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FLIPSIDE
AUTHOR'S NOTE
PROLOGUE
CHAPTER I
CHAPTER II
CHAPTER III
CHAPTER IV
CHAPTER V
CHAPTER VI
CHAPTER VII
CHAPTER VIII
CHAPTER IX
CHAPTER X
CHAPTER XI
CHAPTER XII
CHAPTER XIII
CHAPTER XIV
EPILOGUE

CHAPTER XII

Mike lay awake thinking. John had already fallen asleep, his head resting on the right side of Mike’s chest. He scratched him lightly behind the large, fuzzy ears; trying to sort his feelings.

On one hand, he had to admit that he had liked it. He had genuinely liked the feeling of pleasing John. From all indications, he had actually done a pretty good job of it. And an orgasm was an orgasm, after all.

On the other hand, he couldn’t believe the things he had done. He reached up with his free hand and rubbed one of the spots where John had been nipping at his neck.

He had really liked that, John making full but unselfish us of his tendency to melt with a mouth at his neck. It hadn’t been at all painful, it had just added one more feeling to the whole experience. John had been inside him at the time, moving slowly.

He had never felt anything like that and was unsure of what to think of himself. He had never considered it a way of making love. He expected no tenderness, affection, or sensuality; just anal sex. John had proven him utterly wrong. Judging from his own experience and from watching movies, werewolves could definitely teach humans a thing or two about it. It really was making love. He had expected to be sore, but it was more of a lingering discomfort. Being penetrated had hurt quite a bit at first, when John had first gone in. He had practiced extreme care, and the pain had faded after a few minutes; owing to the fact that John was small by human standards (average for a werewolf), notably careful, and had whispered for him to relax properly. As for the nips on his neck, John seemed to never get enough of nuzzling, kissing, teasing, and nipping him.

The overall experience was just as John had described it to him before. Neither had ever had the upper hand, even though John had all the experience. John had refused to do anything that Mike wouldn’t do back. That had eventually amounted to nothing. What John couldn’t have described was the emotional experience. If there had been any lingering doubt beforehand, it had evaporated quickly.

He wanted to blame John for his mixed-up emotions, but he just couldn’t bring himself to. John had been willing to wait, but he had started it.

The whole time, John had been totally unselfish. Mike knew that he would have been very easy to take advantage of. But not once did John hurry him along or act as if he expected anything. He could tell that John was having trouble controlling himself. He had to admit that John had probably never been so turned on in his whole life.

Mike smiled to himself. He would have acted exactly the same way with an inexperienced, exotic woman.

So he couldn’t blame John, who snuggled closer in his sleep. That left himself.

Was it so horrible? It didn’t feel so at the time, it felt very right; like love. He recalled some of the things he had been doing less than an hour ago. He had done what he knew would feel good. John had actually had little advice beyond that which applied to wolves more than men.

Months ago he would have vomited to even get close to what he had been doing. Vomited. Why had it been so easy? Why had his inhibitions fled so readily? Was he adjusting? Was this what God wanted for him? Was it time to accept the fact that he was becoming a homosexual?

He answered his own question. He had done it, and enjoyed it, because he loved John.

In spite of his speculation, he felt good. The taste in his mouth didn’t bother him. John had kissed most of that away and what was left was - dare he say it? - pleasant. During their lovemaking he had found himself turned on by it, and amazed at how much there was.

How could he say "no" the next time when he felt good about it? There is nothing like the warm, fuzzy feeling you have after making love with someone you truly do love. Was it God again, telling him that he loved John and could be happy with him? Right now, God was probably telling him to shut up.

Either way, he refused to be angry or otherwise upset. He planted a soft peck on the top of John’s head. He licked his considerable chops and mumbled "I love you" for the second time since falling asleep. That was cute.

In spite of his screwed-up life, he had a lot to be happy for. He was richer than he had ever imagined and was getting richer every tome a Talon commercial aired or a poster was sold. He was about to record an album that would make him millions. The inevitable tour would make even more millions. He had already amassed over two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. His accountant, shared by Gordon, was beginning some secure investments.

But money was material. What else did he have? He had friends, and he had John. It felt good to be loved, no matter who it was doing the loving. And he had found love again himself. Who could ask for more than that?

Happy and a lot less unsure, he fell asleep.

Mike’s room was empty and the bed was made. That was odd, because he hadn’t seen him around the house.

He shrugged, turning to John’s door. He and his husband had gotten up early, intending to surprise Mike and John with the news that they would be joining them for a couple of weeks in Hollywood. Sam, his husband, waited in the living room with the kids. They were understandably anxious to meet Mike.

He knocked quietly and cracked the door. John was half-laying, half-sitting on one side of his bed, pressed against what appeared to be a guy under the sheet. John put a finger to his lips, pointing to the man-sized mound beside him.

He first assumed that John had brought someone home, but he stared in shock as the unmistakable smell of Mike hit him, mixed with the equally unmistakable smell of an intimate night. A few seconds later he regained his senses.

John smiled back at him, mouthing a good morning.

"Mike?" he asked quietly, pointing to the sleeping figure.

John smiled again, nodding.

"You two...?"

John gave him a indignant look as Mike stirred, but couldn’t keep the smile from his face.

"It’s time to get up." Doug said. "Gordon’s here, drinking your coffee. The band should be here within an hour."

"Okay." John agreed, leaning over Mike. "We’ll be out."

Doug winked and closed the door. Mike moved again, their voices disturbing his light morning sleep.

"Oh Sleeping Beauty? It’s time to get up."

"Not for another three hours." came the muttered reply as Mike pushed his face into John’s fur.

"Come on," John said, rolling him over and nibbling his chest, "We have a plane to catch."

"All right, I’m up." He struggled against the snout to a sitting position.

John kept nibbling. "By the way, you were wonderful."

Mike smiled, still too sleepy to feel his usual dubiety. "You’re shitting me. I would remember."

Mike and John didn’t come out as they usually do in the morning, wearing robes, hair and fur a mess. They were wearing robes as usually, but had already showered. This morning they had also conserved water.

Everyone was sitting at the table, drinking large amounts of coffee. Doug’s three kids had hot chocolate. Doug introduced them and they stared at him raptly.

"Boo!" he said, shooting a hand toward them.

They were typical eleven year-olds, totally devoid of fear. Mike smiled and sat down, nodding to everyone.

"See what he’s like in the morning?" John asked, taking a seat beside Mike.

"Be nice to my kids or I’ll put you back in your cell." Doug said, faking an angry glance.

"I promise." Mike said, bumming a cigarette from John.

"Your promises don’t go into effect until you’ve had your coffee, remember? Don’t listen to him, guys." John added.

"Never mind him, kids. He’s a grouch in the morning, like your stepdad."

Sam nudged him.

"I didn’t let him use the cold water blast to wake up this morning?"

"Meaning what?" Doug asked, smiling slyly.

"Meaning that I’m even meaner than normal." Mike said between sips. "How much time before we have to leave?"

"We’ve got almost an hour." Gordon answered.

The front door opened and the rest of the band filed in, looking tired.

"Coffee’s in the kitchen." Gordon said as a hello.

"Gotcha." Dave said, heading for it. The others followed.

"Where’s your stuff?" Gordon asked as they emerged with mugs in hand.

"It’s all crammed into Eric’s van." Tony said, leaning against a wall.

"I just hope it all survives the flight." Dave said, concerned about his beloved guitars.

"Don’t worry." Gordon assured them all. "We chartered a Learjet."

"I hate those things." Mike grumbled from behind his mug. "They ride like Yugos."

"You hate everything in the morning." John said, kissing his cheek.

Mike looked at Doug’s kids. They were still staring at him. "Boo!" he tried again. Their only reaction was to smile.

"Be nice." Doug warned good naturedly.

"Why don’t you go get dressed? It can’t hurt to be a little early." Gordon offered.

"All right, boss." Mike agreed, taking his coffee with him.

"I guess I’ll get ready, too." John said, following him.

They dressed and drove to the airport, a regular caravan of press following them. They were kept at bay, though, and they got on their plane without incident. John sat looking out the window, thinking about his night with Mike.

He couldn’t describe, even to himself, just how incredible it had been. Mike had seemed so...innocent. Working between those furless legs and looking up along that tight, furless body had driven him completely mad. Watching Mike move above him, feeling him inside, had made him crazy. Controlling himself had been exquisite torture. He was sure that Mike would be surprised to discover just how good he was. For all his talk of how he couldn’t make love with another man, he had seemed to be a natural. Maybe God was finally answering his prayers. And if all that wasn’t enough, Mike was also capable of generating suction no wolf could hope to match. It more than made up for his stubby tongue.

There were dozens of intangibles that he couldn’t put his finger on. He had no way of expressing the pure visual stimulation of seeing Mike’s naked body moving with his, responding to his, entering his. He sighed, adjusting himself within his pants. He had never felt so completely in love. And then there was the shower...

Mike sat quietly, staring out the window. He said a silent prayer, asking God to please, please set his mind straight. He almost imagined hearing a "Oh, lighten up." from above.

Was it okay for him to enjoy it? Was it okay for him to like the feeling of fulfilling John’s needs, and having his fulfilled by him? Why did he keep asking himself over and over? Maybe he should lighten up. He knew their love was real.

...And then there was the shower. A shelf-like seat was built into the wall opposite the shower head and John had sat there for almost fifteen minutes. Mike’s mouth had been almost too tired to kiss after that.

Was it right for him to deny the fact that it had been good? He glanced down at his engagement band.

He knew it was unusual for a man to wear one. He twiddled the thin silver band around his finger. Deb, being a liberated woman, had bought it for him, asking that he wear it until the wedding. It had been a charming idea, so he had agreed. What was it to him now?

He didn’t feel like dwelling on it, so he asked Dave if he wanted to play for a while. They both had acoustic guitars with them. Dave agreed and they played for a while. Tony was singing various songs to himself, trying to the timing the way he liked it.

They landed and were chauffeured to their hotel. A whole floor was reserved to keep people away.

Mike kept busy in the studio, himself and the band spending all of their time there. Mike was amazed to find out all that was involved in recording an album. He sometimes wondered how they would ever finish. Each night he returned to his suite and collapsed. He didn’t even have time to feel guilty for neglecting John.

He was glad that they at least got the producer he wanted. As a matter of fact, the guy had jumped at the opportunity after hearing their demo. As he worked with him, Mike had a hard time keeping himself from asking a werewolf how he ended up with the nickname "Mutt."

One factor that made their schedule so hectic was the time limitation on the studio. Another band was scheduled to use the studio before Mike thought the album could be done to his satisfaction. He had gotten into a heated argument with the man responsible for scheduling, refusing to work until he was assured that he would have the time he needed. Soon they were yelling, the schedule guy refusing to back down in spite of Mike’s inherent scariness. His ears were pinned straight back, his fangs were bared, and Mike chose to completely ignore the loud growls.

They were saved by an executive vice president, who just happened to walk in at that moment to visit his favorite prospect.

"Is there a problem?" he asked, interrupting Mike’s tirade. Jim, Eric, and Dave immediately tried to become invisible.

Mike, on the other hand, had no such intention. He turned hotly to the executive. "Please excuse the attitude, but this asshole says that we gotta be out of here in two weeks! There’s no way in heaven or hell this album is going to be finished by then, and we’re already working fourteen hour days! I was told that we would be given the time we need. We’ve got at least ten tracks to put down on the songs we have and six more we haven’t even started. Everyone knew that this album was going to take a lot of studio time, yet this...person..."

The executive held up a hand and Mike stopped. He turned to the scheduler. "Figure something out, will you?" he asked.

"Yes sir." the offending man said quickly. He gave Mike a final growl and marched out.

"Better?" he asked.

"Yes, thank you. Thank you very much." Mike said, calming.

"You were busy, right?"

"Yeah." Mike said quickly, knowing when to keep his mouth shut. He turned to the recording engineer. "Number seven, the backing guitar. Keep the settings the same, but add a notch or two more echo." he said, ducking back into the sound booth.

Dave breathed a sigh of relief. "Damned if he ain’t the scariest thing walkin’ when he’s mad."

"He swears a lot, too."

"We’re working on that." John said from his seat in a corner.

"This album better break every record known to man, or I’m on the street."

"Don’t worry, sir," the recording engineer said, "This stuff is fantastic."

Everyone else involved seemed impressed by the quality of the songs. Mutt went as far as to comment that they sounded extremely refined for a first effort. Mike told him that he had been working on the songs for a long time, refining them as he went along. He hated to hide the real truth, but he knew that no one would ever know.

Gordon scheduled his first major interview during their stay. Mike had already done a couple of small ones with the band for MTV, Entertainment Tonight, and so forth. They had been only a few questions, though, not the all-out interview he was doing now. The "honor" went to Rolling Stone, who was featuring Mike on the cover.

The interview was a long one, as Rolling Stone interviews tended to be. Most of the questions centered around their upcoming album, that being Rolling Stone’s main concern. He answered all that he could without giving too much away. The interviewer’s ears perked way up when Mike told him what the first single would be.

"I can’t wait for the video." he said, taking notes furiously.

"I’m beginning to think that I may give in to popular demand for that." Mike said.

"What do you mean?"

"Well, everyone, from friends to the people at Capital, wants to do the video a certain way. At first I didn’t want to, but it looks like I’m going to give in. It is the best idea, anyway. I might as well. I don’t want to piss of the big guys. Oops, can I say that?"

"We’ve printed worse."

"Yeah, that’s right. I’ve seen the word ‘fuck’ on a regular basis."

"We don’t edit our interviews. That’s why we tape them." he said, holding up the tape recorder. "What will the video be like?"

"I’ll never tell."

"We’re going to strip him nude and drop him in a vat of sugar cane." Tony said from the other end of the room.

"No you’re not!"

"You mean we didn’t tell you?"

"Something close?" the interviewer asked.

"No amount of torture will wring that out of me. You’ll have to be surprised with the rest of us."

It was eleven o’clock by the time the interview was over and Mike went straight to bed. As usual, John slept with him, even though they didn’t do anything but cuddle.

The album was finished after two months of almost non-stop work. Everyone was extremely impressed with it - and why not? It had already proven itself in another world.

They guys wanted to record the Pyromania stuff, but Mike said no. He wanted to reserve that for their concerts. They could always release them on a live album later. Gordon agreed.

The album was sent off to press and they promptly started work on the videos. Most of their "spare" time while recording was used planning them.

Filming them was worse. Pour Some Sugar On Me promised to be a steamer. It was split between shots of the band performing on stage and Mike having various confections dumped on his bare torso.

By the time the video was done, he was wishing he had never included the song. When the director suggested that a model lick honey from his stomach, Mike had flatly refused. He had finally agreed when John was substituted in a model’s place. John was extremely excited and even more nervous. The director was happy with him, though, because he was already good looking and well built enough to be a model.

There was only one problem with filming the shots. Just off-camera an aid squirted maple syrup in a line from naval to sternum while the camera shot a close-up. John was then supposed to do one long lick along the syrup. It wasn’t working out, though. Although the finished product was meant to appear sexy, the attitude on the set was far from it.

Both of them couldn’t stop laughing. Every time the director said "action," John would grin widely or start laughing.

"This is supposed to be sensual." the director chided as Mike’s stomach was cleaned and dried for the hundredth time.

John finally stopped smiling, but it still didn’t work. Now Mike kept laughing. John would get close and he’d break up.

"We cannot shoot this scene with your stomach bouncing like that." the director scolded again.

Eventually, they got it right. The director turned to the aid. "All right, now the second shot. Move that light to the second marker, and where’s the honey?"

"Here."

"Where does this go on?" Mike asked as he sponged his stomach.

"Hey, I haven’t finished yet." John said with an evil grin.

"You’ll get some more in this shot." the director said, turning to Mike. "Maybe we should have put a laughing clause in that little contract of his."

Mike laughed. "One more sponge bath and I’ll shrivel up. Where is this shot, again?"

"The inside of your thigh. Lay on your side."

"I think not!"

"Why not? He is your boyfriend."

"No! We said we’d wing it, but not that much!"

"All right, how about your neck?" John suggested.

"You know what happens when you maul my neck." Mike said quietly.

"What’s that?" Gordon asked from behind his camcorder.

"I keep forgetting about your damned ears." Mike mumbled.

John flashed a smile at Gordon. "He melts like butter."

"The neck it is." the director said, warming to this new development.

"No."

John made a move for his throat and Mike shied away. "We can tie you down and move the camera so no one can see the ropes."

Mike sighed. "All right, but stop when the shot’s done, got it?"

"Of course." John said, rinsing the maple syrup out with a sip of water.

Everyone got into position and honey was dripped onto his neck. John hadn’t exaggerated. Mike lay completely helpless while John happily grazed on his neck. The shot lasted a full thirty seconds before John stopped. It took another half a minute for Mike to come to his senses.

"I told you it would be a great video!" John exclaimed to Mike and Gordon as they all viewed the finished project. "I didn’t realize I was that sexy."

"It’s lewd." Mike said. They replayed the part where John was giving his neck little kisses, tiny strings of honey connecting them.

"It’s perfect! Number one for two years, at least!" the director exclaimed.

"It’s not lewd, it’s sexy." Gordon said. Dave, Jim, Eric, and Tony agreed. "You gotta admit," Dave added, "It fits!"

Mike gave in and they spent the rest of the evening writing the liner notes for the album.

The next video was Excitable, followed by Love Bites, Tear It Down, and Hysteria.

John had another cameo role in Excitable, playing a man that Mike carries into a bedroom and throws on the bed. Mike didn’t find out until they viewed the finished product that the director had included the long kiss that followed. Mike didn’t mind too much. It was only a kiss.

Gordon had filmed almost every minute of their recording sessions and video shoots on his camcorder. Bloopers abounded everywhere, including their antics filming the Pour Some Sugar On Me video. "The Making of Love And Affection video, taking it’s name from the album’s new title, was already in the works. Capital conducted it’s own interviews with the band for it.

Move videos would be filmed later. Mike gave them a list of possible follow-up releases, who’s use would depend on how the first few did.

They flew back to Chicago to arrange their upcoming tour. Mike stayed busy modeling a line of spring clothes, shooting a few commercials, and entrenching himself in the business end of his career.

Pour Some Sugar On Me debuted on radio and MTV a week after their return, two weeks before the album’s release date. On the top twenty countdown the video debuted at number one. It achieved equal success on radio.

The album went platinum on record store order alone, before a single copy had actually been sold.

"What?" Mike asked in shock. Dave, the most vocal member of the band, echoed him.

Gordon smiled in triumph. "One million, one hundred and sixty-two thousand, three hundred and twenty orders!"

"I don’t believe it." Mike said, looking at Eric, his best friend in the band.

"Believe it!" Gordon exclaimed. "Pack your bags, boys! We have a ceremony in Hollywood to attend!"

"What ceremony?"

"You have to be presented with your platinum record, remember?" Gordon asked, grinning.

"Don’t they wait for sales? What if no one buys it?"

"Are you kidding?" Gordon wailed. "People are calling radio stations all over the country and asking for your song! Ninety-nine percent, an unheard of number, voted for it in MTV’s video fights. You boys are stars! Haven’t you noticed those checks coming in? Haven’t you been watching the entertainment news? Those record store orders are locked in. You’re platinum, guaranteed! You should hit two million within the month!"

"Well, I’ll be damned!" Jim blurted.

"Wow." Mike sighed, shaking his head.

"Do you regret making that video?" John asked him.

Mike laughed. "No, I guess not."

"I told you that you’re sexy."

"So are you." Gordon said to John. "People are calling me to interview you."

"Seriously?"

"John, John," Gordon began with a shake of his head, "You spent a total of thirty-two seconds of the nation’s number one video licking Mike."

"Oh yeah, I hadn’t thought of it like that. What did you tell them?"

"I told them that I’m not your manager. If you didn’t live here with Mike you’d be getting mobbed. People would probably cut your tongue out and bronze it."

Mike laughed. "Oh, that’s funny. Maybe you could charge for kisses. Five bucks to kiss the tongue that licked Mike Riggs! Be still, my heart."

"I could charge a small fortune for the rest." John said thoughtfully.

Mike blushed.

"Speaking of ‘the rest,’" Gordon went on, "Every major adult magazine also called, along with the more hard core ones. One X-rated movie producer also called. Apparently, you’ve been discovered."

"You’re kidding!"

"Nope. They all would like to see a, uh, little more of you and Mike together."

John gave Mike a seductive look.

"Don’t even think about it." He turned to Gordon. "When are we leaving?"

"They want us there tomorrow, boys. Get yourselves packed." Gordon answered. "Oh, and try to look presentable, okay? You rock stars dress like invaders from another planet."

"I am an invader from another planet." Mike joked.

"Aah! Kill it!" Eric yelled.

"Get going." Gordon insisted.

"Whatever you say, boss." Jim said, heading for the door.

"See you for the next flight out!" Eric called over his shoulder as he left with the others.

"I’ll go get the tickets. We’ll be taking a night flight out." Gordon added, leaving after the band. "See you in a few hours."

"Bye." Mike said to them. He flopped onto the couch, totally dumbfounded.

"As if I ever had any doubt." John said, sitting in his lap.

"Oof! I can’t believe it." Mike said, grunting under John’s weight. "Want a belly rub?"

John looked thoughtful. "I suppose you’ll be wanting to celebrate?" he asked, moving his snout toward Mike’s neck. "You have to kill the next few hours somehow."

Mike smiled uneasily.

"Guards!" John intentionally yelled.

"Yeah?" Paul asked, emerging from the kitchen.

"Out!" John yelled, pulling Mike down with him.

"Can’t I watch?"

"Out!" Mike yelled from under John.

"I’m gone." Paul said, heading for the front door.

"Let’s go bowling." Mike said after freeing his mouth.

"I got your ten pin - hangin’."