Hey Hey. I'm back and you all have the all knowing omnipotent Rachel (author of Escape) to thank for that. Something about her just made me want to write...Sorry it's 4:43 AM and I should just now be waking up but I am going to be going to sleep soon. GOD I HATE SCHOOL. Anywho, I CRAVE E-MAIL. I know that was mean of me last time to make y'all e-mail me and then stop writing for a period of time but oh well. E-MAIL ME!!! JUST CLICK ON THE GREEN HYPERLINKS TO SEND ME A MESSAGE. (unless you have AOL. God I hate AOL) Thanks in advance....and now without further ADO. (sorry just watched much ado about nothing)






1 month later...

Everything settled down. All of the affairs with my mother death were settled. Nick, AJ, and Brian were all very accepting and Kevin even seemed to get used to the idea a little more. He still was not totally accepting of it, but I knew that he would get used to it. Kevin can be stubborn like that sometimes. Admittedly things were somewhat weird and new but I soon got over that.

"Hey baby," Howie said sneaking up behind me while I was making lunch.

"Damnit Howie, don't do that to me," I said turning with a knife in my hand.

"Threatening me with sharp objects?" He asked sarcastically.

"Not you, just a part of you," I said lowering the knife.

"You wouldn't do that, what would you have to..." he started but was interrupted by the ringing of the telephone.

"Try me next time," I shouted as he walked away.

I saw him shake his head as he walked out of the kitchen. I went back to making the sandwiches. I was just turning to put the knife in the sink when I felt a hand grab my waist. Startled I turned around and dropped the knife. It fell right between Howie's legs. His face went white.

"Guess you did mean it," he said staring at the knife on the floor.

"Are you okay baby?" I asked pulling him into a hug.

"I didn't think you would do it," he said smiling.

"Told ya I would," I said turning, grabbing the plate of sandwiches and walking out onto the patio. I set the plate down on the table and set myself into a chair. Howie walked out and sat on my lap. "So what's up for today?" I asked

"Well, everyone is coming over later to discuss the plans for the tour," he said. My heart sank. I never thought about what would happen when they left for the tour.

"Hey babe?" I asked quietly.

"Huh?" he said taking a bite out of one of the sandwiches.

"Where am I...I mean what am..." I started.

"You mean what is going to happen to you when we go on tour?" he asked.

"Um...yeah," I said.

"Well that is one of the things that we are going to be trying to figure out today," he said sighing.

"Management still does not know about us?" I asked.

"Nope, and they do not need to find out," he said.

"What difference does it make whether or not they know about us?" I asked.

"Trust me, It is just for the better if we don't tell them until they need to know," Howie said. I was about to say something when I heard the door opening. I looked through the patio doors and saw Nick and AJ walking into the house.

"Nick and AJ are here," I said as Howie was standing up. I grabbed his arm and pulled him back down. I turned his head and kissed him softly on the lips. He returned it.

"Um, are we interrupting something?" AJ asked.

"No," Howie said sighing.

"So where are Kev and Brian?" Nick asked.

"Well considering that you guys are an hour and a half early..." Howie started but was interrupted by the opening of the front door. "Right there." He sighed. "I knew I should not have given all of you keys."

"Wouldn't have mattered, they still would have found a way in," I said giving Howie another kiss. I heard Nick whisper something to AJ that caused both of them to start laughing.

"What was that?" I asked.

"Nothing," Nick responded swiftly. Howie stood up so I could get up. I stood and walked over to Nick. I picked him up and threw him over my shoulder. He started to beat on my back trying to make me put him down. I walked over to the edge of the pool.

"Now remember what happened last time," I said motioning towards the pool. "So what was that?" I asked.

"I said that it looked like the jolly green giant kissing a Smurf," Nick cried.

"There, now that wasn't so hard was it?" I asked setting nick down on the edge of the pool. I turned and started to walk away but was stopped when I heard Nick yell. I turned in time to see him fall backwards into the pool. Everyone started laughing. Including Brian and Kevin who had just walked out to the patio.

"Let me guess, another height comment?" Kevin asked seeing Nick thrashing about, fully clothed, in the pool.

"Yeah, but this time he admitted it then jumped in himself," AJ said from the chair he was sitting.

"Oh, very funny, he pushed me," Nick said as he was climbing out of the pool. He stalked into the bathhouse as Kevin and Brian sat down.

"So why is everyone so early?" Howie asked sighing.

"Because we knew that if we gave you two that extra hour and a half that we would come and interrupted something." Brian said snickering.

"More than likely," I said. I saw Howie start to blush. I sat back down and pulled him onto my lap and started to nibble on his neck. "But since you are early, you can just sit there and watch." Howie really started to blush, which is a great feat considering the darkness of his skin.

"No, thank you!" Kevin and Brian exclaimed. Howie just sat there trying not to laugh.

"What's so funny, AJ?" Kevin asked. He burst out laughing and pointed towards the bathhouse.

"It looks like Nick wants to do more than just watch?" Brian laughed. Howie and I started to laugh too. Nick came out of the bathhouse wearing nothing more than a towel. He sat down on the ground in front of AJ.

"Well let's get down to business," Kevin said pulling his chair around next to AJ. They discussed their plans for the tour for a looooooooooooooooooooooooooong time. I threw in my two cents whereever it seemed they could use it. The sun had already set and the patio lights had come on before they got to the subject of me.

"So where is Brad going to come in on all of this?" Howie asked. By the look on Kevin's face I could tell that this was something that he was trying to avoid.

"Well we only have on option there," he said sighing.

"And that is?" I asked harshly.

"Well to tell management about you two and hope for the best," Kevin said sighing. I felt Howie tense up at the thought of it.

"Okay, does someone mind telling me what is so bad with management?" I asked.

"Well when they found out about Nick and AJ they were ready to tear up the contract," Brian said bluntly.

"Yeah, but you guys make them a fortune, so you have them over the barrel," I said.

"Yeah, but the 'man-in-charge' is extremely homophobic," AJ said sighing.

"Oh," is all I said.

"We have a meeting with them tomorrow about the tour anyway, so..." Kevin started.

"What's say we go get something to eat," I said interrupting Kevin. I could tell how badly Howie did not want to do this. Kevin looked at me for a second then he saw how tense Howie was.

"Good idea, this will all work itself out tomorrow," Kevin said. Howie stood up and walked into the house. Everyone just sat there. I stood up and followed Howie. I found him lying face first on our bed.

"Baby, what's wrong?" I asked.

"It won't work," Howie said turning towards me.

"Baby, we are just going to have to wait till tomorrow. I'm sure that everything will come out okay." I said to him.

"But if it doesn't we are going to be separated for the entire length of the tour," Howie said on the verge of tears.

"I won't let that happen. I could not stand to be away from you for that long. Everything will be fine," I said to him but found that he had fallen asleep. I lay there stroking his head until I fell asleep myself.

I woke up the next morning and hoped into the shower. Howie was still asleep so I was being extremely quiet. I quickly took a shower and got dressed. I looked at my watch and saw that it was only 5:00. Sighing I combed my hair and walked downstairs. I saw Nick and AJ cuddled up to each other on the floor, Kevin on the couch and Brian on the loveseat. I shook my head and walked into the kitchen. I started a pot of coffee and headed out onto the patio. It was weird, I knew that it was still winter but it felt like late spring. I sat down on the chair and watched the sun start to rise. I just sat there staring off into space thinking about what would happen between Howie and me if management didn't like the idea of Howie dating me. I suddenly got the feeling that I was not alone. I knew who was with me.

"Morning Kev," I said.

"Hey, what are you doing up so early. I have never known you to get up before 12:00." He snickered handing me a cup of coffee.

"Funny, I was just thinking," I sighed.

"About Howie and the tour," he asked.

"I hate you," I said to him. This caught him off guard but he quickly recovered.

"Let me guess, I can read you too easily?" he asked.

"Yeah, but the way all of you talk about management, I am not too sure how this is going to work out, and if it does not work out I do not know what I am going to be able to do if I am away from Howie for that long." I said in one long breath.

"I know what you mean. It took me a while to get used to the fact that you two were...well..." he started.

"Dating?" I asked.

"Yeah, well it took me a while to get used to it but what I see between you two is love. I know that this is going to be just as hard on Howie if you are separated from him. Are you coming with us to the meeting today?" Kevin asked.

"I didn't think about it, do you think that I should?" I asked.

"Yeah, it would probably be better if you did. Howie does not like dealing with those guys and if the news is bad he might do something drastic. It would be a good idea if you were there." He said. I just nodded my head and stared out to the horizon again sipping my coffee. I felt something wrap around my shoulders. I jumped and spilled my coffee on my lap. I turned to see Howie wrapping his arms around me.

"Do you like scaring the shit out of me?" I asked him while giving him a kiss.

"Not scaring you. I think I like your reactions a little better," he said returning the kiss. I rolled my eyes and stood up. I brushed past Howie and into the house. I headed upstairs and changed my clothes. When I got back downstairs Howie was in the kitchen making breakfast.

"Did you notice that we have four extra guests?" I asked.

"Yeah, that usually happens. I still do not know why I gave them all keys," he said pulling me into a hug. I wrapped my arms around him and leaned down for a kiss. "I think Nick is right,"

"What do you mean?" I asked.

"You are the jolly green giant," he said stretching for a kiss.

"Hey, I am only six four." I protested but was cut short by Howie's probing tongue. Our tongues fought as our hands roamed each other's body. We would have stayed like that all morning if it were not for Nick.

"Get a room," he said walking into the kitchen.

"We got a whole house full of them, we just chose to use this one today," Howie said.

"Whatever," Nick said walking out of the room. We quickly finished breakfast and I quickly found out not to try to wake AJ up in the morning so I let Nick do that. We quickly ate and cleared the table. By the time everything was done it was 11:00.

"What time is the meeting?" Brian asked.

"12:00," Kevin said sighing. I snuggled closer to Howie on the couch and he laid his head on my shoulder. I sat there stroking his hair. We made idle chatter until Kevin told us that it was time to go. Everyone piled into their respective cars and we headed out. I could tell how worried Howie was as we drove to where ever we were going.

"Relax baby," I said taking his hand in mine. "Everything will work out fine."

"If they try to separate us I will walk," Howie said staring at the road.

"WHAT!" I yelled.

"You were right, we have them over the barrel, if I walk what are they going to do?" he asked.

"But what if they call your bluff. I've seen you on stage. You love what to do and if you walked, it would be because of me," I said to him.

"No, it wouldn't. I would walk for you, not because of you. You mean more to me than anything. If I had to choose between music and you, you would win without a thought." He said to me. I felt warm and happy inside. I felt the tears start to swell up and I forced them back down.

"I love you," I said.

"I love you too," Howie said back to me. I knew it was not what he was looking for but I was at a loss for words. We pulled into the parking lot and Howie leaned over for a kiss. I gladly gave him one. "Well here goes everything," he laughed as he got out of the car. I followed him out of the car and we met up with Nick, AJ, Brian, and Kevin. We walked into the building. Kevin walked ahead and talked to the receptionist. She led us down a long hallway to a conference room. We all piled in and took seats around a big oak table. I sat next to Howie who looked even more tense. We had just all sat down when a man came in and sat at the end of the table. He looked me straight in the eye. I knew he was trying to intimidate me so I coolly stared back at him.

"Who's he?" the guy asked.

"A friend," Kevin answered quickly.

"Well if you must know, my boyfriend," Howie said flatly staring ahead.

"Damnit, haven't we gone through this before?" the guy asked clearly irritated.

"Well we are going through it again," Kevin said.

"Well what is it this time?" he asked.

"We would like to take him on tour with us," Kevin answered.

"Out of the question. The media would have a field day with him," the guy said.

"I'll walk," Howie said flatly. I heard gasps from the table. Everyone was looking at him. The guy just smiled and reached into a manila folder. He took some papers out and slid them down the table towards Howie.

"No, you won't. You know what that is don't you?" he asked.

"Yeah, my contract," Howie answered. I got an idea. I pulled it over to me and started to read through it.

"Now, you wouldn't want me to have to file legal actions against you for breech of contract, would you Mr. Dorough?" The guy asked.

"I..." Howie started.

"No," I said standing up. "You wouldn't want Howie to file legal actions against you, would you?" I asked. Everyone just stared at me.

"Preposterous," the guy said. "On what grounds?"

"Section 17, Paragraph 3 clearly states and I quote '...the undersigned at any time may invite friends, family members, etc to be a guest while on tour, performances, company vacations etc, at the cost of Jive Records. Infringement upon aforementioned clause will declare contract null and void," I said matter-of-factly. The guys' face fell. I just smiled. He threw down his folder and walked out of the room.

"I guess the meetings over," Brian said, stating the obvious.

"I knew I went to law school for a reason," I smiled. Howie wrapped his arms around me and pulled me into a kiss.

"Come on, let's go," I said as we walked out of the room. We all got into our separate cars and went our separate ways. Howie and I got home and just spent the rest of the day watching TV. I was lying on the couch, as was Howie. His head was resting on my chest and that is how we woke up the next morning.

The rest of that week went pretty much the same way. It was just lounging around dreading Saturday when we had to leave for the tour. That was going to be so much fun. The day finally came and after the hell of packing enough for three months and all the last minute packing that always comes up we managed to drag ourselves onto the tour bus. ...

Well that's it for now. Not a lot of excitement or anything but hey I needed to get another chapter done. The next chapters are going to get better. I have them all planed out. Now if I could get this stupid hunk of junk to work on a daily basis it won't take as long to get them out. Sorry for the long delay and thanks once again to the omnipotent Rachel (escape, choices....and whatever else she wrote By the way if you ever talk to her ask her if Kevin and AJ are getting married.) E-mail me. Matrix3311@aol.com or ICQ 33110864