Sorry for the forever long update for this story, you guys. Sometimes I just have to wait for inspiration to hit me. And I'm going to school right now so I'm not sure about frequently writing but I'll try to get back into the swing of things. Anyways, thanks to The Weasley Way, RockChickwrites, XxFallingxAngelxX, rebeccaofsbfarm, LovingCargan2468, LittleWing, DarkHairedHero, LunaJay07, thefireinourlives, RopeGirl, BlueWriterGuy, Haoi, lostarrow, TheGirlWhoKnowsEverything, jpj145, caitloveslogan, marion365, ifthesesheetswerestates, BelieversNeverDie18, Dantes15, liamschmidt, jamesisadorable, Vampire-Goth-Girl, DevotedToYou, joheartbtr, My Kingdom Lorien, yourtheoneforme123, Klaine's Child, BTR-SPN-TVD-WWE-FAN, CUTE CARGAN LOVE, BTRswag, Cookie Monster Giggles, annabellex2, Sassy Kames, EveryDayI'mBTRushering, Green-eyed rusher, wittychocolate, Mr. President 64, TheFanMark and Anim3Fan4Ever for all the alerts, favs and reviews. Hope you all enjoy!
"You think that he's going to be okay?" Carlos asked Kendall as the blond drove down the street, clutching the wheel tight. "With Monica and all that money?"
"Don't make me worry about it. I trust James to be an adult and be responsible," Kendall replied and Carlos gave a small sigh.
"I trust him, but I'm still worried. . .what if something goes wrong-"
"Like whatever you saw coming back?" Kendall asked suspiciously and Carlos pursed his lips at that. The blond glanced into the rear view mirror, eyes trained on Carlos' face before he glanced back at the road. "Looks like James isn't the only person I have to be worried about."
"I'm fine, Kendall. I'm just still feeling a bit sick," Carlos murmured and Kendall's fingers drummed over the steering wheel.
". . .Just know that me and James are here for you, Carlos. And that we want you to just be honest with us," Kendall muttered.
"Yeah. . .I know. . ." Carlos said quietly, closing his fists as Kendall pulled into the driveway. He hastily unbuckled his seatbelt, opening the door and quickly climbing out. He walked to the front door and dug under the mat to grab the spare keys, not looking over his shoulder at Kendall. He didn't want to dare and see what face the blond was making, what the blond's eyes were doing as Carlos stabbed the keys through the hole. He managed to get the door opened, managing only to take a few steps inside before he heard Kendall shout out his name. Slowly, Carlos turned around with his heart beating far too quickly for his own good.
Kendall's eyes were dark, his arms were crossed and his lips were curved into a frown. His face was studying, trying to pry out of Carlos what he was trying to hide deep down. Who he really saw. They stared at each other for what felt like hours when it was only a few seconds, Carlos' hand hesitantly raising up to give a wave goodbye. Kendall waved back, lazy and eyebrows still furrowed hard as Carlos backed into the doorway and closed the door shut. He leaned against the door, ear on the wood listening through. A few minutes passed before he heard the engine start up and Carlos gave a shaky sigh.
He fell to his knees, hands on the door as he tried to keep his heart from beating out of his chest. Chase won't come and find him here, he was safe from Chase. Chase won't find him.
He repeated that mantra so many times in his head, and the more he did it, the more worse he felt.
Monica beamed up happily at the clothes James was already arranging to buy. Two matching pajama sets for her and Valerie, a bed for Valerie, a wardrobe for Valerie to put her things in, a mirror for Valerie, matching dresses for her and Valerie to have tea together, a brand new tea set for her and Valerie. Daddy never would have bought her all of these things, it just made Monica feel positively giddy and her rosy cheeks were smiling hard.
"James! Can Valerie have a puppy? Like a little pet?"
"O-Of course she can!" James said, counting through the money Carlos had left and she beamed. She turned on the heels of her shiny shoes, doll tight in her grasp as she ran off. She pushed through past the other excited little girls that were eagerly pawing at clothes and toys while their parents were right by their side. She moved around the displays, searching for the pets for her little doll and trying to avoid being trampled by far too excited children. Someone nudged her and she stumbled just a bit, accidentally falling against a man's legs.
"I'm sorry!" she apologized and the man looked down at her, a big smile coming to his face.
"It's alright, sweetheart," he replied and crouched down to her level. He took off his sunglasses, looking her in the eye. "What's your name?"
"Daddy said I'm not supposed to talk to strangers," Monica said and he smiled.
"My name is Chase. Am I still a stranger now that you know my name?"
". . .I don't know."
"Well where's your Daddy? I'm sure he wouldn't want to lose his pretty little princess," the man replied and Monica gave a shy little smile.
"He's at work. But James is watching me cause my Mommy had to go home, he was sick," the little girl replied and Chase gave a sad pout.
"Aww, well I hope he feels better. And you should go and find James, little missy," Chase said with a smirk and rubbed her arm. Monica beamed, pulling the doll tighter to her chest.
"My name is Monica," she replied and Chase beamed.
"Monica, that's such a pretty name," he cooed and Monica giggled. Chase reached out, gave her arm a gentle rub. "Go on and find James, okay?. . .And don't tell him you and I talked, he probably wouldn't like you talking with strangers."
"But we're not strangers anymore cause we know each others' names," Monica said with a pout and Chase laughed, standing on his feet.
"He might not think the same way, and I don't want you getting into trouble. Now run off now!" Chase shooed with a grin, gently pushing Monica away. Monica gave a little giggle, feeling the man tickle his fingers up her sides as he ushered her away. She gave a look over her shoulder, finding that Chase was already taking his leave and she hummed. Monica hugged her doll tight to her body, turning around and skipping over to where she had left James last.
By the time she had found the man once more, all of her things for Valerie were in large red bags and James was just putting away his wallet. He turned, looking down at the little girl smiling up at him like he was her entire universe. "Are we going to go home now, James?"
"Well we have to wait for Kendall. . .and we still need to get your photos done," James said quietly, pulling out his own wallet. "I just might have enough. . .things are going to work out and everyone's going to be happy," James said with a little smile and Monica beamed.
"This was the best day ever, James!" the little girl cheered, running over and wrapping her arms around James' legs. She looked up at him, chin on his knees. "Thank you for taking me, James."
James gave her a gentle smile, crouching down and wrapped arms around her frame to hold her tight. "Thank your Daddy for letting me take you."
She hummed. "I love you, James."
James stiffened and then relaxed, burying his face in Monica's curls and only held the child tighter. ". . .I love you too, sweetie. So much." James pulled away and wiped at his eyes, trying to keep himself from breaking down in front of her. How desperate he was to have his own baby, to love and love him back like Monica had with Logan. He gave a shuddered breath and got to his feet, holding Monica's hand tight in his own.
"Come on, let's go get some pictures taken."
"He vomited?" Logan asked Kendall, the brunet sounding worried over the phone and Kendall gave a nod of the head, pulling into a parking space at the doll store.
"He's not telling me what's going on. I know he seen something but he won't tell me what. . .does Carlos talk about a guy named Chase to you?" Kendall bluntly asked. No beating around the bush anymore, if Carlos was still messing around with the pimp, he didn't want anyone else getting involved. Especially someone with a family like Logan. It was silent on the other line and Kendall frowned. "Logan? Are you there?"
". . .Yeah, I'm here. But I never heard him talking about Chase, I don't even know who that is."
"Chase. . .was Carlos' pimp. A long time ago, before Carlos worked for James and me at the club. James basically saved Carlos from Chase and got him clean. . .but we know how Chase works."
"How?" Logan sounded scared, nervous, and Kendall couldn't help but feel slightly alert. Something was going on, Logan knew something and Carlos knew something they weren't telling James and him. Kendall didn't like secrets, not when they could hurt James. He drummed his fingers over the steering wheel as he chewed on his lower lip.
"Chase used to be James' pimp before I even met him. He's a manipulative bastard, likes to drug up his prostitutes so they get dependent on it and never want to leave. Meth, heroin, LSD, he's linked with a lot of drug dealers in the city and he's dangerous. . .Logan, it's important if Carlos talked about him because if he has, we need to get him away. There's just something about Chase that draws Carlos in, something that used to be the same for James."
"I-I understand Kendall-"
"Logan, I know you two are hiding something from me and James. And I swear if Carlos is still hanging around Chase, if you're allowing this to happen and you're both lying to James' face, you're going to be sorry," Kendall said in a low growl and once again, there was nothing but silence on the other line. "Do I make myself clear?"
". . .Yes. Very clear. . .I'll talk to Carlos when I get home."
Kendall nodded. "Good then. I'm checking in on Monica and James to see what they done so far and we'll take her straight home."
"Right, right. . .thank you for doing this for me, Kendall."
"Just remember what I told you," Kendall replied, getting out of the car and slamming the door shut.
"Of course. . .goodbye." Kendall murmured a goodbye as well before he hung up, tucking his phone away in his pocket and strode in through the front doors. He expected to see James and Monica already done, maybe the little girl playing with her doll or looking at the little displays. He didn't expect to see Monica and James surrounded by dozens of red bags filled with items Kendall didn't know, Monica sifting through the contents of one of them while James held a couple more in his hands and smiled down at her. Kendall froze, eyes widening in shock. That wasn't in the budget, that definitely wasn't in the budget.
Kendall stormed over, neither of them even realizing he was even there until James glanced up from Monica's chatter. He saw how nervousness flickered in the hazel eyes before they became warm and gentle. "Kendall-"
"What the hell is all of this?!" Kendall hissed, James' eyes widening as he quickly placed hands over Monica's ears.
"You don't have to curse, Kendall!"
"Because this is fucking insane! You're insane! Logan gave us a budget, he said we can get one other thing, two at the most and you practically buy the whole store! Did you even get the photos?!"
"Yes I did! Okay, these are just. . .extra purchases that I wanted to make-"
"So not only you spent all of Logan's money on this useless shit, you spent our money that we need for food or bills or paying the dancers or keeping our club. Don't you think, James?!"
"You're making a scene," James whispered and Kendall looked around. Sure, they were getting a crowd of people looking at them, the woman at the reception table debating on whether or not to call security. And he looked down at Monica, the little girl clinging onto James' pant leg and looking up at Kendall scared. Kendall looked back up at James, biting the inside of his cheek.
"We're not keeping this. I want you to go to customer service, return it all and get our money back."
"Kendall, it's not as big of a deal as you're making it out to be-"
"How much money did you waste, James? If it's not as big of a deal, then tell me how much you spent," Kendall replied and James frowned.
"Kendall, stop it. We just want to go home," James whispered and Kendall balled his hands into fists. He turned on his heel, not even wanting to argue any more, not here where people were watching and Monica was just getting more upset. He didn't wait for them to start following them, Kendall just walked out the store and to the car, climbing into the front seat and slamming the door shut harder than normal. He waited for a few minutes, watching James and Monica carry out the many large bags to stuff into the car. Monica climbed into the backseat, Valerie in her lap and James slid into the passenger seat. There was an awkward silence, Kendall just staring straight ahead with a frustrated expression and James not even trying to look over at his boyfriend until Monica piped up.
"Kendall?" she quietly asked and Kendall glanced into the rear view mirror at her sad and sorry eyes.
"What is it?"
". . .Do you hate me?" she quietly asked and Kendall looked back at her.
"Of course not."
She rubbed her eyes. "Please don't get mad at James, he was just trying to make me happy. I'm sorry-"
"Let's just forget it, okay?" Kendall interrupted, starting the ignition up. James only glanced back over his shoulder at Monica, giving the girl a reassuring and sweet smile before he glared at Kendall. Kendall bit the inside of his cheek, not wanting to lash out again, and continued to pull out of the parking space and out of the lot onto the street.
Carlos was more than surprised to see James walking in handfuls of bags along with Monica carrying more than what Logan had gave money for. Kendall stayed in the car, watched the three of them from afar. Monica had already ran upstairs with her gifts, James talking to Carlos standing by the door. The dancer appeared worried, eyes shifting over to look at Kendall in the car before back to James. Kendall watched James kiss Carlos' head, nurturing and caring before Carlos swallowed and waved goodbye as James turned and made his way down the walkway to the car. James climbed in, buckled his seatbelt and closed the door shut without even a glance over at the blond beside him.
Kendall sighed, starting the car and pulled away from the curb of Logan's home.
All was silent in the car, neither one of them speaking to each other or even making glances at each other. Kendall was debating about turning on the radio just so he wouldn't have to deal with the uncomfortable silence. He didn't like James angry at him, he didn't like being angry at James. But at the same time. . .this madness needed to stop.
By the time they pulled up to their own home, James was getting more than eager to get out of the car and as far away from Kendall as possible but the blond grabbed onto his boyfriend's wrist the moment he put the car in park. "We need to talk," Kendall said low and James frowned.
"Let go of me."
"James, please can we just talk-"
"Talk about how you went fucking crazy in front of a little girl and other parents with their children? Yeah, let's talk about that," James hissed and Kendall frowned.
"You don't understand, James. You can't be doing this, she's not our child-"
"And I know that! You don't need to bring up the fact that we don't have a child!" James snapped and yanked away from Kendall to storm inside the house. Kendall sighed, chasing after him and closing the door shut, grabbing James once again before the brunette could try and retreat upstairs to their bedroom.
"James, I'm not trying to make you feel bad about this but you need to stop. We don't have money to be splurging on Monica and we shouldn't. She's not our child and she isn't our responsibility, don't you think Logan feels bad about you trying to fill his shoes?"
James didn't respond, Kendall swallowing and taking that as a sign to continue. "Baby. . .maybe a child just isn't in the cards for us. . .not now. And it's about time we start accepting that."
James turned wildly to Kendall, the blond seeing that James' eyes were red and hurt. "You don't know that. You don't know anything."
"Will you just stop?!"
"Just leave me alone for now, Kendall," James muttered, pulling out of Kendall's grasp once more. Kendall watched as James quickly rushed up the stairs, hearing the door slam to their bedroom a few moments later. He sighed, rubbed his face and turned around to lie on the couch and clear his thoughts. They had work in a couple of hours, this was not going to be a good day at all.
"You sure you'll be fine working?" Logan asked, worried as Carlos got ready to get out of the car. The dancer gave a sure nod, glancing out towards the burlesque house.
"Of course. And I can always call you if I need you," Carlos said. He leaned over, taking Logan's face in between his hands to lay a big kiss on the brunette's lips. He nibbled around them, feeling Logan's hands nervously slide over his sides to hold him as Carlos deepened the kiss and swallowed Logan's moan. He few licks of his tongue in Logan's mouth, swirling around to savor every single hint and essence of the taste that was purely Logan. Carlos finally pulled away with their lips giving a quiet 'pop', Logan's eyes all a flutter and his cheeks red. Carlos giggled. "Take a lot out of you, huh?"
"I guess," Logan admitted with a nervous smile and Carlos' smile turned mischievous.
"Hope you don't tucker out when you fuck me," Carlos said with a quirky wink and Logan's eyes widened. He giggled again and kissed Logan firm on the lips, just a little peck. "Gotta go, bye!" Carlos chirped and Logan only stared, mouth going slightly dry as he gave a nervous nod. Carlos grabbed his things and opened the door, climbing out and closed it shut once again. He gave a wave to Logan before turning and rushed up the steps inside.
Backstage was in full swing as usual, people all dressed up in their costumes and makeup adorned on their faces. Carlos guessed the theme for tonight was Mardi Gras, seeing as though the dancers either had masks painted on their skin or wore bright glittery ones that almost blinded him. He spotted Kendall by the costume rack, quirking an eyebrow in slight interest as he approached. Kendall spotted him, crossing his arms as Carlos paused in front of him.
"Where's James?" he asked and Kendall sighed.
"Upstairs, in his office," he muttered and Carlos bit his lower lip.
"Don't tell me you guys had a fight-"
"We're alright, Carlos-"
"But you know he only stays in his office if you guys had a fight," Carlos said and Kendall ran a hand through his hair. Carlos gripped onto the strap of his bag slung over his shoulder. "Was it about me or about Monica?"
". . .Monica. . .I don't know anymore, Carlos. I. . .I don't know if I really want a baby as bad as he does. All this stress and all this fighting, I don't know if it's worth it anymore. We just don't have the money or the right history that these agencies want from us," Kendall huffed and rubbed his face while Carlos looked upon him sadly. He knew James could be a bit stubborn when it came to children, he probably didn't even realize how Kendall felt. Carlos stepped close and rubbed his hand up Kendall's arm and shoulder.
"Don't give up on this, okay? Things are going to turn out okay, I promise," Carlos said softly and Kendall rubbed his eyes. He's never seen Kendall this worked up before, it's probably eating the blond up from the inside. Carlos wrapped arms around him and hugged him tight, Kendall giving him a pat on the back and a weak smile.
"Thanks. . .I just. . .I just don't want us to fight anymore. . .or me to disappoint him."
"You're not," Carlos replied, feeling a tap on his shoulder. He turned, seeing one of the tech crew members jutting a thumb out behind him.
"Some guy outside said you forgot something in the car," he replied and Carlos sighed. He glanced over his shoulder at Kendall and gave a smile.
"Must be Logan, I'll be right back!" Carlos said, dropping his bag off with the rest of the costumes before he hurried back out the door and down the steps to the parking lot. He froze when he didn't see Logan's car waiting for him, or the brunette standing outside with whatever Carlos had forgot. And it wasn't like the tech guys would play a little prank on him, but before Carlos could turn around and go back up into the burlesque club, someone grabbed his wrist from behind and yanked him up against the wall.
His head whirled, eyes widening in fear to see Chase's smirk looking down at him. "Hey there, Carlos~" he purred, grabbing hold of Carlos' other wrist and pinning both of arms behind his back.
"Let go of me! Let go!"
"I could drag you into my car, just shut up and listen to what I have to say-"
"I don't want to hear anything from you! Let go of me! Help! He-" Chase's big hand moved to hold both of Carlos' wrists while the other slammed over Carlos' mouth. Chase leaned forward, eyes twinkling and his smile turning dark.
"If I were you, I'd shut up right now. Cause what I'm going to say, has to deal with that pretty little girl you took to the doll store," Chase whispered and Carlos' eyes widened. He couldn't have meant Monica, he couldn't have known about Monica. This wasn't supposed to happen, Chase wasn't supposed to find out about Logan or Liam or Monica and try to hurt them. He knew he was trembling and Chase began to grin even harder. "Are you going to be a good boy and listen?"
Carlos growled underneath Chase's hand but the man still removed it. "Because you decided to run away from my little establishment, I'm losing customers. You give them something that none of my other girls can. . .so you have two options. You either come back to work for me, or you make up for the loss in money."
"Not my fault that you run a shitty business," Carlos hissed and Chase gave a little chuckle.
"Have you forgotten who you're talking to?" he asked with a smile, and faster than Carlos could realize, Chase had his hand tight around his throat. "I own you, you little bitch. You either get me my money or I find someone else to take your place." The smile grew more menacing, more sick. "Like that pretty little girl, I know a bunch of sick fucks that would love to have her."
Chase leaned forward, his lips gently kissing along the shell of Carlos' ear. "What do you think? I could make money off of little Monica if Mommy won't."
"You bastard!" Carlos screamed and Chase squeezed his neck tighter, choking out the airway til Carlos couldn't speak and could barely take a breath. Chase kissed along his cheekbone.
"I know, baby, I know. I'm such a bad man, but you made me do this. When it all gets down to it, it's always your fault. All you have to do is come back to me," Chase murmured and kissed the tip of Carlos' nose. "I'll take better care of you if you're good for me, baby. Promise," he said softly and kissed Carlos' lips. He could taste and smell the lingering remains of a cigarette on his tongue, Carlos trying his hardest to not be disgusted by the man in front of him. Chase's teeth scraped over his lower lip, biting lightly against his mouth til Carlos' lips were a light shiny red.
"Why are you doing this to me?" Carlos croaked out and Chase hummed against the corner of Carlos' mouth. "Why can't you just leave me alone?"
Chase chuckled, resting his forehead against Carlos'. "You don't really want me to leave you alone, do you?" he asked, eyes dark. Carlos could feel the fear settling in, the realization that even if he did want it, Chase would always be there. As long as Carlos still was afraid of falling, of failing, Chase was always there to catch him and take care of him, hurting him in his own special way. It was like a horrible muck Carlos was stuck in, with no way of getting out no mattered how much he struggled and slipped in it.
Chase breathed lightly over his mouth. "Thousand dollars is what you're costing me right now. Shouldn't be too hard for you. If your little baby could shop at a doll store like that, shouldn't be too hard for you to slut up to her daddy for money. I'll leave them alone if I get what I want, Carlos. Promise. They'll never have to find out about how much of a screwup you really are." Chase's eyes then flickered upwards to the door leading inside the burlesque club. "Neither will James. We'll do the transfers in secret and a place he'll never guess to look for you. . .okay?"
". . .Okay," Carlos choked out and Chase smiled.
"That's my baby," he purred, kissing Carlos again. His hands finally released Carlos' wrists, feeling like a burning cord was wrapped around them tight as Chase's hands slid down to grope Carlos from behind. He pressed the dancer more into the wall, trapping him as Carlos felt his free will slipping from his body and melt under Chase's touch. It was always easier to just give up when it came to Chase, his body going numb as Chase dragged his tongue down over his throat. "You love me?" Chase asked, smiling cockily into Carlos' collarbone and Carlos closed his eyes, like he was wishing Chase would be gone the moment he opened them.
Chase moved his mouth off of Carlos' neck, his hand moving away to strike Carlos across Carlos' face and Carlos screamed. Chase grabbed Carlos' face, gripping it hard as he forced Carlos to look at him. "Answer me!" Chase hissed and Carlos choked in his throat. He looked at Chase and pursed his lips tight, puckering them in before he spat right in Chase's face. The pimp reeled his head back, throwing Carlos to the ground to wipe his face with his sleeve. Carlos groaned, looking up at Chase and the man looking down at him with a dark glare. "$1200. Three weeks. Or else," Chase said low in his throat and gave a swift kick to Carlos' side. Carlos groaned out loud, holding his side as he watched Chase walk away.
Carlos slowly made his way onto his feet, staggering against the wall to let out a sob. He watched Chase's car peel out of the parking lot before he brought his hands to his face. How could he have gotten himself into this mess, how could he have been so stupid? Now Logan and his family were in danger and it was all his fault. . .and Kendall and James were already stressing about the baby and their own relationship. None of them need Carlos' burden, none of them need Carlos' troubles.
He wiped a couple of tears that managed to fall from his eyes, slowly making his way up the steps. And before he opened the door, he placed the biggest smile on his face, like nothing had happened at all.