NEW! (under College section)
(All under boy-bands)
Set You Free
Ten Guys, One Night
So, I'm back again with another story. This one has been completely written already, so there won't be any delays in posting the chapters.
I must give a big Thank You to Justin for giving me the title Blissful Tears and for creating the wonderful image for this story in the Boy Band Screensaver. Thanks must also be given to Chris and Neo, for your chats and suggestions. You guys are all great!
Well, I'd hope by now everyone knows it, but just in case:
1. If you shouldn't be here, don't tell me and don't get caught!
2. I don't know any of the people mentioned in the story...it's fiction folks!
If you have any comments about this story, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org I try to respond to every single email I get!
As always, thank you for reading!
Only one thought coursed through his mind. If the man in the room across the hall died, AJ would too. It was simple really, no deaths or two deaths. He refused to even thinking about continuing to live without the piece of his soul that made him whole, that made him human.
He had caused this to happen. So caught up in his own pain at being rejected, he had tormented Brian by flaunting one man after another. He brought a different man to every gathering, every outing. Oh, he was a consummate actor, pretending to lust after each man. Making it look like every man had been or would be spending nights in his bed. But none of them had. Why would they when only one man was able to truly arouse him? Only one man made him passionate; there was only one man he wanted in his bed; Brian.
He'd been so consumed by his own agony that he hadn't noticed the anguish Brian was in. Trying to keep his life together by agreeing to marry someone he didn't love. Alex had been so oblivious to the desperation Brian felt as the wedding approached, his friends took sides and his family harassed him. Why hadn't he seen that Brian had reached the end? Why hadn't he seen the silent pleas for help before it reached this point? The point where Brian's life hung in the balance between life and death.
AJ moved, the first time in nearly two hours as he leaned forward and put his head in his hands. Every time he closed his eyes, all he could see was Brian, as he had found him hours earlier at the studio, lying twisted, almost lifeless on the control room floor. The empty pill bottle lying opened beside the still form.
No one was supposed to be at the studio until the next morning, but AJ had forgotten his hat. Of all the hundreds of hats he owns, it was that specific hat he wanted for the evening, so he decided to run to the studio to get it. A shudder coursed through his body as he thought about the fate that had made that decision. There was no question that Brian would have been dead by morning. Yet, fate was cruel, because Brian may yet die.
"AJ!" A loud voice caused his head to jerk up. He looked down the hall and saw his three friends rushing towards him; the fear and confusion clear on their faces.
AJ didn't have the strength to stand to greet them. Kevin sat down beside him and forced him to turn. The others stood beside him.
"What happened AJ? Where is Brian?" Kevin asked, out of breath after running from the parking lot to the intensive care unit.
AJ raised his red rimmed eyes to look at Brian's cousin. How was he supposed to tell him? AJ took a deep breath.
"I…I went to the studio," he got out before having to take another shaky breath. "My…my hat was there. I…I saw him…he was laying there…he…he wasn't moving." Now that he had started it poured out as fast as the tears streaming down his face. "I…I didn't know what was wrong, what to do. I dialed 911. I was so scared…he looked so pale. I tried to wake him up but he wouldn't. The…paramedics came…and…and took him. He stopped breathing…They…they got his heart going again. I thought I lost him," AJ finally broke down and the sobs wracked his body. "Oh God, oh God. Its all my fault," AJ whispered.
Kevin stood up and Howie took his place, wrapping his arms around his tormented friend, holding AJ closely. Howie had to blink back his own tears and looked up at his blond lover, seeing unshed tears in his eyes too.
Kevin simply stood there, too stunned to move. Nick forced back his own sorrow, realizing he needed to be strong for Kevin, for the hundreds of times Kevin had supported him. Nick walked down the hall to the nurses' station.
"Excuse me? Could we get some information on Brian Littrell?" he asked calmly and politely.
"We're waiting for a family member. And you are?" the nurse asked gently.
"I'm his best friend, but his cousin is here," Nick explained.
The nurse nodded her head. "Okay. Let me see if the doctor is available. Would you gentlemen like to wait in a more private location?" she asked, obviously realizing who the men were.
Nick smiled his famous Carter smile. "That would be nice. If its not too much trouble?"
The nurse picked up the phone and Nick walked back to Kevin, AJ and Howie.
"Kevin?" he said softly as he stopped beside Kevin, who still hadn't moved. Nick wondered where Chris was as Kevin flicked his gaze to the young man. "The nurse is going to get the doctor, okay?"
Kevin nodded blindly. "I didn't know," he whispered and Nick looked at him.
"Didn't know what Kev?" Nick asked gently.
"I didn't know it had got so bad for him. My God, he would rather be dead than keep going through the crap he was dealing with."
Nick was grateful when he saw the nurse approach with a young woman in a white coat.
"Gentlemen, would you come with me please?" the doctor asked.
Howie helped AJ up and they walked down the hall to a doorway on the left. She held the door, allowing the singers to walk past. It was a small lounge room with padded chairs and magazines. The four men turned expectantly to the doctor.
"Okay, Mr. Richardson, this information is for family only, so it is your choice who hears it," she said to Kevin.
Without a thought, Kevin responded. "They are all family. They stay."
"Alright. Brian took about a dozen rohypnol. Do you know what that is?"
"Isn't that that date rape drug?" Howie asked.
"Yes, exactly. It slows the nervous system, relaxing the person. His entire body, including his heart was so relaxed we had trouble getting a response. Once the paramedics got him here, we administered a strong adrenaline type stimulant to counter act the drug. We had some concerns because of his previous heart surgery that is why we took so long. We wanted to be sure to monitor everything closely to make certain there were no unexpected complications."
"So he's going to be okay?" Nick ventured.
The doctor took a deep breath and AJ shuddered as a wave of dread washed over him.
"We're not sure," she said. She held up her hands as the boys began to speak. "His heart stopped a number of times. Each time, his brain was deprived of oxygen. We can't know if any permanent damage was done until he wakes up. As soon as he comes to, we'll do some basic tests that should tell us if he'll recover completely. I'm sorry guys, but that's the best we can do."
The four men stood silently for a moment, digesting the disturbing news.
"May I see him," Kevin asked quietly.
The doctor smiled gently. "Of course, please follow me," she said and began to walk towards the door.
"Kev?" Howie tentatively put his hand on Kevin's arm. "Do you want us to call anyone else? His parents?"
Kevin looked at Howie for a minute, then sighed and shook his head. "No. Not yet. Brian gave me power of attorney so I could make decisions if he couldn't. Right now I think Jackie and Harold would just make things worse." Kevin left, leaving the other three shocked.
AJ had slumped down into one of the chairs and barely registered what was going on. Howie and Nick looked at each other and stepped forward to hug.
"I'm so proud of you babe," Howie whispered intently. "I know this is killing you, but you kept it together for Kev and AJ. I love you."
Nick squeezed Howie tightly in response, not willing to trust himself to speak. After a couple of minutes of comforting each other, they separated and turned to AJ. They sat down either side of him and wrapped him in their arms.
No one was sure how long they sat they silently holding each other. Howie looked up when he heard someone walk into the room. It was Chris and he looked panicked.
"What's wrong? I just got the message to come to the hospital. Where's Kevin?" he asked frantically.
Howie stood up and walked over to Chris, putting his hands on his shoulders. "Chris, calm down. Kevin is okay. Its Brian," Howie said softly.
Chris closed his eyes for a moment then opened them to look at the three singers. "What happened?" he asked as he took in AJ's near catatonic state.
Howie glanced at AJ and Nick, then back at Chris. "He tried to kill himself Chris," Howie said quietly, not wanting to upset AJ further.
Chris walked over to a chair and slumped down. "Kev must be terrified," he whispered, knowing how much Brian meant to Kevin.
Howie sat down beside him. "Yeah. He's in with Brian right now."
Chris just nodded his head and the silence resumed.
A short while later the door opened again and Kevin walked in. Chris sprang to his feet and walked to Kevin, pulling him into his arms despite Kevin's objections. As soon as he felt the arms around him, he gave in to his fears and shock, allowing himself to cry against Chris' shoulder.
The others allowed them a moment of privacy, so Kevin could pull himself together. Finally, Kevin pulled back, but continued holding tightly to Chris' hand. He looked at his friends and saw AJ, still unmoving on the chair. Kevin walked over and knelt in font of him and AJ raised his eyes slightly to look at Kevin.
"I'm sorry Kev," AJ whispered as the tears starting falling again.
Kevin shook his head and released Chris' hand to pull AJ against him. "AJ, it's not your fault. I don't know why things have happened they way they have these past few months. But I do know that despite everything, he loves you. Now you, we, have to be strong for him," Kevin told AJ as he rubbed his back. AJ finally nodded his head and pulled back.
He wiped the tears from his face. "Okay. Please Kev, may I see him?" AJ begged.
Kevin nodded and stood up, pulling AJ to his feet. "He's in room 302, AJ," Kevin said quietly. AJ glanced at the others and walked out the door.
Chris moved back to Kevin's side and pulled him over to a chair. "How is he?" he asked as Howie and Nick crowded around them.
Kevin shook his head slowly and sighed. "He looks so small and helpless. God, he's lost so much weight! Why didn't I notice?"
No one could answer him, because none of them had noticed either.
AJ walked down the hall until he reached the room. 302. He was terrified of what he would find inside. He still couldn't get rid of the image of Brian on the floor in the studio. He took a deep breath and pushed open the door.
There was a small light next to the bathroom door, providing the only source of illumination. He could clearly see the bed and Brian's slight frame covered in wires and surrounded by beeping machines. AJ smothered a gasp. Brian looked worse than he had after his heart surgery.
Slowly he walked over to the bed. Careful of the IV line, he picked up Brian's hand and held it in his own.
"Brian? Brian baby, I'm sorry," he whispered through the new onslaught of tears. "I'm sorry I hurt you. I'm sorry you were hurting so much and couldn't talk to me. I love you Brian. I have for so long and I will never stop. If…" he stumbled over the words, but had to say them. "If being with Leighanne is what you truly want, I will support you," he ended on a whisper. He sat down in the chair beside the bed and laid his head on the clasped hands, allowing his exhaustion to overtake him.
"AJ? Come on man, wake up."
AJ felt someone gently shaking his shoulder and opened his eyes wondering if everything had just been a horrible dream. The first thing he saw was Brian lying unconscious in the hospital bed and he knew it was real nightmare.
AJ turned his head to see who had wakened him. It was Nick. "Hey Nicky," he said groggily.
Nick managed a weak smile. "AJ, we have to go to the lounge," Nick said, helping AJ stand up.
AJ never took his eyes from Brian. "Why?"
Nick sighed. "AJ. AJ, look at me," Nick instructed and reluctantly AJ did. "Dave called. They found a tape at the studio…its Brian's suicide note," Nick's voice broke on a sob. "He recorded it," he whispered.
Through his own agony, AJ finally saw the pain Nick was in. He pulled his friend into a hug. "I'm sorry Frack. I know how much you love him too."
The two friends just stood there and gathered strength from each other. Finally Nick pulled back. "Kev sent me to get you. He wants everyone to hear the tape," Nick explained.
AJ nodded and they walked out the door and into the hallway.
"WHAT DID YOU DO TO HIM?" A voice suddenly shouted at them. A stunned AJ turned to see a distraught Jackie and Harold Littrell, rushing down the hall. "What have you done to our son?" Jackie Littrell asked, glaring at AJ.
Before Brian's parents reached AJ, Kevin stepped from behind AJ, with Jackson, one of their body guards.
"Who the hell are you to ask that?" Kevin spoke vehemently, surprising the Littrells. Jackie looked at Kevin in shock, but Kevin was too enraged to stop. "YOU! You Jackie and you Harold are the reason Brian has reached this point. You drove your own son to suicide because of your own hatred and prejudices. Don't you dare try to blame the one who truly loves him for your own sins." Kevin was shaking with the anger he felt towards Brian's parents at that moment.
"I love my son," Jackie objected.
"Where is Brian? I want to see him," Harold demanded.
Kevin glanced back at Jackson and gave a slight nod. Jackson moved in front of the doorway and crossed his arms. Kevin turned back to the Littrells.
"No," he said flatly, the rage draining out of him.
Jackie and Harold both began to protest, but Kevin silenced them. "Not until you know what you have done." They looked at Kevin in confusion. "Everyone come with me to the lounge. We are going to find out once and for all, why Brian did this."