© Kat Morgan 1999/2000
In Name Only
Chapter 49: Welcome Home
David came storming into the room as Brian, AJ, Howie, and several others were finishing their breakfast. He looked around the room angrily then ordered everyone except the three out.
"Not yet, AJ," the other man growled, then shut and locked the door as the last person filed out. He took a deep breath, then turned to the three startled men.
"Will someone please tell me what the fuck is going on between Nick and Kevin?"
AJ and Brian glanced at each other, then focussed a wary look on Howie. The man flushed quickly. "What do you mean?" he asked innocently.
"Don’t give me that, D. I saw it in Orlando, but didn’t think anything of it. You guys are always mixing it up a little; it’s never affected your work before."
"What happened?" Brian asked.
"They have been at each others throats for days now. First, they wouldn’t talk to each other except when they were being interviewed. Then they were arguing constantly. They each did their own thing for a little while, avoiding each other, but that didn’t work."
He cleared his throat. "When we set up the schedule we put Brian, and Howie on the same slate because we figured that if anything it would be one of you two who would have to leave early. We never thought something like this would happen."
"What do you mean?" Howie asked.
"Nick beat up Kevin."
There was a stunned silence, and then AJ laughed. "Get serious."
"I am serious. Nick jumped him when Kevin was working out. He started punching him and Kevin didn’t defend himself. He’s on his way back to Orlando with a black eye and a possible dislocated jaw."
"Shit," Howie swore, then stood up and turned away.
"What the hell is going on?" David asked again.
"Where’s Nick?" Brian asked.
"Still in Vancouver. We’re postponing the interviews for today. Brian, can you go there and join him for the rest of this trip?"
Brian nodded. "I’ll get packed." Then headed to his room, and directly for the phone.
"You still haven’t told me what is happening…" David looked to AJ and Howie.
"It’s none of your business," Howie said quietly.
"What the hell do you mean?" the other man exploded. "I’ve got one Backstreet Boy on the injured list because of this. I hate to think what the tabloids are going to make of this…"
AJ broke in. "What do they know?"
David sighed. "Nothing. We managed to get Kevin out of town last night. So far no one knows anything. What we are going to tell them is that there was an accident and he asked to sit out the rest of the press tour. We’ll play it up like it was that snowboarding accident he had a few years back. I’m sure that Brian can make light of it when he gets there. It should blow over."
"Then that’s all you need to know as well," Howie said.
David fixed a look at the dark man. Then nodded. "Fine. I’ll accept that for now. But you guys had better figure out what the problem is and fix it soon. Kevin and Nick have bumped heads before, but never like this. Fix it. I am not interested in playing referee." He glared at the two men, then at Brian as he emerged from his room, and stalked out.
"Fuck," AJ let out a breath. "I never thought Nick’d…"
"He didn’t," Brian grinned.
"Well, he did. And he didn’t." Brian turned to Howie. "Was Kat having trouble getting in touch with Kevin?"
"Yeah. She tried for a few days. It got worse when she was with us in New York. She talked to Nick once, but was always missing Kevin. Why?"
Brian grinned. "Seems my cousin is a jealous guy, who didn’t like the fact that your wife was spending time with you and not with him."
"Go figure," AJ grunted. Brian and Howie turned to him. "Listen guys, we’ve had to get used to a lot of stuff since Kat entered our lives. I’m not saying anything against her, honest. I love her. But this triangle between you and her and Kevin is weird."
"Tell me about it," Howie muttered.
"Anyway," Brian said, turning the conversation back. "Kevin was acting all jealous and Nick decides that he wasn’t peeved at him about Kat anymore, but that he was getting annoyed with Kevin's pouting… So he told Kevin to grow up and when Kevin wouldn’t... he popped him one."
"He really did beat up Kevin?" Howie asked incredulously.
"Not really. Nick says that if Kevin hadn’t been so surprised, and exhausted because he’d been working out for hours all ready, he’d probably be the one with the bruises. He did give Kev a shiner, and a blow to the jaw, which the two of them talked up enough to get Kevin excused."
"They worked it out together?" AJ grinned.
"Yeah. Remind me to punch my cuz the next time he gets on my nerves. It seems to work. Nick and Kevin are cool with each other. And Nick says that Kevin is on his way home to talk to Kat."
Howie smiled weakly. "Well, I suppose it is for the best."
"Its okay, Bone. She needs him as much as she needs me right now. I can’t be there. He can. I can’t say I’m totally thrilled about it, but it makes sense." He turned to Brian. "So how’s Nick on all this?"
"He’s nursing some sore knuckles, but all in all he’s okay. He wants to talk to you when you get a chance."
"I better get packed." Brian headed back to pull his things together.
"Howie…" AJ sighed. "Really, how are you about this?"
"Well, I’d feel better if I was there with them. But Kat and I did get to spend some time together, so I suppose I can’t complain."
"But you still want to."
"Yeah." He sighed. "What is wrong with me, Bone? I’ve always cared about Kat. I love her, man. But I could really lose her now, and the idea terrifies me. Its been hanging over my head ever since I found out about the two of them, and its getting worse…."
AJ put a hand on Howie’s shoulder. "I wish I knew what to tell you, D."
"I wish you did, too."
Kat slowly kicked her feet, moving slowly through the water. Lying on her back made her feel more relaxed. She could feel the warm breeze across her face, and smell the light fragrance of the flowers that grew along the border of the garden.
It also helped that she was more buoyant here than she was on dry land.
There she felt like a hippopotamus.
She grimaced. She was not going to feel down today. She’d promised herself that. She was going to have a swim, got some work then call Kevin. And she would get through to him this time. Then she’d have a late lunch with Leighanne as planned. And everything would be okay.
And she wasn’t a hippo. She was just an ordinary pregnant woman who missed the man, men, in her life.
She sighed and rolled over, slowly stroking her way back to the stairs.
"You’re not getting out are you? I was just about to join you."
She spun around in the water and gasped. "Kevin?"
He slipped out of his shoes and pulled the shirt over his head and dropped it on the side of the pool. "That’s my name."
He’d pulled off his pants, standing there in his boxers. The sunlight swept across his body, making it seem even more golden and perfectly sculpted than normal. Her breath caught in her throat as he slipped into the pool and swam over to her.
They gazed at each other for a moment, then he pulled her into his strong arms, and they let their mouths and hands do all the talking.
"God, I missed you," he murmured into her throat.
"I couldn’t find you…" she whispered raggedly. "I kept trying, but I couldn’t reach you… I was so scared…"
"Shh," he silenced her with another searing kiss. "I know."
"I told Nick… I had to go to New York for work. It wasn’t because…"
"I know, baby, I know. I just missed you so much and you were there with him…."
"Kevin…" her voice caught as he suckled on that certain spot on her neck.
"I’m here and I’m not leaving you."
She sighed happily, pulling him close again, kissing him deeply. Losing herself in the feeling of his powerful hands stroking her breasts and her belly. She opened her eyes and gazed up into his passion-filled green eyes. And frowned.
"What happened to your face?"