NEW! (under College section)
(All under boy-bands)
Set You Free
Ten Guys, One Night
I must give a big Thank You to Justin for giving me the title Blissful Tears and for creating the wonderful image for this story in the Boy Band Screensaver. Thanks must also be given to Chris and Neo, for your chats and suggestions. You guys are all great!
Well, I'd hope by now everyone knows it, but just in case:
1. If you shouldn't be here, don't tell me and don't get caught!
2. I don't know any of the people mentioned in the story...it's fiction folks!
If you have any comments about this story, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org I try to respond to every single email I get!
As always, thank you for reading!
Jackie jumped to her feet. "Don't talk such nonsense Leighanne. This is simply a test from God Brian! You have been brainwashed by the decadent lifestyle and freedom you have been leading and God is trying to show you the error of your ways," Jackie insisted.
Brian looked at his father who had been unusually quiet. His Dad was looking at him sadly. "Do you want to be damned son?" he asked quietly.
Brian could feel the tears welling up. "I didn't choose this. It's just the way it is, it's the way I am," Brian protested.
"Don't you love me Brian?" Leighanne asked softly, standing up to walk over to him. "I thought we would be together forever. And what about children? You always said you wanted some? You will never have a son or daughter to carry on your name."
The barraged continued and Brian found it increasingly difficult to listen to.
"Oh no!" Jackie wailed at one point. "If anyone hears about this we will be the laughing stock of the entire community. How can we show our faces at church, or to our friends?"
Then the attacks became more personal.
"You were such a good Christian boy, what happened Brian?" his father asked in disgust. "I never thought I'd say this, but you are such a disappointment to me." Those words burned Brian, piercing his heart.
"Brian, you are breaking my heart," Leighanne said through her tears. "I love you. You will never be happy with him."
"How long do you think it will be before the world knows you're a sodomite?" Jackie asked viciously, attacking her son. "How will you deal with that?"
"I'll worry about that if it happens," Brian whispered, shrinking back from his mother's attack.
"If you insist on continuing with this we will expel you from this family and God will praise us," she said. "You will no longer exist to this family."
"I love him," Brian murmured through his own tears. This was not going well at all.
"You would give up your life for something so unnatural?" his father asked in confusion.
"It doesn't seem unnatural to me Dad," Brian replied.
Harold shook his head. "I don't know who you are anymore," he said in disappointment and turned his eyes from Brian.
Jackie continued to berate Brian. Then she tried to change her tactics. "Brian dear, you know with Leighanne you will be happy. Everyone will accept you if you have a wife and children. And you know you want children," she said calmly and sweetly.
Brian looked at his mom and then away. "I want Alex more," he said quietly.
A quick glance at his Mom and Brian shuddered at the absolutely cold look on her face. "Brian, you leave me no choice. This is for your own good. You do this and the entire world will learn that the Backstreet Boys are sinners and sodomites. I will tell everyone in order to save your soul. Do you think any of you will get work ever again? How do you think your 'friends' will feel? Marry Leighanne, forget 'him' and nothing will be said again," she demanded.
Brian was stunned. His own Mother was threatening to 'out' him to the world and destroy his career and those of the people he loved. A look at her face and Brian realized she meant what she said. Brian sank down to the floor.
"Oh God," he whispered. He had never thought it would come to this.
What could he do? How could he give up Alex now? But how could he not? Alex and the others love what they do. And if his Mom leaked the truth about him, how long would it be before the press found out about Howie and Nick? And she was right; four gay members of a boyband would be the end of the group. How many record companies would sign them, even individually, after a scandal like that?
Brian inhaled a shaky breath. For once, he had to be strong. He had to be strong for Kevin, and Nick and Howie. He had to be the strongest for Alex. The thought of Alex brought fresh tears to his eyes. He knew Alex would be so hurt by this. He couldn't tell Alex or any of them the truth. This was his burden to bear. Alex deserved someone better than him anyway. Someone who was strong and sure and wouldn't give in to anyone's demands. Brian knew he wasn't that person. He loved Alex with all his heart, but was afraid to lose his family.
He had no choice but to agree to his mother's demands.
Brian finally looked up from the floor and found his Mother staring at him expectantly.
"You win," he whispered.
All Jackie did was nod. "Good. Now lets put this nonsense behind us," she said and walked out of the room.
Brian noticed his father had already left, leaving him alone with Leighanne.
Leighanne walked over and knelt beside him. "Brian, I will make you happy. You'll see," she said as she wiped his tears. "Soon, you will realize that this was just a phase," she said confidently. "Now, I have to get going. I'm meeting the girls to pick out Bride's maid dresses," she said excitedly. She kissed Brian's cheek. "See you later honey," she called back over her shoulder.
It was over. Brian didn't have the energy to pick himself up off the floor. He could feel his very soul dying as he thought about losing Alex. He didn't know how he was going to tell him that they were over, but he knew he had to find the strength in order to protect everyone.
Brian wasn't sure how long he sat on the floor. Eventually he pushed himself to his feet and slowly walked out of the room and up the stairs to his bedroom. Just as he walked through the door, he could hear his cell phone start ringing.
Brian picked it up and glanced at the call display. It was Kevin. Brian thought about not answering, but knew his cousin would just keep calling.
"Hello," he sighed as he answered.
"Brian? It's Kev. How did things go?" he asked curiously.
Brian swallowed hard to stop a sudden sob. "Fine," he whispered.
"Brian? You don't sound fine. What happened? Want me to come over?" Kevin asked in concern.
Brian clenched his fist and took a deep breath. "No. I'm okay Kevin. We...we had a long discussion," he said quietly.
"I...I think I may have been a little hasty about things," Brian lied to his cousin. "I'm...I'm going to take some time and think things through more. I mean Leigh and I have been together for so long and...." his voice trailed off.
Brian stopped Kevin. "Really Kevin, this is for the best. For everyone," he whispered. He knew he was about to lose it. "I'm going to go, I'll talk to you later. Let me know when we're heading back to O. Bye," he said and hung up before the tears hit him full force.
How was he going to do this?
Kevin knew Brian was lying. He could only imagine what Brian's parents said to him. He shook his head. There was no doubt in his mind that Brian and AJ were meant to be together, but what could he do? The longer Brian stayed at home the worse things were likely to get.
He sighed and sat quietly for a minute. An idea suddenly hit him. He picked up the phone and dialed. He called management and requested that they schedule the interviews for the assistant's position sooner than planned. He asked that they contact the other group members and not mention that it was Kevin's idea. They agreed.
He didn't know if this would help or not, but at least he could get Brian away from his parents for a while. He could only pray that Brian would realize he was making a mistake and change his mind again. If not Kevin knew it would destroy the group, and worse, destroy both AJ and Brian.
Brian sat staring out the window of the airplane as it soared through the sky on its way to Orlando. He was happy to have an excuse to be away from Leighanne and his parents, but knew that he would have to face AJ. He'd been home for only four days. Four days of hell. Leighanne continued to go on talking about plans for the wedding, completely oblivious to the pain Brian was in. His parents were even worse. They basically ignored him, simply organizing the rest of his life, without his input. He was sure that if they could, they would force him to quit Backstreet. Fortunately, they hadn't gone that far. He'd only talked to AJ once and for a short time. He couldn't talk to him on the phone.
Then management called. They wanted everyone back in Orlando to conduct the interviews for the assistant position. So here he was on a plane heading back to Orlando to break the heart of his soulmate. He didn't know what he would say. He knew he was weak. But he also knew that he could be strong enough to protect those he loved. It would kill him, but he would not destroy the careers of his closest friends. No matter what.
He kept that in mind as he tried to formulate what he would say. What he was doing was for everyone's best interests, even if they didn't know it. He could tell them his parents were blackmailing him, but then they would encourage him to call their bluff. He knew his mother well enough to know she wasn't bluffing. If he went against her, everything would be destroyed. Better, that he suffer alone. AJ deserved better anyway.
Before he realized it, the plane had landed and he was on his way back to his apartment.
An exhausted Brian opened the apartment door expecting to find maybe Kevin or Howie there. He dumped his luggage inside the door and began to walk into the living room. He glanced up when he realized someone was there. AJ stood up from his seat on the couch and smiled widely. Brian bit his lip to hold back a sob and refused to look at his love.
"Hey babe! I'm so glad you're back," AJ said happily. He walked over to hug Brian, but Brian pulled away. He knew that action hurt AJ but he didn't have a choice. He walked over to stare out the window. "Brian? What's wrong?" AJ asked hesitantly. Brian could hear the confusion in AJ's voice and his heart broke even more.
"I talked to my parents and Leighanne. I realized that I was making some rash decisions in my life. They helped me see things in a new light." Brian paused. "Leighanne and I are getting married in September," Brian said quietly, still staring out the window.
"What?" AJ shouted. He walked over to Brian and spun him around, making Brian look at him. Brian forced his agony away and managed to meet AJ's eyes. "Why are you doing this Brian? I love you. You love me," AJ's voice dropped to a whisper.
Brian walked away and sat down on the couch. "Alex, I'm sorry," he said softly not looking over to where AJ was pacing around the room. "I thought I could do it, but I can't. My...my family means too much to me," he whispered.
AJ spun around. "I thought I was going to be your family," he spat out.
"I...it's not right...I already asked her," Brian said weakly. He could feel the pain and anger emanate from Alex and knew he was responsible for causing it.
"Damn it, B, you're letting your parents tell you what to do!" AJ shouted and Brian winced at the force of his words.
Brian closed his eyes and could hear all the cruel words thrown at him by his parents and Leighanne.
"This is a test from God Brian!...Do you want to be damned?...You've been brainwashed by the decadent lifestyle and freedom....You were such a good Christian boy, what happened?...We will be the laughing stock of the entire community....How can we show our faces at church, or to our friends?...How long do you think it will be before the world knows you're a sodomite?...You're breaking my heart....You're such a disappointment....You will never be happy....We will expel you from this family and God will praise us....With Leighanne you will be happy....Everyone will accept you if you have a wife and children....What about children? You always said you wanted some....I don't know who you are anymore....Don't you love me?...You would give up your life for something so unnatural?"
They had berated him and chastised him for hours. Then his Mom had dropped the bomb, the deciding factor that was causing him and Alex so much pain. "You do this and the entire world will learn that the Backstreet Boys are sinners and sodomites. Do you think any of you will get work ever again? How do you think your 'friends' will feel? Marry Leighanne, forget 'him' and nothing will be said again."
He would live with the pain if it meant his 'brothers' could keep doing what they loved. He convinced himself that AJ would find someone else to love. Brian was too weak and not good enough for Alex anyway.
"I don't know what you want me to say," Brian whispered, staring at the floor unable to bear the pain he knew he would see in AJ's eyes.
AJ stopped pacing and stared at Brian. His own pain was so overwhelming that he refused to recognize the pain emanating from Brian. This was Brian's fault. It was his choice.
"Nothing!" he hissed. "I don't want you to say anything to me. You're obviously not even close to the man I thought you were!" AJ yanked open the door and stormed out, slamming the door closed behind him.
Brian sat stunned, staring at his hands. "You're right Alex," he whispered to the air. "You deserve better."