No One Else
Somewhere along the line, Chris’ life started to change. Of course, he’d known it would. He knew there were things that came with success. There was the fame, the screaming girls, the money. Well, the money would come later, he supposed.
But he figured the basic pieces of his life would remain constant. Things like sleeping at night, making his own breakfast and, you know, sleeping with women.
It all started with the hugging, Chris thinks. He had never been the huggy type. Really, he hugged his mom, his sisters and the occasional girlfriend. When he started the band, though, he became a hugging machine.
They hugged when they sang together for the first time and again when Lance’s mom gave her okay for him to stay in Orlando. They hugged when they got a record deal, hugged and cried when they were told Lance couldn’t be a part of the group and again when they stood up to the record company and Lance was allowed to stay. They hugged when they got their first gold record and again when they got to return to the states.
Everyone in the group hugged differently. Chris noticed that in the beginning. Joey’s hugs all started out gentle, but grew stronger the more Chris hugged him back. JC usually gave one-armed side hugs, as if he was afraid of offending someone. That worked out fine in group situations, but made Chris uncomfortable, one-on-one. Lance’s hugs were short, but firm and were usually followed by two pats on the back.
Justin hugged people mostly when he was excited, squeezing hard and all but picking them up off the ground. Sometimes he did lift them up, everyone but Joey, who was too big. These excited hugs typically came after exciting things in Justin’s life. Things like their first time singing live on German TV, taking his first shot and sleeping with a girl for the first time.
Which was, of course, followed almost immediately by his first time sleeping with Chris. Justin was almost sixteen at the time, Chris remembers, which would have made him twenty-five, he thinks, cringing. It was nearly three in the morning when Justin knocked loudly on Chris’ hotel room door. Two hard raps, followed by three soft, since Justin insisted they each have a code.
Chris blinked his eyes and rubbed them with the back of his hand. Justin’s secret knock came again and Chris moaned, “go away” in a voice far too deep to be his own.
Justin knocked once more and Chris threw the comforter to the side and picked up his pajama pants from the floor beside his bed. He tied the drawstring as he walked toward the door. Chris hardly had time to turn the lock before Justin burst through the door, then turned and yanked Chris into a hug.
“What the Hell?” Chris stumbled as Justin released him and his feet hit the floor. “Justin, are you high?” he asked, pulling Justin’s face toward him and looking into his eyes. “What’s going on?”
“Nothing,” Justin replied, shaking his head free of Chris’ hands. He looked smug; with a smile so bright it almost hurt Chris’ eyes to look at it. Justin was rocking forward and back, from his heels to his toes.
Chris laughed. “The girl,” he said. “The girl from the club, right?”
Justin nodded, his smile widening.
“You . . .” Justin nodded again. “Way to go, man.” Chris punched Justin’s left arm and turned back to his bed. “Come on. Tell me all the dirty details.”
Chris slipped under the comforter, above the sheets. He never slept under hotel sheets and blamed it on superstition. Justin pulled back the corner of the top sheet and slid in next to Chris. After a minute, Chris gave in to Justin’s complaints and let him have one of the pillows.
“So?” Chris urged.
“It was awesome,” Justin said. “Well, she was good. I was terrible. All that stuff you and Joey told me about using my fingers? I think I screwed it up. And it, um, it didn’t, you know. Take me very long.”
“That’s okay kid,” Chris said, patting Justin’s knee under the covers. “It was only your first time. You’ll get better.”
“How about her? Did she do anything good?”
Justin laughed, a low rumble that made the bed vibrate. “Oh, she was. She was great. Especially when she. Well, her mouth. And I.”
Chris nodded in the dark. A few minutes passed and he didn’t know if Justin was still awake. He thought maybe he should say something, but he just continued to lie there, listening to Justin’s breath next to his ear. It was both calming and arousing. And Chris was a little ashamed to note the latter.
“Chris?” Justin’s voice was so close that it tickled the hairs on Chris’ neck. He sounded worried.
“It was wrong.”
Chris turned to Justin. “Why do you say that? You’re old enough, it’s allowed. And, even if you don’t think you were great this time, you will get better. Trust me.”
“No,” Justin said, burying his face in the pillow. “Whf eywa nissoo.”
“A waif whose name is Sue? I’m afraid you’ll have to be clearer than that, my friend.”
Justin lifted his head. “It just wasn’t right. Like, yeah, it felt good and I got off and everything. But there was something missing.” Justin continued, slowly, as if each word could change him. “I said. What I want. is you.”
Then Justin’s mouth was on his. It wasn’t exactly a kiss. It felt more like an experiment. Chris guessed this was as new for Justin as it was for him. Justin sort of brushed his lips against Chris’ and, when Chris didn’t pull away, Justin’s tongue ventured a lick and landed on Chris’ teeth.
This did nothing for Chris. He certainly didn’t kiss back or get rock hard the minute Justin’s tongue entered his mouth. They did not continue to experiment until Chris’ six a.m. wake-up call. And Chris definitely did not have to jerk himself off in the shower, imagining Justin’s hands in place of his own.
When Justin came back to his room after dinner the next night, Chris had to admit that it wasn’t just an experiment. But it also wasn’t more than that. Justin had told Chris he wanted him, but he couldn’t have meant that. He was just a confused kid. Chris had to remind himself that Justin wasn’t even sixteen yet. He didn’t know what he wanted. Justin only thought he wanted Chris, because he was older and Justin looked up to him.
Justin had always hung around Chris. Following him to work, listening to him talk about his dates, sitting up late waiting for Chris to come home from some over-aged club, drunk and reeking of smoke and sex. It was nothing more than idol worship. Nothing more.
Chris told himself this as he set strict boundaries the third night. Fooling around was fine. Making out, okay. Even heavy petting was allowed. But it was not intimate. It was purely recreational. This was, by no means, a relationship. There would be no falling in love.
They stuck to the rules. Mostly. And it worked out quite well. Usually.
* * * * *
“This isn’t mine. It’s JC’s!” Joey shouts from across the room, and then tosses the microphone to JC, who misses completely.
Justin catches it before it hits the ground, almost tripping over Lance, who is pulling at his spiky hair in the mirror. This is a new style for bowl-cut boy.
They’re almost up for rehearsal and soundcheck. Chris knows, because Gloria Estefan just left the stage and they’re right after Mariah Carey, who’s performing now. It’s one of those radio station concerts. Chris can’t keep them all straight. They must have done a hundred of them in the last month.
He’s backstage and he thinks he’s hugged at least twenty people he doesn’t even know. Hugs seem to be the official celebrity greeting, which was fine when he was hugging Olivia Newton-John or those All Saints girls. But the whole Bob Sagat thing was sort of awkward.
Justin smacks Chris on the shoulder and leans over, pointing and whispering loudly, “Dude, it’s Gloria Estefan!” You’re still new to the business and meeting people is sometimes a big deal for Justin. He’s not star-struck, necessarily, just excited. He really likes Gloria.
“She’s coming over here. Go say hi.” Chris shoves Justin in Gloria’s direction. But he doesn’t need to. She’s coming to them.
Gloria walks up to Joey first. He’s bent over fiddling the snaps on the leg of his pants, but he straightens up and holds out his hand. Gloria takes it and pulls Joey in for a hug.
“It’s so nice to meet you,” Chris hears her say as he and Justin approach. “I think you guys are wonderful,” she continues as she hugs each one.
Justin jumps in to tell Gloria how much he loves her music and that she’s an inspiration. They continue to praise each other, even after Chris gets bored and wanders away. They’re up soon and he still hasn’t found his microphone.
* * * * *
He’s hot, sweaty, and tired. Really, all Chris wants is a cold shower and a bed. He inserts his room card in the slot on the door, turns the handle, and then swears when it snaps back at his hand. Chris tries again, to the same effect. Okay, this isn’t his room. It’s . . .
“Justin,” Chris says, startled as the door opens and Justin pops his head out.
“Chris! Come in.” Before Chris knows what’s going on, Justin’s arms are around him and his feet are off the ground. “I can’t believe that Gloria Estefan said she liked our music. Our music. Can you believe it?
“She said our voices, Curly, not our music.”
“Who cares? She wants us to do a song with her! I’m so excited!”
Justin is hot and sweaty just like Chris, but doesn’t appear nearly as tired. And he doesn’t feel tired either.
“Excited? Yeah, um, I can tell. Those track pants aren’t very good for hiding things, you know.” Chris winks and shuts the door.
Soon, the track pants aren’t much of a concern, their matching performance clothes balled in a heap near the door. Justin’s grinding against Chris’ leg, moaning into his mouth and, suddenly, Chris’ shower isn’t a concern anymore either. The bed part would still be nice, though, he thinks and backs Justin toward the foot of his bed.
Chris collapses on top of Justin’s lean body and their erections are trapped between them, achingly confined in their boxer briefs. Justin makes his way down Chris’ body, snaking a path with his tongue. He stops at the edge of Chris’ underwear and runs one cool finger around Chris’ cock, tracing the outline through the thin cotton.
Chris sighs and wiggles his hips, one hand guiding Justin’s to the elastic band, encouraging him to pull them off. When Chris is free, he returns the favor, slowly inching Justin’s briefs down his legs, then crawling back onto the bed, his tongue leading the way.
Taking Justin’s cock into his mouth, Chris relishes the taste of it. The flavor of Justin he has come to know so well. Chris swirls his tongue around the tip and rocks it back and forth inside his mouth, until Justin is bucking beneath him.
“Please,” Justin moans. “Want this. Want. you.”
“Are you sure?” Chris asks, coming up to kiss Justin’s mouth, licking at his lips and all but swallowing his tongue. It’s something they’ve talked about a lot. Chris knows Justin keeps condoms and lube with him everywhere they go, waiting for Chris to give in.
“Please,” Justin says again. “Now.”
Chris retrieves the supplies from Justin’s bag and fumbles with the cap on the bottle of lube. Justin takes it from his hands and holds two of Chris’ fingers out, slowly and deliberately coating them with the lubricant. Then Justin guides them between his legs, past his wet cock, below his balls.
Chris can’t help but groan in pleasure as he slides one finger into the tight hotness that envelops him. He can feel it settle over his whole body. This much they’ve done before and Chris no longer sees the pain cross Justin’s face when he inserts the second finger, gently poking at the soft walls. Now all Chris sees is pleasure and Justin gasps when Chris hits him just the right way.
“So close,” Justin whispers through clenched teeth. “Do it now.”
The condom slides on easily and Chris applies extra lube from the open bottle. Slowly and so gently, Chris guides the head of his cock through the ring of muscle and nearly comes once he’s inside.
Justin’s face is screwed up in pain and Chris leans up to kiss him. It’s a little odd from this angle and it takes some maneuvering until Chris is all the way in. Justin’s cock twitches between their bellies and it’s better than anything Chris has felt before, even better than what he’d hoped for.
Chris moves as slowly as his pulsing cock will allow, trying to make it easy on Justin. The pain on Justin’s face fades a little, though he cringes with it at times. It doesn’t take long, with Chris rocking steadily back and forth, for Justin to come. He moans in Chris’ ear and Chris shudders and comes too, thrusting hard into Justin just once, then folding over his sweating body.
“Thank you,” Justin says, kissing Chris’ forehead, “for giving me what I wanted.”
It’s in the hazy afterglow of sex, lying there in Justin’s arms, that Chris realizes he wants this too. He isn’t sure if he wants to be with Justin forever. But he knows, right now, he doesn’t want to be without him.