Affairs of the Heart
Chapter 18
Written by Jayson Colin Vascardi
Legal Disclaimer: This story is fictional and not meant to reflect upon or imply anything about any of the celebrities mentioned herein. If you are offended by material of a homosexual nature, or if such material is illegal to view in your area, you should be leaving now. Otherwise, please enjoy the story.
This story is copyright ©2003 by Jayson Colin Vascardi. All rights reserved.
If you don't use the above email link, please remember to include "Affairs" in the email subject line. All emails will be answered.
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Just a few quick notes before I start. In the last installment I made a mistake and first had Mrs. Lansbury say she was going to go to South Carolina to visit her family, and later she said she was flying to Orlando. The mistake stems from the fact that I had originally planned on having Mrs. Lansbury's family living in Florida, but then decided to change it to South Carolina instead. So, she isn't flying to Orlando. Her family is in Clarks Hill, South Carolina.

Also, I'm not sure I've previously mentioned where the island kingdom of San Cristobel is. I may have at some point said that it was in the Caribbean, however, I've changed my mind on that. The kingdom is lost in the vastness of the South Pacific. So it probably will take more then the four hours that Alexandra had said it would take to fly from Vermont to San Cristobel.

Please note that this chapter goes back in time by about five days. As I'm sure you'll all remember, the last scene of Chapter 17 took place six days after the Smith family left for San Cristobel. While the events of that last scene of Chapter 17 will remain as they happened, this chapter will be set before they happened.


Don Smith and Nick Lachey arrive back at the Smith mansion as ready as they'll ever be to tell Don's family and Nick's bandmates about their relationship, however, they don't get a chance. Upon entering the mansion they find out from Mrs. Lansbury that Alexandra has invited everyone down to San Cristobel for the state dinner, and although curious as to why Don let Nick out of his room through the passages last night, everyone is so preoccupied with packing at the moment, that it's doubtful that anyone will even bring it up. At least for the moment anyways.

Ashley calls Kevin to tell him what's all been going on lately with both of his parents being alive and finding out about his aunt, who happens to be the Queen of a foreign country. Ashley also asks his Aunt Alexandra if Kevin can come to the state dinner, and Alexandra says yes, and gives Ashley information to relay to Kevin, so that he can contact her directly to set it up.

Six days later, Thomas Winthrop shows up at the Smith Mansion in Middlebury, Vermont and the guards on duty allow Thomas to enter the grounds and the house. Upon entering the house, Thomas starts to overload electrical outlets, put lit cigars into wastebaskets, and blowing out the flames on a lit stove burner so that only the gas is coming out, among other things, before leaving the mansion and driving a safe distance away. Once at a safe distance, Thomas gets out of his car and turns back to look at the mansion with a satisfied grin as the roof is blown off and the entire house is consumed in an inferno of flames.

Chapter 18

Zachary Smith wakes up, and for a moment, doesn't know where he is. The bed he's occupying is a large, incredibly intricate and beautiful hand-carved oak four-poster with deep blue silk curtains which are currently closed and block out the rest of the room. After a moment of thought however, Zachary soon remembers where he is. He's in one of the guest bedrooms in the east wing of the Imperial Palace on San Cristobel's main island, Everton.

The City of Kingston, which takes up the entire island of Everton, is the capital city of the Imperial Kingdom of San Cristobel and is the home of the Imperial family. On the journey from Middlebury, Zachary learned quite a bit about the kingdom. The kingdom consists of the thirty-four islands of an archipelago known as Varietas and the seven islands known simply as the Orange Islands. The kingdom has been ruled by the House of de'Montferrat since the formation of the kingdom in 1510 and to this day remains the absolute authority in the kingdom. Zachary also learned that the kingdom has remained relatively unknown and detached from the international arena for roughly the last two hundred years. This may seem impossible, but when considering that the kingdom is lost in the vastness of the Southern Pacific Ocean, and surrounded by a series of reefs and unusually dangerous currents, it's not surprising in the least that they've managed to stay relatively unknown to the world.

Something else that Zachary has learned about the House of de'Montferrat and the kingdom, is that both of his half-cousins, the Imperial Princes Nikolas and Stephen, are gay and because of this their father, King Christian, has legalized same-sex marriages in the kingdom. In terms of throne succession, Nikolas is first in line to the throne after his father and as such will one day be the supreme ruler of San Cristobel. When Nikolas weds, which will undoubtedly be to a man, his spouse will become the Imperial Prince of Crosslakes, but never the King. Once Nikolas is on the throne, he will have the option of asking one of the noblewomen to carry a child and heir for him, however an adopted child would have no place in the throne succession as King Christian is adamant that the position as supreme ruler of San Cristobel remain within the House of de'Montferrat and an adopted child would have no blood relation to the house.

Zachary still has trouble believing that he is currently in an island kingdom, located roughly four thousand miles from his home and that he's related to the island's ruling family. Of course with all that's happened to Zachary within the last few days, it's not surprising that he has trouble believing some of it and is feeling quite overwhelmed. First off came the incredible shock that his mother, Katherine Winthrop-Smith, whom he thought dead for the last seventeen years is actually alive, although locked in a persistent vegetative state in an English long term care facility.

Then of course came the knowledge that his beloved, at times annoying, younger and genius sister Diana is actually his half-sister and half-cousin. There's also the knowledge that his father, Don Smith, whom he also thought dead, didn't die at all but had faked his own death with the help of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation and the San Cristobel Secret Police in order to avoid being killed by the hit man hired by Zachary's own grandfather, Thomas Winthrop. Then of course on top of everything finding out that his Half-Aunt Alexandra is the Queen of a foreign country and that he has two half-cousins he never knew about, both of whom are in line for the throne of a country which is probably the last absolute power monarchy in existence.

Of course Zachary doesn't know it yet, but he is in for a few more shocks in the coming days. Shocks which he could never imagine, even in his wildest and most bizarre dreams.


Ashley Smith lies alone in his bed at the Imperial Palace. Not knowing about Ashley and Zachary's preference of sleeping together, the castle employees prepared separate bedrooms for them. After the long flight from Middlebury, Ashley and Zachary were too tired to say anything about it.

-- Dream Sequence --

"Oh, yes, that feels so good," moans Ashley, as he thrusts his penis into someone's ass, "You're so tight."

"Harder, Ash, please harder!" exclaims the man that Ashley is having sex with.

"Your wish is my command," replies Ashley, as he speeds up his thrusting.

Ashley speeds up his thrusts and he can't help but moan ever louder, as the feelings of pleasure coursing through his body are overwhelming. His partner is also moaning quite loudly, despite both of them having the nagging feeling that what they're doing is wrong.

"Oh, yes, I'm gonna... I'm gonna," moans Ashley in total ecstasy as he lets loose his load deep within his partner's tight and muscular ass. As Ashley comes with one of the most powerful orgasms he's ever had, so does his lover, shooting his loads between Ashley and himself.

Ashley pulls himself out of his lover and collapses on top of him, as the two of them try to catch their breath. After a moment, they wrap their arms around each other and Ashley's older and more mature lover starts to passionately kiss Ashley with a fervor unmatched by anything that Ashley has ever experienced in his sixteen years of life. As the two men kiss the nagging feeling that what they're doing is wrong disappears because how could anything that feels so good be wrong?

As the two men continue to kiss, they're oblivious to the person entering the room through the secret passage until that person makes their presence known with a scream.

"Oh my god!" screams the woman, "How could you do this to me!? How!?"

-- End Dream Sequence --

Ashley sits up in bed, covered in a cold sweat. He's had this dream before, but it's changed this time. Never before, in all the times that he's had this dream has it ended with a woman entering the room. Ashley was unable to make out her face, although he must admit that the voice had a haunting ring of familiarity to it. It's as if he's heard it before, many years ago, but he just can't place it, no matter how hard he tries.


Two days later, Ashley finds himself in the Imperial Hall, waiting in a reception line to be greeted by King Christian and Queen Alexandra de'Montferrat, in addition to the rest of the imperial family which consists of Christian and Alexandra's sons, Princes Nickolas and Stephen, Christian's mother, Margaret, and Christian's brother Andreas, his wife Amanda, and their four children, Princes Adam, Aaron, and Michael and Princess Nicole.

Ashley recognizes some of the guests he's seen thus far. He's seen President and First Lady Bush, a few people he recognizes as United States senators, Prime Minister Tony Blair, as well as Prince Charles, Prince William, and Prince Harry. Ashley thinks he may have caught a glimpse of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip, but he isn't totally sure. Kevin did indeed come to the dinner, and his mother came along to watch Jeremy and Jordan. The rest of the Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC are also in attendance.

Once all of the guests have arrived and made it through the reception line, the eleven members of San Cristobel's imperial family enter the ballroom and begin to mingle with their guests for about fifteen minutes, after which the King's Steward, Brighton Wallace, opens the ornate doors leading into the imperial dining room and replies, "Ladies and gentlemen, dinner is served."

The imperial family and all of their guests make their way into the large imperial dining room, where a collection of servants awaits to guide everyone to their seats at the massive dining table. The imperial dining room is a very long and impressive room with twenty foot high vaulted ceilings, and four large crystal chandeliers hang along the length of the dining table. On a dais overlooking the dining table, a full orchestra plays music during dinner. King Christian is seated at the head of the table, with Queen Alexandra seated on the side to his left and his mother on the side to his right. The rest of the imperial family is spread out through the table, which has everyone seated in an alternating male and female order. All of the heads of state are seated as close to King Christian and Queen Alexandra as possible.

Once King Christian and Queen Alexandra have sat down, everyone else at the table sits down. On the table in front of each person is a complete place setting and an already filled glass of water, with ivory cloth napkins folded on top of each plate. Once everyone is settled into their seats, a large group of waiters comes out of the kitchen, and each of them begins to serve four of the guests the first course, which consists of one of San Cristobel's specialties, a bowl of lobster bisque, which is accompanied by a light wine. After about fifteen minutes have passed, the waiters clear the soup bowls and serve the next course which is chicken crepes with asparagus and mushrooms.

After about another fifteen to twenty minutes, the waiters clear the plates and replaces them with the next course, langoustines with asparagus. Once again the waiters clear the plates after about fifteen minutes and they then pour everyone a glass of red wine and serve the main course which is fillet of beef with foie gras and truffles. This course lasts for thirty minutes, at which point the waiters clear the dishes, and pour everyone their choice of coffee or tea, in addition to a glass of champagne, and the dessert course which consists of grapefruit gratin with roasted almonds.

Half-way through the dessert course, Prince Andreas stands up and calls for a toast, "To the successful integration of San Cristobel into the international community, and to our gracious hosts, King Christian and Queen Alexandra, on this their fifteenth wedding anniversary. May they enjoy many more happy years together."

After dessert is finished, King Christian and Queen Alexandra invite all of their guests to return to the imperial ballroom for entertainment and dancing. Due to the fact that all of the members of the Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC, and 98 Degrees are in attendance, part of the evening's entertainment consists of an imperial command performance by all three groups. After King Christian and Queen Alexandra enjoy a dance together, King Christian, President Bush, Prime Minister Blair, and the other heads of state step into a small sitting room off the ballroom to discuss business. It is also around this time that the Queen Mother excuses herself for the evening, as she has a slight headache.

Ashley and Kevin meet up near one side of the ballroom and after a few minutes they slip into one of the many small curtained alcoves that line the ballroom to give guests a place to go for a little privacy and an escape from the crowd. Kevin and Ashley sit down on a small sofa and just as they're about to start talking, they can't help but notice a man who is obviously a security guard for one of the high profile guests in attendance this evening slip out of the alcove to give Kevin and Ashley total privacy.

"So Kevin, what did you think of your first state dinner?"

"Well, it was ok," replies Kevin, "Although no offense to your aunt and uncle, but it was pretty boring."

"Well, it's supposed to be boring," replies Ashley, "This kind of formal dinner would be considered a complete failure if anything even the slightest bit exciting happened. Not that I'm saying I'd be against a little excitement though because I'm almost bored to tears."

Kevin laughs at Ashley's comment, before asking, "Sit near anyone interesting during dinner?"

"I actually ended up sitting next to my cousin, Princess Nicole, and Prince William was across the table from me."

"Did you talk to him at all?"

"Not really," replies Ashley, "He smiled in Nicole's and my direction a few times, but we didn't really talk. I did have a nice conversation with Nicole though. Found out a few things from her about the kingdom's history and such."

Before Kevin can say anything, two more people enter the alcove. Ashley immediately recognizes one of them as Prince William, but the other one is a bit more of a challenge.

"Oh, hello," replies Prince William, as he notices Ashley and Kevin sitting on the sofa.

"Hey Ashley," replies the other man.

"Sorry, but which one are you," replies Ashley to the man, knowing it's one of his cousins, either Prince Adam or Prince Aaron.

"I'm Adam," replies Prince Adam, with a grin, "And don't worry about it Ashley. You're not the only one who has a hard time telling Aaron and I apart."

"You two are welcome to join us if you like," replies Kevin with a smile, as he motions towards the two empty armchairs in the alcove.

"Thanks," replies Prince William, as he sits down in one of the armchairs, "It's a relief to get away from the crowd for awhile."

"Yeah, it is," replies Ashley, "In my line of work I'm pretty much used to crowds, particularly screaming girls, but I still very much enjoy peace and quiet."

"Hmm, I've always wondered what it would be like to be in the public eye like you Ashley," replies Prince Adam, "I mean I am in the public eye to a certain extent because of the fact that I'm part of the imperial family, but not as much since I'm fourth in line to the thrown. The media tends to focus on Nickolas and Stephen, not that I'm complaining about that."

"How do Nickolas and Stephen feel about the media?" asks Prince William.

"Stephen seems to enjoy the attention," replies Prince Adam, "Although Nickolas doesn't really enjoy it. Might be due to all of the added pressure of being first in line to the thrown. Suffice it to say that I am glad to be the first born of the second born, because it decreases my chances of ever having to rule."

"How does Nickolas feel about one day ruling San Cristobel?" asks Kevin.

"Well, he's been groomed to rule ever since he was born," replies Prince Adam, "But I'm not really sure that anything can really prepare someone to take on the supreme authority which goes along with the crown of San Cristobel."


Meanwhile, in another of the curtained alcoves, Don Smith and Nick Lachey sit on the sofa, kissing each other so passionately that they're totally oblivious to the fact that someone else has entered the alcove.


"Zach..." replies Don, as he breaks his kiss with Nick and turns to see his son standing there, looking totally shocked by the sight before his eyes.

"What's going on here?"

"Well, Zach, I had every intention of telling you this tomorrow," replies Don, "But, Nick and I are dating."

"Have you slept with him?"

"That's kind of personal don't you think?" asks Nick.

"Shutup Nick, I wasn't talking to you."

"Don't talk to Nick like that," replies Don sternly, "As for whether or not we're sleeping together, it's really none of your business Zachary, but yes, we are."

"So that's why you let Nick out of his bedroom through the secret passages back at the mansion the other night. So you could fuck him."

"Zachary, I don't want to hear you say that ever again."

"Well, Nick, I'm sure you've enjoyed your time with my father," replies Zach, "But I just hope you realize that it's over now."

"What are you talking about?" asks Nick.

"It should be obvious," replies Zach, "Your relationship with my father is over because of the fact that my mother is still alive. They're still married so he can't date you."

"I hate to burst your bubble, Zach," replies Nick, "But I'm not going to stop dating your father just because you mother is alive."

"I'm sure you'll change your mind when I rearrange that pretty boy face of yours."

"Zachary Andrew Smith that's enough!" replies Don sternly, without yelling so as to not attract attention, "Nobody is going to rearrange anyone's face. And as far as my relationship with your mother is concerned, it's over. It was over seventeen years ago. I love Nick now and I am going to continue my relationship with him. To be honest, I can see the two of us one day getting a civil union and spending the rest of our lives together."

"So can I," replies Nick, as he kisses Don on the cheek, "I love you Donny."

"There's just one problem with that," replies Zach, "You're still married to mom! She's not dead so your marriage was never legally dissolved."

"Actually, you're wrong Zach," replies Don, "I've divorced your mother."

"That's not possible," replies Zach, "You only just found out about her being alive like three or four days ago."

"Actually, I've known she was alive for a year now," replies Don, "And I've had our marriage dissolved in court."

"What!?" asks Zach, "You knew!? You knew that mother was alive and you didn't tell us? How could you keep that from us?"

Before Don can say anything, Zach replies, "I hate you," and runs out of the alcove.


Most of the staff have gone home for the night, but this is a twenty-four hour long-term care facility, so there's always someone on duty to monitor the patients. As Nurse Laura Wilkins walks past the door to Room 203, she looks through the window in the door and is shocked by what she sees.

The patient is sitting up in bed, very much so awake and she seems to be muttering something to herself. Nurse Wilkins enters the room and the patient turns towards her, obviously aware of her presence, but doesn't say anything and just continues muttering to herself.

Upon getting closer to the patient, Nurse Wilkins is able to make out what the patient is muttering.

"Don... Don... Don.." replies the patient ever so softly, over and over again.

Nurse Wilkins steps out of the room and runs to the nearby nurse's station. She quickly picks up the telephone and phones the patient's doctor at home.


"Doctor Spencer?"

"Yes, who is this?"

"It's Nurse Wilkins."

"Oh, hello Laura," replies Dr. William Spencer, "Why are you calling at this hour?"

"You need to get down here immediately," replies Laura, "Your patient in room 203 is awake."

"Are you sure?"

"Yes, I've just come from her room," replies Laura, "She's sitting up in bed and muttering the name Don over and over."

"I'll be right there," replies Dr. Spencer, "You were right to call me, Laura. I was just about to write to her family with my update on her condition. Now I can give the Winthrop family some good news."

The phone conversation ends, and Nurse Wilkins goes back to the door to room 203 and looks in to see that Katherine Winthrop-Smith is still sitting up in her bed, muttering to herself.


To be continued...

Well, there was Chapter 18. I'm sorry for the long wait, I've just been very busy. I hope you enjoyed this chapter. So, now Zach knows about his father's relationship with Nick Lachey, and that Don has known about Katherine for over a year now. Speaking of Katherine, she's finally woken up from the persistent vegetative state that she's been in for nearly two decades. Does she have any memories at all left? Or is her muttering the name Don just a coincidence? Who do you think Ashley was having sex with in his dream? And who was the woman who came in at the end? All this and more in the next chapter of Affairs of the Heart. Until next time, stay *NSYNC.

This story is copyright ©2003 by Jayson Colin Vascardi. All rights reserved.
If you don't use the above email link, please remember to include "Affairs" in the email subject line. All emails will be answered.
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