As always I welcome your comments and words of wisdom. Hearing from you all makes my day and brings a smile to my face. Feel free to write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I don’t have the slightest clue as to the sexual orientation of the characters in this story. It is entirely a figment of my imagination (but I can dream!), and is not intended to reflect on any celebrities used in this story. For those of you that are NOT of legal age, go do something else. If you do read this, then don't get caught. If you are offended by male/male material, or it is illegal to view such materials in your area, you should be typing in a new URL at this time. (Why are you even at this website?) If you are looking for a story with lots of sex, boy, are you in the wrong place! This is a story of love and friendship. Sure there will be sex, but it will not be a free-for-all every story.
We all filed in behind Lonnie, me as close to Cameron as possible. Even after all these years, I still use him as a security blanket.
We entered the Green Room with Lonnie leading the way. As we entered I noticed Chris and some other people seated on the couch at the far end of the room.
“It’s about damn time you all got…” Chris stopped when he noticed Cameron and I. “What the hell is that little leach doing here? Who invited him?”
Cameron immediately stiffened in defense and I grabbed his arm to calm him down.
“They are our guests, Chris, so I expect you to not be an asshole and be respectful,” Lance said rather sternly.
“I don’t give a fuck who they are; I don’t want that little twit here. He is only out to exploit us for his own gain. Get him the fuck out of here,” Chris demanded.
Again, I had to hold Cameron back. He was ready to kick ass and take names by that point.
“You know, Chris,” Joey piped up. “Just because you have one does not mean you need to be one.”
“Spare me your stupid sayings, Fatone,” Chris said flipping Joey the bird. “I said, get his little faggot ass out of here.”
“THAT’S IT!!” Cameron yelled.
I tried to hold Cameron back but I just wasn’t strong enough.
“CAMERON…STOP!!!” I yelled as he lunged towards Chris.
That Day - Chapter 9
The look on Chris’ face was priceless as he saw Cameron come barreling towards him. He didn’t know whether to laugh, cry or panic. He just stood there, waiting to see what his fate would be. Cameron was on the warpath. He was out for blood and was close to getting it, when about three feet from his target he was stopped short by Lonnie, who placed himself in the path of destruction.
“Mr. Caldwell, there will be none of that,” Lonnie said, grabbing Cameron by the shoulders, forcing him to stop. “Please sit down.”
“Come on, Lonnie,” Cameron pleaded, trying to get past Lonnie. “Just one punch will be all I need to knock this little twat into next week.”
“Cameron, come on, don’t make me sit you down myself,” Lonnie said again very sternly.
That was all Cameron needed. He stopped, glared at Chris, and walked back over to where the rest of us were standing.
“YOU SEE WHAT I MEAN?” Chris yelled. “They don’t need to be in here. They are going to be nothing but trouble and we don’t need that. Lonnie, get them the hell out of here so we can get this meeting going.”
Lonnie spun around and glared at Chris, “You know, if it wasn’t my job to make sure your princess butt was safe, I wouldn’t have stopped him. I would have let him trample all over you, you pompous asshole. NOW SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP.”
“HOW DARE YOU?!” Chris said angrily. “You have no right to talk to me like that.”
“Yes he does…and so do I,” Johnny interrupted. “Now sit down, Chris. I won’t be as nice if I have to ask a second time.”
Chris looked at Johnny stunned and slowly sat back down in his seat.
Johnny looked back over to us. “The rest of you also come in and take a seat.”
We all filed in and sat on the opposite side of the room from Chris. Cameron sat next to me and put his arm around my chair and did not take his eyes off Chris for a second. Chris just glared across the room at us.
“Welcome back, gentlemen, and I want to say welcome to our guests for the day, Cameron and Cody,” Johnny said looking over at us. “We are glad that you are spending the day with us and I hope that you enjoy yourselves. Now, there are a couple of things that we need to go over with the two of you.”
Cameron and I nodded politely.
“First, if there is anything that you guys need while you’re here, please don’t hesitate to ask,” Johnny continued. “Second, everything that you will see, hear and be a part of today is basically the private lives of these five guys. Because of this, we must ask you to sign these confidentiality agreements to ensure that nothing leaves these premises and anything that you see or hear, that should not be shared, will have consequences if it is shared. Do you understand?”
“Yes, sir,” Cameron and I replied in unison.
“Great, if you will just sign on the highlighted line,” Johnny said as he handed the forms to me and Cameron.
“I can’t believe that you trust these idiots. They are just going to screw us in the end,” Chris said angrily.
“Just shut the fuck up, Chris,” Josh retorted.
Chris shot Josh a dirty look and ceased speaking.
We finished signing the forms and handed them back to Johnny. “Thank you for your understanding on this. Now feel free to be open and enjoy yourselves today, but keep in mind that you must not share anything outside of these walls.”
Cameron and I again nodded in agreement.
“Now for the rest of you, the show starts at 8 and it is now 2. You have 5 hours ‘til sound check at 7. That time is yours to do what you like with, however, I ask that you stay in the arena and do not leave,” Johnny said sifting through some papers. “We are going to start the show with No Strings Attached tonight and are going to add a ‘rest song’ in the show after Just Got Paid. The stage manager will go over how this is going to work at sound check. The only other thing that I have is that I need you all to sign these posters for a local radio station. They had a fundraiser for a children’s charity and one of the prizes is an autographed poster. So if you would please put your John Hancock’s on these posters, the afternoon will be yours.”
Chris was the first one up and signed the posters. When he had finished he walked over to where Cameron and I were sitting. Cameron stood up to meet Chris eye-to-eye, and I grabbed Cameron’s hand to make sure he stayed calm.
“What do you want, you little roach?” Cameron asked disgusted.
“I want to know who the hell you two think you are manipulating your way into this arena today and into our lives.”
“They didn’t manipulate a damn thing, Chris, they are our guests and were invited here,” Lance replied as he made his way to where we were standing.
“Who the hell invited them?” Chris asked.
“I did,” Lance replied.
“Wow, Lance, I’m surprised. I guess you aren’t as smart as I thought you were. I thought Justin was the only one stupid enough to pull a stunt like that,” Chris smirked.
Justin overheard what Chris said and started after him but was stopped by Joey. “It’s not worth it, Justin.”
“Hell, yes it is. Let me go Joey, I need to knock him on his ass,” Justin said struggling in Joey’s arms.
“Bring it on, you curly haired pansy-ass,” Chris said turning to face Justin and Joey.
Johnny noticed what was going on and finally had had enough.
“Alright, Chris, this is getting past a joke,” Johnny said staring directly at him. “You have been nothing but an arrogant ass for the longest time now and for the life of me I can’t figure out why. What the hell is your deal?”
“It’s none of any of your business, so just leave me alone,” Chris stated and turned to leave.
“Oh, no, you don’t!” Johnny said as Chris stopped to look at him. “You have been disrupting this group long enough and I have a feeling it concerns us, so spill it.”
”It has nothing to do with us, Johnny,” Josh piped up and then quickly turned away.
Chris looked at Josh shocked. “You know nothing about what’s going on, so just shut up, Chasez. It’s my shit and I’ll take care of it.”
“Well, your shit is disrupting this group, so you either share it with the rest of us or get over whatever personal thing you are dealing with. In any case, things better improve around here with you or we will have some serious talking to do,” Johnny said angrily. “Now all of you get out of here and don’t be late to sound check”
Lance, Cameron, Justin and I started walking towards the door when we noticed Chris walk up and stand face to face with Josh.
“Keep your damn nose out of my business, Chasez, or you won’t like what happens,” Chris said glaring at Josh.
“I’m not at all afraid of you, Chris. This shit has got to stop. It’s gone on long enough. He did nothing to you that deserves this,” Josh spat back.
“You have no idea what you’re talking about and I’m warning you,” Chris replied. “Stay out of it or I’ll kick the shit out of you like I did him.”
Josh’s eyes went very wide and he began to panic. “YOU DID WHAT!!”
“You heard me, I kicked the shit out of him, and I’m going to do the same to you as well if you don’t leave well enough alone,” Chris replied smugly.
All at once Josh spit in Chris’ face and ran out of the room as fast as he could.
“What the hell was that about?” Justin asked confused.
“Something that Josh should just stay out of, and so should you,” Chris replied.
“I cannot believe how big of a fucking ass you really are, Chris,” Justin said, starting quickly towards the door.
“Where are you going, Justin?” Cameron asked.
“I have to go find Josh and make sure he’s OK,” Justin replied.
“I’ll give you a hand,” Cameron said, turning to me. “Are you going to be all right?”
“Yeah, I’ll be fine. Go help Justin,” I said, motioning towards the door.
Cameron smiled and headed out the door after Justin.
I turned and looked at Chris and then to Lance. “Can we get out of here, Lance? I can’t stand to look at him any longer,” I asked.
“Sure thing, Cody, let’s go,” Lance replied as we made our way out the door and away from Chris.
I made my way to my dressing room and frantically searched for my phone. I found it sitting on the table and quickly dialed Brayden’s number. It rang 4 or 5 times causing me to panic more. Why isn’t he answering? I thought to myself.
“Hello,” A strained voice said after about the 6 th ring.
“Bray, honey, it’s me,” I said relieved to hear his voice. “Chris just told me what happened. Are you OK?”
“Joshua? Is it really you?” he asked on the verge of tears.
“Yes, Brayden, it’s me. Now answer me, are you OK?” I pleaded into the phone.
“I think so,” he said quietly. “My face hurts really bad and I can’t open my right eye, it’s swollen too bad. My ribs hurt to breathe and I am walking with a limp, but other than that I’m fine.”
“Oh my God! I can’t believe he did this. I’m coming to get you…SHIT, I can’t leave,” I said, trying to think of something to do. “I’m sending Lonnie to get you.”
“Josh, don’t. I don’t want to see him. He hates me and it’s killing me. He used to be my best friend and now he hates me so much that he beat me up. Just let me be alone,” He said beginning to sob.
“Like hell I’m leaving you there alone in your condition. I want you here with me. There are people here that will protect you and I promise, he won’t hurt you again,” I nearly broke down and sobbed with him. “Now please get ready. Lonnie will be there shortly.”
“OK, Josh, I’ll be ready,” Brayden replied. “And Josh…”
“I love you,” Brayden said softly.
“I love you more,” I replied and hung up the phone.
I quickly dialed Lonnie on his cell phone. “Hey, Lonnie, it’s Josh. I wonder if you could do me a favor. Do you remember Chris’s cousin Brayden? Yeah, that’s the one. Yeah, I agree with you, Chris shouldn’t be treating him that way. Well, he’s here in Dallas and is staying at our hotel. What…oh, it’s a long story. All I can say is that he came here to talk to Chris, but Chris wouldn’t talk. Well, last night Chris went over the line and beat him up pretty badly. I need you to go to the hotel and pick him up and bring him here. Please don’t ask questions, Lonnie. I’ll fill you in later, just go get him. I need him here. Thanks, Lonnie, I owe you one.”
With that taken care of I could no longer hold my emotions at bay. It all hit me at once and I sat down on the couch, put the phone in my lap and just started to cry.
“What are you doing, Cameron?” I asked him as he caught up to where I was.
“I figured that you might want some help finding Josh, so here I am,” he replied with a smile. Oh God, that smile. SNAP OUT OF IT!!! I told myself.
“I appreciate that, Cameron, but you really don’t have to do that. Besides, shouldn’t you be in there protecting Cody from that bastard Chris?” I asked him.
“Cody can take care of himself and Lance is in there with him. I can’t take care of Cody all the time you know,” he replied.
“All right then, let’s find my best friend,” I said as I started to walk in the direction of Josh’s dressing room.
“So where should we start looking?” Cameron asked as we walked.
“I figured we would start in his dressing room and if he’s not there, since there are now two of us, maybe we should split up and each look for him,” I said, getting more worried.
“Sounds like a plan to me,” Cameron said looking at me strangely. “You’re really worried about him, aren’t you?”
“Yeah, I am. He’s my best friend, Cameron, and I hate to see him like this,” I replied, meeting his glance. “He is the most laid back guy I know and always remains cool and collected in any situation. It’s very rare that he gets like this but when he does, I know something serious is wrong.”
“What do you think it could be?” Cameron asked.
“I’m not quite sure, but you saw how he acted in the limo on the way over here?” I ask as Cameron nodded. “He never gets like that, and you saw how he reacted when I started asking questions. Something is definitely not right.”
“Well, we’ll find him. Don’t you worry,” Cameron replied as he put his arm around my shoulder. I swear my knees nearly buckled when he did that. What I wouldn’t give to have his strong arms holding me, to feel their strength, comforting me, keeping me safe.
I started to drift off into fantasyland as we approached Josh’s dressing room. I was brought back to reality as I hear Josh talking to someone in a panic on his phone. I heard him hang up and then burst into tears. That panic that I heard from him started to resonate in me. I broke out from under Cameron’s arm and burst into his dressing room.
From out of nowhere Justin burst into the dressing room nearly screaming, “Josh, are you OK?” Quickly I tried to find the nearest thing to hide my face and the fact that I had been crying. It was useless as I found nothing, so I quickly used my shirtsleeve and tried to clean my face up as best I could.
“Yeah, I’m fine Justin. What are you doing here?” I asked trying to sound as calm and as put together as possible.
“Bullshit, you’re fine,” Justin replied angrily. “Dammit, Josh, I’m your best friend and I know something is very wrong. Please talk to me.”
“I promise you, Justin,” I said, standing up. “I’m perfectly fine. I’m just stressed out a little. I’ll get over it. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go take care of some things.”
I started to head towards the door when I ran right into Cameron. He was standing in front of the door, refusing to let me out.
“Excuse me, Cameron, I need to get out,” I said looking up at him.
“Nice try, Josh, but you’re not getting out of here until you start talking,” Cameron replied. “I may not know you very well, but I’m smart enough to know that something is wrong. Now, you owe it to Justin to tell him what’s up. So like I said before, start talking.”
“Look, neither of you will understand, so just drop it, OK?” I said exasperated.
“Why do you keep saying that? What is it that I won’t understand? Why don’t you trust me anymore?” Justin said, falling frustrated onto the couch.
Getting frustrated myself, I turned once again toward the door. Walking up to Cameron I tried to move him out of the way, but he wouldn’t budge.
“Are you crazy?” Cameron asked, as he stood there with his arms folded, almost chuckling. “I’m twice your size and you think you can move me like that?”
I just stared angrily at him.
“Look, I don’t know what your deal is,” Cameron continued. “But your best friend is sitting over on that couch going out of his mind worried about you. How you can stand there and let him worry is beyond me. He cares about you a lot and when he saw the way Chris treated you he had to make sure you were OK.”
“THAT’S IT, ISNT IT?!” Justin said nearly jumping off the couch. “What has that bastard done to you? What else has Chris been putting you through?”
“He hasn’t done anything to me, Justin. It’s what he has done to someone else. Someone I care about a great deal,” I said, finally giving in and walking over to where he was standing.
“I’m confused,” Justin replied.
“All right, fine. You want to know why Chris has been such an asshole to everyone lately?” I asked him.
“Do you remember Chris’s cousin, Brayden?”
“Yeah, I think so. Isn’t he the cool one that Chris couldn’t stop talking about?” Justin asked.
“Yeah, that’s him,” I replied, sitting down on the couch. “They used to be best friends.”
“Used to be? What happened?” Cameron asked, still standing by the door.
“Do you two promise that this won’t get back to Chris?” I asked. They both nodded.
“Well, Chris and Brayden used to be so close they were inseparable. They had grown up together and were more like brothers than cousins. They shared everything and kept nothing from each other. Then it all went very wrong.”
Both Cameron and Justin came and sat on either side of me on the couch as I continued my story. “Brayden had a secret that he’d never told anyone and figured that the one person on this planet that he could tell was Chris. Well, when Brayden told Chris this secret, Chris completely lost it. He flew off the handle and told Brayden that he never wanted to see or speak to him again. Naturally, Brayden was crushed and heartbroken. Since then, things between them have not been the same and Chris has turned into a huge asshole.”
“What in the hell did Brayden tell Chris that was so horrible to cause Chris to freak out like he did?” Cameron asked.
“That’s just it, it wasn’t something horrible,” I replied, trying not to break down again.
“Well, then, what was it?” Justin asked looking at me intently.
“Brayden told Chris that he was gay, Justin. All he did was come out to his best friend on the entire planet and Chris turned on him,” I said starting to weep. Justin put his arm around my shoulders and pulled me into him.
Cameron stood up furiously. “I can’t believe this. All he did was come out and Chris turned his back on him. I should go give Chris the beating of his life.”
“Cameron, no. Stop,” I said, turning to him, nearly yelling. “That won’t solve anything. Besides, there’s been enough beatings already.”
“Enough beatings?” Justin asked. “Josh, what are you talking about?”
“Justin, Brayden is here in Dallas. He came here to try and talk to Chris. To see if he could repair the damage that had been done to their relationship,” I said standing up. Turning to face the both of them, I continued. “Brayden never got the chance to say a thing to Chris. Chris beat the shit out of Brayden before he could say a word.”
Both Justin and Cameron gasped and nearly fell over.
“Chris did what?” Cameron replied as I could see the anger start to build within him.
“So that’s what Chris was talking to you about in the green room that caused you to panic?” Justin asked, looking at me. I nodded. “Don’t get me wrong, Josh, I’m sorry this happened to Brayden, but why all of a sudden is his welfare so important to you?”
I just stood there, staring at the ground, not saying anything. How can I tell my best friend that I’m gay? That I am so in love with Brayden that it hurts. How can I break that to Justin?
The next thing I know, Justin is in front of me, his hands are on my shoulders and he’s nearly shaking me.
“What is it, Josh? Dammit talk to me, don’t clam up now. I need to know,” Justin pleaded.
“BECAUSE I LOVE HIM, JUSTIN!” I spat out. “I’m gay, Justin, and Brayden is my boyfriend.”
Justin just stood there in shock. His eyes were wide, he wasn’t breathing, just staring at me.
“Say something, Justin, please,” I pleaded with him.
Cameron walked over to Justin and spun him around to face him. “Justin, Josh needs you now. If you still love him, tell him, if you need time to think about this, then let him know that, too. Either way you have to say something.”
Justin nodded at Cameron and turned back to face me. Justin looked at me for a few seconds and came over and wrapped his arms around me. I burst into tears and just cried into his shoulder.
“It doesn’t matter who or what you are, Josh, I will always love you,” Justin said, stroking my hair. “I will always be your best friend and will never turn my back on you, no matter what. Besides, us gay boys have to stick together you know.”
I immediately broke my embrace with Justin, nearly choked on a sob, and looked at him. “Did I just hear you right, Justin? ‘Us’ gay boys?” I asked.
“You know, Josh, there has been something I have been meaning to tell you,” Justin said very seriously, causing all three of us to burst out laughing.
“Don’t worry, Justin, I still love you,” I said, grabbing him into the biggest hug I could muster.
I looked over at Cameron and saw him wipe a tear out of the corner of his eye. He noticed me watching him and quickly looked away.
“Josh, what are you going to do about Brayden?” Justin asked, as he tried to compose himself.
“Well,” I replied. “Lonnie is on his way over to the hotel as we speak to get him and bring him here. I don’t want him there alone. I don’t know what condition he’s in and I’m afraid to see. I don’t know what I would do, Justin, if he is seriously hurt.”
“Everything will be OK, Josh,” Justin soothed.
“If you like,” Cameron spoke up “I can ask Cody to come look at him when he gets here. He may only work as a phlebotomist, but I do know that he’s a certified EMT.”
“Do you think he would mind?” I asked.
“I don’t think he would mind at all,” Cameron replied. “But he would want to know the whole story as to why it happened. Are you going to be OK sharing that with him?”
“I will be, as long as you two are there with me for support.”
“I wouldn’t be anywhere else,” Justin said, smiling.
“Ditto!” Cameron added.
“Thank you, guys, for everything. You are truly wonderful friends,” I said as I walked over to the two of them and gave them both a huge hug.