Chapter Seven: Reuniting
Carlos looked at a picture of himself and James that had been taken such a long time ago for about the thousandth time. He sighed and shoved it back underneath the piles of socks and underwear in his top dresser drawer. Today marked one year since James had decided to stay in Minnesota. No one here had heard from him. They thought he would at least call once or twice or send a letter, but no. All James Diamond did was had his mother's assistant pick up his things from the apartment.
A boy in a towel came into the room behind Carlos. He was tall and slightly muscular, with lightly tanned skin. The boy kissed Carlos's cheek. "Hey, baby."
"Hey, Max," said Carlos, smiling brightly. He turned in his boyfriend's arms and received a kiss.
Max started kissing Carlos's neck. "So how about we have some hot, nasty sex right now? I'm already naked. You wouldn't have to waste time tearing my clothes off."
"We can't," laughed Carlos. Neck kisses from Max always tickled. Carlos giggled a little bit more. "Maxy, we have a concert in an hour. You have to get ready, and then we have to catch the limo to take us to the rec center. It's a half hour away, so we don't really have time for sex. Hot, nasty, or otherwise."
Max frowned. "Fine."
The tall boy turned around and dropped his towel. He changed into his clothes quickly. Max then disappeared back into the bathroom. Carlos knew that his boyfriend would stay in the bathroom for as long as he was allowed, which at this point was about twenty minutes. Carlos dug the picture of himself and James back out of his top drawer. He kissed James's head and replaced the picture.
Twenty-five minutes later, the limo pulled up. Carlos and Max walked out of their mansion. Big Time Rush no longer lived together. Carlos and Max lived in a huge white mansion, Kendall lived in a penthouse apartment, Logan lived in a custom-built home, and Mrs. Knight and Katie lived in a cute little townhouse.
Carlos and Max climbed into the limo and smiled. Carlos bumped Kendall's fist. "You guys ready for this show?"
Logan nodded. "But you know what today is, right?"
Max looked confused at first, but then he realized what day it was. "Oh my gosh, babe. I'm so sorry. James. I completely forgot."
"Don't worry about it, Maxy," started Carlos. "I stopped caring about James Diamond a long time ago. All I want to do tonight is dance and sing to the best of my ability. I can't do that if my mind's stuck in the past."
Max nodded. He grasped his boyfriend's hand. "Okay."
Big Time Rush performed, doing just as great as they always did. Carlos smiled. This was his favorite part. The boys got to meet fans and sign autographs for them. Carlos sat down at the table marked for him and autographed pictures for a group of preteen girls. A tan hand set a picture of Carlos down on the table. Without looking up, he asked, "So, who should I make this out to?"
"James Diamond," said the guy. Carlos looked up and met the eyes of his former lover. The smile he'd been wearing less than a minute ago vanished. James still looked exactly the same. "So, are you happy to see me?"
"Hardly," lied Carlos. He was actually ecstatic that James had shown up. Carlos sloppily signed his signature onto James's picture and handed it back to him. "There you go, sir."
James rolled his eyes. "Please, just talk to me after the autographing. I'll meet you at the coffee shop down the road from your mansion at eleven."
"How do you know where I live?" Carlos asked.
James smiled. "Just because I stayed in Minnesota doesn't mean I didn't keep tabs on you."
The tall boy winked and walked away. Carlos looked to the left and to the right. He was pretty sure none of the other band members had seen James. They were too busy signing autographs, clumps of fans blocking their view of Carlos's table.
When Max and Carlos got home, it was five minutes away from being eleven. Carlos thought about what James had said, about meeting him at the coffee shop down the street. Carlos stretched. "Maxy, I'm wanna stay up and go through some fan mail, so I'm gonna walk down to that coffee shop and get some coffee."
"Oh. I'l go with you," said Max.
Carlos shook his head and kissed his boyfriend. "You go up to bed, baby. You look exhausted. Good night. Love you."
"Night. Love you, too," said Max as he walked up the marble steps. Carlos turned and opened the big front doors of his mansion. He closed them carefully behind him and followed the circular driveway until he reached the gate. The gates opened for him, and Carlos started his walk down to the coffee shop.
Carlos opened the door to the coffee shop and immediately saw James sitting in the corner of the shop, away from everyone else. James smiled as Carlos entered. Carlos didn't smile back. He crossed the shop in silence and sat across from James. "This better be good."
"Hold on." James pushed a coffee cup my way. I couldn't help but smile as I sipped it. He remembered how I liked my coffee, after a whole year. Max could never remember, and he was with me every single day. James smiled back. "Okay. So, I just wanted to tell you that I was wrong. I know I thought I had to change, but I didn't see how good things were back here in L.A. I could be the one living in that mansion with you, instead of Max. I could be the one who sleeps in your bed, who ruffles your hair, who makes love to you, who kisses you and hugs you and keeps you safe. But I'm not. I know I made a lot of mistakes. I'm sorry. No, I'm not just going to say I'm sorry this time. I'm telling you that I still love you. I never stopped loving you. You are the only person for me. You will always be the only person for me."
Carlos looked around the shop nervously. This was a 24-hour coffee shop, so there was an all-night easy-listening band playing music up on the stage. Carlos stared at the cute lead singer for a split second. When he finally looked back at James, the Latino found that tears were forming in his eyes. "James, I should be the one saying sorry. I took back my 'I love you' and I told you that I understood when I clearly didn't. I don't know what it's like for my father to die. You know, when you didn't come back, I used Max to replace you, but the truth is that there is no replacement for James Diamond. I can't even bring myself to truly love Max, but I still love you. I love you more than anything in this world."
Carlos moved to the other side of the table and started making out with James right then and there. Surprisingly, no one paid them any attention. Carlos suddenly pulled away. "Wait. I have to break it off with Max before we do this. Good thing BTR's breaking up."
"BTR's breaking up?" asked James.
Carlos nodded. "Yeah. Kendall got an offer for his own reality show, and Logan wants to go to college and medical school. I'll be with you. That means Max will be the only one singing. I might get into acting."
"You should. I'm going into modeling," said James.
Carlos smiled. "Modeling would be perfect for you, Jamie."
A big, white smile appeared on James's face. "You called me Jamie. Just like old times. So how are you going to break it to Max?"
"I'm going to wait until tomorrow, then I'm just gonna tell him it's over. Our farewell concert is at the end of next month, so I won't have to be around Max for too much longer," explained Carlos. James nodded at him. Carlos smiled and shook his head. "God, I love you so much."
"I love you, too," smiled James.
Max came down the steps the next morning to see Carlos's dark blue suitcases sitting beside the door. The cute Latino came into the foyer, and Max looked at him questioningly. Carlos put his hands on his hips. "I'm sorry, Max. I hate to do this, but it's over. I don't love you, and I never have. I was just trying to fill that hole that James left. I just reconnected with James last night. I'm moving into his condo with him. I hope we can be friends."
Max sighed and put one hand on his hip. When he spoke, his voice was quiet. "Carlos, can I please just have a goodbye kiss?"
"Of course." Carlos stepped forward and met his lips to Max's. Max held onto Carlos's tie. They made out for a moment, until Carlos finally pulled away. "Okay, James is waiting, so I have to go. Bye. I'll see you at rehearsal tomorrow."
Carlos walked out the door. Max watched him go, not even crying. He had always known that Carlos didn't feel anything for him. James was the only person Carlos was ever going to love.
James opened the passenger side door for Carlos, and the Latino sat down. James went and sat down in the driver's seat and started the car. He smiled at Carlos and rested a hand on his knee. Carlos smiled back. James drove out onto the main road, heading for his condo, which was on the other side of town. After a year, James and Carlos were finally back together.