The following story is entirely a work of fiction. The characters are not based on any particular celebrity but the story is about fictional characters, who are celebrities in the story. The music used in this story is music by the band Coldplay and in this chapter, there are actual celebrities mentioned but what is written does not imply anything about the actions of the persons depicted.

Thank you again for taking an interest in my story and reading it up to this chapter. It is almost over now and I seriously can't believe I've written 18 chapters. I would have never imagined when I started it. I'm so glad I was somehow able to give life to these characters and to share them with you. Every new chapter is harder and more challenging to write but as music fan myself, it's also a lot of fun. I hope I've made you want to listen to a bit of music along the way! There are one or two more chapters left to go and the story will be concluded I think. Again, I'm not a native English speaker, I hope it wasn't too noticeable, but if it was, I apologize for the mistakes I may have made in the stories. This chapter is written from Robbie's pov.

I'd appreciate your comments. It’d be nice to get some feedback and know if you’re reading. Thank you. unilive@yahoo.com

Again, you can join my tumblr at https://u-n-i-live.tumblr.com for music and pictures.

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Robbie's point of view

"Claire will go with you," Tom said as he sat in my living room and typed emails on his laptop, most likely about me. I had called him in the morning to tell him that I had decided to leave.

"Your flight's tomorrow evening, that will give you time to pack," he added as I mindlessly played a melody I had come up with on one of our bass guitars, comfortably slumped in an armchair, while Dylan, who had been hanging out with me all afternoon, just scrolled through something on his phone.

"Tom, I don't need a babysitter," I said.

"Claire's coming with you," he repeated in a tone that left no room for discussion. "And Michael of course. I just want to make sure you go where you're supposed to go. She's not gonna be at your beck and call but I want someone to be in L.A as long as you are, and she's more than happy to go with you."

I raised my eyebrows at him. "Fine," I said, noticing his insistence. I knew neither of them would be on my back all the time anyway. I needed Michael. He was one of our bodyguards and I felt a lot safer when he was with me, even though I wasn't recognized as much in the States. I knew he wouldn't follow me around like a puppy dog either, but just go places with me if I asked him to. Claire was one of our publicists and knowing her, she had probably agreed to Tom's request just because she would get to see all of her acquaintances in L.A and just enjoy herself while getting paid.

"You know you can call me whenever, day or night," he said.

"Why would he need to call you?" Dylan asked.

"I don't know, I'm just saying… he can."

"Well, considering the time difference…. yeah, call Tom, dude!" he said with a laugh.

Tom let out a chuckle, closed his laptop and said, "alright, chaps! Have a nice evening. Claire should be here tomorrow after lunch. Please, be ready when she gets here. … And don't go out tonight," he entreated me.

"Like he's gonna let me," I retorted, pointing at Dylan.

"Just dinner and a movie," Dylan said to me with a chuckle.

"I'm an amazing third wheel," I grinned.

----

After Tom had left, Dylan suggested that we played some 2K18 at his place before his girlfriend, Alicia, got back. Since I didn't feel like packing yet, I agreed.

As we were heading out, he asked, "what was that melody you were playing?"

" Do you like it?"

"Yeah, sounded good. I'm glad you're getting creative again," he winked at me.

I smiled. "Yeah, it might become a song. It sticks in my head but I'm not sure what to do with it yet."

"Have you written it down?"

"No, I kinda change it every time I play it."

"Do you wanna do that now?"

I hesitated.

"Come on, let's go into the studio and record it quickly," he insisted as he placed his hands on my shoulders and made me turn around. "Just so you don't forget it. If you can't turn it into a song, I'm sure Mark will."

I shrugged and we headed to the studio instead.

They all seemed to think that everything was fine between Mark and I… Dylan kept telling me that he was just mad at me for neglecting the band, for doing coke, that he had only gone to New York to finish editing the album and that he only wanted me to go to L.A while he was there to get some stuff off my chest...

I wanted to believe him, but I knew there was more to it than that. He wasn't just away for work … he wasn't just away on vacation. I couldn't take comfort in the thought that he would be back soon and that everything was fine between us. I was very conscious that the strength of our relationship was being tested because of the way I had acted in the past few months.

He wasn't coming back because he wanted to spend time away from me … and he wanted to spend time away from me because after over eight years of being with me, he had started questioning the strength of my feelings for him…and probably of his own feelings as well…

He loved me, I had no doubts whatsoever about that, but he didn't love who I had started to become. I couldn’t blame him, I didn't love that side of myself either. By going out too much without him, by not giving him enough of my time and attention, by not doing all the things that we had always loved doing together, by not showing him enough how much he mattered to me, I had hurt him. And he wasn't having it. He probably felt like he was losing me a little and I now had to admit to myself that I didn't know where we stood, which I found scary and frustrating.

Because of his parents, he had trust issues. Being loved was not something he had ever been able to take for granted. The very people who were supposed to love him unconditionally never really did. So he liked the fact that I loved him no matter what and that he didn't have to question it… that I'd always take care of him, be there for him whenever he needed me, adore him, even worship him… 'cause I did. I loved making him feel wanted and desired. I also loved letting him take control, because I needed him to, and not just sexually. I knew it was something I'd better not fuck up in our relationship.

The first week without him was awful. I was sad, I was worried and I was bored shitless and missing him like crazy. I wasn't used to being alone…like, really alone, in our apartment … because when I was home, he was too. We could never ever get bored. There was always something or someone to talk about, to laugh about, to joke about. There was always something to do, and whatever it was, it'd often lead to sex.

I'd hoped that I apologizing would be enough and that I'd convince him to come home… but he was stubborn. Plus, he had the advantage! In New York, he was keeping himself busy. Working on the songs we had recorded could take a lot of his time and he could easily make me suffer for over a month. Even much longer if he decided to go to France…

When we got back to London, Dylan decided to be on my back every day. He and Alicia wanted to hang out with me all the time. It was slightly annoying me but I knew why they were doing it, so I let them. Then my parents showed up and there was some more talking and explaining to do, not to mention crying on my mum's shoulder. They stayed for a week, made me promise to go to L.A, and left.

And then, I had nothing to do.

 Jordan and Damon weren't coming back and Dylan had decided to act like his-60-year-old dad to make me want to leave.

For a few days, the only thing I could think of doing was to meet up with a few close friends to avoid utter boredom. The LGBT community was great in London and we had a few really good friends I could hang out with or go to private parties with. London really felt like home now. I couldn't imagine living anywhere else. Although Mark and I had talked about buying a place in the Turks and Caicos Islands to have a getaway and I contemplated the idea of going there to recharge now that I had no more responsibility towards the band. Although, if I was honest with myself, the only place I should have considered going to was L.A…. but going there meant talking to therapists and all that shit! I just found it a bit daunting and I still didn't want to admit to myself that I needed to do this.

-----

After spending the evening with Dylan and Alicia, I went back to my apartment to pack. As I stepped into the walk-in closet, I couldn't not think of Mark. Everything in our apartment reminded me of him. I couldn't really tell his clothes from mine. It didn't matter; most of the clothes were ours. Some he liked better than I did, some that fitted him better than they fitted me and vice versa. Honestly, we could pull off any kind of look, but we had now given the band a distinct fashion style. The only thing we didn't share was shoes because we didn't have the same taste in terms of footwear, nor the same size.

As much as I loved to travel, I hated to pack just as much. We were living out of a suitcase so regularly that packing and unpacking was a real drag. Mark was much better at this than I was. He was a lot more organized. That was just how his brain worked, in everything that he did.

We owned so many clothes that it was actually hard to choose the ones I wanted or needed to take with me so I just gathered a few of them and thought to myself that I'd just have to buy new clothes in L.A if necessary.

 I finished packing, pulled off my shirt and jeans and pulled down my bed covers. Before getting into bed, I went and stood in front of the full-length mirror in the corner of the bedroom and had a good look at myself. I hadn't taken very good care of my body in the past few months. It was like all I had done was to physically abuse myself. I hadn't spent much time exercising but I hadn't gained any weight. Actually, I had lost some, and mostly muscle mass. I still had very well defined muscles but I was a bit more slender. I had let my chest hair grow a little and it was perfectly distributed, light and manly, which I liked, and I knew Mark would too.

While I did think I had strong singing and performing abilities, I certainly wasn't foolish enough to think that my face and body had nothing to do with my popularity. My nose was straight and well structured, and my lips were full.  My jaw line was strong and yet fragile.

I had what had often been described to me as "piercing green eyes" which I knew were part of my appeal. I liked my looks and apparently most other people did as well. It seemed like I radiated something that people were attracted to but it was hard for me to notice that about myself. I definitely wasn't insecure about my body, I had no reasons to be… but there were times when I was definitely insecure about my ability to be the person people expected me to be, on stage and in the media.

I began thinking about the fame again. I felt like I had hit a wall that had stopped me from moving forward. How did it get there? I had no idea… because I knew how amazing it was and how lucky I was. I didn't want to complain or moan about my life. I was very much aware that there were so many people who'd give their right arm to be as successful and loved as I was, especially as an openly gay man.

Being in the position I was in as the frontman of the band, I figured that if I only took the positive things people had to say about me seriously, I could easily become an uncontrollable narcissist. Similarly, if I only took the negative seriously, like the homophobic abuse on social media, which I had been doing a bit too much lately, I could become an uncontrollable depressive. So, basically, I figured I had to find a way to be myself and try to walk the line between the middle of them…. But it was a lot harder to do than it sounded.

For a moment, I asked myself what it was I wanted, but I honestly didn't know the answer to that question anymore. All I knew was that I didn't want to lose what I already had. As much as I could struggle with it sometimes, I did love my job, and I was taking the risk of losing it…. And I loved Mark more than anyone else in the world… but I was taking the risk of losing him… for what? Partying? Alcohol? Drugs? Things that I knew were just a gateway to overthinking problems that didn't even exist and being in a bad place mentally, having negative thoughts that could dictate my choices and my life. I had to look after myself and try to enjoy what I had.

So I had decided to leave and break that damn wall!

----

Twenty four hours later, Claire came to sit next to me a few minutes after the private jet we were on had taken off.

"Rob, how would you like to do the James Corden carpool karaoke while you're Los Angeles?" she suggested cautiously. "Maybe once you're done with the program? I could arrange it, you've always said you'd love to do it and he's requested you several times."

"Yeah, that sounded really fun… but honestly Claire, right now, singing in a car with James Corden is the last thing on my mind."

"I know, but maybe you'll want to do it in a few weeks and it has to be arranged."

I shrugged my shoulders, not sure I wanted to do it, not yet anyway.

"Fine. Give it some thoughts. When do you wanna start the program?" she asked. "Do you wanna wait a few days or do you wanna start as soon as you get there?"

I sighed and grabbed my headphones.

"Alright, a few days, it is!"

I laughed. "I knew you already had the answer."

"Anything you'd like to do?"

"I don't know… take me to Disney World?" I joked with a laugh, because she was a Disney enthusiast.

Her eyes and mouth opened wide. "You know that didn't fall on deaf ears!" she exclaimed.

I grinned at her and she rubbed my shoulder as she stood up to go back to her seat.

I took my phone out of my pocket and texted Dylan.

"On the plane. You can go back to being 27 again! Enjoy yourself! Thank for being there for me mate" To which he responded almost instantly. "Thank god! Sorry I was such an annoying dad but you'll thank me later! Text me when you land!"

 

Then I texted Jordan, Damon and Rachel. Jordan was the first one to respond. "Glad to hear that. I'm sure you won't regret it. Just focus on yourself. I got to New York this morning. Mark's doing fine. We're going back to Dublin next week, alright. I'll keep you posted. Don't worry about him. I'll kick Damien's ass for you if he dares come too close! ;) Enjoy LA"

I laughed to myself and texted him back not to hold back and that I should have kicked his ass a long time ago… and of course, to look after Mark.

I wanted to call Mark so bad while on the plane. I almost did a few times, but I knew I'd just end up repeating all the things I had already told him and that we'd have the same conversation all over again. I only wanted him to know that I was sorry, that I loved him, that I was missing him, and that I too, wanted us to be us again. It was only after we landed that I decided to text him.

"Babe, I'm in L.A. I wish you were here with me. I miss you and I can't wait to hold you in my arms again. I hope everything goes well in Dublin. Don't let her hurt you ok, but please call me if she does. I love you, I always have and I always will, and I'm sorry if I made you doubt that. I promise you, I'll learn from my mistakes ;)" I wrote, using the words of our song "Fix You"

-----

We landed in L.A on a Sunday. Since I wasn't too keen on going, Tom and Claire made arrangements for me to start the program on the following Monday so that'd give me a week to enjoy the west coast, the sun, the beach and to basically unwind.

 "Michael," I said to my bodyguard early on Tuesday morning. "I think I need to be alone for a few hours. I think I'm just going to take the car myself and head out, alright?"

"That's not a good idea," Michael said.  "You could find yourself in a real situation."

"I'll be careful," I said, pulling my baseball cap lower over my face and putting my hand out for the keys. "I don't get recognized as much here, don't worry. I just wanna be by myself a little, drive by the coast. I'll call you if anything goes wrong and I need rescuing," I said jokingly.

Michael shrugged and rolled his eyes but he went to get the car keys.  He escorted me to the car and saw me safely inside it until I was out on the street.

The feeling of being alone in a car was intensely liberating.  I couldn't remember how many months it had been since I had driven myself anywhere. Either we had a driver, or Mark would drive because he enjoyed it more than I did. It was another reminder of how my life was different from other people my age.

The car seemed to be driving itself, and I didn't know where it was going, except that it had taken the direction of San Diego. "Let's do that," I thought to myself. "San Diego, it is."

It was nice to spend the day kinda sightseeing by myself and I tried to just enjoy being a normal twenty-seven year old for the day.

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On Thursday, the week took a turn I hadn't expected. Claire told me she was invited to a dinner party at one of her friends' house and asked me to join her, so I agreed. As the car approached the large mansion and we saw the many cars surrounding it, Claire realized that this wasn't going to be the intimate dinner party she thought it was. I didn't mind. "The more, the merrier," I told her. Our driver opened the door and we stepped out.

The atmosphere inside was pleasant but most of the people invited were well into their thirties or forties and I didn't feel like I particularly fitted in.

Thankfully, I immediately noticed a familiar face. Sam Smith was there because he was recording his second album with his band in L.A. He was accompanied by two of the people from his band.

We immediately engaged in small talk because just like me, he didn't know anybody at the party. We had met a few times before. I couldn't say that we knew each other personally or that we were friends, but we loved each other's music and we were comfortable enough with each other to have plenty of things to talk about. I mean, we were both musicians, both from Europe, both singers and both gay. We had quite enough things in common to make the evening a little more entertaining.

He was a cool guy, so freaking fun, sweet and talented. He was the kind of guy you want as a friend. He reminded me of Mark sometimes, just because we could easily have a laugh about any topic we were discussing and he was just as sweet, genuine and fun. I could tell I wasn't gonna get bored with him.

We had a great time during dinner. We talked with ease about our music, our fans, our concerts, our travels and just the business in general. It was probably the most fun I'd had since Mark had left.

He had lost a bunch of weight since he had started his career and he seriously looked like a different person. I couldn't believe how handsome and different he looked now. He also seemed a lot more confident and sure of himself. He was openly gay in the way he spoke and acted, which I liked about him.

By the end of the meal, everyone was already a bit buzzed. Sam and I went to sit on a couch, holding glasses of wine that we weren't drinking as we watched the party grow more animated and louder. I wasn't sure when the music had started but the party was apparently now in full swing.

"Claire's suggested I do the carpool karaoke with James Corden!" I told him as we were chatting.

"Has she?" he exclaimed. "Do it, it's so much fun. I loved it."

"Really? I don't know. I've heard people moan about it and say that it was long and terrible."

"Oh no. No, mine was great. It was really quick," he said enthusiastically. "I had such a good laugh with him."

"Yeah, I've heard, with the Fifth Harmony girls?"

"Oh my God, it was amazing!" he exclaimed happily. "I had so much fun that day, I couldn't believe it! I love these girls so much!"

I just watched him and said mischievously, "You know, Jordan, our bass player…he had sex with Lauren."

He stared at me with wide eyes. "Nooo!"

"Yeah!" I nodded. "He totally did," I added with a serious tone.

Sam laughed and asked, turning to me again, "wasn't he dating Taylor Swift at some point?"

"Yeah, he was. But… he could hardly ever see her. And he's got commitment issues," I explained with a laugh, as I sipped my wine. "I think she was just a trophy girlfriend to him."

"Once he got her, it took the fun out of it?" he said, inquisitively.

"Probably, yeah. I'm sure he'll settle down someday. I'd just give it another ten years."

He snickered. "He must be spoilt for choice, he's a beautiful guy."

"Yeah," I confirmed. "And very straight."

He laughed and then asked jokingly, "You mean, he's never wanted to experiment with his gay friends?" He wiggled his eyebrows and I snorted.

"Jordan?" I exclaimed. "No! No way!" I laughed. "I mean… actually… he's always wondered about gay sex, kinda. Mark keeps teasing him about it," I said with a laugh. "Like, he's always trying to see how far he'd go and stuff. But to him, it's as far as it goes…wondering… because it always stops at the guy's dick, and he's like, uggg nooo!" I said, doing Jordan's grossed out face.

"That's how I feel about vaginas!" he said nonchalantly.

We cracked up and finished our glasses.

 Then we grew quiet for a moment as we continued watching the party.

 He suddenly asked me point blank, because I had avoided the subject all evening, "So, where's your significant other?"

"In New York," I replied. "It's a bit complicated. We're sort of on a break right now. We're going through a bit of a rough patch," I admitted to him.

 He looked at me and pouted. "That sucks. I'm sorry to hear that," he said, genuinely feeling bad for us. "Since you came out, I've always thought you were such a strong and lovely couple. You know… goals!"

I smiled. "I gather you have no significant other of your own?" I asked him. I really didn't want to get into more details as to why Mark and I weren't together.

"No, not at the moment. Still looking for mister right. Maybe I'll find him someday."

"I'm sure you will."

"And then, maybe I'll start writing happy songs!" he said with a laugh. "Like you do!"

"They're not all happy," I said.

 "You have some, at least. I keep trying to write happy songs… but they always suck."

We laughed and after a short moment, Claire came over to us.

"You guys look so bored," she said as she sat next to us.  "Not having any fun?"

"Don't be silly," Sam said.  "We're just watching the revelry."

"I'm afraid to admit that a lot of these people make a lot of noise, but remain uninteresting," She said with a sigh, looking back toward them. "Do you guys want to get outta here?"

"Where do you suggest we go?" I asked.

"Gay club?" Sam exclaimed and looked at me inquisitively. "I know a real good one!"

"Alright!" I agreed and Claire chuckled with a smile.

-----

Sam and I spotted a limousine parked outside and decided to try and convince the driver to take us to the club. He refused several times and convincing him turned out to be a lot of fun. Claire and Sam had suggested leaving the party to a few more people and we were about ten to entreat, beg and implore as he continued to stubbornly refuse to drive us. Paying him a lot of money was what finally did the trick.

We had a couple of drinks during the ride. Sam kept saying how glamorous it was and that it made him feel like a diva.

When we got to the club, Claire and I got out first.  

"Ok," she started, squeezing my arm.  "Now, I know I'm a little drunk right now, but am I wrong in saying that Sam was just staring at you the entire ride?"  

"I don't know," I said, but I had kind of noticed it.

"He was looking at you like he wants to have you for an all-night dessert."

"Claire, I don't think setting me up with him is part of your job description," I said with a laugh.

"Whatever, just use a condom," she replied with a shrug.

"Come on, I don't want to have sex with him," I said to her and then added as I looked over at him, "although… if it were possible, I'd totally have sex with his voice," I joked.

Claire giggled and we entered the club. I immediately realized that she wasn't totally wrong. Just like during dinner, Sam's attention was totally focused on me.  He didn't look around to see who was around him.

 I had noticed the jaw dropping of a number of guys as we made our way up to the VIP area but none of them dared approach us.

We had another drink and then decided to go dancing. We danced long and we danced hard, enjoying ourselves.

Before we sat back down again, I felt Claire's hand on my ass and realized she was slipping something into my back pocket.

"Just in case," she laughed, whispering into my ear.  "I can see you and Sam are getting all drunk and chummy, and I just want to make sure you boys play safe."

I put my hand in my pocket and could feel that she had indeed put a couple of condoms in there. "Are these party favours they're giving out?"

 Claire started laughing again, kissed me on the cheek, and disappeared. I couldn't believe her. I walked back to Sam and sat down next to him as he poured himself another drink.

He raised his glass to me in a mock toast before gulping down his drink.

I did the same and we both turned our heads to the blasting sounds of Camila Cabello's new single, Havana.

 I turned to Sam with a smile to see his reaction. He gasped and stood up in a very gay way, pretending he had long hair to flip, which made me laugh. The boy definitely loved to party.

 "Let's go dancing again," he suggested and I thought to myself that Mark would have reacted just as enthusiastically to the song.

 We went back to the dance floor. At some point, Sam leaned in and told me that I could probably have anyone in the whole club if I wanted.

"Yeah," I answered with a shrug. "I probably could. But I'm used to turning them down."

He pressed his left cheek against mine. It felt warm, moist, and slightly stubbly.  He spoke into my ear, so that could hear me over the music. "Let me tell you something. When you walked in before, I was awestruck at the sight of you. I've always had a crush on you. And when we danced together, I almost came in my pants."  

I was turned on by this sudden boldness on his part.  The guy definitely had different sides to him. The alcohol was clearly making him very flirty and horny and he said, "Do you wanna have some fun?"

I smiled and raised my eyebrows at him in a question. What the fuck was happening?

"Come on, if I'm gonna act as a slut, I might as well do it right," he said jokingly.

 He led me to the back of the club where the bathroom was located.  We walked into one of the large stalls, slamming and locking the full-length door behind us. He began tonguing my mouth and I pushed him against the wall.

A soft moan escaped his lips and I could tell the surroundings were really turning him on.  He was undoing my belt with a sense of desperation. In seconds he had it open as well as my jeans. He stopped kissing me and dropped to his knees.

"I've always secretly wanted to see you hard," he said with a devilish grin, as he pulled down my jeans in one motion.

I let out a small laugh, "Have you?"

"I love dicks," he said sensually. "Bet yours is a sight to behold." He smiled up at me, sliding his hand into my underwear. "Yeah, very nice!" he whispered as he pulled it out.

It felt so good to have my cock free, but it was quickly covered once again, only this time by Sam's mouth.  All eight inches of it was covered in one swift movement.  I had to resist coming instantly and I placed my hands against the wall to keep myself up, as my knees were starting to buckle.

"Oh yeah."  He was sucking for all it was worth and I tried to stop myself from wishing it was Mark blowing me right at that moment. It all seemed to have happened so quickly, I had no fucking idea why I was letting it happen, but I knew it was too late now. I had already let this go too far and I was too intoxicated and horny to stop it.

He pulled his mouth off my cock and started licking it all over. His left hand was playing with my balls while he struggled to undo his own pants with his right hand.

I pulled him off of my cock and up to a standing position. I turned him around so that his back was to me, and pushed him up against the wall again. I then lowered my hands to his waist and undid his own pants.  I pushed his jeans and underwear down to his thighs and was greeted by what looked in the dim light to be a nice round ass. I started licking and nibbling at his neck and the ear I could reach with my mouth. My left hand was against the wall while my right hand roamed all over his ass. It was covered in a sheen of sweat from our dancing, but it felt good. As I slid my index finger up and down his crack, I saw his right hand reach in front of him to start stroking himself. In the light I couldn't catch a good glimpse of his cock. I was just about to turn him around when I looked down to see my cock, hard and wet, millimeters away from his ass. I suddenly knew what I wanted.

"Can I fuck you Sam?" I asked, biting his earlobe.        

"Do you have a condom?" he asked, while noticeably increasing the pace on his cock.

"Yeah," I answered, quickly dropping to the floor to retrieve a condom from my jeans, which were now around my ankles. Sam turned his head to the side, a mild look of apprehension on his face. He then nodded, and leaned his head against the wall, along with both his hands. Given that we were pretty much the same height, I was able to lean over and contact his lips with my own. I then replaced my mouth with my fingers, which he gladly began to suck on. Once they were really wet, I removed them and lowered them to his ass. I slid my index finger into the crack of his ass and found his hole. It felt tight and wrinkled, with maybe just a tiny ring of hair around it. I slipped my index finger inside him and he sighed, slowly pushing back on it.

After sliding my finger back and forth a few times, I removed it and tore open the condom. Luckily it was a pre-lubricated one and so I quickly slipped it on and got myself into position.  I pushed my cock into his ass until I was aligned with his hole. I then told him to take a deep breath as I pushed the head inside. He was incredibly tight, which made me think that he didn't do this that often, though he also didn't seem to be very bothered by it.

"Oh fuck, push it all the way in."

I did just that, sliding all the way in until I could feel his ass cheeks against my pubes.  I withdrew slightly and then pushed all the way back in, causing him to make a high-pitched sound. My cock felt like it was on fire as I started fucking him. Every time I hit his prostate, he made the same ecstatic groan. We were both still wearing our shirts and sweat was pouring down both of our foreheads. Sam started masturbating himself again, with a pace a bit quicker than my own. I slid my hands under his shirt and began caressing his chest, feeling the short hair covering his torso, which was very different to what I was used to, Mark being tight, very defined and smooth. It was different, but not unpleasant.

However, it made me think of Mark, I just couldn't get him out of my head. I just wanted Sam to be him and I thought that I didn't feel the urge to explore him as I did Mark. Despite the fact that I'd had sex with him hundreds of time by now, I still felt the need to just devour him. To feel the muscles in his chest and its defined lines. To cup his perfectly smooth, firm ass. To feel his abs. To caress and kiss his perfect skin. There wasn't a part of him I didn't want to explore to its fullest each time we were together. I couldn't stop thinking of him as I closed my eyes. Sam wasn't the reason I was so fucking hard.  

I kept exploring his chest. I found his nipples and began twisting them. "Yeah, keep doing that," he told me.

I kinda liked all his suggestions and was happy to oblige. My climax was started to build and I increased the pace with which I fucked him. He began to push back against me with every one of my thrusts and was making all sorts of erratic noises.

I was breathing really hard, placing much if my weight on top of him. Suddenly he yelled out "I'm gonna cum, oh God!"

He began to frantically pound his cock. I placed my hand over the hand he was fisting it with and started urging him on. "Do it!  Do it!" Sam started making a long, low, guttural sound, and I knew he was cumming. When I first felt hot liquid pour over my hand, I let go and let my mind drift back to Mark as I imagine it was his gorgeous cock exploding in my hand. I knew that'd made me cum instantly, and as expected, I lost it and came hard, rearing up into him.

It had been like a week since I had cum, and just from jerking off, so I hoped the condom could fit all the jizz pouring into it. Sam's orgasm lasted a really long time, and he continued to shake long after I felt any new liquid spurting. While I felt like I could have stayed inside him longer, once my breathing calmed down a bit, I slowly pulled out of him, causing him to make yet another strange sound.

He slumped his head against the wall while I went over to the toilet and took care of the condom and the cum covering my hand. I then walked back over to him with some paper and helped clean him up. He turned around and looked at me with a hard to read expression. Neither of us apparently knew what to say to the other. I guess we were both a little embarrassed.

We both pulled our pants back up and left the stall. We silently washed our hands side by side. In retrospect I'm sure everyone was looking at us with wild curiosity, but I can't remember looking at anyone.

We decided to leave the club and got into a cab. I didn't even tell Claire that I was going. I just texted her in the cab. We didn't say much on the way back to Sam's hotel. When we arrived, I turned to say something, but I really didn't know what to say.

"Goodnight," is what I came up with.

"Goodnight," he responded.  He opened up the door and began to stumble out of the cab. But he quickly seemed to change his mind and got back into his seat, instead of getting out.

"Hold on a minute, if you don't mind?" He asked the cab driver, who just mindlessly raised his hand in agreement.

"I think I've sobered up a little," he said with a small laugh.  "What the hell were you thinking fucking me at the club?" he asked, staring at me.

"What?" I asked a bit confused.  "You're the one who started it." I said a bit dumbly.

"Yeah, I know, I'm sorry," he said, shaking his head and looking down. "I realize I shouldn't have."

I let out a sigh. "Hey, don't worry. I knew what I was doing. And I'm not even that drunk. I can get way more hammered than this."

"Yeah, so can I," he said.

"You just made me think of him… and I guess I'm just sad and vulnerable right now…"

"Oh my God, I've taken advantage of you. I feel really bad now. I can't believe I've done this. I just wanted to see if I could, I guess," he said apologetically.

"Sam, seriously, don't worry about it…" I didn't want him to feel guilty. He hadn't done anything wrong. I was the one who should have said no. "I don't think he'll be too mad at me. Honestly, we'll probably just end up laughing about it…. Might be why I didn't stop you, now that I think about it."

"Really, why?" he asked.

I looked at him for a few seconds and then admitted with a giggle, "we've joked about doing you a few times."

"Have you?" he asked in surprise. "Am I on your list of people you're allowed to sleep with and the other one can't get mad?" he asked with curiosity.

I laughed. "Sort of!"

He gasped. "I can't believe this! I actually appeal to someone like you now!" he laughed.

"Someone like me?" I asked, wondering what he really meant by that.

He raised an eyebrow at me. "You're…" he began saying, his hand moving up and down as he watched my body. "… beautiful." He simply said, and then added, "… and unapproachable."

I frowned. "Am I?"

"Well, I used to think you were a lot less approachable than you actually are, yeah. You don't let people get too close to you, do you?"

I shook my head. "No, I don't. I already give so much of myself to the public…. I guess I'm just trying to protect myself. "

He nodded. "You should. It's a crazy world out there. That's what being an artist is all about. I feel so naked sometimes, because what I sing about is so personal. I feel like I'm putting it all out there… and it's so weird."

"You're brilliant! Your voice is amazing," I told him. "Just keep doing exactly what you're doing. People love you for who you are!"

"Thanks. Right back at you!"

"So…," he said. He turned his head toward the door, looked outside the window and then looked at me once again, "You sure he's not gonna get mad?" he asked worryingly. "I mean , I don't know what's going on between the two of you, but I don't wanna be the one who's responsible for you splitting up or anything…" he said.

I shrugged. "Look, I'm not saying that he's not gonna care… but I don't know… Depends on what he's done. But I'm pretty sure he's just gonna laugh about it," I said to make him stop feeling bad.

He chuckled. "Ok. Well, you made one my fantasy come true tonight. … Aren't you guys monogamous though?"

"Yeah, we are. I mean… if you don't count the occasional threesome."

His eyes opened wide. "You guys do that?"

"We did a few times. I can still count them on one hand though," I said, not wanting to seem like a total slut.

He let out a laugh. "See, I've never done it. I don't know, I'd be too jealous I think."

"Yeah, but there were no reasons to be jealous really. There were never any feelings involved with those guys. We didn't know them, we knew we'd never see them again..."

He nodded and I had his full attention once again. It seemed like this was the beginning of a long conversation. He wasn't showing any signs of getting off the cab anymore.

"I don't even want to do that anymore," I confessed. "We're getting too old for this. The thing with Mark… is that… it's a bit hard to draw the line sometimes."

"What do you mean?"

"I mean… we've grown up together. We've always been best friends. So it's a bit like… we're playing together... like when we were kids… except, we don't quite play with the same toys now," I chuckled.

"I used to have a friend like that, but it didn't work out quite in the same way, he wasn't interested in me."

"oh, believe me, back then I had no idea that he was, not in that way."

"Must be great!"

"It is. But I think we're gonna have to work a lot more on our relationship now. We have to take it more seriously. See, I didn't use to be jealous….I am jealous now!"

"Why?"

"Because… There's this guy who's been after him for a while."

"Ouch. Who's the guy?"

"Someone we've worked with on our last album. I know he's seen him again in New York. I took it pretty hard. I don't think anything's gonna happen, but I dunno… it kills me to think that it might…"

"Aww," he sighed kindly. "Then, do something about it. You know what you have with him… I genuinely haven't ever had that. I haven't. It made me bloody envious last time I saw you two together, all in love and everything. Like that's hard to find what you two have. I guess it's not my time yet, so I just give myself way too easily, but you… you have it, love. Damn, I'd give anything to have that with someone. Wouldn't you rather be with him instead of being here?"

"I would! But he doesn't want to be with me right now," I said.

"Why is that? What did you do?" he asked with a smirk.

I shrugged. "Too much of this! Partying, drinking, going out, not spending enough time with him…not to mention not giving a damn about the band anymore... I just let go!"

"Shit! And here you are, still doing it?" he said, slightly judgmental.

"Well… I'm stupid…," I said with a light shrug.

There was silence until he said. "God, I feel for you. I've been through this too, you know."

I watched him and he explained. "When I began working on new songs for my album, I went gay clubbing all the time, consumed a lot of alcohol and just partied hard you know. I really let go too. And all the songs I was writing were terrible, because I wasn't writing anything good, I was just moaning."

"Why were you doing it?" I asked.

"I think… because I was just sad at the time," he said with a sigh.

"Yeah? I think I was doing it because I wanted everything to stop."

He studied my face. "You mean, the fame?"

"Yeah, and everything that goes with it," I confirmed.

"Yeah. Fame is definitely not what you think it's gonna be. Once you realize that… I know what you're going through, believe me, I do. I remember this one night out in London that got really mental."

"Sounds familiar," I said.

"Yeah?"

"Yeah, I've had some mad nights…," I told him.

"Yeah. Me too. I remember once, I puked at the bar 'cause I was so drunk," he said with a laugh.

"At the bar!" I chuckled.

"But," he said to explain himself. "I did a shot of tequila and it went down in the wrong way, and I just puked in my hand," he laughed again, mimicking the action.

I laughed as I imagined the scene. "I'm sure it was a great night though!"

"Oh, yeah, great night!" he nodded with a laugh. "I remember it vividly."

We laughed. "Jeez, you're like worse than me!!" I exclaimed.

"Am I?"

"Maybe not," I recognized. "I did puke in the street once, in front of a couple of paparazzi."

He gasped with a smile. "They didn't publish any pictures of this," I told him. "Jordan had to chase after them and forced them to erase the pictures they'd taken."

"Oh my god!" He burst out laughing. "That must've been epic! Do you all party mad in the band?"

No! Just me and Jordan, really. Mark doesn't like drinking much. He loves partying but he's never gonna get properly wasted. He always stops before he reaches that point. Dylan as well. and Damon, it depends. He doesn't go out as often as Jordan and I do."

"That's good. I need a boyfriend who looks after me and doesn't like drinking as much as I do."

"Yeah, that comes in handy," I confirmed. "But I rely on him too much to keep me grounded. I know that. He's getting tired of it. I have to rely more on myself."

"Yeah? I'm the opposite. I ground myself too much. It can be quite detrimental to my mental health. I don't know, I'm very hard on myself, because if I'm honest, I was really just having a good time."

"Yeah, so was I."

" I see why he would be mad at you though, if he's not a big fan of drinking."

"The thing is… Jordan and I did coke in Amsterdam..."

He hissed. "mmm, bad idea!"

"It was just once."

"That's all you've done?"

"No, we took ecstasy several times too."

He nodded, giving me another judgmental look."Yeah…so,… I'd say he should be mad at you."

"I know. I don't blame him," I sighed.

"You see," he said. "That night in London… I remember, I woke up on the next day and just looked at myself in the mirror and I was just like…," he said, staring into space and slowly shaking his head.

"Enough?" I asked as I raised my eyebrows.

"Enough!" he repeated with a nod. "Like, what do you like? I love my job so much. So I figured, I have to be more mature. I don't wanna do this to the fans, you know. I mean seriously, I don't know about you, but that feeling of cancelling shows… makes me feel sick. I don't ever wanna have to do that."

"No, we've never had to do it…yet," I said, and then thought of Adele who did do it. "Oh my god, when Adele cancelled those Wembley stadium shows…"

"Oh my god, yeah," he said sadly. "My heart broke. I felt so bad for her. And it made me think… ok, I have to look after my voice."

"Yeah. I really have to take more care of it as well."

"You know just as well as I do how difficult it is touring, and singing live. And it takes a lot of energy and it's hard on your voice. You have to care of yourself, and rest, don't over do it. You've got a great voice but you've got to take care of it, man. I've looked after myself a lot more recently."

"Yeah, I know… My voice is an instrument and like any other instrument, it must be taken care of but instead, I've been putting too much strain on it 'cause I'm so worn out. We have to finish the recording of our album and we're supposed to go back on tour, but everything's on hold for now. I don't know what's gonna happen. People are waiting for us to announce our tour dates, and most of the venues have been booked for months, but you know… We've all had enough I think, but especially me. I don't know if I'll have the energy to do it all over again right now."

"You have to get your life back on track first. But I understand how you feel. Everything that's happening to us so scary in a way when you think about it."

"It really is. And being gay on top of that."

He laughed. "Right! You know, you're like the only one. We're like literally the only two gay singers our age in the business. And you know what, I feel kinda lonely as a gay man in music sometimes. We should have each other's back."

I let out a small laugh. "Yeah. That's true. There really isn't enough openly gay men in the music industry."

"Yeah, or women. We need to be strong!" he said as if he was about to give a speech. "We need to be at the front talking and shouting so that there's little kids who live in the middle of nowhere can hear us and hopefully be inspired."

I smiled at his resoluteness. "That's really all we've been doing lately! During our last tour, we've really tried to make a difference and take things more seriously. You know, because we've traveled around the world and we got to meet so many amazing people and see so many different aspects of the LGBT community..."

"Yeah, absolutely. So have I," he said.

"We figured, we're in the situation we're in and we just need to grow up," I said.

"Yeah. Know more about the LGBT community and everything that's going on in the world. We're part of a community but I feel like all I do is talk about myself in my songs. It's all about me!" he exclaimed.

"Yeah, it kind of became all about me as well. When we went home, for some reason, I just wanted to have a normal life again, and not have to deal with the promotion anymore because being in this position is so daunting sometimes," I said.

"Yeah, I understand. But we are gay. As far as I'm concerned, my music is gay and what I speak about is gay. I just think it's so important to talk about this right now and I wanna make people feel uncomfortable because you should, and we should be addressing these issues and we should be talking about this right now," he said, sounding determined.

"Yeah, but I guess I need to be more comfortable in my own skin before I start doing that again because it's so challenging."

"Yeah, sure. Right now, it's not about what you can do for others, but what you have to do for yourself! What you need is probably to talk to people who can help you make sense of everything that's happened to you because they deal with celebrities all the time. You have to embrace all the sadness and negativity and come out of it stronger. I know you can do it. The kind of success you guys have had, so young, it's tough… And yeah, you're right, especially when you're gay and you have that burden on your shoulders. I can understand that you've had enough 'cause it's almost like you're a solo artist, just like me, they're always after you, aren't they?" he asked.

I sighed. "Yeah, they are. And it can be such a burden. I can never do anything without being hassled. Because I don't know, just because I'm gay, I seem to be extra fascinating."

"Yeah, I see what you mean. Lately, the media seem more interested in who I snog than in my music," he laughed.

"I hate that. It's like they wanna know everything about our private lives. As if they're entitled to know every little details of my love life."

"You need some time away from all this shit," he said.

I looked at him in the eye. "That's what Mark keeps telling me. I think I just need a bit of anonymity. I'm way too famous. I used to think that it'd be absolutely amazing, and then I instantly realized that it wasn't."

"Yeah," he said knowingly. "Because wherever you used to be able to go, you now can't."

"Yeah, and I like going out!" I stated with a chuckle. "So that's a problem! I can't be invisible anymore. I can't be small, I can't disappear. I sometimes don't even feel safe. That made me feel so sad and depressed lately. And I never used to feel like that before, I hate it."

"Oh my god, yeah. I can totally relate. When I feel really sad now because of the fame, I just try to embrace it. I watch sad films and listen to sad music and then I'm all better. You know, I cope because I have music. Music is my therapy in a way. I tried to go to therapy because there was a time, just after "the Grammies", when I just didn't know how to be happy. I would sleep like three, four hours a night and I was just sad. So I did go to therapy.  I had one great therapy sessions with this woman but she said, 'You don't need me, you need a hypnotherapist'. So I did that and it was amazing. He really saved me. He basically told me about the adult part of your mind and the child part of your mind, and how the child part of my brain was just taking full control and I was giving it too much time."

I listened carefully to everything he told me and then said, "I probably do that too."

"Yeah, you probably do."

"Well, I do get really sad sometimes but I wouldn't say that I have depression you know," I said. "Usually, music is enough to make me feel better. Like, if I'm sad, I just sit with it and listen to sad music, or I try to find a good melody, and yeah, I do feel like music is my therapy in a way."

"Yeah, it works…but still. Being famous is so odd... and singing in front of so many people on stage…," he said, shaking his head in amazement.

I smiled. "It's truly amazing, but some nights… I'm on stage, and I just feel shy… or unsure...," I explained, pretty sure he could understand that.

"Yeah, 'cause you've got all these people looking at you and you need to be just as good as what they're expecting, even better! You don't want to disappoint!"

"Yeah, you've got, I don't know, twenty, fifty thousand people looking at you, and it's terrifying 'cause it's really weird to be that person. And the worst thing with me and performing, is that… I don't know who I'm gonna get!" I explained to him. "It's whether I turn up, just me, Rob… or Robbie Myers turns up! And there were some nights during the tour when… he just didn't turn up!! and I had to do it by myself," I said with a half-laugh.

He laughed too.

"I sound like a lunatic, don't I? but I'm totally serious," I said.

"I know you are!" he exclaimed. "I go through exactly the same. And so, you were kinda petrified on stage, right?"

"Yeah, totally! 'cause I didn't feel confident enough those nights. I didn't want to be on stage. But nobody can tell!... 'cause it's kind of an amazing trick that I've got, so it's ok. Nobody can tell… not even Mark sometimes. And I'm like, tonight was a nightmare! And they're like, are you kidding, you were amazing! And I'm like, yeah… but it was a nightmare… They believe me when I tell them I found it difficult, but they won't be able to notice that I do during the show."

"Yeah, I totally get that. Sometimes I just don't feel comfortable on stage, especially if the crowd isn't very responsive and you don't get any vibes from them."

"Yeah. And I don't like feeling like this on stage. You see, Bono's helped me a lot with this because he feels exactly the same…"

"I think all performers do."

"Yeah. And he was like telling me that I needed strength to go on stage and perform, and he helped me find ways to find that strength within myself, and I know I have it in me… but there were some nights during the tour when the pressure was really difficult to handle."

"So that's the reason why you decided to go crazy?"

"Yeah, I guess," I chuckled.

He nodded. "How did it work out for you?"

I shrugged. "Well, everything did stop."

He raised his eyebrows. "And you might have lost the love of your life in the process."

I didn't say anything. He was right.

"You've lost yourself in the thrill of it all, haven't you? It's actually the name of my new album."

"The thrill of it all, uh?"

"Yeah. Makes you do stupid things."

"It sure does."

"Haven't you had enough yet?"

I looked at him with a smirk. "Yeah. I kinda have."

He pursed his lips and said, "I've made a bet with my manager that I'm not gonna drink to Christmas eve."

I frowned. "Have you?" I asked. "You don't consider what you did tonight as drinking?"

He laughed. "For God's sake!" he exclaimed. "Tonight was just supposed to be a dinner party with a bunch of forty year olds for crying out loud. I've gotta keep it under the radar. I don't know what happened!"

I shrugged. "I happened… Sorry," I half-smiled.

"Yeah, it's partly your doing," he said jokingly.

"What's the bet?" I asked.

"If he loses, he's got to get a tattoo of my choice," he said with a smirk.

I laughed, "What are you gonna make him get?"

"I think I'm gonna make him get… 'dick whisperer' on his lower back!" he joked.

I laughed. "Excellent! I need to have one of those bet with my manager…. But you've lost though."

"Yeah, you know what? He doesn't need to know that. I'll blame it on you," he said in a whisper.

He watched me and asked cautiously, "So, why are you really here in L.A?"

I took a deep breath "I came here to go to that place called 'Promises' in Malibu."

"Right!" he said and pursed his lips. "Therapy? I think it's a good idea!"

"Yeah, I dunno." I shrugged. "I haven't walked through the door yet, but they all want me to go there. Especially Mark."

"Really? See, you've got people who care about you and that's a real chance. You're not alone. That means something."

I smiled.

"I can come with you if you need someone to hold your hand," he joked with a smile. I just smiled back at him and he said, "Listen, you go to that place 'Promises'. They can really help you understand why you feel the way you feel. You'll be amazed. And when you're feeling better, then you can start thinking about getting him back."

I sighed as I thought of Mark and my heart hurt. "I just miss him so much. I just want him back."

His expression turned sad. "I wouldn't worry too much about it. I mean, I don't know him that well, but it's obvious that he loves you, I can tell. Whatever's happening right now, I'm sure it's only a minor step back in your relationship. I bet he knows exactly what you're going through and he wants to make sure you're ok. You know, I'm a massive romantic. What you have with him, my god, I want that. You're so lucky. You have to get him back."

"Yeah, I have to! You know, I think you might be able to help me."

"Oh yeah? How? Because so far, all I've done is probably not gonna help!"

"Would you write a song with me?"

"Yeah! Hell yeah!" he exclaimed with his usual cheerfulness. "Writing with you, that's a bigger fantasy for me than what happened in that club earlier."

I smiled.

"Alright. So you should go to "therapy". And then, when you're all better, you call me and I'll write with you. You wanna get him back with a love song, I'm your man!" he exclaimed with a grin.

"Alright!" I smiled.

He smiled back at me and nodded.

"Well, you should probably get back to your hotel. You have to get up early tomorrow. The early bird catches the worm."

We looked at the cab driver. We hadn't paid attention to him during our conversation and he had remained very still and quiet.

"Is he asleep?" I said with a chuckle.

"Oh my god, he's actually sleeping," Sam laughed and poked him a little but he didn't move. "That is so funny. Should we wake him up?" he laughed again.

"Well, yeah. I'd like to get back to my hotel."

"He wants you to stay with me obviously," he joked.

We cracked up and started gently poking him again. He didn't work, he was sleeping deeply.

"I think our conversation bored him to death," I joked. "Jeez, when people start falling asleep listening to you moaning, that's when you know it's time to do something about it!"

Sam couldn't stop laughing and the guy finally woke up and stood straight up in his seat.

"Are you gonna be ok driving, man?" I asked him.

"Yes, yes. I'm fine," he said, as he tried to be more alert. "I'm sorry."

"It's alright," I told him and turned to Sam, still slightly giggling. "Well, goodnight."

"I'll call you in a couple of weeks," he said and I nodded.

Before he got off the car, he leaned closer to me and whispered, "And let's just never talk about … you know… like never again!"

I pressed my lips together and shook my head no. "As if it'd never happened."

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Thanks for reading. Again, this was a fun write for me. Stay tuned and do share your thoughts with me if you have any :)  I'd appreciate your comments. It’d be nice to get some feedback and know if you’re reading. Thank you. unilive@yahoo.com

Again, you can join my tumblr at https://u-n-i-live.tumblr.com for music and pictures.

If you like Sam Smith, I've used things that he has actually explained in interviews. I hope it didn't bother you that I've used an actual celebrity in this chapter but it obviously doesn't imply anything about his actions, it's just fiction! But do watch his carpool karaoke!