NEW! (under College section)
(All under boy-bands)
Set You Free
Ten Guys, One Night
Well, good news....I don't have to have neck surgery! And only two more weeks in this damned neck brace...YAHOO!
Sad news...only five more chapters to go after this one :(
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 email@example.com I try to respond to every single email I get!
As always, thank you for reading!
"What are you smiling about?" he asked softly.
"Cause I'm so happy you're here with me," Brian replied.
AJ grinned. "Good. Get used to it baby, because I'm never leaving again!" He pulled the covers from Brian's body and held out his hand. Brian grabbed hold tightly and the two walked slowly to the bathroom. Brian leaned against the sink and noticed his shaving bag. While AJ started running water in the bathtub, Brian brushed his teeth and used his electric razor. Just those simple actions made him feel better.
He was still confused about his parents. They had hurt him deeply, but what was even worse was that their actions caused Alex to be hurt. Brian wondered if he would be able to forgive them, especially his Mom. He turned and watched AJ as he checked the water temperature and pulled a towel from a closet. He would talk to his parents because AJ wanted him to, any more would have to wait.
Once the tub was full, AJ helped Brian undo the hospital gown he was wearing. Brian could feel his body reacting to AJ's closeness and blushed. AJ glanced at Brian's erection, then leaned forward to kiss him.
"I think your friend needs a little TLC too," he whispered.
Brian giggled and stepped into the hot water. He settled back against the edge of the tub and AJ knelt down beside him. Gently, AJ lathered up his hands with soap and began to massage Brian's upper body. He ran his soapy hands over each of Brian's arms, across his chest and down his back. He forced himself not to react when he realized how thin Brian had become.
Brian relaxed into the touch and allowed his lover to minister to his needs.
"Want me to do your hair?" AJ asked softly.
"Please," Brian murmured.
AJ grabbed a wash cloth and began to wet Brian's hair. He poured shampoo into his hands and lathered it up, massaging Brian's scalp.
"Oh, that feels so incredible love. God I've missed your touch so much," he whispered as fresh tears started running down his face as he thought about how much they had lost. AJ quickly rinsed the shampoo from Brian's hair, then put his arms around the trembling shoulders.
"Brian baby, listen to me," he said quietly. "Do you remember back in my apartment that first day? I said that we weren't meant to be until now. I still believe that. We thought that was our time, but even then, it was the wrong time. For some reason, we had to suffer through the last few months to reach this point. But I think we will be stronger for it."
Brian turned to AJ and lost himself in the bottomless brown eyes staring at him lovingly. "How did I get so lucky to deserve you?" he asked in wonderment.
AJ shook his head. "I'm the lucky one, baby, and don't you forget it!" He stood up and grabbed the towel from the counter. "Come on baby. Lets get you out of there and dressed. You'll feel so much better in your own clothes," He said.
Brian stood and stepped out of the cooling water. He stood quietly while AJ dried him, rubbing the towel briskly over Brian's skin.
"Love, will you go get me some clothes from the suitcase? I've got to…" he glanced towards the toilet and AJ grinned.
"Of course baby. I'll wait in the room and just call when you're ready for the clothes," he said understandingly.
Brian kissed AJ's cheek. "Thanks Alex. For everything," he whispered.
AJ grinned and left the bathroom, closing the door behind him. He rummaged through the suitcase Kevin had brought and found some nice clothes that he laid out on the bed.
He decided to order pizza for lunch so that everyone wouldn't have to go to the hospital's cafeteria. It would be better if they talked in the privacy of the room. He called in the order and just as he finished he heard the bathroom door open.
"Alex?" Brian said softly.
AJ grabbed the clothes and walked to the door. "Here baby. Do you need any help?" he asked seriously. He knew Brian was still weak from the coma and didn't want him falling.
"Please," Brian said and pulled open the door. AJ stepped through and closed it behind him. He helped Brian step into a pair of boxers. Brian used AJ to balance himself as he pulled on a pair of jeans. A dark blue t-shirt finished the outfit.
AJ wrapped his arm around Brian's shoulders for support as they walked back to the bed. Brian climbed on and AJ cranked up the head so Brian was sitting upright.
AJ sat on the side of the bed and took Brian's hands in his. "Feeling better now?" he asked softly reaching out to stroke Brian's cheek. Brian nodded. "Good. I ordered pizza for lunch, that way we can all sit here and talk instead of going to the cafeteria. Is that okay?"
Brian sighed and nodded. "I guess. Just promise me you won't leave me alone with them?" he pleaded.
"I swear, baby. Not even to go to the bathroom," he added. Brian grinned.
A few minutes later there was a knock at the door. AJ walked over to answer it. He found his mom holding two large pizzas, with Jackie and Harold behind her.
"I figured these were for you?" Denise said, holding out the pizzas. AJ grinned and nodded. He allowed the three to walk past him before he closed the door and rushed back to Brian's side.
Denise set one pizza on a small side table and the other on the movable table beside the bed. Brian moved to the edge of the bed and patted the spot beside him. With a quick glance at the senior Littrell's, AJ hopped up beside Brian and put his arm around Brian's shoulders. He pulled the table in front of them so the pizza was in easy reach. He grabbed one slice and handed it to Brian before taking one for himself.
No one spoke immediately. Finally Brian couldn't take the silence and looked at his parents.
"So you wanted to speak to me?" he asked bluntly.
Jackie and Harold looked at each other. Harold had hurt his son too, but Jackie had done most of the damage so they knew it was for her to fix.
"Brian," Jackie began, her voice trembling. "I do love you. I know that you may not believe that, and maybe I haven't done much to show you that lately. For that, I am truly and deeply sorry. You know my religion, my faith has been so important in my life. I truly believed that your faith was being tested. I thought that if you spent enough time with Leighanne and away from AJ you would find your faith again. I know now the way I went about it was wrong." She paused to collect her thoughts. "How could any mother blackmail her own son?" she asked rhetorically.
"Maybe my view of the world has been too narrow, too protected. I listened to everything the Pastor said and never bothered trying to think things through for myself. I know now I was wrong." She turned to look intently at Brian and AJ. "This past week has been the most eye opening experience I've ever had. I've seen five gay men expressing their love, their fears, and their hopes just as any heterosexual person would. I've witnessed the incredibly strong love that Howie and Nick share, and Kevin and Chris are developing. I've been forced to re-evaluate everything I've ever been told or heard about gay men."
Jackie walked closer to the bed, but stopped before reaching it. "I've seen how much AJ loves you and I'm actually in awe of the depths of his feelings. I know I can never make up for my cruel, my vicious actions, and for that I will be eternally sorry. You have had to take the brunt of my own ignorance and it almost cost you your life. I will never forgive myself for pushing you to that point, so how can I ask you to forgive me?"
Jackie sighed and looked back at her husband. "All I can ask, is that you give me a chance to show that I do love you. Please don't cut me out of your life?" she pleaded, blinking back tears. She walked back to Harold and sat down beside him.
Brian listened to everything his mother said, holding tightly to AJ's hand on the bed between them. Deep down, he knew that it was her blind faith in the church that had caused her to act the way that she had. But that was only an excuse. She was his mother and had treated him as something less than human. He wanted to hate her for that, but he couldn't, she was his mother.
He closed his eyes and squeezed AJ's hand. Then he looked across the room to his parents. "When I told you that I loved Alex, I was expecting an argument. I knew it would be difficult for both of you to accept." He glanced at AJ again before continuing. "I had even prepared myself, in case you told me to leave, throwing me out of the family. I was prepared to sacrifice that to be with Alex. Never in my wildest thoughts did it cross my mind that you would threaten me or the people that I love. That action, more than any of the other things you said to me, tore my heart out." He could see his words and his pain registering with his parents. They finally understood what they had done.
"If I was willing to sacrifice my family to be with Alex, I was certainly willing to sacrifice my own happiness to protect Alex and the others from being exposed. That's what families do…they protect each other," Brian said vehemently and Jackie and Harold winced. AJ squeezed Brian's hand to calm him slightly.
Brian sighed and slumped back against the pillows. When he spoke again his voice was soft. "I thought I could do it, but it was too hard. Every time I went home you ignored me, or reminded me what a sinner I'd become. Leighanne continued to run on about the wedding, completely ignoring the pain I was suffering. Alex was so angry with me, justifiably; it hurt so much to know the pain I caused him. I just thought everyone would be better off without me."
"Never!" AJ whispered harshly in Brian's ear.
Everyone in the room had tears running down their faces. Brian looked intently at his parents. "I don't know if I can ever forgive you. You hurt me so much and nearly cost me my soulmate, and my life. There are a lot of negative feelings to over come."
Brian looked over at AJ again. AJ gently stroked the tears from Brian's face. "I love you. No matter what," he whispered for Brian's ears only.
Brian nodded and smiled weakly. He turned back to face his parents. "I don't know how we can get past this and move forward…" Jackie began to sob quietly, fearing that she had lost her son forever. "But," Brian continued and Jackie looked up. "Alex has told me what happened while I was in the coma. And the fact that you are willing to admit you were wrong and apologize to both of us makes me want to believe you are sincere. And you are my parents, and I do remember the good times we had when I was growing up. I can't make any promises, about what kind of relationship we will have. It's going to take time, time and space. That's all I can give you right now. I have to focus on me, and Alex and I, and get my life sorted out."
Jackie gripped her husband's hand and smiled weakly at her son. "Brian, that may be more than I deserve, but thank you. I promise not to pressure you or make demands. When you are ready, I hope you will come home for a visit, both of you. And I hope you will tolerate a phone call once in a while, just to see how you are," she said softly.
Brian smiled slightly and nodded. "I think that sounds like a good place to start."
Jackie and Harold stood up and began to leave. "By the way, Mom, where is Leighanne?" Brian asked suddenly.
Jackie turned back to her son and shook her head. "I don't know Brian. I haven't heard a word from her."
"I think I can answer that," AJ said softly beside Brian. All eyes focused on him. He reached into his jeans pocket and pulled out a folded envelope. "A nurse brought this to me, the second day of your coma." He opened the envelope and pulled out the letter. Then he grasped Brian's hand and emptied the envelope into Brian's palm. A ring fell out. "The letter is from Leighanne. 'Alexander, I know I am partly to blame for this tragedy. I never meant for Brian to suffer; I only wanted to make him happy. I know now, that the only one that can do that, is you. My prayers are with you and Brian. I hope someday, both of you can forgive me. Leighanne.' I wasn't sure what to do with it, so I just kept it," AJ said.
Brian clenched the ring in his fist. "Denise, will you do something for me?" he asked AJ's Mom softly.
Denise, who had been quiet throughout the conversation, walked over to the bed. "Of course Brian," she replied.
Brian put the ring in her hand. "Will you see if there is someone here in the hospital that could use the money from this. Perhaps a sick child without insurance? I don't care, just sell it for whatever you can get and put the money to good use," Brian said.
Denise patted Brian's hand. "I will Brian," she promised and put the ring carefully in her purse.
The three parents left, leaving AJ and Brian resting on the bed. Brian turned on his side to face AJ and AJ did the same.
"I'm proud of you baby," AJ whispered, running his fingers down Brian's cheek.
Brian took a shaky breath and lightly kissed AJ's chin. "I couldn't have done it without you beside me. I'm so sorry I hurt you so much," he murmured.
"Sshhh, baby. That's all over now. There is just one thing I want right now," he said.
"Whats that?" Brian asked.
"Promise me, that you will never, ever let things get so bad that you consider taking your own life," he said intently, staring into Brian's eyes. "I would rather see you married to Leighanne and me suffering than not to be able to see you at all," he whispered, blinking back tears.
Brian realized how much his suicide attempt had affected AJ. "I promise, my love. Never again."
They hugged each other tightly and slowly Brian drifted to sleep. AJ held his lover close and thought about everything that had happened. He had almost lost hope of being with Brian. He would never let it happen again. He smiled gently as he remembered Brian's first words when he woke up. 'Alexander, will you marry me?' AJ looked down at his sleeping man. In a heartbeat he would marry him. He grinned as a plan developed. He knew just how he would answer Brian's proposal.
The other guys stopped by later in the evening. Howie and Nick told the others how well Nick's family had accepted the couple. Brian was surprised that Nick had told his family, but was relieved it had gone well. Everyone talked about their feelings during the past few months. Brian tried to explain his thoughts and feelings; what had driven him to such an extreme choice. The discussion went well into the night, but after many tears and hugs all around, everyone began to understand Brian's state of mind and despair. Each of them vowed to never let anything like that happen again to any of them.