From the Author
Conor didn't want to admit that he was unsettled by the song for other reasons. Who was he to be singing about love? Did he even know what it felt like?
After all this time, Conor still wasn't sure. Jesse made him feel maddeningly frustrated sometimes, but everything about him was safe and warm. The thought of being without him in the strange world of Singing Sensation was terrifying to Conor. Jesse was his one constant in all this chaos.
Then there was Kai. During the day, Conor didn't let himself think of their brief time together, or tried always to remember it as Kai using him, Kai taking advantage of his position as a judge. At night, alone in his bed after Jesse had gone to sleep, Conor thought of it quite differently. He'd wanted Kai so much, or maybe he'd wanted Kai to want him. Either way, it had been intense.
When Derek had first started paying attention to him back home, Conor had gone along with it mainly out of surprise. That, and Conor had really, really wanted to have sex. But as time had gone on, the parts that Derek revealed had been more raw and vulnerable than Conor would have ever imagined from the bully who'd called him names and shoved him in the hallways of their school. It scared him--all the huge, dark problems that made up Derek, but it made Conor feel protective at the same time. He didn't know what to do with everything Derek kept offering and then yanking away. The smart thing would probably be to move on, like Derek himself had told him. But Conor kept coming back to him, playing Derek's words and actions over and over in his head, like a fragment of a song he hadn't found the melody for yet.