Runaway Chapter 21

by Kenitra

Other Stories by Me!

(under College section)
(Posted Dec 16/00)

(All under boy-bands)
NEW! Admitting the Truth
(Posted July 12/01)

What If
(Posted May 29/01)

Blissful Tears
(Ended Jan 28/01)

First Anniversary
(Posted Oct 31/00)

Fates Reason
(Ended Feb 6/00)

Ice Storm
(Posted May 8/00)

Set You Free
(Ended Apr 11/00)

Ten Guys, One Night
(Posted Apr 7/00)

Only two parts left after this!!

Thank yous to Neo and Rune, as always, and to David the archivist.

Disclaimer: Okay, here it is:
1. If you're too young, I don't want to know it.
2. I don't know the Backstreet Boys or any other celebrity. The story is completely made up. Tyler is from my own imagination.

If you have any comments about this story, please email me at
I try to respond to every single email I get!

As always, thank you for reading!

Chapter 21

Tyler was quiet until they got back in the car. "Where are we going now?" he asked softly as he sat beside Brian.

Kevin looked in the rearview mirror at him. "I thought I would take you and Brian home now," he said with a slight smile.

Tyler smiled tiredly. "Sounds good. Thanks for everything Kev," he added.

Kevin just smiled. Tyler looked over at Brian to find him watching him intently. "I'm sorry that had to happen, baby," Brian murmured.

Tyler tenderly stroked Brian's cheek. "Nothing you could have done about it, sweetie," Tyler said softly. "And you know what? I don't want it to ruin the rest of our day. Its not my problem anymore, right?"

Brian smiled. "Right!"

They arrived back at the Littrell home and Kevin declined the offer of dinner. He promised to return the car the next day and left. After a brief explanation to Jackie and Harold, Brian and Tyler continued up to their room.

Tyler flopped down on the bed on his back and stretched. He turned his head to look at Brian and smiled. "I love you so much," he said softly. Brian returned the smile and moved to lie beside Tyler. Tyler turned onto his side so they were face to face. "You know, Jason asked me today how I felt about you," Tyler commented as his fingers absently stroked over Brian's knuckles.

"Oh?" Brian asked in surprise.

Tyler nodded. "Yeah. He really made me think."

"About what?" Brian asked softly.

"About how much I rely on you, and how much I love you. Jason wondered whether my relying on you, made me think I loved you." Tyler looked at Brian seriously. "But that's not the case, Brian. I love you because you're sweet and funny and honest," Tyler blushed, "and a good kisser," he added.

Brian smiled in delight and leaned forward to kiss Tyler's nose. "Thank you for telling me that baby, but I never doubted your feelings for me," he said truthfully.

Tyler leaned forward and they shared a long kiss. The two just lay in bed for a while holding each other and talking softly. Eventually they went downstairs for some food before showering and climbing back into the bed.

"I love you Ty," Brian said softly as he pulled Tyler to his chest.

Tyler snuggled against Brian. "Love you too sweetie," Tyler murmured sleepily, making Brian smile.

A couple of weeks later Brian knew he had some decisions to make. Kevin had called the night before to let him know they had to be back in Orlando soon to start on the new CD. The month off was almost over and now it was back to business.

But Brian still had to decide what to do with Tyler. Originally, before he fell in love with Ty, he had planned on helping Tyler get a job somewhere and start a new life. Now Brian knew he couldn't let Tyler leave him. But was Orlando the right place? The apartment he shared with Kevin and Howie wasn't really big enough for a fourth person. It wasn't fair to Tyler to force him to share a room if he wanted his own space. And Howie and Kevin had to be considered.

Brian sighed. At least the issue of Tyler's father had been dealt with. The man had accepted the offer presented by their lawyer. He agreed to pay Tyler a lump sum of one hundred fifty thousand dollars, and never to contact Tyler again. In exchange, they would drop the charges for violating the court order. Brian would have liked to see the man dragged through the mud, but this decision was best for Tyler.

He wandered into the living room, realizing he missed Tyler who was shopping with Kevin. Tyler had insisted on buying something for Brian and asked Kevin to help him pick something out.

Brian found his Mom sitting on the couch and sat down beside her. She set her book down and looked at Brian.

"Missing Tyler?" she asked.

Brian nodded. "Yeah." He paused for a moment. "Mom, what do you think about Tyler? About Tyler and me?" he asked suddenly.

Jackie was quiet. Too quiet!

Brian turned to look closely at his Mom. "Mom? You do like Tyler don't you?" Brian asked suddenly concerned.

Jackie looked at her son. "Of course Brian, but…" she trailed off unsure how to explain her concerns, and voice what both her and Harold had been thinking.

Brian was getting upset. "But what Mom? You don't think I love him? You don't think he loves me? What? He's too young? You think our love is wrong?" Brian barraged his mom with questions.

Jackie finally spoke up, stopping Brian. "Brian, I'm not saying your love is wrong!" Jackie said in surprise. "You know I would never do that. I like Tyler very much; he's a very sweet boy. But that is my concern; a boy." She sighed and looked at her son, trying to form the words to express her thoughts clearly. "I don't doubt he loves you, I see it every time he looks at you. And it's clear how you feel about him. But, Brian, he is so young." She sat down in front of Brian and reached out to touch his clenched hands where they sat on his knees. "I know he's 18, but he has been sheltered for so much of his life. You yourself said, he had never filled out a form until you took him to the doctor. Physically he is 18, but emotionally, socially? He has so much yet to learn about life. If he goes back to Orlando with you right now, what will happen? Maybe he'll get a job at a fast food restaurant. Perhaps he'll go back to school, but who will be home to see if he's doing his homework, or to help him with it? You know very well that soon the group will be back at it, and you'll be spending your entire time recording. And you yourself said that the group wanted to go back to Sweden to record. Tyler can't just take that time off from school," she stopped and waited to see Brian's reaction to her words.

Brian knew what his Mom was saying made sense, but the thought of leaving Tyler made his stomach clench. He sighed deeply and looked at his Mom. "So what are you saying?" he asked resignedly.

Jackie shook her head. "I'm making a suggestion, Brian, that's all. The decision is yours and Tyler's." She stood up and began to pace slowly as she revealed the idea her and her husband had come up with. "If he were to stay here he could enroll in summer school and get the credit for the semester he missed. Then in September he can take his last year of high school." Jackie could see Brian was going to object to that, knowing Tyler could go to school in Orlando just as easily. She continued with the rest of her reasons. "He'll have a stable home life and two adults to help him with any problems. As well, he can continue with the therapist whom he already has a rapport. Attending a co-ed school will also allow him to develop his social skills." Jackie knew she was getting through to Brian, but decided to lay everything out to him. She wanted to make sure he knew exactly what could happen. "Brian, he has been through so much the past few months, what happens if he has another emotional breakdown, while you're at the studio, or in New York, or Sweden? More than anything, he needs normalcy and stability. As much as you love him, I don't think you can provide that right now. Next spring, when he graduates, he'll be better prepared for the realities of life. He can join you in Orlando; maybe even attend college there. That's up to him." She knew she had been successful when Brian sighed and leaned back against the couch. She was glad Tyler's best interests would be looked after, but she wasn't happy about hurting her son by separating him from the man he loved.

Jackie sat down beside Brian and put her arm around his shoulder. He leaned into his Mom's embrace. "I'm not trying to keep you apart, Brian you must know that," Jackie said sincerely. "What I am trying to do is be objective and do what is best for Tyler. You know you would be welcome here anytime you want to visit. And when the school is on holidays, he could visit you in Orlando. All I'm talking about is one year Brian. One year that can make a world of difference in his life." Jackie squeezed Brian to her then rose. She paused at the door to look back at her son, knowing the decision was now in his hands. "Think about it at least, please Brian. I won't bring it up with Tyler; I leave that up to you."

Brian sat motionless on the couch, stunned by the turn of events. He had been wondering what to do about Tyler, but the idea of Tyler staying in Lexington had never crossed his mind. But now his Mom had opened the door to that option. He thought about what Jackie had said. It all made sense, except for the fact that Tyler would be here, while he was in Orlando, or New York, or Sweden. And that was just while recording. Once the tour started, they would be all over the place. He knew that they wouldn't get much time together during the year. The end results would be worth it though, he thought. Tyler would have his high school diploma. And he definitely would be better off going to school in Lexington than the dangerous schools of Orlando.

Brian pushed himself off the couch. In the end, the decision wasn't his; it was Tyler's. He would present the arguments but let Tyler choose. Now he just had to decide how and when to bring the subject up with Tyler.

Before he could think about it any more, he heard the front door open and recognized the voices as Tyler and Kevin. Brian forced his concerns away and walked out to meet them with a smile.

Tyler and Kevin were laughing, and Brian paused to watch the joy on Tyler's face. It was so good to see him smiling. And he was smiling so much more lately. Brian decided to hold off talking to Tyler until later.

"Hey guys!" he said as he walked into the room.

"Hi Bri," Kevin greeted him.

Tyler smiled and walked over to Brian. "Hi," he said before kissing Brian softly. "I missed you," he said with a smile.

Brian leaned forward for another kiss. "Missed you too, Ty. Did you guys have fun?" he asked, noticing the parcel in Tyler's hand.

Tyler grinned. "I did! Kevin is fun to shop with," he enthused.

Kevin laughed. "Tyler is a wild man when he gets going Bri," Kevin said. "He tired me out!"

Brian and Tyler both laughed.

"You going to hang around for dinner Kev?" Brian asked.

"Nah, I have some things to do, and I want to spend more time with my brothers before we have to go back to Orlando next week," Kevin said. Brian winced, knowing that he hadn't mentioned it to Tyler yet. "I'll see you later Ty," Kevin added before heading for the door.

"Thanks for your help Kevin," Tyler called after him.

Once the door closed Tyler looked at Brian sadly. "You have to go back to Orlando next week?" he asked quietly.

Brian sighed and walked over to the younger man. He put his arms around Tyler, hugging him tightly. "I didn't want to talk about it today. But yeah, Kev and I have to get back. We have a new CD to record, and then we'll be going back on tour," Brian explained softly.

Tyler shuddered. "What about me?" he whispered.

Brian pulled back a little and looked into Tyler's face. He could see the fear and sadness and it broke his heart. He reached up to cup Tyler's face. "Ty, I love you. Nothing will change that. Can we hold this conversation until after dinner? I promise we'll sit down and figure things out," Brian vowed.

Tyler pulled back and ran his hands over his face. "Okay, Bri," he said quietly. "I'm going to take my things up to the room, and maybe take a shower. I'll be back down in a little while," Tyler said, looking at the floor instead of Brian.

Brian bit his lip in frustration. "Okay baby," he murmured before Tyler left the room. Once Tyler was gone, Brian banged his hand against the doorframe in frustration. It wasn't Kevin's fault that he'd mentioned Orlando. Brian knew he should have told Tyler as soon as Kevin had called about recording the new CD. Now Tyler was upset. A couple of times Brian started for the stairs, wanting to find Tyler and comfort him. He forced himself to stop and walk into the living room. Tyler had a right to some time alone to process everything. Perhaps he even had some of his own ideas about what would happen when the singers went back into the studio.

Jackie came into the room a little while later and told Brian that dinner was ready. As he walked into the dining room he noticed Tyler was already seated. Tyler looked up at Brian and smiled slightly. Brian ran his fingers across Tyler's shoulders before sitting down beside him. Dinner was uneventful as Jackie and Harold discussed a fundraiser they were helping with.

After dinner Brian excused Tyler and himself and picked up Tyler's hand, leading him out to the garden in the back yard. They walked silently down the path to a bench and sat down. Brian squeezed Tyler's hand.

"Ty, I never meant to keep it a secret you know. Returning to Orlando was always in the plans. I guess I just kept putting it out of my mind cause I was so happy just spending time with you," Brian said quietly.

"Am I going with you?" Tyler asked in a whisper.

Brian turned to look at Tyler. "If you want." He held up his hand to stop Tyler from interrupting. "Wait, Ty. Please let me finish." Tyler nodded. "When I realized I was in love with you, and that you loved me too, I was ecstatic. All I could think about was us together for the rest of our lives." Brian paused trying to gather the right words. "I don't think I was being realistic." Brian watched Tyler's expression and realized that he had chosen his words badly. "Ty, I don't mean that our love isn't real. I love you and that is one thing you never have to doubt," he said intently, picking up both of Tyler's hands in his own. "I'm making a mess of this," Brian sighed in frustration.

"I was thinking about it earlier today, what was going to happen to us when I went back to my career. I admit I hadn't really come up with a plan. But then I was talking to my Mom." Brian took a deep breath before continuing. "She suggested that it might be a good idea for you to stay here for the year and finish high school. And I think I agree with her," he added. Tyler remained silent but looked at Brian in surprise. Brian stood and knelt in front of Tyler, clasping his hands tightly. "Whether we're in the same room or on opposite sides of the world Tyler, you will always be a part of my life and my heart," he said intently. "If you stay, I know this next year will be difficult. I will miss you so much," he whispered, blinking back a sudden rush of tears. "But I'll feel better knowing that you are being taken care of. I wouldn't be able to give you the kind of support you need right now and I know my parents can." Brian wasn't sure who he was trying to convince more, Tyler or himself. But he forged ahead. "My schedule will see me flying all over the place, spending 12 hour days in the studio. You need something more consistent, more normal. You need this chance to just be a kid still, be a teenager." He met Tyler's gaze and smiled encouragingly. "Take this year and enjoy being 18. Make new friends, discover the fun of a co-ed high school; maybe even go to some of the dances. You know that if you really need me, all you have to do is pick up the phone." Brian reached up and wiped away a lone tear trickling down Tyler's cheek. "We will see each other Ty," Brian vowed. "I'll be home for visits and I certainly want you to visit me in Orlando. We can chat on the Internet every night if you want. I love you Ty, and I just want the best for you." Brian stopped talking and waited for Tyler's reaction.

Tyler inhaled deeply and met Brian's gaze. "You want me to stay?" he asked softly, his gaze never wavering from Brian's.

Brian forced a smile. "Ty, you have to know that I would prefer to have you with me, always. What I want is what would be best for you, and your future. But in the end what I want doesn't matter. The choice is entirely up to you. If you decide you want to come to Orlando, I will welcome you and love you. I just thought you should know you have options. And if you have something else in mind, then I hope you let me know."

Tyler pulled his gaze from Brian and looked around at the trees as he chewed slightly on his bottom lip. Brian waited patiently and quietly while Tyler thought about what Brian had said. Finally he looked back at Brian. "And what about after that?" he asked softly.

Brian smiled gently. "Whatever you want Tyler. I hope you'll want to come to Orlando and spend some time with me. Perhaps you'll want to go somewhere else for college. Maybe… maybe you'll meet someone new," Brian added as the thought suddenly hit him. He looked up, startled by the uncomfortable thought.

Tyler smiled slightly and shook his head. "Not likely Brian. I love you, and want to spend my life with you," he paused. "I guess one year isn't that long when you consider a lifetime huh?" he mused. Brian pushed himself to his feet and sat back down on the bench beside Tyler. He put his arm around Tyler's shoulders and pulled the younger man to him. He clasped his right hand with Tyler's left hand, entwining their fingers and squeezing in silent communication.

"Are you sure your parents want me here?" Tyler asked softly as he leaned against Brian and stared at their entwined fingers.

"It was Mom's suggestion Ty. She and Dad really like you and want you to have a good future," Brian said.

They sat in silence for a while as dusk began to recede into night. The small lights along the walk suddenly illuminated the path as the timer clicked on.

Brian felt Tyler suddenly tense and waited for him to speak. "What…what if you find someone new?" Tyler whispered.

Brian squeezed Tyler's shoulder and smiled. "Not going to happen baby," Brian promised. "I love you, and even if I did have time while recording and touring to look for someone, why would I when I know you are here waiting for me."

Tyler turned and wrapped his arms around Brian's waist, tucking his face against Brian's neck. "Promise?" Tyler murmured.

Brian could sense Tyler's insecurity and gently moved him back so he could see his face. Brian cupped Tyler's face with his hands and looked directly into Tyler's eyes. "Ty, I swear to you, that I will not find or even be looking at any other man. Why would I when I have the best?"

Tyler smiled sweetly and leaned forward to kiss Brian's lips softly. "I love you so much Brian," he whispered.

Brian returned the kiss. "Love you too Tyler," he murmured before recapturing Tyler's mouth.

To be continued