© Kat Morgan 1999/2000

In Name Only

Chapter 31: Promises?

The two weeks after the wedding were hellish for Kat. Kevin had stayed to spend some time with his family, and if it hadnít been for their secret late night chats she would have been in worse shape than she was. Howie was also going through a rough spot with Paul, and she was trying so hard to tend to him.

To make matters worse she was having trouble with her book, and Lauren was sick and unable to help her. A poor overtaxed Todd was trying his best, but he was out of his depth. Lauren had put him on Katís file after their first meeting, something that Kat had supported wholeheartedly. If he hadnít helped her with the Kevin photos in the tabloid incident she wasnít sure how it would have played out.

So here she was, packing for a trip to New York to sort things out, with a moping Howie helping her, and Kevin arriving home that night. Sheíd be gone before he got in. Dammit.

"Canít I come with you?" Howie asked, for about the twentieth time.

"I all ready said you could, D. I just think youíd be bored stiff. Iím going to be in meetings all day and thereíd be nothing for you to do. Youíre better off staying here, spending some time with your folks."

"Yeah, but I canít talk to them the way I can talk to you."

She dropped another shirt in her bag and walked around the bed to him. "Its not that bad, is it?"

"I donít know. I just donít know what to say to him anymore. I donít even know what it is I want to say," Howie shrugged.

She hugged him tightly. "Iím sorry D. I wish I could tell you what to do, but I canít. And I am sorry I have to go away right now."

"Itís okay. Not your fault. I know how important your career is to you. As important as mine is to me."

"You know where Iíll be, and you are welcome to come with me," she reminded him.

"True. But I have to head out with AJ on that promo tour in a few days anyway." He stuck his tongue out. "Tinaís coming with himÖ.its going to be hell."

Kat laughed. "Youíre just jealous. And donít stick that tongue out unless you want someone to bite it."

He batted his eyelashes playfully. "Would you?"

She swatted him, laughing, and was surprised when he drew her into his arms. "We donít flirt any more, do we?" he asked softly as he held her close.

Kat looked at him strangely. "Just an old married couple, I guess."

"I wish we werenít. I wish we could be more than that some times."

She tried to disengage herself from his arms. "Howie, pleaseÖ."

"Sorry. I didnít mean to make you uncomfortable. I justÖyou know how much I love you, Kat. I just wish I could be a better husband for you."

"Hey," she reached up and stroked his face. "You are the best husband in the world. You have made more of my dreams come true than I could ever hope for."

"YOU made your dreams come true. I just stood by and helped occasionally."

"You helped. Over and over again. Whenever I lost hope you kept me going. That is more than anyone has ever done for me."

He shrugged. "I just wish I could make you happyÖother ways."

She turned and faced him, making sure he was looking at her. "Howie. That isnít important. We both are who we are." She smirked quickly, "and at least we have similar tastesÖwe both like men."

He laughed, while she subconsciously hit herself when she realized just how true that statement was about their taste in men. And in one in particular.

"We have had this conversation before, D. Just because things with Paul arenít going so well, donít start bringing it up again."

"Youíre right. Iím sorry. Can your repentant husband drive you to the airport?"

"Only if my repentant husband gets out of here and letís me finish packing."

He smiled. "Okay, I get the hint."

"What hint? I told you what to do," she joked. Then gave him a big hug and kiss on the cheek, before slapping him on the butt and sending him away.

 

He called that night and the next. It hurt to hear the loneliness in his voice, and Kat constantly told him that he could join her. But he refused, and, as she had predicted things righted themselves. He and Paul had had a heart to heart and worked out their differences. That romance seemed back on track, and Kat was happy for Howie.

The book problems took a little time, but they also started to right themselves. It kept the days full, and the nights busy with writing and editing. She had something to focus on; something to keep her mind off other thingsÖother people.

She had been in New York for almost three days, and not heard from Kevin once, when her phone rang. "Kat Morgan," she answered brusquely, pulling her pen from the tabletop and scribbling notes in the margin of her pages.

"Hi."

She was stunned to hear his voice and could do nothing more than gasp.

"You still there?"

"Yes, yes, I am. Kevin. How are you?"

"Okay. I came back and you werenít here."

"Yeah, I had toÖ" There was a knock on the door. "Just a second, Kevin. Thereís someone at the door. I think its room service."

She climbed off the bed and opened the door. No one there. She looked up and down the hallway and was about to shut the door when she looked down. Gary sat there. Her little toy gargoyle. Kevin hadnít given him back after Brianís wedding. She ran back to the phone. "Where are you?"

"Not room service then," he chuckled and she could feel it vibrate through the phone.

"Where are you, Kevin? He didnít get here on his own."

"So having two guys who missed you isnít a pleasant surprise?"

She whirled around. Kevin leaned against the doorway, Gary in one hand, a cellphone in the other.

Calmly, more calmly than she though she could she replaced the phone in the receiver. "I missed you so much," she said as she walked across the room to him. He opened his arms, but instead she grabbed Gary, and spoke to him, "bad gargoyle. Donít you ever leave me again. I missed you."

Kevin started to laugh and picked her up, throwing Gary aside. He kissed her lightly at first, then more roughly. He moved forward, kicking the door closed behind him. "Let me show you what a MAN who missed you can do."

 

He was with her for two days. He and Nick were there doing their part of the promo tour; Howie hadnít mentioned it. While Brian was away on his and Leighís honeymoon, the other four were doing a quick "yes we are still here, and no, just because Brian is married doesnít mean we are breaking up" tour. She had thought that only Howie and AJ were doing it; hadnít even thought to ask about what Kevin and Nick would be doing.

While she worked with the publishers and editors, he worked with radio stations, photographers and publicists. At night, she went out with Nick and Kevin, making a few public appearances at their side. She was nervous about it; had never done this without Howie. But no one seemed to say anything about it; where he was well known, and most people seemed to know about her writing career by now, and her reasons for being there without him. In fact, several tabloids said nice things about how well the group got along that Nick and Kevin would stop in and see how she was doing while they were in the same town. If only they knewÖ

She said a quick public goodbye to the two men; she had said goodbye to Kevin in a far more private fashion the night before, and headed back to her agentís. She and Todd worked feverishly over the next few days. Finally, the problems seemed to be over with, for the time being at least, and she was free to return home.

The big house seemed so empty while Howie was away. She missed him. Missed his company. Missed Kevin more, but still missed Howie. She hung up the phone after another of their nightly calls. He had been regaling her with tales from the road, making her laugh, and promising to tell her more when he got back the day after tomorrow.

She sat back, hoping that Kevin would call, wishing she could call him, but unable to think of an excuse. She sighed deeply, this was getting her no where. Just more and more confused. She knew how she felt. She could admit it to herself now. She had even said it aloud a few times, when she was sure that no one could hear. Would she ever get the courage up to tell him?

Kat got up off of the sofa and changed into her bathing suit. A few laps of the pool helped. There was nothing like swimming in the moonlight. She floated there for a while, just looking at the stars and thinking. She was going to get waterlogged if she kept this up. She chuckled to herself and headed to the side of the pool, and pulled herself up on the side. She twisted her head from side to side, getting the water out of her ears and turned around, only to come face to face with her towel. Kevin wrapped it around her, not saying a word, just pulling it tight around her, and then her tight against him, running the stubble on his chin across her lips before pressing his mouth to hers.

Kat moaned, pulling his mouth harder onto hers, running her fingernails along his long neck. He tangled his fingers in her hair, pulling it back, exposing her neck to his kisses. The towel slipped down and she rubbed her body against him, feeling his muscles through his clothes and the growing swelling in his groin.

He finally raised his head from her neck, looking at her flushed face. His eyes were almost dilated with excitement, and she had to take a few breaths to try and calm herself down. He ran his thumb along her jawline and she couldnít help but close her eyes, losing herself in the touch of him.

She opened her eyes. He hadnít stopped looking at her. She moved forward, pressing her lips against his chest, snap the buttons on his shirt open with her teeth and then flicking her tongue over his flesh. He groaned, and she moved her mouth up, gently nibbling on his neck and Adamís apple.

She glanced down at his shirt, seeing the waterstains from her bathing suit. "I made you all wet," she whispered.

"Not as wet as I am going to make you," he murmured, picking her up and carrying her into the house.

 

"I think we have a problem," Kevin said as he spooned her body.

"What?"

"I donít ever want you to leave my arms."

She sighed and snuggled closer to him, put he pushed her back.

"Iím serious."

"I love you, Kat."

Her face suffused with joy at his words. "I love you too, Kevin."

He gently stroked her face, trying to touch some of the elation that shone there. ĎThatís the problem. I donít want to keep this charade up anymore. I want to be able to hold you, to touch you, whenever I want. I want you to be mine, 24-7," he said, reminding her of the words almost, gods, six months ago. Had this been going on that long?

"Weíll tell Howie," she said.

"Not good enough. I want you all to myself."

She swallowed back her hopes, her desires that were the same as his. "That canít happen."

"Sure it can. Divorce Howie. Marry me."

She looked at him, tears forming in her eyes. "I canít do that. I promised him," she said sadly.

"He doesnít love you like I do. He canít," Kevin insisted. "Please Kat, be with me."

Oh gods, if only she could. The sun rose and set in his eyes. She didnít want to be in a world without him in it. "I am with you, Kevin."

"No, youíre not. You are here with me now, and when ever we can sneak off together, in our own secret world. But to every one else you are his faithful wife. I canít take it anymore."

"Even if I left him, it wouldnít work. This whole marriage has been about protecting the Backstreet Boys from scandal. If I left him for you it would all explode."

"We could survive it."

"Kevin, thereíd be 14 year old girls the world over throwing themselves off cliffs," she said trying to make light of it. "Who knows how many of them I all ready killed by marrying Howie. If I took you off the market all hellíd break loose."

"I want you to be mine. To be my wife," he insisted.

"I want to be too," she admitted, drawing her hand across his chest. "But it canít be done."

"It can. It has to be." He climbed quickly out of bed, distancing himself from her.

"Please, Kevin," she begged.

"No. We have to find a way. I canít live without you."

"You have me, You know you do. Just, please, don't ask me this of me." She pleaded as watched him pull his clothes on.

"Why are you doing this?" he asked as he pulled his sweater over his head. He looked at her, green eyes blazing. "I can give you everything he does and more. I love you the way he canít. I want you, Kat. Why are you staying with him?"

"Because I promised," she said, tears spilling down her face. Knowing, as Kevin walked from the room, that it wasnít a good enough reason.

Chapter 32