Warning: This is a fictional story, describing erotic relations
between consenting adult men. If this makes you uncomfortable, or if it is
illegal for you to read something like this, then go find something else to do.
The following story is entirely a work of fiction, and is not intended to imply anything about any real people. All of the characters in the story are fictional, and must not be confused with any real people. The characters in this story may have the same names as some real people, but the characters are in no way supposed to actually represent any real people.
Permission is hereby granted for this story to be distributed solely by the Nifty Archive: http://www.nifty.org/. You may of course keep a copy for your own use, but you may not redistribute it.
Before this chapter starts, I'd like to take a moment to thank those of you who have taken the time to express their appreciation of the story to me. Your comments have been kind, and have made writing this much easier. I'd also like to thank some special friends for their help and encouragement. Please feel free to send me any comments you may have.
Matt became aware that someone was calling his name. No, that was his father's name. What was dad doing here? And for that matter, where was here?
He opened his eyes, and found the steward looking down at him. "Mr. Lawrence?" the steward said. "We're in LA. I have your suitcase. There's someone waiting at the gate for you."
"Oh. Thanks." Matt said. He unbuckled his seat belt, and stretched. Then he got up, and followed the steward. It looked like most of the other passengers were already off the plane. When Matt got to the aircraft's door, he was surprised to find Trish standing there.
"Well, it's about time." Trish said. "Hurry up. They're waiting for you."
"What? Who's waiting?" Matt said as he ran to catch up with Trish. When he got into the terminal, he found the answer to his question. There was a large group of reporters standing around, obviously waiting for him. Cameras started to flash as he came into view, and the reporters surged forward. Fortunately, some security guards held them back behind a small barrier.
The reporters all started shouting questions at him, even before he was close enough to understand them. He came to a halt, a few feet away from the barrier. What was this all about?
Trish quieted the crowd down somehow, and pointed to a reporter.
"Matt. Rumor has it that you were in Toronto trying to arrange for the Backstreet Boys to be on Boy Meets World again. Is that true?"
Matt looked at Trish. She was obviously expecting him to answer. She was smiling though, obviously enjoying this.
"Well, we did talk about it" Matt said. "Nothing is finalized at this point though."
The reporters suddenly started shouting questions again. Trish pointed at one.
"I heard that the Backstreet Boys are going to become regulars on the show next season. Would you care to comment?"
Matt laughed. "That would be great, wouldn't it?" Yeah, that would be great. To spend so much time with Nick would be heaven.
"There's been speculation that you're joining the Backstreet Boys Matt. Is there any truth to that?"
Matt laughed. "No, that's not happening." As much as Matt would love to be with them, he couldn't imagine singing live.
"Well, is it true that you sang a song with Nick Carter at a concert here in LA?" Matt nodded. "And isn't that song on the new Millennium album?"
"I'm afraid I don't know. I haven't listened to it yet."
"It's been reported that Ben and Rider are leaving the show, because of your increased popularity. Is that true Matt?"
"That's the first I've heard of it."
"Someone who works on the show told me that you and Will Friedle fight all the time on the set. Isn't that true?"
"No, that's not true. Will and I are good friends. In fact, we had dinner together a couple of weeks ago."
"I heard that your brother Joey is going to be touring with the Backstreet Boys. Is that right?"
"Well, there has been some discussion about that. I haven't talked to Joey recently, so I'm not sure what has been decided."
"Isn't it true that you sang a track on the new CD with Nick Carter?"
"No, that's not true."
"Apparently there were a large number of empty liquor bottles found in one of the hotel rooms where you were staying."
Where had that question come from? "I don't know anything about that."
"I was told that some of the Backstreet Boys were seen drinking heavily in the hotel's bar."
"You'll have to ask them about that." This was turning ugly. There was no way Matt was going to tell them about AJ and Howie's drunken evening.
"Was Nick really sick last Sunday?"
"Kevin said that he was sick, but I wasn't there." That was bordering on telling a lie, but Nick had to be protected. Kevin's answer had worked before, so he's stick to it.
"I heard that Nick had taken some bad drugs, which is why he was in such bad shape for the concert."
"That's not true." The mere thought of Nick doing drugs was repulsive. Where the hell did these reporters come from anyway?
"Well, isn't it true that you left without any warning to meet up with the Backstreet Boys in Toronto?"
Okay, that was enough. "That's it. No more questions." There was no damn way he was going to do discuss this with reporters. No damn way.
Matt turned to try and find an exit. Seeing no way out, Matt turned to look at Trish.
"Why did you run off to Toronto?" That was from the same reporter again.
Matt ignored the question, and said to Trish, "I'm leaving. Now."
Trish motioned to the security guards, who formed a circle around Matt. They started to slowly move through the press of reporters. It took a few minutes before they got him out of the immediate crowd. They made better time from there, as they headed to a waiting limo.
Matt threw his bag into the limo and got in. He started to pull the door closed.
Trish caught the door, and said "Move over."
Matt looked at her, and took a deep breath. His patience was gone. This whole scene was too much.
"You can ride up front with the driver," he said.
"Forget that. Move over." Trish said.
"Look. You've had your little circus. Now you can leave me alone. Ride up front with the driver or walk for all I care." Matt pulled the door again, and this time she allowed it to close.
He sat back and sighed. Damn. They made him come back early, then they spring an impromptu press conference on him. And they obviously didn't do a very good job of screening the reporters. Trish should have been smart enough to at least warn him, instead of just leading him to the reporters.
The limo started to move. Boy, he was tired. Sleeping on a plane never worked very well, and that stupid blabbermouth sitting beside him hadn't shut up the entire time.
Well, it was obvious who'd set up the press conference. It had to be Mike and Trish. They were the only ones who knew what flight he'd be on.
And, those first questions were obviously planted by Mike or Trish. They couldn't have guessed. Who besides the guys and the producer's office knew they were trying to arrange another appearance on the show?
This was obviously some stupid publicity stunt, dreamed up by Trish no doubt. She'd looked entirely too pleased with herself.
Well, that was enough of this crap. He'd done his last publicity stunt for them. It was time to start taking control of things. He'd simply gone along with things for entirely too long.
He found his phone, and dialed his agent. It rang a couple of times before Ross answered it.
"Hi Ross. It's Matt."
"Oh, hi Matt." Ross said. "I've been looking for you. Your contract is here for the next season of 'Boy Meets World'. It looks okay."
"I want to make some changes Ross." Matt said. Yes, there were
going to be some changes.
Nick woke with a start. Where was Matt? Why wasn't he here?
Then he remembered. Matt had left. Matt had gone back to LA early, because of Howie. He felt a sudden surge of anger when he remembered that. But, Matt was right. He had to be patient. Howie would come around eventually. Getting angry with him wouldn't help.
Nick sighed. Well, he better get up. If he lay here much longer, he'd either start missing Matt, or he'd get angry with Howie. Neither was very productive.
He got out of bed, and started putting his clothes on. As he sat on the bed, putting his shoes on, he glanced over at the rose on the night table. He smiled, remembering Matt. Last night had been so wonderful. It would be so perfect if they could just be together all the time.
He could feel the tears threatening again. What time was it? Still afternoon. Matt's plane should be landing soon. Maybe he should go upstairs and see what Kevin and Brian were doing. Maybe they could distract him. He didn't want to just sit around.
He got up and walked into the bathroom. He brushed his hair, and made sure he looked presentable. Then he washed his face. He didn't want to look like he'd been crying.
Satisfied, he went back out and got his cell phone. He put that into a pocket, and left the room. When the elevator doors opened, there was a man standing there. He moved back, to make room for Nick to get in. The man smiled at him when he got off, but Nick ignored him. Soon, he got to the floor where the guys had their rooms.
He came to Kevin's room first, so he knocked on the door. Kevin opened it, and gently smiled. "Hi buddy. Are you okay?"
Nick barely managed to get inside the room before he lost control. The tears
just came from nowhere. He felt Kevin's arms around him as he started sobbing.
Matt glanced out the window and suddenly realized they were almost at the studio. And here he was still talking with Ross. Nick must be wondering what's going on.
"Ross, I've got to get going. Can we finish this later?"
"Sure Matt." Ross said. "I think I know what you're trying to do. Let me see how far I get, and we can talk in a few days."
"Thanks man. I'll call you next week." Matt said. He hung up.
Shit. They were pulling into the studio now. Did he have time to call Nick? He didn't care. He was calling Nick.
He quickly dialed the familiar number, and waited breathlessly for Nick to answer. There was a pause before it started ringing, but Nick picked it up after only one ring.
"Matt?" Nick said.
"Yeah. I'm sorry Nick. I got ambushed at the airport, and I've just arrived at the studio."
"Are you okay?"
"Yeah, I guess." Matt sighed. "Listen, I've got to go. I just wanted to let you know that I'm here. I'll call later, okay?"
"Okay. I love you Matt."
Nick's words caused a sudden lump in Matt's throat. He barely managed to say "I love you too Nick." He swallowed a couple of times, trying to control the tears that threatened. "I'll call you later."
"Okay. Bye." Nick hung up the phone. He sat there for a moment, before looking up at Kevin and Brian.
"He's okay?" Brian asked.
"Yeah. He's at the studio now."
Kevin watched Nick for a few minutes. He was holding up better than he'd expected. It really must be tough to be away from Matt, after having such a short time together. As Kevin watched, he could see Nick struggling, and gradually getting his composure back. Once again, he could see the strength return. Yes, Nick had really grown up.
Just then, Kevin's phone started ringing. He got up to answer it. "Hello?"
"Kevin? Hi, it's Jeff." Kevin recognized Jeff's voice. He was one of the people they were working with for the new CD.
"Sorry for canceling the meeting today Jeff. Things were just a bit too complicated today."
Jeff laughed. "Yeah, I know how that happens. Anyway, I thought maybe we could include Nick's solo on the CD. It seems to be a good cut."
"That would be a good choice. It's a great song. Hang on. Nick is here. Let me see what he thinks." Kevin turned and looked at Nick. He really wasn't surprised when he found Nick and Brian were watching him.
"See what I think about what?" Nick said.
"Jeff is suggesting that we include 'Heaven in Your Eyes'. What do you think?"
Nick smiled. "That would be great!"
Brian said, "Yeah, it's a good choice."
"Here, let me talk to him" Nick said, as he got up and walked over to Kevin.
"Sure." Kevin handed Nick the phone.
"Jeff? It's Nick. It would be cool to include 'Heaven in Your Eyes' on the CD."
"Good. I'm glad you agree."
"Yeah. It's a great song."
"Well, I do want to make a few changes. First, I want to change a few of the lyrics. And the title. I think 'I need you tonight' is a better title. Especially when we change the lyrics and that line is gone. And I'd like to change the sound a bit. Of course, we'll have to have the guys singing background."
Nick's initial euphoria was gone now. He wanted to change their song! That song was special. It was their song. What would Matt think? He didn't want to change it. Not even slightly. It was meant for him and Matt.
Nick suddenly realized that Jeff was still talking.
"Nick? Are you still there?" Jeff said.
"Listen, we'll go through it all in the studio tomorrow."
"Okay. See you later." Nick hung up the phone. He noticed Kevin and Brian looking at him.
"Is something wrong?" Kevin said.
"He wants to change the song. He wants to change the title, and the lyrics and the whole feel."
"And that's your song. Yours and Matt's, right?"
"We'll find something else then."
"No, we should at least see what Jeff wants to do. But, I want to talk to Matt about it too."
"Okay. But if you don't want to change the song, we'll find something
Matt sighed. He was exhausted. They'd been doing rehearsals for almost eight hours now, and they still hadn't run through all of the scenes. That stupid stunt at the airport had delayed his arrival, and he was left to take the blame for that. Everyone had complained because they had to work tomorrow instead of having their Saturday to themselves. The only thing that had worked even partially in his favor was the work he'd put in trying to fix the script. They had breezed through that scene he'd rewritten. But, this next scene was going to be hard.
Matt looked at Maitland again. He supposed she was pretty enough, in her own way. She was almost as tall as Nick, but the skinny female body and red hair really didn't do anything for him. Why hadn't they paired Will with Maitland? Then at least, he wouldn't have to do these kissing scenes.
Maitland was nice to talk to though. She had started on the show this season, but she'd fit into the group readily enough. Matt often ate lunch with her and Will. Because they shared a lot of the same scenes, he'd spent quite a lot of time with her.
Matt had actually considered asking her out. She was nice enough that he'd actually thought about that. Before Nick of course. Not that he was attracted to her at all, but, well, maybe...
It seemed wild now that he'd ever doubted his sexuality. Now, the thought of being with a woman was just, well, it was wrong. Anyway, that was all over now. He had Nick. He didn't need anyone else. Just Nick.
Once again, Matt considered how empty his life had been before he'd met Nick. He didn't even have someone who might be considered a friend. Now, he had good friends like Joey, Brian or Kevin. He had some casual friends like Will. But most of all, he had Nick.
Matt suddenly realized Maitland was looking at him. Had she said something? He looked around and saw everyone looking at him. "What?"
Maitland laughed. "You're off in dreamland again Matt."
"Sorry. I'm really exhausted."
"Well, come on. The sooner we do this scene, the sooner we'll get out of here."
Matt stood up and started to walk over towards the couch where he was supposed to be necking with Maitland. She joined him there, and sprawled on the couch. Matt waited for her to get positioned, and then he carefully moved onto the couch too. He was supposed to lie on top of her, and the scene would open with them kissing. Then their lines would come.
He hadn't realized how hard this would be. He knew it was just acting, but he really didn't want to do this. Well, he didn't want to explain why he didn't want to do it either. He moved so that he was in position. Then he started kissing her.
She felt so different from Nick. She was so soft, while Nick was so firm. And her lips just weren't the same. It was very strange.
Maitland suddenly pushed him back and broke the kiss. She looked at him for a moment and said, "Break time."
"What? We just had a break." Matt sat up.
Maitland pushed him a bit further away, and then got up from the couch. She grabbed his hand and said, "Come on Matt."
There was no denying her. Matt followed along as she led him into one of the trailers. He closed the door behind them. She went over and sat on a chair. He sat on the couch close by.
Before Matt could frame a question, Maitland said, "So, who's the lucky guy?"
"Oh, come on Matt. You're gay, that's obvious. To me at least. So, who's the lucky guy?"
Matt didn't know what to say. He was stunned.
"Cat got your tongue?" Maitland smiled. "Well, then let me think. Oh, that's right--you went to visit the Backstreet Boys, didn't you. It must be that cutie Nick Carter."
How did she know that? Had he slipped up somehow, and now everyone knew he was gay? What would that do? What would his parents think? What would Joey do?
Maitland must have seen the fear on his face. "It's all right Matt. This is all still new to you, isn't it?"
Matt didn't know how to respond. He was at a total loss.
"Matt, it's okay. I've thought you were gay ever since we met. You've never looked at me like most guys do. You're always polite and nice to me, and don't make the sort of comments that Will makes. Don't worry, I won't tell anyone." She paused, and then said, "You're still working on coming out?"
Why deny it? She seemed to understand. Matt reluctantly nodded his head.
"God, I remember how hard that was." Matt looked up at her suddenly. "Yeah, I'm a lesbian Matt. I know how hard it is to come out."
"But..." Matt said. His thoughts were spinning. This was all too much.
Maitland grabbed his hand, and smiled at him. "If you need any help Matt, you can talk to me. And Abby. She'll help too."
"Oh, you'll like Abby. She's my partner. You haven't met her have you? Well, I know she'll love you. We'll have to have you over for dinner. She'll be so excited to meet you. She's so great."
Matt hesitantly smiled. "Really? You've got a partner? For how long?"
"It's been almost three years now. She's been so wonderful. I can't imagine life without her. I love her so much Matt."
Matt looked down. He could feel the tears starting. How could he cope without Nick? It all seemed to be too much.
"Oh, I'm sorry Matt. I shouldn't have said that. I wasn't thinking." Maitland got up and sat beside him on the couch. "Tell me about Nick."
It took a little while for Matt to get the whole story out. Maitland offered encouraging comments, and was obviously very interested in it all. That made it easier. She managed to deflect the assistant who knocked on the trailer door, calling them back.
Talking to Maitland was what Matt needed. Being able to share his experiences with someone else was cleansing somehow. He could tell, by the comments she made, that she'd gone through many of the same things.
He was showing her his watch, and what Nick had engraved on the back, when Will came barging into the trailer.
"There you guys are!" he said. "Let's get going. We've already...hey, what are you two doing?"
Matt looked down, and suddenly realized that they probably were a bit mussed. Maitland was sitting close beside him, and holding his hand. They'd both been crying a bit, although that probably wasn't too obvious.
"Uh, sorry." Will said, as he backed out. "I didn't know. Sorry." He was gone, slamming the door behind him.
Maitland started giggling. "He thinks..."
Matt was laughing too. "...we're a couple."
They giggled for a few minutes, and Maitland moved a bit further apart. They both straightened their clothes up, and made themselves look presentable again.
"Come on. We really should be getting back out there." Maitland said. She stood up.
"Hang on a minute." Matt said. "If Will thinks we're a couple, why not play along with it? That way..."
"That way, nobody will ever suspect. That's a great idea."
"And when Nick comes to town..."
"Abby can go out with him. That's perfect! That way, we can all go out together."
"Yeah. That'll be great."
"Come on Matt, we've got work to do."
Matt stood up and took her hand. He smiled at her. Together, they went back out onto the set, hand in hand. Whether it was what Will saw before, or whether it was them holding hands, Matt would never know. But it was obvious that everyone bought it.
Having found a new, unexpected friend made all the difference to Matt's mood.
They breezed through that last scene, and wrapped it up for the night.
Boy it was late. Matt had said that rehearsals would probably run late, but Joey had never really expected it to be this late. They must be having trouble with the episode. Experience told Joey that if rehearsals were running this late, the taping tomorrow would be worse.
It was really hard, sitting here, waiting for Matt to phone. He wished he could have picked Matt up at the airport, and talked with him already. He'd been waiting all week to talk to him. This whole business of going to the studio directly just wasn't what Joey wanted to do. Sure the show was important, but not as important as talking with Matt. It was hard to wait. If he'd been able to pick up Matt at the airport, at least they'd have had a few minutes to talk.
Ever since that first phone call from Matt, Joey had tried his best to be there for Matt. He'd done everything he could to make sure Matt was comfortable with himself. He'd tried to make sure Matt knew he could count on him. But, despite everything he'd heard from Kevin and Matt, he just couldn't stop worrying about it.
What if his guesses were all wrong? What if Matt wasn't gay? Had he jumped to that conclusion? Had he revealed too much with Matt? The condoms and lube in his suitcase were certainly a risk. How would he be able to salvage things if Matt really wasn't gay? If Matt felt the way his parents did, he could lose Matt. That would really be hard, now that they'd become such good friends.
This last week had been really hard for Joey. Waiting for Matt to come back was terrible. Matt was in such an unstable state before he'd left, Joey knew he couldn't talk to him then. He'd waited years, hoping he'd be able to tell someone. He was pretty sure Matt would understand, but you couldn't ever be sure of these things. He'd been waiting patiently for Matt to come home, so he could find out what had happened with Nick, and so that he could talk to Matt. It would be so great if he could tell Matt.
Just then, the phone started to ring. It was that special ring that meant someone was downstairs, wanting to be let into the building. Who could that be? He wasn't expecting anyone.
He picked up the phone and said hello.
"Hi Joey. Can you let us in?"
"Matt? Is that you?"
"Yeah. I got a ride. Can you let us in?"
"Sure. See you in a minute." Joey buzzed to let Matt into the building, and then hung up the phone.
A few minutes later, Joey opened the door when Matt knocked. He let Matt and Maitland into the apartment.
"Hi Joey." Matt said. "You remember Maitland?"
Joey smiled at her. "It's nice to see you again Maitland."
"You too Joey." Maitland said. "Matt talks about you all the time you know."
"Does he?" Joey said. They all started walking into the living room.
She smiled. "Almost as much as he talks about Nick."
"Maitland gave me a ride home," Matt said. "Have a seat. Would you like something to drink?"
Joey was surprised. Matt and Maitland seemed to be in an awfully good mood. He'd expected Matt to be depressed, since he was away from Nick now. Was he wrong about all of that?
"No thanks" Maitland said.
Matt sat down on the couch, beside Maitland.
"So, how were rehearsals?" Joey asked.
"Pretty good, all things considered" Maitland said. "I thought we were going to be in real trouble. One scene was a disaster, but Matt worked it all out before we got there. That saved us a few hours at least."
"That's because I worked yesterday, unlike the rest of you." Matt said. Seeing the puzzled look on Joey's face, he said, "They faxed a copy of the script to me, and I spent yesterday working out a lot of the problems. When I called to find out if any other changes had been made, I discovered that they all were taking the day off."
"Well, we do have to work on Saturday you know." Maitland said. She smiled at Matt, and briefly patted Matt's leg.
"Yeah, I know. Boy do I know. That's all I heard today, was complaints that I made them all work on Saturday. If they'd written me out of the episode like I asked them to, everything would have worked out."
"You're lucky they found you. Mike looked like he was ready to call the cops, or the lawyers or something."
"You might think it's lucky. I don't. I didn't want to be found." Matt said. He smiled at her.
"Well, I think I need to get home. We're starting early tomorrow, and it'll be a long day."
Matt sighed. "You're right. I'll see you tomorrow."
They got up and all walked over to the door.
"Good night Joey," Maitland said. "It was nice to see you again."
"It was nice to see you too" Joey said.
"Good night Matt" she said.
Matt smiled, hugged her, and then kissed her on the cheek. Joey was very surprised. He'd never seen Matt like this before. He had this sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach. He'd guessed wrong. Matt wasn't gay. Matt had probably brought Maitland home as a way of showing him that. He was really in trouble now.
"You know, it's really funny. Jack and Eric were both after Rachel on the show, and Jack won. And now, here we are 'going out' with each other. Will has got to be jealous."
Maitland giggled. "I'm sure he is."
Joey tried to keep the disappointment from showing. Going out? Oh no. Matt really wasn't gay. Now what was he going to do? How could he tell Matt now?
"Good night" Matt said. "Thanks for everything." He opened the door, and held it for her as she left. When she was gone, he closed the door, and turned to look at Joey.
"Matt, I..." Joey really didn't know where to start, or what to say.
"It's late Joey. I'm exhausted. Can we talk later?"
Joey gulped. "Sure Matt. Sure." He watched as Matt grabbed his bag,
and went into the guest bedroom. When Matt was gone, he sighed, and went into
his own bedroom. What was he going to do now?
Matt closed the door, and sighed. Oh, was he ever tired. But, he had to talk with Nick. It didn't matter how tired he might be, he had to talk to Nick.
He started pulling off his clothes. He piled them all on a chair. Then he got the phone from his jacket, and slid into the bed. Joey had put an alarm clock beside the bed for him. That made him smile. Joey was always looking out for him. He set the clock, so that he'd get to the studio on time. Then, sitting back, he dialed Nick's number.
"Hello? Matt? Is that you?" Nick sounded tired.
"Hi Nick. Yeah, it's me. Did I wake you?"
"Yeah, but it's okay. I had a nap this afternoon."
"Me too. Sort of anyway. On the plane. My seatmate didn't stop talking the whole trip."
"I can't ever sleep on a plane. I...I'm afraid of flying. I just hate it when we have to do that."
"Really? That must be tough at times. You guys travel all the time."
"Yeah. As bad as the bus is, I'd rather do that than fly." Nick paused for a moment. What would Matt think? "Listen, I have something I need to ask you about."
"Well, I was talking with Jeff today. He's one of the guys we're working with for the new CD. Anyway, he wants to include 'Heaven In Your Eyes' on it."
"That's great." Matt said.
"No, it's not. He wants to change it--the title, the lyrics, the whole sound."
"Oh" Matt thought for a moment. "How do you feel about that?"
"It's our song Matt."
"It'll always be our song Nick. Even if they change it totally. It doesn't matter. We'll always have the original version."
"Really? You don't mind?"
Matt giggled. "Nope. Actually, in some ways, it's nicer that they want to change it. That means our song is just for us. We don't have to share it with the whole world."
Nick smiled. "That's right. I didn't want to ruin our song."
"You couldn't. We'll always have it, even if you do a different version."
"Okay, then I guess I'll see how it all goes."
"I'm sure you'll come up with something wonderful."
"I hope so."
"I know so. Listen Nick, I've got to get some sleep. It's going to be one of those nasty days tomorrow."
Nick sighed. "Okay. Have a good day tomorrow then."
"I'll try. Good night. I love you Nick."
"I love you too Matt."
Matt could feel the tears on his face. There was no way he'd be able to stop them now. His voice trembled as he said, "I wish we could be together."
"So do I Matt. So do I." Nick was surprised. Matt had so many problems expressing his feelings in words. It was unusual for him to say something like that.
Matt sighed. "Good night."
Matt hung up the phone. The tears were hot on his face. He didn't try to stop them. He just turned and sobbed into the pillow.