** As with all celebrity stories, this
one is no different. I do not know the members
of Dreamstreet, I've never met them, so this story is meant to imply nothing about their
sexual orientation. This is FICTION, which means not real, so all you legal
types can mellow out and read. That is why you're really here anyway, right? :)
** And if you're in the mood, drop by my
website, The Chamber
As always questions and comments are very welcome. Please send
them to: email@example.com
It wasn't even a good ten seconds after I put the
phone down from talking to Chris that it rang again. It kind of made
me wonder if it was him again or not so I picked up the phone on the third
ring and answered,
"Ah, you're still up." my father's voice on the other end, not Chris.
"Yeah. What's up?"
"I need you to do a really big favor for me. I thought I brought the right log book with me when I came in today and I'm just now finding out I didn't. I really need the book and I would really appreciate it if you could bring it to me."
I didn't see why I couldn't. I was way
to excited to even think about sleeping anyway.
"Sure." I said. "Where'd you leave it?"
"In the office right there on the desk. It should be in a blue binder."
"Okay, hold on just a second while I go in there and get it to make sure it's the right one."
I put the phone down on my bed and went to
the office to see if I could find the blue binder he needed. It was
right where he said it would be. Just to be sure I checked the rest
of the room to make sure there were no other binders there. The one
on the desk was the only one, so I took it and went back to my room and
opened it to the first page. "Blue binder, pretty thick, has stuff in it
that looks like finance stuff?" I asked.
"Yep. That's the one."
"All right. I'm on my way, then. Do you need me to bring anything else?"
"Ummmm, not that I can think of."
"How about food?"
That was one of the main things that always
fell under "not that I can think of". He was a little too fond of
waiting until I was all the way there then realizing he was hungry and
asking if I could go back out to get something.
"It's okay. I'll have the cooks here fix me something. Since they're going to be here all night anyway, they shouldn't mind."
"Okay. Be there in a few."
I knew he was going to say that. Anytime
he needed me to run an errand or bring him something he always had to stick
that "no speeding" warning in there.
"Me? Speed? Dad, I'm offended." I always said something like that and pretended to sound hurt whenever he said his warning.
"Not as offended as you'll be if you come here with another ticket."
"Dad, that was a long time ago, and you had me thinking that the man was going to spontaneously combust unless he got what you were sending him ASAP."
"It wasn't that long ago and you really need to be lucky that the officer understood the situation and let you off with just a warning."
"I won't speed, dad. You know I won't."
"I know. I just like to make sure of it by reminding you."
"I'm on my way."
"See you in a few."
I hung the phone up and started gathering my Taco Bell trash up so I could take it downstairs and dump it in the trashcan. Once everything was gathered and dumped, I double checked to make sure the door to the pool was locked, set the alarm, and then I left. I turned on my cell just in case Dad called telling me he'd changed his mind about me getting him something to eat. I don't know why but I had this feeling that if I didn't do it, he'd wind up calling and then get all over me about not having it on.
* * * * * *
I always liked driving through town late at night. It was so calm and peaceful, not like it was during the day. There was no traffic. No cops hiding in every other bush, waiting to pull over someone for going 1 mile over the speed limit. And most importantly no soccer moms in those huge ass SUV's driving like bats out of hell and trying to switch lanes into a space that was barely big enough for a Volkswagen Beetle to fit in.
I drove fast, but I didn't speed, on my way to the Hotel. I was ten minutes away when Dad called and told me he did want me to pick him something up from Jack In The Box. He wanted the cooks to be focused strictly on our guests and have as little distractions as possible.
I got that good, sick feeling as soon as I
stepped into the Hotel. I still couldn't believe that Dreamstreet
was actually just a couple of floors above me, and that they'd come over
to my house, AND that they'd invited me to come see them perform and hang
out with them at Great America. I couldn't help smiling.
"Sometimes I love my life." I thought.
It was only on rare occasions that I was at the Hotel after 1:00 in the morning. It always got me how the place seemed small and busy during the day, and big and empty late at night. That was why a lot of the employees tried to get on the graveyard shift. It was like getting paid to do almost nothing for eight hours.
I came in the back way because I didn't want anybody
seeing me carrying my father's food. I knew they'd start begging
me to do a food run for them and I knew I'd give in and do it no matter
how many times I tried to say no.
"Thanks a lot, Bren. I honestly thought I'd picked up the right binder." my Dad thanked me when I came into his office.
"It's cool. You know I like to do the late night drive sometimes." I said, handing over the binder and the food.
He picked up the binder, checked it to make sure it was the right one, and then tore into the bag of food. The Jumbo Jack wasn't even unwrapped good before he started tearing into it.
"And you talk about me having an appetite." I teased him.
"You'd be eating like this too if the last piece of meal you had was at 12:00 p.m. yesterday."
"Dad. You know that's not good for you..."
"I know. I know. I'd planned on eating when I got home, but you know Richard had his emergency, plus I had a few things I had to get caught up on. Time kind of got away from me."
"Well you better be lucky Mom is away from you. She'd be chewing your ear off right now."
"Yeah. Don't I know it."
He went back to his food, talking between bites
"Oh. Drake told me that the boys wanted to invite you to Great America tomorrow. You gonna go?"
"Have you ever known me to turn down a trip to Great America?" I answered.
"Well, I wasn't sure. I guess you made a pretty good impression on them."
"Nah. I think they're just returning the favor." I figured.
We had only spent a couple of hours together, not
really a lot of time to make much of an impression in my eyes.
"Well, make sure you lock up and take your cell with you when you leave. I'll probably spend the night here and be home sometime in the afternoon when Alicia gets in."
"I always do. Do you need me to help with anything while I'm here?"
"Nah. Everything's in green light status. Thanks for asking though."
I shrugged and smiled.
"Hey, I do what I can."
"See you at home."
I left the office and traveled back through our break room. I still didn't want anybody to know I was there and the break room was the only way to get back to the back doors without being seen. Nobody really used the break room during the graveyard hours, so it didn't surprise me when I entered and nobody was there. Not giving anyone a chance to pop in, I went out the door that led to the back doors.
There wasn't much near the back doors. Just
a men and women's restroom, three phones, and a soda machine. I wasn't
expecting anybody to be there, so when I stepped outside the break room
and saw somebody standing at the soda machine I froze in mid-step.
I had about one second to figure out if I was going to try and go back
into the break room before I was seen, or was I going to chance it and
hope I didn't get asked to do a food run. Then I realized that the
person at the soda machine was wearing regular clothes, not an employee
uniform. As they stood up and turned around I saw who the person
was and they saw me.
"Brenden?" the person at the machine turned out to be Greg.
"Greg?" I was really surprised to see him there, alone, without any type of security nearby.
"What're you doing here?" we both asked at the same time.
He was just as surprised to see me as I was
to see him. Both of us laughed at our reaction to one another and
he pointed at me.
"My Dad forgot one of his finance binders at home, so I brought it and Jack In The Box to him." I said. "What's you're excuse?"
"I was having a mad craving for a Cherry Coke, but all we had upstairs was Pepsi and Sprite. The security guys aren't allowed to get things for us, and I didn't feel like asking the people who could get me one because they would've told me everything but yes. So I snuck out to get one."
"Once all the fans are gone, or when it's late at night like this, there's only two guards on patrol. And even seasoned professionals like them doze off eventually."
I pretended to look shocked.
"Why, Greg. It sounds like you've done this before."
He smiled mischievously, like he did back at
my house before we pushed Chris into the pool, and pulled the Cherry Coke
bottle close to his chest.
"I just can't stop myself anymore. I like the way it makes me feel all happy and tingly inside." he whispered.
Both of us cracked up laughing. Since the Hotel was so quiet I knew everybody up front could probably hear us. I tried my best to quiet down, but it took three tries before I finally got control of myself again.
Greg was still smiling and chuckling a little bit.
I never really paid much attention to it before, but now that it was right
in front of me I noticed how seductive his smile made him look. Not
that it could touch Chris's. But it came damn near close.
"So, you on your way out?" he asked.
"Yeah." I nodded. "Heading back to the house."
"Ah. Well, I better get back upstairs myself before security wakes up and I miss my turn on GTA3."
"Everyone else is still up too?"
"Yeah. We're all pretty excited about Great America tomorrow. And it's kinda hard to sleep when you're excited."
"Won't that mess up your guys' performance if you stay up too late?"
"We thought so at first. But we found out that when we force ourselves to go to sleep instead of just crashing when we get tried, it actually makes us perform worse."
"I guess that does make sense."
"How about you? I'm sure you're ready to drop right now."
"No, not really. I'm having one of those nights where I know I should be tired, only I'm not."
"If you want you can come up and chill with us for a little bit."
The way he said it came out more like a friend
who was asking a friend, instead of a person who was asking just to be
"Whoa. Does he actually consider me a friend?" I thought to myself. Because there was no other reason why he had to go out of his way and ask me up.
"Will that get you all in trouble if I do?" I answered.
"Not really. I mean if anybody needs to tell us something then they'll just call us on the phone and say it."
"What about the guards? Won't they..."
He put his hand on my shoulder, stopping me
"Brenden, are you gonna ask me questions all night, or are we gonna go upstairs?"
"I just don't want to get you guys or myself into any trouble." I said completely serious.
"You won't. Now let's go."
* * * * * *
It meant what I said about him sneaking out of the room before as a joke. But it became very obvious that to me that Greg had done the whole sneaking out thing a lot of times before tonight. For starters, we took the stairs instead of the elevator, since it makes noise when it picks a person up and when it drops them off. Next, we took our shoes off and tip-toed quickly down the hallway. We had to hold on to our pants so that the fabric wouldn't brush up against itself, which is really hard to do while trying to hold on to a pair of shoes. Because of the electronic lock and the noise it made while unlocking the door, he had put something in the door to keep it from closing all the way. So the guards never saw us coming, never heard us go by, and never saw us go back into the room. I had to admit it was an adrenaline rush in a fun sort of way, but I was just waiting for one of the guards to wake up and catch us.
The room we were in was one of our regular ones. There was a short entry hallway with an open closet to the right and the entrance to the bathroom on the left about seven steps away from the room door. The hallway then let out to the room where there was two full sized beds and the usual dressers and items found in the rooms. Beyond that was a small den-like area where a sleeper sofa was, a table, and a cabinet where the television was kept. It was on the table were the guys had set up their own television and connected the Playstation 2 to.
The room must've been where all of them were going
to spend the night. Frankie, and Matt had stripped down to nothing
but their boxer shorts and their T-shirts. Chris was in a pair of
gray sweat shorts, and Jessie was in a pair of blue sweat shorts.
Both him and Chris had decided to go shirtless.
"Look who I found downstairs." Greg said as we entered the den. Nobody had heard us when we came in. They were too busy paying attention to the game.
They all turned and looked just as surprised to see me as Greg had been downstairs.
"What're you doing back here?" Frankie asked.
"My Dad needed me to bring him his finance binder and food. I caught your boy here downstairs giving into his Cherry Coke craving." I answered, getting a few giggles.
"It's gonna get him caught one day." Jesse remarked. He was the one playing the game at the moment.
"Oh don't you guys even pretend to act like you don't do it too."
The room went silent as Frankie, Chris, and
Matt all turned their attention back to the game.
"I rest my case." Greg said.
He took his soda out of his pocket and sat
it on the coffee table in front of the sleeper sofa, before taking his
jeans and his shirt, leaving him in his T-shirt and boxers, and tossing
them over toward one of the beds. Then flopped down on the right
side of the sleeper sofa, making sure to put his feet up on Matt's lap.
"My turn yet?" he asked.
"Nope. Jesse thought we weren't paying attention and kept putting in the life cheat code, so he hasn't died yet." Matt responded. "And get your feet off me. Having my legs smelling like onions and toe-jam."
Greg let Matt push his feet off of him, and
put an offended look on his face.
"Hey, man. My feet are sexy, okay?"
"I know you didn't just call those nasty eagle talons sexy?" Chris took a shot at him.
Greg struck one of those "I'm all that and
a bag of chips" poses.
"You wish." Frankie remarked.
"I know you are."
"Brenden, man. Have a seat. You're making me nervous standing there." Chris said to me.
It hadn't occurred to me until that moment that I
was still standing.
"Yeah, that would be a good idea, huh?" I said, a little embarrassed, taking the only seat that was open.
It was behind Jesse and put Chris to my left and
Frankie to my right.
"You ever played GTA3 before?" Frankie asked me, turning my attention to the game and him.
"No, I haven't. But I've heard it's pretty cool."
"Pretty cool doesn't even start to describe this game. It's an experience everyone should have." Jesse cut in.
"Really? It's that good?"
"Take a look and you tell me."
We all watched Jesse play for a good ten minutes before he finally met his death at the hands of a gang he'd pissed off earlier during the game.
I had never seen GTA3 in action so it was totally amazing to me when I saw how big a game it was and all the things that could be done in it. The main character was a thief and his missions were spread out over different parts of the city he was in. There were all kinds of objectives and all kinds of threats. The biggest one was a thing called a "wanted" level. It was measured by six stars in the top corner and if one of the stars filled up, the cops would be sent out after the character to arrest him. If there was only one star, the cops could be avoided and the star would eventually go away. But if there was already one star and the character kept doing bad things, more stars would light up and more and different types of law enforcement forces would be sent out to catch him.
Jesse got up to four stars while he was doing something
called a "vigilante mission." The character had the ability to walk up
to cars on the street, snatch the driver out, and steal the car.
When he did that to an ambulance and it gave him timed missions to get
to different parts of the city where people had been hurt and needed medical
assistance. That was how he wound up driving into gang territory
and getting killed.
"Told you you shouldn't have stolen their fish truck." Chris said to Jesse after he'd died.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah." Jesse shooed him off and then turned to me. "So, kick-ass or what?"
"Totally cool." I agreed. "Now I think I want a turn."
"You'll be after me, then." Matt said. "I'm after Greg, so that'll give you a chance to get a good feel for the game before you play.
"Yeah. We actually know what we're doing. Jesse, Chris, and Frankie just go around on a total rampage, shooting their guns at anything that moves and then stealing cars so they can get away from the police. Or just doing the vigilante missions." Greg added.
"That's because just doing the regular missions gets boring after awhile. Things gotta be changed up a bit." Frankie stuck up for himself.
"Plus you have to do all the vigilante missions if you want to pass the game at 100 percent. Remember?" Chris backed Frankie's argument up.
"Oh! Yeah, that is right, huh?" Greg recanted.
"Thought you knew." Jesse said, sitting the controller down and getting up from the player's seat. Greg got up to take his spot.
Both Greg and Matt played pretty long games since they pretty much played by the rules and stuck to the missions. I worked to keep my focus on the game, but it wanted to be on the person to my immediate left instead of the screen in front of me. He was sitting with his body facing toward me, so I couldn't move too much without him seeing me do it. That was probably the only thing keeping me in check. But I was able to take a few sideways glances at his smooth naked chest without him noticing.
I made it through three full missions before I died
when my turn at GTA3 came. They said I could have another try since
it was my first time, but I went ahead and gave up the controller and told
them I wanted to be fair. It turned out nobody really wanted to play
anymore, so the PS2 and television went off.
"What time is it?" Frankie didn't ask anybody in particular.
"Uuuuhhhh, six minutes after three." Matt answered him.
"I don't know about you guys but I still don't feel tired." Chris said.
"Me either." Jesse admitted. "I'm still way too excited to sleep."
"Same here." Greg said. "It's so cool when the shows are sold out."
Sold out? Man, no wonder they were all
excited and couldn't sleep. I mean Great America wasn't big like
Madison Square Garden, but sold out was sold out even if the performance
was taking place in somebody's back yard.
"I did not know you guys had it like that." I said and then realized a second later how it could be misinterpreted and added, "Not to say that you all suck or anything."
"Even though you're probably gonna say no, I'm still gonna ask. Have you ever heard any of our songs or seen us perform?" Jesse asked.
And the correct answer to that question was:
"yes I had". After falling head over heels for Chris, I went out
on the internet and searched for and downloaded any Dreamstreet video and
performance I could find. Of course I wasn't going to tell them all
of that for the obvious reasons. I decided to go with,
"One time awhile back on that one guy's show. You know, the one who's married to the news reporter on CNN?"
"Maury Povich." all of them said at the same time.
I nodded. Never could remember his name.
"I know you're a guy and everything but seriously, what did you think?" Greg quizzed me next.
"Not bad. You guys sounded pretty good and you looked like you had the dancing thing down pretty good."
That was my honest answer. After watching
all the stuff I'd downloaded I came away with actual respect for them as
"Really? You're not just saying that because you don't want to offend us by saying `I think you guys blow'?" Chris looked like he didn't believe my answer at all.
"If I thought you guys blew, I would've said it a long time ago" I assured.
"You're a rare find, man." Matt patted me on the back as he passed by me headed toward the beds.
"Thanks, I think."
"So since we're still not tired what do you all want to do now?" Jessie switched the subject.
"You guys want to do something constructive with our time and rehearse?" Frankie suggested.
"You know, that's actually not a bad idea." Chris said.
Frankie looked over at me.
"You don't mind if we rehearse, do you? Five guys singing with no shirts on or in boxer shorts isn't gonna freak you out, is it?" he asked, making all of us laugh a little bit.
"I think I'm mature enough to handle it." I replied.
"Hey, I got an idea. Why don't you rehearse with us?" Jesse suggested.
What?! Me rehearse with them? And
make a complete fool out of myself? I tried to keep the paralyzed
animal caught in headlights look off my face and sort of lifted my shoulders
in an attempt at a shrug.
"I...I don't know..."
"Oh, come on, Brenden. Give it a try." Greg encouraged me.
Excuses! I needed excuses!
"But I don't know the moves or the words to the music." I lied straight through my teeth.
I did know some of the moves to two of their songs
and the lyrics to three.
"No worries, I'll teach you the moves. And don't worry about the words." Chris erased the power of my fake excuse.
I was still real iffy about it. It wasn't because I couldn't dance, though. It was because I could. Dancing was a hidden talent of mine I found out about when I was ten. At the time my dad owned his second hotel and it was a joint operation with one of his good friends named Thomas. Thomas was an African American man who had two sons and a daughter. We all got to know each other pretty well one summer, because we had to spend most of it at the hotel, and since there was nothing to do while we were there Thomas's daughter, Tanya, and his oldest son, David, would do dance contests, and me and Thomas's younger son, Marcus, would be the judges.
After a couple of days of that, Tanya and David got tired of being each other's competition and decided to start teaching me and Marcus how to dance. Pretty soon we were just as good as the two of them. David and Tanya started teasing me and calling me soul man. They figured a white boy couldn't possibly dance as good as I did without having a little bit of black in him somewhere.
I never got a chance to see them again after that summer, but I never stopped dancing. I used to exploit the ability to death when I was in junior high. When school dances would come around me and a couple of other guys I used to know would dance to the hip-hop songs, the Backstreet Boys songs, and during my eighth grade year, the N'sync songs. Of course that did nothing but make the majority of the girls go crazy, which was the whole point of doing it.
Once I hit high school I quit dancing in public. Why? It happened to be one of the "trademark" red flags. The one that says all males who do any kind of dancing, from hip-hop to ballroom, and are good at it just can not be straight. So I was afraid that if it came to light I was a good dancer, Chris and the guys might start speculating and get the answer I was trying very hard to keep them from.
However. I had not missed the part where
Chris said he would teach me the dance moves. I was sure that after
our trip to Great America I was probably never going to see him, or any
of them, ever again. Him teaching me the dance moves was probably
as intimate as we were going to get realistically, and I knew I would regret
it later for not taking him up on his offer when I had the chance.
"Come on, guys. We're jackin' up his male pride here. If he doesn't want to then he doesn't want to." Frankie came to my defense.
"Tell you what. I'll warm up with you guys and then I'll think about the rest, okay?" I decided.
"Okay." Chris accepted. It could've just been me, but I thought he actually sounded a little bit glad at my decision.
"All right. Let's get ready already." Matt cut in
* * * * * *
Stretching and warming up for them was just like the stretching and warming I did during practice for sports. There were a few extra stretches that felt like they came straight out of a ballet class because of the positioning of the body and the legs. Those were the ones I was sure were going to have me walking funny for at least a couple of days. Other than that just your normal warm up.
It took us five minutes to get that done, and
then everyone except for Frankie moved stuff out of the way in the den
area so there would be room for the dancing and moving around. Frankie
went and got the CD Player and brought it over and plugged it up.
They did voice exercises while we rearranged the room as quietly as they
could while still being heard by one another.
"Is the CD already in there?" Greg asked him.
"Yeah. We didn't take it out from last time." Frankie replied, opening the CD Player and taking out the CD to show him. "Are we doing the short version or the long one?"
Greg turned to Chris, Jesse, and Matt.
"Yeah." Jesse said.
"That's fine." Chris said.
Matt just nodded.
"Okay. Can our audience please have a seat?" Greg said to me, bringing it to my attention that I was still standing when I should've sat down a long time ago.
"Now, realize that we're used to performing for crowds that consist mainly of excited, screaming girls who want to do nasty things to us. So I think I speak for all of us when I say we're just a little bit nervous rehearsing in front of you because you're a guy, but we wouldn't do it if we didn't think you were cool." Chris revealed.
I thought he was just saying it just to be
funny, but when the others agreed with him it made me feel good inside
to know that they thought that much of me.
"Okay, I'm putting the track on." Frankie announced.
Matt took his place a couple of steps in front of Frankie and to his left. Greg stood in front of him a couple of steps and to the left. Chris took his place behind Greg on the opposite side of Matt and Frankie. Jesse's place was a couple of steps behind Chris. Their positions put them in a "V" formation, which was a big giveaway for which song they were going to rehearse to. They always did the "V" formation when they were getting ready to sing "It Happens Every time."
Frankie pressed the "play" button and got into
position, putting his head down along with Matt, Chris, and Jesse.
Greg was the only one who kept his up. The first chord of the song started
and Greg sang,
"Can you hear the music playing? Can you feel the rhythm swaying?"
He took four steps forward from the group while continuing,
"This is the sound of dreams come true. And I can promise you that..."
When he said "I", Matt stepped forward to the
rhythm of the words he sang. Frankie, Chris, and Jessie stepped forward
when Greg sang "you". That put Matt in front with Greg and to his
right, and Frankie, Chris, and Jessie behind them.
"You are the one and only. And I'm the lost and lonely. We are the perfect dream come true. And I can promise you that I hear a silly love song in my heart." Greg continued singing, now with the help of Matt and Jesse. Jesse was able to sing his part while he, Chris, and Frankie did the dancing and not miss a beat.
"It happens every time when I see you. It happens every time when I think of you
It happens every time. Oh it's magic when we meet."
For the first line in the chorus: "it happens every time when I see you", everybody stayed in their positions and everybody sung. Then, Chris, Frankie, and Jessie moved up to join Matt and Greg to sing the rest. There was only one real dance move for the chorus, and all of them did it.
Jesse finished the chorus with,
"Baby down on Dream Street."
Quickly, Chris, Matt, and Jesse rotated to
the back and Frankie took Matt's spot in front with Greg.
"Let me take you by the hand and walk you down the Milky Way. 'Cause you make me feel I'm so alive. Though I promise baby I hear a silly love song in my heart." Greg and Frankie sang together, while the three in the back continued with the dancing. Then the chorus was done again, along with the same choreography as before.
"It happens every time when I see you. It happens every time when I think of you
It happens every time. Oh it's magic when we meet."
As they reached the end this time, they moved
back into a modified version of the earlier "V" formation. Frankie
took Matt's place. Matt took Frankie's place. Chris was the only
one who stayed in the same spot, and Greg took Jesse's place, which put
Jesse front and center.
They were in position by the end of the last verse. The song cut off abruptly and the four guys who were not front and center all struck a pose that had them looking away from Jesse as he finished a few beats later with,
"Down on Dream Street."
All of them held that pose for a moment before coming out of it. Matt stopped the CD Player.
So that's what they sounded like all matured. That was the only thing I used to dislike about the group was that even though they had good harmony and singing abilities, they sounded young. Now it was like: "Ladies and gentlemen, puberty has left the building."
And this was the first time I got to see their dancing abilities outside of a video, which never really showcased it. They were just as good if not better than N'sync and Backstreet Boys. There was a difference to me between dancing to music and feeling the music. In my opinion they were feeling the music all the way, especially Chris.
I could see why he was the one to volunteer to teach me the moves. He was the best dancer out of everyone, and not just because he happened to be the one I was stuck on. I was sure if anybody else was in the room with me that they would've agreed that his talent was definitely visible.
He probably didn't know it, or maybe he did, but he looked so fuckin' hot when he danced. The way he moved was so elegant and passionate that it was almost sexual. And the fact that he was in nothing but a pair of sweat shorts only added to that.
There was a part in the song where him, Matt, and
Jesse all did this kind of outward thrust move that woke my downstairs
neighbor right up and almost had him at full attention before I could get
things back under control and keep it from being noticed.
"Okay. Give us your critique." Greg invited.
"My honest opinion: I would probably hate on you guys because I couldn't dance and sing as good as you can, and, or because I'd never have the balls to try it." I answered.
"So you really thought it was good?" Frankie seemed a bit surprised.
"You've come a long way since that day on the talk show."
"Well it looks like we have one out of over a million other guys won over." Matt remarked, making us all laugh.
"Hey, it's one more than we had before, so be proud." Frankie told him.
"I agree with Brenden, though. I think a lot of guys hate groups like us because either they can't dance or sing themselves, or they don't have the balls to try it." Chris said.
"Or because their girlfriends like us and it makes them jealous." Jesse added.
"Which I think is so immature." Frankie remarked to Jesse's comment.
"Totally." Greg agreed, and then turned his attention to me. "So, Brenden, I guess it all comes down to you. Do you have enough balls to get up here and dance with us?"
"Oh, so that's how you want to play now? Take my own words and turn them against me?" I said while smiling, but in a serious tone.
A wide smile visited his face and he batted
his eyes a couple of times. I stood up from my seat.
"All right, Mr. Eagle's Talons. Let's do this." I accepted his challenge.
Chris, Frankie, Jesse, and Matt all cheered quietly
for me after I gave my answer.
"Hey! My feet are sexy dammit!" Greg objected, pointing at me and pretending to be offended.
"If you say so."
"Okay. Go ahead and have a seat and we'll go through the routine a couple more times so you can get the idea of the moves." Chris instructed me.
I sat down and Frankie went back to the CD Player to put it on the correct track. Everyone else got into position again to start the routine over. I put myself into a serious frame of mind. That was the only way I was going to be able to stay focused on the moves and not the person doing the moves.
They did the routine for me from start to finish three times with me focusing on Matt, Chris, Jesse, and Frankie since they were doing the majority of the dancing. I picked up on the easiest thing first, the steps that were done for the chorus. The steps that came before going into the chorus were a little bit harder than the ones that were done before going into the chorus for the second time, but I was able to get the basic idea of what I was supposed to be doing.
When the three times were up it was my turn to get
up there and learn. They started me off with the steps I pretty much
had down already, the ones for the chorus, and then Greg and Matt sat down
to observe while Chris, Jesse, and Frankie taught me their routine.
They took me through it step by step until we were all confident I had
it down. When the music got put with it and we went for it, I got
nervous and was so out of sync that it looked like they hadn't taught me
"You're nervous, huh?" Chris asked me after my less than great performance.
"Am I that obvious?" I replied. I could feel the heat entering my face and I knew I was turning red.
"Hey, we're all friends here, man. Nobody's gonna bag on you if you mess up or if you need more practice to get it." Frankie assured me.
"We had to learn this just like you are now." Jesse said.
That managed to take my nervousness down by
about half. The rest remained simply because I was doing this in
front of five guys I had only known personally for just a little over five
"Let's do it step by step again a couple of times and then we'll try the music again, okay?" Frankie suggested.
I shook my head.
We did the step by step a few times more and that got me back up to speed. The only part that was giving me problems was the very beginning of the routine. Chris saw this and came over to help me by guiding me through the steps that were giving me a problem.
It was a serious chore to focus on what he was teaching me while he was touching me. He would put his hands gently on my waist and turn my body to the correct position that it was supposed to be in. A couple of times he tapped me on the legs when they were in the wrong positions and then would stand just a little bit behind me and to my right or left side and show me where they should be and how to get them there.
That extra one on one actually helped me get the routine down completely and when we added the music to it a second time I was a lot better than I was the first time. Everybody cheered for me and congratulated me, which made me feel a lot more comfortable and got what nervousness I still had to go away.
Matt took Frankie's spot for the routine after the first verse. I was able to get it down faster than the first routine, but there was one part before that outward thrust that I couldn't get for the world. I kept missing a move and it was putting me ahead of everyone else.
Chris took the initiative to teach me once again. He guided me just like he did before. At one point he had to step up behind me and show me where to place my arms before going into the upward thrust, which turned out to be the move I was screwing up on. That put his body almost right up against mine in a sort of sideways hug. When he reached around to position my other arm for me that put him right up on me for a quick moment.
At first I thought it was his leg that pushed up against my side because it didn't feel hard and it couldn't be a kneecap because it was too high. I thought maybe his closeness was pushing something in my pocket up against me. I didn't remember seeing any pockets on his sweat shorts, so it couldn't be anything in his pocket. Then, I realized what I was feeling was about two good inches away from my pocket. That plus the fact that I remembered there was nothing in that pocket to be pushed back against me, everything was in the pocket on my other side. This left only one other thing could be in that area of his body that with our current closeness was capable of being felt by my side.
What happened earlier at my place when all of us
had gone swimming and I'd seen Chris's naked backside was NOTHING compared
to what happened to me at that moment. A surge of adrenaline shot
through my body and my hormones blew straight up. There was no time
to stop myself from turning red and no time to think of something nasty
to keep a bulge from forming in my jeans.
"OH FUCK!!!" I screamed out in my head. My cover was blown for sure this time.
I had to think fast! Oh shit I had to think fast! Turning away wasn't going to let me hide this, or give me a chance to reach inside and make it less obvious. Suddenly a last ditch idea came to me. The bathroom! That was the only place I could go where they couldn't see me. I had to get there now!
I tore out of the den area for the bathroom so fast that I think I broke the sound barrier. I shut the door and locked it behind me and stopped at the bathroom sink, catching sight of my reflection. I was so red it looked like I was trying to turn purple. My heart was pounding so hard it felt like it was trying to break through my rib cage. Too much adrenaline was in my blood, making my stomach queasy and my head spin a little.
I turned on the cold water and splashed it
on my face, all the while thinking,
"They saw. They saw and they're gonna let me have it as soon as I come out of this bathroom."
I lifted up from the sink, keeping my dripping face
over it and glanced down. Maybe it wasn't as bad as I'd thought.
Maybe I didn't even show at all. Wrongo! I was showing so much
even a blind man could've seen it.
"Fuck!" I swore under my breath and dropped my head. "Let me just curl up and die right now please."
A knock at the door got my attention and I could feel the fear set in. This was it. Shit was about to hit the fan at full blast.
* * * * * *