When Paths Cross, Part 7 by Everybodycrys (everybodycrys@yahoo.com)

Okay everyone, here comes part 7. I know I left you with a pretty big cliff hanger after the last one so, this one will clear up a few things. If you want to contact me about the story please feel free to do so at everybodycrys@yahoo.com.

disclaimer If you are under 18 or are offended by material of a homosexual nature, please do not proceed and leave here now. shoo shoo. also this is a work of fiction and doesn’t mean to imply the sexual orientation of any of the characters, real or imagined.

So here we go....

Matt was openly crying now. Marian kept trying to get him to calm down, but he was barely listening. She had digested what he had just told her and could see why he was so upset. Finally she had enough.

“MAAAAATTTTTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” She screamed. He jumped, startled by her sudden out burst. She took advantage of the break in crying.

“Matt, relax and listen to me. Its not your fault. There's no way you could have known he would show up there. It was about a one in a million.”

“ It doesn’t matter,” Matt exclaimed, “I looked up and he was there staring at us from his car. I’ll never get that look of disgust out of my head.”

“ Are you sure it was him? What would your dad be doing down in San Diego? maybe it was just some asshole driving by.”

“I’m sure it was him. I ran after him, but he just sped off. He saw and now he hates me.”

Marian took a deep breath. If what Matt said was true then it could mean some bad things for him. She knew how intolerant his family was. To even bring up the subject of homosexuality in their home was to tempt fate. They were so closed minded sometimes Marian wondered how Matt got out of there with some semblance of sanity.

“ Matt I'm so sorry that happened. It might not be easy but maybe its for the best. Maybe this was suppose to happen?”

“Suppose to happen?!?! I will never be able to go home again. My family hates me now. Why is that suppose to happen!!!” Matt screamed, getting upset again.

“Calm down, damn it that's not what I meant. Lets face it, this was going to have to be brought up at some point. You couldn’t go through life ignoring any chances at happiness because of your family.”

“ I had every intention of doing that. God Marian, I don’t know what I’ll do if they turn their backs on me.” Matt said.

“You were going to just give up on love altogether? If you were doing that then why did you go out last night? and with a celebrity to boost.”

“ I don ‘t know, it was all so fast. and now it doesn’t matter, he hates me. I ran off after my dad and when I got back, he was gone. I screwed up twice last night.”

“You gonna call him?” She asked.

“ I don’t have the strength for that. I can’t face another person who hates me. Listen Marian, I don’t feel to well. I think I’m just gonna curl up for a while. I’ll talk to you later.”

“ Okay, but Matt” she said sounding concerned, “you are a good person, any person that doesn’t see that isn’t worth your time. I’m here if you need me.Take care.”

They said their goodbyes and Matt hung up the phone. He sighed and thought back to the previous night again. For something that had started out so well it sure had gone to hell in a hand basket at the end. He coughed and remembered that he hadn’t changed or showered since returning the night before. He stood and weakly stumbled his way to his bed room. He managed to remove his clothes before falling into bed and curling up under the blankets. He fell into a restless sleep.

The rest of the group listened as Nick related how Matt had taken off on him so suddenly. He had spent much of the rest of the night just wandering around the city in the rain. He had found his way back to the hotel where he met Kevin in the hallway. They were all horrified. When he had finished there was a heavy silence in the room. Brian continued to hold Nick in his arms. A.J. was the first to break the silence.

“That son of a bit...” Kevin quickly turned and held up a hand to quiet him.

“ I think this is something we just need to put behind us.” He said trying to take control of the situation. “Brian, help Nick back to bed, he’s burning up and needs to sleep. I’m gonna call management and get the next two shows postponed. We’ll tell them its a case of laryngitis or something. We’ll have to make them up at the end, but right now isn’t the time for it. We’ll stay here for another day and then if he’s up to it, we’ll catch a flight to the next site.”

Brian and Nick headed back to his room. As soon as they were out the door the commotion started.

“damn damn, that son of a bitch.” Kevin exclaimed.

“What the hell? I say we find him and hurt him.” Howie said, he was fuming. Of all of them he was the one that got the most riled when someone tried to hurt any of his friends.

A.J. was stilled a little stunned, “I though we were putting this behind us.”

Kevin gave him a look, “I just said that cause I don’t think Nick needed to be here when the emotions started flying. Damn it, I warned him last night. I just didn't think it would be so quick and so fucked up.”

A.J. thought for a second. “You know management’s not gonna cancel concerts because one of us is sick. We’ve gone on before one person short because of illness.”

Kevin nodded, “Yeah your right. We’ll tell them that Nicks sick and another one of us to.” Howie quickly volunteered.

“I’ll do it, “ he said, “you have to talk to them and they’d know if your faking.”

Kevin and A.J. agreed, and Kevin went to the other room to make the call. A.J. took care of the breakfast and rolled the cart out in the hallway to get picked up by the hotel. He returned to the room and sat down next to Howie.

“Hey shouldn’t you get to bed, sick boy?” He joked with Howie trying to lighten the mood.

Howie gave him a small smile which faded quickly. “Damn A.J., I just can’t sit here. That guy fucked with Nick’s head. You know he’s just going to be running straight to some tabloid.”

A.J. nodded, “Well, I think we need to take advantage of our last day in SD and do some sightseeing.” Howie smiled and stood up.

“How we gonna find him?”

A.J. stood up and stretched. “You get ready to go out. I’ll go to Nick’s room and see if I can find anything.” They agreed to meet in the lobby in twenty minutes. A.J. walked over to Nick’s room and slowly opened the door. Nick was asleep in his bed and Brian was sitting back on the couch with a magazine. When he saw A.J. enter he opened his mouth to ask what he needed. A.J. held up a hand and walked over to the table where Nick had most of his stuff laid out. Brian walked over to see what was up.

“What's up?” he whispered. A.J. found the paper with Matt’s number on it and put it in his pocket.

“Nothing, Just grabbing something. Me and Howie are gonna head out for the day.” he lied.

Brian wasn’t falling for it, “Don’t do anything stupid. Last thing we need is bad press while we’re here.”

A.J. headed for the door, “That's exactly what we’re going to try to avoid.” and with that he quietly slipped out. Brian sighed hoping they weren’t going to screw anything up. He went back to the couch to watch Nick.

A.J. met up with Howie in the lobby. “I got a number, I know someone that should be able to match this to a address, lets go.” They ran out and caught a cab.

Matt toss and turned in bed. He kept seeing his father driving off, leaving him alone in the street. He would look back and see Nick standing in the parking lot. He stood there trapped between his family and someone that he really liked. He opened his eyes, squinting from the bright light coming from the window. He felt like crap, he was burning up and having trouble breathing from laying down. His entire body felt drained. He wanted some water but couldn’t find the strength to go to the kitchen. He looked over at the clock and saw that he had been in bed for a good part of the day. Between the sickness and the emotional breakdown he had suffered he was in sorry shape. He thought about calling Marian to get some help, but didn’t want to bother her and besides the phone was all the way in the other room.

A.J. and Howie pulled into the apartment complex. Howie pointed to the numbers that were painted at the base of the parking spots to identify who’s spots they were. They found the number of Matt’s apartment and pulled in behind his car. They took a look around to make sure they were alone and then headed up to the apartment. They found the number they were looking for.

“Ready?” A.J. asked. Howie nodded and started banging on the door.

Bam Bam... Matt sat up and groaned. ‘Who is that?’ he thought. He rolled off the bed and found some sweats to put on. When he stood up he grabbed the door as he was suddenly overcome by a dizzy spell. The person on the other side of the door continued to bang on the door. His headache getting worse, he stumbled over to the door and unlock the deadbolt. He opened the door squinting at the bright light.

“What do you wa....” he started, but cut short as he was suddenly shoved. He went flying back and crumpled to the ground when he slammed against the wall. Instantly his body was engrossed in pain.

“What the hell?” He shouted as he tried to stand up.

“You bitch!, you think you can play us like that.” His attackers yelled at him. Matt recognized that voice from the river bed. He looked up and saw two of the backstreet boys standing before him. Howie grabbed him and shoved him into the living room. He fell over the couch and rolled onto the floor. He just lied there hoping they would stop. He heard them walk into the room.

“So, which tabloid you selling your story too? I can’t believe assholes like you exist. You take advantage of Nick and sell your story to the highest bidder. meanwhile you ruin the lives of everyone involved. You make me sick!”

Matt had no idea what they were talking about. He never had any intention of talking to anyone about Nick. He turned over and held up his hand to try and say something. A.J. grabbed him and pulled him up to face Howie.

Matt coughed, “I...”

“Well, your gonna pay for the hurt you caused.” Howie said and with that he slammed his fist into Matt’s stomach. Matt gasped and fell to the ground as A.J. released him. Everything around him was hazy and blackness creeped around the edge of his vision.

A.J. looked down at Matt and saw what condition he was in. “Uh, Howie He looks real bad.”

Howie looked at how bad Matt looked and instantly a huge wave guilt washed over him. “Oh crap, we screwed up big time, Bone.” Before A.J. could reply they were interrupted by a huge scream at the door.

“What the hell did you guys do to him??!!!!!”

Matt looked over and made out a shape come flying into the room from the voice he recognized as Marian's. She ran over and crouched next to him, looking him over. He was pale and clammy. She felt his forehead and discovered he was burning up. She looked up at the other two.

“Come on you assholes, help me get him on the couch. He's burning up.” A.J. and Howie quickly moved to comply. They lifted him and laid him gently on the couch. Matt cringed as they touched him. Howie had never seen anyone so afraid of him before. He felt extremely bad.

Marian ran to the kitchen and got a wash cloth and ran it under cold water. She ran back in and placed it on Matt’s forehead. Suddenly she stood up and shoved A.J. back.

“Get the hell out! I can’t believe you guys would just come in and pick on a sick guy like that.”

“Wait, let us explain, we had no idea he was like this.” Howie tried to explain. She gave him a dirty look.

“Talk fast and then leave. I have very little patience. Who knows maybe I should call the police.” She said as she reached for the phone. A.J. put his hand over hers and she jerked it away in disgust. “Don’t touch me!”

Howie sighed and sat down in a chair. A.J. started talking. He related the entire story as he knew it from the time Kevin found Nick in the hallway the previous evening. Marian soften a bit after hearing the story, but was still visibly pissed over their treatment of Matt. She looked down at him and couldn’t tell if he was awake and listening or asleep. She thought for a second and told them about the phone conversation she had with Matt earlier.

“..and that's why I decided to drive down. He sounded really bad and I couldn’t just sit there.” She finished.

A.J. and Howie felt even worse after hearing about Matt and his family. They apologized over and over again. Marian still wasn’t happy, but unlike them, she was thinking.

“Well, I'm the last person you need to apologize to, but I’m not going to worry about that now. I have a idea, and its going to take some help. The only way to fix both our problems is to get them together again, so Matt can explain and maybe, just maybe Nick can help him forget about his family issues.” she looked at them. “I’ll take care of things from this end and have him ready to go by this evening. you handle yours.”

A.J. thought about it. Kevin might not be happy about it but this did sound like a good idea. He couldn’t believe this whole mess was caused by misunderstanding and bad luck. He agreed and they exchanged information about when and where to meet. Then Howie and him made a hasty retreat. They were still burden with the guilt over what they had done.

Marian left Matt sleeping on the couch and went to the kitchen. Searching she was able to find some flu medicine and was surprised to find cans of soup. She had thought Matt lived off of T.V. dinners. She got a glass of water and took the medicine to the living room.

She gave Matt a little shake. He grumbled and bit and then opened his eyes.

“What?” He asked.

Not sure what he was talking about Marian handed him the medicine. “Here, take this. then your going back to sleep. Tonight we’re going out.”

Matt shook his head, “I can’t go anywhere. I feel like crap. Just leave me here to die” he groaned. Marian shook her head and patted him on the head.

“We have to go do something. Your gonna rest, then I’m gonna get some soup into you, and then your gonna take a long hot bath.” She said. Matt murmured and then lied back on the couch. In a few minutes he was asleep again. Marian stood up, looked at the clock and went back in the kitchen to start working on dinner.

A.J. knocked on Kevin's door. After a few minutes Kevin came to the door. He looked tired like he hadn’t gotten much sleep. A.J. entered and took a seat on the couch.

“What's up?” Kevin asked. A.J. hesitated for a second before launching into his story. He left out the part about him and Howie being violent. Kevin would have killed them had he found out about that. He would talk to Matt and Marian later and try and get them to leave that part out. When he got to Marian's plan, Kevin was less then receptive.

“A.J.,” he groaned, “we can’t let this go any further. I think it would be best for Nick if he just moved on. This is not going to end well.”

A.J. wouldn’t give in, “Kevin, I promised I would do this. Haven’t you been listening? This was a huge huge mistake. He didn’t run out on Nick. If Nick is going to get over this then he needs to know the truth. or...” an idea suddenly hit him, “is this something you want. Do you want Nick to forget about him? To just push aside all his feelings?”

Kevin sighed, “I don’t want Nick to be unhappy, but being in the public eye he will get hurt if this ever gets out. But.... I ‘ll go along with it for now. He was so happy last night. It was good to see that again. If Matt can bring that back, then I support it.”

A.J. looked relieved, “Thanks Kevin, I’ll go tell Howie and we’ll meet them in the lobby. You and Brian get Nick up and ready. Is he feeling any better?”

Kevin smiled, “Yeah, he’s been up for a while. He had something to eat and played some video games. Its really funny, he seems like a little kid that's staying home from school. I called management and got the next two gigs postponed. They bought the story and we have a flight out tomorrow at 5.” He frowned, “However, he has been real quiet all day. Brian tried to talk to him, but he’s blocking... I hope tonight works.”

A.J. nodded and ran out of the room to find Howie, by his watch they only had a couple hours before they would be here.

Marian got Matt up about two hours before they were suppose to leave. He was still groggy but his fever was reduced and he was more coherent then before. They had a nice dinner of soup and sandwiches in the kitchen before she pushed him into the bathroom to take a bath. After a long soak in the tub, Matt was starting to feel more human. He got dressed and joined Marian in the living room.

“So, where are we going? I still don’t think I should spend the night out. I still have to turn one last paper in and I feel pretty bad.” He said trying to come up with any excuse he could to stay in. Marian wasn’t having any of it.

“Nope we’re going out to have a drink or two and just hang. You’ve been in all day and need some air... and we need to talk about last night and what your going to do this summer. I think I have plan to deal with your family.” She stood up and handed him his jacket, “ lets go, its getting late.”

Matt stood up and they headed out the door together. They took her car since he was still a bit dazed and on medication. He sat back in the seat and closed his eyes as she drove through town. It didn’t accure to him that she shouldn’t know her way around town and yet she seemed to know exactly where she was going. She looked over at Matt as she pulled up to the hotel. His eyes were still closed, she decided to pull into the parking structure so he wouldn’t see the name of the hotel. She shook him after they had parked.

“Come on baby, lets go. We have meet some friends upstairs.”

Matt nodded and they headed for the elevator to the lobby. Marian pushed the button and the doors closed. As they reached the lobby. Marian took Matt's hand and looked at him.

“Matt, please don’t hate me.” she said as the doors opened. Matt looked real confused as they stepped out. Then he saw where they were. Instantly he tensed up.

“What the hell are we doing here?” He whispered. Marian looked guilty and tried to avoid his look.

“I can’t do this Marian, I have to get out of here.” He started walking for the exit. As he headed for the door, A.J. and Howie spotted them and came running over. Matt saw them and instantly recoiled in fear. Seeing this sent instant waves of guilt over them.

“Matt, we are so sorry. What we did earlier was so wrong. What ever we can do to make it up to you we will. Please forgive us.” Howie said. Matt eyed them as Marian caught up to him. “Matt please listen to them.” she pleaded. He nodded and they took a seat in the big comfy chairs in the lobby. A.J. and Howie continued to apologized until Matt had no choice but to accept it. He was still uncomfortable being in the hotel.

“Look guys, forget about it, I would have done the same thing in your place, but this plan you guys have isn’t going to work. I can’t face him.”

“You have too, you can’t go on with this unresolved, and Nick deserves to know the truth. You end up hurting him more if you don’t face it.” Marian stated. Matt sat back and thought about it. It didn’t look like he was going to get out out it. Better he just get it over with as quickly as possible. He nodded and they stood up to catch the elevator.

Kevin paced about the room as Brian and Nick watched. Nick was confused, ‘why they had to have dinner in his room tonight’. He just wanted to go to bed. He was feeling a bit better since his nap, but every time he thought about Matt, he just wanted to die. There was a knock at the door and Kevin froze.

“What's wrong Kevin? Its probably just dinner.” Nick said starting to get up. Brain motioned for him stay on the bed. He still wanted Nick to take it easy. Brian and Kevin gave each other a look before they opened the door. A.J. , Howie, Matt, and Marian entered the room quickly. Nick saw Matt and went ballistic.

“What the hell is he doing here?” He screamed.

Matt looked like he wanted to run out, but Howie was blocking the door. Kevin looked upset. he knew this was going to go bad. He was about to ask Matt and Marian to leave, when Brian suddenly took charge. He opened the door and motioned for Kevin and the rest of the guys to leave. They exited quickly.

“Where are you going? Don’t leave me with him?” Nick pleaded. His eyes were so full of pain that Brian almost gave in. But he just grabbed Marian's hand and they left shutting the door behind them leaving them alone.

For the longest time they just stared at each other in silence. Matt didn’t know what to say. Nick looked so sad, sitting on the huge bed, angry and hurt at what had just happened.

“Nick...” Matt started. Nick didn’t give him a chance. He jumped off the bed and ran into the bathroom locking the door. Matt ran over to the door and knocked.

“Nick, please listen to me. I never meant to hurt you. “ As he started , the words just came flowing out, “ That kiss was wonderful, I didn’t ran away from you, I ran after something else.” He talked about his family and the way he was raised in the intolerant household. “ I looked up and saw my father staring at us. I ruined things, for me , for my family, for you.” He had been talking for a while and was sitting at the base of the door, resting his head against the cool wood. He didn’t know what else to say, he just sat there waiting. He had been sitting there talking for over a hour. His eyes moist from recalling all those bad memories. After a few minutes the door slowly opened. Nick stood there looking down at him, his eyes were wet too , he had been crying. He held out a hand and Matt took it. He stood up with his help. They looked at each other.

“I am so sorry..”Matt begun. Nick hushed him and pulled him into a hug. They stood there and held each other for what seemed like a eternity. When they finally pulled away, both felt it in their hearts, this was the person they had deep feelings for.

“I never want to be away from you again.” Nick said. He was infatuated, this was something he had been missing forever.

They sat down on the bed exhausted from their day. Matt looked at Nick taking in every inch of him. He leaned in and their lips met. They stayed that way, holding each other and kissing deep and passionately. They broke apart and smiled.

“You are wonderful,” Matt said. He saw how tired Nick looked and regretfully asked, “You want me to go so you can go to bed? You look real tired.”

Nick shook his head, “ I said I never wanted to be away from you. Do you mind staying here tonight?” Matt hesitated for only a second, then he nodded and they laid back on the bed. Matt pulled up the blanket and laid back as Nick laid his head down on his chest. They laid there holding each other. Matt looked down at the sleeping Nick and felt a sense of contentment come over him. He had forgotten completely about his problems with his family. He smiled and closed his eyes. soon he was asleep, a good sleep for the first time in a long time.

Brian slowly opened the door and saw the two of them asleep in each others arms on the bed. He was still a little wierded out actually seeing Nick with a man, but they looked so innocent and content. He turned off the light and quietly closed the door. He walked back to Kevin’s room where the rest of them were waiting. They all looked at him waiting for him to say something.

“Their asleep.” He informed them. Marian sighed and sat back. She had been so worried, if this hadn’t worked Matt would have been a mess. Kevin sat back and let himself relax.

“You think their going to be alright?” He asked

Brian thought back to they way they looked holding each other, “Yeah, I think things are going to be just fine.”

Marian stood up and got her jacket. “Well, I’ll be heading back to Matt’s. I’ll be back in the morning.”

A.J. stood and took her hand leading her back to the couch. “Don’t go yet, we can get you a room, and besides there’s still something we need to discuss.” Marian looked confused.

“What’s that?”

“In case anyone forgotten, we leave tomorrow at 5.” He said. “We need to talk about what we’re going to do about that.” indicating the two in the other room. They stayed up all night discussing the choices while Nick and Matt slept.

Well there was part 7, I hope everyone enjoyed it. Please feel free to send any questions, comments, or concerns to everybodycrys@yahoo.com Thanks for reading