#9 Not impossible at all
Turns out Andre doesn’t just know of Pink Angels. He’s a fanboy. He can deny it all he wants, but it turns out he knows all their songs, and he brought along his record of their first album for them to sign. The man has an old record player at home, apparently. He thinks it sounds far better than modern technology. He’s full of surprises.
“This isn’t weird, right?” He asks as we walk to The Palace because I couldn’t find nearby parking. “Won’t they mind me asking for an autograph?”
“Not at all, they love that stuff. You know what they like even more? If you sneak into their house, get naked, and wait for them to get home. They’ll definitely be into a threesome with a groupie.”
Andre groans. “I can’t trust anything you ever say, can I? Are you even truly friends with them?”
His question is answered when we see Fran and Josh get out of a cab and walk into the club right when we arrive as well. They both hug me, and then turn to Andre.
“This is Andre Peterson, your biggest fan.” I can’t help but tease him some more. “He wanted your autograph on his left butt cheek, but I convinced him to ask for something a little more normal instead.”
Josh laughs, and Franny rolls her eyes. “Is this man bothering you?” she asks Andre, pointing at me. “We can have security escort him out.”
“Yes, please,” he replies, grinning. “Seriously though, I know this is totally lame, but he’s not wrong about the fan part.”
“And the groupie threesome.” That comment earns me a smack on my arm and a hard look from Andre. He’s not truly mad, though. I can tell.
“Dshawn!” Franny yells over her shoulder, causing the buff man who was handing out VIP bracelets to come over. “Do you have a pen?”
He pulls one out of his pocket, nods at all of us, and gets back to work. Fran and Josh sign the record, and we check it in with our coats so Andre doesn’t have to walk around with it all night.
“You big nerd,” I whisper as we go up to the karaoke bar on the second floor. “You’re such a groupie.”
“Shut up, you golden monstrosity,’ he hisses back, referring to the gold glitter suit I’m wearing.
“You’re just jealous.”
Andre is in jeans and a plaid shirt. A different one than this afternoon, but still. He really doesn’t seem to own anything else. Is it weird I find that adorable? He’s not sporting a baseball cap, though. His hair is short yet thick, and I bet it’s soft. There’s no gel in it, quite unlike my hair that I styled meticulously tonight. I don’t always care that much about my hairdo, but when I’m in a gold glitter suit, I feel like that means I need to make sure everything else looks spot-on as well. I even put on some gold eyeshadow. I’ve been experimenting a bit with makeup, but I don’t wear it often. Tonight, when I was getting ready at my own place, it just felt right, so I went with it.
“Damn, Dylan!” Derrek looks like me walking in like this is the best possible gift. “You look like a million bucks. “Why don’t you dress like that, baby?” he asks his husband Matthew.
“Not everyone can be Dylan Dyer,” Andre replies before Matt can answer.
“No, we cannot,” Matt agrees. “Looking good, Dylan. Nice to see you again, Andre.”
“Oh my God, are you two dating?” Derrek claps his hands together, beaming at us. “I was telling Matt and Liv the other day how much I hate that lawyer you were dating before. Seriously, that one time I talked to him, I just felt like my soul was dying. You look so much happier tonight than you have in months. Is that Andre’s doing? I bet it is, isn’t it? Oh, I’m so happy for you guys!”
“Erm, we’re not-”
Derrek talks right over Andre. “We should double date! Oh my God, this is the best news ever!”
“Except I’m still with the soul-killing lawyer,” I bite out, pissed as fuck. “Who does make me happy, thank you very much.”
Derrek finally stops yapping, and his face falls. “Fuck. I’m sorry.”
Andre saves the situation by telling them we’re going to get drinks and grabbing my arm to pull me away from that hot mess. I let him, not sure what else to do.
“Kian really isn’t that bad.” I feel like I need to defend my boyfriend to Andre, even though the two have never met. “You’re totally getting the wrong impression of him.”
“Hey, no judgement here.” Andrew orders two club sodas, and then turns back to me with a smile. “I don’t even know Kian. If you say he’s amazing, I’m sure he is. Who cares what Derrek thinks?”
“He’s just… Kian has a hard time…”
Andre shakes his head. “You don’t need to defend your relationship to me, Dylan. Let’s just forget this happened, and kick ass with karaoke. I think it’s safe to say Derrek lost his chance to be your partner tonight. How about you upgrade to this hottie?” He gestures to himself. “I need to warn you though… I suck balls.”
“Hmm, that sounds very intriguing.” I can’t help my flirty tone, I just can’t. “Anything else you suck?”
He grins. “Wouldn’t you like to know.”
We both grab our sodas before we get back to the group. Imani and Deidra, two of Liv’s best friends, have joined the two men, and Fran and Josh are standing with them as well. Right when Andre and I reach them, Shaughna and Caroline walk in.
“Hey, I didn’t know you were in town!” I go in for a hug.
Caroline is holding a non-alcoholic beverage, and I wonder if she’s got another bun in the oven, but then again Andre and I aren’t drinking either. I’m driving, and he’s got an early morning, so it’s not like pregnancy is the only reason to not get shitfaced.
“Visiting Shaughna,” she replies with an arm around her best friend. “Got the day off tomorrow.”
Andre greets the two girls as well before turning to his phone to select a song for us. Everyone around us is doing the same. Me and Derrek are the biggest karaoke fans by far, so usually we’d already have twenty songs lined up, but I’m not feeling it anymore. The way he spoke about Kian… I’m gonna kick off if he’s going to talk to me right now. Screw him.
“Why don’t we do Long Distance?” I tell Andre. “I know for a fact you know every song by this band by heart.”
He tries to stop me from tapping the screen. “We can’t sing a Pink Angels song with Francesca and Joshua watching us! That’s like… sacrilege.”
“Please, I’ve done that song a gazillion times. They love it when people rock out to their tunes. We’re doing it.”
Andre keeps pleading with me, but when our names get called, he still gets on stage with me. He gives me one last annoyed look, and then the song starts.
“Across the ocean, there’s a guy with golden hair,” I start the song, choosing to play Franny tonight. I’ve got a higher voice than Andre anyway. “He’s got my heart and missing him is more than I can bear.”
“Across the ocean, there’s a girl who has my heart,” Andre joins me, and to my surprise his voice is not half bad. In fact, he’s pretty damn great. Not Joshua-level, but still decent. “She’s got the smile of an angel and the tattoos on her skin are like a work of art.”
Franny and Joshua are cheering us on, enjoying the fact that we picked their very first original song. It’s been a couple of years since they released it, but I know it holds a dear place in their hearts. They wrote it back when Joshua was still living in the UK, and they had to do long-distance for a year. It turned out a little shorter than a year because he knocked her up, but those months apart were still pretty hard on them, and working on music together made it easier to bear.
“Long distance!” we shout in unison when the chorus hits. “So far away, but still so close in my heart. Long distance! Together again after so long apart.”
Andre is definitely enjoying himself, and the man has some moves. He’s got more rhythm in him than I do, but I make up for that in glitter and enthusiasm. All in all, I think we do the two composers of this song proud. We take a bow when we’re done, and get off stage.
“Damn, boy, you’ve got it going on,” Imani tells Andre. “Why are you a barista and not a lounge singer with a soulful voice like that?”
“A lounge singer?” he repeats, laughing. “Wow, so tempting.”
“Hello, compliment me now!” I demand, throwing up my arms.
“Nice suit.” Deidra grins. “Or did you want me to lie and say you can actually sing?”
I smack her on the back of her head. “Like you’re any better!”
“Take it from someone who can actually sing, you’re not half as good as Andre,” Imani agrees with her wife.
I roll my eyes and turn to Andre. “I think I need to patch things up with Derrek. Can’t have people comparing us. Apparently I come off as an idiot.”
“I think you were great,” a voice says behind me. One I know well.
Fuck. I forgot she works here.
“Hi Sydney,” I say kindly when I turn around. “Nice to see you.”
The gorgeous girl throws her long pink hair over her shoulder and gives me a smoldering look. “It really is. How are you doing?”
“I’m dating someone,” she informs me with a strange glint in her eyes. “He’s on stage right now.”
I turn to see a guy I’ve never seen before belting out an Abba song. “Good for you.”
“It is.” With another lingering look, she takes off, cheering on her man.
“Ex?” Andre asks knowingly.
“What gave it away?” God, I could use a beer now. Seeing Sydney always makes me feel guilty. I broke her heart without even meaning to, and I still blame myself for that. Whenever I run into her, I get the feeling that if I told her I wanted her back, she’d drop everything and climb me like a tree. Maybe I’m wrong, but that’s the vibe she gives off.
“You turned into a two-syllable man,” he says, patting me on the back. “And you lost your smile. Bad break-up?”
“She loved me, and I only wanted sex.” I cringe at my own words. “It’s not as bad as it sounds. I was upfront with her about that, but she wanted more anyway. Took me too long to figure that out.”
Andre shrugs. “It happens. Okay, what song are we gonna do next?”
Before we can decide, Derrek pulls me aside, handing me another drink. “I’m sorry,” he blurts out. “I was way over the line. Kiran is a great guy, and I only talked to him once, so who am I to judge him? I just really like Andre, and I think you two have this vibe thing going on, but I never should have said anything. Please don’t stay mad at me.”
“His name is Kian, not Kiran.” I’m still annoyed, but I know he didn’t mean to hurt me. Derrek is harmless. A total idiot sometimes, but not a mean person at heart. “You can make it up to me by singing Pokerface with me.”
“Done!” He pulls out his phone and signs us up before I can change my mind. “I swear I’ll be a good boy from now on.”
I roll my eyes. “Don’t make promises you can’t keep.”
With the tension lifted, all of us end up having a great night. I get to know Deidra a little better, and I can see why Liv is so close to her. She’s hilarious and very sweet. Feisty as hell too. Like me, she’s bisexual. Her wife Imani is gay, and they’ve been together since college. She convinces Andre to do a song with her and Derrek, and the three of them make a pretty great trio when they sing Stayin’ Alive from the Bee Gees.
Way past midnight, Andre and I make our way back to my car, still singing together. Neither of us had a drop of alcohol, but we’re buzzed from the awesome time we had. When I start belting out Long Distance again, he holds up his signed record, joining me by singing Josh’s part.
“Shut up!” Someone walking past us shouts.
“You shut up!” we yell back in unison.
We’re both laughing when we get to my car, and he turns up the radio the moment we’re on the road. We sing the whole way to his place, not stopping once. He gives me a hug goodbye and grabs his record before he gets out. I wait until he’s safely inside before I drive to Kian’s place. Yeah, I could go home, but I’d rather crawl into bed with him and have breakfast together in the morning.
To my complete surprise, the lights are still on when I let myself into the house. Kian is sitting at the dining table in nothing but sweatpants, staring at his laptop screen, his brow furrowed.
“Hey,” I say, startling him.
He presses a hand to his chest, his eyes wide. “Fuck, you scared me. I didn’t hear you come in.”
“What are you still doing up?”
“Couldn’t sleep, so I’m working on a court case for next week.” He takes in my appearance. “You went out like that? Are you wearing… makeup?”
My skin prickles at the tone of disapproval. “Yes. I went out like this, and I’m wearing gold eyeshadow. I had a great night, thanks for asking. I’m gonna take a shower.” Before he can reply, I slam the door behind me and stomp upstairs to get ready for bed.
I’m defending him to all my friends, and what does he do? Make me feel bad for looking the way I do. Guess what? I like my extravagant suits and my glitter makeup. He doesn’t have to like it, but the least he can do is not make me feel like shit.
Why did I even come here? I should have just gone home.
When I walk into the bedroom once I’m clean and dry, I find Kian waiting up for me, his e-reader in his lap. The moment he sees me, he puts it on the nightstand and pulls the blankets aside so I can scoot in next to him.
“I’m sorry,” he says softly, coming in for a kiss.
I reluctantly kiss him back, not really feeling it.
“You looked great. I’m just… getting used to you being so… out there.”
I scoff. “You’ve had eight months to get used to the way I am, Kian. Either you accept it, or you don’t. I love you, and I’m fine dressing down when I’m around your friends and family – not that you’ve brought me around them lately – but I’m not gonna stop dressing up for nights out with my friends.”
“Of course not,” he agrees right away. “And I’ve been meaning to invite you to a work event. We have this charity gala thing in a few weeks. You can’t wear a glitter suit, I’m afraid, but I’d love it if you’d go with me. You can meet all my colleagues.”
I perk up at that. “Really? I can meet your colleagues?”
“I’d love for you to be my arm-candy,” he jokes, but I can tell he truly wants me to come with him. “What do you say?”
“Okay, I’m game. What’s the dress code?”
“Suit and tie.”
“I’ve got a dark blue suit that’s pretty normal. No glitters or anything. And I guess I can switch my novelty ties for a plain red one.”
Kian looks pleased. “Perfect. I bet you’ll look smoking hot.”
We lie down, and he spoons me from behind as I get comfortable to sleep. His hand drifts down to the waistband of my boxer briefs, toying with it, but I pull him away from there. For the first time ever, I’m not in the mood. Not tonight.
“I love you,” Kian whispers, pressing a kiss to my neck.
“Love you more,” I reply mechanically.
I don’t think it is, though. I don’t think it’s impossible at all.
That thought scares the shit out of me, so I push it down and turn around to kiss Kian. It takes a moment, but then I get in the mood after all, and we go down on each other at the same time. 69 is not my favorite position, but Kian loves it, and his lips around my cock feel damn good, so who am I to complain?
Afterwards, he falls asleep almost instantly, but I lie away for what feels like hours.
Is it really? Is it impossible I love him more than he loves me? I don’t know. It doesn’t feel impossible at all.