Lovers of Starlight, part 2 episode 22 of “The Starlight Trilogy” by Thea Washington
The characters in this story are fictional and not intended to depict the present or future of any individual.
The character “the Rock Star” is based on Adam Lambert.
Most of the videos in Part 2 reflect Lover’s favorite music (R&B, soul).
They were selected to enhance the story but are not required for your entertainment.
Chapter 39 — CONFESSIONS
As soon as the show was over Lover wanted out of there. They didn’t talk much on the drive home. When they pulled up in front of Lover’s building, the Exec turned off the engine and towards Lover, his arm reaching over the back of his seat.
“You were uncomfortable, I could see it,” he said, gently. “We could have left. All you had to do was say the word.”
“No, it was OK. Maybe I needed to see that.”
“Tell me what you’re thinking. No, wait. Tell me what you’re feeling.”
Lover shook his head before turning to stare out of his window.
“I don’t know. Part of me’s afraid to feel anything. He told me it was over, that we were through. So in my head I knew he’d be moving on. I guess I just didn’t think it would be so soon.”
“It has been a few months now. Are you really that surprised?”
“No, I guess not. He always was a runner. He’d run away from me, from his feelings, even from himself. And right now he’s quite a catch. I don’t know.”
“You thought his feelings ran deeper and it would take longer for him to be ready for somebody else.”
Lover smiled. “You know me entirely too well. I don’t know, maybe I’m the one who’s slow.”
“Baby, you’re the one who loves, genuinely loves. When you say it, you mean it. And when you mean it, that’s how you behave, how you act, what you do.”
“He never understood that. That’s what I thought I was doing. I thought that’s what love meant.”
“You’re right. It is what love means.”
The Exec decided there was no time like the present.
“Do you remember when we were in grad school?”
“Yeah, that’s when we met and started being friends.”
“Yeah, we did. I always admired you. You were so smart and funny. Gorgeous, which you still are by the way. You had this spark. Everyone knew you were going to be a success.”
“Well, that spark was probably caffeine. Those were some long study sessions.” They both laughed at that.
“You know what, though? I was really glad I got to know you. You were special. I was just happy to be around you. The truth is, I still am.”
Suddenly Lover had a feeling where this was going.
“What’s this about?”
The Exec knew it was time. “I always wanted to be more than just your friend.”
“I don’t know …”
“Look, I know it hasn’t been all that long since he left you. Since he hurt you. But you know I’d never do that. Not to anybody and especially not to you.”
Lover looked at his friend, a small, sad smile on his lips.
“I know you wouldn’t. And, yeah, there was a time I thought maybe you and I, we could be something. But, as things went, I knew that wouldn’t happen. I thought you did, too.” Lover looked at his friend, the sadness obvious. ”We’re just not that kind of match.”
“I hid it well. Sometimes I think maybe I shouldn’t have been so, well, the word “cowardly” comes to mind. You’re an amazing man.”
Lover was surprised at the turn the conversation had taken. “What are you trying to say?”
“I’m trying to say that I still want you. That I want you to want me. I still think we could be good together. And I know you’re recovering from a relationship that took a lot out of you, so I don’t expect you to just jump into my arms.” He smiled. “Not that I’d mind if you did. But I know anything with you would take time, precisely because I know you do love deep. And I also know that, if I had a chance, I would wait. For you I would definitely wait.”
Lover wasn’t sure how to answer. “I’m honored. I really am. Those are words I’ve always wanted to hear someone say to me. It’s just that I know myself. And I can’t believe I’m saying this but the man I want to hear saying those things to me is him.” He hung his head, then turned his head away. The Exec could hardly hear the words.
“God help me. I still love him. I still think about him all the time.” Although there were none to see, the Exec could hear Lover’s tears. “I miss him so much. And I feel so stupid. He made it clear he doesn’t want me.”
The Exec wasn’t surprised at what he was hearing. He’d just taken the shot. “He doesn’t deserve you, you know that. He is not good enough for you. He’s not. You deserve the absolute best.”
“That’s it,” said Lover. “I had the best. The problem was, I could see it in him but he couldn’t see it in himself.” He paused, thinking it through. “I know he’s got some things he needs to work out. So do I. I know there’s no guarantee either one of us ever will. But I have to admit this to myself. I still love him. And even if he never comes back to me, it’s gonna take a long, long time before I’ll even think about loving like that again.”
“Baby, don’t let him destroy your ability to love. Not that. Not your heart. That would be the worst possible thing he could do. Even worse than what he’s already done. He doesn’t get it. You are treasure. Treasure. And he treated you like garbage.” He looked in Lover’s eyes, the hope and want so clearly there. “Let me love you the way you deserve to be loved. Whenever you’re ready, let me do that.”
“Don’t wait for me, for something that probably won’t happen. Even if I can stop loving him, I’m not sure I’ll ever risk this again.”
“There’s no way I can convince you?”
“No, God help me. There’s no way.”
Chapter 40 — DISCOVERY
The Reporter was feeling good. Lover was finally and totally out of the way. The club date was the cherry on top. He was getting to the Rock Star, he could tell; it wouldn’t be too long before he’d have him all to himself. That goodnight kiss he’d laid on the Reporter after their night at the club told him, “Any day now.”
When that happened, he was gonna ride those coattails right into the Editor’s position at “Rolling Stone.” And if that took a few other positions with the Rock Star, it’d be worth it. Once he got the job, that old man would be gone anyway. He’d make sure of that. Those comeback plans would go up in smoke without the support and backing of “Rolling Stone.” The release of his CDs would be mysteriously delayed. Requests for interviews inexplicably declined. Venues would find they’d been taken off the tour schedule. The Rock Star would slink away back to that mountain and he’d never dare show his face again. It would look like he’d been right all along, that Lover had lied to him about wanting him back and had set him up on purpose to get back at him for leaving in the first place.
The Rock Star had left a couple of messages for the Reporter the day after the club date. He waited a day to return the calls. When he did, he sounded appropriately distraught.
“Hi, you sweet man.”
“Hi. You’ve been busy.”
“Yeah. I got your messages. I’m sorry. I’m on deadline.”
“Oh, yeah? Whatcha working on?”
The Reporter gave an exasperated sigh. “You know that kid that’s big on YouTube now?”
“Yeah, the one they’re saying reminds folks of me when I was just starting out.”
“Yeah, the pretty one. Well, my Editor decided he wants to get out in front of the bandwagon and do a feature on this guy. And since we’re about the same age, well, he’s a couple of years younger than me. Anyway, he thought I’d be a good person to, you know, draw him out.”
(The Reporter knew the Rock Star could be the jealous type and was feeding on the weakness, just like the Demons did. In fact, he was making a good one. They were glad to have him.)
“Well, I can testify to your abilities to ‘drawing people out.”
“You sure can,” the Reporter laughed. “You know what, though? The weirdest thing happened.”
“He tried to make a move on me.”
“Yeah, who knew? I mean, jeez. I shut him down though.”
“Well, I had to be honest. So I told him I’m sorta interested in someone else.”
“Ohhh. I see.”
“Yeah, in fact I told him I’m falling hard for this guy.”
“Hmm, hard, huh?
“Yeah,” said the Reporter, sounding appropriately sheepish.
“I know this guy?”
“Umm, he’s a singer, very well known in the music business and really, all over the world. He’s talented. And creative, I think in lots of ways. And take your breath away handsome and beautiful. You might even say ‘gorgeous’. And umm, really, really hot. But you know what I like best about him?”
“He’s an older guy. Not that old, but mature, you know? I just never thought I’d be so attracted to him, I mean it kinda came as a surprise. I couldn’t help myself. He’s irresistible. And I can tell, he knows I’m crazy about him. And he knows what he’s doing to me. That’s actually …” He paused to be dramatic. To make the Rock Star come to him.
“Actually what? Say it.”
The Reporter sighed into the phone. He had him now.
“It’s actually a really big turn on.”
“Oh. So you’re falling hard for a hot, gorgeous, older guy who turns you on really big because he knows what he’s doing.”
“I think so,” he admitted, reluctantly. Or so it sounded.
“So, how’s this hot, older guy feel about you?”
“You know, I’m not sure. We get along but, well, this other guy who claimed he loved him betrayed him. I know how that feels. So, where I’m concerned, he’s calling the shots, not me. I don’t mind, though. He’s worth it.”
“Hey, I’ve got an idea. I have some experience in this. Maybe if you come over, I can help you with that.”
“Would you? I’d appreciate some help. In fact, I’d take all you wanted to give me. And I’d be really grateful, too.”
“Well, I’d certainly do my best.”
“I know you would. I’m counting on it.”
“What are you doing later?”
“Well, I’ve got to finish this up but I’m almost done. I just couldn’t wait to talk to you, so I decided it was time to take a break and, um, have some fun. Hope you don’t mind.”
“Not at all. You want to come over tonight?”
“Can I? I’d really like that.”
“Sure, why don’t you come over when you’re done with your article and I’ll have everything ready for you. Meanwhile I’ll make a run, ‘cause I don’t cook and, uh, I don’t have what I need here for entertaining someone special.”
The Reporter was smirking big time. “You know, I could bring my laptop and finish this over at your place while you’re shopping.” He paused, briefly this time. ”I mean if that’s all right with you.”
“You wouldn’t mind being on your own over here for a while?”
“No, not at all.” Another strategic pause. “I know this is gonna sound, oh never mind.”
“OK, OK. I can’t wait, OK? I want …”
“What do you want?”
“I want … to see you.”
A knowing chuckle from the other end of the phone.
“Oh, you’ll see me all right. We’ll be seeing a lot of each other.”
When the Reporter arrived at the cottage he was greeted with a long, hot, wet kiss that clearly communicated his host’s intentions. He returned it, his mind on the Editor’s job so he could get through it. The Rock Star took him to the spare bedroom turned study so he could finish his imaginary article.
The Rock Star checked that he had his wallet in his inside pocket, told the Reporter to make himself at home and kissed him goodbye. He drove to the organic grocery, checking that he had his keys and wallet as he got out of the car. Something wasn’t right. Where was his wallet? He checked all his pockets and the car’s seats and floors, even looking under the floor mats. It wasn’t there. Was this his first “senior moment”?
He got back in the car and drove home, trying to make sense of the missing wallet. He let himself in quietly, not wanting to disturb the Reporter as he worked. He could hear him on the phone as he walked down the hall.
“Now baby, you know you’re my one and only.” Pause.” In fact I’m thinking about those nice big tits of yours right now.” Pause. “Yeah, I don’t think it’ll take too long. He’s old, he can’t last much. I’ll do him a hand job and he’ll probably just roll over and snore.” Pause. “You know the only reason I’m doing this. He’s gonna get me that Editor’s job.” Pause. “No, he doesn’t have a clue, stupid old man.” Pause. ”Of course, I’ll be thinking of you. All of you, especially those warm, wet parts. How else do you think I’d get through it?” Pause, laugh. “Ha, you wish. I don’t think he’s into 3-somes, though. He wouldn’t want one with a girl anyway. You lack the necessary equipment. That pitiful little Intern boyfriend of yours might be good, though.” More laughter. “Yeah, if you’re good. You got all the right parts for me.” Pause. “I know, I know.” Pause. “Yeah, I’ll be there soon as I can. Maybe I can get this done before dinner.” Pause. “OK, baby. You’ll be all warmed up for me, right?” Pause. “Forget the lingerie. I want you naked and ready.” Pause. ”Yeah, well, me too. Bye.”
The Reporter was laughing as he turned back to the desk. And saw the Rock Star standing in the doorway. He didn’t even have to ask. It was on his face.
“I, I, I don’t know what you heard but…”
“Get out. Now. Don’t make me say it again.”
“OK, OK, I’ll leave,” said the Reporter. “You weren’t worth it anyway, old man. Comeback, my ass. Nobody would’ve cared if Lover hadn’t …”
The Rock Star started across the room. “Don’t even.”
The Reporter didn’t.
The Rock Star followed him to the door, opening it for him and slamming it on his ass. How could he have been so stupid? How? That boy had played him from day one. And here he was, thinking he’d found a good thing after what Lover’d done to him. He walked into his bedroom, just wanting to lie down.
There on the bed was his wallet, covered with glitter. It rose in a spiral and, right before his eyes, vanished.