Sidenotes: I got tired of writing using Sarah as AJ's wife, so I made up a new character. I know it's kinda sudden, but hopefully you guys don't mind. I would suggest re-reading the first chapter for more information.
This chapter contains graphic sexual content. Viewer discretion is advised. lol ;)
" ... Rok, you can't beat yourself up over this, it's just as much my fault as it is yours. My doctor even told me that it was going around, I would have gotten it sooner or later, who knows what kind of germs my kid brings home from his playdates." ... "Right?" ... "Exactly. So are we good again, no more blaming yourself for what's happened?" ... "Good. I gotta go, got another important phone call to make." ... "Yes, more important than you, Mr. The-Universe-Revolves-Around-Me. Just kidding." ... "Yeah right! Later dude."
'One down, one to go...'
He hung up and dialed Jive's main line and waited.
"Yeah, hi. This is AJ McLean, can I speak to Barry Weiss please? It's urgent." ... "Yes, I'll hold." A few minutes later: "Hi, Barry, it's AJ. How are you?" ... "Not so well, which is actually why I called. I've got bronchitis and have been instructed by my doctor not to go back on tour for about a week and have been put on vocal rest, as well. Some of your employees don't seem to understand that and I was wondering if you could set them straight." ... "Our next show is on the 2nd in Stuttgart, Germany." ... "I've had worse, we caught it early so—excuse me. So a week should be plenty of time for me to get better." ... "Thank you so much for understanding, I really appreciate it." ... "I owe you one, Barry." ... "Yes, of course." ... "I will. Thank you again." ... "You, too. Bye."
AJ hung up the office phone as he relaxed in the computer chair. "Phew...glad that's over."
There was a small knock at the door. "Alex? Can I come in?"
Kim entered and shut the door behind her. "Did you get the week off?"
"Yep, we all did." He coughed some, then noticed his phone vibrating on the desk. He flipped it open and answered the alert, it was a text from Jenn: Just got the word. You really did it, didn't you?
AJ: Let's just say I've got friends in high places... ;)
Jenn: Well, you can do your little video now, I still don't think it's a good idea...
AJ: Too bad, it'll be our little secret for now, along with Kim. I'll take the heat for this, okay?
"Hello? I'm still here, Alex," Kim said to take AJ's attention away from his phone.
"Sorry, babe, it's Jenn. We're just discussing what the next step is for getting the info out about the tour changes," he explained.
"Which is...?" she pressed.
"Hold on, I'll ask her."
Kim rolled her eyes.
AJ: Is Jive preparing a statement? Do they want me to say something?
Jenn: They are for tomorrow and they probably will. Go do your video. You remember the password to the bsbofficial YouTube account, right?
AJ: Yep, I do. Later.
"I think my laptop's in the bedroom, wanna do a cameo appearance?"
"Sure," she decided on a whim.
Both of them went upstairs and set up AJ's laptop to make a video using the webcam above the screen. He cleared his throat and pressed record.
"Hey, guys, this is AJ." He waved. "I'm feeling a bit under the weather, so, forgive me if I sound a little bit crappy. In fact, I probably look like crap too. But I digress... You all won't see this until tomorrow, but here goes nothing. What's up, Team Europe? I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but me and the fellas have decided to cancel the next four shows in Stuttgart, Munchen, Leipzig, and Rotterdam. You guys deserve to know what's going on, so, I am going to tell you. I've been sick for over a week now and I need some more time off to get completely better so all four of us can put on our best show for all of you. I caught the flu from Brian last week. Don't worry, he's fine now. But I—" He stopped to cough, then looked off-screen to Kim who was giving him a concerned look. "I'm fine, babe." He turned back to the camera. "Kim's here, too, say hi, Kim. C'mon, don't be shy." She leaned over into view and waved. "Hi, everyone. Jordan's not here, he's at Alex's mom's house for the night. We're both doing well, this guy, on the other hand, not so much."
AJ only shrugged and continued. "As I was saying, Brian got me sick and it's actually kinda funny the way it happened. Last Thursday, I went to go pick up Baylee for the day because Leighanne was out and Brian was too sick to watch him. So, being the good friend that I am, I did it and brought him back after dinner. When I got home, I started feeling tired and kinda chilly, so, I took a hot bath and went to bed early. It was—"
Kim cut in. "He can't fool me, I knew he was getting sick. You thought you were being slick, didn't you? You should give me a little more credit than that." AJ playfully pushed her out of frame. "Anyway, it really hit me early Friday afternoon. I broke out in a near 103-degree fever, I was hot, I was cold, sweaty, achy, dizzy, exhausted beyond belief. Kim made me go see my doctor who diagnosed me with a bad strain of the flu. I wasn't able to get Tamiflu this time, which is an anti-viral medicine that can ease the symptoms of the flu, but, Brian did. I did get cough syrup though." He gave a thumbs-up. "So, after living on Gatorade and NyQuil for a few days—kudos to Vicks by the way, I went back for a follow-up on Tuesday and I was feeling much better. The only problem was that I was still coughing which I was worried about. My doctor said it would go away in a few days, but if you couldn't tell by that wonderful coughing fit that you just had the pleasure of witnessing, it hasn't."
"I started developing chest congestion yesterday, Thursday and I went back to my doctor again this morning. If you lost count, that's three doctor's visits in a week. Yeah, it definitely sucks. He diagnosed me with acute viral bronchitis, or a chest cold for those who don't know what that fancy medical term means. We caught it early which is good, but my doctor told me to take it easy for a week and he's put me on vocal rest, as well, hence the canceled shows. Dr. Phillips, if you see this, thanks for looking out for me, you're awesome. I couldn't ask for a better doctor."
"Continuing on with the sappiness, to all of our German and Dutch fans watching this: I am truly sorry from the bottom of my heart that this has happened. If there was any way at all that I would be able to perform on Wednesday, I would do it in a heartbeat. My wife will probably kill me if I take one step outside my house within the next week, but I would." Kim cut in again. "I definitely will, you can count on that." She chuckled and ducked out of frame.
"Touring can definitely take its toll, as you can probably imagine with all of traveling and shows that we do. We're not robots and we get sick just like everybody else. We try to push ourselves as much as we can, but it's not my decision to make this time. We hate letting you guys down by having to cancel shows, but I have to listen to my body and what others are telling me, even if that means that we've gotta wait a bit longer than we originally planned before we can go back on the road." AJ looked down to see how long the video was so far. "See? This is why I shouldn't have a webcam, I just keep going and going and going like the Energizer bunny." He stopped again to cough. "Wow, excuse me." He cleared his throat. "Alright, everyone, I hope this finds you well and in good health, unlike me at the moment, obviously, haha. Once again, I'm so sorry you guys. Thank you for your understanding, the dates will be rescheduled as soon as we can fit them back in. Say bye, Kim." She waved. "Bye, everybody." "I'll talk to you guys soon. Peace, God bless."
AJ pressed stop and stood up. "Well, that was fun."
"Yep." Kim followed him downstairs where he soon talked to someone from Jive about the press release and gave his comments about the situation. He didn't know how much of his input that they would use, but at least they wanted it, right?
Once that was taken care of, AJ took Kim's advice and headed for the shower. He hoped that it would give him a chance to clear his head, his brain was going a million miles an hour about everything that had happened over the last week. He let it get really hot before he got in, the water having an almost immediate soothing effect on his tense muscles.
'Holy hell, Kim wasn't kidding...I'm more stressed out than I thought.'
AJ stood underneath the shower head for about fifteen minutes when he heard the door open.
"Kim?" he called out.
"You okay in there?" Kim asked.
"Fine. Thanks for the tip."
"I do what I can," she quipped. "Is it helping?"
"A little bit, I can feel it loosening up. At least I'm more relaxed." He cleared his throat.
"Good, I'd hate for you to make yourself sicker over this."
"I don't see how that's possible, my cough already sounds like I've smoked two packs of cigarettes a day for twenty years," he retorted.
"Have I ever told you how happy I am that you quit smoking?"
"Only about a hundred million times."
"...Do you miss it?"
"Not really. Sometimes when I'm really stressed out I feel like I need one, but other than that, no. I'm much healthier without them. Can you imagine how much worse this situation would be if I still smoked? I'd be sick for weeks. Plus, Jordan nor you deserve to be harmed by a choice that I made for myself."
Kim smiled. "You know, I—"
"Shut up and get in here, already," AJ said impatiently.
"Oh? Someone's a little pushy. And what if I say no?" she teased.
"Then I'll drag you in here, naked or not."
"Just a second..." Kim stripped down quickly and got in as he pulled the curtain back into place.
AJ felt his heart skip a beat as he took in the sight of his breathtaking wife of almost six years.
"Hi." He kissed her lips passionately.
"Hi," she echoed and returned the kiss. "Are you sure we should be doing this? You are sick, after all."
"Baby, in this very moment I've never felt better. If you haven't caught anything from me so far, you probably won't now," AJ reasoned.
"But—" Kim wrapped her arms around him when she felt his lips crash down on hers once again and just went with the flow as he sucked on her bottom lip. They broke apart and AJ moved from there to her neck, where he began kissing gently.
She soon felt his kisses move lower and tilted her head back. AJ moved between her full breasts and brushed his lips over her peak and felt it harden at his touch. Kim moaned softly, and he pulled back. "Someone's excited..."
"Mhm..." she mumbled.
AJ continued to tease her with his tongue, then kissed her stomach which sent shivers down her spine. He gauged her reaction and did it several more times before he pulled away, he dare not go lower. He stood straighter and kissed her neck again.
"Why'd you...stop, baby?" she moaned.
"Your turn," he sang.
Kim took and stroked him gently as soft moans escaped his lips. "You know...seeing you all wet like really gets me off. Like the first version of the "Drowning" music video, and you in that fishnet shirt..."
He nodded slightly as he remembered that shoot. "Yeah..."
She moved from there and placed her hands on his chest, tracing the lines of his well-defined abs with her finger. She rested her head on his shoulder and he kissed her cheek.
AJ suddenly moved away and began to wash himself. Kim looked at him, confused.
"What was that for?"
"Oh, I changed my mind," he said nonchalantly as he rinsed off and stepped out of the shower.
He wrapped a towel around his waist and started for the door when he heard the water shut off and Kim came out as well. "You, Alexander McLean, are such a tease." She covered herself with a towel and innocently walked to the door, then proceeded to chase him out and onto the bed as they started round two.