chapter five

“WOW! They kicked ass out there!” I squealed excitedly as we made our way backstage. They were impressive. I was amazed to see the energy they had up there, and their contact with the crowd. These guys were definitely at the top of the world!

“OK, thats charming dear, you can go kiss up to them some more once we get backstage.” Jay said.

Feeling insanely playful, I kicked him in the shin and ran.

“Hey! Get back here! You’re gonna pay for that Cass!”

“Not if you don’t catch me!” I yelled, looking back. I shouldn’t have done that. Before I knew what was happening, I had ran right smack into Kevin.

“We seem to meet this way alot,” Kevin laughed. “Whats up now?”

“Um..I kicked Jay...I’m as good as dead!”

He laughed again. “I’ll protect you, come on in. The guys are waiting for you all.” I stepped into their dressing room. Nick was talking on the phone, Howie and Brian were watching TV, and AJ was on the couch, leaning back, eyes closed.

“Hey there handsome.” I whispered in his ear. He jumped slightly and relaxed when he saw it was me.

“Enjoy the show?”

“Oh yeah...I especially liked your...uh....technique.” I grinned. “That was something I wasn’t expecting. You’ve got some pretty amazing hips there, boy.”

AJ grinned. “You have guts, Cass.”

“Oh? I do? How so?”

“No one has said that to me in such a creative way...impressive.” he smiled. I was taken aback by that smile. It seemed to fill every corner of my mind. I decided immediately that I liked it.

My sister came in with Jeff, Laurel, Mark, Gina, and a very upset Jay. He saw me and approached, limping slightly.

“Cass...that was uncool! Apologize!” he said, whining. I laughed and shook my head no. “But I still love you Jay!” I called as he turned to walk away.

“You two together?” AJ asked me.

“Nah...we’re just really good friends, he’s like the big brother I never had. And he sure does treat me like a kid sister, he’s so annoying!” I laughed. I felt good around AJ, which was something I couldn’t really say about most of the guys I had met since moving back here. He was very nice, funny, and attentive. And his looks made it all the more exciting for me.

“So, what are we gonna do tonight?” Nick asked us. We all decided to go clubbing. We waited on the guys a bit and soon we were headed towards the parking lot. The place was nearly empty, which was better for us. The five guys split up into our cars. Nick rode with Jay and Brian, Kevin rode with Gina, Howie and Keri, and AJ rode with me. Laurel, Jeff and Mark led our entourage.

“So, how have you liked Orlando so far?” AJ asked me as we drove through the nearly abandoned streets.

“I like it, its so much better the second time around.” I replied.

“You didn’t like it before?”

“Its not that, its just...” I trailed off.

“Just what?”

“Childhood stuff, its no biggie now.” I told him. “But thanks for wondering. Its shows you care.”

“Why shouldn’t I care?" He asked. I took my eyes off the road briefly and eyed him as he took a deep breath beofre continuing.

"Listen Cass...I don’t wanna freak you out or anything, but I’m very attracted to you. I’d like for us to keep in touch, if thats OK with you.”

“Yeah. Thats great. I’d love to get to know you better.” I responded, feeling myself getting drunk with excitement. I couldn’t believe this was happening. “I’m finding myself attracted to you too, AJ.”

“AJ’s just somewhat of a stage name. Please, call me Alex.” he told me.

I froze for an instant at the sound of the name. Alex. I always got bad chills when I heard that name. It brought back a lot of painful memories. But I wouldn’t let that happen this time around.

“OK...Alex.” I grinned as we pulled into a parking space.

[chapter 04 | chapter index | chapter 06]