Bad thing about sharing a room with one of the other guys. If youíre late you may not have a place to sleep. AJ was Ďbusyí. While I was satisfying myself at the party, AJ took guests to the hotel. Howie wasnít alone either. Time to test a friendship.

"Are you alone?"


"Can I crash. All other rooms are occupied." I used my sweetest face.

She laughed at me and moved to the side so I could come in. "Of course. Why arenít you . . . celebrating?"

"Iím done celebrating." I sat down on the couch and we talked for a long time about the party and the day. I thanked her again for buying the CD, that was cool. Actually AJ had a copy for her that we all wrote dirty things in. Sheíll still get that one. It got silent for a minute. I decided that since I was already pushing the boundaries of our friendship, "That wasnít the whole story was it?"

"It was the high points." She came over to the couch and sat at the end opposite of me.

I figured her moving was a clue that she really needed a friend to know whatever had happened. "You need to tell someone, might as well be me."

"Why you?"

"Iím asking."

She couldnít fight that logic. "We were engaged. It killed me that he didnít trust me, and let his family talk him into paying me off. We got into a big fight and I walked out. A day later an even bigger offer came. I decided that even though Iíd never have said anything I was going to take the money and start over. It didnít matter that if in their mind that confirmed that I wasnít trustworthy, because I knew Iíd never go back. Trust is the most important thing to me. I never did anything to deserve that."

Tracie wiped away a few tears and I took her hand, "Trace . . . it got ugly didnít it?"

She didnít answer, she just looked at me almost angry. "Did he hit you?"

"Never before that night. Iím not some poster girl for abuse victims, but thatís why I took their offer. I wanted his sorry ass to pay. They want such big things for him, and theyíll make it happen. But I wonít be walked over. I donít give a shit who you are. And damn you, Kevin. I didnít want anyone to know this shit."

I moved over and held her. Not sure if I needed to do it more than she needed it, "I donít know anything." I hate crying women. Rips my heart out. I let her go and went back to my side of the couch stretching my legs out across to her.


I stretched out too. Our legs side by side as we faced each other. He was right, I did need someone to know. Just one person who knew the truth. So if it got too much. "Where is Michelle?"

He winced, "Broke up. Not working."

"Oh, Iím sorry." He waved it off. "So, did you make some groupies dream come true tonight?"

I could see him thinking about his answer, or if he was going to answer, "Only if her dream was to suck me off in the menís room."

I was impressed that he answered. "I think that would qualify as a dream. Anyway she could get you."

"And did you make some young manís dream come true, beautiful lady?"

"I think he was a little surprised when I kicked him out afterward."

He laughed with me, "Youíre supposed to want him to stay and cuddle."

"Sorry. It was a fuck. Cuddling is reserved for love, or at least the possibility of it."

"Are you sure youíre not really a guy?"

I looked down my shirt, "Positive. I needed that release. Iím sure you understand that."

"All too well. I donít like one nighters, but something is better than nothing sometimes."

"Absolutely and after the phone calls and shit, I needed to not be alone for a few minutes. I could have come to one of you." I meant for a hug, to chase away the loneliness, but that would have meant telling the rest of the story so I didnít.

He tickled my foot, "Nope, then you would have been stuck cuddling with one of us because I know we all love you."

I was back to hating him again. Damn man. "Thank you. I needed that."

"Thought you might. It is true though."

This would be the first of many nights that Kevin and I fell asleep talking on the couch.


I moved her to the bed sometime around dawn and went back to the couch. I couldnít sleep. It had been one hell of a day and I couldnít stop my mind. I couldnít believe the conversation Tracie and I had. Itís not like all of us hadnít gotten into some more than surface conversations, but this was really the first time sheíd given anything on what she was doing in Orlando. And this is the first time itís been this one on one.

She woke up about nine, "Good morning."

I looked over from my spot on the couch, "Hey." Oh fuck, it was awkward morning silence time and we hadnít even fucked. Although our conversation was a lot more personal than the blow job I got last night, and Iíd bet more personal than her getting laid. I wasnít gonna have it. I jumped into the middle of her bed coming damn close to landing on her, "Weíre not gonna do this. We shared some secrets last night. I liked it. Youíre still my guyfriend, and Iím your girlfriend. Iím not gonna run back and tell the guys the rest of the story and I donít think any less of you because you fucked a stranger."

There was that smile, "Like you said yesterday nothingís gonna be off limits, and itís ok."

"I think Iíd prefer it that way."

"Me too."

"So how much money did you get?"

"Six figures. Upper six figures."

"Shit, Tracie! Was the information that good?"

"Not at all. They offered me like 100,000 to not tell the information. They didnít want me pressing assault charges. All he did was smack me, didnít even leave a mark. Hurt my feelings much more that anything physical. Theyíre stupid. I told them that when I was working for them. They make things much bigger problems than there ever where and called more attention by their evasion than the issue ever would. Itís like people will forgive an infidelity, but they wonít forgive murdering the woman to hide the infidelity. Remember this as your career starts to take off."

"Iím not planning on murdering anyone."

"Glad to hear it."

We ordered some room service and were laughing when there was a knock at the door. AJ looking for me. I shoved the last of my toast in my mouth and took off. Some meeting. I got in the van with the rest of them. Howie laughed, "So where did you sleep last night, Train."

"Since you all were getting laid I went to the only free room."

"And did you get laid?"

I laughed, "Yes. But not by Tracie."

"Youíd tell us wouldnít you? I mean sheís our friend. Donít fuck that up."

"No problem. Sheís my friend too."

I expected as much. Not like I have the best reputation for keeping it in my pants.


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