SECOND TOUGHEST IN THE INFANTS
by Kai Wailbone
Author's note: This section provides a not-so-brief summary of the events that take place in chapters five, six, and seven, including all major events and character introductions. If you've already read these chapters, you can move on to chapter eight.
SECOND TOUGHEST IN THE INFANTS
PART TWO - LIGHTNING CRASHES
CHAPTER FIVE - SILENCE IS PRESERVING
The guys are at the video shoot for "Liquid Dreams" in Los Angeles. The guys are having some mild trouble, mainly due to stress and typical set difficulties. Inter-personally, Erik is making fun of Jacob rather maliciously, with Dan supporting him. Trevor is trying to keep the peace, while Ashley and Jacob are in their own little world.
To this Jeremy comes in to see them, and is immediately whisked away to talk with Jay, Marc, and MIKE MORRIN, one of the band's managers. Though there is obvious tension between Jeremy and Mike, the management team confronts Jeremy on the issue of Jacob's sexuality. Though he never admits it, it is agreed that the situation must be dealt with, at least from a PR point of view. Jeremy is irritated, and claims the band needs some time away from the cameras. Mike disagrees, and Jeremy storms out. Jay manages to placate him enough to have him stay.
Trevor, hearing Jeremy has arrived, comes to visit him. Jeremy is irritable, and snaps at Trevor, accusing him of over-reacting to the situation. Trevor is shocked, and Jeremy eventually apologizes, inviting him to come and see one of the scenes of the movie he's helping out with, "Moonshadow."
That night at the hotel, Jacob and Ashley fall into their routine in their room. Ashley acts coy, and mildly seduces Jacob, who is more interested in the affection they share than any sexual acts. When he tries to kiss Ashley, Ash turns away, frustrating Jacob and causing him to want to sleep in separate beds. Ashley convinces him not to, gently coaxing Jacob back to bed.
The next day, Jay further works things out with Jeremy, who apologizes for his behaviour. Jay has Jeremy agree to talk with Jacob, in return for them allowing the band to take a break with Jeremy at his sister's beach house in Malibu.
Inside the studio, Ashley and Jacob find Jeremy with Ben fiddling with one of the scenes for the video. Jeremy invites them both to come to the movie set as well, but holds Jacob back to talk to him. Jacob admits that Ashley kissed him, and they are now in a sexually active relationship. Jeremy surprised, a bit concerned, but jokingly insensitive enough that Jacob gets angry and leaves the room.
After the video shooting, Ashley and Trevor go with Jeremy to the car, while Ben stays behind and talks to Jacob. Ben more sensitive than Jeremy, tries to talk about the difference between love and sex, but Jacob doesn't listen. Not wanting to be overbearing, Ben leaves it up to Jacob to decide.
After Ben leaves, Jacob gets a call on his cell phone. Is his brother, BRIAN UNDERWOOD, who has called to tell him they got a message on the family telephone from someone who claims Jacob is gay. The family has laughed it off as a prankster or some weirdo, but Jacob is hit hard by it.
CHAPTER SIX - WALKING IN THE WIND
At the set of the "Moonshadow" movie, Ashley and Trevor sit beside Jeremy, watching the scene unfold. Ashley constantly asking questions, to Trevor's frustration. Is a scene with actors NICK STAHL and LISA KUDROW, playing the characters of Moonshadow and his mother. Ashley is finding Nick cute in spite of himself. As scene calls to a halt, Ashley asks if they can stay a little longer to meet the actors, which Jeremy agrees to.
After the scene, Nick and Lisa talk. Lisa very out going and teases Nick about the 'cute guys' Jeremy brought with him. Nick admits he might like Ashley.
In the break room a few minutes later, Jeremy introduces Ashley and Trevor to WILL FRIEDLE, who plays the 'other' Moonshadow in the movie. Will and Trevor banter for a little bit, then notice that Ashley has wandered off and introduced himself to Nick.
Ashley and Nick talk, and Ashley manages to turn the conversation in such a way as to reveal Nick's sexuality. From across the room, Ben and Jeremy laugh at the sight of Ashley apparently flirting with Nick.
Jeremy drives Ashley and Trevor back to the hotel, mildly disapproving of Ashley and Nick being affectionate in the back seat. Softly scolds Nick for messing with an alleged straight boy, Nick defends himself by saying Ashley made the first move. Also lets him know that he has invited Ashley to Will's party the next day, which Jeremy isn't happy about, but doesn't interfere.
Back at the hotel, Ashley is feeling rather good as he goes to the room he is sharing with Jacob. Ashley, in his excitement, manipulates Jacob's feelings and manages to seduce him, although to Ashley's confusion, he has a brief but vivid fantasy where he forcefully dominates Jacob. Shakes it off as nothing, though he wonders what Nick would be like in bed.
The next day, Erik and Dan make fun of Jacob and Ashley having an argument. Trevor interrupts them, tries to get them to stop. Dan, in his frustration, says it's becoming a problem and says he will call a meeting to discuss it, with or without the cameras watching.
Meanwhile, Jacob and Ashley are arguing about the party Ashley is going to. It comes out that Ashley is going under Nick's invitation, which makes Jacob jealous. Defensive, Ashley says they don't have a 'real' relationship, anyway. This is too much for Jacob, and he stalks off.
In the bathroom, Ben sees Jacob come in, and tries to comfort him. Jacob is inconsolable, demanding to know if Nick, the guy Ashley is going to see, is gay. Ben, knowing full well Jacob's reaction, tries to stall, but in the end tells him that Nick is, in fact, gay. From the doorway, Dan, who has overheard most of the conversation, slips quietly back out.
On the video set, Nick wanders in. Jeremy, surprised, calls him over and is reminded of the party. Jeremy is busy looking for the director, introduces him to Erik. Dan comes over as well, and they seem to know more about him than he does about them. Asked if Ashley has mentioned Jacob yet, but leave the comment unexplained as they are called to their places.
Nick is brought over with Jeremy to watch the filming, which is the first time Nick sees Jacob. Finds him cute, and makes mental note to ask Ashley about him later.
At the same time Jacob is looking at Nick, understanding on one hand how Ashley could find him attractive, but resentful that Nick should steal Ashley away from him. Thoughts are interrupted as Erik, who has been avoiding him since he came out, comes up and tells him Dan is calling a meeting. Trevor explains to him that it's about his relationship with Ashley.
Later, Dan changes his mind about the meeting, but does not explain why. Erik feels betrayed, Trevor relieved, and Dan refuses to talk about it.
That night, Jacob waits for Ashley to come back from the party. Is very angry, and cannot sleep. Finally, very late, Ashley stumbles in, drunk, helped by Nick. Jacob is furious, made worse by Nick trying to be nice to him. Nick, shrugging it off, admits that Ashley's not quite his type, but Jacob is. So saying, he gets up and leaves Jacob to sort things out for himself.
CHAPTER SEVEN - AT THE WATER'S EDGE
Erik and Trevor talk, Trevor barely getting Erik calmed down enough to make sure no meeting would be called. Erik unsure of why Trevor thought he would be okay with everything, Trevor tries to brush it off, but Erik knows something else is going on. Figures he'll get it out of him later.
Elsewhere, Mike and Jay are talking. It is suspected and feared that Lou might know what's going on. They're not sure how or what he's going to do, but it now has to be taken into consideration. Mike is now solely responsible for things, as Jay leaves for Florida.
In the hotel, Ashley is suffering a massive hangover. Dan teases him from where he sits beside Ashley on the couch, talking to his girlfriend CINDY on the phone. Ashley isn't sure what happened the night before, but is sure he doesn't want to remember. Irritated at Dan's constant movement, he holds Dan's legs firmly in his lap while he watches TV, and unconsciously starts to rub them. Dan, after teasing Ashley some more, finds himself unintentionally aroused, making him uncomfortable. Are interrupted by Trevor, calling them down for the photo shoot.
Meanwhile, taking a walk by the beach, Jacob struggles to deal with what is going on. Figures he's in love with Ashley, and that in spite of Nick things will work out. Decides to talk to Ashley about it, get everything out in the opened, and take things from there. Is confident that his fantasy can still come true.
At the photo shoot, Jacob and Ashley pointedly avoiding each other, irritating the photographer and wrecking several shots. During a break, Erik tells Dan he'll be staying in Trevor's room that night, since they need to talk. Hearing this, Ashley asks Dan if he can stay the night with him, since he and Jacob 'aren't getting along right now.' Dan, in spite of his misgivings, agrees.
That night, Jacob is miserable as he sleeps alone. He yearns for Ashley, an all-consuming desire that he is unable to quench. Unsure of what to do or how he will go on, he curls up and cries himself to sleep.
Meanwhile, in his room, Dan finds himself increasingly more confused. Ashley seems to be flirting with him, which considering his apparent relationship with Jacob, wasn't surprising. What shocks Dan is that he seems to be responding to it. Caught somewhere between justifying and denying his curious lust, he forces himself to consider his girlfriend and what he knew to be his 'real' feelings.
However, Ashley manages to play with Dan's mind and coax him into bed with assurances that it's just sex, they're just having fun, and even promises of mutual pleasure. Exuberant in his dominance over Dan, Ashley forces himself onto Dan, not caring about Dan's protests, and climaxes violently, indifferent to Dan's feelings. As Ashley goes to sleep, Dan runs to the bathroom to vomit.
So that's our story so far. This should bring you up to date to Chapter Eight, which should be the next chapter. Don't worry - chapter eight is coming soon! Promise. Now, normally I would offer to give updates and such if you write to me. However, my e-mail access is sketchy at best, as all my friends on my mailing list have found out recently. However, I do appreciate a note, if you don't need me to get back to you anytime real soon. -- Kai Wailbone