My free time for writing has dwindled a bit, but here is Part 5. If all goes well I will be able to get at least one part out a week. Many thanks to those of you have emailed me. It is nice to get acquainted with some new people on here. My email address is email@example.com if you feel inclined to write and let me know what you think or just want to chat.
Now on to the standard disclaimers. I doubt that anything I write will make any difference since if you found this little gathering place on the World Wide Web you're probably going to go ahead and read what's here no matter what anyone says. But here it goes anyway...
If you have a problem reading about guys who like other guys as something more than just friends, you need to go find some other place to poke around. If you are under the legal age to read erotic fiction where you live, you probably wouldn't get in trouble for reading this story, but you really don't belong here. And most importantly, many of the names mentioned in this story have been changed to protect the guilty (or is that supposed to be the innocent?). Under no circumstances will I disclose whether or not I actually know any of The Backstreet Boys or any other celebrity who may make an appearance. Nor do I believe in outing people, so I will not disclose any information about the true sexual orientation of anyone mentioned in this story.
Previously in the story of Nick and the Altos
"Ok, cool. I'm off to see my sister. You guys ask anything you want and Jeff, tell them the truth." I said as I walked over to the hallway door and left the room.
I walked back down the hall, but instead of going down the stairs, I continued towards the bedroom wing. At the end of the main hallway I turned down the one that led towards my rooms and those of my brother and sisters. I opened the door to my room, walked through the sitting room to my bedroom and went over and sit down on the bed. After a minute I lay down and stared up at the ceiling. I guess in some ways I was almost in shock over everything that had happened in the hour since I had arrived home.
In one lousy hour I had a major confrontation with my father, a fairly big one with my mother, a fight with my older brother, I hit someone for the first time in my life and hurt them, I had my body pounded and my sister was dying. I rolled over on my side and pulled one of my pillows up to me and hugged it like I was never going to let go. Tears started flowing slowly at first and then increased in intensity and wouldn't stop. I don't remember the last time I cried so hard.
I don't know how long I lay there crying, but it was quite a while. Then, I heard someone knocking at the door to my rooms.
Slowly, I got up off my bed and walked to the hallway door, wiping the tears from my eyes as I went. I opened the door and found my mother standing there. She looked at me and noticed my red eyes.
"Mikey, what's wrong?"
"Mom, I don't know how I can deal with everything that's going on right now."
"Honey, let's sit down and talk. Tell me what's bothering you."
I turned around and walked back into my sitting room and sat in one of the chairs. My mother followed me in, shutting the door, and sat down on the couch across the coffee table from me.
"Mom, I'm really am sorry for always being such a pain in the ass," I said as I started sniffling again.
"Mikey, honey, I'm not going to say that you don't frustrate me at times, but I wouldn't want you to change."
"But dad must hate me after the way I acted today."
"Honey, he will never admit it to you, but he is so proud of you for making your own life like you have and for standing up to him. Jason would never do that. Now don't get get me wrong, it definitely upsets him when it happens, but he will get over it and respect you more than ever."
"And mom, I don't know how I will be able handle it when Angela dies. She is so special and I love her so much and I am going to be so alone afterwards. I don't know how to tell her how much she means to me..." I said and at that point, the tears really started flowing.
"Oh, Mikey, come over here, sweetie."
I got up and moved over to the couch and sat down. Then I did something I hadn't done in years, and curled up on the couch and lay my head in my mother's lap and just cried and cried. She just sat there and stroked my hair.
"Mikey, I know how helpless you feel. We all feel the same way. Angie knows how much you love her. While she loves hearing you say it, she knows there is no way you can put your feelings into words... Honey, we're going to make it through this. It is going to hurt so much when it finally happens, but we have each other and together, we'll get through it. And Mikey, just spend as much time with Angela as you can. She misses you so much when you aren't here."
"Thanks, mom," I said as I sat back up. "I guess I need to go see Angela now. Thanks for everything. I love you." I stood up and started towards the door.
"Oh, Mikey...," my mom said.
"I'm pretty sure one of them likes you."
"What are you talking about?"
"One of those singers is definitely interested in you," she replied.
"No way... So which one?"
"That's for me to know and you to find out," she said with a big grin on her face.
I stood there for a minute, looking frustrated and wondering who it was.
"Mikey... why don't you go see your sister."
"Uh, yeah... ok," I said as I hesitated a bit more and then turned and left the room.
Meanwhile, over in the guest suite, the guys had started talking to my attorney, Jeff Adams.
"I sort of recognize a couple of you guys from things I have seen on television so let's start with introductions. I am Jeff Adams, Michael's attorney. I have known him as long as I can remember. My father is his father's attorney, so we pretty much grew up together, other than for school."
"I'm Kevin. The two on the couch to my right are Brian and Nick. AJ and Howie are on the other couch."
"So since you grew up with him and your father is Mikey's father's attorney, why should we believe anything you say," AJ asked suspiciously."
"Right to the point, AJ," Jeff replied. "I don't know that anything I say to you will be enough to convince you that Michael and I are completely honest, ethical people, but I'll do my best. I would encourage you to check us out on your own."
"We will definitely be doing that as soon as we finish this call," Kevin responded. "Mikey told us that he could get the company he works for to design and host a charity web site. What can you tell us about the company?"
"He said it was the company he works for?" Jeff asked.
"Yeah, is there something wrong?" AJ asked. "I thought this sounded too good to be true!"
"No, I didn't mean it the way it sounded. The company is very successful, it's just that Mikey isn't just an employee," Jeff replied.
"Uh, what do you mean?" Nick asked."
"Well, it's just that Mikey and his college roommate started the company during their freshman year of college. Mikey is Vice-President and Chief Technologist. Tom is President. Mikey is actually the majority stockholder but he prefers to take a backseat. He is much happier playing with his computers than he is entertaining potential clients."
"So his father is the money behind the company, then," AJ stated.
"Not at all," Jeff replied. "Tom and Mikey started out in their dorm room. Mikey went home with Tom for Thanksgiving and Tom's father saw what they had done and was impressed. He hired them to do design work for his company. Word spread and their business grew by leaps and bounds. I really never expected them to finish school, but they both did. Then they moved to Orange County and set up shop right after graduation. They have grown from 15 employees to a staff of 65 in the past two years."
"So is he completely independent from his parents financially speaking?" Kevin asked.
"Well, not technically, I guess. He does receive income from a trust fund. But, for all intents and purposes he is independent because he donates all of the trust fund income to charity. You have to understand that Michael has very high standards both morally and ethically. At a very early age we made a pact that we were never going to become involved in questionable business practices like our fathers. We continue to honor that pact."
"Yeah, but you became a lawyer!" AJ said.
"Ouch, that hurt..." Jeff replied. "Other than QueStar Technovations, that's Mikey's company, and the Michael Alto, Jr. Foundation, all my other clients are people who can't afford to have competent legal representation. Essentially, my partner and I make our living off Mikey's business and donate the rest of our time."
"You said Mikey donates the income he gets from his trust fund to charity... Like how much are we talking about here?" Howie asked.
"The amount changes and has continued to rise every year since he started the Michael Alto, Jr. Foundation. Last year's donation was $16 million; this year I expect it to be close to $20 million."
"Holy Shit!" Brian said.
"I'm not going to say that Mikey doesn't have expensive tastes and doesn't like lots of toys, but he makes a comfortable living from his business," Jeff said. "He is a very special, totally honest person. I am honored to count him as a friend."
"So how can we make sure that his family is kept out of this, assuming we agree to go ahead?" Kevin asked.
"Well, I am treasurer of Mikey's Foundation. So I can assure you that there will be total confidentiality regarding where the initial contributions came from. As far as keeping Mikey's family at bay, my father is still his father's attorney. Once I explain the situation, I don't think there will be anything to worry about."
"Ok, now as far as anything to do with future fundraising activities and the content of a website, we have to have final approval for everything," AJ said.
"First, Mikey will totally agree with you on that and the services agreement will be structured to include that kind of terms. I'm no expert in the technologies that the company employs, but you will be able to actually upload content directly without going through Mikey or his company. I know he said he will donate all services including the hosting. Just so you have some point of reference at what that is worth, a typical new client signs a three year contract with him and the starting price for something of this scale is $1 million for the setup and then around $100,000 per month for maintenance and hosting. If you want to check out the type of work he does, ask him to hook you up to their web site. It has links to a number of clients."
"So, what you are saying is, this is a first class operation?" Brian asked.
"Totally, they have been in business for two years now and have major companies waiting in line to hire them. Other than pet projects, they don't take on a job that won't bring in at least $1 million per year, year after year," Jeff replied.
"Well, I guess that pretty much does it for questions, at least for now," Kevin said. "How can we get hold of you when we decide what we want to do?"
"Mikey can give you my business card. It has all of my phone numbers as well as my email address. It has been nice talking with you guys. Looking forward to working with you on this project."
As Jeff disconnected from the conference, the television screen went dark. Howie got up and turned off the system.
"I think it is time to call management and let them know what is going on and have them do a background investigation of Mikey," Kevin said.
Nick stood up and wandered over to the French doors and walked out on to the balcony. He leaned up against the wall and looked out into the gardens and let his mind wander.
Mikey walked up to Angela's bedroom door, opened it and looked inside. She was sitting up in bed watching television. He walked in quietly and just watched her for a few seconds.
"Mikey, how long have you been standing there?" Angela asked excitedly when she noticed him in the room.
"Just a few seconds, Ang," Mikey replied. "How are you feeling today?"
"Fantastic, now you are here. I rested up so I would be able to spend a lot of time with you and not have to take another nap."
"So whatcha want to do, squirt?"
"Well, did you drive up in your fancy new car?" she asked.
"Yeah, so I couldn't bring Gracie."
"Can I go see it?"
"Sure, climb aboard," I replied as I squatted down and let her climb up on my back. "You gotta good grip?"
"Yep, let's go."
I stood up, feeling her grab me tighter around my neck. I'm not all that big but I had no problem carrying her because she is so skinny. In fact, her light weight almost got me started crying again. It is so frustrating not being able to do something to make her better... We went out through the front door and walked over to where my car was parked.
"Wow, Mikey! It's really cool. I'll bet dad will think you are totally insane," she said laughing.
"If he's seen it, he is keeping his feelings to himself. At least for now. I think he is way too busy with other stuff to have even noticed yet, though."
"Either that or he's saving it up for when he needs more ammunition."
"Well, that wouldn't be the first time that's happened."
"Hey, Mikey, can we go up and see Smoke?" she asked.
"Sure, I've been wanted to see how he's doing. How about we take your wheelchair so you don't get tired hanging on?"
"Well, this is more fun, but I guess I'll live..."
We walked back inside and I kneeled down to let her off my back. She sat in the wheelchair and I adjusted the foot rests for her. I pushed her out through the family room where mom was sitting reading.
"Hey, mom," Angela said, "we're going out to see Smoke. You wanna come along?"
"No, honey, I'll let you two go have fun together. See you when you get back. Don't get too tired."
"Ok," Angela said cheerfully. "Ok, Mikey, let's get movin... I don't have all day."
We took off out the door and headed across the patio and out the back gate.
Nick had been standing out on the balcony for several minutes, just daydreaming. Something caught his attention out of the corner of his eye and he looked down towards the patio. He saw Mikey pushing the wheelchair towards the swimming pool and then to the gate in the wall. Mikey opened the gate, pushed the wheelchair through it and then closed the gate after himself.
Nick walked back into the main room and, without saying anything to any of the other guys, walked out into the hallway. He went downstairs and into the family room.
"Do you know where Mikey went off to?" Nick asked my mother.
"I'm sorry, but I don't know your name," my mother replied.
"Oh," Nick laughed. "I'm not exactly used to that. I'm Nick, Mrs. Alto."
"Hi, Nick. Mikey and his sister went up to the barn to see the horses. It's out through the gate beyond the swimming pool. There is a path through the trees. Just follow that and you will catch up with them."
"Thanks, Mrs. Alto. See you later," Nick replied.
Nick walked out across the patio and through the gate. Outside the wall he found a well maintained path that led off through the pine trees. The path wound around a bit until it finally reached the end of the trees. He could see Mikey and his sister a couple of hundred yards ahead of him. He walked over the fence that surrounded the pasture and leaned up against it, watching them as they continued toward the barn that was about 500 yards away from him.
I swerved back and forth on the road heading towards the barn. Angela was loving the way I was making a fool out of myself. I thought 'Thank God no one is watching me!' As we got close to the barn, I started scanning the pastures to see if I could find Smoke. I tried whistling, but I had never been able to do it loud enough to be heard more than a few feet away.
"Ang, I don't see him anywhere. He must be out behind the trees or something. You mind if I leave you here while I go get him?"
"No, Mikey. Could you turn on the radio for me, though?"
"Sure, no prob."
I pushed Angela under the overhanging part of the roof and opened the barn door. I went into the tack room, grabbed a hackamore and turned on the radio.
"Can you hear that ok, Ang?"
"It's fine, Mikey."
"I'll be back in a few minutes, squirt."
I walked out the back of the barn, climbed the fence and jogged off towards the trees in the distance. Angela watched me until I was out of sight and then just sat patiently waiting for us to return.
When Nick saw Mikey jog off through the pasture, he stood up and walked towards the barn. As he got closer to where Angela was sitting, he waved to her and she waved back. She didn't recognize him until he was about 50 feet away and then she let out this blood curdling scream.
"Hi, my name is..." Nick started to say.
"You're Nick! Oh, my God, you're Nick! Nick Carter is standing right in front of me!"
"Ok, so I guess you know who I am," Nick said smiling. "So what's your name?"
"Me, what's my name? Ummm, oh... I'm Angela. I can't believe this, I'm actually talking to Nick Carter of The Backstreet Boys. I can't wait to tell Mikey and Jennifer."
"I don't know that were actually talking yet, but hopefully we can start doing that, Angela. Calm down, I'm not going anywhere. So who's Jennifer?" Nick asked.
"Oh, my God, this is unbelievable!!! Who's Jennifer? Uh, she's my older sister. Mikey's my brother. Well, one of them anyway. There's also Jason who is the oldest. So what are you doing here?"
"I just dropped in for a visit on your birthday. So how old are you, Angela?"
"You're actually here for my birthday? Wow, that's awesome. Oh, and I'm ten years old today."
"Well, Happy Birthday, Angela," Nick said as he bent over and kissed her on the cheek.
"Oh, my God, I just got kissed by NICK CARTER!!!"
Nick started laughing and said "Angela, get used to it. I'm not going any where for a while. Just relax. So where did your brother go?"
"Mikey, you know Mikey?" she asked.
"Yeah, well I met him a little while ago, anyway."
"Oh, he went to find Smoke."
"Cigarettes, out in the pasture?" Nick asked.
"No, silly, Smoke, his horse."
"Oh, so he's coming back then."
"Yeah, it's not like he would leave me out here. Mom would kick his butt if he did that."
"Some how that doesn't surprise me..."
As I jogged around the edge of the trees, I saw the horses off in the far corner of the pasture. Murphy's Law strikes again. When I was about a hundred yards away, Smoke looked over at me, perked up his ears and started trotting in my direction. As he drew closer I noticed that he was looking pretty scruffy since he still had most of his Winter coat. He slowed to a walk and stopped when he got to me, nuzzling my shoulder with his nose. I started petting his neck and scratching him behind his ears. That got him started rubbing up against my arm, pushing me back a step.
"Hey, you old jerk. Whaddya think you're doing?" I said, pushing him away. I put the hackamore over his nose and then the rope over his head and swung up on his back. I pulled gently on the rope and he turned and headed towards the barn. I urged him into a lope and within a minute we were at the gate. As I slid off Smoke's back I heard what sounded like Angela talking to someone.
"Ang, is someone out there with you? I asked, sort of concerned.
"Mikey, it's Nick Carter, you know, of The Backstreet Boys. He's here for my birthday party."
I opened the gate and led Smoke through, closing the gate afterwards. We walked through the barn and I saw Nick sitting on the ground in front of Angela's wheelchair.
"Hey, Nick, what brings you out here?" I asked.
"Hi, Mikey. I just decided to get out for a walk. I was sort of sick of being inside for so long."
"So, you decided to stay tonight?"
"Well, I think I'm staying but I don't know about everyone else."
"Everyone else!!!" Angela screamed, "you mean you aren't the only one who is here? Oh, my God, The Backstreet Boys are here for my birthday!!! This is so unreal!!!"
"Ang," I said laughing, "calm down. It's not like you want the whole world to find out and have to share them with the neighbors."
"Ok, I'll get myself under control, at least a little," she said.
"So, Ang, do you want to go for a ride on Smoke?"
"Oh, Mikey, can I???"
"Sure, let me put a saddle on him first though."
I left Smoke standing in front of the barn and went into the tack room and grabbed a couple of brushes and a hair stripper. I went back out and led him away from where Angela was grilling Nick about what his like was like. I started brushing Smoke and then went over him with the stripper and then brushed him again. I managed to get a lot of the Winter coat off of him. Then I went back into the tack room and grabbed a blanket and one of my saddles. After putting the blanket and saddle on him and cinching it up snugly, I led him back over to where Angela was sitting.
"Ok, cowgirl, let's get you up here. Nick, could you stand on the other side and help get her set safely."
I helped Angela out of the wheelchair and then lifted her up on to the saddle. I put her left foot into the stirrup and asked Nick to do the same thing on his side.
"Ok, Ang, you ready? Nick can you walk along with us in case she needs any help. Smoke is plenty gentle, but you never know what might happen."
"I'm ready, Mikey, let's get going," Angela replied.
"Sure, no prob, Mikey."
We walked further up the road. It led to another barn type building that is open on one side where we kept the horse trailers and the pickup truck and a tractor.
"So, Nick, how long have you been on the road?" I asked.
"He hasn't been home in four months," Angela responded.
"Hey, Ang, I asked Nick not you."
"I know, but I already asked him."
"So, Nick, how long has it been since you were home?" I asked again.
"Mikey, it's ok, I don't mind that your little sister butted in," Nick said laughing. "Little sisters are like that."
"I don't know which is worse, little sisters or older ones," I said.
"I really miss hanging with my brother and sisters, even if they can really be a pain at times," Nick said.
"So where were you guys headed last night?" I asked.
"Well, we were off to Colorado for a week of relaxation."
"Really, we have a place in Beaver Creek," I said.
"Wow, it's beautiful up there."
"Yeah, I was out every other weekend over the Winter. I always hate coming home to California when I am in Colorado."
"It's definitely one of my favorite places to visit," Nick said. "I mean I love the ocean and all, but Colorado is so beautiful."
"I know the feeling. I went to school there and love it, but I do enjoy being at the beach and taking the boat out."
"You have a boat, too?" Nick asked.
"Yeah, down in Newport Beach, where I live."
"Cool, I hear it's pretty nice down there, too."
"Yeah. Montecito was a nice place to grow up, I guess, but I like where I live a lot better."
"I would love to check it out some day. I have been pretty close to it, but we just don't get to wander around all that much when we are on tour," Nick said.
We turned around at the shed and started back towards the barn.
"Hey, guys, you don't have to ignore me, you know. After all, it's just my birthday!" Angela said to us.
"She always has to be the center of attention," I said to Nick.
"Little sisters are all the same, I think. At least you only have one. I have three!" Nick replied.
"You guys are both dicks!" Angela shouted.
"Angela!!!" I said, trying to keep from laughing. I did a better job than Nick... I could hear him giggling away over that comment.
"What? It's the truth," she said.
"You're not old enough to know about that kind of stuff."
"Get real, Mikey, I'm ten years old."
"You're still my baby sister."
"I am NOT a baby!!!"
As we continued walking towards the barn I saw a cloud of dust in the distance. All too quickly a black Suburban came into view. "Shit!" I said under my breath.
"What?" Nick asked.
"I've heard that one before," Nick joked. "Must be you're mother, huh?" he asked.
"Yep, and I'm sure she will nail me for letting Angela ride Smoke."
"He seems pretty gentle to me."
"Oh, he is. Jeez, he ought to be by now, he is as old as Angela is. I got him when I was 14 when he was a yearling. We've been through a lot together and traveled lots of miles over the years. Now he's retired and enjoying life."
"I like to ride horses but I haven't done much of it," Nick said.
Just then my mother pulled up and we were engulfed in a cloud of dust as she skidded to a stop about 20 feet away from where we were standing. The door to the 'burban opened and she got out and just stood there glaring at me.
"Michael Alto, what do you think you are doing?"
"Letting Angela go for a ride on Smoke."
"Michael, you know that isn't safe. What if she had fallen off! She could have been seriously hurt!"
"Mommy, don't yell at Mikey, I'm completely safe and having a good time."
Nick stepped out from behind Smoke and said "Mrs. Alto, I have been walking on the other side of her ready to grab her if she started to fall. She's doing fine."
My mom quieted down once she realized Nick was there too. "Ok, Michael, but I don't want Angela to get too tired. Let's put her in the car and I will drive her back to the house."
"Mom, I'm really ok. Please let me finish my ride," Angela pleaded.
"Ok, honey, but then we will take the car back."
I led Smoke the rest of the way back to the barn and lifted Angela off his back. I carried her over to where my mom had pulled the Suburban and set her into the passenger seat and fastened the seat belt around her. Nick went over and got the wheelchair and put it in the back seat. My mom drove off leaving Nick and I in yet another cloud of dust.
"I'm going to go unsaddle Smoke and turn him back out in the pasture. It'll just take a couple of minutes," I said to him.
I took the saddle and blanket off and put them back in the tack room. I gave Smoke a quick brush down and then took off the hackamore and hung it back up. I walked through the barn towards the pasture gate and he followed me, anxious to get back to being a lazy retiree. I opened the gate and let him through and he turned around and nuzzled my shoulder again. I patted him on the neck and then he turned around and galloped off to join his friends at the back of the pasture. I closed the gate and secured the latch. I walked back to the front of the barn where Nick was sitting.
"You ready to head back?" I asked.
"Where the Hell did Nick take off to?" AJ asked.
"Why don't you give the poor guy a break. You bitch because he spends all his time playing video games. No wonder he doesn't want to hang out with you!" Brian said.
"Guys, knock it off. Talking with the suits was enough of a drain on me without having to sit here and listen to you bitch at each other," Kevin said angrily as he hung up the phone.
"So what did they have to say, Kev?" Howie asked.
"Well, they are really relieved that we're all ok. They are going to check out Mikey and then we'll decide what to do. They like the idea of the charity thing, particularly when they found out how much money was being mentioned. They figure they can put a fancy spin on the disappearance. They're going to put a plan together to dump Mikey from the deal, if the need arises or he doesn't come through the background check clean. They will arrange transportation from the Santa Barbara Airport later this afternoon. We will resurface in Denver and announce the charity thing to the press. Then we can get on with our vacation."
"I'm sure ready for that! And I'm really ready to see Leighanne," Brian said.
"Down boy!!!" AJ joked.
"Very funny, pervert!" Brian retorted.
Nick and I started walking towards the house. We walked in silence for a few minutes. I don't know what he was thinking about, but I was completely focused on Angela. I wondered how many more times I would get to take her for a walk or even just sit around and talk with her. I stopped walking and just sat down cross-legged on the path. Nick walked a few more steps before he stopped and turned around. I guess he got a little worried by the look on my face because he came back to where I was sitting and sat down right next to me.
"Mikey, what's wrong?"
I just sat there with a blank look on my face and didn't reply.
"Mikey, come on, talk to me! What's going on?" Nick said.
"Nick, I don't know how much longer I can take this. Angela is dying and there's nothing I can do to stop it from happening."
"Mikey, it's not your fault. I'm sure your parents have spared no expense when it comes to her treatment. I'm sure she doesn't blame you for what is happening, so why do you blame yourself?
"Nick, I love her so much and I'm going to miss her so much. I don't know what I am going to do when she is gone."
"Mikey, you are going to go on living your life, just the way she would want you to."
"Nick, you don't understand what it is like!" I yelled.
"You're right, Mikey, I don't. But I can tell you this, I love my brother and sisters too and I hardly ever get to see them and it tears me up inside. You're right, I don't know what it would be like if one of them were dying, but I know I would do everything I could do to spend as much time with them and let them know how much I loved them. Sitting here on the ground crying about how much you are going to miss Angela is keeping you from doing that. So get your ass up and moving towards the house and her."
Needless to say, that shocked the crap out of me. Here Nick barely knew me but he was being more honest and forthright with me than anyone I knew. I got up and offered him my hand. He took it and I pulled him up and then I hugged him.
"Thanks, Nicky, I needed that."
"Mikey, I hate being called Nicky. And that was really corny."
"I know Nicky."
"Oh, so you are going to be that kind of a friend..." Nick said.
I turned to him, smiled and said "Yep." I started wondering if mom had been talking about Nick when she said one of them was interested in me. After all, none of the other guys had made any attempt to be friendly. I started mulling the thought over in my mind. I have to admit that the idea of Nick being interested in me gave the proverbial warm, fuzzy feeling inside. After all, he was handsome, talented and, at least so far, seemed to be a nice, friendly guy. Even though you don't know me all that well yet, you can probably guess that my mind wandered off into some unknown place that it tends to frequent -- also known as day dreaming.
We continued walking down the path and entered the wooded area surrounding the house. I don't know how this happens, but even in my totally oblivious state I was successfully navigating the twists and turns of the path and didn't run into anything. I was brought back to reality by someone shaking my shoulder.
"Mikey, hey Mikey... Like did you totally zone out on me or something?" Nick asked.
"Huh... Oh, Nick. Hey, I'm sorry about that. I tend to go off in my own little world every once in a while. Did I miss anything?" I replied.
"Well, there was the gorgeous guy who went jogging past us. He was completely naked!" Nick said.
I instantly stopped in my tracks and my mouth dropped wide open. Did he just stay what I think he said? Was this his way of hinting that he we had something in common? "You are joking, I assume?" I asked.
"Of course, but I figured that would make sure you were wide awake," he said laughing.
Now I didn't know what to think. Was he just teasing me, was he interested in me but just at the hinting stage. Damn I was confused by this boy -- I sort of chuckled inside at that thought -- like I am a mature person at the ripe old age of 23.
"Well, it worked."
Just then my phone rang. I patted my pockets trying to find it and finally pulled it out of my back pocket and flipped it open, checking to see who was calling. Damn I hate people who use CallerID blocking. I went ahead and answered the call.
"Mikey, it's Sarah. There is someone here from Nordstrom to see you."
"Oh, shit, I forgot they were coming. Thanks, Sarah, I'll be right there."
"Come on, Nicky. Nordstrom is here with some clothes for you guys," I said as I started walking towards the house again.
"I can't wait to get some clean clothes and then go take another shower and clean up."
We went through the gate, crossed the patio and entered the family room. Since no one was there I walked out to the foyer while Nick stayed there. I found two nicely dressed sales associates from Nordstrom waiting.
"Hi, I'm Michael," I said.
"Hello, I'm Jeff and this is Heather. We have an SUV outside with the clothing you called about."
"Hey, Nick, why don't you go get the rest of the guys and then you can go see what they brought and go try on whatever you are interested in," I called out.
"Ok, Mikey," he replied.
I heard what sounded like a herd of wild animals running around and going up the stairs. I thought to myself 'Not exactly the quietest, most graceful person in the world'...
"Let's go on outside," I said to Jeff and Heather. "I hope this wasn't too much of a pain for you guys to bring all this stuff out here. It would have been pretty awkward to come to the store."
"Oh, why's that?" Heather asked.
"Um, Heather... Look over there and you'll know why," Jeff said, motioning back towards the front door of the house.
"Oh, my God!" she said quietly so only Jeff and I heard her.
All five of the guys walked over to the Ford Expedition and introduced themselves to Jeff and Heather. Jeff opened the doors to the vehicle and the two of them started showing the guys the clothing. Each of the guys picked out a variety of items and headed back into the house to try the clothes on.
"So what are they doing here? All the news about them is they were kidnapped," Heather said.
"I can't really say anything about it right now, but there will be a press conference tomorrow or Sunday that will explain everything," I replied.
We continued chatting for a few minutes waiting for the guys to come back outside. Over the course of ten minutes or so, the five of them showed up and told Jeff and Heather what clothes they wanted to keep. Jeff calculated the bill and gave it to me. I added a $500 tip and signed the bill, making sure the account number was my father's, not mine. I handed the bill back to him.
"Michael, no tip is necessary," Jeff said.
"Believe me, Jeff, it really is," I replied. "My father deserves every penny of it." Noticing the puzzled look on his face, I added "You don't even want to know..."
"Well, thanks. And it was nice meeting all of you." Jeff said.
"It was really great meeting you guys," Heather said.
"It was nice meeting you guys, too," Nick replied. "Say Heather, would you like an autographed picture of us?"
"That would be really cool!" she replied.
"Write down your name and address for me and I'll take care of it when we get back home," Nick said.
Heather went to the passenger seat, opened her purse and took out a business card. She borrowed Jeff's pen and wrote her address and phone number on the back and then handed the card to Nick.
"Thanks, Nick," she said, "my roommates will be so jealous."
"You can't tell them we met today, though," Kevin interjected.
"Oh, we know that," Heather replied.
Jeff and Heather got back into the Expedition and started back down the drive. The boys and I headed back inside and went upstairs. When we got to the top of the stairs, they headed back towards the suite they were using and I turned towards my room, but I stopped and turned towards them.
"Hey, guys, could I talk to you for a few minutes," I asked.
"I guess," Brian responded.
I followed them into their main room and they all went into their respective bedrooms to put their clothes away. Then they came back out into the main room and sat down.
"I was wondering if you had decided what you are going to do?" I asked.
"Well, I'm still waiting for a call back from management, but I think we will probably take you up on the offer to set up the charitable foundation and for you to build and host a website for it," Kevin replied.
"Actually, I was wondering more about if you were going to stay for Angela's birthday."
"I don't think so," Kevin replied. We really want to get going and meet back up with our tour group and make sure everything is ok," Kevin said.
"I guess I can understand that," I said dejectedly.
"I'm staying!" Nick announced suddenly.
"What do you mean?" Kevin asked him.
"I thought that was pretty clear, I'm staying for her birthday," Nick replied.
"No way in Hell, Nick," AJ shouted.
"I don't really care what you think, AJ. I met Angela and she is a really sweet kid. She was so excited about our being here and I'm not going to disappoint her by leaving," Nick responded.
"There is no way you are staying without the rest of us!" AJ retorted.
"Would you two shut up!" Kevin said loudly.
"Hey, guys," I said, "Nick told me that you were all on your way to Colorado for a vacation. We have a place in Beaver Creek that you are welcome to use. My father's plane could take you there. Why don't you stay tonight and I will arrange for you to go there in the morning. That way the staff can have everything arranged for your visit. We can even set it up so your girlfriends can meet you at the airport in either Denver or Eagle."
"All I want to do is get away from every Alto as soon as possible," AJ said.
"AJ, quit being such an asshole," Howie said.
"Yeah, AJ, you can be such a prick," Brian said.
"Enough!" Kevin shouted. "Mikey, why don't you let us get cleaned up and put on some fresh clothes and talk about the situation. Where are you going to be for the next hour or so?"
"I'll be in my room," I replied. "You go down to the other end of the hallway, turn right and my room is the last door on the right."
"Ok, I'll come down and let you know what we decide."
"Thanks, Kevin. See you guys later," I said as I got up and walked out of the room.
"God, AJ, you are such a dick!" Nick said as he got up from the couch and headed towards his bedroom. "Don't you give a shit about anyone other than yourself?" he said and then turned and went into the bedroom, slamming the door.
"That little brat is really getting on my nerves!" AJ shouted.
"Wait a minute, AJ," Kevin said. "I think there is something to what Nick just said. You bitch because he doesn't participate in group decisions and now he is starting to stand up for what he wants and you can't take it."
"You're full of shit, Kevin," AJ replied as he stood up. "I'm going to go take a shower." And with that he turned and went into his room.
"Ok, now the two adversaries have left, should we decide what we should do?" Howie joked.
"That's not a bad idea," Brian said.
"Let me call and see if there is any news first," Kevin said. He got up and went over to the phone.
"You know, Howie, I sort of wouldn't mind spending the night here. Last night wasn't exactly the most relaxing night I have had," Brian said.
"No argument from me on that one, Bri. I sort of feel sorry for the kid, ya know. It has to really suck having your little sister dying and not be able to help her."
"And he really has looked out for us since he got here."
"Yeah, and to be honest, I wouldn't mind doing something to piss AJ off," Howie joked.
Kevin hung up the phone and walked back over and sat down. "Well, I won't bore you with the details, but the word is Mikey is squeaky clean."
"We talked it over, Kev, and we both want to stay," Brian said.
"That works for me," Kevin said. "I'll deal with AJ after I take a shower."
The three of them got up and headed towards their respective bedrooms.
I walked over to my room and lay down on the couch and played the events of the afternoon back in my mind. After a few minutes I got up and went over to the fireplace and started a fire. Then I picked up the remote for my A/V system and turned it on, switching to the CD player and selecting the self titled Savage Garden disc. I went over to the refreshment cabinet and grabbed a bottle of water and lay back down on the couch and started listening to the music. Within a few minutes I fell asleep.
After Nick had slammed the door he went over to the bed and lay down. 'Why do I have to act like that?' he thought to himself, 'I think I am starting to grow up and then I go and act like the little kid they still think I am.' He continued to lay on the bed for a while and thought about Mikey. He definitely is cute. It sounds like he is really talented and successful.
As he lay there he started to notice a stirring below the belt. He was sort of shocked that was happening. While he had been thinking about guys a lot for quite a while, he had never gotten aroused before. So it took him by surprise. 'Guess there's no question about me now' he thought. 'Wonder if Mikey has a boyfriend?'
Nick got up off the bed and went into the bathroom. He turned on the shower and then went back to the bedroom where he got undressed. He went back and got into the shower and let the hot water cascade over him. Finally he grabbed the bar of soap and started lathering his body. Fifteen minutes later he finished rinsing himself and turned off the shower. After drying off he walked back into the bedroom and was startled to find Brian laying on the bed. Embarrassed because he was naked, he turned a deep red and tried to cover himself with his hands as he searched through the pile of new clothes looking for underwear.
"Oh, get over it, Nicky," Brian said. "It's not like I haven't seen you naked before."
"I know, but you kinda surprised me. If I had known you were in here I would have wrapped my towel around me."
"Sorry, I guess I should have said something when I heard you get out of the shower. I just wanted to come and tell you that Kev, Howie and I decided we should stay tonight."
"What about AJ?"
"Kevin is going to deal with him, so don't worry. I'm sure that he will have a complete attitude adjustment before you see him next."
"Cool, I'm glad you all decided we should stay."
"So Nicky, you like him don't you?" Brian asked.
"Huh... Who are you talking about?" Nick asked hesitantly.
"Mikey, stupid. You like him, don't ya? I mean you were off with him this afternoon weren't you"
"Ummm, yeah. But it's not like we did anything. I mean he doesn't even know that I'm gay, although I did drop a major hint."
"What did you say?"
"Well he was in this major daydreaming mode and when I finally got his attention he asked me if he missed anything. I told him the cute guy went jogging by with nothing on and that seemed to shock the Hell out of him."
"Yeah, I did."
"That is so funny," Brian laughed. "So why don't you finish getting dressed and then let's go out by the pool."
"Ok, give me a minute."
After Nick finished putting on some clothes, he and Brian left the bedroom. No one else had returned to the main room, so they left and went downstairs and out on to the patio. They wandered around for a while chatting like the old friends they were. Eventually they ended up by the pool and both lay down on chaise lounges and relaxed.
After Kevin finished with his shower and had gotten dressed, he sat down in the chair by the window and looked out through the trees and watched the horses grazing in the pasture. As he sat there he thought about how much he missed being home. Not that he didn't love performing, but weeks and weeks on the road had gotten pretty old. He really envied people who actually got to live in their houses.
Finally he got up and left the bedroom and walked down the hallway. At the end he turned right and tried to remember which room Mikey said was his. He walked down the hall and heard music coming from one room, so he knocked on the door. After getting to response, he knocked louder and called out Mikey's name.
Mikey was wakened by something, but in his groggy state, he wasn't sure what it was. He continued to lay on the couch as he tried to completely wake up.
Kevin knocked a third time and when there was no answer, he turned and started walking back down the hall.
Mikey heard the knock at the door and slowly got to his feet, walked over and opened it. There was no one standing there so he stepped out into the hall and saw Kevin walking away.
"Kevin, sorry about that. I fell asleep and didn't hear you."
Kevin turned around and walked back to Mikey's room.
"I wasn't sure if I had the right room or whether you might have gone somewhere."
"Nope, just napping. Come on in," Mikey said as he went back inside. "Have a seat."
"So are you feeling better now you have some clean clothes to wear?"
"Definitely, that and a nice, long, hot shower."
"That's good. Listen, Kevin, I know we haven't had any time to get to know each other, but I want you to know that I really am sorry for everything that has happened. My father can be such an overbearing jackass. He just is used to getting whatever he wants and damn the consequences.
"Mikey, don't worry, I've had to deal with plenty of that in my career. We're not pissed at you, although it is going to take a while for everyone to get over their feelings about your father."
"Shit, you're not the only ones!" I said. "But what about AJ? It seems like he really hates me and I don't know what to do about that. And what's the deal with Nick?"
"Don't worry about AJ, he'll get over it. That I can guarantee. I still have to talk to him, but he will be over his attitude before the party tonite."
"So you guys are staying?" I asked excitedly.
"Yeah, although AJ doesn't know it yet."
"That's so cool. Angela is going to be so happy."
"So what is it you are wondering about Nick?"
"Well, he seems so, I don't know, at odds with you guys. AJ particularly. But when I have been with him by myself he is so different. Friendly, happy... Do you know what's going on?" I asked.
"Oh, so that's where he went..."
"Yeah, he followed me and Angela when we went out to the barn a while ago."
"Well, I don't have it all figured out, but I think Nick is just growing up and trying to develop his individuality. AJ is having a rougher time than Howie and I dealing with the fact that Nick isn't little Nicky any more. It's not like Nick is going to take off or anything but he hasn't had the easiest life, growing up in the spotlight like he has."
"I'm glad it isn't anything really serious. He seems like a really nice guy."
"He's a good kid. He'll make some lucky girl very happy one of these days."
'So I guess I shouldn't get my hopes up' I thought to myself. 'Damn!!!'
"Listen, Mikey, I want to thank you for everything you have done today. This could have gotten really ugly and you stepped in and took charge and straightened the mess out.
"Actually, part of it was pretty painful," I joked.
"Yeah, you did take a few hits, didn't you?"
"Actually, there was more than you saw."
"What do you mean?"
"Well, my brother and I got into it in our father's office before I came upstairs and he nailed me pretty good in the stomach, too."
"Ouch. So are you ok?"
"Yeah, I'll be sore for a couple of days but it's nothing serious. Actually I'm more upset that I hurt someone than I am about what happened to me."
"So you really hadn't ever been in a fight before?"
"Nope, I guess that sounds strange, particularly since I am part of this family. I'm not saying I haven't been beat on a few times, but I never struck back before today."
"Wow, you really are full of surprises, aren't you?" Kevin asked.
"How do you mean?"
"Well, growing up in an infamous family like you did. Then you end up with this totally different focus in your life and don't have anything to do with your family's businesses. You were surrounded by violent people when you were growing up, yet you are upset by violence. It's like you have this personal mission of doing as much good as a person can do to make up for all the bad things your family has done..."
"I guess there's a lot of truth to that. I try not to think about the bad stuff, although seeing my grandfather today didn't exactly help my view of the good old family I was born into."
"Hey, Mikey, don't go and get depressed on me. You didn't pick your parents. From what I have heard this afternoon, you are doing a pretty good job of making a good name for yourself. Listen, I think I need to bite the bullet and go have it out with AJ. I'll see you later, ok?"
"Sure, Kevin. Thanks for everything. Oh, I forgot to ask, are you guys interested in going to Beaver Creek tomorrow?"
"You know, that would be really great."
"Ok, I'll have Sarah make arrangements."
"Thanks, Mikey. After I finish with AJ, I'll call my girlfriend, Kristin, and see if she can meet us. I'm sure Brian will ask Leighanne to come. Howie and AJ will ask their girlfriends too."
"What about Nick?" I asked.
"Huh, oh, Nick doesn't have a girlfriend right now. But I'm sure he'll still want to go along. He loves Colorado."
"Ok, well I guess I'll see you later..." I said.
"See ya, Mikey," Kevin said as he got up and headed out of the room.
I continued to sit there for a few minutes and then I got up and went into the bedroom. My bag was sitting in one of the chairs but I hadn't bothered to unpack yet. So I opened it and put the stuff I brought with me in the closet and then took my electric razor and stuff into the bathroom. I decided it was time to take a shower and see if it would help me get rid of some of the stress and also some of the soreness I felt from the batterings earlier in the afternoon.
I turned on the shower and went back into the bedroom and took off my clothes. After a minute I went back into the bathroom and walked into the shower. I have always loved this shower. It has this huge round shower head so it seems like you are standing under a waterfall. Plus the shower is big enough that three or four people could easily stand in there at once. I stood under the hot water and just let it pour over my aching body. After a few minutes I grabbed some shampoo and washed my hair. Then I started with the soap and lathered up my body. My mind wandered a bit and I started thinking about Nick. I was so confused. Some things made me think he might be gay too, and then there were other things that convinced me he must be straight. He really would be a cool boyfriend, although I could definitely do without the notoriety he attracted. I noticed that junior (ok, so I have a name for it, get over it) started to make himself known as I continued to think about Nick. And, no, I didn't take care of him, I just took a shower.
After my shower, I dried off and put on a clean tee shirt and another pair of shorts. I'm sure that my mother will expect me to change before dinner, but that's still a couple of hours off. I turned off the stereo and went downstairs looking for Sarah. I found her in the kitchen, supervising preparations for dinner. I told her that all five of the guys would be joining us for dinner and the birthday party. Then I asked her to call the Beaver Creek house and let them know that the five guys and probably four girlfriends would be showing up around noon on Saturday. While I hadn't finalized my own plans, I figured I would arrive on Monday at the latest.
Then I went into the family room and called my father's real office and asked his secretary to arrange for the plane to fly the guys to Colorado the next morning. Those arrangements all handled, I decided to go see how Angela was doing after her horseback ride and Nick Carter experiences.
Well, that's it for Part 5 of Nick and the Altos. The parts seem to keep getting longer and longer. I'll try to keep them no bigger than this in the future because the proofing gets really old when they are long like this. Any comments, suggestions or whatever, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for reading... Mikey