastically on the dancefloor.

He pulled Howie along as they walked down the hall, his step bouncing and his grin infectious. He was very well aware of the indulgent looks Kevin and Brian exchanged, but he couldn't care less. AJ had taken Kevin's words about then having one night of freedom very seriously - he knew that from tomorrow on they'd have to be careful, hiding their love and lying to their fans, but tonight was theirs to enjoy without caring what others were thinking!

Luckily Howie seemed to feel the same way because he was following AJ willingly, throwing his arms around him from behind, laughing as AJ's knees buckled slightly before he could catch himself. That way they somehow managed to get to the elevator, the other following them cracking jokes about foolish people in love. It felt incredibly good to have his brothers supporting them - AJ could hardly believe his luck. He only hoped that it would hold...

AJ didn't stop touching Howie until they reached the club and he had to take off his long leather coat while Howie did the same with his black leather jacket. They had taken the elevator right down to the hotel's own underground parking, their bodyguards making sure that no fans or press would see them. And in the limo AJ had practically sat on Howie's lap - and Howie had been more than happy to be his pillow.

As soon as everyone had deposited their jackets and coats AJ wrapped an arm possessively around his lover, making sure that every guy in the club knew that this gorgeous looking man was his, and they entered the main room of the club. AJ loved it there instantly - it was not too big and not too small, the music was good and the dance floor was filled with same sex couples. But he also noticed that Kevin looked more than a bit uncomfortable and Brian wore a somewhat wild eyed expression, too. Only Nick seemed to take everything in with excitement, obviously enjoying the appreciative looks several good looking guys were shooting him.

AJ felt Howie's hand tighten around his waist and knew that he had noticed their friends' reactions, too.
"Let's find a booth somewhere", Howie suggested, motioning for Marcus to lead the way through the crowds as inconspicuously as possible. The club didn't have a VIP lounge, but the presence of two bulging bodyguards was enough to get them a table in a dim corner.
Gratefully Kevin and Brian sat down, relieved to be able to just watch and take everything in. Nick on the other hand just grinned at them and headed off to the dancefloor, where he could soon be seen dancing with an attractive lesbian couple.

AJ didn't quite know if leaving Kevin and Brian alone was a good idea, but Marcus, seeing his doubts, shooed them away. "As far as I've understood you two are supposed to have fun here - so get out there and do whatever you want, I'll see that no one hits on those two!" Kevin and Brian relaxed visibly at those words and waved their friends off, too.
AJ grinned relieved and slapped his bodyguard and friend on the shoulder. "Thanks, man! I'm in your debt!" His words carried a double meaning - he really wanted Marcus to be okay with him and Howie, since their relationship had long ago become a lot more than just professional.
Marcus knew exactly what AJ meant and simply smirked. "AJ, you're so much in my debt you won't live long in enough to work it off!" Obviously he didn't have a problem with the fact that his charge had found love with another man and AJ felt as glad about it as if he'd been accepted by a member of his family.

With a wide grin AJ now let Howie lead him to the dance floor. An upbeat song with a Latin twist was playing and AJ couldn't get enough of watching Howie move graciously over the floor, smiling happily and swinging his hips seductively to the rhythm. A number of other men had also noticed and AJ glared at them but also couldn't help but smile because Howie didn't even notice their attention, being completely lost in the music.

Obviously seeing that AJ hadn't really started to dance yet, Howie purposefully moved towards his lover and began to grind against him. With a low moan AJ grabbed hold of Howie's hips and they danced together, not noticing anything except each other. It felt wonderful to be able to let go like that and AJ lost himself completely in the music and in Howie's hard body against his own, his hands around AJ's neck, his thigh between AJ's legs, in the friction that almost drove him crazy and the look of love and passion clouding his eyes... After a quick look around that showed him bodies writhing against each other, paying no mind to them, AJ claimed Howie's lips and pulled his body even closer, his hands cupping Howie's firm ass, hearing him moan into his mouth.

Time flew by as they danced like this song after song, both feeling the urge to find another supply closet like the one where everything had started, but also reluctant to leave the dance floor where they were surrounded by people who didn't care that they were gay and practically having sex with each other.
During one of the times they stopped kissing long enough to catch their breath Howie suddenly laughed and pointed over AJ's shoulder. "Look at them!" AJ turned them around so that he could see what had his lover so excited.

Nick had obviously gotten bored of the lesbian couple - or maybe the other way around - but in any case he had somehow managed to get Brian to join him on the dance floor. They were now dancing together, not quite as close as Howie and AJ, but almost. AJ laughed out loud - who would have thought that Brian had it in him?
Then he searched for Kevin, finding him still seated at their table but looking a lot more relaxed and in deep conversation with a pretty and obviously gay guy. "He, maybe Kevin's getting some pointers about gay sex - or what do you think, lover?" AJ grinned and Howie twisted his head trying to see for himself.
With a laugh he shrugged and said: "Well, at least everyone seems to be enjoying themselves..." His eyes darkened and AJ shivered in anticipation as Howie leaned in for another searing kiss. The others were forgotten as they once more lost themselves in each other.

It was four o'clock when they finally made their way back to the hotel. Everyone was tired but the atmosphere was very relaxed, although Brian blushed every time AJ made a crack about him and Nick on the dance floor.
"What was I supposed to do - it was the only way to dance without having to worry about someone hitting on me!" Brian defended himself, his face flaming even more when Nick leaned across Kevin and said in a stage whisper: "You were so hot, Bri!"
Kevin chuckled heartily and AJ felt relief wash over him - obviously the club had dissolved the last doubts Kevin had harboured and he was now completely at ease with them being gay. As if he could read AJ's mind Howie put a hand on Kevin's arm and asked softly: "So, you're really okay with us now?"
Kevin smiled at them, his face open and his voice sincere: "Yeah, I guess I am - seeing all those people and talking to some of them really made a difference. Until now homosexuality was not something I ever really thought about, but I now know that it's just as natural as being with a woman. All that matters is that you love someone, not what gender they have..."

Brian nodded, obviously feeling the same - and Nick thought that this was really cool and exciting anyway, so AJ closed his eyes and relaxed, his head on Howie's shoulder, their hands entwined. The rest of the ride back was silent but relaxed, everyone feeling very sleepy and following their own thoughts.
When their limo had parked they all stumbled out of it, following their bodyguards half asleep, not really paying attention to anything. AJ wanted nothing more than to go to bed and curl up with Howie and he snuggled up close as they neared the elevators.

A sudden "Fans!" from Marcus jolted AJ awake and he felt Howie pull away from him as they all put on their professional smiles to face the die hard fans that had somehow found their way to the hotel parking at this time of the night.
AJ hated the sudden empty feeling that suddenly spread in the pit of his stomach as he tried not to resent the excited girls for forcing him and Howie to stand two feet apart, pretending that they had not just spend the evening in each other's arms.

He realized that this was the way it would be - no obvious displays of affection, instead keeping up the pretence of being straight and feeling nothing more but brotherly love for Howie. He already hated it!
While writing autographs their eyes met over the heads of the fans and they shared a look of resignation, both equally unhappy about the way things had to be but accepting them.

AJ sighed and covered it up with a smile. Their honeymoon was over.

Color Me Badd - The Earth, the Sun, the Rain

When I was lost
I could not see
All the beauty and wonder
Wrapping around me
I was alone
Dreaming of you
Oh I could not imagine
This dream coming true

So much joy now
In all that I touched
You make me feel
Everything so much

I will love you for the earth at my feet
I will love you for the sun in the sky
I will love you for the falling rain,
I will love you for the heart that could break,
I will love you for the dreams that we share,
I will love you for the falling rain.

Facing the wind
Tears from my eyes
Baby, where have you been
When I was hoping
Was waiting for you
To pull back the door
To take me by the hand
And lead me through

This whole world was
A stranger to me
Now you have opened
My heart to everything


Like a whisper in a dream
You've walked softly into my life
With love and sweet emotion
And as I gaze into your eyes
I see the beauty that God has created
And I love you girl
Now and forever


Story 5

Series Navigation<< AftermathFacing Reality >>

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *.


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Page Reader Press Enter to Read Page Content Out Loud Press Enter to Pause or Restart Reading Page Content Out Loud Press Enter to Stop Reading Page Content Out Loud Screen Reader Support