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About unilive

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  1. unilive

    Chapter 17

    After a month without seeing my friends, having Jordan around was refreshing. I had missed hanging out with him, I had missed the laughter. I had missed goofing around and making jokes. I had missed being able to talk freely and without restraint about any topic. He wasn’t Rob, but still, he was my best friend and his presence was making Rob's absence easier to endure. As soon as he got to New York, time began to go by quickly. We had decided to leave and go back to Dublin just after Jimmy's birthday. It was Saturday and our flight was on Tuesday. As Jimmy had invited over one hundred people, he’d hired a catering team for the party. Around eight, guests started arriving in twos or fours. Soon, the party was well and truly underway and things became hectic in the kitchen for the catering staff, that didn't arrive early enough to set up and looked overworked and understaffed. Jordan and I began helping out. I was in the kitchen, quickly assembling melon, mozzarella and Prosciutto skewers when Jordan walked up to me. Uncharacteristically, he just stared at me for a moment without saying a word, as if he was waiting for me to say something. I turned my head to look at him and chuckled, "Fucking say what you gotta say!" Still, he didn't speak and kept staring at me. "What?" I insisted. He shook his head, "You knew he'd be here tonight, didn't you?" he asked. I understood that he was talking about Damien and felt nervous about it almost instantly. I stared at him for a second before concentrating on what I was doing again, "I knew who would be here?" I asked with a smirk. "Don't play dumb. Did you?" he asked again, getting annoyed with me. "I figured as much," I admitted, "Why, is he here?" "Yeah. Just walked in with another dude... I don't know what the hell you think you're doing, but,… don't!" he said, genuinely worried. I looked up at him again and said reassuringly, "Look, if he's here, that means he still hasn't got the message. I need to just… talk to him," I explained. He frowned, "For fuck's sake. What's with the drama? Isn't being gay supposed to make things easier? How many times do you have to flush to get rid of him?" I laughed, "Hopefully, this should be the last time. Don't worry. I know who I want to be with, and that's not him. Just make sure I don't end up alone with him for too long," I chuckled. "Jesus Christ. I'm only one man!" he exclaimed and turned his head to peer into the living room, "I don't know the guy he's with, but if he's fucking him, he's not doing a very good job," he joked. I assembled one last skewer and handed him the tray as I told him to make himself useful instead of talking shit. He went back into the living room and I stayed in the kitchen, hoping that somehow, I'd be able to hide in there long enough to figure out how to best handle the situation. "Seems like we've got quite a lot friends in common," I heard only a moment later. "Have we?" I asked, not even turning my head to look at him. He walked up to me and, as I had started assembling appetizers on an empty tray, he asked if I needed help. I answered that I didn't and looked up at him. He smiled at me before turning to the guy he was with and introducing me to him. "This is Josh," he said, I wondered for a second if he was dating him, but to be honest, I didn't really care. "Hey, how's it going?" he said in a friendly manner and immediately added, "so, you're the guy?" I briefly looked at Damien. Had he talked to him about me? "He's the guy," Damien said with a small laugh. "I guess I should be thanking you. He was pretty miserable because of you." "Shut up!" Damien said, rather self-consciously. He laughed and grabbed a couple of appetizers. Then he turned around, patted Damien on the shoulder and headed out of the kitchen. Damien gazed at me with a shy smile, "I wasn't that miserable." I watched him and went back to assembling the appetizers, "You really have to stop doing this." "Doing what?" "Showing up wherever you know I'm gonna be," I answered, looking back up at him. He shrugged his shoulders, "We didn't get a chance to talk the other day." "I thought I'd made myself clear." He didn’t respond and grabbed an appetizer as well. He brought it up to his mouth and rested one of his hands loosely on the table, "Jordan keeps glaring at me. Is he gonna kick my ass? Should I be worried?" I chuckled, "He might. I take no responsibility for Jordan's actions. He's unpredictable." "Alright," he chuckled too, "I'd better watch my back." I nodded. "So… how come he's here, but Rob isn't?" he asked, trying to keep the conversation casual, but going straight to the point. "He's got other commitments," I responded. He grabbed another appetizer and after a brief hesitation, he asked, "Do you wanna tell me what happened between the two of you?" "Why do you assume something happened?" I responded. "You've been here for quite a while without him, haven't you?" "So?" I said, turning my head so my eyes met his, "We're not joined at the hip." He just held my gaze, "Aren't you?" he responded doubtfully. "I had a lot of editing to do for the record." His eyes narrowed, "Since when do you do the editing alone?" I didn't answer so he added cheekily, "Did he cheat on you?" I snorted, "No… Not that I know of." "Then what?" he insisted. I moved the tray I had finished filling to the side of the table. A girl from the catering staff immediately grabbed it and rushed out of the kitchen to serve the guests. "It's just…," I began saying as I started placing ready-to-heat appetizers on an empty tray. "he's very famous. And that makes things a bit complicated." He gave a slight nod and pushed his lips together, "Doesn't he enjoy it? He seems to handle fame pretty well." "Yeah, he seems to… But he doesn't," I explained. "He's full of contradictions," he responded. I shook my head slightly, "Don't act like you know him." He didn't answer and added after a short moment, obviously trying to change the subject, "I've watched the 'One love Manchester' concert from June, after the attack. How was it?" I smiled softly and immediately seized the opportunity to talk about music and to stop talking about Rob. I started telling him about the benefit concert that had taken place in response to the bombing after Ariana Grande's concert in Manchester. "It was great. It was a good way to come together and say 'Fuck you, terrorism.' When they asked if we wanted to be a part of it, we knew we had to turn up for it. The atmosphere backstage was so strange though. But the crowd in Manchester was just perfect." "Yeah, it was an amazing thing to put together. Everyone looked so emotional. … Another great 'Fix You' moment by the way," he smiled. "I know. This song works on so many levels." He grinned, "And sharing the stage with Liam Gallagher, you absolutely nailed the guitar solo." I grinned too, "Thanks. Again, we got to play with one of our heroes from when we were growing up. He's a true Manchester legend!" "Yeah, he is." he agreed. "Regardless of his attitude." "He was alright. He was great actually. Just a shame Noel didn't turn up. He was a surprise guest. Everyone in the audience was in shock. They arranged a private jet to fly Liam out to the concert 'cause he first had to play a gig in Germany at the Rock am Ring." "Yeah, I heard him say in an interview that he would have definitely got back for it, no matter where he would have been in the world." "Yeah. He really wanted to be a part of it. So, he was rehearsing 'Live Forever' with his band, and I dunno, for some reason, he decided he wanted the performance to be about the words and the melody and what the song was all about. He just wanted to sing it, and have the people sing it back, you know, just sing it together. So he was like, 'oh fuck, I'll sack the band, would you just play the guitar? 'cause you know, you're alright, and it's all about coming together this gig … and you and I are gonna live forever' and stuff like that". "Fuck, that's awesome." "I know. Honest, 'Live Forever' was like, one of our favourite songs growing up. We used to cover it all the time when we started the band. I can play it with my eyes closed, and so can Rob. So we said yes right away. I mean, he's quick to criticize, but he seemed to like us enough, that night anyway," I chuckled. "It was a really good live performance of the song." "I don't know. I didn't read what people thought of it. I'd rather not." "I'm telling you. It'll be a classic. It was the best he's sounded in years," he joked. "Yeah, he's back!" I exclaimed," he really put his heart into it. He reminded people he's still one of the greatest rock stars ever. He sounds much older now but he still sounds great." He remained silent as I placed the tray in the oven and then he added, changing the subject again, "You really do like to cook, don't you?" I smiled slightly at his attempt to start a more personal conversation, "I would hardly call that cooking," I said, because I was indeed a bit of a cooking enthusiast. "Well, no one else but you is helping with the food." "I guess that's one thing my father taught me. He always used to say that he hated all the Irish junk food." I wondered for a second why I was mentioning him. I had never talked to Damien about my family. It wasn't a subject I would broach with anyone, except for the people closest to me. I figured that knowing that I had to go back to Dublin a few days later and talk to my mother again was stressing me out more than I wanted it to. "What's the deal with him?" he asked. "You seem to hate his guts." "Really, you've noticed?" I asked as I started the last remaining tray. "I seem to recall you and Rob backbiting him a few times, yeah." "Oh. We must be doing it without realizing it anymore... I've got a fucked up family," I said flatly, not making eye-contact with him. "Don't we all?" he asked, not dropping the subject, "My parents got divorced when I was ten and they've never been able to get along since then." I shrugged and blurted out, "Yeah, well, my mother's a good catholic woman who cheated on her husband, got pregnant with me, and then had him raise me as his son because she wouldn't get an abortion. So he's always resented her for it and hated me." He didn't say anything so after a few seconds, I looked up at him. He just stared at me, a bit stunned. He searched for something to say but no words came out of his mouth. After a few seconds, he stuttered, "Ok, you win!" I let out a chuckle, "I don't know why I'm talking about them." "Did you know he wasn't your father?" he immediately asked. I shook my head no, "No. They did a great job hiding it from me. And when you're a kid, that's not something you even think about." "Shit. That's heavy. Is your real father French though?" "Yeah, he lives in Bordeaux. Hardly speaks a word of English." "Really? My aunt lives there. I used to go there on vacation." I smiled, "Small world. We used to go to Frejus, on the Mediterranean coast." "I'd love to go back there. It'd bring back good childhood memories. I haven't spent any time in France for like ten years. I mean, except for Paris." "Yeah, me neither." He smiled, "See, there's something we could be doing together." My eyebrows furrowed and I shook my head, "Don't do that!" I said and placed the last tray in the oven. I decided that I had done enough to help out in the kitchen so I turned to Damien and said, "After you!" he looked at me at bit too intensely at that instant but finally turned around and headed out of the kitchen. We went back into the living room to get a drink. The guests were all mingling, talking, laughing and hanging out as they drank cocktails and ate the appetizers. Soon, the buffet was served. The entire living room and balcony was full of people and most of them wanted to talk to us. Jordan and I talked to a few people from the music industry. Some of them were famous, others famous maybe in their own minds. We had to answer the same recurrent questions, "Are you working on another album?", "When is your next record coming out?", "We should try to work together."…. Once the music began playing loudly, everybody began to party and dance. I partied with Jordan and a bunch of beautiful girls who were in awe of us, as well as a kid who couldn't have been over nineteen, and who was overtly gay and pretty fun to party with. I tried to stay away from Damien as much as possible but the more the party progressed, the harder it got. After an hour or so, he came up to me, wrapped his arm around my waist, pressed his body against mine and whispered in my ear that he wanted to talk to me in private before walking away. I watched him head up the stairs, even though th party didn't extend up there. I knew I was going to follow him, I had to do this. I felt anxious and my head was spinning, although I had hardly drunk a thing. I was thankful for that because I might not have been able to handle the situation very well otherwise. I wasn't even one hundred percent sure that nothing would happen. As I began heading toward the stairs, Jordan stopped me dead in my tracks by calling my name loudly over the music. He grabbed my arm and asked in my ear to make sure I'd hear him, "Where the fuck d'you think you're going?" "To fuck his brains out!" I answered matter-of-factly. He just looked at me and ordered somewhat playfully, "Stay where I can see you!" "Jord, it's fine," I said as I began pushing him backwards to reach the bottom of the stairs. He pushed back, obstructing me from going up them "You've asked me to make sure you wouldn't be alone with him." "For too long…," I added. He tutted, "If you're not down in five minutes, I swear, I come up there!" "Fine. I don't need more," I said, trying to shrug him off. He shook his head, "You haven't had sex in over a month. You might not need more." I laughed, because even though he didn't need to know that, I was indeed going through a horny phase. He asked suspiciously, "How drunk are you?" "Not drunk at all! Do you even know me?" I exclaimed and leaned even closer to him, "Although, I might not resist the temptation to get wasted after this," I said with a laugh, I felt like I had been taking things way too seriously in the past few weeks. "Please, indulge yourself!" I smiled and he asked, "How drunk is he?" "I don't know!" I exclaimed, "Come on, get out of my way," I said. He let go of my arm and raised his hands, saying as he let me pass, "Just remember that I've tried to stop you! Don't do anything you'll regret!" "I won't!" Once upstairs I noticed the bathroom door was slightly ajar, I walked inside and closed the door behind me. I looked at him and he stared up at me with his beautiful blue eyes and smiled. Here we were again. "Hey," he said quietly. He was having a hard time keeping his eyes from moving down my body and he had the same intense expression that he'd had the day he kissed me in the studio. But somehow, the look on his face made me think that this would be his last attempt at seducing me. "Whatever you have in mind, you know I didn't come up here for that," I said. "Just tell me to leave then." I said nothing and he stood there for a moment as we stared at each other. My chest was heaving. I had just been dancing and I felt like I had just finished a three-mile run. Damien looked like he was thinking a million thoughts at once. "Fuck!" he exclaimed, running his hand through his hair, "I hate how you make me feel. Every time I think I'm over you, and then I see you again...." I rolled my eyes slightly, "Why did you come to the studio last week?" "Because, I needed to see you again. Because I thought I was over you…," he said and then stared at me for a few seconds. His eyes brightened and I thought he was going to add something, but instead, like lightning, he came rushing toward me. There was a fire in his eyes as he reached up and grabbed the back of my head and pulled me toward him until our lips met. He was kissing me hard, and making no apologies for it. For an instant, I felt almost paralyzed by the intensity of the kiss. He pressed himself against me as he continued kissing me, and I could feel him hardening as my back knocked against the wall. "Stop !" I almost yelled and pushed him off me, "Fuck, I'm not here to have sex with you.…" He backed away from me and touched his lips as he looked at me, breathing hard, "You sure?" "Yeah, I'm sure." For a few seconds, he just watched me, "Why do you keep acting like this is one sided…? You're attracted to me,’’ he stated. He was saying this all very calmly and maturely. He didn't sound desperate, I liked that. "I am attracted to you, I think that's obvious. But that doesn't mean my feelings are any less for Rob," I had said his name, and I could tell it upset him. He seemed to think about what he could do or say say next, "Yeah, well, I don't think I'd be capable of being attracted to anyone else if I was with you," he said. "Maybe your feelings for him aren't as strong as you want to think they are." "Don't start telling me about how I feel or should be feeling. You've said so yourself, you've never been in love with someone." He came closer to me and placed one hand against the wall behind me, "I am in love, ever since I met you," he said, gazing into my eyes. I raised my eyebrows at him, "Stop doing this to yourself. Your 'so-called' boyfriend is downstairs and you're here, trying to…." "I don't care about him," he interrupted me, "I want you," he said in a low tone, "just give me a chance." "I can't give you a chance," I responded dryly. "Then, why did you follow me up here?" "Because I need you to understand that you can't be with me." "I don't think that's true," he whispered as he placed a single kiss on my cheek, "you're just afraid to admit that you aren't sure if you are with the person you should be with. You're afraid to give me a chance." I lightly shook my head, "No. Damien, I'm happy with my life. I'm happy with who I'm with," I said, trying to pull away from him. It was all too much, he wouldn't let me go. He pressed his body into mine, brought his lips to mine and began kissing me intensely again. I resisted at first, but the feeling of being kissed quickly overwhelmed me. His strong hands held the sides of my face and he tried to use his tongue to part my lips. For a second, I let him and began kissing him back. 'This is just so wrong,' I kept thinking to myself as he continued his assault on my mouth. I had to stop this. Damien's hands moved down and started to unbutton my shirt and his lips trailed my jawline and throat. This was the time to stop it, I knew, but I didn't end it yet. His warm hands began to caress my chest, making me start to stiffen as his lips moved to my neck and then slowly down my chest. I knew that it was time to make a decision. As I saw it, I had two options. First, I could let the overwhelming wave of lust overtake me, have sex with Damien, break his heart, break Rob's heart, putting myself into the role of a complete asshole. Second, I could stop this all right now before a lot of people were left feeling hurt and confused. Damien's hand moved to my belt buckle. I obviously decided on option number two. "Damien, I can't," I said, forcing his hand away, "it's just not right." He looked at my lips. I could tell he wanted to feel them against his again. "I just can't win," he said with a hurt smile, taking a step back. "No. You've got all these feelings for me…you know you want more than just sex." "I'll settle for that right now," he breathed. "Stop it. I don't love you," I told him resolutely. "You could love me," he insisted, staring into my eyes. I stared back, "No! I know what it's like to be in love." "Come on, it's obvious things aren't great with him right now." "That doesn't make it ok to be with someone else, especially you of all people. I've told you, what's going on with him is none of your business. Don't think you know anything about our relationship." He sighed and I rebuttoned my shirt as I began saying, not really trying to let him down easy anymore, "Do you even realise what you're asking me?... You're asking me to give up my whole life for you. My career, my friends, my boyfriend of nine years…I can't do that to him. I won't." He looked down, not wanting to hear that. He was all too aware of the implication that having a relationship with him would have on my career. This just could not possibly work without me walking away from the band, something I had no intention of doing…ever. "You know this can't happen. Maybe it could if I was hopelessly in love with you, but that's not the case," I said resolutely, "Fuck, get a life. Stop being so hung up on me. Just move on. You have to stop hoping that we could have some sort of relationship together. You know I'd just end up breaking your heart. I don’t want that drama in my life. I just want to play music with my friends, be with my boyfriend, travel, enjoy life. That's the life I've worked for. That's the life I want." He stared at me, and I stared back, trying to see if he was finally giving up, he moved closer to me again and rested his hand on my face, caressing my cheek. Slowly, I reached my hand up and placed it over his own. Gently, he pulled my hand toward his mouth and kissed it, causing the hairs on my arm to stand up. "Damien," I said firmly and pulled my hand away. "I can't, I'm sorry." He let out a sigh and gently brought his lips to mine. It didn't feel like a passionate 'I want to rip your clothes off and make love to you' kinda kiss but more like a 'let me kiss you one last time' kiss. So, I just let him. He placed his hands over my ears as he pressed his lips against mine and we kissed. When he pulled back, he looked into my eyes, hurt and demoralized, "Have a nice life. I really hope he makes you happy." I looked away and just stared into space as he walked out of the bathroom, leaving the door open. "Fuck," I breathed. I felt a wave of relief wash over me and passed my hands over my face. I felt so bad for him. I could only imagine how heartbroken I'd feel if Rob was telling me what I'd just told him. I knew I had done the right thing but I felt horrible. I stayed there and tried to compose myself. Suddenly, the twink from the party walked in and closed the door loudly behind him. I jumped, "Jesus, you startled me." "Bit jumpy, aren't we?" he laughed. He began running the water and washed a spot on his shirt. "I spilled coke on my shirt," he chuckled. My mind seemed to only hear the sound of the running water as I played over what had just happened in my head and wondered if I could have done anything differently. "Hey, are you alright?" he asked, and I realized he had already asked me this once. "Yeah," I replied, slightly startled. I knew he had to be here because Jordan had asked him to check up on me and Damien but I added in an attempt to make him leave, "You know there's a bathroom downstairs?" "Busy," he said before turning to me, "that's not cool to leave you like that," he said and pointed at my crotch, amused. I wasn't fully hard but from his angle, there must have been a noticeable bulge in my jeans. "Do you need some help with that?" he asked as he came closer to me and placed his hand over my crotch. "I'm good," I replied, my mind still fuzzy, "Aren't you a bit too young for me?" He frowned, "Really? What's with the age bullshit? I'm not twelve and you're not exactly forty!" "Yeah, whatever," I mumbled, my tone indicating I wasn't interested in flirting with him. "Let me know when you change your mind," he smiled and stumbled cheerfully out of the bathroom. I huffed and thought to myself that this party was slowly turning into a test of my faithfulness to Rob that I really wasn't sure I'd pass. After a moment, I headed down the stairs and immediately got myself a vodka and coke. Everyone was dancing and had grown louder with alcohol. I decided I was done being serious. It was time to let go a little, just like everyone else. "He just left…, how'd it go?" Jordan said as he came up behind me. I shrugged, "I don't wanna talk about it." "Fine!... So? Shall we get you wasted now?" he asked with a grin as he saw the drink I had made for myself. I laughed, "Let's!" He got himself the same drink and we clicked our glasses and toasted to something stupid (me having to throw up before the end of the night) before gulping it down. We joined the party and started dancing again with the same group of hot chicks as before. I could immediately see that Jordan would just have to take a pick between them as they all seemed to be more than willing to have sex with him, although he seemed to have already set his sights on one. It didn't take me long to lose my inhibitions and to start having fun. I kept refilling my glass and soon I began to feel the effects of alcohol on my body since I wasn't normally a really big drinker. I wasn't wasted yet but I was pretty drunk. After dancing for quite a while and mes I poured myself yet another drink and walked out onto the balcony to breathe some fresh air and finally sat on one of the bar stools Jimmy had placed there. I was immediately joined by the gay boy. He had never been very far from me since the party had started, and I hadn't tried to avoid him either. "Feeling better?" he asked. "Yeah, I guess," I smiled. "Nothing a few drinks can't fix." he said with a chuckle. "Who was the guy in the bathroom earlier?" he asked with curiosity. "Isn't you rock star boyfriend good enough for you?" "Complicated," I said, rolling my eyes, "So, how do you know Jimmy?" I asked to change the subject. "I don't," he answered, "I came with my sister. She knows I love these kinds of parties where a few celebrities might show up!" I smiled at him and he started talking to me about our music, the songs he liked, the artists he liked and all the concerts he'd been to and I just let him talk, sometimes sharing a few anecdotes with him. "How about another one of those?" he asked after we'd been talking for a while. "What the hell!" I replied. I began to stand up, which of course is the moment of truth when you've been drinking, and I almost immediately stumbled. Before I knew it, I was bracing myself by holding onto his thighs. They felt hard inside the tight jeans he was wearing. I looked up to him as if to say, yeah I'm wasted. He nodded in recognition, his eyes definitely sparkling, and he looked like he would have liked me to lean in to kiss his full, well-formed lips. He put his hand on my arm to keep himself steady as he stood up as well and we made our way to the bar. For a brief moment, I tried to think about why I was drinking heavily. I wanted to think it was just for fun, which was the excuse Rob would always give me, but I knew I was trying to numb myself from feeling depressed because of what was going on with Rob and what had happened with Damien and in some weird way, I wanted to feel what Rob had been feeling. I knew he had been doing it for similar reasons, because he had felt sad and overwhelmed by everything that was going on around him and had felt like he was losing control. Mixed with these thoughts were now thoughts of that twink. Images of the looks he had been giving me, remembering the feeling of his thighs, he wasn't my type but he was still pretty hot. I was horny from all the attention I kept getting and at that moment, my half boner was a pretty good indication that I might not say no to a blowjob or something if the opportunity presented itself. I wasn't really considering fucking him but I felt like I was drunk enough to make a bad decision. We got back to the dancefloor and started dancing together and doing a bit of grinding and as I felt his crotch rub up against mine, my half boner got rock solid. He obviously noticed, pulled me closer to him and said in my ear, "You wanna fuck?" I looked into his eyes, smiled and found myself telling him to follow me upstairs. A few moments later, we were in my bedroom. He didn't lose any time and immediately undid my belt buckle and pushed his hand into my jeans. I moaned as he rubbed his hand up and down my shaft. I reached down as well and was greeted by a raging hard on. He was already leaking through his boxer-briefs and they were completely wet. I slipped my hands into his underwear and he leaned into me as I grabbed his butt cheeks, amazed with how they felt, smooth, firm and creamy. I let go of his ass and removed my shirt first. He attacked my neck with his lips and pressed his hands against my pectoral muscles. "You're hot as fuck!" he whispered. He began kissing his way down my chest and I pressed my hands over the top of his head and guided him downwards until he was kneeling in front of me. He understood I wanted a blowjob from him. He quickly pulled my underwear down to my ankles and his eyes lit up when he had the full realization of what was in front of him. He suddenly looked like he hadn't eaten in a week. He lightly pressed his face into the crease where my pelvis met my leg and he kissed my skin, my cock against his cheek. Then he moved lower, his tongue reaching out to lap at my sack. He took my balls in his mouth, causing my cock to throb and began licking at the base before his tongue made its way up and over it. I gasped a bit as he took the head in his mouth, his tongue running around it. My hands began running through his blond hair and he took me deeper and deeper, wanting to get as much of my cock in his mouth as he could. He energetically began to move back and forth quickly and his hands caressed my chest or my ass. After a short moment, we made our way closer to the bed and I sat on the edge as he, once again, took my cock in his mouth. I sighed and enjoyed the feeling. It felt like it had been so long since I had been touched down there. It had almost become an unfamiliar sensation. My mind was temporarily devoid of any thoughts of where I was and the fact that I shouldn't be doing what I was doing. "Oh yeah," I moaned as I felt his nose against my short pubes, he deepthroated me a few times and I could tell he was enjoying himself. Since I had been feeling like I was on the brink of cumming for the past week, I knew that I wasn't going to be able to last long at all. I wanted it too much, and had gone without for too long. I tilted my head back, lowered my hips a little and started rocking them up and down, slowly fucking his face. He was moaning and I opened my eyes to watch his hands withdraw his penis. It certainly wasn't huge, but it was perhaps one of the prettiest ones I had ever seen. Light blond pubes poked out of his shorts as he pulled on his cock and played with his balls. I closed my eyes, again, giving myself up the sensations I was feeling. I knew that guilt would quickly be following from behind, so I tried to just fully enjoy it. The need in me was rising rapidly, "Fuck," I whimpered, my eyes still closed, "I'm close." He increased the speed of his mouth on my cock and before long, I couldn't hold back anymore. Giving a low and loud guttural groan, I started to shoot into his mouth, and I could tell he had no intention of stopping. I could feel the cum rip through my cock, the pleasure a lot more intense than I had expected. He was making all kinds of sounds that only made me cum harder. I just kept pumping into him. I guess what I was saving for Rob, he ended up getting it all. I watched him finish swallowing my load before he stood up and looked into my eyes. His eyes were full of lust. He took my hand and wrapped it around his cock, stroking himself with it. I guess he knew I wouldn't be fucking him, but he wanted to get off and I was not going to leave him like that. I stood up as well and he said, "Man, was that normal or were you really storing up?" he laughed. First, I decided I didn't really need to answer that but ended up saying, "I guess you got all that I was saving for my rock star boyfriend." He smiled and I savored the feeling of his wet cock slipping up and down my hand. He let go of my hand, content to let me do the stroking on my own. "I'll take this as a compliment," he replied. He pressed himself tightly against me and moaned, "Faster." He nuzzled his face into my chest as I jerked him hard against me, he started to moan louder and soon after, cum shot out of his pretty dick, splashing my thigh and falling into the floor. He held onto me as he came, pulling my face to his and kissing my neck. After he had calmed down he smiled at me and told me how great I was, although in all fairness, I really hadn't done anything. I felt like I had only used him. I returned the compliment though and he leaned over and kissed me hesitantly, then set about getting dressed. I went to grab a tissue for my thigh, then I got dressed too and noticed that he looked completely content. "We better go back to the party before my sister starts noticing I've disappeared," he said. We headed back down the stairs and I tried not to overthink what I'd just done, because I knew it would make me hate myself a little. I hadn't gone too far with Damien, but I had gone too far nonetheless. I wanted to think the alcohol was partly responsible for my actions but if I was completely honest with myself, I wasn't drunk to the point that I didn't know what I was doing. In some twisted way, I was kinda hoping that Rob might have done something similar, so he wouldn't hold it against me. I knew I'd tell him and that he wouldn't make a big deal out of it, but I still felt guilty for doing it. The party lasted for another couple of hours and once everyone had left, I surveyed the disaster, glad this wasn't my place. Thankfully, someone was going to come by the next day to clean it up and we didn't have to touch anything. At that moment, I had no intention. I went into the bathroom to brush my teeth and wash my face. Then I flopped myself onto my bed and before passing out, I wondered what I was going to think about all of this the folowing day. ---- As it turned out, I didn't think much of it when I woke up and quickly decided to forget about Damien, to forget about the blowjob and to just focus on more important things. Jordan and I spent the day trying to get rid of our hangover and we began packing. We left New York on Monday evening and landed in Dublin early on Tuesday morning. We went to stay with his parents. I liked them a lot. I had spent countless hours hanging out with him at his house as a kid and they were kinda family to me. In fact, I knew that if I had knocked on his door instead of Rob's, which had happened a few times, I would have found the same support. Jordan's mother was glad to have him back – as much as she was trying to hide it from him – and she was also thrilled to have me around for a few days. I went to see Rob's mother and we spent an entire afternoon talking about what was going on with him. She thanked me for making him go to the rehab center. Spending time with him in London, she had noticed that even though he wasn't exactly addicted to anything, he might be in the future because something was definitely wrong with him. Just like me, she had seen how he was shutting himself off, how he wasn't his normal cheerful self. I told her that I was worried because pretty much everything he used to do with a lot of enthusiasm seemed to have become a chore and that he just seemed to be sad most of the time. He had talked to her about that but he couldn't quite explain or understand why he was feeling the way he was feeling and he needed therapists to help him. Once in Dublin, I wanted to call him all the time. I wasn't alone anymore but I was still lonely. I realized they were two different feelings. He was just a phone call away, and yet he wasn't. I felt guilty for what I had done and I didn't know if I wanted to tell him yet. Because Jane had told me I knew he had just started the program in L.A and I wanted to give him some time to work on his issues and figure out his own head. He hadn't called me either, and I wasn't sure why but I knew that the therapists didn't really allow communication with the outside world in the beginning. All I knew was that I didn't want my calling him to make him want to give it all up. I didn't want to have to convince him again that he had to do this, for him, for us, for our career… but I was feeling an aching in my heart to be with him. With Jane I had also talked about my mother. She had persuaded me to go talk to her again. So, on Saturday morning, I stood in front of my childhood home, surprisingly calm and serene, finally ready to do this, ready to forgive and forget I supposed. For a moment, I looked at Rob's old house next door. Apart from a few details, it didn't look much different and I smiled to myself as so many memories from our childhood and teenage years came flashing back. I thought that no matter how the conversation with my mother went, I'd feel the need to call Rob and tell him about it. At that instant, he was very much on my mind and I was missing him like crazy. "Let's go?" Amy asked to get my attention. I looked at her and smiled, "Yeah," I just answered. We walked up to the front door and she rang the doorbell a couple of times. Our mother opened the door almost instantly. She first looked at Amy and then, slowly, she looked at me and stared, unable to talk. I looked away for a brief second and then stared back at her, quickly noticing everything that was different about her because she was seven years older. Somehow, she didn't look as strict and uptight as I remembered. She swallowed hard and I could tell she was fighting back tears. "I'm glad you're here," she said as she cautiously laid her hand on mine "come inside."
  2. unilive

    Chapter 5

    yes, Coldplay's lyrics are absolutely perfect for this story and it continues to fit the story until the end, I could always find lyrics that just worked... and I think realizing that is what made me want to write the story again in the first place! Even now that i've finished writing it, there are still many Coldplay songs that I want to use for U-N-I's fifth album... if I ever write more!
  3. unilive

    Chapter 3

    Yeah, he does, probably cause he wanted this more than he was willing to admit and had fantasized about it happening. Thanks for your feedback, hopefully you're still enjoying the story
  4. unilive

    Chapter 3

    Thank you! I'm taking the time to answer your comments tonight; Hopefully you still enjoy reading the story.
  5. unilive

    Chapter 12

    hehe yeah I'm not really good at writing descriptions... I think you'll have to wait for the very last chapter to get a detailed description of their stage outfits! But I don't imagine them looking fabulous, not like Freddy Mercury, I just imagine them being always weel turned out, usually wearing colourful clothes with the logo/artwork of the band ...
  6. unilive

    Chapter 16

    True. Plus it would have prevented Rob from doing something stupid if Mark had gone with him... but then it wouldn't have been as fun to write for me!
  7. unilive

    Chapter 15

    Thank you, I'm so glad you're still enjoying the story 👍
  8. unilive

    PART 3 - Chapter 14

    well It might get worse before it gets better! Thanks for your feedback im so glad you're enjoying the story!
  9. unilive

    PART 3 - Chapter 14

    You're welcome, I'm so glad you're enjoying the story 👍
  10. unilive

    Chapter 16

    Damien was gone when Jimmy and I left the studio. I had almost finished editing the songs we had recorded and some of them actually sounded a lot better. I decided that there was no point in working on new demos anymore so my stay in New York was drawing to a close. It was after six and since we had been inside the studio for the past four hours, we went to grab something to eat. "So, whatcha doing tonight?" he asked as we were waiting for our order. "Dunno, I think I'm just gonna head back. What about you?" "Yeah, so am I. I'm fried. Although, there's this going away party slash baby shower Lisa wants me to go to with her but I don't give a damn! They're her old college friends. Do you mind if I use you as an excuse to bail on this one," he smirked. I smiled, "Sure. I'll cover you if she asks," Lisa was his girlfriend but they weren't living together so it was unlikely that she would be asking me any questions. "Thanks. How much longer are you staying? D'you think you might still be here next weekend then?" he asked because he was planning to host a party at his place for his birthday. "I dunno. I kinda have to go back to Dublin - but I'm in no hurry," I sniggered. "Yeah, come on, it's my 30th. It's gonna be the party of the year. You don't wanna miss it," he said with a broad smile, overplaying it a little. "Yeah, I guess I have to stick around for that," I answered enthusiastically. "Why don't you ask Rob and Jordan to be there?" he asked. I hadn't got into details as to why I had come to New York by myself. We had often worked with him but we weren't close enough friends to talk about our personal lives. I smiled, "Yeah, sure, I will. But I don't think they'll be able to make it." ----- When we got back to his apartment, we hung out for a couple of hours and then I changed into something comfortable and decided to have a relaxing evening just watching TV in bed. I didn't want to think about anything or anyone other than what was on the screen in front of me. I flipped through the channels. After a good five minutes of this, I began watching a random movie that really wasn't good and ended up falling asleep during a commercial break. I awoke the next morning, feeling confused and lonely. I didn't know what I wanted to do anymore. Seeing Damien had just reminded me of how much I was missing Rob and I kind of wanted to fly back home or do what Jimmy had suggested and ask him to join me here. I didn't want to but it seemed like I was going to be the first one to cave after all. My morning erection was semi hard and I began thinking about Damien and how it had made me feel to see him again. I was slightly worried that he would find some way to run into me again. I didn't trust myself around him. Rob hated him so much that he had succeeded in making me have negative feelings toward him as well …but seeing him… I knew there was still something about him that I liked more than I was willing to admit. I lay on my stomach and buried my face into the pillow. I screamed as quietly as possible into it, and concentrated on not rubbing my crotch into the mattress. I felt so conflicted. My cock was fully hard now and I could have easily made myself cum, but I dared not touch it. To do so would be like cheating. I didn't want to get off while thinking about Damien. Although no matter how hard I tried not to, I couldn't stop myself from imagining what it'd be like to be with him. I let my mind wander and imagined taking his cock inside my mouth. I wondered what he would taste like, I wondered how big his dick was. Was he cut or uncut? Would he leak a lot of precum from finally feeling my lips and tongue around his shaft, from finally getting to do this with me. How turned on would he be to watch me suck him off? Then I imagined his back pressed up against my chest. I wondered what his skin would feel like, I wondered what he would sound like as my cock entered his tight opening. Would he moan quietly or loudly? Would he want it slow or fast? I imagined my hands gripping his thighs, and I wondered if they would feel smooth to the touch, or be dusted with tiny hairs. My cock was leaking beneath me. I closed my eyes tightly. Then I began thinking that he'd want to fuck me - Would I let him? Of course no, I wouldn't. That would be the ultimate betrayal. Rob was the only one who had ever fucked me and I intended to keep it that way. I was mad at him for not making an effort but my feelings for him hadn't faded at all. I didn't want him or love him any less and I wasn't even remotely less attracted to him. It was more like my feelings for him had become encapsulated, completely apart from the feelings I had because he just wouldn't fucking listen. I forced Damien out of my head and began thinking of Rob. I wanted to feel his lips against mine, I wanted to kiss him and look into his piercing green eyes while I held him tight against me, rubbed my dick against his balls and slid it between the cheeks of his muscular ass. I wanted to make out with him and caress his body and feel him caress mine and hear him groan with pleasure as he'd feel the tip of my cock pop inside him… I missed the closeness we had, I missed making love with him. I reached for my cock began stroking myself. I quickly felt my cum building up. I gasped as my body began convulsing and I shot my load onto the sheets. Then I lay on the bed, my heart pounding a little. After a moment, I yanked my phone out of my charger on the nightstand and opened the Youtube app. I searched for our own songs and began listening to "Sparks", which was a song from our first album. It was probably one of the saddest and most relaxing songs we had written back when we were confused and lovesick teenagers and it seemed to be the perfect song to listen to. The lyrics we had written all together so long ago sounded particularly relevant once again. I closed my eyes and listened to the melody, the lyrics and his voice, the combination of which brought a lump to my throat. I took a deep breath and swallowed. Did I drive you away I know what you'll say You say, oh, sing one we know But I promise you this I'll always look out for you That's what I'll do My heart is yours It's you that I hold on to That's what I do And I know I was wrong But I won't let you down … I listened to it a second time and when the song ended, I choked down another dry lump in my throat and thought it was probably better to stop racking my brain over Rob so I decided to leave the apartment and go out. I showered, shaved and had breakfast. Unfortunately, as I looked out the window, it was raining. I checked the weather app and it predicted that the rain would be continuing through most of the day. I tried to think of how I could be spending my free time in a constructive way, since I had nothing planned. I thought about cleaning out my things in case I left soon to go to Dublin, but being a borderline obsessive-compulsive, I knew that they were already in perfect order and it wouldn't take me long to pack. Then, I thought about calling Rachel, but I knew she would just talk to me about Rob, which would probably just depress me for the day. I decided to go to the gym. Since I was in New York, I had fallen off of my regime and so it was time to kick it back into high gear. Jimmy had told me about a nice private gym he sometimes went to and I knew I wouldn't be hassled if I went there. However, I was there for about a half-hour when a guy that had been staring at me from the other side of the room walked over to me. "I'm sorry," he said. "but I just wanted to say that I saw you in concert last year and I thought you were amazing." I released the dumbbells I was holding and stood up, "Thanks a lot. I'm glad you liked the show." The guy was over six-feet tall, blond, and had a killer smile. I could see his body was extremely well developed, as he was only wearing a tight tank top and gym shorts. He extended his hand to me and I shook it, "Oh, it wasn't just the show I liked." I felt myself blushing somewhat and turning my head to the side. "Oh," I said. "I'm Jake," he said. He hadn't yet let go of my hand. I eased myself out of his grip and told him that he probably knew my name. He was very good-looking and he never broke eye contact. "Listen," he started, staring at me intently, "I live just a few blocks from here. Would you like to come over for some coffee?" he paused, "Maybe talk about your music?" he smiled, completely self-assured. I smiled back, thinking that it was a good thing that I didn't like coffee. I already thought Damien was straightforward but this guy was the kind of guy Rob had to deal with all the time. They'd always hit on him first so I didn't have to do it often. I had met plenty of aggressive guys, but I began thinking that this one was definitely nearing the top of my list. It wasn't that I was thinking about going as much as I was thinking that I was probably free to do so. I mean, Rob and I were sort of on a break and the guy was totally hot and obviously wanted me, but I already knew that I wasn't going to have ‘coffee’ with him. "I'm sorry," I said, "but as you must know, I'm kind of in a relationship," it felt like the right thing to say, I certainly didn't want some guy to start a rumor that Rob and I might not be together anymore. "It's a shame he's not here." "Yeah, he can't exactly be seen in public places without attracting a crowd." "Apparently, neither can you," he said, still staring at me. "I don't think there's gonna be a crowd of fans waiting for me outside. I sure hope not." He smiled, not missing a beat, "I'm in a relationship too," he stood there, waiting for my response. I looked at him for a moment, thinking about both how arrogant he was, and how much I would have liked to have seen him with his clothes off., "It was nice meeting you," I said, sitting back down and picking up my dumbbells again. "Yeah, you too." He walked back to where he had been working out and I was somewhat shocked at how unfazed he was by being rejected. He probably knew that he would find some other hot guy in the next hour that would be more than willing to have ‘coffee’ with him. After my workout, I showered and left the gym. Stepping out, I checked my phone and noticed I had a text from Rob that said: " U know there's a picture of you and Damien going around Twitter. Fuck, are you really that mad at me?" "Oh, come on!" I said out loud as I walked down the stairs and a guy looked at me with wild curiosity as he was walking up, possibly thinking that I looked familiar but finding it difficult to place me. "What the fuck, bloody paparazzi," I immediately thought, I couldn't believe they had snapped pictures. I texted him back immediately, "Nothing happened. He showed up out of the blue because someone he knew told him I was working with Jimmy. We just talked for a few minutes. Don't start imagining things." I walked a few blocks and stopped into a small coffee shop that seemed to be deserted enough. I ordered a Latte as I waited for his response but it didn't come. I sat in a booth in the back of the café. It seemed to be the perfect location for privacy. I didn't want any employees or customers listening to me in case Rob would call. After a few minutes, my cell phone rang. I was slightly disappointed when I saw it was Rachel, and not Rob, because I wanted to make sure he believed me. Although I wasn't sure if I wanted to talk to him, knowing he was probably upset and we might start arguing. "Hey, how you doing today?" she asked. "Not great," I moaned quietly, worried about what Rob might be thinking. "Why? Are you about to cave?" "Maybe. It's getting hard," I said with a sigh. She laughed, obviously thinking about getting sexually frustrated, "Oh, come on, Rach!" I complained, not in a joking mood. "Sorry," she said with a laugh, then added, "he was out again last night. I can't believe he's gonna make you cave. Don't cave. Come on, be strong. He's starting to get bored here. I think he's about to go to L.A. Don't cave now," she insisted. "I'm almost done working with Jimmy," I explained. "I miss him… and something happened yesterday…," I said. "What happened?" she asked with curiosity. For some reason, since she seemed to be in a better mood than I was and since I probably needed to lighten up, I decided to lie to her and have a little fun. I wanted to see how she'd react if I told her something had happened with Damien, so I thought of what I could say for a few seconds. "Mark? What happened?" "Are you kidding? Like…haven't you seen a picture of me on Twitter?" I said. "No…why? What's there to see?" "I did something really stupid," I mumbled. "Already? … What'd you do?" she asked intrigued. "Damien showed up at the studio!" "Noooo!" she exclaimed. "Yes! Like, he was literally sitting on the stairs waiting for me." "Oh my god! How did he know you were there?" she almost yelled. "Beats me," I said and then proceeded to tell her the excuse Damien had given me. "Jeez! I can't believe he still hasn't given up on you," she said. "I know, right. I was like, gobsmacked. He started asking me questions 'cause we're supposed to be recording in London and stuff." "What'd you tell him?" "Just that we were taking a break from the band for a while, because we all needed some time off. So obviously, he asked me if I was taking a break from Rob too." "Gosh, he must've been psyched!" "Yeah, well, he was smirking!" She let out a slight laugh and asked unsurely, "Mark, please, tell me you didn't have sex with him?" I let out a loud sigh. "Did you?" she yelled, perplexed. "Well… there was … a blowjob…," I stuttered and waited for her reaction. I could literally see her mouth drop open as I heard her gasp. "Is this like a handshake to you guys?" she exclaimed in shock. I couldn't help but laugh, "I'm kidding. Nothing happened." "I… I don't understand. Like, how… did something happen or not?" she asked again, taking in what I had just said. "No, no, I was just messing with you. I turned him down. Nothing happened." "Oh come on, that's not even funny. Why would you joke about that?" she complained. "I don't know. I just wanted to see how you'd react." "Jeez. Not cool. You scared me. I hope you rejected him loud and clear." "I did. But I don't know why. Every time I see him, I can never really directly reject him. For some reason, I always find myself enticing him and letting him think I might be tempted." "Are you … tempted?" she asked cautiously. "No. Maybe. But that just pisses me off. I don't know why I'm doing it! But I did better this time," I laughed. "He might've understood." "Jeez, admit it. You're into him!" she exclaimed with a laugh. "I am not!" "Oh , come on, be honest!" "Well, he's attractive. I don't know, there's just something about him…." "Yeah, you like the guy. But come on, Rob's a lot more attractive. Seriously, why do you think Rob's so jealous of him, he can see it! Now if you really don't want anything to happen with him - and I sincerely hope that you don't - then reject loud and clear once and for all! And don't have sex with him if you run into him again, please. You know, I don't know what you see in that guy, everyone hates him but you!" "Of course you all hate him. He's trying to make me break up with Rob!" "Don't let him! See, you said Rob was crazy to think something might happen with Damien. Well there you go, he's back again… at the worst possible time!" "I'm not gonna cheat on Rob with him. I don't even wanna be with anyone else, really," I sighed. "I hope not. You know, I don't care how open your relationship is, I'd rather not know. But Damien's off limit. That would just destroy him. What are you trying to do, kick him while he's down?" "I didn't do anything!" I exclaimed loudly, "He showed up. I didn't go to him." "Fine." she answered, sensing I was getting slightly upset. "You know, you can probably pick up some random guy and Rob might not be too upset about it, but Damien is not some random guy!" "Don't you think I know that!" "Seriously, just pick up some guy at the gym or something." "Funny that you should say that," I said with a chuckle. "Why? Did you?" she wondered. "No, but I was just at the gym this morning and a really hot guy would've loved to take me back to his place." She laughed, "Gosh, it must suck being you." "Yeah, you have no idea," I joked. "I hope Rob won't find out that Damien's trying to get into your pants again!" "Too late, he already knows." "What? You've told him?" she asked in surprise. "No. I didn't have to. The fucking paparazzi did it for me. He sent me a text half an hour ago." "Wha…What'd he text you?" "His exact words…," I said and told her word for word what Rob had texted me. "They posted pictures?" she asked dumbfounded. "Apparently. Or maybe it was from fans following me, I dunno. We just talked outside of the studio for a few minutes. I didn't think there were any reporters or anyone following me. I'm in New York, not London. And they're always after Rob, not me. So I figured… if he's not with me, then they're not gonna care about what I do." "Well, apparently you were wrong. They do care. You know why? Because that sells papers if Robbie Myers' boyfriend is seen with another guy who appears to be gay. That's a rumor the public would be interested in! They know you're postponing the album, they wanna know what's going on." "Shit! I can't believe this," I mumbled. "Jeez. What's happening to you guys?" "I don't know. Maybe I shouldn't have left. It was a bad idea." "Oh don't do that again. You know it was the right thing to do. He needs this and you're the only one who's got enough influence on him to make him go. You're the only one he actually listens to." "Not anymore he doesn't!" "He will. He will!" she repeated. "He may be stubborn as fuck but he loves you too much not to do what you ask him to do. You had to give him that ultimatum or he would've just let things get worse. It wasn't a bad idea … But you hooking up with Damien, that's a bad idea!" "I know - and I won't. Look, can you talk to him, please?" "Oh, I don't know Mark. I've tried, but … Jordan I can handle, he listens to me. Damon too, we've been talking every day - but Rob," she sighed. "First… he gets really defensive when we try to talk to him …and second, I don't feel like I'm close enough to him, you know, to tell him what he should do. I know it's my fault, but we've never really been able to reconnect. I haven't let him, and in a way he hasn't let me either, 'cause he's always felt bad for sorta stealing you away. But Damon hung out with him yesterday and he said it seemed like he was – considering it." "Yeah? Well, can you just tell him that nothing happened with Damien. I know I should just call him - but I don't think I can. I can't hear his voice right now. And I don't wanna get into an argument with him. He hasn't even tried calling me, so I suppose that means he feels the same." "Alright," she agreed. "I'm gonna go see if he's home. I suppose I have to be your intermediary since you guys don't seem able to communicate lately," she said jokingly. "Thanks." I breathed. She grew silent. As we were talking I kept glancing over at four girls. They’d walked into the café shortly after I had and were sitting a few tables away. They’d obviously recognized me and kept looking discreetly over at me, whispering and giggling with each other. One of them tried to take a picture with her phone while I wasn't looking but I noticed it. I could tell that she had posted it on social media. I began thinking that it was probably time for me to get out of there. "Anyway," I told Rachel, I was done talking about Damien, "have you called Jordan again? How's he doing? I haven't talked to him since last week." "No, I might call him today actually. He's still in Dublin. I don't think he wants to admit it, but he's enjoying being back home with his folks after all," she said with a laugh. "I hope his old man is making him suffer." She laughed. "I bet his mum's pampering him. Must be why he's staying there," she joked, "Dammo's back though. He came back yesterday. He was kinda missing…," she paused and added, "… uh, never mind," she said with a giggle. "What? What were you gonna say?" I asked, suddenly very intrigued. "Nothing, it's not important," she quickly answered. Noticing her silence, I continued, "Were you gonna say, he was kind of missing … you?" I asked coyly because she had always been very close to Damon and I was kinda suspecting something. He was her confidant. She told him everything and she had started doing so after we had broken up. I had often wondered if they might become more than friends but up until now, they didn't seem to have moved beyond the friendzone. She didn't say anything for a few seconds, "No, I wasn't gonna say that," she shyly said. "You sound very convincing," I joked. "It's not about Damon right now," she complained. I let out a small laugh, "What's going on?" "Nothing's going on," she insisted. "You can tell me." "No, really Mark, nothing's going on." "Well, would you like…," I slowly began asking. "Nooo," she interrupted me and we both laughed louder. There was a small silence and then, she confided in me. "You see... the thing is… I've always thought I needed to be with someone like him - " she said and paused. "But not with him!" I exclaimed, finishing her sentence. "But not with him!" she repeated. "And now, you're not so sure…" I said seductively. "You know he didn't get to spend much time with Haylee," I said, mentioning the last girlfriend he had broken up with, "he's tired of being in empty, meaningless relationships with girls who are only using him for his money." She let out a giggle and didn't know what to say. "Ahah, you're speechless. For the first time in your life." She laughed, "Look. This is just too confusing. He's been sending me mixed signals… And don't change the subject, this conversation isn't about me," she exclaimed, sounding a little self-conscious. "Alright, alright, I'm done teasing you… for now," I said and didn't insist. If nothing had happened between them yet, I didn't want to jinx it by making her feel embarrassed and uncomfortable. Her reluctance to talk to me about him spoke volumes about her ambivalence. I was in a good position to understand that. I knew what it was like to start dating someone you've been friends with your whole life and how confused it could make you feel in the beginning. I hoped she'd talk to me when she felt ready but I liked the idea of the two of them together. I'd much rather see her with Damon than with anyone else. "Mark..." "What?" "You know what you should do, right? You should just leave New York. Book a flight to Dublin today. Jordan's still there, you won't be alone." I remained silent. "Mark…" she repeated. "Yeah." "You have to go. I'm telling you. It will lift a weight off your shoulders you don't even know is there." "I don't even know what to say to her. Like… it's been so long," I answered as I stood up. I put my Ipod, that I had placed on the table, back in my pocket and started heading out. Of course, so did the girls. "Amy will come with you. She'll make sure you don't run into him. You'll just be talking to your mother, if that's what you're worried about. Don't stay in New York if you're gonna do stupid things there." "Maybe I should go to France first," I said. "Yeah, sure, why not. Just don't stay in New York. You know, I'd love to come with you. I'm gonna practice my French." "Yeah. I thought I needed to meet him alone, but the more I think about it, the less I want to go by myself." "Just tell me when and I'll be there!" I thanked her and told her I'd let her know if I decided to go to France first. Indeed, with the pictures my mother had given me, Jordan had made it his business to try and find my biological father, hiring a private investigator to help him. At first, I had told him not to look for him but he'd insisted for so long that I'd eventually had to agree, thinking that I really didn't have anything to lose. "Wanna have dinner with your favourite straight best friend tonight?" he asked me one day. "My treat!" I smirked. "Do I get to pick the restaurant this time? I don't wanna end up in Burger King again!" He laughed because he knew my passion for cooking good food and eating in the best Michelin-starred restaurants. We would often do this with Jordan, hang out alone together once in a while – because even if I would obviously spend much more time with Rob, Jordan and I also had a long-standing friendship and it was really important to us to make time for each other; He'd always ask me out on a bi-curious date as he'd say – because we'd often end up talking about his latest conquest - or about gay sex. But that time, the conversation had gone in a very different direction and when he broke the news to me that he had found my biological father, being pretty pleased with himself, I just couldn't believe it. Just couldn't believe it! A week later, I had talked to him over the phone, which had been particularly unsettling. He had obviously been utterly shocked to find out he had a son he knew nothing about but had expressed the desire to meet me. It still had to happen though. Going to France to meet him was undoubtedly a lot more appealing than seeing my unloving mother again to confront her with the truth. "Jimmy asked me if I could stay for his 30th birthday though," I said to Rachel as I began walking down the street, glad to see that the downpour of rain had turned into a small drizzle. "When is that?" "Next weekend." "A lot can happen in a week. What if Damien tries to see you again?" "Well, then I'll have to use the opportunity to tell him to give up on me once and for all," I answered. "And what if you don't!" she said. I glanced behind me and noticed the girls were trying their best to follow me without being too obvious, and for some reason, they were now seven. "I like it here. I don't wanna leave yet…. Look, I'm gonna have to let you go, I'm being followed by a few girls," I laughed. She laughed back, "Are you serious?" "Yeah, I was in a coffee shop. They spotted me. They must've seen me walk in. I think they took a picture and posted it online." She sniggered. "You're gonna have to stop thinking you can walk around New York without being recognized. You can't." "Shit," I said with a laugh. "It's ok, there are only seven of them." "Good luck," she joked. "Talk to you later." I walked one more block and stopped to hail a cab. The girls were now starting to work up the courage to approach me so since there were no cabs in sight yet, I just walked over to them. "Well, you've obviously recognized me," I told them. "Sorry to bother you. Can we have an autograph?" one of them asked admiringly as she handed me a pen and paper, which I signed. "Can we take a picture with you," two other girls said, but they were already on each side of me with their phones ready to snap a selfie. "Sure…," I said, fighting back a laugh. "Are you in New York with the whole band. Is Robbie with you?" "No. Sorry. Me is all you're gonna get." "Oh my god!" one of them gasped, shaking her head. "We love your music. We've been fans for five years. I can't believe it's really you, we thought it was just someone who looked like you at first. I can't believe it! We love you, you're amazing!" They began to pepper me with questions about the tour, the album, the fact that it seemed to be postponed. I answered all of their questions as thoroughly as I could without disclosing too much about what was really going on. They seemed to be pretty dedicated fans. Soon, about five more people recognized me and asked for selfies. A few minutes later, I had over fifteen people around me and decided it was time to get into a cab. I told them that I had to leave and hailed a cab again. Thankfully, one pulled up immediately. I said goodbye and I was on my way. As I got into the cab, I thought that I could have never done that, had I been with Rob. We would have attracted a lot more people and would have needed security guards. But then again, we would have never been out wandering the streets of Manhattan alone together. When I got back to Jimmy's apartment, I searched for a flight to Dublin, which deep down, I already knew I was not going to book yet. I forced myself to think about what would happen if I did book this flight. It meant packing, taking a cab to the airport, spending eight hours in a plane, none of which I wanted to do. And then, as I imagined myself standing in front of my mother's house, talking with her… the only feelings I had were feelings of anxiety, apprehension and uneasiness. I just didn't want to go yet. Staying in New York until Jimmy's 30th birthday was a lot more tempting. I knew that I was getting cold feet and that staying one more week was certainly a bad idea, but I just couldn't do it - yet. I was browsing the internet when my phone rang. It was Jordan. "Hey mate," he said, somewhat surprised that I had taken his call. "Hey. How you doing?" "Good… soooo… I just got a call from Rach. She convinced Rob to go to L.A." "Did she?" I asked, happily surprised. "Yep. And now I'm supposed to convince you to come to Dublin." I laughed. "Jeez, what would we do without her?" "Come on, I could use some company." I sighed and thought about it for a few seconds. "What about you come here for the week? And then we fly back together, huh, how does that sound?" "What d'you want me to come to New York for?" he asked, finding my request a bit strange. "Well… I guess Jimmy and I could use your help…and uh, he's having a party for his 30th. He'd like it if you could come." "Why didn't you start with that? I'm there," he exclaimed cheerfully. I laughed, "Yeah, I'm not sure this is what you need though." "Are you kidding? Like, it's nice being home but…, my mum treats me like a child," he complained. "That's because you are one, you twat! You'll be fifteen your whole life." "I swear, she takes me everywhere with her," he laughed. "Because she needs a new couch, or a new coffee table that'd fit so well in her living room…," he joked. "I've been redecorating the whole place!" I laughed. All of their parents had moved out from our old neighbourhood. Not that the houses we had grown up in weren't nice, but sorting your family out is obviously the first thing you want to do when you start making a lot of money, so they had begun by buying much larger houses for their parents. They were all still living in Ireland though. Only my family hadn't moved out. "She cracks me up, she finds something new to buy every day," he said and then grew quiet for a moment. 'Hey, do you remember Declan from high school," he asked. I thought about it, "Doesn't ring a bell, no." "Yeah remember, we used to go clubbing with him 'cause he had an older brother who could let us in." "Oh, maybe. I don't know, I'm not sure I remember him." "You don't? There was this one time… we were barely sixteen. We went to this party in Dublin ‘cos we'd heard his brother talk about it with his friends and people had Amyl Nitrite there." "Ohhh," I said, snapping my fingers. "you know what? I think Rob might've told me about that. But I wasn't with you." "Yes, you were. I'm pretty sure you were there." "I'm pretty sure I wasn't," I insisted. "I gotta call Rob and ask him if he remembers." "What's Amyl Nitrite again?" I asked. "You know, it's this substance that you sniff and it makes your head explode for a good five seconds. So, we got some and then stood in O'Connell Street for an hour, sniffing Amyl, pointing at people and laughing. And we were like, 'fuck, fuck! Can you feel that? When's it gonna stop," he said with a laugh. "And that's how it all started," I joked, shaking my head with a small laugh. "Maybe it was Damon." "Yeah, 'cause it wasn't me," I confirmed. "Yeah, must've been Damon. You were probably grounded… for breathing too loudly." I laughed, but it wasn't that far from the truth. My 'father' would get mad at me for such an insignificant reason. Any excuse to slag me off, hurt me and make me feel worthless and insecure. "Anyway…I saw him the other day. The guy's a junkie now." "No, you're kidding me!" I said with a chuckle. "He was so envious of us. And he had, like, nothing interesting to talk about. He's twenty-six and he's already fucked up his life." "That's sad." "Yeah. And he was like … ‘hey dude, d'you wanna smoke this joint with me!" he said in a fake stoned voice, "Uh, no thanks… I'm ... gonna …go…" I laughed. "Fuck! Sooo pathetic. He still lives with his folks. He hasn't done anything with his life other than get high. Made me think a little." "Just a little?" I asked. He sighed, "I'm sorry we neglected the band. We should have been more focused instead of partying so much," he admitted, apologetically. "Look, I love partying, I love it as much as you do, but you know you guys took it too far." "I know." "I wouldn't want Rob to join the 27 club!" I said, thinking of all those popular artists who had died at 27 often as a result of drug and alcohol abuse, the most recent being Amy Winehouse. "Oh shit, no!" he exclaimed. "But it kinda had to happen. I mean, we've been working so hard from the beginning. We needed to blow off some steam. We just didn't handle the pressure very well." "Hey, look, I told you, I'm not worried about you. I know you were just doing it for fun, for the experience – not because you were unhappy or anything. But you knew Rob wasn't doing it for the same reasons." "But that's the whole thing, he just needed to unwind. That's why we started going out so much in the first place… 'cause otherwise, it was just about working all the time." I let out a sigh, "We didn't use to think of it as work." He was silent for a moment, "Yeah. That's true. I guess it all got a bit too much." he sighed, "So, how long are you gonna give him the cold shoulder." "Dunno. I was about to cave this morning." "Why don't you? Don't you think he's understood the message now?" he asked, letting me know again that he didn't agree with the way I had chosen to handle the situation. "I don't think he has. He's not in L.A, is he?" "Mark, can you please stop listening to Dylan and Tom. He's made a mistake, alright, but…" "Jordan, don't!" I exclaimed. "What? Look, I agree that he needs to focus on himself. You're right about that. People need to leave him the fuck alone for a while but you don't need to send him to therapy." "So what do you suggest I do then?" "Support him," he said. "Go home and be with him!" "Jord, as long as he's not in a plane to L.A, ready to deal with his demons, I'm not going back to him. It's the best thing I can do for him, please trust me on that." He let out a deep huff. "I don't care if he hates me right now. I'll do what's best for him and right now, going to therapy and not doing coke is what's best for him. I'll protect him from himself even if it means that he hates me for it." He didn't respond. "Jord, please be on my side," I begged, almost welling up. "I am, I am on your side. Of course, he shouldn't be doing drugs. I realize it can easily turn into an addiction when it comes to him and I'm – I'm sorry I've let him do it…" "No, he would've done it anyway, he was already heading in that direction. It's not your fault." "Yeah, maybe. But I should've protected him more instead of doing it with him," he apologized. "Yes, you should have," I agreed. "Yeah," he agreed. "But fuck, Mark, it's not easy for him to admit that he finds it difficult when everyone around him thinks what a great life he must be having. You know, going clubbing with him and stuff, I got to experience just how much he's being harrassed. It just never stops and it's getting worse and worse. I don't get half as much attention as he gets when I'm out by myself. And the more successful we get, the more pressure he's under." "I know. I'm always with him. But what we can we do about it? That's never gonna change. He's always gonna be the center of attention. He has to learn how to handle it better. He can't let it get the best of him. How can we go back on tour if he's not in the same state of mind as he was two years ago? We can't do it if he's not ready to give his all." "But you know, I do think we've been working way too much. I mean, we've never really stopped since we were sixteen. And honestly, after the tour, we should've taken some time for ourselves instead of rushing back into the studio and the promotion. We've barely had any time to miss it, you know what I mean?" "Yeah. I know. I've been thinking about this a lot." "Yeah, me too." "We need a break. Like a real one. Even Rob and I need a break." "D'you reckon? You guys haven't broken up, have you?" he asked worriedly. I let out a sigh, "I don't know what we are at the moment." "You've been together for nine years. Not easy to maintain a healthy relationship when ..." he didn't finish his sentence but said, "I guess you're on a break." "Yeah, I guess we are." I didn't speak, so he continued. "Mark… Rach told me - Nothing going on with that Damien dude, right?" he asked, worried. "No, nothing." I reassured him right away. "He's just – tried to see me again cause he found out I was in New York." "Damn, maybe I should come to New York indeed. I'll keep an eye on you! We wouldn't want yout to do what Ross did to Rachel!" he said jokingly. I snorted, remembering the TV show. "What, you mean I can't fuck some random guy at the gym? Rachel said I could!" I joked. "Really? I'm surprised she didn't tell you to have sex with a girl and explore your bisexual side again," he said with a giggle. "Not going back." "You don't know what you're missing!" he exclaimed. "Yes, I do. You're the one who doesn't know what he's missing." He chuckled, "Alright, I'm gonna put an end to this conversation right now." "Coward!" He laughed, "Anyway – so you wanna know what I've been thinking…" "Go on, tell me." "I think we should wait until we actually miss touring and recording. I wanna feel like… really eager to go back into the studio … because our minds are bubbling with ideas, and not because we feel pressured to deliver a new record." "Yeah," I agreed. "And go back on tour when we really can't fucking wait to go back." "Yeaaah! Because it's been so fucking long and we fucking miss it!" he said decisively. I smiled, "I think, maybe, we should just play a few festivals next summer instead of touring again – play a few dates here and there and try out the new songs live. And then in 2019, we go back on tour and do what we've always wanted to do. A tour that is gonna blow people's minds. Something really special. I don't know what it's gonna be yet but we'll have time to figure it out. What d'you think?" "I think that's a good plan," he said enthusiastically. "So, how soon can you be here?" "I can leave tomorrow. I can't wait to get outta here!" he said, with boyish eagerness. "Alright. I'll text you Jimmy's address. Call me when you land," I told him. We talked some more and I rang Rachel again as soon as I got off the phone with him to know more about her conversation with Rob. As it turned out, he hadn't required much convincing since everyone around him kept pressuring him to go - his parents, Tom, Dylan, me and even Damon now. She had reassured him about Damien but he was indeed upset and worried I might impulsively want to have sex with him or even worse, start a relationship with him. "He doesn't have to worry," I said. "Well, he does. He's worried he might've gone too far. That you might not look at him in the same way – do you think there's some truth to that?" I thought about it for a moment and answered, "No. I am mad at him, but I don't love him any less. I know he wasn't trying to hurt me. He was just hurting inside, and eventually it had to boil over because he didn't want to admit it to anyone – but there's nothing unfixable here." After a pause, she spoke, "Anyway, it was nice. We had an early dinner together and we had a good chat," she told me, "I felt a lot closer to him. Like, he wasn't worried about hurting my feelings by talking to me about you." "What's he told you?" I asked with curiosity. "I don't think he wants me to tell you… but he talked to me about Damien." "Oh yeah? Come on, tell me." I insisted. "What'd he say?" She hesitated before speaking, "That he'd always been worried that something would happen with him if you guys ever… split up." "Oh, come on." "Yeah. Just because you like Damien. He can see there's a connection. Obviously it's not as strong as yours but you do get on well with him… like you've got plenty of things in common." "Yes that made him a friend." "A friend you fancy," she added and waited for me to respond but I just let out a chuckle. I couldn't lie to her about this, it was pretty obvious that I was attracted to him. She continued, "What he's told me was so sweet. Wait, let me remember… How can I put this?" I gave her time to gather her thoughts. "Like… he said he knew Damien would fall for you. Just because of how attractive you are. Even if you don't realize it yourself. You don't even try to be, but it's like… you have a good aura. You attract people to you. But not in a shallow way like him. In a much deeper way. Like, you make people fall in love with you. And he knew that if Damien got to know you better and actually spend time with you, he'd fall in love. And sure enough, he did." I shook my head and it took me a moment to process what he had told her. "And now, he thinks that he might have to fight for you." "Fight for me?" I repeated, as if it was crazy for him to think that he'd ever have to fight for me. "Yeah. Because Damien can easily mess with your head right now and convince you that now might be a good time to give him a chance. If you want something to happen, then it will and there's not much he can do about it… just like, back when you guys got together, there was not much I could've done. When you told me about being with him, I'd already lost you." "Well, when it comes to me and you I came to the realization that I was gay… and in love with him… so yeah, there was nothing you could've done… But I'm not in love with Damien." "But Damien's in love with you." "So?" "So, I dunno. Look, you love Rob, even if it might be difficult right now, so… just try to remember that if you see Damien again." "Fine, you've made your point. I won't let him mess with my head." We talked some more. She refused to tell me everything that Rob had told her but I was glad she'd been able to make him confide in her. ---- As I lay in bed that night, Rob was the only thing on my mind. I was a lot less confused about Damien. I knew that even if he tried to see me again – and I knew he would – I wouldn't let him have me. I couldn't let him hope that we could have some sort of romantic relationship together. I wasn't interested in that. I couldn't deny that I felt a sexual attraction for him but unlike me, I knew lust was not the only emotion he felt, it was something deeper. Even though two years had passed since he had told me he loved me, it was still obvious in the way he had looked at me that he wasn't over me. There was no way I was going to have sex with him and then leave him feeling even more hurt and confused. And I could never do that to Rob. I was already hurting him by refusing to come home, I wasn't going to fuck Damien on top of that. Just the thought of hurting him… it made me ache. I couldn't wait to be with him again, the way we used to be before this whole mess started happening. I really wasn't that mad at him. I wanted to call him, to let him know that I was thinking of him, that I was missing him, that he didn't need to be jealous, but I knew that talking to each other would have just made things harder at that moment. I grabbed my phone and started typing, not yet sure if I would press 'send'. " Rach told me you're going to L.A… I listened to 'Sparks' this morning. Something about those lyrics, it seems like we've only just written them. Don't let me down. I love you." I hesitated for a few seconds and finally sent the text. Then I browsed Twitter for a moment to find that damn picture of me. I did and read some of the tweets our fans had written, which rapidly got on my nerves, so I picked up the book I was reading and waited apprehensively for his response. It came over half an hour later. "Can't do me any harm. I'm gonna go if it means that much to you, and to everyone else…" I could see that he was still typing so I waited before responding. "Babe I realize we're on a break and I'm not even asking you to be completely faithful to me. I think I could understand if you hooked up with someone… but when it comes to him, I hope you won't let me down either. I hope it won't come to this but if I have to fight for you, I will, I've got no problem doing it" I felt my heart swell at his words. I hated the fact that he thought I was going to cheat on him and I began thinking that, no matter how much he loved me, he might have sex with someone else and that it would serve me right. But I was willing to take the risk. I already knew I probably wouldn't hold it against him. "You won't have to. I don't wanna be with him, or with anyone else. You don't have to feel threatened by him. I'm not THAT mad at you. I'm not letting go of you. I just want you to get the help you need. I promise you we'll come out of this stronger…. But the same goes for you. I won't take it personal if you hook up with some guy as long as you're careful, but I'd seriously rather not know about it. Let's try not to hurt each other" "I can't believe we're talking about this. You know I just wanna be with you." "I know, so do I. But there's a reason why we're having these problems and the sooner you get the help you need, the sooner we can be together again, like we used to be" "Fine, I will. But we wouldn't be talking about this if you hadn't decided to leave. Come on, you know I'm sorry, I've never wanted to hurt you, I was just messed up" "Yes, you were, and it won't resolve itself. Babe, don't ever think I don't miss you every second of every day, but I also miss what we were, before you started not giving a fuck about anything anymore. Tell me when you get there. I love you" He didn't answer. I knew he wouldn’t. He didn't try to call me either. I guess he knew just as well as I did that talking to each other would be too painful, because despite both being mad at each other, we badly wanted to be together. Lying in bed alone, I could only imagine the kind of angry sex we'd be having if we were in the same room. We'd argue vehemently but he'd rapidly have enough of it so he'd probably grab my arm and pin me back against a wall and kiss me roughly as a default action. Then he'd look intensely into my eyes. That'd be enough to set me off and the passion between us would be back a hundredfold. I knew I'd kiss him back harder and our tongues would play hungrily with each other. I'd run my fingers through his hair and draw him closer to me. I might nibble at his neck to breathe in the smell of his skin and then kiss his cheek and his lips again. I'm pretty sure he'd have been the first one to rip off my clothes. He'd lower his head and start biting at the muscles on my chest or lightly nip my nipples. Then I'd pull off his shirt to feel his chest against mine and we'd kiss passionately again. And then, he'd spin me around and let his tongue travel from the top of my spine, down to my waistband. There'd be no foreplay, no cock sucking. He'd want to fuck me, to feel like I was his. I was only wearing pajama bottoms tied by a string with no underwear so he'd pull the string and let them drop to the floor and then he'd immediately caress and kiss my ass cheeks until I'd feel his tongue swiping over my hole, swirling everywhere and probing me. I'd be hard as a rock by then so I'd reach for my cock and jerk myself off to increase the pleasure of feeling his tongue darting in and out of me and I'd groan above him to encourage him to continue. Then he'd stand up and we'd kiss again, with less urgency this time, but still both breathing hard. I think I'd want him to fuck me right there on the bedroom floor and I'd tell him so. We'd make out some more and caress each other's bodies before dropping to our knees and I'd lie down on the floor and raise my arms above my head. He'd kiss my chest and my neck, which would drive me crazy. He'd tell me how gorgeous he thought I was as he'd stroke his cock and lube up both of us Then I'd take the lead by lifting my legs into the air and putting them over his shoulders or around his waist. I wouldn't want him to open me up with his fingers, I wouldn't want to be teased. I'd only want to enjoy the feeling of being fully filled so I'd urge him to push himself into me and fuck me good and hard. Then I'd feel the tip of his cock press against my hole and he'd do exactly as I ask. He would begin to pump slowly into me and he'd kiss my skin at the same time but he'd soon pound my ass because I'd keep telling him to go harder. He'd tell me how good I was and I'd tell him how good it felt being fucked and having him inside me again. I'd enjoy watching him as he'd stare lustfully at body and my cock, knowing how much I was turning him on. I'd pull his face tight against mine and we'd kiss, then he'd nip at my neck and he would occasionally tease my hard-on. I'd want more so my own hand would pump away at my cock, and my other hand would be between my legs to feel his cock sliding in and out of me. We'd both be so turned on that we'd soon be ready to burst and he'd urge me to cum as his balls would slap against me and his cock would hit that spot inside of me so that I'd feel jolts of pleasure that'd make my cock swell and ropes of cum would soon start flying out and land all over my chest and I'd keep moaning and groaning and squeezing his cock with my ass while he'd plough into me and finally cum inside me. I'd continue pulling on my cock as he'd have his orgasm, and I'd watch him shake and whimper with that look of ecstasy and lust on his face as he'd flood my innards with thick streams of cum. Then he'd collapse on top of me with his dick still inside me and my cum smeared between us. He'd eventually ease himself out of me and I'd feel this sudden feeling of emptiness which would make me wish he could put it right back in. I smiled to myself as I got off the bed to wash the cum off my chest. I quickly crawled back into bed and grabbed a pillow, wishing it was Rob hugging himself to me, and let sleep overtake me, hoping he wouldn't haunt my dreams too. He texted me a couple of days later to tell me that he was in L.A and Jordan joined me in New York.
  11. unilive

    Chapter 15

  12. unilive

    Chapter 15

    Robbie's point of view Two hours had gone by since Mark had left and I was still lying in bed, full of self-loathing, numb, drowsy and depressed as I tried to figure out what I needed to do to make things better between Mark and I. He was my rock and I didn't know what to do without him. I hated myself for literally pushing him away because of my self-destructive behavior. However, it didn’t matter how hard I tried to turn things around in my head, I always came to the same conclusion… I was famous. Way too famous for my own good. And it complicated everything. It had led me into this situation. I wished I knew what to do not to let fame completely destroy me and rob me of everything that was good in my life, from everything that could keep me sane. Be that as it may, I really didn’t want to go to rehab. I wasn’t sure what it was I needed, but I sure as hell knew it wasn’t rehab. I wasn’t an alcoholic nor a drug addict. I didn’t need to drink. I didn’t need to down a bottle of vodka to get through the day. I only had a drink when I was out partying, just like everyone else. My phone buzzed. As I picked it up, I prayed it might be Mark and that somehow, he was going to tell me that he had changed his mind… but instead, it was a whatsapp message from Tom. "Band meeting in the hotel restaurant in half an hour. You'd better all be there. You’ve got some explaining to do." 'There you go' I thought, 'another lecture'. He had to know Mark had left. I had another shower and got dressed. Mark had taken all of his stuff and it was so strange to be alone in that room. It had never happened before. We had always shared a room together. I suddenly came to the realization that we hadn't been apart for more than a few days in years. The longest we'd ever been apart was when we were kids and he went to France for most of the summer with his parents. How was I supposed to be without him for god knows how long? … and what made him think that he could do it? I went down to the hotel restaurant. I was the last one to get there. It seemed like Jordan and Damon had just arrived though and the two empty glasses on the table indicated that Tom and Dylan had been sitting there for some minutes. I sat down on the last chair available and remained silent, not looking at any of them. I hoped I'd just have to sit there, shut up and be lectured because I sure as hell didn't want to talk. For a few seconds, no one said a word either. It seemed as if none of us wanted to admit our mistakes or start a painful conversation about the consequences of our actions and how badly it could impact the future of our band. The heavy silence and tension in the air started to make Damon impatient and uncomfortable. "Are we waiting for Mark? Where is he?" he asked. I looked over at Dylan and studied his reaction to see if he knew. He looked back at me with a hard to read expression, as if he was mad at me but also felt bad for me. "He won't be coming," he answered "he left for the airport like an hour ago." Jordan looked at me. His eyes narrowed and then he turned to Dylan, "He did what?" "Shit!" Damon exclaimed, "He did it?" he asked with surprise. He then looked at me as well, as if he was trying to see how I was doing, "He warned me that he might do that," he said with hesitance in his voice. My brows furrowed as I looked at him, "Well, thanks for telling me," I said bitterly. "I didn't think he was serious about it." he claimed. "Did you know?" he asked Dylan. "Of course I did. I've just spent an hour with him talking about the three of you again…. " "And you didn't try to stop him from leaving?" I asked. I was beginning to realize that I was taking it out on them, when they really didn't have much to do with the problems Mark and I were having. I was the only one responsible for him leaving. He looked at me with the same expression, "No, Rob, I didn’t. Cuz I agree with him two hundred percent. That's all he and I have been able to talk about recently… what to do about the three of you." I shook my head. I felt betrayed that he wouldn't even tell me that Mark wanted to leave. "Where did he go?" I asked him insistently, demanding an answer which he didn't give me. "You know where he went, so just tell me." I insisted. He sighed before answering he knew I wouldn't let it go, "He went to New York for now. He's gonna stay with Jimmy. He wants to finish editing the songs and work on a few demos with him." Jordan raised his eyebrows and breathed, "Well, at least he still cares about the band." "Oh! 'Cause he's the one who doesn't care?" Dylan snapped at him. "I didn't mean it like that," he replied. "Jeez, Jordan, you need to fucking grow up," he said angrily to him. Obviously, Mark wasn't the only one to be mad at us. "We're the only ones who seem to care! We've been doing everything lately, and you three just go out and party. That's not how it works. We're all supposed to be involved." “Oh, come on!" Jordan responded, hardly containing his frustration, "You make it sound as if we haven’t been doing anything." "Well, you haven't been doing much!" he exclaimed. "We’re allowed to go out for a few drinks at the end of the day if we fucking feel like it.” “Yeah, sure!" Dylan agreed. "As long as you’re still able to function properly the next day!" "We've never missed a recording session, have we?" Jordan said, defending himself. "We don't need you to just stand there and play what we tell you to play or sing what we tell you to sing," he said to us and then focused on me, "You just take it for granted that Mark will do all the song writing when you used to do it with him…. When we ALL used to do it with him," he added, also blaming Jordan and Damon. I opened my mouth to say something, but quickly admitted to myself that I couldn't argue with that. We had expected Mark to do all the work and I hadn’t been involved much in the songwriting process. "Basically, you all expect him to come into the studio with fully written songs or to do all the editing on the ones we've already recorded, so you don't have to put in the work. That is not how we work and you know that!" "Oh, c'mon," Jordan began saying, "We've recorded enough songs already. Why can't you two be happy with what we've written for once!" "Are you serious?" Dylan asked dubiously, "They're still so amateurish. They're far from being ready to be released. We might've enough songs to make an ok album. - but is that what you want to do? Settle for ok?” “Well, do we have a choice?” “For fuck's sake. Most of the songs we’ve recorded so far are just not good enough. They could be so much better. We need to put a lot more effort into them. I wouldn’t even release them as B-sides. Potentially, if you give a shit, Mark and I have been writing new songs, and we’re not gonna settle for ok. We’re not gonna let you make us release a crappy record because you’re too wrapped up in yourselves to care.” I shook my head and said, “I’ve said from the beginning that we should've focused on writing and recording. But nooo, we have to be all over the place.” “Right.” Dylan said. “That’s a valid point. But we were all ok with doing it this way.” So far Damon hadn't dared say anything. He quietly tried to find a solution, “Can't the release of the album be postponed? I mean, we can't meet the deadlines, we all know that's not gonna happen.” “Damon," Tom finally intervened and replied, "if we postpone the album, we postpone the tour. If we postpone the tour we have to postpone it by at least a year! Venues have been booked for months and there are so many people involved already and expecting to have a job next summer. We have to take everything into careful consideration before we decide to do that.” “The tickets haven’t gone on sale,” I said. “Yes. I’m aware of that. But this is gonna cost money to the label anyway, and they’re not gonna like that.” “Well, fuck the label." I exclaimed. "That's very mature." "Yeah. It's not as if they hadn't made a shitload of money out of us already," I said angrily. "Alright, enough!" Tom snapped at me, but I honestly didn't give a shit because he was in part responsible for the hectic schedule we were forced to maintain. I was pissed off. "I've let this go on for too long," he continued. "Yes, you lads are only twenty-seven and you're allowed to have some fun … and yes, we're in Amsterdam…," he said to Jordan. "but getting shitfaced every day and not giving a damn about what needs to be done? I don't think so," he said dramatically. "If you want to behave as stupid, irresponsible kids, I can treat you as such. That's all you've been doing since the recording started and this cannot go on. You're gonna have to start realizing that it's time to stop having fun and take things more seriously because you've got deadlines to meet." I looked up at him and he pointed his finger at me. "Don't you dare tell me to fuck the deadlines too." "Alright. I'm thinking it really hard though," I answered, being a bit of a smart ass, "we should be allowed to release an album whenever we damn feel ready to do so. And not to please any fucking label." "Rob, it's not just the label. The fans are expecting you to release a new record at the end of the year, and they're expecting a tour next summer." "Well, they'll just have to wait, won't they?" I knew I was being unreasonable because that was what we had told the media but I just didn't want to please anyone to my own detriment anymore. Tom looked down and sighed. He thought for a brief moment and then looked up at me with a defeated expression on his face, "Is that what you wanna do? Postpone everything?" "We can't do that," Damon immediately said with a sigh. "Damon, I used to have total faith in your ability to work well under pressure, but this time, I don't see how you could possibly keep the promises you've made to the public… or the label." "Rob?" he asked in mildly more considered tone, so that I'd look at him, "You said to Mark that last night was just a one time thing, do you really mean that?" I didn't answer. "What about you?" he asked Jordan, who just shrugged, just as annoyed as I was by this lecture. "Rob," Tom continued, talking directly to me, "I know you're going through something. We can all sense that. You've been up and down emotionally lately. But instead of trying to understand why, I didn't do anything and just assumed you were a bit burnt out and that it'd pass. I shouldn't have. We’ve been too busy and wrapped up in everything that needs to be done but I think the time has come to address some of the issues you’re facing because things have gone too far and I'm sorry I’ve let it go on for this long. How long have I been your manager now? Over seven years. I've watched you grow from boys to men, and I probably know you better than your own parents these days. And as a parent myself, I wouldn't like to see my son behave the way you do. I'd be worried sick. I'm starting to feel concerned here. I mean… Doing coke? Is that the kind of band you wanna become? … You've all been raised better than that. You know better." Since I still wasn't talking, he asked, “What do you want Rob?” I shrugged slightly, "To not be famous anymore. To have some kind of normal life again. Can you make that happen?” I asked sarcastically. He sighed and remained silent for a moment. They all looked at me but I didn't look at any of them. "Alright," Tom announced as he stood up. "I'm gonna make a few phone calls and cancel the interview and TV show in Madrid on Monday," he said. "but we're not done discussing this." he walked away and headed out of the restaurant. They all remained silent. I could tell they didn't know what to say to me. Again, Damon got uncomfortable and broke the silence, "Damn, you screwed up pretty bad last night, didn't you? I can't believe you guys did cocaine and alcohol at the same time. Aren't you afraid of anything?" Jordan chuckled, "I think we felt invincible last night." "You're not though!" Damon responded, he just watched us before adding, "well, I'd say the fun is over. We're gonna have to rethink our priorities here." Dylan nodded. "Thank you! Cause contrary to what you seem to be thinking, the album's not gonna write itself, and people aren't gonna plan every little detail of the tour for us." "Rob?" Damon called after a moment of silence. Rob? He called again. I looked up at him. "Seriously, can you talk to us? How're you feeling?" he asked, concerned. "Right now? Like I've been run over by a bus and got my heart ripped out of my chest." Jordan leaned closer to me and whispered, "Over exaggerating it a little?" I glared at him, "No?" he chuckled. "Ok." "I can't believe he left," I sighed. "He'll be back," Jordan said, doing his best to reassure me, "He just wants to teach you a lesson." "Rob," Dylan breathed. "he just wants you to be okay. That's what we all want. Let’s be honest here. You’re losing control. You've been putting yourself under too much pressure. You've been going out way too much and this… this isn't like you. That's not how you get ready for a world tour and you know that. The last one was so demanding and look at you, you're already exhausted." I sighed and still didn't answer. I was done defending myself. They seemed to have me all figured out anyway. "Alright," Dylan continued, "I'm pretty sure Tom's gonna cancel everything he had scheduled for us… so, here's what's gonna happen." Jordan interrupted him and snickered, "Mark's fucking gone. What are we supposed to do without him anyway? I'd say everything's pretty much on hold for now." "You know, he needs a fucking break too!" Dylan exclaimed, "He can't do it all alone. That's not fair to him. He's had enough of your bullshit … and so have I." "Why doesn't he just say so instead of leaving," Jordan said. "Are you fucking kidding me?" Dylan snapped at him, "How many times have we tried to talk to you? You just chose not to listen. Now this time, maybe you will." "You," he said to me, "You're gonna fly to L.A and go to this place," he showed me the rehab centre webpage on his phone. "Oh, will you all cut it out with that rehab bullshit. I'm not a freaking alcoholic." "No one said you were." Dylan said, "Don't get all defensive on me. And that's not why we want you to go there. But right now, you have to stop with all the partying and drinking and all that shit. You need to take more care of yourself, and of your voice, if you want to be ready mentally and physically for the next tour. 'Cause right now you're just not! And if you keep acting the way you've been acting lately, you never will be!" "Maybe I don't wanna be!" I snapped. "And I don't want to go there by myself. What do you expect me to do there? I'm gonna be bored out my mind." "No, you won't. It'll be good for you. To get away for a while and to be on your own." I shook my head and he turned to Damon and Jordan, "And you. You're gonna go back to Dublin and stay with your folks for a while. You've been pampered too much. Everyone telling us how great we are, you need to go back to your house and get in trouble for not putting the milk away. Should be enough for you!" "Can't I just do that too?" I exclaimed. “Has Tom talked to our folks?” Jordan asked worriedly. “He's had your dad on the phone, yeah. He’s expecting you,” he answered slyly. Jordan's dad was the kind to keep a close watch on his kids, and now that we were famous, he was constantly making sure we were all doing fine. “Oh, for fuck's sake. What's he told him? He’s gonna kill me.” “We sure hope he does.” Dylan said, half-jokingly. "I don't need my father to lecture me. I'm a grown man." "Then, start acting like one." Tom walked back to our table. As he sat back down he announced, "Alright, let's start making some much needed changes…" ------------- Mark's point of view I had been in New York for almost two weeks already and I had only talked to Rob once. For a couple of days after leaving Amsterdam, he texted me, tried to call me and left me several messages, asking me to come home. He was back in London and against the idea of going to Los Angeles. At first, I didn't answer his calls, because I was mad, and because I needed him to understand that I was not coming back. When I finally did answer, we talked pretty maturely about the situation. "Rob," I told him at some point in the conversation so that he'd try to figure out why he was starting to have a conflicted relationship with fame, "I know we always said we'd make the band and the fans our priority no matter what, but you have to be a bit selfish here. You need to go to LA. I want you to go. You can rest and talk to therapists. They can help you make sense of everything that's happened to us. You can't go on like this. I want you to feel better in your own skin, so you can enjoy it again." "It's not that I hate it. I love performing…," he began saying, but didn't finish his sentence. "Yeah, you do. But you also find it hard and you struggle with it more and more every day. So much so that you don't even know how to be yourself anymore. I want the real you back. I want you to be happy with what we have and what we do." He let out a deep sigh, as a way of expressing his sadness and weariness and remained silent for a moment. When he finally spoke, there was a bit of anger in his voice, "Are you breaking up with me?" he asked. "Is that what this is? This is you breaking up with me?" I remained silent. I hated this. I could feel tears welling up from hearing his voice and knowing I couldn't be with him but I couldn't let myself cry, "No, I don't know. It doesn't matter," I answered, "I don't want to be without you …," I admitted in a whisper. "Then don't be! You really think you leaving me is gonna help? Come on Mark, how is that gonna help me?" "I've tried everything else!" I told him. "All I do is love you and try to help you, but you don't let me. I can't be with you right now if all you do is refuse to talk to me and turn to drink and drugs to cope with the pressure. I won't let you do that." "Fine. You want me to talk to you, I'll talk to you. What do you want me to say? That I'm exhausted, that I'm tired of it." I didn't respond. "Yes, I'm exhausted and I'm fucking tired of it! Of course I am. I'm tired of trying to meet everyone's expectations, including yours. Now please just come home so we can work this out together," he begged. Again, I didn't answer but I had heard him. I couldn't blame him for trying but he knew I wasn’t coming back until he agreed to go to therapy. We couldn't solve our relationship problems as long as he didn't try to overcome his issues. "Mark, I don't need therapy," he continued. "I just need some time to recharge." "You know, you're really the only one who thinks that you don't need therapy," I interrupted him, "there's nothing wrong with admitting that you're losing control of your life and that you need a bit of help. You can pretend everything's fine and lie to everyone else, but not to me. You know you don't have to pretend with me." He sighed heavily, "It doesn't matter whether I tell you or not. It's not like you feel the need to slow things down. You don't want to. You're all perfectly fine with the way things are, so why shouldn't I be if everyone else is." "Because you're allowed to not want to do it anymore when you're the one with the biggest spotlight. You'd rather avoid me as much as you can than admit to me that you've had enough. I know you don't wanna hurt me or burden me with your problems, but we're in this together, and if you're not ok, then I'm not ok. And if you're not physically able to go back on tour and do it all over again, then none of us can. So if you need a break, then ok, we can stop everything. But you'll have to use that time to actually deal with what's been eating you up inside and you have to be by yourself to do that." He was quiet for a moment then said, "I don't wanna be by myself," his voice was full of tears and emotion as if he was trying to stop himself from crying, "I miss you. I don't know how to be without you." "I miss you too," I breathed sadly. For a moment, we didn't speak. He let out another heavy sigh and spoke, "But you're not coming back…" "No," I answered, slightly shaking my head. I closed my eyes and almost felt like I was right there with him, holding him. At that moment, I wished I could have taken all of his pain away, even though I was the one causing it. I felt horrible after ending the call. He had finally admitted that he wasn't enjoying being in the position he was in and that being this famous made him feel sad and depressed most of the time, when he used to love it before. I could only hope that he was finally going to start acknowledging the fact that he needed help to better deal with fame. He was beginning to realize that addiction was affecting him. Going out all the time and drinking too much was one thing but getting high on drugs was another one. I had expected him to try cocaine. I was even sort of waiting for him to take that next step and I already knew that when he did, I would not let him get away with it. I had to stop him from getting into drugs because if I didn't do anything the first time, he'd do it again… and he'd start lying… and he'd shut me out even more… and then he'd be so much harder to make him stop. I couldn't let him develop a tragic relationship with drugs that he wouldn't be able to get out of. If he started using them to cope and manage the overwhelming pressure, it would just give him some temporary relief and he may continue despite knowing the negative consequences. This was already the reason why he was going out and partying so much instead of being one hundred percent dedicated to the band like he used to be. He had managed to make most people think that he was happy, that he ‘had it all’. But I wasn't being fooled. I knew how hard it was for him to cope with fame, stardom, wealth, the pressure to perform, the high expectations, and most importantly the public scrutiny that went along with it. Lately, it sometimes felt like we had a perfect storm swirling around us that could have led anyone down a treacherous path of destruction. I knew addiction was a progressive illness and that things would only get worse if we didn't address the problem. During the next few days, I found it incredibly hard to fight the urge to call or text him several times a day about every little thing that was going on. I was so used to sharing everything with him that his absence was at times unbearable. I missed hearing his voice; I missed talking with him, laughing with him, kissing him, feeling his body close to mine in the morning… There was this feeling of emptiness in my heart that I wasn't used to and that I wasn't sure I would be able to fill without him. But no matter how bad I was missing him, I knew that I had to give him space, even if he didn't think he needed any. He had to learn how to take control of his own life again, to understand why he was sad, without me. Every time I felt the need to call him, I'd back down because I just couldn't hear his voice again. I knew that if I called him, he might say something that would make me want to be on the next flight home. But I couldn't do that, not yet. So, I tried to remind myself of the many reasons why I had made the decision to leave. They were all valid ones, but for some reason, when I found myself missing him, they didn't seem so valid anymore. But I had sworn to myself that I would not go back to him unless he went to LA, or at least some sort of therapy, and I was determined to stick to my word. I loved him and I missed him but I was also very angry with him. I didn't need any apologies from him. I knew what he was going through and I couldn't blame him for finding it hard to adjust to life as a celebrity. He had lost his freedom little by little, much more than I had, and now he was starting to lose himself. But he had stopped making me and the band a priority. He had stopped caring about anything I said to him and he had shut me out. He had taken our success for granted, not wanting to work much to stay at the top, and he had taken me for granted. And it fucking hurt. We could not go forward as long as he refused to get the help he needed, and the band couldn't go forward either. Our relationship, the band, the two were linked. We couldn't really have one without the other. Since I couldn't talk to him, but I felt the need to keep some sort of connection with him, I was on the phone with Rachel or Dylan every day so they'd tell me how he was doing and if he was considering going to LA. Jane, his mother, had called me several times to understand better what was going on and I knew she was in London to talk some sense into him, and so was his father. In New York, I was staying with a friend called Jimmy. I needed to keep myself busy and playing music seemed to be all I could do to not lose my mind over Rob. I didn't feel much like working and I wasn't very focused on anything we were doing in the studio but I had promised Jimmy that I'd come to New York to edit some of our songs with him. I was aware the release of our record was being postponed for now and there were no more deadlines to meet but maybe going to New York to work on a few songs made me feel like I wasn't completely giving up on the band… just in case there might be a slight chance we'd be able to do what we had promised the fans we'd do, which was to release our fourth album in October and go back on tour in April. Jimmy owned a huge apartment in New York but he seldom would spend more than an hour at his place during the day. He led a busy life. He'd leave early in the morning and go out to various events in the evening. He was the kind of guy who lived life at hundred miles per hour. So did I actually, but for the first few days there, I needed a bit of calm and quiet to reflect on my life; so I got accustomed to his place and just enjoyed walking around New York. Then I went to work with him for a few hours in the afternoons and went out for dinner to catch up with a few friends living in New York that I hadn't seen in a while. A whole week had gone by since I had last talked to Rob. I had spent the evening catching up with a couple of friends. I was on my way back to Jimmy's place when I got a whatsapp notification. Sitting in the back of a cab, I felt a slight adrenaline rush as I opened the app and saw it was from Rob. "Miss you so much tonight. I'm lying in bed, bored to death and I can't stop thinking of you. I'm not even touching myself and I'm totally hard, wonder why? I wish you were here to cuddle with me baby. And then we'd make love. I miss your lips, your skin, your touch. I need to feel your body so bad, I can't handle it." As I read, I felt my chest tighten, my stomach clench and my cock get hard. The prospect of going to bed alone became pretty excruciating. I would have loved nothing more than to feel him against me. This was exactly what stopped me from calling him. He knew what to say to make me want to run straight back and be with him. I pondered over whether I should text him back. I wasn't sure that sexting each other was a good idea but I was glad to see that, at least, he wasn't out again, drinking his sorrow away. I was beginning to seriously miss having sex with him. It had always been very much part of our routine and lately, it was even more so. It seemed to be the only thing that brought us together and kept us connected since he would much rather fuck than talk about stuff. To me, it was beginning to feel like we spent time alone together only to have sex, which wouldn't have bothered me that much, had he not been so out of it the rest of the time. We had never gone this long without having sex and it didn't matter whether or not I was mad at him, I was horny as hell now and I wanted to text him back. I got back to my apartment, even though it wasn't mine, but it was starting to feel like my place. I tossed my jacket on the living room couch and walked up the stairs. I began typing, feeling my erection grow harder in my jeans as I thought of him, naked, probably slowly stroking himself, wanting me. "Just got back from dinner with Shawn and Charlotte. They're doing great. They've basically spent the whole year traveling around the world. So many things to talk about. I'm gonna grab a shower now. It might feel like something's missing in there … namely you on your knees taking care of that hard on you just gave me." As I entered the bathroom in my bedroom, I placed my phone down on the stone ledge, knowing I'd soon receive a text from him. I got undressed and stepped into the shower, which was a wonder of engineering and plumbing. It was as large as a small bathroom itself. It had a smooth, gray stone floor. Throughout the stone walls, there were nozzles that sprayed water in all heights and directions. There were shower heads in all four corners, and one giant shower head located in the ceiling that rained water directly on top of you. It was heaven. I began thinking that the shower Rob and I had paled in comparison and that we definitely needed to get one of these. And then, I felt sad and a bit worried. When would I be back in London? I thought of him, lying in bed, probably naked as the day he was born and stroking his hard, smooth, thick cock. I pictured him playing with himself as I chose the water functions I wanted. The water was instantly warm and felt incredible against my body. I was a bit tense so I sighed in relief as some of the water pounded my shoulders, wishing Rob's hands were on me, massaging my shoulders and kissing my neck. I reached for the shower gel and started washing myself. I wrapped my hand around my cock and imagine it was Rob's ass. Though I couldn't begin to recreate the incredible feeling of being in him, the intensity of my stroking soon had me close to cumming. I stopped myself before going over the edge. As soon as I stepped out, I grabbed a towel and quickly wiped off the excess water from my body. I picked up my phone to read his text, "Good 4 them. Would've liked to see them again. Damn, I wish I was there with you to dry you off when you get out of the shower sexy, your body is so hot. And then I'd definitely drop to my knees and blow you til you spurt all you jizz in my mouth. Your hard dick tastes so good in my mouth. I hope you've been saving up for me. I'm so hungry 4 it" I smiled and started stroking myself again as I rested my body against the stone ledge. It didn't take long before I could feel my cum building up and I was ready to burst again. I looked down at my cock, leaking profusely as I imagined his wet, hot mouth moving up and down my shaft. I threw my head back and came hard, shooting several long, white streams of cum onto my abdomen. Once my dick stopped spurting, I rinsed the cum off my hand and texted him back, "Defo been savin' up. Got cum all over my chest now. It was awesome. You'd love to lick this off me. I might need another shower now" I stepped into the shower again and washed the cum off my chest before reading his response, "What a shame it's not in my mouth. I would've swallowed it all. I bet ur still hard. I wish you'd take me to bed, lick me all over and then fuck the cum right out of me. Your cock would feel so good inside of me I'd probably shoot without touching myself. I miss this. I miss you." I walked over to my bed, climbed under the covers and started typing, pretty sure he hadn't cum yet, "I miss you too. I'd love to kiss and lick you all over till my tongue runs up and down your crack and makes you tremble when I push it in and out to open you up. I'd make you beg for my cock. Then I'd shove it in you and pound your ass as hard as you want till I feel the cum blast out of you. I know how much you love to cum with my dick buried deep inside you. I love that too" It didn't take him very long to answer, "Damn, now I've got cum all over too and my hole is tingling, waiting for you. So when R U coming home to do that with me?" I hesitated, not sure I wanted to ruin the moment, but finally typed, "Nice try. When R U flying to LA?" "I'd much rather fly to NY." "I bet you would. I guess we'll have to keep having this daydream that one of us is inside the other, in some way until one of us gives in! U know it won't be me, so why wait? 'You're really not letting this go, are you?" "I'm really not." "Right now, I hate you just as much as I love you ;)" "I know. Right back at you ;)" "Good night. I might be dreaming of all the dirty things I'd like to do with you if you don't mind!" "I don't mind. I know I'll wake up with something pointy and hard in my underwear. your sexy body will be all I think about when I jack off. Good night" Over the next few nights, we continued texting each other and I was kinda looking forward to it, almost wanting to text him as soon as I woke up in the morning, which he did a couple of times. I'd always think that we probably ought to stop though because I didn't really know where we stood and it was kind of confusing. I started going out more with Jimmy in the evening, and I knew Rob was often out again because he wouldn't text me as much and Rachel or Dylan would also tell me when they knew that he was out. He'd tell them that he didn't feel the need to go to therapy or that he didn't feel ready to go. They were doing their best to make him go, but at the end of the day, it was really up to him. Jimmy led an interesting life and knew so many people. He was invited to all the trendy events, which was great. For a couple of weeks I went out every night eating out in gourmet restaurants, going to concerts, clubs, broadway plays or art galleries openings… I was having a good time, although I often wished Rob could have been there with me. One Thursday afternoon I left Jimmy’s place around 1pm to go work on editing a couple of songs I was still hoping would make the album. When I got there, a noticed there was a guy sitting on the stairs, checking his phone. I recognized him immediately. "Hey," Damien said, smiling demurely at me. He seemed kinda reserved, as if he was apprehensive of the way I'd react. "Hey," I said, wondering what the hell he was doing here. I hadn't seen him, talked to him or heard from him in over two years. He looked a bit different, slightly older. He had longer hair and looked like he hadn't shaved in a day or two, which I thought suited him great. He also seemed more tanned than I remembered and it made his blue eyes stand out. I was about to ask him what he was doing here and he studied me as I searched for my words, not sure how to ask him without sounding rude. "I'm not stalking you," he announced. I opened my mouth to say something but for a couple of seconds, no words came out, "That's good to know," I finally said. He looked at me with a slight grin, "How've you been?" "Good," I answered as he stood up and walked closer to me. "Yeah?" he gazed at me and added, "you look great." We stood face to face and he began explaining his presence. "I'm working at "The Cutting Room" with Alex Cooke… you had dinner with him on Sunday. He's friends with Jimmy. He told me you were staying with him … and that you were alone?" he said inquisitively. "I wasn't alone," I replied. He pursed his lips and tilted his head to the side, "You weren't with your normal circle of friends either… Aren't you supposed to be super busy recording?" "Yeah. I guess. But we're taking a break. We're all a bit burnt out. We all need some time off from the band." "Oh," he let out a small chuckle, "you're taking a break only a few months away from the release?" he asked doubtfully. "I don't think we're gonna release it as planned." "Are you postponing it?" he asked a bit shocked. "Probably, yeah," I confirmed. "Oh. That's too bad," he said, sensing that we might be going through a particularly difficult time, "Sooo….," he began saying hesitantly. "are you taking a break from Rob too?" I stared at him, then looked away briefly and he smirked. "Don't look so happy," I told him, slightly shaking my head. "I'm not. Just wondering," he said with a shrug. "Well," I began saying. "I should be going in." I said, briefly turning my head toward the door of the studio. "It was nice seeing you again." He understood that I was cutting the conversation short so he quickly added, "Hey, there's this great coffee shop just around the corner. I'm sure you've been there. Do you wanna have coffee or something when you're done?" I looked away and sighed, "I don't think it's a good idea." "Come on, Mark, it's just coffee. It'd be nice to catch up. I'd love to know how your last tour went." I must have briefly looked like I was hesitating so he added, "I'm actually seeing someone you know… just in case you're worried that I might be tempted to jump your bones." "Good for you." I sniggered, knowing that he was lying, or that if he wasn't, he didn't seem to be very committed to the guy he was with. "Then, what the hell are you doing here?" I asked aggravated. "I just want to know how you're doing. I haven't seen you in two years." "Well, I'm doing fine. I guess you can go now that you have this information." He noddeed with a smile, "How long 'd'you think you're gonna be in there?" he asked. "About three hours," I answered with a slight shrug. "Could you maybe use a sound arranger's help? I'm free today." "Is that how you wanna spend your day off?" I said with a small chuckle. "I guess it is," he said, waiting for my answer. "We don't need any help. I hope you won't still be here when I come out." The expression on his face made it pretty clear that he might be. I stepped closer to him and added, "Let's make one thing clear. Why I'm here without Rob is none of your business. I'm still with him and nothing has changed." "Alright, I get it. It's fine. I told you, I'm seeing someone. I wasn't gonna wait forever… Although just so you know, moving on wasn't easy. Why can't we just catch up over a cup of coffee. What's the big deal here?" "I hate coffee," I answered dryly as I turned on my heels and headed toward the door of the studio.
  13. unilive

    PART 3 - Chapter 14

    PART 3 – CHAPTER 14 – ROBBIE'S POINT OF VIEW We went on a world tour until Sept, 2016. We toured Europe, Australasia, South and North America. It was amazing. We truly had a blast! But it was a relentless round of gigs. A blur of gigs. To the point that we sometimes weren't sure in what city we were playing. It was over one hundred shows and it generated so much money and involved so many people who were on the road with us. I’d always known, or sensed, that we had it in us to be massive, to crack America and to become one of the next great live acts. In the States, we played in venues such as Madison Square Garden in New York. In Europe, we played mainly stadiums. We headlined Glastonbury and other massive festivals. We played Wembley stadium. We played Croke Park in Dublin - which was the ultimate dream! I still remember as though it was yesterday, staying up all night outside a shop in Dublin to get tickets for U2 concerts in Croke Park in 2005 and now we were playing there! How can you even get your head around that? It happened so fast. Our lives changed in what seemed like a heartbeat and now we were one of the most popular bands in the world. Playing Glastonbury was so special. It was the highlight of U-N-I's life and a career-defining concert. The few minutes before stepping on stage were probably the worst of my life though, but once on stage, I felt so at ease and truly in my element. That'd always happen before gigs. I couldn't quite explain it, but headlining Glastonbury was so nerve-racking. It was a huge milestone in our career. Thankfully, it was a triumph. When tens of thousands of people started to sing along to entire songs, it was such a rush that we were almost lost for words amid the euphoria of the crowd. For me, all I could utter was, "wow, thanks". There were no words to describe the feeling, but it was so special. However special we'd imagined it to be, it was more. I couldn't believe we got to play Glastonbury when we’d turned twenty-five! We had reached our wildest dreams. We had set ourselves what seemed like an unattainable target years ago, having ambition bigger than ourselves and honestly, back then, we were incredibly delusional to think that we could do it! But we had fucking done it! In what I could only describe as an amazing success story. We enjoyed a mammoth commercial success with our first album. The media almost universally hailed our record as a masterpiece. Few bands could dream of reviews like the ones that were written about our work. Not to mention the awards we received at ceremonies, sitting around bands we used to listen to when we were at school. I sometimes couldn't believe this was our lives! Something we used to dream about all the time and it had actually happened. Fate had thrown us a whole bunch of sevens. Sure, back when we were teenagers, we had a masterplan, the five of us, and we would have done anything to develop it. The priority was songwriting, followed by almost daily rehearsals, and then, our first gigs in small pubs and clubs. But we couldn't see much further than that. We just believed we had potential. But with the release of 'Yellow', everything changed and we became the band on the tips of everyone's tongues. There was just something about that song that made us so likeable and popular, but only Mark and I really knew what it was. I knew he had it in him to be a great songwriter. It was all so easy to him. It was fascinating to me to watch him compose. His talent just radiated from him. Damn, even Elton John said 'Yellow' was a song that he wished he had written. All of a sudden, everyone was singing it and buying our album and seven years later, we had become a multi-million selling band and we could play our songs in the biggest arenas and stadiums all over the world. We had tens of thousands of fans who sang frantically to our ever-growing set of classic songs. It was astonishing to us and we obviously were super caught up in how amazingly huge it all was. And that was only the professional side of my life. My private life was just as good, if not better. Being with Mark was also something I used to fantasize about but never thought would happen. He was the boy of my dreams. He seriously was. I had always loved everything about him. I had always shared everything with him. Back when we were kids I remember how well we understood each other, how at ease we were together, how we couldn't spend a day without hanging out together. We were so close growing up that I kind of knew he would notice how I felt about him. I used to secretly wish that he might want to experiment a little and that I could maybe convince him to fool around with me like once or twice, but nothing more. And even that, I didn't think it would happen. So having a relationship with him like the one we were having, no way in hell could I have predicted that. It felt like I had it all. So why did I have to fuck it all up? I had always found coming out something really difficult to do but I had never really struggled with my sexuality. I had never had any confusion in myself, never. I was like twelve when I felt confident that I was gay. But I just couldn't stop myself from fretting about the barracking and prejudice I might suffer, knowing that the homophobia in our public school could be pretty intense, and then there was the homophobia in the world in general. Later, my father would always tell me before we came out publicly, "as long as you feel certain in yourself, because you need to be sure before you start telling people." But I had always been sure … and it felt like I had always been in love too. I actually think the hardest coming out I ever had to do was coming out to Mark. And telling him I loved him. I didn't want to know what his response would be. As long as he didn't know, I could continue to fantasize and hope for something more to happen. I didn't want to hear those words come out of his mouth, "I like you as a friend but I'm straight" or "I love you, but not in that way." I was dreading that. I knew that's what he'd say but I just didn't want to hear it. So I just kept him in the dark because, as I wrote in our song 'Fix You' five years later, "I was too in love to let it show". But then it began. That first kiss! Fireworks, actual fireworks. I just wasn't expecting it. It blew me away. The most amazing love story of my life, the only love story of my life, began with that first kiss. It really would be the only love story of my life. Back then, no matter what'd happen, I already knew for certain he was the love of my life. There wouldn't be another one like him. He was everything to me. My boyfriend, my lover, my soulmate, my partner, my bandmate, my brother, my best friend. We knew each other inside out. I would've done anything for him. I would've done anything to see him happy. That's all I'd ever wanted for him, to see him happy. To know that he was ok, that he was safe, that he wasn't hurting. If he was happy, then I was happy. And despite the harsh childhood he'd had, he was happy. He always stayed positive no matter what, something I found more difficult to do. He always thought I was the stronger one out of the two of us, but I wasn't, he was. He was a lot stronger than me. Because he knew how to protect himself. He had learnt how to deal with sadness and rejection at a very early age and he was stronger because of it. Just like me, he had insecurities and he worried about a lot of things too but at the same time, he was always optimistic and determined and didn't really let anything get to him. No matter the difficulties, he always found a way to overcome them. I think the way he was raised gave him the tools he needed to cope with fame. He didn't give a shit about what people said or thought. As long as we were successful, as long as we had fans and could achieve the goals we had set for ourselves, then all was fine. I loved that about him because he was able to improve my mood when I was feeling down and second-questioning myself. He was always there to make feel me stronger, to bring out the best in me – and he did that just by believing in me and by expecting things of me. He just had this capacity to make me feel special in a way that no one else could, despite the millions of fans. Yeah, I had the career I had always wanted to have and I was with the guy I had always wanted to be with. Life was great, it was all good, right?... Supposedly. When our world tour ended, we had already recorded many demos that hadn't made the cut for our third album which we knew we might use for the fourth one. While on tour we composed a lot. So when it was time to start recording again, we already had many ideas for songs and already knew what kind of album we wanted to make and the direction we wanted to take. It felt pretty easy. We went back home and lived what resembled normal life again. And then we got back into the studio, on and off. We began working with a new well-known producer but we didn't focus on that and only that. We probably should have because we were feeling immense pressure to follow up our first three albums, which were now widely seen by most critics as classics. Instead, we released a couple of songs, promoted them and played them live and the fame stuff got mad again. Literally overnight after we released those songs, everyone was after me again. At first, I thought I had mastered it and that I would be completely fine, but I was lying to myself and it all got too much - again. Despite trying to keep my personal life out of the spotlight as much as possible, I knew it was inevitable that the media wouldn't be accommodating and I began to not enjoy it at all. I had reached such a level of fame that all the media attention I was getting was driving me crazy. It was all so scary and daunting sometimes that I got really upset. I just felt so vulnerable and all I wanted was to get away from the madness of it all. Be with Mark. Focus on writing a new album and not have to deal with the whole promotion again, just to become even more famous than I already was. Because I found it hard to take in everything that had happened. If I sat down and thought about it, it kind of freaked me out, so I just wanted to not think about it and just concentrate on the music. Unlike other bands, we thoroughly enjoyed the recording process and the time spent in the studio creating new material and I wished we had focused on that and only that. Doing promotion and recording at the same time was so tiring. I felt like we didn't have time to do anything properly. Plus, I was having a hard time coping with the vitriol that flew so freely around the music world. I worried a bit too much about the critics, we all did, and it was sometimes clear in our public behaviours that we were a bit tired of it all. I knew I was. Therefore, there were a few rumors of stress, inter-band arguments or possible splits, as if we would maybe implode, crushed by the weight of our own success. Basically, after Mark and I came out, people loved us or people hated us. They seemed to take it personally that we were doing so well. It was hard to deal with and it caused a lot of self-doubt and negative feelings. I was getting bored of constantly being asked the same questions. As if being gay somehow invalidated our right to do rock music or to be a very successful rock band, or to crack America, which was happening without as much brutal hard work as we had been told there'd be, our duets with Bono and Rihanna attracting heavy radio play there. The radio stations just went mad for it and we didn't have to do anything to infiltrate America, which was now also under our spell. We won a couple of grammies and sold out venues without really having to lift a finger. We basically only did promotion there while touring so it wasn't much more work than the promotion in Europe. Anyway, the music world really was an ocean of contradiction and weirdness and in my opinion, we had had no learning curve to really know how to deal with it and to get used to the pace of stuff. It had been a vertical gradient. There wasn't really a big alarm bell in my head telling me that I'd had enough and that I needed to take a break from the band. I knew I needed time to recharge though and really focus on what actually mattered in my life. I knew it was Mark, my friends and my family, but the world was spinning so hard and fast around us. We just didn't have any time to focus on our happiness and on ourselves. We were literally from house to dressing room, from dressing room to stage, from stage to recording studio, from recording studio to TV studios, from TV studios to hotel, from hotel to plane… It was constant and there was no more time to live a normal life. Happiness to me was just about going from our place to do an interview, play a gig, attend a charitable event … it was about spending some time at home with my parents, going on holidays… And then get back home again, hang out and play music with my mates, spend time with Mark, cook some food and watch a movie or something, talk about stuff, go to bed, cuddle, have sex, be a couple, and that was how I pictured happiness. Nothing extremely extravagant or rock n roll. Unfortunately it was either we had lots of time off, like we’d had in the past when we were recording, and we could be happy. Or we worked loads and had no time to concentrate on our relationship. So we just had to wait for things to calm down, but this time, they just didn't. We had like no time, no time at all. It was always, always about being a band, about being Robbie Myers – the performer. I had no time to focus on what was important to me in my life and to just be myself for more than a few hours. I've always seen myself as two different people. There was me, normal me, hang out with my mates, spend most of my free time with my boyfriend … and there was this other me, who had to juggle it all and be a rock star, an entertainer, loved, admired or criticised. It was becoming harder and harder to live this life, and sometimes I just wanted to stay home and not have to deal with it all. And yet, this other side of me wanted to have it all. I kind of had become really competitive and I wanted us to get better and better and better. From my family, I had received a good education and enjoyed a pretty privileged upbringing but I understood the meaning of working hard to achieve your goals. I put pressure on myself to succeed and didn't want to give up, none of us did, no matter how hard it was sometimes. I wanted us to have the best album, to have a great career, to tour stadiums around the world, to be idolized as if I had something to prove. Because of my sexuality mostly. Although I was conscious that I would not continually have this ambition. I was not always going to maintain it and I was already starting to lose my fire. Jordan would always say, "enjoy it all we can during our twenties, and the moment we see it fading, right, time to have kids and settle down!" He was right. It was fun, a lot of fun, but there was a a lot more to life than just having fun and selling millions of records. But at the time, all we could think about was to have the time of our lives, to sell millions of records and to achieve worldwide recognition. And I think we could be proud to say that we had. But that came with a lot of pressure and I knew I was going to go through some tough times. There was no stopping that from happening. Adjusting to success was not as straightforward as it might appear. It wasn't for me anyway. I felt low during the promotion. I’d genuinely had enough. So I think I tried to make myself feel better in the worst way possible. I began to go out more than usual and I really started to let go. I didn't even know why I was doing it. It wasn't like me. But I suppose it was like my other me. I had become that guy full time and if I was honest with myself, I had fun being him, being that person, but I didn't know how to not be him anymore. Mark could tell I was exhausted because of all the pressure I was under but he was as powerless as me to stop it. I had to deal with a lot more shit than the rest of them. They all knew that, but there was not much they could do about it. It was just the way things were. I had the biggest spotlight and I took most of the flak. Mark, too, to a certain extent, because our success inevitably brought about a relentless media interest in our private lives. Honestly, Damon and Dylan didn't feel that famous. They could still put their hats on after a gig and slip back into anonymity. Jordan and Mark could as well if they were going out alone. But I couldn't. I was recognized wherever I went and had a hard time being out in public. The name of the band was associated with my name. Mark would always try to make me feel better about that. After all, that was what we had wanted all along, I couldn't complain about it now. And everything Mark said always made sense. Perfect sense. He was always calm and rational and kind, he was always considerate and I always felt better whenever he tried to put things into perspective. I knew I should have been listening to him more. I always had. But this time, the pressure was too strong. I needed a bit of anonymity as well, to unplug myself from the selfie culture. I was losing my mind and I just needed to get back to normal life. I wasn't enjoying it, it wasn't real life to me. I needed to take a break so bad and I wasn't allowed to take it. I should have found a better way to deal with it, but I didn't. So I figured that if I was gonna have a nervous breakdown, I might as well do it right. The rock n roll way! Consequently, my immediate response was to just go out and embrace the madness. I played hide and seek with the paparazzi and the fans. I went partying a lot with Jordan, sometimes Damon too, or just other friends in the business who were always out. Basically, there was always someone to call up to know where was the hot spot to hit up when we were in London or other big cities. I was very much aware that these people who called themselves my friends didn't give a shit about me and my wellbeing, as long as they were having a good time themselves. They just saw me as a big cash machine. Having money was such a weird thing. It changed people around me, even people I thought wouldn't change. But that was fine, I didn't care that much. I was in the papers a bit too often but had gotten used to that. I often talked to paparazzi a bit buzzed, which was not the best idea, but I was known as a bit of a bad boy anyway and the gossip-hungry tabloids loved that. Despite the fact that we had come out, I would still get the occasional, "Are you gay, really?" I think people thought we just wanted to get attention drawn to the band or something. I guess we didn't fit the gay stereotype. Or "Where's your boyfriend then?" was the other often repeated question. Indeed, Mark started to refuse to go partying with us because it was just constant and there were just other things he wanted to do. He would hang out with Rachel, play music with Dylan or go out and do things that were a bit quieter. He didn't like the fact that Jordan, Damon and I would always drink a bit too much or take soft drugs, sometimes even get high on ecstasy. We were rock stars after all, weren't we? It was all available to us so easily and we were having so much fun. We just wanted to enjoy ourselves while still keeping things under control. Mark had tried E on a couple of occasions, which was enough for him. It had been amazing the first time, especially the heightened appreciation of music. The sex was incredible too. He thought that was like an interesting experience and one of the most pleasurable sensations ever, but he hadn't liked the fact that he'd felt horrible the next day. He felt like he had drained all his dopamine and was worried it'd never come back. Jordan, Damon and I had taken a pill a few more times and I had to admit I didn't like the comedowns either. Mark and Dylan would lecture us, saying that we were already hyped all the time, we didn't need drugs. They'd made us swear that we wouldn't try any harder drugs. We had always said that we didn't want to be that kind of band. I knew I was guilty of partying too much. I knew Mark didn't really want that. I didn't even know why I was going out so much anyway when all he wanted to do was to stay in at the end of the day if we didn't have anything planned as a band. He had never really wanted to be a rockstar. He always said that he loved the music and he agreed that we had the best job in the world but he didn't want to stop living a normal life whenever we could. He didn't want to go out drinking and partying several nights a week. I guess he had seen the asshole who had pretended to be his father for twenty three years do that like practically every night of the week, and he was not going to go down that road. Or let me get down that road for that matter. He knew too well what the consequences were. Jordan on the other hand, just like me, wanted to live it up. He never wanted to stay in. Jordan and I going out partying together was always a bad idea because it would always, and I mean always, end up with us doing something that we shouldn't have been doing. We were twenty seven, we were supposed to be mature enough to know when we were doing something stupid. But I guess we weren't that smart when we were drunk. Then again is anyone? Whenever Mark did go out with us, I was thankful that he was there because I knew he would watch over us. When we went out partying together, he would always have enough before us. He'd stop us before things got too wild. He'd always warn me that I had to be very careful with drinking and going out. I was good at acting very confident but it was not my true personality. It took some effort on my part and drinks or drugs could just take all my insecurities away in an instant, which was awesome of course, I loved that. It made it so much easier to be who people wanted me to be. Although he loved to party as well, Mark would never really go past his limits. I honestly didn't know how he managed to always stay in control of himself. He knew when to stop. I didn't. I would always go a bit too far. I would drink myself stupid and be really sad when I had no reason to be sad, just pondering over the fact that I was this huge star with no more control over my life. I think in a way, I was relying on him to tell me,"that's enough, let's just go home, go back to our room, it's late, time to leave," and I would always agree because I was not stupid, I knew he was right. He was always right anyway. He just wanted us to spend more quality time alone together. I knew I wouldn't be able to maintain this lifestyle for long. I was cracking up. I wasn't even getting proper sleep. I hadn't gone to bed sober in weeks. Real fatigue was setting in and I was starting to suffer from voice exhaustion, which wasn't great considering we had to record an album. I was burnt out. I only felt better when Mark and I were alone, but we almost never were. He'd say something like ‘whose fault is that?’ and he was right. I was avoiding him. I didn't want him to see me sad or weak and I wouldn't admit that I needed help. I wouldn't let him help me. I was supposed to be the stronger one, right? Plus I didn't really think that I needed help. I wasn't crazy, I wasn't an alcoholic. I was just having a good time, but I was losing control. Until then, Mark hadn't really cared that much about my partying. He just devoted more time than I did to working on the album and the tour and we were still able to spend some time alone together during the course of the day. We didn't need to spend every minute of our lives together. But maybe I just didn't want to admit to myself that he'd had enough of me going out all the time. Tom, our manager, would always tell me, "watch yourself," or "don't go out too much," but I wouldn't listen. He couldn't really lock me up either so I was still free to do whatever I pleased. All of those things we had been warned about… when you get into the industry, people say, "Be careful of this, be careful of that," I was doing all of them, shamelessly! Even though I fucking knew I shouldn't be. I just hoped that if I went too far, if I couldn't do all the things that we had to do during the day because I was too hungover or too tired or about to have a nervous breakdown, then maybe everything would stop. I wish I had known how to make things work. How to be happy. How to be more positive. How to enjoy everything we were doing with the band like I used to enjoy it, but I couldn't. I got into a spiral of dark moments. I had too many toxic people around me who were bringing me down. I cared about social media a bit too much and all the shit that people had to say about everything we did, it being positive or negative. I knew I should have been oblivious to stuff and not be susceptible and just concentrate on the people I loved around me, and working on songs, and just doing what we did best, which was to write music about our lives, our feelings and the world around us. I wish I had known what the key to happiness in our industry was. But damn, we were young and it was almost impossible to not go through some tough times. It all started to go wrong when we spent a week in Amsterdam. We were going there to do a bit of promotion and to play a festival. As usual, we were the headlining act and everyone there made us feel like we were super important. We had a fabulous time but things got too wild. Many artists were performing at the festival and staying at the same hotel and a couple of private parties had been organized in a club close to where we were all staying. The party we attented the night of our performance was just phenomenal! Seriously the best party ever but it got really mental and harder drugs entered the picture. There was weed, there was ecstasy, there was GHB, there was crystal meth, there was coke, there was everything, and everybody was high. It was really no big deal to Jordan and me, and even Damon. Damon took an ecstasy pill because, as he'd say, he still cared about staying alive. But Jordan and I were a bit more self-destructive I guess and this time we didn't avoid going past our limits and we did a couple lines of coke. I don't really remember feeling that different except that I was a bit more positive. I felt complete, like I was at the peak of all my potential. I was a bit more talkative and confident, more energetic and overstimulated, with no fear, no anxiety whatsoever. I knew Mark was a bit high too on softer stuff. I remember we had sex at some point during the night and then he left with Dylan because, again, he'd had enough. Jordan, Damon and me wanted to party as long as we could so they just left us together. I honestly didn't think it was a big deal. But this time, for Mark, it was the last straw. He gave me a good lecture. He made a huge deal out of it on the next day and I hadn't really seen it coming. I had crashed in some girl's room with Jordan. Actually the two of us had left the party at dawn. It was already bright daylight when we left. The whole night was a bit of a blur because we had been drinking too. I woke to the sound of my phone buzzing. It was afternoon and Mark had called me several times. "Jeez, finally! Where the hell are you? I've been looking all over for you!" he asked, he sounded worried. "Dunno." I responded and I looked around me, "A hotel room, for sure." I answered, not really sure whose room I was in. "Are you okay? Is Jord with you?" "Yeah, just sleeping." I whispered casually, so he'd know there was no need to worry. There was a moment of silence. "Well wake the fuck up! And come back to our room, like right now!" "Babe, you're screaming." "Yeah, I am. I'm so fucking mad at you!" I sat up and felt dizzy, numb and kind of overwhelmed with negative emotions and he wasn't helping, "Uh, can't it wait until my head stops spinning? I have a furious hangover." "About to get worse!" he said and hung up. Okay, I was in trouble. He wouldn’t normally talk to me with that tone of voice. I tried to fight my drowsiness, but as expected, the comedown was pretty hard and I felt like shit. I was a bit dehydrated, tired and depressed. I remembered thinking to myself, ‘'Ok, that's it, you've tried but you don't want to do that again!'’ It had just been a little high for what appeared to be a bad day of feeling drained and depressed. I reluctantly got out of bed and went to the bathroom. There were some Paracetamol tablets on the countertop, so I had one. I felt too slow and sluggish to have a shower but I forced myself to. The hot water made me feel a lot better but I quickly stepped out again after washing myself. I got dressed and went back into the room. "Everything okay, man?" Jordan asked me. He was lying on the bed next to the one I had slept on. "Fuck, I feel like shit." I answered as I threw myself face down on the bed. "Yeah, me too. I threw up like an hour ago," he moaned. I half-laughed, "It wasn't even that good, was it? Dunno, it was kinda disappointing." "Yeah, not really worth it," he agreed. "It backfired pretty hard on me!" I drifted off again for what seemed like a long time but was probably only just a few minutes. When I woke up again, I felt a bit re-energized. I picked up my phone that I had tossed on the bed earlier and checked my messages again. I looked at Jordan who was still awake. "Where are we?" "In her room," he said, pointing at the girl lying next to him. I chuckled. She seemed to be still sleeping. I looked over at her and although she was lying on her stomach and had her back to us, I immediately recognized her hair. She had partied with us the whole night. She was Lauren from the girl group "Fifth Harmony". "Oh my god!" I chuckled in a whisper. "You fucked her?" He shrugged as he watched her sleep, "I'm not sure, I might have." "What am I doing here?" I exclaimed with a chuckle, "Please tell me you didn't make me do anything with her." He laughed, "I think I'd remember that!" "I can hear you!" she said as she turned around on her back, revealing her naked breast,"Not really sleeping. And no, neither he nor you has shown me his dick," she said, pointing at Jordan and then at me, "Yet,… Not for lack of trying!" Jordan looked at me with a slight smile, raising an eyebrow. "I'm outta here!" I exclaimed as I sat up on the bed. "I gotta go back to my room and get yelled at anyway!" I sighed. "Oh shit!" Jordan let out a deep sigh. "He's gonna kill us, isn't he? I'd come with you, but I really don't want to," he joked. "Oh, don't think you're gonna get away with it either!" He laughed, "Right! I know Dylan's gonna give me shit too." I got off the bed and headed to the door. "Enjoy the lecture," he said to me, as I walked out of the room. "Fuck off!" I answered. "Byyyye!" Lauren said, almost giggling. I smiled back at her as she obviously began to rub Jordan's dick under the covers. At least, one of us was going to get laid. I joined Mark in our room, knowing he'd yell at me. And indeed, he did. He really laid into me. Stuff like, ‘'What the fuck d'you think you were doing last night? You're not gonna do that again. You're not gonna start to fucking do that.' I was starting to feel a bit better but I still felt too numb to respond so I just sat on the bed and let him go on and on until he started to run out of things to say. "Mark, Mark, I'm on your side! Jord and I just wanted to try. Everybody was doing it. We're in Holland, it's the country of drugs!" "So? I don't give a shit where we are. What kind of dumb excuse is that?" he said, getting mad again. "Well, it was convincing when Jordan used it. Look he's the one who suggested it. Be mad at him!" "So what if Jordan wanted to get high on coke? Don't you have any willpower? You could've said no... and stopped him from doing it!" "Yeah, yeah, I should've." He tutted and shook his head, "You were fucking out of control last night." "Why, what'd I do? I don't remember how I ended up in her room, but I swear I didn't fuck that girl from 'Fifth Harmony' with Jordan!" I said with a laugh. "What?" he exclaimed, annoyed that I would find this funny. "Never mind," I answered, now was not the time to make a joke. "You wanted me to do a line too. Then you were all over me, fuck you'd probably have sucked my cock in front of everyone if I'd let you. Why d'you think I sucked your off in the frigging toilet? Maybe you don't remember that either?" "No, I do remember that part." "That's exactly why I didn't want you to do it. You're not in control of yourself. You know how it works. First it's alcohol, then it's weed, then it's E, and now it's coke? Next thing you know you're a fucking drug addict." I rolled my eyes at that, "Don't you think you're overreacting a little." "Am I? Really? I know you. Now, tell me one thing. What do you think you're gonna do next time you go out and someone offers you a line of coke?" I didn't answer and just started lying down on the bed. "Well?" he pressured me to answer. "I don't know!" I exclaimed, getting annoyed that he wasn't letting this go. "I won't do it apparently. Maybe I'll have a shot of heroin instead," I said. "Don't you joke about that. I'm so pissed off at you!" "No kidding!’’ I sighed, "Look, I get your point. I'm not stupid." "Aren't you? 'Cause what you did last night was pretty damn stupid." He glared at me, still not letting it go, and I think he was also trying to win the argument just for the sake of winning it. "Fuck. I hate this. I fucking hate this!" he said and sat down on the edge of the bed, "You know how we have easy access to all sort of drugs. If you start doing them, even once, it's enough to make you wanna do them again. And Jordan too! What were you thinking?" I sat up and moved closer to him. I rested my chin on his shoulder and said, "Babe, everything's fine. We know it was a stupid thing to do. Don't worry," I gently placed my hand beneath his chin and pressed my lips against his cheek, "I'm only addicted to you," I said in a cheesy manner. He turned his head a little more and I placed a kiss on his lips, "Let's just stay in bed until we have to leave tomorrow." He frowned, "Are you still high? I don't wanna lie in bed all day. Fuck you." I let out a sigh, "Jeez, get over it!" I exclaimed and let my body fall onto the bed again, "Why are you making such a big deal?! It was nothing. I was just having a good time." He was silent for a moment. Then he stood up and started venting his frustration again, "Well, that's great! I'm happy for you. Keep doing that then. Enjoy yourself, and fuck up everything we've worked for. Keep doing that. But you might just end up having a good time all by yourself." "Why are you saying that?" I asked, sitting back up, "Don't stay stuff like that. What's that supposed to mean?" "You know very well what it means. It means that if you all that matters to you now is doing what you did last night - over and over again… I'm out!" he said with determination. I remained quiet and studied the expression on his face for a moment, "Don't say that, you don't even mean that." "Watch me!" I understood instantly that it was more than just a lecture and that I'd better take him more seriously. He wasn't letting it go this time. He wasn't just mad at me for doing coke, he was mad for everything else too – especially for letting him carry the pressure of releasing a good enough record on his shoulders. "What are you doing?" I asked unsure, as I watched him put his jacket on. He grabbed his suitcase that was already packed. I couldn't believe I was only noticing this now, he headed to the door, "What does it look like I'm doing? I'm leaving." "Our flight's tomorrow," I said. "Mine's today," he responded dryly. "Are you going home?" I asked, hoping that was where he wanted to go. "No, Rob, I'm not going home. You're not the only one who needs a break. So do I. I've had enough of your bullshit!" "What are you saying?" I asked, a bit perplexed. "I"m saying that you need to get your shit together, and you can't do it with me around. Cause you and Jordan seem to think that you're just having fun, and that there's nothing wrong. But something's fucking wrong and it's time you admitted that. What happened last night is proof of that. You crossed a line you promised you wouldn't cross." "It was…" I started saying, trying to find a way to justify myself, although I knew that whatever I'd say would just make things worse at that point. He was just too exasperated with me. "It was what? No big deal? Just cocaine?" he casually asked. "No, but…" I quietly said. He walked closer to me and looked at me straight in the eye, "You wanna do that, you do it without me! Cause I'm not gonna do it with you," he headed toward the door again. "Where're you going?" I asked before he reached the door. "You don't need to know." I was shocked. No words came out. I was too confused, not ready for this to happen. Was he actually breaking up with me? He wouldn't do that… would he? "Mark, come on, don't do that. Don't leave. I know I went too far last night." I said, trying to make him see that I agreed with him, "But…" But what?" he asked as he turned around again to face me. "It was just this once…" "How do you know that?" he asked, walking closer to me again. "I'm not stupid. I don't wanna get into drugs." "Keep going the way you are and you will. You fucking will! And you'll only realize it once it's too late! You need a good wake up call because in case you've forgotten again, we've got a record to release!" "I know, come on, don't. I need you," I begged as I reached for his arm. He didn't let me and snapped, "You don't fucking need anyone! And right now, I don't need you either. You're not yourself. And there's nothing I can do to help you ‘cos you won't let me. You don't seem to think that you need any help. Maybe me leaving for a while will knock some sense into you." Fully realizing, finally, that he was breaking up with me, and for how long I had no idea, I did my best to recover from my cocaine hangover. I thought about what I could say or do to make him stay, but there was no point. I knew him. He had made a decision to leave and he was not going back on it. I suddenly felt over emotional and almost wanted to cry. "Don't you dare cry while I'm gone. You have to stop lying to yourself. I'm tired of watching you piss away your life and pretend everything's alright. Everything's not alright. You wouldn't be acting the way you are if it was." He headed out the door and I watched him close it behind him, helpless to stop him from leaving. Once the initial shock had worn off, I came back to my senses. I couldn't let him go. I had to at least try to make him stay. I caught up with him and stopped him from getting into the elevator. He didn't put up a fight, he must have expected it. I begged him not to leave. The cocaine comedown was making me so over emotional that I was about to cry real tears. I could tell it took everything he had not to look at me. I'm sure he knew he'd cave if he saw me cry. "Stay. Please, just stay." I grasped his hand tight, "Whatever you want me to do, just say the words and I will. Just don't leave," I begged. "Where – where d'you wanna go? We have to be in Madrid on Monday!" He was doing his best not to look at me in the eye and I saw him hesitate. I knew he didn't really want to leave. He was just mad because we still had so much work to do as far as the record was concerned. "Mark, I swear to you, it won't happen again. I know we're behind schedule and I have to take things more seriously, I know that. And I will…" He finally looked at me, "Rob, I'd love to believe that, but we both know you're not gonna keep any promises for very long." "I will. I promise you. You're right, I went too far last night. I'm totally with you on that one." "Just last night?" "No… but, I swear, I'm fine. I've got it under control." He sighed and shook his head. "Do you? God! I know you don't wanna admit that you're sick of it! ‘Cos who are we to complain, right? We're living the dream!" he exclaimed. I just looked at him, unable to find something to say. He could see right through me. He knew what was going on in my head, maybe even better than I did. "But you're not enjoying it anymore. And you haven't been enjoying it for a while now. You just struggle with it… You're lying to yourself if you really think that you've got it under control. You don't. You're not yourself and we don't know what to do anymore. ‘Cause you think we're just busting your balls for no reasons. Like everybody's after you. Even I am, right? You can't catch a break, can you? You really think we don't see what you're going through." "It's not ..." I began saying, but couldn't really find something to say to contradict him, we both knew he was right, "I just need some time off I guess. To just have a normal life for a while," I admitted. "Well, you can't have a normal life right now. Whatever we do, you're too famous to have a normal life. What you need is to learn how to deal with it better than you are at the moment. You're not happy right now. You're becoming self-destructive. How are we supposed to finish writing the album and go back on tour if you're feeling like this? You can't do it. It's just gonna get worse. You need to be around people who know how to help you." I tried to reassure him as best as I could but I was indeed lying to myself, "I don't need help, Mark, I'll be fine. I can handle it. I'm not a ticking time bomb. I can do it." "High on drugs?" I asked. "Yeah, you can probably do that. But at what cost? I swear, I don't know what to do to help you enjoy it again without you feeling the need to get high. You know what? I'm too close to you. We all are. The help you need, none of us can give it to you." I didn't want to talk anymore. I hesitantly tried to hug him against me. He didn't fight it this time, he embraced me and I could feel him relax. Maybe he wouldn't leave. "Rob," he sighed as our hands began to grab at each other's backs. I pulled back and pressed my lips against his cheek, "I just need you," I whispered. "No. You only think that you do," he said, his voice cracking, "but I'm not the one who can help you. And frankly, I wouldn't know how." "Yes, you are." I said. "No. I can't let you struggle with this and do nothing." I didn't want to discuss the problems I was facing anymore. I just wanted to feel the same level of intimacy we had always had, afraid that it might not happen again in the near future. I used my hand to bring his mouth closer to mine. I began to kiss him. His lips were so warm to the touch, and he began to use his tongue in response to the way I was kissing him. I could immediately feel that he had given up on thinking. At that moment, I knew he wanted to stay with me and I felt like he was done trying to fight it. Although I prayed that the reason behind his change of behaviour wasn't that he knew it was the last time we'd be together in a while. I knew I was trying to use sex in lieu of talking, but my mind was too numb from the over-thinking. I couldn't get into a deep conversation about my issues at that moment. Moreover, I was so scared of losing him and so sad for hurting him that it was all I could do to show him how bad I needed him. I couldn't bear the thought of him leaving me. "Let's go back inside, alright?" I whispered, hoping he wouldn't tell me to fuck off, "Please," I said with a begging tone. He hesitantly agreed and we slowly walked back into the room; he closed the door. I pushed him gently against it and I kissed him with some urgency, as if I knew we were going to be away from each other soon. My hips pressed up against his. I reached down with my hand and rubbed his penis through the thin fabric of his khakis. "You smell so good," I said, smelling his neck and licking it down toward the hollow of his throat. As we slowly stepped closer and closer to the bed, he pulled back for a second only to pull my t-shirt over my head. I could see his eyes take in every part of my chest and it made me feel a bit more confident that he wouldn't leave. There was still the same fire in his eyes. Then he leaned down and attacked it with his mouth and we fell onto the bed, him on top of me. He pushed my jeans down and rubbed my cock to a full erection through my underwear. Then he pulled them down to my ankles as well and seemed to stare at my hard on for a moment before he devoured it, easily taking it down to its base. "Oh God," I moaned. He worked my cock with his mouth like a seasoned professional. His hands roamed back and forth from my chest to my thighs. I raised myself up a little and started rocking up and down, slowly fucking his face. He was moaning and slurping all over my cock. I watched his hands undo his belt and withdraw his gorgeous penis. Replacing his mouth with his hand for a moment, he looked up at me and I looked down at his beautiful face. I grasped it and pulled him up. He took off his khakis completely, then his t shirt. He pulled it off and tossed it to the edge of the bed before he lay on top of me. The feeling of the full body contact was amazing. He wrapped his arms tight around and underneath me. I held onto him for dear life, wishing I could consume him and he looked into my eyes. They were full of warmth and love, and I knew mine were begging him not to leave me. He raised himself up a little and my hand traveled to his abs, which were hard as rocks and I danced my fingers on them. I felt like I couldn't imagine not being able to feel his body against mine anymore. I loved him so much. I could only see him as perfection. He was gorgeous and I could never get tired of making love to him. Then he pushed his chest against mine again and nuzzled his face into my neck. We began to slowly slide our bodies against each other, dry-humping if you will, enjoying the feel of one another. I quickly let my hand slip to his lower back and run down the crack of his ass. My finger circled his smooth hole, feeling it expand and contract and I pushed it inside him. He whimpered and moaned as I slid it in and out. His hole relaxed and allowed me to push another finger inside. I massaged his hole and he just enjoyed the feeling as he quietly pressed his lips harder against my neck. He kept moaning and I knew what I wanted more than anything at that moment. "Babe, Can I…?" no need to be a rocket scientist to figure out what I was asking him, considering I had my fingers inside him. "Yeah..," he just sighed and raised himself up. My hand left his ass, rubbed his cock and played with his balls, "I want to suck you off first," I moaned. He smiled at me and began sliding toward me, his cock leaving a sticky trail all the way up my body until it tried to find its way into my mouth. "Oh yeah," he moaned, hovering above me as his cock slid along my tongue. "Play with my ass, Rob," he pleaded. I willingly complied and brought my fingers to my mouth to get them wet. I guided his cock back into my mouth before bringing my hand to his hole. I started pressing two fingers inside him while his cock slipped up and down my throat. He was in total ecstasy, his head thrown back, enjoying it on both sides. I was in quite a comfortable position and could probably have kept going for a long time, but his urgency was quickly becoming apparent. "Rob," he asked with great need. "Where's the lube?" "I don't know," I said, trying to guide his cock back into my mouth. He twisted around to look at my cock, hard as a rock against my stomach. Arriving at some sort of a quick decision he flipped around and attacked my cock with his mouth, moaning and licking around it, jacking it with his hand, forcing more and more precum out of it. His ass bounced up and down in front of my face and I continued to play with it as he soaked my pole. After my cock was well lubed with my own precum, he spun back around, straddled me and pressed my cock against his hole. Hearing him giving out a loud grunt, I felt the head of my cock pop into him, and then he began sliding down on it until he was seated on my pelvis. He was as tight as ever, and he began to slowly ride me, quickening his pace more and more. "Oh babe," I cried, my cock responding to his pace. His hands grabbed at my pecs and pinched at my nipples. My right hand wrapped around his cock and jerked him hard. "Oh yeah, oh yeah," he moaned as I started to move my hips up and down and my cock slipped in and out of him fast. It was becoming clear to me that he wanted to fuck one last time, but I didn't want that. I wanted to make love to him and make him stay. I raised myself up and stopped him. I brought my lips to his and wrapped my arms around him. My cock slipped out of his ass and I lay him down gently on his back and just looked into his eyes for a moment. He understood and I smiled as I lay down next to him and hooked a hand under his knee, raising his leg. I gently entered him again, feeling his softness and warmth, my cock sliding across his insides. Then, I pushed my face closer against his neck. I groaned as I pulled my cock out again and started to pump into him, deliciously. I nibbled at his neck and grabbed his cock. "You're so hard," I whispered, I loved the fact that he'd never lose his erection when I fucked him. I raised his leg higher and penetrated him as much as I could, quickening my pace and fucking him a little harder. I rubbed his tight stomach and hard pecs a lot as I thrust inside him and jabbed at his prostate, trying to feel places in him I had never felt. Trying to make new memories. 'He won't leave me,' I tried to convince myself. 'He wouldn't.' We made out as I pushed into him harder. We settled into this position for a while, Mark moaning with each thrust. I watched him, trying to memorize every inch of his body even though I knew it so well. I grasped his cock with my hand, sliding it up and down, causing him to cry out in pleasure and dribble precum all over my hand. Feeling him rock hard in my hand, I instantly felt the urge to have his cock inside me. If this was going to be the last time, I wanted to feel him in me as well. I withdrew from his ass and proceeded to lubricate his pole with my saliva and his pre-cum. Then, I straddled him and lowered my ass onto his cock. I kissed him passionately and held the back of his neck as he pushed himself into me, moving his hips upward. I moaned hard as I felt his cock slide into me. I couldn't quite explain why I loved bottoming for him so much, but I did. If I thought of myself as being a top before we began having sex together, he turned me into a bottom, or a vers bottom. I just loved the way his penis opened me up, I loved how it made me feel and I couldn't get enough of it. Most of all, I loved giving him what he wanted, letting him service me in any way he wanted, hearing his moans of pleasure when he was fucking me and cumming inside me; there was no better feeling. We moaned as I began to ride him. My pace started to quicken again and I could feel he was getting close. My cock was still rock hard, my balls drawn tightly against my body. He moaned my name and I felt the familiar urge building inside me, "I'm close." "Me too," he sighed. My hand was moving quickly up and down my shaft, "Babe, look at me," I said. He did and we locked eyes, I knew from the way he looked at me that there was nothing but love and passion in my own, "I love you," I said. He stared at me, "I love you," he said in a whisper as he began sliding his cock in and out of my ass fast again until he pulled out. He jerked himself fast and pumped his load all over himself, causing me to shoot my load over his chest as well. I came hard and I kept moaning as cum continued to drip out of my cock. I moved down his body and wiped him off with a towel that been on the bed before going back up to kiss him. Long after our orgasms had ended, we were still making out. I was holding him a bit tighter than usual, knowing that he might leave again at any second. Eventually I spooned myself against his chest and laced my fingers through his. After a moment, he gently removed his hand and pushed my arm off his chest. He got off the bed and went to the bathroom. When he came out, he picked up his clothes from the floor and started getting dressed again. I shook my head slightly and sighed. I knew he was going to leave and I felt an overwhelming feeling of fear and sadness. "Mark, babe, don't…" I begged him as I sat up on the bed. He didn't answer, I could tell he didn't want to have another heart-to-heart. He was done talking and I knew there was nothing more I could do or say to make him stay this time. He grabbed his suitcase by the door as he said, "There's this place in LA called 'Promises'. I think you need to go there. Tom and Dylan will talk to you about it." My eyebrows furrowed, "You want me to go to rehab?" I asked, somewhat perplexed and immediately a bit on the defensive. "Look, I'm not saying that you're an addict. You don't need rehab exactly. But this place, it'll be good for you. It's just a place where you can get the help you need, learn how to better deal with fame… just rest and focus on yourself for a while. Not on the band, not on me, just on yourself." I stared at him and sighed. "And you know what? I think I need some time to be by myself as well. There's things I need to do, and I need to do them alone." I knew he was talking about going to meet his biological father, who he’d been in contact with, and maybe going back to Dublin to try talking to his mother again, and I felt hurt that he didn't want me with him for that. "Please go to LA," he said insistently. "'Cause I'm not coming back until you do." I watched him open the door and close it behind him. I didn't even move to chase after him this time. I knew he was right and I agreed with what he had said to me earlier but I didn't know where to begin. I felt sick to my stomach, knowing that I was hurting him and I had promised myself that I would never hurt him. I looked around the empty quiet room and suddenly felt alone and overwhelmed with sadness again as I began to feel tears form in my eyes.
  14. unilive

    Chapter 9

    yeah of course don't worry, I think I'll never stop editing this story lol I always see things that need to be changed whenever I read it again, or readers tell me what needs to be changed, which I appreciate!
  15. unilive

    Chapter 9

    Yeah that's true, why did I say the guardian? I think I meant the daily mail maybe... But actually I think I had another tabloid in mind when I wrote this, one that doesn't exist anymore...can't remember right now....oh yeah Rupert Murdoch's news of the world.... Well I tell you what, you get to choose which one Mark is wary off in the chapter and I'll edit it Remember I'm French lol Is that all you thought of saying about this chapter? 😛
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