Looking for Love in All the Right Places
by Dream Howler


Standard Disclaimer: This story is a work of fiction and is not intended to imply anything about the true sexuality of the celebrities mentioned or with any personal knowledge about their private lives. Please note that the Pictures and Information are ONLY there to pertain to the story. I again state that I have NO clue what the sexuality of the Backstreet Boys or N'sync are. I do not know them personally and probably never will.

Author Notes:  Well, this chapter was a bit harder to write than normal. Not only did I suffer quite a few power outages due to hurricanes, but I also had a touch of writer's block. I know I say this a lot, but feedback is what keeps me inspired. With the dwindling number of e-mails I have been getting lately, I just don't seem to be as inspired to hurry anymore. Please let me know if you like my story and are reading it. If I am putting too much sex in it, or not enough, let me know that too! I take suggestions.

Just a note: Every author loves to hear from their readers, ESPECIALLY ME! :) It's the only payment I get for all the time that I spend on this story, researching, creating characters and writing. Any length letter is good, even if it's just a simple short letter that says that you love it. So PLEASE, if you like my story... let me know. I love to know someone is out there reading!

IMPORTANT NOTES:

  1. Okay, instead of doing a 'Last Time,' from now on I am going to re-cap what happened in the previous chapter. This will help out those people who read tons of stories and can't remember what happened in the last chapter since I post my new chapters about once a month.
  2. This story has been re-posted to correct an error or two in the Old English and to correct my links. For the moment, I am able to keep my domain for now. The Archive itself is gone, just my own stories remain.

Dream Howler Contact & Story Information:

Writing Journal: http://dreamhowler.livejournal.com/ - Catch Sneak Peeks, Story Outlines and Snippets of the Story Here! Note: I do have other means of contact. E-mail me and I will send you them if you're interested, or you can join my mailing list!
Join my Mailing list: Click Here E-mail: dhowler@gmail.com

Chapter 17 Recap:

Dawn, (Aidan's Sister, a.k.a. Katherine) meets Josh for the first time in person. Josh is found lying on the couch asleep when they get home from the airport. (Continued from: Chapter 16).

Dawn gets shown to her room and Aidan and Josh go upstairs. While upstairs, Aidan tells Josh why he calls him his angel. Then, Aidan asks Josh to make love to him and has to help Josh find enough courage to get him to go through with it. What is it about his past that is hiding under those depths?

Both groups come over to Aidan's house to meet Dawn and Jennifer before they go their separate ways for dinner. Jennifer is, of course, surprised to find out that the guy that she met six months ago is in a famous boy-band and actually still likes her. They exchange numbers again and she makes him promise not to lose it again.

At dinner, Kevin asks Dawn out on a date for the next day; meanwhile, Chaz and Justin have snuck out to go meet the guys at the night club. Chaz ends up getting Justin slightly drunk and they end up having oral sex in a bathroom stall in the club.  Chris, who thinks something is wrong with Justin, follows them into the bathroom and the pair get caught. Did anyone see or hear them in the bathroom besides Chris??


Chapter 18

The Date - Jan. 6, 2000

Kevin arrived at Aidan's house promptly at 10 a.m. If Kevin was anything, it was prompt at least. Kevin looked into the mirror and fixed a stray strand of hair that had gotten out of place before getting out of the car. Kevin walked to the door nervously and wondered who might answer the door. He stepped up onto the front porch and rang the doorbell. A few moments later, the door swung open to reveal a very sleepy-looking Aidan who seemed to have just woken up. Aidan lifted his hand and covered his mouth as he yawned, mumbling after he moved his hand, "Come on in Kevin. Dawn will... be..." Aidan yawned again, "out in a moment."

Kevin nodded and stepped inside, following Aidan into the living room who fell down slightly into the couch and yawned again. If Aidan had been more awake, he would have realized that he was wandering around the house in his boxer-briefs. Aidan leaned his head back against the couch and sighed. "It's too early to be up. I think I will go back to bed for a while. You be good to my sister, okay?" continued Aidan who hadn't even opened his eyes.

Kevin smiled. "Don't worry Aidan. If I am anything, I am a gentleman."

Aidan laughed softly. "Yeah, kissing her good-night last night when you barely knew her for more than a couple of hours wasn't very gentleman like Kev."

Kevin blushed. "Well, she did kiss me first. It...was...just a peck?" Kevin stuttered. He looked down at his hands when he saw movement out of the corner of his eye.

Aidan placed a hand on Kevin's and tapped on it. "Look at me Kevin." Kevin looked up nervously, expecting to see Aidan mad. However, he found laughter in his eyes. Aidan smiled and patted Kevin's hand. "Kev, I know she did. I was just teasing you. Sometimes my sister forgets what she is doing when she does that, but I know you're a good guy Kev. Otherwise, I would have told her to forget even trying to date you. I am very protective of my sister, so don't hurt her, okay?"

Kevin nodded. "I understand, and I will try. I do really like her. I just hope she likes me back. Your sister is pretty amazing." Realizing what Kevin just said, he began to blush again. He had just told Aidan not only that he liked her, but liked her a lot.

Aidan smiled, noticing all the blushing. "Dawn would have said no to your date if she didn't at least like you Kevin. Anyway, you two didn't even talk to the rest of us at dinner last night. I don't think that would happen with just anyone, right?"

Kevin nodded and sighed. "I guess after Kristin and I broke up, I haven't really found anyone that I even remotely liked. I ended up staying single 'cause it was just too much of a hassle to try and find another relationship when I wasn't ready. The guys have been trying to set me up with girls for the last couple of months, but none of them ever really worked out." Kevin paused and looked up toward Aidan and smiled. "However, when I met your sister last night, I guess I finally figured out what was missing from my life. I just hope that she ends up liking me even half as much as I do her."

Dawn, who was standing there just inside her bedroom listening to Kevin's confession, smiled. She walked back into her bedroom quietly as her heart fluttered in her chest. Kevin liked her — really liked her. Dawn leaned against the door to let out a deep sigh and made a bit of noise before opening the door to her room and walking out into the room. Dawn had a feeling that this was going to be a great day.

Kevin looked up as Dawn came out and stood quickly, taking in Dawn's appearance. 'She looks beautiful,' he thought. Kevin smiled and went into a sweeping bow. "Good morrow, fair maiden. I do pray thou art well."

Dawn smiled at Kevin, and blushed slightly as he stared at her. "Good morrow kind sir. Hast thou had fun conversing with my kinsmen? I pray that he was not too hard on thee."

Kevin shook his head. "Nay, he twas not too hard on me. Your kinsman was just keeping me company whilst I was waiting for you, fair maiden."

Aidan cleared his throat and began laughing at the pair of them talking in Old English. "All right you two. Please talk normally so that I can understand you?"

Dawn grinned and winked at Kevin. "Well, I am glad he wasn't. I wouldn't want to have to hurt him for scaring away my date."

Aidan laughed. "Now why would I do that sis? I know Kevin's a nice guy. I mean if he was some biker dude or some crazy guy then I might try, but Kevin's not like that."

Kevin chuckled. "Glad to know that Aidan wouldn't let just anyone date his sister."

Dawn shook her head and laughed. "Aidan, I have never dated a biker dude or some crazy guy that I am aware of. Just jerks that cheated on me, or... well never mind. I don't want to talk about that. I am supposed to be on a date."

Kevin grinned and took Dawn's hand, bowing again he kissed it. "Milady, shall we away to my carriage to start our day?"

Dawn giggled. "Oh Kevin, thy words please me. Come, good sir, let's away. I do hope that it will be a day to remember."

Kevin grinned and offered his arm to Dawn. "Of course, Milady. I would not allow it to be anything but thus."

Dawn slipped her arm through Kevin's and smiled as they walked toward the door side by side. He politely opened the door for Dawn and escorted her to the car. He just hoped that she would like all that he had planned.

Aidan sat in the living room shocked for several moments. It seemed that during the long conversation they had last night, Dawn had let Kevin know how much the time of Camelot and the Knights of the Round Table fascinated her. It was going to be a great day for them, he bet. He was almost certain that today's activities centered on that theme.


A Month Later ... Feb 4, 2000

After a hard day of practicing, Josh had gone out dancing with the rest of the band while Aidan stayed home to clean the house, get it ready for tomorrow, and rest for a while. Before going off to clean, he logged onto his computer to check his e-mail and looked around some of his old haunts when he got a phone call.

"Hello?"

"Hey Wolf, what's up?"

"Hey Dunc, nothing much. What's up with you?" he replied.

"Nothing much. I am so ready to get out of school. Luckily, we both only have another couple of months. Why in the world did I take the summer off last year? I don't even remember now."

Aidan laughed. "You said something along the lines of you wanted to actually party for a change and work on your body, if I recall correctly. Though, think of it this way: if you had been out when I was, then you wouldn't be able to room with Trevor right now."

Duncan laughed softly. "True, it is interesting to be living with him. You know me — this is my first real relationship where I actually moved in with the guy. Of course, it was only for a semester, but, well... I think that we will probably be living together when we move to Orlando."

Aidan grinned. "That's great Duncan. You know, I am really proud of you. Who would have thought we would settle down with such great guys, huh?"

Duncan smiled over at Trevor. "Yeah, we are pretty lucky, huh? So, how's it going with you two? You two are getting along well even though your sister's there?"

"Yeah, it's great. Josh is a very loving and romantic guy. I am really lucky to have him, although we do have to hide our relationship. At first I kind of thought it was going to annoy me, but it hasn't so far. I see how much his music means to him, and I think it's more important than the world knowing that he's mine. At least he does tell everyone that he is taken, and I didn't even ask him to. I saw the first interview he gave on television after we got together and suddenly he told the world that he was taken. I still can't believe it Dunc."

Duncan smiled, giving Trevor a kiss as he listened to his friend. "Yeah, I remember how excited you were. You talked about it for days. I still can't believe that you had three of them after you."

Aidan laughed. "Yeah, I still can't believe that myself. Justin was the most annoying, though he is fine now. Howie was pretty sweet about the whole thing. I am pretty sure I hurt him, but I don't think it was for long. I think it was love at first sight with Tyler. According to Tyler, the second he came to Orlando they got together. Howie even flew home early after the concert and made sure he got the same flight so that he could be with him on the plane."

"Awwwww, that is so romantic. Didn't you say he even catered dinner that night so he could tell him he liked him?" he asked.

"Yeah, Tyler was pretty happy. I knew he had a crush on Howie, but I don't think he really expected Howie to ever like him back." Aidan said with a chuckle.

"Well, I hear that Stone is getting real cozy with Lance. How are they doing? I couldn't believe how well they hit it off that day. I mean, I have always heard Lance was pretty shy and everything, though I guess that is just publicity to make him look all cute and innocent," he stated.

"Actually, Lance can be at times very shy. I still can't believe that Stone paints. I mean, I know we weren't the best of friends, but we hung out all the time and he never said how great of an artist he was. You saw his face at Christmas. He was so afraid Lance was going to hate it."

"Yeah, I remember. He thought we all hated it. I don't think he had ever shown anyone his artwork before. I mean, he should do it professionally. I don't even think he has had lessons, has he?" he asked.

"You know, I haven't even asked him. I guess I could ask him when I see him next. I want to see if I can talk him into doing something for me and Josh. We are having a cook-out tomorrow. Guess I could talk to him about it then." Aidan paused for a moment then continued. "Well, speaking of tomorrow. I've got some of cleaning to do. I will talk to you later bro. You take good care of yourself and Trevor and come down to visit some weekend, okay?" he replied.

"All right, I will. We will definitely come out Spring Break, that's for sure. You should be on tour with the guys by then so we will have to get with you to find out where to meet you."

"Yeah, just don't expect us to have tons of time to hang out, okay? I mean, I think one of the band members is leaving or something 'cause they have been making me learn overtime lately on all the songs, making sure they are perfect. The guys went to hang out and I was so tired I just stayed home. Josh wanted to stay with me, but I told him it was okay for him to go on by himself."

"Well, you take care of yourself. I know you're nervous about being on stage and stuff, but I saw you at those recitals when you were at Julliard. You were fantastic and I know that you will do well," said Duncan.

"Thanks Dunc. I needed to hear that, I think. You take care of yourself. See you soon. Bye."

"Bye Wolf..." Duncan said as he hung up.

Aidan returned the phone to its cradle and sighed. He had to get to vacuuming&emdash; it wasn't exactly going to do it by itself. Luckily, they kept the place pretty tidy, so all it needed was some general vacuuming and to put some extra chemicals in the pool. Sighing, he got up out of the chair and set about the chores so he could turn in early.


The Next Day...

Nick had a very conflicted month. Alex, who he thought he was actually in love with, was making eyes at Jeremy, and suddenly Nick didn't even seem to care. He had met someone new, but he wanted to talk to someone who knew his new crush well. He figured that if he went over to Aidan's early, he might be able to get a small talk in before the rest of the party got there. However, when he got to the house no one was home yet. Shrugging, Nick sat on the porch and waited.


Dawn had left early to go shopping and pick up some stuff for the party. The guys had gotten their heads together last night and figured that it was a good idea. It was interesting that it was her that was doing all the shopping instead of her brother. However, since they had to go to some meeting that morning which threatened to take all day, she figured it was the least she could do. Both of them were working so hard on the tour, and she was worried about her brother in more ways than one. Aidan hadn't performed in front of a large audience in many years. She just prayed that he wouldn't freeze up and cause himself to become embarrassed. The party was supposed to help let off some steam, which was something they needed right now. At least they wouldn't be spending the night in some club and end up doing something stupid. It was very last minute, but she guessed it was a good idea. 'Though,' she wondered, 'what is it with men and burning things?'

As she pulled in the driveway, a lone figure was sitting on the front porch. Pulling up near the door, she saw that Nick was early. 'Maybe he came to help cook,' she thought. Nick was sitting outside on the steps of Aidan's house, waiting quietly as he looked down at the ground, seemingly watching something moving. When Dawn walked up with several bags in her arms, she noticed something seemed wrong with Nick. Setting the bags down, she sat next to him.

"Heya Tiger. Your're looking a little gloomy there. Are you okay?" she asked, looping her arm around his shoulder.

Nick's head lifted and he smiled at Dawn. She was a pretty lady, and he could definitely see how she and Aidan were related, that's for sure. Nick nodded slightly and smiled at her. She had taken to calling him Tiger in the last few weeks, and he couldn't seem to break her of the habit. That, of course, made Nick smile. Dawn had this glow about her when she was happy.

"I'm okay. Can I ask you a question, though, if it's not too much trouble?" Nick asked.

"Sure, go ahead. What's on your mind?" she replied with a smile.

"Do you think that seven years is too much of an age difference?" he whispered softly.

Dawn tilted her head and looked at Nick quietly, trying to figure out just who he could be talking about. Finally, as her head quickly did the math she shook her head.

"Let me guess...You like Drew or Dominick, right?" she asked with a smile.

Nick blushed slightly. "How did you know?"

"Well, I know most of the birthdays in our very large group, so it didn't take long to figure out who was seven years older than you, besides me of course.

Nick blushed, "I forgot you were that age too."

Dawn smiled. "I knew you weren't talking about me Tiger. I know you're bi-sexual and all, but I think you tend to lean more to guys than girls. So which one is it?"

Nick looked down, blushing again. "Drew..."

Dawn smiled. "Ahhhh, I thought I saw him trying to cozy up to you at the Citrus Club last month when we had dinner, but I thought I was imagining things. Of course, I was mainly focused on Kevin, so I didn't notice much. Nick, Drew is a great guy, and one of my favorite cousins. He has been alone way too long and deserves to be happy, so I would say go for it if you really like him. You might just surprise you both." Dawn paused a moment before continuing. "Nick, why would you think seven years are so much? Age is a relative number that doesn't mean anything really. Though I am related to him, he is very handsome, so I can't really blame you for liking him."

Nick smiled, he had intended to talk to Aidan about this - he was a guy after all. However, Dawn was so easy to talk to and seemed to have a lot of wisdom in her words. Age was just a number; why did it have to bother him so much? Nick hugged Dawn and smiled. "Thanks Dawn. You're a life saver. Let's get these bags inside and get dinner started."

Dawn smiled. "You're welcome Tiger. Do you actually know how to cook, or are you going to be cutting off some fingers tonight?" Dawn giggled softly and winked as Nick picked up one of the bags.

"Well, I can do some things. Let's figure out the menu when we get inside," said Nick. Dawn smiled. She had a feeling that tonight was going to be interesting.


Party Preparations

By the time most of the guests were scheduled to arrive, Dawn and Nick had finished most of the party preparations, including home made potato salad and apple cobbler that they would top later with ice cream. Nick put a cover over the potato salad and grinned. "We make a good team. I peel and wash while you make the rest," he said with a chuckle.

Dawn nodded and laughed. "Yep, next time the guys want to plan a party, I know who to ask to help."

Nick grinned and winked, deciding to change the subject. "So, how are you and Kevin getting along? I hear you two have been dating pretty heavily lately."

Dawn blushed and looked down at the floor. "Yeah, we are dating. He's smart, funny, very cute..."

Nick grinned and lifted her chin. "I know that Dawn. I have known Kevin for a long time now. If he was gay, I would have been all over him," he said with a laugh.

Dawn giggled. "Nick! What a thing to say!"

Nick laughed as well. "Well, I'm honest. What can I say?"

Dawn nodded. "True. Brutally honest, but honest." Dawn looked over at Nick as he moved away. "Nick? Did he ask you out or were you just picking up that he liked you and wondered if it was okay or not?"

Nick turned around and blushed. "Well, I wasn't sure really. I saw him staring at me quite a bit during dinner at the club that night. Since then, he has kind of found reasons to call me, though I am not sure why he hasn't asked me out yet. Maybe he thinks he shouldn't date his clients?"

Dawn shrugged. "I am not sure what to tell you Nick. Drew might be worried about the age difference as well. Though, knowing him, I doubt it too much. Perhaps you should ask him out. What would it hurt?"

Nick nodded. "I am pretty sure he likes me. Guess I could just invite him out to something simple and see how it goes. We might have nothing in common."

Dawn laughed softly. "Nick, you obviously have music in common. There is no better base than that. Musical tastes always help out a lot."

Nick nodded. "Perhaps. I guess after the last guy I tried to get to ask me out, I kind of don't feel like he would take me seriously."

Dawn tilted her head slightly. "Let me guess, it was one of your bandmates?"

Nick looked at her stunned. "How...I mean..."

Dawn chuckled softly and grinned at him. "Hey, you're talking to me, remember? It's logical really. You spend that much time with someone, get to know them; it's just logical that you would pick someone that you would be able to spend the most time with." Dawn shrugged.

Nick nodded seeing her point. It was logical that he had picked AJ. Howie, though a great guy, sadly didn't really turn him on the way that Alex's bad boy attitude did. 'Though if that is what attracted me, then why am I stuck on Drew?' he thought.


A How to Guide???

Stone wrapped his arms around Lance from behind. Stone was beyond frustrated, and that was just putting it mildly. For a guy that was used to having sex on a regular basis, he thought he was practicing considerable control. Snuggling against Lance's back, he kissed his neck. He felt Lance try and relax against him, but it didn't seem to be working as usual.

Lance, Stone had decided, was way too uptight for his own good. He was so used to taking care of others that he forgot how to take care of himself. It amused Stone to read Lance's history on the computer the other day. Lance had visited a site called "Are You Ready For Sex? A Guide for Homosexuals, and All-Purpose How To: Gay Sex Guide." He went on to read the articles as it went on to explain ways to please your lover when you are still a virgin or inexperienced in sex. He at least knew now that Lance was perhaps just as frustrated as he was, or at least was ready to take a new direction in their relationship. Stone smiled as he spoke to Lance. "Hello beautiful. How is my green-eyed god this evening?"

Lance chuckled and blushed. "Fine. Did you sleep well Kent ?"

Stone smiled. Lance was the only one that called him Kent these days and he liked it. For some reason, when he heard Lance's sexy bass voice say it, he was instantly hard and alert to anything he had to say. It was a totally different feeling for him.

"Doing good. I just woke up and showered, and then I went looking for you," he replied.

"Oh, I figured I would get ready and then wake you up. I was getting some food together for the party. I didn't have the heart to wake you up. You seemed so tired last night," said Lance.

Stone nodded. "Yeah, I was. It seems one of the key technicians won't be going on the tour with you when you go on your solo tour, so he has been teaching me everything I need to know to run the show."

Lance smiled. "I guess you are getting more than you bargained for when you joined the crew, huh?"

Stone nodded. "We better get going if we want to get to this party."

Lance nodded. "About the party... I want to talk to you first."

Stone smiled. "Okay, let's go into the living room and sit down."

Lance stood silently, clearly nervous. He was pretty sure that Stone had found his bookmarks yesterday when he asked if he could borrow his computer because his was in the shop. He just prayed that this would go well. Walking into the living room, he smiled at Stone, who seemed to be the picture of calm. 'Yep, he must have seen them,' he thought.

"Kent, I know you're looking for an apartment, but...I don't want you to move out. I... I want you to stay, and I want my parents to meet you. I love you," Lance whispered.

Stone was stunned. Of all the things that Stone had expected him to say, this wasn't one of them. Though Stone hadn't put up much of a fight when Lance told him that he could stay in his guest house, he promised Lance that he would only be in his hair long enough to get an apartment. Stone didn't know what to say at first, but when he saw the sadness in Lance's eyes, he softly brushed his hand across Lance's cheek, stroking it softly. "I love you too, James. For the first time in my life, I actually love someone." Stone leaned forward to kiss Lance softly on the lips and pulled him close. "I would love to stay with you, for as long as you will have me."

Lance smiled. All was right in the world as Lance shyly pulled Stone close and shared another kiss that captured his soul and handed it to Stone on a silver platter.


The Talk between friends...

Aidan pulled his car into the driveway and then into the garage with a sigh. He looked over to Josh and smiled as he seemed to be asleep. That was one thing that Aidan never got enough of — watching Josh sleep. He always looked like such an angel to him, and he was always surprised that Josh didn't sprout little wings and have a halo wrapped around his head. Aidan leaned over to shake Josh, sighing softly. He hated to wake him up, but they were home and they needed to start cooking before everyone arrived. Slowly, he shook Josh awake, who stretched and yawned widely.

"We home?" Josh asked sleepily.

Aidan nodded and smiled at him. "Yes. Let's get out and go inside."

Josh nodded and slowly crawled out of the car and headed toward the garage door that led into the kitchen. Aidan groaned as he stiffly got out of the car and stretched his tired muscles. Five hours of meetings was not what Aidan thought of as a good time — not by a long shot. He should have known by now that his cousin was just too much of a perfectionist to let a free day before their tour go by without lots of meetings, but five hours! Aidan groaned loudly again. After hours of meetings, and one large bombshell, Aidan didn't know what to do with himself. He still had party guests who would be arriving at any time, and he had no idea how he was going to stay awake long enough to not burn the meat on the grill.

Heading toward the back door, he let out a soft sigh and slipped inside. He looked around the kitchen which was full of food, and the majority of it already looked done, to his surprise. He looked around and saw Nick standing near his sister, who was telling her a joke, and smiled. Dawn must have either done all of this work by herself, or Nick had gotten here early for some reason and she had put him to work. He suspected the latter, rather than the former, and a grin spread across his face.

"Hello Nick. Nice of you to come by and help out," Aidan spoke as Nick finished his joke.

Nick laughed softly and returned Aidan's grin. "Actually, I came to talk to you and your sister kind of roped me into helping. I had fun though; your sister's a great cook."

Aidan nodded. "That she is. If you want to help me take this stuff out back, I can have that little talk with you?"

Nick smiled. "Thanks, I would appreciate that. Though I did kind of talk to Dawn about it, but I, well... have some questions I was too embarrassed to ask her personally." Nick looked over at Dawn, who began laughing softly.

"Well, I know when I am not needed. I think I will go take a quick shower and change before Kevin gets here. Have fun boys, and don't get into too much trouble," she said with a grin.

Nick smiled as he watched Dawn leave. She was a very nice girl, and clearly more open minded then most women. That was, of course, a good thing around both groups, since the majority straddled the fence on the sexuality issue. Picking up the meat platter in front of him, he grinned. "Shall we?"

Aidan nodded, picked up the other one along with the spare blank one, and started to walk out into the back yard. He pondered idly as he walked. He had a sneaking suspicion that he knew what Nick wanted to talk about, but to what extent he wasn't sure. 'Did he want Drew to leave him alone? Or did he want him to finally ask him out?' he wondered.

Nick cleared his throat. "So you guys just getting home, huh? Let me guess... The meeting lasted way too long?"

Aidan nodded. "I am so paying him back for this. Five hours of meetings and then he tells me, 'OH! By the way — Marcy is quitting to have a baby, so you are going to have to take over for her full time.' I knew that they were pushing me way too hard for just a backup musician."

Nick grimaced. "That's kind of a rotten thing to do, but I guess a job is a job, right? I mean, at least you will still be able to be with Josh."

Aidan nodded. "After the meeting with everyone, they decided that they had to tell the guys every single group that was going to tour with them on their solo tour, and then album promotion stuff, and everything. If I could have been somewhere else, I would have been. I guess on the bright side, they did prove that they did care about the group by doing so."

Nick smiled. "Yeah, they do seem to care. It's rare really, and on top of that, they are really nice too."

"Yeah, they are," he replied as he looked Nick over quietly. Over the last month or so when Aidan had really gotten to know Nick well, he always seemed to be hiding something behind those eyes. 'Is Nick just shy? Or is he not interested in Drew?' Aidan had made sure to invite Dominick and Drew to the party, hoping he could maybe get them together. He hated seeing his cousin pine away for the young blond.

It was funny, really. While he was going around inviting people, he found out a very interesting bit of information. It seemed that Jeremy and Alex had been dating since they first met in January. After that night in the club where they went dancing, the two had been partying quite a bit. However, the partying suddenly came to a halt when Jeremy realized that Alex had a problem with alcohol, and now suddenly he had quit cold turkey. Aidan was unsure what Jeremy had said to Alex, but he had quickly sobered up so fast that Jeremy said his head was still spinning. It was a remarkable change, really. Alex was actually quite funny, and not a bit of the bad boy that he portrayed in public. He suspected that Jeremy had told Alex something pretty drastic to make him quit so quickly, and he wondered what would happen to Alex when he didn't have Jeremy hanging over him when they went back on tour the next week.

Now that he thought about it, he was beginning to worry about his other cousin more than the situation with Drew. Though Chaz and Justin had clearly hit it off, Jeremy and Justin had ganged up on Chaz with a strong force about his alcohol problem as well. However, Chaz was much further gone than Alex had been and was scheduled to go to a treatment center starting Monday.

Aidan cleared his throat and smiled at Nick. "So Nick, what's on your mind that you wanted to talk to me about?"

Nick blushed and looked down at the ground quietly. "I was wondering if you knew if Drew liked me? He calls me a lot to just talk about nothing, though I am not really complaining. "

Aidan smiled. "Don't you think you should maybe ask him if he likes you?"

Nick nodded. "I was going to, but, well... I thought maybe he thought he was too old for me. I mean I am only 19, but..."

Aidan cut him off. "Nick, just ask him out. What's the worst that could happen? I mean, you know without a shadow of a doubt he's gay..."

Nick blushed and nodded again. "True, but the last guy I asked out basically almost laughed in my face."

Aidan's face twitched with emotion. "Nick, the guy was a fool, okay? You are a very sweet person, you have a lot going for you, and the guy should have snapped you up when he had the chance."

Nick's face lifted to Aidan's as his cheeks flushed again. "Thanks Aidan. That really means a lot to hear you say that."

Aidan chuckled softly and smiled, patting Nick on the shoulder. "No problem man. What are friends for, right? Now, about Drew... corner him and ask him out to a movie or something. I seriously doubt he would ever laugh in your face."

A determined look passed over Nick's face and he smiled. "You're right. I'll do it. Thanks for your help Aidan."

Aidan smiled. "No problem. Any time I can help, just let me know." Nick nodded and turned to walk inside, letting Josh know it was safe to return to Aidan's side.


Friends and Confusion

Chris had been spending a lot of time with Jayden recently, and they were becoming very good friends. Though, at the oddest times, he would catch Jayden staring at him when he thought that he wasn't looking, and Chris didn't know what to think about this at all. He had never had a problem with gay people, mainly because a lot of his friends were either bi-sexual or gay. However, there was something more to this, something that Chris just couldn't explain. Chris, however, really didn't have time to dwell on this since he had to get ready to go back on tour for the ending of the Backstreet/*Nsync joint tour and then come back to get ready for their solo tour. It was ironic really. First, Jive tells them that they have to do a tour with the Backstreet Boys, then they come back for a month or two, and then they go out on their own after the release of their next album. They had just been told today that along with several other groups that would be opening for them, B*Witched would be returning to tour with them.

Chris didn't quite know how to feel about B*Witched coming on tour with them again. He hadn't argued at the meeting when they were told about it, but he suddenly had a very uneasy feeling about the whole thing. He was informed that they were only going to be on tour with them a month or two before they released their new album and wanted to get in some extra time on stage to warm up as they had been in the studio too long. He supposed that it was the logical thing to do, but he was worried about seeing Keavy again. The last time they were on tour together, she made it pretty clear that she liked him, but nothing had ever come of it because, at the time, Keavy had a boyfriend. However, when watching an interview with them the week before, she had said she was single, which worried Chris to no end. It was not as if they weren't friends, but he secretly hoped that she would be over him so that he could just enjoy the tour and not have to worry about wooing a girl.

Chris chuckled softly. 'Wooing a girl. Why did it always sound like he was doing something wrong?' Chris sighed softly. 'Why am I so worried anyway? Keavy is a pretty girl and I have been alone a very long time now. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad after all. Not like I had to marry her or something, right?'

Chris shook the cobwebs out of his head as he dressed for the party, sighing softly. Parties were one of the things Chris liked, and he could go on for hours if he wanted to. Yet lately, the parties were so few and far between that it almost felt like he should have a date because most of the groups were paired up. Many of the guys had stopped going out as much to clubs, and it really wasn't very fun going out by yourself. Luckily, he always seemed to have Jayden ready to do anything that Chris asked of him, and somehow it felt good to have an honest, true friend outside of the group. However, sometimes it felt like Jayden was too eager to spend time with him. Of course, Jayden didn't have tons of friends, having only recently moved into the area, but surely he wanted to get out and date someone? Jayden sure wasn't going to meet a gay guy traipsing around with him in straight clubs or other events where the majority of people were not gay. 'Perhaps he was hurt in a previous relationship and gave up on men for a while?' Chris wondered to himself.

Shrugging, Chris walked down the stairs of his apartment, grabbed his keys off the hall table, and opened the door. As he pulled his car out of the drive and headed towards Jayden's house to pick him up, he wondered. 'Should I ask Jayden why he wasn't dating, or would that be considered rude?' he wondered.


Chris pulled up outside of Jayden's apartment which he shared with his brother Jeremy. It still amazed him that they were both so together. They lived in a nice townhouse in one of the more upscale gated communities, which had to cost a lot to live there. It had pretty much everything like a pool, tennis courts, and a massive gym. The majority of the time that both groups were in town, they had accompanied them to the Citrus Club as their guests. He didn't know quite how much they were getting paid at their job, but he did know that both guys had excellent taste in decorating. In the month that they had been there, the place was furnished and decorated very nicely. Jayden had told them that they did it themselves with a bit of fabric help from Chaz.

Chris still didn't know what to think of Chaz. Ever since he caught Justin and Chaz in the stall of the bathroom at the nightclub, he didn't know whether he should be angry or happy that Justin had found someone. After Justin sobered up, he called Chris and assured Chris that it was his idea to jump Chaz in the bathroom, and it was Chaz that maneuvered them into the stall so that Justin wouldn't get caught. Luckily for Justin, they must not have gotten caught because there was nothing in the papers or magazines about it. Justin had promised in the future to be more careful.

Chris still couldn't help not approving of the relationship that had started between them. Chaz was an alcoholic, plain and simple. However, it seemed that Chaz got funnier when he was drunk and didn't show any signs that he would hurt Justin when drunk, so that had settled several of his concerns. So when he found out yesterday that Chaz was entering rehab on Monday before they went on tour again, he was pleasantly shocked. Chris also realized he would have to keep an eye on Justin since, while in rehab, they weren't allowed to keep in touch.

Sighing as he pulled up in front of Jayden's apartment, he got out of the car and walked up to the door, ringing the doorbell. He heard movement inside and then a half dressed figure answered the door. "Hey, Chris. I am almost ready. Go sit down in the living room and I will be right down," said Jayden.

Chris nodded, blinking slightly at the sight before him. Jayden's hair was all ruffled, he had a pair of black jeans on, and was wearing no shirt. Jayden had a nice body — there was no doubt about that. Chris oftentimes wondered how much he would have to work out to get a body like that, though he hadn't quite got up the courage to ask because he thought that Jayden might take it as a come-on instead of an innocent question. Though the both of them were best friends now, he sometimes wondered about Jayden always checking him out when he wasn't looking. Chris figured he wasn't much to look at, and he wasn't quite sure why Jayden even hung out with him sometimes. Jayden did his use his best friend influence to get Chris to do something decent with his hair, which made Jayden very happy. Chris still had color in his hair. In fact, it was a mixture of blue highlights now, but the weird-colored braids were no longer there.

Jayden had teased him about his hair more than several times before. He told him that he looked like he was trying to be a black man. It seemed that once Jayden put it that way, suddenly he decided he wouldn't braid his hair anymore, which took a lot less time and money to maintain anyway. He had settled on a medium-blue that brought out the color in his brown hair, and didn't make him look so wild anymore. He got a short but shaggy type style that was long on the top, but short in the back. It looked pretty good on him, which delighted Jayden to no end. The stylist even commented that his boyfriend seemed quite pleased with the results, which made Chris blush as he informed the man that he wasn't his boyfriend, just his best friend, and that he was straight. The man laughed softly and didn't say much after that, however Chris got the distinct impression that the guy didn't believe him.

After waiting about ten minutes, Jayden came back down the stairs wearing a tight blue silk shirt that Chris could have sworn almost matched his hair, which showed off Jayden's muscular biceps. He looked really nice, but he wasn't sure if he was supposed to say anything to him or not, though his stomach did some sort of a weird flip-flop as Jayden smiled at him.

"Let's get going. We don't want to be late and have Joey and Justin eat all the food," Jayden said with a grin.

Chris nodded and headed back out to the car, and they arrived at Aidan's house about ten minutes later. Chris let Jayden go in first while he grabbed a few things he brought for the party and let him ponder his thoughts. 'I think I need to find a girlfriend and get some soon. I think I have been celibate way too long.'


The Party

As everyone began to arrive and they sat down to eat, several of the guys began wondering when they were going to be together again like this. Twenty friends sat around on the picnic tables that Aidan had around the pool. All together their number was twenty-two, and everyone seemed to fit in so well with each other that it was almost scary if you thought about it. It wasn't often you found a group of people that were so well-matched. However, it seemed right in all of their minds.


Author's End of Chapter Notes: Well, things are certainty heating up around here, aren't they? Will Nick ask Andrew out? Will Andrew say yes? What is going on with Chris and Jayden? Are you surprised that AJ quit so fast without an explanation that you know about? Well, don't worry about AJ's reason, as it will come in the next chapter. *EVIL LAUGH*

You will just have to wait till then to find out all the answers to at least some of these questions.


If I use any of the Cherokee Language I will put them at the end of the chapter to let everyone know what they mean.

Word in Cherokee:Meaning:
gv-ge-yu-hiI love you
tsa-siJoshua - pronounced ... ja-see
wa-ya OR wa-hya
Wolf
a-ni-da-we-hi
Angel
a-ua-tse-liMy or Mine
u-gi-tsi-s-gvDawn

This story is ©2002 - 2009 by Dream Howler. This story is the sole property of its author and may not be copied, in whole or in part, or posted on any other website without the written permission of the author. This story is dedicated to the memory of Eric Draven, who sadly left this world on February 2, 2004.
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