© Kat Morgan 1999/2000

In Name Only

Chapter 12: Moving on

"Howie! If you apologize to me once more, I swear this will be an even shorter one that Dennis Rodman and Carmen Electra's," Kat shouted angrily at her new husband.

The 'honeymoon' had been a monumental disaster. Sure, the beach was great, but they were forced to spend every moment together because of the paparazzi, and all Howie would do is plead for her forgiveness for spending the wedding night with Kevin. They had to make nice in public... happy couple and all, but if he brought the subject up one more time....

"I'm sorry, Kat. Really, I am..."

"That's it! Screw the press and screw you. I am getting another room," Kat marched towards the door, but he grabbed her.

"Fine. I'll drop it. I just..." he realized he was about to do it again, and the look on her face said he better not. "Okay, no more words. Just please tell me we are still friends."

"Of course we are, D. You were the one who was insistent on us... Look, I told you, don't try and change your spots for me. I knew you were gay when this whole marriage thing came up, and I agreed to it. Just please, this time don't come crying to me when Kevin dumps you."

"He all ready did."

"No, I mean the next time."

"He all ready did."

"What?!"

"He called last night. Said he'd met someone and that we were over before so we should be again."

"He what? He pulls that damned stunt and then does this?" Kat didn't have to transfer any anger from Howie to Kevin. She all ready knew whom she was most angry at.

"Yeah," Howie said morosely.

Kat looked heavenward, then closed her eyes and shook her head. "Howie, itís okay." She sat beside him, putting an arm around his shoulder. "We are a pair, arenít we?"

"True."

"So what do we do now?" they both asked at the same time. Then laughed.

"I thought that kind of mind reading only happened after years of marriage, not days," Howie noted.

"I guess itís a good sign," Kat agreed.

"Okay, hereís the deal. Whatever happens from now on Kevin is out of my life. Sex life, I mean. I canít take this, and I am tired of being used. Kat, I am sorry about the other night. More so, because I donít think he was there for me." He sighed, "he still despises you and I think he did it to hurt you. That is taking the whole thing to a new level and I am not standing for it anymore."

He rose and paced the room. "Iíve loved him for so long I let him get away with anything, just so I could have him in my arms. He used me, and I let him. But no more. I canít make any more excuses for him. I know what Suzanne did to him was horrible, but he has no right to pass it on."

Kat nodded. "I still donít know the big story about Suzanne, though you have alluded to it before. And no, I donít want to know. It is none of my business, except for how it applies to you. Kevin hasnít liked me from the beginning and I donít know if that will ever change. But I have given him the benefit of the doubt. I see how he is with the others, and he is a likable guy. He is even nice to you when it isnít related to sex. But I donít like the way heís been playing you, Howie. And I couldnít say anything."

"Yeah. I donít know if I would have heard it until now," he sighed.

"What DO we do now?" Kat asked.

"We face facts. Kevinís going to be part of our lives, but not in the way he has been. And I will be seeing other men. Just like I want you to see whomever you want. I love you, Kat. This is a strange marriage, but I want it to work."

Kat sat for a few moments, letting what he had said sink in. "Howie, just please give me as much advanced warning as possible when you are going to start seeing someone. Weíll need to figure out a system."

"Can we not worry about that now, and just concentrate on us for the next few days?" he smiled.

She answered his smile. "Sure. Race you to the beach."

 

The one thing that Kat had accepted from Howie was a gift, despite all her protestations, was a shiny new laptop computer. It had all the bells and whistles and she felt like drooling whenever she took it out of the case. He was right, she did need it. They were about to head out on tour; she was going with him, and she couldnít very well traipse her big computer about with her. The power changes aside, setting up and tearing it down every day would drive her crazy and sheíd just end up ignoring it and not doing any work on her book.

And now she could write anywhere. And did. Even in the limo heading down to the studio for a dance practice. Howie had to physically yank it out of her hand to get her to stop typing away.

"I think she loves that computer more than you," Brian laughed.

"Not true," replied Kat. "Though the high speed modem does make it a close race."

"What? Dís not high speed enough for you?" AJ asked with a twinkle in his eye.

"Donít tease my wife, Bone," Howie said handing the laptop to Brian and pulling Kat into his arms.

The rest of the honeymoon had gone well. There may have not been any sex, but Howie was great to snuggle up with, and the two had sent every night in each otherís arms. Their bond was firmer now than ever.

"Hey, this is good," Brian said as he looked at the laptop screen.

"Gimme that! No reading my stuff until its finished," Kat grabbed the computer back, saved the document and turned it off.

"Thereís more? I want to read it," Brian asked.

"Katís going to be a New York Times bestseller," Howie said proudly, kissing her cheek.

"I am not," Kat smirked, embarassed by the praise. "Itís not a diet book."

Ha ha," Howie said before turning to the others. "You should see some of the stuff she sent me over the months. Fantastic."

"When can I read it?" Nick piped in.

"You only read comic books, Frack," AJ teased.

"Leave him alone, AJ," Kat said. "You can read it when it is done, Nick. You all can. Only Howie gets to see it ahead of time."

"No fair. Whatís he got that we havenít?" Brian joked.

Howie laughed. "No comment," Kat said, blushing.

They pulled up in front of the studio and were greeted by a large number of fans. Names were screamed and papers waved, begging for autographs. Kat watched the guys pay special attention to the fans, marveling at their dedication. Another car arrived and Kevin and his new girlfriend, Mindy, got out. Kevin immediately joined the others in signing autographs and she was amazed again at the change that came over him. He was actually happy. He loved the fans as much as they loved him.

Kat shook her head, wishing that he would be that way around her, around Howie. But that wouldnít happen in the short term. Maybe Howie was right and all that was needed was time. Time for Kevin to realize that she wasnít going to reveal what she knew, and time for Howie and Kevin to regain the platonic friendship they had had before they started sleeping together.

"Time heals all wounds," Kat muttered under her breath.

"What did you say?" an imperious voice asked from behind her, and Kat turned to see Mindy standing there. She was a tall, twiggy, blonde. Lots of makeup, expertly applied, with lush lips and a generous bustline. Her waist was tiny; Kevin could probably wrap one of his massive arms around it and still have room to spare. Mindy was the quintessential male wet dream. And knew it.

"Nothing, just talking to myself."

"Hmm. So, Howie brought the wife along. What, you canít trust him all ready?" Mindy asked snidely. This was the way she always was around Kat, from their first meeting a few days ago. Whether she was just like that or she was picking up on Kevinís distaste, Kat wasnít sure.

"I was invited. Besides, we are still in honeymoon phase. We canít stand to be apart for even a few minutes," Kat replied, smiling at Howie who kept turning her way and flashing her a smile of a wink.

"How sweet. Well, Iím going in. All this noiseÖ"

Kat watched her go, and was snidely happy that Kevin was seeing her. She was such a bitch. They deserved each other.

"Come on, we are going to have to make a break for it," Howie said as he came over and held his hand out for hers, running with her into the building.

"Okay, that was bad," Brian laughed as he readjusted his shirt after having one girl try and rip it off his back.

"You love it, B. Donít deny it," Kat smiled.

"I wonít. But my wardrobe is suffering," he said, affecting a fussy accent. He let the others go by, stopping Kat for a moment. Kevin walked by, and managed to both smile at Brian and scowl at her at the same time.

Once they were alone, Brian turned to her. "Howís he taking it?"

"Howie? Heís fine. Still hurts, but he knew this was coming. Kevin actually called and dumped him, again, while we were on our honeymoon. He better stay away or Iím going to pop him one."

Brian shook his head. "Iíll hold him for you. Get one in for me."

She smiled.

"Kat, I really do want to read your stuff. What little I did see was awesome. Have you got a publisher yet?"

"No. That is something Howie and I had agreed to work on. The bit of help I will accept from him. But probably not until after the tour. I want to finish it first."

"Donít put it off. Iíll see what I can do, too."

"Thanks, B-rok," she said giving him a peck on the cheek.

"Brian, we are about to start," Kevinís voice interrupted them. He moved aside so that Brian could enter the room, then grabbed Katís arm.

"Donít you start on my cousin," he warned.

"Get real," she said in disgust. "Brian is a friend. Thatís all."

"Keep it that way."

"Wait, Kevin," she said worriedly, as pulled him back from the door. "You didnít say anything to Mindy about Howie did you?"

He looked surprised. "No, of course not. Why?"

"Just the way she said something. Probably nothing. Just donít. I donít care what pillow talk you make, just donít mention that one."

Kat walked into the dance room. It was filled with people, most stretching and straining, getting ready to work out. The label people were all along the wall, most with cell phones out and operational. It looked so stereotypical Kat had to repress a laugh.

Howie handed her the laptop, gave her a quick kiss and headed over to Fatima who was beginning to give instructions on the moves.

Kat found a quiet corner and settled in.

Chapter 13