Hello all out there in cyber-land! I just wanted to take a moment to present Chapter 6 of fame. I hope y'all enjoy it as much as I did writing it. If you'd like, feel free to email me. email@example.com. Or. You can join the yahoo group: ca.groups.yahoo.com/group/thefuturecanadiansgroup . Enjoy!!!!
"We've Only Just Begun (Carptenters), Part II"
It took Ian two hours to drive from Montevallo to Tuscaloosa. An overturned horse trailer on Highway 25 had forced him to take roads that he hadn't been down since the days of his youth, when he would take his beat up Ford Taurus through the woods on various adventures with friends on the weekend. Eventually, he did wind up in Centerville, Alabama, where he climbed onto Highway 82 and went straight into Tuscaloosa.
It was around six when he came to the place where Highway 82 becomes McFarland Boulevard as it goes through Tuscaloosa. Once in town, he was able to follow Joey's direction quite easily, turning down 15th Street and then onto Hackberry Lane to get to the small apartment that reminded him of the one in which he'd lived in Nashville. Overall, the complex was relatively small, with about 20 units stretched out over five small buildings. Without having to look at the paper on which he'd written the directions, he knew which apartment was Joey's. It was the only one with a Puerto Rican flag flowing from just outside the door. Ian pulled into a parking space and climbed out of the truck. He reached into the flower pot just outside the door and found the key that Joey had promised he'd leave just outside.
After a second of playing with the door lock, Ian finally managed to get the door open. Once inside, he was taken aback by just how much the place reminded him of the place he'd spent his 19th year on the planet. The kitchen and living area were one large room, with the couch placed in just the right way to virtually divide the room into two separate areas. The sofa looked quite comfortable, and the kitchen looked cozy, with its small sized stove atop which sat a pan that Joey had used to quickly make his lunch earlier in the day. He ventured into the bathroom, which was small but roomy enough for one person. In the bedroom, the queen sized bed was pushed into one corner, giving a little room to get into the closet, which seemed, for a second, to be larger than the bathroom itself. That room also smelled of Joey's masculine cologne. There were also some clothes strewn around the room. There was no doubt that a guy lived there.
After getting his feel of the place, Ian went back into the living area. Atop the coffee table, among stacks of paper to be graded, sat a small card. Ian's name was on the outside.
"Hey, Gorgeous," the letter in Joey's handwriting started, "I'm sorry that I couldn't be there when you got there, but if you're reading this, then that means that you at least made it there safely and you found the key. I should be home around 7:30, so, until then, enjoy yourself. Have a beer; watch some TV. I'll see you when I get there. –Joey." Ian got up from the couch and went to the fridge to grab a beer. He removed the cap from the glass battle and walked back toward the sofa, grabbing the remote off the coffee table in the process. He sat there for a few minutes, surfing through the channels brought into the apartment by the digital cable box, settling on an episode of Family Guy.
A few minutes into the episode, as he was enjoying the beer, the screen on the TV began to flicker. The volume began going in and out. Finally, a funny smell began coming from the back of the TV. "Shit!" Ian yelled as he stood from the couch, carefully placing his beer on the coffee table. "What have I done?" he said after inspecting what was going on and pulling the power cable from the wall socket. "Shit!" Ian continued after looking at his watch to see that it was almost 6:30. "Shit! Shit! Shit! I've fucked up his TV. This is a GREAT start to the evening," Ian commented as he grabbed his keys out of his pocket and walked out the door. He locked Joey's front door and got into his car. Quickly, he pulled out of the space and drove out of the complex, remembering that he'd seen an electronics store as he turned onto Hackberry. To his luck, when he got to the shopping center, the place was still open. He walked in and was greeted by a man who didn't look to be in any type of hurry. Paying attention to what the guy was saying and looking at the units quickly, he decided on one before the guy even got around to explaining its features. It wasn't too big for the apartment, but it was an adequate replacement for the one that he was worried that he'd messed up. Ian gave him his credit card and told him to ring up the sale as he and another one of the store's employees put the box containing the TV into the back of Ian's SUV.
After running back in to get his credit card and sign the receipt, Ian left the shopping center and headed back toward Joey's apartment. Keeping a mindful eye of the time, Ian quickly pulled into the same space he'd vacated a moment before and opened the front door to the apartment. He returned to the back of the truck and began pulling the TV from the back of his truck. Eventually, he got it out, but carrying it was quite vicarious.
"Need some help?" one of Joey's neighbors said, jogging up to where Ian was and taking the other side of the box that TV was in.
"Thanks so much," Ian said as they worked to get it into the house.
"No problem man. So you a friend of Joey's?"
"Yeah. I'm Ian," he said, introducing himself.
"Nice to meet you, man. I'm Ricky."
"Likewise," Ian said as they set the TV onto the couch. "Thanks for the help, man."
"Like I said, no problem. Joey's one of my instructors anyway, so I need to do all I can to get into his good graces!" the man confessed.
"OH!" Ian said.
"So you look familiar. Did you go to Montevallo High School?" he asked.
"No. I went to the School of Fine Arts, but my brother did."
"What was his name?"
"Danny Scott," Ian answered.
"That's who it is! `Number 15...Danielooooo...the Brazilian Bomber...SCOTTTTT!'," the guy said, imitating an athletic announcer.
"That would be him!" Ian said, fondly remembering being able to attend a couple of the games of Danny's high school football career.
"What's he doing these days? Is he still playing ball?" the guy asked.
"No. Much to my family's pleasure, he's taken up soccer at Montevallo," Ian commented.
"Awesome. He's a great athlete," Ricky said. Then something hit him like a ton of bricks. "Wait. Ian Scott! THE Ian Scott?" he asked.
"One and the same," Ian said with a smile.
"HOLY SHIT! My girlfriend is...like...your biggest fan," the guy said. "Would it be cool if I got your autograph?"
"Sure," Ian said, going over to Joey's printer and pulling out a sheet of paper and grabbing a black sharpie marker. "What's her name?" he asked.
"Bella Rogers," Ricky answer.
"Did she have a brother that went to the School of Fine Arts?"
"Yeah," the guy said as Ian began to remember.
"Tell her to tell him that Ian da Silva said hi," Ian said as he handed him the piece of paper and put the marker back on the desk where he'd found it.
"I will. Hey. Thanks man! I'm bound to get some with this!" he said, holding up the autograph.
"Best of luck," Ian said as he chuckled at the man. He was acting as any straight man that knew he was about to get some real good sex would act. The guy left the apartment quickly and Ian set about getting the TV set up, hoping that Joey wouldn't be too pissed with him.
He opened the box and began reading the instructions. As he read the Portuguese version, which always, to him, seemed to make more sense than the English version of such things, he grabbed his beer and took a sip of it. Looking at his watch, he saw that it was almost 7:30. Quickly moving the old TV out of the way, after disconnecting it from all its cables, he set the TV, on its stand, onto the table that Joey had been using for his old TV. He plugged it in to make sure that everything was working on the TV itself before trying his best to figure out what cable went into what jack.
At around 8:00, Joey pulled up into the space next to Ian. Ian had managed to lose all track of time as he worked diligently to get the new TV set up. Trying to put on a happier countenance than the one he had been wearing, Joey pulled himself out of the car and walked up to the front door. His backpack on his shoulder, he opened the door. The first view he got was Ian's ass, bent over the side of the TV.
"Damn. I could get used to coming home to that ass!" Joey commented, making Ian stand up from his bent position and look at Joey, with a smile on his face and sweat on his brow.
"Well, hello!" Ian said as Joey looked at the mess around his apartment.
"Did a hurricane come in or something?" Joey asked as he set his backpack into the chair at his desk.
"Not exactly," Ian answered, standing in the middle of the mess. "See...what had happened was..." he started explaining in a way that made Joey laugh. "I was sitting on the couch, minding my own business, watching some TV and drinking a beer. Then your TV started fucking up."
"Was it doing weird things with the volume and picture?" Joey asked.
"Yeah," Ian answered. "There was also a funny smell coming from the back."
"Oh. That's new, then!" Joey said. "It's been doing that thing with the volume
and picture for a little bit now. I was just waiting to buy a new one until it died completely."
"OH!" Ian said. "I thought I'd fucked it up or something, so I went down to that electronics store at the end of this main street," Ian said, pointing in the general direction of Hackberry, "and bought you a new one." Ian did the whole `Barker's Beauty', just as if Joey had won a new car or something.
"Ian. You didn't have to do that!" Joey said.
"I know, but I didn't want the evening to start off on a bad note or anything. I didn't want to have you pissed at me and all that stuff."
Joey smiled. "I wouldn't have been pissed anyway. That was really sweet of you, though."
"I'm glad you like it," Ian said.
"Is it HDTV?" Joey asked, with a smile on his face.
"Yep. It is!" Ian said, giving a slow nod.
"NICE!" Joey said. "But! You have to let me pay you back for it, since the TV messing up wasn't really your fault."
"Nope. Since it's not a replacement, it's a gift."
"Ian. You know how much money you spent on me this weekend," Joey said, talking to Ian, but getting a beer from the fridge.
"OK. Then let's do this. We'll say that it's mine, but that I'm going to leave it over here until I get my new house. Then we'll move it over there," Ian suggested.
"OK," Joey said. "I can live with that," he said as he popped the cap off his beer.
"So what do you have on the agenda for this evening?" Ian asked, walking over the mess to where Joey was standing.
"Well. There is this restaurant in Northport called Pepito's. They have `half price margaritas' tonight."
"Nice!" Ian said. "Then what?"
"Well. It depends on how much tequila I can get into your system," Joey said with a wink in Ian's direction.
"Nice!" Ian said as he walked up to Joey. "I could so kiss you right now."
Joey extended out his arms, "So why don't ya?" Ian reached up and gently planted a peck on Joey's quite kissable lips. "I should be the one kissing you, though, cause of the rocking TV."
"So why don't ya?" Ian said in the same tone Joey had used a moment before. Joey reached down and gave Ian a peck on the lips.
Just as they were about to start kissing more intensely, there was a knock on the door. "Fuck!" Joey whispered. "COME IN!" he yelled. Ricky came into the room with his cell phone in his hand.
"Hey, y'all," he greeted. "Ian? Can you talk to my girlfriend? She doesn't believe that you actually are here, in Joey's apartment."
"Hey Bella!" Joey said loudly.
"Sure," Ian said as the guy put the phone on speaker. Ian began singing the chorus of one of his recent, more popular songs.
"HOLY SHIT!" she said out loud. "OH MY GOD! IT REALLY IS IAN SCOTT! OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! I'm...like...your biggest fan Mr. Scott."
"Awesome. It's always nice to meet a fan," Ian said as Ricky held up the phone.
"Ricky?" she said.
"I'm sorry for not believing you. I'll make it up to you," she said in a quite seductive voice. Ricky smiled and silently gave the guys a thumbs up.
"Alright, babe. I'll see you tonight?"
"Oh yeah!" Ricky said. "Bye, Gorgeous."
"Bye, Big Ricky," she said as they hung up the phone.
"Ian. I owe you so much!" he said with a grin on his face.
"Nah! Y'all just have a good time!"
"Alright. Night y'all," he said as he ran out of the apartment.
"I would imagine that in just a little while, there is going to be this loud knocking sound against the wall."
"Yeah..." Ian said.
"It happens most every night," Joey said. "He's got more sexual energy than most people I know."
"Well. Maybe we could make him jealous!" Ian naughtily suggested.
"I'm getting a little stiffy just thinking about," Joey said as he adjusted himself within the Abercrombie and Fitch Jeans he was wearing.
"There ain't nothing little about that stiffy!" Ian said with a wink. "Trust me...I know!"
Joey snickered evilly and reached down to kiss Ian once more. "So I'm gonna go take a shower and then we can go."
"Cool," Ian responded as Joey walked into his bedroom to get some clothes out before going from the bedroom into the bathroom wearing just a long, plush, white towel. Ian couldn't help but whistle as he saw him walking between the rooms. Joey grinned as he continued walking.
A bit later, Joey was walking out of the bathroom. His hair was dried, but glistened with cleanliness. He was just wearing the towel around his body. Ian grinned and readjusted himself in the jeans he was wearing. A few minutes later, Joey emerged from the bedroom wearing a pair of jeans that fit him in all the right places and a shirt that served only to glorify his muscular frame.
"Damn, you're hot."
"Thank you," Joey said. "Now...that's how it's supposed to be done when someone calls you gorgeous!" he said to Ian with a wink.
"You're too much. If I keep hanging around you, I'm gonna have a big head before you know it."
"You've already got a big head, Mr. Silva!" Joey said as he glanced at Ian's crotch.
"Don't give me a hard on before we go eat!" Ian said.
"K. I'll wait till we're there," Joey winked as the two walked toward the door of the apartment.
"If it's cool, I'll clean the apartment before I leave tomorrow."
"Fine with me. I'm surprised it was very clean when you got here!" Joey commented as the two walked out of the door.
They climbed into Ian's car, and Joey showed Ian where to go. After crossing the river, Ian pulled into the parking lot. They drove around for a second, but there weren't any spaces there. Joey suggested that they park at the bank next door. Once in a space, the two climbed out of the car.
"JOEY!" one of the employees yelled as Joey and Ian entered the restaurant.
"Hola, Paco. Qué tal?" Joey asked as he shook the man's hand.
"Nada está pasando, buey," the guy said in a very Mexican-sounding Spanish accent. "Mesa para dos?" (Nothing's going on, man. Table for two?)
"Sí, por favor," Joey answered.
"Fumar o no?" (Smoking or non?)
"No! Por favor!" Joey answered as the man grabbed two menus and directed them toward a small, empty booth. (Non, please.)
"Bueno!" the guy said as they sat. "Buen provecho!" (Bon apetite.)
"Gracias!" Ian said, in a very Brazilian Portuguese accent.
"You speak Spanish, too?" the guy asked Ian.
"No. Mais falo o português," Ian answered in Portuguese.
"OH! OK," the guy said. "Enjoy your dinner," he said before walking away from the table to continue his work.
"So you come here often?" Ian asked with a smile on his face.
"Not too often," Joey said. "I worked here for...a month or so, during my first year of grad school."
"Oh! OK," Ian said.
"That would have been around the time of your second Portuguese CD, I guess," Joey joked.
"Speaking of CDs," Ian started, giving Joey a look.
"I loved that one you made me. In fact, I was listening to it Sunday night," Joey started, leaning into the table, "and had to...um...take care of something."
"Yep. It's an amazing CD, to say the least."
"I'm glad that you...um...enjoyed it!" Ian said with a wink.
A moment later, a girl with flowing black hair came over to the table. Joey and Ian both ordered margaritas. Joey's was a regular sized one, while Ian's was the large sized they offered.
"Planning on getting a little toasty?" Joey asked, jokingly.
"Maybe a little bit. Mind if I stay at your place tonight if I do?"
"Hmm...Do you THINK I'm gonna turn away one of the coolest guys I know?"
"Anytime. I just have one rule, though."
"All the beautiful people have to sleep completely naked," Joey said, just before holding up one finger. "And don't you DARE make some self-deprecating crack."
"Damn!" Ian said, snapping his fingers.
The girl brought the margaritas back in a second, placing them in front of the correct people. Joey ordered his dinner, and then Ian ordered a plate of nachos. Joey cracked on him about eating like a white person, but Ian maintained that he would show Joey just how to eat when they had a chance to go to a Brazilian restaurant. The lady who was serving heard this and looked over at Ian.
"You are Brazilian?" she asked.
"Yes ma'am," Ian said in English, sounding quite Southern in that moment.
"De verdade! Também sou brasileira," she said in Portuguese. (Really! Me too!)
"De onde?" Ian asked. (Where from?)
"Sou de São Paulo. Pois, sou de Santos," she said, walking back up to them. (I'm from São Paulo. Well, I'm from Santos.)
"De onde é você?" she went on. (Where are you from?)
"Nasci no Rio, mais cresci aquí nos Estados Unidos. Minha avô ainda vive la." (I was born in Rio, but I grew up here in the US. My grandmother still lives there, though.)
"Quê ben! Sou Natalia." (Cool. I'm Natalia.)
"Sou Ian," Ian answered. "E ele é Joey." (I'm Ian. And this is Joey.)
"Muito prazer," she said to Joey. (Nice to meet you.)
"Uh...Obrigado," Joey said, unsure of himself. (Uh...Thanks.)
"Great. I will have your food out in just a second," she said after she was called by another table.
"Wow. Portuguese is so sexy."
"Puerto Rican is kinda sexy, too, though," Ian said as he stirred the straw through substance in the massive glass.
A half hour later, after two tables had shifted, their food was brought to them. Joey had ordered fajitas, which came steaming and making all kinds of noise. Ian's nachos were still so fresh that the cheese had not begun to recongeal. They dug in like two still growing boys and made quick work of both of their plates.
"The bad part about eating Mexican," Joey said, "is that you want to eat it really fast and then you're miserable."
"No lie!" Ian agreed as he took a sip of the margarita.
A half hour later, at around 10, they were back at the apartment. Ian was, to say the least, a little drunk, but he was a happy drunk. Thus, Joey didn't really care how drunk he was. Joey couldn't help but laugh when Ian almost tripped over his old TV and then turned to cuss it. By 11, Ian had sobered a little bit and the two were watching Joey's new TV. (That is, of course, after Joey hooked it up correctly.) By midnight, the pair was ready to go to bed. Ian was sufficiently sober enough to walk himself to the bedroom. He undid his pants and slipped them onto the floor beside the bed. Joey climbed in so that he could sleep against the wall, which was fine with Ian, who confessed that he'd purchased the round bed simply because it couldn't be pushed up against a way. He then said that the only wall he wanted to sleep up against was the one created by Joey's strong body. It was a sweet comment, really, and it made Joey smile quite widely. Before falling asleep completely, they both confessed that they had enjoyed the weekend so much simply because they'd gotten to cuddle with someone. On this, the third night they slept in the same bed since meeting each other, they quietly slumbered, passing through the next day with good dreams and waking refreshed.
When Ian awoke the next morning, Joey was still sleeping beside him. Ian rolled over and watched him for a second just before resting his head on Joey's chest. Joey's arm, as if instinctively, wrapped itself around Ian's body and pulled him close. As the time passed, Joey finally woke up, but not before Ian had fallen back asleep. Ian gently rubbed his back until Ian again woke up.
"Morning," Ian said as he pulled from Joey's chest and yawned.
"Very, very good morning!" Joey said with a smile.
"Do you always wake up such a cheery disposition?" Ian asked with a smile.
"Yes," Joey answered as he rubbed Ian's back. Ian wiped his face and smiled. "So I was going to go for a run this morning. Would you like to go with me?"
"Are you going to kick my ass if I do?" Ian asked with a smile.
"I'd rather do something else with your ass!" Joey joked.
"I bet you would. I have to tell you though that I'm not a virgin anymore, though."
"It's OK. Was the guy that took hot as hell, with a big dick?"
"Oh yeah," Ian said, turning and kissing Joey on the lips. After he finished, Ian pulled up and looked at Joey. "So you got some shorts I can wear?"
"Oh yeah!" Joey said.
"And a t-shirt?"
"Yeah. Got one of those, too."
"Cool," Ian said.
The two of them were up and dressed after a few minutes, the pair of shoes he'd worn to Tuscaloosa serving as great jogging shoes. The one thing about the morning was that Joey had never explained that a `run' he meant a `run' around parts of Tuscaloosa Ian had never imagined existed. It was OK, though. Joey had no problem with stopping ever half mile for a second to give Ian either a chance to catch his breath or a chance to catch up before he started running again. Within an hour or so, they were back at Joey's apartment. Joey was barely sweating while Ian looked as though a bucket of water had been dumped on his head. Inside the apartment, Ian found that, as he slowed, he could barely move. He hadn't realized just out of shape he actually was, but he was proud that he'd been able to keep up with Joey, for the most part.
Joey took a quick shower and then allowed Ian to do the same. Standing there in the warm stream of water, Ian began to feel some of the good effects of the run. Sure, his body was sore, but he felt good. He felt awake. He felt like he wasn't such a bad thing after all. As he walked out of the bedroom, Joey was talking on the phone, standing in the bedroom wearing just his underwear.
"OK. I can do that. I'll see you then," Joey said before realizing that Ian was in the room. He smiled as he turned around though and continued to listen to the caller on the other end. "Is it cool if I bring somebody?" he asked as he looked at Ian standing there wearing only a towel. "Alright. I'll talk to him and see if he can come," Joey responded. "Alright. Bye, man." He looked at Ian and winked. "So would you like to go someplace with me tonight?"
"Where to?" Ian asked, an interest in his voice.
"Well. A friend of mine just published his first book. It's about how he and his boyfriend met, fell in love, and have worked to keep their relationship alive, ten years after it started."
"Awesome. Sure. I'll have to run to Montevallo and get something to wear; what should I get?"
"I was going to wear a button down shirt, khakis, and a blazer that I have."
"OK. I'll have to go shopping then, cause I don't have a blazer."
"K," Joey said as he pulled on his jeans. "I've got to go to class, though, so you'll have to go out by yourself."
"Wow. It'll be my first time alone in a mall in a while," Ian said aloud.
"Want me to get Ricky to go with you?" Joey asked, genuinely concerned about whether or not something would happen to him.
Ian looked up and grinned. "I think I'll be fine," Ian said, excited about being able to do something that so many take for granted. "I've got my `I'm a pop star, don't fuck with me' hat and glasses in the car!" Ian noted to a smile from Joey.
"Alright then. If they do, find out if they've got History 102 and who their instructor is," Joey said. "Since that is the only REAL power I yield!" Ian roared with laughter.
"Cool. Well, have a good day, babe. I'll clean up the living room when I get back from the mall," Ian offered.
"You don't have to do that, but thank you," Joey said as he walked up to Ian, having just pulled his shirt on, and kissed him on the cheeks.
They talked for a few minutes as Joey got everything ready for his day at school. Together, he and Ian walked out the door, each with his own goals and tasks for the day. Joey handed him the extra key, assuming that he would be back well before he was. Ian waited as Joey pulled out of the space before pulling out himself. Within a very short time, though, he was at University Mall, on the corner of 15th Street and McFarland Boulevard.
The mall was virtually deserted. Ian was able to get in and look around the stores with little difficulty. After being fitted in a couple of different stores, he left with enough clothes to fill half of Joey's closet and add to the clothes already at his parents' house, not to mention those he'd be bringing back from Nashville soon enough. Before arriving back at Joey's apartment, he stopped at a restaurant called "Taco Casa", right on 15th Street.
With a few burritos and some `Messe Nachos', he made his way back to Joey's house, where he watched TV for almost an hour before Joey got back home. He had about half a plate of nachos left, which he shared with Joey.
Joey worked on a couple of things as the two sat there for a while, waiting on the time to arrive to go to the party. At around 5:30, Ian picked up his phone, realizing that his mother had asked him to call her at some point during the day, for nothing more than to let her know how he was doing and how his day had gone. After talking to her for a little bit, Ian went into the shower and quickly rewashed his body. He hadn't done anything strenuous since that morning, but he wanted to make sure that things were perfect, that he was perfect.
At around 7, he emerged from the room, completely dressed. Joey had gone in to take a shower and get himself ready for the evening.
"Whoa," Joey said as he walked out of the bathroom and looked at Ian, who was standing watching something on TV.
"Everything OK?" Ian asked as he turned.
"Yeah. It's just...Damn. You look amazing," Joey said.
"You're just saying that."
"Not really," Joey said as he checked out Ian. He was wearing a perfectly fitting dark blazer. Beneath it was a white shirt that served only to flatter his frame. Khaki pants sat perfectly on his waist, surrounded by a black belt that perfectly matched the new shoes he was wearing. "Wow."
Ian smiled. "Joey. Are you sure it looks OK?"
Joey looked into his eyes and smiled. "You're going to be the hottest man in the place."
"Oh! Just wait! I found out something today," Joey said as they stood there.
"Nate, my friend, is a big Ian Scott fan," Joey said. "His boyfriend, Mike, said that he might try to hit you up for a song or something."
"I might be able to hand it; however," Ian stated, "you have to be in my line of sight the whole time."
"That can be arranged!" Joey said. "Since I'll probably have to hold back Nate so that he doesn't attack you while you're performing."
Ian chuckled. "So does he have a favorite song of mine?"
"Not sure. Mike just said that he LOVED your music," Joey said as he finally let Ian free from his gaze and walked into the bedroom.
"Alright," Ian responded. "Mind if I use your computer for a minute?"
"Sure. By the way, all of your songs are in a single iTunes playlist. Three guesses which one it is!"
Ian sat at the desk where Joey had pulled out his laptop. He clicked on the iTunes icon on the desktop and looked at the playlists. "Surely it's not this one called `my hot date'," Ian called through the apartment.
"That would be it!" Joey said from the bedroom. Ian gently shook his head as he smiled and picked a few of the songs from the list, placing them in a list to be burned. He grabbed a blank CD of Joey's and put it into the drive. It only took a few minutes to burn a copy of the CD. When it finished, the drive door popped open and released the freshly made CD. Ian took a sharpie.
"Yeah," Joey answered.
With the sharpie, Ian wrote a quick congratulations and signed his name. "Do you have a jewel case or something?" Ian asked, having taken the CD itself from a spindle as tall as his foot was long.
"Yeah," Joey said, still in the bedroom. "Look in the second drawer," he instructed. Ian found one and put a little smiley face in the lower left hand corner of the case. He put the CD inside and perfectly positioned it, so that the words were just the way Ian thought they should be facing.
After a moment, Joey came out of the room. "Now," Ian said upon seeing him, "you're giving me a race for the `finest-man-of-the-night' award there, Mr. Ruiz." He looked at Joey as he turned around quickly, almost in a James Brown style turn. His own dark blazer sat atop a blue, pink, and white striped shirt. His brown belt matched the shoes he was wearing to a tee, with a light brown pant that seemed to perfectly blend in with the natural hue of his skin. His black hair was spiked, whereas Ian's was lying naturally on his head.
At 8:00 on the dot, they climbed into Ian's car and pulled out of the space. Joey was able to give him quite expert directions to the place where the party was to take place. They walked into the lobby of the building after finding a really good parking space just outside. When they got to the converted conference room in one of the buildings on campus, Joey and Ian entered, the CD that he'd just made safely in Ian's hand.
"JOEY!!!!" a girl yelled from across the room.
"GINA!" Joey said as she walked up in a nice red dress, heels, and a clutch that didn't match either thing but that still fit in with the outfit.
"I'm so glad you could make it," she said as she gave him a hug. "And you look so nice!!!" she said before noticing Ian. "Oh! I'm sorry. I'm Gina Miller," she said to Ian, extending her hand to shake his.
"Hi. I'm Ia..."
"Oh my goodness! I know who you are," she said as she pulled him into a hug. "And just to warn you, Nate is going to be ALL over you tonight!!!"
"I'll have to be nice, then, and just explain that I'm with someone tonight."
"To which he'll respond..." Gina started.
"So?" Joey and Gina commented at the same time. The three of them laughed, with Ian's cheeks blushing a little bit.
They talked for a few minutes as Gina got to know Ian a little bit. All of her preconceived notions about him, from everything that she'd heard in the news and such, were changed as she listened to the way that he carried himself. She also noticed the way that he looked at Joey. She noticed that these two were more than simply `friends'.
As Gina was called off by a group of people, Joey and Ian walked to a table where champagne was being served, along with hors d'ouvres.
A bit later, after they'd finished their first glass of champagne and started on a second, the guest of honor arrived. The crowd of people turned and applauded the former gymnast as he entered the room. He took a bow and began talking to people who had come to celebrate his achievements. No one that he spoke to said anything about Ian's presence, though. Part of them felt it would be out of place, as did Ian and Joey; part of them wanted Nate to be completely and totally surprised by the presence of his favorite singer. Either way, he finally made his way to the place where Ian and Joey were standing alone with Gina, who'd come back over to talk to them.
"Oh my God!" he said as he walked up to the group. "It's Joey Ruiz and his hot ass."
"Hey, Nate. How are you?" Joey said as the two hugged.
"I am so incredibly fabulous," Nate commented, having not noticed Joey's guest.
"WHAT does the shirt say?"
"Oh it's my lucky shirt," Nate said, looking around. "It says: `I'd do Ian..." he said as he turned around and looked into Ian's eyes.
"Hi. I'm the guy you'd do," Ian said as he extended his hand. Ian, over the years of his success, had learned his own special way of dealing with fans.
"Hi..." the guy said. He turned to Gina. "Drink..." Gina giggled but handed him a flute of champagne. He chugged it like it was beer at a frat party. "Oh my God!" Ian continued to smile as Nate looked around to see if anyone else in the room had seen his reaction. "OK. So my boyfriend and I have this thing. We can cheat on the other one with one person for 20 minutes. We had to name who our person was, and I sooo picked you!"
"Thank you. I appreciate that," Ian said with a smile.
"So you got about 19.5 minutes?" Nate joked to laughter from everyone.
"Nate," Joey said, "you wouldn't last that long!"
"Probably not. In fact, I think I just did!" Nate joked as everyone in the circle laughed. "Ian...is it cool if I call you Ian...or would you prefer Mr. Scott...or Mr. da Silva..." Nate went on.
"Nate!" Gina said. "You're rambling!"
"Oh! Ian, this is my partner of 10 years, Mike."
"Hi," Ian said as they shook hands, "it's nice to meet you."
"Likewise," Mike said nicely.
"So congratulations on your book," Ian said to Nate.
"I haven't had a chance to read it, yet, but I will as soon as I can," Ian genuinely promised.
"It's called Love on the Gymnastics Mat. It's about how Mike and I met a long time ago," Nate started. "I would love to know your opinion on it, though. If it's cool, can I send you an autographed copy?"
"That would be amazing. Oh! I made you this earlier," Ian said, handing him the CD.
"This is so nice," Nate said as he read what Ian had written on the CD. "This is probably the second most amazing thing I've ever had in my possession. Thank you," he continued, walking over and giving Ian a hug.
Ian looked at Joey, who was smiling and winking at him. Joey puckered his lips, but Ian didn't first understand. Joey made the motion again. "Beija?" Ian asked in Portuguese.
"Sí," Joey answered, with a wink and a smile.
"Wait. This is America, we speak Eng..." Nate said as he pulled and looked at Joey. When he turned to Ian, he was surprised by the massive kiss that Ian planted on his lips. When Ian pulled away from the guy, he was left speechless. "Damn," was all he could manage to say right then. "Baby?" he said, turning and looking for Mike.
"Yeah," Mike said, with a smile on his face.
"I think I'm really drunk."
"No you're not. You've only had one drink," Mike said.
"I need another one," Nate said as Gina handed him another flute, holding a second one if he needed it. As with the first one, he chugged the glass of champagne.
"You OK?" Ian asked.
"HOLY FUCK! I JUST KISSED IAN SCOTT!!!" he yelled, the remark echoing through the room. "I need another drink!"
"Slow down, baby. We've still got all night to go!"
"Yeah. Wait for a second," Gina suggested.
"OK. Wow," Nate said as he came back to his senses. He hugged Ian again. "This is one of the best nights of my life," he said, starting to get a little star struck. "And my boyfriend...my poor boyfriend...is gonna get the lay of his life tonight!"
"YES!" Mike said in the background to laughter from Joey.
The night passed relatively smoothly from that point. Nate caught his composure as he realized that Ian was just a regular person, much like himself. At the end of the party, at around 11, a few of them were making plans to go to the local gay bar. Joey and Ian, though, decided to go back to Joey's place and enjoy a peaceful night together. Ian had, after all, promised to take his little brother shopping the next evening.
"That was fun," Ian said as they climbed into the car.
"Did you really have a good time?" Joey asked.
"I did. The best part was that I was there with one of the most...amazing...people I know."
"Yeah. Nate, Mike, and Gina are pretty awesome."
Ian just smiled as he pulled out of the space and drove back Joey's apartment, where he spent the night again, comfortably in Joey's embrace.
As he and Joey woke, Ian was all smiles. It was one of those smiles that he couldn't seem to wipe off his face, despite the fact that he and Joey hadn't gotten physical the two nights before. He'd had an amazing dream that was still very vividly in his mind after waking in Joey's apartment. At around 10, they parted company, with Joey going to class and Ian heading back toward Montevallo.