The story below is a work of fiction. It is a love story and will involve sex between young gay males. All the usual rules apply. If it's illegal for you to read this or if you're under 18, don't!
Feedback is welcome and appreciated. This is my first story, so I'd really love to know what you think, firstname.lastname@example.org
Join my yahoo group to see pictures of the characters, read the band's message board and listen to songs that I used in the story. The live song which will appear in the following chapter can be listened to on my group. It's a song by Jason Mraz.
“So, are you ready to see the final version?” Tom asked Rob and me.
“Yes, as ready as we'll ever be!” I replied, as we sat down in front of a TV screen at EMI. “Oh no, wait, maybe I should grab a tissue in case I start crying,” I joked.
Rob rolled his eyes and chuckled.
“Okay, let's watch this. I think you're really gonna like it,” Tom told us, as he turned the TV and DVD player on.
Rob moved his arm around me, and I buried my face into his neck.
“Hey, come on, would you look at the screen...”
“Do I really have to?” I mumbled. I would have preferred staying in this position as I enjoyed inhaling his delicious scent and feeling the warmth of his soft skin against mine. But he placed his hand under my chin and made me raise my head.
“Yes, you have to. We didn't come here so you can sleep on my shoulder. Come on, face your fears,” he joked.
“And we don't have much time,” Tom added. “You need to leave for the photo shoot in 15 minutes and we really have to get to Earl’s Court for rehearsals as soon as we can. There's still so much to do.”
It was 11:30 am, about 10 hours away from setting foot on stage, and we were starting to feel the pressure. I mean, we had played big festivals before, but Earl’s Court was different. It was not outside to start with, and it was a whole 2 hour long concert, in front of our fans. We had rehearsed there only once and playing such a huge venue was definitely taking some getting used to, because of the acoustics, the size of the stage, the size of the audience, and the noise they were going to make, which would probably make it harder for us to hear ourselves play..... and so many more details like these.
“All right, then, let's get it over with,” I said, as I took a deep breath. I felt a bit nervous. We were about to watch our latest video. A video we would have never shot, for a song we would have never released, if we hadn't come out, and I wanted the final version to be as good and as powerful as I had imagined it would be. We had released our first single from the album over 8 weeks before (the one Bono had helped us write and produce). It had been a huge, huge hit, and even though the song was still in the top 10, EMI wanted the album to have maximum exposure, so we were about to release a new single.
There had been a big debate about the video. We weren't sure it was the right thing to do, on a strictly commercial basis. We felt like it was maybe too much, too soon. But after coming out, it seemed like if we were going to be honest and spill our hearts out, it was the best time to do it. So we got ourselves the best producer we could find and told him exactly what we wanted.
The song sounded very rock... more rock than what we usually wrote. It was one of the loudest songs of the album. The music made the song very powerful. It was not a ballad. It was a loud and powerful song with a lot of guitar. It conveyed a lot of force and energy.
Tom pressed play and we watched.
The video starts with Rob singing the first few lines of the song. He is outside, alone, in a park, in a typical Dublin neighbourhood. The sky is blue, the grass is green, there is a wide empty space around him, he is free to do whatever and go wherever, but he sits still on the ground and looks sad and confused.
I did not choose this life I walk on the silent path The day breaks against the sky I just can’t help but laugh Wondering who am I?
Then, the camera moves to me, playing electric guitar in my bedroom (a fake one obviously). Suddenly, my father (an actor) barges into the room and screams at me because I'm playing too loud and making too much noise. He looks extremely angry as he yells at me. It's easy to imagine, just by looking at his attitude and gestures, the things that he is saying. So, I just shut up and let him yell, with a submissive attitude. He screams at me to come have dinner and slams the bedroom door so hard that the dart board hanging on it falls to the floor, and bounces back up a little. I cringe, looking mad, but scared.
Every day I walk this earth Not yet knowing my worth The minutes slowly turn to years The memories fly by swift The laughter slowly turn to tears But the inquiry never lift Then the camera moves to Rob in the park again for a few seconds. Acceptance to the crowd Or just to be my own man Confident but never proud I never know where to stand
Then, we see me again, in my room after my father slammed the door shut, and I just throw the guitar against the wall, out of anger and frustration. The chorus starts,
And I'm hurt,
and the camera moves to Rob singing the beginning of chorus in the park,
I'm so hurt I could die
The gray area is where I lie
While the black is too lonely And the white is where my soul dies
We're back inside my house. After my father yelled at me for being a nuisance, totally useless, annoying and stupid, I walk into the kitchen where my mother is serving dinner. My sister is there too, looking as uneasy as me. I sit down quietly and carefully. I look at my sister as if she's a stranger and stare at my father in fear, trying to avoid doing anything that would piss him off, although the look on my face shows how angry I am.
That gray place where my soul stays still While I wait here until, just until One day, just one day No obstacles will stand in my way
As the song goes on, we see Jordan, Damon and Dylan and other young people playing in the street, hanging out, chatting, having fun together. Rob is still in the park, as if somehow, despite being free to go wherever he wants, he feels just as stuck as I do, and waits for something, or someone to set him free.
Self-doubt is the zeitgeist of my generation Popularity is the thought of the days Self-esteem is the declaration Living the life you wanna live never pays
Here, we see me in a different place. I'm in the street now, sitting on the pavement. Everyone around me is having fun, but I have my head buried between my knees and I look hurt, scared and confused, as if I have no idea how to deal with the problems in my life.
I can feel a threat coming my way
I'm almost scared to live.
The chorus starts again. We see Rob singing the first few lines,
And I'm hurt,
I'm so hurt I could cry
The gray area is where I lie
While the black is too lonely And the white is where my soul dies
And we're back inside my house, in the dark kitchen. We can see that my father is wearing a cross necklace and there's also a cross hanging on the wall. My father energetically picks up a beer from the fridge and goes on yelling and complaining about me. He sits down roughly at the table and slams his beer bottle hard on it. My sister puts her hands over her ears so as not to hear him. He just goes on and on, never shutting up.
That gray place where my soul stays still While I wait here until, just until One day, just one day No obstacles will stand in my way
Rob repeats the chorus again, and this time, we see Rachel in her bedroom (actually Rachel, she had agreed to be in the video). She is sitting on her bed as she looks at pictures of friends and family hanging on her wall. She's pregnant and she's crying. We had gathered a bunch of pictures of all of us together for the video. So, she is looking at a picture of me and her, we look close and happy. I am standing behind her and have my arms wrapped around her as we smile at the camera... but right next to it is a picture of me and Rob, smiling at each other, love in our eyes. She grabs the latter and crumples it in her hand as she cries, looking hurt and distressed.
The chorus starts again and we're back inside my house. My father is getting angrier and angrier and I just can't stand it anymore. I start screaming at him too. He stands up roughly and I do too, but I take a few steps backwards, fearing what he might do to me as he starts to verbally threaten me. My mother tries to stop him, but he pushes her away and he rushes over to me. He grabs my shirt and backs me up against to kitchen wall as he starts hitting me in the stomach. The scene is short and we don't see much of this, just enough to feel the hate and the pain. Shooting the video had brought back bad memories to the surface. The actor playing my dad really got into character, he looked even more threatening than my father ever did.
When the end of the song is near, we see me in the street, sitting on the pavement again. I have tears in my eyes. I stand up and start walking with a decisive look on my face.
Then, I'm inside the park where Rob is, and I slowly walk up to him. He's sitting down on the ground. He looks lost and scared, but seems glad and relieved to see me. I stand still in front of him. He looks up at me and we gaze at each other, our eyes conveying a lot of emotion. He stands up, and slowly walks over to me. He puts his hands on each side of my face, and kisses me lightly, just one single kiss on the lips. We look into each other eyes and a faint smile appear on our faces. We hug each other tight.
The video ends on that.
We were silent for a moment.
“What do you think?” Tom asked.
“It's ... good.” Rob replied, emphasizing the word. “Right?” he asked, gazing at me. He knew how I had had mixed feelings about it from the first time we had started talking about it.
“Yeah,” I simply said with a sigh. I had no idea what else to say. It was very personal... but it was definitely good. As good as I had expected. There were so much anger and pain that you could just feel it in your body. It was very powerful. I didn't think that I felt that way because I had actually experienced it and because it was my life, I just genuinely thought it would have a strong effect on the people who would watch it. I had only been joking around before, but I really kind of felt like crying! I knew it would bring out emotion in people.
“Mark,” Tom said, “there is still time to back down. We don't have to release it if you're not sure that you want to.”
“No, come on, we went this far already, we cannot not release it.”
Yeah, I definitely wanted this video to be released. It was a big finger to my parents and to anyone who did not approve of our relationship, or did not understand. Globally, people had reacted very positively to our coming out. The record company had received hundreds of letter of support, of all types, from all kind of people. Some of them very touching and moving and we had loved reading them. People were writing to say that we had done the right thing, that they were proud of us, that they thought we had been very brave to come out, that they supported our relationship and thought we made a lovely couple, that us being gay didn't change anything, that they loved us, loved our music, and would support us no matter what!
A lot of gay guys had written to thank us because it had helped them a lot to accept who they were and even some had come out to their friends and family as a result of our coming out. We hadn't expected to receive such an amazing response and it made us feel really good about ourselves. Of course, we had to deal with some name calling now and then, from straight guys who just didn't seem to have anything better to do, but we just ignored them when it happened.
My parents hadn't called me, but I knew from my sister that they were mad and ashamed. Too bad! I hadn't called them. I couldn't. I knew too well how it would go and I knew it wouldn't do me any good, because I would end up being the one getting hurt. I didn't have the energy to be rejected by my own parents again. It was too hard, and I just didn't want to. I knew I wouldn't get what I wanted out of it, because what I wanted was impossible to get. Too much had happened for us to have a normal relationship. Deep inside, I wanted them to apologize, to feel sorry for the way they had treated me, for never believing in me, for never taking care of me, for not approving of my choices, for simply not loving me! But why would they apologize? Why would they change all of a sudden? I knew this would never happen and I wasn't sure I even wanted them to anymore. My life was going well, I was happy, I had moved on.
I didn't want to care anymore about what they thought of me or about how they felt. I didn't even want to hate them anymore, because hating them was only hurting me. I had forgiven them I suppose. Not that I had to forgive them, not that I would ever tell them that, they didn't deserve it, but yeah, I simply wanted to move on because I knew that if I kept waiting for some kind of apology, I would never get closure.
So this video was a way to move on and to tell them and the whole world what I had to go through, what I was carrying with me, the pain, the heartache, the confusion, the feeling of not belonging, of being different and rejected by people who should have loved me unconditionally.
But, of course, I had to admit that if my intention was not to get back at them when I came out, and had my whole family know that I was gay, therefore uncovering a secret they would have liked to keep, this video totally was. I mean, just knowing that all my family, all their friends and even people they didn't know, would know what was going on in my house, and the kind of parents that they were, was indeed a nice little way to get revenge.
I really hoped it would hurt them and made them feel bad to see this. But who knows, I couldn't even be sure that they would even watch it! I'd have to ask my sister to make them watch it, just so that my father would see the kind of asshole I thought he was, and how much he had hurt me!
Plus I knew our fans would like the video, simply because it was sincere and honest, because it expressed our true feelings. Our fans loved the fact that they could relate to us, to our lyrics, that they could feel how every word carried an important message and had a special meaning.
So, we told EMI to go ahead with the single and the video and we left and headed to the photo shoot we had to do for a music magazine.
“No, no way, I won't do this.” I complained. We were getting ready for the shoot. A woman was having a hard time putting make-up on my face because I kept turning around to talk to Rob. I was mad because the photographer had decided on what I was going to wear for the shoot, and I didn't like it.
“Mark, come on, stop being so damn stubborn,” Rob complained, “let's just get it over with and get out of here. We don't have time for this.”
“I don't care, okay,” I said, refusing to change my mind. “It's whether he gives me something else to wear, or I don't do this shoot, end of discussion!”
“Mark, he's only doing his job.”
“Why are you taking his side?” I complained. “I don't care whether or not he's doing his job. He won't be the one to look like a member of the Village People on the cover of the magazine.”
Jordan started laughing.
“Jordan, I'm being serious. Just because we came out doesn't mean we have to dress in an obviously gay way. Oh, and about the shirtless pictures, you can just tell him to go fuck himself!”
The make-up lady placed her hand under my chin and looked me in the eye, “it's just a few pictures, honey,” she told me in a condescending way that really annoyed me. “What will you do when paparazzi take a shirtless picture of you on a beach.”
“Well it'd be too bad for me... and... whatever... it's normal to be shirtless on a beach,” I told her, “but I won't be willingly agreeing to be half naked in a magazine”.
“Gee, I don't see why you care so much. It's not like you don't have a body to show off.”
“I care because this is for a music magazine. And the interview that goes with the pictures is about the album. It just wouldn't be appropriate. Why would we be shirtless?” I exclaimed, “Damn, would someone back me up on this?”
“Hey, I'm totally with you on this one, Mark,” Damon agreed. “We all said we wanted the music to come first. We shouldn't agree to anything and everything”
“Thank you,” I said.
“Rob, please, can you take care of this?” I asked him, since he was already dressed and ready for the shoot. “They have plenty of clothes here. We're not a boy band. They're not gonna start telling us what to wear.”
“Where is Tom?” Dylan asked him. “Tell him to talk to the photographer.”
Rob sighed, “I don't know where he went.”
“All right,” I said decisively as I got up and headed toward the door to go yell at that damn photographer. I swear, I just hated those people who thought they could treat us like puppets and do whatever they wanted with us for their own profit!
“No, no, no,” Rob said as he stopped me. “You stay right where you are. You're too mad to be talking to anyone right now! Let me handle this, I know what you like, I'll pick something else for you.”
“Oh come on, I would really enjoy yelling at him, you have no idea, it would take all of my stress away,” I said with a laugh, as I begged him with my eyes.
“I know,” he smiled with a nod. “But I think it's a very bad idea. We might have to work with him again you know.”
I rolled my eyes, “Fine, I guess I'll have to yell at you instead! Hope you don't mind.”
I sat back down and Rob came back a moment later with a jacket that only Elton John would wear.
“What about this jacket?”
I was speechless for a second as I shook my head, “are you kidding me?”
He laughed, “Yeah, I am... Man, I couldn't even stay serious for two seconds,” he laughed, as he walked out the door again.
“Wait,” Jordan called after him. “I need to pick one for me, too.”
“Oh, do you want this one? It would look great on you,” I heard Rob tell him with a laugh, but they were walking away, and I couldn't quite make out what Jordan answered to that.
“Ok, Mark, I'm really gonna need you to stop moving now so I can finish your make-up,” the make-up lady said, a bit annoyed with me. I wasn't crazy about her either.
“Don't you feel like a woman right now?” Damon laughed.
“No... but I bet you do!” Damon was always hating the make-up part before any photo shoot.
“I just want it to be over already,” he whisper-shouted with a laugh.
“Okay,” Rob said as he came back a few minutes later. “What do you think of this? These Calvin Klein jeans, with this great t-shirt?” he said, trying to sell it to me.
I looked at the outfit hesitantly. It wasn't great, but it was much better than what I was originally supposed to wear.
“Say you like it!” Rob ordered jokingly. ”SAY YOU LIKE IT!”
“Alright, alright, I like it, it's fine. It will do”
“Thank you.” He handed me the clothes and I tried them on. They fit, and looked pretty good on me, so I decided I wasn't going to argue anymore.
Jordan walked into the room. He was holding two different jackets.
“Guys, what do you think? The black one or the red one? Rob?” he asked him
“I told you already, whatever you want,” Rob said, without looking at him.
“They want me to wear the red one... Mark, what do you think?”.
I quickly glanced at the jackets, “I don't know, they're both fine.”
“Oh come on, what's the point of having gay friends if they can't even help you pick out clothes?” he complained as a joke.
“Well, they can help you pick up girls and then, they let you have them!” Damon told him with a laugh.
“Oh, this is a terrible think to say,” the make-up lady said.
“Well it's true,” Damon told her with a laugh.
“I don't need help with girls, you do!” Jordan kidded.
“I should just hit you,” Damon grumbled.
“Try it!” Jordan laughed, “So, which one?” he asked again.
“The red one!” I told him. I thought the colour would make him stand out more.
“Really? I like the black one better,” he said as he looked at them.
I laughed, “then why do you ask? Just wear the one you like, the hell with what they want. We're already behaving like spoiled rock stars here anyway, might as well do it all the way”
We finished the shoot around 2:30, went out for some lunch and then headed to Earl's Court with butterflies in our stomachs. We were so freaking excited about this gig. We could hardly wait.
“Man, I still can't get over how huge it looks from here,” Jordan exclaimed when we walked on stage. “I can't believe this place is gonna be filled with people in a few hours!”
“Yeah, it's incredible,” Dylan agreed. “There's no one here yet, but you can feel the energy... you know what I mean?”
“Yeah, totally.” Jordan agreed.
Rob was standing alone on the right side of the stage, and I walked over to him.
“You're not freaking out, are you?” I whispered in the ear as I stood behind him, feeling my own heart beat rapidly in my chest.
He turned his head around and smiled, “No,” he assured me, and added shortly after, “well, not yet.”
“Good,” I said, as I wrapped my arms around him from behind and kissed his cheek. I could see that we were being filmed from afar by someone who was following us as we were getting ready for the tour. It was backstage footage for our next DVD. But I didn't care. It felt so nice to be able to show affection wherever, whenever. Had we not been out, this was not something I would have done, as innocent as it was.
“You're gonna knock them dead. I know you will. Because you're the best!”
He grinned and placed a kiss on my lips. “ I really hope I'll only be able to see the front row though,” he joked.
“Oh yeah, me too. But we'll have to ask for the lights to be turned on at some point during the gig, I wanna see the crowd!”
“Yeah!” he agreed enthusiastically, “and I'll ask them all to take a picture at the same time to see all the flashes go off. Maybe after 'Open up your eyes'. That would be a good time to do it”
I nodded but didn't have time to answer as I heard someone scream my name. I rapidly turned around to see Scott rushing towards us, looking very happy and excited,
“Hey, hey, it's about time, we've been waiting for you to get here, since, forever!”
“Hey, hi. How is it going?” Rob asked him, with a grin on his face.
“Great! Brilliant! Oh my God, I'm so out of control! I just can't wait! We just finished rehearsing. The stage is all yours now!”
“How did it go?” I asked him.
“Amazing!” he said with the enthusiasm of a six year old getting his favourite toy on Christmas day, “I think my ears are permanently damaged though, even with the earplugs! We had never played this loud before.”
“Yeah, I know,” I said, “better get used to it!”
“Mark, Rob, would you please come over here?” our tour manager called, the tone of his voice making it clear that it was now and not in 10 seconds.
He was standing in the centre of the stage with Jordan, Damon and Dylan, so we quickly walked over to them.
“Hey, good luck,” Scott said, as he excused himself. “We're having a few drinks in our dressing room, so join us while they set up your equipment if you want!”
“Oh yeah, we will,” Jordan agreed as he heard Scott's invitation.
“Um, Jordan...” Dylan said. Jordan turned to him, knowing Dylan was going to stop him, “I think they need our help, and it'd be better if you didn't get drunk quite just yet!”
“Oh crap! I knew you were gonna say this.”
“We do need your help. Thank you, Dylan,” our tour manager told him.
“All right, well, see you later,” Scott said, “we'll come and watch you rehearse.”
“Okay, see ya,” Jordan said to him.
“Guys,” Tom called as he walked on stage, “we have 15 people who won the 'Radio One' competition coming in right now. They'll watch you rehearse and you can talk to them afterwards. Don't let them distract you. The work needs to be done.”
We got everything ready and rehearsed for about 2 hours, in front of 15 very excited fans, making sure everything was perfect and ready.
When we were finally finished, around 6pm, we went down into the pit to meet the fans who were eagerly waiting for us. I always loved that part. It was brilliant to talk to them, and well, receiving praise for our hard work was always wonderful. We thanked them for coming, signed autographs, hugged the girls, and talked to them for quite a while about everything and anything. A couple of girls had made a huge banner and had probably spent hours creating it so we thanked them and told them that we hoped they didn't plan on taking it back home with them because we would definitely be keeping it! We loved keeping everything our fans made. They all congratulated Rob and me for coming out, especially two guys, for whom it seemed to have meant a lot. We talked a bit with them, finding out they were a couple, and that coming out had been very difficult for them. It seemed like our coming out had actually made a difference in their lives, and helped improve their relationship with their friends and families. What more could we ask for? As stressful as it had been for us to take the plunge, knowing it had had an impact on people's lives was very rewarding.
“Mark,” I heard someone say excitedly and I turned my head to see who was calling out my name.
“Hey, you made it,” I exclaimed as I saw my sister rapidly walk over to me, with a backpack on her shoulders.
“Yeah, my plane just landed. I jumped into a taxi and came here right away!”
“That's great! I'm so glad you're here!” I said, as I gave her a hug.
“Me, too. I didn't want to miss it.”
“How was your flight?” I asked her.
“Oh, I love British Airways' flight attendants.”
“Me, too!” I exclaimed with a laugh.
She said hi to the guys and came back over to me.
She rubbed my arm up and down and smiled slightly before her expression turned serious, “Huh, Mark,” she said, “there's something I need to tell you.”
“You're probably not gonna like it.”
“I didn't come here alone... I'm here with Thomas,” she said in a whisper, as if she thought I was going to get mad at her. “He's waiting outside, they wouldn't let him in cuz his name wasn't on the list.”
“What?” I exclaimed in surprise. “He's here?”
Why would my brother who hated me come to London to see me play? I had no idea. But I didn't like it. I didn't want to see him and I didn't want to talk to him.
“Yeah... Please, don't be mad!” she pleaded.
”But wait, why didn't you tell me?”
“Because, I knew you wouldn't want to see him.”
“Well, you had that right!”
“I know... but... believe or not, he's changed a little. I think he really feels bad for how he treated you. He just wants to talk to you. Please, can we go and let him in? And if you don't want to talk to him, then at least, listen to what he's got to say.”
What's going on?” Jordan asked, as he and Rob came closer to us, after seeing from afar that the conversation was a bit agitated.
“Thomas is here,” I told him.
“Thomas? Your brother? ...What is he doing here?” Rob asked Amy.
“Jeez, he has some nerve showing up here!” Jordan exclaimed.
“He wanted to come with me. And he wants to talk to Mark, and apologize.”
“Apologize?” Rob chuckled, “Really?” he said skeptically. “Amy, you should have said something before just showing up with him.”
“I know, I'm sorry. But I knew you wouldn't want to see him,” she repeated.
“Well, you were right, we don't!” Rob told her. “Mark doesn't need this tonight!”
“Oh, please guys. It's important to me. You're not gotta let him stand outside all night?”
“Why the hell not?” Rob said, “he kicked Mark out of your house more than once.”
“Look, I know what he did to Mark, I was there,” she said to Rob before turning to me. “But, Mark, he's our brother. Don't you want to try and make up with him?”
I didn't have to think about it very long before I told her, “I'm not sure I want to, no.”
She sighed, “I was pretty mad at him too, you know, I thought he was so much like dad. But he's trying! I told you before how he's really making an effort so that we'd get along better. And now he wants to make up with you. Please, just give him a chance,” she said as she begged me with her eyes.
“Oh, come on Amy,” Rob told her, “Why do you think he's here in the first place. Because we're successful? Because after all, we might not be such losers? What does he want out of this?”
“That's not what this is. I think he's just proud of you.”
“Oh really? Did he say that?” I said, unconvinced.
“No,” she shrugged her shoulders. “But why wouldn't he be? You know Mark, a lot of people in this family are proud of you,” she told me, as if I really needed to realize that.
“Too little, too late.”
“You have more people on your side than you think. Claire and Sam would really love to see you again, and Don, and Mary...” They were cousins, aunts and uncles. “Not everyone thinks like Mum and Dad. I know it's been hard for you, but you could have a family if you really wanted one.”
“I have a family.”
“Mark, please. At least, let him in.”
I sighed, “Damn, I'm gonna regret this. Fine, let's go.”
“Mark...” Rob called. As he was taking part in the conversation, listening to what Amy and I were saying, he was also talking to at least 6 of our fans at once, and I could tell they didn't want him to go anywhere.
“No, Rob, it's okay. I may hate him, but I'm not a jerk. And I kind of want to know what he's got to say. Don't worry,” I told him. Amy had made it clear to me that he was here with good intention, and there were enough security guards everywhere for me not to be worried. There was no reason why it should go wrong.
He sighed.“Fine, if that's what you want.”
“Say hi to him for me,” Jordan said sarcastically.
I walked away with Amy and talked to someone from security so that they'd give me a pass for him and we went to the backstage entrance.
“Here,” I said to the security guard as I showed him the pass. “You can let him in,” I told him, looking over at Thomas. He had changed a lot since the last time I had seen him. He looked older and more mature. Man, he even looked friendly.
“Thanks,” he told me.
“Yeah, well, you're not welcome,” I muttered.
He glanced at me. He was fidgeting a little and he seemed to be uncomfortable. I could tell he didn't know what to say, or how to start the conversation, but I wasn't going to make it any easier for him.
Damn, I just wanted things to go as smoothly as possible tonight. I didn't think it was too much to ask, now, was it? Why did he have to show up and ruin it all for me. I hated the tension between us, and I wished for a moment that I could just magically get out of this situation. Seeing him again was difficult and painful. It was bringing back memories of how he had mentally and physically hurt me when we were kids. And maybe Rob was right, I really didn't need that tonight!
I remembered how he was always aggressive and disrespectful. How he never shared anything with me. How he blamed everything he did bad on me, and how it always worked. He was the good son and I was the bad one, and he had always taken advantage of this. I couldn't remember my father ever beating him up. He always approved of everything Thomas did. I had never been able to figure out why. He hated me, but he liked Thomas. Everything I did, everything I said was wrong, and Thomas and I, we simply didn't have the same father. He treated the two of us in a completely different way. I knew there had to be a reason for that. Maybe Thomas was simply more like him, as they shared the same interests. Maybe he had been able to connect with our father, and I hadn't. I guess my father had always believed that I would never amount to much. I was a dreamer... and I was pretty sure he still thought that what I was doing with my life was useless to society. We didn't live on the same planet. And I had always thought Thomas and I didn't either.
“Amy told me she was coming to your concert tonight, and, well, I've wanted to talk to you for a while... so, well... I'm here...”
“To say what?” I said, a bit nastily.
He looked at me in the eye, a bit troubled with my tone of voice. He knew Amy had told me that he wanted to apologize, so he probably thought I would make things easier for him.
“I knew you wouldn't want to see me... which I understand. I've tried calling you, but I dunno, it's not, it's not easy. Look I'm sorry, okay?” he said, in a way that made it sound like he thought this would be enough.
“You're sorry?” I asked. “That's all you've got to say. You're sorry?” I repeated, bewildered. “You can't just show up here and except me to forgive and forget. Not after everything you've done and said to me.”
He looked down and sighed. He shook his head. “This was a bad idea.”
“You're gonna need to say a lot more than 'I'm sorry'! So unless you have anything else to say to me, I have better things to do! Enjoy the show!” I told him angrily and walked away, mad at him, mad at the world. He was making an effort alright, and he was trying to apologize, fair enough! But he wasn't saying the things I wanted to hear, the things I needed to hear. I still had too much anger inside me to accept a simple 'sorry'.
“Dammit, listen to yourself,” he yelled, “why are you so angry? You won't even try!”
I stopped and turned around. I couldn't believe him. “If you don't know why I'm angry, then we really don't have anything left to say each other!”
“Come on, I flew all the way from Dublin to talk to you,”
“Oh wow, you spent an hour in a plane, I hope it wasn't too much trouble,” I spat at him. I really had to calm down a little, I though to myself. But being mean to him was hard to resist.
“Mark, Please.” Amy pleaded as she saw how her attempt to heal the breach between the two us was pathetically failing and the conversation was turning into a dead end.
“Amy, I'm sorry,” I calmly said as I shook my head, “I know you want this to go well, but I can't....”
“Fucking hell, Mark” Thomas said, “I'm not here to make things worse!”
“So what are you here for?” I yelled at him. “In case I need to refresh your memory, last time I saw you, you said you had nothing to do with a worthless little poof like me!”
“Oh, come on,” he exclaimed, throwing his arms up in the air, “don't you ever say stuff you don't really mean?”
I looked at him with a bewildered expression. “Not that kind of stuff, no!”
“Hey, man,” he started saying, looking like he was trying to calm me down, “you're still my brother, I don't think you're worthless. I was just a stupid kid.”
“So what changed?” I asked, still on the defensive, “You're not homophobic anymore?”
He looked up in the air and chuckled a little, “Well, I can lie if you want!”
“What's that supposed to mean? Just say what you gotta say, okay!”
“I don't know, man, I still think it's gross!” he said, as if his opinion was not ever going to change.
I shook my head.“Unbelievable,” I exclaimed and started walking away again. He chased after me and grabbed my arm.
“Wait. Don't take it so personally.”
“What? I'm gay! How else am I supposed to take it?”
He rolled his eyes and sighed. He didn't know what to say to me. And maybe he had better shut up because I didn't like where this was going.
“Look, I'm honest with you here. I can try to understand, but I can't say I don't find it unnatural and weird that you're fucking a guy!”
“Fucking unbelievable!” I exclaimed. “How do you even expect us to work things out if you still think like that?”
“I don't know. I don't approve of it, I'm not gonna tell you that I do. I don't like gays, okay! it's just the way it is,” he said loudly, “but, I hear some of the stuff dad says about you, and you know what, I just don't agree with him. He's just so spiteful..... I know all the shit I put you through, but in the past few months, I've come to realize how much I must have hurt you, and... really man, I'm sorry! I'm really not the dick head you think I am. When we were kids, I was acting like I thought I was supposed to act or something. Dad was always on my side, it was easy to take it out on you all the time.”
“You've made my childhood miserable. You hurt me just as much as dad. I don't care how much you apologize. It won't erase anything.”
“I know all that,” he said insistently. “But I'm still sorry!”
“Well, I hear you! But right now, I don't know what to do with that.” I honestly told him. I hadn't expected him to ever take the first step. I knew he wasn't as close-minded as my parents were, but it was still a surprise to see him make an effort like that. Because obviously, he still had a problem with me being gay, and he was still homophobic.
“Excuse me,” a security guard said as he came over to us, “I'm sorry to interrupt, but we're about to open the doors now. You can't stay here. You need to go back backstage.” he told me.
“Yeah, I know, we won't be long.”
“Thanks” he said.
I gazed at Thomas and Amy hesitantly. Thomas understood.
“Hey, I don't expect you to invite me backstage. I know your friends won't want to see me any more than you did! I just wanted a few minutes to talk to you.... Well... that's done!”
“Is that it?”
“I guess! Unless you want to talk more later. We're staying till Monday.”
“I know I was supposed to stay at your place,” Amy started saying, “but then, Thomas booked a hotel room for the two of us.”
“Okay, that's fine. Amy, you can come backstage... if you want... I mean..oh... I don't know...,” I sighed, knowing she was stuck between the two of us, and probably didn't really know what to do.
“No, it's fine, Mark. Don't worry about it. I think I'll stay with Thomas for now and experience the show with the audience. But I'll come after the gig, okay?”
“Yeah, sure. No problem.”
“I'll just go back to the hotel” Thomas said. “I mean, I'm gonna stay for the concert. But it's best that I leave afterwards.”
Amy and I both looked at him, and silently agreed.
“We can find some time to see each other tomorrow or Monday, right?” Amy asked.
I took a deep breath. “Yeah, we will.” I agreed.
She smiled and came closer to me to give me a hug.
“I'm sorry I just showed up like that with Thomas, but I didn't know what else to do. I hope you won't let it get to you.”
I shook my head, no. I was too excited to let anything ruin the show for me! And despite everything, I was glad he was willing to make things a little better between us.
“Good. And I'm really looking forward to see you guys live again. I can't wait! Have fun!” she said with a smile.
“You, too!” I smiled.
I turned to Thomas. He looked uncomfortable again.
“See you later then?” he said.
“Yeah,” I told him. Boy, there was still a long way to go. I didn't even want to shake his hand.
“See you after the show, Amy!” I told her, and walked away before a security guard gave me another warning.
As I got back backstage, I walked past one of our permanent security guards on the tour (as well as the previous one). Actually, he was more like a bodyguard. Not that we needed bodyguards like Michael Jackson needs them, but you know, they were part of the picture, and they sure could make us feel a lot safer at times.
“Hey Craig, how is it going? ” I asked him.
“There's no action I'm afraid,” he joked.
I laughed, “Hey, you've seen what some of our groupies can do! Are you sure you want action?”
“I'm practically begging for it! How come no one's trying to sneak past me today?”
I shrugged, “Earl’s Court's got good security!”
“Right! Must be it! I was afraid your fans had given up! But man, I need to have some fun!”
I laughed. “Well, they're opening doors now, so you should get what you want. Have you seen Rob?”
“No, I haven't... Damn, I ain't no good at this job! But for my defense, he's hard to follow today! I'm pretty sure I've seen him in two places at once at some point.”
I laughed. “That wouldn't surprise me”
“Try your dressing room,” he suggested.
“Yeah, okay, thanks.”
I asked someone else from security on my way to our dressing room, who told me that he was indeed in there. I walked in but there was no one.
“Rob?” I called, making sure he wasn't in the bathroom.
Rob!” I called again.
“Yeah! I'm here!” I heard him yell and I walked to the bathroom.
“Oh, here you are. What are you doing?”
“I'm about to take a shower,” he told me, pulling down his jeans. “I need to recharge my batteries!”
He laughed, “you're here, aren't you!”
“By chance! Cause I was looking for you!”
“Oh, I knew you would find me! You can sense it when I get naked, can't you?” he joked. I just smiled and shook my head.
“Where is everyone?” I asked.
“Oh, they're all hanging out in Clash's dressing room ....So, how did it go with Thomas?” he asked
I sighed, “I don't know, it was weird. I didn't think he would change his mind about me. I thought he hated me.”
“Did he?... change his mind?”
“Well, a little bit. I dunno, he looks so different, like, he talks different, he acts different, it's like....”
“.....he's different!” he finished the sentence, making fun of me!
“Yeah,” I chuckled... “though when I asked him if he were okay with me being gay, he said he still thought it was gross.”
“Ahhh, old good Thomas has not completely disappeared! I'm gonna have to give you a big wet kiss in front of him and see what happens! Cause I mean, before, he would have just punched us, right?”
“Most likely, yeah.”
“What else did he say to you?”
I told him what Thomas had told me and how the conversation went.
“It was strange seeing him here. I couldn't help but feel like I shouldn't even give him a chance to apologize. If Amy hadn't insisted, I don't think I would have listened to him.”
“Yeah, but you can't just ignore him. I mean, he's your brother. Give it time. If he really does want to make up, it will happen eventually. But I still think he wants something out of this, though.” Rob said, a bit suspicious.
“I don't know, but now that we're rich and successful, I guess he realizes it's better to be on good terms with us.”
He gave me a look that said it all.
“Well, what am I supposed to do?”
“I don't know. I just don't want you to get hurt, or disappointed.”
“I know,” I said, as I reached for his hand and gave him a kiss.
“Don't let it get to you. You have other things to worry about right now.”
“That's what Amy said.”
“Where is he now?”
“He stayed in the venue with her. I didn't give him a backstage pass.”
“You did the right thing. It would have been way too awkward.”
“I know. Hey, maybe if Thomas changed his mind, my parents will too?” I said in an ironic way.
We thought about it as we gazed at each other.
“Naaah,” we both said at the same time. We just couldn't see that happening.
“So, now that I'm here, can I take a shower with you?”
“No,” he said, and gently pushed me away from him. “You're gonna distract me. Get lost!” he kidded.
“Fine!” I shrugged, as I reached for the door, knowing he wouldn't let me leave.
He grabbed my arm and spun me around.
“Where do you think you're going?”
I smiled and took a step toward him.
“Come here,” he said as he grabbed the back of my neck and pulled me close to him for a kiss. He pressed his lips against mine and gave me a sensual kiss as he wrapped his arms around me and pulled me hard into his body. A chill ran up and down my spine and my cock reacted to the feeling. I started to get hard as he continued holding me and kissing me, our tongues dancing together, his gentleness combined with a lot of hunger making me want him very badly.
We lost ourselves in the kiss for a moment, until he started unzipping my sweater. I came back down to earth and I quickly took it off. He slipped both his hands under my t-shirt, making me shiver with anticipation at the feel of his skin against mine. I smiled and he helped me pull my t-shirt off over my head. I let it fall to the floor as he started tracing soft patterns over my skin, from my shoulder, down to my arm, as he kissed my neck. I brought my hand to his face and made our lips meet again. I softly caressed his hair with one hand and his back with the other, pulling him closer against me, as I gave him sweet kisses.
“I'm so hard,” I told him with a moan. My erection was painfully stuck in my jeans and he immediately placed his hands on them and unbuttoned them.
“Let's go inside the shower,” he said in sexy voice as he broke our lip lock.
We quickly finished undressing ourselves. He stood in front of me and grabbed my rock hard dick in his hand. I smiled as he took a few steps backwards toward the shower, as he held my penis, forcing me to follow him.
We stepped inside and let the water spray over our bodies for a moment, enjoying the warmth of the water. It was very relaxing and we badly needed it. I placed my hands on Rob's shoulders and gave him a kiss on the neck. He turned a little to face me and I leaned into him. I wrapped my arm around his shoulders and brought my lips to his. We kissed deeply and I gently pushed him closer to the shower wall and backed him up against it, my lips never leaving his.
I pressed my body hard against his, our erect cocks rubbing together, and held his face with both hands as I kissed him hungrily, but lovingly. I let one of my hands slid down his arm and then up his chest, feeling his hard body against the palm of my hand. I caressed his pec and a sensual moan escaped his lips when I started nibbling at his neck and lightly pinching his nipple.
“you make me so horny,” he moaned with a smile as he kissed my cheek. He was running one of his hands up my back while the other one rubbed the back of my neck.
“I can see that,” I whispered with a grin as I brought my hand down to his erection, wrapped my fingers around it and gently stroked him. “God, I love this thing,” I smiled as I felt that my touch made his dick pulse in my hand.
He held me closer against him, and one of his hands slid down to my ass. He began caressing my ass cheeks as I teased his neck and shoulders with my lips and tongue, still holding and stroking his hardness, my hand pressed between our bodies. Feeling how turned on he was and how hard his cock was made me want to have him in my mouth and I started kissing down his chest. He closed his eyes to enjoy the feeling and held my head as I found his hard nipple and he moaned to encourage me to suck and lick it. I gave special attention to his nipples as one of my hands roamed up and down his tight stomach.
My lips descended further down and I knelt down in front of his hard member. I looked up at Rob and smiled as I wrapped my hand around his erection and gave it a few strokes. Then, I gazed at his beautiful cock, so hungry for it that I felt my own dick throb a little. I wrapped my lips around the head and started a slow up and down motion, only taking a couple of inches inside my mouth. I could hear him moan a little but the noise of the water made it harder to concentrate on the hot and sexy sounds he was making. I started pulling on my dick to add to the pleasure I was feeling, as I took more of him in my mouth. I grasped his balls in my hand and rolled them around as I bobbed my head up and down his cock a little faster, taking a little more of him each time until I decided to relax my throat and let his cock slowly enter my mouth completely.
“Ohhhhh,” he moaned hard as his hand grabbed my hair.
I pulled back, bobbed my head up and down a few times and slowly went down on his pulsing cock again, until it was buried down my throat. Rob sighed and quivered, loving what I was doing. Every time I deep throated him, he was in heaven. I continued blowing him for a couple of minutes, until my knees started to hurt and I slowly stood up again, kissing up his chest and finally reaching his neck. My hand didn't leave his cock and I continued stimulating him as I nibbled his neck hard enough to leave a mark. I couldn't get enough of him.
He moaned and giggled, “slow down, you're gonna give me a hickey.”
“And? Everyone will know who left you with a hickey! I'm marking my territory!”
He laughed and his hand moved down to my crotch. He wrapped his hand around my dick and I reacted to his touch with a moan. “Do you think we have time to fuck?” he asked seductively.
Now, I liked the sound of that.
“Always,” I smiled.
“Do you want to?”
“Of course,” I grinned. “You or me?”
“Huh, I don't know... you!” he suggested, hoping I would say yes.
“Or you!” I suggested in the same way.
“Rock paper scissors?” he asked, knowing we both wanted the same thing.
“Oh Damn,” I whined, “I'm gonna get fucked again,” I laughed.
“Ah, don't pretend you don't love it!”
I smiled. “Why am I always the one getting fucked when we have sex before a gig?”
He thought about it, and came up with something quite true, “Because I'm a bundle of nerves, and you're not!”
I agreed with him on that one, and we played. He formed a pair of scissors, I formed a sheet of paper.
“And your ass is mine!” he said proud of himself. “Boy, you really suck at this!” he laughed. I had no idea why I always lost at this game.
“Yeah, yeah, whatever! Shut up and fuck me,” I begged with a laugh as I grasped the back of his neck and pulled his face closer to mine to kiss him. He returned my kiss for a second, but soon broke it in order to tease me,
“Do you lose on purpose?”
“I wish,” I smiled.
He looked around the large shower and walked over to where the shower products were. His picked up the shower gel and came back over to me. He placed his hand on my shoulder, gave me a kiss, followed by a wicked grin, and I turned around, excited and very eager to have him in me again. He started kissing my shoulders and I heard him open the bottle before feeling his hand slid down my back. He started soaping up my ass. I loved the feeling of his hands caressing my cheeks as he kissed and licked my back. I felt his hands separating my cheeks and his fingers began to slowly circle my hole. I moaned and shivered as he applied gentle pressure. He started inserting his finger into me and I tried to relax, knowing we didn't have any lube, but just the shower gel. He gently stretched my hole with two fingers as he kissed and licked my neck and shoulders and I enjoyed everything he was doing to me.
I pressed my hands against the shower wall and after opening me up, he placed the head of his cock at my entrance and gently pushed it into me. I pushed back against it and felt a little pain when the head popped in. He wrapped one of his arms around my shoulders, the other around my stomach and quickly slid all the way in. He pulled back a couple of inches and buried himself into me again with a moan. I felt his balls on my ass and his cock throbbed inside me. The little pain I had felt when he had entered me soon went away to be replaced by pure bliss when he started moving. We fucked so much, we both could take it without lube once in a while.
“You're ok?” he asked nonetheless, to make sure it hadn't hurt too much. He pulled back just a little again before pushing back in and I enjoyed feeling his cock inside me, filling my ass.
“Yeah... it's... ohhh, yeah,” I groaned with pleasure and twitched as he suddenly hit my prostate.
“Sounds like you are,” he giggled as he started moving back and forth a little more vigorously, using his whole dick now to fuck me.
“Ohh, you feel really good, baby, you're so fucking hot,” he panted, and I squeezed his cock with my ass to give him even more pleasure and moved against him to meet his thrusts.
Now I was more than happy that I had lost the game before as I enjoyed feeling his rock hard dick slid in and out of me, as he caressed and kissed my back, played with my nipples, and just gave me so much pleasure that my cock was begging for some attention. I grasped it and started stroking myself. I urged Rob to fuck me a little harder, so he would hit my prostate.
I felt him quiver as he fastened his pace. I let out a soft sigh as I tightened my ass harder on his dick.
He moaned, “Oh yeah, squeeze me!”
Our breathing quickened and shortened and his balls started slapping against my ass cheeks. He grasped my shoulders tightly as he started really giving it to me.
He fucked me for few minutes, until he started to moan more urgently and I felt his dick start to pulse inside my ass. He pulled out, held the base of his cock, and started to plung it in and out of my ass. He pushed in and withdrew the head at least ten times, groaning a lot and making me shudder with pleasure every time he entered me, and then he stopped, and I felt several shots of cum hit my lower back and my ass cheeks. Hearing his moans as he came almost sent me over the edge. He was so fucking hot. I jerked my cock faster, feeling my orgasm build up. Rob was rubbing his dick against my skin, but I was so close to climaxing, I wanted him to keep fucking me,
“Oh, give it back to me baby,” I begged hopelessly, “I'm gonna cum, fuck me some more!”
He kissed my shoulders and quickly pressed the head of his cock against my hole again. He shoved his full length back into me and I quivered when he hit my prostate, giving me exactly what I needed.
“Oh yeah, give me your cock, feels so good!” I moaned as he started long dicking me hard and fast, grabbing my hips.
I had let go of my aching cock for a second so I reached for it again, leaking like crazy. I needed to get off so badly. I resumed jerking myself off as Rob sped up his fucking. He hit my prostate a few times and a familiar wave of pleasure rapidly washed over me,
“Ohhhh, I'm gonna cum,” I shuddered and quivered as my balls tightened and ropes of cum started to shoot out of my me, landing on the shower wall.
“Oh yeah,” Rob groaned as he felt my asshole tighten.
He slowed down his pace but continued fucking me until my orgasm died away. Then, he pulled out of me gently and wrapped his arms around my chest. He took a few step backwards, towards the center of the shower, holding me and taking me with him, and we stood there for a while, just letting the water wash over us. Eventually, we started washing ourselves and stayed in the shower for another good five minutes before stepping out, feeling refreshed and ready to hit the stage.
“Fuck, those people piss me off!” Jordan grumbled nastily, as he stepped into the dressing room, a few minutes before the show. The atmosphere was a bit tense.
“What’s wrong, Jordan?” Dylan asked him.
“They didn't do anything about my earplugs. They keep telling me there's nothing wrong with them, but I swear the sound I get is not like it normally is. I hate it! And we’re like half an hour away from going on stage.”
“Really? Mine are fine,” I told him “The sound is attenuated perfectly.”
“Well, good for you! Fuck, Mark, I'm not imagining it!”
“I didn't say you were. Gee, don't take it out on me! Go tell them, tell them to do something,” I told him.
“I did,” he yelled, “I did like a thousands time already!”
“Well, go tell them again until they do something,” Dylan told him insistently, “you complaining here about it won’t solve the problem.”
“How many times am I supposed to tell them? They keep telling me they can't find anything wrong. It sucks!” he exclaimed as he sat down on the sofa and buried his face between his hands.
He was sooo losing it. I sat down next to him and brought my hand to the back of his neck, rubbing gently.
“Hey, breathe, okay. Relax!” I told him soothingly. “Just go tell them to check one more time if it worries you so much, okay?”
He sighed. “Damn,” he said as he stood up again. He was almost making us more nervous. There was too much tension in the air. We were always a bit apprehensive before any gig, but this time more than ever. This was Earl’s Court. This was London. This was the first date, and apart from a couple of private gigs we had played for the press and a few selected fans to promote the album, we hadn’t played a real live gig for 7 months. Plus, there were important people in the audience... Bono, the Edge, many journalists who were going to write reviews on the next day, our families...to mention only a few...
“Guys, come on,” Tom told us as he barged into the room, “what are you still doing here? It's 5 past 9. The interview with Radio One starts in 15 minutes. They're waiting for you. Who's going? They only need 2 or 3 of you, so I'm guessing you and Rob?” he asked me.
“Yeah, Rob and me... and Jordan wanted to do it too....”
“Yeah, but I need to talk to the sound technicians about my ear plugs again. I'll try to hurry”
“All right, well come on, go, hurry!” Tom rushed him.
“I'm here, I'm here,” Jordan said out of breath as he sat down next to me for the interview.
“So, are they gonna do something?” I asked him.
“I told them I'd kill them if they didn't, so I'm guessing they're working on it.”
“It'll be alright, don't worry,” I reassured him.
“It'd better be! So what are they gonna ask us here? How long is it gonna last?”
“I don't know, the usual stuff, shouldn't take too long!” I said. “But we're on the air in, like, 30 seconds, you're right on time.”
The journalist came over and sat in front of us. We knew him well, and he knew us well. He was working for Radio 1, and had interviewed us many times before.
“Are you ready?” he asked us. “We go on the air in 10 seconds.”
He counted down from five to zero, using his fingers and the interview started.
Interviewer: “Good evening! If you couldn't get a ticket, don't worry, because in a few minutes, you'll get to listen to the concert live on your favourite radio! We are backstage at Earl’s Court with Robbie, Mark and Jordan from UNI. Gentlemen, how are we?”
Rob: “Fine, very good, how are you?”
Interviewer: “Good! So, here we are, Earl’s Court, first date of the tour, it’s quite impressive really!”
Rob: “Yeah, we're very excited... and very nervous!”
Interviewer: “Are you?”
Me: “Oh, we always get nervous before a gig, we're always wondering if we can pull it off, you know! But I think tonight's gonna be great, we can’t wait to get on stage. I mean, listen to the crowd, they're on fire!”
Interviewer: “How does it feel to start your tour in front of so many people?”
Jordan: “It's truly amazing. We still find it hard to believe. We've never done a gig this big before... apart from a few festivals we played. But you know, it wasn't people who were there especially for us, so now, to start a new tour, and play that, I think it's gonna be mind blowing really!”
Interviewer : “Yeah, because it’s like, 18,000 people tonight, and the gig was sold out rather quickly. Did you reckon it would sell this fast?”
Rob: “Well, we hadn't come out yet when the tickets went on sale, so.... no, no, I'm kidding, I hope! .... To be honest with you, we weren't sure we even should be playing Earl’s Court. But then we put this date on, and yeah, it was sold out in a matter of days... so our record company started suggesting a second date. But we went like, 'no, there's no way. We don't have another 18000 hardcore fans in London! It was already a big surprise to get in in the first place. So we decided not to put a second date on, because it might have been half full you know, and it would have been a downer (laugh). So we didn't do it. But we might come back and play in London at the end of the tour. Nothing was decided yet though, so don't get your hopes up!”
Interviewer : “How do you feel about coming out now? Was that a good decision?”
Me: “Yeah, yeah, I think it was. It’s so liberating. People have been unbelievably supportive, and our fans have been great. We received thousands of messages of support, from all kinds of people, gay or straight, from teenagers, parents, grandparents... it was incredible. We hadn't expected such a response. We felt a bit apprehensive that some people might decide not to show up tonight, but we watched our support band perform, and the venue is packed, so we're psyched!”
Interviewer : “Why did you wait so long to do it?”
Rob: “I don't know. I guess we knew too well how some people feel about homosexuality. And it just wasn't so much of an issue at first. We never lied about it, unless you count lying by omission (laugh), but yeah, we did try to hide it from a lot people, because we wanted our relationship to be private. But after a while, more people started speculating about my sexuality, more and more rumours started to appear, and people kept trying to decide whether I was straight or gay, because I wouldn't just come out and say it! ... Being outed by the media would have been difficult to deal with, I think. We didn't want people to think that we were ashamed of who we were, because we aren't. So when we found out that tabloids knew about our relationship, we realized the time had come to clear things out with everyone.”
Interviewer : “Did The Sun really put pressure on you to come out?”
Rob: “Oh yeah, they did, that's an understatement! We're glad that we came out. It was the right thing to do. But we're still very pissed off at how it all happened. Tabloids are evil, they would do anything. The way they forced us to come out was so disrespectful of our privacy.”
Interviewer : “Did your record company advise you not to do it?”
Rob: “No, they were okay with it. They knew it would have happened sooner or later. Our manager, Tom, was less willing to let us come out. He was worried that it would have a negative impact on our career. But that's just him, he worries too much. He really takes his job seriously.”
Interviewer : “Is he a good manager?”
Rob: “Oh yeah, He's great. We know we can count on him no matter what. He’s the best. Because, to him, it’s a real job. He’s really committed and he’s also very demanding and critical of what we’re doing. He fights our battles. Without him, we wouldn’t be where we are now. He really made it happen for us.”
Interviewer : “Yes, because, you’re like, 23, right? And here you are, about to start a world tour, three albums to your name, Number One in the charts. Did you reckon you would have that kind of success?”
Jordan: “No, we had only dreamed about it. I mean, we never thought things would happen so fast. We played one gig in front of professionals when we were 18, and that was it, the ride started!”
Interviewer: “What did you think you’d be when you were kids?”
Jordan: “Exactly this. That’s what we’ve always wanted to do. We just didn’t know how we would make it happen. But when we were growing up and our parents asked us, ‘What are you gonna do when you get older?’, we always told them that we'd be musicians. We wanted to play music. We started playing when we were very young, you know, around the age of 6 or 7, and we've always been very passionate about it. It was our thing, you know. There was no, ‘I'm gonna be a fireman, or a football player’, we just wanted to play music! So I guess we had a bit of faith!”
Interviewer : “Did you always have confidence in yourselves, in your abilities?”
Rob: “No, no, we're as insecure as everybody else. I don’t think it was confidence, it was a just a feeling... a dream. And we wanted to make our dreams come true. Who doesn't?”
Interviewer : “Are you proud of what you have achieved?”
Jordan: “Yes, very. We still have a lot to prove, and a lot to learn, but yes, we're very happy. Everything that has happened to us is amazing and we can't wait to find out what's next!”
Interviewer : “Do you feel like you're getting better with time? Evolving?”
Me: “Yes, we do. We're really proud of the new album. I think it's our best work so far. We really put our hearts into it. Our first album was recorded in what, 6, 7 weeks? Our label at the time wanted us to improve the few songs we had written with professionals, so that's more why we recorded it. Then, it took us about 4 months to record our second album, but we really took our time. But this new album, it was four full months in the studio, day and night, working and working on the songs, making sure they were the best they could be. It was a lot of work so we're very proud of the result, and we're psyched that the critics are so positive.”
Interviewer : “So you know that Bono is here tonight, right? How does it feel having him in the audience, does it put even more pressure on you?”
Rob: “Oh, he’s only here because he’s worried. He wants to see what he’s really up against! (laugh) We'll dedicate him the new single he has written with us, 'How Come'.”
Interviewer : “I'm sure he'll be pleased. Mark, everyone is very impressed by your guitar playing, can you tell us what is your secret?”
Me: “Oh, I'm not sure that I have a secret. You know, Edge, from U2, once told me that notes were expensive. You don’t throw them around. So that’s what I’m trying to do. Make each note important.”
Interviewer : “So what should we expect musically from the performance that we’re gonna be hearing very, very shortly?”
Me: “Well, you should expect a great gig, with a lot of energy we hope, and, a lot of new songs!”
Interviewer : “Great! Thank you, and good luck! Enjoy yourselves out there!”
Rob: “We will, thank you!”
We stood by the stage door, a few seconds before setting foot on stage. The crowd was screaming so loudly, it was unbelievable. We couldn't help laughing as we listened to them, to their energy, we just couldn't believe it. I guess laughing was a way to relieve the pressure, and not to freak out too much. The guy who was filming us was here and I knew for sure this would be on the DVD. We had watched Scott, Dave and Chris play just before. The crowd was already so excited for them, we knew the gig could only go well. When they walked off stage, Scott was like, hyper, saying,
“Oh my God, they are so amazing! And they don't even know us. They have so much energy. Fuck, it was so fucking awesome! You're gonna have the time of your life,” he had told Rob as he gave him a high five.
We did our usual prayer and all hugged each other. Jordan came over to me, smacked his lips against my cheek and hugged me as he said into my ear, “If you even try to distract me during ‘How come’, I'll make you pay, I swear,” he said with a laugh. It was the only song he had a bit of trouble with and he was worried it might go wrong. 'How come' was the tune we had written with Bono, and Bono was in the audience, so there was no screwing it up.
“You really shouldn't have said that,” I joked, to scare him a little.
He pointed his finger at me, “Don't!”
I laughed and slapped him gently on the stomach.
I walked over to Rob and took his hand in mine. I led him away to talk to him in private.
“You just do your thing and have fun, okay? Don't think, just enjoy yourself!”
“I'm gonna have to think a little if I want to remember the lyrics!” he joked.
I placed my hands on each side of his face. “You're the best, and they love you! It's your time to shine!”
He smiled and nodded. I leaned over and placed a long and sensual kiss on his lips as I caressed his face.
He looked at me as if to say, 'what was that for?'
“This is just to make sure you won't try to kiss me on stage. Is it out of your system?” I joked.
He laughed out loud. “Yeah! I'm not sure they're ready for that anyway.”
“Come on, let's go rock the stage!” I said enthusiastically.
We set foot on stage and were greeted by the longest and loudest cheer we had ever heard! It was so amazing. From the moment we started playing, the whole gig was like a roller coaster ride. The crowd was as excited and into the show as they could get. They were so wild and enthusiastic! It was the best performance we had ever given. The BEST! EVER! Rob actually told them, “"WOW, YOU ARE THE BEST CROWD ON THIS TOUR SO FAR," which was very funny, since it was the first date!
He talked to them a lot between songs and made them laugh. He always enjoyed doing that. At some point, he went,
“So, did you read anything interesting in the paper recently?”
They all loudly screamed, cheered and whistled.
“What? I didn't hear you. Did you?”
They screamed again, even louder.
“Damn, I'm so disappointed! You guys really shouldn't be reading 'The Sun'! You should be ashamed of yourselves!”
They all booed.
“Yeah! They're so bad!!! It's okay, it's okay, you're forgiven... but promise you won't do it anymore!”
They all screamed, NO, and they laughed.
“So, who's gay in the audience tonight?” Jordan asked them.
A lot of guys screamed.
“And who's straight?” he asked with a laugh.
Just as many guys screamed, even more. I guess a few gay guys had been a bit afraid to scream.
“See,” Rob told him. “They're still here. Are you relieved?”
“Much,” he laughed.
“What about you girls,” Rob asked.
They all screamed, very, very loudly!
“Wow,” Rob laughed, “Man, you can scream! Do that again!”
They did. I didn't think it was possible, but they were actually louder.
“Did it do it for you?” Rob joked as he looked at Jordan, who nodded affirmatively, with a huge grin on his face.
“Alright, let's move on. What are we supposed to do now? Huh... ohhh, a ballad! Get you lighters out! This is a very special song for me... and for Mark,” Rob said, glancing at me with a smile, “but he doesn't want me to say that,” he whispered into the microphone and I gave him a quick fake glare. He smiled at me and told them, “it's the very first time we perform this song live! I feel it's gonna be very special!”
We began playing and Rob smiled at me before he started singing, with his soul and heart as he always did, with so much generosity, emotion and energy that he made every word meaningful, moving and captivating. We all tried to play as well as possible so that the music would carry him and make it easier for him to sing the song and give everything he needed to give! But I swear, sometimes, I just wanted to stop playing and just listen to him as every one else was... especially on this song since he was often smiling and looking at me, singing it for me, giving away the true meaning of the song! And since people now knew we were a couple, there was no way that they couldn't understand... but it still had a universal meaning and the lyrics could fit into anybody's mood and personal emotions.
Well, you're magic, he said.
But don't let it all go to your head.
Well, I bet if you all had it all figured out,
Then you'd never get out of bed,
Of all the things that I've read, what he wrote me
Is now sounding like the man I was hoping
I Keep on keeping it real
Cause it keeps getting easier indeed
He's the reason that I'm laughing
Even if there's no one else
He said that you've got to love yourself.
You say, you shouldn't mumble when you speak,
But keep your tongue up in your cheek.
And if you stumble on to something better
Remember that it's humble that you seek.
You got all the skill you need,
You got something,
Call it gumption,
Call it anything you want,
Because when you play the fool now,
You're only fooling everyone else.
You're learning to love yourself.
Yes, you are.
There's no price to pay
When you give and what you take,
That's why it's easy to thank you
You... you... you
Let's say take a break from our day
And gettin back to the old garage
Because life's too short anyway
But at least it's better than average.
As long as you got me,
And I got you,
You know we got a lot to go around.
I'll be your friend,
Your other brother,
Another love to come and comfort you.
But I'll keep reminding
If it's the only thing I ever do,
I will always love you.
This song was the most amazing moment of the show, the emotion and communication between us and the audience was at its paroxysm. It was so overwhelming to feel how much they loved the song and how enthusiastic they were about it.
It's you I love, it's you I love, it's you, it's you I love It's you I love, it's you I love, it's you, it's you I love It's you I love, it's you I love, it's you, it's you I love It's you I love
I played a long riff and then, the song slowed down. We started only playing softly in the background as Rob started adding words to the song, singing them very softly,
“It's you I love, It's you I love, it's you I love, I love, I love, I love, I love... it's you I love, it's true, it's you I love, I do, It's you I love....”
Rob repeated these words as he looked at me and slowly started walking over to me with a mischievous grin on his face, and I knew he was going to do exactly what I had told him not to do. He looked deep into my eyes before pressing his forehead against mine and just as I knew he would, he placed a small and gentle kiss on my lips as soon as he finished singing the words, which caused the crowd to cheer loudly. A smile spread across our faces and I had to admit, it was very sweet, and totally awesome!
He continued adding words to the original song,
“Just scream it out, just talk it out, just say, if you've got something to say, then I say, if you've got a message for the world, then say it... hold your own, know your own name, go your own way... I say, hold your own, and know your own name, go your own way... I will hold my own, and I know my own name, so I will go my own way, and you should too, you should hold your own, and know your own name, go your own way...”
And Climb up over the top.
Survey the state of your soul.
You've got to find out for yourself whether or not you're truly trying.
Why not give it a shot?
Shake it, take control, and inevitably wind up
Finding for yourself, all the strengths that you have inside still rising.
Climb up over the top.
Survey the state of your soul.
You've got to find out for yourself whether or not you're truly trying.
Why not give it a shot?
Shake it, take control, and inevitably wind up
And find out for yourself all the strengths that you have inside of you.
The concert flashed by. We were having such a great time that we didn't want it to be over. The rush and the adrenaline of playing before such an amazing crowd just kept us going and going! A concert like this one was physically demanding but as long as we were on stage, somehow, we didn't feel any tiredness and we could just go on and on. That's how much we loved it! Our fans were trying to make the concert last longer and longer but it had to end sometimes and after many encores, we performed one last song, thanked them a million times for everything and walked off the stage under a very loud ovation of the audience!
Rob immediately dropped to the floor and lay on his back as he shouted,
“OH MY GOD! THAT WAS SO ACE!”
We all laughed. I grabbed his hand and helped him stand up again, and we hugged each other as we jumped up and down a little!
“This was the best gig ever. I am so high!” Rob exclaimed.
“We all are!” Damon laughed, ecstatic!
“My God!” Jordan screamed “THANK YOU FOR THAT! They were amazing!”
We all shared our excitement and happiness as we went back to our dressing room where our friends and family were waiting for us. We had to take a quick shower and change, because we were leaving right away to go to a party in a private club in London.
I spent so much time talking to people, on the way to our dressing room and inside, that I ended up having to take a shower with Jordan because we were the last two who hadn't showered yet, and we had to hurry. People were waiting after us to leave.
We were both in the shower, quickly washing ourselves when my eyes just happened to meet his cock!
“Stop checking me out!” he said as he saw me looking.
“I'm not checking you out!”
“Yes, you are!”
“Well, don't take a shower with me if you don't want me to look!” I laughed, and gazed at his cock again to annoy him. He had a very nice dick. He was big, even soft. He trimmed his pubes. It was my influence there. And the water running down his body made him look very hot.
“I swear,” he exclaimed with a laugh, “stop looking at my dick!”
“Oh, I'm sorry! I can't help it! I just want it so bad, you have no idea!” I pleaded.
“You do, don't you,” he laughed.
“Yeah... which is why I'm soft right now!” I told him with a laugh, although I had to admit, it was taking all of my self-control not to get a hard on.
He chuckled. “Come on, I don't turn you on even a little bit?” he asked as if he were offended.
I looked down at my dick and looked up at him, shrugging my shoulders and shaking my head, no, as if to say, 'Sorry, no, you don't', even though he totally did, and I think he knew that! It's not like I had never told him.
“Oh, my God, I can't believe you're rejecting me, I'm so insulted! I should just force you to blow me until you change your mind!” he joked.
“Oh, I told you, you'd be surprised at how good I am at this,” I told him with a smirk.
“yeah, words, words, words! Why don't you show me once and for all!” he said, sounding like he was joking, but I actually wasn't sure. We both knew nothing was going to happen anyway, not here in the shower, so I went,
“Oh all right, I'd love to! I wanna see how big your dick can be,” and I reached for his cock.
He laughed and took a step backward,
“Ok, we're done!” he exclaimed as he turned off the water.
We laughed at the shallowness of the conversation and he shook his head as we both got out of the shower.
“Rob and I had sex in here before the gig,” I told him with a laugh.
He gazed at me for a second to see if I was serious and he chuckled, “Nice!”
We each grabbed a towel and I moved behind him and gently slapped and squeezed his ass.
“You know, you have a great ass too”, I said, seductively in his ear, waiting to see his reaction. I pretty much knew what it would be but for some reason, I always had a lot of fun flirting with him to see how far he would let me go! I knew he wouldn't take anything the wrong way so it was pretty safe. I flirted with him constantly, he was used to it.
He turned around and grinned.
“All right, get out!” he exclaimed with a laugh as he grabbed my arm and pushed me over the door in a attempt to kick me out. He reached for the door handle without letting go of my arm,
“No, wait” I begged “I gotta dry myself,” I laughed.
I barely had time to wrap my towel around my waist before he opened the door and threw me out of the bathroom. I laughed and didn't even try to fight back. We were just playing around, but I knew he would not give up as long as I was not out of there.
He was laughing as he yelled, “That will teach you,” and closed the door again. I ended up in a room full of people, only wearing a towel around my waist which I couldn't even use to dry myself without being naked in front of them.
“Hi,” I heard a familiar voice say.
I turned my head and saw Damien smiling at me.
“Hey... Hi.” I said, a bit surprised to see him here, even though, it made sense, since I had given him backstage passes. He locked eyes with me and I suddenly felt very naked when his eyes started to wander. He stopped looking at me in the eye, and started checking me out, making it clear that he was enjoying what he was seeing.
“Um, did you enjoy the show?” I asked, trying to find something to say.
“yeah absolutely! My God, I knew you were good, but that was beyond good, I was staggered! The whole show was so intense.”
I smiled. “I'm glad you enjoyed it. It was a work out,” I said as I looked around, trying to find something... anything to cover my nakedness.
Rob came over to me and handed me another towel, as he gave me an annoyed look. Okay, I knew what that meant.
“Hey Damien,” Dylan told him, “we’re going to a club now, are you coming?”
“Oh, yeah, I'd love to,” he replied.
“Oh, come with me for a second then,” Tom told him as he heard our conversation, “We need to get you a pass, are you with someone?”
“Yeah, I'm with a friend.”
“Be right back,” he told me before walking away with Tom.
“Why the hell did you invite him?” Rob whispered to Dylan, to make sure Damien would not hear him.
“I...I don't know,” Dylan said to Rob in a mocking tone, “to be nice... is that wrong?”
“Rob, please, don't start!” I asked him. “If he hadn’t invited him, I would have.”
He shook his head, but his father called him before he could say anything else and he let it go.
Dylan looked at me and raised his eyebrows as he let out a chuckle, after seeing Rob's reaction.
“So, why did Jordan kick you out?” Dylan asked with a laugh.
“Well, apparently, he doesn't like me telling him that he has a great ass! It was a compliment!” I exclaimed, as if I didn't understand why he had kicked me out.
He laughed and shook his head. “Well, better to say that to Jordan than to Damien,” he warned me. And he was probably right!
Thanks for reading. Please, if you liked this chapter, drop me a line to let me know what you think. It's very motivating. I really look forward to reading your messages: email@example.com
The song that I used during the concert is a song by Jason Mraz, “Song for a Friend” on his album, “MR. A-Z”. I chose this song because I really love the lyrics. I hope you did too. I thought it was pretty perfect for UNI. You can see pictures of Earl's Court and listen to the Live version of the song (as described in this chapter) on my Yahoo Group and imagine it's UNI's concert.
I'd like to thank Adam for helping me improve the lyrics of the song that goes with the video at the beginning of the chapter. Thanks, you did a great job, you are very talented! And I'd like to thank Frank for editing this chapter! You were both very helpful!