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reclaiming austin

Chapter Twenty Eight

Hi there, I’d like to thank everyone involved in getting this story out, Yes, I wrote it, but I have a bunch of test readers fromn the very critical Derry who needs a good spanking, to Jere and Scott and Mary. Mostly though, I’d like to give a glowing thank you to Jerrie. I have more thank you’s I want to make as well, but the names are in my email account and I can’t get there yet…

So don’t copy this blah blah blah, Don’t steal or copy the ideas written in this story… Don’t read if your narrow minded, or get put off by two guys kissing… Blah blah blah…

Thanks, now for the story…


The next morning, I woke up to Austin putting a tray by me with hot coffee and my testing equipment and I could smell the fact that he’d already been up cooking. I saw a bottle of insulin on the tray along with a syringe. I took a big drink of coffee as he knew all to well how I liked it, I watched as my guy sat next to me and took his cup, his eyes were stunning with the morning light reflected in them… My blood sugar was a little higher than usual so when Austin filled the syringe, he added a few extra units of insulin. I happily rolled over to give him access to my ass, which he rubbed with alcohol before sticking. He playfully rubbed and swatted my ass a few times before pushing me off his lap and getting up to retrieve the food.

We ate a nice long breakfast before Austin jumped out of bed and got in the shower. I cleaned up breakfast and was washing the dishes when Austin came out looking like an Armani model. Austin came out and did a slow spin for my approval; he was wearing a classic grey pinstriped suit and a white shirt with a silver silk tie of mine. He just radiated sex appeal. I suddenly had a thought, “Go outside and wait by your truck baby!” I ordered him as I ran to the spare room to search for something. He asked me why several times but I just told him to go wait. A few minutes later, I walked out carrying the Polaroid. He just started laughing when he saw the camera. “WHAT are you doing crazy man?” Austin asked as I took a picture of him laughing. I took an entire roll of him mostly smiling and laughing, with the morning sun catching in his blue eyes and the wind tussling his hair. I got a great picture of him facing to the side of me and looking over his shoulder smiling down at me. “So, you going to meet us for lunch later at Enzo’s or wait for us at the wedding?” Austin asked as he leaned back against his truck, “I’ll meet you for lunch; you can tell me all about your meeting on the way to the church.” I said thinking about how I needed to find an excuse to get him a spiffy new briefcase just cause he looked like he needed one. “Don’t forget the present for the, honey,” he said pulling me over to him and bending him down for a kiss.

We had gone from a quick peck on the lip to deep kissing in the few moments since he’d taken my hand. I was only vaguely aware of a car pulling up the driveway, then as I heard the engine cut off a loud voice said, “Austin Camble, put your pocket fag down and get in the car!” Colin’s voice held a hint of irritation, a strong note of humor, and because I knew him, I detected the faintest hint of jealousy, though he’d likely deny it to everyone including himself.

A few minutes later, Collin was pulling out with Austin in his Oakley shades sitting next to him. If Armani produced hit men, THAT is what they’d look like, I thought.

I cleaned up the house and did the dishes then after showering drove over to feed and clean up after the dogs, all three began a barrage of barks and howling when I drove up, I heard them carrying on as I got the right key out and went in to fix the food. Ryan and Michael had gone to Key West for the weekend. The food was easy as the dogs dishes were on the counter with a can of food and a hand written note, “Alex-Austin, fill the big dish in the back yard with 1 scoop of dry food for each meal (X2/day) And split a can between the two older dogs and give Thunder his own puppy food. Oh, and fill the water bowl every meal, they tend to play in it and make a mess.” So I filled the three dishes and got a big scoop of the dry food and went out back where the three dogs jumped and barked and tried their best to knock me over to steal the food. They were busily scarfing down the wet food while I filled up the dry bowl and walked around the yard gathering dog shit in the pooper-scooper to throw away. I spent a few minutes playing with the dogs and throwing the tennis balls and toys they kept bringing me. I played with them for about an hour before realizing I needed to go get ready for lunch, so I kissed Thunder on his tummy and said good bye to Thor and Loki and left.

I got to Enzo’s early and ordered a coffee for me while I waited and had two beers waiting on the boys. They arrived about 20 minutes later, which was good because the restaurant was starting to fill up. Austin was carrying several large bags and a grin that spread from ear to ear. God damned he had a great smile, I thought, “Sorry we’re late Alex,” Collin said walking around me and kissing me on top of my head, “No worries Hon,” I said then added, “So was it a business meeting or a shopping trip?”

Austin sat down and exhaled before taking the beer off the table and drinking it. “Naaah, we went to the meeting but it was over pretty quick, so Collin said we should go get some work clothes for me, So, we went to the Fashion Mall.” Austin said before taking another drag off his beer. “Wow, so like suits and stuff?” I asked. “Yeah, plus we got a new brief case, and cell phones…” Before he could go on, Colin tossed a small box in front of me. “I got you one too cause it would probably land up with you anyways otherwise.” Collin said as I looked down at the Nokia box. “Collin!?!” I asked half confused and half bewildered, “I-I-I don’t get this, why are you being so…” I asked not even knowing what word I wanted. Collin sighed and said, “I haven’t seen you in several years, and before my dad had me so scared of him finding out about me, I used to be scared to do nice things.” He said as he opened his menu. “Collin Stellington, scared?” I asked incredulously. Collin dropped his menu a hair and met my eyes, “I had to get a phone for Austin, so adding you to the plan wasn’t too hard, ok? Can we order now?” He remarked as he went back to reading, My antennae were wiggling and I knew something was up… But since it was clear I couldn’t push it, I just reread the menu I had almost committed to memory.

I landed up getting a seared shrimp Caesar salad while Austin got a Chicken in Penne dish and Collin opted for a lasagna with meat sauce. We ordered another round of drinks and I got an iced tea and told them to go for beers since I’d be driving. Both decided that since they weren’t driving, Jack and Cokes seemed like better ideas.

We discussed business plans and what Collin expected of Austin after Collin left. “When are you leaving Hon?” I asked Collin. He gave me a funny look in the mirror from the back seat, “Anxious for me to leave already huh?” He asked. I rolled my eyes and said, “Yeah, that’s it; you and that crazy accent have WAY overstayed your welcome.” I said drolly. Then I said “Asshole!” and let it drop. “I’m going to be here until…” He trailed off while looking at his calendar book. “Till March 8th.” He said snapping his book shut. “I mean, as long as I won’t be upsetting you or anything,” he teased; I just stuck my tongue out at him.

“So what did you get them Alex?” Collin asked trying to change the topic, Austin got attentive since he didn’t know either. “’WE’ got them a combo- wok-sushi mat- Asian cook book and sushi plate gift set.” I said knowing Korma would laugh and Phil would love it. “Did you remember to put my name on it too?” Austin asked wishing almost immediately that he hadn’t as he noticed my scowl. “No, when they’re opening gifts you’ll have to stop them so you can say you helped too” I said rolling my eyes. Collin laughed and took out an envelope, “I just gave them a hundred each, cause I didn’t know what else to do…” Austin and I locked eyes momentarily then broke out laughing. “What? That’s ok isn’t it?” Collin asked suddenly self-conscious until I said, “Yeah baby, that’s more then generous.” I said not wanting to make him feel like he hadn’t done enough for two people he didn’t know.

When we got to the church, a small Quaker church that Korma belonged to, we found the place already covered in older members of what I assumed were her family. As we went in, the only faces I made out directly were Marika and Roberts as they were way to easy to spot in this middle class white mostly older crowd. Though Robert at 6’8” would have been easy to spot even if he had been white. We sat next to Jason and my Michael in what Glen referred to as the Gay Ghetto. Glen sat one row forward and Dennis and Cynthia and Audra sat with him.

The church was sparsely decorated with cream-colored ribbons and off white lilies and magnolias, which was nice because with the soft lighting and wood and off white decorations, it added a wonderful golden glow to the setting. Before the alter was a small table covered in an off white cloth with a unity candle sitting on it. A church organist did the wedding march when Korma was ready to walk down the isle. Phil was glowing internally as he stood there waiting for Korma. Austin reached down and held my hand as the service took place. The service was surprisingly very short and brief and was over before it seemed to have even begun. It was explained later that the Quakers were known for no nonsense no frill ceremonies. Dan was the best man and wore a tux similar to Phil’s in black with a cummerbund, and Leslie, Kormas sister was the maid of honor and wore an avocado colored dress.. Within forty minutes, we were in the reception hall where Robert and a small crew had already set up the sound equipment. Marika was wearing a black and white spotted skirt and had on a big fancy coif. Robert was in a conservative black jacket, though how a guy his size could find a nice suit that fits… was way beyond me.

I had met Phil’s mom before. She was a lovely woman and we got along fine. I had never met Korma’s Mom before, and was a little surprised by how much older she was then most of the parent’s I knew. Still she was a nice and unassuming lady and made a perfect counterpoint to her very animated father. I could picture him on an old Vaudeville stage with no problems. There was a great deal of mingling and courteous conversations with the army of Grandmothers, Great Aunts and old family friends while we set up for the music. As I was looking out from the stage across the crowd, I found myself trying to remember the correct steps for CPR.

After a short number of songs, mostly geared to a much older conservative crowd, we stopped for a break so we could get something to eat, as I was walking over to the buffet table, I found myself caught between 4 large guys and had to look up to realize that Austin, Collin, Michael, and Robert had surrounded me, “How many bar fights do I have to win before people learn not to mess with me?!?” I asked pointedly. Suddenly I heard Austin say, “And how many damned times do I have to remind you to test your sugar and take a shot before you eat?” Collin, Michael and Robert all voiced their agreements. With my eyes rolled up into a nearly permanent sneer, I was escorted to the bathroom and made to test my sugar before Austin grabbed my ass and gave me a shot. “NOW you can eat.” Austin announced as we were leaving the restroom.

A buffet had been arranged and the prerequisite roast beef and chickens were served with potatoes, vegetables, salad and rolls… I was imagining the fair that Austin and Mrs. Tremere would be serving. I figured the question most people would be asking rather than “Chicken or Beef” would be, “What the hell is that?” And, “What is that in English?” As my plate was being filled with vegetables and chicken, I imagined Austin trying to answer that question and Mrs. Tremere correcting his French and giving way too much info to whoever it was who’d asked. I had to laugh imagining her expression if anyone made the Faux Pax of bringing a MacDonald’s bag of food in.

Later when the cake was being cut and the old women were passing it out, I told Austin, I’d take a slice and give it to him rather than try to explain diabetes to them. He got a worried look for a moment, trying to figure out if I was planning to cheat or not but finally said, “Yeah, ok, but if I see you eating it I’m going to tackle you.” I rolled my eyes as I turned to take the plate of white cake and thanked the women. As I was handing the plate over to Austin I took a fork and speared a piece of the cake with no icing and swallowed it before Austin could say anything. “You’re only hurting yourself dipstick!” Austin said angrily as he put the plate on a table behind him. I just smiled at him and said, “It didn’t even have any icing.” Austin turned to me not sure if he should make a joke or scold me. Finally he broke eye contact and walked away saying, “Don’t get sick Alex, I mean it, DO NOT get sick!” He said walking away. I started to follow but Cynthia stopped me with a soft hand and her gorgeous South Carolina accent, “Honey, he’s worried, He’s lost all his friends and I don’t think he’d have a clue what to do if you got sick on him. He’s taking all this personally I think, a lot more than he would under normal circumstances… just give him some time baby.”

I was trying to give him space and thought he’d be ok over talking with Collin, so I found Michael flirting with Dan and making him blush. “WHAT?” He demanded down at me. I looked up and said, “BITE ME!” right back at him which made Dan and Glen laugh. “You ARE in a church munchkin,” Michael said turning to face me. So, I stepped closer and looked up at him and said, “Sorry, I meant, BITE ME PLEASE. Amen” Glen and Dan were hysterical. Michael just shook his head and said, “Ya know, they aren’t laughing with you. Those fools are laughing AT you.” I stepped back and began waving my hands in front me as if I were waving off a bad smell, “Michael, this is a church, close that mouth of yours before they need an exorcist!” Before Michael could respond, Marika’s voice rose from a small group she was in, “Alex… ALEX JOHNSON!” She yelled over to me. I walked over towards her only to find out she’d just talked with Austin. “Alex Johnson!” She said angrily. Before I could mount an excuse she lead in with, “That boy deserves better than to be your mama, he’s cried over you when you lay in a coma in that hospital room… Alex, He’s lost everything, and STILL found the strength to stand by you… You’d best start treating him right. Cause you get sick again, it’s all on you.” With that she turned to the women she’d been talking to. I felt about an inch tall after that and instinctively sought out Austin who was talking with Collin. “You Ok?” Collin asked me as I walked up to them with my head hung as I stared at feet. Austin turned around and put his back to me. “Ok,” Collin asked looking back and forth between the two of us. “What has Ma Puce done now?”

Austin didn’t even turn his head he just said, “He’s fucking with his diabetes and thinks he’s being cute. I just don’t have it in me right now to deal with needless fucking drama.” My heart sank into cracks on the floor, I couldn’t even look up at Collin as I walked around and tentatively draped my arm across Austin, “Baby, I am SOOOO Sorry!” I said into the big chest as I swung around him. “Alex…” Austin said with a jerky voice that made me look in his eyes, they were glazed over and a big tear rolled down his cheek. “Alex, I-I-I only want to help… I’m… I’m barely able to keep my act together most days… I don’t have it in me to fight you on this… I-I don’t wanna fight you baby.” I had wrapped my arms around him by this point. “I am so sorry…” I pleaded, “Alex, I-I-I can’t fight you on this, I want to help, but…” Austin said as his eyes filled with tears. Collin walked in and took Austin in his arms and whispered platitudes to him. After a minute, Collin pushed Austin gently towards me and said, “Alex, Go make this right!” It wasn’t said mean, it was a gentle order. So I took Austin outside and under a leafless tree, I hung my head and said, “Austin, I’m so sorry baby… I totally didn’t mean to upset you. I had no clue it would affect you this much… It was only a tiny piece, and no icing…” I pleaded though it sounded as stupid even to me as it must have to Austin, “But I’m sorry, I’ve never ever taken what you do for granted…I hope you didn’t get that impression baby. And I’m sorry, really sorry baby.” I would have gone on stammering out my apology but Austin took my face in his hands and made me look up at him, “Alex, I’ll try my best to help you, I’ll do whatever I can, but you can’t hurt yourself baby, I couldn’t go on at all if you weren’t here with me.” And saying that he bent over and wrapped his arms around me and began to kiss me as he stood up, taking me with him.

I have no idea how long we stood there kissing, but after several minutes, by which time I’d lifted my legs and wrapped them around Austin’s waist, Austin began snickering which caused me to lift my head and look him in the eyes, as I did he nodded behind me and I heard Marika say, “This IS a church you godless heathens, go get a hotel room!” I turned my head and saw a small crowd by the Church exist. “Marika Williams, I’m TRYING to apologize!” I said sharply. I got an official Marika sneer and herd, “Mmmm Hmmm, You apologize any harder we’ll have to call the police.” At that point I asked Austin. “So, we ok now?” He pecked me quickly on the lips and responded, ”One hundred percent baby.” As I slid down to the ground I said, “Good, cause I’m about to go strain white black relations.”

As I approached Glen and Korma came up to me. “I’m sorry Korma; I know churches aren’t too keen on homosexual demonstrations.” I said apologetically. Korma smiled over at me and said, “Relax Alex, the Quaker church was one of the first to accept gay rights. We have a very down to earth belief system and don’t think God would create people to be left out of his love.” As she said this, Glen was nodding in agreement. “I think I’d like to know more about this church… If they’re as loving and open minded and dedicated to love and peace as they seem to be, I may have to leave the Baptist church and join the Quaker church.” He said hugging Korma. “I’ll introduce you to Pastor Evans after the reception.” Korma said to Glenn.

When we were home later, Austin made this steak and cream sauce thingy with a bunch of broccoli and invited Collin over while I was feeding the animals; Thunder was with us until night time when we’d drop him off as we fed the big dogs. As I was wrestling on the floor with Thunder, The phone rang and I asked Collin to answer it. “Yeah, one second Justin…” Collin said as he held the phone out to me. Thunder, who was busy trying to knock me down to drool on me leaped up and tried to grab the phone in his big snout. Collin raised his hand with the phone as I reached in and took it as I swatted Thunder playfully, “Hey Justin, sorry about that, our dog tried to answer the phone.” I heard a little snicker and then, “I uhhh… You told me to call about doing dinner later this week?” “Right, Right…” I said anticipating having to break the poor kids’ heart if he wanted to do dinner that night.

“W-when were you thinking?” I asked. Justin must have sensed my worry, “I was-ummm thinking maybe tomorrow night, or later if you had plans…” “No, No, tomorrow is fine Justin… I only hesitated tonight cause it’s getting late and Austin already has dinner cooking-and TRUST me, you do NOT want to get between Austin and his perfect meal!”

We talked a few minutes and I got Justin to laugh a few times and then I held the phone aside as I said, “Justin says he likes Italian and Mexican foods the best” Loudly to Austin, Collin was laughing at the bird he was shooting me or whatever gesture Austin was making behind the bar separating the kitchen from the living room. “Tell him if he promises to be good I’ll make a desert!” Austin called out. Justin and I ended the phone call and I returned to turning Thunder on his back and blowing zerberts on his belly. “God, that brings back memories…” Collin said looking down at the play. I recalled how Collin used to do that with me, sometimes in front of the whole Judo club.

I got to work the next day and was almost instantly reminded what a god damned BITCH faced cunt my boss was. The truly sad fact is that she was actually worse than that, Bitch faced cunt would be her on a good day. Tuesday after work, I met Justin at the Seattle scene and then drove home with Justin next to me as we left his car there. When I got home Collin was there talking on the phone and Austin was doing whatever it was he did in the kitchen. Justin came in and was greeted by a very bouncy Thunder who wanted to welcome the new guy with 40 yards of tongue and drool. When Justin came in and looked around he got a confused look on his face, “Soooo, are all three of you like a couple?” He asked me as I realized he’d only seen us all together. “Noooo, Austin and I are a couple, Collin and I USED to date.” I said to clarify things, “Right, and now Collin’s visiting from Australia and he’s my boss.” Austin said with a smirk. “Roit, we’re one big happy gay family now.” Collin said in his gorgeous Aussie accent.

As we talked we wandered to the table Austin was setting, He was pouring a home made Caesar dressing over a bunch of chopped Romaine in a bowl with fresh shredded Parmesan cheese over it. The place smelled incredible and I finally had to ask Austin, “So what the hell are we having for dinner?” I queried as I sat down. “Sea food Paella- You only get a little rice, but there’s tons of seafood in there, Collin bought out the Fish Market.” Austin said as I jumped up to test my blood sugar. “Good boy Alex.” Both Austin and Collin said respectively. So although I had wanted to talk to Justin first and get him to tell me why he was so depressed, I thought seeing a happy gay couple with a well adjusted gay ex was worlds better then having him repeat his sad circumstances.

I think both Collin and Austin shared my opinion and both began telling crazy stories about me… After Austin had told Justin all about my helping him come to grips with his sexuality and our rocky beginnings, Collin then told him about my beginning, about how hard it was for him to pretend he thought I was straight even though everyone he ever talked to already knew I was gay. He told them both as Austin had never heard Collin’s account, How Collin used judo to seduce me, how he’d pin me and make me all flustered before whispering some sexual innuendo in my ears that no one else could hear.

We’d hit the paella good and hard, Collin was suitably impressed which made me happier than I think it did even Austin. I was given mostly a lion’s share of mussels, shrimps, crab claws, tuna, and scallops, with a small amount of the rice and vegetables.

After dinner, Collin and I helped Austin clear the table as Justin told us about how he was scared to tell his mother he was gay. When the table was clear Austin went to the refrigerator and removed what I knew was a cheesecake. He set it out and Justin and Collin gave the obligatory “oooohhhhhs” and “Aaahhhhhs” I got up and made a pot of coffee and set the water on for tea while the boys divvied up the desert. When I got back and sat down with a tray of coffees and tea, I noticed that someone had made me a cheesecake slice too. I assumed it was Justin trying to be nice as Austin and Collin knew I couldn’t eat it. “Thanks Justin, but I’m diabetic, I can’t have deserts…” I said, passing the plate back as they were getting their coffees. Austin smiled at me, “Go ahead, try it.” He said with a priceless smirk. I suddenly thought it was a joke, “Oh HA HA HA! You made it with out any sugar huh?” I asked. Austin had only intensified his grin, “Yup-it’s nearly calorie free. Sept for the crust.” He replied, Justin was giving us a careful scrutiny and Collin was just enjoying the play and his cheesecake. “I—I—Ok, So what are you saying Austin?” I asked. Austin gave me his brightest smile, “Do you love me?” He asked sweetly. I was tempted to play a game and say something smart assed, but I looked in his dazzling blue eyes and I just melted, “Yes… I’ll do you right here in front of Justin and Collin if that’s what you want.” Austin blushed but never lost his grin. “I think you’re so horny right now you probably would.” Collin swallowed and piped in with, “You got that Roit mate.”

Austin handed me back the cake and said, “Go on, try it…” I wasn’t sure what game he was playing, but I trusted him, and I trusted Collin, whom I knew was in on whatever was going on. So I took my fork and took a bite. “Well???” Austin asked. “It’s great, very tangy and sweet and creamy.” I said, enjoying what I suspected was my last bite. “The slice has 16 carbs in it and 12 of those are from the crust.” He boasted. I was shocked, “You made this with sweet-n-low?” I asked since I assumed he’d have avoided Aspartame since my family couldn’t have that. “Nooo, there’s this new stuff on the market called Splenda, I tried that and it worked great.” Austin said grinning. “And it’s not that evil Aspartame?” I asked bewildered, “Nope, not Aspartame or Equal or saccharine.” I was stunned and listened as Austin explained my shock to Justin. I sat my cake down a moment and walked over and gave Austin the biggest kiss. “Thank you baby, I-I-I can’t tell you how great this is- I mean the cheese cake AND what you did for me.” I then threw my arms around his neck, pulled us together, and gave him a good kiss. “I love you Austin Camble!”

After dinner and desert, we all sat around talking when Austin asked, “So what are you afraid of if you tell your mom?” Justin swallowed and shifted in his seat, “I know she’ll freak, she blames gays for everything, every time a storm or disaster hits the United States, and she says its god striking down the gays!” All eyes were on me suddenly as I sighed, “And you’re scared she’ll throw you out of your house or what?” “I’m scared I’ll be locked up or put in some kind of exorcism or reparative therapy. They’ve done it to other guys in that church of hers”

“Bloody bastards, do they really still practice that voodoo here in the so called seat of democracy?!?” Collin snipped angrily. Before I could say anything Austin said, “There’s a LOT of people, gay and straight, that think that if they pray hard enough god will cure them.” He said diplomatically. “Fucking self righteous bastards, there’s not one thing to cure! God and nature made us this way. If the church doesn’t like it, then they can FUCK OFF!” Collin said angrier than I had ever seen him, Even Austin was overwhelmed at Collin’s out burst. “If they want to cure something, why not go after AIDS or cancer and do some good?!?” he then righted himself and said, “Listen Justin, when you’re ready to tell your mom, I’ll go with you, let her try being a bitch to me. If she throws you out, I’ll get you a place to stay. If she tries hiring those wacko religious fanatics to get you,” He puffed out his impressive well-muscled chest, “THEY will have to get by me!” Collin dared, it was almost terrifying in it’s quiet assertion and Justin, Austin and I sat immobile a moment.

I made a face at Justin and slowly looked to Colin, “Hon…” I asked softly. “Yes Alex?” he replied with a roll of his eyes. “I-uhhh- hate to bring this up, but ummm… you might not be the best person to go with Justin,” I said carefully. Collin looked shocked and demanded, “Why the bloody hell not?!?” I was about to speak when Austin said, “Dude, you’re almost 30, how do think the parents are going to react when their son comes out to them with an older guy standing there? Can you say predator? Besides which, this is the South, chances are a foreigner will only stand out as worse then bad ” Collin looked pissed and started to defend himself, “That’s not what I’m doing, Shit!” he demanded turning around with frustration. “I know!” Said Austin, “But it’s what they’ll say and think.” Collin was upset, he snorted, and spun around in frustration, “They can’t do this to him!” He said rather loudly. Justin sat stunned so I spoke up, “So Austin and I will go with him, they won’t take either of us on, they won’t out argue me, and if it comes to it, We’ll bring Justin back here and you can get him a place to stay. “We’ll you’re almost as old as I am!” Collin pointed out. “Yeah, but I look younger because of my size, and Austin and I are a couple, we’re less likely to be mistaken as pedophiles.” I countered.

A few minutes later, after apologizing for his outburst Collin asked Justin if he were ready to face his mother. Justin was hesitant but finally agreed after Austin and I assured him that Collin was both financially capable of putting him up, and that I was skilled enough to stop a couple of crazies from a church as long as they didn’t have guns.

After we’d eaten and discussed more about what to expect, Austin drove my jeep and we dropped Justin off to get his car. We followed him home and waited for him before we walked up to his residence, a large blond brick home in a development with a neat yard. Justin lead us up to the door and went in, a small Cocker Spaniel barked at the two of us and a lady about 35 came out, she had black hair done up in a conservative style and wore a flowered skirt, “Justin dear, who are your friends?” She asked pleasantly. He stuttered as he said, “Ummm, th-this is Alex and his… ummm.. and Austin, guys, this is my mother, Mrs. Janet Stiller.” We were given careful scrutiny by the women before she smiled and bid us to enter further, “Please, come in and have a seat, Justin’s dad is in the kitchen.” She said. “Ummm, Mom, can I talk with you and Dad about something?” She turned around and had a plastic smile on, “Of course dear…”

We went to the kitchen and Justin sat in a chair with arms directly across from his father, while Austin sat next to me on the regular chairs, Mrs. Stiller stood near the dishwasher and said, “Ok Justin, what’s going on? Why did you bring your friends over to talk with Your Dad and I?” Mr. Stiller looked up from his paper and took a drink of his coffee as he looked over at Justin. Justin looked down and stuttered a moment, “I-I-uhhh…” He looked up and continued, “Mom, Dad, I have to tell you something, Alex and Austin agreed to come with me for moral support…” He spoke haltingly as he stared at the table. Mrs. Stiller’s smile went from polite to plastic and worried in a millisecond, And Mr. Stiller sat back attentively. I could tell she knew what was coming, mothers always know. “Justin, honey, what on earth would you need strangers to help you with?” She asked with saccharine sweetness. “Y-you remember… last y-year… When I uhhhh, when I had t-to go to the hospital after I accidentally…” Justin was sweating and terrified to say the words. “Well, in truth, it wasn’t so much an accident…” She glanced at us a moment before smiling and saying, “Of course it was Dear… Why would you want to hurt yourself?” As Justin fought with his inner daemons trying to muster his courage, he hung his head down to avoid her eyes. She moved her piercing gaze and looked at Austin intensely to get him to look to down, she then tried it with me. I stubbornly looked back and gave a small smile. She grew flustered and looked away. Mr. Stiller who had been quiet this whole time said softly, “Would someone be so kind as to tell me what in gods name is going on?” He looked from me to Mrs. Stiller, to Austin and finally Justin.

“Dad, Mom… I…I… I did do it on purpose; it wasn’t an accident… I did it so I didn’t have to tell you…” He said stumbling over his own words. Mrs. Stiller got steely and stood upright, trying her best to intimidate her child. “That’s ridiculous Justin, what could you possibly say that would justify that?” Justin’s dad sat there quietly a moment and said, “Janet, sit down and shut . Let’s let Justin finish what he’s trying to tell us.” Justin was sweating like crazy and he stood up suddenly and faced away from his parents avoiding his mom’s icy gaze. “I’m gay! That’s what I couldn’t tell you!” He blurted out before tears erupted from his eyes. “I’m gay, and I couldn’t tell you!!!!” Like a beast, Mrs. Stiller marched up to Justin quoting scripture like a mantra and raised her hand to slap him. I stood up as soon as she began advancing on him and when she raised her hand, I grabbed her arm and said, “NO!” Suddenly I was faced with a very angry woman. “TAKE YOUR HANDS OFF ME!” She shouted angrily. “Janet, SIT DOWN!!!!” Mr. Stiller yelled loudly over her screaming and Justin’s crying. “I want both of you out of my house NOW!” Mrs. Stiller screamed as she stood up facing me and pointing to the back door.

Mr. Stiller stood up and stepped in front of me facing his insane wife, “Janet! SHUT THE HELL UP AND SIT DOWN!” He yelled which shocked us all. “I mean it Janet, sit your ass down and listen to ‘our’ boy without any of your damned church cultic shit!” He said standing his ground before turning to me, “Thank you young man, you and your friend can go now if you want, I’ll keep Justin safe from Janet and her screwed up cult.” He said as she blew a gasket. “Justin?” I asked as a reply to Mr. Stiller’s request as I looked over to him. He gave me a small smile and then looked nervously to his mother, “Dad, is it alright if they stay a little longer? Please?” Justin asked. Mr. Stiller looked from Justin to Austin and then to me, “Certainly Justin, why don’t you introduce us and then go on with what you were saying, And don’t worry son, she’s not getting her cult’s claws on you.”

So Justin introduced Austin and I and began telling his story to his dad, apparently they hadn’t talked much in a few years and Mrs. Stiller had railroaded both of them. It seemed now, that IF their marriage continued, SHE was going to assume a back seat to the relationship between Mr. Stiller and his son. When Austin and I left an hour later, Mrs. Stiller had gone to her room to pack a bag so she could stay at a friend’s house since “Karl (Mr. Stiller) was pandering to the homosexual conspiracy that we were part of.” Karl and Justin however were having a great heart to heart and were making plans for the future. As I was leaving Justin asked, “So, this weekend, can I bring dad to see your show?” I turned and gave a huge smile, “You bet Justin, I’d really like that

“So what are you and Collin, like gay super heroes or something?” Austin asked as he tossed his shirt into the hamper in our room. “Nice shot!” I remarked as I followed him in. “Well, if Collin and I are super heroes, what does that make you sweet cheeks?!?” I asked as I walked up and slid an arm around his early stages of fuzziness from behind.
“I guess I’m Lois Lane only like, a really sexy Lois Lane!” Austin said with a grin that made my legs falter. “Jesus Christ I want to rape you right here and now!” I said trying to decide what to do. “Just a few more weeks baby!” He said laughing at my distress. I moved up to him and gave him a simple push that knocked him over onto the bed then before he could move I straddled his chest and kneeled on his shoulders, “THAT’S not good enough MR. Camble… WHEN are you going to marry me so we can have SEX again?!?” I shouted down at him menacingly. Austin was more shocked then anything else at that moment and looked up at me with big eyes, “Uuuhhhh.. March 8th ok with you?” I couldn’t believe he’d actually picked a date. “YES! The 8th is great!“ I screamed excitedly. I then proceeded to poured myself over him and kissed him again and again, ”Oh MY GOD!!!! AUSTIN!!!!!!” I squealed happily! Austin was playing cool and suave and just laid there smiling up at me. “Oh shit!!!!! We have so much to plan before then.” I said suddenly. Austin reached up and began pulling me down to him, “NO you don’t! It’s all taken care of baby… all you have to do is memorize your vows and show up.” Austin said still pinned under me, he had the damnedest smile at that moment. “Have I told you yet today how much I adore everything about you?” I said kissing him on the nose. “Nope, mostly you were ogling either Justin or Collin…” Austin began teasing but I covered his mouth with mine and after a long passionate kiss I leaned back and said, “There’s no comparison Austin, Justin’s a nice guy but totally a bottom, and Collin? Trust me baby no comparison! I belong to you now and ever after.” I said then pulled him in for another long kiss. “You know, I don’t think a heterosexual guy could have said that under any circumstance.” Austin giggled up to me, “You want to be in bed with a heterosexual guy?” I asked with a smirk, “Nope, just you.” He said with a warm smile then added in a gay lisp mimicking me “Now and ever after…”

We kissed and after a lot of wrestling and discussion, jacked each other off as we headed to sleep. It wasn’t what either of us wanted to do, and both of us made sure the other knew what we really wanted to do, but we came and eventually fell asleep.

The next day started off nice enough, Austin made me breakfast in bed and we hugged and kissed before I left for work. Mrs. Cleavlan however was a royal bugle corps of flaming bitchiness with an attitude, starting from the five minutes early I was getting there right on through lunch and up till the time I left at 4:30, she made it her sole purpose to ridicule me and anyone who seemed remotely polite to me. I then went home and stewed, I was afraid of letting my temper go around innocents and especially Austin in his fragile mood as of late. Collin who’d come over to go over some paperwork with Austin said I needed to get back into Judo to burn up some of the extra tension I was building. I looked at Austin and said, “Yeah, may as well, since I won’t have any other way of relieving my frustrations.” Austin gave me a sarcastic face and said, “Awww, the poor baby can’t wait ‘one fucking month’… “ I walked up and cupped his crotch and said softly, “Sure I can baby, but I’ll tease the living shit out of you while I do.” Austin just moaned and I could see his desire to fuck me into next week in his eyes. I suddenly understood why this celibacy practice was so… traditional and well thought out. Austin had made a Chicken Cacciatore which I totally loved and we’d both talked Collin into staying over to share it with us.

Henna called that night and said we’d have to reschedule our meeting as she was coming down with one of her Migraines. I told I was free next week and that she was going to love the Valentines special we’d been working on. Then I told her briefly that we were getting married on the 8th, she said, “Of March dear, not February” I was about to ask her how she knew but she cut me off saying, “Alex Love, I have to hang up, my head is killing me.” And before I’d even wished her well, she’d hung up. After dinner, we sat around talking and Collin mentioned how much he’d loved surfing in Australia and how sad the waves were here. Austin got excited and said, “You SURF?” Collin got a grin and said, “I’m Australian mate, we all surf. You know, when we’re born we’re given boomerangs and surfboards and sent out.” Austin and Collin began trading stories and Austin said he felt like he needed to apologize for the shitty waves he had in Florida. Collin said that when Austin came over for business they’d make some time to hit the beach. When Collin asked what kind of board Austin had, Austin looked over at me a moment and said, “Well none any more-it was stolen last year, one of the reason’s I had to come down here. The theft I mean, not that I lost my surf board.” I understood that it was one of the things that that ass hole Gene had taken and sold. So they got into this whole surfer thing and I felt left out momentarily as this was something I didn’t share with either of them. Finally I said, “Collin, if Austin gets eaten by a pointer (Great white shark) I will be VERY displeased!”

The rest of the week was uneventful, and that weekend, the 7th, 8th, and 9th of February, we did a regular show and mentioned over and over the big show we had planned for Valentines weekend. Because Austin had said he wanted to show me something after lunch that Friday, which was Valentines Day, and because I had so much setting up to do for the special show that night, I told Mrs. Cleavlan that I was taking a half a sick day that day. I’d actually told her a week before I was planning to do it, but her carrying on and fit of rage, one would have though I’d asked to borrow the company car to pick up an underage whore. I basically ignored her as I had worked for the bank for 5 years and had glowing reviews on all my evaluations so far, and I had followed all the protocol and unless she could establish a reason to deny me the time off; I was good to go.

Thursday the 13th of February, we were having a brisk morning which is what they called weather from the 50s and 60s.. I muddled through work avoiding any confrontations with the bitch. Austin and Collin were gone when I got home but it was fine cause all I was doing was eating and changing my clothing. Austin had a sandwich and some salad waiting for me with a note that said, “It’s a tuna salad sandwich, there’s a Caesar salad in the bowl in the fridge… TAKE your shot… Collin has some paper work for me to fill out, see you when you get home-have a great time baby… Love you, Austin” I was about to dismiss this as just another note, but it suddenly hit me. It was an example of how Austin always thought of me. I just melted. Although I had no time to spare, I quickly took the note and put it in the top drawer of my dresser. After eating, I drove to the warehouse that we’d been using to practice in. When I walked in, the others were already practicing so I came in and sat with Bryan Okter, the dancer that had been in my stable at Christmas, and had been at all our rehearsals the past few weeks. I noticed immediately that on stage was an older black guy playing bass guitar. Tiago had said he had an old band mate who would probably fit right in. He had dread locks and wore basic jeans and a linen caftan. When Marika was done with the number she was working on, I went up and greeted Marika and her younger sister Maki and her cousin Vinda and to meet the new guy. The girls looked remarkably alike despite the several year age difference, mostly because they both wore basic black miniskirts with cream coloured tops and had identical hair styles, Neither though came close to the diva status of Marika who demanded attention as soon as she entered a room. Marika had brought her sister and cousin as back up singers to help with a few numbers. I shook the new guy’s hand and he introduced himself as Spider, we shook hands and I told him my name. He said, “I know you are brother; word of you reached beyond Tiago.” I wasn’t quite sure how to take that so I thanked him and watched him play a while. We practiced till about 11-o-clock when we broke with the understanding we were going to meet at the Seattle Scene between 5 and 6 the next afternoon. Spider, or whatever his real name is, played in a funk/disco style and fit in like a puzzle piece especially for many of Marika’s numbers. It also added a further dimension to my cover of wicked games.

When I got home, I found Tempest waiting up for me begging for the tartar treat I always gave him on my way through the kitchen. Austin was in bed naked and snoring his adorable low volume snore. I saw that he had set a Valentines card by a sandwich he’d made me on the table. I was awwwwwing over the card as I tested my blood sugar and took my night shot before bed, I got the card and presents I had gotten for him out of my jeep and set them at his part of the table. After finishing the peanut butter sandwich Austin had made me, I brushed my teeth and got ready for bed. I was asleep moments after I’d curled up against Austin’s chest and pulled his arm around me protectively.

The next day I woke up to find Austin dressed in the natural wool Greek fisherman’s sweater I’d gotten him, and nothing else, Standing at the foot of my bed. “Happy Valentines day baby!” He said enthusiastically. I blinked a few times and said, “Happy Valentines Day sweetheart… So why don’t you take that hunky body over here so I can give you a proper Valentines day blowjob to prove my love?” Austin grinned at me and said, “Horny monkey!” He then swished his ass at me and walked to the kitchen. I could smell the bacon and eggs and coffee he already had cooking. “I’m not opening the rest of these till you get out here.” He called out. “That’s good of you, you only open the biggest package, and THEN you get scruples.” I called back. “Come test your sugar, I want to jab your ass before you have to go.” He yelled out as I was walking into the kitchen, “If you hurry up you can jab it a lot before I have to get showered for work.” I said arching my eyes suggestively.

After I’d showered and tested my sugar, I let Austin shoot me in the ass with my insulin shot. I then sat down and pretended to be surprised when Austin handed me the card he’d left out over night. “I’m impressed” Austin said as I kissed his cheek before I opened the card, “Why?” I asked, “Cause I had rigged the card with a hair to see if you’d opened it over night to see what was in it,” he said smirking. I made a face at him and pulled out the card, it was a naughty Valentines Day card and had a naked guy showing his ass and looking over his shoulder. It was blank inside but Austin had written, {I love you Alex, there are a million things I could thank you for, and that wouldn’t begin to be enough, Mostly I want to thank you for being you and allowing me to be me without restrictions and only encouragement. No matter how much I love you, it will never be enough. All my love babe. I belong to you now and ever after. Austin.} He smirked wondering if I’d caught his little mimicking of me at the end; it was as adorable as he was standing in a sweater with no pants.

I just sat it down and closed my eyes as more than anything, I wanted to get up and do him on the table… and I guess it showed because Austin said, “Soon baby, very soon!” After he poured me more coffee, I had him open his other presents, a pair of light blue silk work shirts, a couple of silk ties, and a few pair of black fishnet boxer briefs I’d gotten online. I said, “These are really more for me…” I said with a grin. “You have to wait till lunch for your present” Austin said plainly with a grin so big I could have dived in and been lost. We ate leisurely the rest of breakfast and he dropped me off at work for another day in unmitigated hell.

With a great deal of drama, I finally went outside at 12:30 and waited about five minutes for Austin to pick me up. He said we were going to a sushi bar for lunch and handed me my testing kit. “We need to get you a traveling version, this is just so damn bulky” (Editors note: this was 1997- and the; Just like cell phones and computers, the meters were substantially larger then than they are now.) My sugar was a little high but not bad and I took a shot for it.

Collin met us for lunch and I presented him with a Valentines card too. He seemed shocked and taken back by it. “Um, well thank you Ma Puce, but I didn’t get you one.” “No worries Mate, you can get the check and we’ll call it square,” I said with a smile, knowing he’d have beaten Austin or I to a pulp if we’d tried to pay. “Deal!” He said with a nod to me.

After a nice lunch we all got in Collin’s Mustang and drove a while into the outback of winter park, Eventually we came to an old driveway and I noticed the “For sale by owner” sign in the drive way. The house I finally saw was hidden by a very tall fence of shrubs and a clump of bamboo. “Austin Camble, are you thinking of buying this house?” I asked, floored by the obvious 1950s architecture and size of the house. Austin was grinning like a school kid on Christmas morning… well actually like he did on Christmas morning come to think of it. “Come on, you need to meet Mrs. Nottinbach. and no anti-religious remarks Alex, she’s very Lutheran,” Austin said sternly. I scowled and said, “Yeah, cause I always go around trying convert people to Satanism.” “Whatever, we want her to accept the bid and she won’t if she wigs out because you got smart mouthed. Collin began laughing, “I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone that could win an argument with the flea.” He said referring to the nickname he’d hung on me.

When we knocked on the door, a small woman, even by my standards, answered the door, she was maybe 5’2” and that was due in part to large heels in her shoes. She wore a day-glow green knit top with a pair of black slacks and black shoes. A large golden cross hung around her neck. “Oh, you’re multiplying on me, well come on in than” She bid as she stepped aside to let us in. Although the architecture was clearly 1950s, the decor had been changed in the 70s and still had numerous burnt sienna, and bright earth tone oranges in the furniture, ancient spider plants hung in macramé hangers, and the TV was a large wooden console, a Curtis Mathis I noticed-very top of the line in the 1970s.
“I was just making a pot of tea, can I offer you cups too?” She asked politely. We all agreed and as we sat down Austin said, “Mrs. Nottinbach, as of this moment, I can put $70,000 down outright and arrange for payments afterwards, and this is without getting a loan from the banks.” I wanted to take Austin aside and remind him his Mom had asked him to limit it to 45,000… I then noticed Collin’s brief scowl as he looked out the corner of his eye. Mrs. Nottinbach said, “I’m sorry Mr. Camble, But a lovely pair of newly weds can put $65,000 down, and I already offered the place to them, they’re a church going, religious couple,” she said, My heart began to sink as I watched Austin’s face fall. Collin finally spoke up and asked if we could still see the house so Austin could show us some of the points, he liked, so we’d have a better idea of what we’d be looking for. Mrs. Nottinbach agreed and told us to follow her. As we walked through the living room, I smiled thinking how modern and swank this place had looked in 1975. Austin was saying how he liked the big windows but I had to see the bathrooms and kitchen to see what he really loved. The part of the kitchen he loved were the counters and cupboards that went almost to the ceiling- He could put stuff there I’d never be able to reach or even see with out a ladder, I wondered how the 5’2” woman had used the spaces. But his favorite parts were the rounded corners in all the ends of the cabinets. These had obviously been hand made and weren’t off of any hardware shelves. The bathrooms were still done in 1950s black and white tiles with turquoise tub, sink and toilet. “Isn’t this so cool?” He asked enthusiastically, I smiled and resisted calling him “soo gay” and said, “Yeah, I love these old houses, I’ll bet it’s built like a tank too, nothing hurts these old places.” I said noting Mrs. Nottinbach nodding and smiling. “Yes, Henry, my late husband built this place with his brother and our boys, he loved this place, but he was so worried about hurricanes and tornados, since he’d grown up in Arkansas, that he built a bomb/storm shelter under the house-the entrance is under the stairs.” I wanted to see it as I’d never seen a bomb shelter before. But Collin said we needed to be going as I was performing that night. Mrs. Nottinbach was very gracious as we left, I think it was obvious she’d figured out that we were gay, it was apparent that Austin and I didn’t share any genetic links so his claim about us being brothers was likely dismissed out right… As we drove away Austin lamented, “Damn it, I was hoping to get that house today! Now I don’t have valentines Present for you.” He said sulking. I reached up from the back seat and massaged his shoulders, “relax baby, it’s the thought that matters to me. But ummm, how were you going to put $70,000 down, I thought your mom asked you to stay under $45,000? I know I don’t have that kind of money saved. Collin who’d been driving spoke up and said, “I offered to give it to him, to double what he had, but he said he wouldn’t take it as a gift, but would make arrangements to have a percentage of pay withheld to pay me back. Frankly, I wanted to pay it all in cash right there, but Austin said no.” I was floored, not that Austin had said no, he was far too proud to accept that, but that Collin was willing to do such a thing. He’d never been cheap or stingy, but grandiose gestures like this weren’t him either. My little antennae began twitching.
When we got the Seattle Scene I went right in and began helping Robert and Jorge set up, I told Collin and Austin to go out and to bring me something for dinner later when they came back. Tiago, Robert, Phil and I were there early, setting up a light show beyond what we’d ever done in the past. “So Phil, what did you get Korma for Valentines?” I asked him. “Well, we started out with a dozen red roses before breakfast, which I brought to her in bed.” He said which got nods from Robert and Tiago. “And tomorrow I’m taking her out to dinner in Orlando” Phil added. “So what did you and Austin do for each other?” Tiago asked. “Well I got him a sweater a few shirts, some ties and a very sexy pair of boxers.” I said emphasizing the “Sexy” part. “Cool, what did he get you?” Phil asked as he dropped some power cords he was untangling. “Well, he was going to get us a house, but that didn’t pan out.” I said waiting for the chorus of guffaws. “Damn you gay dudes always gotta out do the rest of us!” Robert said shaking his head side to side. “You ain’t lying!” Tiago said. “Soooo,” I queried Tiago, “You got a special guy or girl you’re celebrating with today” I asked. “As a matter of fact Mr. Flea,” He said trying to rattle my cage. I screwed up my face when I realized that my nickname had returned thanks to Collin. “I am seeing a wonderful black man right now, he’ll be here tonight.”
About 7:30, Austin and Collin came back and brought me a grilled shrimp Caesar Salad. I was already drinking my second iced latte, and after testing my sugar and taking my shot, I sat down and ate. Collin was eating a piece of lemon pound cake with a cappuccino while Austin was either talking to me or trying to get Bryan to say why he was here this night. “I asked Bryan to be here.” I said hoping to curb Mr. Question.
As the early evening dragged on the bar began filing up way beyond what it usually did. The overflow was gathered outside on the covered walkway but the doors were open as it was a gorgeous evening out. It was past the frigged cool of winter and before the time of mosquitos.
When eight O clock finally came around, Tiago was wearing a red top but he’d be shirtless after a few numbers, Phil, Robert, and I wore red shirts and black pants, Marika had on a full length red dress with a swirl of burgundy sequins on it and a white silk scarf wrapped around her neck. She was on red high heels and wore a large red hat on her finely coifed head.
When we were ready to begin all the lights were turned off, Robert was playing a piano scale on his keyboard. “Happy Valentines day ladies, gentlemen, Even you Michael,” I said looking right at my Michael. “And Marika…” I said knowing she was behind my trying not laugh and trying to think of a proper retort. “We are doing a special tonight and I think you’re going to love a few of the specials we’ve put together, If you like the show, we’ll be doing it all weekend so tell your friends. To begin with we have a few special guests I’ll be introducing after our break.” I then sat down on a tall bar stool and a soft blue light fell down on me from a spot light. “The following song is one from a powerful singer named Seal. It’s called Don’t Cry” When I nodded my head Robert began a keyboard lead in and Jorge shown a soft white spot light down on a heap on the floor in front me. At first, it looked like a strange rock, but as the song began, an arm shot out, and the form unfolded into a tall dancer with reddish hair wearing a rust colored leotard. Although I was the main singer, Marika and her cousin and sister sung back up and Spider played his mean bass.
Don't be so hard on yourself.
Those tears are for someone else.
I hear your voice on the phone.
I hear you feel so alone.
My baby.

Ohh my baby.

Please my baby,

My baby,

When we were young,
And truth was paramount.
We were older then,
And we lived a life without any doubt.
Those memories,
They seem so long ago.

What's become of them?
When you feel like me I want you to know.
...They've all gone for sure...

Don't cry.
Not alone.
Don't cry,
Tonight, my baby.
Don't cry,
You'll always be loved.
Don't cry,
My baby.

Today I dreamed,
Of friends I had before.
And I wonder why.
The ones who care don't call anymore.
My feelings hurt.
But you know I overcome the pain.
And I'm stronger now,
There can't be a fire unless there's a flame.

Don't cry.
Your not alone.
Don't cry,
Tonight, my baby.
Don't cry.
You'll always be loved.
Don't cry oh...
Limousines and sycophants,
Don't leave me now,
'Cause I'm afraid what you've done to me.
Is now the wolf.
In my bed, (L)

In my head.
In my head.
In my head.

The challenges, we took were hard enough.
They get harder now.
Even when we think that we've had enough.
Don't feel alone,
'Cause it's I you understand.
I'm your sedative,
Take a piece of me whenever you can.

I sung the main song and Maki and Vinda did the back vocals for me.

Don't cry.... you're not alone.
...don't be so hard on yourself...

Don't cry.... tonight my baby
...These tears are for.....someone else...

Don't cry.... you'll always be loved
...I hear your voice on the phone...

Don't cry.... tonight sweet baby
...I hear you fear... so alone.

Don't cry... don't cry... don't cry... don't you cry... baby
Cry... Don't cry...
'Cause you still be loved
Don't cry
Don't cry tonight

Bryan was dancing and spinning and spending more time in the air then on the ground, the soft lights made the rust leotards shimmer with a pearlescent hue.

My baby my baby my baby my baby my baby my baby my baby da ba ba da da...

my baby my baby my my baby my baby my baby my baby mymy baby my baby my baby
..ohh.. ...yeyeyeyeiah... ...yeyeyeyeiah...

My baby....

You'll still be loved

Bryan landed up on his knees before the audience and raised his hands over his head then as the light dimmed, he fell forward.

Bryan had danced and spun and leaped to the same song he’d preformed for his Dance major at UCF. When he’d finished in a pose with his arms stretched over his head and Robert and I fading out the music, The Audience rose as one and gave us a resounding round of applause. When it was over I stood up and raised my hand to indicate Bryan and said, “Bryan Okter everyone… please give it up for Bryan Okter.” Then I stepped back and raised my hands to the two young black women singing back up and said, “And guest staring tonight are Marika Williams Younger sister Maki, and her Cousin Vinda Williams. They will be doing back up for us tonight and helping me out on this next number. And lastly, some of you may have noticed a new band member who’s adding some very talented bass for us.” Just then Robert and Tiago began a soft Rhythmic Staccato which Spider joined in on. “Some of you have complained we only sing very old songs and never tangle with newer stuff. Well…” I lead in as Maki and Vinda began a soft rap…

Yeah, yeah (Oooo)

Uh, hey hey

All right, yeah

At this point I began singing lead and walked over and ran a hand first over Collins shoulder and then into Austin’s pollo…

What a man, what a man, what a man

What a mighty good man

What a man, what a man, what a man

What a mighty good man

What a man, what a man, what a man

What a mighty good man

What a man, what a man, what a man

What a mighty good man

I wanna take a minute or two, and give much respect due

To the man that's made a difference in my world

And although most men are ho's he flows on the down low

Cuz I never heard about him with another girl (or guy)
I added with a grin.

But I don't sweat it because it's just pathetic

To let it get me involved in that he said/she said crowd

I know that ain't nobody perfect, I give props to those who deserve it

And believe me y'all, he's worth it

So here's to the future cuz we got through the past

I finally found somebody that can make me laugh

I walked right up to Austin during this and finally added:

(Ha ha ha) You so crazy
I think I wanna have your baby


My man is smooth like Barry, and his voice got bass

A body like Arnold with a Denzel face

He's smart like a doctor with a real good rep

And when he comes home he's relaxed with Pep

He always got a gift for me everytime I see him

A lot of snot-nosed ex-flames couldn't be him

He never ran a corny line once to me yet

So I give him stuff that he'll never forget

He keeps me on Cloud Nine just like the Temps

He's not a fake wannabe tryin' to be a pimp

He dresses like a dapper don, but even in jeans

He's a God-sent original, the man of my dreams

I said looking right in Austin’s eyes and smiling at him

Yes, my man says he loves me, never says he loves me not

Tryin' to rush me good and touch me in the right spot

See other guys that I've had, they tried to play all that mac shit

I added to this part by taking over all the vocals and wagging my finger at the audience…

But every time they tried I said, "That's not it"

But not this man, he's got the right potion

Baby, rub it down and make it smooth like lotion

Yeah, the ritual, highway to heaven

From seven to seven he's got me open like Seven Eleven

And yes, it's me that he's always choosin'

With him I'm never losin', and he knows that my name is not Susan

He always has heavy conversation for the mind

Which means a lot to me cuz good men are hard to find


My man gives real loving that's why I call him Killer

He's not a wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am, he's a thriller

He takes his time and does everything right

Knocks me out with one shot for the rest of the night

He's a real smooth brother, never in a rush

And he gives me goose pimples with every single touch

Spends quality time with his kids when he can

Secure in his manhood cuz he's a real man

A lover and a fighter and he'll knock a knucker out

Don't take him for a sucker cuz that's not what he's about

Every time I need him, he always got my back

Never disrespectful cuz his mama taught him that

I ended the song sitting in Austin’s lap with an arm draped over his shoulder. Maki and Vinda had gotten into the song and blew the crowd away with a fade out which they preformed flawlessly. We got another resounding round of applause for that. Marika stepped in then with an Aretha Franklin cover of DEEPER LOVE, which the girls did a fantastic job of backing up and spider did a fabulous job of enriching with his bass. I did Chris Isaac’s “wicked games” also with Spider’s bass, And we covered love songs by Joni Mitchell, Erasure, The Beatles, Tori Amos and of course, Dusty Springfield. I say, ‘of course’ because Marika had declared to the entire Audience that, “Mrs. Springfield may have been born a white British girl, but when she found her soul, she became a sister of mine.” The crowd was buzzing when our first break came; Austin was like a little puppy bouncing up to see me carrying the iced latte. “Holy shit Baby, THAT was fantastic!!!! How come you never sang rap to me before?” He asked with his dazzling eyes gleaming at me. I smiled at him hopefully mirroring his look. “I just did it for the first time out of practice! AND it WAS all for you… Denzel!” I said grinning up at him then turning to see Henna who had motioned to me earlier. Austin grabbed me back for a kiss before turning me around and pushing me towards Henna.

“Yeah Henna, what’s up Hon? Did you like the show so far?” I said high on the energy the crowd was making. Henna was grinning ear to ear, “YOU are coming over early tomorrow, cause Jorge and I have a surprise for you. And I’m not telling you what it is tonight!” She said. “Ok, but have you liked the show so far?” I asked again. “Baby, we’re turning people away by droves, Oh, by the way, We had to turn your friend and an older friend away earlier, but he says he’ll be here tomorrow early.” Henna said loudly over the din of the crowd. “You mean Justin and his father?” I asked her.

“Probably Baby, You got it goin’ on tonight sweetheart!!!” She said kissing my face. “Please make sure they get seats tomorrow Henna, put them on a VIP list or something please?” She gave me a funny look then said, “Sure babe, no trouble.” Michael and Jason wandered over after she walked back to the counter, Jason gave me a big hug and kiss and Michael glared at me and said, “Not too bad munchkin, but when did you become a black girl?” He asked referring to the En vogue/Salt-n-Pepper number. Maki who’d been standing behind me stepped and said, “Excuse Mister Mister.” She said stepping up and snapping her fingers up towards his face, “But ain’t nothing closer to being a black woman than a gay man!” She said snapping her fingers in his face dismissively. Michael didn’t know what to do so he gave a quirky look and said, “Whatever!” And turned and walked away, Jason, Maki and I had a good laugh about it though, It was a rare day when anyone outside Jason or myself could make Michael back down. “Honey, I’m taking you with me EVERYWHERE now!” I said hugging Maki. “Please Alex, my sister told me long ago how funny it was watching you put the big man in his place… I think she used the phrase, ‘David and Goliath’” Maki said grinning. Jason leaned closer and hugged me with one arm and whispered in my ear, “Excellent show Alex, you’re blowing people away- you too Maki, you and Vinda are just knocking everyone’s socks off!” Then he rubbed my shoulder and went to find Michael.

The second set we did a few duets with Marika and I and her sister and cousin doing back ground vocals, Our best number was probably the old Jackie DeShannon song that Annie Lenox and Al Green covered, and like them, we did a great gospel pop version of: Put a little love in your heart:

Think of your fellow man
Lend him a helping hand
Put a little love in your heart
You see it's getting late
Oh, please don't hesitate
Put a little love in your heart

And the world will be a better place
And the world will be a better place
For you and me
You just wait and see

Another day goes by
Still the children cry
Put a little love in your heart
If you want the world to know
We won't let hatred grow
Put a little love in your heart

And the world (and the world) will be a better place
All the world (all the world) will be a better place
For you (for you)
And me (and me)
You just wait (just wait)
And see, wait and see

Take a good look around
And if you're looking down
Put a little love in your heart
I hope when you decide
Kindness will be your guide
Put a little love in your heart

And the world (and the world) will be a better place
And the world (and the world) will be a better place
For you (for you)
And me (and me)
You just wait (just wait)
And see

People, now put a little love in your heart
Each and every day
Put a little love in your heart
There's no other way
Put a little love in your heart
It's up to you
Put a little love in your heart
C'mon and

Put a little love in your heart

And we faded it out while encouraging the audience to sing along with us. I did another Seal song to which Bryan did another of his modern dance numbers. And after we did a few more covers we took a break and Henna got me another iced latte. “Sweetie, the show is amazing!” She said grinning. A few minutes later as I was talking to a few audience members who wanted to thank me and the others, a large hand came over my eyes and I was pulled against Austin’s shoulder. I knew it was Austin because of the guy’s size, because Austin had a weird thing about covering my eyes from behind and I knew his cologne. I said, “Jason, Austin’s gunna be pissed…” When I was bit on my ear and a muffled, “Shut up!” was growled out, then, I was pulled backwards into the back room. Still standing behind me, Austin ran one hand up my shirt and the other down my pants to grope me as his mouth kissed my neck. “When we get home I am going to give you SUCH a Valentines present!” He said before nibbling on my sensitive nape. I managed to say, “If you don’t stop, we are soooo gunna break that vow of yours!” I said before moaning. “Babe, its Valentine’s Day… The vow is suspended till tomorrow” He announced like I was dumb for not knowing this. I was so excited by that statement I squealed and spun around and leaped in Austin’s arms, “Oh my god! Lets go home!!!!!” I said oblivious to anything else. Austin laughed and said, “You sir, have a one track mind, remember, you have one more set to do, and I don’t think Marika wants to do the rap or Seal number.” He said laughing. “Ok, yeah… you’re right.” I said trying to decide if we had enough time left for me to jump his bones in here.” Austin kissed me and groped my ass then said, “How about I leave you half way through your next number and get ready for you at home?” I swallowed hard; he had spiced the statement with a great deal of innuendo and hidden promises. “You better be fucking naked as the day you were born when I get home!” I said running a hand in his shirt to grope his fuzzy chest, the hair was very trimmed but growing back nicely. Which reminded me, “I uhhh, I’ll need a shave…” I said which I knew would make him happy, He moaned and looked me in the eyes, “YOU are gunna be limping tomorrow, little boy!” Austin rasped in my ear as he pulled back and gave me his sultriest and sexiest glare. I looked in his eyes and said, “I am going to drain every once of fluid from your body tonight, so I don’t wanna hear any whining buddy boy” Austin grinned, “Michael gave me some Viagra so we’ll be all set.” he said sticking a baggy in my pocket. “It’s been two months Austin, I don’t think I’m gunna need any Viagra.” Austin smiled and said, “Well, I don’t want you running around tomorrow saying, “ohhh you’re 22 and you had to plead for me stop sucking you off…” He said mimicking me in a falsetto “So I’m taking mine.”

We were busy kissing when a knock on the door followed by Marika saying, “Five minutes horny boys!” I kissed him passionately for approximately the next three and a half minutes then growled as I tore myself away, “You got about 20 minutes, then you better go home and get real naked!” I said as I slid down his muscular frame. I stepped back and marveled at the perfect specimen that was going to fuck me in about an hour. His eyes were just stunning and his teeth sparkled in the dim light. “Hope you don’t mind me objectifying you before I go back on stage”. I said to him reaching out and running a hand under his shirt onto his fuzzy eight pack tummy. He got an ear-to-ear sexy grin and blushed, “naaaa, I kinda like it! It’s sexy.” He said coyly.

I eventually pried myself away and went to the stage. We repeated our first set. After our, “Whattaman” rap, which of course I attributed to Austin by singing it to him and sitting in his lap again, Austin gave me a big smile and got up to hug Henna, Jason, Michael and Collin before leaving. His last over the shoulder glance and grin at me gave me such a boner. I found myself trying to sing faster after that so I could get home after the show. Marika however wanted to go over a few notes, and Henna wanted to remind me about our meeting the next day. Michael wanted to talk to me about the wedding, which he already knew the date of, and Jorge wanted to ask me about the color spotlight on Bryan. I said, “Austin is at home naked and waiting for me-he said the vow is off just for tonight!” I said brusquely. “THEN WHY are you here?” Michael asked as he shoved me out the door.

FINALLY I escaped and raced home.

On my way home, I called Austin on my new cell phone, “Hey honey, I’m out now.” I said into it. “Good boy, how long till you get here?” He asked, “Ohhh, I’d say 10 minutes… just enough time for you to get out of your clothing and warm up the bed.” I said before adding, “And you can save a few seconds if you already have the condom on when I get there.” I said anxiously into the small phone. “Horny much?” Austin asked with such a deep smirk I could hear. “YOU’D just better be naked and lubed and sheathed when I walk in the door.” I ordered as I turned onto the brick road that went through the older neighborhoods. “I have a better idea” I said grinning into my phone. “You want me in the collar and restraints?” He said in his sexiest voice. “THEY will just slow us down, I want you all naked and condomed and waiting for me in the front yard.” I said knowing the public nature of it would appeal to him even if it was dark out and we had a house between our driveway and the street. “Ok, But I’m wearing my jacket cause it’s still fairly cold out.” Austin said as I heard him walking around. “Whatever, just have it open when I pull up cause I want to put that body in my headlights.”

“DAMN you are one horny little dude!” Austin laughed. Several minutes later, I turned off the brick street onto our paved driveway. As I pulled back beyond the big main house into the alcove that led to the Mother-in-law apartment. I saw a big guy in a black leather jacket and a pair of Oakley shades, masturbating with a sexy smile on his face. When I turned towards him he let the jacket open completely and I saw his whole body in the bright lights. And his hard on was covered, lubed, and VERY hard already. I was so anxious for what was only a few seconds away from me, I tried racing to get out of the jeep so fast I forgot to undo my seat belt and was bounced back into my seat. As I was undoing my seat belt as fast as possible, Austin strode up to the open door and looked down at me, “So I’m out here naked freezing by balls off and you won’t even get out of your car?” I stopped struggling and looked up at the wildly grinning boyfriend of mine. “Are you going to tease me or help get me out of here so we can fuck?” I asked. Austin leaned in with a huge grin and said, “Here baby, let me get that troublesome seat-belt for you.” He teased as he undid the lock.

“Oh sure!” I teased, “Make it look simple…” I said as he turned his face to me and kissed my mouth as he scooped me up. “Shut up!” He said before pulling me against him for another kiss. We got into the house quickly and after we were in Austin hoisted me up and threw me over his shoulder like a potato sack. “Hey, how come ‘I’ had to be naked and you’re still fully clothed?” Austin asked as he got to the bedroom. “Cause number one, you are waaaaayyy hotter than I am.” To which he scoffed. “And number 2, it’s hard to get undressed when I’m driving.” I said to which he replied, “if you really wanted to you could.” Ignoring him I continued, “And number three, Cause I knew I could make you strip if I wanted to.” “Turd boy!” Austin said as he dumped me on the mattress. As I landed on my back Austin pounced and began stripping my clothing off, as he was working furiously on my pants, I began unbuttoning my shirt. When my pants were around my legs Austin came up and helped me get my shirt off and began sliding it off my shoulders, “Wait a second” I said realizing I hadn’t undone the buttons on the cuffs yet. “Why?” Austin asked kneeling over me. “Cause I don’t wanna get tangled in my shirt.” “Ohhh, Why?” Austin asked grinning down on me as my shirt was pulled down my arms. I was about to make a rude comment when his grin and the fact that my shirt and pants had me totally tangled up hit me. Austin noticed the panic on my face and leaned close, “Collin has given me a BUNCH of ideas!” He said before his fingers fell on me and he began furiously tickling me. I screamed and twisted and turned but his binding of my arms and legs had me totally helpless. I screamed and pleaded and cursed and threatened him. Finally, as I was getting tired and stopped putting as much fight into escaping as I had done earlier, he stopped and asked, “Now that you have me rock hard and dripping, can I shave your body?” I looked up at him then closed my eyes as I said, “But I’m still all tangled in my clothing.” I said hoping he’d release me. “Sorry baby, Collin told me to expect that trick, he said the only way I can trust you again is to make you promise not to retaliate.” He said wiggling his fingers in the air over my chest. At first I was going to hold out and drag it on… but when I saw him stand up with the hard on poking out in front of him, I just moaned. “Ok, ok, I won’t try and get you back…” I promised, “Collin said you’d try that too but I had to press the point by making you promise not do anything at all to me once you’re released.” I rolled my eyes and thought that I needed to shut Collin up. “OK, I promise not to try anything aggressive with you or retaliate.” Although I thought of a bunch of ways out of the binding agreement, I wanted sex a lot more than I wanted to get revenge-at least at that moment.

“Ok, Ok, Put the hand cuffs on me if you’re so scared little ol me is gunna hurt you.” I teased up at the big guy. Austin looked up to his right side as he stroked his imaginary goatee as though he were considering it, “Naaaaa, if you promise I’ll trust you-besides, if you do anything aggressive I’ll just go to bed and leave you here with a wicked case of blue balls. “I PROMISE; NOTHING! I WON’T DO ANYTHING TO YOU!” I yelled desperately as Austin was unbuttoning the cuffs for me. “YOU sir, are a masochist!” I teased as he grinned deeply and used his thumb to play with my nipples. With in a few minutes I was as naked as he was, sucking on his right nipple. “Ok, ok!” Austin said pulling my suction locked lips off his nipple. “You better get in a fucking position…” He said and without even hearing his ultimatum, I jumped up, wrapped my legs around his waist tightly, and threw my arms around his neck, “Hold on baby, you should aim yourself at my hole…” I said with anticipation so great it could be tasted.

And so Austin used his hands to guide himself into my hole. I was soooo, happy to be doing this I’d forgotten all about his earlier teasing. Austin slammed me so hard I feared I’d be bucked off him except for my legs locked around him and his hands holing my ass cheeks. Austin didn’t last long, after all this time I think a weak breeze could have set him off. The nice part is he had taken the Viagra and was ready to go again before I’d even dismounted. “And WHERE do you think you’re going young man???” He asked as he grabbed my legs and said, “Ok my limber acrobat, lets see if we can put these up around my neck and I can just hold you as I fuck you?” By the time I’d agreed to his new position, he had already put my ankles over his shoulder and locked his hands behind me. “O-O-O-Oh F-F-Fuck!” I yelled as he thrust into me with all his might. He lasted maybe five minutes this time, but when he shot, I could feel it even with him in a condom.

“Ok, I’ll be good to go again in a few minutes, How about I shave you now?” He offered as he carried me, still in the position we’d just fucked in, Austin moved to a counter in the bathroom to sit me down on. I realized after a moment I was sitting on a towel and noticed that all the equipment next to me. “ Anxious much???” I queried. “I just fucked you twice with all those little needles shredding my cock, gimme a break, besides, you know how much I get turned on doing this.” I sat attentive, as he lathered me up, not that it had gotten soft since I got there, but within moments, he was dripping. I laid back and lifted my legs in the air and spread them wide as he looked down to the asshole I’d just exposed to him. “Alex, I sure hope you don’t plan on walking too much tomorrow…” He said deeply, “Because even if I am smaller than Jason and Collin, I plan on pounding that ass into fine butt meal!” I started to laugh, “Into WHAT?” I asked looking up at him, “Butt meal, it’s like corn meal only it’s ass flavored.” He said like it was the most ordinary thing in the world.

Before we’d collapsed into sleep, we’d done it on my back, on my belly, standing, him sitting with me on top, and on my hands and knees. After our last foray, he mentioned that I’d only cum three times so far and he was feeling guilty. I shrugged and told him I was fine and as long as he was doing what he was doing, I’d be up for more. He got a sly grin and mysteriously added, “Colin gave us something for tonight.” “You mean aside from all the crap he told you earlier?” I asked. I was curious, and yet again, my little antenna vibrated. “He got this for you, but for you to use on me.” He said as he pulled a tapered vibrator that was maybe and inch and a half at the smallest end and maybe 4 inches at the base. It had been taken out of the package already and I just looked at the rubberized shaft and then back at Austin. Austin gave me a sultry look as he got on his hands and knees, “Collin said you should spend some time getting me ready for it and to go slowly” Austin said with a worried smile. “A-Are you sure?” I asked as I rubbed it up and down his ass. “Just loosen me up first, that thing is a lot bigger than the one you used before, Collin said I should try it and you needed the practice.” He said plainly. The remark struck me as weird; it was odd for Colin to be so… so… I didn’t know what, but his presence felt a tad intrusive. I however, tapped the deepest recesses of my alpha male self and first rimmed Austin deeply. I then used one then two fingers to loosen up his nearly virginal sphincter. After half an hour, I was hard again, and so was Austin, though his was chemical, at least I assumed so anyways. Eventually, I got two fingers from each hand in his tight muscular ass and gently spread the fleshy hole apart, opening it up for the plastic that was going to get buried in his ass. He was moaning and when I had sufficiently loosened Austin up, I removed my fingers and lubed up the vibrator, it was tapered from about 11/2” to about 4 inches on a 8” shaft. I worked the head in and listened to him moan and groan as I let Austin get used to the intrusion before I went on. Austin was moaning and rolling his head back and forth as he permitted me to go further. After I had about half of it in him, it was about three and half inches wide and about four inches deep inside him, I flipped the switch and watched Austin fall on his belly and moan low and long. “Oooohhhhhhh f-f-f-f-fuuuuuck!” Austin groaned. After about a half hour of this, I began cranking myself and was ready to bust in moments. I came all over Austin’s face after a short rapid thrusting of the toy in and out of him. He dribbled his load onto the towel I had placed under him. When he was done I withdrew the toy slowly and fingered him lightly as I rubbed my free hand up and down his back telling him how proud I was of him. “Well, Don’t get too proud of me, I don’t see me doing this again real soon.” He said with a forlorn grin. “Good, cause I prefer you giving a lot more than receiving.” Austin rolled his eyes, “TYPICAL girl friend.” “Did any of your past girlfriends fuck you in the ass?” I asked with arched eyebrows. “No, but than neither did you really-you used a toy.” “And just something to keep in mind, they come a LOT bigger than this too baby.” I said back at him… “Not for me they don’t!” He said flatly.

After all that strenuous exercise, I realized my blood sugar was getting low, so while I tested it, Austin made me a couple of graham crackers with peanut butter and a big glass of milk, after that we brushed our teeth and got back in bed. “Soooo, You never told me.” I said knowing he had no idea what I was talking about. “What am I supposed to tell you?” He asked. “YOU were supposed to tell me last year about this time who gave better blow jobs, your girlfriends or me.” His face lit up and he grinned a huge grin, “Does it really matter now?” He asked laughing. “Yes it does, it’s the principal”, I said.

“But no matter who wins, we can’t do anything about the prize until we’re married.” He said brushing a lock of hair out of my eyes. “We have all night and YOU are still hard.” I said defiantly though I knew both of us were exhausted. “You won…” He moaned, “BUT you still have to wait cause I’m pooped out.” He said pulling my tightly against his chest. “Keep a condom ready, you can fuck me awake tomorrow.” I said as I snuggled closer to him and pulled his arm around me. “Pervert!” Austin laughed as he moved up so he could reach down and cup me, something he hadn’t done in a long time. “Then we’re a good match.” I said breathing out contentedly. “So, was this part of my present?” He asked with a grin I could hear even in the dark room. “Baby, I couldn’t have asked for a better present, even a new house.” I knew he had the gloating grin on, “You just wanted to get my cock in you.” He said boasting. “True, but you still have to get me a house now.” “Typical girlfriend.” He said pulling me against his chest and kissing the back of my ears.

I woke up about 9:30 am, which was amazing considering we’d only fallen asleep just before dawn. The first thing I did was call Henna and tell her I’d be in about 1pm for our “lunch.” She was almost bubbly her excitement was so palpable. So I let Austin sleep as he and Collin had some mischief at about 4pm. Austin was right, I was walking funny and my hole felt sore and empty. But I showered and had a peanut butter sandwich for breakfast with a big cup of coffee.

Ten minutes later, I was walking into the Seattle scene and Henna came running over with a huge grin on her face. “You’re high!” I said with a self-knowing smile. “Nooo, well, OK I AM, but just pot… hey, lets go in the back room Jorge is there.” She said shuffling me into the back room while telling the young girls who took care of the store to make a large Iced Latte. Jorge, even though he’d clearly been smoking most of the morning, seemed a bit more excited than normal too. Henna told me we’d get stoned and then she’d show me what’s been going on and see if I was interested.

Several bowls later, when I was a giggling lump, Henna handed me the latte I hadn’t even noticed her going out to get. She told me to go get in the car Jason was driving. Outside the bar, I saw Jason sitting in a new Ultima dressed in an open Hawaiian button up and surfer shorts, they seemed like obvious choices given his athletic body and blond good looks. He broke into a big grin when I got closer, “Alex? Is that you in there?” He teased. Then he told me to bend over and used his fingers to open my eyes wide. All I could do was giggle… “Go on Alex, you ride shotgun, I’ll be in the back.” Henna said.

A few minutes later we were pulling up to a shopping center off a Colonial drive side street, I had no clue yet what we were doing there, “You like the architecture?” Henna asked, although the area were in was more commercial and light industrial. “What, the urban-sprawl look?” I asked. I may have been stoned, but my sarcasm was working fine. We stopped and walked to what had once been a movie theatre, it was now closed, the whole center was actually, the theatre had a curved glass front and a spire on the roof that looked like something from the Jetsons. To my surprise Henna pulled out a key and unlocked the front door, she opened it and nodded her head towards Jason who used his hand to guide me inside the very run down Art deco lobby. I was going to ask when this had last been open, when I saw a ROCKY III poster. That was stuck to a wall, “So whaddaya think?” She asked slurring the words together. “It’s pretty cool, I said looking at the hurricane glass bricks that circled the lobby letting light in but obscuring everything but colours.

We walked around and she began painting a picture for me of a big stage with a bunch of small tables and some seating against the walls. Suddenly I understood, “You’re planning on moving the Seattle scene to here?” I asked pleased that I had gotten that despite being drugged beyond belief. “Yes, well partially, the coffee house is a go, but that’s not why I asked you to be here…” She said as though I’d know what she was talking about… At that moment she’s lucky I was standing. “Sooo, why did you want me to see this?” I asked. “See that empty stage?” she asked as I looked where she was pointing, it was a wooden stage mostly taken up by a full size movie screen with holes in it. “Yeah…” I said. “Jorge and I would like to hire you to fill it weekly, not just with the Tellers, I want to hire you as an entertainment manager. You have a great way with planning and pushing the envelope just so far without getting risqué. I think we need to have a manager to deal with finding new acts and designing the occasional show.” She said then added, “It’s a part time position for now. We’ll have to see where things go, but between this job and your Tellers job, you could quit the job with your bitchy boss.” I was stunned, my head was swimming, and only a small part of that was from the pot.
“But… uhhh what about medical insurance? I kinda need medical now that I’m diabetic” I said.

Henna looked less pleased and asked me if I thought I could do it as well as my other job. I agreed and she then took me around explaining her visions for a retro coffee bar/night club. She had a lot of ideas already as far décor and menu items went. The counter/bar area was going to be brushed aluminum or stainless steel topped. There was going to be a lot of neon lights and south beachy type things in it, and aside from a basic coffee house, they would do a full lunch and dinner menu as well. They were also applying for a license to allow them to sell wine.

As I sat down to absorb it all Henna told me some of the ideas that she had bounced off Jorge. “I was thinking of a monthly poetry slam, and a weekly open mike night, we have a stage so I was thinking of maybe asking UCF if they wanted to do their current plays on it… AND if we do well, we could hire known bands and artists to play here.”

I asked permission to bring the rest of the group over and she said sure. I then had a brilliant idea, I got out my new phone and called each of them and gave them directions on how to get here, including Austin. Austin wanted to know why and I said it could concern his new business with Collin. So I told him to bring Collin too. Henna decided we needed drinks so she ordered them over the phone then ran back to get them as I waited for the other band members. It turned out Robert had already been told about the move and the new place and the others were excitedly looking around ooing and ahhing as they noticed things. Henna got back a little later and she and Jason walked in carrying trays with many coffees and lattés in cups. “So where’s my dressing room gunna be?” Marika asked walking up to Henna. Henna was a little taken back then said, “Well, no one will have their own dressing room, but we will have a dressing room for the main acts to use.” She said and then added, “Come on I’ll show you. It’s nothing but a supply closet now, but when we’re done with renovations, it’ll be bigger and much better lit. We followed her back and she led us around telling us what they had planned. “So when will you be opening this place?” Tiago asked, “Depends on how the renovations go, but we’re hoping for a June opening. Maybe in time for the big gay day at Disney crowd,” she said

Austin and Collin arrived last and both were walking around with Marika and Maki looking at the place, “Awwww, this place is fantastic Henna.” Collin said brightly as he walked up to Henna and me. Austin had come over to me with a big smirk, “So did you really have business to discuss or you just missing me?” Austin asked and hit me gently with his shoulder, “Naaaaaa, I mean I missed you, like always, but Henna said something that made me think of you.” I said to him, he suddenly looked closer at my face then whispered, “YOU mister, are stoned!” I was nodding and giggling as he stood up and gave me his best grin. “No fair, I wanna get stoned too” Austin said in my ear. “Later hon, after you do your stuff with Collin, trust me, he won’t like you getting stoned, or knowing I am. You need to run interference.” I said in his ear. Suddenly Collin yelled out, “Alex Johnson, get your ass over here!” His loud voice sounded like trouble, but I couldn’t think of anything aside from getting stoned that would upset him. So I walked over as I yelled back, “WHAT!?!?” I said as I walked up to Henna and Collin, “Alex, babe, I just explained to Collin what we wanted to do, and that we asked you to be a part time entertainment manager…” Henna said then Collin cut her off, “And she said you had to turn it down cause you didn’t have insurance.” I looked back and forth between them, “Yeah?” So Collin got a smirk and said, “Well first of all, I’ll get Austin’s to cover you too if it’s what has you so worried, and second of all, you and the rest of the tellers could get an independent policy for all of you covered by the groups funds, It shouldn’t be hard at all to set up.” “Collin!” I said excitedly as I leaped up to hug him. “Austin, you boyfriend is hugging me and I can’t breath” Collin gasped out as he hugged me back. “Yeah, he loves choke holds, that one!” Austin said sounding very Australian. Suddenly I heard Collin tapping out on my back, tapping out is a sign we use in judo to signal giving up, like saying “UNCLE”

We had a brain storming session and Collin agreed to sign a contract to be the sole supplier of wine to the bar in exchange for some financial help getting started business started. I had agreed to sign on as entertainment manager and group leader of then Tellers while Robert ran the musical directing, Robert had also agreed to design and implement the sound and lighting equipment and the new control room where the projection room had been. Marika was going to lend her talents for decorating the bar and designing costumes for us, but I told her I wasn’t wearing anything that Austin would snicker at or Michael could make a Muppet joke about. I told Henna I wasn’t leaving until the work was done and she laughed and said they’d just closed on the building and that no work was being done until next weekend,

“So…” I asked, “Can I start telling the crowd about the new place yet?” I asked Henna. “You can mention it, but we won’t be advertising it for a while yet,” she said. After we’d explored the place and the adjoining business next door which had been a restaurant at one point but would no be expanded as food prep, storage, and additional bathrooms, for the workers with a sizable workers room. After we’d all seen and explored everything, Henna called Jorge and told him to meet us at Cabanarros Cuban Deli because she was taking us all out to dinner. Austin and Collin had to bow out as they had a meeting at 4:30 in Winersprings and it was already 3:30. So we piled into the vehicles parked outside and Henna told us how they were redoing the outside with a seating area and a patio with a fountain, plants and aluminum tables and chairs.

By 5:00 we had been all been seated and the feast started, we were given our waiter named Jose, and he was as wound up as we were. We ate like little piggies and a few marguerites were passed out, But I was good and ate sparingly and was ready to get back and prep for our evening show. Justin and his father got in, and Dan and his new girl friend sat with Dennis and Glen and even Brandon and Billy showed up. I asked Billy why he was at a concert during our break, knowing that he was deaf and he said, “Because I can hear some of the drums and bass, and the energy from the crowd is electric, it’s like a drug.” I hugged him and thanked him for coming by, and told him I loved his new magenta hair. We repeated our sets from the night before and I got home all excited wondering if I could talk Austin into another night of sex. When I got home, Austin was buzzing in his own light. “Tomorrow we gotta go look at a house!” He said almost before the front door had closed. Before I could ask Austin ran up, kissed me on the lips and said, “Mrs. Nottinbach called and said one of her neighbors and best friends was going to put her house on the market soon, so she said we should go over tomorrow and see it, she said it’s even bigger then her place and has a pool.” Austin was almost dancing he was so happy. I couldn’t help but giggle with him he was so wound up. “That’s great babe.” I said with a big smile. Suddenly, he got a wicked grin and said, “You know, it IS still Valentines weekend…” Moments after I screamed and grabbed him, we were in bed naked.

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