DISCLAIMER: The story that follows is a work of fiction. Some characters may be based on real people, but this story should not be considered accurate or truthful representations of any actual person. This story is not intended to reflect the behavior, work habits, personal hygiene, sexual proclivities, or pastel hair colour of any real person, living or dead.

WARNING: This story deals with homosexual themes. If accessing this story causes you break any laws applicable in your area, read no further. If you are under 18 years of age, read no further. If this offends you, read no further. If this sickens you, maybe you should read further—not just this story but lots of them—until you come to realize that the thing that sickens you is really just stories about love, affection, passion and human sexuality and not the disgusting thing that you, in your own close-minded little way, have been taught to reject. Grrrrrrrr!

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Part 14 - Saturday Morning

For the second time in two days, I woke up with Brian Littrell in my arms. This time I was lying on my back. Brian was lying across my chest, his legs to the right of mine and his head resting against my left shoulder, his face tucked into the crook of my neck. Once I realized where I was and who was with me, I sank back into the mattress, closed my eyes, and luxuriated in the feel of having this guy on top of me, warm and heavy.

I sank my head deeply into the pillow and whispered, "I could really get used to this."

Brian shifted a little and murmered, "Mmm. So could I."

I smiled at him, even though he couldn't actually see my face. "You're awake?"

"I woke up a few minutes ago," he said. There was a little pause, then he added, "I've been thinking."

"Should I be afraid?" I joked.

"I was thinking about those guys you had sex with in college," he went on, "the ones you fooled around with but it was never more than a couple of friends having a good time."

"Uh huh," I said, not knowing where this was going and wanting to be very noncommittal.

"Well, we're a couple of friends," Brian said. "Maybe we could fool around and have a good time."

I put my hands on his shoulders and pushed him up until he was sitting up, leaning on his right hand. Then I sat up, so that we were sitting face to face. He was looking at me with very bright eyes and a big grin on his face. His short hair was just a little messy, but on him it looked really cute. I tried not to notice.

"Are you sure about this?" I asked him. "I got lucky in college. I've seen sex ruin a lot of friendships."

Brian seemed to think about this. "I don't think it will ruin our friendship, not if we're both clear that this is just for fun and not something serious. After all, how serious can it get? Like you said, I'm leaving in two days."

"But this will seem like Kevin was right," I said. "like I was just trying to get you into bed."

Brian laughed. "You've got me in bed, Benji. Now it's just a question of what are you going to do with me." He was kidding, but I wasn't in a joking mood. I didn't want to even seem to be the manipulative user that Kevin had accused me of being. And that I had secretly worried about being.

I turned my face away a little, but then Brian reached up, touched my chin, and turned my face to his again. "Ben, don't worry about Kevin. Either he trusts us or he doesn't. If he does, no problem. If he doesn't, we'll explain it to him. We'll tell him that this was my idea and that you tried to talk me out of it, and that we're just friends having a good time with no strings attached."

I still didn't like the idea of risking our still-young friendship, and I guess it showed on my face, because Brian leaned in and kissed me softly on the lips. "Benji, someone's gonna be my first, and I'd like it to be someone I trust, someone I'm comfortable with. I'd like it to be you." I stared into his face. His blue eyes had never been brighter, and they stared at me intently as he waited for me to say something.

In that few seconds of quiet, I thought about all the time I'd spent with Brian that week. I thought about our walk on Monday, and our long talk downstairs when he'd come out to me before he knew I was gay, about waking up with him yesterday morning. I thought about our talk with Kevin and Robby last night, about Brian's asking to sleep with me, about his climbing into my bed. I thought about his trim, healthy body, about how smooth and warm his skin was, about how his kiss had excited me, how good his body had felt against me that morning. And I finally admitted to myself how much I wanted him. Beyond all the worrying about potential problems, beyond the risks of my getting too attached just in time for him to leave, beyond wondering what Kevin would think, beyond all logic—I wanted Brian.

"So, how do you want to do this?" I asked, feeling a grin cross my face.

He grinned back. "Well, why don't you kiss me again, and we'll go from there."


He was still grinning when I leaned over and pressed my lips to his. It wasn't the soft, affectionate kiss he'd given me a minute ago. I leaned on my right hand and wrapped my left around his neck while we kissed. His head fell back a little, heavy against my hand, and he let out a little groan as my mouth pressed harder on his, my lips opened and closed against his, my tongue slipped into his mouth and danced around his. His left hand went up to the back of my head, at first caressing my hair, then rubbing, then scratching gently as the kiss went on and on.

Finally we broke the kiss and leaned back to where we'd been sitting before, more out of breath than one kiss should have made us. "You're not tired already, are you?" Brian asked, his grin big.

I grinned back. "No," I said.

"Good." He rose up so that he was on both knees and came toward me. He straddled my waist with his knees and looked down at me before leaning in and pressing his sweet mouth onto mine again. This time, he held my head in his two hands as his tongue explored my mouth. I was content to just relax and let him have me, let him do whatever he wanted. I left my hands at my sides, let my head go back, and just relaxed into being kissed.

That's when I bumped my head against the wall. I was sitting close enough to the head of the bed that if I leaned back at all I would hit the wall and the headboard. "We'll fix that," Brian said, and he grabbed a couple of pillows and put them behind my back. When I leaned back and nestled into them, he grinned. "Comfy?"

"Very," I said. "And you need to stop grinning so much. It's getting boring."

"All right, how 'bout an expression of intense passion?"

"Only if I can be the cause," I told him.

He didn't reply. He just leaned in and kissed me again—an open mouth sucking at mine for a second before it pulled back, then kissed me again from another angle, then again from another. He was teasing me and driving me crazy in the process. I grabbed his head and held it in my two hands so that I could get a longer kiss. Our mouths merged hotly: lips moving on their own, our tongues resumed their sensuous dance, Brian sucking the breath out of me only to return it a second later.

Brian let out a moan and pulled his head back. My hands went from his head to his shoulders, his back. My mouth was everywhere—his neck, his chin, his cheek—wet and open, caressing him, tasting him. Finally I reached his ear and my tongue dove inside, licking around, tickling him, getting his skin wet in preparation for one of my favourite tricks. I pulled my mouth slightly away from the surface of his ear and breathed in hard. The rush of cool air over the wet skin made Brian shiver in my arms.

"God, that feels great," he said breathlessly.

"Mmmm, I thought you'd like that," I whispered into his ear. Then my mouth went back to work. On his mouth, his neck, his throat. When I reached his shoulder—his thick, strong shoulder covered in warm, warm skin—I kissed, I licked, I opened my mouth and chewed gently at the muscles. Brian groaned in my arms again. Intense passion indeed, I thought.

My mouth went back to his collarbone, down his chest. Brian raised himself up onto his knees a little. I felt his head go back, and I reached up to run my fingers through his hair.

Across his strong, smooth chest, my mouth travelled, tasting his skin, tasting him. Finally I reached his nipple and planted my mouth on it, sucking hard. It was firm in the cold room, and my mouth loved it. I sucked at it as Brian thrashed a little, moaning again. Then I pulled back and played with it with the tip of my tongue, flicking it back and forth, wetting it. Then I almost covered it with my mouth and breathed in hard again, letting the cool air bring even more thrashing, more moaning from the boy in my arms.

"You like that?" I whispered.

"Yes," he said lazily, his head still thrown back He brought his head forward and looked down. We stared into each other's eyes for a few seconds, not talking, not needing to talk. Then he brought his mouth to mine. We kissed for minutes—not so passionately, but simply, beautifully. His mouth left mine and nuzzled my neck, my shoulder. I did the same to him, visiting places I'd already been.

When I reached the spot just below his ear, I felt Brian breathe in sharply. His body stiffened in my arms, his muscles taut. This wasn't passion; this was something else. I raised my head from his neck to look at his face. "Brian?" I whispered. Through half-closed eyes, I saw his face turned away from me. Confused, I followed his gaze.

There, in the doorway, stood a man Brian had never seen before. He had a very square jawline and high cheekbones under long, wheat-blond hair. He was standing with one hand on the doorknob, the other holding a leather backpack onto his shoulder. And he was staring at us with no expression on his face.

"Uh, hi, Ethan," was all I could think to say.


"Bbreakfast is ready whenever you're... ...ddone," Ethan said before he grinned and walked out of the room. Brian and I looked at each other, then laughed.

We got ready in a hurry. Brian took a shower in my rooms, while I headed across the hall to Robby and Mike's room to get one. In about fifteen minutes we were both dressed—Brian in the jeans he'd worn last night and a shirt borrowed from me—and heading downstairs.

The dining room was already full of noisy people when we got there. The various conversations went on despite our entrance, but my brothers and the Boys paused just long enough to tell us that most of them knew we'd spent the night together, but brief enough to show they weren't going to make a big deal of it. Not yet anyway. I didn't know how the other Boys would react, but I did know what to expect from my brothers. I gave them thirty minutes before the teasing started.

But I had over-estimated them.

"Hey, Brian," Mike yelled across the dining room. "Gee, that's a great shirt. Ben has a shirt just like that. Nick, don't you think that's a great shirt."

"Yeah, a great shirt," Nick said. "I like those jeans too, Brian. In fact, I liked them when you wore them yesterday."

I'd heard the sound of Kevin kicking Nick under the table before, so this time I recognized it. And when Mike jumped sharply just before Ethan put his cutlery-holding hands back onto the table, I knew that Ethan had poked him in the leg with his fork—one of our favourite tricks. Well, it seemed there might be at least two people rooting for us here.

Brian and I got plates from the sidebar and helped ourselves to the scrambled eggs and French toast in the chafing dishes. It was typical Mom breakfast: everything beautiful and perfectly done.It was funny how she could use the exact same steps to the exact same recipe and get so much better results. I'd swear that even every slice of French toast looked exactly alike.

"So that's Ethan, huh?" Brian whispered at me, as he nodded his head slightly toward my brother.

"Yeah," I whispered back. "He's pretty, isn't he?"

"He gorgeous," Brian said with a smile. "Why am I wasting my time with you?"

I grinned back at him. "Maybe 'cause I put out." I grabbed a glass of orange juice and headed to the chair I'd been in on Thursday, next to Robby and leaving Brian between Kevin and I. It wasn't that I thought Kevin and I had any problems anymore. But if Robby was gonna make any comments about last night's sleeping arrangements, I'd rather he'd say them to me than to Brian..

Ethan had taken the empty chair next to Mike, leaving only one empty place, between Ethan and Howie. Everyone else was in their usual seat, including Stacey, who was normally never here on Saturday. Looking around the table, it seemed like most everyone was really relaxed, more relaxed than I'd seen them in days. Dave and Ed weren't talking shop; they were asking Dad about maybe spending the afternoon fishing somewhere. Kevin, after sharing a few whispered words with Brian, grinned at me then went back to listening to the fishing conversation.

Mike and Nick exchanged glances every so often, then would start giggling like two mischievious little kids. Between them, Mom tried to ignore them. Robby was in his usual chair beside me, but he was staring at Nick and looking unhappy.

"What are you staring at?" I asked him in a whisper.

"Nick," he said quietly.

"Still think he's trying to corrupt our Mikey?" I asked as I reached for my glass of juice.

It seemed to take a second for the words to penetrate. Robby stopped looking at Nick and looked at me. "No," he said with a grin. "I'm wondering why Nick isn't purple."

"What do you mean?"

"I put grape Kool-aid mix in his showerhead last night. If he took a shower this morning, he should be purple."

I nearly spit the orange juice I was drinking. I stopped myself, but everyone was looking at me. "I'm okay," I told them. "Just choked a little." A second later, they'd gone back to their conversations and I was whispering to Robby again. "What the Hell did you do that for?"

"Hey, you heard him declare war," he said. "I'm just gonna make the first strike."

I felt Brian's hand on my left knee. "Are you okay?" he asked me quietly.

I leaned over to get some measure of privacy. "Yeah. I was just a little surprised. Robby told me what his next prank for Nick is."

Brian smiled evilly. "Is it good and awful?"

"That depends," I said. "Do you think Barney's attractive?"

"The purple dinosaur! No, not really."

"Then it's good and awful."


"So, Ethan, how's the job going?" Dad asked my brother. Breakfast was nearly over, but no one seemed to be in a hurry to get up from the table. If Ethan had been introduced to everyone, it had happened before Brian and I came downstairs. During the meal, no one had said much to Ethan, and he—as usual—hadn't said much to anyone else. If anything, he seemed more silent than usual. He was the only one at the table who didn't seem relaxed. Well, he and Howie...

"Yeah," Robby added, "tell us about the big job in the big city."

Ethan looked at Dad. "I'm ggetting fired."

"What? Why?" Dad asked first, but he was just seconds ahead of the rest of us.

"Layoffs. Bbusiness is bbad." There were a few of "sorry to hear that"s and "you find something better"s from me, Mom and the little brothers.

For a second, I felt really sorry for Ethan: not only did he have to deliver embarrassing news in front of strangers, but at the same time he had to face all these new people hearing his stutter for the first time. He'd done it literally thousands of times, but it was still hard for him. I knew these were nice guys, but Ethan didn't know them at all yet.

Somewhere over all that was going on, I heard Kevin ask, "What kind of work do you do, Ethan?"

"Ggraphic ddesign," he said.

"Ethan's great," Mike added. "He does all these cool graphics for some game company in Austin. I have some of the printouts in my room upstairs."

"I wanna see 'em," Nick said.

"Why should business be bad?" Dave asked. "The game industry is booming."

Ethan shrugged. "Ttoo mmuch ccomppetition. When the work is ddone, there's mmonths bbefore the ccomppany mmakes mmoney. In the mmeantime, we ggo."

"That's rough, bro," Robby said.

"What are you gonna do now?" I asked. If I knew Ethan, he'd spent his salary as soon as he got it. He'd have no money to stay in Austin while he looked for another job.

He shrugged again. "Find a job in Ddallas," he said.

"And move home until you do," Mom added.

Ethan smiled slightly in Mom's direction before casting a glance at Dad's expressionless face. Dad had never been too crazy about the way Ethan began things but didn't follow through. He might see this as another one of those times. Just in case, I decided to remind Dad that Ethan hadn't quit this job. "Well," I said, "I'm sorry you're getting laid off, Eath. It's gotta suck to lose a job you enjoyed so much."

"And one you were so good at." Robby added his support.

This time, it was Mike who added the sour note. "Well, at least you didn't quit this time." He was grinning at Ethan, but Ethan stared at him expressionless. Then he looked at his plate just as dispassionately for a second. Then he, slowly and very matter-of-factly, picked up his fork and poked Mike in the leg again. "Ow! Mike let out. The Boys laughed, Nick the loudest.

"Leave your brother alone," Dad said firmly.

"Yeah!" Mike added.

"I was talking to you, Michael" Dad said. "Losing a job is bad enough without having other things thrown in your face." To Ethan, he said, "Of course, you'll come home, whenever you need. And you'll stay here while you get settled in Dallas."

"Well, this sounds like family business," Dave said with a smile as he tossed his napkin onto his plate and stood up. "And I need to get into the studio anyway. Kevin, come on in whenever you're ready and we'll run through the piano intro before we record it. The rest of you guys are off the hook until after lunch, I guess, unless you have something for them." He looked at Phyllis Shaw and let his voice trail off a bit.

"We do need to meet and discuss the arrangements for Phoenix," Ms. Shaw said. "You guys want to do that after breakfast or before lunch. It should take us about an hour."

"I'd rather do it now," Kevin said. "Then we can relax over the recording and not feel so rushed." He looked around the table and added, "Is that okay with you guys?"

"Sounds good to me," Brian said.

"Me, too." AJ looked at Stacey and added, "I have some plans for around lunch time anyway." Stacey leaned over and gave him a quick kiss.

"Stacey!" Robby let out. "Are you blushing?" He and Mike laughed a little. "You are. You're bright red!"

"I didn't even know you knew how to blush," Mike said.

Kevin smiled with the rest of us, but he was not to be deterred from his question. He turned to Nick and asked, "What about you? Wanna meet now or later?"

"Well," Nick started, "now's okay with me, but can you give me a few. I slept in a little this morning, and I wanna grab a quick shower."

Behind me I heard Robby whisper a triumphant "Yes!"

"That's no problem," Ms. Shaw said. She looked at her watch. "What do you say: twenty minutes in my room? Does that throw off your schedule, Dave?"

"No, I can do a little more tinkering with the Whitney song," Dave replied. "After the meeting, you guys can hear it almost finished, and then Kevin and I will get to work."

"While we goof off!" Nick grinned at Kevin.

"Yeah, yeah," Kevin complained. He assumed a forlorn look, and sounded very like a kid who has piano lessons while his friends get to play. "Rub it in."

"What are you going to do this morning, Ben?" Brian asked me.

I put my juice glass down and wiped my mouth on my napkin. "Well, after being gone all day yesterday, I'm sure there's work that..."

"He's going to ttalk to mme," Ethan interrupted. He was smiling innocently at me.

Brian looked from me to Ethan, then back to me. When his eyes settled on me again, I said simply, "I'm going to talk to Ethan."


Breakfast broke up quickly after that. Dad followed Ed and Dave toward the studio, while Mom headed into the kitchen. Nick ran out fast so he'd have time to shower before their meeting. AJ disappeared with Stacey somewhere, but Kevin and Brian stayed to help us clear up a bit. Howie was still planted in his seat, playing at his food with his fork but not really eating.

Leaving Brian to help Robby clear the table, I walked around to clear the other side of the table. I took the opportunity to lean over and whisper to Howie, "Are you okay this morning?"

I startled him. "What? Oh, yeah. I'm okay," he said and rewarded my concern with a grin. "I'm just thinking about something. Something that's going on back home. But I'm really okay."

I put my hand on his shoulder. "If you want to talk..."

"...I know where you live," he smiled at me again. "Really, Ben, I'm fine. You just worry about taking care of our boy there." He nodded toward Brian's back as it disappeared into the kitchen. For the moment we were alone in the dining room.

I smiled. "I intend to," I told Howie. "But we're keeping this casual, nothing serious. We know it's just for a couple of days."

Howie frowned again. "Be careful, Ben. I told you: hurt him and I hurt you."

I looked into his brown eyes. "He won't get hurt. We're being very clear about this: it's just fun, no serious attachments. And when he leaves, we're still friends."

"Howie," Robby's voice said from the kitchen door, "will you just eat the damned bacon so Ben can take your plate?"

"Yes, sir," Howie grinned.


"So, ttalk," Ethan said. He and I were in the small studio. I was seated at the piano, idly playing as Ethan flipped through the songs on Millennium, which was still in the CD player atop the piano. By now, the Boys had been in their meeting for almost an hour. Dad and the engineers were in the larger studio. Mike and Mom were preparing for Mike's pizza party tonight, and Robby had been dispatched to the grocery story.

"There's not much to say really," I told my brother. "We became friends, and we decided this morning that we could fool around in a friendly way."

He looked at me straight in the eye without speaking for a second. "Ccan you? You always gget attached."

I shook my head. "Not this time. I'm not going to let myself. He's leaving in two days, and I know there's no future in this, so I'm definitely going to keep this casual."

"I hope so," he said. "I ddon't want you hurt."

This surprised me a little. Of all my brothers, Ethan was the least likely to say such things. I had no doubt that he cared about us, but he'd always preferred to do things rather than say things. Like the time a drunken frat guy had punched me at some party: before I could hit him back, Ethan had grabbed the guy by the collar and tossed him headfirst over a couch.

I smiled at him. "I won't get hurt. We're both being very plain that is is not going to get serious." Remembering how the guys had reacted at breakfast when Brian and I had entered, I asked Ethan, "How much did you tell everyone?"

"You mmean what I saw this mmorning? Nothing. It's your bbusiness."

Now I was confused. "But when we came downstairs, Mike and Robby seemed to know everything."

Ethan shrugged. "The ddangers of having smart bbrothers, I gguess."


I was about to reply when we heard the noise of the Boys passing the studio. With the lights on, they could see us through the windows and AJ led them in. "Hey, guys," he said. "Learning to play more of our songs?"

"Sort of," I said. "If you were serious about playing and singing tonight..."

"We were," Brian interrupted with that indefatigable grin.

"Then we should pick out a couple of more songs for us to learn to play," I went on. I glanced at the clock on the wall behind Brian's head. I'd been mentally planning how to get two more songs down before tonight, but when I saw the time I realized then that their meeting had taken a lot longer than Ms. Shaw had said. "Your meeting took a long time."

The guys broke into a grin, except Nick, who blushed and seemed to try to hide under the soft hat he was wearing. "Well," AJ started, reaching for Nick's cap, "we had a delay." Nick ducked, but he was too late. When AJ's hand came back down, it was holding Nick's cap, revealing Nick's blond hair to have a light purple tinge.

I laughed, and Ethan let out a wolf's whistle. Nick glared for just a second before he grinned like the rest of us. "Your brother is so dead," he said.

I laughed again. "We've all said that at one time or another. Don't worry, though, Nick: one or two good shampooings and the colour will be gone."

"In the meantime," Nick grinned slyly, "I'm plotting my revenge."


Kevin was still grinning when he turned his attention to my notebook where I'd written out their song. "Can you dissect two songs in one day?" he asked.

"Ben ccan," Ethan said. "He writes them ddown and we pplay."

"Of course," I added, "it would be easier if we had the help of someone who already knows how to play them."

"We'll help as soon as we get done in the studio," Brian said.

"You play bass, right?" Howie asked Ethan.

"Mmostly," Ethan shrugged. "I pplay a little bbit of everything."

"So, what songs do we want to play?" I asked more directly this time.

"You already have 'I Need You Tonight' down, right?" AJ asked. "You want to stick to the slow, ballad-y songs?"

"They'd be easier," I said. "'Ballad-y' isn't a word, by the way."

He grinned. "It is now."

"How 'bout 'Don't Want to Lose You Now'?" Nick suggested. The idea sounded good to me, but we played some of it from the CD so that Ethan could hear it.

"Let's ddo it," he said simply. "One more?"

"Spanish Eyes?" Howie asked, sounding hopeful.

"If we're just gonna do three songs," Kevin started, "I'd rather do 'Show Me the Meaning'."

"So would I," I said. "And Robby will love playing the guitar line."

"Guys, we really should get to work next door," Kevin said. "You'll have all afternoon to work on these songs." There was some really minor grumbling, but the Boys followed him down the hall. Ethan wandered toward the kitchen to be useful, and I got to work on taking "Don't Want to Lose You Now" apart.


I'd got a lot done before the Boys returned. I drawn ledger lines across seven of the staves on each page of the notebook—two for the piano and one each for Robby, Mike, Ethan and my two auxiliary keyboards. I'd already charted the piano part and was almost through with Robby's guitar line when Howie, AJ and Brian came in almost an hour later.

"How's it going?" Brian's grin was on full blast again.

"Pretty well," I said turning the CD player off. "I'll have this one done before lunch, and I'll start on 'Show Me the Meaning" afterward."

AJ reached for my notebook and looked at what I'd done already. "Now, this looks more like music."

"I can write it when I have to," I told him. "Those other notes were really just for me, but I've changed them into something the little brothers can read."

Behind the guys, I could see Nick walking up the hall toward the hotel. When he noticed me looking at him, he dropped his mouth open and waved with both arms as he walked out of view. "Where's Nick going?" I asked.

Brian laughed. "He's going to wash his hair again."

"I'm going upstairs too," AJ said. "I'll see you guys tonight."

"You're not coming to lunch?" I asked him.

"Stacey packed us a picnic," he said, already heading toward the door. "Since it's going to rain, we're going to eat it on my balcony and watch the rain."

I smiled at him. I was starting to like this guy more and more. " 'sounds romantic," I said.

" 'Sounds cold to me," Howie said.

"We'll be warm enough." AJ smiled. "Now, you guys play nice. It things get kinky, remember to close the blinds." We laughed. I looked for something to toss at him but found nothing.

"C'mon," Brian said, "let's get get to work on this song. It'll be time for lunch soon."


THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU: After two weeks of being off-line because of a lightning strike to my computer, I found 32 email messages. At first they all said, "When's the next part coming out?" but that was replaced later with expressions of concern. Lots of people wanted to know if I were sick or dead. And at least one person accused me of lying about the dead modem, saying I was faking just to elicit email. Not true, girly! Grrrr! : ) Thank you to everyone who wrote in. I'm answering them all as I have time.

Y'KNOW, THESE STORIES ARE ALL RIP-OFFS. As I write this (March 3), the Backstreet Boys are just a few miles from here, doing their two shows in Dallas. I didn't win any tickets from a radio station. I didn't meet any of them while I was shopping. I drove past the venue about an hour ago, but I didn't get hit by their bus or rescue any of them from getting mugged. It's like these stories are all just complete fiction or something. ; )

SERIOUSLY, THIS DOES FEEL A LITTLE WEIRD. I don't mind missing the shows (The first sold out in 11 minutes. A second was added, and it sold out in 20.), but it does feel strange knowing they were here but not getting to see them. By now, they feel almost like friends visiting from out of town, like they should drop by to see me or something. I guess I'm having a hard time separating the Boys from my story from the Boys onstage at Reunion Arena. My fact versus fiction filter must have some holes in it.

SOME LUNACY RESULTED for the BSB concerts: I don't know how widely this was reported, but a private Christian school in South Texas expelled three students for attending the concert. There school has rules about students attending any concerts other than those of Christian groups. I don't know how this will work out, but at the last news report the parents were livid.

AND SOME PERSONAL NEWS: I decided during the writing of Part 14 that it's time to come out to my family. I've put this off for a long time, but now I finally feel ready—I've said over and over that Ben was teaching me some things as I was writing. I'll let you know how things go.