It started almost as soon as we walked back to Conner's dressing room, Ray's phone rang, he excused himself but after a minute he wasn't looking too pleased. He shut his phone off, then Bob's rang, he went to answer it but Ray stopped him.
"Don't answer that and everyone please turn your phones off, the words out there was trouble tonight. That call was the press looking for confirmation," he said.
Marty said, "Jill, Adam, let's go to work."
Jill and Adam went back to Conner's dressing room with Marty and after a few minutes a doctor arrived with a very distinguished looking gentleman by his side.
I was checked over twice, and deemed fit, but someone was to keep an eye on me for twenty-four hours, Conner said he would.
Professor Lewis was the president of the Sydney Cancer Council and he also got into Marty's meeting.
"There's a truckload of media out there waiting for Conner's exit. They have heard about the scuffle and you Brent. They won't let us leave until we make a statement. George will do that on your behalf," the doctor said.
Jill came back and said, "Okay everyone, we have it under control. If you would all follow me, security will take you out through the tourist shop, the coast is clear and a mini bus will meet you there."
We filed out of the building taking a goods lift, security guards surrounded Conner, me, Rob and Adam and Bob stayed near as we were shuffled through the tourist information shop, then outside into a waiting bus.
When we approached our destination, the bus took a turn towards the north shore.
"Where are we going Conner?" I asked.
"Probably a different hotel babe, it's too hot to go back to ours at the moment. We all need sleep, especially you. This is why I love Jill and Adam," he said softly in my ear.
We arrived at a small boutique hotel in one of Sydney's back streets and the manager greeted us and told us his hotel was at our disposal. We were told our luggage had left the other hotel and would be arriving shortly. It would be placed outside our rooms during the night and if we would like to follow him, he would get us settled.
It was a beautiful little hotel, the lift only accommodated five people so we were taken up a few at a time, Conner, Ray, John and I were the last to go up. I hugged the boys and my sister who looked so tired.
"Get some sleep Jen, I'll see you in the morning," I said.
She smiled at me then left.
When Conner and I got to our small but spotlessly clean room, he started checking his phone out.
"My god, how did these people get our numbers? I've got forty seven missed calls Brent and twice the messages, it's not right, something stinks."
I made us some coffee then pulled him over to me on the sofa.
He called Adam to tell him we arrived safely.
Adam told him the professor had made a statement to the press expressing his distaste and disgust at the way this special night had ended. He explained that there was some trouble when a band member attacked Brenton Walsh and that that band had been playing tonight.The offender will be charged with all sorts of offences and I was under a doctor's strict supervision and was expected to make a full recovery.
"He's baiting the press baby, the more he puts it out there the more the press will also spotlight abuse in our society, he's going to milk it for all he can get, the more awareness the better," he commented as he had his hand over the mouthpiece.
"What's that Adam?"
"Babe do you have your phone?"
I patted my pockets but it wasn't there.
"It's gone Conner," I said panicked.
"Yes Adam, he hasn't got it but have a talk to the cops, perhaps we can add stealing and maybe public nuisance to his charges. I'll see you in the morning, and Adam, I love you, thank you."
He hung up.
"John took my phone, didn't he?" I asked.
"Looks like it baby, then he sent your phonebook to probably a mate who works in the newspaper industry who then sent it along to all his buddies in the press gallery."
"Sorry Conner," I said, my head bent low.
"Sorry for what? Being a victim or losing your phone? I'll get you another one, Jill has already cancelled it, the insurance will pay out and you get a new present in the mail very soon," he said, trying to console me.
"The better news is John is going to have a hard time explaining all this to his wife and family but I somehow doubt his bi-sexuality will be mentioned," he giggled.
"I feel sorry for them," I muttered.
"Let's go to bed and get some sleep, it will all be over in the morning." He smiled as he started undressing me.
We slept and I felt better in the morning. Conner was already on the phone with Marty while I grabbed our bags from the hallway and then showered.
Conner joined me and we washed each other's bodies and pashed for ages.
"Marty has set up a press meeting this morning and a car will be here in an hour otherwise we could stay indoors all day and make love, no strike that, fuck," he laughed.
"Do I have to go?"I asked.
"Yes, I would like you to be there, just to show them you're alright, it's okay, they won't get close, he's getting the security guys onto it now."
He flicked the TV on while we ate breakfast and it seemed to appear out of thin air.
"Bad boy Rick Conners is at it again. He headlined at a concert for the Cancer Council last night at the Sydney Opera House. A member of his band attacked kidnapped flight attendant, Brenton Walsh, apparently in a men's lavatory and it seems that chaos and ruin follow this out of control rock star wherever he goes. The victim is in a Sydney Hospital being treated for shock and concussion.
"Witnesses say his attacker was high on drugs at the time and one can only wonder where he got them. Professor Lewis of the Sydney Cancer Council had this to say."
They replayed the interview from last night and the Professor was very angry and rightly so.
"I don't like this Conner, not one bit," I said.
"Welcome to my nightmare baby, there's nothing I can do about it but I can try to get the attention away from you by having this press meeting, I will try to focus on last night's benefit."
"No, you're being blamed for something that's not your fault, it's not fair Conner and I won't have it," I said, getting agitated.
"It's okay babe, it happens everywhere I go and I am used to it, but it does get old," he smiled a little.
"Can I borrow your phone?"
"Sure babe, the number has already been changed, what's happening?"
"You'll see," I muttered.
I rang Adam and by the time I got off the phone our car was waiting. Conner kissed me before we left the room.
"I love you," he said.
I put my arms around his shoulders and answered,
"Whatever happens today Conner, please know I love you and I'm okay," I assured him, kissing the top of his head in the process.
"What are you up to babe?"
"I don't quite know yet but I have to do something, I should have done this ages ago."
I left it at that.
When we arrived at the press club Conner was shuffled into a separate area to the media. There must have been a hundred cameras and some TV stations all set up to go live. I caught Adam's eye and he nodded.Jill started the proceedings by welcoming them and thanked them for their patience. I noticed two security guards move over to Conner's side as Jill announced that Rick Conners won't be giving a verbal statement this morning but he will be answering questions later. I looked at him, into his bright blue eyes and mouthed,"I love you." After a small struggle to get away from his security guards, he settled as they had him discreetly pinned then Rob whispered something in his ear. He looked at me incredulously, silent questions in his eyes.
"Please don't Brent," he said and I smiled.
"Today I would like to introduce you to Brenton Walsh, he would like to say a few words."
I was suddenly in the spotlight, cameras blinding me but I walked to a small podium full of confidence and Adam handed me some computer printouts.
Looking back into Conner's eyes gave me the strength to continue.
"I have been an employee and friend of Rick Conners for nearly six months now and I would finally like to speak of my abduction so you all understand where I'm coming from and won't continue to print lies and innuendo. These are the facts:
"I saw a drug deal at my hotel in Darwin between a passenger and a man who was unknown to me. My passenger was the mother of a very dear friend of Ricks and he allowed her use his private plane to supposedly meet friends in Darwin. He didn't know she was dealing with a drug cartel.When she realized I had seen the exchange, she had me kidnapped and taken to a compound in Papua New Guinea where I was beaten and abused. I was made to do inhumane and unspeakable things and survived on only a teaspoon of rice every other day," my bottom lip quivered but I went on.
"That evil woman and a former flight attendant who was also there, ordered those men to do this to me." I paused. "To this day I can't understand how one human being can do that to another." I breathed out, gathered more strength but Conner was panic-strickenand he struggled with the guards.
They held fast so he dropped his head into his hands, then looked through me.
I looked into his beautiful eyes and felt nothing but love for this man.
Moments passed as I gathered myself.
I finally remembered the papers in my hand and held up an enlarged photo taken of me before I went into surgery.
The media at the front gasped.
"This is me when I arrived at Darwin hospital and as you can see, I am now fully healed. My friend and boss Rick Conners didn't do this to me, in fact he spent an absolute small fortune trying to locate me, he didn't give up on me, he relentlessly had people out searching." I rocked.
"When I was released I was too mentally sick to cope with life in general, I couldn't even go to the bathroom without vomiting until one night while sitting in a quiet little park in Melbourne, a man sat with me, he wasn't there to abuse me, he wasn't there to sell drugs to me, he was there to make sure I was alright, that man was Rick Conners. He spoke to me gently like I was a human being, not a dog; he sat with me night after night until I finally heard his voice and words. I knew I couldn't recover on my own and asked him for help, that was my first step forward." Silence.
"That man who you all so relentlessly abuse and think is some sort of low life saved my life. He is more humane than some of the press that print rumor after rumor about him. I would love to see the names of the eyewitnesses that saw all the bad stuff in him because if they even exist then they would be no better than the people that abused me and you're no better than them for listening to their lies. But I'm guessing they don't exist so please feel free to hang your heads in shame. If you want to know the real Rick Conners then listen to his latest album, and I mean really listen to his words."
I went on and I heard Conner plead, "Brent, please don't."
I again found strength in his voice.
"They won't win Rick," I assured him.
"Last night after a benefit concert, one of Rick's ex-Sydney band members started attacking me in the men's toilet for apparently no reason. He was on drugs and he was drunk. Again, Rick Conners came to my rescue, along with his entourage who are some of the kindest humans that live on this earth. The man was arrested and taken away and as you see I sustained no damage except a bump on the head. I didn't spend the night in hospital but spent the night in Rick's suite where he watched over me all night.
"I am both blessed and disappointed with life at the moment, blessed that my mate Rick Conners came into my life and saved me and disappointed the public thinks he is a monster. Get to know the man before you torture the boy inside, I did, it doesn't take long. Just ask him, because I did and I listened, only to him, not to any pre-conceived ideas of what he was supposed to be." I handed out more copies of the same photo then left. Questions were thrown at me from every angle but I didn't reply.
I walked off the podium straight into two security guards who escorted me outside the building. I walked across the street to a rather large park where I sat and gathered strength from the many wonderful humans walking by with their families. Breathing deeply and resting my eyes, I knew Conner had sat beside me, nothing was said for a long time then his hand stroked my neck.
"You okay?" he finally asked, worriedly.
"Yes," I answered.
"Then I'm glad we had this talk, how about we go home?" he smiled.
The plane ride home was somber and Jen and Rob pleaded with me to go stay with them for a week or two. They were worried about the press chasing me but I assured them I would be okay.
Dianna just sat there stunned, she didn't look at me and I felt so bad about mouthing off about her mother. Di was one of the main reasons why I didn't talk to the press earlier, I offered her coffee but she didn't see me, or hear me. Rob and Adam stayed in Sydney to deal with the aftermath. Conner stroked my back and Ray and John organized eats, coffee and generally fussed over everybody.
Eventually Dianna got out of her seat and sat next to me.
No words spoken but she snuggled into me and kissed my neck, one finger rubbed mine until I held it with my little digit and we stayed like that until we started to descend into Melbourne.She shifted and whispered into my ear, "Brent, I just can't find the words to tell you how sorry I am. It's tearing me apart inside but I know there is nothing in this world I can do for you to ever make up for what that bitch did," there were tears in her eyes.
"Marry Marty and have lots of children, that's all I want for you," I said and kissed her head.
After landing and saying goodbye to everybody, Ray, John, Conner and I crawled into the back seat of our limo and started our journey home. Ray was talking about something I don't remember because I fell asleep in Conner's arms. All I can recall was being put to bed. It smelt and felt like heaven, I was tucked in with my man whose breath was blowing straight into my nostrils, his bottom lip was caught on my nose and he was gently snoring, I kind of liked it.
Phil and Dave hugged us when we boarded.The news had died down a bit because I guess it's old now but the press must now realize how morally wrong it was to print unsubstantiated rumors and innuendo. Conner was taking us back to Sydney to check out some new bands and it seemed like a long trip.
We ended up at Daydream Island Resort off the Queens-land coast, a hideaway; I didn't react but nudged Conner as we checked in and said,
"Oh look Conner,there's a nudist convention on the island, let's join." He nearly shit himself.
"Not likely, I would be splashed all over every magazine in the world."
"Well that's not such a bad thing Conner, they will be able to see your big cock," I joked.
We were shown to our rooms and of course there wasn't a convention just a tropical paradise where we swam in a huge pool,dined outdoors with Phil and Dave and made love in our bungalow under the stars, I could have stayed there forever.
I wanted to do something for Conner but I didn't know what. He's got everything he could possibly need. But while walking through the resort, I spotted a shop with some great one-off jewelry in the window. He doesn't wear any so I thought maybe I would just get him a simple chain.
"Don't do it," someone said in my ear, it was Dave.
"And why not?"
"Conner has some beautiful jewelry, fans buy it for him, companies buy it for him and countries present it to him but it's all in the safe with the most exquisite jewelry his aunt left him. He doesn't wear any of it, he says it's being pretentious. You should get him to show you one day,there's some exquisite pieces in there, he showed Phil and I one night when we were there for dinner," he said.
I thought on it and decided there was one piece of jewelry he hasn't got, so I ditched Dave and went back to the store and ordered two of them in gold. I'm old fashioned like that, they were ready within the hour and I used my card to pay for them, it felt good to be able to do that.
Returning to the room, Conner was working on a new song out on the sun deck so I slipped the little boxes under my pillow for later.
I ordered room service and then rang Dave and Phil, the scene was set.
"Go shower honey, big night tonight," I said to Conner later on.
"Where are we going?" he asked.
"To the sun deck babe, dress nice," I replied.
The table looked brilliant and I lit a hundred tea lights. It was very romantic;dinner arrived on time and I had ordered seafood and champagne. We ate and he talked about the new song, even strummed a few notes.
I went down on my knees and asked Conner to marry me, I gave him a wedding ring and he said yes.
I put the ring on his finger and he did mine, then I fucked him into next month. So that was my romantic night over and done with.
The next day I noticed he had switched the ring to his right hand but I understood the paparazzi and newspapers would have a field day if it were on his wedding finger so I changed mine to match. We flew home the next day and spent four hours just being us, Conner turned on the TV and we cuddled up to watch a movie but we both fell asleep. There was a bit of turbulence so Conner held onto me while he slept and I wrapped us up in the blanket so we were nice and cozy.
I had done my drawing and with it in hand I arrived at Mary's place. She took my drawing and placed it in her drawer, not even looking at it.
We talked and I cried and the pain was becoming a little too much so she cut our session short. We then had a coffee and she told me about her counseling business and how she would love Phil to join her but she understood that he loved his flying too much. Some of the kids were starting to turn up when she was making sandwiches, then a scruffy thirteen year old flew through the door, they argued about him not being at school but he ignored her and switched the TV on.
She whispered to me out of earshot.
"He's gay but he doesn't accept it fully yet, he's fighting it and he thinks he's broken somehow because he's not like his mates."
"I know that feeling all too well Mary, it's very familiar." I looked at the kid and thought that that was me ten years ago.
"The anger is different with everyone but the outcome is still the same, I love him to bits but some days," she commented as she made a screaming gesture.
I laughed, I liked this woman.
She walked me to the door and asked me for another drawing for next week, I was okay with that but she hadn't really looked at my first one.
Driving home I thought to myself, why not? So I stopped in Chapel Street and bought a few new clothes. When I got home Conner wasn't there, he had to do some media today with Molly Meldrum. They were working on a special project. When I asked about it, all Con said was its insurance, so I started dinner and then sat with my Ipad. I thought this is just not right so I rang Ray.
"There's a mistake Ray, it's saying the shares are worth two fifty,that's an awful load of cash, is it a mistake?"
He went on to explain to me how fickle the market was and he had found out the company was searching out new iron ore mines, that it's Australia's biggest industry and the wealthiest people in our country own them and we are talking billions here.
I waited for Conner to get home and by this time I was pissed off. Dinner wasn't ready and I was agitated.
He came in sweeping me up into his arms but as soon as he saw my eyes he knew something was wrong.
"We need to talk Conner," I said as I took his hand and made him sit then I logged onto my share portfolio and shoved it under his nose.
"This is not right Conner, I smell a rat," I said firmly.
He looked at it and yelled, "Awesome."
He hugged me and congratulated me, he looked genuine and he felt genuine, maybe I'm wrong and maybe it's not a set up.
"What's this about smelling a rat babe?" he asked.
"This sort of thing doesn't happen Conner and somehow I smell a rat, is this site genuine or have you and Ray done something?"
"I don't know what your talking about Brent, this is awesome, whoever this guy is, I want him working for me. I should have bought some for my company but knowing Ray he probably already has. Fuck Brent, I wouldn't do this to you, I know it's small steps, look, I want to show you something." He tapped away at my Ipad then he said,
"He did buy some, fucking hell."
"What, Ray bought your company some too?" I sort of went red.
"Yes babe, look."
He pushed the Ipad under my nose and I looked.
"See here, this transaction, I got some too."
I wasn't looking as I was too mesmerized by the balance of his company's trading account that was in the millions.
"Brent are you okay, Brent talk to me babe, Brent what's for dinner?" He was trying to distract me.
"I'll get it," I said walking in a dream to the oven. I grabbed an oven mitt but wanted one more answer.
"This is not a set up is it?" I firmly said.
"Of course not babe." He came across the room and held me close then kissed my lips softly. I wasn't concentrating so dived in for another one soon forgetting all about the pasta in the oven. I will have to sell them; I can help Bob and Jen now and pay Conner back, but not my security money, not yet.
I sat him down and served up a very well done Cannelloni dish with salad.
"Millions hey Conner, millions?"I smiled.
"That's only the company's trading account Brent, I don't dare show you my personal one," he chuckled.
"Brent, I know this is not what you are about, I know deep down you love me and forever I will be thankful for that. Who I am is important to you not how much I have in the bank, "he said holding my hand.
"Your right there Conner, it doesn't make me who I am either, I just want your love nothing else, that's your business but if you ever need a lend," I giggled.
"Okay Brent, two hundred and seventy big ones, that's my personal account, the pharmaceutical company is in the billions, let's leave it at that, my aunty was very wealthy."
"What? But she was nursing,"I stuttered not even registering the amounts of money he quoted.
"She loved helping people Brent, it was her life. The money was nothing but my parents tried repeatedly to relieve her of it. She stood fast by not throwing money at them because she thought it may make their drug habit worse," he sighed.
"She told me they didn't want her to know about me out of spite, but if she had, it would have been a much different story, she felt so guilty Brent but she also knew I didn't remember a lot of it, like you I had shut down long ago."
He wasn't sad about telling me, he just needed me to know he was okay now and for me not to worry, he was good.
"Can I eat now?"
"Sure, then I can offer you some dessert," I grinned.
"Oh boy, hurry up," he urged me on.
"You want me to wear the jock strap Con?"
"I thought you would be dying to," he said and we both laughed ourselves silly.
Much of our dinner was abandoned as he led me into the bedroom.
He made beautiful love to me as my legs straddled his shoulders, I even managed a moan but that brought the proceedings to an abrupt end yet the look on Conner's screwed up face was priceless. He filled me and I loved it.
Conner was out just about every day doing network interviews, practicing with his band and sitting with Ray and a team of accountants for hours, he was an industry within himself. I busied myself by going to the gym, running and doing a bit of shopping. I was getting more comfortable with my life and starting to take an interest in my surroundings. It never ceased to amaze me how Conner knew me so well. One day I was looking in an electrical store, I was intrigued with the big 3D television in the window and when I went in and viewed it with the special glasses; I was blown away and spent some time amusing myself, watching cartoons in 3D. Two days later, a delivery from the store arrived, two guys unpacked the TV and set it up and took the old one to Mary's place. When Conner came home I asked a million questions. He asked, "Don't you like your anniversary present babe?"
"I love it but how did you know I was thinking of buying it?"
"One of the blokes from the company saw you laughing at the screen so I thought why not, the old one is still really good and Mary could probably use it and also, I wanted to watch you laughing," he giggled.
"You're having me followed?" It wasn't a question but more of a realization on my part.
I walked into the kitchen to get more coffee for us and he followed as he does when I move, he's never too far behind me even though I've only moved a few feet.
"Are you mad?" he asked.
I looked him in the eye and melted.
"No," I didn't elaborate but kissed him urgently.
"Thank you," I whispered.
"We are eating next door tonight so do you want your thank you present now or later?" I asked.
"Later, I want to watch cartoons," he smiled then rested his forehead on mine and breathed deeply. We put our special glasses on and giggled away while watching two hours of cartoons.
How the hell could I get mad at him, he was worried about me and I felt safer and it made him feel safer. We could lose the shadow later, after I get myself right but if I know Conner, it will be a long time before that happens.
Tuesday arrived and Layton was aboard and as he went to the toilet he passed me another note,'Sell $120,000 worth and buy 100,000 shares in Red Dirt Industries.'
When he walked back I whispered,
He looked down the plane and when it was clear we were alone he said,
"I'm a survivor, that's why."He smiled broadly.
What he was doing was illegal, I think, or against company policy and I had gotten my answer.
He shook my hand and smiled again as he left the flight, a young woman and a small boy met him outside. He kissed her and held his son while he waved towards the jet.
Now on to Adelaide to pick up my other prince, he must be exhausted but I will pamper him on the flight home. He wasn't interested so I left him to sleep, maybe he's dreaming about his ladies, his little feet were moving.
His mum picked him up in Melbourne and he was so happy to see her. As she put him in the back seat he waved his tail at me; farewell my prince until next time.
When I arrived home Conner was there to meet me. He had a driver from Marty's drop him off and he was in a foul mood.
"Oh nothing, I can do nothing?"
"Oh, a not important nothing?"
He leered at me and smiled,
"I love you."
"Then kiss me, there's a viewing spot behind the airport, can we go there."
"Umm, wanna make out?"
I got silence while I drove around the back of the airport, parking as far away from the plane spotters as possible. A Virgin airlines plane flew overhead, it's wheels nearly scraping the BMW's roof, not really but it was low.
Turning the ignition off, I lowered the back of my seat to get more comfortable.
"Want to make out now?" I widened my knees to make myself more inviting.
He bent over and rubbed my chest while he kissed me and I held his neck lightly, his hair falling every where then he rested his head on my upper arm.
"Want to talk?"
We stayed there until the sun went down and he had fallen off to sleep, I dozed and the viewing area was empty when he stirred.
He rubbed his eyes, smacked his lips and yawned.
I watched him as he scratched his balls, I thought, 'Babe the prince has nothing on you; he's charming but you're beautiful.'
"Want to talk?"
"Okay, if you want to talk again then I'm right here for you."