Ever After

 

 

Disclaimer: This is a story about gay people...if you can't read it or

Don't like gay people, leave. Go...bye. But if you like it, read it and

Write to me.

 

"So you're from Hargrove, TX? That must be interesting."


"It is." I smiled, "It's small and there's nothing to do there, but it's by no means boring. And actually, I moved there when I was younger. "

 

"How does it feel to have gotten so much success so early in life? I mean countless poems and short stories published, to rave reviews, and you have this new book coming out...You're a busy guy. You've been on talk shows and sitcoms. More than most writers do. I'm going to ask the question a lot of people want to know...Is Adaen Lawerence single?"

 

I paused. It was a significant pause. Then I chuckled.

 

"That's a funny question? We just want to know. Some of your poems and short stories are about love. I mean, at the core of your novel, it's about love."

 

"It's a witch-vampire-werewolf-supernatural thriller." I retorted.

 

"With love at the core."

 

There was another silence as I tried to figure it out. My novel was about a witch who falls for a vampire and werewolf. Not Twilight. It was more like True Blood meets...True Blood. It was nothing like that, story wise.

 

"No." I said, "I'm not dating anyone. Being openly gay...it causes a lot of stir. People like your work but don't like you. I mean, many of the fans have been great. I love all the fans. No bad press or something like that."

 

"Back to dating...How, as an openly gay working guy, find dating? You've been linked to all kinds of guys from Jonathan Groff..."

 

"Okay, see that was..." I stammered

 

"...to Justin Timberlake to Kellan Lutz."

 

"Can't a guy have friends?" I smirked.


"They're just friends?"

 

"Most of them. They're all really nice. They're great guys." I smiled.

 

"Okay, with those vague answers, you've got to come back! I loved having you, but our time is up. Thank you so much for coming. You're a pleasure."

 

"Thanks. I enjoyed myself." I smiled. I thanked them again and stood, walking to the dressing room to see Ben standing in the corner, talking on the phone. He had his back turned to me and was unaware that I was in the room. I was going to sneak up and scare him but I stopped when I heard what he was talking about.

 

"Yeah, I'll see you later tonight. Yeah, he's giving an interview. Dad, he's guaranteed to make us a whole lot more money. I'm not getting to close. As long as he's with me, he's guaranteed to us. I just have to get him to sign a new contract..."

 

I shut the door loudly to get his attention.

 

He turned to me, "Yeah, I gotta go. He's back." Ben said, ending the call.

 

He walked over and tried to hug me, but I backed away.

 

"What's the matter?" Ben asked.

 

"I heard the whole conversation." I said angrily.

 

"I didn't mean for you to hear that...look, you've met my dad. He thinks we're getting too close." Ben said.

 

I nodded, "Maybe he's right." I said.

 

"What's that supposed to mean? You think there isn't a thousand guys who'd suck my dick for less grief than you're giving me?" Ben said. He then turned more apologetic, "I'm sorry, but you're taking the end of a conversation and making it more than what it is. Maybe you should go home and rest."

 

"You're right. I think it's time I go home." I frowned, turning and leaving from the room.

 

 

Chapter 55: Go Your Own Way

 

 

It was three years later. Three years after my life, as well as my friends, changed. We all went our own ways. I hadn't really spoken to anyone from home. After I left, I wrote my ass off. I wrote short stories and poems, which were all very well-received. I had become famous, somewhat, from my writing. Davis had become a success as well, he was an action figure! Julie was also famous and Marco was a very renowned manager. Ballard is a doctor and Kendall is a CEO at her father's company. Christina had become the face of that company as a model. Harry had gone and become an architect after his wedding, while Hannah finished her degree in teaching and gave birth to Ian Harold Kyle. He was now three. Kya had another girl, Jahnis, who was also three. I had referred artists to Eric, as did Julie and his club was renowned for up and coming artists, as well as the occasional megastar! The latest had been Lea Michelle and Jonathan Groff singing Rolling in the Deep. Jon was a close personal friend of mine. Read into that what you want. I had, after two years and five months, began dating my agent. Ex-agent. Maybe not ex-agent. He was a good agent. Just not a good boyfriend. He was an alright guy, he was just really into money and his father's approval. Mom had gotten her divorce and so had dad. I hadn't seen much of him. He got a new family. Hope was in her last year of high school, along with Peter. They were just about done with school. Did I miss anyone?

 

-           

 

I stood outside the taxi, looking up at my familial home. I wondered if anyone would be home. I mean, I didn't call and it was the middle of the day. My flight hadn't been that long; it was the autographs that were killer. Not that I was anywhere near a top celebrity, but I was getting recognized more and more. It was flattering though. I felt good about it. My work was being recognized. It was a long time coming. The more fame I got though, the less I felt in control. This was me taking back control. I walked up to the house and tried my key in the door. It didn't work and the door flew open to show a Caucasian mother. She looked at me oddly. My guess is that she was trying to figure out who I was. She was pretty. She looked like someone that should be on Desperate Housewives. During the three years, I graduated college and I hadn't been home in some time. The family had always come to see me. Mom and Hope had moved out and into a smaller house. Eric moved into his own place, as did Kya, Carli, and Jahnis.

 

"Can I help you?" She asked.

 

"Umm, hi. I used to live here. You should know that first and foremost." I said quickly, "I just thought maybe the key would...work. And I didn't know if you were home and...that's breaking and entering but I had to..."

 

"I recognize you from your mother's pictures." She smiled, "Are you okay?"

 

"Yeah. Yes. No!" I said quickly, "I just needed to see my old room. Sentiment, I guess."

 

She looked to be thinking it over.

 

"I'll give you a hundred dollars." I said quickly.

 

She nodded and took the money, waving me in. I walked up the stairs. As I got closer to my room, I felt like I was entering the home stretch. When I got to the door, I stopped. I could open this door to something totally not mine and if that happened, I don't think I'd be so sure of myself anymore. I wasn't used to having my home not be my home anymore. I always figured that I could go back home. I never thought there'd come a day when home would be gone. I opened the door an my heart sank. The bedroom was black with dots of white. There was a large pink ribbon on the back of a grey chair. There was a printer sitting on the desk beside a laptop-sized square of space. The bed was silky pink with a polka dot comforter. It was obvious to me that this was a girl's room. A very dainty one. My heart sank. The pictures on the closet door were gone. Every odd end I left was gone, no doubt packed away. The soft bed was replaced by a softer one. It was all a little too much. I never thought my home would be gone, especially when I needed it most. Boy did I need it. I quickly closed the door and left the house.

 

-           

 

In my discomfort, I neglected to call anyone. I wanted it to be a surprise. When I arrived at my mother's house, I was very impressed. She went from this big house to this reasonable house. This house wasn't as big as the other one, but it was great. Simple. White with red accents. I stood outside. I walked up to the door and tried my key again. This time it went in. I walked in to find an empty house. I sat my keys on the end table and ventured forward. I looked around. The living room was directly to my left and then there was a hallway. The hallway was long and extended from the foyer to where I assumed was the kitchen. I passed the beautiful all-wooden dining room. The small bar was a very welcomed sight. I walked the hallway until I reached the kitchen. Mother was sitting at the dining room table with Nikka. Nikka spotted me first and waved. Mom was busy with a flower arrangement but stopped. She turned to me and got up, saying something inaudibly. It was a good something. She kept saying she wasn't expecting me and asking was I okay. I just smiled. Everything would be alright now. It had to be.

 

-           

 

After listening to my mom boast about her writer son to Nikka, I headed to my room. I asked about Peter and Hope. Peter was a happy, well-adjusted kid and Hope was...Hope. I told Mom that I was tired from the plane ride and went to my spiffy new room. It was eerie how close it looked to my old room. The placing of the furniture and odd ends. It felt like Home. It was comforting. I didn't really cry over being screwed over. What would it solve? You live and learn. He screwed me literally and figuratively. I wasn't too attached to him, though. I mean, he was a great agent but a mess of a boyfriend. Definitely not marriage material. It wasn't a huge loss. I had gotten published and a book deal from it. I don't think it's where my heart was anyways. My heart was never in New York. Or Los Angeles. Or Paris. Or any of the other places I had been. I think I lost that notion a while ago. My heart was missing and for the life of me, I wasn't sure where it was. I decided that I wasn't going to let this keep me down. Ben might be a snake, but he was definitely into making money and these days, I'd made him a lot of money. That's how I knew that sooner or later, he'd be here. He'd try to clean up his mess. I wasn't worried. I headed to Ryph's and see if any of the guys. I hadn't kept in touch. Not really. Everyone had their own things to do. As I walked down the street to Ryph's, I was blissfully unaware that I had been spotted.

 

"Well, if it isn't Hargrove's own renaissance man." Brad said.

 

I turned to see him. I must have walked right past him.

 

"Since when do you slum it?" Brad asked.

 

"I don't know. How long have we been talking?" I spat.

 

Brad smirked, "Still that very manly humor. Not faggy at all." He said.

 

"Wit and homosexuality go hand in hand, haven't you heard?" I said, "Same old Brad. I'll pray for you."

 

"Pray? Like God listens to fags." Brad replied, "Besides, standing here talking to you has to be some kind of abomination."

 

I flashed a superior smirk. He turned to walk away but stopped and came closer to me.

 

"I know what you said to my baby brother and you and your gay parade stay away from him or I will be kicking your ass." Brad frowned, stalking away.

 

"Not Home unless someone threatens to kick my ass." I frowned, turning right into Harry.

 

At first I just stared. He looked different, older. Not too old, just older. Still African American and all that jazz. I noticed his hand shake before he hid it.

 

"Hey! I didn't know you were back." Harry said, pulling me into a hug.

 

I smiled to myself. Not what I expected. I was prepared for fury. He was full of nothing but kindness. He pulled away and smiled at me.

 

"Not what I expected." I chuckled, "How are you? And the baby. And..."

 

"Hannah?" He smiled, "We're good. Somebody got all uppity and moved to New York on us."

 

I chuckled, "You must not remember why I left." I smiled.

 

"Look, you did something bad. That's you. Hannah didn't blame you. She said it was so unlike you." Harry said.

 

"She did?"

 

"Why'd you do it?" Harry asked.

 

"A string of bad events." I said, "Nothing to do with you or Hannah. Just a lot was going on."

 

Harry nodded.

 

"Hopefully, one day I can tell everybody why." I smiled.

 

"You should drop by and see Hannah."

 

"Sounding better and better by the minute." I smiled, "Where is she?"

 

"You...don't know?" Harry asked, "Her mom is sick."

 

"Laura?"

 

"She has cancer, so we moved back here to help." Harry said, "That's not entirely true, we moved back for that and because I got into an accident. Screwed up my hands. An architect with no hands is...well, it's not good."

 

"I'm so sorry." I frowned, "Are you...what are you doing? How are you doing? Is there any way I could help?"

 

"Hannah needs a friend." Harry smiled, "I'm on break and I'm late. Nice to have you back, buddy."

 

I smiled as he walked away. She didn't blame me. It meant a lot, even if she didn't know everything. I couldn't tell her everything. I had to figure out something to say. My feet moved faster than my brain, though.

 

-           

 

As I walked through campus, I was amazed at the people I didn't know. They all looked so foreign. So young. I didn't know more than half of them. I quickly made my way across the quad and found myself staring down Rocco. He was definitely a beautiful guy. Hell, Brad was beautiful, if he wasn't such a total tool. I didn't believe it about Rocco. Something was different about him. He was older now. Hopefully a senior.

 

"Wow. A real life Celebrity." Rocco said.

 

"Are you going to give me the same speech your brother did?" I asked.

 

"No. I'm going to thank you." He said, "I was a total douche."

 

"And now you're not?" I asked.

 

"I'm trying not to be." He said, "And don't listen to my brother."

 

"I never do." I smiled.

 

"So, what're you doing back?" Rocco asked, "I mean, why come back here?"

 

"I'm not sure." I said quickly.

 

"Adaen?!"

 

I turned to see Hope and Peter.

 

"How'd you...when?" Hope asked.

 

"A little while ago." I smiled, "I actually wanted to stop by and check on you guys."

 

"I should go." Rocco said.

 

"You don't have to..." Peter said quickly.

 

"Yeah, I do." Rocco said, leaving us.

 

Spider sense. I wasn't going to pressure them about it though.

 

"Not going to ask." I frowned.

 

"Good." Peter smiled.

 

The bell rang.

 

"Crap. You just got here! We can be late." Peter frowned.

 

"So Nikka or mom could kill me. No. Go." I smiled.

 

They headed off to class. I turned to walk to the main office and stopped. This was the place where everything started. The shooting. It seemed like so many years ago. A life ago.

 

"Oh my gosh!"

 

I turned to see Hannah. She was grown now. Her hair was back to strawberry blonde and she was absolutely stunning. She had books in one hand and coffee in the other. I smiled at her and she just looked shocked. I wasn't sure if she would want to hug me or slap me. What Harry said was in my head, but what she thought I had done...what I had actually done...

 

"I can't believe you're back." Hannah said, walking to me.

 

I braced for a slap but was surprised when she wrapped her arms around me. I softened and hugged her back.

 

"I'm sorry to hear about Laura." I said, "I'm meaning to go see her, but..."

 

"I know." Hannah said sadly.

 

"How are you doing?" I asked.

 

"I'm doing alright, considering." Hannah said, "She'd definitely love to see you."

 

"You're a teacher?" I asked.

 

"Yeah. I want to tell you all about it. Will you be at your mom's?" Hannah asked.

 

I nodded, "Yeah. I want to see you later. There's so much we have to...to talk about." I said.

 

"I'd like that." Hannah said, looking at her watch, "I really want you to meet Ian."

 

"I'd love to." I smiled.

 

"I've got to go. I missed you." Hannah smiled.

 

"I missed you too." I said, watching her walk away.

 

-           

 

I stood on the Terrance's doorstep, waiting. I had knocked and rang the doorbell but no one had answered yet. I wasn't terribly nervous. I was more worried than anything. I mean, Laura was like a second mom to me. I don't understand how cancer could get to her. She was a great person, not that only bad people get cancer...I just...I mean, she was always healthy. I could only imagine how Hannah and Marco would be dealing with all this. And Michael! He must have been hurting the worst! I heard footsteps under the door and the door opened.

 

"Marco?" I asked. I had lost my breath.

 

"Holy...Aid?" Marco smiled, "Oh my God, when did you get back?"

 

"Earlier today." I said, "What are you doing here?"

 

"My mom is sick." Marco said quickly.

 

"I know. Last I heard, you were with Julie in L.A." I said, "I guess I expected you to be there."

 

"Ditto."

 

"You look great. You been working out?" I asked.

 

"Yeah. Yeah, I have." Marco smiled, "Do you...do you want to come in?"

 

I thought about it for a minute. My phone vibrated and I reached down and read the text. It was from an anonymous . It told me to go to Holgram, a very high end bunch of condos. Condo 513.

 

"I've got to go." I said.

 

"You sure you have to go?" Marco asked.

 

"If I stay nothing's going to change." I said.

 

Marco looked down at his feet.

 

"See you around." I said, leaving.

 

-           

 

I showed up at the Condo. The foyer was very modern with a very little color. There were futuristic looking flowers and chairs. I got into the elevator and walked down the very sterile corridor to the fifth floor. I stopped at condo 513. I knocked on the door and waited for an answer. When the door opened, Kendall stood, staring at me. She had her hair tied into a bun and very subtle makeup. I found myself smiling at her as I hugged her. We exchanged pleasantries quickly and I walked into her condo. The talk was right, she had taken a position in her father's business. It was very unlike her. It was sterile and grey. It was very modern, but with no colors.

 

"Is that my favorite bitch that never calls?" Christina's voice said from the kitchen.

 

She walked out and hugged me. I smiled and we sat and talked. Apparently, she was a model for Kipton, Inc. She was very happy with her success.

 

"Did you guys text me?" I asked.

 

"No. We got the same text." Christina frowned.

 

"Do you think..." I started.

 

"No, that was over three years ago!" Kendall protested.

 

"I remember." I frowned.

 

"I'm still sorry you had to..."

 

"It's all the past." I smiled falsely.

 

They both looked at me, then at each other.

 

"If J's back, what do we do?" I asked.

 

"We've got even more to lose this time." Christina frowned, "Maybe that was the plan."

 

"Would you two stop talking about this?! J is not back." Kendall frowned, "I have a date with Jack."

 

"Jerman? As in Detective Jerman?" I asked.

 

"Exactly what I said." Christina frowned, "It's not cool to be so close to him."

 

"He's a good guy and they gave up on the case a long time ago." Kendall said, folding her arms, "We just need to put this behind us."

 

"Glad to see you too." I frowned.

 

"I'm sorry, I just..."

 

"I know how much can be lost. Your secret is safe with me." I said, leaving.

 

"Did you have to be such a stone cold biatch to him?" Christina asked, "You know what he's done to save our asses."

 

"I know, but do you know what I could lose? The company, Jack, freedom...it's too much to risk." Kendall said, "I know what he gave up, but it made him a star. It gave him the push."

 

"Don't try to turn this into something good. He lost his friends." Christina frowned, walking to the door, "He doesn't deserve this."

 

"You're not going to do something stupid, are you?" Kendall inquired.

 

"No. Our secret is safe." Christina said, slamming the door behind her.

 

-           

 

"Yeah, I can't believe he's so big." I smiled.

 

Hannah and I were sitting on the porch, talking about our lives so far. She could see that I wasn't exactly happy myself. She explained that after Harry got hurt and her mother got sick, she moved back and began teaching. It was all very fascinating.

 

"You had all that money and you weren't happy?" Hannah asked.

 

I looked to her.

 

"It doesn't take a genius to notice how unhappy you are." Hannah frowned.

 

"I'm insane. I know. I have money and fame and...It's not enough." I said.

 

"Money and fame isn't enough?"

 

"No. I never meant to...ruin your wedding. Or maybe I did, but not for the reason you think." I said, "I've been missing this place, something about it. I miss home."

 

"Home is where your heart is." Hannah said, "The question is where does your heart lie?"

 

I looked at her. She was right. I had been looking for home in places and home wasn't any place. Home was more than that. I was missing Home and Home was in the arms of someone I couldn't escape. I never had and I never will.

 

"Is it alright if..."

 

Hannah nodded, "Go." She smiled.

 

[Arms by Christina Perri begins]

 

Christina Perri: I never thought that you would be the one to hold my heart
But you came around and you knocked me off the ground from the start

 

Christina rolled over and smiled to herself. She was in post-coitus. She had been having an affair for the past six months. It wasn't an affair as neither of them had a spouse, but it felt like a dirty secret to her. She smiled because it was something nobody knew.


"That...was...amazing." Ballard smiled.

 

Christina Perri: Many times will you let me change my mind and turn around
I can't decide if I'll let you save my life or if I'll drown

 

As Marco opened the door, he was shocked who was on the other side. I stood there at my most vulnerable. I was there because I realized where home was: with Marco. I had loved him since I was little and that's what I was missing.

 

"Just listen." I said quickly, "I ran away a long time ago. I ran away from you and I'm sorry. I was on an autopilot for the last three years and I wrote a book about you and me. I keep telling the press that it's not a love story and it is. I miss you all the time. I hurt all the time. I came back because I wanted to be home and I realized that the only place that's home for me right now is with you. You are Home. You've always been Home."

 

Marco just stood there, taking in what I said. I was waiting for all of it to register when Julie came up from the kitchen.

 

"Adaen!" Julie said, "Good to see you! I've missed you!"

 

I noticed a ring on her finger.

 

Julie flashed her ring, "This? We're engaged!" she gushed.

 

I nodded, "Congrats." I said, turning to leave.

 

"Aid..." Marco said quickly.

 

"Umm, don't mind me. I just...I'm a little unbalanced these days. Again, congrats." I said, leaving him in the doorway.

 

Christina Perri: The world is coming down on me and I can't find a reason to be loved

I never wanna leave you but I can't make you bleed if I'm alone.

 

I walked through the front door and set my keys down on the table. I was about to walk back when my phone began to vibrate. I looked at the message and frowned:

Welcome home, sweetie. Things are about to get so much juicer than you realize. Don't even think about telling anyone. You bitches have more to lose than ever.

Signed, J.

Christina Perri: I hope that you see right through my walls

I hope that you catch me, `cause I'm already falling

I'll never let a love get so close

You put your arms around me and I'm home

-           

 

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed. Please give me some feedback because that's how I get started. So, I want you guys to tell me how I'm doing.