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Lucas stared at the singer standing in the patio doorway, Usher's brown eyes meeting his.
"I hope I'm not late?"
"No, Usher. You're right on time." Lucas said, the
young man looking at Adam.
Adam's blue eyes were locked on Usher's handsome face, the Maroon Five singer's face showing a soft worry and shock.
"What. . .what are you doing here Usher?" the singer said, the black man staring at him again.
"Lucas invited me here, Adam." Usher said, the man walking out of the house onto the patio, Andrew and Lance following him, their eyes showing soft confusion, the two men remaining at the doorway.
Adam's blue eyes met Lucas' again, the young man's violet pools filled with determination and calmness.
"What's he doing here, Carver? What's your game? I didn't know you liked black men?"
Lucas stared at Adam, Justin rising from his chair, staring at Usher.
"Yes, what's he doing here, Luke?" Justin said, Usher smiling at Justin.
"Hello, Justin." he softly smiled, Justin's face showing a soft anger and fear.
"Sit down, Jus. This is a meeting I asked for." Lucas said.
Everyone looked at Lucas, the young man focusing again on Adam, Justin trading looks with Lance, Justin sitting down again.
"I invited Usher here, Adam. For the second half of this meeting."
Usher looked at Lucas, Josh seeing a soft look of nervousness in his brown eyes.
"Sit down again, Adam. You as well, Usher." Lucas said, the young man sitting down in his seat at the table, Josh looking at his boyfriend beside him, Adam and Usher sitting down beside each other.
"I think I should leave." Adam said, staring at Lucas with a soft look of nervousness as well.
"You're not going anywhere until we discuss the truth."
"The truth about what?" Adam said, his blue eyes looking towards the patio doors, Lance and Andrew standing in front of them, the singer's plans to flee pretty much thwarted.
"The truth about yourself, Adam. About the man you've become and the man you once were. And the truth about what lays right before you that you can't see for your own bravado."
Adam stared at Lucas, the man's words calm and focused.
"Everyone loves my bravado, among other things." the man smiled, a smile of bravado showing on his face.
"Your bravado hides a deeper truth, Adam. A truth that needs to be shown for this to end." Lucas said, Josh staring at him and then at the two singers seated across from him.
"I only have one truth and that's that I'm amazing." Adam said, smirking at Lucas, his blue eyes going to Usher seated beside him.
"I suggest you be quiet, Adam, and let the man talk." Usher said, Adam surprised by his friend's serious-looking face.
Adam's blue eyes locked on his brown, Adam seeing a judging look in the man's eyes.
"Fine, I'll shut up. I know when I'm outnumbered and outmanoeuvred." Adam said, his eyes scanning around at everyone, some of the people strangers to him, sensing they were Lucas' family.
Lucas stared at the singer, his violet eyes moving to Usher's brown, Lucas seeing the look he needed to see there.
"You're not outnumbered or outmanoeuvred, Adam. You've just finally come to the end of the wrong path." Lucas said, the man's eyes softly glowing, Usher and Adam both looking at him in surprise.
"What. . .your eyes?" Usher softly said, Lucas staring at him, then back at Adam.
Adam stood up, his face showing a soft fear, staring into Lucas' violet eyes.
"You. . .you freak! What the hell are you?"
Lucas stood up, staring at Adam.
"I'm myself, Adam. And I'm tired. Your wrong path ends here. It's time you walked the true path. The path to the soul you hide from everyone. Especially him."
Adam looked scared, backing up, staring at Lucas.
"Bravado masks different things, Adam. For some it masks uncertainty, pain, hurt, need, want, shortcomings, doubts and hatred. I know what your bravado masks. I've seen it hidden in your blue eyes." Lucas said, the singer looking at him with confusion and worry.
"I. . .I. . .I don't know what the fuck you're talking about." he said, his bravado trying to mask his feelings again.
Lucas walked around the table, staring at Adam.
"I'm talking about a man who'd mask his soul behind a blanket of debauchery, arrogance and meanness. A soul that's holding a deep secret, a secret that man feels would destroy it."
Adam's eyes widened in surprise, Lucas walking up to him.
"I know your truth, Adam. I felt it the first moment I met you. For I saw it embedded in your eyes. You can't hide from it, Adam. You've pushed it down into the emptiness of your imprisoned soul. It's time that door was opened. What you're trying to hide can't be destroyed by you banging half the world."
Adam stared at Lucas, the young man moving back to his seat, his head turning and staring at Usher, then back at Adam.
"You've taken to subjugating people to prove your own masculinity. You've hurt others to calm the hurt and fear claiming your own soul. Today that ends. That ends with you facing the truth."
Lucas sat down, his violet eyes on Adam.
"Why don't you make him face that truth by you telling him the truth?" Lucas said, staring at Usher.
"What truth, Usher?" Adam said, his eyes moving back to Usher seated in front of him.
The black man looked at Lucas then stood up, turning and facing Adam.
"I'm sorry that I hurt you, Adam. I never knew that you loved me."
The patio was silent, everyone's eyes focused with surprise on the two men standing and facing each other.
Justin's blue eyes were staring at Usher and Adam in shock, his soul remembering the night of their possessing him, the two men having taken him together along with the rest.
Adam loved Usher?
How could those two sex fiends show love?
They were so possessive.
They both used me.
Justin's eyes threatened with tears, someone sitting down beside him.
He turned, looking into Lance's green pools.
Lance smiled at him, his hand going to his shoulder, his eyes showing a look of strength and love.
Justin's blue pools moved back to the two men, watching them staring at each other.
Adam's face wore a look of total shock.
"I. . .I. . .I don't. . .I never. . ." he stuttered, backing up again.
Usher moved forward, stopping a few feet in front of him.
"Lucas told me the truth yesterday, Adam. He called me yesterday and the two of us met not far from here and talked. He told me the truth of yourself and of his knowing my own truths." Usher said, his eyes moving back behind him, staring into Lucas' violet pools.
Trish was staring at Lucas as well, remembering her brother leaving while they decorated the house.
She now realized where he'd gone, his own day of happiness put on hold to draw these two men here.
Usher's eyes moved back to Adam's, the man staring at him with shock.
Lucas rose from his seat again, walking around the table, everyone following his moves, the man walking up to the two staring men, standing between them but apart from them.
"I have a great gift of seeing into a person's soul, Adam. Your soul was the hardest I've ever had to read. For it was buried under a mountain of bravado and fear. Today it's time that soul breaks free. And the man standing in front of you has the truth to make it come alive."
Adam's eyes moved from Usher to Lucas, the younger man staring at him.
"You never really wanted me, Adam. Nor did you ever want those other men. Some of whom sit before you today. They were an escape for you, an escape from the truth hiding in your soul. A truth you were afraid to face. You gave your life over to a path of forgetfulness. You thought that you could smother your own fears by using others. Others that you hurt rather than hurt yourself."
Adam stared at Lucas in shock, the young man's eyes staring into his soul.
"Why didn't you tell me, Adam?" Usher said, their eyes meeting again.
"I. . .you were. . .I was. . ." he stuttered, Lucas staring at him.
"He was your first. You were in love with him." Lucas said, Adam staring at him, Usher's eyes widening as well.
"You mean. . .I was your. . .I didn't know!" he said, soft shock heard in his voice.
Adam's head lowered, Usher staring at him with surprise and uncertainty.
Lucas moved, his hand going to Adam's shoulder, the man's head raising, staring into Lucas' calm eyes.
"I feel in your soul the memories of that night. Of
the innocence lost, of the love found. Usher's beauty, giving tenderness and
guiding love capturing your soul. Then that soul's doubts fed the fear hidden within
Adam's eyes showed the beginnings of tears, Lucas's eyes moving to Usher's staring brown.
"It's time you told him your truth, Usher." Lucas said, stepping back again, staring at both men.
Adam's blue pools stared into Usher's brown pools, the man seeing a surprising look there.
The black man's head lowered, a soft tremble going through his muscled physique.
"It. . .it was. . .I was the same, Adam. It was the first time for me as well." he said, his head raising, their eyes meeting.
"And I was lost in the beauty of your soul just as much. I fell in love with you that night as well."
Adam's eyes filled with tears, his body trembling as well.
"You. . .you had. . .you were. . ." he stuttered, a soft sob coming from him.
Lucas stared at both men, the younger man sighing.
"The two of you that night came face to face with the uncertainty of your own souls. And rather than face that truth about yourselves, the two of you took the wrong path. Both of you claimed your souls to the decadence and immorality of the male ego. You both wanted to bury the doubts of your own sexuality and wants under a blanket of masculinity. You felt that it was a sin to love another man, but not a sin to use a man. That forceful male ego making others cower to your misguided strength."
Both men lowered their heads, Lucas' true words sinking into their souls.
"Why do you think Usher was with you so many lust-filled nights after that, Adam?"
Adam raised his head, his blue eyes staring at Usher.
"Because he wanted to be near those feelings. Those feelings of love he couldn't face. I'm sure you felt the same on those many nights you both claimed others. The man you secretly loved was right there."
Adam stared at Usher, the man's head raising, Usher staring at Adam.
"I. . .I felt safe with you there, Ush. I felt alive." Adam softly said, Usher moving forward, his hand going to Adam's shoulder, the man's blue eyes filled with tears.
"Why didn't you tell me?" Usher softly said, Adam staring into his brown pools.
"How could I. . .how could I tell you. . .strong beautiful you. . .that I was. . ." Adam cried, Usher's arms wrapping around him, Adam sobbing into his chest.
Usher's eyes met Lucas', the young man staring at him.
"Oh, Adam. All you had to do was tell me! I would have. . .I would have. . .I could have. . .loved you." Usher said, his voice filled with emotion.
Adam's head raised, the two staring at each other.
"That love's still there."
Both men turned, staring at Lucas, the young man having spoken.
"Everyone seated here can see what the two of you can't accept right before you. I think it's time you both let your souls open."
Adam stared at Usher, the man staring at him, Adam seeing that look again in his eyes.
"Usher, your eyes. . .they. . ."
"They show love. I love you, Adam. Lucas made me face that yesterday. I never stopped loving you. That's why I agreed to join you on our misguided conquests. I wanted to be with you. I accepted then that I'd have to share you. Now I see that I don't. I need only you. And you need only me. I love you, Adam. I want to. . .I want us to. . .please let us. . ."
Adam teared up, his eyes moving to Lucas'.
"Life begins with accepting what's within ourselves, Adam."
Adam nodded, looking into Usher's eyes again.
"I. . .I love you. . .Usher."
The black man smiled, moving forward, his lips meeting Adam's, Lucas quietly staring at both.
Everyone on the patio stood, Lucas' eyes going around to everyone's; Justin, Lance and Josh all seeing the quietness in his violet pools.
The two men broke their kiss, staring into each other's eyes, Usher taking Adam's hand in his.
They both turned, looking at Lucas, the young man standing before them, his hands folded in front of him.
"The two of you both need to have a long talk together. And the both of you need to search your troubled souls." Lucas said, his eyes looking around again at others, focusing again on the two men.
"You've both hurt and used a lot of people. There is a lot of forgiveness that needs to be found in their own souls. And there are a lot of people that you need to ask forgiveness from. But today your two souls perhaps have a chance at a greater happiness. That happiness begins with both of you being true to each other."
"Lucas. . .I. . ." Adam stuttered, Lucas staring at him.
"I never made advances towards you, Adam. You let
the edict of your own doubts make you want me. All I can be is myself. And
perhaps one day I can be your friend. Talk to Usher, there's a lot of goodness
within him. And there's also a lot of love. And I have always felt the same in
Adam nodded, tears showing in his eyes.
His eyes went around the patio, staring at Justin and Lance.
"There will be other days for gathering strength and forgiveness. I think you both should leave." Lucas said, the two men nodding, Usher staring at Lucas.
"Thank you, Lucas. For. . .for the truth."
Lucas nodded, the two men quietly walking to the patio doors, Andrew guiding them back through the house.
Everyone stood in silence, staring at Lucas.
The young man moved, walking past the table, moving past everyone, walking to the pool's edge.
Everyone looked at Josh, the man walking towards the pool.
He stopped at Lucas' side, the young man staring into the calm blue water in front of him, a wreath of blue flowers floating in front of them, Lucas staring at its blue beauty.
"You are. . .you are so unbelievable, Lucky." Josh said, Lucas raising his head, his violet pools filled with love.
"I'm me, Joshua. I'm the me that I need to be. I
needed both of them to face what lay in their hearts. And I needed to stop them
from the path they'd walked, the path to destruction they were on."
Josh's arm went around his man's waist, Lucas smiling at him.
"I love you, Lucky. For that beautiful giving heart
within you. You just gave two men of callous disregard a chance at something better."
"I did it to stop them, Josh. To stop them from hurting others and in turn finding perhaps their own happiness."
Josh smiled, leaning in and kissing Lucas' soft lips, the two feeling their own happiness.
"I think I'm going to marry an angel."
Lucas smiled, taking Josh's hand in his.
"Angel, I am not. Good, I'll always try to be."
Josh smiled, the two men walking back to their families.
Chris and Joey walked up to Lucas, staring at him with wonder.
"Oh my God, Luke! What you just did! What you just made them face!" Joey said, his words edged with wonder.
"I made them face life, guys. And I made them take a hard look at each other. And at themselves."
"Yeah, I'm sure they'll be hard soon enough." Chris said, smirking.
Lucas stared at him, then burst into laughter, patting a smiling Chris' back.
"Way to go, Chris! End the drama with a mirthful insinuation!" he laughed, everyone smiling at Lucas.
"You, Lukey, are amazing!" Trish smiled, kissing her brother's cheek.
Lance and Justin both walked up to the young man, Lucas staring at both with calm love in his violet eyes.
"I'm sorry that you both had to face that, guys. I know your feelings for both men. What they did to you no one can ever make right. But I hope both of you can find some forgiveness in your hearts for them. You were the main reason I did that. I wanted them to stop hurting both of you. But I also wanted to give them a redeeming chance at a better path."
Lance smiled, moving forward and kissing Lucas's cheek.
"Never thinking of yourself, my friend. Thank you for making both of them see their own souls. I believe I will be able to forgive them at some time. Everyone deserves a redeeming chance." he said, Lucas smiling at him, his violet pools staring at Justin.
The man moved forward, his hand going to Lucas' shoulder.
"You are amazing, Luke. For I saw the love behind
what you did. The love for me and Lance. And perhaps the forgiveness of your own
heart. To help someone who only was wanting one thing from you. You are truly
amazing. And Lance is right. Perhaps one day I can find forgiveness in my heart
as well. For I'd only ever want to mirror your giving heart."
Lucas smiled, Justin hugging him, Lance smiling at his friend.
"What about Jake, Lukey? Will he leave you alone?" Finn said, Lucas staring towards the pool.
The man looked deep in thought, Josh's arm going around him.
"You okay, Lucky?"
Lucas' eyes met his, Josh seeing a troubled look there.
"I don't think it's come to an end with him and myself, Joshua. I felt a soft feeling of destiny in my soul. As if our path continues. And I saw Jake in a scene of finality."
Everyone looked at Lucas with confusion.
"The floating truth will make the future play itself out." Lucas said, staring at Josh.
"What do you mean, Lucky?" Josh said, his arms tightening around him.
"I mean I want to see Chris floating in the pool like a sunning whale." Lucas smiled, everyone laughing, Chris giving Lucas a finger, Lucas laughing.
Josh smiled at Lucas, the man smiling at everyone.
"The day's warming, everyone. A pool party is just the thing!" he smiled, everyone agreeing.
Everyone moved towards the house and cabanas, Josh kissing his Lucky's cheek.
"I've got a new bathing suit, babe. I'm going to
Lucas smiled, kissing his lips.
"I prefer you in your birthday suit."
Josh laughed, taking Lucas' hand in his.
Lucas smiled, the two walking towards the patio, Lucas taking one last look at the pool.
His mind flooded with a vision of truth.
"Everything's a go, Luke!" Justin said, Lucas smiling at his nervous face.
"Man, Timberlake! You'd think you were the one going out there!" Lucas smiled, Justin softly smiling at him.
"I wish, Lukey!" he said, his smile widening more, Lucas smiling at him.
"Great to see that smile, Jus. You've been more nervous than us. But Finn's damn near wetting himself." Lucas smirked.
Finn laughed behind him, the man smiling at his girlfriend and Trish, the four singers standing behind a wall of amplifiers and lighting fixtures.
"The arena's packed guys! They're chomping at the bit for Orion!" Josh said, the man smiling at all four, walking out from behind another wall, Andrew at his side.
The four singers were standing backstage at their first sold-out concert in New York's Madison Square Garden, listening to the opening act on stage.
They'd returned to New York a week ago, a long week of rehearsals finished, the four ready for their first true moment of American fame.
"Thanks, Joshy! There go my nerves now!" Trish said, Lucas smiling at his sister, Josh laughing.
"Think of it as a large group of Andrews. That'll calm you." he smiled, Drew's arms going around Trish, kissing her cheek, she smiling at him.
"There's only one Drew that calms me, my love." she said, Drew kissing her on the lips, everyone smiling.
"I've got news as well, Luke." Drew smiled, Lucas nodding at him.
"Strassman cancelled the writ, you're under no litigation now." he smiled, Lucas smiling.
"Free and clear, Lucky. Your own songs will rock the house!" Josh smiled, Lucas smiling into his blue pools.
"Always knew they would, my love. No one could ever stop me and my life." he smiled, Justin smiling at him.
He saw Lucas' total calmness, the young man smiling at his three bandmates.
"Time for Orion to shine, my friends. Hold to our one heart of musical love, and we'll do some amazing things."
The other three smiled, moving towards Lucas, the young man hugged by all three, the others standing back and smiling.
A soft chant could be heard from behind them, the opening act now finished, a young woman walking back into their area smiled at everyone, her bandmates following her.
"They're charged and ready, guys." she said, smiling widely, a guitar strapped across her back, three other musicians following her.
"Thanks, Tracy. You were all spot on!" Lucas smiled, the young woman smiling, kissing Justin's cheek.
"Thanks for the exposure, Justin." she said, her group following her to the dressing rooms, Lucas and his bandmates all high-fiving the four as they passed.
"Another good group, Justin. I love their name. Passion's Peak. And their music is spot on, alternative with country roots." Josh smiled, Justin nodding.
"Yeah, another of Jimmy's great finds. They've signed with Tenneman last month, and are excited about touring as Orion's opening act." he smiled, Lucas smiling at him.
"Thanks for giving all of us that exposure."
Justin smiled, his hand going to Lucas' shoulder.
"You four are the headliners, guys. Your music is
even more amazing."
Orion's four smiled, Finn looking towards the stage, Lucas smiling at him.
"Take that skin-tight t-shirt off on stage, Finny. I'm sure the first four rows are screaming horny girls."
Finn laughed, Skyler smiling at Lucas' soft way of reducing her man's hidden fears.
"Should I take off the pants too?"
Lucas burst into laughter, Josh smiling at his total calmness.
"Nah, no point. I don't think any of them brought binoculars!"
Skyler erupted into laughter, Trish joining her, Finn blushing, then giving Luke a finger.
Lucas laughed, his arm going around his best friend.
"Sky's got that beauty well in hand. And you've got all our love. You don't have to strip to show your love."
Finn smiled at his friend, kissing Lucas' cheek.
"Best I shouldn't, Lukey. I know how much you want me."
Lucas laughed loudly, the young man smiling happily.
His three friends smiled at him, his eyes sparkling.
"Orion shines together as one, my friends."
The four bandmates smiled, Lucas' words calming all of them.
"Time to shine guys. Orion's in the sky."
All four smiled again, Drew kissing Trish, Finn and Skyler kissing each other, Josh pulling Lucas into his arms.
"Light up the sky, Lucky."
Luke smiled, Josh hugging him, the surrounding openness curtailing their true needs.
Josh kissed Lucas' cheek lightly, the young man released from his love.
"I'll shine brightest with your love, Beamy." he quietly said to only him.
Josh smiled, releasing his fiancÚ, Lucas and his three bandmates heading for the darkened stage; Justin, Drew and Josh hugging all, their band musicians following them.
"Let's get to our seats, guys. Lance and their parents are waiting for us." Justin smiled, Josh and Drew smiling back.
Josh looked towards the stage, his thoughts on his man's beginning dreams.
Josh sat beside Justin, Lance and Drew seated on both sides of them, the four in a private seating area to the left of the stage.
Behind them Lucas', Finn's and Skyler's parents sat waiting as well.
Josh's eyes were staring around them, the crowd chanting, the noise in the arena loud and energetic, but controlled and happy.
"Orion! Orion! We want Orion!"
He smiled, thinking of his lover somewhere ahead of him on the dark-filled stage.
He'd sat through some of the rehearsals all week, his Lucky's voice shining throughout.
He knew his man was ready, his voice and his soul ready for its showing greatness.
He smiled to himself, Justin beside him looking at Josh.
"Your man's ready, Joshy. His voice is amazing. They're going to be blown away!" he smiled looking out at the audience, Josh smiling at him.
"Where's Sheridan, Jus? I thought he'd be here tonight." Josh said, Justin smiling.
"He's tied up today, but he said he'd come to the after party back at the condo." Justin said, Josh seeing the soft happiness in Justin's blue eyes.
"Awesome, Jus! We finally get to meet him!" Vivian said behind them, Justin smiling back at her.
"He's dying to meet all of you as well." he smiled at Lucas' mother, Vivian smiling back.
"But first let's let Lucas' music capture our souls." Justin smiled, everyone smiling back, looking towards the stage ahead of them.
"I'm so nervous for my baby!" Mavis said, Sean's arms going around his wife.
"He's out there in his element, dear. Our son's soul is waiting to shine." he said, everyone smiling.
"All our kids are going to shine." Ian Templeton smiled, his wife Lorraine smiling beside him.
Their words were interrupted by a soft melody cascading across the arena, coming from the dark stage.
A deep voice began to fill the arena, the audience on its feet in anticipation.
"In life, the stars shine above us as lights guiding the souls of everyone." a voice echoed across the arena, the crowd beginning to scream, caught up on every word.
Josh smiled, recognizing his Lucky's rich voice.
Justin leaned into his side, whispering into his ear above the rising screaming.
"Lucas' own words, and they're live not taped. He's opening his soul to all of them."
Josh smiled, the tempo of the music rising above the increasing shouting.
"The heavens open to the light of life." Lucas' louder voice said, a single light illuminating in the darkness ahead of everyone.
"Let's shine in the light of music, in the light of life. Orion comes!"
The small light in the stage's center moved, rushing forward, breaking into four parts, the four beacons of light increasing into four forms at the front center of the stage.
Those lights changed into the shapes of four people, the music changing, four souls walking out of the light into the world of their hopes and dreams.
Finn's deep voice filled the stage, the crowd screaming its need.
The four souls of Orion began to shine, Canyon of Love's rich tempo and words filled the arena.
Josh stared at his man, Lucas in a white t-shirt and white jeans, Finn identical in his white masculinity.
Trish and Skyler wore white dresses, their beauty shining for their fans to see.
Josh smiled, staring at the musical happiness of four people, their voices joined in total love.
The crowd was lost, their voices joining the band's, the arena filled with the music of Lucas' soul.
Justin smiled, hearing their perfect pitch, their joined harmony and their instant worship of the crowd screaming before them.
"They're a hit, Joshy. The audience is theirs." Justin smiled, Josh smiling at him, the two listening in silence to the joy flowing before them.
The band played for over two hours, their fans lost in their own happiness, Orion's music feeding their souls.
After each song the arena erupted into pandemonium, the four singers smiling down at their fans, bowing and waving.
Lucas was front and center, but the four were joined as one, their harmonies and tempo joined as one soul.
As the one star Orion.
Throughout the songs the band chatted with the audience, the crowd pulled into their giving love.
Four friends sang for thousands of friends, their music entering their souls.
After almost three hours of music, Justin leaned over to Josh.
"The last song is coming up. Lucas' ballad." he said, Josh nodding, having not heard his man sing that song all week.
"He hasn't rehearsed it, that I could see." Josh said, Justin nodding.
"Yes they did, Josh. But only when you weren't around. Lucas has changed it a bit. He wants it to be a surprise for everyone, you especially." Justin said, smiling.
Josh stared at his friend, another hand going to his shoulder, Josh turning and looking into Lance's green eyes.
"He loves you, Josh. This next song is for you."
Josh stared at both of his friends, another hand going to his shoulder from behind him.
He looked back, meeting two blue pools of love.
"He does love you, Josh. He's shining in the world's eyes but his greatest shine comes from your love. I think he's going to amaze all of us." Vivian said, Josh smiling at her.
Josh turned back, staring at the stage, the lights going out as the group ended another song.
The crowd was applauding, screaming and voicing their happiness.
A few moments later one single spotlight broke the darkness, Lucas seated at a piano in the stage's center, the man wearing a new change of clothes, Josh realizing it was the violet-coloured suit he'd worn when he'd proposed to him last week.
The young man sat at a black piano, his three bandmates seated in front of the piano on stools, Lucas at its keyboard.
Finn wore a tight fitting black suit, Trish and Skyler in sequin dresses of blue and shimmering red, respectively.
Lucas' smiling, handsome face looked out into the showing love, the young man's smile melting a lot of hearts, female and male.
"Is everyone having a good time?" he asked, the screams and applause answering his question.
"We've all had a good time tonight as well, performing for all of you. Your energy feeds Orion's energy. We'd like to end the night with a special song. One that I wrote at a moment of deep hurt in my life. The words then echoed my own thoughts on love and happiness. Today they mean a little more for me. They mean that life can change, that happiness can be found." Lucas said, his bandmates smiling at him, soft tears showing in their eyes.
The audience's happiness had died down, a lot of tearing eyes showing out in the darkness, hidden from those on stage, but felt in the quietness descending over the arena.
"I've always found that life is a path, that we find obstacles on that path, some of happiness and some of pain. But the true worth of who we are is having the courage to continue on the path. Who knows what awaits us out there in the distant future? Love, happiness, more pain, or more hurt? Life is about taking that path to its end. I'll always do that. For what is love without life?" Lucas said, his violet eyes staring out into the darkness, Josh's blue eyes staring back, the man almost certain Lucas' eyes were focused on his alone.
"I've changed this song a bit for those who've heard it, for my own path has changed. Let's listen together and find our own meaning for each of us. Let's find love, my friends."
Lucas' fingers hit the piano keys, a soft melody flooding across the stage out into the darkness before it, everyone caught up in the hauntingly beautiful tempo.
Lucas' eyes met his three bandmates, the four focused on their love for each other.
Lucas' voice filled the stage, his eyes staring out into the darkness.
I've walked through rooms of sadness,
lost in the madness,
lost in the silence of our love.
I walked down roads of memories,
roads of extremities.
roads of lies, roads of highs
and ditches of lows.
How can I walk any farther than my soul can reach?
How can I walk, as I once walked with him on that beach?
How can I part, from the pain in my heart?
No one can now claim this broken heart.
For this heart was a tool,
for the construction of a fool.
For the creation of a man,
who didn't see his final plan.
He ripped what was whole,
for he had but one goal.
And how did it start?
Well, when love tried to claim this heart.
A heart that then laid apart,
scarred by pain, wet from my tears' rain.
I swore I'd never do this again,
That no one could have a claim to this heart
Lucas' eyes stared into the darkness, Josh's blue pools staring at his love with total love.
Lucas' pain was flowing on the words, Josh feeling a sudden change in the melody, the next words different than before.
For what is a heart, but a vessel of love.
A receptacle of your need, that can rip apart from greed.
From the falsity of love, from the pain from above.
From those wooden sticks to my head, I came close to being dead.
And so I thought I'd remain, forever with this pain.
Torn from the hurt, unable to start again.
I thought I was done,
That no one could claim this heart.
But then one night,
In darkness' last light.
I saw a smile,
From a face of beguile,
From a soul of need,
That again planted a seed.
Now, what of my heart?
Its living again will start,
For I looked into the blue
Of your eyes so true.
You now. . .now have a claim. . .
To my heart. . .forever. . .my heart.
You can claim this heart.
The music ended, the arena silent for a long moment as Lucas lowered his head, three friends surrounding him.
And then the applause erupted, the audience on their feet, Lucas raising his head.
His violet eyes stared outwards, Finn pulling him to his feet, he and Trish and Skyler's arms going around him, the young man smiling at all three.
The four turned to the audience, the applause increasing, four friends bowing as one, Lucas' face wearing a large smile of love and acceptance.
His violet eyes looked to the left, the darkness shielding those there from his gaze.
He smiled, not having to see who was out there.
He felt in his soul his lover's love.
Lucas smiled, joining with his friends in the ending revelry of their first concert.
Four smiles filled the stage, their love and Orion's shining.
Lucas felt his chest heaving, the air cut off from his lungs.
"God, Joshy! Let go, I can't breathe!" he gasped, Josh smiling and releasing his lover.
"Fantastic, babe! Every note, every dance, image and smile! You were fantastic!" Josh said, smiling at the young man in his arms.
"I know, Beamy. I just needed you to voice its truth!" Lucas grinned, Josh laughing.
Josh was backstage with Orion's family, the four singers inundated with hugs, kisses, clapping and tears.
Josh had been the first to rush up to them, taking his lover in his arms, forgetting where he was, Lucas lost in Josh's tearful exuberance.
"Calmness, Joshua. We're live and among the masses!" Lucas smiled, Josh blushing softly, releasing Lucas from his tight grasp.
"Great show, Luke." he smiled, Lucas smiling back.
Lucas was next pulled into a group hug by his parents, Josh smiling at both.
Everyone hugged him and his bandmates, the four lost in their happiness, and in their own.
"We nailed it, Lukey! That last song lost it for all of them. You just made us megastars!" Finn grinned, kissing Sky's lips.
"You better get some Ritalin, Sky. Your boy toy's getting hyper." Lucas smiled.
Everyone laughed, Justin hugging Lucas, Josh smiling at his friend.
"Perfect set, Luke. Not one thing went wrong." Justin smiled, patting Lucas' shoulder, Lucas smiling at him.
"Man, are you
blind? Twice we got the tempo offline, and Sky went off mark a couple of times.
But that was Finn and his roaming fingers' fault."
Finn laughed, as did Skyler, Lucas smiling at them.
"A few things to
fine tune, but all-in-all, not bad."
His bandmates looked surprised by Lucas' assessment, as did Josh and Justin.
The young man stared at all of them, then burst into laughter.
"Ah, heck! We were damn fine! Heck, we were aces!" he laughed, everyone smiling, Finn and Skyler trading looks.
"Let's get him!"
Lucas screamed, his three bandmates tackling him, bringing the younger man to the floor, Lucas screaming as they tickled him.
Josh and Justin both laughed, looking at Lance.
All three smiled, diving on top of the heap that was Orion.
Josh worked his way to the middle of the pile, pulling his lover out of their clutches.
"My hero." Lucas smiled, Josh's eyes locked on his.
Josh began to move forward, a slap on his ass stopping him.
"Decorum, guys." Justin smiled, Lucas smiling at him.
"Who says the old ones are slow? He looks ready to be fixed." Lucas smiled, Josh blushing.
Lucas was laughing, not noticing four people sneaking up behind him.
But he instantly felt the coolness of the large bucket of water flowing over his head.
Lucas screamed at its coldness; Finn, Trish, Skyler and Drew all laughing at Lucas, the young man standing in his own puddle.
Josh looked shocked by Lucas' surprised face, about to move forward.
That face changed, a large smile crossing it.
"I guess we won the big game!"
Everyone laughed, seeing Lucas smiling widely, his laughter the loudest.
He turned to his friends, all four smiling widely.
"Good one, guys!
You taking lessons from Chris?"
They all laughed, Josh walking up to his lover, staring at his wet clothing.
"You're riding in the trunk, Luke. No way we're letting you into the limo!"
Lucas laughed, Josh handing him a towel.
"Let's go home, Joshua. I so want to celebrate!" Lucas grinned, everyone smiling.
Justin smiled, guiding the group and their families out of the backstage area.
Lucas felt a warm towel go around his shoulders, soft hands wiping his back and shoulders.
"Mmm, that feels great, babe." he said, two lips kissing his neck.
"How was the water, babe?" Josh said, towelling his man's lower back, two buns of smoothness his next target.
"A hell of a lot warmer than that bucket at the arena." he said, Josh laughing.
"They do realize that I don't forget, right? Revenge will be so sweet!"
Josh laughed again, his lover turning around, his smooth chest on full display, Josh's eyes glancing down it and lower.
"I had to turn. Someone was heading for my hills of love. If that happened we'd never get out of this bedroom."
Josh smiled, pulling his lover against him, Josh towelling off his chest and abdomen.
"I don't know. It looks pretty fantastic up front as well. I say let's bail." Josh said, his arms wrapping around his naked man.
Lucas smiled, kissing Josh's soft lips, his man wearing only a pair of dress slacks, his shirt laying on the bed in the other room, the two in the bathroom.
"Speaking of damn fine, I always loved your chest. So smooth and warm." Lucas said, running his fingers across it.
"Oh, I'm the horndog, am I?"
Lucas laughed, staring into Josh's blue pools.
"You have a certain affect on me, what can I say?"
Josh smiled, looking into Lucas' violet pools.
Lucas smiled, sensing Josh wanted to say something, Lucas remaining silent.
"That song, Lucas. Those changed words." he softly said, Lucas smiling at him.
"You changed my
life, Josh. I had to change the words. You have a true claim to my heart now."
Josh teared up, Lucas smiling at him.
"I love you, Lucas."
"I love you, Joshua."
The two men leaned in, kissing deeply.
"Mmm, that's the best. But as great as it is, tonight I need more. I need to feel the happiness of my friends. And I want to give all of mine."
Josh smiled, Lucas smiling back at him.
my angel. You and they were fantastic. You're going to be a big hit!"
Lucas smiled widely, Josh loving that smile on his face.
"You look beyond
happy, my love."
Lucas smiled, pulling his man against him.
"Well, lets see.
Tonight I sang my heart out, and thousands loved it. I'm engaged to the man of
my dreams, and his tears showed for me alone. I felt them out there in
the darkness, my love. I don't think I could be any happier."
Josh tearfully smiled, his finger rubbing Lucas' cheek.
"Well, I could get you pregnant?"
Lucas laughed, Josh joining him.
"These hips weren't made for birthing, sweetie."
Josh laughed, his hands going to Lucas' smooth muscular thighs.
"No, that's definitely not what they're made for. They shake when they dance and they feed my desires."
Lucas grinned, smiling at his man.
"Too bad you ain't getting them tonight."
Josh laughed, making a pouty look on his face.
"Damn, how can I refuse that look?" Lucas said, his voice edged with seductive lust.
"Later, my young stallion. This old bronco needs some food and some libations."
"Sweet. A drunken, stuffed Beamy will be so easily manipulated."
Josh laughed, releasing his man, kissing his cheek.
"I'm still fast, biatch!" Josh said, taking off out of the bathroom, Lucas grinning widely.
Lucas gave chase, the young man barrelling out of the bathroom, sure of Josh's goal.
Lucas came to an abrupt halt half way across the bedroom, two sets of blue eyes meeting his, along with a pair of wide green.
"Oops! Hi, guys." Lucas said, standing in the middle of his bedroom; Josh, Justin and Lance standing by the door.
Josh was holding in laughter, Justin's blue pools were going up and down Lucas' naked body, Lance's green doing the same but with a blushing redness now showing on his face.
"We're so sorry, Luke!" Lance said, averting his gaze slowly, Justin not moving from his.
"Hey, guys. You caught me by surprise. No worries. I am what I am." Lucas said, smiling at his Josh, Josh smiling back.
"It's okay, Lance. Justin's already seen the goods, you don't have to be embarrassed." Lucas said, reaching for a pair of briefs off the bed, slowly and nonchalantly pulling them up his legs, Justin smiling at him.
"Looking even finer, Luke. Josh's toning you up nicely!"
Lucas smiled, looking at Lance.
"And your thoughts, Lancy?"
Lance's eyes turned, staring into Lucas' violet pools.
"You are beyond fine, Luke. Damn near a Greek sculpture."
Lucas laughed, smiling at his friend.
likes it when I'm stoned and hard."
All four men burst into laughter, Josh blushing, Lucas walking up to him and kissing his cheek.
"Sorry, love. I had to use that one."
"I feel so used."
Lucas laughed, kissing his cheek again, looking at Justin and Lance.
"We're all friends, guys. I have no embarrassment with showing off my skinny carcass to your guys. I know the love we share will forego any wandering eyes. I love you as brothers."
Lance and Justin both smiled.
"We were just coming in to see what was taking you two so long. Lancy thought you might be making out or something." Justin smiled.
"And you just had to sneak a peek, Timberlake?" Lucas said, Justin softly blushing.
"No. . .no, Lukey. I just wanted to curtail the fun. You've got a crew waiting out there for you. Plus Sherry's on his way."
Lucas smiled, nodding at Justin.
"We'll make up the bed if you two want to use it."
Josh broke out into laughter, Justin blushing more, Lucas laughing, his naked arm going around Justin.
"Just joshing with ya, Justy. I
know you and Sheridan are taking it slow."
Justin nodded, smiling at Lucas.
"I'm falling hard, Luke."
Lucas smiled, looking at Lance.
"Take it slow, Justin. You go at your pace, not his. You've been through an ordeal. It has to mean more than just sex for you."
"I know, Lucas. I want more than
Lucas nodded, kissing Justin's cheek, his blue eyes scanning Lucas' near naked form.
"Get going, pervert. I'll get dressed. I don't want you pitching a tent all night. Sheridan will be beside himself."
Lance and Josh laughed, Justin smiling.
Lance and Justin walked out of the bedroom, Josh smiling at Lucas.
"Need a manservant, sir?"
Lucas laughed, patting Josh's ass.
"You get out there as well, tiger. We can't hide in here all night." Lucas smiled, handing Josh his dress shirt off the bed, helping Josh put it on, Lucas buttoning it up his chest.
"Beautiful, my Joshy. Keep the top couple of buttons open. You'll drive me wild all night."
Josh smiled, tucking the shirt into his pants, his blue eyes scanning Lucas' brief-clad body.
"Wear that and it will be a scout jamboree out there. Tents for as far as the eyes can see."
Lucas laughed, kissing his Josh's lips.
"Entertain the troops, Scoutmaster. I'll join you shortly."
Josh smiled, walking out of the bedroom, heading out to play the good host.
Lucas stared after him, the young man quietly closing the door.
Ten minutes later Lucas walked down the hallway, his body wrapped in two rushing arms towards him.
Mavis Finnegan had the young man in her arms, Lucas smiling at her giving tearful love enveloping him.
"Oh, Lucas! My boy's beyond happy. And you're the reason for it! Your music. . .your giving love." she said, tears flowing, Sean smiling behind her.
"I tried to lasso her, Luke. But she was on a mission." he said, Lucas smiling at him, the young man kissing Mavis' tearing face.
"I love your son, Mamma Mavis. I'll always try and make his dreams come true. He's my brother."
The woman smiled, looking around the room.
"Your family's enlarged, Lucas. Your giving love welcomes many." she said, Lucas smiling and looking around the living room, which was full of people.
"I have to mingle, Mamma Mavis. Enjoy the food and the happiness." he said, Josh smiling and walking up to Lucas.
Josh's eyes went over his man's physique.
Lucas wore a pair of khaki dress pants, their tightness hugging his firm backside and hips.
A black silk shirt covered his sleek torso, it form fitting and smooth.
Josh beamed, his hand going in Luke's.
"We're home, babe. All the crew
and our friends will see our love."
Lucas smiled, his hand tightening in Josh's.
"Lead on, Beamy."
Josh excused himself from Sean and Mavis, guiding Lucas towards Jimmy and Rob.
Everyone enjoyed the atmosphere, Josh and Lucas working the room, Lucas chatting and laughing with everyone, his bandmates working the room as well.
He saw the total happiness on all their faces, the three on cloud nine.
The band and opening group were there as well, Lucas chatting with Tracy and her boyfriend Matt, he the drummer in her band.
He saw a closeness and family love matching his group's own.
Justin and Lance chatted with Luke and Josh as well, the four laughing and talking.
Around midnight Justin's phone went off, the man smiling and heading towards the condo's front door.
Josh smiled after him, his arm going around Lucas.
"I think Justin's mystery man has arrived."
Lucas smiled, kissing Josh's cheek.
"He's no mystery to Justin. Soon he'll be no mystery to us." Lucas smiled, the man walking over to his parents, Josh smiling after him.
About five minutes later Josh was talking to Rob, a hand going to his shoulder.
Josh smiled, turning around, staring at Justin.
"I'd like you to meet someone, Joshy. This is Sheridan Whitecastle, my friend."
Josh smiled, his eyes moving, meeting two ice blue eyes, a handsome face smiling back at him.
The man was blond-haired and smooth-faced, a soft smile crossing his face.
"A pleasure, Mr. Chasez." the man said, his hand extending, Josh staring into his blue pools.
"Hello, Sheridan. It's just Josh. Any friend of Justin's is a friend to me." Josh smiled, staring at the man's dashing good looks.
The man smiled, looking around the room.
"And where's your less than better half Justin's told me so much about? A fellow Englishman, I hear."
"I'm not English, Sheridan. I'm Welsh."
Sheridan smiled, turning around and staring into two violet pools staring back at him.
"Hello, hello. You must be Lucas?"
"Yes, I'm Lucas Carver. Welcome to my home."
The man smiled, extending his hand, Lucas shaking it with slowness, his violet pools staring into the man's blue icy pools.
"Justin's told me so much about
you. It's like we're old friends."
Lucas smiled a soft smile, his eyes glancing at Justin.
"I have many friends, sir. It's always nice to add another."
The man smiled, looking at Justin.
"I'm parched, love."
Justin smiled, looking at Lucas.
"The bar's over here, Sherry. I'll fix you a Manhattan."
The man smiled, his arm going around Justin's waist.
"Lead on, handsome."
Justin beamed, walking with the man towards the bar.
Josh stared after the two, the man smiling.
"I knew Justin had good taste, but man, that guy's a walking model!"
Josh smiled, his eyes moving to Lucas', his man's violet pools staring after the man.
"What do you think, Lucky?"
"He's stunning alright, Beamy. But he's no you."
Josh smiled, his arms going around his man, his lips going to his ear.
"I so want to make love to you, Lucky."
Lucas moved back a little, Josh staring into his soft violet eyes.
Josh thought he saw a tear in those violet pools.
"Later, sweetie. Right now I'm not in the mood."
Lucas released Josh's hold on him, the young man walking over towards the balcony door, walking out onto it, closing the door behind him, the young man disappearing into the darkness outside.
Josh stared after him, a look of confusion showing on his face.
End of Chapter 40
And so Orion's star shines bright in the night of music.
The band stood in its fans' adoration.
The concert tour begins.
Adam and Usher have revealed their souls to each other.
At Lucas' interference.
Perhaps the two can now tone down their libidos and perhaps find love.
The mysterious Sheridan finally makes his appearance.
Lucas seems already bothered by something.
And Josh has picked up on it.
Read on my friends and fans.
The plot thickens.