Disclaimer: I do not know any of the celebrities that are mentioned within this story. As such, this is not a reflection on their true lives, it's totally fictional. The details in this story do not reflect real life events. If you are offended by gay fiction or it is illegal to read such material where you are please leave now. Any one else, I hope you enjoy it.

Special thanks go firstly to Chris, you're amazing, you keep me sane and you're the reason I'm doing this. Viv thank you so much, you've made this readable and already provided feedback to boost my confidence.

Feedback gives authors all the encouragement to they need to write. Please remember this, if you like what you see let me know. Email your thoughts and opinions to david.stories@hotmail.co.uk Thanks.

A/N: This chapter mentions American Idol; I do not own any rights to the show. The song `Because of You' is written and performed by Kelly Clarkson.

Chapter 4

I awoke to a noise in the room, forcing myself to wake up, I slowly opened my still tired eyes. Looking around I could see the bathroom door slightly open and I heard the shower running so guessed Nick was in there. Deciding I would shower when he was finished, I got out of bed walking to the dresser I'd placed my bag next too. I picked it up realising right away that it was much lighter, I opened it and looked inside. In there I'd had all my clothes, a note book I scribbled ideas for lyrics on, and my laptop hidden right at the bottom. The laptop and note book were still there, but all the clothes that had surrounded them were gone.

I nearly panicked but common sense kicked in just in time. Dianne would have taken them to wash; it's what the mom in her would do. I relaxed a bit before realising the only clothes I had left to wear now were the t-shirt and boxers I had on. That wouldn't be so bad but I could hear the shower running, the shower with Nick in it. Nick naked with water running down his chest, his perfect blond hair matted to his head, and now the lack of clothes was a problem.

Mom, think of my mom; that was bound to work. It did work too, for about three seconds until thoughts of Nick entered my mind again. I got back into bed, maybe I couldn't hide my growing problem with clothing, but the comforter would work. I heard the shower stop and its' door close as Nick got out. I faced the door trying to make myself look away, but I just couldn't. I wanted to see him the minute he walked into the room. I wanted him to be the first and last person I saw each day.

I painfully waited for him to walk into the bedroom. I heard his towel drop onto the floor and then watched as the door opened. Nick walked into the room, obviously forgetting he was alone, naked as the day he was born when his eyes met with mine. It took a few seconds before he realised his nakedness and turned and ran back into the bathroom. I was in heaven. I'd seen his whole body, if only for a couple seconds and it was beautiful, his skin was tanned all over with the exception of his crotch. His chest was lightly developed and he had a small stomach that looked perfect on him. His long legs were slightly muscled with what seemed to be sparse soft looking blond hair dusted over them. His crowning glory lay below his stomach, his crotch.

My eyes had locked onto it for only a second, but in a blink I had stored that image. He had a soft trail of blond hair that led to the slightly thicker patch right above his cock. He was soft but even so he was looked big. It looked about four inches with the foreskin sitting wrapped around the head. The skin on it was slightly darker than the rest of his midsection. It looked almost tanned and below, his balls hung loosely in their sack. I'd watched him as he turned and darted into the bathroom, his perfect bubble butt disappearing behind the door.

I lay back on my bed feeling slightly shocked. If I thought I had feelings for him before, I knew for sure now, that I did. I needed to learn more about him. Nick slowly opened the bathroom door and peeked his head through, his cheeks were scarlet and he was looking down again. I needed to take control and make him feel more at ease.

"Nick, come in," I gently said to him.

He opened the door a little more and then slowly walked through. This time with a towel wrapped tightly around his waist.

"Sorry about before, I forgot you were even in here, force of habit," his cheeks were blushing furiously. It looked kinda cute on him.

"Don't worry man. It's cool. I won't mention it to anyone if you don't," I tried to joke and he looked up slightly catching my eyes for only a second before looking down again.

"Umm I'm just gonna grab these clothes and get dressed in there okay," he said indicating the bathroom again.

"Sure, umm do you know where my clothes went?" I asked looking towards my duffle bag.

"Oh shit, sorry. Dianne asked me to lend you some stuff. You were out cold when she came in, so she took your clothes to wash them."

"Hey it's cool. I'd guessed she had them anyway. I can get stuff when you done getting dressed. I'll just lay back here and relax," I said giving him a smile.

"Ok, be back in a second." I could swear his eyes were tracing the comforter that covered me.

I only had to wait for two minutes or so before Nick came back into the room looking slightly more comfortable. He looked over at me smiled then went to his dresser to dig around for clothes. He pulled out a baby blue A&F t-shirt and some baggy jeans. He looked like he was debating what to do for underwear as he shuffled through the drawer.

"Nick, these will be great, thanks," I said indicating the clothes he had hooked over his arm. "I'll just wear my boxers again till Dianne is finished with the rest of my stuff okay?"

"Oh, umm yeah sure, okay, that will work," he stammered out. His eyes were looking towards me. They would slowly drop to the comforter I was covered with shooting back up when he realised they were dropping again. "Okay, Dianne said to tell you to come get breakfast when you're dressed and showered, so I'll see you in the kitchen."

Nick walked out the room leaving me to safely get up. I quickly made my way to the bathroom, showered and took care of my growing problem and then dressed in the clothes Nick had left me, reviling in the fact I was wearing something of his.

I padded my way along the carpeted hallway passing Lance's room. His door was open so I guessed he was already at breakfast. I followed the hall along reaching the kitchen door and I opened it and walked in to see Lance, Nick, Dianne and a girl I hadn't met before. She looked up at me as I walked in the door and smiled. Dianne stood heading to the counter as she spoke.

"Good morning Justin, this is my daughter Stacy. What would you like for breakfast sweetheart?"

I hesitated not wanting to seem rude when Stacy spoke up, "Mom, at least tell him what you've got," she said smirking at me then rolling her eyes to her mom.

"Stacy! Don't roll your eyes!" she said with a joking tone in her voice. "Now, sorry Justin, I have cereal, Cornflakes or Apple Jacks, or I could cook you something?"

"Umm, Apple Jacks sound good," I replied with a smile.

Lance pointed to the free chair next to him so I walked over and sat on it. Stacy picked up the orange juice that was on the table and passed it to my side, while Nick did the same with the milk. We were sitting in silence so I decided to be brave and start a conversation.

"So, Stacy, your mom said you got home last night. Are you in college?"

Lance snorted trying not to laugh as I said that and Nick chuckled quietly to himself trying to not be noticed.

"No I'm not Justin, so you don't recognise me?" she asked raising her eyebrow.

I looked to her again wondering if I was supposed to know the face before me. I spent almost a minute trying to figure out if I had seen her some place. She was looking back with an amused expression on her face obviously enjoying the fact that I couldn't place her.

"Oh my god! Somebody who doesn't know who the wonderful Stacy Bass is!" Lance said laughing really hard.  

Stacy reached over to slap him on the head, causing him to laugh harder. Nick was laughing quietly now, a sound I really liked hearing.  

"Umm I'm sorry. Should I actually know who you are?" I asked.

She laughed saying, "Where have you been the last few months? American Idol!"

Silence passed over the room, each person realising in their own minds why I hadn't seen her. Every one except Stacy seemed oblivious to the silence, but I was delighted, maybe she was disappointed that someone didn't recognise her, but to me, it was great she didn't know who I was.

"Stacy can I have a word please?" Dianne said looking like she wanted to hug me or do some other parental gesture.

I interrupted, "It's okay Dianne," I said turning my attention to Stacy. "I've been in the hospital the last few months so I haven't seen it. I take it you did well then?" I asked.

Nick spoke up causing everyone, including myself, to look at him in surprise, "You're only sitting with this years American Idol herself Justin!"

Cool, I was eating breakfast with a famous person!

"Wow! Well I guess congratulations then, I'll need to try and see some of the shows you were in. Is this the part where I ask for an autograph?" I asked before both Stacy and I burst into laughter.

"Oh Mom, I like this one. I think we finally found the trade in for Lancey poo," she said, slugging Lance in the arm.

Lance laughed with us, hitting Stacy back and Nick was sitting watching, his eyes shining with tears, tears from laughter.

Dianne returned to the table with the cereal, setting it down in front of me as she went back to eating her own breakfast.

"So Justin, you said you were in the hospital? What was up?" Stacy asked, sending the whole table into silence again as everyone looked down.

"I had some trouble back home. I umm, got beat up pretty bad by some guys at school. I'm fine now though," I replied, doing my best to look happy, even though my heart was breaking thinking of the pain.

I glanced towards Lance knowing I could talk at this table and not be judged. I just couldn't find the words to describe what had happened to me. Nick caught my eye and he looked concerned. I could also see a little of something else in there, I just couldn't place it. Dianne was looking at me, in fact they all were. I could feel their eyes focused on my forehead as I looked down thinking. Trying to decide if and how I should be open about myself and my past.

Dianne did it for me. I think she'd noticed my anguish as she stood up and grabbed a newspaper from a kitchen drawer before handing it to Stacy. She looked at it with pain in her eyes, but also with confusion. Dianne took it back before passing it too me to see. There was a picture of Stacy and Lance on the front, with the headline, `American Idol Stars Family Pain'.  I glanced over the article, catching the parts that mentioned Lances' sexuality and the attack that took place on him. I felt tears in my eyes and I was quietly sniffling as I tried my hardest not to cry.


I looked up slightly and quietly spoke. "Lance and I were alike in some ways. The guys that beat me up they did it because I'm gay." I'd expected some reaction but I didn't get it, just unreadable looks instead. "My mom and dad refused to accept that I was gay, they thought I was just sick, and they told me that if I went to a church camp to be fixed I could stay and be their son. Instead, I chose to leave and be who I am."

The tears that were threatening to fall before I spoke had started to snake their way down my cheeks. Lance also had wet streaks on his cheeks as he listened to my pain and no doubt relived his own. Nick stood up and walked over to me and he leaned down, wrapping his arms around my neck and whispering that I was safe now. He gently rubbed my back as I pressed my face into his shoulder trying my hardest to stop the tears as they kept escaping my eyes. I couldn't help it, I was breathing into his shirt, his scent was so strong. I turned my head slightly pressing my nose into his neck taking as much of that scent in as possible. Nick pulled back slightly and pressed his lips to my forehead.

"I need to talk," was all he said before standing and walking back to the door before stopping to look back at me.

I looked to Dianne who just smiled and nodded, telling me to follow. I stood up and walked to the door, following Nick as he walked back down the hall to his room. I followed him in, watching as he sat on his bed, asking me by patting his hand on the bed to sit next to him.

"I want to tell you why I'm here," he started, "I know what bad parents are." I looked into his eyes and I could see the fear and pain. "I ran from my life too. My dad," he paused, as tears began to fall, "he used to do things. He abused me Justin. I ran from him because I couldn't take it. I told my mom that he'd touched me and she looked at me with so much hatred in her eyes and told me to shut up and stop lying. After that, I just kept quiet." I took his hand, wanting to provide any comfort I could. "I was sixteen and my dad had been having his fun with me that night. I couldn't take the pain anymore." He pulled his sleeve up slightly revealing the little white scars on his wrists. "I didn't want to live anymore; I had nothing left to live for anyway." I wanted to protest, but realised I had no idea how he had felt during that time. "My mom found me in the bathroom. She dialled 911, she saved my life and that's the last time I saw either of them."

I couldn't take it anymore. I opened my arms and pulled him in and he sobbed into my shoulder. "My dad, he did it because I'm gay. He said I deserved it, I believed him back then. I've spent the last three years trying to push my feelings inside, my therapist told me to write down how I felt if I couldn't say it." He reached over to the bedside table and picked up a small note book. "My thoughts and feelings are all in here. I write songs to express what I sometimes can't say." I wanted to speak up and tell him I did the same but I couldn't find my voice. "Dianne saved my life; she cared when nobody else did. She wants to do the same for you, I can tell. Coming to stay here was one of the hardest things I've done, I've regretted it so many times. I see the love they all have for each other and even for me; it just reminds me how little I have outside of here." I pulled him close again, rubbing circles on his back. "Today at the table I realised coming here was the best decision I ever made. It brought me to you."

I looked up at him, feeling shock and excitement at the same time. His eyes showed such fear as he reconciled what he had just admitted to me. I did the first and only thing that came to my mind. I leaned forward and gently placed my lips on his. His lips felt as soft as silk as I felt them against mine. Nick gently placed his hand on the back of my head and tilted his head slightly. I snaked my tongue slowly through my lips and gently made contact with his before Nick parted his lips slightly allowing my tongue access. I pressed my own forward and made contact with his. I was amazed that this felt so good, so right. Nicks hand was rubbing tiny circles on the back of my head, his tongue pressing forward into my mouth as we continued to explore each others mouths.

Nick pulled back slightly as he spoke, "Wow! I mean just... wow. I didn't think you felt the same. You've seemed so guarded since last night, which I'm still so sorry for that." He looked a little embarrassed as he said the last part.

I reached and took both his hands into my own. "When I came in here last night, you scared me; I didn't know how to act around you. Then when you woke up and panicked I felt so upset. Not because you had upset me, but because I had caused you to react like that. I'm the one who should be sorry, I should have had Lance or Dianne wake you up first."

Nick let out a gentle laugh, "How about we're both sorry and we just forget it. What are you going to do when Dianne asks you to stay? Which she will, I know it." He looked unsure of how I was going to react.

"Being honest, I don't really know how I'm going to react yet. I came here last night willing to stay just the night, and now I don't know. Dianne, she makes me feel safe. It's almost like having my own mom back, just different."

"Yeah, she's good like that. If it helps any, I'd really love it if you stayed."

I noticed movement from the corner of my eye, and I turned, seeing Dianne standing there with a smile on her face. She came into the room and sat on the bed opposite us. She reached forward taking a hand from each of us into her own.

"Boys, I'm sorry for interrupting, but it seems that I came in at the right time," she said turning to face me directly. "Justin, I won't force the issue with you, but please know that Jim and I would love to have you stay with us for as long as you want or need too. You're a special boy, I can see that, if I can possibly help you in anyway, please let me."

"Umm, thank you, I need a little time to think things over if that's okay? If it's okay though, can I stay here today. I'd like to spend time with Nick and Lance please?"

"Sweetheart, like I said, stay as long as you want to." She stood leaning down to place gently kisses to each of our heads. "Now if you boys don't mind Lance is going crazy in the kitchen worrying about you two," she finished with a smirk.

We stood up and followed her back to the kitchen, where Lance was indeed looking worried and nervous. When he saw us looking happy, he visibly relaxed.

"Wanna watch some TV?" he asked, looking happier already.

Nick looked at me to see if I wanted to. I simply nodded my head before Nick agreed with Lance.

We walked to the living room, each choosing to sit on the couch with Nick on the left, Lance in the center, and me on the right. Lance picked up the remote and changed the channel until he found MTV. The groan from Lance brought my attention to the TV. I sat there stunned as I saw Stacy singing on her music video. Her voice was absolutely perfect.

"Jesus Lance, she's amazing!"

Lance rolled his eyes replying, "Dude, she's my sister. It's not like I can agree with you. There's like laws or something against that," Lance stated.

Nick was laughing and shaking his head at Lance, "Lance man, for once just be happy for her," he said still trying to calm his laughter.

Announcing that I needed to go to the rest room, I stood up and walked down the hall to the bedroom again. I went in and did my business before heading back down the hall to the living room. As I was about to enter the room, I could hear Lances' hushed voice talking to Nick. I could only make out parts of their conversation, but what I could hear told me they were discussing what Nick had told me earlier. It gave me a warm feeling to know Nick had people to talk to and I also realised that if I did come to live here I would too. I heard Lance tell Nick to show me something but Nick seemed hesitant, so as Lance tried again to get him to show me whatever it was, I re-entered the room.

"Show me what?" I questioned, trying to look like I hadn't been listening to them.

"Oh umm, I was just telling Nick he should show you what he works on," Lance said with a slight grin towards Nick.

Nick looked worried, I guessed he wasn't sure of showing me whatever it was they were talking about yet and I decided to respect that and let him do things in his own time.

"Nick, don't worry. Show me what you want, when you want," I said before walking over and kissing him on the lips.

Lance looked shocked as he realised what he had just seen. "Dude, what was that?" he questioned.

I blushed instantly, realising I'd kissed Nick and not even thought about it. Nick had a slight blush rising in his cheeks also.

"Lance, me and Justin, we like each other. We talked about it earlier in my room. You okay with this?" Nick questioned.

Lance looked at us with a smile. "I knew he'd be right for you!" he said with a large, proud grin.

"What? You planned this?" Nick questioned him again.

"Well, I didn't really plan anything. I just thought you two would look good together is all," he said looking a little sheepish. "So anyway, are you going to show him?" Lance said, trying to take the attention away from him.

Nick laughed slightly knowing full well what Lance was doing. "You wanna hear my feelings?" he asked turning to me.

I was slightly confused for a second as to what he meant before I realised he meant the book of songs. "If you're willing to let me hear them, I'd love to listen."

Nick gave me a small smile as he took my hand and led me to the piano in the corner of the room. He looked at Lance, his eyes telling Lance all he needed to know, he needed us both for this. Nick sat on the piano bench as Lance and I sat on stools on the other side of the piano.

Looking to me Nick said, "I wrote this for my dad. It kinda expresses how I feel about him most of the time. It's called `Because of You'."

Nick took a deep breath as he flexed his fingers before resting them on the piano keys.

He started playing soft notes and he was making soft noises in tune with the piano before he started singing quietly. His voice was so soft but with a slight husky undertone to it.

I will not make the same mistakes that you did
I will not let myself cause my heart so much misery
I will not break the way you did
You fell so hard

His voice rose slightly as he sang. His eyes were closed tight as he put his all he had into his song.

I've learned the hard way, to never let it get that far
Because of you
I never stray too far from the sidewalk
Because of you
I learned to play on the safe side
So I don't get hurt
Because of you
I find it hard to trust
Not only me, but everyone around me
Because of you
I am afraid

He had tears glistening in his eyes as he sang with pure emotion. I wanted to run to him and scoop him into my arms, but I needed to hear his words and he needed to say them, or in this case sing them.

I lose my way
And it's not too long before you point it out
I cannot cry
Because I know that's weakness in your eyes
I'm forced to fake, a smile, a laugh
Every day of my life
My heart can't possibly break
When it wasn't even whole to start with

His voice raised with emotion as his tears began to fall, my emotions were on overload. His words carried such meaning when you knew of the abuse he had been through. I felt my eyes tearing up for him.

Because of you
I never stray too far from the sidewalk
Because of you
I learned to play on the safe side
So I don't get hurt
Because of you
I find it hard to trust
Not only me, but everyone around me
Because of you
I am afraid

His eyes darkened a little and his voice lowered as he started the next verse.

I watched you die
I heard you cry
Every night in your sleep
I was so young
You should have known better than to lean on me
You never thought of anyone else
You just saw your pain
And now I cry
In the middle of the night
For the same damn thing

He almost yelled the last line before his voice dropped, his voice cracking with emotion. I stood up and walked over to him. I sat on the bench beside him and wrapped my arm around his waist trying to give him some support and comfort.

Because of you
I never stray too far from the sidewalk
Because of you
I learned to play on the safe side
So I don't get hurt

He raised his voice again, showing the anger he felt towards his parents in his words. His fingers battered the keys with extreme force as he put his everything into the song.

Because of you
I tried my hardest just to forget everything
Because of you
I don't know how to let anyone else in
Because of you
I'm ashamed of my life
because it's empty
Because of you
I am afraid
Because of you
Because of you

He leaned into me as he sang the final words his voice now broken with sobs as he relived his pain. I held onto him as tightly as I could, my own pain seemingly forgotten with my need to provide comfort to him. I held onto him as he cried into my shoulder. I looked over to Lance who also had tears in his eyes. He had a soft smile on his face though as he looked at the two of us.

Nick looked up at me with tears in his eyes still and gave me a small smile. "What did you think?" he asked.

"It's beautiful Babe, really beautiful," I said as I rested my forehead against his.

He let out a small giggle before saying, "You called me Babe. I like it."

I laughed a little, "Well maybe I'm pushing it a little but you are my boyfriend right?" I asked with hope in my eyes.

"Right," was all he said before kissing me gently on the lips.

A throat clearing by the door alerted us to another presence. I looked up to see Stacy standing there, tears in her eyes also. She walked over to Nick and kissed his forehead and wrapped her arms around him.

"I love you Nicky, you're the brother I always wanted," she said smirking at Lance.

"Great, what am I then? Chopped liver?" Lance asked laughing again.

Nick started laughing too, and soon it became contagious as I started laughing along with Stacy.

"Nick, I'm sorry I listened in, but your song; it's amazing."

Nick smiled gently at Stacy. "Want it? With your voice it would be pretty amazing I think."

"Nick, I couldn't. It's so personal to you," she replied with surprise evident in her voice.

"Well, yeah it's personal, but I wrote it for personal reasons. If you take my reasons out of the equation then it's just a nice song. I'd love to hear you sing it."

"Wow, well Nick if you want me too, I'd be honored to include it on my album. Thank you," she said kissing him gently on the cheek.

"Oh, I forgot. Dad's home and he wants to talk to you Justin. He's in his study."

My heart raced wondering why he wanted to talk to me. I stood there looking down at Nick, his eyes told me to just say the word and he'd come with me, but I decided I should do this alone.

I started down the hall, I'd seen the study door open earlier so I knew where I was going and when I got to the now closed door, I knocked on it.

"Come in Justin," Jim called from the other side of the door.

I opened the door and walked into the bright, spacious study. Jim was sitting behind a maple desk on the far side of the room. A leather office chair sat on the opposite side of the desk. Book cases lined the wall behind him, while a double window let a mass amount of light in from the left side of the room. I headed towards the desk looking as nervous as I felt, I'm sure.

"Relax son, it's nothing bad. I just want to discuss your plans is all."

I managed to relax a little as I sat in the chair opposite Jim. "So what did you want to talk about exactly?" I asked.

"Well, I hope this doesn't upset you, but I did a little research on your situation today Justin. I learned after...," he hesitated for a second before continuing, "after the attack that you never got to finish high school. I was wondering what you plan to do?"

I stopped to think for a second before I spoke. "I'd like to get my GED since high school is out of question now. I was almost finished school anyway, so I guess I know all the stuff they taught us. We were just going into review anyway. I was just thinking of applying at a local college and taking the test."

"Well to do that, I think it would be best if you were in a permanent home. I know Dianne has said it to you already, but I'd be very happy for you to live with us."

I actually started to gently laugh, "Mr. Bass, thank you. I think everyone in your household has said that to me at some point today. I've thought a lot about it and well, I'd be delighted to stay with your family."

Jim smiled as he stood up, pulling me into a big bear hug. He put his arm around my shoulder and led me to the door. "Let's go tell the rest, I know Dianne is probably going insane right now," he said letting out a small chuckle.

He led us down the hall into the kitchen where indeed the whole family, Nick included, were sitting at the table and they all looked up at us when we walked in through the door.

"Well, I'm happy to tell you all, he said yes," Jim announced smiling big.

Dianne stood and hugged me, "Oh, I'm so happy Justin I would have died with worry if you had gone out there on your own. Thank you for staying sweetie."

Each member of the family greeted me in the same manner with Nick being last. He stood before me; with a smile crossing his face. "Welcome to the family Babe," he whispered into my ear.

I was staying; it was the best decision I had made since I got on that Greyhound bus in Memphis to start my new life.