© 2005-2010 Julien Gregg
All Rights Reserved

Chapter 21

"Great show, Sky," said Kevin Richardson when Skyler got to the Summit Party Box with Chad and Jason.

Skyler didn't know why he was so shocked to see Kevin Richardson. The man had found ways to pop up out of nowhere without warning several times since Skyler and Brian had broken up. He'd have thought it was out of pity, but Kevin seemed to genuinely like him. A smile spread across his lips before he could stop it. He reminded himself that Kevin was straight and there was no way that he could ever return the feelings that Skyler was developing for him.

"Thanks, Kev," he said, broadening his smile. "When did you get here?"

"We flew out yesterday," he said. "Couldn't find any information on where you're staying, though."

"I'm staying with my dad," said Skyler as Cassie came back with Niki and Brittany Spears.

"Chris and Howie are with me," informed Kevin. "They're off somewhere with Christina."

That let Skyler know that there were at least three more celebrities in the box. He'd never said anything about keeping them out, and he was actually kind of thrilled that they'd come to see the show. He had to wonder how many other people had found out about the "surprise" concert earlier than he'd intended. He wondered if they also knew about the party that was being held later that night at the Magnolia.

"How did you all get time off to come and see me?" he asked, taking the drink that Niki had brought him. He smiled at her.

"We're on down time right now," informed Kevin. "No studio, no shows, nothing."

"How did you manage that?"

"We demanded," laughed Kevin.

"Skyler, what time are we leaving for the party?" asked Niki, eyeing Kevin a bit hard.

"I'm not sure," he admitted. "Getting out of here at this point would be impossible. I thought we'd at least stay for the game."

"Your dad said that he wanted to stay for the game," she said. "He asked me to check with you."

"Well, I guess we're all staying until the game is over," he laughed.

They all took their seats, and Skyler noticed that Kevin made sure that Niki would trade seats with him so that he could sit next to Skyler. It made Skyler wonder just what he was up to. He was sure that when the press started taking pictures a minute later, Kevin would become uncomfortable, but he didn't. He did notice Kevin looking at him throughout the baseball game, however. He was beginning to wonder what was up.

He noticed that Howie glanced at him now and then, but Nick had his eyes glued to the field. Skyler slowly scanned the rest of the people around him and found that none of them were watching him. He decided to ignore the looks from Howie and Kevin and enjoy the game. It had been a long time since Skyler had been to any kind of sporting event, and baseball was one of his favorites.

During the seventh inning stretch, they all gathered around the buffet table to fill their stomachs. There would be food at the party as well, but Skyler was hungry. He'd been too excited all day to eat anything. This was something that Tabitha had lectured him about on the way to the stadium. He smiled as he thought about that. Tabitha had treated him as if he was her son, and Skyler liked that.

Getting out of the stadium after the game proved to be easier than any of them had thought. There were so many people around that Skyler's group, disguised in baseball caps and Rockies jerseys. No one really gave them even a second glance. When they all climbed into the SUVs, people gathered around to watch as the procession of automobiles left the lot, but Skyler was amazed at how easy it had been to get out of there. He suspected that most of the people had thought they had left right after the show.

When they arrived at the Magnolia Hotel for the party, they got what they'd been expecting at the stadium. Unlike the show, the party hadn't been kept secret. The reason behind it wasn't public knowledge, but a big banner that said "Welcome Skyler Thomas" told everyone in Denver that Skyler would be at the hotel. He supposed that some of them must have believed that he would be staying in the hotel, but most everyone already knew where he was staying. Letters, cards and visitors arrived daily.

Skyler spent thirty minutes with fans, signing autographs, passing out pictures and posing for more pictures. Brent broke it up and ushered Skyler into the hotel exactly thirty minutes after Skyler got out of the SUV. They all filed into The Magnolia Room, and Skyler was pleasantly surprised to see many guests already at the party. Some had skipped the game and left the stadium right after the show.

He quickly took his seat at a table with Niki, and his family. The other celebrities made their rounds around the room, greeting people and getting drinks. Every one of them came to Skyler's table to say hello. Only Kevin, Nick and Howie made sure that they found seats at his table. He was starting to wonder about what those three were up to.

He talked with them throughout the party, but he talked mostly to Niki and his family. Niki wanted to know about the album, and everyone listened closely as Skyler explained that the album would be released on the tenth. He explained that he wasn't really doing a promotional tour for the album. He had a few talk shows booked, and there was "Saturday Night Live" as well. He'd agreed to host the show before coming to Denver.

Everyone seemed shocked when Skyler took a seat at the piano and Niki brought him a microphone, but they clapped when he began to play the music to The One That Got Away. This had been planned all along, and it was the only part of the party that had been kept a secret. He had wanted to do a little something for everyone that came to the party, and not all of them had been able to attend the show at the stadium. He did noticed that Kevin made sure that he had a front row seat for the performance, though. He put that out of his mind and started to sing.

"So you have finally made up your mind. Take one last look at who you're leaving behind. We lost the ending we were too late, but we took time enough to devastate. When people never say things they lead themselves astray,

"Oh, oh, oh. The one that got away gave me everything I never had. Oh, oh. The one that got away gave me everything I never had. I had no problems, you had no doubts. We were the ones they used to talk about. We saw no windows we had no door. I used to wonder what the shouting's for. When people never say things, they watch their love decay," he sang.

He had to really concentrate on the music for the song, because he hadn't rehearsed for it even once. He'd recorded the song the day they finished the album, so it wasn't a song he'd had much practice at.

"Oh, oh, oh. The one that got away gave me everything I never had. Oh, oh. The one that got away. When loves take it too far they bow their heads and say,

"Oh, oh, oh. The one that got away gave me everything I never had. Oh, oh. The one that got away. One that got away. One that got away. One that got away," he sang and played the end of the song. Everyone applauded him when it was over, and he smiled at them and thanked them.

"That was great, Sky," said Christina Aguilera as she came over to stand in front of him, cutting Kevin off.

"Thanks," he said with a smile. "I'm glad you liked it."

"The show was amazing, too," she said as they walked over to get drinks. "You and Chad sound really great together."

"Well, thank you," he said, smiling at her. "Chad would love hearing that."

"Oh, Brit and I have been stalking him all night," she laughed. "He's a doll."

"He certainly is," said Britney Spears as she joined them. "Hi there, Skyler."

"Hey, Britney," he said, smiling. "How are things in your world?"

"Great, thanks," she said. "We're working on my album. I'm having a lot of fun."

"That's good to hear," replied Skyler. "I haven't heard anything out of Justin lately. How is he?"

"He's doing good," she said. "He and the boys will be here in a few weeks. What are you plans?"

"I'll be in Denver for the rest of the month unless something comes up," he said. "I'm supposed to be on a promotional tour."

"I heard that you weren't doing one this time," she said, cocking an eyebrow at him.

"I decided that I needed to focus on a few other things instead," he replied. "I'm thinking about the next album already."

"Workaholic," laughed Christina. "This one isn't even out yet."

"It will be in six days," he replied. "I've been talking with Madonna about the next one, though. I want to do something a little different."

"Like what?" asked Britney.

"Nope," he chuckled. "I'm not giving anything away."

"Skyler, we're about ready to head out," said Niki from behind him.

"Is everyone ready?" he asked, turning to face her and seeing that Kevin was right beside her.

"I think so," she said, eyeing Kevin. "I'll go hunt down the twins."

"I'll meet you guys at the table," he replied.

"See you later, Skyler," said Christina as she and Britney turned to go.

"Later girls," he said, smiling. "Have fun."

"I liked the song, Sky," said Kevin once the girls were gone. "I'm hoping that you and I can spend a little time together before I have to leave."

"When do you leave?"

"We can be here for another week, and then we have to get back to Florida," Kevin explained. "Nick and Howie will probably leave in a few days. They're both itching to get back to Orlando."

"We could have lunch tomorrow," said Skyler. "Bring Nick and Howie."

"That sounds good," said Kevin. "They're both bitching that they never get any time with you."

"I didn't know I was so popular in your group," replied Skyler. "After what happened . . ."

"Let's not talk about him," said Kevin as they walked toward the table to join everyone else.

"I agree," said Skyler, but he was focused on Brent. The man looked worried for some reason.

"Skyler, there's a problem," he said once he was close enough to be heard. "You and the twins can't go back to your father's house tonight."

"What's wrong?" asked Ben, coming over to them.

"Well, to be honest, Ben, I can't protect Skyler at your house right now," said Brent, turning to face Ben. "There are people everywhere around your house right now, and the police are there to keep them from doing anything stupid. They're screaming for Skyler."

"We knew that this would probably happen after the show," said Skyler, slumping his shoulders. "I guess we could try to book rooms here."

"Already done," said Eric, coming to join them. "I have you in a suite upstairs already. I sent a few people to gather your stuff at the house."

"Well then I guess we're not leaving," said Skyler, looking at his father apologetically. "Sorry, Dad."

"Don't be sorry, Skyler," said Ben quickly. "You're famous now. I'll get used to it."

"You might not want to stay at your house until Skyler and the twins leave Denver," said Brent. "It wouldn't be hard for us to book you a suite here, too. Jason was in the show as well. Things could get a little strange for him for a while."

"Oh, I think we'll be all right," said Ben.

"If you're sure," said Eric.

"Dad, we can book you a suite," said Skyler. "At least for tonight. Let the police get everyone away from your house tonight. Stay here."

"Well, maybe tonight wouldn't hurt, Ben," said Tabitha as she stood beside him. "I don't want Jason getting spooked."

"We'll stay tonight and see what's going on tomorrow," said Ben, and Eric left them to talk to the hotel manager.

"I'm sorry about this Tabitha," Skyler said, hating the idea that they couldn't go home because of him.

"The price of having talented children," she said with a smile. "You have nothing to be sorry for, Skyler. You were all so magnificent tonight. I loved watching you all on stage. Jason had more fun than he's ever had, and he still won't stop talking about it. Don't be sorry for that, Skyler. What you did for him was something that no one could do for him."

"Thanks," he said as she hugged him tight.

After that, everything moved fairly quickly. Eric returned with key cards for Skyler and Ben. He also told them that their things were already in their suites. The men that they'd sent to the house packed a few outfits for Ben, Tabitha and Jason as well. Cassie's things had already been packed, so they had no trouble getting everything.

They made their way to the elevators and up to their suites as quietly as they could. Guests were leaving the party, so the other guests in the hotel didn't have time to focus on Skyler with so many other celebrities around. Kevin, Howie and Nick already had enough security, and it worked out that both suites happened to be on the same floor as theirs. Skyler wondered about that as he let himself into his own suite, watching Kevin let himself into the one across the hall.

Niki had a room on the floor as well, but she would be leaving in the morning. Britney and Christina weren't staying at the Magnolia, so they had already left. Skyler sat on the sofa in the living room of the suite and sighed. He hated that his presence in his family's lives had disrupted so much. He thought about returning to New York and trying to let them get back to their normal lives, but he really wanted to spend some time with them.

The twins were both exhausted, and they went straight to bed. Both of them decided to leave unpacking for the next day, and Skyler knew that they would spend the rest of the month in Denver as planned. There was Jason to think about as well. He wanted to get to know his little brother better. He'd gotten to know him pretty well so far, but he knew there was more to him than what he'd learned so far.

He was still thinking about that when he heard a knock at the door to the suite. He was sure that it would be his father or Tabitha, maybe even Jason himself, but he was shocked when he confronted Kevin instead. He was also shocked to discover that he was so happy to see him.

"Hey," said Kevin. "Couldn't sleep, so I thought I'd come bug you."

"Come on in, but we should be quiet," said Skyler. "The twins are sleeping."

He followed Kevin back to the sofa and tried very hard not to get too excited when Kevin sat so close to him. He had to get a grip on himself. Kevin was straight, and there was no way that anything could change that fact. He knew that he was still probably on the rebound after what Brian had done to him, and he didn't really trust his emotions.

"So things got hairy at home?" asked Kevin, breaking the silence that had began to mount between them after they'd sat down.

"People everywhere," sighed Skyler. "I'd hoped to be able to spend all of my time with my family while I was here, but I guess that won't be happening."

"Your family is just in the next suite, Sky," he said. "You can still spend time with them."

"They'll go back home tomorrow," Skyler said. "That'll make it like every other time I try to spend time with someone who isn't in the hotel with me."

They were both silent after that. Skyler's mind was filled with thoughts about his family. He wasn't prepared for Kevin's actions. He was more shocked than anything when Kevin suddenly turned and put his arms around him, drawing him closer and kissing him. He had Skyler's shirt off of him before he could even think. Then he was leaving a trail of kisses from Skyler's mouth to his chest.

"Kevin . . ," he said softly.

"I want you," he replied before he licked his nipples, first one, then the other, lovingly. A thrill of electricity shot through Skyler with every lap of Kevin's tongue.

"No," said Skyler, but he didn't push him away with any conviction, only halfheartedly, wanting to be convinced that what Kevin wanted was real.

"I love you," said Kevin, meaning it. In just the short time he'd known Skyler, he had fallen in love. It shocked and even terrified him, but it was true. He loved Skyler; a man. He loved his exquisitely composed face; the soft angles that gave way to harder angles as his jaw made room for his sexy lips. He loved his perfectly toned body; watching him move on stage was sometimes unbearable. He loved his complex mind and wit, his courage in the face of adversity. He loved his indomitable spirit and loyalty. He was fascinated with the way Skyler walked, the way his eyes seemed to bore into him when he looked at him. He couldn't believe that his cousin had been so stupid and betrayed him the way he had.

"But . . ," Skyler said.

"Shh," replied Kevin.

He kissed his throat, felt the throbbing of Skyler's pulse against his lips. Skyler's heart was racing. So was his. He couldn't believe he was finally doing what he'd been fantasizing about for weeks. He had him in his arms. All inhibitions were gone. There was nothing holding him back now. It made him feel almost free, and he loved that feeling.

He lay Skyler back on the long, deep sofa. The shadows of the dim room were deep and purple. They wouldn't be seen from the doors to the bedrooms.

"We shouldn't," said Skyler, but he kept kissing Kevin's neck, his chin, lips, cheeks and eyes. "If the twins wake up . . ."

"We'll hear them," replied Kevin, breathless, aching with need. "They won't just come into the dark living room."

He kissed Skyler's nose, each corner of his mouth, planted a chain of kisses along his jaw line and kissed his ear. His hands moved over his hard, muscled body, and he thrilled to the perfect form and texture of him. Each breath made his chest rise against Kevin's hand, his entire being thrummed with the reverberation of sexual heat.

"We have to be quiet," Skyler nearly moaned.

"Not a sound," he promised.

"Not a sound."

It was the wrong time, the wrong moment, the wrong place, the wrong everything. Though it should matter, it didn't seem to, not much, not enough for Skyler to protest any longer. He'd said he loved him, and Skyler was sure that he loved him back. He didn't know how long he'd loved him, but if he thought about it hard enough, he was sure he could pin point the exact day that friendship and companionship had turned into love and desire. Though at that moment he couldn't think hard about anything. He couldn't think clearly at all, he was swept away by the sheer power of the love he felt radiating from Kevin.

It wasn't merely Kevin's protestation of love that caused Skyler to cast aside caution and take the risk of getting so close to him. It was good, healthy and wonderful. It was Kevin. Suddenly, Skyler had to have Kevin inside of him. No thoughts of pain or what it would mean came to his mind. He just knew that he had to be one with Kevin right at that moment. Knowing that Kevin understood, he started to peel his clothes off his body while Kevin mimicked his actions. With tenderness and care, Kevin joined himself to Skyler, and they were one.

Kevin's body was lean, the muscles hard, well defined. His shoulders were sculpted, his biceps were rock hard. His chest was smooth and broad. Everything about him excited Skyler to an extent that he had never been excited before. Every nerve in his body was many times more sensitive than before. Each kiss and touch, each stroke he took within him, was so explosively pleasurable that it bordered on pain, astounding pleasure, pleasure that filled him and drove out everything else, every other thought, until he clung mindlessly to Kevin, amazed at the abandon with which he embraced him, unable to understand or resist the primitive rutting fever that possessed them both.

Everything, the need for silence, the oath he'd given, the look in Skyler's sexy blue eyes, they combined and had a strangely powerful erotic effect on Kevin. Even when he came, he didn't cry out. He threw his head back and drove himself deeper into Skyler, but he let loose no sound. He clutched Skyler's hips and held himself against him, arching his back and shaking with the power of his orgasm. He didn't lose his erection, not even for a moment, and they paused only to change positions, remaining welded together, but sliding around on the sofa until Skyler was on top, and then he lay back and let Skyler ride him with a pneumatic fluidity and sinuous rhythm that was unlike anything he had experienced with a woman, and he lost track of time and space. He lost himself in the powerful, erotic song of flesh and motion.

He had never in his life been so lacking in self-consciousness while making love. For long moments, he forgot where he was, even who he was: he'd become a being fueled by pleasure, oblivious of everything around him. His entire being was centered on Skyler and the pleasure they were receiving from each other. Only once was their hypnotic rhythm interrupted, and that was when he was sure that one of the twins had come out of the bedroom and was watching. One look around told him that they were still very much alone, very much undiscovered. Then powerful lust and love seized him again, and he gave himself over to the act of making love to Skyler with abandon. He was unable to do anything else. He was completely lost in Skyler.

Before they were sated, Kevin had been shaken by three of the most powerful orgasms of his life, and he'd lost count of the number of times that Skyler had coated their stomachs with his own seed. He didn't need to know the number to know that neither of them had ever experienced anything like this in the past. When it was over, he was still trembling. He felt drugged. He held Skyler for a time, saying nothing. He was still too lost in the idea of being with Skyler to form words that would be coherent. It wasn't until they both became aware of the fact that they were literally becoming stuck together as the embers of their lust fueled desire ebbed, and they felt the slight chill of the room itself that they stirred.

"I should get back to my own room," said Kevin as they pulled themselves apart.

"No," said Skyler. "I want you with me tonight."

"That isn't a good idea, Sky," he said.

For a moment, anxiety replaced the soft satisfied look in Skyler's eyes. He felt as if he were on the edge of panic. "I thought you'd want to stay with me."

"I do, Sky," he said. "Nick and Howie will wonder where I am if they wake up and don't find me. How will I explain this to them? You know how much my cousin still loves you. If he finds out that we . . ."

"I understand," Skyler said, interrupting him. "I don't like it, but I understand. Not about Brian, though. What he did to me doesn't entitle him to having us watch out for his feelings, Kevin. I understand about Nick and Howie."

"I love you," said Kevin before kissing him softly on the lips. "Don't forget that, Sky."

"I won't," replied Skyler, refusing to utter the words himself. He was still leery of admitting that he loved anyone. Brian had taught him well.

The next chapter will be posted soon.