~*~Kevin~*~

It was three am when I knocked on Tracieís door. She opened it and threw herself into my arms, "Yeah! Kevlyn is home. I missed you!"

First time Iíd smiled in over twenty four hours. I hugged her as tight as I could, "I missed you too. God, Iím glad to see you." I missed her excitement. She could light up the darkest room. We headed to the living room. I detoured off to the kitchen, "I need a beer. Bad."

"Uh oh, what happened?"

I popped the top off and took a long drink before sitting on the couch and stretching out, "Jessica told me she loved me." She sat there looking at me. "I didnít say it back. I feel like complete shit."

"If you donít love her you shouldnít say it."

"I do love her, but Iím not in love with her."

"Iím sorry. That must have sucked. Iím proud of you though. Youíre a good man." She kissed me and held me for a few seconds.

"I really needed that. I donít think I knew how bad. Thank you."

"No problem. What now? Is she ok?"

"Sheís quiet. Very quiet. I tried to be normal. Not sex, normal. I knew that wasnít gonna be happening. I mean, holding her hand, kissing her. She pulled back. I let her. I guess weíll see. Dammit, I like her. I like this. Why did it have to get fucked up with those words? You know, itís hard as hell to find someone who can deal with this shit and is looking at you and not the you that you make up for the fans." I grabbed my hair and screamed, "I hate relationships sometimes."

"I know. Sometimes they suck." She sighed.

That pulled me right out of me, "And how was your vacation?"

"It was nice."

"Nice? Whoa, now thereís a word I want associated with me. How was that sex, baby? Oh, Kevin, it was nice." I visible shuddered, "Whatís wrong?"

"Nothings wrong. Itís just not right. Can we talk about something else? Iím tired of thinking about this."

"Of course. I hear you beat Nick at strip twister tonight."

~*~Tracie~*~

It was nine or ten when we woke up. Both of us cramped on the couch. I got up and turned on the coffee and took a shower. I came back and heíd made breakfast. I smelled bacon. Yummy! "This is wonderful. Be here tomorrow at eight, please."

He smiled and waved me to the table, "Hey, Iím going home to Kentucky on Wednesday. Back here on Saturday, party before we leave again. Why donít you come with me?"

Not a hard decision, "Ok. I need to get away."

"Me too."

Both of us ignored the fact that weíd just gotten back.

Scott drug me to the middle of nowhere. Kevin drug me to the end of nowhere. Talk about the sticks. There wasnít even a Wal-Mart here. His family was very nice and I felt very welcome at his momís house. It wasnít a long visit and most of it was spent visiting family and friends. We did go into Lexington one night and take in a UK game. We went out to a campus bar that night. We were pretty much left alone. We took a walk around campus and Kevinís eyes suddenly lit up, "Come on. Iíve wanted to do this."

Next thing I know Iím in a tattoo parlor. "Kevin, what are you doing?"

"Getting a tattoo." He laid his head on my shoulder, "Will you hold my hand?"

He was serious. He went into the room then called for me in a few minutes. I immediately burst out laughing, "I would have though you were at least good for a hand towel. A washcloth? Iím disappointed."

He was propped up on his elbows with no pants on. He blew me a kiss, "Baby, itíd take a beach towel if I was hard."

I groaned and sat beside him, "Can I peek under there? Check things out." I leaned down toward his crotch.

"No. You are here to hold my hand."

"But what if the washcloth accidentally flew across the room. Could I look then?"

"I donít see that happening."

"I can."

The tattoo artist came over smiling, "Is this your girlfriend?"

Kevin screwed up his face in mock disgust, "Euw, no. Sheís better, sheís my best friend."

I gave him a kiss, "So I know where, but not what?"

"Chinese symbol for music on one side, for pleasure on the other."

I closed my eyes, "Good God, you are vain. What makes you think your "washcloth" gives pleasure?"

"Oughta try me out."

"You wonít let me look, remember?"

"Oh yeah." The tattoo guy got started and I held Kevinís hand right before the needle part began, "Oh shit! That hurts."

"Is this a surprise? I hear pain causes shrinkage, pretty soon youíll just need a tea towel." That kept his mind off it.

"Howís it look?"

I looked at his face, "You have fucking got to be kidding me?"

"What?" He didnít get it.

"There is blood involved. I am not looking." I couldnít help myself then, I turned my head, "Oh, yuck, blood. Ick ick ick."

We left and headed back to the car. Kevin was walking with his legs spread quite far apart. I was going to get some long term mileage out of this.

These few days were more relaxing that the whole last week. I guess because there were no expectations with Kevin and I. We both accepted the other for what we were and loved each other anyway. I knew no matter what he would always be my friend.

Going back was huge let down. It was like for the last few days we were away from reality and as we got closer to Orlando the reality of our lives came back. It sucked. Both of us got grumpier with every passing minute. I went straight to his house with him to help set up for the party. We also started drinking and by the time Scott and Jessica got there we were drunk.

~*~Kevin~*~

Jessica still was being a little weird. This wasnít the best night for this. I was tired from the trip back, I was pissed about being back, my crotch hurt, and I was anxious about the second leg of the tour. I just didnít have the energy to deal with her shit tonight. I understand that must have hurt, but I canít do anything about it. I donít know what the hell Iím supposed to do. Am I supposed to beg on my hands and knees or something? I swear Iím not trying to be a pig. Iím just not up for this right now.

"How was Kentucky?"

"We had a good time. It was very relaxing. Iím glad to see you." I kissed her.

"Iím glad you got some time to relax. You need that. Did your family like Tracie?" There was something wrong in her tone.

"Very much. I knew they would."

"I wish you would have asked me to go."

Ugh, there it was. "Jessica, I wanted to relax and get ready for this next leg. I couldnít do that with you. It would be about expectations, questions about us, and me feeling guilty about Denver." I grabbed her arm and led her into my bedroom. "I am sorry if you feel hurt. I donít want that. I donít know how to fix it, and Iím not going to walk around kissing your ass for it. I fucking guarantee you that wonít make me love you. You pouting and being cold and bitchy. Tracie and I are friends. Just friends. I donít have to be anything with her, and there are no questions that make me uncomfortable. We are easy. I needed a few days of easy before the circus starts again." I slammed out the door and left her there. Didnít see her again, and wouldnít until she came for the opening night of the tour.

~*~Tracie~*~

Scott was being all nice again. It was annoying me. Nice, nice, nice. White bread. Boring. No color, no flavor. Iím bitchy. I know it. I told him I was bitchy. I even apologized. It wasnít all about him. He left around midnight.

I went outside to get away from the crowd. Walked out into the back yard and saw Kevin across the pool stretched out in a lounge chair. "Is this seat taken?"

He opened his eyes, dropped his legs off the side and patted the chair between them, "Sit here."

"Iíve had that kind of night too." I sat down and leaned back on him.

"Letís make a deal. You assume it was Jessica, Iíll assume it was Scott and weíll just ignore it."

"You got it." He wrapped his arms around me and I held onto his arms.

~*~Lee~*~

Both leave happy. Both come home grumpy. Well, with everyone but each other. Their dates leave and they wind up asleep out by the pool. Together. Arms around each other. Ok. Sure. Why not? Theyíre just friends.

My ass.

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