The following week the casino hosted an after party for Conner and his, 'staff,' the band guys, techies, stage hands, everyone. It was held in the smaller convention room at Crown Casino.
We didn't have to get dressed up but it didn't matter what Con wore, he looked immaculate. He strutted around talking to everyone. The media was kept away and it was just a good old fashioned get together. Dennis was one of the stagehands, he was pretty good looking in a manly way and Con had been talking to him for ages. I had no idea what they were talking about and sat with Di. Neither of us were drinking, she was trying to make a family and I wasn't in the mood. One of us had to stay sober but I wish Con wouldn't drink so much, especially in front of strangers; it's not a good look.
"He's throwing them down Brent, what's that all about?" Di mentioned.
"Just letting off some steam, I suppose, but I wish he wouldn't do it. God knows what damage he's doing to his insides Di, but I guess it's his call. In the end I gave up trying to get him to drink normally, binge drinking isn't good though."
"Well he's getting very animated Brent, don't you think you should maybe go over and see what's up?"
"Yeah, I suppose, it's nearly time to leave anyway."
I kissed her cheek and moved on over to the table Con was sitting at.
"Brents, this ish Dennis, he's a great song writer."
"Pleased to meet you Dennis, Rick it's after twelve, don't you think we should go home, it's pretty late mate?"
"No I'm having so much fun, you go, I can get myself home," he slurred.
I bent into him and said, "I prefer you come with me then I will know your safe."
"No, you go home, I'll come later, go on." He waved his hand at me like he was dismissing me, then proceeded to ignore me, I wasn't happy.
I sat and stared at him for ages, he didn't even see me. He and Dennis were talking so much shit; I shook my head and went over to see Grant.
"Can you see he gets home Grant, he won't come with me?" I felt flat.
"Sure Brent, leave it to me."
I found the car easily this time then drove home alone; I had a horrible gut feeling and I had been dismissed like a servant and I didn't like it at all.
I potted around for an hour, showered and then went to bed. I had a very bad night with not much sleep at all, but I thought he would be safe with Grant and his men looking after him.
When Conner didn't come home by five am I called Grant.
"Brent, I'm on to it mate, he slipped out the back and they got into a cab but I am out the front of the address the cabby dropped them at."
"Conner and that Dennis guy he was talking to at the party."
I could hear a doorbell ring in the background several times.
"What fucking time is it and who the fuck are you?" I heard and assumed it was Dennis.
"Rick Conners, where is he?"
"Hey, you just can't barge in here like that."
"Shut the fuck up idiot, where is he?"
I assumed again he pointed the way.
"He's here, I'll call you back."
"Grant what are you doing here?"
"Fucking looking for you, you little cunt." Grant was pissed off.
The phone went dead.
An hour later a very sheepish Conner came home with Grant in tow, he had the beginnings of a dreadful hangover. After he kissed me and said sorry, he then said he was too tired to talk and headed for the bedroom, he had dismissed me again.
"You need to talk to him Brent; last night was the last straw. That guy talked him into going back to his place to listen to some songs he had written. Conner must have crashed, fucking slimy prick, he got past me." I couldn't work out whether it was Con or Dennis he was talking about.
"Was Conner naked when you found him?"
He lowered his head then said,
"Yes almost, his underwear was around his ankles."
That's all I needed to know, someone had to have helped him undress, Conner is not very good with that when he's drunk.
I slumped, my stomach churned and it felt like I was carrying ten bricks around, my brain had switched to overload.
"Brent don't read anything into it. There was another messed up bed Dennis got back into. Just wait until Con is feeling a little better, and then talk." I could see all my answers in Grant's eyes or what I saw of them because he couldn't look at me. Was he telling me the truth or was he lying, I don't know, all I knew was Conner had slapped me so hard I hurt all over.
My sobbing started after my stomach lurched again, then pure agony erupted and that turned to an outer full on anxiety attack, I gripped the breakfast bar until my hands started throbbing. Grant tried to hold me and I fought him off, then turning I went to our bedroom and screamed at Conner.
"You fucking low life, moron, don't you ever speak, look, or fucking touch me with your filthy hands again or even dare to dismiss me like I am your fucking servant."
I slapped his bare leg hard.
"I'm sorry Brent, please let's talk." He was awake now.
"Talk, talk, I have done nothing but talk but you don't listen. You have just destroyed everything. I can now see why I'm here. I'm your fucking servant, a fucking servant, I thought you loved me," I screamed at him.
I headed for the front door.
"Never again, never fucking again, I mumbled to myself, then I fled my home. It was still early so I walked up to the safe house, letting myself in quietly. I laid down on the sofa, it smelled of little kids and baby powder. I wept into a cushion trying to block it all out then slept for maybe an hour.
On waking there was a blanket draped over me and I could smell coffee.
"Sleep well my lovely?" Mary asked.
"Thank you Mary, my apologies but I needed a safe house."
"Okay then have your coffee and we can talk."
She sat down in the easy chair and sipped her drink; I sat up pulling the blanket around me.
Two more cups and a whole lot later, I started telling her how I felt, her phone hadn't stopped ringing announcing unread messages.
"I won't look at them until we finish talking Brent but I'm assuming they're from Conner."
"Probably Mary, he or Grant, either one."
We talked or rather I talked and she listened.
I didn't feel any better, in fact I felt worse, as I talked, she then started to read the texts.
Sending two replies.
"I told them you're with me and safe."
Within ten minutes I heard the door open and it was the two of them.
"Please Brent, nothing happened, I passed out that's all."
"How would you know Conner? You were so pissed you wouldn't know who was up who, but I will tell you this mate, something did happen. You got pissed, you snuck out the back door like a thief in the night and with a total stranger. You certainly wanted to be there with him and you treated me like a fucking fool, I know you didn't undress yourself and I doubt very much you slept alone so something did happen last night, you fucked everything, you pissed it up against the wall for a quick thrill. Everything Conner, it's all broken." My tears ran freely.
"Brent that never happened, I love you and only you, I would never cheat on you, never."
I cut him off.
"Love isn't enough Conner, it's broken now and we can't fix it. I don't even know if I want to fix it. I'm tired of all this bullshit. Your promises are worth nothing to me, I'm done."
I looked into his gorgeous eyes for the last time, they were full of tears then I stood and left.
When he arrived home I had already showered and dressed in my uniform. I was having some more coffee. The paramount thing I was thinking was how to heal myself, and to not make any sudden decisions. So the first thing I will do is stay as calm as I can and try not to get in anybody's way, I needed some time.
"Baby, please talk to me, I feel like shit and I am sorry but nothing happened. I think I listened to his songs and I did flake out. I can't remember anything, only bits and pieces but he's straight, his girlfriend was there, she must have left for work early."
I was listening but I wasn't taking it in. I rinsed my cup and put it away.
"I'm late for work Conner, I won't be home until later on, I have somewhere to be."
"No, I got a temp Brent, please stay home with me,"he pleaded.
I wanted to say so much more to him but I would never forgive myself if it all got out of hand. Apart from the deepest love I have for Conner. I won't have that conversation with him again. He has to work it out himself; his drinking puts him in danger. If he was a regular guy, maybe not so much, but as a star it puts a pretty nasty spotlight on him that he doesn't need. I will help him but at the moment I can't even stand looking at him, let alone be in the same room. Something has snapped inside of me and I have to fix it before the pieces scatter to the winds and I can't go back to what we had, not just now.
"Cancel it, I'll see you later."
I walked past him and headed for the door picking my jump bag up from the hallstand. I quietly slipped outside and drove to work.
Phil and Dave were overly attentive, which I knew they would be, and I didn't ignore them. I just didn't answer their regular questions. I did do something that to this day I am still ashamed of. Mid flight, Dave came out to the galley while I was preparing lunch.
"Are you really okay Brent?"
"Yes Dave, I'm good, more than good, mate. Can you give me an honest answer to my next question?"
"Of course, always."
"Dave, if I asked you to fuck me, as a one off thing, would you do it?"
He looked stunned because he knew I was being serious, his mouth dropped.
His answer took longer than I expected but he did answer me honestly.
"No, Brent, I wouldn't. That wouldn't solve your problem, in fact; it would make it ten times worse. My inner self wants to hold you tight and kiss you and try and make everything okay for you again, but I can see you are on the brink of desperation. We all know its Conner's drinking that started this off for you both. This isn't the first time it's happened and it probably won't be the last, until he wants to do something about it, but no I won't fuck you Brent; I love my Phil too much and I love you and Conner more."
"Thank you Dave, I was just wondering that's all."
A pretty stupid question to ask someone like Dave, I shuddered at my forwardness and returned to my duties.
Nothing was said after that. I just stared out the window and my boys took it in turns, to check on me. All I could do was smile until it got too much for me and I broke down in one of the salons. My ears popped, we were descending into Melbourne after visiting two cities. I cleaned up and made myself more presentable, apologized to Dave and started the car. I drove to the city where I bought a bagel and water then I sat in my uniform and watched the work force leave their jobs and head for home. I fed my possums and left.
Conner, Ray and John were there, I spied a bottle of vodka on the bench and two glasses, Con was having the hair of the dog, good for hangovers but not good for the liver.
"Where have you been baby, I've been ringing, it's been hours since you landed?"
He kissed my cheek and I flinched.
"Out," was all I said.
I grabbed the bottle of vodka and drank most of it straight.
I then went and showered. After ten minutes I heard the door handle turn but I had latched it, I had already taken two sleeping pills and was in a dreamy state as the steam filled the room, my shower was long and lonely, the effects of the pills and drink calmed me down.
I don't remember slipping into bed, and who knows when Conner arrived, but I did wake up the next morning feeling awfully groggy with his arm slung across my hip. I went to make myself some coffee and sat at the table looking out to the backyard. It was a miserable day and I had to fly to Adelaide, Alice Springs and then home.
I picked up the note on the kitchen bench, it was full of apologies and love, and several promises that it will never happen again. I didn't see anything that would fix me. I re-folded it and placed it back where it had sat all night.
Dressing in my uniform again, I slipped out not even checking on Conner and drove down the freeway to work. I was very early so I just sat in the car waiting for my boys to turn up. Tears were streaming down my face, so I reached over for some tissues as Phil knocked on the windowand I jumped.
"Your nice and early Brent, do you feel like talking?"
I felt ashamed and shook my head no, my face must have registered my embarrassment. He got into the car and held my hand.
"It's all good Brent, to be perfectly honest with you, both Dave and I would love to fuck you, but we know it's not a place we really want to go, and we know neither do you."
"I'm so sorry Phil, I'm a little messed up at the moment, my emotional state is in overdrive."
"It's okay mate, we understand more than you know. Just concentrate on yourself for now. Nothing can be resolved while you feel like shit, just give yourself some space and time."
I slept most of the way, only waking when Phil passed to get coffee. I jumped up and made it for them then prepared their lunches, it was sandwiches today but I didn't eat.
But I did when I fed my possums that night. I sat alone and I wanted my Conner Wilson, so badly to come and sit with me, but he didn't turn up. I cried into my hands and I missed him terribly, I can't shake the rage and the highs and lows that depression brings with it. I know all about that, I went through it last year, my thoughts were with Phil and Dave somehow and I felt responsible for the accident. What I said to Dave yesterday was appalling. After all he had saved my life, and probably was still dealing with the loss of his foot. I hadn't spoken more than five words to Conner, I cried some more.
When I finally got in that night he was on the sofa strumming his guitar and looking like crap. He jumped up and hugged me.
"I love you so much Brent, please talk to me." He was kissing me but I never kissed back.
"Please can we talk to someone, we need help baby and I'm willing to go sober from now on, but I want you to talk to me. I need to know how you're feeling, please baby."
I broke down.
"I'm busted, broken, out of battery life Con and I can't shake myself out of this awful feeling of dread. My inner self is all over the place, and I'm finding it hard to settle down."
I quietly went to bed downing my usual two sleeping pills, I left early again the next morning and walked to the city where I sat all day watching the picnic crowds, when a little kid came up and gave me a party cake his mum had given him to give me, I thanked him and ate it.
That night was a bigger nightmare, everyone called in from Rob to Di but I wasn't talking or in the mood for their jokes and offers to talk. I eventually went into the back yard to be by myself. I felt them all crowding in on me. Mary tried her hardest to get me to open up, but I couldn't talk much to her because I thought at that moment she was part of their gang, but I did manage to say,
"Anxiety and depression it will pass."
"Brent I know you have a mild case of depression, we need to go see a doctor and the sooner the better," she said as she held both my hands.
"I'm broken Mary," I said using Tom's analogy.
"I feel empty, stomped on, and broken."
I wept in front of everybody. I felt so ashamed, Con tried to calm me down but I felt sick at every touch.
Later in bed that night Conner pulled me in and tried to kiss me but I nearly vomited; rushing to the toilet just in time but nothing but water came up.
"I revolt you that much Brent?" His face looked hurt and was showing so much pain.
"No Conner you don't revolt me at all, not you, never you, I revolt me, I hate me, I detest feeling like this," I wept.
I stayed on the edge of the bed until he had had enough and roughly pulled me over to him.
"Nothing happened baby, nothing," he implored.
He was looking at me with his beautiful eyes, those eyes that were only mine to look into, but he had shared them with a stranger and they were no longer mine to love and cherish.
I couldn't bring myself to tell him this; it was my pain to carry.
"I love you," he said.
"I love you too my Conner."
I started to eat a little, I don't want to go down that path again, but it called me like an old friend beckoning me back to its filthy bed. I showered and dressed, then once again found myself walking into the city to sit in my park. After a few hours I went over to the coffee shop and had a sandwich and coffee, then wandered aimlessly home.
I was sitting at the table when Conner came in, I guess he was out looking for me but I didn't see him.
"Where the fuck did you go Brent, and where the fuck have you been going the past two days? I can't ignore it any longer Brent, talk to me."
"What do you care where I went, I needed to be alone which is impossible to do here, and anyway if you had any interest in me at all except using me as your doormat you would know I have been waiting for a pizza, but no one came, no one held me and no one gently protected me."
"Oh God no," he gasped. I continued because I knew I had to end it.
"And if you were so worried as to where I have been, or what I have been doing, you now know how I feel every time you go off without telling me. I know I'm safe in my park, but you are playing a dangerous game. I can't even look into your beautiful eyes anymore, they don't belong to me now, they belong to everyone that has a bottle of vodka in their hands. I can't live like this, and I won't be told what to do anymore. I can't help you because you broke me, you took away my trust and within three hours you pissed it up against the wall, like it was nothing but a big fucking joke."
I had to shut up, it was all coming out. So I threw my cup at the brick wall where it shattered, broken and lying on the bench. Then I walked out into the night. I wouldn't go home there again until the following morning to get my things for work. The hotel was lovely, and I mused I could stay there forever and no one would ever get to me again. I slept on the floor not wanting to mess up the beautiful clean bed, and my nightmares returned.
I arrived home around eight thirty, but no Conner, well I should expect that, I had no clue where he would be. I changed into my uniform and headed for work.
Of course his limo was there, he opened my door for me and hugged me tightly, then took my bag onboard.
He led me into the salon and sat me on the bed.
"I am sorry Brent, it won't happen again. Please look into my eyes and feel safe. My love for you is endless, and I never once cheated on you. I just wasn't thinking and I will give up drinking." He was rubbing his fingers through my hair.
"I would do anything for your love Brent, and I know for certain you would never stop loving me, I just know that," he said looking into my eyes.
I kissed him gently.
"I love you with all my heart Conner Richards, never leave me and always come home to me," I cried.
"I promise baby, for you I always will."
Phil announced our takeoff; I buckled Conner in and started my safety spiel.
There was a cool towel on my forehead and I was in bed, the jet was quiet, and Conner was with me holding me close.
"You fainted babe, we will wait until you feel better and then get you to the doctors, a temp is coming soon to take over."
I was diagnosed with acute anxiety, I knew all about it and I have lived with it everyday, ever since my abduction but the depression this time made it so much worse. I already knew that I wasn't functioning at my peak, and I so badly wanted to hide myself away from the world.
Whether it was intentional or not, Conner got my message loud and clear, I believed he didn't actually cheat on me, no that's not right, he couldn't cheat on me. All my nerve endings were telling me that. It was being dismissed like a piece of shit that was eating away at me. It felt like the time Pat had casually dismissed me on the plane, and Stephen before her. At home I sat at our table and cried for ages, but was being held close and I felt warm.
"You scared me Conner, really scared me. I'm sorry I'm not ready to let you go, not yet. I can sleep in the other room and you can go out and meet guys if you want, but please always come home to me and please, I beg you, don't dismiss me like I'm a piece of dirt again. You owe me that much at least." Then I apologized for my behavior. He pulled me up and placed me on the sofa, the TV was on and he held me in his big arms pulling at my heart, settling me down.
"What's with the dismissing you thing, I wouldn't do that to you baby, you're my world."
"You waved your hand and told me to go away like I was a stinking turd. I felt dreadful; I was only trying to get you to come home with me that's all. The last person that dismissed me like that was Pat, and Stephen before her and we both know how that ended up."
"I'm so sorry babe, I don't remember." He was ashamed of his actions, I could tell by the way he said it.
"That should be first heads up Con, blackouts, I can't tell you not to drink. In your business it's sort of expected. But binge drinking is a whole new ball game. You have to stop after two or three drinks and not put us in danger. I would never have forgiven myself if you had slept with Dennis. It was all my fault for not riding your arse earlier that night to slow down on the drinks. But it's not my place to nag you about it, and Con?"
"This is absolutely the last time I will talk to you on this subject."
"Okay, I get it Brent, I really do, and I am so sorry I upset you. It wasn't my intention, I adore you so much, you are my world you know."
Before I could reply, the pictures almost started as soon as the news began.
"What the fuck?" Conner roared.
It was only a lead story at the start but after we turned the volume up it began again.
"Rock star Rick Conners has got himself into deep water this time. These photographs are of a drunken night he spent with friends. The photos show Mr.Conners in a more than drunken state being helped into bed by a friend. The photos have gone viral on the social media pages. Unfortunately ladies his ample naughty bits have been pixilated."
I was numb, I heard Conner screaming down the phone at someone, but I didn't know who. Walking to our bedroom I stripped and got under the covers, I rolled myself up into a small ball, tucked my fists under my arm pits and wept some more. My heart hurt and my brain was absolutely smashed.
"Brent, Brent," I heard Conner calling me then I felt his breath on my face.
"You're having a nightmare, wake up."
I sighed, then got out of bed and walked into the bathroom.
I locked the door and turned the shower on, then slid down the wall and cried, my nightmare wasn't very nice and I could still feel the unrelenting punches coming at my face. I had a broken glass in my hand, and it bled all over the floor, I cut sinew from Dave's leg and his foot fell with a dead thud to the floor of the cockpit then I lit the gas torch and the smell was horrific, I gagged, I held a towel to my hand while the images abated.
Conner was pounding on the door when my awareness returned, so I stood and unlocked it; he looked at me and screamed.
"No, No, No, fuck no"
The broken glass in my hand dropped to the floor making a far off clinking sound as I dropped it on the tiles. There was blood everywhere, my face and hand throbbed.
I quickly opened my eyes and sat up in bed to look at my hand, it was clean and as I slowly opened it there was no blood or cuts. I groaned.
I looked at Conner and he was fast asleep, a dream, it was only a dream but it was so real. I needed to splash some cold water on my face, it felt funny but looked okay, eventually I took another pill the doctor had prescribed then went back to bed. He held me all night, but I didn't sleep much, I was knackered and so wanted it all to just go away.
Grant had woken us early, and Conner and he were in the kitchen talking with Ray and John. Marty arrived in a rage. It's his turn to fix this mess; I don't want any part of it.
I slept for another hour but the phone ringing and their shouting at each other woke me so I gave up. I had to put a stop to all this shit, it sounded like they were getting nowhere, so I took a deep breath then showered. I was still a bit groggy but I put my best foot forward and marched out to the kitchen, now feeling a little lighthearted. Highs and lows are relentless with depression and I guess at the moment I'm on a high.
"Good morning all, I trust you all slept well,” I said as I breezed into the room.
"Yes Brent we did, how are you feeling?" John asked as he held off from hugging me.
"Great John, that extra hour really did it for me." I smiled and kissed Con's head, smelling it as I went.
"Okay, have your coffee and I'll start breakfast."
"Just coffee for me thanks John, I have some things to catch up on." I went and started the washer.
All three of them stared at me like I was a sideshow freak.
"Now what do we have here?" I picked up my Ipad and switched it on.
"Ah, I have work tomorrow, Darwin, long flight, maybe I can catch up on some sleep if my boss doesn't mind. Now let me see what all the fuss is about, Google, 'Rick Conner's nude,' and then tap,'Images.'"
"Brent, don't do that please baby, leave it alone," Con pleaded, he tried to take the pad from me.
"No, it's my Ipad, go play with yours, now let me see oh, oh, my that's a big one, good shot, he's got a big cock Grant, nice bum shot Conner, sure you didn't pose for these pics?" I asked.
"So what's the fuss about?"I asked.
"Umm, Brent you feeling okay?"
"Sure Ray, better than I did last week, that was a fucking train wreck, but hopefully this coming one will be a goodie."
I turned the pad off and went to check the washing.
"Con can you hang that out when it's done, I'll see you soon, I'm just popping down the street, won't be long."
I grabbed my pad but Conner stood and pulled me in.
"Stay here baby, with us, please?"
"No, not an option Con, I have something to do."
I walked out to do my one chore, I went to see my old friend at the camera store, he lifted the best picture off the net and blew it up after photo shopping it a little, it took an hour but it ended up perfect.
It was the one of Conner, or should I say Rick on his stomach, a sheet over him and his ass cheek poking out, I thought this one was the best.
When I looked at the pictures, which is what I had to do, there were only five of them, his cock looked bigger but luckily there was only one of it, the rest were of his bum.
I had it gift-wrapped and when I got back, Marty and Grant had gone but the boys were still there. I kissed Conner and retrieved the small hammer from the kitchen drawer. Walking over to the best spot on the wall I hammered a nail quite violently into the plaster then got my anniversary present for Con from the hall.
"Happy Anniversary baby, it's pressie time again." I handed a bewildered but very tired looking Con his gift.
"Well open it," I invited him.
He gingerly opened it and started laughing then placed it on the nail to be seen by all who cares to look at it.
I had asked my friend to meme it with, 'Ask Me,' now everyone who looks at it will ask him about the rather large photo, and he can tell them it was taken when he used to drink.
"You're not mad anymore?" Con asked.
"Not because of this Con and you know it. It will all be forgotten by Wednesday, chicks will love it, guys will be jealous but it was how this happened that upset my yin and yang."
"I have stopped, no more baby. Mary's talking to me and I feel better, but I would feel a lot better if we made love again." He had opened my shorts and they dropped to the floor taking my boxers with them, I heard camera phones snapping but I didn't care, maybe Con will have the pics blown up for our wall of shame.
"Get some good ones boys then fuck off." I pulled my tank top off and posed for them, back shots only. They rushed out giggling to each other, and my Conner was laughing again, he bent me over the sofa and reamed my dutifully turned on ass, I almost came, but when he started to try and enter me I said, "No."
He looked confused so I went and lay on my back on the sofa and raised my leg over the backrest.
"Give me back my beautiful eyes Conner."
As he slowly entered me, I drowned in his blue eyes and was lost in his rhythm, and as he was about to cum, his eyes sparkled and shone into my heart, starting it up again. It was beating to his labored breaths, then they rolled back into his head and I felt the short bursts of his juice, oiling my insides and my sticky stuff had pooled on my stomach, which Conner promptly squished with his as he came down from his high. My shattered insides were back together and I felt loved again.
"So am I, but you have to get the message Con, no more." A tear of love escaped from one eye. He nodded.
We made love three times that day, and lightly discussed the photos. They really didn't upset me as much as why they were taken. The hundreds of movie stars that are on the net photo shopped or not, just get a bit boring after awhile. I told Con about my awful conversation with Dave, he understood and thanked me for being strong; he knew Phil and Dave wouldn't go there.
"Baby do you feel broken now?"
"No Con, I never was broken, I just missed your eyes, my eyes, they belong to only me, that's all."
We tried for number four but were too exhausted.
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