“I understand,” he said. “This is enough.”
But it wasn’t and Reagan knew that. “I should have been more discrete with Trey too. If I can’t be open about both of you, I shouldn’t be open about either of you.”
“We can publicly pretend to break up, if you want,” Trey said.
“Don’t be stupid,” Ethan said. “It’s fine. I said I understand. I just hope we’re alone as often as possible.”
“We’re alone right now,” Reagan said. She looked up at Ethan and he cupped her face in both hands before kissing her. Trey moved up against her back and wrapped them both in his arms. Ethan released her lips so he could kiss Trey. Pressed between her two loves, she didn’t care if the rest of the world disappeared forever. She had everything she could ever want or need right here.
They’d arrived in San Francisco earlier that morning for the second show of the new tour. While Reagan worked through a full dress rehearsal with Exodus End, Trey sat on the edge of his bunk and watched Brian sleep. Reagan was right. He needed to talk to him about his feelings. Trey would never get over him until he knew exactly how Brian felt about him. Somewhere inside, Trey already knew, but he had to hear it from the man himself. Brian’s eyes blinked open and he drew a deep breath through his nose before smiling drowsily.
“You’re watching me sleep?” he murmured, his voice groggy. He’d gotten in late after skipping the after-party to be with his family and then driving up the coast with Sed and Jessica to meet the tour buses this afternoon. Trey doubted that he’d even slept the night before.
“I need to talk to you about something,” Trey said. His heart thudded faster and faster as he tried to think of the best way to broach this subject. How many times had he tried to spill his guts to Brian in the past? A hundred times? A thousand?
“Yes, I’ll be your best man.” Brian’s self-indulgent grin made Trey’s heart flutter. Maybe if Brian wasn’t so attractive or so lovable or so perfect…
“This isn’t about that.”
“Need advice about Reagan?”
Trey shook his head.
“Something about the band? Your brother?”
“No, this about you.”
Brian scowled. “Did the guys put you up this? Are they going to bust my balls over my family again? I’m here, aren’t I?”
“No, it’s not the guys. I need to tell you something.”
“So tell me.”
Trey stared at him for a long moment. “I love you,” he said breathlessly before he chickened out.
The tension drained from Brian’s face and he grinned. “I love you too, man.”
“Not I love you, man. I love you. Period.”
Brian gnawed on his lower lip and avoided his gaze.
“I thought you should know how I feel,” Trey said quietly, his heart twisting unpleasantly within his chest.
Trey wasn’t sure what he’d expected Brian to say, but that wasn’t it. “Why do I love you?”
“No, why are you telling me this? Especially now. What do you expect me to do about it?”
“Nothing. I just thought…”
“That’s your problem, Trey. You don’t think. You just do what you want based on what feels good or what’s convenient for you. Did you ever think maybe I don’t want to know how you feel? Or that I don’t care how you feel?”
Brian climbed out of his bunk, grabbed Trey by both arms, and hauled him to his feet.
“Why couldn’t you just keep it to yourself? This changes everything, Trey.”
“Why?” Trey asked. “I’ve felt this way since…” He lowered his eyes. Now he just felt stupid. For Trey, the world had revolved around his feelings for Brian and now he realized they meant nothing. They’d never meant anything. Not to the person who mattered.
“Since when?” Brian pressed.
Eyes stinging, Trey shook his head. He wished he’d never brought it up. He placed both hands on Brian’s chest and shoved, breaking Brian’s grip on his arms. Trey refused to break down in front of him. He wasn’t sure what he’d expected Brian to say or do, but he thought Brian would at least be a little understanding. Make him feel better. Show some of that compassionate heart of his. Not be a royal a*s**le about it.
Brian caught his arm. “How long, Trey?”
“A long f**king time, Brian. Okay? But I’m over it now.”
“Liar. I know you.”
“You don’t know me very well, if this is such a big surprise to you.” Trey pulled away from him again. He had to get off the bus. He couldn’t breathe. Couldn’t think. But he could feel. And it felt like his heart was being ripped out of his chest.
Trey had only taken two steps when Brian grabbed the back of his shirt and tossed him into the corner next to the stereo system in the living area. Brian moved in front of him to block his escape. “Don’t run from me. You’re the one who brought this up and we’re going to have it out now.”
Trey glared at him. “Get out of my face or I’m going to f**king punch you.”
“So punch me then.”
Trey shook his head and lowered his gaze. Brian was right. They needed to get this all out in the open so Trey could find a way to move on. “Did you really not know that I’m in love with you? I thought it was pretty obvious.”
“I know that you’re attracted to me, but I didn’t think you loved me. I didn’t think you loved anyone.”
“I’ve loved you since that first time you made love to me.”
Brian’s body tensed and he took a step backwards. Trey made the mistake of looking at him. Pissed? Why was he pissed?
Jaw set, Brian rubbed a hand over his face. “God, I’m never going to live that down. Look, Trey, I’m sorry about that. I honestly don’t know what got into me that night. I was a little drunk and so h***y I probably would’ve f**ked just about anyone.”
“It didn’t mean anything to you?”
Brian tossed his head back as if surprised that Trey was stupid enough to ask such a ridiculous question. “Of course it didn’t mean anything. I f**ked you, Trey. That’s all it was. You should know what sex for the sake of sex means more than anyone.”
Trey knew all about meaningless sex, but losing his virginity to Brian had meant everything to him. They’d connected on an emotional level. At least, he’d thought they had. Apparently he couldn’t have been more wrong. He’d never meant anything romantic to Brian. Nothing.