(All under boy-bands)
Set You Free
Ten Guys, One Night
So, I'm back again with another story. This one has been completely written already, so there won't be any delays in posting the chapters.
This separate chapter is not essential to the main story of Blissful Tears, but gives more background about a relationship readers may be interested in!
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!
Nick was silent, staring out the window into the darkness. It was a big step he was about to take. He glanced over at his lover.
"Do you think I'm making a mistake?" he asked Howie quietly.
Howie reached over with his free hand and picked up Nick's hand, giving it a squeeze. "Telling the truth is never a mistake, Nicky," he said softly, raising Nick's fingers to his lips. "I don't know how your parents will react, neither do you. Every family reacts differently to this kind of news."
Nick sighed. "I know. I mean, Denise has always been so cool about AJ. And your parents were pretty accepting of you, right?" Nick tried to bolster his courage.
"Um, Nick dear," Howie said hesitantly causing Nick to look at him closely. "I have to tell you something."
"Okay," he said softly, never taking his eyes from Howie.
Howie glanced at Nick then back to the road. "My parents know about us," he murmured so quietly Nick barely heard him, but he did.
"What?" Nick asked in surprise. "You told them? I thought we were going to do that together. I wanted to ..." Howie gently covered Nick's mouth with his hand, silencing the younger man. He pulled over to the shoulder of the road and put the car in park before turning to face Nick.
"Nicky, I said they know, I didn't say I told them," Howie explained.
Nick looked at his lover in confusion, and Howie sighed. He leaned forward and gently kissed Nick's frowning lips.
"You know that notebook we use? We write down our song ideas, but also, leave notes for each other when we leave the hotel room?" Howie asked. Nick nodded, a smile gracing his lips. Howie always wrote the sweetest little messages when he was going to be away from Nick for any length of time. "Well, I accidentally left it on the kitchen table at my parents' place," Howie admitted. "I stopped there the day Brian... anyway I was writing the words to a song idea I had, then the phone rang. Then I realized I was going to be late for the meeting, so I just took off, and forgot the book on the table. My Mom left a message the next day for me to call. I had to call and tell her about Brian and she said her and Dad knew that we were together." Howie sighed. "I'm sorry I haven't said anything, but things have been so crazy, I didn't want you to stress any more. They like you a lot and are glad that I'm happy." He raised Nick's hand to his lips again and kissed the soft palm. "Please don't be mad at me Nicky," he pleaded.
Nick turned their clasped hands over and kissed Howie's palm. "I'm not mad sweetie," Nick said softly. "I'm glad your parents took it so well. I guess they've had more time to get used to the idea that you may end up with a guy, huh? Think we could get your parents to talk to mine?" Nick asked, only half jokingly.
"Nicky dear, if it comes to that, I'm sure my parents would. I'm sure Denise would too. But lets not get ahead of ourselves, okay?"
Nick nodded and Howie pulled the car back onto the road. Twenty minutes later, they pulled up in front of a large two-story house. Howie parked and turned off the car before looking over at Nick. Nick was staring up at the house and Howie could see the fear in his eyes.
He put his hand on Nick's thigh, lightly stroking it through the material of Nick's jeans. "Come on babe, lets go in." he said softly.
Nick nodded, unfastened his seatbelt and climbed out of the car. Howie joined him and side by side, they walked up to the house. Nick pulled out his keys and unlocked the door. Stepping inside, he could hear the TV in the living room giving the day's news. A clatter from the kitchen told Nick his mom was finishing up dishes from dinner. Footsteps thudded upstairs, letting him know his siblings were probably playing around or watching TV.
Nick set his keys on the small table in the foyer and walked towards the kitchen. Howie followed silently behind him.
Jane spotted the two men immediately. "Nick! Howie! How are you? How's Brian? Any change?" she asked quickly. She walked over and hugged her eldest son, giving Howie a smile.
"Hey Mom!" Nick said, returning the hug. He pulled back. "Good news, Brian woke up today from the coma. They think he's going to be okay!" Nick said.
Jane smiled brightly at her son. "That's wonderful news Nick. I'm so relieved. Let's go tell the others," she said, taking Nick by the hand and leading him to the living room. "Have you boys eaten? I can fix you something if you're hungry."
"Thanks Jane. We ate at the hospital," Howie said quietly.
They walked into the living room and Nick's dad saw them. He quickly shut off the television.
"Nick, Howie, how are things?" Robert asked.
"Good Dad. Brian woke up today. He should be okay," Nick said, sitting down on the couch. Jane walked back to the bottom of the stairs to call for Aaron and the girls to come down. Howie stopped her.
"Jane, you may want to keep Leslie and Angel upstairs for now," he suggested. Jane looked at him in confusion and complied, calling for her older children to come downstairs.
Howie walked back into the living room and sat beside Nick.
"That's a relief to everyone I'm sure," Robert said. "So, I never did hear, Nick, what was so terrible that Brian tried to take his own life?" he asked.
Nick looked up sharply. "Um...that's sort of what I want to talk to everyone about," he said quietly.
Jane, Aaron and BJ walked back into the room and sat down. Nick smiled at his brother and sister.
"Um...I guess there's a couple of things I want to talk about," Nick said quietly, trying not to look at anyone. "The reason Brian...the reason Brian did what he did, was because of his parents," Nick said. Howie could hear the nervousness and fear in Nick's voice and just wanted to put his arms around his young lover. "Brian told his parents...he told them he was gay and in love with AJ. His Mom threatened to expose AJ's orientation and destroy the group if Brian didn't forget AJ and marry Leighanne. It...it just got too much for him. He thought..." Nick voice broke as the tears started, thinking about losing his best friend. "He thought we'd be better off without him," he sobbed.
Howie had to do something. He reached over and gently rubbed Nick's back. Nick's family watched and waited quietly for Nick to regain his composure. Finally he did and he looked back up.
"That's terrible Nick, that his parents reacted so badly to something that he had no choice about. He didn't ask to be gay, that's just the way he is," Jane said.
Nick nodded. "I know." He glanced at Howie and took a deep breath. "It was even harder for Brian, because he knew if his Mom exposed AJ, everyone in the group would be exposed," Nick said quietly. He waited to see if his parents understood what he'd just said.
Jane looked at Robert, then back to her son. "That's quite a burden he had to bear. I don't know how the fans would feel about an all gay pop group, and I'm sure Brian was worried about ruining your careers," Jane said carefully.
Nick stared at his Mom, then sprang up and ran across the room to hug her. He knelt beside her chair and wept. Jane put her arms around her oldest son and gently stroked his hair while he cried.
Howie watched Nick intently, chewing on his lip to prevent himself from crying with his lover. He forced his gaze away from Nick and found Robert watching him closely. Robert walked over and squatted down beside his son. When Nick felt his Dad's hand on his back, he spun around and hugged him tightly.
"Shhh, Nick, son, it's okay. We love you and nothing will change that," he said quietly, holding his son close.
Nick gradually calmed down and pulled back, wiping his eyes. He looked back and forth between his Mom and Dad. "I'm sorry I didn't tell you," he murmured.
"Nick honey, I'm sorry that you thought you had to be afraid to tell us." Jane said. "It doesn't matter to us if you're gay, bi or straight. We only want you to be happy and healthy."
"Nick is that all you wanted to tell us?" Robert asked glancing over at Howie again.
Nick shook his head and stood up. He wiped his face and walked back towards Howie. He held out his hands to Howie and pulled Howie to his feet, before turning back to his family.
"Mom, Dad, Aaron, BJ, I want you to meet my boyfriend and the love of my life, Howie," Nick said proudly, putting his arm around Howie's shoulders. "We've been together now for ..." Nick paused then looked at Howie, "My god, it'll be a year in just a couple of weeks," Nick said in surprise.
Howie grinned at his lover then looked over at the Carters. Jane was smiling. "Well, at least my son has good taste. He picked himself a very handsome, gentle, kind man." Jane walked over and pulled Howie into a hug. "Welcome to our family Howie," she said and kissed his cheek. Howie blushed.
Robert followed Jane and held out his hand to Howie. "You and the other guys have always been unofficial members of this family, Howie. So I guess now, it's a little more official," he said.
Howie shook the offered hand. "Thank you! Both of you, for making me feel so welcome."
As Howie talked with Nick's parents, Nick walked over to where his brother and sister were sitting watching the events unfold. He squatted down in front of them.
"So?" he asked quietly, worried about how they would react.
Aaron shrugged. "So. You're gay. You're still my big brother, Nick," Aaron said and leaned forward to hug Nick. "Besides, this means more girls for me," he added.
Nick laughed and swatted Aaron's butt. They both giggled. Nick released Aaron and looked at his sister.
She looked at her brother intently. "So you're telling me all of you are gay?" she asked.
Nick nodded. "Yeah. Well, gay or bi."
BJ sighed. "So I guess I better stop fantasizing about Kevin huh?" she said with a smirk. Nick laughed and pulled his sister into a hug. They could hear an argument upstairs between Leslie and Angel.
When Nick released BJ she began to walk towards the stairs to see what the younger girls were fighting about. Then she paused and turned back. "Hey Nicky, you won't be offended if I switch loyalties, will you? That JC is a real cutie!" She said with a grin.
Nick laughed again.
"Unless you know something about them that I should know?" BJ added. Nick shook his head and grinned. BJ smiled and walked out.
Nick stood up and walked back to where Howie was talking to his parents. He put his arm around Howie's shoulders.
"Nick, what do you want to do about Leslie and Angel?" Jane asked.
Nick glanced at Howie. "I'm not sure Mom. Do you think they are old enough to understand? And to keep it a secret?" he asked.
Jane looked at Robert, then back to her son. "Honestly, I think they are Nick. They've been exposed to a lot more things than other kids their age. And it will be easier for you two to visit and be yourselves if they know, right?" Nick nodded. "Okay. We'll talk to them tomorrow Nick. If there are any problems I'll call you."
"Thanks Mom," Nick said, leaning forward to kiss her cheek. He then gave his father a hug. "Thanks Dad." He tried to stifle a yawn. "I think we should get going, Mom, Dad," Nick said. "It's been a rough week and I'm exhausted."
Jane smiled at her son. "That's understandable Nick. Why don't you and Howie come for dinner...lets see, how is Saturday?" she asked.
Nick glanced at Howie and Howie nodded almost imperceptibly. "That sounds good, Mom. Thanks."
Moving his arm from Howie's shoulders, Nick grasped his lover's hand as they walked to the front door. They paused and turned back to Nick's parents.
"Thanks for understanding and accepting me," Nick said softly.
"You're our son," Robert said as though that explained everything.
They walked out to Howie's car and started the drive to Nick's apartment.