Ten Things by Carter-Orange
Story Notes:
I've added all the guys to the summary even though I'm not sure if they'll all be in the story.  Story also features other famous people along the way, but will mainly be BSB.

1. Chapter 1 by Carter-Orange

2. Chapter 2 by Carter-Orange

3. Chapter 3 by Carter-Orange

4. Chapter 4 by Carter-Orange

5. Chapter 5 by Carter-Orange

6. Chapter 6 by Carter-Orange

7. Chapter 7 by Carter-Orange

8. Chapter 8 by Carter-Orange

9. Chapter 9 by Carter-Orange

10. Chapter 10 by Carter-Orange

11. Chapter 11 by Carter-Orange

12. Chapter 12 by Carter-Orange

13. Chapter 13 by Carter-Orange

14. Chapter 14 by Carter-Orange

15. Chapter 15 by Carter-Orange

16. Chapter 16 by Carter-Orange

17. Chapter 17 by Carter-Orange

18. Chapter 18 by Carter-Orange

19. Chapter 19 by Carter-Orange

20. Chapter 20 by Carter-Orange

21. Chapter 21 by Carter-Orange

22. Chapter 22 by Carter-Orange

23. Chapter 23 by Carter-Orange

24. Chapter 24 by Carter-Orange

25. Chapter 25 by Carter-Orange

26. Chapter 26 by Carter-Orange

27. Chapter 27 by Carter-Orange

28. Chapter 28 by Carter-Orange

29. Chapter 29 by Carter-Orange

30. Chapter 30 by Carter-Orange

31. Chapter 31 by Carter-Orange

32. Chapter 32 by Carter-Orange

33. Chapter 33 by Carter-Orange

34. Chapter 34 by Carter-Orange

35. Chapter 35 by Carter-Orange

36. Chapter 36 by Carter-Orange

37. Chapter 37 by Carter-Orange

38. Chapter 38 by Carter-Orange

39. Chapter 39 by Carter-Orange

40. Chapter 40 by Carter-Orange

41. Chapter 41 by Carter-Orange

42. Chapter 42 by Carter-Orange

43. Chapter 43 by Carter-Orange

44. Chapter 44 by Carter-Orange

45. Chapter 45 by Carter-Orange

46. Chapter 46 by Carter-Orange

47. Chapter 47 by Carter-Orange

48. Chapter 48 by Carter-Orange

49. Chapter 49 by Carter-Orange

Chapter 1 by Carter-Orange
Chapter One

“Happy Birthday Steph” my friends all cheered, holding their various drinks in the air towards me, and then gesturing for me to down the strange looking concoction they’d ordered from the bar.

“Down in one remember” Izzy teased and I groaned, remembering her birthday and the way we’d all persuaded her to knock back the dreaded mystery drink.

“Do I have to?” I pleaded, knowing that I was wasting my breath; of course I’d have to.

“Yes” came the reply from all of my friends.

“Just pretend it’s vodka and coke” Chloe said casually.

“OK then, here goes” and with that, I picked up the tall glass and brought it to my lips. I closed my eyes and gulped it down as fast as I could - it tasted revolting, there were so many different drinks in there, I couldn’t distinguish what exactly was what, only that it didn’t taste very nice. No, not nice at all!

“Woohoo…yayyyy” came their cheers as I placed the empty glass down and wiped my mouth, trying hard not to throw it all back up.

“Now that was disgusting” I said, reaching for Jess’s J2O (she was pregnant and therefore not drinking) and taking a gulp of it.

“But it’s got to be done Steph, traditions are traditions” Izzy laughed, taking more photos. I hoped to god she’d not caught me when I looked like I was about to throw up.

“Don’t I know it” I groaned

“So, how does it feel to be 25?” Chloe asked “quarter of a century…another year closer to 30”

“That makes me feel so old when you put it that way” I said “but at least you’re older” I teased. We were all 25, been friends since school and there was nothing we couldn’t say to one other.

Jess had always been the sensible one, always so sure of everything she did, always looking out for us and there to give advice, a real maternal type figure. It came as no surprise therefore, that she was the first of us to settle down and get married, it was all she’d ever really wanted. Now here she was, a year after her wedding and expecting her first baby. Both she and her husband Jake were over the moon, and we were happy for them. Jake was the perfect husband for her. But don’t get me wrong, Jess was no party pooper, we still had our wild girls’ nights out, it’s just that now she was pregnant and unable to make a fool of herself like the rest of us!

Chloe was the outgoing/professional one, always had been and always would be. So full of confidence and never let anything get in her way or get her down. She was a real go-getter. Only 25 and already high up the career ladder, with a flash car and an even flasher apartment, but she was still the Chloe we loved, even if she could be a bitch in the workplace. We were all just glad that none of us worked for her! She was single and happy with the way her life was. If she wanted a man, she had no problem in going out and getting one, but she rarely saw them for more than a few months. She had no intention of settling down, and often said she’d never marry. Maybe she’d change her mind one day, who knows.

Izzy was the nicest person you could ever know. Friendly, funny, kind and generous, she would be there for us at any time of the day or night. Men lusted after her and women wanted to be like her. She worked on the children’s ward at the hospital and always managed to put a smile on her patient’s faces, no matter how unwell they were feeling. That’s just the kind of person she was, so fun loving and full of life, it was hard to feel anything but happiness around her. She was seeing a man named Tom. It was still early days, but they were obviously smitten with each other.

And then last of all, there was me. Stephanie, or Steph as I preferred. Nothing remarkable, just average, that’s how I saw myself. Long light brown hair, blue eyes, neither slim nor fat - just average. I worked for a bank as a mortgage advisor, but it wasn’t something I saw myself doing for life, it was just a way to get by until something better came along. But I didn’t know what that was. Twenty five years of age and I still haven’t got it all figured out. I’d had a few boyfriends, even getting engaged once, but it didn’t work out and I’m just glad I found that out before we actually got married. I’d been so in love with Oliver that I’d been blind to a lot of things…one of them being that he was a lying, cheating, bastard! Of course, I’d been heartbroken at the time, but now, a year later, I had no regrets. Things happen for a reason and I believed in karma. Would I ever find the happiness my friends seemed to have? Maybe one day I would.

So anyway, back to the night out. We carried on drinking and dancing and talking, having fun like usual. As the end of the evening approached, we gathered around a table, talking about the meaning of life and all that.

“Do you ever wish you could do something else with your life?” I slurred to no one in particular. The realisation that I was another year closer to the big 30 was finally hitting me.

“Of course not” came the replies from my friends.

“Well…I do” I said

“What you need is some excitement” said Izzy

“A new boyfriend” said Jess “it’s been far too long”

“A new job” said Chloe “something to challenge your mind a bit”

“Hang on, one at a time” I said, laughing as I tried to listen to them all “what’s this? Ten things to do before I’m thirty or something?”

“It’s exactly that” they all replied.
Chapter 2 by Carter-Orange

Chapter 2

I woke up with the worst hangover in history, OK, maybe I’m exaggerating a little, but I really was suffering.  I got out of bed, drank a large glass of water with a couple of Nurofen and then climbed back into bed, pulling the covers over my head, just wanting the world to disappear.  How much had I drunk last night?  Obviously too much by the way I was feeling.  Oh god, I drank that nasty cocktail of god knows what, no wonder I felt like shit.  I drifted back off to sleep and woke some time in the early afternoon, absolutely starving but minus the headache now.  A nice greasy bacon sandwich was just what I needed, it always did the trick. 

“Mmm” I mumbled as I took another bite, how come it always tastes better when you’re either hungover or drunk?  That’s something I could never figure out. 

I was interrupted in my thoughts of food by my mobile ringing, looking at the display, I saw that it was Jess. 

“Hey Jess” I said 

“Hi Steph, just wanted to make sure you were OK, you were in a right state last night” she said. 

“Don’t I know it!” I replied “exactly how embarrassing was I?” 

“Er…you weren’t too bad…” she started saying. 

“Oh come on Jess, we all know I talk utter crap when I’m drunk” I laughed. 

“Well, you were talking about a list” she said. 

“A list?” I said  

What the hell? 

“Yeah…a list of things to do, to be precise, ten things to do before you’re thirty” she tried to stop the laugh that I knew was dying to escape. 

“Oh crap” I muttered.  I had a vague recollection of this conversation, but vague it was “what was on this list?” 

“Erm…we couldn’t shut you up Steph” she now began laughing. 

“Oh shit…come on, spill it.  What did I say?” I asked, wanting the ground to just open up and swallow me whole.  I could just imagine the way the conversation probably went!  Me talking outrageous nonsense, as usual. 

“What didn’t you say more like it” she laughed “the list was ever growing, but I think with a bit of tweaking, we can get it down to just ten things” 

“And they were?” I begged “come on Jess, this is torture!  What did I say?” 

“Well, some of it is totally un-doable of course.  I mean shagging Jason Orange in a public place is not really an option” she laughed “but a lot of it was pretty good” 

“Oh god, I mentioned the Jason fantasy?” I said, more to myself really. 

“Yep, you sure did” she laughed again. 

I could feel my face change colour, to a dark shade of embarrassment

“Erm…it was a dream I had once” I admitted.  How the hell I had dreamt that up, I don’t know, but in the dream I’d dragged him into the ladies toilets and fucked his brains out.  It’s not like I was that kind of person; in fact, I’d never even had a one night stand! 

“Must’ve been quite a dream” she teased 

“So…what else was on this list?” I probed, changing the subject from the toilet sex dream. 

“My god Steph, can’t you remember anything?” she giggled 

“Apparently not” I began laughing too “are you going to tell me Jess, or do I have to call Izzy or Chloe?” 

“OK, OK” she said “I’m not sure I can remember every single thing, but here goes.  Apart from the Jason fantasy, you want to fall in love, you want to bungee jump…” 

“Huh?  Me…bungee jump!  I don’t think so” I protested 

“Well, you’re the one who said it” she replied “now let’s see, what else.  You want to tell your boss to shove his job up his arse, you want to learn to surf, you listed a whole list of famous guys you’d ‘do’ ” 

“I must’ve sounded like a whore” I muttered What the hell had I been thinking; I didnt usually talk like that? 

“Of course not Steph, we all think like that.  I wouldn’t say no to a bit of Daniel Craig” she said, reassuringly. 

“Yeah, suppose you’re right” I said “who would refuse him?” 

“Well obviously not you either, he was on your hit list of men too” she laughed 

“Anything else?” I asked 

“You want to swim with dolphins, ride the scariest rollercoaster in the world whilst eating a Burger King, go for a moonlit skinny dip with the man of your dreams and then have wild passionate sex on the beach, go up the Empire State Building at night and watch the city below you and the stars above you, fake an orgasm ‘When Harry Met Sally’ style in a cafe” she said 

“Oh my fucking god Jess.  Did I really say all that?  Are you messing with me?” I said. 

“No Steph, there’s more” she said 

“Oh god” I groaned and she carried on listing more. 

“Drive at more than 100mph in a cool car, live abroad, say something obscene on national TV, date someone totally the opposite of your type, buy a camper van and take a road trip across America, blow a couple of hundred pounds on a single night out, have a one night stand, buy your own place rather than rent, learn a second language…” 

“OK, I’ve got it, let’s just stop there” I said “wow, that’s quite a list” 

“I’m not even sure that’s all of it” she replied. 

“Well, obviously, most of them are impossible…” I began 

“They don’t have to be” she said. 

We ended our phone call and I began to think about some of those things on the list.  Were they really that outrageous, or were they do-able?  I didn’t dwell on it for long as I had to go and meet my parents for lunch, what would they think of this mid-twenties crisis I seemed to be going through?  Best keep it to myself I think. 

We had a delicious meal and I had to listen to the usual questions, like when was I ever going to get a boyfriend and settle down, you know, the usual embarrassing questions that parents ask.   

I was quite relieved when I finally got home to my tiny little apartment, today had been quite draining!  I put my comfy joggers on and an old t-shirt and settled down in front of the TV with a bottle of wine, glad of a quiet night in after the previous night.  There wasn’t really much on, so I put on a DVD - ‘Bridget Jones Diary’, one of my all time favourites. 

“Now why can’t I have my very own Mr Darcy” I said to myself as I drooled over Colin Firth in the film.  I was hardly doing anything about it.  I hadn’t been on a date in ages, maybe I was afraid to take the risk again after Oliver, he’d hurt me badly. 

The film ended and so did the wine, but I wasn’t tired; the silly list was going around in my mind.  Would it really be possible?  Hmmm, I certainly needed some excitement in my life.  I got up and rummaged around for a pen and opened up my notebook onto a clean page. 

Ten things to do before Im 30 

1. 

 I thought long and hard about the things I really wanted out of life, deciding to throw a few unexpected ones in too, get out of my comfort zone a little, and be daring for a change. 

1.   Fall in love

2.   Own my own place

3.   The skinny dipping and sex on the sex one

4.   Learn a new language

5.   Ride a scary roller coaster whilst eating or bungee jump or something else equally as scary

6.   Road trip across the USA

7.   Blow a fortune on a single night out

8.   Drive a flash car way too fast (and not get caught)

9.   Swim with dolphins

10. Tell my boss to shove his job up his arse 

“There, done” I said as I put my pen down and read over my list again.  Now, where did I start?   

Chapter 3 by Carter-Orange

Chapter Three 

Over the next few months, I hardly gave ‘the list’ another thought, I wasn’t sure any of it was even a possibility, so decided to carry on with reality.  After all, thirty was still a long way off. 

I was in work one day, nothing out of the ordinary, when one of my colleagues was talking about an open evening at the local college.  I had a look at the information brochure and noticed that they had quite an extensive language section.  Hmm, wasn’t learning a language on my list?  But which language did I go for?  My heart was saying Russian, I don’t know why, maybe it had something to do with loving the film Doctor Zhivago, or the many stories I’d read about the mysterious Anastasia Romanov and her family when I was young.  But, my more sensible side was telling me to learn something more practical, like French or Spanish, something I could actually use.  Did I go with my heart or my head?  I decided that I’d go to the open evening and make my decision then. 

My mind was easily made up at the open evening.  The Russian teacher was miserable looking old git who did nothing to sell the course; I knew then that I wasn’t going to be going down that avenue.  If I really wanted to learn Russian, I’d have to have a teacher who at least looked interested in teaching it. 

Spanish on the other hand was looking VERY promising!  There was quite a gathering around the Spanish teacher and no wonder, he was drop dead gorgeous and seemed very passionate about teaching.  I was also impressed to see that he was actually Spanish, his name was Enrique Iglesias.  I quickly signed up for his class before it filled up and just hoped I’d be able to concentrate on the lessons instead of ogling the teacher. 

Later that evening I gave Jess a call to let her know that I was ticking something off my list. 

“Well, you can’t really tick it off yet Steph; you’ve not even begun the course” she laughed “but well done for going for it”. 

“I have a feeling I might enjoy Spanish” I giggled. 

And I did enjoy Spanish.  It was hard going, but so rewarding when I could actually recognize words and speak it a little.  Enrique was a great teacher and made us want to do well in the subject.  I passed the course at the end of the year but decided not to progress to the second level.  Did I really need to speak it fluently?  Wasn’t it enough that I’d be able to get by if I ever holidayed there?  So that was that.  I could tick it off my list.   

One down, nine to go! 

~*~ 

It was the week before payday and I was almost broke.  Great, Saturday night in front of the TV alone again.  I decided I needed chocolate as there was none in the house, so I walked down to the local shop.  For some reason, I felt the urge to buy a lucky dip lottery ticket, I don’t know why as I’m never that lucky.  But it was worth a go, it could happen to anyone, right? 

I wasn’t going to watch the lottery, but seeing as Westlife were on there performing their new single, I felt compelled to watch, and after all, they were one of my favourite bands.  God, that Nicky Byrne is fit! 

“And now, those all important lottery numbers” said Duncan James, who was presenting the show that week “good luck everyone”.  With that he pressed the button and I watched to see if any of my numbers would come up.  I didn’t hold out much hope as I never won anything. 

“And the first number out is 24” 

I looked down at my ticket and noticed that I had it. 

“…second number is 5…” 

I looked down and saw I had that one also OK Steph, dont go getting excited yet, you need more than two numbers to win anything. 

“…third number is 31…” 

Woohoo, Ive won £10 

“…fourth number is 9…” 

Now I was beginning to get excited, four numbers! 

“…fifth number is 42…” 

“Oh my god” I shouted out in excitement, five out of five numbers so far. 

“…sixth number is 37 and the bonus is number 2” came the voice on the TV.

 I double checked my ticket, and then checked it again just to be sure.  Oh my god, was this for real?  Had I really matched all six numbers on the lottery?  Oh my fucking god. 

“Now what do I do?” I muttered to myself, and then turned the ticket over to read the back for instructions on how to claim my prize. 

Chapter 4 by Carter-Orange

Chapter 4 

The sun came up on Sunday morning, yet I don’t think I’d managed to sleep at all.  After that phone call to the lottery to confirm my win, I was more than a little dazed, I was in total shock!  Apparently, I was the only winner, claiming a prize of £9,238,129.73.  It had been a rollover week.  When I’d been told the amount, I think I nearly fainted, the woman on the other end of the line kept asking if I was alright, which of course I wasn’t.  How could you feel just ‘alright’ after being told you’ve won that amount of money? 

So anyway, Sunday, and I had to double check I hadn’t dreamt it all, because that would’ve been just my luck.  But to my delight, it was all true.  I’d have to wait a couple of days for the money, but that was fine by me.  I’d also told them I wanted no publicity.  That last thing I wanted was to find I suddenly had a whole bunch of friends appearing out of nowhere, I knew who my friends were and didn’t need people claiming to be my friend now that I’d come into money.  Talking of friends, what would I tell them?  How would they feel about my enormous win?  Of course, I knew they’d be pleased for me, and I knew I wanted to do something for them, but what?  I decided to wait until I had the money, it would feel real then. 

The rest of the day passed by in a blur of daydreams.  I was imagining what I could do with the money.  I knew one thing for sure, another item on my list was about to be ticked off! 

Monday morning, I leisurely got dressed for work and strolled in half an hour late (something I’d always wanted to do, but never had the guts to). 

“What time do you call this?” asked my boss, Mike.  He knew full well what time it was, he just wanted everyone’s attention. 

“9.30” I replied confidently. 

He attempted to belittle me in front of the whole office, but that was when I just began to laugh. 

“Actually Mike, I didn’t come here to work today.  I came to clear out my desk.  You can shove your job up your arse, you pathetic little man” I said, loud enough so that all my colleagues could hear. 

“But…” he began to splutter 

“But nothing.  You are nothing more than a bully and a chauvinist, I’ve had it with you” I replied, noticing a few silent approvals from colleagues who were behind Mike and therefore out of his sight. 

“But…you have to work your notice.  I won’t give you a reference” he came back with. 

“Consider this my notice” I said and raised my middle finger to him “as for the reference, as if I’d rely on anything YOU write to get me another job!” 

There were a couple of sniggers from my colleagues and Mike shot them a warning look.  They quickly turned and got back on with their work. 

“Well, I guess this is goodbye” I said and waved to the few people I actually bothered with in work, then I walked out the door with my head held high.  I felt so good; to finally tell that man what I thought of him was almost as good as the lottery win.  But not quite! 

I went home and pulled out my list, crossing off number 10 with a big smile on my face.  Two down, eight to go!

 

 

1.   Fall in love

2.   Own my own place

3.   The skinny dipping and sex on the beach one

4.   Learn a new language

5.   Ride a scary roller coaster whilst eating or bungee jump or something else equally as scary

6.   Road trip across the USA

7.   Blow a fortune on a single night out

8.   Drive a flash car way too fast (and not get caught)

9.   Swim with dolphins

10. Tell my boss to shove his job up his arse  
Chapter 5 by Carter-Orange
Author's Notes:
Thanks for reading, there'll be a BSB appearance soon, along with a couple of members of Take That and maybe some more famous people along the way!

Chapter 5 

A couple of days later and the money was all mine.  I’d had to go and do it all officially and was even offered financial guidance, which I turned down.  I didn’t need anyone telling me how to spend money, I could think of plenty of ways to spend it myself!  It suddenly felt real, I was officially a millionaire and seeing that huge balance in my bank account put the biggest smile on my face. 

I still hadn’t told anyone about it, I was waiting for it to be some kind of sick joke, but of course it wasn’t. 

I knew I had to do something extravagant to celebrate my win, but what?  I’d never had a lot of money before, just enough to get by with a few treats.  I sat down at my laptop and googled ways to celebrate. 

“A trip to Vegas” I said with a smile on my face, now that would be extravagant!  It looked perfect and even offered the chance to tick a couple more items off my list – scary rides and blow a fortune in a single night, woohoo! 

I met up with Izzy, Chloe and Jess later that day and could hardly contain my excitement.  They were bound to notice. 

“Come on Steph, what’s going on, you’re acting strange” asked Chloe almost immediately. 

“Erm, I quit my job” I said, a smile spreading across my face. 

“You what?  Steph, are you insane or something?  What are you going to do?” asked Chloe, who obviously thought I was nuts. 

“Not insane at all” I laughed “as for what I’m going to do, hmm, I have no idea.  What do lottery winners do?” 

“Oh my god Steph!” came three surprised voices. 

“When?” 

“How much?” 

“Lucky cow”  

They were some of the responses being thrown around the room. 

“I’m sorry I didn’t say anything before now, but I was waiting for it to just be a hoax or something” I shrugged “it would be just my luck”

 I really didn’t want to tell them exactly how much, so I just said I’d won enough to keep me going for a while.  That was sufficient information.  The less people knew, the better.  I’d heard stories of how lottery winners had had their lives turned to misery through money, of course, these stories were rare, but still, I didn’t want to be one of those stories. 

“So, I was wondering if you’re all up for an all expenses trip to Las Vegas?” I asked casually. 

“We can’t let you do that Steph” said Izzy “can we girls?” 

“Yes you can, I insist” I said, silencing anymore protests “what good is money if I can’t take my three best friends on a well deserved holiday” 

We all started screaming and jumping around like loonies. 

“Oh, Jess, will you be OK to fly?” I asked.  I knew there were certain times in pregnancy when it wasn’t safe to do so, and hoped that she would be OK. 

“Yeah, I’m over the three months, so it’s fine.  Are you sure?” she asked, still looking at me like I’d gone senile. 

“Of course.  Now, how soon can you all go?” I asked. 

After our little get together, I made all the arrangements over the internet, researching where to stay and what to do once we were there.  We were going to be staying at The Bellagio, it was epitome of luxury according to the website.  I hadn’t told the girls where we were staying, I wanted it to be a surprise and couldn’t wait to see their faces when we pulled up outside the stunning looking hotel. 

Two weeks later and laden down with bags, we checked in at Heathrow Airport and then made our way to the departure lounge to wait for our flight to be called.  We were going to be spending three nights in Vegas and were all really excited. 

“When are you going to tell us where we’re staying?” Izzy teased 

“When we get there” I replied, trying to keep a straight face.  They’d been nagging me for days, but I wasn’t going to crack under the pressure.  I wanted to do something nice for them, they deserved it. 

Eventually it was time to board our flight, I’d booked first class so we could start the holiday in luxury and as we meant to go on. 

“Wow!” we all said as we stared open mouthed at the first class section.  It was nothing like we were used to.  We were used to being crammed into seats with very little leg room and crappy inedible food.  But first class was a whole new experience, with comfortable chairs, quality food and being treated like royalty, it was a good start to the holiday. 

Chapter 6 by Carter-Orange

Chapter 6 

The plane touched down in Las Vegas in the early evening, after a brief stop and change of plane in Chicago.  Despite the long flight, we suddenly felt energized and excited.  What would Vegas really be like?  Would it be like how it was portrayed on screen?  We’d soon find out! 

We collected our bags from the baggage claim area, and then made our way to the passport control, it was all very formal with airport staff wearing guns around their waists, it was something we just didn’t see back home and I found it kind of scary.  But we soon got through and were wished a pleasant stay. 

“Come on, let’s go and find our car” I said, leading the way through the airport, which was lined with slot machines. 

We walked out of the cool air conditioned airport into what felt like a furnace, the heat seemed a bit unreal after the temperature indoors, but I guess this was the Nevada desert; of course it was going to be hot. 

I was so glad the car hire place had talked me out of hiring a convertible, there was just no way we could’ve handled driving around in the heat, although it was a shame as I’d always fancied one of those.  Remember youre a lottery winner Steph, you can buy one when you get home!   Instead we had a Dodge Durango, which was going a bit over the top really considering it held up to eight passengers and there were only four of us.  But I was thinking of possible shopping trips, we’d need plenty of space for our bags of course!   

I’d never been more grateful for air conditioning than I was on the drive to the hotel, and also the inclusion of a satnav, I would’ve been lost without that too. 

Driving down the Las Vegas strip was like stepping into a dream, bright lights and hustle and bustle on either side and stretching for what seemed like miles, it was a sight that would take some getting used to.  We were all just completely blown away. 

“Oh my fucking god” I said, coming to a stop when I realized we’d reached our destination “this place can’t be real, it just can’t be!” 

My friends uttered similar words to mine, their mouths hanging open in sheer amazement at the site before our eyes. 

We drove up the tree lined driveway and passed the lake, yes, a lake in front of the hotel, with huge beautiful fountains spurting water high into the sky.  It was better than any movie could portray it.  I found the car park and we unloaded our belongings and made our way to the reception, looking around in total awe the whole time. 

“I reckon all the rich and famous stay here” said Jess “just look at it, it’s fabulous” 

“I know” said Izzy “this must be costing you an absolute fortune Steph”

 “We’re worth it.  Now I don’t want to hear another word about the cost, let’s just enjoy ourselves OK” I said.  This was my treat and I didn’t want them to feel bad about me paying, after all, I could afford it. 

“Holy fuck” said Chloe as we walked inside the building “this place is fucking unreal” 

“Wow” was all Izzy could say at that moment. 

I walked to the reception and checked us in, noticing the looks on my friend’s faces when the girl behind the desk mentioned ‘penthouse suite’. 

“Here are your card keys Miss Mahoney, I trust that everything will be to your satisfaction, please do not hesitate to ask if you require anything at all, and please enjoy your stay at The Bellagio” said the receptionist with a warm smile. 

“Thanks” I said, taking the keys from her and turning to my friends. 

“Friggin hell Steph, the penthouse suite?  Oh my god!” Jess squealed and we all jumped up and down with our arms around each other.  

The elevator could only be accessed by using a swipe card, we felt so important!   

“Wow, even the elevators are posh” I said as we stepped inside. 

We were soon opening the door to our suite and nothing could’ve prepared us for the sheer luxury of it.  I compared it to the best hotel I’d ever stayed in before, times by a thousand.  That’s how impressive it was. 

“I feel like a movie star” said Izzy, spinning around with her arms out. 

“This is just beyond awesome” said Jess, glancing around the main room. 

“Come on, let’s look around” I said and we left our bags on the floor and ran through the suite like children let loose in a sweet shop. 

It had everything and more than we could’ve possibly dreamt of.  I’d never expected it to be like this.  I mean, yes, I’d expected it to be nice, but this…wow!  I was lost for words. 

“This is going to be the best holiday ever” I said as we sprawled out over the comfortable furniture in the living area.

Chapter 7 by Carter-Orange
Author's Notes:
Thanks for reading!  Hope you are liking it so far, lots more to come.  Please excuse any details I get wrong about places, I research I little bit but make a lot up as I go along :)

Chapter 7 

After settling ourselves into the suite - which really consisted of two, two bedroomed suites with a joining door between to make it one huge suite – we decided it was time to glam up and head on out.  Even though we’d had a long flight and had been up even longer, there was no way we were giving in and going to bed just yet, not in the city which never sleeps! 

There were four bathrooms so we could all get ready at the same time, something we weren’t usually used to when we had our girly weekends away back home. 

Half an hour later and we were deciding what to wear, all of us gathering in one room to advise each other on what to wear.  Jess’s pregnancy was hardly showing yet, so she could still wear all her usual stunning clothes, much to her delight. 

We sipped on champagne which I’d had sent up, Jess allowing herself half a glass and then drinking orange juice, whilst we downed the bottle and made a start on another. 

“Well girls, we all look gorgeous, are we ready to get out there and hit the town?” Izzy asked as she carefully studied herself in the mirror one last time. 

“Come on, let’s go” I said “we’ve got some serious gambling to do” 

“Erm, can we eat first?” asked Jess “I’m gonna pass out with hunger otherwise” 

“Of course” we all agreed and left the suite, again marveling at it’s luxury as we closed the door and descended in the lift. 

There was so much choice of restaurants, and that was just in the Bellagio.  We could’ve had anything from a snack to a full on gourmet experience.  We left it to Jess to decide, the rest of us weren’t fussy. 

“Hmm, so much choice according to the hotel brochure, but what I really fancy is Chinese, do you mind?” she asked “we don’t need a reservation and it’s near the bar and casino too” 

“Sounds perfect” I said and we headed towards ‘Noodles’ as it was called. 

A little while later we were tucking in to exquisite Asian cuisine, so much better than the grease soaked food which was served back in the grotty little takeaway around the corner from my place at home. 

“My god, this is gorgeous, I could just eat and eat and eat” I said 

“Mmmm, me too” everyone else replied as we washed our meals down with cocktails (non-alcoholic for Jess). 

I took care of the bill and then we took a wander around the casino, sussing it out and deciding what we wanted to play first.  

“Do we want to play the slot machines or the tables?” I asked “or both?” 

“Well, I have no idea how to play the table games” Jess replied “and I am kind of wiped out.  Do you mind if I just head up to bed?  It’s been such a long day” 

“Of course we don’t mind.  Are you sure you’ll be OK?” I asked 

“Yeah, I just don’t have the go in me at the moment” she said, rubbing her hand over her almost non-existent bump and yawning “I’ll see you all in the morning, have fun” 

We made sure she got to the elevator OK and said goodnight, then turned our attention back to the casino. 

“I quite fancy slots” said Chloe “always wanted to have a go on those ones with the high pay outs, like in the movies” 

“OK, well here you go” I said handing out a couple of hundred dollars to each of them. 

“Steph?  You can’t go wasting money on us” they both said. 

“Hey, remember one of the items off my list?  The one about blowing a fortune in a single night?  Well, I think this could be that night, so make the most of it.  There is more where this comes from, OK” I said with a smile.  “Now, let’s go and spend it” 

Chloe walked off in the direction of the slots, saying she’d come and find us later.  We didn’t agree on a time, but we all had our phones on us and we were all knew where we were going to be. 

“So, what table game shall we try first?  Blackjack or roulette?” Izzy asked 

“Hmm, I’m thinking roulette” I said “come on” 

We had absolutely no idea what we were doing, and I soon lost a couple of hundred dollars, but it was so much fun. 

“Blackjack?” I said 

“Yeah, come on, maybe we’ll be luckier there” replied Izzy. 

We approached a table that had a few people around it already, all men, they were well dressed and it wasn’t until we took our places at the table that we actually got to see who we’d be up against.  Oh my god, oh my fucking god.  We were only sitting here at a blackjack table with none other than Nick Carter, AJ McLean, Gary Barlow, Howard Donald and Jason Orange. 

“Oh my god” Izzy whispered to me “some of Take That and some of the Backstreet Boys.  Could we be any luckier?” 

“I know” I almost squealed.  It was no secret from my friends that I had a huge crush on Jason Orange, had done since I was a teenager.  But to see him here, of all places, and with the hotness that was Nick Carter too, it was just too much to take in.  I wondered what they were doing here together? 

Chapter 8 by Carter-Orange
Author's Notes:
Thanks for reading!  The song 'Waking Up In Vegas' by Katy Perry inspired this next bit.

Chapter 8 

I woke up the following morning feeling like shit, I must’ve drank loads the previous night because I didn’t remember much after the blackjack table, in fact, I didn’t really remember anything.  Urgh.  I closed my eyes again and thought of my list, surely I could now cross off number 7, I must have spent an obscene amount to not even remember it! 

1.  Fall in love

2.  Own my own place

3.  The skinny dipping and sex on the beach one

4.  Learn a new language

5.  Ride a scary roller coaster whilst eating or bungee jump or something else equally as scary

6.  Road trip across the USA

7.  Blow a fortune on a single night out

8.  Drive a flash car way too fast (and not get caught)

9.  Swim with dolphins

10. Tell my boss to shove his job up his arse 

“What the hell?” I said to myself as I opened my eyes and realized I wasn’t in my room, at least I didn’t think this was my room.  I rubbed my eyes and opened them again, no this was definitely not my room, I also realized something else – I was naked!   

Oh shit, what happened?  Whose room is this?

I looked around the unfamiliar room and noticed clothes scattered all over the place.  Oh god, this is not good!  I heard the shower running and noticed that the bathroom door was closed.  Maybe if I act really quick, I can be out of here before he comes out. 

I scrambled out of bed, clutching the sheet to my body as I did so.  What on earth?  I felt something stuck against my back and reached around to remove it, only to discover it was an empty condom wrapper.  Gross!  But at least that meant I didn’t have to worry about STDs or getting the morning after pill.  What I did worry about though was who the hell I’d spent the night shacked up with.  How could I have got into a situation where I ended up going back to some random guy’s hotel room?   

Unless…wait a minute…werent we playing at the tables with the Backstreet Boys and Take That?  Oh my god, Ive spent the night with Jason Orange, my dream man!!  If only I could remember it!

 I gathered up my clothes which had been strewn all over the room, and quickly began getting dressed.  Where the hell is my other shoe?  I searched all over the room, picking up what I presumed were his clothes in my search for the missing shoe.  Then I heard the shower stop.  Shit!  I debated whether to just leave the shoe and get the hell out of there, or just stay and face the music.  Before I had a chance to think about it any more, the bathroom handle started to turn. 

Oh…my…god!  What was I thinking? 

Standing there in just a fluffy white towel secured around his waist and water droplets glistening on his toned and tattooed body was not the man I was hoping for.  Oh no, the man standing before me was someone I wouldn’t usually look twice at.   

AJ McLean.   

How the hell did that happen?  He must’ve registered my shock as I stood there, staring for what seemed like ages, my mouth hanging open and my head shaking from side to side. 

“Well good morning to you too Mrs McLean” he said sarcastically. 

Mrs McLean?  What.  The.  Fuck? 

How I’d not noticed the hideous looking skull ring on my wedding finger before now was completely beyond me, but now that he’d said those two words “Mrs McLean” I couldn’t help but stare at my left hand in utter disgust.  Urgh, this had to be some kind of sick joke. 

“This is a joke right?  Where are they?  Izzy…Jess…Chloe, come on, you can come out now, very funny, haha” I said shakily, hoping that this really was a joke. 

“I wish it was just a joke…erm, Steph” he said “but apparently you and I got married last night”.  He waved a piece of paper in front of me and I groaned as I looked at it closer, it was a wedding certificate.  Oh fuck, fuck, fuck!!! 

“But…I don’t remember a thing!  How could you?” I yelled at him. 

“How could I?” he yelled back “I was just as out of it as you Mrs McLean 

“Urgh, don’t call me that” I shuddered.  How the hell could I have married this man?  Not only that, I’d slept with him too, more than just the once judging by the other empty condom wrappers I spotted dotted around the room.  Yuck! 

“Hey, I don’t like this either but don’t worry, I’m gonna get on to my lawyer once I’ve got dressed and we’ll soon have this mess sorted” he said and I felt a little better.  Maybe no one would ever have to find out about this little fuck up. 

“Hurry up and get dressed then” I snapped at him, I wanted out as quick as possible.

“Jeez, how the fuck did I marry someone like you, I must’ve been really fucking out of it last night” he said under his breath, but I caught it.

“And I must’ve been on another planet last night to marry a man like you!” I spat at him “now please, will you just do what you have to do to annul this before I go home” 

“It will be my pleasure” he said and grabbed some clean clothes out of the wardrobe and threw them on, not even caring whether I saw his naked body when he dropped his towel.  I turned away though, I’d had enough of a shock for one day. 

“Oh god” I groaned as I spotted a DVD cover with the words ‘Mahoney – McLean wedding, Las Vegas’ on the cover. 

“Yeah, that’s what I thought” he said “I’m not sure whether I dare watch it” 

“Maybe it’ll help us remember what happened last night” I said curiously.  I really was baffled as to how we’d ended up married. 

“Do we really want to remember it though?” he said. 

“I suppose not, in fact, I’d rather just pretend none of it happened at all” I replied. 

He walked back into the bedroom, muttering something about finding his phone and I dug out my phone from my bag.  I wondered if my friends knew anything about this, and if so, why hadn’t they stopped me?   

Five missed calls and seven text messages. 

I scrolled through the list, they were all from either Izzy or Chloe, none of them mentioned anything about a wedding.  Phew, maybe they didn’t know. I began dialing Chloe’s number as I came across hers first. 

“Steph, thank god!  Where are you?  When you went off to that club with those guys last night and then didn’t come back, we began to worry” she said. 

“I’m fine” I lied.  How could I be fine, I’d married a complete stranger! 

“So” she changed her tone of voice to one of curiosity “whose hotel bed did you wake up in?” 

“Chloe…” I began. 

“Oh my god…was it Jason?  It was, wasn’t it?  Was he good?  I bet he was…you lucky cow” she was rambling on. 

“Erm…no.  It wasn’t Jason…I wish!” I replied and noticed out of the corner of my eye, AJ looking at me.  When he realized I’d seen him, he quickly looked away.  I couldn’t make out whether the expression on his face was hurt or something else.  Shit, he heard me, nice one Steph. 

“Who then?” she asked. 

“Erm, listen Chloe, I’ll talk to you about it later, I have to go now” I said. 

“I want all the details” she said and we hung up. 

I looked over at AJ who was now on the phone, he was kind of good looking, in a different sort of way, especially now that he was covered up and hiding all of those tattoos.  I wasn’t into tattoos at all. He slammed his phone shut and tossed it down “fuck” he muttered. 

“Problem?” I asked. 

“Well, seeing as it’s the weekend, I don’t think we’ll be able to do anything until Monday.  So I’m afraid you’re going to have to be my wife for a little while longer than we both want” he said bitterly. 

“Great” I sighed “look, I’m going to go back to my room, I need to try and get my head around this.  Here’s my phone number, call me later” 

“Sure” he said and I walked out of his room. 

Chapter 9 by Carter-Orange
Author's Notes:
Thanks for reading everyone.

Chapter 9 

Thankfully we were in the same hotel, so I didn’t have to do the walk of shame as I made my way back to my room.  I still couldn’t believe that this was real.  I mean, me, married!  Why hadn’t anyone tried to stop me?  Where had my friends got to last night?  Did I even want to tell them I’d woke up to find out I’d got married in Vegas?  I knew I’d have to; I couldn’t keep something this big away from them. 

Here goes! 

“Ah, the dirty stop out returns” Jess called out when I walked into our suite. 

“Morning” I said sheepishly. 

“So, where’ve you been all night then?” asked Izzy and I felt all their eyes on me. 

“First of all, let’s get one thing clear…I don’t remember a thing about last night.  What happened?  Where did we go and why did you all leave me?” I asked.  I wanted some answers from them too before I told them anything. 

“Oh god Steph, don’t you remember anything?” Chloe asked. 

“Well, I can’t help I’m afraid, as you know, I went up to bed early” said Jess “but I’m dying to know what happened” 

“That makes two of us” I said. 

“Well, we were knocking back the cocktails at the blackjack table and flirting shamelessly with those Backstreet Boys and Take That guys, who by the way, were just as flirty back!  You remember that?” said Izzy. 

“Kind of” I cringed as a flashback entered my head. 

~*~ 

I couldnt take my eyes off Jason Orange, he looked so incredibly sexy, from his disheveled hair to the nicely fitted black trousers he was wearing, everything about him was gorgeous, even more so up close.  We all introduced ourselves at the blackjack table but I wasnt interested in anyone but Jason, I could hardly focus on anything else.   

“So, how come you’re here?” asked Izzy “are you working together or something” 

Gary laughed “No, no, but actually that might be fun, these guys are great.  Were actually here on a bit of a break before we get back in the studio” 

“And we’re just here for the casinos” said Nick. 

"Just the casinos?" asked Izzy

"OK...you got us, we're here for the scenery too" he replied and gave us his gorgeous lopsided grin.

“What about you girls?  What brings you to Vegas?” asked Howard as he eyed up Izzy. 

“We wanted a wild weekend, and where could be wilder than Vegas?” I replied. 

“Where indeed” murmured AJ 

We carried on playing at the table, talking, drinking, sometimes winning, and sometimes losing.  Chloe eventually found us and told us she was going up to bed, shed had enough for one night, the jet lag had finally caught up with her. 

“Who wants to go dancing?” I asked, looking towards Jason.  His was the only reply I was interested in.

 ~*~

 “Well, Chloe went up to bed and you said something about going dancing, you were all hyper” said Izzy “I wasn’t really in the mood for dancing as I was starting to feel tired, so Gary and I stayed at the casino and had a couple more drinks before going our separate ways.  You went off with Jason, Howard, Nick and AJ.  I asked if you’d be OK and you told me not to worry.  That’s all I can tell you”. 

“If only I’d not left that casino” I groaned and put my head in my hands. 

“I thought you couldn’t remember anything?” Chloe asked and raised her eyebrows at me. 

“Oh god…that’s just it…I don’t really remember anything but then this morning I woke up in AJ McLean’s bed” I said, feeling my face burn bright red. 

“Fucking hell Steph!” said Chloe “that man is hot as hell” 

“Urgh…please” I said and held up my hand. 

“Do you think you...y’know…had sex with him?” asked Izzy. 

“Oh, I know I did” I cringed at the thought of all those condom wrappers “I woke up with a condom wrapper stuck to me” 

They fell about laughing whilst I just wanted to vanish from the face of the earth. 

“But that’s not all” I said deciding I had to tell them the rest of the story “I woke up to find out I’d married him”.  As I said the words out loud, it suddenly hit me, I was married.  I burst into tears.  My friends looked visibly shocked and all came closer to wrap their arms around me in an attempt to try and console me. 

“Steph…shhhh, it’s gonna be OK” Jess said soothingly. 

“How?  I married a man I don’t even know and I don’t even remember any of it” I cried. 

“What does he have to say about it?” asked Chloe. 

“Says he’s going to get it annulled, but his lawyer isn’t answering his phone” I sobbed. 

“Well, there you go; this will all be over and done with in no time at all, it’ll be like it never happened.  No one else needs to know” said Izzy. 

“I just wish I knew how it happened” I sighed unhappily. 

“Come on, the all you can eat buffet breakfast is still open, let’s go and get something to eat and we’ll talk some more” said Jess. 

“Like I could eat at a time like this!” I said in despair, but I knew she was right, thinking about this awful situation would be easier to do once we’d all eaten. 

I was still in last night’s clothes so I had a shower first.  As I stood under the spray of water, I scrubbed my body, trying to wash away my mistakes of the night before.  If only it were that easy!  There wasn’t time for a long shower, so I hurried myself up and was soon dry and dressed, and then we were ready to go.   

The buffet breakfast was unbelievable.  I couldn’t get over the amount of different food items on offer, from simple cereal to ice cream (which people were actually eating I couldn’t help noticing). 

“Oh my god, who could eat ice cream for breakfast?” I said, slightly horrified at the thought. 

“Hmm, I think maybe I could” replied Jess sheepishly. 

“Well, you are pregnant, so you’ve got an excuse” Izzy said and smiled at her. 

We each took a plate and began choosing things from the huge display.  I took some toast, bacon, scrambled egg and a glass of orange juice, that was plenty for me, I didn’t even know if I’d be able to eat it.  

“Donuts?” I asked and raised an eyebrow at Chloe 

“Well…why not?  We’re on holiday after all” she laughed and I couldn’t help laughing too.  If I didn’t laugh, I’d cry at the situation I was in. 

We found a table and sat down.  It was hard to believe that this hotel had so many restaurants and so much choice.  Las Vegas really was like another world.  If only I could step out of this crazy world like as if none of this really happened. 

“So, you really can’t remember marrying him?” asked Chloe as I shook my head “God Steph, out of all of us, you’d be the last one I expected to do something so stupid” 

“I know, I know” I said shaking my head “you think I don’t know that.  I just don’t know what possessed me” 

“So, after you left the casino, do you know where you went?” asked Izzy “if only I’d been with you” 

“Shit…” I began and trailed off as another flashback hit me. 

~*~ 

“I know the perfect place for dancing” said Nick “it just opened up a few months ago and is THE place to go” 

“Cool” I said, eager to go wherever he suggested “lead the way Nick” 

We all climbed into a car which someone mustve ordered, although I was too drunk to really care how the car got there.  In no time at all we were speeding towards this supposedly good club.  I was sat between Jason and Nick, but wished that I was alone with Jason, the man was incredibly gorgeous.  I looked at him from the corner of my eye and caught him looking at me; he turned away quickly and stared out of the window. 

“Wow Nick, you weren’t kidding about this place” Howard said as we all walked in, avoiding the queue outside due to Nick and AJs celebrity status (Howard and Jason werent so well known here).  Howard then made his excuses and disappeared to go and check out the DJ, leaving me with Jason, AJ and Nick. 

“Hey, I’ve just spotted someone I really need to talk to, Ill be right back” said Nick and he vanished into the crowd. 

“Drinks?” AJ suggested “I’ll go and get them whilst you find us a table.  What are you both having?” 

Jason looked at me to answer first.  “Ill have vodka and coke please” 

“Just a water for me thanks” said Jason. 

“Shall we find a table?” I suggested and Jason followed me.  He wasn’t very talkative and I found myself making all the conversation.  Eventually AJ found us and set our drinks down, but before he even had chance to sit down, Jason was up out of his chair and muttering that he had to go.  I was left wondering what Id done, what Id said to make him act like this.  I downed my vodka and went to the bar for another. 

~*~ 

“What Steph?  What do you remember?” asked Izzy 

“I remember that Jason didn’t like me, and I don’t know why” I said as I felt tears begin to form in my eyes.  I quickly took a drink of my juice and tried to calm myself down.  I was not going to cry because Jason Orange had been an ignorant arse, no way. 

“What did he say?” asked Chloe 

“That’s just it, he hardly said a word, it was like trying to get blood out of a stone” I said. 

“Well, his loss” Jess said as she dug her spoon into a dish of ice cream. 

“Speak of the devil…there he is” said Izzy “and he’s heading over here” 

“Oh god” I mumbled. 

“Morning” he said, standing awkwardly with his hands in his pockets “mind if I join you?” 

“No, not at all” Chloe said. 

“Thanks” he smiled then turned towards me “listen…Steph, about last night…” 

“Let’s go and get some more ice cream” said Jess and signaled for Izzy and Chloe to follow.  They took the hint and jumped up from the seats to leave me alone with Jason. 

“Erm, I’m sorry about my friends” I blushed. 

“No Steph, I’m sorry.  Last night I had the most awful migraine and I just couldn’t think or see straight, it took all my effort to just get back to the hotel.  I’m sorry if I came across as a right twat” he said. 

Fuck. 

“You didn’t” I lied, although that was exactly how I had been thinking of him not so long ago.  “Are you OK now?” 

“Yeah, all I needed was to get my head down after taking a couple of painkillers.  I’m fine now, although still a little tired” he said and yawned.  As he did so, he stretched his arms up and exposed a small sliver of toned stomach.  My eyes snapped back up to his face before he caught me checking him out.  God, he was simply stunning. 

We sat for a few moments, neither of us saying a word, just glancing at each other and then shyly turning away.  Then I heard him take a deep breath and he began to speak. 

“Steph, I really wanted to get to know you last night…no, that sounds bad, it sounds like I wanted to…oh never mind” he said, a little flustered “what I meant was, I would like to get to know you, but we’re going home today”.  I heard the regret in his voice. 

“I wanted to get to know you too Jason” I said.  But instead I was marrying AJ friggin McLean and having lots and lots of sex, arghhh! 

“Maybe we could meet up back home?  I mean, that’s if you want to of course.  It doesn’t have to be a date, just…” he began but I cut him off. 

“I’d love to” I replied. 

We swapped phone numbers, Jason put his number into my phone and I did the same with Jason’s phone.  Then we were interrupted from any further talk by my friends returning. 

“Well, I’d better go” he said as he began to stand up. 

“No, don’t feel you have to go because we’re here” said Izzy 

“Seriously, I’m just going to grab something quick to eat then I have to pack, I doubt Howard is even up yet, so I’ll have to go and wake him” he said “but Steph, I’ll give you a call in a few days”.  He leaned over and kissed me on the cheek, making me blush furiously. 

“Erm, OK” was all I managed to say. 

“Bye Jason” my friends called out together and we watched him walk away. 

“OH MY GOD!” Chloe said “I thought he was an ignorant arse?  What happened?” 

“I got him wrong” I said “last night, he wasn’t well, he had a migraine.  Oh fuck, what the hell am I going to do?” 

“Well, first things first, you need to see AJ and get this marriage ended” said Jess 

“Then when we get home, you are going on a date with Jason Orange, woohoo” said Izzy excitedly “lucky cow!” 

Oh god, Jason Orange wants to see me again, on a date!

Chapter End Notes:
Poor AJ, she doesn't think much of him does she?  Don't worry though, this isn't turning into a Take That story, there'll be more AJ soon :)
Chapter 10 by Carter-Orange
Author's Notes:
Thanks for reading, here's the next bit.

Chapter 10 

We’d all finished breakfast and were heading back towards the lifts, undecided on what we were going to do today, but all knowing that we wanted it to be fun-packed and something to take my mind off the whole Mrs McLean thing.  There were a couple of things on my list that we could easily do here, like the scary rollercoaster ride for example and maybe the fast car.  That should take my mind off it for a while. 

We got back to our suite and all flopped down on the oversized sofas, grabbing at the many tourist leaflets to browse through in order to decide what we were going to do today. 

“Hmm, what do you fancy girls?” I asked as I looked at a leaflet for day trips to the Grand Canyon.  I quite liked the idea of going there, but wasn’t so sure about the little plane we’d have to take to get there, or the sky walk; that looked petrifying to me.  I wasn’t really one for doing things out of my comfort zone.  But then what was this trip all about if not to do things out of the ordinary.  Yeah, you sure did something out of the ordinary last night Steph! 

“We could do that Grand Canyon trip if you want, that skywalk looks pretty cool too” Izzy said, her face the picture of excitement. 

“I’m up for it” said Jess 

“Me too” agreed Chloe 

“Well, count me in too” I said 

“I’ll just call and book it, hopefully we can go today, if not we’ll do it tomorrow yeah?” Izzy said as she began dialing the number on the leaflet. 

A few minutes later and she was off the phone. 

“Grab your things girls, we’re going to the Grand Canyon” she said with a huge smile on her face “and Steph, you’ll be pleased to know that we’re not going on a plane” 

“Thank god for that” I said and sighed with relief as I imagined us driving there or something like that.  I wasn’t even sure how far away it was. 

“We’re going by helicopter instead” she said excitedly 

“Fuck” I muttered.  That was even worse, but at least it would count as a scary ride and would be another item ticked off my list.  That’s if I managed to work up the courage to step into the helicopter! 

We made our way to the helicopter departure place, which was conveniently located on the strip, and paid for the tickets which had been reserved only a short time ago.  Twenty minutes later and we were walking towards the awaiting helicopter.  I gulped loudly and wiped my sweaty palms on my jeans. 

“It’ll be fine Steph” Jess reassured me “deep breaths remember” 

“OK” I mumbled, although no amount of deep breathing was going to calm me down.  Helicopters were one of my worst nightmares when it came to travel.  I don’t know why as I’d never been on one, but I just didn’t like the idea. 

I knew why I’d been right to be afraid. 

The helicopter lifted up into the air and swung around to change direction, then took off for the Grand Canyon.  It was noisy, fast, terrifying and I kept my eyes closed for most of it.  I kept chanting to myself in my mind ‘everything’s gonna be OK’ over and over when I felt like my terror was going to overcome me. 

Eventually we landed and I could breathe easily again.  The other girls had loved it and told me I’d missed out on some spectacular views.  I could live with that fact! 

I didn’t breathe easy for long. 

We walked into a large building (which was the gateway to hell as far as I was concerned) and paid the entrance fee.  It was quite pricey, but it wasn’t like I couldn’t afford it, I could just think of more fun things to spend money on! 

The skywalk was terrifying; it was literally exactly what it said on the tin, a walk in the sky!  Jutting out from the rocks in a kind of D shape, the walk was made entirely of glass (supported by steel), so that it offered an incredible view of the canyon below.  Not to mention the fact that it was 4000 feet above water! 

“I don’t think I can do this” I said to the three girls beside me.  I was trembling with fear. 

“Come on Steph.  We’re here now, you have to.  Plus it’s on your list isn’t it, doing something scary” Chloe reminded me. 

“I know, it’s just that…well…it’s so high up and you know I hate heights” I sighed in defeat.  I knew there was no getting out of this. 

“Come on, it’ll be fun, you’ll see” Izzy said.  Alright for her to say that, nothing seemed to scare her. 

“Do you mind if I just hang out here for a while…to get used to the idea first?” I asked “You go on ahead and I’ll go and get a drink or something in the cafe.  It’s not like we’re in any rush, we can stay here as long as we want” 

“OK, but as long as you’re going to be alright on your own” Jess said and placed her hand on my arm reassuringly. 

“I’ll be fine.  I’ve just got to get my head around it” I said.  From where I was standing, I was never going to get my head around it.  “Go on, I don’t want to spoil your fun” 

And then they were gone. 

I turned and walked back towards the café, purchased a muffin and a coke and took a seat at an empty table.  I pulled my phone out of my bag and slid it open to check for messages or missed calls.  There weren’t any.  I wondered if AJ had managed to get hold of anyone to start the ball rolling for the annulment.  I knew he would’ve called me though if there was anything I needed to know.  I knew he regretted last night as much as I did and would want it out of the way as quickly as possible.  

“Mind if I join you?” asked a deep voice that was strangely familiar, pulling me out of my thoughts. 

I looked up and saw AJ standing there with a cup of something hot.  Great!  Can the day get any worse? 

“Erm…OK” I replied shyly, although after what I’m sure we’d got up to last night, I should be anything but shy. 

He took a seat opposite me and sipped on his coffee before opening his mouth to say anything more. 

“Well this is awkward” he said eventually 

“Yes, it is isn’t it” I replied 

“So…about last night…” he began 

“Can we please not talk about last night?” I pleaded “it’s all kind of a blur…” 

“So you don’t remember much either?” he interrupted 

“No, not really” I replied and felt my face burning and decided to change the subject “so, what are you doing here?” 

“What are you doing here?” he asked without answering my question. 

“You first” I insisted 

“Oh…I guess I may as well just admit it.  Nick dragged me here, but I hate heights, I just couldn’t bring myself to walk on that glass walkway…no fucking way” he shuddered at the thought and I laughed.  He looked at me like I’d offended him. 

“I’m sorry; I’m not laughing at you.  I’m laughing because that’s exactly the reason I’m sitting here too” I admitted. 

“Well, that’s one thing we have in common” he smiled at me. 

I looked away embarrassed.  His smile brought back another hazy memory from the night before, one which I’d rather not remember. 

~*~ 

“Do you Stephanie Jane Mahoney, take this man, Alexander James McLean to be your husband?” asked a guy in an Elvis costume. 

“Yes, I do” I giggled as I stood there wrapped in his arms. 

“And do you Alexander James McLean take this woman, Stephanie Jane Mahoney to be your wife?” the Elvis guy asked AJ 

“I sure do” he replied and grinned down at me adoringly. 

When it came to the exchange of rings we looked at each other and shrugged, then AJ took off one of his rings and slipped it onto my finger and I reached into my little bag and retrieved a pen and drew a ring around his finger.  The Elvis guy raised an eyebrow curiously and muttered “whatever” to himself and then pronounced us husband and wife. 

Before he had a chance to say “you may now kiss the bride”, AJ lifted me into his arms and brought his mouth crashing down on mine and began carrying me down the small aisle, his mouth locked with mine the whole time and my arms around his neck. 

“Mrs McLean, I’m gonna make love to you all night long” he said huskily. 

~*~ 

I snapped out of my little flashback and glanced across at AJ. 

“Don’t worry Steph” he said gently “we’ll sort it out, I promise” 

“I know” I replied and smiled at him warmly.  We sat there talking for a while, and I had to admit to myself that he was quite a nice guy. 

“Now, shall we go out there and face our fears?  Or stay here and eat muffins all day long” he looked at my now almost gone muffin. 

“Well, I'd rather stay and eat muffins all day, but the whole idea of coming here was to do new and challenging things” I said “so I guess we ought to go out there” 

“I’ll give it a go if you will” he said and stood up to leave. 

“If I fall to my death, I’ll hold you personally responsible” I joked and also stood. 

Chapter 11 by Carter-Orange
Author's Notes:
Here's the next bit, hope you enjoy and please review!  Thanks :)

Chapter 11 

Well, I could now cross something else off my list.  I know it wasn’t quite a rollercoaster ride, but it had been just as scary!   

1.  Fall in love

2.  Own my own place

3.  The skinny dipping and sex on the beach one

4.  Learn a new language

5.  Ride a scary roller coaster whilst eating or bungee jump or something else equally as scary

6.  Road trip across the USA

7.  Blow a fortune on a single night out

8.  Drive a flash car way too fast (and not get caught)

9.  Swim with dolphins

10. Tell my boss to shove his job up his arse 

During the helicopter ride back to Las Vegas, my friends had grilled me about AJ. 

“There’s definitely something there between the pair of you” Chloe said “I could sense it” 

“There’s nothing between us…it was just one drunken mistake which we’re going to fix” I told her. 

“I agree with Chloe” Izzy said “the way the two of you acted around each other today, there is definitely something there” 

“You’re mistaken.  Just because I happened to bump into him and we talked, doesn’t mean anything.  He seems like a nice enough guy but I’m not interested in him that way, not my type at all.  Plus, I have a date with Jason Orange when we get home” I smiled.  I still couldn’t believe that Jason had asked if he could see me.  I’d fancied that man for so long from afar, I never thought I’d ever get the chance to meet him, let alone be asked out on a date! 

“Those celebs are just falling at your feet Steph” Jess teased and we all laughed. 

We arrived back at the hotel and decided on a night in, with room service and chick flicks.  So much had happened since we’d got here, we needed to relax and re-charge our batteries ready for a day of shopping. 

“This is the life” Izzy said after we’d all put on our PJs and were sitting around on the squashy sofas, looking at the room service menus. 

“I could get used to this” I said as I decided what to have, either a nice big burger and fries or something a little healthier. 

“So, what are we all having?” asked Jess “because I really like the look of the double bacon cheeseburger, fries and a chocolate milkshake” 

“Oh god, that does sound good, I think I’ll have the same” I said.  Who cared about the calories, we were on holiday! 

We ordered our food, along with drinks, popcorn (for the movies) and ice cream. 

“What do you fancy watching?” I asked “there’s a huge amount of movies to choose from” 

“Do they have Dirty Dancing?” asked Chloe 

“We have to watch that if they do!  I love that film…’no one puts Baby in the corner’…just classic” Izzy said. 

“And Patrick Swayze is just gorgeous; imagine dirty dancing with him or the man of your dreams…” Jess began but I didn’t hear what else she said as another flashback came to me. 

~*~ 

“I thought we came here for dancing, come on, lets dance” I stood up and grabbed AJ’s hand, pulling him up and leading him to the dance floor.  He happily obliged, gripping my hand in his as we found a space on the crowded dance floor. 

We moved to the beat of the music, bodies swaying and eyes locked on each other.  He reached out to me and grabbed me, pulling me closer so that our bodies were touching, his hands on my hips and my hands tracing the muscles on his back. 

“That’s better” he murmured into my ear and I felt a shiver down my spine at the feel of his lips against my skin.  

“Oh god” I muttered to myself and he chuckled softly.  This man was making me feel things I should not be feeling, at least not with a man I hardly knew!   

We danced for what seemed like hours, the electricity between us intensifying.  It was as if we were the only two people on the dance floor, no one else mattered as we rocked together to the pulsing beat of the music.  We were completely oblivious to everything but each other. 

“Come on, let’s go and get another drink, I think we both need to cool down before I have to have you right here, right now on this dance floor” he said huskily and took my hand, leading me to a vacant table. 

“If you insist” I teased. 

~*~ 

“Steph, are you OK?” asked Jess, waving her hand in front of my face. 

“Yeah, sorry about that, I was in a world of my own then” I said, blushing slightly. 

“Anyone nice?” Izzy winked. 

“No, it was nothing” I replied.  Although it hadn’t been nothing.  Dancing with AJ had been so incredible, so sexual…I felt my cheeks burning at the memory of how good it had been. 

I took a few deep and calming breaths and came back to reality, putting AJ out of my mind.  I knew I’d have to speak to him again soon, but for tonight I just wanted to forget it all with a good movie. 

“So, have we decided what we’re watching?” I asked. 

“Dirty Dancing and Ghost” Chloe replied. 

“Perfect” I said and settled down for a girls night in.

Chapter End Notes:
The chapters might be a little slower in coming after this one, only because Christmas is coming and I have a lot on.  I will find time to write though :)
Chapter 12 by Carter-Orange
Author's Notes:
Sorry for the wait, I've had a busy couple of weeks with parties and Christmas shopping etc, plus work has been crazy! 

Chapter 12 

The next morning I woke to the sound of my mobile ringing.  I reached out sleepily and hit the answer button. 

“Hello” I answered groggily, rubbing my eyes 

“Steph?” AJ asked uncertainly 

“Yeah, it’s me” I replied and looked at the time, it was 10.34am.  I wondered what he wanted, or whether he had any good news… like he’d spoke to his lawyer and this little fuck up was history. 

“Just calling to let you know I tried my lawyer again, but he’s out of the office until tomorrow” AJ explained “but don’t worry, we will get this sorted” 

“I’m going home tomorrow” I said and wondered what that would mean with regards to this annulment.  Would we be able to do it if I was back home in England?  Would I have to come back here? 

“I know, and I’m going home today” he said “but believe me, I’ll be straight onto my lawyer first thing in the morning” 

“Thanks” I said “and please let me know my share of whatever this will cost” 

“Will do” he replied 

There was an awkward silence for a few moments and then we said goodbye.  What else could we say?  It’s not like we meant anything to each other.  We were just a couple of people who made a big mistake after too much to drink.  We weren’t the first and I’m sure we wouldn’t be the last to get married in Vegas on the spur of the moment. 

I was wide awake then, so I got out of bed and wandered into the lounge area to see if anyone else was up.  They all were. 

“I was beginning to wonder when you were going to surface” teased Izzy 

“We have shopping to do remember?” said Chloe, looking at her watch 

“Give me twenty minutes max, and then we’ll hit the shops, OK” I said and ran back into my room and quickly stripped off and jumped into the shower. 

It was when I stumbled against the cold tiles in the shower cubicle in my haste that another flashback hit me…

 ~*~ 

The tiles were as cold as ice against my back but I didn’t care as I wrapped my legs around him and kissed him hungrily. 

“Fuck…I need you right now…so hot” he said and I felt the tip of him pressed against my core. 

“But what about…” I started saying, but he must’ve known exactly what I was talking about.  He carefully put me down, stepped out of the shower and grabbed one of the condoms from the bed. 

“Now, where were we?” he asked and trailed his hot lips along my shoulder, up my neck and then along my jaw. 

“Hmm, right about here” I answered and pulled him closer to me so that I was sandwiched between him and the cold marble of the tiles. 

He placed his hands under by ass and lifted me up, forcing me to wrap my legs around his torso, then with one swift movement we were joined in the most intimate way.  It was ecstasy.

 ~*~ 

“Oh god, will these stupid flashbacks ever stop?” I muttered to myself as I hurried to shower. 

I quickly dried and dressed, leaving my hair to dry naturally.  I added a little make-up and we were ready to go. 

“Come on then girls, the shops are waiting!” I said when I emerged from my bedroom. 

“Woohoo!!” came three excited replies. 

A little while later and we were in the hire car and heading for the mall.  There were a few malls to choose from, but we decided to go for the biggest, Boulevard Mall – more shops!! 

“Wow, this will keep us busy for a while” I said after parking up and getting out of the car. 

“Wonder what shops they have here?” Jess mused 

“Oh, I imagine they have everything we could want” Izzy said and we set off in the direction of the main entrance. 

“Shall we go to Dillard’s first?” asked Chloe and we headed in that direction. 

We walked in and were immediately drawn to the cosmetics and perfume section and began trying various fragrances on. 

“Mmm, I really like this one” I said, waving my wrist under my nose and inhaling Dior’s J’adore. 

“Yeah, I like that one too.  What do you think of this one?” asked Chloe, waving a sample card with Eternity Moments on it. 

“Oh, I do like that one” I said 

“Look over here” said Jess “if you spend over $55 on Estee Lauder, you get this amazing free gift” 

“That is nice” I said as I admired the freebie.  You got a make-up bag, a lipstick, miniature mascara, a blusher, perfume sample and some moisturizing cream. 

“Yeah, and I really do like Beautiful, so I think I’ll get it along with an eye liner to make it over the $55” she said with a smile. 

We made our purchases in that section of the shop and then moved on.  God knows how long we spent in that shop, but it was a long time.   

“Oh my god Steph, listen to what’s playing!” Izzy said and grinned at me as we were walking towards the exit.

I did notice that there was background music playing, but I’d not really paid any attention to it until that point in time.  Now I couldn’t help but notice what, or rather who was playing – it was More Than That by Backstreet Boys.  Great! 

“You’ve gotta admit it Steph, your hubby sure does have a sexy as hell voice” Chloe giggled. 

“He is not my hubby!” I said and blushed bright red, hoping no one else shopping could hear us. 

“Erm hello!  The wedding certificate says otherwise Steph” Izzy laughed 

“Come on, you know it was just a drunken mistake, it’ll soon be over and done with” I said and hoped they’d drop the subject. 

“That’s what you say now” Jess winked at me “but I agree about the voice, although Brian’s is better in my opinion” 

“OK, I give in…he does have a nice voice, happy now?” I relented.  If I was being honest, I’d have said that his voice, amongst other things, was incredible, but I didn’t feel like being 100% honest. 

“Come on, let’s go and eat” Chloe said and I was glad of the distraction.

Chapter 13 by Carter-Orange
Author's Notes:
Here's the next part, hope you like!  I'll try and update again before Christmas, but if I don't get the chance, hope you all have a lovely Christmas x

Chapter 13 

The following morning and it was time to pack up and go home.  So much had happened during this long weekend away, it was hard to believe that we’d only been here a couple of days.   

We’d crammed so much into it, and if it wasn’t for the whole drunken wedding thing, I’d have to say this was probably the best weekend ever.  But the whole AJ situation had kind of put a damper on things.  I still didn’t know how we’d ended up getting married, although I’d had a few flashbacks of some of our ‘activities’ from during the night.  Were we really that completely out of it, or was there something there between us?  Maybe I should just give in and watch the DVD – or maybe not.  Maybe it was best to just put it all behind me and pretend it never happened.  I had a date with Jason Orange to look forward to when I got home and I could hardly wait. 

I tried to put it all to the back of my mind and carry on with my packing.  Thanks to our previous days’ shopping trip, we each needed an extra suitcase! 

“My god Izzy, I think you bought practically the whole shop” I said as I watched her struggle to zip her case up. 

“I know, but those jeans are more than twice the price back home, I had to have a couple of pairs…and the shoes, you know what I’m like for shoes…and everything else.  I just couldn’t resist” she said and I laughed.  I knew exactly what she was like when it came to shopping. 

“Hey, you didn’t do so bad yourself” Chloe said turning to me and eyeing the pile of new clothes, the shoes, a couple of bags and other items. 

“Well, if you can’t treat yourself, who can you treat!” I laughed.  It’s not like I couldn’t afford it, I was a millionaire now.   It was still going to take some getting used to.  I was a millionaire.  I could do whatever I pleased…well, within reason, and I wasn’t going to be tied down to some crappy job anymore.  I was free! 

We finished off our packing and decided to go down for breakfast before heading over to the airport.  A nice big breakfast would set us up for the day…and it was going to be a long day, that was one thing for sure. 

“Have you heard anything from him yet Steph?” asked Jess 

“Who?” I asked, not knowing whether she was referring to Jason or AJ and the annulment. 

“AJ of course” she replied and rolled her eyes at me. 

“Oh right, no, nothing yet” I said and wondered whether he’d had chance to talk to his lawyer yet.  He’d be home now, wherever home was, not that I cared a damn.  

I pulled out my phone to check I’d not missed any calls or text messages. 

I hadn’t. 

We ate a satisfying breakfast, and then went back up to our suite to gather our belongings together and make sure we had everything.  I’d already taken quite a lot of photos, but I pulled my camera out of my bag and took a couple more photos. 

“We’ve had a good time haven’t we?  Apart from the obvious of course” I said as I cast my eyes over the suite one last time. 

“Definitely.  We should do it again sometime” Chloe said 

“But next time, we won’t let you marry anyone” Izzy laughed 

“Oh god no, once is enough!” I said and we all laughed. 

It was either laugh or cry. 

Nothing about marrying AJ was amusing.  It just wasn’t the kind of thing I would usually do; I didn’t even do one night stands! 

As we drove out of the hotel and down the Las Vegas strip, we looked at our surroundings one last time and then I put my foot down on the pedal and sped towards the airport. 

“Come on phone, why won’t you just ring” I muttered, out of hearing range of my friends.  I desperately wanted to know whether AJ had spoken to his lawyer.  But of course, the phone never rings when you want it to! 

We were halfway home when my phone began to vibrate in my jeans pocket.  I’d turned it on to silent so that it wouldn’t disturb any other passengers if it did actually ring.  I quickly fumbled about in my seat and soon had the vibrating phone in my hand.  I looked at the display – AJ’s number. 

“Hello” I said quietly 

“Hi” he said 

“So, any news?” I asked, getting straight to the point, not wanting to mess around wasting time on idle chit chat. 

“Bad news for both of us” he said grimly “spoke to my lawyer and he got straight down to business” 

“Yes, and?” I snapped icily at him, I just wanted the bare essentials, not an in depth account. 

“Jeez, would you let me finish” he said with as much frostiness in his voice as I’d had.  I could hear him muttering under his breath, but couldn’t make it out. 

Great Steph, just great, you could’ve been a little nicer to the guy!

“Carry on” I said, trying to sound a less of a bitch.  I wasn’t the heartless bitch he thought I was, I was just scared, confused, nervous and wanting my life back to how it was before I’d met him. 

“As I was saying…my lawyer got onto it and called me back just a few minutes ago.  He’s gonna get all the paperwork together, but he said that there’s a backlog of cases in the court, so we’ll just have to wait for a hearing date” he said 

“Does that mean I have to come back there?  How long will we have to wait?” I asked, my voice barely concealing my horror that we couldn’t just do this within a couple of days. 

I had hoped that all I’d have to do was sign a legal document and that would be it.  No such luck obviously. 

“Fuck knows how long we’ll have to wait…and yes, you will have to come back here.  Sorry Mrs McLean, but you’ll just have to be married for a little while longer than we both wanted” he replied. 

“Asshole” I spat at him down the phone. 

“And you’re a frosty bitch, but hey, we can’t all be perfect can we” he said 

“Urgh, you are as far from perfect as can be” I retorted.  I was unable to stop myself. 

“Well hey baby doll, you thought I was pretty god damn perfect on our wedding night, if I remember rightly” he came back with and I knew he was trying to wind me up further. 

“In your dreams McLean!  And for your information, I don’t remember that night at all” I told him 

“Nothing at all? he asked incredulously 

“No, nothing” I lied “now if you don’t mind, I have an in-flight movie to watch, goodbye” 

I hung up before we said anything else we’d regret.

Chapter 14 by Carter-Orange
Author's Notes:

Thanks for reading!  Here's the next part, sorry it's not that long, but I'm off for a whole week after Christmas Eve so hopefully I'll get plenty more written :)

Chapter 14

Of course my friends and probably half the plane had heard my little argument with AJ, but I was almost beyond caring. I took a few deep breaths to try and calm myself before the inevitable barrage of questions from my friends. I knew they meant well and were only being there for me, but I really didn’t feel like talking about it. I wanted to bury my head in the sand and pretend none of it was real.

“So, I guess that was AJ then?” Chloe asked to get the conversation going.

“Yep” I said, not elaborating at all on what we’d talked about. I was still fuming with him.

“Y’know, for a couple of people who hardly know each other…you sound just like a married couple” Jess said and then looked away, obviously realizing it was not what I wanted to hear.

“They ARE a married couple Jess” Izzy smirked and I just glared at her, daring her to say another word on the subject.

“OK, I’m sorry, that was out of order” Izzy apologized “but you are married to the guy”.

“I know. Look, I’m sorry for being snappy, but he’s just wound me up so much” I said and ran my hands through my hair in exasperation.

“Why, what did he say?” asked Chloe

I took a moment to recall the conversation.

“He called me a frosty bitch” I said and winced. At the time I’d deserved it. I had acted like a right bitch to him. But he’d also acted like an asshole. We were even.

“So you called him an asshole” Izzy said “we heard that bit”

“Yeah, he deserved it” I smiled

“What about the annulment? Has he spoken to his lawyer?” asked Chloe

“Yeah. Apparently there’s a backlog of cases, so who knows how long this will take” I shrugged

“Well, at least the ball is rolling now. Don’t worry about it, everything will work out in the end” Jess reassured me.

“Yeah, I guess so” I muttered.

We changed the subject then. I think they knew I didn’t really want to talk about it anymore, and there was nothing else to tell anyway.

A distraction came in the form of the in-flight meal. Not very appetizing in the least, even though we were in first class, but I managed to eat a bit of it as it had been several hours since breakfast and my stomach had begun to rumble. It filled a gap.

I closed my eyes for the last hour of the flight and was woken by the sound of the captain announcing that we’d shortly be arriving at Heathrow Airport and to fasten our seatbelts.

“I can’t wait to see Jake” Jess gushed “I wonder if he’ll like the present I got him”

 “I’m sure he will” I said confidently

“Well, I can’t wait to see my bed” Izzy yawned out “I’m knackered”

“Oh me too” Chloe said

“And me three” I laughed

The plane touched down with a bump and came to a stop at the terminal a couple of minutes later. It was such a relief to get off the plane and be back on solid ground again. We’d been travelling for what felt like days.

After collecting our cases from the carousel, we made our way out of the airport and into the typical British weather – rain! I was glad I’d paid the extra car park charge and parked in the closer car park. We were drenched enough walking that short distance, I dread to think what state we would’ve been in if we’d parked in one of the other car parks.

I dropped the girls off at their houses and carried on the short distance back to my tiny little place. Maybe it was time I bought something bigger, I could afford it now that I’d won the lottery. But I’d think about that another day. I just wanted to get in and kick off my shoes and collapse into bed.

Before I went to sleep though, I realized I’d not switched my phone back on after the little disagreement with AJ. As soon as the phone powered up, I noticed that I had a text message.

Yes, I am an asshole. I’m sorry.
AJ

I smiled as I read his message. “At least he admits it” I giggled and pulled up a new message.

Sorry for being a bitch
Steph

I texted him back and held onto the phone, wondering if he’d reply. I didn’t have to wait long before the phone was vibrating in my hand.

That’s OK, lol
I’ll let you know when I hear anything else
AJ

I began replying to him.

OK, night then
Steph

I hit the send button and put the phone down on my bedside table, then switched off my lamp. The phone vibrated again and I reached out for it.

Sweet dreams

I smiled and placed the phone back down. Within minutes I was asleep, but my dreams were far from sweet.

Chapter End Notes:
Please review and let me know how you think the story is going so far.  Thanks!
Chapter 15 by Carter-Orange
Author's Notes:
Hope you all had a lovely Christmas, here's the next part.

Chapter 15 

A couple of days passed without hearing from AJ again and I began to think I’d imagined the whole thing.  It was easy to think that way now that I was back home in England and back to reality.  AJ was like a distant dream. 

I thought a little more about my list, there were still quite a few things on there that I’d not accomplished yet. 

“Well, I can soon change that” I said to myself and decided to go and visit a couple of Estate Agents and see if I could cross number two off my list sometime soon. 

I drove to the more up market area of the city and parked my car outside of an Estate Agents office.  I decided that before I went in, I’d have a quick look at some of the houses advertised in the window, to see if anything caught my eye.  There were a couple of very promising looking houses.  I didn’t want anything too big seeing as I’d be living there alone, but I knew I wanted something with a garden and decent sized rooms…oh and a garage. 

“Seen anything you like?” said a strangely familiar voice and I turned to come face to face with none other than Jason Orange. 

“Jason!” I said, my voice full of surprise. 

“Hi Steph, I thought it was you” he said “what a coincidence seeing you here, I was going to call you later to see if you still fancied going out” 

I bit on my bottom lip guiltily for a moment.  I felt torn.  Would it be so wrong to go out on a date with the man I’d admired from afar for so many years?  Did it matter that technically I was a married woman?   

Fuck it!  Go for it Steph, it’s Jason Orange for god’s sake!  You’ve fancied him since you were a teenager.  Do it! 

I listened to the devil on my shoulder and replied “Of course I’d love to go out with you Jason” 

“Great” he smiled “are you free later?” 

“Later would be perfect” I smiled back “I’m just looking at houses right now as I’m thinking of moving” 

“Oh yeah?  You thinking of living around here?  I only live around the corner” he pointed off into the distance. 

“So we could be neighbours one day” I said shyly and looked up at him from under my eyelashes. 

“Hmm yeah” he said “so, about tonight, I know this lovely little Italian place ‘Casa Mia’ –“ 

“I know it” I said 

“Great, I’ll see you there about eight?  Is that OK?” he asked 

“Perfect” I said “I’ll see you then” 

“OK, I’ve gotta dash, so much to do and so little time” he said and then was gone. 

Well that was a little abrupt! 

I got myself together and walked into the Estate Agents, although my mind was now all over the place and Jason was to blame. 

“Can I help you?” asked a snooty looking woman from behind her desk. 

“Erm…yes.  Could I get the details for number 126 Springfield Road and 45 Easterly Way please?” I asked 

“Do you have anything to sell?” she asked 

“No, I’m renting at the moment” I replied 

“And what is your budget?” she asked, looking at me as if I was a complete time waster, you know the ones who just want to look around posh houses for something to do on a Saturday afternoon. 

“I don’t have a budget in mind, but when I find the right house, the cost won’t matter” I said confidently. 

“Well then, here you go” she said and handed me the printed details “if you’d like to arrange a viewing then please do not hesitate to contact us” 

“Thanks” I said and walked out the door.  “Stuck up cow” I said under my breath. 

I sat in the car and looked over the house details.  I immediately discarded one of them, the photos depicted a house which would need a lot of renovation, and they were asking a ridiculous amount of money for it too!  The other one, the one on Springfield Road, looked quite promising.  I decided to drive by before making an appointment. 

“Nice” I said to myself as I looked at the outside of the house.  It was in a nice area, was well kept and the neighbouring houses also looked in good order.  This could be the house for me. 

That evening I took my time getting ready for my date.  I wanted to look my very best.  This was Jason Orange after all.  I’d had posters on my bedroom wall of him whilst I was a teenager, and now I was actually getting the chance to go out with him on a date.  This was the kind of thing dreams were made of. 

“You’ll do” I said to myself as I looked in the mirror.  I dabbed a bit of perfume on and checked that I hadn’t got lipstick on my teeth, then grabbed my bag and keys and was out of the door and on my way to meet Jason. 

I arrived at the restaurant at a few minutes to eight o’clock and was shown to the table.  Jason hadn’t arrived yet, so I ordered myself a drink and sat there nervously waiting for him. 

What if he doesn’t show? 

Just a few minutes later, Jason strolled in looking drop dead gorgeous in a dark shirt and jeans.  I hoped my mouth wasn’t hanging open.  He had a couple of days worth of stubble which only added to his sexiness, and his hair was begging to have fingers running through it.  I’d have to control myself and not let the Take That fan inside of me ruin this. 

“Sorry I’m a bit late” he said as he took his seat “you look lovely” 

“Thanks” I replied “so do you” 

A waiter came over to us with menus and we occupied ourselves with them for a couple of minutes.  There were so many yummy looking things on the menu, it was hard to choose, but eventually I’d made up my mind. 

“Ready to order?” asked the waiter. 

“Yes” Jason replied and indicated for me to go first.  What a gentleman. 

“I’ll have the garlic mushrooms to start, followed by lasagna and sautéed potatoes” I said 

“Are you sure about that Steph?  There’s a lot of calories in that, wouldn’t you rather something a little lighter?” Jason said quietly to me and I hoped no one else could hear. 

I plastered a forced smile on my face and told Jason that that’s what I was going to have to eat.  He returned his attention to the waiter and ordered his food. 

The cheek of the guy!  Presuming what to order for me! 

We chatted whilst we waited for our food to arrive, but Jason was not very forthcoming with information about himself, not personal information anyway.  I was glad when the food arrived as conversation was a little on the thin side. 

“This is delicious” I said as I ate my starter of garlic mushrooms. 

“Think of how hard you’ll have to work out to work that off tomorrow” he smiled as he forked a mouthful of salad into his mouth. 

“I don’t care about the calories” I replied and I meant it.  I didn’t overdo it, but I liked to eat what I wanted when I went out.  What was the point in going out otherwise?  My weight had never been an issue. 

“Well, when you’re in the kind of job I’m in, you can’t afford to look anything less than perfect.  A few gained pounds and the papers try to make out you’ve got a weight problem” he said. 

There was no way anyone could accuse Jason of having a problem with his weight.  He was perfect in every way.  But I suppose I could understand his point of view.  I’d seen those very unflattering pictures in papers and magazines of celebrities not looking their best.  But really, was one night out going to do any harm?  I thought he was over reacting a little. 

When we’d finished our main course, our waiter offered us the dessert menu but Jason told him we didn’t want dessert.  I really didn’t think I had room for anything else, but I would’ve liked to have answered for myself. 

He insisted on taking care of the bill, which was one thing I didn’t mind him doing. 

“Would you like to come back to my place?” he asked “it’s still early and I really don’t want the night to end here” 

Yes!!!! 

“Yeah, that would be nice” I replied.  Maybe once we were alone, he’d open up and show me the real Jason. 

“Great, do you have your car because I don’t.  I got a taxi here” 

“I’m parked out the back, come on” I said and led the way. 

He gave directions whilst I drove.  I put on a CD (Foo Fighters) quietly as the silence in the car was a little awkward.

“Well, here we are” he said and I stopped outside quite an impressive looking house. 

Once inside, he took my jacket and hung it up and then proceeded to show me around.  His house was lovely, in a show home kind of way.  Everything was perfect, but it didn’t look very lived in. 

“And this…” he opened a door and ushered me inside “is my bedroom” 

I noticed that this room looked less stark than the rest of the house, but before I had chance to notice much else, I was being kissed and moved towards the bed.  

“Wait…Jay…stop” I pushed gently against him.  This was moving way too fast for my liking.  

“But this is what you want” he insisted and moved towards me as I stepped backwards. 

“No…this is not what I want.  I wanted to get to know you better first” I said. 

“And isn’t this getting to know each other?” he said and advanced again. 

“No, it’s not.  I didn’t come here to sleep with you” I said 

“Then why did you come here?” he asked and muttered “cocktease” under his breath. 

“I have no idea” I said “but I was obviously mistaken” 

I stomped out of his house, glad that I had my car and didn’t have to suffer the humiliation of calling a taxi and waiting out on the street. 

“Wait, Steph, you can’t just walk out on me!” he pleaded 

“Watch me” I said and carried on walking. 

All the way home I kept thinking what an idiot I’d been.  All these years and I’d just been in love with an image.  The man behind that image was a complete twat!

Chapter End Notes:
Please review and Happy New Year x
Chapter 16 by Carter-Orange
Author's Notes:
Here's the next bit, hope you like!

Chapter 16 

After a restless night of tossing and turning and analyzing the ‘date’ with Jason, I came to the conclusion that I was over my infatuation with him.  I’d been too blinded by his looks to see the real person, but now the blinkers were off and I saw him for who he really was – a man who thought taking a girl out for dinner entitled him to sex!  Well, I’d shown him.   

Even though I’d obviously made the mistake of marrying AJ in a moment of drunken madness (and then spent the night having lots of sex, which was all kind of a blur), it didn’t mean I was going to drop my knickers for anyone.  No way.  I wasn’t that kind of girl.  Even if he was gorgeous to look at and I’d fancied him for a long time.  I preferred to get to know a guy before taking things to that level.  Of course I had no rational explanation for what had happened with Alexander James McLean on that fateful night. 

I decided that what I needed to help me relax was a nice long soak in the bath with a good book, and then I’d call the girls and tell them all about Jason ‘asshole’ Orange.  Sharing my problems with them was always a therapeutic experience. 

About an hour later, I emptied the bath before I turned into a prune and got myself dry and dressed.  Seeing as I had no special plans for the day, I just put on my comfiest jeans and an old t-shirt and tied my hair back in a ponytail. 

“Hi Jess” I said a little while later on the phone. 

“Oh hi Steph, I was just thinking of you” she replied “Any goss?  Heard from AJ?” 

“No, I’ve not heard from him but I’m sure I will as soon as he has anything to tell me.  As for goss…I went out with Jason Orange last night” I said 

“Wahhhh!!! Oh my god Steph!  What happened?  When are you seeing him again?  You didn’t tell him about what happened in Vegas did you?” she bombarded me with question after question and I had to cut in and stop her so that I could begin answering. 

“First of all, I’m not seeing him again” I told her bluntly 

“Why?” she asked 

“Because he’s a complete arse, that’s why.  He’s self-obsessed and I think he could be a bit of a control freak given the chance” I said as I remembered him trying to tell me what I should and shouldn’t be ordering from the menu in the restaurant. 

“Really, in what way?” she asked 

“Oh, he tried to tell me what to order to eat and made a big deal out of it, even complaining about the amount of calories in my meal.  He seemed only interested in himself and made no real effort with conversation, unless we were talking about him or nutritional values of food” I explained 

“What a prick” she said 

“Yeah, exactly.  And that’s not all.  He invited me back to his place and stupidly I agreed.  I thought we could talk, you know, get to know each other.  I thought he’d open up a bit and show me the real Jason behind that façade.  But he expected more and I got more of him that I wanted” I told her 

“And what did you do?  You didn’t sleep with him did you Steph?” she asked 

“No, of course not!  Urgh, I bet he’d be shit in bed anyway, he’s way too selfish” 

“Good girl” she said 

“He tried it on of course, but I pushed him off me and told him no” I said “oh Jess, it was a complete disaster” 

“Well, at least you know now.  You can stop fantasizing about him” she giggled 

“Oh yeah, that’s well and truly cured my little Jason obsession” I laughed along with her. 

We chatted about other things then and I was glad to listen to her news.  I spoke to Izzy and Chloe too and had similar conversations.  We decided to get together the following Saturday for a girls night in. 

I got on with some housework (yeah I know how to enjoy a weekend!) and whilst loading the washing machine a little while later, my mobile began to vibrate.  I closed the washing machine door and reached into my back pocket for my phone. 

Hey Steph, is it OK to call you?  We need to talk - AJ 

I quickly texted him back 

Yes, I’m at home - Steph 

I switched on the washing machine and walked into the living room.  The phone began to ring. 

“Hello” I answered, knowing that it was going to be AJ 

“Steph, good news” he said getting straight down to business “I’ve just heard that we have a date for the hearing, there’s a cancellation.  Only thing is, it’s Friday.  Can you get here for then?” 

“Erm…” 

“I know it’s short notice and I’m sure we can rearrange it if we have to” he said “but fuck knows how long we’ll have to wait if we don’t grab this chance” 

“I’ll have to check for flights, let me do that and get back to you OK” I said as I reached over to my laptop and opened it up. 

“Sure” he said and we ended the conversation. 

I began to search for flights to Las Vegas, seeing as that’s where we had to be to get this annulment.  Didn’t make sense to me, but then what did I know about the law?  It would’ve been so much easier if we could’ve just signed a few papers and that’s it, but nothing is ever that easy. 

So after browsing the internet for a little while, I found a flight at a reasonable enough price – yeah, I may be a millionaire now, but I was still me!  I didn’t like to be ripped off.  I looked at hotels, taking a virtual tour of quite a few before deciding to go back to The Bellagio, only this time I wouldn’t be in a suite, and I’d be alone. I grabbed my phone and returned AJ’s call. 

“Hi” I said when he answered after a couple of rings “I’ll be getting there Thursday morning” 

“Great” he said “are you sure you can manage the expense though?  Must be costing a fair bit” 

“I’m OK for money” I told him.  Obviously I hadn’t mentioned the lottery win to him. 

“You sure?” he asked “I don’t mind helping out, after all the sooner we do this, the better” 

“Look…I don’t want or need anything from you except an annulment” I said.  Why did this guy get to me like this?  He was only trying to be nice and I’d spoken to him like a complete bitch.  It just wasn’t me at all. 

“I can’t wait to give it to you” he said with as much venom as I’d given him 

“Good” I said and took a deep calming breath 

“Why do we always bring out the worst in each other?” he asked softly, more to himself than to me it seemed. 

“I really have no idea” I said and I meant it.  Why did he bring out the hidden bitch in me?  I was never like this to anyone. 

“I’ll see you Friday Steph” he said 

“Yeah, see you” I said and we hung up.

Chapter End Notes:
So, she's heading back to Las Vegas :)
Chapter 17 by Carter-Orange
Author's Notes:
Sorry for the delay, my laptop died on me and I wasn't able to write in work.

Chapter 17 

Before I knew it, Wednesday arrived and in just a few hours, I’d be heading to Las Vegas again.  Had it really only been two weeks since I’d been there? 

I packed my clothes and other necessities into my case, making sure I didn’t forget to put my passport in my carry on bag.  I’d printed off my boarding pass already and put that in my bag to keep it safe, so that was one less thing to worry about. 

Seeing as I didn’t have a job at the moment, I didn’t have the hassle of arranging time off work.  In fact, I had all the time in the world now.  I’d have to find something to occupy my time once I got this annulment business over and done with.  Maybe some part-time volunteer work or something like that.  Anyway, I could focus on that in the future; right now my mind was on other matters.   

I’d already called the girls to let them know I wasn’t going to be there for our girl’s night.  They wished me luck and asked me to call and let them to let them know that everything was OK once I got there.  I didn’t feel the need to tell my family I was going back to Las Vegas as that would’ve brought about some very awkward questions, and what they didn’t know wouldn’t hurt them!  Obviously I’d not mentioned the fuck up of a wedding. 

I was grateful that my flight was an overnight one, I could try to sleep on the plane and then hopefully wake up in a not too zombie like state in Las Vegas in the early hours of Thursday morning.  Well, that was the plan anyway! 

As is usual with me, nothing ever seems to go to plan. 

I ended up sitting next to a very punky looking guy (more piercings and tattoos than I’d ever seen on a person before, and that was saying something considering the amount AJ had)) with ear plugs in, although he may as well have just not bothered, I could hear every word of the music (if you could call it that) which he was listening to.  I was relieved when he yawned and removed the ear plugs, and then closed his eyes.  I was finally able to sleep, although it wasn’t the best sleep I’d ever had, but who can really sleep well on a plane? 

The plane eventually touched down in Las Vegas at about four am.  I was so tired that I closed my eyes once again during the taxi ride to my hotel.  I decided against hiring a car this time.  I didn’t really need one, wherever I had to go could be done by taxi or foot or even bus if I had to. 

“Here we are sleepy head” the taxi guy called out when we were outside The Bellagio. 

I paid my fare and carted my wheeled case and carry on bag through the doors and walked up to the reception desk.  Here we go again, this is like Déjà vu! 

“Can I help you?” asked the receptionist. 

“Hi, yes.  I’ve got a room booked, the name’s Steph Mahoney” I replied with a yawn.  I really needed to get some proper sleep. 

After a few moments of tapping away at her keyboard, I was handed my key card and told to have a pleasant stay.   

I was pleasantly surprised with my room.  After the sheer luxury of the suite we’d had last time, I really wasn’t expecting anything too fancy – I was mistaken.  It was quite a large room with a king-sized bed (with really fancy looking duvet and cushions), a flat screen TV, marble bathroom with bath tub and separate enclosed shower cubicle, automatic curtains and god knows what else.  I was so tired that I just took my shoes off and fell into the bed.  Within minutes I was fast asleep. 

It was lunch time by the time I surfaced.  I stretched and yawned, then dragged myself out of bed and into the bathroom.  A nice hot shower and some fresh clothes were just what I needed to make myself feel more human.  Once I looked a little more presentable, I decided to go and grab something to eat.  It was a little nerve wracking being in such a place on my own, but looking around; I noticed that I wasn’t the only one by myself.  Whether these other people were holidaying alone or just eating alone, I had no idea, but I didn’t feel quite such a loner anymore. 

Once I’d stopped my stomach from rumbling with a sandwich and a drink, I pulled my phone out to text my friends that I’d arrived safely.  I also deliberated whether to call AJ.   

I went back up to my room and unpacked properly, and then flung myself down on the bed.  Should I or shouldn’t I call him? Eventually I decided it was the decent thing to do to let him know I was here, so I sent a brief text message. 

I’m in Vegas, see you tomorrow – Steph 

I put my phone down on the bedside table and bit into the double chocolate chip muffin which I’d bought in the café to take away.  Moments later my phone vibrated. 

Cool.  Although we really should get together before we go into the court, papers to sign, etc.  Where you staying? – AJ 

I read his message and realized that he was absolutely right; we should meet up before going to the court.  I really didn’t know what to expect and couldn’t just stroll in there unaware and fumbling with paperwork I’d not even looked at.  Knowing my luck, I’d fuck it right up otherwise! 

Yeah, you’re right.  I’m at the Bellagio – Steph 

I waited for his reply. 

Well surprise surprise, so am I – AJ 

What were the chances of that? 

What time is good for you? – Steph 

I looked at my watch, it was almost five o’clock. 

How about 6 in that café next to the conservatory? – AJ 

Well at least if we were in a public place, we wouldn’t end up arguing with each other. 

See you there – Steph 

I fussed about with my appearance until it was time to leave my room, checking my make up and hair looked good.  Although why I was bothering, I couldn’t say.  It’s not like I wanted to look good for him.  I couldn’t have cared less what he thought of me, it’s not like I was attracted to him or anything.  He was so not my type of guy!  

Chapter 18 by Carter-Orange
Author's Notes:
Thanks for reading, here's the next part!
Chapter 18

It’s not like I was going on a date with the guy, we were meeting to discuss the annulment and what it entailed. So why was I suffering from those first date kind of nerves? Urgh. Keep calm Steph, just meet him, say what you have to say and get the hell back to your room.


I tried to look all calm and casual as I made my way to the café near the conservatory, but I’m sure I looked anything but. My palms were sweating and I felt slightly sick. What if seeing him again brought on more flashbacks? No thank you, I’d had enough of those to last a lifetime!

He was already there when I arrived. Wearing ripped jeans, a T-shirt which looked as if someone had taken a spray paint can and just gone a little crazy with the graffiti, and a pair of biker boots, he looked every inch the rocker as he leaned against the wall, all he needed was a cigarette dangling from his lips. And of course he had his trademark black nail varnish and eyeliner on (he’d left off the dark glasses though). He was as far from my type of guy as he could be. I still couldn’t comprehend how we’d got married. Now Nick Carter, I would’ve understood! Much more my type of guy, at least in looks.

“Hey Steph” he said when I reached him.

I noticed he looked a little nervous too. Good, that made two of us.

“Hi” I said shyly. I hoped this wasn’t going to be too awkward.

“Shall we grab a table? We can talk whilst we eat, I’m starved” he talked pretty fast, obviously trying to hide his nerves.

“Sounds good to me” I replied and we found a nice little table in a secluded part of the café, away from any other patrons who happened to be near by. Luckily, we didn’t have to worry about that as the place was pretty quiet.

We ordered our food, AJ ordered burger and fries with all the extras, whilst I ordered a toasted cheese sandwich as I wasn’t that hungry. We ordered a couple of beers to wash it all down with too.

Even though he was obviously recognizable (who could miss him!) no one bothered him, for which I was grateful and I’m pretty sure AJ was too. Imagine if some trashy magazines or newspapers got a hold of this story? It made me shudder to think about that.

AJ explained everything to me which his lawyer had told him. We’d go to court tomorrow, hand over the completed paper work, answer a few questions and then hopefully that would be it. We’d be single again and able to move on as if this never happened. Something we both wanted.

We ordered more beer and conversation began to flow easier after we’d loosened up with the alcohol.

“Do you remember anything about that night?” I asked him curiously. I wondered if he had holes in his memory like I did.

“Do you?” he asked rather than answer my question.

“I asked you first” I said and took another long drink of beer (which by the way, wasn’t bad).

“I remember some of it” he said

“Me too” I admitted

By now, I was feeling a little tipsy, but it was a nice feeling.

“Shower” he said and I felt myself blush from head to toes.

“I take it you remember then? It’s something I could never forget” he said and I felt as if his eyes were undressing me as he said it.

“Me neither” I admitted. Oh god, that shower had been so damn incredible.

“Your turn…what do you remember?” he asked

“Dancing, I remember dancing” I replied and closed my eyes for a moment as I recalled the feeling of his hands on my body.

“Mmm yeah, I remember that too” he said and smiled “it was quite some dance”

“I know” I said

By now we’d been sat at that table for at least a couple of hours. Our food was long gone and neither of us wanted anything else to eat.

“Shall we go to the bar?” he asked

I hesitated for a moment before answering. It’s just a couple of drinks Steph, no big deal.

“Look, I’m not asking to have sex with you…just a drink or two. I’m alone, your alone, it’s no big deal. But if you prefer, we can go our separate ways now” he said.

“OK” I replied and we left the café and headed to the nearest bar.

A couple of girls came up to AJ and asked for photos and his autograph, I just stood by and watched. They really seemed to think he was something special, the way they were all over him. Not that I cared.

“Sorry about that” he said a few minutes later “goes with the job”

“So I see” I said rather bitterly, but I don’t think he noticed.

“What would you like to drink?” he asked and then ordered our drinks.

Instead of finding somewhere to sit, we stood by the bar as we drank our drinks and talked. I really began to relax in his company and actually came to realize that he was quite a nice guy once you got past the looks. We chatted about all sorts whilst we knocked back drink after drink.

“Hi AJ, I’m a big fan of yours, wanna dance?” asked some fake looking slut who was wearing virtually nothing.

“Sure” he replied and had the nerve to hand me his drink whilst little miss fake tits dragged him to the dance floor.

The nerve of that guy, argh!!

I stood there like a spare part whilst she gyrated her scrawny little ass against his crotch. She looked like a cheap prostitute. Probably his type. Asshole!

“Hey, what’s a pretty girl like you doing standing here all alone?” asked a sleazy looking guy in clothes that wouldn’t look out of date at a 70’s party.

“I’m, erm…waiting for a friend” I replied and wished I didn’t feel so drunk

“Mind if I wait with you?” he asked, moving up closer to me and making me feel uncomfortable.

“I do mind actually” I replied, not wanting to be too rude, but wanting to get it across that I wasn’t interested.

“Oh c’mon sweetie, I know what girls like you hang around places like this for” he grinned at me “and believe me, I got plenty of money”

“Listen, I don’t want your money, now please leave me alone before I report you for harassment” I told him and edged away.

“You heard her” AJ said, placing his arm around me

“There you are” I said and wrapped my arms around him, going along with it

“Sorry pal” the sleaze ball said and walked off to try his luck elsewhere.

“You OK?” AJ asked softly

“Yeah, no thanks to you!” I muttered and unwrapped my arms from around his body

“Hey, I’m here aren’t I?” he said

“What happened to little miss hooker?” I questioned him

“Do I detect a hint of jealously there Mrs McLean?” he smirked

“Ha! You wish! And don’t call me that”

“Come on, admit it, you’re jealous” he teased

“Jealous of that? I don’t think so” I remarked “and you…you aren’t even my type!”

“Well I hate to break it to you babydoll, but you aint exactly my type either” he retaliated with.

“Thank god” I hurled back at him and we stood there having a shouting match for everyone to see.

“I just wish I knew what made me marry you, because I…”

Before I could finish what I was saying, his mouth crashed against mine roughly and his arms went around me, pulling me closer.

“I’ll show you exactly why you married me” he said and led me out of the bar.

I was a little too drunk and stunned to argue my way out of that one.
Chapter 19 by Carter-Orange
Author's Notes:
This chapter does contain some sexual content, but I've not gone into too much detail as I know that kind of thing isn't for everyone!  Hope you like and please let me know what you think :)

Chapter 19

Not only was I not in my own room when I awoke the next day, but I wasn’t alone either. I was lying naked in AJ’s bed, my legs entwined with his and my head resting against his chest as he snored softly.

Fuck! I’ve done it again. Was IS it about this guy?

I groaned inwardly and lifted my head off his chest as gently as possible so that I wouldn’t wake him, he didn’t stir. I leaned back against the pillows, tucking the covers around my naked body (although it was a little late to be self conscious now, he’d seen every inch of me and I had seen all of him) and recalled how it had come to this.

~*~

“I’ll show you exactly why you married me” he said and led me out of the bar.

Although drunk and stunned by that kiss, I soon came to my senses and tugged my arm back.

“AJ” I protested “what makes you think I’d go anywhere with you?”

“C’mon, I know you’re feeling this chemistry too” he said and gave me the full force of his lust filled chocolate eyes; he reached for my hand again.

“You think I’m attracted to you?” I said, not wanting to admit that deep down, I really was.

“Damn right you are, that kiss gave it all away” he said and before I knew it, we were kissing again and he was right, I was feeling that chemistry. I didn’t even fight it this time.

He led me masterfully towards the elevators, holding my hand tightly. I was feeling quite drunk and still in a state of euphoric bliss after that sensual kiss. The elevator doors pinged open and we stepped inside. He hit the button for the 8th floor, which I presumed must be his as it wasn’t mine.

“Fuck Steph, I don’t know what it is about you, but you drive me fucking crazy” he said and wrapped one hand around my lower back and the other hand behind my head, tangling his fingers into my hair.

He pulled me closer and I stepped forward clumsily (that’s the alcohol for you!). His fingers splayed across my back and I felt tingles of excitement run through my entire body at his velvet soft touch. He then moved his left hand from the back of my head and cupped my face, tilting it upwards slightly so that we were gazing into each others eyes.

I gulped audibly. His eyes had me enchanted. Deep pools of chocolate brown looking into, it seemed, my soul. I felt a wave of lust washing over me. He had the most gorgeous eyes I’d ever seen and when he looked at me like that, oh god, I just wanted to melt. He was intoxicating, like a drug, and I wanted, no needed a hit.

“I want you…right now” I said and shocked myself with my ardent thirst for him. No man had ever caused this kind of reaction from me before. I mean, of course there had been others, but nothing like AJ.

Good going for a man I claimed wasn’t my type!

“You can have it all” he said and pressed me up against the elevator wall, I could feel his desire for me. His lips found mine and we kissed with so much built up passion that it became a little frenzied. We were totally oblivious when the doors pinged open on the 8th floor and a couple stepped in.

“You might wanna get a room” the guy laughed and we immediately came to our senses.

“We fully intend to” AJ said and took my hand and led me out of the elevator and to his room.

He swiped his key card and pushed the door open, leading me into his room which was almost identical to my own. But I hadn’t come here to compare décor.

“Now, where were we before we were interrupted” he said and began trailing hot kisses down my neck and along my collar bone, his stubbly jaw scratching against my skin “hmm, I think right about here”

“Oh fuck” I murmured as he kissed my neck.

We couldn’t hold back any longer and the clothes began to come off. I fumbled with his unusual belt (can you believe it had the words ‘Jack Me Off’ on it!) and soon had it undone, along with his jeans. He pulled his t-shirt over his head and just threw it across the room, like he couldn’t get away from his clothes quick enough. I marveled at the sight of his body…perfect!

“I’m gonna savour undressing you” he teased.

And he did. It was heavenly.

“Fuckkkkk” I groaned with pleasure as he thrust two fingers deep inside me.

“Oh baby, I’m gonna fuck you all night long” he said and I shuddered with anticipation.

“Have you got any condoms?” I suddenly asked, my sensibility kicking in.

“Uh huh” he murmured and reached over to grab one. Thank god for that, I didn’t think I’d have the strength to stop this from going any further, I craved him, I needed him inside me, right now.

From the flashbacks I’d experienced, I knew he was great in bed, but this was something else. It was like our bodies were made for each other, we knew exactly what the other one of us wanted.

We moved from the bed, to the chair, then the shower before finally ending up back in bed.

“You feel… so… fucking good” he murmured as I rode him hard and fast, his hips bucking upwards to meet me “so fucking hot”

“Oh god…fuck…oh god…shit…” I panted as my body began to shudder with the effects of an incredible orgasm.

He growled out a few “fucks” too and then I slumped down on top of him in a heap. Afterwards, we lay there cuddled up in a blissed out state, just catching our breath. We ended up falling asleep, just as we were.

~*~


AJ began to stir. I contemplated jumping out of bed quickly before he woke, but it was too late. He turned to look at me, yawning and rubbing at his eyes.

“Morning” he smiled

“This changes nothing you know” I said. Hardly the morning greeting he was expecting, I’m sure!

“I know” he said “but it was one hell of way to say goodbye”

Chapter End Notes:
Hope it was OK and that the sex scene wasn't too crap!  Let me know, I don't mind constructive criticism as it helps me write better.
Chapter 20 by Carter-Orange
Author's Notes:
Here's the next bit, I hope you like as I'm a little unsure!
Chapter 20

I didn’t regret spending the night with AJ, not one little bit. How could I ever regret a night like that? We were sexually compatible even if we weren’t exactly compatible in any other way. But we both knew that today would be the end and we’d go our separate ways, our lives disconnecting from each other permanently.

Back in my own hotel room, I took a nice long shower, washing away the traces of AJ – where his lips had kissed, where his hands had roamed, etc. I then wrapped myself up in a fluffy towel and walked over to the wardrobe to select what to wear for court.

In just a few hours, I’d be single again! Hurray!

I dried myself and dressed, then straightened my hair and applied a little make-up.

“Very presentable” I said to my reflection in the full length mirror.

I’d not checked my phone since the night before, so pulled it out of my bag and read the few text messages I’d received from my friends, all wishing me luck for today, not that I needed it. How hard could it be? Surely we’d just walk in, do our bit, sign a few papers and leave. At least that’s how easy it looked in the movies!

At about 11.30 there was a knock on my door, not expecting anyone, I opened it warily.

“Thought we could go together…that’s if you’d like” AJ asked, standing there looking the most presentable I’d ever seen him.

Wearing black trousers, a crisp looking white shirt (with the top couple of buttons undone), a tie and a pair of polished black shoes, he looked very, very nice. He’d even ditched the eyeliner! I could quite fancy him now that he looked more refined, he scrubbed up well.

“Sure” I replied, relieved that I wouldn’t have to walk in there alone “let me just grab my bag, come in for a minute”

“OK” he said and stepped inside my room.

A few minutes later and we were ready to go.

“There’s a car waiting outside to take us” he said and held the room door open for me, like a true gentleman (which let me tell you, he was anything BUT).

“But…we’re going to court! Won’t it look a bit, you know, suspicious?” I asked, hardly able to believe he could be so stupid.

“Chill” he smiled “this guy is the soul of discretion; he’s been a part of the Backstreet Boys team for a long time. He won’t say a word to anyone. I’d trust him with my life”

“Well…that’s OK then, as long as you’re sure?” I asked. I needed to know for certain. I didn’t really fancy being caught by the paparazzi outside the court.

“Do you really think I want the world to know I’m married? Hell no! So let’s get going and get this over with” he said and ushered me towards the waiting car.

“AJ, what’s up dude” asked a giant of a man, hugging AJ in a manly embrace.

“Dude, I think you already know” AJ laughed and turned to me.

“Could be worse” he said and I was beginning to feel like a piece of meat on display in the market.

I scowled at AJ and folded my arms in annoyance. How dare he! The sooner I was single, the better. All the good feeling towards him had vanished again.

“Sorry Steph” AJ laughed “this is Paul. Paul, this is Steph, the future ex-Mrs McLean”

“Hey Steph” he greeted me and held the car door open for me to climb in.

“Hi” I replied politely and we travelled the short distance without saying a whole lot else. I was still pissed off with AJ.

“Good luck” Paul said when we pulled up at the entrance “call me later AJ”

“Sure thing” AJ said to his friend/security guy and we got out and walked up the couple of steps into the building.

“Come on then, let’s go and get this over with” I said vehemently.

I was so annoyed with the guy. Why did he have to be such a fucking dick? Why did he have to ruin what we’d just shared only last night? I knew this was the last I was going to see of him, so why did he have to act like that?

“What now?” he asked

“You know something? You really are an unpredictable bastard” I said and took a step forward.

“Thanks” he said appreciatively and trailed behind me.

Arghh, how infuriating!

“Ah look, there’s my lawyer Russell, come on” he said and I followed him across to where a scruffy looking man in his early thirties was obviously waiting for us. It figured that AJ should choose a lawyer as eclectic looking as himself!

“Bad news guys” he said as soon as we reached him “today’s judge is the Pitbull. Oh sorry, let me introduce myself, I’m Russell Brand and you must be Stephanie Mahoney”

“Pleased to meet you Russell” I said and we shook hands. At least he was polite and well mannered, unlike his client.

“Who’s the Pitbull?” I asked curiously “and why is it bad news for us, we’re only here for an annulment”

“I’ve googled her on my BlackBerry and let’s just say, she believes that marriage is for life and not just for LasVegas!” he replied

Great!

We chatted for a little while and despite Russell’s exterior, the man knew his stuff. I was confident that we’d left nothing undone and that very shortly, I’d be free of this sham of a marriage.

~*~

The court room was just like something you would see from a scene in a movie, although unfortunately, this was reality.

The judge introduced herself as Judge Joan Rivers and looked like a no nonsense type of woman, even if she’d had one too many face lifts (which by the way, made her look hideous).

“I’ve seen everything pertaining to this case, including the wedding DVD, and declare that this marriage is valid” she said coldly, her eyes flitting between myself and AJ.

“But…” Russell began and was interrupted.

“No, you listen here. I’ve had it up to here” she indicated towards her neck “of people like your clients, who come to Vegas for a weekend of careless hedonism and poke fun at the sanctity of marriage. Well, not on my watch!”

“But…” I started to speak; there was no way I was taking this shit.

“But nothing missy” she said in such a tone of voice that I didn’t dare answer her back – she might bite my head off.

AJ and I looked at each other.

“Marriage isn’t something to enter into on a whim, it’s a lifelong commitment. So, I’m not granting your request for an annulment” she said smugly “What I’m suggesting is that the pair of you work on your marriage. You’ll be required to attend fortnightly marriage guidance sessions for six months and if after that time you decide to go your separate ways, then your wish will be granted”

“But I live in England” I protested

Judge Joan Rivers turned to look at AJ “well, there’s going to have to be a little bit of compromise here, but I trust that the two of you will work out a suitable arrangement”

“I’m going back in the studio in a couple of weeks, I can’t drop everything to move to England for six months” AJ explained.

“And I can’t keep flying over here every two weeks” I said and stood facing AJ with my hands on my hips.

“Well, you could…it’s not like you have a job!” he voiced and snorted.

“And what’s that to you?” I defended myself

“Ha!” he retorted

“Are you implying something here?” I seethed at him.

“Oh no, I wouldn’t dare accuse you of being a gold digger” he sneered

“Well I’m glad to hear that, because there is nothing you have that I could possibly want and that includes money! I have plenty of my own” I shot back at him.

“Oh yeah, is that so?” he said patronisingly

“Yes, it is” I replied

“Children” Judge Joan Rivers shouted “I will not tolerate this in my court room. Now it seems to me like you two already act like a married couple, so go and work on your differences”

We were excused then.

“Well, that didn’t go quite as planned” Russell said, scratching his head.

We both turned to look at each other and then turned to Russell.

“Shut the fuck up!” we shouted in unison.
Chapter End Notes:
What do you think?  Let me know.  Also, I have no idea why the text changed colour halfway through!
Chapter 21 by Carter-Orange
Author's Notes:
Here's the next bit, hope you like.
Chapter 21

OK, so now we had a huge problem and there was no easy way out of it. We’d have to do the time – six months of marriage. Six whole months of being married to him.

We walked out of the court feeling completely dejected. AJ made a quick phone call, then lit up a cigarette and inhaled deeply. As soon as that one was finished, he leaned against the building and lit up another. I resisted the urge to say something about his smoking habits, what was it to me!

“What are we going to do?” I asked, not really speaking to anyone, just needing to ask the question.

“Fuck knows” AJ said, flicking his cigarette end away into the bushes.

“Nice answer Alexander” I turned to face him, still pissed off with him.

“I thought so too, Stephanie” he glared at me, his deep brown eyes burning into me.

“Whatever” I said and spun away from him, stomping off down the steps.

“Wait” he said coming after me, grabbing hold of my arm and spinning me to face him “where do you think you’re going?”

“Well it’s obvious that I’m not going to get any sense out of you, so I’m going back to the hotel to pack. Then I’m going home” I told him, yanking my arm out of his grasp.

“Listen…I know I can act a real dick sometimes, and I’m sorry. We really do need to talk though” he said with sincerity.

“You’re right…you are a dick” I affirmed and he smiled.

“Come on, Paul will give us a ride back to the hotel” he said and I followed him to the waiting car.

“Hey guys” Paul said as we climbed in “bad news then?”

“Yep” we both said together

“OK” Paul said and kept his mouth shut the rest of the way, which was for the best really because I certainly didn’t want to talk about it with a total stranger.

When we arrived back at the hotel, all I wanted to do was go to my room and cry. Nothing had gone to plan. Why did that judge have to be such a bitch? Why couldn’t she just annul the damn marriage? And how were we going to work this out?

“Do you want to talk?” AJ asked softly, placing his hand on my arm.

“No. If you don’t mind, I’d just like to go to my room for a while” I replied and wiped away a tear which was beginning to form.

He placed his arms around me and pulled me close “don’t cry Steph” he said and placed a tender kiss on my head.

I pulled away a little and looked into his equally sad eyes “I’m sorry, I guess this wasn’t the best of days for either of us”

“You can say that again. Look, I really don’t think going to your room and sulking is the right answer, why don’t we get something to eat? If you want to sulk alone after that, then I won’t stop you” he asked, his lips curling up into a smile.

“I do not sulk” I retorted.

“Sure you do” he responded.

“Do not!” I said and laughed “OK…maybe a little”

“A little!” he laughed

“Come on, are we going to eat or stand around arguing all day?” I asked

“Lead the way Mrs McLean” he teased

“Uh” I groaned at his use of that name I hated.

“Where do you fancy eating?” he asked

“McDonalds” I replied, not in the mood for some fancy restaurant.

“Then let’s go” he said.

A little while later and we were tucking into burgers, fries and milkshakes at McDonalds, our worries pushed aside for the moment. The restaurant was relatively empty, which suited us just fine.

“So, you’re recording a new album then?” I asked after sitting in silence for a little while. I wasn’t all that familiar with the Backstreet Boys newer stuff, and was curious.

“Yeah, that’s the plan” he replied and sipped his milkshake.

“I don’t mean to be rude or anything, but you don’t really look like a member of a boy band” I admitted

“Man band” he corrected

“OK, man band” I conceded

“And what exactly should a member of a man band look like, in your opinion?” he teased

“Well…you know…kind of the pretty boy look” I replied

“Ah, like Nick or maybe like that Jason guy you fancy?” he asked

“I do not fancy him!” I snapped

“Oh really?” he asked

“Not anymore anyway” I admitted

“How come?” he questioned

“Let’s just say I was in love with an image. The man behind the image was a huge disappointment” I sighed

“You should never judge a book by its cover” he said shaking his head

“I know that now” I confessed and thought back to that disastrous date with Jason ‘self-obsessed’ Orange. There had been nothing there, no chemistry, no nothing.

“So I guess you have your answer about me” he simply said

“Guess so” I admitted

We finished our food and walked slowly back to the hotel, not really saying a lot, but just enjoying the silence. I still had no idea how we were going to work this out. Obviously we’d have to go to these marriage guidance sessions together, but would it matter where? Would I have to keep on coming over here, or would he be able to travel to England? These were questions I needed answers too, and something we were going to have to discuss in a civilised manner.

“Here we are then” he said when we got back to the hotel “feel like sulking?”

“No” I said and playfully elbowed him in the ribs.

“Well, I’m glad to hear that” he said

“But it’s been a long day and I’m knackered, so I think I’m going to head on up to bed” I told him

“OK, feeling pretty tired myself, didn’t get a lot of sleep last night” he grinned and winked at me.

I blushed at the memory of it.

“I’ll call you in the morning, maybe we can talk then?” I asked, changing the subject.

“It’s a date” he said and we went to our respective rooms.

What I really wanted to do was fall into bed and wake up to find out this was some twisted figment of my imagination, but what I actually did was call my friends and tell them all about it. Naturally, they were gutted for me. But Jess said that everything happens for a reason, and that things will work out for the best in the end. What crap had she been reading recently?

I eventually drifted off to sleep, surprisingly my dreams were empty and I awoke the following morning feeling refreshed and positive about life. This wasn’t the end of the world, it was a mere blip.
Chapter 22 by Carter-Orange
Author's Notes:
Thanks for reading!  Here's the next part.

Chapter 22

I had been due to fly back home today as a single woman, but instead my plans were up in the air. I couldn’t just fly home and sweep this under the carpet; I’d have to stay until we’d talked things through and decided how we were going to proceed.

Obviously there would have to be compromise on both sides. Just because he was due in the studio to begin recording a new CD with his band mates, didn’t mean I was going to drop everything and come flying out here all the time. Although what exactly did I have waiting for me back home? I know I had my close circle of friends and my family, but I had no career, and I didn’t even own my own home yet. This was something I’d have to give some thought to.

I ran myself a nice deep bath and added plenty of bubbles. A long soak in the bath would help me think, it always did.

I was twenty five, coming up to twenty six and what exactly had I accomplished? Could I just pack up and move here? I didn’t have anyone to answer to, so of course I could do that, if I wanted to. What was on my list again…?

1. Fall in love
2. Own my own place
3. The skinny dipping and sex on the beach one
4. Learn a new language
5. Ride a scary roller coaster whilst eating or bungee jump or something else equally as scary
6. Road trip across the USA
7. Blow a fortune on a single night out
8. Drive a flash car way too fast (and not get caught)
9. Swim with dolphins
10. Tell my boss to shove his job up his arse

Maybe it was time to make number two a reality. If I was going to have to go to marriage guidance sessions with AJ, then it would make sense for me to live in the same country at least. It didn’t have to be forever, I could sell up once I no longer needed the place. Then maybe once we’d divorced, I’d take that road trip across America to celebrate, maybe even see some dolphins. It sounded like a plan to me!

I just had to talk to AJ about it and see what he wanted to do, so after I’d climbed out of the bath, I sent him a text.

Do you want to meet up to talk? – Steph

I put the phone back down on the bedside table whilst I dried myself and got dressed into a pair of three quarter length jeans and a t-shirt, something casual and comfy. My phone began to vibrate as I was pulling my t-shirt over my head.

You ready now? We could go get something to eat – AJ

I smiled to myself and replied.

Meet me by the elevators in ten minutes – Steph

Why is it that it’s easier to talk things over when you have something like food as a distraction?

I finished getting ready, leaving my hair damp and just applying a minimum of make-up, then grabbed my bag and was out of the room and on my way to meet AJ.

“Hi” he said when I reached him. He was looking quite nice in a pair of jeans, a white t-shirt and a baseball cap. Did I just think he looked nice? What’s wrong with me?

“Hello” I said quietly

“So, what you do fancy for breakfast?” he asked

“Oh I don’t mind, we could just go to the café here” I replied

“Or we could go to this place down the road that does the best breakfast around” he suggested

“OK, lead the way” I said and we left the cool air conditioned hotel and headed out into the bright sunshine.

“Fuck me, it’s hot out here” he said and put on his sunglasses and pulled his cap down a little further to avoid recognition.

“Such a way with words” I teased

We walked for a few minutes without really saying much, but it was a comfortable silence.

“Well here we are” he said and we stopped outside a small cafe

“And you know this place from your many trips here?” I asked curiously. I wondered how often he came here for these wild weekends with his friends. He’d probably fucked about with hundreds of girls over the years. I wondered if he’d previously done anything as stupid as we’d done, or was I a one off? I realised that I didn’t really know a lot about him, nor him me, but I supposed now was the time to change that.

“I’ve been here a few times” he replied “but I know what you’re getting at and no, this has never happened before. Usually I just end up losing a shitload of money, or if I’m lucky, I get to keep my money and take a girl to my room for the night. But that’s all it is, sex for the night”

“That makes me feel so much better!” I responded

“Come on Steph, I’m no saint. And when women are practically throwing themselves at me, what am I to do?” he smirked

“Womaniser” I called him

“Hey, that’s not fair. They know what they’re getting” he replied, a little offended I think.

“OK, you’re a man whore” I offered instead

“Can’t argue with that” he laughed

We ordered our breakfasts and I decided to go for a full English breakfast, which I was surprised to see on the menu. AJ ordered the same.

“So, how are we going to manage this?” I asked “because if you’re going to be working for the next how long?”

“I don’t know, but at least the next couple of months” he answered

“Well, what I was thinking was that I could be a bit more flexible, it’s not like I have a job tying me down. I could live over here for a while” I suggested

I could see the panic in his eyes before he spoke.

“Whoa, hold on a minute! You can’t just move in with me…” he began but I cut him off

“And why would I want to live with you? I never said anything about living with you did I?” I questioned

“No” he admitted

“No, I didn’t!” I said, trying to keep calm

“Then how do you plan on living?” he asked

“I told you, I have money. But of course you just jumped to the conclusion that I’m some kind of gold digging whore” I said

“Well not the whore part” he admitted “but you can’t blame me for being wary. I can’t begin to tell you the amount of women who’ve only been interested in me for their own gain”

“Well, I’m not one of those women” I advised

“I know” he admitted “I guess I shouldn’t just jump to conclusions, but it’s hard sometimes, y’know”

“I know and I can see where you’re coming from” I sympathised. In fact, wasn’t that one of the reasons why I hadn’t told people about my lottery win? I knew I’d suddenly get people wanting to be my friend because of my money and what I could give them.

“Thanks” he said

I decided to tell him about my lottery win. It’s not like he needed the money or anything, so I was in no danger of being used or ripped off.

“The reason I don’t need to work is because I won the lottery, I won a lot, enough to not have to work ever again” I admitted “I’ve not told anyone but my closest friends and a few members of my family, and even then, I’ve not told them how much”

“Wow!” he said

“Yeah, wow” I responded

We finished our food and talked some more, getting to know each other a bit better, finding out our likes and dislikes, etc. Now that the money issue wasn’t a problem, we could both let our guards down. He told me about how excited he was to be going back in the studio in Los Angeles and recording another Backstreet Boys album, and that they were hoping this would be their best yet. I told him I looked forward to hearing it and admitted that I was a bit of a fan, but had never been to see them live or anything like that.

“Well, next time we tour, there’ll be front row tickets waiting for you” he offered

“Thanks” I replied and smiled. He really was a nice guy underneath the surface.

“So, I guess you’ll be needing to find a place to live in LA then” he said

“Guess so” I replied “although I have no idea where to start”

“Well, lucky for you that I do” he responded with a smile.

LA here I come!

Chapter 23 by Carter-Orange
Author's Notes:

Here's the next bit.  As I have no idea about places in LA, please excuse that fact :)

Chapter 23

A couple of days later and I was back home in England. If I was going to move to LA, I had to make the necessary arrangements first, like find a place to live. There seemed to be so many different areas in LA, and I really had no idea which was a nice place to live and which was a place to avoid. But one thing I did know – I wanted to live by the beach.

I got in touch with an estate agent in LA (recommend by AJ) to help me find somewhere. I didn’t want anything too big or fancy, I know I could afford it, but this wasn’t going to be a long term move, so why bother finding my dream house?

I opened up my laptop to check whether she’d sent me any details. She’d been bombarding my inbox with stunning looking houses, but I hadn’t seen any yet in which I could imagine myself living in. They’d all been a little too grand for my liking.

“Let’s see then” I said to myself as I signed in to my email account.

Just as I’d suspected, there were eight new messages all from Courtney Smith, my estate agent. I clicked on the first email and noticed she’d attached details of a couple of houses. I opened the first link but right away ruled that one out; the house was painted bright pink! I like pink, but come on, a pink house was just going a little too far for me. I tried the next one, it looked promising until I got to the bathroom pictures and saw that there was only a shower cubicle and no bath. No good, I do like a soak in a nice hot bubble bath from time to time. I deleted that email and moved on to the next one, same again, all no good.

When I got to the sixth email, I was ready to just email her and tell her to forget it. Were there any houses I liked out there? Or was I just being too much of a fussy cow? But then I clicked on the details for a house which had an appealing sound to it, it was in a place called Redondo Beach and from the outside, it looked like the kind of house I could see myself living in. I wondered how far away I’d be from AJ? I knew he had a place in Santa Monica (which I’d ruled out because I wanted somewhere quieter). So I checked it out on Google, it was about twenty miles away, which was very convenient. I didn’t want to live too close to him, but we needed to be close enough that we could meet up for our ‘marriage guidance sessions’. I snorted at the thought of those sessions. What exactly were they going to achieve?

“Let’s see if the house is as good on the inside as it is on the outside” I said to myself and clicked to view it.

The house was a cute little two storey dwelling which had a gorgeous view of the beach. It wasn’t cheap, but it was a lot cheaper than some of the houses I’d looked at. The photos depicted a modern kitchen with built in appliances, dining room, living room, downstairs toilet, upstairs there were two decent sized bedrooms (one with en-suite shower room) with built in wardrobes and a lovely bathroom with a claw footed bath. Out back was a small enclosed garden with a patio area, but the view from the front of the house was what impressed me. The house was in an elevated position so enjoyed extensive views of the Pacific Ocean. I wondered if it was as impressive in reality as it was in the photos.

I wonder if AJ knows the area at all? Wouldn’t hurt to ask!

I looked at the rest of the house details she’d sent me, and although there were some other nice houses in amongst them, they didn’t have that ‘something’ I was after. I emailed her back about the little Redondo Beach property, and I also forwarded the details onto AJ. He was the only person I knew who lived in LA, so I’d have to listen to his advice whether I wanted to or not.

I spent the next couple of hours sorting through my possessions, deciding what to keep, what to bin and what to take to the charity shop. I’d already called up the letting agent to tell them I’d be moving out by the end of the month.

The day flew by and before I knew it, I’d spent almost the whole day up to my elbows in packing things up. I decided to take a break and made myself a sandwich and flipped open my laptop.

Two new messages, one from Courtney Smith and the other from AJ, I clicked to open his message.

From: Jizzle78@live.com
To: SMahoney@live.co.uk

Hey Mrs McLean,

Good thing I brought my laptop to work today!

I’ve looked at the house details and I like it, I hear the area is pretty decent too. If you want, I could go and look at it for you after I get done for the day. It’s not too far and it would be a good excuse to take a ride on my new bike.

I’ll call the agent and arrange a viewing.

Catch you later

Your loving husband, Alex


I scowled at the screen, loving husband indeed! But then I had to smile, he really was being a big help to me and I was grateful for that. I sent him an email back.

From: SMahoney@live.co.uk
To: Jizzle78@live.com

Hi Alexander

It’s Miss Mahoney thank you very much!

Thanks so much for all your help, you really don’t have to put yourself out for me, but I am grateful.

Don’t work too hard, lol.

Steph

I hit the send button and opened up the other email, she just wanted to arrange a viewing for me, and so I replied to inform her that she’d be getting a phone call about that from a friend of mine who was helping me out.

I was woken from a lovely dream by my phone ringing. Looking at the bedside clock, I noticed it was 3am, who the hell was calling me at 3am? It had better be good.

“Hello” I answered groggily

“Oh shit, sorry, I forgot it’s probably really late there isn’t it?” came that husky voice I’d come to recognise.

“Yep, it’s just after three” I yawned

“Well, I just thought I’d call to tell you I’ve been to see that house you showed me” he explained

I yawned once more and then sat up straighter in my bed “Oh AJ, thanks so much for doing that for me. What’s it like?”

“It’s got a great view…it’s a little on the small side though, but it’s up to you” he said “I told the agent you’d get back to her tomorrow”

“Thanks AJ, you are a star” I replied gratefully

“Anytime babe” he said

“Night” I yawned

“Night Steph”

I drifted back off to sleep with images of a beautiful sandy beach, waves crashing on the shore, and a couple walking hand in hand barefoot.
Chapter End Notes:
I know, bit of a boring chapter, but let me know what you think :)
Chapter 24 by Carter-Orange
Author's Notes:
Thanks for reading, here's more.  She's not there yet, but she soon will be!
Chapter 24

A week later and I was having a farewell party in my local pub, organised by my friends and family. Obviously my parents were quite shocked at my sudden desire to move all the way to America, after all, they had no idea about AJ, and I still hadn’t got around to mentioning it to them. How do you bring something like that up? I couldn’t tell them I’d married a famous pop star, whom I’d only met that night, whilst drunk in Las Vegas. They would’ve been so disappointed in me. No, it was better to just keep it from them. What they didn’t know wouldn’t hurt them.

“Going to miss you Steph” Izzy said hugging me tightly

“Me too” said Jess

“Me three” called Chloe

“Aw thanks girls and I’ll miss you too, but you know, you can always come over once I’ve settled in” I promised

“It’ll have to be after the baby is born for me” Jess said, rubbing her hand over her now visible bump. She wasn’t going to take any risks after reading lots of information on the internet, although she could fly if she wanted to.

“Well count me in!” said Izzy

“Me too, I want to see if it’s anything like the movies” Chloe announced “you know, Pretty Woman and all that”

“Oh god, me too! I hope it’s not a let down” I added. I hadn’t even seen the house; I’d just bought it from the internet photos and AJ’s recommendation. What if I hated it?

“Well, you’ll have AJ nearby” Jess teased

“Yeah, you can always pop over to borrow a cup of sugar” Izzy giggled and I slapped her arm playfully.

“He’ll be about twenty miles away” I explained “and anyway, I’ll only be seeing him when I have to…at the meetings, y’know”

“Whatever you say Steph!” Chloe added “we believe you, right girls?”

“Right” they both agreed.

I just sighed and kept my mouth shut after that. The more I protested, the more they teased. It was better to give in and just enjoy the party.

My parents left the party quite early, assuring me that they would come and see me off at the airport the following day. The rest of us didn’t leave much later. I still had to finish some packing and was keen to get on with it; I had always been an unorganised kind of person.

It was whilst I was going through one of my bags that I’d taken to Las Vegas the first time that I came across the dreaded wedding DVD. I held it between my fingers and contemplated what to do with it. Eventually, curiosity got the better of me and I got up off the floor, walked over to my TV/DVD (which by the way, was not coming with me, all large items were being shared out between friends and family) and switched it on. With trembling hands, I slid the DVD into the slot and moved backwards until my legs hit the sofa and I had to either sit or fall down. I sat.

The title screen came up with Elvis’s ‘Love Me Tender’ as the background track and a picture of myself and AJ in a big pink heart on the screen. How frigging cheesy could you get? I picked up the remote and stabbed at the play button before I changed my mind.

“Oh god” I groaned as I saw myself on the screen. Expecting to see myself falling all over the place drunk, I was quite surprised at how normal we both looked. Well, maybe a little drunk!

The camera zoomed in on us both, and to my horror, I was gazing at him adoringly. We were holding hands and just looking into each other’s souls as the Elvis impersonator began the service.

I’d had a flashback of the wedding after it had happened, but seeing it with my own eyes, on the screen, was something else. I couldn’t deny this or say it was a figment of my imagination – it was real.

I watched as we said our vows to each other, as he slid that hideous skull ring onto my finger and as I drew a wedding band on his finger with a pen. We looked like we really meant it. We looked like any couple in love. Except for the fact that really, we’d probably only known each other a few hours at the time. Once the Elvis guy announced us to be husband and wife, I watched as AJ swept me up into his arms and carried me out of that little chapel. Obviously, the recording must’ve stopped there and the chapel staff must’ve gone chasing after us to give us the discs. But I couldn’t get over how much in love we looked. I shuddered.

I pressed stop on the DVD and ejected it, placing it back into the little case and shoving it back in my bag. Then I walked into the kitchen a poured myself a glass of wine, I needed it after watching that!

Needing a distraction, I double checked all around the house, making sure I had everything ready for tomorrow. I wasn’t taking a huge amount with me on the plane as a lot of things had already been shipped on ahead of me.

“Right then, I think that’s me done for the night” I said to myself as I looked around the stark looking place. All that was left were the large items like sofa, TV/DVD, my bed, wardrobe, kitchen items and appliances and a large bookcase which had housed my many books, CDs and DVDs. Everything else was either packed, shipped to America or at the charity shop, with the exception of the bags which were coming with me tomorrow. The fridge was just about empty, and the food cupboards were bare. I couldn’t believe I was really doing this. I was moving to Los Angeles.

As I was getting ready for bed, I heard my phone going off. I was too late to answer it by the time I got to it, but then a text came through.

Thanks for doing this Steph, I’ll be seeing you in sunny LA – AJ

“Aw, what a sweetie” I said to myself as I re-read his message and then replied.

No problem, and thank you for your help with the house, will call you when I’ve arrived – Steph

I hit the send button and then climbed into bed; I had a very long day ahead of me tomorrow.
Chapter 25 by Carter-Orange
Author's Notes:
Here's the next chapter, hope it's OK!
Chapter 25

Was I completely nuts? I must be to do what I was doing! I’d kissed goodbye to my family and friends and was now on a plane destined for Los Angeles, where I’d be calling home for the next few months.

I suppose I could’ve just rented a home there, but where was the fun in that. If I’d rented a place then I probably wouldn’t have been able to do what I wanted to do, like paint the rooms the colours I wanted them to be and things like that. No, I wanted to be able to put my own stamp on the place, no matter how long I called it mine. Plus it was another item on my list ticked off. I was finally going to own my own home. I was getting through the list with ease so far. How many were left now, I mentally went through them, hmm…

1. Fall in love
2. Own my own place
3. Skinny dipping and sex on the beach
4. Learn a new language
5. Ride a scary roller coaster whilst eating or bungee jump or something else equally as scary
6. Road trip across the USA
7. Blow a fortune on a single night out
8. Drive a flash car way too fast (and not get caught)
9. Swim with dolphins
10. Tell my boss to shove his job up his arse

Wow, five down and five left to go.

I couldn’t quite believe how quickly the house buying had been. Was buying a house in America really that easy, or was the fact that I’d paid in full and had a few million in the bank a factor? Anyway, the house had been vacant when I agreed on the sale and so I was able to move in whenever I was ready, which would be in a matter of hours.

Oh my god, I’m actually moving to Los Angeles, I must be fucking crazy!

The plane journey seemed to pass by pretty quickly, thanks to Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, which I’d bought in one of the airport shops whilst waiting to board the plane. By the time the plane touched down in Los Angeles, I was head over heels in love with the main character, Edward Cullen (along with millions of other women throughout the world no doubt) and wondered why it had taken me so long to find this book. I made a mental note to buy the DVD once I’d bought myself a new TV and DVD player.

‘Welcome to Los Angeles’ the sign at the airport said, and I wondered if I really would feel welcome here. Would I make friends? I hadn’t really given it a lot of thought when I’d rashly decided to up sticks and move here.

What if I hate it here?

I snapped out of that negative thought. Life was what you made it and I intended to live mine to the full. Plus, a road trip across the USA was on my list of things to do, maybe after everything was sorted with AJ, I’d be able to make it a reality.

I grabbed my bags and loaded them onto an airport trolley, then wheeled it outside into the warm late afternoon sunshine. The Dollar car rental place was close by thankfully, and I made my way over there, the sun beating down on me and spreading a feeling of warmth through my body (that plane had been a little on the chilly side). It was really convenient that they did a collection service, so I wouldn’t have the trouble of getting it back. I’d arranged to hire a car for a week, which hopefully would give me enough time to organise myself in my new house and buy a car of my own.

“Would you like an upgrade Miss Mahoney?” asked the bronzed girl behind the desk “for an extra…”

“No thanks, that’s plenty big enough for me” I replied, cutting her off. I really didn’t see the point in hiring some huge gas guzzler when there was only going to be myself in it. No, I was sticking to the Dodge Caliber, which in my opinion was more than enough car for now.

“OK then, well if I could just see some identification and your drivers licence first please” she asked and in no time I had signed all the relevant paperwork and was handed the keys.

After loading my things into the car and adjusting the seat to a comfortable position, I set the SatNav for my new home address and set off. The drive shouldn’t take too long according to the little screen, maybe 20 minutes or so. I took the ramp onto the Pacific Coast Highway and travelled a few miles, passing by Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach. Then I took the Redondo Beach exit and followed the instructions until I arrived where I wanted to be.

Eventually, I pulled up outside my new home. From the outside it looked exactly how I’d imagined it would look from the photos. I wondered how the inside would look, but was positive it would live up to my expectations, and if it didn’t, I’d soon have it looking how I wanted it to. The Estate Agent was waiting outside with the keys, like we’d arranged.

“Hi, I’m Courtney Smith” she said extending her hand “So good to meet you Miss Mahoney, I’m sure you are gonna love it here”

“Hi, call me Steph and thanks” I replied “it’s lovely”

“If you have any queries at all, just give me a call” she gave me a warm smile, displaying her bright white teeth and handed me a card out of her bag “right, here you go, it’s all yours”

“Thanks again” I replied and took the keys from her.

She said goodbye and then climbed into her rather flash looking sports car. Must be making a good living, I thought to myself and wondered if I might get myself something like that. I had always fancied owning a convertible, but with the couple of crappy summers we’d had at home in the UK, it would’ve been a waste. Plus, I couldn’t have afforded one until my lottery win.

I opened the front door and stepped inside. It had that kind of new house smell to it, even though it wasn’t a new build. Maybe the previous owner had re-decorated ready for selling, or something like that. It immediately felt welcoming.

You’re gonna love it here Steph!

I was finally here, in my own home. I ran around the house from room to room, more excited than a child on Christmas morning as I checked it out. It was mine, all mine.

I stopped exploring my new house and pulled out my phone to call AJ and thank him for everything he’d done for me. Unfortunately there was no answer, so I left a message to tell him I’d just got here and would speak to him soon. I called my family and friends and sent them photos via my phone so that they could see the view from the house, and what a view it was. The sun was beginning to set over the ocean and cast an orange glow over the gently rippling waves, it was beautiful.

Looking out from the front steps at the view before me, I didn’t even notice the motorbike pull up in front of the house, nor did I see the rider get off and walk towards me.

“Hey” he said, and I nearly jumped a mile. Standing there in front of me, bike helmet in hands and wearing a leather jacket, tatty jeans and sunglasses, was AJ.

“You scared the shit out of me” I answered, holding my hand across my wildly beating heart.

“Sorry” he laughed “so, what do you think?”

“It’s lovely” I replied, not really able to put together any other words in that moment.

“I guess you’re wondering what I’m doing here” he asked, and removed his sunglasses to reveal his chocolate brown eyes.

“Come to think of it, yeah, I am wondering” I replied although I was glad to see him.

“Well, I knew you’d just arrived and that you wouldn’t have had chance to eat or anything like that, so I brought McDonalds” he revealed a brown bag from behind his back “sorry I couldn’t carry drinks though”

“Thanks, I am quite starving” I smiled and eyed up the bag “but I’m afraid I have nowhere for us to sit and eat…”

He interrupted me “just here is fine”

And so we sat there on my front steps, eating burgers, fries and donuts, watching as the sun finally set. It was kind of romantic in a way.

“Well, I’d better get going, leave you to unpack and whatever. Don’t forget, our first session of marriage guidance starts the day after tomorrow” he said as he got up and stretched, revealing a bit of toned looking stomach and that bloody awful ‘69’ tattoo, although his tattoos weren’t as repulsive to me as they were at first.

“Oh right yeah” I replied kind of dazedly

“If you want, I’ll come and get you, seeing as it’s gonna take a bit of time for you to get familiar with the area” he smiled down at me, still sitting on the steps.

“Sure, that would be great, thanks AJ” I added

“See you Steph” he said and strode off towards his bike, putting his bike helmet on and throwing his leg over the powerful looking bike. He zoomed off like a bullet from a gun, off into the distance and I suddenly felt a little chilled.
Chapter 26 by Carter-Orange
Author's Notes:
I was on a roll, so here's the next chapter, hope you like!
Chapter 26

After an uncomfortable night’s sleep on an airbed, I woke the following morning with a bad back and vowed to make buying a bed the first thing I did once I’d showered and dressed.

It hadn’t taken me too long the night before to unpack the items I’d brought on the plane with me. The items I’d had shipped hadn’t arrived yet, but were expected in the next couple of days, and I couldn’t wait to see my new home fully furnished with both familiar things from home and new items.

Flipping open my laptop and logging on, I googled furniture stores in Los Angeles. I really had no idea where to start, there seemed to be so many to choose from and I didn’t know which was a good shop and which sold cheap tat! Plus, I didn’t know the areas either. I sighed and leaned against the wall in resignation. Then I remembered Courtney and her offer of assistance, should I need it. Maybe she could point me in the right direction when it came to furnishing a home.

I pulled her card out of my bag and dialled her number.

“Hello, Courtney Smith speaking” she answered brightly.

“Erm, hi Courtney, this is Steph Mahoney” I said

“Everything OK?” she asked concerned

“Oh the house is perfect. I just wanted to ask your advice on something, if that’s OK”

“Sure, ask away!” she said

“I really need to go and buy furniture and I have no idea where to go” I explained and must’ve sounded like a right idiot.

“Aw honey, of course I’ll help you out. There are lots of places and it all depends on your budget” she assured me

“Well, I want a kind of classic/modern look and good quality. I’m not into all that really high fashion stuff, nor do I like the minimalist look, I like a house to look lived in” I explained. Ikea may have been my store of choice before, but now I had the money, I could afford to spend more on my house, although Ikea did do a lot of nice stuff and I wasn’t going to rule out a trip there, that’s if LA had an Ikea!

“Right then, I can suggest a couple of places that you might want to check out – Touch Wood and Cosmeston Furniture – I think they’ll have just what you need” she answered

“Thanks so much Courtney and I’m sorry to have bothered you with such a trivial request” I apologised

“Hey, I really don’t mind one little bit, if you need anything else, just ask” she assured me.

We hung up and I googled the places she’d mentioned. Clicking on their websites, I saw that they indeed did sell the kind of thing I liked, plus they delivered too. She’d been a real help.

With the help of the SatNav, I found my way to Touch Wood and could’ve bought just about the whole shop, but settled for a coffee table, a bookcase (to house my many books, DVDs and CDs which were on their way from England), a dining room table and chairs, a dressing table, two bedside drawers, a large chest of drawers and a couple of mirrors which had chunky wooden surrounds, one of which would go in the living room and one in my bedroom. I just loved the gothic looking wooden candle sconces too, so I bought a couple of those to go in my living room, they would match well with the furniture I’d purchased.

After arranging delivery and paying, I left the shop a very happy customer, and hoped the seven to fourteen day delivery period was more like seven days.

“Now for my bed” I said to myself and climbed back in the car and headed for Cosmeston Furniture.

I found the most gorgeous bed there, and the mattress was so comfy, I’d never have trouble sleeping on it. I couldn’t decide between leather or cloth sofa, so spent a bit of time testing them out before finally opting for a nice brown leather sofa with a couple of chairs. I also discovered that they did more than just furniture; they also did electrical items too. So I got myself a big flat screen TV, DVD player, washing machine, tumble drier, iron, microwave, toaster, kettle, another smaller flat screen TV for my bedroom and a few other kitchen items. Then onto the soft furnishings section, where I picked out bedding, curtains, cushions, towels and throws.

The large items were going to be delivered later on that day; I’d paid extra for express delivery. The smaller things filled the car, I only just managed to squeeze it all in.

“Bloody hell, this shopping business is thirsty work” I muttered to myself and realised that I still hadn’t bought any food or drinks yet. A trip to the supermarket was on the cards next, but first of all, I wanted to go home and unload the car. Luckily for me, there was a Burger King on the way, so I pulled in to the drive through and ordered a chicken burger, fries and a large coke. Youll have to cut back on the junk food once you’ve settled in otherwise you’ll look like a lard arse!

I found my way home, still finding it hard to believe that this was where I now lived as I parked outside my house, and unloaded the car.

That evening, the house was more liveable than it had been that morning. I’d been to the supermarket, so now my kitchen cupboards were well stocked. My bed, TV and DVD player (with stand), washing machine and tumble drier had been delivered, and all the smaller items I’d bought were now arranged how I wanted them around the house. Shame I was too tired to enjoy that new flat screen. I fell into bed and didn’t wake until mid morning the next day.

~*~

“What the fuck?” I muttered, coming back to consciousness to the sound of banging on the front door. Whoever it was, they weren’t going away.

I dragged myself out of bed, not even caring that I was only in a t-shirt and my underwear, and trudged down the stairs to answer the door.

“For fucks sake Steph, we’ve got to be there in…” he looked at his watch “just under half an hour”

“Shit” I exclaimed, suddenly coming to my senses and realising that today was marriage guidance session day. I supposed the jet lag was finally catching up.

“Well, don’t just stand there, friggin get dressed” AJ said, annoyance plain to see on his face.

“All right!” I yelled louder than I’d planned to and slammed the door in his face.

Arsehole!

I ran upstairs, taking them two at a time, and had the quickest shower in history. I didn’t bother washing my hair; instead I tied it back in a low ponytail. Throwing on a pair on linen trousers, a vest top and a pair of flip flops, I ran down the stairs, fastening on a necklace at the same time. I put some lip gloss and a bit of mascara on and then opened the door to find AJ leaning against the wall with a lit cigarette dangling from his mouth.

“About fucking time” he said and flicked his cigarette end onto my drive.

I just glared at him, how dare he litter my property! Where had that nice guy from a couple of days ago gone?

“I wasn’t that long” I hissed at him “come on then, let’s go get this out of the way”

I followed him to his car and climbed in the passenger side, not saying a word.

“We gonna ignore each other the whole way?” he asked, fixing his eyes onto mine in a way that prevented me from looking away.

“I don’t know…are we?” I answered huffily.

“Childish” he muttered under his breath, not quite quietly enough and I caught it.

I’m childish now am I?” I asked

“Yes, you are” he answered

“Fine” I said and crossed my arms, turning away

“Fine” he answered and started the engine.

Not another word was spoken during the journey there. AJ was looking at the road ahead and I was looking out of the window, pretending to take notice of my surroundings, but not noticing a thing.

“Well, here we are Mrs McLean” he spat the words out and cut off the engine.

“So we are, Mr McLean” I said in the same tone as he’d used.

He turned to face me, sighed and then got out of the car. I also got out and closed the door behind me, then leaned against the door. He began to walk away and I quickly followed, not wanting to lose sight of him and get lost here.

“Look, can we just pretend this morning never happened and at least try to get on?” he asked as we approached the consulting room where we were due to meet.

“I suppose so” I relented; glad to let go of the hostility “but you were a bit harsh this morning”

“I’m sorry, but I’m a little nervous and I guess I could’ve been less of a dick when you weren’t ready to go” he smiled

“Hmm yeah, and I should’ve been out of bed and ready, and I should’ve asked you in instead of slamming the door in your face, I’m sorry too” I apologised

“We’re even then?” he asked

“Yeah” I replied and we knocked on the door for our appointment.
Chapter 27 by Carter-Orange
Author's Notes:
Another update, I'm on a roll!  Thanks for reading and please review :)
Chapter 27

By the time the door opened, revealing a tallish, well dressed man in his late thirties, AJ and I were on our best behaviour.

“Ah, Mr and Mrs McLean I presume, do come in and take a seat” he said shaking our hands in turn “I’m Dr Jeremy Kyle”

“It’s Mahoney actually…Miss Mahoney” I corrected him and saw AJ smirk.

“My apologies Miss Mahoney” he smiled, flashing his bleached white sparkling teeth “please be seated”

I looked at AJ and then we both sat down on the plush leather sofa whilst Dr Kyle sat opposite in a leather tub chair. He seemed to be scanning through a file quickly and AJ and I shuffled in our seats a little uncomfortably, not knowing what to expect from this session.

“I hate things like this” whispered AJ “went through a shit load of therapy after my parents divorce”

“You never said” I whispered back

“Well, we haven’t exactly told each other our life stories yet, have we?” he whispered again and then pulled back when he noticed the doctor was looking at us.

“Right then, let me tell you a little bit about myself, why we are here and what I hope we can achieve” began Dr Kyle and he didn’t come up for air as he told us about himself and gave us facts and figures on divorce rates and how people today treat marriage as something they can just throwaway without even working at it. He said that for a successful marriage there has to be give and take on both sides and blah, blah, blah. I began to zone out after a while. He sure liked the sound of his own voice!

“So Stephanie, tell me one thing you like about Alexander? What first attracted you to him?” Dr Kyle asked, bringing me out of my daydream.

“Do I have to? What’s that going to achieve?” I protested

“Yes, you do and it’s to find out some of the positives about your marriage…don’t worry, I’ll be asking your husband the same question” he assured me

“OK then…his eyes” I said and blushed slightly

“There, that wasn’t so hard now was it?” Dr Kyle said “now same question to you Alexander”

“Smile, she has a nice smile” AJ said and he looked into my eyes and then lowered his gaze to my mouth. I instinctively licked my lips and remembered what it had felt like to feel AJ’s mouth against mine. I closed my eyes momentarily as a flashback took over…


He trailed hot kisses along my jaw and collarbone, whilst his hands expertly removed my bra.

“You…taste… so… fucking…good” he muttered and then focussed his attention on my now naked breasts, his tongue circling my nipples, making them stand to attention.

“Oh god” I moaned, throwing my head back into the pillows in ecstasy.

“Oh you like that huh? Well, that’s nothing compared to what I’m gonna do to you” he said huskily and moved back up the bed, placing kisses on every exposed bit of flesh until he captured my mouth with his and kissed me so deeply, and with so much intensity, I needed more…so much more and AJ was the man to give it to me…



I snapped out of my trance and blushed at the memory of the events that had followed that kiss.

“You see, you both seem to have a physical attraction to each other, no matter how hard you try to hide it. And if you are physically attracted, then I’m sure that between us, we can work the rest out” he advised.

The session lasted about an hour, and at the end, Dr Kyle told us he’d see us again in a couple of weeks.

“What a complete load of shit that was!” I exclaimed once we were out of there “that guy is getting paid a fortune to just talk crap. What a waste of time.”

“I know!” AJ agreed “and he fucking loved himself too, the prick!”

We both laughed as we recalled things Dr Jeremy Kyle had said.

“Well, I’d better get you home. I have somewhere to be in a little while…band stuff” he told me.

“OK” I replied and we walked to the car.

He drove me back, I thanked him for taking me and then he was gone and I was left alone on the steps of my house wondering if the next time I saw him again would be the next marriage guidance session. I hoped I’d see him before then. God, what is wrong with me, maybe that sleazeball Dr Kyle is right, maybe there is something between me and AJ.

I didn’t want to be cooped up inside on my own, it was too nice a day for that, so I grabbed a bottle of water from the fridge and then started walking. It was a beautiful day and I passed lots of people going about their business. I soon found myself at the pier and it sure beat the piers I’d walked along back home, it was packed full of restaurants, bars, coffee shops, bakeries, and a whole host of other shops, it really was spectacular.

“Hot dog on a stick?” I said to myself as I noticed a place called ‘Craig’s Hot Dog on a Stick’. I’d never seen a hot dog on a stick before, and had no idea what a corn dog was, so I decided to give it a go. It wasn’t bad! Probably packed full of calories and god knows what else, but I’d be walking it off, so I wasn’t worried.

I also got myself a cotton candy as I strolled along the pier, walking past shops and occasionally stopping to browse.

I found my way home as the sun was beginning to set and although I thought it was a lovely place to live, I was already homesick for my family and friends and just another human being to talk to. I missed the office chatter even though I didn’t miss the office. I missed just calling up my friends whenever I wanted and getting together for our girls nights. True, I could easily call them, but it wasn’t the same. And if this was how I was feeling after just a few days, how was I going to be in a few weeks?

I needed a distraction of some sort, a job, even volunteer work. I just couldn’t be someone to sit around at home alone all day; I needed to interact with other people. Maybe if I found myself a job, I’d make friends and not feel like I’d made a huge mistake in coming here. Just maybe.
Chapter End Notes:
Have a great Valentine's Day everyone!
Chapter 28 by Carter-Orange
Author's Notes:

Hope you like!

Chapter 28

The next couple of days passed by pretty quickly. I didn’t see AJ as the band were putting in some long hours in the studio, but he sent me a text to see how I was settling in and I replied, letting him know that I was busy unpacking.

My belongings from home finally arrived and so did the furniture I’d bought at Touch Wood. So organising things where I wanted them took a little time, but was so worth it when I’d finished. The house felt more homely with my familiar possessions in it.

After being cooped up for a couple of days, I desperately needed to get out for some fresh air and exercise. I decided that going for a run would be a good idea and changed into my workout clothes (joggers, vest top and trainers) and grabbed a bottle of water from the fridge.

I was just walking down my drive, not really paying attention as I fiddled with my iPod, when I was stopped by a gorgeous looking guy. Fucking hell, he’s lush!

“Hi, you must be my new neighbour” he said in an English accent, by the sound of it, I’d say from up north somewhere, possibly Yorkshire. I was quite surprised to come across another English person, especially as he was living next door to me.

“Just moved in a few days ago, I’m Steph Mahoney” I said

“Lucas North” he introduced himself as “welcome to LA. I take it you’ve just moved here from England?”

“Yeah, and it’s kind of strange, but I’m sure I’ll feel at home soon” I answered

“I’m sure you will. What brings you here?” he asked

“Erm…” I was a little stuck for words. I’d only just met this guy, I wasn’t about to tell him my life story.

“I’m sorry, I’m a nosey sod aren’t I” he chuckled

“No, not at all” I reassured him “let’s just say it’s complicated”

“Ah right” he said “I’ll ask no more”

“How long have you been here? I detect a northern accent” I enquired

“A little over two years, I’m a writer and my wife is an actress, so it made sense really” he explained

Good god, he was stunning and if he wasn’t married, he’d be my kind of man! You’re married too Steph…remember AJ?

We chatted for a few more minutes and then said we’d better get on.

“Well, my wife and I are only next door, you don’t have to be a stranger” he smiled.

“Thanks, I’ll remember that” I said and carried on down the drive.

I ran for a couple of miles and it felt good to feel the warm breeze whipping at my face and my muscles getting a much needed stretch. I was no fitness freak by any means, but I did try to work out a couple of times a week.

“Shit” I exclaimed as I approached home and saw someone walking down my drive and another car waiting outside. The rental car was being collected today and I’d completely forgotten about it.

“Sorry” I told the man from the car rental place “I completely forgot. I’ll just get the keys”

“No problem” he replied “I’ve already checked the car and everything seems to be in order, I just need you to sign this form and remove any personal possessions left in the car”

“OK” I said and dashed into the house for the keys, leaving him standing outside.

I’d definitely need to get myself a car now, and after seeing so many nice looking cars around, I had a rough idea of what I wanted. I wanted a convertible.

Later that day, after seeing off the rental car and taking a shower after my run, I decided to go car hunting. Naturally I didn’t know where to start, but I was in no rush, I wasn’t about to buy the first car I saw.

I went to a few car dealerships, starting with the Volvo dealer. My Dad had owned a Volvo S40 a few years back and always said it was the best car he’d ever owned, he regretted it when he traded it in for a Saab. So I knew a Volvo must be a good car. I began looking around and it wasn’t long before a salesman spotted me.

“Can I help you?” he asked

“I’m just looking for now, but I’ll let you know if I need any assistance” I answered.

“Of course” he answered

“Actually…do you have any convertibles?” I asked

“Certainly, if you’d like to follow me. We have the C70 at $39,950 which comes in a choice of either black, silver or metallic flamenco red” he conveyed

I followed him over to the display model, which was in red, and liked what I saw. It was a hard top convertible with black leather interior and the salesman began spouting off all the features of the car. It was all a little too technical for me and I switched off when he was on about valves and fuel tank capacity. All I was concerned about was that it looked nice, had an MP3/CD player, air conditioning and wireless connectivity and I liked the steering mounted audio controls.

“Could I take it for a test drive?” I asked

“Sure” he replied and I had to complete a form before I was allowed to drive it off the premises.

The car really was lovely and I could totally see myself owning one, but I wasn’t going to commit myself just yet.

“I’ll have a think about it” I told the salesman “I have a few other places to look first”

I paid visits to Volkswagen, Audi, BMW and Mazda. I test drove a bright red Audi TT, really putting my foot down to feel the power, but wasn’t sure whether I actually wanted to own it.

I eventually went back to the Volvo place and bought the first car I saw, the Volvo C70 in metallic flamenco red. I filled out all the paperwork and paid for the car in full, which surprised the salesman. I’m sure he was expecting me to ask for finance.

“Here you go Miss Mahoney, it’s all yours” he beamed at me once we’d completed everything “pleasure doing business with you”

“Thank you” I said, taking the keys and all the paperwork. Then I got into my new car, started it up and drove away.

I decided to take a drive along the scenic coastal road as I’d not really driven far since I’d been here. In no time at all it seemed, I found myself in Santa Monica, the place where AJ lived. The roads seemed a little busier here and the streets a little more crowded than where I lived, but I could see the attraction to Santa Monica and decided that I’d have to pay it a proper visit one day.

I found myself looking out at the people, looking to see if AJ were one of them. Stop being silly and drive home, you’re not going to see him and if you do, what will you say?

I turned to head back home, passing a motorbike or two along the way. Wonder if it could’ve been AJ? Turning the music up loud on a radio station which seemed to be playing good music, I put him out of my mind and concentrated on the road.

“Fuck Steph, are you totally friggin blind behind the wheel?” called a familiar deep voice when I pulled up outside my house “I’ve been trying to get your attention for about two miles”

I turned to see AJ in his biker gear, astride his bike, which was next to my new car, he looked sexy as hell.

“AJ” I gasped “what are you doing here?”

“Nice way to greet your husband” he chuckled and got off the bike “I thought it was you in the car, so I turned around and followed you. I’ve been meaning to stop by or call you, but work got in the way”

“It’s OK, you don’t have to feel obligated to visit or call, like I’m some burdensome elderly relative” I said, feeling like that’s exactly what I was to him, minus the elderly part.

“Hey, I’m here because I want to be here. But if you don’t want me here, then I’ll go” he said and lowered his head.

“I didn’t say that, stop trying to twist things” I raised my voice at him slightly. God, he infuriated me at times.

“Well, do we have to stand out here on the street, or are you going to ask me in?” he asked

“Would you like to come in Alex?” I asked in my sweetest voice

“That would be lovely Stephanie” he replied in a put on gentlemanly voice, and he followed me into the house “nice car by the way”

“Thanks, I just bought it today” I confessed excitedly “I always wanted a convertible”

“You’ll have to take me for a ride sometime” he said and grinned wickedly

I gave him a glare “your mind is in the gutter” but so is mine!

We just looked at each other for what seemed like ages, then before I knew it, his lips were on mine and his arm had snaked around my back, pulling me closer. I didn’t pull away. In fact, I responded with equal enthusiasm, unzipping his leather jacket and sliding it down his heavily tattooed arms, letting it fall to the floor in a heap. His hands gathered to hem of my top and in a flash; it joined the jacket on the floor.

“You sure?” he asked breathlessly

“Shut up and kiss me” I said and he happily obliged, twisting his hands into my hair whilst I wrapped my arms around his neck, wanting him closer. My heart was beating rapidly as I felt AJ’s desire for me pressing against me through our clothes.

“I wanna do more than just kiss you” he said raggedly and then brought his mouth back down to mine, muffling the soft moans that were escaping my mouth.

We left a trail of clothes on the way to the bedroom and fell into my comfortable new bed.

“Oh god yes” I moaned as he pushed into me forcefully “oh fuck yeah”

“I’m gonna fuck you senseless” he said moving slowly and deliberately, pulling all the way out and then filling me to the hilt. I moved my hips to take him deeper and dragged my nails down his back in ecstasy as we moved together.

“So…fucking…good” he panted and we rolled over so that I was on top of him “oh fuck yeah”

I threw my head back and ground down on him, taking everything he had. It wasn’t long before I felt waves of intense pleasure building up within me, about to explode.

“Oh god…Alex…fuck…yeah” I screamed out as my orgasm took over.

He gripped my hips and thrust up hard and fast against me until his body began to tremble and he was overcome with his own release. He pulled me down so that we were flush against each other and kissed me, his fingers knotting in my hair. We laid there, bodies entwined, until it darkened outside and only the moon and stars lit up the sky.

“Stay?” I asked in a whisper
Chapter End Notes:
Wouldn't it be nice to swap places with her!  Thanks for reading :)
Chapter 29 by Carter-Orange
Author's Notes:
Another chapter already!  Hope you like :)
Chapter 29

I woke the next morning feeling so happy and relaxed after the amazing night we’d shared. I turned, expecting to see AJ sleeping next to me, but all I found was an empty space. Maybe he’s in the bathroom. I got out of bed and grabbed a t-shirt out of the drawer, pulling it on as I moved across the room. There was no sign of his clothes.


“AJ?” I called softly, but there was no answer.

He wasn’t in the bathroom. I walked downstairs and where there’d been a trail of our clothes the night before, now his were gone.

“Alex?” I called a little louder, but there was no reply. I went from room to room but knew that he wasn’t here. He’d gone at some point during the night or very early this morning, without so much as a goodbye or a note.

The fucking bastard! He fucking used me for sex, and stupid me, I let it happen!

I walked back up the stairs; my happy mood of only a few minutes ago was long gone. I felt used and hurt as I climbed back into bed and pulled the duvet up over my head. I just wanted to wallow for a while and let the tears flow freely.

Last night had been so incredible and so much more than just sex. We’d talked and laughed and fallen asleep curled up together after making love once more. I felt as if maybe there really could be something between us besides the sexual attraction. Obviously I’d been mistaken. Obviously he saw me as just a fuck buddy, someone he could turn to when he fancied getting laid. Well, I wasn’t about to let myself be used in that way again. Sure, the sex was good, more than good, but I couldn’t put myself through the heartache again. Because whether I liked it or not, I was falling for him big time.

“Bastard” I muttered as I grabbed my phone and began typing in a message.

Thanks for saying goodbye this morning, asshole! – Steph

I hit send and slammed the phone down. Within seconds, it was ringing and AJ’s number was flashing on the screen. I pressed reject and turned the phone off, I really wasn’t in the mood for talking to him. The way I was feeling at that precise moment in time, I wouldn’t have cared if I never saw him again. I certainly didn’t want to speak to him.

So instead, I showered and got dressed and decided to get out of the house. I didn’t care where; I just wanted to go somewhere where I wouldn’t be reminded of him. I ended up at the beach and sat down on a large rock which was jutting out of the sand. There weren’t many people about, just the occasional jogger and a couple of surfers, so the tranquillity suited me just fine.

“What the hell am I doing here?” I said to myself. I felt foolish and naïve and totally used. True, I knew this thing between AJ and myself wasn’t going to end in hearts and flowers, I knew we had to see each other under the terms set out by the court, but I hadn’t expected to have these feelings for him. I hadn’t expected to feel an all engulfing passion within me whenever he was near, whenever he looked at me with those incredibly gorgeous brown eyes.

Coming here to Los Angeles was a big mistake and it was only going to end in heartbreak. My heartbreak. AJ obviously didn’t give a fuck.

I got up from the rock and dusted the sand off; sitting there all day wasn’t going to solve my problems. It was time to stop moping, to pull myself together and get a grip. I’d got over a man before, and I’d no doubt have more heartache in the future, it was part of life.

I strolled along the pier, wandering aimlessly, when a sign in a coffee shop window caught my eye.

Help wanted, apply within

Hadn’t I said that I needed a distraction? I didn’t want some boring office job which tied me down all day, but a nice little part time job would suit me just fine. I walked in and went straight to the counter to enquire.

“Hi, I’m enquiring about the job vacancy” I smiled brightly

“Oh right, let me call Ronan from out the back…Ro…someone here for you” she called “good luck”

“Thanks” I replied and waited for the manager at a table off to the side.

“Hi, I’m Ronan Duffy, I understand you’re asking about the job?” he said, his accent undeniably Irish (and god damn sexy too, but he wasn’t my type and I certainly wasn’t looking for romance!)

“Steph Mahoney” I introduced myself “and yes, I’m interested in the job”

“Well Steph, it’s only a couple of hours a day I’m needing someone, to cover the busy lunchtime mainly y’know” he explained in that Irish lilt.

“Sounds perfect” I assured him

We discussed things like the pay (which wasn’t much, but it’s not something I was worried about) and hours and exactly what I’d be required to do. I told Ronan that I had no experience in this kind of work, but he told me that I’d soon get the hang of it.

So I now had a job and I’d be starting tomorrow. I’d be working with the girl I’d already met, whose name was Lisa, and I was looking forward to it.

I walked home in a much better mood than I’d left it in. That all changed once I saw who was waiting outside, leaning against my front door with a cigarette in his mouth.

“What do you want?” I asked coldly

“Listen Steph…I’m sorry OK, but you were asleep and I didn’t want to wake you, you lo…” he began but I cut him off

“Well maybe you should’ve!” I shouted “do you have any idea how used I felt? I thought…”

He cut in “Yeah, well maybe I shouldn’t have just gone, maybe I should’ve woke you, but I was late for work and you were asleep. What the fuck was I supposed to do? Maybe I shouldn’t have even come over last night!”

“Maybe you shouldn’t” I yelled “because I can’t do this. I won’t be someone you just turn to when you want sex. I’m not that kind of person. I have feelings you know!”

“And you think I don’t have feelings?” he asked and flicked his cigarette end away “you have no fucking idea...no idea”

“I…” I began and stopped. I didn’t know what to say and knew that if I opened my mouth, I’d just make things worse.

“You think I only want you for sex? If I only wanted sex, I could get that anywhere. Steph, I don’t know what the fuck is happening between us, but I want more than just sex” he said and closed his eyes, his head resting against the door.

“I don’t know what’s happening either…but I know I don’t want it to stop” I admitted to him and walked up to him, stopping right in front of him.

“We’re both a couple of fuck ups aren’t we” he said and looked down into my eyes, turning my insides to jelly with just one look.

“Uh huh” I answered and then I leaned into him, wrapped my arms around his neck and reached up to kiss him “come on, let’s take this inside”

“Oh no, I’m taking you out on a date” he smiled

“You don’t have to” I said “aren’t we past that?”

“If we’re gonna do this, then we’re gonna do it properly. I want to take you out Steph, I told you, I want more than just sex” he confessed "so I'm gonna prove it"

“OK, but I can’t go out like this, I’m hardly dressed for a date” I protested looking down at my jeans, flip flops and t-shirt

“You look pretty damn good to me” he grinned as he eyed me up and down appreciatively

“Smooth talker” I teased

“You aint seen nothing yet” he chuckled “come on”

I had no idea what the future held, but I would welcome whatever was heading my way as I took his hand and let him lead me down the drive.

“Shit, I forgot, I’ve not got my car” he looked at me apologetically

“Don’t worry, we’ll take my car” I said “you can drive”
Chapter End Notes:
So, what do you think?  Are they doing the right thing?  Let me know!
Chapter 30 by Carter-Orange
Author's Notes:
Here's the next chapter!
Chapter 30

“So, where are you taking me then?” I asked curiously as AJ drove my car down the street.


“Well, I thought we could go and see a movie. That’s a usual first date kind of thing to do isn’t it?” he turned his head slightly towards me and smiled. Have I mentioned that I love his smile? He looks so adorable when he smiles.

“OK, sounds good” I replied and pictured us sitting in a darkened cinema, his arm around me and my head against his chest. It sounded perfect, although not what I would have expected him to suggest.

“Great, then movie it is” he said and focused his attention back to the road “by the way, this is a nice car”

“Thanks. What car do you drive?” I asked, realising that I’d only ever seen him ride a motorbike.

“Oh, I have a couple…I’ve got a Mercedes SLK and a Range Rover” he answered and smiled proudly. I had no idea what a Mercedes SLK looked like, but imagined that it was probably fancier than my Volvo.

“Well, maybe you’ll take me for a ride in them sometime” I said flirtily

“Most definitely” he grinned

“I look forward to that” I said and realised that I didn’t even know where he lived, or what kind of house he had either. All I knew was that he lived in Santa Monica. Did he live in some big fancy show home of a house; a place that just looked good but not lived in, like Jason Orange’s place? Or was AJ’s house more like himself, an eclectic mixture of styles? I looked forward to finding out, whenever he was ready to show me.

We arrived at the cinema, which wasn’t one of those massive multi-screen places that I was expecting, but a small place which only had a choice of two films.

“Quieter here” he explained “you have no idea how it can be sometimes, y’know, trying to just be myself and not AJ the Backstreet Boy”

“I imagine it must be hard sometimes, I’ve seen a few videos on You Tube which I thought were a little too intrusive” I confirmed “but obviously, I have no idea how that must make you feel”

“I know they’re just doing a job, but it fucks me off sometimes. But I guess I can’t complain, this is the profession I’ve chosen and I have to take the good with the bad” he said and took my hand “come on, let’s see what’s showing”

As the cinema only had two films showing, we didn’t have much choice, it was either ‘Zombies vs Vampires: Battle of the Undead’ or ‘Love Is’. I knew which one I preferred the sound of!

“I’m guessing you want to see the chick flick?” he asked, knowing full well what the answer was going to be.

“You guessed right” I answered “do you mind?”

“No, not at all” he replied

Unfortunately the film had already begun and we’d have to either wait a couple of hours for the next showing, or watch the zombie film. The zombie film won.

“I’m warning you, I’m a wimp when it comes to scary movies” I told him

“Well then, it’s a good thing I’m here to protect you from all the scary monsters” he wrapped his arm around me.

AJ insisted on paying for the tickets, so I bought the popcorn and drinks, then we went inside the darkened theatre to find our seats, which happened to be towards the back. In the darkened room, there was no chance of AJ being recognised, which was good for both of us.

“One day Steph, someone is going to get a picture of us together and start asking questions. Are you sure you can handle it? The fans and the paparazzi can be a bit…hmm…unkind” he explained

“Can you handle it?” I questioned and wondered whether he was embarrassed to be seen with me. I obviously wasn’t the usual kind of date he took out, and vice versa, we’d learned that much about each other. I knew he usually dated dark haired exotic looking girls. And he knew that I usually went for the pretty boy kind of guy, tall, blonde haired and blue eyed. We were both the opposite of what we usually looked for in a person.

“Hey, I didn’t mean it like that” he reassured me “it’s just that being with someone like me is going to have its disadvantages”

I silenced his negativity with a kiss, and then another more passionate kiss until the film was about to start and we realised that there were other people in the room besides us. I could’ve quite happily got carried away with him though.

Right from the very start of the film, it was a gore fest. I spent the first half hour of the film with my head buried against AJ’s chest whilst he munched away on the popcorn and cheered along with the other people in the cinema after a particularly gruesome slaying had occurred.

“OK, you can look now” he whispered and then laughed when I looked up to see a zombie getting beheaded, and gore flying around, splattering everything in the vicinity.

“Arsehole” I elbowed him in the ribs, and then snuggled back against him.

“Oh come on Steph, it’s not that scary, in fact it’s pretty fucking funny” he chuckled

“Yeah, maybe for you, but I’ll have nightmares tonight” I pretended to pout

“Well, I’ll have to make sure we do something to change that” he promised and held me closer to him.

I did start to get into the film about halfway through and even found some of it laughable, although the gruesome parts had me covering my eyes. The vampires defeated the zombies in a huge battle at the end and I was relieved when the lights came up at the end of the film.

“Now that was a fucking awesome film” AJ said

“More like awful” I told him

“Oh come on” he protested “that battle scene at the end was just epic”

“Whatever you say” I muttered. I wasn’t about to argue over a film.

“Let’s get out of here” he said and wrapped his arm around my shoulders as we exited the cinema.

So far, as first dates go, it was quite typical. We’d seen a movie and although I wouldn’t usually have been sitting in the theatre kissing a guy on the first date, with AJ it was different, plus he was kind of hard to resist!

I had visions of us going to some nice romantic restaurant and eating delicious food, whilst soft music played in the background and candles lit our table. But then I realised that I was hardly dressed for the occasion.

“But look at me! I’m not dressed for going to a restaurant” I told him

“Well…how about we grab a takeaway instead?” he suggested “do you like Chinese food?”

“Mmm, sounds perfect” I replied

“OK then, am I still driving?” he asked waving the keys in the air

“Yeah, if you want to, I really wouldn’t have a clue how to even get home from here” I replied

“Well, jump in then” he said as he pressed the key to unlock the doors.

A little while later, we were back on the road after purchasing our food. The sun had set a couple of hours ago, but it was a lovely warm night with clear skies above and a full moon and hundreds of twinkling stars lighting up the sky.

“Hey, this isn’t the way back!” I suddenly noticed, looking out of the window at the unfamiliar landscape

“Who said anything about going home?” he smiled

We drove for a couple more miles, long a pitch black winding road lined with trees, and I wondered where the hell he was taking me. Surely we weren’t going to his house as he’d left his motorbike at my place, plus I felt sure that this wasn’t the way to Santa Monica.

“AJ, where are we going?” I asked curiously

“You’ll see in a minute, trust me, it’ll be worth it” he said and focused on the bends in the road, masterfully controlling the car. He looked so damn sexy as he concentrated on the road ahead.

The car came to a stop in a small, rough roaded parking area. If he wanted to get me alone in the dark, he didn’t have to go to so much trouble!

“Come on, it’s a nice night, let’s eat outside” he said and grabbed the take out bag.

“Where are we?” I asked as I opened the door and climbed out of the car.

“I told you, trust me…you’ll see” he smiled and walked around to my side and took hold of my hand.

We walked a short distance along a well worn path, lit by discrete little marker lights all along the way, until we came to a stop. Now I could see where we were, we were high above the city, with a view for miles and miles. It looked beautiful spread out below us.

There were a couple of picnics tables dotted around, so we sat down and got the food out. It was a good thing that chopsticks were included!

“Mmm this is so good” I mumbled through a mouth full of chicken chow mein

We polished off the food and cans of coke, and then dumped the empty cartons in a nearby bin.

“Come on; let’s take a walk” he said and wrapped his arm around me “unless you want to go back”

“No, a walk sounds good” I replied

We walked along the beaten path, but then veered off it slightly and found ourselves on a grassy slope. AJ flopped down and pulled me down with him, so that I landed on top of him, our faces mere inches apart. For a moment we just looked into each others eyes, and then he rolled us so that we were laying side by side, his arms holding me tight.

“It sure is lovely here” I said breaking the silence

“Uh huh” he replied and then stopped me from say anything more by silencing me with a kiss, his lips caressing mine in a most spine tingling way. The kiss was slow and sensual but I wanted more, so much more.

I pressed myself against him, causing him to lie back against the grass bank, then I moved myself on top of him, our lips remaining connected the whole time. I could feel his arousal through the material of his jeans as our kissing became more heated and frenzied as we rolled over again.

There was nothing I wanted more than to feel his hot naked body against mine, but AJ had other ideas.

“Come on, we better head back before we get too carried away” he said huskily

“OK” I affirmed although really, I would’ve preferred to get carried away high up here above the city, under the stars.

He stood up and pulled me to my feet, keeping hold of my hand as we walked back to my car.

During the drive home, I told him all about my new job and listened as he talked about his excitement for the new CD his was working on with the Backstreet Boys, they were hoping it would catapult them back to the top of the charts and give them the same amount of success as their earlier CDs had given them. I was sure that with such a positive attitude, he could achieve anything.

We pulled up outside my house and got out of the car, AJ locked the doors and then handed me the keys.

“I’ve had a really good time today Steph” he told me and then kissed me softly.

“Me too” I admitted and wrapped my arms around his waist. We stood outside on the front steps of my house kissing fervently, but I craved more.

“Well…I guess I’d better get going then” he said breathlessly as he slowly pulled away.

“You don’t have to go” I pleaded

“Yes, I do” he sighed “Steph, you have no idea how much I want to carry you through to your bedroom and fuck you senseless, but I’m trying to prove to you that I’m serious, that I’m not just in it for sex”

“But…” I began

“I’ll call you tomorrow OK, sweet dreams” he kissed the top of my head and then turned to walk away, leaving me standing there kind of speechless.

“Goodnight” I said to his retreating figure and watched as he climbed on his bike and rode off into the night.

Arghh, that man is so fucking infuriating and never does what I expect him to do!
Chapter End Notes:
As you can tell, I haven't a clue about locations, so therefore have made it all up!  And what about that eh...AJ turning down sex! lol
Chapter 31 by Carter-Orange
Author's Notes:
There is a sex scene at the end, but nothing too graphic!  Hope you like :)
Chapter 31

I walked in to the coffee shop to start my new job about twenty minutes before I was due to begin my shift. The place looked quite busy, but nothing unmanageable.


“Be with you in a sec” called Ronan from behind the counter

I watched as he, Lisa and another member of staff served customers. I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it, how hard can it be?

A few minutes later and Ronan strolled over to where I was waiting.

“Come on, I’ll show you around and introduce you to everyone else” he said and I just followed as he led the way “you can put your bag and whatever in here, it’ll be safe”

I left my bag in Ronan’s office and then followed him around as he pointed out various things.

“This is our kitchen guy, Jared. Jared, this is Steph our new girl” he said and I noticed a good looking guy in the kitchen, busily making up customers orders. I’d found out that the coffee shop also did a selection of sandwiches and cakes as well as beverages.

“Hey” Jared called out in greeting and I said hello back at him, then carried on with Ronan’s tour.

By the end of my shift, I’d learned a hell of a lot and also made friends with Krissy, the other member of the staff there. I had a feeling that working with Lisa and Krissy was going to be a lot of fun, as well as hard going! I decided to take back what I’d thought earlier, this job wasn’t going to be as easy as I’d thought, but I realised that it was exactly what I needed.

“See you tomorrow Steph” they said when I was ready to go at 3pm “unless we’ve scared you off”

“Not at all, I’ll see you all tomorrow” I replied and collected my bag and left.

I arrived home and did the mundane stuff, like housework, and then switched on my laptop to check my emails and catch up with any friends who happened to be online (skiving) whilst in work. It was whilst I was chatting on msn with Jess and Chloe, telling them all about life in Los Angeles and asking how things were with them, that my phone started vibrating across the table. I’d turned it on to silent whilst in work as it wouldn’t have looked good on my first day to have that thing going off! I reached across and grabbed the phone, noticing that the number was AJ’s.

“Hey babe, what are you plans for tonight?” he asked

“Nothing…why?” I answered

“Good, because I was wondering if you fancied coming over to my place and I’ll cook for you” he suggested

“You can cook?” I asked

“I get by” he laughed “so does that mean it’s a date?”

“I don’t even know where you live” I expressed

“Check out your SatNav” he assured “and I’ll see you at eight”

“You’re sure of yourself aren’t you? What if I said no?” I teased

“But you won’t” he declared

“Ha!” I said

“What if I say ‘please’, will you?” he asked

“It was going to be yes as soon as you asked” I laughed “but it was good to hear you plead”

“Oh you’re gonna get it later” he retorted

I hope so!

“See you later Steph” he said before I had a chance to vocalise my thoughts.

We ended the conversation and I turned back to my screen, which by now was flashing. Jess and Chloe were probably wondering where I’d got to, so I soon put them straight and told them about the impending date with AJ.

After closing down the laptop, I went up to my room to get ready for my date with my husband. Just calling him that felt strange!

“Now what shall I wear” I said to myself as I rummaged through the rail of clothes in the built in wardrobes. I wanted something which looked good; I wanted him to not be able to resist me. But what? I settled on a little summer dress which I knew looked good, even on me!

I took a nice long shower and washed my hair, then selected some nice sexy underwear and got dressed. I decided to leave my hair to dry naturally, so that it would curl up a bit and have a tousled look, and then I applied some make-up. I preferred the more natural look, so just applied a bit of mascara, lip gloss and a dusting of bronzing pearls across my cheeks to try and give myself a more Californian look. Well, I tried anyway.

I looked at my watch and then decided it was time to get a move on. I grabbed my keys and my bag, slipped some wedge heeled sandals on and was out of the door.

“He said the directions were in the SatNav, when did he do that?” I wondered out loud as I climbed into my car and turned on the device.

Once it had powered up with the maps etc, I pressed favourites and saw that he had indeed programmed his addressed into my SatNav…’Hubby’s place’ came up as the only entry. I shook my head and smiled to myself, then started the engine and set off. I slid a CD into the CD player and sang along as I drove, as singing whilst driving was just something I loved to do, even though I didn’t exactly have the voice of a singer!

In no time at all it seemed, I pulled up outside the house which I assumed must be AJ’s. The house was gated, but wasn’t some huge sprawling looking mansion, instead it was more like the kind of house I would go for. Not too big, but just right. I pressed the buzzer and waited for an answer. I didn’t have to wait long.

“Come on in” he called and the gate opened, allowing me to drive in and up the driveway.

He was standing in the doorway waiting for me when I pulled up outside.

“Nice” I said as I got out of the car and admired the view in front of me (and I didn’t just mean the house either). AJ looked gorgeous, dressed in jeans and a black shirt with a couple of the buttons undone.

He looked me up and down appreciatively and gave me a quick kiss before taking my hand and leading me inside.

“Wow” I said as I admired the interior. It was really, really nice and not at all like some of the celebrity houses you saw in magazines such as OK and Hello. AJ’s house actually looked like he lived in it. It was full of dark wood furniture and was kind of gothic styled but in a warm and welcoming way, and I immediately felt relaxed and at home there. “This isn’t at all how I imagined your house”

“What did you imagine?” he asked with a smirk

“Well, y’know…I was expecting something really over the top, like you see in magazines, but this is lovely” I replied

“Glad you think so” he said and pulled me close for a kiss, which ended all too soon “food is almost done”

He led me into the dining room where the table was set for two and lit up with a few candles. He’d really put in some thought to this meal, which only made me like him more.

“Be right back” he said and dashed out of the room towards the kitchen

Rather than sit down, I looked around the room at AJ’s possessions, trying to learn a bit more about him. There were various photos in frames on a bookcase, unusual looking ornaments and quite a few books too, but before I could take a closer look, I heard a commotion coming from the kitchen.

“You OK?” I called when I heard a couple of ‘fucks’ uttered from the kitchen.

“Erm…yeah” he called back and I decided to go and see what on earth he was up to.

“Oh” I said as I walked in and saw AJ all flustered with something burnt looking in his hands.

“I can’t understand, I followed the friggin instructions exactly” he shook his head in defeat and I couldn’t help but laugh. He shot me a look and I just laughed even more.

“Well, it’s the thought that counts” I said “let me see what’s in the fridge”

We ended up eating cheese on toast and then whilst he insisted on taking our plates out to the kitchen, I opened up the French doors and walked out onto the balcony. The view from AJ’s balcony was just stunning as the sun began to set over the ocean, casting an orange glow over the deep blue water. I stood there just looking out as the breeze washed over me, blowing my hair about gently. I didn’t hear him sneak up behind me, but I soon felt his warm lips against my neck and his fingers move my hair to the side so that he could get better access to the sensitive spot below my ear.

“Mmm” I moaned softly and shivered with delight as he kissed below my ear and gently caressed my back, then placed his arms around my waist so that he was flush against me, his mouth trailing hot kisses along my collarbone. I could feel his lean body pressed up against mine and I trembled with want for him. He knew what he was doing to me, he just had to know!

“Come on, let me show you the rest of the house” he said softly in my ear as he dropped his hands from my waist and caught hold of my hand.

“You are such a tease” I told him, my face a little flushed with excitement after that little display of affection on the balcony.

I had the grand tour and even got to see his cars, which of course were flashier than mine, but at least they weren’t too ostentatious. I knew how some men were with their motors, and I really had no idea why some of them felt the need to own a showroom full of cars, it’s not like they could drive them all. But that was just my opinion.

There was one room in the house I hadn’t seen though, and I wondered whether he was going to show me. I didn’t like to ask, what if that seemed too forward of me? I decided to wait and see.

“Would you like a drink?” he asked once we’d gone back into the house “non-alcoholic of course because you’re driving”

“Erm, yeah, I’ll have a coke” I replied and couldn’t help feeling a little disappointed. He was really playing with my emotions with all of this hot and cold behaviour, one minute kissing me like he wanted more and the next minute acting like some prim and proper gentleman. I really didn’t know where I stood with him. Did he like me or not? It was safe to say that I liked him more with every passing day. He’d gone from being someone who repulsed me that morning I woke up to find I’d married him, to someone I was deeply attracted to on more than one level. Damn him!

We didn’t get as far as having those drinks.

His hands were knotted in my hair and his mouth was devouring mine, kissing me thoroughly.

“Oh god, I want you so fucking badly” he murmured breathlessly as his lips crashed against mine again and his hands moved from my hair, down my body until they were around my waist. My hands had made their way under his shirt and were caressing his naked chest.

With ease, he lifted me up onto the marble kitchen work top and stood between my legs, kissing me with fierce passion as I wrapped my legs around his back and pulled him in closer to me. His hands caressed my back before slipping under the straps of my dress and pulling it off my shoulders, exposing my bra. He kissed my breasts through the flimsy bit of lace material and then unhooked the bra and whipped it off.

“Fuck” I gasped as he circled my erect nipples with his tongue “oh fuck, I need you, I want you”

He silenced me with a kiss and effortlessly lifted me off the work top and carried me up the stairs to his bedroom and threw me down on the four poster bed. He kneeled between my legs and pulled his shirt off over his head whilst I made quick work of his jeans, tugging them down along with his boxers. My dress and underwear soon joined his clothes on the floor and then he eased my thighs apart and pushed himself into me, staring intently into my eyes as he slid deeper and deeper into me.

“Alex…oh…god…yes” I begged as we moved as one, hard and desperately.

“Fuck” he growled out as I dug my nails into his back and squeezed my legs tighter around his back.

I moaned loudly and felt my whole body tremble with pleasure as the most amazing orgasm took over. I kissed him hungrily and within moments, he too was coming, deep inside me.

“Fucking hell babe” he said breathlessly and kissed me again and again “I fucking love it when you call me Alex”

I didn’t make it home that night.
Chapter End Notes:

Let me know what you think!  I know what I think...I want some of what she's having, lol.  Lucky cow!

Chapter 32 by Carter-Orange
Author's Notes:
Sorry it's taken so long to update, so here's a longer chapter to make up for it :)
Chapter 32



In the heat of the moment the night before, we’d forgotten all about contraception, there just wasn’t time to think about things like that. Our need for one another was just too great.



I was going to have to make a detour to the pharmacy on my way home to get the morning after pill. Better to be safe than sorry, as having a baby wasn’t something I planned on doing anytime soon and I’m sure the same applied to AJ.



“See you later?” AJ asked as we kissed goodbye in the hallway. He was running late for work and I would also be late if I didn’t get a move on.



“Uh huh” I murmured as his lips brushed against mine and his hand caressed my back softly.



“I’ll take that as a yes then, I’ll give you a call after you get out of work” he said and we walked out of the house, got into our separate cars and then headed off in opposite directions.



I drove to the pharmacy thinking to myself that I must go on the pill. That way we wouldn’t have to worry about acting on impulse. I smiled to myself as I remembered last night, it really had been incredible. Sex with AJ just got better and better.



Having bought the emergency contraceptive - which by the way was kind of embarrassing, having to answer a load of questions before they’d hand over the damn packet – I couldn’t wait to get home and take it.



“Hmm…95% effective in the first twenty four hours…side effects include nausea…” I said as I scanned over the directions for usage. There was only one pill, so I poured a glass of water and swallowed the pill, then discarded of the wrapper. There, all done!



I didn’t really have time for breakfast, so after showering and getting dressed for work, I just grabbed a bagel on my way out of the door and ate it on the go.



I’d been in work for only a couple of hours when I began to feel nauseous and dizzy, not a nice feeling at all. I’d not felt this unwell in years.



“Hey Steph, are you OK?” asked Lisa looking over at me with concern



“I’ll be alright, just feeling a bit dizzy that’s all” I replied and gave her a weak smile. I really didn’t know her well enough yet to divulge the reason for my sudden sickness, taking the morning after pill wasn’t something you wanted to broadcast to the world.



“You sure? You’ve gone really pale…well…paler than normal” she persisted



“Actually, I don’t feel so good” I replied and sprinted towards the toilets, only just getting there in time.



What the hell!



I really hadn’t expected the emergency contraception to have such an effect. I felt like shit.



After flushing the toilet and then splashing cold water all over my face, I slumped against the tiles feeling like crap. I really didn’t have the energy to put on my happy face for the customers, all I wanted to do was go home and crawl into bed and sleep it off.



“Oh god, you look awful” Ronan said when I emerged “you’d better go home and get yourself better”



“I’m so sorry to let you down like this” I apologised. I knew it had to look bad going home sick on my second day in the job, but there was nothing I could do; I really did feel like shit.



“Don’t worry about it Steph, these things happen and you’re no use here when you’re not well” he admitted “I’ll give you a call tomorrow and see how you are”



“Thanks” I replied and got my bag from the office and made my way home.



Once inside my house, I kicked off my shoes and dragged myself up the stairs, where I then flung myself into bed and pulled the duvet over me. I fell asleep almost immediately.



I was woken by my phone vibrating in my pocket some time later. I’d not switched the sound back on after leaving work.



“Hello” I answered groggily, wondering what time it was



“Steph?” queried AJ on the other end “that you?”



“Oh hi, sorry I was just asleep” I replied and stretched out in my bed, noting that I felt a little better than I had earlier.



“Asleep?” he asked “did I wear you out last night baby?”



“Haha Alex, I can handle whatever you’ve got and you know it! No, it’s not that, I really don’t feel too good” I told him



“Aw babe, what’s wrong?” he asked, his voice changing from playful to concerned.



“Think it was that damn emergency contraceptive pill I took earlier, it said on the packet that nausea was a side effect” I explained “so I think we’ll have to cancel tonight”



“I could still come over” he suggested



“No really, I’d prefer to just suffer on my own” I insisted. I really didn’t want him to see me looking like this; I must look horrible because I sure felt it.



“Are you sure? I don’t mind coming over” he persisted



“AJ, I appreciate your concern but I’d be no company at all” I told him and we chatted for a couple more minutes and then hung up.



I still felt weak and a bit wobbly, but I got out of bed and made myself something to eat, then curled up on the sofa and watched some old movie which was on TV.



The following morning I felt great, thank god! I called Ronan to let him know I’d be in work later and then gave AJ a quick call.



“Hey Steph” he answered after a couple of rings “feeling better?”



“I’m fine now” I answered and couldn’t help but notice the sound of music in the background “where are you?”



“Oh, I’m at the studio” he replied and I realised I’d never heard him sing. I mean obviously I’d heard him on the radio, TV and CDs, but I’d never actually heard him sing in person. I wondered if I ever would. I knew I’d like to.



“I’d love to hear you sing” I blurted out without really thinking of what I was saying.



“Well then, I’ll have to do something about that” he said and I could tell he was smiling “so do you want to do something tonight?”



“Hmm, I think I could be persuaded to do something with you tonight” I giggled



“And there was me thinking of a nice romantic meal somewhere…candles, wine, good food…and all you want is my body” he said and laughed



“What can I say, you have a nice body” I answered teasingly “but have it your way, we’ll go out for a meal”



“What time shall I pick you up? About eight?” he asked



“Perfect” I replied “see you later”



I smiled to myself after we’d ended the call. I couldn’t wait to see him again.



~*~



“Feeling better?” Ronan asked when I breezed in to the coffee shop a little while later.



“Much” I replied “I think it was just a twenty four hour thing”



I put my bag in the office and got straight to work, determined to make up for the fact that I’d gone home early the day before. I really didn’t want to leave a bad impression on my new boss. And so, before I knew it, I’d poured my last coffee of the day, my shift was over and it was time to go home.



“See you tomorrow” I called after collecting my bag



“Enjoy the rest of your day” Lisa said



“You too” I replied and pushed the door open and stepped out into the bright Californian sunshine. I was getting used to this climate, how could I not, it was gorgeous.



I had a couple of hours before I’d have to get ready for my date, so I strolled along the pier and looked in a few of the shops on my way home and then decided to sit outside and catch a few rays.



At exactly eight o’clock, there was a knock on my front door and I felt my heart beat a little faster. I quickly checked my reflection in the hall mirror and then opened the door to see AJ standing there looking hot as hell. His eyes were drinking me in, looking at me from head to toe before finally settling on my eyes.



“You look nice tonight” he admitted



“Only nice?” I joked as I did a little twirl and showed off my new figure hugging jeans and purple halter neck top which I’d not had the chance to wear until now.



“OK, more than nice” he teased and pulled me to him and crushed his lips against mine roughly “fucking gorgeous”



We stood there in the open doorway, his hands in my hair and my arms wrapped around his waist, with our lips locked together.



“Come on Mrs McLean, we’ll be late if we don’t get a move on” he said and untangled his hands from my hair and stepped back.



“OK Mr McLean” I replied and stepped back into the house to grab my bag and keys and then closed the front door. Kind of funny how I didn’t mind him calling me Mrs McLean now, in fact, it was sort of cute. Only a few weeks ago, it would’ve pissed me right off!



It was another warm evening so the roof was down on AJ’s black Mercedes as we made our way to the restaurant. My hair swirled around softly in the breeze and I decided to tie it back until we got there, otherwise I’d be stepping out of the car looking like I’d stuck my fingers in an electric socket!



“I hope you like Italian” he looked across at me and then back to the road



“Love it” I replied



“Good” he smiled “we’ll be there soon”



We drove along the coastal road; the sound of the ocean was like music to our ears as the waves lapped up onto the sand. I decided that whenever I moved away from here, I’d have to live somewhere where I could be near the sea side. I loved walking along the beach whenever I felt like it. It was such a relaxing thing to do.



We arrived at the authentic looking Italian restaurant and were shown to our table by a waitress who obviously knew who AJ was, judging by the way she stuck her chest out and batted her eyelashes at him. Couldn’t she see he was with someone?



“Can I get you a drink whilst you decide what to order?” she asked but didn’t really look my way



“What would you like Steph?” AJ asked me



“Just a coke please” I replied and AJ told her to make it two cokes and then we picked up our menus.



“She was a little obvious” I stated



“I didn’t notice” he replied



“Oh come on, how could you not notice?” I questioned



“After years of that kind of attention, you become immune to it” he answered



“Do you ever get tempted?” I asked and knew that he must, he was a man after all and most men wouldn’t turn down sex if it was offered to them on a plate.



“I used to. Back in the early days I did a lot of things I’m not so proud of, including sleeping with way too many girls. But listen Steph, I’m not that guy anymore, he’s long gone” AJ clarified “I’m a one woman kind of guy these days!”



“I’m glad to hear that” I retorted



We were interrupted then by the waitress bringing our drinks.



“Are you ready to order?” she smiled brightly



“Could we have a couple more minutes?” I asked and she smiled again and walked away.



We looked at the menu and it all looked so good, it was hard to decide, but I eventually settled on garlic mushrooms to start and lasagne as the main course. AJ ordered calamari and steak diane.



“Urgh, isn’t that octopus or something?” I asked



“Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it” he grinned across the table at me



“No thank you” I replied.



We chatted about food for a few minutes, what we liked, what we didn’t like to eat and then before we knew it, our starter had arrived.



“You sure you don’t want a bit?” he asked offering me a fork of calamari.



“Perfectly sure” I replied and stabbed my fork into my mushrooms.



The main course was brought out shortly after our starter plates had been cleared away, and I had to admit, that steak did look good and I’m sure it tasted good if AJ’s “mmm’s” were anything to go by. I enjoyed my lasagne though.



After finishing our meal, and paying the bill, we left the restaurant hand in hand.



“I’m gonna take you somewhere fun now” he said and I wondered if that place would happen to be his bedroom. Gutter brain!



“And where would that be?” I asked flirtily



“Probably not the place you’re thinking of” he smirked and I slapped his arm



“Arsehole” I said and he just laughed



“Come on, it’ll be fun…I promise” he said and wrapped his arm around my shoulders and I put my hand in his back pocket.



We ended up at Santa Monica pier, at the fun fair.



“Aw, wac-a-mole…I’ve not played that in years” I squealed excitedly, like a child in a sweet shop.



“Alright then, let’s play it” AJ said and we did. We played for ages, not just wac-a-mole but other games too, winning tokens which we traded in for a cuddly toy when we were done.



We strolled around happily, in our own little world, holding hands and eating ice cream, whilst all around us was the usual hustle and bustle you get at the fun fair. Although the night was dark, everything was lit up with brightly coloured lights, casting multi-coloured rainbows over the entire area.



“Y’know, this kind of reminds me of one of the fun fairs I used to go to back home” I said wistfully, remembering outings to the fair with friends in the past.



“You miss home don’t you?” AJ asked, stopping us in our tracks and looking deep into my eyes.



“Yes” I simply answered. It was the truth. Although Los Angeles was an amazing place, it would never be home to me. Maybe if I lived there long enough I’d come to change my mind, but I doubted it.



“Aw baby, I’m so sorry for everything…” he began but I stopped him.



“AJ, this isn’t your fault, so stop apologising” I told him, and then reached up and kissed him, he tasted like mint choc chip ice cream.



“I know, but you’re the one who’s given up everything in coming here” he said after we’d kissed “but I’m glad you’re here, with me”



“Me too” I replied and he tilted my face up towards his and kissed me again.



“I think we’d better stop before I have to drag you off somewhere more private” he said, his voice all husky and lust filled.



“Please drag me away” I teased



“Oh baby, your wish will be my command…later” he grinned “we can’t come to the fun fair without going on the bumper cars”



“Alex” I chastised him “you are a big tease”



“I know” he admitted and grabbed my hand and pulled me towards the bumper cars.



We finished with a romantic ride on the Ferris wheel, kissing high up in the air, overlooking the Pacific Ocean, it really was beautiful.



“Right then Mrs McLean, I think I have a wish to grant!” he exclaimed and we ran to the car giggling like a couple of teenagers.
 
Chapter End Notes:
Hope you enjoy, please let me know!  Also, I have no idea why there are all those spaces between, weird!
Chapter 33 by Carter-Orange
Author's Notes:
Here's the next part, it does contain a bit of adult material but nothing too graphic!
Chapter 33

The next few weeks flew by and although everything was going incredibly well with AJ, and I was enjoying my little part time job, I missed my friends and family back home. In fact, I missed home a lot more than I could ever have imagined.

“So, how’s things going with that gorgeous hubby of yours?” Izzy asked one evening over the phone “and have you crossed anything else off your list yet?”

“Do you know what…I’d totally forgot about the list, but I am still only twenty six, I’ve got plenty of time for it” I replied and we both laughed.

“I suppose so, but you didn’t answer my question about AJ” she said “everything still OK?”

“Oh Izzy, it’s more than OK. I really think I’m falling in love with him” I sighed

“That good eh? Has he said he loves you yet?” she asked

“No” I replied “that’s the only thing. I just don’t know how he feels about me. I mean…I know he likes me a lot, we have a good time together and everything’s great, but I don’t know whether he loves me. I don’t know whether we’ll still be together once this compulsory court order to stay married is up. What if he doesn’t want me then?”

“Steph…how could he not want to be with you?” Izzy asked and I shrugged to myself, aware that she couldn’t see me “but you can’t think like that, you have to just go with it and see where it takes you. Have you told him you love him?”

“No” I answered “I’m not sure whether it’s too soon”

“See! Maybe he’s thinking the same as you” she offered and it made sense.

“I know, you’re right. Thanks for listening, it’s just I have no one here I can really talk to about things, you know, like we used to do before I moved here” I said “but enough about me, how’s things with you?”

“I split up with Tom” she announced in a nonchalant tone

“Oh Izzy, I’m so sorry to hear that. What happened? I thought things were going OK between the two of you” I asked

“Oh things were great, and then I found out he’s married! The fucking cheek of the guy, he still wanted to carry on seeing me after I’d found out. But you know me, I will not be someone’s bit on the side” she explained and I was nodding my head in agreement.

“Good for you Iz, but are you OK?” I asked

“I’m fine. As a matter of fact, I was wondering when you’re going to invite me over…I’m dying to see that new place of yours” she said

“Oh god Iz, I’m so sorry! Anytime, you know that. How soon can you come over?” I asked, feeling excited at the prospect of seeing my friend again shortly.

“Well, as it happens, I was thinking this weekend. Is that OK?” she asked “I was thinking I could get a flight on Friday night and stay until maybe Wednesday, would that be OK?”

“Perfect” I squealed excitedly “we’ll have so much fun”

We chatted for a while longer and then said our goodbyes. I could hardly wait for the weekend. But that conversation with Izzy had got me thinking, I hadn’t crossed anything off my list for a while and couldn’t quite remember what was left on there, I knew there was skinny dipping and sex on the beach…but what else? Hmm. I rummaged around for my notebook in my bedside drawers and found it.

“Oh yes” I said to myself as I looked at the list.

1. Fall in love
2. Own my own place
3. Skinny dipping and sex on the beach
4. Learn a new language
5. Ride a scary roller coaster whilst eating or bungee jump or something else equally as scary
6. Road trip across the USA
7. Blow a fortune on a single night out
8. Drive a flash car way too fast (and not get caught)
9. Swim with dolphins
10. Tell my boss to shove his job up his arse

“Five down and five to go, although I think number one is very close to being crossed off” I smiled to myself as I thought of AJ.

I left the notebook on my bed as I ran to answer the door. He was early, although I didn’t mind one little bit!

“Mmm” we both murmured as we kissed at the door, his arms wrapped around my waist and mine around his neck. We’d not seen each other for a few days due to his work commitments taking him away for a couple of nights, but that just meant we had some catching up to do. I walked us backwards into the house and he kicked the front door closed causing it to slam, and then spun me around so that I was pressed against the door.

“Miss me?” he asked as he nibbled at my neck, grazing my skin with his couple of days worth of stubble “cos I sure as hell have missed you”.

“You know I have” I responded and curled my fingers around his neck and pulled him down so that our lips met.

We kissed fervently as he threaded his fingers in my hair, pulling me closer to him. I moaned softly as he pressed his hard body more forcefully against mine.

“You’re wearing far too many clothes Mrs McLean” he said huskily, his voice lust filled and his eyes intense.

“So are you Mr McLean” I replied and tugged at his belt (which had a big skull buckle on it) “fuck, this thing is hard to undo”

“Here, let me” he replied and placed his hand over mine and helped me get the belt undone. Then he pulled his t-shirt over his head and tossed it onto the floor, leaving me standing there awestruck at the beauty of his body.

What a man!

He kissed along my jaw and below my ear, sending shivers all through my body as we slowly made our way to the bedroom leaving my t-shirt and bra scattered on the floor along the way. Once inside the bedroom, he backed me up against the bed until we both fell onto it, AJ on top of me. He kissed his way down my body, slow and teasingly, circling my nipple with his tongue and then moving over to the other before trailing hot kisses down my stomach.

“These jeans have got to go baby” he murmured as he unfastened them and stood to pull them off, leaving me in just my underwear.

I kneeled up on the bed and pulled him to me by the belt loops of his jeans and his mouth came crashing down against mine, kissing me hungrily as I pushed his jeans and boxers down.

“Oh Alex” I said breathlessly between kisses “I need you…right now…please…fuck me”

“You know how fucking sexy that sounds hearing you say that? I fucking love it when you call me Alex” he said and ripped the lacy scrap of material I called underwear off my body and pressed his hard length up against me, making me whimper for more.

“Oh god” I moaned as he filled me to the hilt with one masterful thrust. I wrapped my legs tightly around his hips and squeezed him tightly to me “yes…oh my fucking god yessss”

“So fucking good” he murmured as he thrust hard and deep, the headboard banging against the wall with the force. “Fuck…I…love…oh fuck” he said breathlessly as my hips rose up and met his, thrust for thrust and my nails dug into his back in ecstasy.

“Alex” I gasped as a powerful and incredible orgasm took hold of my body, my muscles tightening around his deeply embedded cock “oh…god…Alex…”

He held on to me tighter and with one final thrust, erupted deep inside me, a look of pure ecstasy on his face. He collapsed down on top of me, our sweaty limbs entwined on the bed.

We stayed liked that for a while, just coming down from our amazing highs, when AJ reached for something across the bed which had caught his eye.

“What’s this? A diary?” he asked curiously

Fuck, it’s my notebook, he’ll see my list and..oh god, this is so embarrassing!

“Oh, it’s nothing” I said trying to grab it from him unsuccessfully “just a notebook”

“Well, if it’s nothing you won’t mind me looking” he teased and waved it above so I couldn’t reach.

“Please” I simply said “it’s just a silly little list”

“It’s OK, I won’t look if you don’t want me to” he said and handed it back to me.

I felt a bit bad and wondered whether I should tell him about the list I’d made on my twenty fifth birthday. I was hardly top secret or anything like that. I was just worried he’d laugh or something, maybe think I was a bit crazy.

I handed him the book, the page open at my list “here you go”.

“Ten things to do before I’m thirty…hmm…interesting” he mused and then focused his attention back to the page “you’ve got some good ideas here, done any of them yet?”

He grinned at me and raised his eyebrows, pointing to number three.

“Only the ones crossed through” I said blushing slightly.

“Steph, you don’t need to be embarrassed about this” he snuggled back down with me, book in one hand and his other arm around me, pulling me close “so, how was it telling the boss to shove his job up his ass?”

I couldn’t help laughing “now that was amazing”.

“What made you decide to make a list like this anyway?” he asked

“Well, it was my twenty fifth birthday and I realised I’d done absolutely nothing worthwhile in my life. I just existed. Y’know, I went to work, came home and sometimes went out with my friends, but that was it. I wanted to prove to myself that I could achieve something. I wanted to set myself some goals in life…and so whilst we were all drunk, we began talking about it and I narrowed it down to what you see on that page” I explained

“I think it’s a great idea” he said

“And the strange thing is that I haven’t actually set out to do any of them, apart from learning a new language, the rest have just kind of happened when I least expected” I said shyly

“Like blowing a fortune in a single night out” he chuckled

“That and…and…” I stopped and lowered my gaze so he couldn’t see my face clearly. Was now really a good time to tell him I loved him? What if he laughed? What if he thought I just wanted to cross another item off my list?

He put the book down and tilted my face up to meet his eyes, any trace of joking pushed aside.

“Y’know, I’d like to be the person you cross number one off the list for” he said seriously, his eyes boring into mine, making me shudder.

“You are” I whispered “Alex…I love you”

His mouth met mine, kissing me softly and with so much tenderness “I love you too Steph, so much”
Chapter End Notes:
Please let me know what you think.  Thanks :)
Chapter 34 by Carter-Orange
Author's Notes:
I was on a bit of a roll with it, so not so long to wait this time!  Hope you like :)
Chapter 34

AJ and I were in love, we’d finally admitted it to one another. That didn’t mean that everything was suddenly going to be perfect between us, oh no, it didn’t work quite like that in real life.


“You remember saying how you wanted to hear me sing sometime?” AJ asked the following morning as we lay in bed curled up together.

“Yeah, why?” I asked, wondering if he was suddenly going to burst into song here and now.

“And you know how I was saying that we’re nearly done with the CD recording?” he asked

“Uhuh” I said and wondered where this was going

“How would you like to come to the studio today, it’s your day off right? We’re recording one of the songs Nick and I wrote and it would be great to have you there to hear it. Plus it’ll be a good opportunity for you to meet the rest of the guys” he said

“AJ…do they know about us?” I asked. As far as I was aware, our relationship hadn’t been found out and splashed all over the internet, but then what did I know? I didn’t go on those fan forums and gossip sites, for all I knew there were photos of us all over the place!

“How could they not know with Carter around!” he chuckled “yes, they know about us”

“And are they OK with it, I mean the fact that we met in Vegas and…” I began but he cut me off.

“Steph, I couldn’t give a fuck what they say and they know it. I don’t tell them how to live their lives and I don’t expect them to tell me either, we’re all grown men. But I’m sure once they’ve met you, they’ll love you” he said and pulled me closer, kissing the top of my head as I nestled against his chest.

“So they hate me!” I protested “Great!”

“Hate is a strong word. They don’t hate you, they don’t even know you, they’ve never even met you, well apart from Nick…they just…” he began

“Think I’m a gold digging whore?” I questioned and sat up, pulling the sheet up to cover myself. I suddenly felt cheap.

“No…” he protested

“Well what then?” I asked

“Steph, you have to understand, I’ve had a lot of failed relationships in the past and they’ve had to put up with me when it’s all gone to shit. I guess they’re just looking out for me” he said

“Great, so I can expect the Spanish inquisition then?” I asked. I could understand where he was coming from. Wouldn’t I be the same with my friends? Wouldn’t I be concerned if Izzy had married some random guy in Las Vegas? The more I thought it over, the more rational I became.

“Something like that” he grinned and I threw one of the pillows at him.

“Oh you are so gonna get it” he said, throwing the pillow down and pushing the covers back.

I jumped off the bed and ran towards the bathroom, still clutching at the sheet which I’d pulled off the bed, but he was faster. He caught me and pinned me up against the fully tiled bathroom wall, his hands gripping mine above my head, causing the sheet to fall. His body pressed against mine, his desire for me digging in to my stomach and I shivered with anticipation.

“So give it to me then” I teased and his eyes met mine and shone with pure unadulterated lust.

“It’ll be my pleasure” he said huskily and lifted me up and carried me to the shower, where we spent quite some time.

We eventually arrived at the studio and I was so nervous that my hands were sweating.

“Don’t worry” he reassured me and took my hand in his and led the way.

“Easy for you to say” I muttered and he gave my hand a reassuring squeeze.

There were a few people milling around inside, all of whom said ‘hi’ as we made our way to where we needed to be. I wasn’t sure, but I could’ve sworn I heard whispers as we passed.

“If we’re not all over the net yet, then we soon will be” he whispered in my ear. He’d obviously heard the whispers too.

“And you’re OK with that?” I asked, wondering how he could be so calm.

“Well I have to be, it goes with the job. I don’t like my private life splashed all over the trashy rags, but I have no choice, I can’t control it. It’s something you’ll get used to eventually” he explained and we carried on until we came to a door “Ready?”

“As I’m ever going to be” I said and wondered whether it was too late to turn back.

“Come on then” he said and opened the door to reveal a few surprised faces and one friendly looking face.

“Hey Steph, good to see you again” Nick greeted me warmly.

“Hi Nick” I said shyly

“Guys, this is Steph” AJ announced “Steph, this is Howie and Brian as you probably already guessed and these guys over here are our studio guys…”

He introduced me to everyone and to my relief, they were all very nice. We talked for a while and then I listened as they began talking about vocals and music and things like that. I’d worried over nothing.

“Told you” AJ whispered in my ear and placed a gentle kiss there before getting up to join the others in the sound booths.

I sat there completely awestruck as they sang their hearts out, giving it everything they had. Anyone who ever doubted the Backstreet Boys singing abilities would’ve had to eat their words if they’d been here listening to what I was listening to. They were that good!

Nick was up first, and boy could that guy sing! But when it came to AJ, it was a whole different story. I can’t explain what his voice did to me, but when he looked in my direction as he sang those lyrics, I wanted to melt. The love I felt for him was immense.

We sent out for food at lunchtime and when it arrived, we sat around a large table in another room eating, chatting and just generally having a good laugh. I could see that they were a genuine bunch of guys and truly got along together. No wonder they’d been wary about me, I couldn’t blame them, I’d be the same with my friends.

I hung around whilst they finished up for the day, and then one by one, everyone left, leaving just AJ and I there (and David, one of the studio guys, although he’d popped out).

“They liked you” he said and moved closer to me, placing his arms around my waist.

“I liked them too” I replied and wrapped my arms around him.

“Good” he said and leaned down to kiss me.

“Mmm” I moaned softly into his mouth as the kiss grew more passionate.

“Fuck…we better stop before I have to have you right here” he said breathlessly pulling away slightly and adjusting his jeans.

“And that would be a bad thing?” I teased

“Sure would be, look up there at the cameras!” he laughed and pointed them out to me.

“Shit” I exclaimed

“Uhuh! Now I know I’m not averse to a little risky business, but I don’t want my naked ass all over You Tube” he laughed and I laughed along with him “and anyway, there was something else I wanted to do while we’re here”

“Hmm like what?” I asked

“You’ll see” he said and wandered over to a mixing desk and started fiddling with buttons until some background music started playing.

“AJ, what are you doing?” I asked curiously but he didn’t answer, instead he turned the sound up slightly and began singing.

“Empty spaces fill me up with holes,
Distant faces with no place left to go,
Without you within me I can’t find no rest,
Where I’m going is anybody’s guess” he sang and I wanted to melt.

Oh god, this song is just so beautiful and his voice…oh my fucking god!

“I tried to go on like I never knew you,
I’m awake but my world is half asleep,
I pray for this heart to be unbroken,
But without you all I’m gonna be is incomplete”

I slowly walked over to him and placed my hands against his chest, then I gripped hold of his shirt, fisting it in my hand and reached up to kiss him whilst at the same time pulling him down against me. I didn’t care if there were cameras watching. I couldn’t control myself. Let them watch, I don’t care.

“Your voice is so fucking sexy” I breathed against his lips “you are so fucking sexy…I want you, right here, right now Alex”

“I’m gonna sing to you more often” he murmured as I began unbuttoning his shirt and kissing his chest “but let’s move this over here where it’s more comfortable”

He backed me over to a large leather chair situated behind the mixing desk and then sat down with me straddling his thighs.

“Better” he murmured and pulled my top off.

Before long we were both completely naked and I was riding him like a rodeo horse in that leather chair. His left hand was fisted in my hair, pulling at it so that he could get better access to my neck and his right hand was on my hips.

“Fucking hell yeah baby” he called out as I ground down against him, taking everything he had to give “I’m getting close…fuck…oh god…don’t stop”

“Mmm…oh god…oh fuck yeah…yesssssssssssss” I screamed as my body began to tremble.

He gripped my hips tightly and pulled me down harder and faster, bucking his hips upwards to meet mine, until he too was spent. I relaxed against his warm chest, our bodies still connected in the most intimate way.

“Fucking hell Steph, that was fucking amazing” he said breathlessly as he stroked my hair.

“God yeah” I agreed and then suddenly remembered the cameras. I tensed up.

“Don’t worry, I don’t think the cameras are directed this way” he said “and if they are then someone is in for a shock when they play those tapes back”

“But…” I began to protest. He might not care if people saw him naked, but I did! I didn’t want to be broadcast all over the internet fucking AJ in a chair.

“Relax, I’ll go and get rid of the evidence when we’re dressed” he grinned.

I couldn’t get dressed quick enough.
Chapter End Notes:
I don't know about you, but I want to be in that recording studio, lol.  Please review and let me know what you think!
Chapter 35 by Carter-Orange
Author's Notes:
Sorry for the delay, I've been away for a week and didn't have my laptop with me.
Chapter 35

Finally, Friday afternoon arrived and I said goodbye to my work colleagues and wished them a good weekend and then drove to the airport to collect Izzy. I was going to make this weekend something special for her, she sounded like she needed some cheering up and a bit of fun after her break up with Tom, the cheating bastard.


It seemed like years rather than weeks since I’d last seen Izzy. So much had happened since I’d arrived in LA; it was hard to imagine that just a few months ago I was a singleton who had given up on love! Now I was in a relationship with a wonderful man I’d met and married on a whim in Las Vegas. Life had thrown me a few surprises in these past few months.

“Izzy” I called and waved when I saw her pulling her wheeled case behind her through the throngs of passengers at the busy airport.

“Steph!” she squealed excitedly and we hugged each other, not caring whether we were causing an obstruction.

“Welcome to LA” I grinned “we are going to have so much fun”

“Can’t wait” she beamed

“By the time you go home, Tom will be just a distant memory!” I promised her, hoping I could make good on that promise.

“Wow Steph, you really are in love with AJ aren’t you? You have that look about you”

“What kind of look?” I asked curiously

“The kind of look that says you’re getting lots of fantastic sex, you lucky cow” she teased

I blushed slightly, but couldn’t deny it. Sex with AJ was fantastic. AJ was fantastic. Yeah, I was loved up alright!

We left the airport and walked to where my car was parked. It was another gloriously sunny day here in Los Angeles with just the slightest warm breeze.

“Nice car” Izzy said once we’d loaded her things into the boot and were inside the car “wouldn’t get much use out of it back home though, most of the time you’d have to keep the roof on”

“I know” I replied

True, we had more than our share of rainy days back home, but I still missed the place. Los Angeles just didn’t seem real to me, I still couldn’t picture myself living here forever.

We drove along the Pacific Coast Highway, our hair blowing out all around us in the breeze, talking and catching up on each other’s lives. It was so good to see Izzy again.

“So, where’s the hubby today?” she turned to me

“He’s working, they’re still working on their new CD” I giggled a little as I remembered what AJ and I had got up to in that recording studio. I thanked god he’d managed to get hold of that tape from the security office before anyone had had a chance to see it. We’d run out of there like a couple of teenagers, giggling and holding hands, tape in hand.

“Oh yeah, what’s so funny?” Izzy questioned

“Nothing, just thinking about Alex” I smiled

“You really do love him don’t you? Have you told him you love him yet? Has he said it to you?” she questioned whilst I drove

“Yes, yes and yes” I answered “we love each other”

“Sweet” she smiled “so what’s happening with the divorce?”

“Hmm” I said “that I don’t know for sure. I suppose we’ll just have to see how things go”

“I can’t see it happening” she told me “I said back in Las Vegas that there was something there between you, the way you were together just seemed so…right”

“Well, we’ll see. Anyway, I thought we were going to have today as a ‘no man day’ and that means no talking about any of them, even AJ” I said

“You’re right” she agreed “so, what are the shops like here?”

“That’s more like it. You’re going to love them” I promised her.

We arrived at my house and Izzy immediately loved it and made herself right at home in the guest bedroom, spreading her clothes and belongings out like they’d always been there.

“Lovely place Steph, wow, and look at that view!” she said and spun around to face me “you are so lucky”

“Well, as nice as it is, I miss home” I admitted

“What? When you’ve got this? Are you mad?” she teased “but I suppose it takes some getting used to, living in another country”

“Yeah” I agreed “it does”

It was late in the afternoon and I knew Izzy wouldn’t feel like doing a lot after her long journey, so we sat outside with the view of the ocean before us and just talked for a while.

“Who is he?” Izzy peered over her sunglasses at my neighbour Lucas as he got out of his car.

“My neighbour Lucas North, he’s a writer, and he’s married” I informed her

“Shame” she muttered and I laughed. She’d only been here a couple of hours and was already eyeing up the men!

“I thought you were off men” I teased her

“No harm in looking though” she replied as she eyed him up and down

“Hey Steph” Lucas called out

“Hi Lucas” I replied

“Hi” Izzy called out and gave him her flirtiest look.

“You must be Izzy, hi I’m Lucas” he replied “nice to meet you”

“Likewise” Izzy replied “we’re having a little party here tomorrow night, you are more than welcome to come”

“Great, what time?” he asked

Izzy looked at me quickly and then turned back to Lucas “eight o’clock”

“I’ll be there, unfortunately Catherine is away working at the moment, so it’ll just be me” he said and Izzy muttered ‘perfect’ just loud enough for me to hear.

“That’s a shame, where is she this time?” I asked. Catherine was an actor but I’d never seen any of her films nor heard of them, but at least she was getting work, unlike a lot of actors in this city.

“She’s in France” he replied “she’ll be back in a couple of weeks”

“Nice” Izzy said “I mean, France is nice”

We chatted for a couple more minutes but then Lucas’s phone started to ring and he had to go, waving goodbye to us as he walked into his house.

“Fuck me Steph, he’s friggin gorgeous” she said “and he’s got a sexy as hell voice…I bet everything about him is hot”

“Izzy” I chastised her

“Well…he is. No harm in looking and admiring the man” she retorted

“No, you’re right. No harm in admiring the man” I agreed, although I wondered if admiring him was all she wanted to do. “So, I guess we’re having a party then”

“Sorry, do you mind?” she asked rather sheepishly

“No I don’t mind at all, in fact I think it’s a great idea. Come on let’s order a takeaway and talk about what we need to buy for this party tomorrow” I said and we walked into the house to start planning.
Chapter End Notes:
Please let me know what you think!  I know not a lot happens in this chapter, but sometimes you have to have a bit of a filler chapter.
Chapter 36 by Carter-Orange
Author's Notes:
Hmm, I'm hoping this next chapter won't be a letdown!  I'm not sure it's wild enough, lol.
Chapter 36

“So what do all these Californians like to eat at parties?” Izzy asked as we grabbed a trolley and walked into the air-conditioned supermarket.


“I have no idea!” I replied “I’ve never been to any parties here, only out for dinner with AJ. I guess the same kind of stuff as we’d have back home”

“Well if they don’t like it, it’s tough shit!” she laughed and we began loading the trolley up with goodies like an assortment of crisps and dips, salad, cooked meats, potato wedges, bread rolls, mushrooms, marinated chicken strips, sweetcorn, pasta, rice, chicken drumsticks and goodness knows what else. Then we made our way to the alcohol aisle, Izzy had grabbed another trolley as we were going to need it by the look of things.

“How many people are coming Iz? I don’t think I’ve got that many friends” I laughed

“Better to be prepared Steph, and besides, you said your friends from work were coming, and your neighbours, and not to forget the wonderful AJ. We’ll get through it all, don’t you worry” she replied and lifted a case of Bud from the display and placed it into the trolley, quickly followed by another.

“Don’t forget the vodka” I said and picked up a couple of bottles of Smirnoff and placed them in “oh and some Jack Daniels and some…”

We soon had everything we needed for the party, now all we had to do was get it all home and prepare it.

“Wow Steph, we really did well didn’t we” Izzy exclaimed when everything was more or less ready.

We’d dotted fairy lights around the place, and also placed tea lights in little glass holders all over the house and garden, which would give off a lovely soft glow later when the sun went down. I didn’t want harsh bright lights as it would spoil to look I was going for.

“We did” I replied as we stood back and marvelled at all of our hard work “I just hope the guests like it”

“They will…and if they don’t, they have no taste” she giggled “come on; time to glam ourselves up before they all arrive. I hope that fit Lucas guy is just as fit close up”

“He is” I reassured her “but he’s married remember?”

“A mere detail” she smiled “and besides, I’m on holiday, we all know that whatever happens on holiday isn’t for real…well, apart from you getting married to AJ, now that was something you couldn’t just pretend never happened”

“I’m actually glad it happened” I said “although at the time I was completely mortified”

“How could I forget!” Izzy laughed

We went upstairs to get ready for the party, we had plenty of time, but we wanted to make an impression (well Izzy wanted to make an impression on Lucas; I just wanted to look good for AJ). We had an assortment of clothes scattered all over the place whilst we decided what to wear, giving each other our opinions on what looked good and what looked too over the top for a simple house party.

“Definitely too much” I said as Izzy gave me a twirl in a heavily sequined dress which I’d forgotten I had.

“You think?” she teased as she struck a pose in the mirror “hmm yeah, I think you’re right”

“What about this one?” I asked her opinion as I stood in front of the mirror in a brightly printed halter dress, which was backless.

“Are you going to wear those silver sandals too? Perfect” she replied

“You sure?” I needed reassurance

“Of course I’m sure, when am I wrong?” she teased and I had to agree, she did know how to put an outfit together.

We were just finishing our make-up when the door bell sounded.

“Someone’s keen” Izzy said and I rushed down the stairs to see who it was, hoping it was AJ.

I looked at my reflection briefly in the hall mirror before opening the door to reveal AJ standing there looking sexy as hell.

“Mmm baby, you look good” he said as he removed his dark sunglasses and put them in his shirt pocket, then stepped a little closer to me and wrapped his arms around my waist, pulling me closer to him.

“So do you” I replied as I eyed him up and down appreciatively. He was wearing a check shirt with a white t-shirt underneath, jeans and a pair of converse on his feet.

He placed his lips to mine, kissing me softly before whispering in my ear “But I think this dress would look better on the bedroom floor”

He walked me backwards into the house and closed the door behind us, his lips connected with mine in a most delicious kiss.

“Ahem…party remember” Izzy called from halfway down the stairs “you can devour each other later”

We pulled away from each other slightly, but his arm remained draped across my shoulders “AJ, you remember my friend Izzy don’t you?”

“Of course. Good to see you again Izzy” AJ said

“Nice to see you again too AJ” Izzy smiled

“You don’t mind if Nick comes tonight do you? I didn’t think you would, so I asked him along, he should be here soon” AJ said, looking at his watch.

“No, I don’t mind at all” I replied

“The more the merrier, right Steph” Izzy grinned

“Right” I agreed “we have enough food and drink here to cater for a small country”

“So, do you need my help with anything at all?” AJ asked “I’m pretty good in the kitchen”

I laughed out loud at that comment, but had to agree that he was pretty good in the kitchen, just not at cooking!

Izzy covered her ears and walked away laughing to go and check everything looked perfect, leaving us alone once more.

“I’m pretty good in other rooms too” he breathed against my ear and kissed down my neck, sending tingles all through my body.

“Oh god” I moaned softly at his touch “we have to stop this, the guests will be here soon”

“Until later then Mrs McLean” he murmured and placed a lingering kiss on my ever so eager lips.

“Later Mr McLean” I promised

“Will you two get a room or something!” Izzy exclaimed

We snapped out of our lust fuelled moment and I ran upstairs to re-apply my lipstick whilst AJ went into the living room to sort out the music.

At eight o’clock exactly the bell rang and Izzy rushed to answer the door.

“Lucas, how good to see you again” she greeted him and stepped aside to let him in. I shot her a warning glance as if to say ‘off limits’ but she ignored it and immediately began flirting outrageously before he’d even had the chance to get through the door properly.

Next to arrive was Nick, bottle of wine in his hand and a warm and friendly smile on his face.

“Hey Steph, thanks for the invite” he said as he stepped inside and handed me the bottle “nice place”

“Thanks” I replied and took the bottle into the kitchen to put with the rest of the drinks. Nick followed me.

“What can I get you to drink?” I asked

“A beer would be good” he replied

“Here you go, help yourself when you want another” I advised and indicated to the fully loaded fridge.

“You know the other guys would’ve come too, but Brian’s wife is here for the weekend with their kids and Howie, well he’s on a date tonight. This party kinda was short notice” he tried to explain

“It’s OK Nick, I understand” I reassured him. The party was short notice, and I still didn’t know the other guys that well. I didn’t expect them to want to come to a party at my house.

“But I’m sure there’ll be plenty more parties, in fact, we usually have a party when we’ve finished recording a CD” he said with a cute lopsided grin

“Hey Carter, you trying to hit on my girl?” AJ teased as he walked into the kitchen and placed his glass down on the work top, and then slipped his arms around my waist from behind, nuzzling my neck with his stubbly jaw.

“Busted” Nick laughed and threw his hands up into the air in mock surrender, making us laugh.

The doorbell rang and more guests arrived, this time it was Jared and his boyfriend Jack.

“Fuck Steph, you never told me Nick Carter was going to be here” Jared squealed as he hugged me close, barely containing his excitement at seeing his favourite Backstreet Boy up close. He’d been left speechless when AJ came into the coffee shop one day to meet me after a shift…

“Oh my god Steph, AJ McLean is out there and when I asked if I could get him anything, he just said he was waiting for you” Lisa blurted out excitedly

“AJ’s here?” I asked. He hadn’t said he was coming to meet me. I thought he was working. But it was a nice surprise.

“Backstreet Boy AJ McLean? How the hell do you know AJ McLean?” Jared poked his head around the door inquisitively, one hand on his hip and the other waving a cooking utensil wildly in the air.

“Erm…” I began but was unsure what to tell them. I couldn’t very well tell them he was my husband, that was a secret very few people knew. So I decided to tell them a part truth “I’m kind of seeing him”

“Lucky bitch” Jared said “although he’s not really my type”

“No, we all know what your type is!” Lisa teased

“Tall, blonde and gorgeous” Lisa and I said in unison

“Like Nick Carter” Lisa added

“You got that right” Jared replied “so anyway, how’d you meet AJ McLean?”

“We met in a club” I replied, and it was the truth at least

“Well, we better not keep you from your date, but we want all the goss tomorrow!” Lisa said and I rolled my eyes, collected my bag and rushed out to where AJ was stood looking sexy as hell, waiting for me.

“Jared, I didn’t know” I replied and wondered if he’d be able to keep his cool in Nick’s presence.

“You have to introduce me” he squealed again excitedly, forgetting that Jack was stood there a little awkwardly.

“OK” I whispered “but just remember, he’s only a guy, a straight guy…”

“Only a guy?” he cut in “Steph, he’s fucking Nick Carter!”

“OK, OK” I said “now let me get you and Jack a couple of drinks. What are you both having?”

“Sex on the beach” Jared replied and looked Nick up and down like he was something tasty to eat.

“Beer for me please Steph” Jack replied and I went to get them, then told them to make themselves at home and help themselves to more drinks whenever they wanted.

I was saved from anything further by the bell ringing again, this time it was my boss Ronan and his girlfriend Louise, closely followed by Krissy and her friend Evaline whom I’d got to know through her regular visits to the coffee shop.

“Thanks for coming at such short notice” I greeted them and wondered where Izzy had got to; after all, this party was her idea.

“Thanks for inviting us” they answered and I got their drinks, all the time looking for Izzy. Come to think of it, where was Lucas too?

A few more people arrived, my other neighbours Justin and Rob who were a couple of surfers renting the house a few doors down (they were also quite new in town and so we had that in common, and we often quite literally ran into each other whilst out jogging), Maddie and Kameron who lived the other side of me, and John Thornton, who lived next to Maddie and Kameron and had heard us invite them and it would’ve appeared rude not to ask him too.

So now I had quite a house full and the party was livening up with everyone introducing themselves and getting to know one another. AJ had appointed himself as the DJ and played a mixture of great music, both old and new which blended seamlessly. He must’ve been through my CD collection.

“Ah, there you are” I called out when I spotted Izzy walking in through the French doors, closely followed by Lucas “I’ve been looking all over for you”

“I’ve been here” she replied, but I didn’t believe it for one moment “just going to grab a drink”

“OK” I said and watched her walk away towards the kitchen. AJ had now been joined by one of the surfers (Rob) and they were deep in conversation. I was happy to see that everyone was getting along and went to talk to Krissy over by the food table.

The party was in full swing as the sun went down and my little tea lights were glowing softly and giving off a beautiful glow all over the house and the garden. The drinks were flowing freely and everyone was getting quite drunk, me included.

“How about a party game?” Izzy called out above the music “we could play Twister or the Wii, or whatever!”

“Great idea” Nick replied “or anyone got a pack of cards?”

“Nick, we are not playing strip poker” AJ laughed

“Did I mention anything about strip poker?” Nick looked AJ in the eyes “No, I didn’t…but now you mention it, it could be a good idea”

“No, no way” I cut in “because I’m crap at cards”

“Hmm I’m kinda warming to the idea of a game of strip poker” AJ murmured in my ear and ran his hand along my bare back, caressing my skin in slow circular motions.

“You’re insatiable” I whispered in his ear

“Too right I am…for you” he replied and then we realised where we were, so put each other down and focused our attention back to the party.

“How about a drinking game” Ronan suggested “we always used to play a game called Fuzzy Duck back home, anyone know it?”

There were a few “no’s” and a few “yes’s”, and so Ronan explained the rules of the game and we decided to play that. I mixed up a huge glass jug of assorted drinks which the loser would have to drink three fingers of. Needless to say, by the time the contents of the jug had all gone, we were all feeling the effects!

“Look what I found” Izzy called out, getting everyone’s attention.

“No Twister?” Lisa asked “I love drunken game of Twister”

“Unfortunately no, I don’t own that game” I replied and knew where this was going, I knew she’d found that old deck of cards.

“But we’ve got playing cards” Izzy waved them in the air, much to my horror.

And so Nick and AJ got their wish, we played strip poker. Although this time, I was luckier in cards than I’d ever been. After quite a few rounds, I was still fully clothed (although to be honest, all I had on was a dress and a skimpy little pair of knickers, I would’ve been naked in no time if I had lost) whilst Nick was down to his boxers, AJ had removed his shirt, Lucas was topless and everyone else had removed at least one item of clothing.

“I think I’m gonna call it a night” John slurred and rose to his bare feet, picking up his shirt and socks as he did so.

“Is it because you’re losing John?” Krissy laughed and eyed up his very well defined chest.

“No” he lied “I…”

“It’s OK” I said “thanks for coming anyway”

“I’ll see you out” said Krissy who leapt to her feet and disappeared with him whilst we decided amongst ourselves whether to carry on with strip poker, or play something else.

“Thank god for that!” exclaimed Ronan when we’d decided to play something else “another item of clothing and I’d be down to my birthday suit!

“I already am” Nick reminded us, one hand covering himself up and the other hand throwing his cards down “thank fuck for that”

“How about truth or dare?” AJ suggested “I’ve not played that in years”

“Me neither” I agreed

“Sure, sounds good” Izzy agreed “should be very enlightening”

“Very” Lucas agreed and eyed her up and down.

We all grabbed ourselves another drink and a few snacks and then made our way back to the living room for another game.

“Hey, where did Krissy get to?” asked Lisa

“Probably just in the bathroom” I replied but I went to check anyway, finding that she wasn’t there, or anywhere else in the house. Strange. “Krissy?” I called out, stepping out into the warm night air “you out here?”

“Fuck” I heard a voice say and a bit of shuffling and then some giggling and realised someone was out here and I’d found them in a most compromising situation. So that’s where Krissy had got to, and with John too!

I went back indoors and we started the game.

“I’ll go first then seeing as my name is first alphabetically” AJ took control and began “this one is for Nick”

“Great” Nick replied and closed his eyes for a moment, as if sensing the question was going to be a tough one.

“Nick, have you ever peed in a pool?” AJ asked with a smirk

“You know damn well I have” Nick replied and we all laughed “now it’s my turn! Steph, what’s your wildest fantasy?”

“Fuck” I muttered, I wasn’t about to reveal anything like that, so I had no other choice “Dare”

Nick’s eyes lit up “hmm” he ran his hand over his chin as if in deep thought “I know…you have to give someone a lap dance and make it look good”

“Thanks Nick” I said sarcastically, but I wasn’t going to back out of it. I stood up and walked over to the stereo and selected an appropriate song.

As ‘Slave For You’ by Britney began to play, I slowly made my way over to AJ, giving him what I thought was my best ‘fuck me’ look and flung my hair around whilst swinging my hips suggestively. Shit, I hope this looks OK! Then I dropped to my knees in front of him, looking up into his eyes before placing my hands on his knees and sliding myself up his body so that my chest was up against his face. I then climbed onto his lap and began to grind down against him, whilst throwing my head back and wishing we were doing this in private and naked.

“Oh fuck baby” he moaned “so fucking good”

“Erm…I think that was convincing enough” Nick interrupted and I reluctantly got off AJ’s lap and excused myself to the bathroom. I needed to cool down.

I was just closing the door when I felt the weight of someone behind it “you can’t leave me like this” he said and closed the door behind us, locking it.

“They’ll know what we’re doing” I protested

“Fuck em” he replied and soon made me forget that we had a party going on downstairs.

We walked back into the party a little later, slightly dishevelled but apparently unnoticed. They were still playing truth or dare and by the look of things, Jared had opted for a dare, he was applying make-up and looked like he’d had some experience.

“Let’s get another drink” I said and led AJ into the kitchen, where we found Izzy all over Nick. Nick of all people! What had happened to Lucas? She’d been determined to get into his pants since the moment she saw him.

We left them to it, grabbing a couple of beers and rejoining the rest of the party.

I didn’t know what time the party had eventually ended, I must’ve passed out at some point because I woke up to find I was on the floor, my head in AJ’s lap whilst he was asleep leaning against the sofa. The living room looked like a bomb site and was littered with plates of half eaten food, empty beer bottles and cans, half empty glasses, empty glasses, crisps squashed into the floor. It was all signs of a good night!
Chapter End Notes:
Let me know what you think!  And thanks for reading :)
Chapter 37 by Carter-Orange
Author's Notes:
Thanks for reading, here's some more...
Chapter 37

“Ouch” I said as I clutched the sides of my throbbing head “how much
did we drink last night?”

“Urgh” groaned AJ, still semi-conscious, his head lolling all over the
place.

I got up and stretched, then stepped over the carnage and made my way
into the kitchen for a glass of water and some headache pills. This
place was going to take some cleaning and I needed to not be feeling
like death in order to tackle it.

I dragged myself up the stairs, leaving AJ where he was, and walked
into my bedroom, half expecting to see someone crashed out on my bed.
But to my relief, the room was empty. Everyone must have gone home at
some point in the night. I was just about to go into the bathroom for a
nice refreshing shower, when Izzy stepped out of my spare bedroom, her
hair all tousled and bed-messed, and she was wearing what looked like a
man’s shirt. Nick? Now I remembered! She’d been dead set from the
beginning in hooking up with Lucas but then at some point I’d caught her
all over Nick in the kitchen.

“Erm, morning Steph” she said a little awkwardly, casting her eyes
down to her feet.

“Spill” I said, wanting to know who exactly was in my house, in my
spare bedroom with her.

“Oh god Steph, shhh, come downstairs and I’ll tell you” she whispered,
not wanting to disturb whoever was sleeping in that room.

“So, who’ve you got up there then? Lucas or Nick?” I asked as we
waited for the kettle to boil.

She chewed on her bottom lip a little nervously “Neither. It’s
someone else. Rob, that surfer guy”

“But…what happened to Nick, last I saw you were all over him in the
kitchen?” I queried

“Urgh, don’t remind me” she shuddered “but all we did was kiss,
nothing more. It just didn’t feel right”

“OK, then what happened with Lucas?” I asked

“Nothing but a bit of harmless flirting. He’s married and off limits
remember?” she sighed

“Knock you back did he?” I teased

“Yeah” she admitted “although he was very nice about it”

“So, how come you ended up with Rob?” I asked

“We just got talking, y’know, and clicked. Then one thing led to
another and we ended up in bed. He was just what I needed!” she grinned

“That good was he?” I asked

“Oh yes, he really was fantastic” she replied and we both laughed

We were interrupted by AJ stumbling into the kitchen, looking a little
worse for wear.

“Morning” he said, his voice rough “any more coffee going?”

“Here you go” I said and held out a mug of strong coffee for him which
he gratefully accepted.

“Thanks babe” he replied and disappeared back into the living room, no
doubt to slump down onto the comfy sofa in peace.

“I must say Steph, you two are good together and who would’ve known
you had it in you to perform that lap dance!” she teased

“Oh god” I groaned “please don’t ever mention that again. The vodka
made me do it”

“Nothing to do with the fact that you’re hot for AJ?” she enquired

“Hmm, maybe a little bit” I giggled, knowing full well what that man
did to me.

Izzy went back upstairs to get rid of Rob the surfer (in a polite
way), whilst I took a shower. By the time I was dressed, Rob had gone
and Izzy and AJ were in the kitchen making breakfast, well Izzy was the
one who was making the breakfast.

“Can’t face all this cleaning on an empty stomach” Izzy said as she
made bacon sandwiches for the three of us.

“I can’t face it until I’ve had at least three cigarettes, a shower
and another coffee” AJ said and stepped outside to light up.

After we’d eaten we got to work on putting the house right, AJ joining
us when he’d showered and dressed in the checked shirt he took off last
night and the same jeans (although he did tell me he’d gone commando
rather than resort to wearing my underwear or his underwear from the day
before). Tidying up wasn’t that bad really, just a matter of picking
up the empties, clearing the leftover food into the bin and loading the
dishwasher. A quick whiz around with the hoover and my house was back
to its pre-party state.

“You really didn’t have to stay and help you know” I said to AJ when
we’d finished and were sitting outside with a nice cold drink.

“What kind of guy would that make me if I left it all to you?” he said
and pulled me onto his lap and wrapped his arms around me.

“Well I happen to like the guy you are” I smiled at him

“Hmm, that’s good to know because I happen to like you too” he grinned
and kissed me “in fact, I more than like” kiss “I love you baby”.

“I love you too Alex” I said and turned so that I was straddling his
thighs and kissed him deeply.

“Erm excuse me guys, I’m right here remember!” Izzy reminded us “you
might wanna take that somewhere more private, like the bedroom”

We stopped kissing and I leaned my forehead against his “you make me
forget that we’re not alone”

AJ left shortly after, saying he’d let us have some girl time as he
knew how much I’d missed having my friends nearby. But he promised to
call later that night.

So that left Izzy and I with a night to ourselves, but after the
previous night’s party, we weren’t really up for having a late night, so
instead we had a couple of drinks out on the patio and enjoyed a nice
chilled evening.

“What’s it like being with someone famous Steph? Do you get hassled
by paps and fans?” Izzy asked curiously as she twirled her wine glass in
her fingers.

“I don’t even think about him as someone famous, to me he’s just AJ.
As for the paps, yeah I’m pretty sure we’ve been photographed a couple
of times but I’ve never seen any photos anywhere” I replied

“But do you look? Do you read the magazines over here? Do you go on
the websites?” she asked

“To be honest, I don’t. Why, do you think I should?” I asked,
although I would rather stay in ignorant bliss.

“We could have a look, just for fun” she said and got up and went to
fetch my laptop from in the living room.

I wasn’t sure that I wanted to look. I was happy with the way things
were and didn’t want to see any negative side to being with someone who
was famous. I loved AJ for who he was, not for his fame or money. I
had plenty of money of my own.

“OK, let’s google him” she said once she’d opened up internet
explorer.

“Iz…I really don’t feel right doing this” I protested

“Aw come on, let’s just have a quick look to see if you’re on there”
she pleaded

“OK, but I’m not going on any of those fan sites! Remember when we
used to go on that Take That one? Remember the things we used to post
about Jason Orange and Gary Barlow?” I started

“How could I forget! Didn’t you post in the picture thread of one
site that you wanted to shag Jason?” she laughed

“Oh god yeah! Although I’m sure if I really had, he would’ve been a
let down, the guy was a complete and utter prick in real life” I laughed

We laughed as we remembered the nonsense we used to post on there. It
was all just harmless fun, we never posted anything bitchy. But we’d
seen the bitchy side to fan sites. The way some fans slagged off
celebrities’ wives and girlfriends out of sheer jealousy. Some of those
fans were totally delusional and thought that if the guy they were
lusting over was single, then it meant they had a chance with them.
Completely bonkers!

“Here we go, here’s a picture of the two of you at a funfair” Izzy
said “aw, look at you two, so cute together”

“Let me see” I said and leaned over to look. I didn’t mind seeing
things like that as AJ had warned me that being with him would attract a
certain amount of attention at times, particularly when they were
promoting a CD or tour.

“Here’s another one and surprise surprise, he’s got his tongue down
your throat” she tutted “ooo and there’s comments too”

“Well, I’m not sure I want to read or see those Iz” I said because I
knew what they’d say.

“No, better not” she agreed and muttered ‘bitches’ under her breath.

“That bad?” I muttered

“Not all of it” she assured me

“Let’s switch it off, or look at something else. I don’t want to know
what those crazies think of me and AJ. I love him and he loves me,
that’s all that matters” I concluded

“Too right” she agreed and closed down that page and decided instead
to ogle pictures of Jake Gyllenhaal in his Prince of Persia costume.

“That’s better” I said and we both giggled as we chatted into the
early hours. So much for an earlier night!
Chapter End Notes:
Sorry but I have no idea how the format ended up so weird! 
Chapter 38 by Carter-Orange
Author's Notes:
Here's the next bit, hope you like!
Chapter 38

“Guess what baby? I think you’re going to be crossing another item of that list pretty soon” AJ announced, looking pleased with himself as he leaned against the kitchen worktop.

“Really?” I asked, hoping this meant he was going to whisk me away for a few days of sun, sea, sand and…oh yes plenty of sex!

“Yep! You know it’s Howie’s birthday in a couple of days and guess what? He suggested a day at the racetrack. I know, I know, it’s cheating a little bit isn’t it, it’s not like you’ll actually be driving like crazy on a public road, but think of it Steph, you’ll actually be able to drive a racing car at racing car speeds” he said sounding more than a little pleased with himself for remembering an item on my list “so, what do you say?”

“Yeah, sounds great” I answered trying to hide the disappointment I felt. It wasn’t that I was being ungrateful or anything; I’d just imagined something a little more…sexy!

“Cool” he said “I’ll let him know tomorrow, it’s gonna be fucking awesome”

Two weeks had passed since Izzy had gone back home, we’d had such a fun packed few days that my house felt deserted and lonely when she’d gone. There were advantages to having the place back to myself though, advantages which included having AJ whenever and wherever I wanted him, which right now was the kitchen.

“How do you want me to cut this up?” he asked standing there with his shirt sleeves rolled up, a knife in one hand and an onion in the other.

“Could you dice it?” I replied

“Sure” he said and got to work on it. I liked to see a man at work in the kitchen; it was kind of a turn on.

“Fuck me, my eyes are stinging like fucking crazy here” he wiped at his eyes with the back of his hand.

“Aw poor baby” I teased and took the chopping board off him and scraped it into the pan with the meat balls.

AJ reached up into the cupboard for the salt, his shirt rising up to reveal a sliver of toned stomach in the process, sending a shot of desire through me.

“Thanks” I said as I took the salt from him, our fingers brushing, sending another electrical charge through me.

We soon forgot all about the spaghetti and meat balls. His hands were on my hips, his lips against the spot behind my ear which drove me wild. I leaned back against him, feeling his warm firm body press into mine, his hips rocking gently. I turned my head, twisting to see his face as his lips moved over my neck and travelled along my jaw. I whipped around quickly to face him, throwing my arms around his neck, sending something unknown flying off the kitchen worktop. I didn’t care. The only thing I hungered for was Alex.

“Oh god” I murmured as one of his hands threaded through my hair and the other clasped my bum. He parted my legs with his thigh and pressed me up against the fridge, his mouth hungrily kissing my neck, my lips, my collarbone and the swell of my breasts.

I fumbled with the buttons on his shirt, but he reached behind and pulled his shirt off over his head and threw it across the floor, then unbuckled his belt and undid his jeans. I took my top off and sent it to the floor to join AJ’s shirt but before I had a chance to unfasten my bra, he pulled the straps down and began kissing and sucking my exposed flesh.

“You taste so fucking good” he rasped and circled my nipple with his tongue.

I ran my hand down his chest, his stomach and then came into contact with the straining bulge in his boxers. I soon freed him of them and his jeans, he tripped as he stepped out of them, falling to the floor and pulling me down on top of him.

“Shit, are you OK?” I asked, hoping he hadn’t banged his head or anything like that.

“Oh I’d say I’m OK” he breathed as he ran his hands down my back and played with the edge of my underwear “but these are stopping me where I wanna be”

There was no time for things like getting up and removing my underwear, instead he just moved my knickers out of the way and thrust into me as I ground down against him. It was rough, fast and fucking amazing, both of us coming simultaneously then rolling apart whilst we got our breath back.

“Fuck Steph, have I told you today how much I fucking love you” he said breathlessly

“No, but I think you just showed me” I giggled “love you too”

We couldn’t salvage the food which had burnt to the pan, so decided it was a better idea to call for a takeaway.

*~*

“What do I need to take?” I asked when AJ arrived to pick me up for our day at the racetrack. I had never been anywhere like it before and wondered whether the jeans, t-shirt and trainers I was wearing were suitable.

“Just bring yourself” he smiled “we’ll be getting kitted out once we get there”

“What kind of racetrack is it? Is it like rally cars or something?” I asked

“Or something” he replied and leaned down to kiss me “come on, we’ll miss our flight”

“We’re flying?” I asked, unsure that I’d heard him correctly

“Yeah, the place we’re going is about 400 miles away, over at Sonoma, would take too fucking long to drive there” he laughed as he shook his head.

“Isn’t there anywhere closer?” I asked wondering why we had to go 400 miles for a bit of racing.

“You’re in California now Steph, it’s a big place. Sure there might be somewhere nearer, but this is the place we’re going” he told me and wrapped his arm around me as he led me to his car “come on, it’s gonna be awesome”

I couldn’t believe we were going to travel 400 miles just to go and do some racing. It seemed insane to me! But I supposed AJ was right, this wasn’t England, this was a fucking huge country compared to my home land. I could probably drive all day here and still be in the same state, whereas back home, if I drove all day I could get from one end of the country to the other.

The flight was short and unremarkable; it seemed as if no sooner than we were up in the air, we were on the descent.

“Have you ever been racing before?” asked Brian’s wife Anna-Marie, who looked like a real beauty queen and not someone who would willingly do something as boyish as a day at the racetrack. But looks could be deceptive. I’d met Anna-Marie on a couple of occasions and knew that there was more to her than looks. She wasn’t one of those shallow self-centred stuck up bitches I’d come across all too often whilst living in Los Angeles, she was a genuinely lovely person.

“No I haven’t” I replied truthfully. The closest I’d got to racing was riding a motorised go-kart at a funfair when I was a teenager.

“It’s going to be so much fun, but be prepared, the guys can get a little competitive” she warned

“A little?” called Nick

“You wait till you see Brian all suited up…no more Mr Nice Guy” AJ agreed with Nick

“Nothing wrong with a bit of competition” Brian stated

“Nothing at all” agreed Howie “although it is my birthday don’t forget, so it would be nice to win for a change”

“Forget it” the other three guys called out and laughed

This was going to be an interesting day!

Situated about half an hour out of San Francisco (a place I was desperate to visit) was the race track. The guys had obviously been here before, hence the decision to come all the way here today.

We were talked through the rules and safety precautions for a little while before being given black all-in-one type things to wear, the kind of garment you’d see a car mechanic wearing at the garage. I had to admit, I could picture AJ all oil dirty with the overalls stripped to the waist, it was a pleasant vision but one I had to snap out of.

“You OK?” AJ whispered “you looked kinda spaced out there”

“Yeah, I’m fine” I smiled, keeping my little vision to myself.

“Come on then, let’s get this gear on and hit the track” he said

I was right; he did look good even in mechanic style overalls.

We were given a brief lesson before being let loose alone in the cars. I felt like Michael Schumacher behind the wheel, although in all honesty, I was probably doing nowhere near the speeds that the legendary Formula One racing driver drove at.

“Very good” the instructor told me as we pulled up to a stop for the next person to complete their test run. He was probably just relieved to have made it back in one piece after the crazy test lap Nick performed before me. I could see the need for the ambulance on standby now, and hoped it wouldn’t be required today. I wondered just how much this place cost to hire, probably an extortionate amount.

Once we were all ready to begin, we were shown to our cars and told to drive them to the start line of the two and a half mile, 12 turn track.

“Good luck” I called to AJ

“You too babe, see you at the finish” he replied

We were going to be doing ten laps around the track and had an agreement that the winner would pay for dinner and drinks later.

“Looks like dinner will be on you again” Brian called out to Howie

“Not a chance” Howie replied and climbed into his car

I put my helmet on, got into my car and strapped myself in. It wasn’t an ordinary seat belt like you’d find in a car, but a kind of harness. I felt secure.

Here goes!

We drove slowly up to the start line, engines revving and raring to go. We’d been told that when the flag went down, it was time to burn rubber, so I had my eye on the man with the flag. He waved it in the air for a few moments and then lowered it to the sound of tyres squealing.

I was a bit slow off the start line, but I wasn’t worried, I’d leave the competition to the boys. But as I got more comfortable behind the wheel, I put my foot down and increased my speed, before long I was on Anna-Marie’s tail.

Fucking awesome!

I overtook her once we’d passed a bend and pressed my foot down hard. The speed was exhilarating; I had to be doing 100 mph at least but didn’t dare take my eyes off the road ahead to check. I’d never driven as fast as this, of that I was positive. Woohoo, another item off the list!

After another lap, I was behind Howie and I was determined to pass him, I was on a roll now. Again, I waited until after a bend in the track and then made my move, he looked incredulously at me out of the side window but I just smiled and glided past him with ease.

I could see AJ up ahead and gripped the steering wheel tight and pressed my foot to the floor. I would’ve loved to have seen his face as I drove past, but unfortunately the finish line came around all too quickly and I didn’t get the chance. Nick won, closely followed by Brian and then AJ. Fourth was a respectable position to end in, especially for a beginner.

I stopped to car, pulled off the helmet and jumped out, still high on the adrenaline of racing.

“That was fanfuckingtastic” I told AJ as he strode over towards me with his helmet in his hand and the zip of the overalls half down to reveal his white t-shirt underneath.

“Told you so” he said and eyed me up and down “you look so fucking hot against that car”

“And you look sexy in those overalls” I told him, imagining him working up a sweat and removing them, revealing a naked oil smeared chest.

“Come on you two” called Nick “time to celebrate my win”

And celebrate we did, Backstreet Boys style, with good food, plenty of drink and lots of laughs.  
Chapter 39 by Carter-Orange
Author's Notes:

Here's the next bit, sorry for the delay!

Chapter 39

Two things occurred to me the following morning, and one of them wasn’t the horrendous hangover I was suffering from. Firstly, I’d crossed another item off my list, leaving only three more to fulfil…

1. Fall in love
2. Own my own place
3. Skinny dipping and sex on the beach
4. Learn a new language
5. Ride a scary roller coaster whilst eating or bungee jump or something else equally as scary
6. Road trip across the USA
7. Blow a fortune on a single night out
8. Drive a flash car way too fast (and not get caught)
9. Swim with dolphins
10. Tell my boss to shove his job up his arse


Secondly, the months were flying by and it wouldn’t be long before we could stop with all the stupid marriage guidance sessions, as they were a complete waste of time, we didn’t need it! But what would happen when the six months was up? Would AJ want to stay married to me? Would I want to stay married to him? I knew my answer was a definite yes, I couldn’t imagine my life without AJ now, but was being married something AJ wanted? We weren’t even living together yet, although we may as well have been as we spent most nights together in either my house or his. I had no idea how he felt about living together or what he wanted in the future and knew that we’d have to talk about it, and soon.

I didn’t want to dwell on it too much just yet though, as the following week, my parents came to visit. They’d been meaning to come and visit ever since I’d first moved out here, but my Mum’s fear of flying had delayed it until curiosity got the better of her and she just had to face her fears. She decided to get herself to the doctors for some valium to help calm her nerves to be able to make the trip. I was excited about seeing them again; it had been so long since I’d seen them. But I was also a little nervous about whether they’d somehow find out about AJ and me. They knew I had a boyfriend called Alex (my Mum had said “what kind of a name is AJ”), but they wouldn’t be happy if they knew I’d got married to him and not told them, I could understand that. They’d be even more disappointed if they knew we’d married after only knowing each other a few hours. It still seemed crazy to me, but to my parents it would be…well, you get the idea!

“So, where’s this boyfriend of yours then?” asked my Mum once she’d given my house a thorough inspection “and when are we going to meet him?”

“He’s away working at the moment, but you’ll get to meet him tomorrow” I replied. AJ and the rest of the Backstreet Boys were doing a little bit of pre-release promotion for the new CD, a chance to gage the fans opinion of some of the new stuff before it was released officially. I hadn’t seen him for a few days and was missing him like crazy.

“What is it he does for a living? Musician isn’t it?” my Dad asked with a frown on his face.

“I’ve already told you, he’s in a band called Backstreet Boys, you’ve probably heard their songs” I sighed, giving up. My parents obviously didn’t realise that the Backstreet Boys were hugely successful. I’m sure they thought AJ was some penniless leech, only using me for my money. It was quite funny really because I’m sure AJ’s friends and family had thought exactly the same of me in the beginning, until they got to know me and came to realise that I loved AJ for who he was and not what he could do for me.

My parents enjoyed a relaxing afternoon under the shade of a garden umbrella on the patio, getting over their jet lag with a nice cold drink, whilst I busied myself in the kitchen. I wanted to impress them with my cooking skills, which to be honest weren’t all that marvellous, but how wrong could I go if I followed the book? To my surprise, the food looked good enough to eat, even if I did say so myself.

At a little after seven o’clock, just as I was about to serve the food out, there was a knock on the door.

“Shall I get it?” called my Mum from the living room

“No, it’s OK, I’ve got it” I replied, wondering who it could be as I wasn’t expecting anyone tonight.

I opened the door to reveal AJ standing there looking as gorgeous as always.

“Surprise” he said and I threw my arms around him as he hugged me close.

“But I thought you weren’t due home until tomorrow” I said as we stood there wrapped in each others embrace.

“We had to cancel today’s appearance because Nick’s got a bad throat, so we got to come home a day earlier” he explained

“Is he OK?” I asked

“He’s fine, or at least he will be in a day or two” AJ assured “but enough about Carter” and then his lips met mine.

“Stephanie? Who is it at the door?” called my Mum from inside the house.

“It’s Alex” I called back, and then turned to face AJ “you ready for this?”

“Bring it on” he grinned and stepped inside.

“They can be a bit…oh, I don’t know” I shrugged

“Don’t worry Steph, I’m sure we’ll all get along just fine” he reassured me, when really he should be the nervous one and not me.

“I hope so” I agreed as we walked through the hall

“Mmm, something smells good” he said appreciatively

“I should friggin well hope so too, spent ages cooking it!” I admitted to him “come on, my parents are dying to meet you”

I took his hand and led him into the living room where my parents were now sitting expectantly.

“Mum, Dad, this is my boyfriend Alex” I said “and Alex, these are my parents Angela and David”

“Hi” AJ said and gave them a warm smile. I could tell by the looks on their faces that my parents weren’t impressed.

“Stephanie tells us you’re in a band Alex, does it pay much? Do you get to do much travelling around? Or do you just play locally?” my Dad asked, wanting to know more about the man who was seeing his daughter.

“Dad” I protested “less of the Spanish Inquisition”

“We’re just curious dear” my Mum chipped in

“No, it’s OK” AJ said “I don’t mind”

I gave my Dad a warning look. How could he be so damn rude!

“I sometimes wish I didn’t have to travel so much, but I can’t complain, I’ve travelled all over the world with the band and feel very lucky that after all these years, we still have fans out there wanting to see us” AJ replied proudly

“That successful then?” my Dad asked

“Dad” I interrupted “Alex is part of the most successful boy band in the world; they’ve sold about 100 million records worldwide”

“Well…that’s good” my Dad said. He was at a loss for words now.

“Alex, will you come and help me in the kitchen please?” I asked and then turned to my parents “we’ll be right back with the food”

I turned and left the room, closely followed by AJ. I was a bit pissed off with the way my parents had acted. I’d seen the way my Mum had eyed AJ up and down like he was some common criminal. And my Dad, well, how embarrassing could he get, asking questions about how much AJ earned and such!

“I’m so sorry” I said to AJ once we were out of hearing

“Don’t worry about it, they just want to make sure I’m not some gold digging man whore” he laughed and I had to laugh along with him.

Dinner went surprisingly well, and even though I hadn’t expected AJ, there had been enough food for all four of us. After my parents initial rudeness, they really warmed to AJ and by the end of the evening I think they actually liked him.

“Why don’t you and Alex go and sit down, leave the clearing away to me and your father” my Mum suggested “after all, you did cook”

“No Mum, it’s OK, you and Dad are my guests and you must be tired after the day you’ve had, you go and relax and we’ll tidy away” I told her

“I liked your Mom’s suggestion better” AJ whispered in my ear as we began to clear away, his breath warm against my neck, his fingers softly caressing my cheek. It brought back memories of the last time we were working in the kitchen, only tonight there would be no frantic sex on the kitchen floor, not with my parents in the next room and likely to walk in at any given moment.

“Fuck” I muttered “I wish we were alone so I could show you just how much I’ve missed you these last couple of days”

“Oh baby, me too” he murmured as he nuzzled my neck, all thoughts of tidying up forgotten.

I wrapped my arms around his waist, whilst AJ ran his fingers through my hair, our mouths connected in a spine-tingling kiss. We didn’t hear the soft footsteps approaching.

“Er…sorry, I was just going to make a cup of tea…” my Mum apologised and turned to leave the kitchen.

“No, it’s OK” I said and AJ and I pulled away from each other

“I’ll just go out for a smoke” AJ said and tried to hide the bulge which had been forming in his jeans as he walked away towards the door.

My Mum switched the kettle on and reached for the tea-bags, then turned to me “he’s not how I expected him to be” she said “I saw all those awful tattoos and thought he was going to be some kind of axe murderer”

“Mum” I chastised her

“I know…I know, I shouldn’t have judged him without getting to know him, but he’s nothing like the other boyfriends you’ve had, that’s all” she explained “when you said he was in a band, I was thinking more along the lines of Gary Barlow in the looks department”

“Mum” I sighed and shook my head, although if I remembered correctly, not so long ago I would’ve agreed with her. How wrong had I been! He may not be conventionally handsome in the Hollywood film star kind of way, but he was gorgeous in his own way. I loved him…every part of him.

“But if he makes you happy, and I can see that he does, then that’s all we could ask for” she said

My parents were tired after their long day, so it wasn’t long after that they excused themselves up to bed.

“Hmm, alone at last” AJ murmured as he trailed kisses all along my neck and then brought his lips to meet mine, his fingers knotted in my hair as I ran my hands under his shirt, feeling the muscles in his back. I could’ve spent all night just kissing AJ, if there was a class for kissing, then he’d be the star student with an A+ grade!

“Oh god…I want you so bad” I breathed heavily when we finally stopped kissing, but I was also conscious of the fact that my parents were in the house and probably still awake and therefore liable to walk in on us if we stayed here.

“Come on, let’s go for a little drive” he grinned mischievously and dangled his car keys in the air.

I felt like a rebellious teen who’d snuck out in the night as we crept out of the house and down the drive to AJ’s car. Once we were inside we both giggled at the craziness of it all, and then he started up the engine and drove us to a nice little secluded area which overlooked the ocean. The view of the ocean held no interest for either of us that night though.
Chapter 40 by Carter-Orange
Author's Notes:
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Chapter 40

“How does this one look?” I asked as I performed a little twirl in front of the dressing room mirror

“Really gorgeous” replied my shopping buddy Lisa “but I also liked the purple one too”

“Yeah, the purple one was nice…oh, I don’t know” I sighed. I was going out. Not just any old night out, but a night out with the Backstreet Boys, the other wives and girlfriends and the crew to celebrate finishing the CD. It had taken a while, but they’d got there in the end and I hoped it would do well, especially here in America where their popularity had decreased over the years.

We were going to a really nice restaurant followed by a club, and I had no idea what to wear. It was OK for AJ, he was used to this kind of thing, but me, I was a little clueless. I also knew that the paparazzi were bound to be there. The Backstreet Boys may not be the hot property they were ten years previously, but they still attracted a lot of attention wherever they went, especially when they were all together.

“Ah fuck it, I’ll get the purple one” I said as I went back into the cubicle and got dressed.

“I’ve seen the perfect shoes to match, you just have to get them” Lisa called to me from outside the cubicle “shall I go get them for you to try on?”

“Go on then” I relented “but I just hope they aren’t too high, I know what you’re like and I sometimes wonder how you manage to walk in some of the shoes you come into work wearing” I laughed

“Years of practice” she replied and then dashed off to get them. Actually, they weren’t too high and I felt sure I’d be fine wearing them. After trying them on, I bought them together with the dress. I already had a bag and jewellery at home which I thought would match.

We left the store and decided we’d shopped enough for one day; it was time to recharge our batteries with a bite to eat. I craved a McDonalds but we ended up at one of those healthy eating snack places, the type of place where you could get a muffin but it was one of those low calorie ones which just wasn’t right! I settled for a grilled chicken salad and a smoothie. If I was going to have a muffin, it would have to be a full fat one or nothing.

~*~

“Fuck, Steph you look hot as hell in that dress…do we have to go out?” AJ said as he looked me up and down appreciatively when he came to pick me up for the big night out.

“Thank you” I replied “and yes we do have to go out. By the way, you look pretty damn fuckable yourself”

He was wearing black jeans, a t-shirt, black jacket with a scarf and a pair of black boots. Couldn’t forget to mention the trademark dark glasses, although why he always wanted to hide those gorgeous brown eyes was beyond me!

We were driven to the restaurant in a very nice car, possibly a Mercedes (I’m no car expert) with dark tinted windows.

“You know, we could do anything in this car and I doubt anyone could see in” he grinned at me, his shades in his jacket pocket so I could benefit from the full force of his eyes.

“Erm, we have company remember!” I whispered and indicated to the driver, Paul, whom I’d met previously. Paul just smiled; I could see his face in the mirror.

“Not anymore we don’t” AJ said and pressed a button which raised a blackout screen which gave us complete privacy. He slid across the seat and brought his mouth down to mine, cupping my face in his hands “I really do love you y’know”

“I love you too” I replied.

We didn’t do anything other than kiss in the back of that car, but that may change on the way home, who knew! With AJ, anything seemed possible.

“See you guys later” Paul grinned when we’d reached our destination “have fun”

“Later dude” AJ said and took my hand firmly in his as we got out of the car.

“Thanks Paul” I said and smiled

“Come on then Mrs McLean, let’s go celebrate Backstreet style, I hope you like sushi” AJ said

“AJ, I’m not eating sushi, that stuff looks disgusting!” I protested “I wish you’d told me earlier, we could’ve stopped off at a McDonalds on the way or something”

“Chill babe, I’m kidding. It’s not a sushi restaurant, although if Nick had his way it would’ve been” he reassured me

“Well thank god he didn’t!” I exclaimed and then looked up and actually noticed the restaurant and it’s location for the first time “wow, this place looks fantastic”

The restaurant front was all glass to give a panoramic view of the ocean (and also Santa Monica pier in the distance), the inside was hard to describe really, but the best way to describe it would be a mixture of opulence and simplicity which seemed to go together perfectly.

“This place looks amazing” I whispered to AJ

“I hear the food is pretty good too” he said quietly as we walked through the door

We were shown to out table where everyone else was already seated.

“Always last to arrive” Nick said as he shook his head

“Hey, looking this good takes time” AJ stated

We said our ‘hellos’ to everyone and then sat down. A smartly dressed waiter appeared to take our drink orders and then left us to peruse the menu.

“Hmm” I murmured, finding it hard to decide what to have

“Are you wishing we’d stopped at McDonalds?” AJ whispered

“No, I just don’t know what to have, it all sounds so good” I answered

“A good old steak house would’ve done for me” AJ grinned “but this is a celebration so I guess going upmarket was called for”

And the restaurant was very upmarket. I was so glad I’d listened to Lisa about what to wear! This wasn’t a ripped jeans and t-shirt kind of restaurant, I’d class it as smart/casual. Over in the far corner I was sure I’d spotted someone famous, he looked like Ashton Kutcher, but I couldn’t be sure. Fucking hell, I’m sitting here with the Backstreet Boys and I’m getting excited over the possibility that Ashton Kutcher is here…I must be crazy!

After a few minutes, the waiter was back to take our orders. I decided to go for the mushroom ravioli after overhearing another diner rave about it, AJ ordered a fillet steak.

Glasses were raised and a toast was made to the completion of the album, and then we all relaxed and just enjoyed the company we were in.

“So Steph, are you still working in the coffee shop?” Brian’s wife Anna-Marie asked

“Yeah” I replied “I like it there, I’ve made some good friends”

“She also makes a good coffee” AJ chipped in and smiled at me

“How are the kids?” I asked Anna-Marie

“Oh they’re great. Breanne lost her first tooth a few days ago and Thomas got his first karate belt last week” she beamed proudly. It had to be said that the Littrell kids were adorable with their blonde hair, blue eyes and perfect features. I wondered for a moment what AJ’s babies would look like.

She pulled out her phone and showed me some pictures of the kids and I ‘oo’ed’ and ‘ah’ed’ at them.

The food was absolutely delicious, I don’t know what the mushrooms had been marinated in, but they were exquisite.

We ordered more wine and the conversation around the table became more animated as the effects of the alcohol began to show.

“I’ll be right back” I said as I pushed my chair back and stood up to go to the toilets. As I walked past that table I’d noticed earlier, I glanced sideways and realised it was Ashton Kutcher and boy did he look even better in reality (I’d taken a bit of a liking to him after seeing him in ‘A Lot Like Love’). I quickly turned away and carried on walking, but couldn’t wait to tell my friends back home who I’d just seen. AJ, you’re still the only man for me though!

When I got back to the table, AJ and a couple of the others were missing.

“Gone outside for a smoke” Brian said, noticing that I was looking around the room.

“I think I’ll just pop out for some fresh air” I said and excused myself. The night was warm and although it was dark outside, there were lots of lights dotted around to illuminate the beach. The moon was casting a glow over the ocean and it looked really beautiful.

I spotted AJ and Nick sitting on a couple of rattan chairs, seemingly deep in conversation and oblivious to me approaching. At first I couldn’t hear their hushed voices, but then I heard enough…

“…dude, you’re gonna have to tell her” Nick said “you can’t keep on like this if that’s the way you feel”

“I know, you’re right, but how?” AJ sighed

That was it. As far as I was concerned, I’d heard enough.

AJ didn’t want me around; he was planning on dumping me. Well, fuck him. I wasn’t going to sit around waiting for it to happen.

I somehow managed to appear calm and normal as I walked back into the restaurant to get my bag. I excused myself, saying I’d noticed a friend and was going to say hello, and then once I was out of sight, I ran and ran. When I’d got far enough away, I sat down on a bench and just cried. How could he? I thought he loved me the way I love him. How could I be so stupid as to think a guy like him could love a girl like me, a nobody…

 
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Chapter 41 by Carter-Orange
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Chapter 41

I didn’t know what time it was or how long I’d sat on that bench, but eventually I stopped snivelling. I decided it was time to face the music, so I switched my BlackBerry back on and immediately noticed the red light flashing. Of course he’d tried to call and text me, how could I have been so selfish as to run off into the night and not tell anyone? I guess the wine had a little bit of influence over my decision making.

It was a little bit too far to walk home, I’d be walking all night, plus my feet were absolutely killing me. And so I called for a taxi and then just sat there, my killer heels in my hands as I waited for my taxi to arrive.

“You OK?” the driver asked when I climbed in. I must’ve looked a right mess, but was grateful I’d worn waterproof mascara at least.

“I’m fine thanks” I replied and gave him my address, then leaned back in the seat and closed my eyes for the ride.

I’d had time to calm down and think whilst I’d been sitting on that bench, plus the effects of the wine were wearing off. Maybe I had acted a little too hastily. Wine did have a tendency to cloud my judgement, especially after a few glasses. Had I got the wrong end of the stick? Were they even talking about me? Maybe running off like that had been crazy…OK it was definitely crazy. I didn’t know anything anymore. But I knew one thing for sure; AJ and I really needed to talk. I needed to know where we stood. I hadn’t doubted his love before tonight; he not only told me but showed me often enough how much he loved me. He made me feel wanted, loved, happy and all the other things you expect from a relationship.

“Here you go” the driver said and I fumbled in my little bag for the fare.

With my shoes still in my hands (my feet hurt too much after all that running to put them back on again) I padded up the driveway to my house barefooted. I hadn’t left the outside security light on, so I didn’t notice the solitary figure slumped down on my steps in the dark until I was almost on top of him. It was Alex. He was sitting there with his head resting against his knees, an untouched burnt out cigarette dangling between his fingers.

“Alex?” I whispered softly

“Steph…oh thank fucking god you’re OK!” he looked up and I could see the worry etched on his face “Where did you go? What happened? Why didn’t you answer your cell?” He must’ve seen that something wasn’t right in my expression, and so he got up slowly but made no further move towards me.

I couldn’t tell him that I’d thought I heard him talking to Nick. I couldn’t lose my temper with him for something he may not have even said. I’d done all my crying. Now it was time to talk. I had to know where we stood.

“I’m not sure I can do this anymore” I said and bit my lip as I looked down at the shoes in my hands

“Do what?” he queried, his voice sounding rough

“This. Us. I don’t know where we’re going with this and it scares the shit out of me” I replied and looked up to meet his equally sad eyes.

“What are you saying here Steph, are you saying it’s over? I thought we were happy. How can we go from happy one minute to having this fucking conversation the next? I don’t understand” he sighed

“Hey, I’m not saying it’s over” I said and placed my hand on his arm “I’m saying we need to talk. Let’s go inside”

I opened the front door and he followed me inside the house. We walked into the kitchen and I switched the kettle on to make us a cup of coffee. I needed to keep my hands busy. I was nervous as hell.

We took our cups into the living room and sat down on opposite ends of the sofa.

“So let’s talk” he said and took a sip of coffee, then placed his cup down and gave me his undivided attention.

“I’ve been thinking, not just tonight but for a little while. Do you realise we haven’t once mentioned what’s going to happen when this six months is up…” I began

“But Steph, you know I love you…” he interrupted

“I know you do, and I love you. But what do you want out of this relationship? We haven’t talked about the future, we’ve just lived for the moment, which is great, but...I don’t know how you feel about marriage or anything like that”

“I always wanted to get married when the right woman came along” he said and moved a little closer.

“You did?” I asked

“Uh huh” he replied and fixed his intense brown eyes on me “look Steph, you aren’t the only one who’s been thinking recently. I know we met under crazy circumstances, and I know we’ve gone about this all wrong, but…shit…I want to be with you in every way”

“I want to be with you too” I said and moved a little closer to him

“In fact, I was even going to ask you something tonight…” he trailed off

“You were? What were you going to ask me?” I questioned

“It’s gonna sound stupid, but I was going to ask you to marry me” he declared

“But we’re already married” I said

“I know, but neither of us can really remember that quickie Las Vegas ceremony. I want to do it properly, I want to be able to remember in years to come how beautiful you look when you agree to be my wife in front of all our family and friends” he said “I want to give you the honeymoon we never had. I want the happily ever after Steph”

“Oh Alex” I sighed “that has got to be the most romantic thing I ever heard. Yes”

“Yes?” he asked

“Yes I’ll marry you again” I replied and we merged in the middle of the sofa, where I showered him with a million kisses.

After some hot make up/celebratory sex, we snuggled up in bed talking about the future. Why we hadn’t had this conversation before now I didn’t know. Maybe we both felt that under normal circumstances, it would be a bit soon to talk about living together and marriage. But there was nothing normal about mine and AJ’s relationship.

“There is one more thing” he said as I rested my head against his bare chest

“And what’s that?” I asked, completely content in his presence and so glad we’d got this little misunderstanding cleared up.

“Move in with me?” he asked “or I’ll move in here, whatever you want, wherever you want”

“I’d love to” I replied and snuggled closer to him.

~*~

The lawyers were informed of our decision to stay married and therefore the court order to attend marriage guidance sessions was cancelled, which was something we were both glad of. That Doctor Jeremy Kyle was a self-obsessed arsehole who just loved the sound of his own voice, we often left a session and laughed all the way home about something he’d said or done, or the way he’d stand and pace his office, looking in his large framed mirror as he passed it to check that his hair was still immaculate. Now we wouldn’t have to go there ever again.

My friends back home who knew about me and AJ were thrilled with the news; in fact Izzy had even said she was surprised we hadn’t called it off sooner.

“The chemistry between the two of you was obvious from day one” she said whilst we were all on Skype, and I smiled at her words.

“So when is the official wedding? Have you told your parents yet?” asked Jess

“Don’t forget our invites” chipped in Chloe

“We haven’t set a date yet, but how much planning does a wedding take after all?” I said “and yes, you’re all invited and no, my parents don’t know yet”

“What did they think of him when they met him?” asked Jess

“Well, as you can imagine, they weren’t impressed when they first set eyes on him. You should’ve seen my Mum’s face when she saw all the tattoos on his hands and arms. You know what she’s like about tattoos, she thinks they’re disgusting. But once they’d gotten talking to him and realised he was a nice guy, they mellowed out” I replied

“I think any parent would react like that on first sight” Chloe giggled

“Not just parents either. Remember how I felt about him at first? I can’t believe I was so shallow back then. I’m glad I got to know the man behind the image because I fell in love” I grinned and they all made puking noises in response

“So it’s all hearts and flowers these days then?” Chloe asked

“Oh god no, we have our fair share of arguments, usually petty little things, but then the make-up sex makes it all worth it” I divulged

“Too much information” Jess declared and laughed

We chatted for a while longer and agreed that we’d all have to get together soon. Now that those sessions had ended, there was nothing stopping me from going home for a nice long visit as a few days just wouldn’t be long enough. I wondered how AJ would feel about a trip to England.

~*~

As it turned out, I went home to England alone for a couple of weeks. With the new album release came a lot of promotion and so AJ would be gone for about two and a half weeks, maybe even longer. I could’ve gone with him, he’d asked me to go along, but I knew he’d be busy from morning till night and so thought this would be the perfect opportunity to go home for a visit.
 
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Chapter 42 by Carter-Orange
Author's Notes:
Thanks to everyone reading :)
Chapter 42

Being back home in my parents house felt a bit strange after living in Los Angeles for the past few months. For one thing, the pace of life was a lot slower and more tranquil and secondly, it was weird to be back in my old childhood bedroom. Thankfully my old posters no longer adorned the walls, I don’t think I would’ve been able to stand Jason Orange’s face glaring at me from every angle of the room like I had done when I was younger. He’d been the guy I’d been hopelessly in love with for years, until I met him and realised that I’d only been in love with an image. The man behind the image was a complete twat. Instead, my Mum had re-decorated it and turned it into a very stylish guest bedroom, not a poster in sight.

“It’s good to be back Mum” I said as I tucked in to a lovely home cooked meal. As far as I was concerned, my Mum’s cooking was the best. But then I suppose we all think that way about our Mum’s cooking.

“Good to have you home, even if it is only for a couple of weeks” my Dad said

“I know your friends are excited about seeing you again, I bumped into Jess with the baby in the supermarket the other day” Mum said. I hadn’t even seen Jess’s baby yet, only pictures sent via email, so I was looking forward to seeing him properly. I was so happy for Jess and her husband.

“Can’t wait to see little Callum” I told Mum

“He really is a lovely baby” she said and then changed the subject “So how are things with Alex?”

“Everything’s great…perfect, in fact, there’s something I need to tell you both” I began

“You’re not pregnant are you?” my Mum asked and frowned.

“No I’m not, but even if I was, there’s no need to frown about it” I said to her, slightly annoyed. One day I might be telling her I was having Alex’s baby, but not just yet.

“Sorry” she said, perhaps realising that I was no longer a little girl but a twenty six year old woman and capable to doing exactly as I pleased.

“Alex and I are getting married” I grinned “isn’t that great”

“Isn’t it a bit too soon, you hardly know the man” my Dad said

“I know all I need to know. When you meet the person you want to be with, you just know it” I answered “can’t you just be happy for me?”

“Listen love, if this man makes you happy, then of course we’re happy” my Dad relented “we’re just worried that you’re rushing into things”. It’s not like they could change my opinion, and besides, we were already married!

“I appreciate the concern, but we love each other and like it or not, we’re getting married” I replied determinedly.

“Have you decided when yet?” asked Mum

“The sooner the better really. But he’s going to be busy with tour rehearsals and then touring for the next few months, so it’s going to have to be after that” I said. AJ and I hadn’t gone into great detail about the kind of wedding we wanted, but I knew he wanted something big, he wanted the works, whereas I would be happy to just have a quiet blessing followed by a party. It should’ve been the other way around. AJ was a big girl when it came to that kind of thing! I smiled as I thought of him.

I knew my parents had accepted that Alex was my boyfriend, they even got on well together the time they’d met in Los Angeles, but I also knew they still had concerns. As far as they were concerned, celebrities were all a bunch of drug taking sex addicts, incapable of holding onto a relationship for any length of time, with the exception of the odd few. But Alex had done all that. He’d gone through that wild rebellious stage which fame inevitably brings. Now he was ready to settle down and I was the one he wanted to settle down with.

“I know we must sound so negative, but really we aren’t. We only want what’s best for you” my Dad said

“I know” I agreed “and I appreciate it. Alex is the man for me though”

We talked some more but then I excused myself upstairs. I was tired from the travelling and knew I’d end up falling asleep where I sat if I didn’t make a move. But before I went to sleep, I had a call to make. I needed to hear his voice before I succumbed to sleep.

“I was just about to call you” AJ said, answering his phone before it had really had chance to ring “hi”

“Hi” I replied “great minds think alike, I was going to call you” I said as I lay there curled up in bed, wishing he was with me “miss you”

“Missing you too baby” he said

“How did it go today?” I asked

“Pretty good, the studio audience went wild, at one point I thought this girl was going to dive on top of Nick” he chuckled “and then y’know, the usual, the host asked us a bunch of crazy questions and then we performed”

“It’s a hard life” I laughed

“You try getting your butt grabbed twenty times a day by crazy screaming fans, I’ve got bruises”

“Are there that many girls outside the hotels and studios then? How do they know where you guys are?” I asked, not at all worried about these girls.

“Fuck knows, but they always find us, it’s like they’ve got some kind of fucking radar or some shit like that” he replied “but it’s not always that bad, today was an exception, they’re always a bit crazy here”

“You poor thing” I consoled him “I’ll have to give you lots of good loving when you get back”

AJ was over in Germany and although they were incredibly busy from morning until night, we still squeezed in a couple of calls a day

“Mmm, sounds good” he agreed “Where are you now? Are you alone?”

“I know what you’re thinking! My parents would hear and I’d be mortified. Anyway, I’ll be seeing you in a couple of days; you’re coming to London to do a few shows aren’t you?” I asked

“Yeah, we’re doing Jonathan Ross, Loose Women, Paul O’Grady and Graham Norton. Then there’s a couple of radio shows we’re doing, like Chris Moyles and I forget who else” he answered and I hoped Jonathan Ross went easy on them, he had a reputation for not always being nice to his guests.

“And you’re fitting all that into two days?” I queried, wondering how the hell they’d do it

“That’s nothing compared to some of the things we’ve had to do in the past” he mused.

I wondered if we’d even get the chance to see each other while he was here, but he answered my silent thoughts and assured me that he’d be seeing me in London.

~*~

I could hardly believe that I was at the BBC studios with AJ and the rest of the guys. They were getting ready to do the Jonathan Ross interview and the other guests that night included Jake Gyllenhaal (even better looking up close, if that were possible) who was there to promote his latest film and Jeremy Clarkson who had a Top Gear related DVD coming out. The boys were there for an interview and then would be performing at the end of the show.

Not wanting to wait in the green room (I didn’t want to be seen on TV, I wasn’t the celebrity and for that I was glad) I was offered a seat in the audience.

“Good luck” I kissed AJ quickly before he was ushered into make-up, and then I went to find my seat.

The audience had a fair few Backstreet Boys fans, some of whom had really gone to town in the effort department in the hope that their favourite boy would take notice of them. I looked plain and pale (despite having lived in LA for the past few months) against these spray tanned, peroxide blonde, false boobed, over made-up bimbos. Rather pale than look like an Oompa Loompa from Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory!

My seat was at the end of an aisle about halfway up. I was sitting next to a couple of girls about my age who were obviously there to see the boys. One of them had a Never Gone tour t-shirt on and the other had ‘Future Mrs McLean’ scrawled across her t-shirt. I decided to keep quiet and ignore them; it would be better that way.

“You’re not here alone are you?” one asked, friendly enough.

“Erm, no…I’m with some others but they’re sitting somewhere else” I replied and I was telling the truth, the people I was with were sitting somewhere else; they were backstage in the green room!

“Well, we’ll keep you company” the other girl said “I’m Shelly and this is Adele”

I really didn’t want to talk, what if they’d seen pictures of myself and AJ on the internet? How would they react to me if they knew I was with one of the guys they lusted over?

“I’m Steph” I relented. I couldn’t be ignorant, it wasn’t me.

“Oo AJ’s new girlfriend is called Steph” Adele grinned, but it was the kind of remark that wasn’t meant to mean anything.

“Is she really?” I muttered.

“Lucky cow” she said and then they changed the subject and got on to talking about their home lives, I even joined in a little, obviously keeping quiet about the fact that I now lived in LA and was married to a Backstreet Boy.

Jonathan’s first guest was Jeremy Clarkson and the audience cheered, laughed and clapped in all the right places. Then next up was Jake Gyllenhaal.

“Fuck, he’s gorgeous” Shelly exclaimed and pretended to fan herself down

“Sure is” I agreed (well, I could look!)

He must’ve had most of the ladies in the audience drooling, especially when a clip of his latest movie was shown and he was shirtless in it. I was no exception!

Then the time came for the boys. The audience had all got a little excited every time the cameras turned to them sitting in the green room, so when they actually came out from backstage, there was a huge cheer. I listened all around me as the boy’s names were called. Eventually the noise died down enough for the interview to begin.

“So guys, I hear you’ve got a new CD coming out? Is it any good?” Jonathan asked them.

The boys all gave a polite laugh and then Nick opened his mouth “it’s more than just good, it’s fucking awesome man”

The studio audience cheered and the boys applauded Nick.

“What kind of music can we expect, is it like the last CD which didn’t do so well?” Jonathan asked and I felt like calling him all the names under the sun for his rudeness. But the boys handled him well.

“This CD has something for everyone” AJ said “from classic pop songs to R & B”

“We’re very pleased with the end result” Howie said “a lot of hard work went into it”

“I’m sure it’s great” Jonathan said and they chatted some more.

Eventually, the conversation got around to wives and girlfriends and how they maintained a balance between home life and the pop star lifestyle.

“Well, I still have to take out the trash and all the other man of the house jobs” Brian laughed “when I’m not working, life is very normal in the Littrell house”

“It must be difficult being the only married guy in a group of single men…” Jonathan began and Nick interrupted.

“Actually” he looked out at the audience “he isn’t the only one off the market”

There were a few “oh’s” in the audience and some sad faces.

“Tell me more” Jonathan asked

“Howie has a girlfriend and AJ recently got engaged. I’m still single though” Nick grinned and won the hearts of the audience again.

“Congratulations AJ, who’s the lucky lady?” Jonathan asked

“Thanks. Her name is Steph, she’s English and she’s here tonight. Hey Steph sweetie, love you” AJ said and blew a kiss towards my direction. The camera zoomed in on me and I just wanted the ground to open up and swallow me. The girls next to me looked at me with shock on their faces and I didn’t even want to try and see the expressions on anyone else’s face, the hushed whispers were enough. I plastered a smile on my face and waved back.

“AJ McLean is marrying you?” Shelly asked

What could I say?
Chapter End Notes:
Thanks for keeping up with the story, only a few more chapters to go I think :)
Chapter 43 by Carter-Orange
Author's Notes:
I'm sorry it took so long, but I hope you're still with me!
Chapter 43

As much as I wanted to get up and just run away, I couldn’t. I was no quitter. So instead I stayed rooted to my seat and just smiled sweetly while all around me, people were whispering and craning their necks to get a better look at the future Mrs McLean (although unknown to them, I was already married to their favourite Backstreet Boy).

Jonathan carried on with his interview, congratulating AJ and asking when the wedding was, to which AJ replied “we haven’t set a date yet” and then moving on to his next question. Thankfully, the camera stayed away from me and after a few minutes, the whispers died down as the audience didn’t want to miss the rest of the interview.

“Are you really marrying AJ?” Shelly asked when the interview was finished and the boys were getting ready to sing, her tone a little calmer. I nodded, hoping she wasn’t going to turn psycho on me.

“Sorry for acting like a complete bitch” she apologised “I was a little shocked y’know, to find out that AJ was getting married and that his fiancée was sitting here in the audience next to me”

“It’s OK” I replied. What else could I say?

“Congratulations by the way” Adele smiled genuinely

“Thanks” I replied, glad that not everyone in the room hated me.

“Yeah, congratulations” Shelly added “you are so lucky, AJ is so hot”

“Uhuh” I agreed. I wasn’t going to get into a conversation with virtual strangers about my husband.

Before they could ask me anything else, Jonathan introduced the boys as they began to perform their new single ‘Rebel’. I loved that song so much and was glad they’d decided at the last minute to go against management and put it on the new CD and release it as the first single. So many amazing songs hadn’t made it to the album and this had almost been one of them. I wondered if they’d ever considered putting together an album full of the unreleased stuff, they certainly had more than enough of it.

The audience obviously loved the song as much as I did, some already knew the words and I wondered how that could be when the album hadn’t been released yet. AJ had mentioned something about a few songs being leaked; maybe this had been one of them.

I decided to sneak away just after the song finished, I knew the boys were going to be playing a couple more sings off air, but I wanted to wait backstage. I wasn’t used to attention and I’d had more than enough already. I don’t think I could’ve coped if anyone had said anything really negative to me about marrying AJ, I would’ve been tempted to tell them to ‘fuck off and mind their own business’ and I’m not sure that would’ve gone down well for the band.

“Was nice meeting you, hope you and AJ have a lovely wedding” Adele said when I got up to leave.

“Thanks” I replied “enjoy the rest of the show”

“Oh, we will” Shelly grinned and then turned her attention back to the stage where the boys were singing an oldie, ‘I Want It That Way’.

I wasn’t going to make a scene or anything like that here, but Alex was going to get it later when we were alone!

After signing autographs and posing for photos with fans (a couple of whom weren’t all that nice if you ask me), the guys eventually got out of the BBC building and into a car to take us back to the hotel where they were staying. Unfortunately we were in a people carrier with Howie and Brian (Nick had opted to make his own way back, god knows what he was up to), so the rant would have to wait until we were alone.

“I think that went down well” Howie proclaimed as he sat back against the leather seats.

“Yeah, there were a few tricky questions, but we handled ourselves well” Brian agreed.

I just raised my eyebrows at AJ.

“Oh come on Steph, you can’t blame me for Nick blurting it out” AJ said and gave me the full effect of his deep brown eyes. In a way he was right, but I still wasn’t happy that he’d told the world on national television!

“Whatever” I shrugged.

“Someone’s in trouble” Brian teased. He was so right.

We arrived at the hotel and said goodbye to the others, who were going to have something to eat in the hotel restaurant.

“You sure you don’t want to join us?” Brian asked

“No thanks, Alex and I are going upstairs” I replied. The look I gave AJ told him that sex wasn’t on the menu.

“Good luck” Howie teased and then they left us to find the restaurant.

“Is it really that bad Steph? Come on, for fucks sake, be reasonable here” he started as we strode towards the elevators.

Me be reasonable? Is it reasonable to blurt it out on air when I’m sitting with a bunch of girls who hate my guts for being with you? Do you have any idea how scared I was? How embarrassed I was when that fucking camera zoomed in on me, knowing that my face will appear on millions of TV screens when the show airs tomorrow night?” I seethed, trying to keep my voice down, but failing miserably.

“Well, when you put it like that…” he mused

“Exactly!” I said as the elevator doors closed and he pressed the button to take us up to his room.

We stood there in silence until the doors pinged open a few moments later. I stomped out of the confined space and turned right down the corridor.

“Wrong way” he said and I could hear the amusement in his voice.

Without looking at his silly smirk, I turned and stomped the other way, following his lead.

“You can be such a child at times y’know Steph” he muttered and shook his head.

“Says the man who posts videos on You Tube of pillow fights with Brian!” I retorted

“Hey, I never posted it, I don’t even have a You Tube account…how did you see that anyhow?” he asked

“I didn’t, I heard some girls talking earlier. So you can’t call me childish” I said smugly.

He came to a sudden stop outside room 104 and I crashed right into him, almost sending us toppling to the floor.

“Sorry” I mumbled

“Don’t be, I don’t mind you jumping my bones in the hallway” he grinned

“In your dreams Alexander” I folded my arms across my chest and he just shrugged and opened the hotel room door.

AJ’s bags were opened on the bed, clothes spilling out of them. I realised he mustn’t have had much time to do anything since arriving here earlier.

“Yeah, there isn’t really room to sit down is there” he surveyed the room. I walked over to the chair which had his laptop bag perched on it, placed the laptop on the floor and sat down.

“I don’t want to fight over this Steph” he sounded defeated

“I don’t want to either, but you could’ve considered how I’d react in that situation” I sighed

“I didn’t think and I’m sorry. I forget that you’re new to all of this crazy shit. But I wasn’t going to deny it. I want everyone to know that AJ McLean, the so called ‘bad boy’ of the band, has finally settled down” he admitted and sat down on the edge of the cluttered bed.

“I’m sorry too” I told him “I over-reacted I suppose, I’m just not used to that kind of attention”

“Believe me, you get used to it eventually. You should’ve seen what it used to be like! There was no fucking way I could’ve gone public about girlfriends back in the earlier days. When the fans did find out about girlfriends, they used to go fucking nuts, especially if Nick ever dated anyone, he got it the worst out of the lot of us” he said to me “It’s not so bad these days, we’re older, the fans are older and more accepting. You’ll get used to it…that’s if you still want to get used to it” he looked at me cautiously.

“I think you’re worth it” I teased

“You only think I’m worth it?” he teased me back and got up off the bed and stepped towards me.

He stood in front of me, took my hands and pulled me up off the chair and into his arms. One hand twisted into my hair and the other hand was at my lower back, his fingers spread out radiating heat through my body. He gently pulled my hair back so that my face was tilted up slightly and then he brought his lips softly down onto mine. My god, this man made me want him so much. I wrapped my arms around his neck, pulling him closer, wanting more of him as we deepened the kiss.

“I know you’re worth it” I said breathlessly and walked him backwards towards the bed.

He swept the bags off the bed, sending clothes flying to the floor, then pulled me down on top of him so that I was straddling his thighs. He grabbed the edge of my top and eased it up, kissing every inch of uncovered skin before tossing the garment aside to join the heap of clothes already on the floor.

“I’ve missed you” he murmured as his stubble grazed my neck.

“I missed you too” I gasped as he kissed just below my ear, the place he knew I loved to be kissed.

Before long, every item of clothing was on the floor and we were having the best make up sex ever.

“You must be tired” I said as we lay there in each others arms, Alex trying to hide a yawn. This promo trip had been non-stop for them, no wonder he was tired.

“Not too tired” he grinned and circled his arms around my waist, pulling me closer to him.

“You’re insatiable” I said as he moved and positioned himself between my legs. I was just as ready as he was.

“Yep, pretty much” he murmured as he trailed hot kisses from my collarbone, up my neck and then making his way to my lips. I moved slightly and wrapped my legs around his waist, pulling him into me, until he filled me completely.

“Oh fuck Alex” I moaned as he grabbed hold of my legs, pulling them in the air. He withdrew all the way and then thrust deep within me.

“So fucking good” he rasped

“Oh god yeah” was all I could say, over and over until we both felt a wave of ecstasy washing over us.

“I love you” he whispered in my ear as we lay there totally exhausted.

“I love you too, so much” I assured him before we succumbed to sleep.
Chapter 44 by Carter-Orange
Author's Notes:

Here's the next bit!

Chapter 44

AJ had an early start the next morning; a whole day of interviews for radio and TV plus a flight to Dublin later for yet more promo.

“You could come with me?” he asked as he stood in the hotel bedroom, wearing just a towel as he selected a shirt to wear.

“I could…but I won’t” I replied. I would’ve loved a trip to Dublin, but if I was going to be taking a trip there with AJ, I wanted it to be for pleasure and not business. “You’ll be working; I’d only be in the way”

“You won’t be” he protested and dropped the shirt and moved towards me. He placed his hands reassuring on my arms and I looked up into his eyes “I wish I didn’t have to leave you so soon”

“Me too” I agreed and wrapped my arms around his naked body, pulling him into a hug “but one day, I would love for us to go to Ireland, just the two of us. I’ve heard it’s a beautiful place”

“Once I’ve got some time off, we can do whatever you want” he vowed “but I’m hoping sex on the beach and skinny dipping will be somewhere a little warmer than Ireland”

I playfully slapped his arm “gutter brain”

“Hey, I’m thinking of your list!” he grinned

“I bet you were” I teased

“Oh god, I wish we had time to go back to bed for a while” he murmured into my hair “but I better get my ass into gear before they have to come and drag me away”

I laughed and stepped back “well, you better hurry up and get dressed then, I wouldn’t want them to have to drag you out wearing only a towel”

“So, what’ve you got planned for today?” he asked whilst he dressed.

“Meeting the girls later, you know, it’s been ages since we were all together. I’m looking forward to it” I said as I finished getting dressed. I hadn’t really come prepared for spending the night with AJ, so was wearing some of his underwear under my jeans and one of his t-shirts. It was a good thing he didn’t travel lightly!

“Tell them ‘hi’ from me” he smiled

“Don’t worry, I will” I assured him

Before long, we were ready to go. I wouldn’t see him for a few days, but at least we’d had this time together.

“Love you” he said before we left the room.

“Love you too” I replied and we shared a lingering kiss before it was time for him to go to work.

We held hands as we travelled down in the elevator and approached the rest of the boys and their security in reception.

“Everything OK?” Nick asked a little cautiously, although if he were more observant he would’ve seen that we were holding hands and anything but not OK.

“Yeah, everything’s perfect” AJ replied

“Phew, thank fuck for that” Nick smiled “I’m sorry Steph; I just couldn’t keep my mouth shut yesterday”

“Don’t worry about it, you’re forgiven” I told him “I just wasn’t prepared for it, that’s all”

“You’ll get used to it” he advised

“So I hear” I replied and rolled my eyes

“Right then guys, time to go” Paul said and I noticed a couple of cars waiting out the front.

“I’ll see you soon” I said and kissed AJ one last time, not caring that we were on show for everyone to see. There were probably fans or paparazzi hanging about, but at that moment, I didn’t care one little bit. Let them look.

“I’ll be home before you know it” he said as he rested his head against mine, and then we were interrupted by Howie telling him to move his ass.

I walked out with them and waved him off as the car pulled away from outside the hotel. I knew I’d see him again in a few days, but it didn’t stop the feeling of loneliness that swept over me.

I pulled my phone out of my bag and sent a couple of texts to my friends, checking that it was still on for tonight, and then made my way back to my parents house in a taxi. By sheer coincidence, a Backstreet Boys song played on the radio and it put a smile on my face. I’d never really been a fan before (although I’d liked them), but being married to AJ had converted me.

~*~

Our girl’s night out started off at our favourite Indian restaurant, where we ate until we were ready to burst. The curry there was so good; it would’ve been a waste to leave any.

“If I eat another mouthful of rice, I think I’ll explode” Jess exclaimed, leaning back in her chair and placing her fork down in defeat.

“So does that mean we’re skipping the dessert menu?” I laughed, knowing full well that none of us would be able to eat another thing.

“How can you even think of dessert?” Chloe groaned

“Where to next then?” I asked “I really don’t think I can face a night of dancing”

“My place” Izzy smiled “I do believe Jonathan Ross will be on soon”

“Oh shit” I sighed and held my head in my hands “you don’t really want to watch it though…do you?”

I’d told them all about it, so of course naturally they wanted to see the show for themselves. Plus with Jake Gyllenhaal being on the show too, it was an added bonus We’d all seen Brokeback Mountain a few years previously, and fallen for the gay cowboy from Wyoming!

“Too fucking right we wanna watch it” Izzy grinned

“Yeah, we’ll see your camera debut and get a bit of eye candy when Jake Gyllenhaal is on…oh, and of course see AJ and the rest of the Backstreet Boys” Jess said.

“I think you just want to see me suffer” I added

“Well yeah, that as well” Chloe said and we all laughed.

We left the restaurant and grabbed a taxi back to Izzy’s place, stopping on the way to purchase a few bottles of wine and a few snacks (I know we’d just eaten, but you never knew!).

“Get the TV on while I pour the wine” Izzy commanded from the kitchen as she reached into the cupboard for four wine glasses. I uncorked the bottle and handed it to her.

Ten minutes later, we were all sitting comfortably in Izzy’s living room waiting for the show to start. We didn’t have long to wait.

“Woohoo, there’s your man!” Izzy called out when the camera panned around the green room, showing the guests. I couldn’t help smiling when I saw him; I wondered where he was right now.

“Phwoar, check out Jake Gyllenhaal!” Jess’s eyes widened at the sight of him “did you see him there Steph?”

“No, unfortunately not” I replied.

“Gutting” Chloe said

“Shhh” Izzy said when the first guest, Jeremy Clarkson, walked on to the set “I think he’s so great”

“Urgh” Chloe groaned “I can’t stand him”

“Top Gear is amazing, how can you not like it?” Izzy asked

“Because it’s shit” Chloe laughed

“Well, I like it” Izzy exclaimed

The second bottle of wine was soon gone and we were all feeling pretty merry.

“Please welcome my next guest, it’s Jake Gyllenhaal” Jonathan’s voice on the TV called out.

“Fuck me, I so would!” Jess declared when Jake appeared on the screen, looking fit as fuck.

“God yeah” we all agreed. Two of us may have been married women, but looking didn’t cost a thing!

There were a few ‘mmm’s’ when it showed the clip of Jake’s new movie and he was shirtless in it.

Then it was time for my man to make his appearance.

“Aw, there he is Steph, your lovely hubby” Izzy said. She was right, he was lovely.

It wasn’t long before we got to the part where the camera spun to me. I noticed the looks on some of the faces in the crowd when AJ had waved to me. It made me want to sink further into my seat.

“Jealous bitches” Izzy muttered

“It was awful” I admitted “but I suppose it could’ve been a lot worse. From what I’ve heard, the guys had it really bad in the early days, and of course so did the girls they were with”

“Why though? It’s just crazy!” Chloe said

“I know” I agreed

“I mean, we all used to like sitting around talking about our favourite pop stars and actors, imagining what it would be like to be with them. But we all lived in the real world and knew it was just talk” Izzy said

“And then Steph went and married a Backstreet Boy!” Chloe giggled

“But at the time, I didn’t even like him” I laughed “I fancied that creep Jason Orange”

“It just shocks me that so called fans act that way” Izzy shrugged

“Well, I’ll just ignore them” I decided.

We watched the rest of the show, and then put a music channel on quietly for a bit of background music whilst we talked and drank large quantities of wine into the early hours.

~*~

As much as I’d loved being back home visiting my family and friends, I couldn’t wait to get back to Los Angeles. Not because I missed the place, but because I couldn’t wait until I saw Alex again. He would be arriving home the day after me and it couldn’t come quick enough. I’d had such a good time being back in England, but staying at my parent’s house wasn’t the same as being in a place of my own and being able to do as I pleased. I was looking forward to lazing about on the settee in my PJ’s if I wanted to; my Mum would never allow that in her house.

The flight was long and boring, and for all my talk of wanting to get back to LA, when I stepped off the plane into the mid afternoon heat, I missed the cool tranquillity of my little part of England. But in just a few hours, I’d see Alex again and it would all be worth it.
 
Chapter 45 by Carter-Orange
Author's Notes:
Here's the next part, hope you like and don't think it's too cheesy, lol
Chapter 45

Alex and I decided it would be better for me to move in with him, but keep my place for when my visiting friends or family came to visit. That way, they could come and go as they pleased without worrying that they were imposing on us, not that they would be of course. So the very weekend he came back from the CD promotion in Europe, we moved as much of my stuff as we could cram into our cars and drove it over to his place, or should I say our place as it’s called now.

“Fuck me Steph, I thought I had a lot of shit, but I think your DVD collection is way bigger” he said as we found a new home for my ever growing collection “what the hell…I can’t believe you like some of these films”

“Hey, there’s nothing wrong with my taste in films” I defended my DVDs

“Oh yeah, what about this?” he said and held up ’17 Again’.

“What about it, it’s a good film” I replied

“If you’re a teenager” he laughed

“Well I like it, it’s better than some of yours, like ‘Scarface’ for example” I retorted.

“Ha! Scarface is a classic!” he protested

“Well, not in my eyes” I said. I’d never known why men seemed to love that film, but they all did.

“No taste” he muttered and shook his head

“Obviously not” I joked and looked him up and down and shook my head.

“Funny” he raised an eyebrow at me and then put the DVDs down “that’s it, you asked for it” he crawled over to where I was kneeling down on the floor and grabbed hold of me tight “torture time”

With that, he began tickling me. I hated being tickled.

“I didn’t mean it” I screamed as he had me pinned down on the floor.

“Oh, I’m not sure I believe that” he grinned and carried on.

“Please” I begged as I squirmed on the floor under his body.

“Hmm” he contemplated “do you give in and admit you’re wrong?”

“Yes” I screamed “I’m wrong, I have bad taste in films but fantastic taste in men”

“Too damn right” he grinned smugly and let his guard down for a moment. I took advantage and rolled us over so that he was pinned down under me.

“Oh no you don’t” he took charge again, rolling us back over and moved as if to tickle me again “but I’m done with the tickling…for now”

And he was done with tickling. Those DVDs lay there neglected for a while whilst we had other activities to keep us occupied.

~*~

“I’m sorry Ronan, but I’m going to have to finish working here” I told my boss after the end of a busy shift a few months later.

“Why? I thought you liked it here, is it the hours? We can change them to whatever suits you” he asked as he ran his hands through his hair in confusion. I’d worked at the coffee shop for a few months now and loved it. But with the tour rehearsals almost complete and the tour fast approaching (Alex had asked me to go with him and naturally I wanted to be wherever he was); it would be unfair to ask for that amount of time off, or for Ronan to keep my job open. It would be better for them to find someone who needed the job, someone who would stick around instead of me, who didn’t ever need to work again if I didn’t want to.

“I do like it here. I’ve loved working with you all, but AJ’s going on tour and he’s asked me to go with him” I explained “I’m so sorry to just spring it on you like this and I’ll stay until you find a replacement for me”

“Hey Steph, no worries, I completely understand” Ronan said “I know if I had the chance to travel the world, I’d take it with both hands”

“Thanks Ronan. I’m really going to miss you all” I sighed. Since I’d come to live here, I’d made some really good friends at the coffee shop.

“You just promise to come back and visit us when you get back from all that jet setting” he smiled and placed a reassuring hand on my arm.

“You don’t get rid of me that easily” I replied.

“So where are you touring?” he asked

“Where aren’t they touring more like” I laughed “you know, I think they try to do as many shows in as many places as possible”

“Sounds like fun” Krissy joined in the conversation “I hear the shopping in Europe is fantastic”

“Well, I don’t know about the rest of Europe, but I quite like the shopping in England. But we’ll be travelling a hell of a lot, I doubt we’ll get time to do anything like shopping or sightseeing” I admitted, although I had a feeling AJ would make time for a bit of shopping along the way.

“How are the wedding plans coming along?” she asked “not long now!”

“I know, I can’t believe where the time goes. As for the planning, everything is booked, bought and paid for, now we just have to wait for the big day” I replied, still hardly able to believe AJ had talked me into the kind of wedding we were having.

I may be a millionaire lottery winner, but even I thought our wedding was over the top, especially since we were already married. But when Alex and I had sat down all those months ago to talk about getting married ‘properly’ I didn’t have the heart to put a damper on his dreams. As the weeks and months had gone by, I’d even started to get as excited as him by the whole idea. As Alex said, it would be so much more memorable than a simple wedding on a Mexican (or wherever) beach, and of that I was 100% sure!

~*~

Touring with the boys wasn’t as glamorous as people might think. Those guys and the people behind the scenes worked damn hard at their jobs. And the travelling, oh god, sometimes we had so little time to get from one city or country to another; it was a wonder that they had any energy to get up on stage. Who knew travelling could be so tiring? But watching those guys perform with so much energy made me realise just how dedicated and professional they were when it came to their fans and their business. Night after night they gave the show of their lives. From the very first night of the tour in Lisbon, to the last night of the first leg of the tour in Dubai, it had been one hell of an eye opener to me and a bit of a rollercoaster ride if I was honest.

The reception the Backstreet Boys got around the world varied from place to place. I was shocked at the persistence of some fans and the lengths they went to to try and get to their favourite Backstreet Boy. I could’ve understood a little better if they were teenagers, but most of these fans had to have been at least my age, if not older! The good times far outweighed the bad times though, and we did meet and talk to a lot of very nice people. I could understand why the guys were always saying they had the best fans in the world.

The time they did have off between shows was either spent catching up on sleep or getting out for some much needed freedom. Being cooped up in hotel after hotel was no fun after a while; eventually it drove a person crazy.

“This is nice” AJ told me as we strolled hand in hand through Prague on a cold but surprisingly sunny November afternoon.

“Isn’t it just” I replied. I’d heard that Prague had become a bit of a party city over recent years, the kind of place groups of guys came for their last weekend of freedom before getting married. But strolling around this beautiful historical city during the day time, it was hard to imagine by tonight there would be thousands of drunken partygoers spilling out onto the streets.

We more or less went unnoticed as we walked over little cobbled bridges and admired the medieval buildings which seemed to blend well with the more modern parts of the city. AJ had a thing for all things gothic and medieval and I must admit, I could see why.

We visited the castle, which must’ve been one of the most ancient castles in existence in the world and then stopped at a little café for something to eat before heading back to the hotel for a few drinks with everyone else. Considering we were all together a lot of the time, there were very few arguments, we were like some big extended family on tour.

Before long we were flying home to America. It was mid December and for the next two months, our time would be our own.

~*~

“Wow Steph, that dress is just beautiful” Izzy exclaimed when I stepped out of my bedroom into the living room of the suite I was staying in.

“When you said gothic medieval wedding, I was picturing you dressed from head to toe in black with dyed black hair and black veil to match…but this is something else, you look stunning” Chloe said as she snapped away with her camera.

“As if I’d ever dye my hair black” I laughed “thanks though, I’m so glad you’re all here and agreed to be my bridesmaids, it means a lot”

“Nothing would’ve stopped us Steph” Jess reassured me.

“No, especially since we didn’t get to be there the first time you married AJ” Izzy giggled.

“Shhhh” I said and pointed towards my bedroom where my Mum was fussing with my bouquet, as always, she wasn’t happy until she’d fussed with everything.

The big day had finally arrived at long last and to top it all off, outside was covered in a thick blanket of fluffy snow. Winter in Scotland didn’t disappoint.

When AJ and I had begun talking about this wedding, I was surprised to hear that he wanted a fairytale wedding. A gothic fairytale wedding complete with castle, horse drawn carriages and guests dressed the part. At first I’d kind of shunned the idea, it seemed over the top to me. I’d favoured a beach wedding, something small and simple with just a few family members and friends to share it with us. But eventually I came around to Alex’s way of thinking.

The castle we were staying in was reputed to be haunted, I wondered if that was just rumour to bring in more custom, or true? I hoped it was just a rumour! Beautifully located with panoramic views of the choppy sea below, the castle looked like something from the pages of a fairytale book. The stunning medieval gardens, although blanketed with snow, looked perfect.

I stood and stared at my reflection in the mirror, liking the way the purple fitted bodice of my dress gave me a cleavage AJ wouldn’t be able to tear his eyes from. The dress was gorgeous, consisting of a fitted corset/bodice styled top half, with layers and layers of tulle under the sumptuous dark purple silk material of the full skirt. Purple may not be a traditional colour for a wedding dress, but it happened to be my favourite colour and besides, AJ and I weren’t exactly a traditional couple.

“It’s time” my Mum said when she stepped out of the bedroom looking immaculate in an outfit which just about passed for medieval attire.

My bridesmaids on the other hand had fully embraced the idea of a medieval styled wedding; they thought it was so romantic to be getting married in a fairytale castle, complete with turrets. Wearing a lighter shade of purple dress than mine, with skirts not quite so full, they all looked stunning.

“Let’s go and get you married” Izzy said and mouthed the word ‘again’ to me. I was just glad my Mum wasn’t looking!

At that very moment, my Dad came knocking at the door “are you decent?” he asked.

“Of course Dad” I said and gave him a brief hug.

“You look beautiful” he said and stood back to take in the full effect of me standing there in my wedding dress.

“Thanks Dad” I said “you don’t look too bad either”

“Well, I don’t know about that, but your Mum thinks it’s very ‘Mr Darcy’” he laughed.

We posed for numerous photos before eventually positioning ourselves ready to walk down the aisle.

I wasn’t what I would call nervous, I had nothing to be nervous about really, we were already married, but I wasn’t exactly calm and collected either. But the moment I spotted Alex waiting for me in the distance, my heart rate picked up and I couldn’t wait to be by his side.

Pachelbel’s Canon in D began to play softly as we walked slowly towards the man I was about to marry for the second time.

I glanced to the left and right at our guests, all dressed in their gothic medieval wear. I noticed the purple flower arrangements and candles dotted around giving the atmosphere a romantic feel to it, but then my focus switched to the man waiting for me ahead.

Dressed in a black velvet frock coat and brocade trousers, with a white frilly shirt and purple waistcoat, he was like Pride & Prejudice meets Interview With The Vampire, and I liked it!

“Wow” he whispered when I reached his side and he looked at me for the first time “you look beautiful”

“You look sexy as hell” I whispered back. He took my hand in his and we smiled at each other, then it was time to begin the ceremony.

We faced the wedding official (also dressed the part) and listened while she spoke about marriage and how it shouldn’t be entered lightly, and then it was over to us.

“I, Alexander James McLean, take you, Stephanie, to be my wife,
knowing in my heart that you will be my constant friend,
my faithful partner in life, and my one true love”.


“And now Stephanie” the wedding official looked to me.

“I, Stephanie Mahoney, take you, Alexander, to be my husband,
knowing in my heart that you will be my constant friend,
my faithful partner in life, and my one true love”

We exchanged rings (proper rings this time) and were pronounced husband and wife.

“You may now kiss the bride” she announced and he placed his hands on my waist and pulled me close for a deep kiss. Our guests all cheered and clapped, bringing us back into the here and now.

After photos in the snow outside, we made our way back indoors for a proper gothic medieval banquet, with goblets of wine, tables full of exquisite food and even medieval music played by musicians using traditional instruments.

“This is just magical” I told my husband as he twirled my around the stone floor later on in the evening.

“The magic isn’t over yet” he mumbled in my ear and nibbled on my neck lightly.

“What a cheesy line…but I like it” I laughed.

“No, I mean wait until you see what else awaits” he said

“I already know, and believe me, I can’t wait to slowly undress my very own Vampire Lestat” I grinned

“Gutter brain, but I love you” he wrapped his arms tighter around me and kissed me.

The surprises weren’t over, he was right, there was more magic ahead. Instead of staying here in the castle with all of our other guests, at the stroke of midnight he escorted me to a horse drawn Cinderella style carriage, complete with a uniformed driver.

“Wow” I exclaimed.

“We’re spending the night in a little cottage just along the coast, no one else for miles and miles, just you and me” he murmured as his lips trailed up and down my neck.

“Magical” I sighed.
Chapter End Notes:
Was the wedding OK?  Let me know what you think...
Chapter 46 by Carter-Orange
Author's Notes:
Woohoo, so glad AC is back! Here's the next bit for you, hope you like :)
After what I can only describe as an incredible night, we made breakfast together in the kitchen. AJ had thought of everything as all of my favourite breakfast items were right here in the compact kitchen. Every time we moved to reach for one thing or another, we would brush up against each other. I could’ve got used to cooking like this.

“What time is the car coming to collect us?” I asked as I scooped up another forkful of scrambled eggs.

“We still have a couple of hours” he replied as he playfully tugged on the tie of my robe.

“And what would you like to do in those couple of hours? Some sightseeing maybe? A leisurely walk along the cliff tops?” I teased.

“Hmm…I think I can think of something” he grinned wickedly “but freezing my ass off outside in the snow doesn’t come into it”

Needless to say, we didn’t venture outside until we really had to!

Luckily we had a change of clothes waiting for us when we’d arrived here, as I really didn’t want to have to get back into that wedding dress. As stunning as it was, something warmer was more appropriate in this weather.

We arrived back at the castle and met up with all of our guests for lunch before the majority of them would be heading home. It was the day before Christmas Eve, so naturally everyone wanted to get home to be with whoever they’d arranged to spend Christmas with.

“So where are you taking your lovely wife on honeymoon?” Kevin asked. I was glad to see he’d made it over for the wedding. He may not be in the band anymore, but to the boys, he would always be a Backstreet Boy. It meant a lot to Alex that his oldest brother had been able to come. It was also good to see his wife Christine again as I’d only met her once previously.

“That’s for me to know and Steph to find out later” he replied as he leaned back in his chair, resting his arm lazily over my shoulders.

“Aw, isn’t he romantic” Izzy exclaimed

“So we’re not staying here?” I asked. I could just picture it, opening presents on Christmas morning whilst the snow fell outside. Tucking in to a traditional Christmas dinner and wearing silly party hats from a Christmas cracker. Sitting around a roaring fire with a hot chocolate later on in the evening and…I was getting carried away!

“Hell no!” he replied “no offense, the UK is a beautiful place, but after freezing my ass off in Europe for the last couple of months, I thought it was about time we went somewhere warmer”

Now that I couldn’t argue with, as much as I loved the snow!

~*~

Twenty four hours later and what a difference in climate! We’d kissed goodbye to the snow and waved hello to glorious sunshine and miles and miles of sandy beach. After a couple of plane journeys, and hour upon hour of travel, Tahiti was truly worth it.

With swaying palm trees and perfectly clear turquoise sea, it was extremely romantic looking and a honeymooner’s paradise.

I’d seen those over the water bungalows in travel brochures and on TV before, but never ever thought I’d stay in one. Well that was about to change.

“We’re actually going to stay in one of those?” I asked incredulously

“Yep” he grinned “for now”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” I asked

“You’ll see” he carried the heavier bags through to the bedroom and dumped them down on the floor.

After all that travelling, all we wanted to do was relax with a nice cold drink, so that’s exactly what we did.

“I can’t believe it’s Christmas Day tomorrow” I said as we sprawled out on sun loungers sipping wonderfully exotic looking drinks “it feels weird lying here in a bikini”

“You could always take the bikini off if that would be less weird” he smiled and reached over towards me.

“Alex…you know what I mean” I laughed and slapped his hand away.

“So, do you approve of the honeymoon destination?” he queried

“Oh god yeah, it’s beautiful here. In fact, the whole wedding experience has been amazing. I’m so glad we did it properly, with all of our family and friends there to share it with us” I replied

“Told you so” he said “and your parents and my Mom really got along well didn’t they? She’s already invited herself over to England for a visit”

“I’m glad they got on well. Are you gutted your Dad wasn’t there?” I asked more seriously. We hadn’t talked a lot about his parents break up, although I knew he no longer kept in regular contact with his Dad. I wondered if now was the right time to bring it up, he hadn’t seemed keen to talk about it in all the time we’d been together.

“To be honest, I’m past caring. My parents divorce hit me hard when I was younger, but I got over it a long time ago. If he doesn’t want to be in my life, then fuck him” he sighed

“We’ve never talked about it. How old were you when they split up?” I asked, turning over to face him full on.

“It was a couple of years before I joined the band, so about thirteen” he said “you know, joining the Backstreet Boys probably saved my life. Without that bit of luck coming my way, life could’ve turned out very differently for me”

“How?” I asked curiously

“Well, with my parents constantly at each other’s throats, I used to sneak out my bedroom window and it wasn’t long before I was hanging around with the wrong crowd” he held his head in his hands.

I didn’t know what to say. I’d come from a nice home with parents who never argued and to this day, still loved each other as much as ever. Life must’ve been so much different for Alex when he was growing up.

“So what happened?” I asked

We talked for a long time, with Alex really opening up about his past. I really felt for him, he’d gone through a tough time when he was a kid. He’d had very little contact with his Dad over the years; in fact his Dad hadn’t even fought for custody or visitation rights. Alex had been pretty close to his Dad when he was young and was devastated for a long time after he’d gone. He’d thought maybe he was to blame or something. Therapy had helped him realise that nothing he did caused his parents to divorce. His Dad’s abandonment was not his fault.

“Anyway, that’s enough of this depressing talk, this is our honeymoon” he said changing the subject and standing up. I knew he was right, the past was the past. “Last one in the water is a loser”

“You’re cheating” I said and raced after him.

I soon caught up to him and we went crashing down into the shallow ocean, it was so refreshing but not at all cold.

“Now that you’ve caught me, what to you intend to do with me?” he teased and nibbled at my neck, causing me to shudder with anticipation.

“Oh god Alex” I murmured as I ran my hands down his back.

As much as I would’ve liked to cross off another item on my list (that being the sex on the beach one) it was hardly the right time. We weren’t exactly alone, although the beach was hardly crowded either.

“No one’s gonna notice” he murmured as if answering the silent question I had in my mind. He moved my dripping wet hair to the side to get better access to my neck, my weak point, and kissed me there, his lips burning my already overheated skin.

“You don’t play fair” I protested very weakly, not wanting him to stop what he was doing with his mouth and his hands.

“Never said I did” he murmured and I could feel the smile on his lips as he kissed my shoulder “this bikini top has got to go”

He unclasped it and slid it off, letting it sink to the ocean floor “mmm, that’s better”. He flicked his tongue over my left nipple, making it stand to attention before taking it into his mouth.

I no longer cared who saw us. I wanted Alex and I wanted him right there in the sparkling blue ocean.

“Those shorts…they have to go” I said breathlessly as we kissed in the waist deep water.

They were soon off and floating away to join my bikini top, shortly followed by my bikini bottoms.

“Now that you’ve got me naked, what are you going to do to me?” I teased as I ran my hand down his chest, stopping just before I got to his rock hard cock.

“I’m going to grab your legs…” he said and ran his hands over my bum and then down my thighs “…wrap them around my waist” he lifted me effortlessly and pulled me in closer to his firm body “…and then I’m going…” no more words were needed as my body lined up with his and he pushed himself inside me.

“Oh fuck” I gasped as he pulled me down hard, impaling me further “oh god yes”

“Fuck, oh fuck yeah” he said raggedly as we moved in the shallow water.

“Fuck Alex…yes…harder” I gasped

We didn’t last long, but it had been so good. Maybe the thought of being caught at any moment had added to the excitement.

“Shit! How the hell are we supposed to get back to our hut?” I said as I tried in vain to find our swimwear, which had obviously been washed away.

“Fuck” he laughed “well, I guess this is skinny dipping in reverse”

He took hold of my hand and we ran, giggling like a couple of teenagers, through the shallow water until we were at the steps of our beach hut.

“I think we went unnoticed” he said breathlessly as he wrapped a towel around his waist.

“Let’s hope so” I replied. Although I’d crossed another thing off my list, I just hoped our naked arses wouldn’t be all over the internet by tomorrow.
Chapter End Notes:
Just incase you're wondering, I hate to write about the boys real wives or girlfriends and families, so I make up my own characters. Call me weird, lol!
Chapter 47 by Carter-Orange
Author's Notes:
Sorry for the delay, my laptop died and I had to get a new one!
Chapter 47

“Oh cool” I exclaimed as I read the welcome letter we’d neglected to notice when we first arrived “there’s a firework display and barbecue on the main beach tonight”

“Mmm, sounds good” Alex murmured as he nuzzled my neck softly, scraping his rough stubble against my skin in the most delicious way.

“If we can force ourselves to get dressed” I replied and dropped the letter to the floor and turned to wrap my arms around the man who was now not only officially but publicly my husband.

“Oh, I think we have plenty of time to play before we show our faces at the barbecue” he said and walked me backwards towards the sumptuous bed.

A little while later and we were making our way to the beach. The sun was setting and casting a beautiful orange glow over the calm ocean. It was a view I could get used to, especially observing it with the man I loved.

“Can you believe it’s Christmas Eve?” I asked “It just doesn’t feel like Christmas being here in the sunshine. Back home I bet they’re freezing!”

“Where you come from they’ll be freezing their asses off, not where I come from. I am so friggin glad we aren’t honeymooning in England” he teased and I slapped him lightly.

“There’s nothing wrong with England” I protested

“Never said there was” he pulled me closer “in fact, I happen to love England, and the people, and the girls...especially the English girls...one in particular”

“Smooth talker” I replied and leaned in closer to him.

“You know it” he laughed and kissed the top of my head.

It was clear to see where the festivities were taking place as a group of people were congregated around a fire set in the sand and the smell of barbecue food wafted across the beach.

“God that smells good” I said as my stomach rumbled loudly. We hadn’t eaten for a while.

As we got closer, I noticed that most of the people there appeared to be around our age and possibly also here on their honeymoon. Not a single paparazzi in sight I was happy to report! But when I thought about it, what pap would come all the way out here for pictures of us? Especially on Christmas Eve.

We grabbed ourselves a plate of barbecue food each and a couple of bottles of beer and then got talking to some other holidaymakers.

“Y’know, you look just like AJ McLean from the Backstreet Boys” a woman with a strong southern accent observed as she looked him up and down appreciatively.

“Really? I get that a lot” Alex replied and I shoved him and told him to stop teasing.

“Oh wow” she grinned “I’m Danielle and I used to be such a huge fan”

“How come you aren’t anymore?” AJ asked curiously. I knew it bugged the guys when people said they used to be fans. It made them wonder what they’d done wrong, but it also helped them get an idea of what the fans wanted.

Danielle didn’t quite know how to reply to that “oh, I am, it’s just that I thought maybe you’d split up”

“Seventeen years together and still going strong” he replied “in fact, the US leg of the tour is starting in a couple of months”

“Really?” she squealed, the inner fan coming out of her “oh my god, I had no idea”

“Dani...leave the guy alone, he’s here on his honeymoon, he doesn’t wanna be pestered” a man who had to be her husband said.

“It’s OK” Alex replied

We sat down on the beach and ate the delicious food and got talking about other subjects, I noticed that the more we talked (and drank), the more relaxed Alex became. These people here didn’t want anything from him except his company and that made him happy.

After eating and drinking way too much and watching the colourful firework display, it was time to stagger back to our beach house.

“You really can’t handle your drink” Alex laughed as I stumbled over a pebble and landed face down in the sand.

“Ha!” I replied once I’d pulled myself up so that I was now on my knees “I’m not that drunk”

“Come on, I’ll give you a hand” he offered and held out his hand to help me up.

I took his hand and pulled him down in the sand with me, both of us falling backwards with him on top of me. I wrapped my arms around him and gave him a kiss “see, I told you I’m not that drunk”

“Ahem” a voice in the dark spoke and we suddenly realised we weren’t alone. OK, Maybe I was a little drunk after all!

“Erm...we were just...” I began, but stopped myself. It was obvious what we were doing, or were about to do.

“Just don’t lose your swimwear this time” a female voice giggled as they walked by and I realised we must’ve been seen earlier. How embarrassing!

“Fuck” I muttered but Alex just laughed and pulled me to my feet.

“Come on Mrs McLean, I think we’ve put on enough of a show for one day”

~*~

“Merry Christmas beautiful” Alex whispered in my ear the following morning “wakey wakey sleepy head”

“Urgh” I mumbled incoherently and closed my eyes again. Did he just say Christmas? How come I feel so damn hot? Oh yeah, we’re in Tahiti!

I stretched and yawned, then opened my eyes properly to see Alex lying next to me “Morning gorgeous, merry Christmas” I wrapped my arms around him and gave him a kiss.

“Come on, it’s presents time” he said excitedly and rolled over to get out of the comfy bed and put on a pair of shorts.

“Do I have to get out of bed?” I protested, it was far too comfy and surely too early to even think of getting up.

“Yes, you do” he replied “it’s Christmas day, stop being a scrooge”

“Hey, I’m not a scrooge” I laughed and threw a pillow at him which caught him in the face.

“Oh that does it” he strode over to the bed “payback time”

“No tickling...please” I begged “I’ll be good and get out of bed”

“Go on then, I’ll let you off” he grinned

I threw on his t-shirt from the night before as it was on the floor and the closest item of clothing I could reach, then I followed him out of the bedroom and into the living room area.

“Wow” I exclaimed “who did this?”

Although there was no Christmas tree, there were fairy lights adorning the balcony outside and also some very Christmassy decorations.

“Well...” he began

“Oh Alex” I wrapped my arms around his neck “it’s perfect”

“As much as I’d like to carry on where we’re heading, how about we open the presents?” he breathlessly rasped in my ear.

“You’re right” I agreed and unwrapped myself from him.

Before the wedding, I’d gone shopping for the perfect Christmas gift for Alex, but had wandered around aimlessly for hours, wondering what to get him. I bought him a new iPod touch as he’d carelessly lost his whilst on the road, but I wanted something a little more special. After much store browsing, I eventually found something. In a store which specialised in unusual gifts, I’d contemplated many things from hot air balloon rides (which would be no good for Alex as heights weren’t really for him) to an Agatha Christie murder mystery weekend. But in the end I decided to go for something I knew he’s appreciate, a luxury golf weekend at a top of the range golfing venue. I bought a few other items too, but seeing as we’d be away for Christmas, I didn’t want to have to carry too much with me.

“Here’s your first present” he said and handed me a small fancily wrapped square shape.

I carefully opened it, not wanting to spoil the wrapping, which was silly really as it was only going to end up in the bin anyway. A blue jewellery box...oh my fucking god...it’s from Tiffany!

“Oh my god” I gasped when I saw the absolutely stunning ring nestled inside “it’s beautiful”

“You like it? I know we went about things all backwards and that I never bought you an engagement ring, so I thought this would make up for that” he explained

“Like it? I fucking love it” I admitted and slipped the ring on my wedding ring finger and admired it as the diamonds and amethysts glistened in the sunlight “thank you so much”

“You’re welcome” he smiled

“I hope you won’t be too disappointed with what I bought” I admitted and handed over his first present.

Whilst out shopping, I hadn’t been able to resist a couple of joke presents, like a Borat mankini and some blow job undies! The mankini was the first present I handed to him.

“Erm...what the fuck?” he laughed as he held it up to see exactly what it was.

I fell about laughing when he tried it on and walked around the room. It was a good thing no one could see in!

After we’d finished opening presents, we sat outside and ate breakfast (minus the mankini which he’d replaced with shorts).

“I could get used to this” I said as I sipped on a delicious cup of coffee.

“Me too” AJ replied and put out his first cigarette of the day. Although he’d recently failed in his attempt to quit smoking, he’d managed to cut down the amount he smoked, which was a step in the right direction.

I hoped this would be the first of many happy Christmas’s together.

Chapter 48 by Carter-Orange
Author's Notes:
Here's the next chapter, hope you like!

#Chapter 48

Tahiti really was the most beautiful place I’d ever visited. It really was a tropical paradise in every sense of the word.

We spent three weeks enjoying Tahiti and all her islands had to offer. On the first Sunday we were there, we went to Papeete’s market which attracted a wide range of merchants from all over who came and sell their wares. Alex bought a single flower, a pretty purple frangipani and carefully tucked it into my hair as we browsed the various market stalls. He could be so romantic at times and the little things like that really meant a lot to me.

“We can’t take it all home” I told him a little while later, but he just smiled and took my hand and told me that’s what shipping was for. I managed to drag him away before he bought too much, knowing that he’d bought more than enough already and wondering where it was all going to go. We were now the owners of numerous wall decorations, a table I can only describe as a lamp table, little pots of various spices (which I had no idea what we’d do with) and some fabric!

Some days we just relaxed on the white sand beaches, partaking in a bit of swimming or snorkelling when we felt like a change from lying in the sun, although we didn’t swim very far out. At first, seeing the fish in the crystal clear water had been a bit of a strange experience, I hadn’t expected them to come so close to us. But once I’d got used to seeing the various colours darting around the water, I couldn’t help but be amazed.

As we took a trip on a glass bottomed boat (which believe me, was scary knowing that there was only glass separating us from sharks and such) I thought of my list. Seeing whales, sharks and rays and such in the ocean made me think of one item on my list which had yet to be crossed off, to swim with dolphins. It was hard to believe I’d worked my way through most of it though.

1. Fall in love

2. Own my own place

3. Skinny dipping and sex on the beach

4. Learn a new language

5. Ride a scary roller coaster whilst eating or bungee jump or something else equally as scary

6. Road trip across the USA

7. Blow a fortune on a single night out

8. Drive a flash car way too fast (and not get caught)

9. Swim with dolphins

10. Tell my boss to shove his job up his arse

We’d crossed off number three not long after arriving here; I blushed at the thought of that other couple seeing us. But I supposed it could have been worse, there could’ve been hidden paparazzi snapping away as things got a little intimate. I was relieved that nothing had made its way online (thank god for Wi-Fi and AJ’s laptop).

“We have to be up early tomorrow” Alex said as we sipped cocktails with our meal overlooking the beautiful sunset one evening.

“Why?” I asked curiously. In the time we’d been here so far, we’d usually got up late or not at all.

“You’ll see” he smiled

“Come on” I begged “you can’t leave me dangling like that”

“I can and I am” he grinned wickedly

“Tease” I called him

“Yeah, but you love me anyway” he replied

“I suppose so...sometimes” I teased him

“Oh yeah” he raised an eyebrow

“Just messing with you” I assured him

“I know” he replied “I sometimes love you too”

“Hey!” I protested and we laughed together.

“Come on, let’s finish these drinks and go and have an early night” AJ suggested

“You’re insatiable” I declared

“Hey, you’re the one with the dirty mind, I was thinking of going straight to sleep” he laughed and I playfully shoved him.

“Yeah right” I answered

We finished our drinks and walked hand in hand under the clear starry sky, back to our beach house.

The alarm on AJ’s phone woke us up much earlier than I’d expected and I wondered what we were doing today that required us to be up at seven o’clock on our honeymoon.

“What shall I wear?” I asked, hoping I’d get a clue of where we were going.

“Something casual” he replied and pulled on a pair of khaki combat shorts and a sleeveless top over his still damp from the shower body.

That gave me no clues at all. I followed his example though and wore a pair of Capri pants and a vest top with my comfy flip flops.

“Are you going to tell me where we’re going?” I asked what must’ve been the hundredth time, sounding like a child.

“Nope” he grinned “you’ll have to wait and see”

“But Alex..” I protested

“I promise you, it’ll be worth it, now quit the whining” he laughed

And he was right. It was so worth it.

A little while later we were getting changed into wet suits to go swimming with dolphins. I couldn’t quite believe it; we were actually going to swim with dolphins. I was so excited.

“When did you plan all this?” I asked, wondering how he’d managed to keep it a secret from me all the time we’d been here. He wasn’t exactly the best secret keeper in the world!

“Before we came here” he replied “I knew it was something you wanted to do, so I checked that we could before booking here”

“Oh Alex” I sighed and gave him a quick kiss “have I told you today how much I love you?”

“No, not today” he replied

“Well, I love you...loads” I declared

“Love you too baby” he kissed the top of my head.

We finished getting kitted out in our wet suits, which let me tell you, were harder to put on than I’d thought. Grabbing our snorkels, we strolled out to meet the dolphin trainers who were going to be showing us around and telling us what to do. After a long safety talk and instructions, we were led outside to where we’d actually get to see the dolphins. I was excited but also a little nervous, what if they weren’t as friendly as they looked on TV?

“Getting cold feet?” AJ asked, a knowing look on his face

“No, just a little nervous” I replied

“Me too, I mean look at the size of those frickin things!” he stated

“Oh god, don’t...I’m nervous enough as it is” I replied

“You wanted to swim with dolphins” he stated

“I know” I agreed “but now that we’re here, I’m kind of chickening out”

“Not a chance! We’re getting in there whether we like it or not” he grabbed hold of my hand and we walked forward to the where the trainer was waiting for us.

After all my second thoughts though, it was actually an amazing experience. Our trainer, Joel, led us into the shallow water to get acquainted with the dolphins first. The dolphins were so cute and tame as we stroked them and played in the water. We learned all about dolphin behaviour and how they communicate, which was very interesting.

“How do you feel about taking a swim now?” our trainer Joel asked

“Erm...OK” I replied and looked at Alex, who had also relaxed in the water now.

“Bring it on” Alex replied, acting the tough guy when in reality, he was just as much a wimp as me.

“Cool” Joel replied “I’ll show you what to do, it’s very easy”

He took hold of the dorsal fin and held on as the dolphin glided through the water.

“Fuck” I muttered, wondering how the hell I was going to do that.

“I hear you” AJ agreed beside me

But despite our protests, we had a go and surprisingly, both of us enjoyed it. I held on to the dolphin’s dorsal fin and prayed that everything would be alright, and it was. Gliding through the water like that was an exhilarating experience.

“Thank you” I said to Alex when we left there later on.

“No problem” he replied and kissed the top of my head

As much as we would’ve loved to have stayed in Tahiti, it was time to get back to the real world. We’d had an absolutely amazing time and done so many amazing things, I’d never forget what a magical place it was.

Chapter End Notes:
The story is almost over, only another chapter or two to go, thanks for reading :)
Chapter 49 by Carter-Orange
Author's Notes:
Here's the last chapter, I'm so sorry for the delay and apologise for the cheesy ending. I'm not too good with endings!

Chapter 49

One year later

It was hard to believe how much had happened in the past year. Not only had I married AJ, whom I loved more and more with every passing day, but I’d also completed my list of ten things to do before I was thirty. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d accomplish half the list, never mind the whole list.

Shortly after arriving home from our idyllic honeymoon in Tahiti, AJ had asked me how I felt about road tripping across America in his tour bus. He said he understood that it might not be quite what I’d had in mind when I’d thought of a road trip, but I quickly silenced him with a kiss and told him it was perfect. Sharing a tour bus with my husband whilst he toured with the Backstreet Boys was way better than anything I could’ve come up with.

And so I’d gone on tour.

Being on the road was hard at times, we didn’t always have time to venture away from wherever they were playing, we were just going from bus to arena and then bus again. It could get a bit boring sometimes and so to ease the monotony, we bought a Wii and spent many hours competing against each other whilst on the road. But there were times when we had time to go off and do some sightseeing in between shows and that more than made up for it. We saw so many places and I couldn’t believe how diverse the landscape could be from state to state. It was beautiful.

“So here we are, back where it all began” he smiled when we arrived in Las Vegas.

“I cringe when I think of how horrible I was to you back then” I told him, remembering the way I was when he’d emerged from the bathroom and I’d been hoping for Jason Orange.

“Hey, I wasn’t exactly nice either” he admitted “I called you a bitch”

“I called you worse” I admitted

“Me too” he laughed

“And look at us now” I said and we both laughed. We may have started off all wrong, but love had found us eventually.

After the tour had finished, everyone went their separate ways. The plan was to take some time off and then get back into the studio to begin work on the next album.

“How about we take a trip to England” AJ said when we got home to Los Angeles “I know you must be dying to see your family and friends”

“Are you sure you don’t mind? I thought you must be sick of travelling by now and just want to chill here for a while” I asked, although I really did want to go home and see everyone. It had been so long.

“Steph, you’ve given up everything for me, I’d be a total bastard if I just sat around here and let you go alone. Besides, I want to go. You know how much I love England” he said.

We spent a couple of days relaxing at home, enjoying the peace and tranquillity of normal life. We did things couples do, like grocery shopping, walking hand in hand on the beach, hanging out with friends and then of course, our latest obsession…the Nintendo Wii. We spent hours and hours on that thing, I especially liked Just Dance, whilst AJ preferred Mario Kart.

We then flew to England.

“Y’know, I think it would be great to buy a place here” he mused as we sprawled out on the grass in Hyde Park on a gloriously sunny day about a week after we’d arrived.

“Really?” I asked, knowing that to me it would be perfect.

“Really” he said “you know I love London. We could spend a few months of the year in England and the rest of the time in LA. Sound good?”

In reply, I peppered his face with kisses.

“Is that a yes?” he grinned, wrapping his arms around me and pulling me on top of him.

“Yes!” I replied and leaned down to kiss him again, not caring if anyone was watching. There were plenty of other couples doing exactly the same thing no doubt!

And so a year after we’d got married, we found ourselves living part of the year in Los Angeles and the other part in a beautiful Victorian house in London. The boys had released another album which had been a huge success and they were in the process of planning another tour.

“You know, I was thinking about your list the other day” Alex said as we snuggled up in bed one morning.

“Mmm” I replied

“Yeah, I was thinking of a list of my own” he mused.

“And what would be on this list of yours?” I asked, leaning on my elbow to look at him.

“Oh the usual“ he said and I leaned back into the pillow “I’d like a number one album, to continue with the boys and to become a Dad”

I bolted upright, unsure I’d heard correctly.

“What was that last one?” I asked, leaning over and looking into his eyes.

“You heard me” he murmured “I’d love to be a Dad”

“Well then Mr McLean” I said seductively “how about we make that wish come true?”

He pulled me on top of him and knotted his hands in my hair, kissing me with everything he had.

“Are you sure? I know we haven’t exactly talked about starting a family or anything” he said breathlessly, pulling away for a moment to get my reaction.

“I’m sure” I replied with a grin “now shut up and kiss me”

“I’m going to do so much more than just kiss you” he rasped breathlessly “I love you so much Mrs McLean”

“I love you too Mr McLean” I replied

z88;

z88;

THE END

Chapter End Notes:
Thanks for reading and I hope the ending wasn't too crap!


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