Justin Taylor is a former marine, discharged after three tours in Iraq. He’s struggling to find his feet in the civilian world he has returned to and decides to go in search of the unknown man whose photo he believes was his good luck charm during the war. His search takes him to Pittsburgh where he meets Brian Kinney, who’s busy dealing with his own demons. Together the two men might be able to heal each other. Inspired by the movie/book of the same name.
Categories: QAF US Characters:
10k+ Word Count, Out of Character, ViolenceGenres:
Alternate Universe, Drama, Hurt/Comfort, RomancePairings:
May 05, 2016 Updated:
May 05, 2016
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. This site holds no connection to and is not endorsed by: Channel IV, Russell T. Davies, Showtime, CowLip Productions or any of the other writers and producers of either the UK or the US/NA Queer As Folk series. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.
1. Chapter 1 - Recon by samcdee
2. Chapter 2 - FUBAR by samcdee
3. Chapter 3 - Hooch by samcdee
4. Chapter 4 - Hold Overs by samcdee
5. Chapter 5 - Camels On Fire by samcdee
6. Chapter 6 - A.I.T. by samcdee
7. Chapter 7 - ESI by samcdee
8. Chapter 8 - Dog Tags by samcdee
9. Chapter 9 - BOHIC by samcdee
10. Chapter 10 - URI by samcdee
11. Chapter 11 - Blue Falcon by samcdee
12. Chapter 12 - Clusterfuck by samcdee
13. Chapter 13 - SNAFU by samcdee
14. Chapter 14 - Screwed the Pooch by samcdee
15. Chapter 15 - Epilogue: Mission Accomplished by samcdee
Chapter 1 - Recon by samcdee
Justin's final days in Baghdad.
Recon - Abbreviation for Reconnaissance - Military activity to find out information about an enemy.
Chapter 1 - Recon
'You know, the smallest thing can change your life. In the blink of an eye something happens by chance, when you least expect it, that sets you on a course that you never planned, into a future that you never imagined. Where will it take you? That's the journey of our lives. Our search for the light. But sometimes, finding the light means you have to pass through the deepest darkness. At least, that's how it was for me.'
Sgt Justin Taylor sat in his makeshift hooch attaching the last of his tactical gear to his DCU’s and indulging in a final moment of calm before heading out to perform what could very well be his last mission. This was his third deployment so he was no stranger to the eminent danger that lay outside the wire. The sounds and smells of a wartime desert were all too familiar; he desperately wished this wasn’t the case. He felt that the smell of death and the pleading sounds of injured innocent people shouldn’t be familiar to anyone. When it came to executing his duty, he knew that those feelings were best pushed to the back of his mind. This is what he’d signed up for when he enlisted in the Marines ten years ago wasn’t it?
He pulled himself from his thoughts as he heard the soft crunch of boots on sand come to a stop in front of his tent’s opening.
“Convoy’s leaving in five minutes Sarge, but Gunny wants to give us our safety brief first so you better get moving.”
Justin raised a questioning eyebrow at the subordinate delivering the message. Pvt McDowell noticed the disapproving look on his face and immediately went to parade rest (which he had failed to do initially) and amended his statement.
“I meant that with all due respect Sarge.”
“It’s all right McDowell you can relax. Where are we forming up?”
“In front of the TOC on the west side of the FOB.”
Justin gave the young troop an understanding nod and released him to join the rest of the platoon. A few moments later, Justin put a fully loaded magazine into his ammunition holder, secured his M-16 and, after saying a silent prayer for the protection of his comrades, Justin made the short trip to receive his marching orders.
The Gunny Sgt., Grant, stood before the Alpha Co. second platoon ‘Death Dealers’ tasking each squad to specific posts at the evening’s mission site. This wasn’t anything out of the ordinary in these situations, but the mission itself was anything but ordinary.
“All right gentlemen, this isn’t your first run around the rodeo so I shouldn’t have to tell you how to conduct yourselves out there. You know the rules of engagement and you damn well know to stay within the parameters of the Geneva Convention,” he barked out in a voice that brooked no argument.
While Gunny Grant continued to dole out instructions and position troops where the need was most critical, Justin listened intently, knowing that the slightest miscalculation in judgement could mean the difference between life and death on the battlefield. As a respected squad leader among the ranks, the need to keep his head on a swivel was much more important. Once his team went outside the wire, coming back without his initial number of boots on the ground was not an option.
After they were thoroughly briefed, Justin pulled his squad aside and checked to ensure that each man was properly equipped with ammunition, water, CLS (first aid) bags, protective gear, and working communication devices.
“Don’t try to be a hero out there tonight, but don’t leave your buddy behind either,” Justin cautioned and the group responded with a customary “HOORAH!” then dispersed to board their assigned HUMVEE.
The drive to the mission site was made in nervous silence; even though neither of the four men inside really wanted to admit to their sudden trepidation. Truthfully, one was never really emotionally prepared to be potentially placed in situations where they would have to take a life. Those memories haunted and weighed heavily on even the most seasoned and jaded devil dog; unpleasant amenities that came with the job that could never be returned.
After an hour of slowly traveling in the mile long vehicular procession, the platoon finally reached the abandoned building in a remote part of the desert they would call home for the next few days. This was the part Justin despised the most, sleeping in the desert was a virtual open invitation to enemy infiltration and a cess-pool for various diseases due to less than sanitary conditions. Nobody had time to think about that crap right now though. It was just part of the job.
Justin exited the vehicle, stretching his tired limbs and surveying his current surroundings. It seemed as if the area was completely barren save the few derelict dwellings and decimated remains of old cinderblock hovels. Down the street, the locals had used some of the shrapnel from the rubble to build a swing set for the neighborhood children. It all looked so unthreatening, but Justin knew that was only a facade. The appearance of innocence in these conditions was very much deceiving.
“No matter how many times I perform this dance, it never gets any easier,” Justin sighed, the thick dank air burning his lungs as he inhaled deeply, and the guy next to him nodded in complete agreement with the sentiment.
The local residence of some minor official or petty potentate had been appropriated as the command center for this mission. The officers were making themselves comfortable inside while the rest of the squadron was still arriving and being briefed. The contrast between the military uniforms and full combat gear next to the elegant decorations on the walls of the room was surreal.
“All right men, why don’t you all relax a little, get yourselves an MRE, and we can cover the particulars of tonight’s raid,” Justin addressed his men calmly while never losing the authority in his voice. “Our immediate mission is simple; we will provide 360 rear security around the perimeter of the structure while 1st platoon takes the lead. Their main objective is to search the place for IEDs and other possible WMDs. Your only worry is effectively protecting their asses.”
Sgt. Taylor’s crew were more than adequate for the assignment which they were tasked to carry out. Friendlies and Al Qaeda alike were hard pressed to test the possibility of walking away unscathed in the unlikely event there was a breach in security while his men were on post.
Darkness quickly set in and the calm that enveloped the group gave way to the beginning of the storm that was sure to unleash a wrath of epic proportions. Justin’s men began to mentally hype themselves up by chanting encouraging wartime cadences meant to psych the men up.
‘I hear the choppers hovering
They come to get the wounded
They come to get the dead….’
Their voices were strong and held such conviction. And, damnit, Justin couldn’t be any prouder of his crew than he was at that moment. He offered one last word of caution to the squad before putting boots to dirt and endeavoring to put the successful completion of one more mission under his riggers belt.
“This is it, ladies. The time for bullshitting and fucking around is over. Once we step outside that door it’s ultimately up to you whether you come back on your own two, or in a body bag. Keep your fucking head on a swivel, look out for your buddy to your left and right, and most importantly, look out for yourselves.”
With those parting words the six devil dogs headed out and were taking up their respective positions twenty minutes later.
The men were stacked along each side of the crumbling building, weapons held at the low ready, waiting for the RTO to give them the command to move in and assist with clearing the building. The blackness of the night provided low visibility, causing them to rely on night vision goggles in any attempt to see anything that was more than fifty feet away. The quiet sounds of boots against sand and the soft click-clack of battle gear could be heard as 1st platoon made a stealthy entrance into the dwelling. When Justin surmised that the last man had in fact gone in, he knew it was go time. Seconds later he got the call that would set his well oiled machine in motion.
“Listen up, you the know the drill . . . last man up,” Justin directed quietly. Following close behind one another, the squad entered the building, quickly making a visual sweep of the immediate area. After that everything was controlled chaos.
“Go! Move, move, move.”
“Women and two children here.”
“Innocents to the left at 2:00.”
“Stay calm, just stay calm.”
The noise level was getting extremely overwhelming with all the screaming and crying, the crunch of broken glass underfoot, the slam of doors being battered open, and randomly tossed out directives; but Justin knew that he had to Charlie-Mike (continue mission) despite the discomfort.
“I’m going up to clear the top level,” Justin called out. He made his way through what seemed to be a never ending maze of stairs. Upon reaching the top level Justin became aware of the sound of slight movement in the distance. Trained to always be on high alert, he pulled his weapon tightly into the pocket of his shoulder and slowly walked in the direction of the disturbance. Justin took a cautionary step around a sharp corner and was temporarily blinded by a bright light shining directly into his eyes.
He drew his weapon, fully prepared to engage on the enemy, but when his vision was once again clear he recognized his present company. It was his old buddy Aces.
“Taylor, what the fuck? Stand down men, we somehow bumped heads with 2nd platoon.”
“Aces, man you can’t just go . . .”
Justin never got to finish his sentence, because at that precise moment bullets started to rain down heavily in their direction. One of 1st platoon's men went down first. Aces didn't think twice before going over to see to his man. Then, before Taylor or anyone else could react, Aces had been hit in the melee; his ACH doing nothing to stop the bullet causing him a fatal head wound. Several people instantly converged on the man down.
“Aces . . . Come on man, hold on. Don’t you fucking die on me tonight, man,” Justin demanded as he tried everything he possibly could to resuscitate the fallen troop.
“Sarge, let him go. He fought a good battle but now it’s over,” McDowell stood beside him and whispered calmly. “Let him go.”
With a heavy heart, Justin walked away from his friend for the last time as his fellow comrades secured the scene and covered Aces’ body with an abandoned blanket they found nearby. The mission was officially over but the internal war that Justin had to contend with was just beginning. Any mission that ended without everyone returning was a failure in Justin’s eyes.
The morning after the raid, Justin took his time assessing the damage that had been done during the mission. As he walked along, studying the massive amounts of wreckage, his mind drifted back to Aces. His sudden death was a tremendous loss to the Corps. There weren’t many Marines who’d served as valiantly, or with the amount of integrity and pride, that Aces had. As a leader, he was one of the best. A no nonsense son of a bitch who was tough as iron and loyal to a fault; Justin would wear the combat memorial bracelet made in his honor with pride.
The entire squadron was just standing around outside the structure they’d cleared the night before, waiting until the post command gave the okay to vacate the area. Men were lounging against the walls and sitting on any random piece of concrete still in a big enough piece to hold up a man’s ass. Most everyone was only on half-alert - it had been a long night and everyone was tired. They thought that the entire area was secured since they’d been through every room they could find. It was all supposed to be routine from here on out.
Justin was propped against a half-destroyed wall with a couple other guys, just enjoying the early morning sun before it became too hot to bear. There were armored vehicles patrolling the street in front of him and several Jersey barriers had been set up to keep the civilians away. It was a relaxed scene. People were standing around smoking and chatting, trying to relieve the tension that always accompanied the end of any mission.
While he stood there, contemplating the sunrise and the losses they’d all suffered, Justin noticed out of the corner of his eye a glint of sun reflecting off something in the rubble nearby. Curious, he got up from his perch next to the wall and shuffled slowly over to where the sparkly object awaited. Kneeling down, Justin reached out and picked up the shiny object. It turned out to be a photograph, the glossy finish glinting in the early morning sun. He just found it; like he was meant to . . .
Justin wiped away the dust covering the front of the photo and saw a picture of the most beautiful man he’d ever seen. The face he saw was perfectly chiselled, with a strong jawline, aquiline nose and wide-spaced eyes shaded by just-been-fucked, tousled-looking, auburn hair. The person in the picture was smiling an enigmatic little smile that radiated humor and just a bit of snark but was underlined with sincere love. He flipped the photo over and saw that there were just two words written on the back, ‘Be Safe’.
Justin realized instantly that this picture had been a cherished memento of one of his men. It hurt so much to think that the person who’d been carrying this might not be around anymore to take comfort from the thought of the loved one waiting at home. His breath caught in his lungs and he had to pinch the bridge of his nose to hold back the tears that had threatened. This was not the time or place to give way to those sentiments. He still had to get his squadron back to base, debrief, and only then could he give way to any emotions he might be feeling.
Reluctantly, Justin took the photo and stashed it away in his LBV, standing and turning away from the pile of rubble where he’d found the relic. He looked around him, lost for the moment, wondering where to start looking to find the picture’s owner. However, before he could set on a course, there was a violent roaring noise behind him, heat and a blast of air pounded against his side and he was thrown ten feet across the span of the courtyard. His head thudded against the hard packed ground, a myriad of small rocks and pieces of metal showered down on him and all he saw after that was a profusion of electric stars against a midnight background.
When Justin’s mind finally rejoined his other senses, he found himself in the Med Evac station set up on the base. The light around him hurt his eyes, everything was a little bit blurry and none of the sounds matched up to the objects making the noises. It took most of the day before his head felt like it had been screwed on straight again. All he did in the meantime was sit, let the infirmary personnel work on him doing whatever it was they did, and look at the photograph of the beautiful brown-haired man.
“It was a mortar. Hit just where you'd been sitting. The two other guys on that wall didn't make it, you know," his buddy Elliott was saying - it was the first thing he heard after his hearing righted itself enough to match the way people’s lips were moving. “I saw you getting up and went to follow you. We'd both be dead if you hadn't got up just then. Things like this don’t just happen." He looked down at the picture of the dark haired man that he’d found earlier. "You got yourself a guardian angel, there, man. I say, you owe him!”
‘You owe him . . .’
The words never left him after that day. Justin must have looked at that picture a million times. He didn’t leave his bunk in the morning without at least a short glimpse of his lovely angel’s face. It was the last thing he looked at every single night. He did try to find out who the picture belonged to - asking around the base and mentioning it to almost every other enlisted person he came across - but nobody ever claimed the gorgeous man. However, he pledged to himself that, if he ever made it out, he would find that man and thank him for saving his life.
Justin had two more close calls before his LOD was finally processed and the powers that be decided that he was injured enough, and a short timer at that, that he deserved to be shipped home. The first time, he was simply riding along in a transport convoy between some desolate no-place and some other no-place, when their up-armour truck was hit by a stray IED. He’d been holding the photo in his hand as the bomb went off. Somehow, he was the only one in the vehicle that survived.
The next time, Justin was leaving a random civilian area, packed with women and children lining up to get whatever foodstuff was available in the market that day, when a car bomb went off. There were over a dozen casualties that day, but Justin survived with only a few scratches. He attributed his miraculous escape to again having the picture of his angel in his hand only seconds before the bomb exploded.
One time might have been a fluke. Even twice might have been just an odd coincidence. But after he was spared for the third time, Justin no longer questioned things. Finding that photo had been the greatest boon in his life. It was fate. He simply had to find this man, somehow, someday. And when he found him, he would do whatever it took to keep him.
ACH – Advanced Combat Helmet.
Charlie-Mike – Slang to continue the mission.
CLS – Combat Lifesaver aka first aid
DCU – Desert Camouflage Uniform
Devil Dog – Term applied by German Soldiers to Marines during World War I for fighting like shock troops.
FOB – Forward Operating Base
Hooch – a hut or simple dwelling, either military or civilian
IED – Improvised Explosive Device
Jersey Barriers – Concrete barriers used by the US military in countries where terrorism is a threat, like Iraq and Afghanistan. They are strategically placed to blockade major roads if they perceive land borne threats.
LBV – Load Bearing Vest
LOD – Line of Departure
MRE – Meals Ready to Eat
Pvt – Private
RTO – Radio/Telephone Operator
Sgt – Sergent
TOC – Tactical Operations Center
WMD – Weapons of Mass Destruction
Chapter 2 - FUBAR by samcdee
Justin comes home to the US but can't deal with Molly due to his PTSD and heads off to find Babylon and Brian.
FUBAR - Acronym for Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition.
Chapter 2 - FUBAR
Justin had been home for two weeks now. He was staying with his sister Molly and her family in their tidy little suburban home in Champaign, IL. It was cozy and all, but he felt so out of place. There was too much quiet. Too much softness. Too much normal. After all those years of dawn revelries and mission-after-mission stress, he didn’t have a clue what to do with himself. He hardly ever left his room because it just all felt so surreal. Didn’t these people have any idea that their cushy civilian life was all just an illusion?
Justin knew that Molly’s two boys had no idea what to make of him. He was Uncle Justin, but they’d never really got to know him before. The last time he’d seen either of them, the youngest, Logan, was still an infant and his older brother, Turner, was only three. Now that he was finally back in the states and they were a bit more grown up, he had no idea how to relate to them. He’d been gone too long and seen too many things to be able to understand middle class American childhood.
The second night he was there, he’d dropped a plate that he’d been washing in the kitchen when he heard the gunfire replicated by the kids’ video game. Luckily nobody noticed his slip except Molly. Her husband, Steve, came in a few minutes later and gave Justin the evil eye as he was sweeping up the shards of broken stoneware. Steve looked down his nose at Justin but didn’t say anything, willing to let his wife’s brother be as long as it made Molly happy. It didn’t make Justin feel any more welcome, though. This was NOT the place for him. He couldn’t settle into this life so easily.
The straw that broke the camel’s back, however, came along sooner than Justin had expected. It was a Sunday morning and 'Mom and Dad' were sleeping in, which meant that the boys were unsupervised for the morning. Justin had been lying in bed - not really asleep, since he could never sleep past dawn anymore, but just dozing. Even so, he was taken completely off guard when the door to his room burst open and both children roared through the doorway, whooping like stereotypical ‘Indians’ and jumping on the bed in an ambush.
Justin wasn’t even cognizant of his actions at that moment. His instincts just took over without rational thought making any appearance at all. Within an instant, Justin had rolled over so that his attacker was pinned beneath his body and his hands were throttling the invader’s throat. In his mind he could hear the repetitive beating of a helicopter’s blades and smell the dirt, sand and stale sweat stink that seemed to always pervade the barracks he’d been living in for most of the past ten years. His vision was blurry and all he could think of was protecting himself from the threat. It wasn’t until his brain finally registered the frightened whining of his nephew, Logan, calling out for Molly, that Justin finally came to his senses and realized that his attacker was only poor little Turner and that he was about to strangle the small boy.
Justin was out of the house by the end of the day. There was no way he could risk staying there any longer. He wouldn’t . . . couldn’t bear to be a risk to Molly or her family. This was NOT the place he belonged. Justin needed to get away. He needed to find someplace that he felt he could heal. He needed to find his angel.
Pulling the creased and dusty picture out of his pocket for the millionth time, Justin looked into the beautiful hazel eyes of his angel and felt the ethereal pull once again. He knew his life would never be complete until he found his guardian angel and thanked the man for bringing him - almost whole - back to the world. Quickly throwing the bare necessities into his kit, Justin was out the door before Molly and her husband were even out of their bedroom.
Without even really thinking about where he was going, Justin started walking. He didn’t yet know where he was going. He didn’t really care. He would find his angel no matter what. And, in the meantime, he would be out in the free air away from the constraints of family, normalcy and the stifling feeling of domesticity.
The exercise, the fresh air, the physical act of walking away from his problems, was so refreshing that Justin didn’t stop for hours. He was all the way into town by the time he noticed it was getting dark. Quickly, Justin ducked into the first little cafe he found and was enjoying a juicy cheeseburger and fries before he had time to even think about his retreat. Luckily, the cafe had an internet connection and a workstation set up near the door. Justin logged on and resumed his research, trying again to match the partial image of some random night club in the background of the picture of his angel to a real place.
All Justin had to go on was the last half of the name of some club, which was illuminated in ten foot high neon letters behind the picture of the beautiful hazel-eyed man. -YLON-. That was all that Justin had to go on. When Justin typed the letters ‘y-l-o-n’ into the computer, all he got back were hits about a professional chess master and poker player from New York. That didn’t seem like the person he was looking for. He tried searching for clubs with the ‘ylon’ in the name but only got several listings for clubs in Lyons, France. Then, hoping against hope, Justin decided to search for gay clubs and limited his search to the U.S. There was no way for Justin to be sure that the man in the picture he’d found was gay, or that the club he was standing in front of was a gay club. It was simply hopeful thinking. But, amazingly, that search turned up a listing for the ‘50 Best Gay Bars’ in the US and one of them - Babylon, a club in Pittsburgh, PA - boasted a picture of the front of the club showing a large neon sign that actually matched the picture he held in his hand.
It looked like Justin would be going to Pittsburgh!
It was only 9:30 am when Justin approached Babylon - the club he’d found on the internet in his search for the angel in his picture. He'd been walking for two weeks now and was more than ready to take a break from his search. The few people on the streets that he'd shown the photo to since he'd arrived in the Pitts had all directed him towards Liberty Avenue. So, here he was. Before he was even within a hundred yards, though, he was sure that this was definitely the place. The picture in his hand perfectly matched the website as well as the vista unfolding in front of him. Since it was daylight, the ten foot tall neon signs weren’t yet lighted, but he could already tell that this was the right club. Now he just had to find his angel.
Outside the club, there were a couple of cars parked and two men standing there talking. One of the men was a bit older - probably about thirty-five or so - with a slightly receding hairline, bland but genial features and a slight build. The other man looked like a contractor - big square shoulders, large frame and lots of muscles.
Even without being able to hear all the words, Justin could tell that the smaller man was reaming out the big burly guy. What he could hear, being yelled at near top volume, didn't sound good. "I don't care what your other jobs are, Rupert. I need you to concentrate on the club. The ongoing upkeep here is just as important as any new job you might get. If you don't think so, you can pretty much count yourself out of any future work involving Brian Kinney."
There was a hushed but heated exchange between the two men after that. Justin, standing deferentially about twenty meters away, just watched and waited patiently without interrupting or intentionally eavesdropping. The few words spoken loud enough to carry to where he was standing were acrimonious. When the two men ran out of nasty things to say to each other, the big guy stalked off to the black pickup parked nearby, got in the cab and drove away without any visible remorse. The shorter man stood there and scowled at the back end of the retreating man's vehicle, his contemptuous look was unmistakable.
With a big sigh and a shake of his head, the dark-haired man turned and finally caught a glimpse of Justin standing off to the side. “Can I help you?” he asked politely, encouraging Justin to come a step or two closer.
“I’ve been looking for this place . . . I . . . I . . .” Justin didn’t really know how to go about explaining why he was here or exactly what he thought coming here was going to accomplish.
Justin reached for his wallet and started to pull out the picture of his angel, figuring that the photo would go a long ways towards helping him explain. At the same time, though, a clipping he’d taken out of the newspaper a few days back also fell out of the wallet and fluttered away on the slight breeze, ending up on the ground right next to the small, banal man’s feet. His new acquaintance bent over immediately to grab the piece of paper before it could drift further away.
Looking down at the clipping, which seemed at a glance to be from the Want Ads section of the paper, the man grinned and looked back up at Justin. “You must be here about the job we advertized in the paper. I’m Ted Schmidt, by the way. I’m the manager here at Babylon. And, you, my boy, got here at the perfect time. That big lug that just drove away was our maintenance guy, but he’s been doing a lousy job around here for some time now. Which is why I just fired him and why we’ve been advertising for someone new for a couple weeks.”
“It’s not the most glamorous job, I admit - you’d be mostly just doing a lot of little repairs, maybe some light plumbing and cleaning - we have a regular cleaning staff, but it's a big place and sometimes there’s stuff they don’t get to, you know,” Ted had already grabbed Justin by the shoulder and started to walk with him towards the front entrance of the club. “We’d, of course, hire contractors for any big projects, but what we really just need is a body to be around here and take care of all the mounds of little things that crop up with any business. So, how does that sound?”
“Uh . . . It doesn’t sound that hard,” Justin responded, a little unsure where the conversation had gotten away from him.
“So, what did you say your name was, kid?” Ted asked belatedly as he pulled open the front door and ushered Justin inside the pitch dark cavernous space.
“Justin. Justin Taylor,” he replied at the same moment as Ted flipped a switch and the interior was flooded with light, temporarily blinding them both.
“Great. Nice to officially meet you, Justin. Now, if you’ll just follow me back to the office, I have an application for you to fill out and we can talk more about the job. It doesn’t really pay much, I’m afraid, but you will get free access to the club, if you’re into that scene. It’s a great place to meet guys . . . Um, not that I’m assuming that you’re gay or anything, but if you are, well . . ." Ted’s voice died off as he got even more flustered over his little faux pas assumption.
“It’s fine Mr. Schmidt. And, yes, I’m gay,” Justin took pity on the man and reassured him with a small smile. “I’m not sure I’m all that into the club scene, though. I’m really just looking for a bit of peace and quiet in my life at this point.”
“Oh, well, except for between the hours of 10 pm and 4 am, this is about the quietest place on the planet,” Ted chuckled, gesturing around with his hand at the vast empty space that echoed with their hushed footsteps. “So, are you from around here?” Ted asked as he pulled open the office door and showed Justin to a black leather covered seat in front of a big glass and chrome desk.
“No, Sir. I’m from Champaign, Illinois,” Justin answered as he sat on the edge of the chair, his back straight, his hands resting lightly on his knees, his eyes automatically scanning the area around him from force of habit instilled by long years of training and the need to constantly be aware of your surroundings at all times.
‘Well, that’s a bit of a drive. Did you just get into the Pitts or have you been here a while?” Ted asked conversationally.
“It’s an even longer walk, Sir. And, I just got here this morning.”
“A walk? You . . . you walked here from Illinois? That’s . . . different,” Ted didn’t know what to make of that comment, but he just shook it off and pulled out a file full of job applications - they needed a handyman for this place as soon as possible, and it wasn’t exactly a highly skilled position - Ted reminded himself he shouldn’t be picky about who was applying for the job.
Both men were silent for a few minutes while Justin looked over the paperwork Ted had handed him. Ted swivelled his chair around and busied himself with something else in order to give the younger man a bit of privacy while he filled in the forms. After about ten minutes, Justin cleared his throat to get Ted’s attention. The club manager turned around and smiled at the good looking young man, taking just a second to admire the kid’s shiny, close-cropped blond hair and the unshaven cheeks that looked so soft under the haze of darker blond stubble. ‘This kid is definitely a looker,’ Ted thought to himself, ‘Just the kind of handy man I wouldn’t mind having around my own house.’ Then Ted slapped himself upside the head in his imagination and told himself that he had a more than attractive partner waiting for him at home - Blake wouldn’t care much for Ted’s little flight of fantasy.
Ted took the proffered application back and looked down at it, trying to clear his head of any more inappropriate thoughts about this young man who was a potential employee. There wasn’t really much on the form, though - there were a couple of large blanks where Ted had expected to see a lot more. It didn't bode well.
“I don’t have a local address yet, Sir,” Justin explained as soon as he saw the shadow of doubts flickering across the older man’s eyes. “I just got in this morning and I came here directly.”
“Well, that’s one job perk I CAN offer you,” Ted cheered up right away. “There’s a small apartment here, around the back of the club. It hasn’t had anyone living in it for quite a while, but once it’s cleaned up, I’m sure it would be fine. It would be yours if you get the job.”
Justin nodded uncommittedly. He still wasn’t even sure he was looking for a job. He really only wanted to find the angel from his picture. How had he gotten so sidetracked?
“I see that you’ve only listed one prior job for the past ten years,” Ted continued, perusing the fairly limited application. “That’s not much of an employment history for someone your age - you’re what, twenty-seven, twenty-eight - no college or other school, either? Well, tell me about your most recent employment . . .”
Justin was about to begin explaining about his military career when he was startled by a loud bang as some back door to the club was thrown open and then galloping, yipping, yelling and all-around chaotic noises blared through the formerly quiet club. Both Justin and Ted jumped to their feet and dashed out the office door to see what had invaded the usually quiet daytime ambiance of the club. Ted was only a few feet outside of the office when a dark blur of something pelted around the corner and ran into him at around shin level. The dark little blur was followed seconds later by a giggling mass of waist-high boy with a sparkling grin and a head full of wild auburn curls. The boy slid around the corner, his sneakers squeaking on the bare concrete floor, trying to stop himself when he saw the two men standing in the hallway, but only managing to topple right into Justin’s waiting arms.
“Gus! Gus, get your ass and that god damned mutt back here! I do not want you two running amok all over the club. If he has an accident in here, you’re cleaning it up - not me!” Yelled a deep, sardonic voice.
The body associated with that voice came around the corner just as Justin righted the wayward boy. Glancing up at that opportune moment, he saw a tall, shadowy figure. As the shape moved forward into the light, Justin let out a gasp and his fingers tightened involuntarily on the child’s shoulders. This was the angel from the picture. Could it really have been this easy to find him?
As Brian rounded the corner, all he saw was this gorgeous blond holding his son steady and the mutt dancing and yapping around their ankles. Brian paused for the briefest of moments, taking in everything from the blond cropped hair down to the slight but muscled build. Brian’s gaydar immediately started to ping, which placed a smirk on his lips, and he raised a brow of inquiry in his manager’s direction, silently asking who this delectable morsel could be.
Upon seeing Brian, Ted immediately introduced their latest applicant for handyman. “Brian, this is Justin Taylor. He’s applied for the handyman position.”
“Is that so, Theodore,” Brian murmured with barely a glance at the man speaking. His eyes were completely focused on the golden delight before him. Brian’s eyes locked onto startled blue. It felt like time stopped as they both stared at each other - for very different reasons.
Justin stared back into green-hazel eyes. He felt a mix of surprised gratification at finding his angel so quickly along with traces of undeniable lust at being in this man’s charismatic presence. Brian’s dick immediately came to attention. The blond was not his usual type but there was something about him. Ted looked between the two, not sure how to break in between the eye-fuck taking place. Luckily, he didn’t have to.
“I’m Brian Kinney, the owner of this club, and this little ruffian is my son, Gus. The four legged tag-along is his brand new puppy, JB.” Brian extended his hand. “Thank you for catching my son. Who knows what kind of trouble he and his mutt could have gotten into.”
“No problem, Mr. Kinney, Sir. I’m Justin. Justin Taylor,” quantified the blond with a firm, strong hand shake, tingles shooting through his hand, up his arm and directly to his cock from the moment their hands made contact.
Brian felt a thrill of awareness just from the brief clasp of hands with this blond Adonis. That throb translated into a need that went directly to his dick and tightened his balls.
“Theodore, may I see Justin’s application?” Brian demanded, extending his hand to the stodgy manager.
Ted handed over the papers, glancing nervously between his boss and Justin. Brian quickly perused the form, curling his lips under at the lack of information. When his eye landed on the words ‘Sergeant’ and then ‘United States Marine Corp’, Brian looked back up at the applicant, his gaze a little harsher now than it had been before when he was appraising the boy. Brian shook his head, his lips pursing together for a brief moment and then he shoved the papers back at Ted.
“Thank you, Mr. Taylor. We’ll get back to you,” Brian said dismissively and turned on his heel without another look at the young man.
“Brian?” Ted felt the instant change in mood and trotted after his retreating boss, still clutching the application in his hand. “Brian, what’s wrong with this guy? He’s the first applicant we’ve had in two weeks. I mean, it isn’t exactly a glamorous job and the pay we’re offering is for shit, so it’s not likely we’ll have a line of applicants waiting at the door. Besides, I . . . well, I sort of fired Rupert this morning, so we really need someone right away,” Ted was trying to explain in a hushed voice as Brian kept walking steadily away.
“Why the fuck did you fire Rupert without my authorization,” Brian stopped at that particular tidbit of info and turned to stare down his friend and employee.
“I was talking to him about your concerns that repairs seem to be piling up around here and he basically told me that he didn’t have the time to put in on this job any more. He’s got an offer for some construction job at the new mall they’re building. I told him if he couldn’t promise that he’d get our stuff done on schedule then he shouldn’t bother coming back, and, well . . . He said he was outta here . . .” Ted said, trying to justify his impromptu actions. “Besides, this Taylor guy seems okay. He’s really polite and doesn’t seem to care about the crappy pay. I also offered him the apartment upstairs since he just got to town and doesn’t have any place to stay. If he's living on the premises, he'll be much more reliable and will probably get a lot more done than Rupert ever did. I really don’t think we could do much better - at least not on such short notice, Brian.”
“Fine. Whatever. Just . . . keep him out of my hair,” Brian finally caved into Ted’s pleading tone, knowing that they really were in desperate need of somebody as soon as possible. “Gus! Grab that pooch and let’s get out of here.”
Brian rounded up his son without further comment and then hustled his crew out the door. Ted was confused by Brian’s brusque reaction to Justin Taylor, but didn’t want to make a bigger deal out of it than was necessary. Plastering on a benevolent smile, Ted turned back to the waiting young blond. “Well, Justin, it looks like you’re hired. Welcome to Kinnetic Enterprises!”
Chapter 3 - Hooch by samcdee
Justin moves into his new quarters, starts his new job at Babylon and continues to struggle against his PTSD symptoms.
Hooch - A hut or simple dwelling, either military or civilian.
Chapter 3 - Hooch
Justin stood in the middle of the dusty, practically empty room and looked up at the dust motes circling around his head in the light pouring in from the large, multi-paned windows in the walls up above his head. Gazing at the windows, Justin noted that the natural light shining through would be great once they were cleaned of years of grime. Looking forward to that, Justin browsed through the remainder of the small but sufficient studio apartment.
Most of the meager furnishings could be salvaged. Up against one wall was an old and dirty sofa, holes torn and frayed around the edges of the ugly brown and orange upholstery left over from the early seventies. A colorful throw could be placed over it to hide these defects. In an alcove type of space was a scratched and lopsided table. One of the legs had been broken off and laid discarded on the floor nearby - nothing that a few screws and a good staining and some polishing couldn’t fix. A couple of mismatched chairs accompanied the table. Justin thought that if he painted all the chairs the same color, they’d go great together with the table even though they didn’t match. The only other furniture in the room was an old bookcase, missing two shelves, and a metal bed frame over in the corner that was rusted and had a couple of missing springs.
Justin took a mental inventory of everything he’d need to get this place into order and made himself a shopping list. He decided to check out the supply room downstairs in the club to see if he could appropriate some of the cleaning supplies he needed before he went out shopping. He would definitely need a mattress and boxsprings, though. And sheets, towels, some plates and cooking shit. Well, at least he didn’t have to get it all today.
Justin loved working with his hands. He’d always enjoyed building and creating things. It was the artist in him. Creating was his way of controlling his world. It was even more important now that he’d been discharged - now that so much of his life seemed out of his control. He looked over the walls with a desultory scowl. The atrocious beige paint would have to go. With that glorious sunlight coming in the windows of the high-ceilinged room, he thought maybe a bright yellow would be nice. And, on the far wall, he could already envisage a mural - maybe the night sky with city lights and . . . well, he’d decide on that later.
To create some privacy in the open space, the purchase of a cheap folding screen could be used to section off what would be the ‘bedroom’. He could paint that as well to coordinate with the walls and other furnishings. Maybe carry on the theme from the mural that he had in mind. He’d seen an old milk crate downstairs in the club’s storage area that would work as a night stand. There weren’t any lamps around, so he’d have to buy some or make them, but that wouldn’t break the bank. It would all take a lot of work, but then again, Justin had never balked at hard work.
Next, Justin took a look at what appeared to be a kitchenette. There were no appliances, only a sink and some ugly avocado green cabinets with a color coordinated formica top with a little boomerang type of pattern circa the 1950’s. Taking a look within the cupboards, there was one cracked mug missing its handle and some peeling contact paper. Justin shuddered at that. Even as bad as it was out on a mission, this kitchen was vile. Some changes needed to be made here as well. First off, bye bye avocado green! And he really needed to get some plates, cups and utensils in addition to a small counter top two burner electric stove, mini fridge and a microwave.
Justin decided that a trip to the local Big Q would be in order. He didn’t have much in his savings and his military pension was pathetically small, but he wasn’t so bad off that he couldn’t afford a few essentials to make this living space a home. Since Mr. Schmidt had told him he wouldn’t officially start work until Wednesday, that gave him plenty of time to get started on his cleaning and apartment repairs. Justin rolled up his sleeves and started moving things around to where he wanted them.
An hour later, everything was set up the way he wanted it and he had taken a peek at the cleaning supplies in the club’s storage area. He had a good idea what he’d need to get at the store. Justin hated going to big, crowded stores like the Big Q, but this needed to be done so he would just have to buckle down and go. It was already getting dark outside, and he’d have to take two busses to get to the store he’d looked up on the internet, which meant it would take forever. But that was okay - Justin really had nothing better to do right now besides getting his place set up and dreaming about how he was going to reconnect with Brian Kinney.
* * * * * * *
The bus ride to the Big Q was just as tedious as Justin envisioned it to be. There was standing room only, everyone crammed together like sardines in a can. The crowded conditions made him feel antsy, as if there could be a possible threat. Justin knew this was just one of those moments when the PTSD would rear its ugly head. He always tried to avoid situations which would trigger an event. Luckily he was able to keep it in perspective and not over react. He just needed to get off that bus. Fortunately, his would be the next stop. In the end, he managed to hold it together at least long enough to get to the store.
The Big Q was a large department store that carried a bit of everything and cheaply at that. Justin was able to find some sunshiney yellow paint for the walls of the main portion of the studio apartment and some cream color paint to cover over the horrible avocado green kitchen cabinet doors.
Justin then proceeded to look for some of the kitchen items he needed. He decided on simple white mugs, bowls and dinner plates which could be purchased separately along with some inexpensive flatware. Being that it was just himself, he decided that two of everything would meet his simple needs. He strolled down the next aisle and grabbed a pot, skillet and cooking utensils. All no-name brand, China made crap, but fitting his budget. He then proceeded to the appliance section.
Once there, he decided that getting the microwave would need to wait until another day. Carrying everything wasn’t really an issue, but with all the other stuff he was getting, the microwave would make it too cumbersome to take it all on the bus. He did find a small countertop electric stove with two burners. This would do for now. Luckily the bus was a lot less crowded on the ride home and Justin made the trip without incident.
It was already getting pretty late by the time he lugged all his new stuff into the small apartment. Justin could hear the club staff moving around downstairs and the dull thumpa thumpa of the sound system coming on - Ted had assured him that the apartment was pretty well insulated, but nothing could completely drown out that techno base line. He made a note to eventually buy himself a radio or something so he could play his own music when he wanted. In the meantime, it was time to get started on sorting this place out. Justin shrugged off his jacket and started unloading his purchases.
By a little after one am, everything he’d bought earlier that night was stowed away and he’d made a serious dent in the cleaning. He had started on the miniscule little bathroom. After two hours, it was as clean as it was going to get. He hung up the inexpensive clear plastic shower curtain he’d got at the Big Q, stripped off his sweaty and dusty clothing, and stepped under the cascading water, happy to have a warm shower to himself after all these days of travelling. And even though he hadn’t really been seeking a job, he was glad to have fallen into this place, this job, this tiny hole in the wall apartment that he could make his very own. He was happy to be alone for a change - that was one thing he hadn’t had much of during the past ten years.
Now that his mind wasn’t occupied with chores, though, he couldn’t keep from thinking about his angel. This day had been such a whirlwind. His mind was unsettled, with pictures, ideas and half-formed dreams swimming around so fast that he barely managed to focus on one before another came along and washed the first away. Not only had he found his angel, Brian, but as luck would have it the man was gay. He was also the owner of the club where Justin now found himself working, so that made Brian his employer. That shut down most of the fantasies he’d been having about what might happen when they met. Oh well. Justin was still determined to find a way to tell him about the picture and thank him for . . . For what? If Justin thanked Brian Kinney for saving his life, Brian would think he was a complete nut case and run for the hills. Nevertheless, Justin felt compelled to somehow show his gratitude to the man whose face had carried him through so much danger.
Fuck! That face . . . the picture had NOT done Brian Kinney justice. The picture hadn’t shown the way the man’s beautiful hazel eyes glinted an entire spectrum of different colors when the light hit them just right. Or the way the lighter red streaks in his hair gleamed in the rays of sunlight that had managed to sneak in through the skylights at the club. There was no way for a mere picture to convey the way electricity had sparked through his body at the second their hands had touched or the reluctance Justin had felt at having to let go of Brian’s touch. No picture could ever have forewarned Justin of the way the smell of Brian’s cologne would make his knees feel wobbly. The way he’d ached to feel the heat of those luscious raspberry red lips pressed against his own skin. The way he’d wanted to physically crawl into the man and never leave his presence ever again.
The dancing images of Brian invaded his mind and in less than ten seconds Justin was so hard that it felt like he could puncture the tile wall with his bare dick. He flipped the brand new bar of Ivory soap over and over in his hands until they were bubbly and slick with lather before he let his fingers reach down to his crotch and grab ahold of his meaty ten inch cock and full balls. Closing his eyes and leaning back against the tiles, Justin let his senses float away with the warm water dripping down his torso, caught up momentarily in the slippery friction of his hand sliding up and down his cock and the fantasy images of Brian Kinney’s delicious mouth on his balls. He let his thumb flick across the tip of his cock with each stroke and, in his mind, Justin imagined it was Brian’s tongue. Each squeeze was the result of Brian’s hands caressing along his length. Each little twist was an echo of Brian’s bright white teeth scraping against his sensitive skin. Then, when all the sensations had built up to their inevitable climax, Justin felt another jolt of electricity zap through him just like the one he’d experienced when he first touched Brian’s hand. Streams of hot cum sprayed out through his fingers and painted the shower walls. Inside, the sparks fired through his nerves, leaving everything in its wake burning until the welcome cool of the endorphins spread their hormonal balm through his brain and put out the flames, leaving him gasping for breath as he collapsed into a heap on the shower floor.
The water heater for the tiny apartment was obviously old and probably small, since the hot water ran out pretty quickly. That didn’t really bother Justin, since he’d had to make do with a lot worse living conditions in his day. But it did prompt him to get back up, turn off the water and get out of the shower. He towelled off and then hung the wet towel on the top of the bathroom door, making a mental note to come up with something to use as a towel bar soon. Then he pulled his ratty old sleeping bag out of his backpack, unfurled it on the ground next to where his bed would one day be and climbed inside.
With his kit as a makeshift pillow, Justin’s head was only about four inches off the ground. The bass from the music in the club below sounded much louder from down here. Despite how late it was and how physically tired his body felt, Justin was still having a tough time getting to sleep. The constant, low-level, *thud, thud, thud* was eerily reminiscent of the cadence of a helicopter’s rotors as it came in for a landing. Every so often a higher pitched squeal would penetrate his walls and startle him. The rest of the noises coming up through the floorboards just sounded like the dull roar of a yelling crowd. While Justin’s rational mind knew what each of these sounds were and what was really making them, his subconscious couldn’t just let them go. With every *thud, thud* his nerves jumped again and again. He felt like he was about to jump out of his skin.
As he’d done many a night before when sleep seemed hard to come by, Justin pulled out the picture of his angel. It was nice to have a name finally to put to the face. ‘Brian’. That was a good, strong name and it somehow matched the face. Justin wasn’t sure how he felt about finally meeting his angel. He hadn’t managed to really say anything of substance at all to the man today - everything seemed to be moving along too fast. But, now that Justin knew who he was and where to find him, he had time. Somehow, he would find a way to say thank you to his angel.
Feeling reassured by even that short contact with the picture that had been his good luck charm for so long, Justin finally calmed down enough that he thought he might be able to sleep. He carefully placed the all important picture between the leaves of the book that he’d been reading earlier - The Racketeer by John Grisham - and then settled himself. Like many a soldier, he’d trained himself to sleep pretty much anywhere and anytime, and this was no exception. With a concerted effort, Justin forced all thoughts of his new job, his new apartment and Brian Kinney out of his mind and dropped quickly off to sleep.
*Phoom, phoom, phoom. . . * The sound of the Blackhawk rotor blades slicing through the air made even the ground under his feet vibrate along with the beat. Justin was bent double, trying to make his way to the birds. Behind him there was an ongoing repetitive staccato sound as gunfire played out between his squadron and the unfriendlies holed up on a far hillside. The airstrikes that had been called in from the UAV’s were just now starting up and the shrill wailing of the RPGs coming down was ear-splittingly loud.
The recon for this mission had been for shit. They hadn’t expected to find the enemy here. The squadron had been taken by surprise - not something that happened often to these seasoned troops. Sgt. Taylor was trying to get his men back to the helos and out of here so they could regroup. The noise and the chaos was screwing things up. His communication gear wasn’t working at the moment and he had no way to call out to his group. Taylor turned around just as he reached the edge of the choppers’ landing area and shouted at the top of his lungs for the rest of his troops.
Then, as he stood there watching his men running towards him, Justin saw each one in turn torn to bloody shreds as bullets ripped through each man’s body. He couldn’t move his feet. He couldn’t reach them. He wasn’t able to do anything other than scream as he watched every single one of them dying in front of his eyes.
Gradually the screaming around him hushed into whimpers. Justin slowly came back to the present, finding himself perched on the arm of the ratty old couch, staring at the spot on the floor where he’d just watched as the last of his men bled out in front of his eyes. Only there wasn’t anyone there. There was no blood, no bodies, no desert, no war. All that was left was the sound of his own blood rushing through his ears adding a whooshing noise to the *thud, thud, thud* of the club music beating up at him through the floor, which matched the beating of the helicopter rotors in his imagination.
Justin almost fell as he tried to get down off the sofa. His whole body was trembling from the flashback/dream/nightmare. His legs were as steady as wet spaghetti and he was drenched with sweat. Well, so much for getting a good night’s sleep. Justin realized that it wasn’t going to happen tonight. With a deep breath, Justin resigned himself to another long night. He rolled up his sleeping bag and got back to his cleaning.
“You do know you’re not supposed to start work until tomorrow morning at eight am, right?” Brian announced as soon as he came through the door of Babylon and saw a shirtless, sweaty, Justin Taylor halfway up a ladder replacing some of the ceiling light bulbs.
“I thought I’d get a head start, Sir,” Justin said as he struggled to lift the awkwardly long fluorescent bulb and twist it into place.
When it looked like the entire ladder, along with Mr. Taylor and the new bulb, were about to topple over, Brian trotted over the intervening space and grabbed hold of the ladder to steady it. “Thank you,” Justin said gratefully, readjusting his grip on the long glass tubing.
Justin took another step up the ladder and then, accidentally catching the toe of his runner on a ragged edge of the metal ladder, Justin momentarily lost his balance. Although he tried to recover, Justin fell unceremoniously backward, landing square on top of Brian, who staggered backwards a few steps but managed to stay upright with the armful of blond boy. With Justin’s body in such close proximity, Brian inhaled the musky scent of Justin’s sweat soaked skin. He locked eyes with the young blond and felt himself getting lost in the intense sea of blue.
“Oh shit. I’m sorry, Mr. Kinney.”
“Don’t be. Men fall for me all the time, Taylor,” Brian replied with his snarkiest smile. “Of course, most of the time they don’t LITERALLY fall for me - it’s usually just a figure of speech. You feel free to take it however you like, though.”
Justin knew exactly how he wanted to take it, but he quickly dispelled the thought as he struggled to get back on his feet. Maybe it was all in his imagination, but somehow he felt that Brian was reluctant to let him go.
“As compelling as that sounds, Mr. Kinney, I feel that you should put me back on the ground now.”
Brian snapped himself out of his momentary daze and quickly released his hold on Justin so that the boy could once again stand on his own two feet and get back to what he was doing without another word. Leaving Justin staring after his retreating back. And a fine backside it was, too.
Chapter 4 - Hold Overs by samcdee
Justin finally gets to see more of his angel when he’s ordered to go to Britin to help out his boss with some repairs there. Justin bonds with Gus over the dog when he sees him at Britin. Enjoy!
Hold Overs - Military personnel awaiting orders.
Chapter 4 - Hold Overs
Later that day, Ted located Justin in the apartment above the club. The younger man was making a cup of tea and having some lunch when the club manager knocked at the door. Justin didn’t know anyone in these parts and no one in Illinois knew exactly where he was yet, so he found it strange that someone was at his door.
He felt a small amount of trepidation as he padded over to the large metal door, wishing for the sidearm he no longer carried. Rising up on his tip toes he quietly peered through the small peephole installed in the sliding metal door. Justin felt instant relief when he recognized Mr. Schmidt on the other side. He unlocked and slid open the door with a soft clack.
“Hey, Mr. Schmidt, come on in,” Justin said with a warm but nervous smile. “I was just having a little lunch, would you care to join me?”
“No, no. I’ve already eaten. I have some tasks which need to be completed and need to discuss them with you.” Mr. Schmidt, stated.
Justin closed the door and escorted Ted over to the table where his lunch awaited. Once they were both seated, Justin asked, “So, what needs to be done?”
“Well, Brian . . . Mr. Kinney, needs some work done at Britin, his home in West Virginia. He’s asked that I approach you with his needs. Mr. Kinney is willing to pay extra for your services in his home.”
At this point in the conversation, Justin started to wonder exactly what kind of services Mr. Kinney had in mind. Again, he thought to himself, there were some services he would be glad to supply free of charge. Regardless of what the task entailed, Justin would do as he was asked without question; anything to keep him from looking back and dwelling on the past. If his hands and body were busy then his mind would remain quiet and he could thankfully have some sense of mental normalcy.
Ted handed Justin a handwritten note with the address and instructions on how to get to Britin. The handwriting was done in a strong, masculine hand. In addition to the directions, there was a personal note from, Mr. Kinney with a quoted fee for services. Mr. Kinney would meet Justin at his home this afternoon at 2:00.
“I’d be happy to oblige Mr. Kinney’s requests, Sir,” Justin stated at once with only a bit of hesitation. “It may take me some while to get there though. I might not make it by two since I’ll have to walk or take the bus, Sir.”
“Oh, right . . . I forgot about that, Justin,” Ted was quick to reassure the younger man. “Tell you what, I need to take some documents out to the house for Brian’s signature anyway, how about I give you a ride?”
“That would definitely work, Sir,” Justin replied with a self-deprecating little smile. “I can be ready in about ten minutes if that would work for you.” And, in very little time, the two men were seated in Ted’s comfortable Lexus sedan heading out of town in the direction of Brian’s estate.
“Thanks again for the lift, Mr. Schmidt.”
Ted looked over at the young troubled soul, briefly casting a small smile in his direction.
“No thanks are necessary, Justin, and please call me Ted.”
Justin nodded in acknowledgement and settled back into his seat, letting the soft music in the background soothe his fractured mind. Between the calming music and the motion of the car, Justin was lulled into a fitful sleep.
It started out as another ordinary Sunday afternoon of patrolling, replenishing supplies, and doing a thorough PMCS of the operational vehicles that were located in the motorpool. Justin and two of his fellow comrades were just heading on patrol in one of the residential areas, throwing miscellaneous fare out into the dirt roads in gestures of good faith. When American military personnel were about, Iraqi children came out of the woodwork because of the sweets they were sure to appropriate. Justin and the two young Marines accompanying him happened upon a little Iraqi girl of about nine or ten. She wore a tattered, flimsy white dress, her long black hair was pulled back into a braided ponytail, and the dirt that covered her face hid her beauty in an unsettling way. As was military law, they kept the mandated distance allowed between themselves and the young waif, but the more they maneuvered, the closer she would come. Finally, as they were coming to the end of their route the young girl ran toward them at full speed.
That was the first and last word Justin and his men would hear the girl speak, she had just been used as a human sacrificial bomb. Unfortunately not only had the bomb taken the life of the young girl, one of his men was injured in the back blast. Justin rushed to his side and quickly applied a field dressing to the injured man’s wound to keep him from bleeding out. When he realized that his attempts to stop the flow of blood were futile at best, he did the only thing he could in this situation and shouted for help.
“MEDIC! MEDIC! . . .”
As Ted drove, softly humming to the music, he saw in his peripheral vision Justin’s body tensing, his hands clenched into fists in his lap. The restless young man started to shout for a medic. Not knowing what to do, Ted pulled the car over to the side of the road as Justin’s shouting became louder, more urgent. He began to shake, sweat beading his face, eyes moving rapidly under the lids. Obviously, Justin was in the grip of a nightmare, or worse yet, a memory of his past experience in the military.
As terrifying as this display was, Ted calmed himself, thinking that this might be PTSD since Justin had not too long ago left the Marines. He had read that during an episode, you should never touch the person, so he decided to try calling Justin’s name to snap him out of it.
“JUSTIN! JUSTIN!” Ted, shouted. Ted continued to shout Justin’s name. Eventually it must have gotten through to the boy, because all of a sudden he stiffened and his eyes opened wide.
At first, Justin looked scared and a bit confused. He lifted his shaking hands to wipe the cold sweat of fear from his face.
“Justin . . . Are you with me?” Ted asked, softly.
Justin turned to look at the older man, mortification clear on his face. “Yeah. I’m here . . .” Consciously trying to slow his breathing, Justin sat up straighter in the passenger side seat and gave the man sitting next to him an embarrassed smile. “Sorry about that, Mr. Sch . . . Ted. I’m . . . I’m fine now. You didn’t have to stop driving for me. We can go on now.”
“You might be fine, but I’m still scared out of my pants, Justin,” Ted tried to joke but noticed pretty quickly that Justin wasn’t amused. Clearing his throat, Ted put the car back into gear and headed back onto the road. “So, does that happen a lot?” he couldn’t help asking.
The last thing Justin wanted to do was talk about this shit, but he felt obligated to give some response. “Well, its nothing a lifetime of therapy and a truckload of drugs won’t make slightly more bearable . . ."
Ted laughed on cue, but without any real humor. “Well, for what it’s worth, I know a thing or two about having some skeletons in your closet. So if you ever feel like you need to talk, I make a pretty decent listener.”
Justin quietly nodded but didn’t say anything more. It wasn’t something you could talk to just anybody with. This was something Justin didn’t even talk to most of his battle buddies about. With them there was no need to say much - if you’d lived through it, you just knew and there wasn’t much point in gabbing about it. But how could anyone who hadn’t been there begin to comprehend what he’d experienced? No, Justin wasn’t likely to open up to Ted Schmidt no matter how genial a man his new boss was.
Before the silence could grow too heavy, though, Ted pulled the car off the main road and started up a long gravel drive heading towards a large Tudor-style building. “We’re here. Welcome to Britin Estate,” Ted announced.
“Wow, this place is really . . . humongous,” Justin said in awe. “How many families live here?”
“It’s only Brian, his son and Debbie,” Ted answered as he pulled the car up to the front door and put it into park. “Yeah, everybody agrees that it’s way too big for just the three of them. Brian inherited Britin from his step-brother, Ben. I guess it had been in Ben’s family for generations. But, since Ben died, Brian has been holed up out here like a hermit almost. We haven’t seen him at Kinnetik for months, and if it weren’t for the endless stream of crises we’ve had lately at Babylon, I probably wouldn’t see him there either,” Ted said as he unlatched his seat belt and started to get out of the car.
Before shutting the car door, though, Ted leaned his head back inside and added with a wink, “but, you didn’t hear any of that from me. I never gossip about the boss.”
Justin chuckled as he got out on the other side of the car. As Justin closed the car door, he heard the sound of a child’s laughter and the yipping of a young pup. He turned around and saw Gus and JB tearing around the far corner of the building. Both the young boy and dog stopped for a brief moment and spotted Justin standing by the car. As one, Gus and JB made a direct trajectory for Justin at top speed. Justin braced himself for the inevitable impact the gregarious twosome would inflict on his body. JB arrived on the scene first, trying to skid to a halt but sliding through the gravel of the driveway and barrelling painfully into Justin’s shins. Gus was only about ten seconds behind his dog, but his center of gravity was a lot higher and he was much less agile, which meant that he caroomed directly into Justin’s stomach without losing much momentum. Justin managed to wrap his arms around to protect the child, but the two of them still toppled over into a heap, with JB jumping joyously on top of the pile.
“Seems like you always fall for Kinney men?” Justin heard the drawling voice a moment later, while he was still trying to disentangle himself from dog and child.
“Yeah, it sure seems that way, Mr. Kinney,” Justin grinned infectiously up at the beautiful brunet towering over him.
Brian bent over to help sort out the pile of arms and legs. He managed to snag Gus out of the confusion and tossed his son up into the air, catching him in his arms with a chuckle that matched Gus’ more immature giggle. The blond was still rolling on the ground playing with the big black puppy with an adorable grin on his handsome face. Brian immediately retracted that mental statement and deleted the word ‘adorable’ out of fear of turning into a sentimental dickless fag. But, he really couldn’t find a better word to fit the picture, so he just let the idea fade away.
“Please don’t call me Mr. Kinney. I’d prefer ‘Brian’. Welcome to Britin,” Brian snarked, as he watched Justin climb back to his feet and set the puppy on his paws. “JB, come.” The exuberant pup gave Justin one last lick on the face and bounded to his lord and mini master.
“Normally, I wouldn’t expect an employee from one of my businesses to work at my residence, but the handyman I usually employ is currently unavailable and I need some work done that just can’t wait.” Brian stated. Brian then led Justin toward the rear of the expansive estate. “I will, of course, pay you extra for any time you spend here on top of your salary at Babylon.”
“The stables and horses within need to be taken care of until I can find regular help. I am willing to assist when I am at home, but I still need someone available to take care of them when I am at work.” Brian mentioned matter of factly. “There’s also a few repairs needed in the stables, if you have the time. I’m afraid that this place needs a lot more work than I can handle alone.”
“Not a problem, Mr. Kin . . . Brian. I’ve always been pretty good with my hands,” Justin offered, completely innocently, not even thinking about how his words would have a double meaning.
Brian, maybe not so innocently, caught on to the double entendre right away and blinked at the twinkling blue eyes that were looking at him so guilelessly. “I’m sure you are, Justin. Well, if you’ll follow me I’ll show you what needs to be done.” Brian gestured towards a large out-structure a few meters away. “Gus, please take JB back into the house and keep him there. I’m sure Debbie wants you to get cleaned up for lunch anyway.”
Gus turned to his father with pleading eyes, not quite ready to leave him in the hands of this strange man. Even at his tender age, Gus felt very protective of Brian. He could see how lonely and sad his father would get sometimes, and frankly, he didn’t trust that this Justin guy wasn’t here to hurt Brian more. “Dad, I’m not hungry right now. Can’t I stay with you a little longer please? I promise not to complain when it’s time to go to bed tonight.”
“Gus! Don’t argue with me. Please. Just take JB and go up to the house,” Brian insisted. When his son continued to dally, he ordered more brusquely, “now, Gus!”
The youth shuffled his feet in the loose gravel of the roadway but didn’t dare to talk back to his father when he used that tone. He reluctantly grabbed hold of JB’s collar and dragged the energetic puppy away, heading back up towards the main house. Gus looked back over his shoulder repeatedly as he shambled along, still distrustful of this new person.
“Gus is a little wary of strangers these days,” Brian hesitantly explained to Justin as soon as Gus was out of hearing range. “He was very close to my brother, Ben . . .”
Justin remembered the brief comment Ted had made earlier in the car. “Your brother died recently?”
“Yeah . . . well, not that recently. Ben was killed in the line of duty in Iraq about eight months ago,” Brian turned away from Justin while he explained, uncomfortable with the path the discussion had taken. “He never finished his second tour of duty.’
Talking about Ben made Brian incredibly uncomfortable. It felt to Brian like he was giving away parts of his brother’s memory. The memories he had of Ben were his and his alone. Brian wasn’t about to go into intricate detail about Ben’s time in the service or any other part of his life for that matter, especially with his ‘hired help’. Justin might have limited insight in regards to the layout of his personal grounds, but that didn’t give him a pass to dig into Brian’s private affairs; whether it was intentional or not. Brian didn’t trust what someone like Justin would do with such information, especially since the circumstances of Ben’s death hadn’t yet been determined. The term ‘friendly fire’ kept echoing hollowly through Brian’s mind. How was Brian to know that Justin wouldn’t run back to some trigger happy military official with some axe to grind? Brian didn’t have any reason yet to trust this man, so he wasn’t about to go detailing his family’s history.
“Anyway, that’s neither here nor there . . . This is what I need you to do,” Brian proceeded to list the chores he wanted Justin to complete. “I’ll be up at the house if you need anything,” Brian muttered as he walked away towards Britin.
Justin was a little unsettled by the abrupt way that Brian had changed the topic of the conversation. He’d thought that the Marine connection with his brother would have brought them closer. Instead, it seemed to have pulled Brian farther away from him. Justin was still searching for a way to initiate the conversation about Brian’s picture, but it would have to wait for the appropriate moment. This wasn’t the most opportune time.
“Yes, Sir. I’ll get right on that, Sir,” Justin confirmed as soon as he’d heard the list of jobs Brian needed seen to.
Justin turned towards the stables to get started, unaware that he was being watched by small pairs of boy and puppy dog eyes.
As Justin proceeded with the stable chores, Gus and JB decided to make an appearance. They stealthily - as stealthy as a small boy and puppy could move - found their way into the barn. They found Justin mucking out the stalls and occasionally rubbing the velvety noses of the horses being stabled. He seemed to have an affinity with animals and they with him. The horses were calm and loved the attention being bestowed them.
Justin knew that someone had entered the stables. He could tell that they were trying to be quiet but it wasn’t working out so well. He could hear a young voice hushing the great dane pup beyond his field of vision.
“Gus, didn’t your father instruct you to go into the house?” asked Justin as he turned in the general direction from which he heard the sounds of boy and dog coming.
After a bit of a pause, he got his answer. “Yeah, but JB and I wanted to see what you were doing with the horses. They sure do seem to like you,” enthused Gus with his happy tail-wagging pup.
“Animals and I definitely have a fondness for one another. When I was in the service I helped to train very special dogs - bomb sniffing dogs. I can help train JB if you would like, and if you have the approval of your dad of course.” Justin said, hoping to have an excuse to spend more time around his angel and his son.
Gus was so excited about the prospect that he agreed to talk to his dad about Justin training JB and ran off, with the mutt hot on his trail, to ask his father about it.
Justin went back to mucking out the stables, talking quietly and rubbing the horses’ noses as he went.
Soon after Gus came back inside, Brian decided to take a walk to the stables to see how things were going. Brian entered quietly and could hear a soft cooing voice. As he approached the sound, he discovered Justin talking to one of the more feisty stallions in a soft, calming voice as he gently rubbed the velvety nose with one hand and down the neck with the other. Watching Justin serenade this lusty beast into acquiescence was surprisingly arousing. The blond’s voice and actions felt like an emotional and physical caress along Brian’s flesh. The very timber of Justin’s voice talking to the horses made him hard.
Brian shook his head to clear his mind of the lust filled thoughts he was having about his temporary stable hand. As quickly and quietly as he could he left and returned to the main house. Brian walked in to find Gus and JB engrossed in a rousing game of fetch (with indoor friendly balls of course) and immediately went into the master bedroom, stripped down, lubed up his hand and was jerking off to the memory of the sight and sound of the blond crooning to the horses. And within only a few minutes, Brian was releasing his newfound lust as he laid back in his extra-large, custom made, orgy-sized bed in satiated bliss.
Somehow, though, he knew it wouldn’t be enough.
Chapter 5 - Camels On Fire by samcdee
Justin is still working at Britin when Lindsey drops by unannounced. Enjoy!
Camels on Fire - Enemy closing in.
Chapter 5 - Camels on Fire
It took Justin more than two hours to finish up with all the dirty stable stalls. He was curious about why Brian Kinney - one of the most polished men he’d ever met - kept so many horses. Brian just didn’t seem the type to indulge in pet ownership. But, whatever. Justin rather liked the quiet, peaceful, yet hard work involved in raking out the old wood shavings in each stall, shovelling up the droppings into a wheelbarrow to be carted off to the distant compost pile, and then laying down clean bedding. He also cleaned out each horse’s feed box, rinsed all the water buckets and scrubbed down the large watering trough in the main corral. By the time he was through with all of that, he was disgustingly dirty, sweaty and covered with flecks of grime. On top of that it had been an indecently hot day with 90%+ humidity. Justin was dripping with perspiration and all his clothing was sticking to him uncomfortably.
Stepping outside, Justin looked around and found what he sought. Close by was a water faucet with a long hose attached. Justin checked to see if anyone was around, then stripped down to his birthday suit to cool off and wash the filth from his skin. The water in the garden hose started out warm from lying in the hot summer sun but soon became ice cold, causing goosebumps to rise all over his skin even though it was a swelteringly hot day. The cold felt wonderful on his steaming body and was refreshing after such a hard workout in the stables.
Justin stood there, with his head tilted back holding the hose over his head, the water sluicing down his body. He opened his mouth to take a refreshing drink of the ice cold water while running his free hand over his bare and lightly chiseled chest, then over his groin, to scrub away the worst of the dried sweat. Justin bent his head forward, allowing the water to wash over his back and well-muscled ass. Once again, taking his unoccupied hand and rubbing it along his well-rounded butt cheeks and running his fingers along his ass crack to remove the stench and dirt of hard work. As a finishing touch, he ran the water along his balls and perineum, the cold water serving to tighten up his ball sack with the most delicious sensation.
After one final spray over his head with the streaming water, Justin shook his head to remove the excess wetness, grabbed his shirt to rinse it out and turned off the faucet. Taking his shirt, he wrung it out and laid it over a rail in a patch of sun. Justin then stretched himself out on the thick, green grass to take a rest and let the warm sun sink into his bones as he dried off.
It was so comfortable just lying there, basking in the hot sun, his muscles still taut from all the earlier work, that Justin could have almost drifted off to sleep. The only part of him that seemed to still have any energy at all was his cock which was twitching languidly as thoughts of a certain tall, auburn-haired demi-god leaked into his consciousness. Without even thinking about what he was doing, Justin’s hand drifted down, his fingertips stroked in a leisurely fashion along his tumescent length, occasionally brushing against his balls, while his other hand lightly combed through his dark blond pubes.
Eventually, the light touch of his fingertips wasn’t enough. Grabbing a hold of his hardened dick, he started to unhurriedly glide his work roughened hand up and down. Justin finished off each slow stroke with a quirky little twist of the wrist at the tip, adding that tiny bit of thrilling pain to the pleasure, and serving to distribute the bubbling drops of precum to help lubricate the next downstroke. Justin felt so relaxed, so languorously decadent, so blissfully serene. This was by far the most tranquil he’d felt since long before he’d left on his last tour of duty. Casually, Justin thought to himself that he might just enjoy Pittsburgh after all.
Meanwhile, Brian had just made his way out of the shower following the energetic fantasy experience he’d just enjoyed with his right hand while thinking about his new blond farm hand outside. As he towelled himself off, he caught a hint of movement out the big bay window of his bedroom. Walking over to see what had aroused his attention, Brian saw the very same hot young blond standing behind the barn and wantonly playing in the water from the garden hose - spraying water over his naked body, rubbing himself and then bending over erotically while the sun glistened off the beads of water that ran down the fair skin of his well-shaped back.
Brian’s cock, which should have been satisfied after all the recent action it had seen, sprang almost instantly back to attention. And then, as if that wasn’t sensual enough, the provocative little twat went and flung himself down on the lawn and started playing with himself. If Brian weren’t so fucking aroused by the sight, he might be pissed to see his employee loitering on the job like that. Luckily for Justin, though, his boss was utterly captivated by the image and, rather than tearing out and berating the boy, Brian simply stood there staring while his own hand mimicked the movements of the younger man. Justin was obscenely beautiful, lying bare in the sun in such a rustic setting while he toyed with himself. The picture literally took Brian’s breath away.
When Justin’s hand started pumping himself faster, Brian gave up all pretense of disinterest, tossed his towel aside and wrapped his hand around his own thick, dripping cock. Brian didn’t even attempt to stifle the groan that erupted from deep inside him when Justin adjusted his position so that his legs were spread widely apart and his other hand started drifting lower down to caress his balls and everything else below. Brian promptly seated himself in the window seat, got the lube out of the nearby nightstand, and settled in for some good old fashioned voyeurism with a big grin on his handsome face and his cock leaking profusely in his hand.
Justin, unaware of his lusty voyeur, had spread his legs for better access to his nether regions. His unoccupied hand slid below, and with much finger dexterity, his pinky finger rubbed the tender pucker with a light circular motion as his thumb caressed his balls and his middle three fingers added pressure to his perineum. Between the multiple stimulations of both hands on the most sensitive parts of his anatomy and fantasizing about his angel, Justin was quickly reaching towards his climax. He bucked his hips skywards, thrusting harder into his hand as the electric sparks that had started in his gut began to lick outward along all his synapses. Justin felt his cum barreling through his dick like a runaway freight train, his ejaculate erupting in forceful spurts, landing on his chest, his stomach and even on his cheek, before the orgasm petered down to a slow dribble.
“Brian? Knock, knock! Are you in there?” the overly happy, waspish voice of Lindsey Peterson preceded her appearance by only seconds as she barged into Brian’s room just as his libidinous little farm hand below was shooting his load with an agonizingly seductive grimace on his handsome, blond stubble-covered face.
Without acknowledging his impromptu guest, let alone pausing in the act of his self-gratification, Brian grunted out his approval of the picturesque scene and felt his own jizz streaming out over his hand. His son’s mother gaped at him from the doorway. Brian calmly bent over, picked up the towel from the floor and wiped his hands clean. Then, without any false modesty, he strolled slowly over to the bed and grabbed his jeans, sliding them on before turning to deal with Lindsey.
“Hello, Lindz. Seen enough? By the way, ever heard of the concept of knocking and waiting to be admitted before you enter a room? Especially a room in someone else’s house? And, by the way, just saying the words ‘knock, knock’ as you come through the door doesn’t count,” Brian admonished the still stunned woman as he casually reached into a drawer and pulled out a clean t-shirt. “Not only that, but you do not have free rein to enter my home unannounced even if you are Gus’s mother. Next time, wait for someone to answer the front door.”
“Uh . . . Sorry, Brian . . . There was no answer when I rang the bell,” Lindsey explained, nervously giggling to cover her embarrassment. “Besides, it’s the middle of the afternoon. I didn’t think you’d be . . . well, doing THAT . . .”
“Precisely. You didn’t think. Nothing new there!” Brian replied “Besides, my cock doesn’t have specified visiting hours. It’s open 24/7. Now, what precisely are you doing here on this fine afternoon?”
Brian moved off towards the bathroom to wash up as he spoke. Lindsey figured that was the same as giving her permission to come the rest of the way into the room. She surreptitiously looked around her, swiftly appraising the room and it’s contents as she calculated her next move.
Shamelessly, Lindz moved over to the window where Brian had been seated and looked out to see if she could spot whatever it was that had captured her friend’s attention. It only took the nosy woman a few seconds to spot the great looking young man standing outside next to the wall of the stables who was just then pulling his jeans back over a lean, bare, behind. Lindz shook her head with disdain at the distraction that Brian had obviously been ogling. Brian would never change.
“I just came by to see you and Gus,” Lindsey explained belatedly as she snooped through the random small items in the open valet box sitting on top of Brian’s dresser.
Picking up the cell phone she’d found, she stealthily pressed the button to light up the screen, then rapidly scanned the recent notifications and text messages that showed up automatically. Then, listening in to the goings on in the bathroom just to make sure that Brian wasn’t coming out any time soon, Lindsey tiptoed over to the nightstand and quietly slid open the top drawer. She poked around the contents of the drawer with her finger, but didn’t find anything noteworthy. Next, she was headed towards the closet to snoop inside, but only made it halfway across the room before Brian emerged from the bathroom causing her to freeze in place.
“Lindsey, I’ve told you before that I have no problem with you spending as much time with Gus as you’d like, but we agreed that you’d call before coming over to the house,” Brian admonished for what felt like the millionth time. “Gus has had enough instability in his life over the past few years - what with you and Mel splitting up, you disappearing to New York for almost two years and then Ben . . . I just want him to feel like he’s getting some control over his life again. Which includes me being able to give him a little advance notice before you show up and just yank him away without any notice to go see whatever you think is your latest passion.”
“Don’t be ridiculous, Brian,” Lindsey argued with that wheedling tone she always assumed when she thought her friend was being needlessly difficult. “I’m Gus’ mother and I think he needs to spend more time with me at this point in his life. How could spending time with me cause Gus’ life to be ‘unstable’? I know that when I went to New York we both agreed that he should come here and live with you. It was the best thing for him at the time - the City wasn’t necessarily the best place to raise a child his age. But, now that I’m back, I think things need to be adjusted. I am his mother.”
“You’re only Gus’s mother when it’s convenient for you. Otherwise you were nothing more than an egg donor and an incubator,” observed Brian, recalling those tumultuous years and Lindz’s selfishness after the disintegration of her marriage to Melanie. “You didn’t want to have Gus tagging along and ruining all your fun while you pretended to be the bohemian artist in Greenwich Village. But, now that you’ve had time to sow your wild oats and have ‘been there, done that’, you can’t just show up and immediately insert yourself back into the picture. That’s not what being a parent is supposed to be, Lindz.”
“What the hell would you know about being a parent, Brian,” Lindsey erupted angrily. “Just because you can afford to keep this big house and hire Debbie as a nanny for our son, doesn’t mean you know how to act like a parent. Being a parent doesn’t include mid-afternoon breaks to go to the baths and get your dick sucked.”
“Lindsey, you have no idea what the fuck you’re talking about. I haven’t led that kind of life in a long time,” Brian rejoined.
“Of course not, Brian. That’s why you’re holed up here in your room at 2:30 in the afternoon on a weekday, getting your rocks off while watching a hot young guy working out in your yard. You can’t tell me that you’ve changed, Brian.”
“Gus is not being neglected and I certainly don’t owe you any explanation as to what I do in the privacy of my bedroom, Lindsey! The privacy of which you intruded upon, I might add. Suffice it to say that, whether you believe me or not, the Brian Kinney you knew from years ago no longer exists.” Brian huffed as he walked towards the bedroom door motioning for Lindsey to precede him locking the door behind him.
As Brian escorted Lindsey from the house, they both noticed that Gus and JB were hanging around with Justin in front of the stables. Justin appeared to be speaking with the boy while petting the ever active pup. As they neared the duo, they overheard Justin instructing the boy about different commands he might want to teach the dog. Justin's voice was calm and assured, gently explaining to the eight year old how to train the puppy in language the child could easily grasp.
“So, you watch me do it one time, okay, Gus, and then you do it,” Justin said as he positioned himself so that he was standing in front of the puppy who was backed up almost to the wall of the barn. “You take the dog treat in your hand, like this,” Justin demonstrated, holding a tiny morsel of something JB was very interested in between his thumb and index finger.
“Keep the treat right by his nose - no more than an inch away - but don’t let him get it away from you yet. Then, in a strong voice you say his name, ‘JB’, to get his attention. And, once he’s paying attention - well, sort of,” Justin laughed as the puppy wriggled around and kept trying to lick the treat out of Justin’s hand, “you say ‘Sit’ and then move the treat up towards the top of his head. See, that? He’ll raise his nose up to follow the smell and sight of the treat and when his nose goes up, his butt will go down. As soon as he does what you were trying to train him to do, you praise him. “Good boy, JB. Yes, what a good boy!’”
Everyone watching was amazed at how simple the man made it look. The frisky pup that so far hadn’t paid any attention to a single thing anyone had told it to do, had obeyed the command to sit in mere seconds. It looked so easy, it had to be a trick.
“Now you try, Gus,” Justin said, taking a step back so Gus could assume the lead trainer’s position.
“Like this?” Gus said as he held up a second dog treat, holding it too tentatively and too far away from the dog’s nose which encouraged the puppy to jump up onto Gus’ chest to get closer to his treat.
“That’s good, but keep your hand down lower. Don’t be afraid. JB won’t hurt you. If he tries to take the treat out of your hand, you can just lightly bop him on the nose with your hand. It won’t hurt him too bad but it WILL make him pay attention,” Justin explained, wrapping his hand around the boy’s and moving their combined fists closer to the dog’s nose, bumping against the sensitive moist black nose with a little jab when the dog got a little too pushy.
“See, he’ll back right off,” Justin and Gus both laughed at the puppyish look of offended pride JB gave them when his nose was bopped.
“Now I say his name, right?” Gus said, taking charge. “JB, sit!”
With Justin standing right behind the boy and guiding his smaller hand, Gus imitated Justin’s earlier action and as he moved the treat from a position right in front of the dog’s nose upward, the puppy immediately sat down.
Of course, the effect was immediately ruined when Gus squealed in glee at his accomplishment, and instead of giving the dog the treat and calmly praising him, the child hopped up and down with joy. “I did it! I did it!” Gus crowed ecstatically and danced away towards where his father was standing looking on with a smile. “Did you see that, Dad? I trained, JB! I made him sit. Did you see?”
“I saw it, Gus. It was wonderful. At this rate, you’ll have JB trained to sit in no time,” Brian praised his son, the heart-felt love he had for Gus showing not only in his words but also in the gentle beaming smile he bestowed on the happy boy. “Thank you for helping him, Justin. That was really quite a trick.”
Justin’s face lit up at the compliment from his angel. “The pleasure is all mine, Mr. Kinney . . . sorry, Brian . . . I told you, I was good with my hands - I guess that includes handling animals. If you’d like, I can make myself available anytime for further training.”
“Brian? Don’t you think you should introduce me to your new dog trainer, here?” Lindsey butted in with a fake smile plastered on her face when it looked like her presence was being completely ignored.
It took Brian a few moments to drag his attention away from Justin’s glowing countenance before he could focus on Lindsey’s demand. The little bit of delay served to only make Lindsey more annoyed. By the time Brian looked in her direction, the tall blonde woman was glowering at him with her lips pinched up in disapproval.
“Lindsey Peterson, this is Justin Taylor, my new handyman at Babylon, stable boy and wunderkind dog trainer.” Brian gestured towards Justin as he shot out another approving smile at the younger man. “Justin, this is Lindsey, Gus’ biological mother.”
“It’s very nice to meet you, ma’am,” Justin replied politely, offering his hand to the woman in spite of her cold, standoffish demeanor.
“Likewise, I’m sure,” Lindsey snipped out, barely touching the proffered hand as if the effort of greeting some lowly manual laborer was somehow beneath her. “Brian, can I have a word,” Lindsey added, turning away from Justin without further comment.
“Really, Brian. Who is THIS . . . stranger . . . that you’ve allowed near our son?” asked Lindsey in a waspy, disapproving tone, wrinkling her nose as if smelling something gone bad, her voice not nearly restrained enough to prevent Justin or Gus from overhearing since he and Gus were still standing just a few paces away.
“I told you, Justin is an employee of mine from the club. I just asked him out here for the day to help out around the stables while I’m short handed,” Brian explained, his exasperated tone warning that he was nearly out of patience with Lindsey’s ongoing histrionics.
“That’s what you said, but I still don’t think it’s really all that appropriate to have a stranger here, with Gus, without supervision. Do you know anything about him at all? Other than that he’s got a hot ass, that is,” Lindsey snarled at Brian, asserting her motherly authority and getting in a good crack at Brian at the same time.
“Well, Lindz, he’s no more a stranger to Gus than you, his own mother,” Brian snapped back, his own voice modulated much lower so that their conversation wouldn’t carry. “You didn’t even say hello to Gus back there. Why the fuck are you so much more concerned about Justin than you are about your own son? Didn’t you just see how excited Gus was about teaching JB that trick? You could have said something nice to him about that. You could have paid your son at least a little attention, Lindz.” Lindsay’s face began to flush with anger as Brian continued to chastise her for her not so little faux pas regarding her son.
“So, until you can show the tiniest bit of support or interest in your son Lindz, you don’t have the right to question who I choose to have around Gus. I’m his father for fuck’s sake and I would never do anything to put him in harm’s way . . . So FUCK OFF!”
Lindsey didn’t bother to reply. She just gave Brian an angry, malevolent look and stomped to her car. Then, with one last withering look, now pointed at the blond, she got into her car and sped off.
Chapter 6 - A.I.T. by samcdee
Justin continues settling into his new home and working at the club. See what happens when he gets closer to Brian in the process. Enjoy!
A.I.T. - Advance Individual Training - The physical and mental training beyond basic combat training required in order for an individual to become a soldier.
Chapter 6 - A.I.T.
It had taken Justin all morning to put together the wooden screen he’d planned that would give his bed area some much needed privacy in the tiny one-room apartment. It wasn’t that difficult - just some 1x2 cedar lathes, screwed together with small brass screws into three large panels, all of which he’d attached with elegant brushed brass hinges. Once the frame was together, he had stretched several yards of raw silk cloth over the entire structure, securing the edges with unobtrusive small brass brads. Once the silk screen was in place, he’d varnished the whole thing to create a better painting surface. Now, all that was left was to paint the scene he’d had in his mind ever since he’d arrived here in Pittsburgh.
Laying down an old drop cloth that he’d found in a storage closet downstairs in the club, Justin leaned the screen flat against the wall. He got out his palette - it was an old one that was layered with so many different splotches from past paintings that you could hardly see the underlying acrylic surface - and started adding dabs of paint. For the most part, Justin chose cool shades of blue, green, purple and aqua, but there were a couple of small spots of red and yellow as well - something to add a spark or two of heat to the otherwise serene base colors.
Then, without bothering to sketch out the drawing, Justin began to mix the paints into the colors he saw in his mind and transfer the beautiful shades to the silk screen with jerky, sharp dashes and lines. In places, the colors would blend together or he’d shade them with a touch of grey or black, melding the sharper lines into the contours of a barely recognizable face. The face of a man with full lips, a strong chin, an aquiline nose, a high forehead and the most piercing eyes. It was the face he’d seen in his dreams and his waking hours for almost a year now - the face of an angel of mercy. Finally, Justin added a flurry of the hot accent colors, reds and yellows, sometimes blurred together into shades of orange, all evidencing the crackling attraction Justin felt every time he laid eyes on this particular man. There was a fire in the eyes of the hidden face that seemed to penetrate to Justin’s very soul.
Justin was so much into the zone that he didn’t hear the knock at his door until it was a loud pounding and the person on the other side shouted his name. Shaking himself out of his painting daze, Justin went to answer the door and was surprised to see Mr. Kinney.
“Well, it took you long enough, Taylor” Brian snarked, “I was just about to call out the national guard.”
“Mr. Kinney, please come in. I was just finishing up some painting.” Justin said to his slightly annoyed boss. “Would you like something to drink?” Brian nodded his acceptance and moved further into the kitchen area of the tiny apartment.
“I told you to call me Brian and I’ll take bottled water if you have it,” replied Brian, unobtrusively scanning the apartment and thinking to himself that Justin had done a great job fixing it up so far. The room was far cleaner than when he’d last seen it and all the walls had received a new coat of paint. The old multi-paned windows had been cleaned as well and a swathe of bright sunlight was pouring in from above, making the space seem light and airy, whereas it had always before seemed so dark and dismal whenever Brian had looked in at it. There wasn’t yet much in the way of furniture, but what there was - eclectic as it might be - was assembled together tastefully and somehow seemed to fit the space and the nature of the man who was now occupying that space.
Brian smiled to himself as he followed Justin into the kitchen area of the tiny apartment. He noticed the beautiful new cream colored blinds adorning the side-view window and the hideous, but now sparkling-clean, 1950’s formica counter top. To Brian’s great surprise, they went together well with a kind of retro-hip look rather than looking old and dated. Brian started to move over towards the kitchen table, which looked suspiciously like the same old broken down table he’d seen in the room for ages, but which was now standing on all four legs and with a brand new coat of stain and varnish.
Brian was just about to make himself somewhat comfortable in one of the chairs placed at the table, when Justin turned around with a water bottle in each hand, yelling out bloody murder for him to stop before he ruined his well fitting Armani slacks. “Brian Stop! I just put a fresh coat of varnish on the chairs a couple of hours ago.”
“It’s a good thing you stopped me then, Sunshine, otherwise you’d be getting my cleaning bill along with your salary at the end of the week.” Brian stated matter-of-factly and looking around for some alternative place to sit.
“I’m afraid that I don’t really have much furniture,” Justin apologized, noticing where Brian’s attention had drifted. “You could sit on the bed. I just got the mattress and box springs delivered this morning, so you’ll be the first one to have the pleasure of enjoying it. . . “
Brian raised a well manicured eyebrow at the possible double meaning of Justin’s statement. He didn’t want to make the kid nervous, but it wouldn’t hurt to have just a little fun and make Justin squirm a bit.
“Well, it’s not exactly the kind of cherry I’m used to popping,” Brian said huskily “But if you insist, lead the way Sunshine.”
Justin sat almost primly on the edge of the mattress. Brian didn’t so much sit as he lounged, his long body stretched out over the coverlet, propped up on one elbow, and his frame tilted slightly towards Justin. Once Brian was seated with his bottle of water in hand, he again had an opportunity to continue his perusal of the apartment. He continued to be amazed at the improvements Justin had made to the once dreary, and if he was being honest, quite unliveable space. Finally, Brian’s eyes landed upon the wooden screen that was propped against the wall - presumably the ‘painting’ that Justin claimed to have been working on when he arrived.
At first glance, it seemed to Brian like a virtual explosion of color. Each line distinct and separate and yet they all meshed into an identifiable image at the center. The image of a man’s face. An image dominated by a pair of intense, hungry eyes that seemed to be calling out to Brian. The expression in those eyes was indescribable, conveying so many emotions that it was difficult to pin them down with mere words. And, while the face itself was so abstract that it could easily have portrayed any man, the eyes were a dead give away. Brian instantly recognized that mix of pain, hunger, yearning and vulnerability - it was his eyes - the eyes that stared back at him every morning in the mirror before he set his usual indifferent mask in place and started his day.
“Fuck,” was all that Brian managed to say as the import of the painting overwhelmed him.
“Brian?" Justin asked with concern, unsure why his companion had all the sudden tensed up.
Justin and Brian leaned towards one another, one in concern, the other in astonishment. They each glanced into the other’s eyes and a spark ignited. Justin knew that a kiss was inevitable from his lusty angel.
Brian’s raspberry colored lips lightly brushed against Justin’s plump lower lip, licking then sucking in the tasty treat. With a sigh, Justin moved closer, melting into Brian’s body, his kiss. Feeling no resistance from the blond, Brian captured Justin’s face in both hands, angling their heads to deepen the kiss. Their dueling tongues clashed, each sparing to take dominance. Justin looked up right at that instant and saw that the eyes of the man he was kissing were an exact replica of the eyes on his painting. It made his heart melt even more for this enigmatic man.
Panting with need, Justin reached up and entwined his hands in Brian’s hair, caressing the silken strands and massaging his scalp, pulling Brian down towards him. Brian went along with it. He pressed Justin onto his back against the mattress never breaking the kiss.
Brian began to run a free hand under Justin’s paint stained tee-shirt, feeling the warm skin that lay beneath and eliciting a quiet moan from the younger man. That almost inaudible moan was just the wake up call that Brian needed as his senses quickly returned to him. Brian reluctantly pulled himself away from the beautiful blond seduction and acknowledged to himself that he’d gone temporarily insane.
“I didn’t mean to do that, Justin. I . . . I would never . . . I’m your boss and I shouldn’t have put you into this position. Please, just forget this ever happened,” Brian stood up abruptly and moved away from the bed as if it was on fire.
Brian berated himself internally for succombing to the temptation of the younger man. He couldn’t believe that he’d let himself go like that. Normally, Brian kept on his guard around all his employees. There was just something about this man - something intangible but almost magnetic - that drew Brian towards him without thought. But, whatever the attraction, he wouldn’t let this happen. Not only was Justin his employee, but he was also an ex-marine, and Brian had a lot of issues with that particular fact. He still harbored more than just a little distrust towards the service over the circumstances of Ben’s death, and that distrust extended to almost anyone associated with the Corps. Brian wasn’t ready to let go of Ben’s memory yet, and that meant that he wasn’t ready to let go of his misgivings about Justin Taylor.
“Brian it’s okay. Really,” Justin was quick to reassure the other man, following as Brian backed away. “You didn’t PUT me in any position. It wasn’t like you forced me to do anything against my will, I was a very willing participant in what just happened. Maybe it was a mistake, but I certainly don’t want to forget about it.” Justin could never forget that first kiss - he wanted to relive it, even if only in his memory, over and over again.
“Right,” Brian visibly shook himself and seemed to pull his businessman personae back around himself. “Anyway, I . . . uh . . . I didn’t come here to . . . I came here to give you a list of a few new repairs I’d like you to see to around the club. If you’re any good with plumbing, the bathroom on the second floor has the one annoyingly drippy sink that I’d like to get taken care of. If you can’t handle it, let me know and I’ll call in my usual plumbers. There’s also some molding that’s coming off the edge of the main bar, that I’d like you to fix if you can.”
Justin stood there passively listening as Brian continued to enumerate all the other tasks that he’d written down on the list he was still holding in his hand. Why Brian didn’t just hand him the list, wasn’t really clear. If Justin didn’t know better, he’d say that Brian was stalling for some reason. But, that idea didn’t really jive with the impression the man gave out of a competent, no-nonsense business owner and entrepreneur. Whatever it was, though, Justin wouldn’t press. He simply assumed the attentive, active-listening, stance he’d been trained to assume while in the military and nodded his understanding every time Brian looked over at him.
“Well, I guess that’s it . . .” Brian said, finally handing the notes to Justin after he’d gone over everything on the list at least twice.
“I’ll get right on all of this as soon as I can, Brian,” Justin’s voice was soft but assured, his warm hand brushing against Brian’s as he took the list out of his employer’s hand.
“Right,” Brian said, as if the brief touch had jolted him somehow. “Well, I’ll let you get back to . . . whatever you were working on, Justin.”
Brian strode purposefully towards the door and was halfway out before he looked back over his shoulder and added, “the painting is . . . amazing.”
Before Justin could respond, Brian had already closed the door behind him. Justin let himself bask in the glow of pride that Brian’s parting words left him. With an impish little grin on his face, Justin went back to the screen and started applying the finishing touches to his angel’s beautiful eyes.
Justin quickly finished off the painting and then moved downstairs to get started on the list of chores Brian had given him. He didn’t finish with everything until almost seven in the evening. After a shower to cleanse him of the daily grime of physical labor and the remains of paint smears from his earlier efforts, Justin was feeling restless. His earlier encounter with Brian had left him wanting. Hearing the thumpa-thumpa of the club below, Justin decided to take a peek at what the place was like during operating hours as his only exposure to the club so far was during the hours it was closed while he was doing the maintenance.
Putting on his nicest pair of skin-tight black jeans, chest hugging white tank, and well worn cowboy boots, Justin went out the door, down the stairs, and entered the club through the employee’s entrance at the back.
As soon as he opened the door, the thumpa-thumpa was so intense and the music so loud that Justin couldn’t hear himself think. He wondered how anyone could talk above the noise. Justin was acknowledged by one of the security guards with a nod of the head as he passed through a second set of doors. Using both hands to push apart the thick chains hanging like a fringe in front of the door, Justin was finally inside the club.
The club was dark except for the colored spot lights that danced around the cavernous room. There were several disco balls spinning at different levels from the ceiling, catching the lights and flickering on the glitter falling from above. Men in various states of dress and undress were gyrating to the music. Some bumping and grinding against a convenient neighbor and others just shaking and doing their thing either solo or sometimes in large groups. There were go-go dancers in cages, wearing tight little silver g-strings, for those at the bar to watch. The whole feeling was that of a decadent lighted floor show of nothing but men. It was a gay man’s mecca.
The club was multi-leveled with a large bar on each floor. Glancing up at the second level skywalk, Justin saw Brian speaking with Ted along with a few others who were drinking and leaning against the rail watching the action below. Justin decided to head towards the nearest bar on the first level and ordered a beer for himself. Once his beer was in hand, he turned to watch the dancers and soak up the atmosphere of carefree freedom and joy; feelings that he hadn’t really felt in a long time.
Justin caught himself tapping his foot and swaying to the music as he drank his beer and started to enjoy the mood. The dance floor looked so inviting. The techno-beat was soaking into his bones and daring him to do something more than just watch. Taking a last swig, Justin put his bottle down and sashayed his way onto the dance floor.
Finding an uncrowded spot, he began to sway in time to the music, letting his shoulders loosen up and gyrating his hips. He rubbed his hands over his pecs, down his torso, one hand rubbing along the distended crotch and his jeans-clad cock. As Justin lost himself in the feel of the music, he tossed his blond head back, neck exposed and glistening with sweat. While keeping one hand below, he brought the other up to caress his neck, rubbing away a few beads of sweat, bringing those fingers to his lips.
Just as a tingling awareness broke through his dance induced daze, there was a recognizable scent, then he felt a pair of familiar arms encircle his waist from behind. Brian brought the seductive blond up close to his chest, rubbing his cock against Justin’s all-too-fuckable ass. In return, Justin allowed himself to sink back into the welcome embrace. He laid his head against Brian’s shoulder, bringing his hands up to encircle Brian’s neck and rubbing his ass in counterpoint to Brian’s dick.
Justin and Brian swayed and ground against one another to the pulsing beat of the club music. Brian’s hands moved to Justin’s hips, his lips placing soft kisses along the exposed side of the long pale neck; occasionally licking the beads of sweat from Justin’s skin.
With a quick move, Justin was spun around by Brian so that they were face to face and cock to cock, frotting against one another in wild abandon. Brian’s eyes smoldered with unrequited sexual need and Justin knew his reflected that same need as well. Brian’s lips slammed into Justin’s, taking the young blond’s mouth prisoner. The devouring kiss felt like it lasted forever, that’s how combustible the chemistry between the two men was.
Between the atmosphere of the club, the suggestive dancing, and the sexual attentions from Brian, it was very erotic. So erotic, that Justin couldn’t hold back any longer. The stimulation was too much and with a loud, heart-felt groan, he shuddered and came in his jeans, collapsing against Brian. Within moments, Justin felt Brian tremble and clutch his hips tightly as he came as well.
With the added heat of the lights and the bodies surrounding them, it took the two men even longer than usual for them to recover their composure after that. They panted into each other’s mouths, sharing their hot, heavy gasping and trying to focus their minds back on the present. They both just stood there for long minutes, standing perfectly still and just hoping to remain upright.
Justin felt like he’d never be able to slow his breathing and his spaghetti-like legs refused to bear his weight. He clung to Brian’s sturdy frame, hoping that the taller man wasn’t equally ready to collapse. Brian was clinging back almost as tightly. Somehow, though, Brian managed to come to his senses first and marginally pulled back from the still-shaking younger man.
“Fuck, that was hot,” Brian said, still not having complete reign over the words his thunderstruck brain was letting out of his mouth. “I haven’t done that since I was a damn teenager. What the fuck did you just do to me?”
“Whatever it was, you did it to me, too,” Justin managed to wheeze the words out, slowly letting go of his death grip on Brian and shifting his weight back onto his own two feet.
Brian quickly realized that he’d just made way too big of an admission. Brian Kinney did NOT admit that any man shook his world that much. Brian was ALWAYS the one in control, the top, the one that led, the one that used whoever he wanted for his own gratification. Nobody was ever allowed to take that control from him. The fact that he’d said those words out loud shocked him almost more than the fact that this slightly built young man - an employee of his on top of everything else - had just made him lose complete control of himself to the point that he’d creamed his pants.
“Ahem . . . Whatever,” Brian unpeeled Justin’s arms from around his neck and took a step or two backwards. “I think you probably need a drink and a few minutes to recover. You just started dancing and I wouldn’t want to wear you out before you even got started on your evening.”
Brian held out his hand, gesturing towards the bar, his face now impassive and emotionless, as he directed a confused Justin off the dance floor. The crowd parted as they passed but Brian didn’t acknowledge any of the appreciative looks from the men whose eyes followed the pair. At the bar, Brian waved the closest bartender over, signalled ‘2’ with the fingers of his right hand and then made room for Justin against the bar railing. As soon as the drinks were set down on the counter in front of them, Brian downed his. He carefully kept a space between their bodies the whole time. Justin wasn’t sure about this abrupt change in Brian’s demeanor, so he just sipped at his JB and said nothing.
“Thanks for the dance,” Brian said without any real feeling, and then moved back into the crowd as if he couldn’t get away from Justin fast enough.
Justin watched his baffling angel’s retreat, unsure what had just happened or if he’d ever see the man again.
After a few more hours of soaking up Babylon’s atmosphere and sating his curiosity, among other things, but without any further sighting of the elusive Brian Kinney, Justin padded back up to his small apartment. Once inside, Justin stripped himself of his club garb and dragged his exhausted body into the comfort of his newly acquired bed. With a slight smile on his face, and the club’s faint thumpa-thumpa in the distance, Justin closed his eyes, hoping that sleep would come quickly seeing as he would probably have a shitload of new tasks to complete for his frustratingly beautiful boss the next day. But soon after seeming to settle into a somewhat peaceful sleep, Justin was once again assailed with those too-familiar images of death, and the constant sounds of mortar rounds and landmines exploding in his head.
Justin tightly fisted his sheets and thrashed about in a cold sweat; subconsciously calling out to anyone and no one. Fighting off the enemy that was only ever present in his own damaged mind.
Brian had watched from the second story bar as Justin made his way back up to his humble abode, only to follow the same path a few minutes later. Brian knew that he was probably, yet again, making another big mistake by going up to his employee’s place, but he just couldn’t get his mind off of how sweet the blond’s lips had tasted against his own, the feel of the warm lithe body in his arms, and the deep seeded hunger to recapture those feelings as soon as humanly possible.
As Brian reached the apartment door, he thought he heard the distinct sound of someone calling out in distress. He stood listening for a moment, not sure how to handle the situation; after all, Brian didn’t want to just go barging in and inadvertently interrupt the young lad if he was just having a bit of rough fun. Brian quickly determined this not to be the case though, as the screams became louder and more anguished, but what could he do?
Remembering the master key he always kept on his keyring, Brian quietly let himself in and sought out his young charge. Cautiously making his way through the small room, Brian called out to Justin to announce his presence. “Justin . . . Justin . . . are you all right?” Finally, stepping into the young man’s bedroom area, the sight displayed before him shook Brian to his core.
The young man that he’d seen just a few minutes earlier, dancing, happy and smiling, was now huddled into the far corner of the room. The beautiful, radiant face was stained with tear tracks. His face was frozen in a silent scream as he held his hands up as if to fend off Brian’s advance. Only the whimpers and furtive sobs that leaked out of the soul of the distraught man gave evidence of the violent internal struggles going on inside.
Without even pausing to think about what he was doing, Brian rushed across the room, kneeling and protectively sweeping Justin up into his arms.
Metallica - For Whom the Bell Tolls Video - Get an Idea what Justin sees in his nightmares.
Hope you don't mind a really long chapter. JP and Shari were writing along just fine and then TAG got into it (too much) and added untold bunches of words. We hope they're all good words, though, and we know you don't really mind long chapters. Definitely check out the link at the end of the chapter if you want to see the mood music that we were listening to while we wrote.
Chapter 7 - ESI by samcdee
Brian experiences first hand Justin’s PTSD and the aftermath. Things start to heat up more between the boys. Brian opens up a bit more about what happened to Ben and why he was reluctant to hire Justin. Enjoy!
ESI - Extra Sensitive Information
Chapter 7 - ESI
Endless expanses of brown. That's all he saw, no matter which direction he looked in. Of course, there were about a million different shades of brown, but it was still all just brown.
There was the reddish brown of the low rolling hills of sand. The paler white-brown of the road surface that stretched ahead of the Humvee transport vehicle and then disappeared behind as they drove on. The sparse scrub-like vegetation was a combination of dark brown and white, sticking up at odd angles out of the desolate terrain. Then there was the mottled brown-gold-green of the camouflage combat helmet he held on his lap.
From inside the mesh-like lining of the helmet Justin pulled out the photo of his angel. His buddy, Riddick, sitting above him in the battle turret saw his motions and chuckled. All his comrades had gotten used to seeing Sgt. Taylor gazing for endless hours on that tattered old photo. It had become sort of a standing joke to the whole squad. “Staring at Brad Pitts' abs again, Big Sarge?” Justin grinned up at Riddick, ready to shoot off an appropriately snarky response.
That was when all fucking hell broke loose. Suddenly, there was a reverberating explosion shaking the bradley and enveloping the heavy vehicle in a menacing billow of smoke. The entire five ton armored vehicle jumped up off the ground about three feet and then started to settle back down, listing dangerously to the right. The driver, Freeman, was yelling something but Justin couldn’t hear anything over the ongoing noise and the ringing in his ears. Luckily, because of the low center of gravity, the truck didn’t tip all the way over and eventually managed to settle back into a mostly upright position.
Justin willed himself not to panic as he took a cursory look around to assess the immediate damage. The entire world seemed to shift into slow motion. Over his left shoulder he could see something moving. He turned his head to look in that direction, already knowing what he would see but compelled nonetheless to look. Riddick was still there - or at least parts of him were still there. The movement he’d noticed out of the corner of his eye was from the flapping of Riddick’s jacket. The brown wasn’t just brown anymore, though. The familiar blobs of camouflage print were now dripping with abstract splatters in a dark ocher red and marred by burned patches of carbon black. At the collar of the jacket, where he should have seen the grinning countenance of his buddy, there was nothing.
Justin screamed but there was no sound. The eerie ringing tone in his ears just got louder. He turned towards where Freeman should have been but the driver was gone. All that was left was a stump of an arm, still gripping onto the steering wheel of the truck, a droplet of crimson blood hanging onto a shredded piece of flesh, not quite ready to drop into the pool of gore decorating the empty seat. Justin tried to open the door of the vehicle, wanting only to escape, to get away from the red and back to the empty but less gruesome brown. The door wouldn’t budge. Justin’s hands were covered in the same slick red. He couldn’t grip the door handle. He frantically grappled with the slippery metal.
Outside the window the brown was being swallowed up everywhere by a red mist. He couldn’t breathe. The red was suffocating him. Red was engulfing everything. The red was going to suck him down. The only option was to retreat from the red and let the numbing black swarm over him and hide him from the destruction and the pull of the horrible red tide.
Brian was lost as to what he should do. He had been sitting there holding Justin’s trembling form for several minutes, but the younger man was still locked in whatever hell he saw behind his blank eyes. All Brian could do was hold the man in his arms, gently rocking them both while he muttered nonsense phrases that were supposed to provide comfort. Justin pushed back against Brian’s chest unmercifully; trying to free himself from the confines of his imagined prison. Brian simply held on tighter.
Slowly, the warmth of flesh and the comfort of an embrace broke through the haze gripping Justin. His eyes started to flutter open, looking around wildly, in total confusion, not exactly sure where he was or how he got there.
As his senses began to come back to him, he didn’t notice the ever present stench of burning metal or the slippery feel of blood on his hands. The sounds of open rioting and unrest, explosives and gunfire, was strangely non-existent. What did permeate his nose was a slightly familiar, far more pleasant scent, composed of expensive french aftershave and masculine musk. The scents were calming and brought a sense of tranquility to his tortured soul.
Gradually, the fog in Justin’s brain lifted and the warm body that had him locked in a surprisingly protective embrace, became recognizable. The strong profile, full lips and haunting hazel eyes; it was like his painting come to life, only with a fresh wash of soft flesh colors replacing the loud and vivid colors that he’d displayed on the screen he’d painted earlier in the day. They were the features of his angel, come to life.
“B-B-Brian?” Justin called softly, his own voice sounding strange to his ears which expected only the ongoing ringing or the cries of his injured friends.
“Shhh . . . Don’t talk, just relax. It’s okay, Justin. You can explain to me why you’re having a full out drama queen episode later,” Brian lightly teased with a shy smile, trying to ease the loaded tension of the moment. Brian brushed a patch of sweaty hair away from Justin’s face, and was pleased when he received a small, watery smile in return.
Justin was struggling to separate the scenes of his nightmare from the reality of his present. It wasn’t easy, though. He was afraid to say anything for fear that he’d just start screaming. All he could do at the moment was hang onto the strong man who was supporting him and bury his face deeper into the warmth of Brian’s yielding chest.
Brian was also struggling to find something to say. What would be comforting to this tortured young man? Brian couldn’t think of anything. All that came to mind was the terrible burden this man was suffering under and the thought that Ben had probably witnessed the same horrifying scenes.
“About eight months ago . . .” Brian started quietly. “About eight months ago my baby brother was suddenly taken from me. He was halfway through his second tour of duty overseas when he was gunned down by friendly fire, and nobody could explain exactly how it managed to happen.” Brian swallowed around the lump in his throat as he struggled to dredge up the awful memory of the day he learned of Ben’s death.
“Ben and I came from opposite sides of the tracks - who would have guessed that my working class Mick father would have the gumption to knock up a debutant, huh - but when dear old Jack was being a particularly bigger asshole than usual, I could escape to Britin and Ben would always be there to help comfort me in any way he could.”
Justin listened intently while Brian spun his tale of anguish and significant loss. He never imagined the depth of pain and sorrow this seemingly self-assured man was carrying around. It made him long to switch their positions, gather the older man in his arms, and offer to shoulder both of their emotional burdens. He wanted to tell Brian that he didn’t have to go on, that he didn’t need to tell him the full story, but somehow Justin knew that this was something the brunet had to do.
“I think I died too the day they told us that he’d been killed. I felt like I’d lost my only friend. My only confidante. But the thing that bothers me the most is that no one can tell us exactly what happened to Ben. I hate not knowing. I hate thinking that his life was sacrificed for nothing. He was always so compassionate. The reason he joined the service was because he felt so strongly about the issues and wanted to be part of the solution. I can’t bear to think he was killed without having fulfilled that purpose.”
Justin reached up to touch Brian’s cheek in commiseration. Feeling wetness beneath his palm, Justin lightly swiped his thumb below Brian’s wet lower eyelashes to remove some of the anguished tears. He didn’t realize his own tears were falling just as heavily.
Feeling the need to take some of his angel’s pain away, Justin brought his lips up to Brian’s in a soft and comforting kiss, letting Brian know that he wasn’t alone in his pain. The chaste kiss quickly became heated and all the pent up passion and longing was soon slipping into every brush of their swollen lips. Only the need for air was enough to momentarily break the connection and as Brian looked in the lust-darkened blue orbs; he knew he would have to once again grudgingly walk away from what Justin was clearly offering him.
“Justin . . .” Brian spoke breathlessly “We can’t keep doing this.”
Justin crushed his lips to Brian’s mouth, interrupting what he was saying. The kiss was filled with a beseeching need; a connection that Justin desperately craved.
“Please, Brian . . . Stay with me tonight,” Justin pleaded, a quiver to his voice. “We don’t have to go beyond what we’ve already shared, but I really don’t want to be alone tonight.”
Instead of answering, Brian gave a brief nod of his head in acceptance and began to unwind himself from Justin. He had to admit, even if it was just to himself, he was shaken after witnessing Justin’s nightmare and talking about Ben. Lying here with his young blond handyman felt right; it shouldn’t feel this right, but it just did.
As Brian stood up he brought Justin along with him and, taking him by the hand, led him to the bathroom.
“I don’t know about you, but I stink from the club and I’m still a bit sticky after that fucking erotic dance you subjected me to. I could really use a shower and I think you could too after your . . . nightmare.” Brian stated, hesitating to remind Justin of whatever it was he’d been seeing in his dream - if that’s what you called whatever Justin had been experiencing.
Brian sat Justin on the closed lid of the toilet in the tiny bathroom. He toed off his shoes and socks and then started to remove his shirt, noting the still shell-shocked and far away look in the young blond’s eyes. Even after Brian shucked off his jeans, Justin still wasn’t showing any signs of interest. Brian reached into the tiny square shower cubicle that was all the apartment had and flipped up the handle to turn on the water.
“Getting both of us in there is definitely going to be a bit of a challenge,” Brian commented, his voice finally drawing Justin’s attention back to the present moment. “It’s dirty work, but someone will have to do it, and I guess that someone is going to have to be me. So, come on there, Sarge. Get up and get those skivvies off unless you want to take a shower in your shorts.”
Justin turned his head in the direction of Brian’s voice, eyes still somewhat unfocused. He slowly rose to his feet and pushed his briefs over his slim hips, letting the fabric fall to the ground and then stepping out of them. Brian took a moment to revel in the sheer beauty of Justin’s well toned body as he stood there in all his glory. During his deliberately slow perusal of Justin’s fine form, Brian noticed a two inch long, jagged. reddish-purple looking scar on Justin’s left hip. The obvious battle wound started at his hipbone and zig-zagged down Justin’s pelvis until it seemed to disappear into the bush of his curly blond pubes. Right next to the still raw-looking scar, there was a realistic looking tattoo of two linked dog tags that emerged from a virtual tear in the otherwise blemish free skin, hanging down the man’s hip.
Brian sucked in a shallow breath as he reached out a hand, and gently tugged Justin into the shower. As the two men stood silently under the warm spray, Brian began to slowly wash Justin’s body with the store brand soap that he had at his disposal. Brian fought the urge to roll his eyes and very well may have, if his fingers hadn’t chosen that moment to graze over the old wound that Justin was sporting.
The puckered skin of the scar felt both smooth and rough to the touch, the flesh underneath indented slightly giving evidence of the muscle that was no longer present. Brian let his fingers trace along the line of stippled bumps where the sutures had been. Justin looked deep into caring hazel eyes, allowing Brian to read the story of his experiences like a blind person reading the most intriguing of stories in braille. Neither man bothered to comment about the obvious nature of the scar - Brian decided that he probably didn’t want to hear the story almost as much as Justin didn’t want to tell it.
After several minutes spent soothing the injured hip, Brian finally moved on with the bar of soap. His long and agile fingers brushed lightly across the crevices and dips of the slim body. He didn’t let his touch linger in those intriguing places, no matter how much he wanted to - this shower was meant to help calm Justin, not get them both all riled up again. So, after a perfunctory cleansing of the lower regions, Brian’s hands moved up over the well-toned abs, the chiseled chest, and massaged along the seemingly endless muscles of Justin’s shoulders and arms. Justin let himself relax into the tender touch. The only thing still holding him up on his feet was the small size of the little shower, which physically prevented him from collapsing to his knees.
With a little struggle, Brian managed to turn Justin around so the younger man was facing the glass door of the little cubicle. Grabbing the plastic bottle of cheap shampoo, Brian tilted Justin’s head back so he was leaning against Brian’s chest and then slowly started working the lather into the shaggy blond locks. Justin’s quiet moans of appreciation were clear evidence that he was enjoying the pampering, and Brian smiled to himself when he found he was enjoying it too, even though this was something very out of character for him. However, Brian didn’t let his manly ego stop him from relishing the feeling of the thick blond strands sliding through his fingers as he lightly scratched the underlying scalp.
Moving from the crown down, Brian carefully made sure that he didn’t miss a spot. As he was gliding his fingertips forward towards Justin’s temples, he inadvertently discovered one more scar - this one not as obvious because it was covered by the thick mat of blond hair. Brian couldn’t stop his fingers tracing along this scar too, feeling the differences between the hard raised line of healing tissue here on Justin’s right temple and the much deeper scar on his hip.
‘My God, what kind of hell had this young man been through?’ Brian began to understand better why nightmares would be assailing Justin so viciously. Given more time, Brian was sure he would discover quite a few more war wounds littering Justin’s beautiful body. The fact that he wore them so proudly, without shame or a modicum of modesty, made Justin that much more breathtaking. That thought alone triggered an involuntary groan that escaped in spite of Brian’s attempted self control. He couldn’t help the fact that Justin’s ass was the perfect height to rub against his semi-hard cock. Without conscious volition, Brian’s hands drifted southward, caressing the plains of alabaster skin and pulling Justin’s frame even tighter against his own.
In his head, Brian was telling himself that he shouldn’t. This wasn’t right. Justin was still dealing with the trauma of that nightmare or flashback or whatever it was. The younger man wasn’t ready for anything more. And Brian had repeatedly told himself that he wouldn’t pursue his newest employee like this. He’d learned his lesson the hard way from a prior dalliance and told himself he knew better.
However, while Brian’s brain was busy listing all the reasons why he wasn’t going to take this . . . thing . . . with Justin any further, his hands had already worked their way down and found the heavenly fullness of Justin’s thick hard length. This boy was much larger than Brian first thought. Brian, being a size queen, loved every bit of it. He wrapped his hand around the ample girth and slowly slid his palm up to the tip from the base. He took a moment to rub his thumb along the leaking slit. Keeping in time, he rutted against Justin’s ass, sliding between soap slickened cheeks.
Justin moved his head to rest against Brian’s shoulder, tilting his head at an angle for a kiss. Brian accommodated him by bending his head forward and capturing the inviting lips. Justin opened immediately to his questing tongue and pressed his hips back at the same time so that the pressure against Brian’s already swollen cock was almost unbearable. He took several short panting breaths, trying to quell the incipient tidal wave that threatened to take him over, but somehow, at the same time, managing not to let the rhythm of his stroking hand fail.
Brian moved his lips along Justin’s jaw, nibbling and licking his way to the delectable neck on offer. The heat of the pulse point just below Justin’s ear seemed to increase his own pulse incrementally. Justin’s hand reached up to caress Brian’s jaw, slipping a finger in his mouth, while his other hand grabbed onto Brian’s hip in passion.
Sucking that luscious digit further into his mouth, tipped Brian beyond control. Moving his hips faster, cock riding between the hemispheres of the most decadent bubble butt he’d ever experienced, Brian shot his load along Justin’s ass crack and up his back. All the while, Brian was stroking Justin to his tempo, bringing the owner of said decadent bubble butt to completion within mere seconds of his own climax.
It was just past eight am when Brian and Justin drove up the long driveway to Britin. The drive out to the estate from Babylon had been mostly silent. Both men were feeling a little too open and vulnerable after their shared experience of the night before, which meant that neither of them really knew what to say. Justin was still uncomfortable knowing that Brian had seen one of his ‘episodes’. He wanted to thank Brian for being there and staying with him all night, but the older man had seemed so withdrawn that morning, that Justin didn’t really know how to start. He also wanted to come clean and tell Brian about the photo and why he’d shown up so suddenly in this man’s life. The right words just didn’t seem to come to him, though, so Justin sat quietly for the length of the drive.
Brian was always hesitant to discuss anything emotional - no way was he about to initiate any conversation about the night before. He really didn’t want to acknowledge the way he’d held Justin in his arms all night long or the overwhelming need he felt to protect the younger man. All he knew was that, as soon as it started to get light out, he was more than anxious to get back to Britin. And yet, at the same time, he didn’t want the intimacy with Justin to end. At the last minute, Brian had thought up several additional jobs at Britin that he needed Justin’s assistance with. With his usual calm acceptance, Justin had acquiesced to the request to drive back to Brian’s home with him.
Brian had already parked his vintage Corvette in front of the house and was walking around the car to help Justin out before he saw Lindsey’s car parked off to the side almost hidden by the large oak tree that grew between the house and the barn. Brian was ready to turn right around, get back in the car and speed away. Unfortunately, the front door opened before he could effect his escape.
“Morning, Bri,” Lindsey’s teasing, upper-crust intonation echoed across the lawn. “You’re getting in a bit late, aren’t you - I mean, even for you. I didn’t think that you did sleep overs.”
“Good morning to you too, Lindsey,” Brian replied casually, trying his best to ignore the dangling bait his old friend was angling his way in her blatant attempt to get him to snipe back.
Lindsey wasn’t ready to give up just yet, though. She was already halfway down the walkway to the car before the other occupant of the ‘Vette got out and stood hesitantly next to Brian. Brian braced himself for the onslaught he knew would be coming.
“Oh, you brought company home for breakfast?” Lindsey added with a sickly sweet smile on her otherwise elegant face. “I thought he was just a hired hand, Bri? My mistake . . . So, Justin . . . that was your name, right? How are you this morning? Shouldn’t you be off in the barn or something? Or did you already have a nice roll in the hay this morning?”
“Shut the fuck up, Lindsay,” Brian fumed at the implications that Lindz was making but didn’t really want to have this out with her right here. “Last time I checked, this was MY house and I was allowed to invite anyone I chose to visit. Which, by the way, I didn’t do for you this morning. What exactly are you doing here this early?”
“I just came by to see Gus, of course. Are you saying that I can’t come see my son when I choose?”
“I’ve asked you before to call before you come over, Lindz.”
“Obviously, that’s because you want a little more warning so that you can get your whores out of the house before I arrive,” Lindsey sniped, all pretense of civility or country club breeding thrown out by this point.
“Excuse me, ma’am,” Justin interrupted at this point, sidestepping so that he was standing between the two combatants. “I don’t really see that it’s any of your business but Brian asked me to come over today and do some more work for him in the stables. I don’t have a car, so my boss was nice enough to drive me. Besides, my private life, and who I take a roll in the hay with aren’t really your concern and I don’t take kindly to being called a whore. If you weren’t a lady, I’d have already decked you for that. Now, I think you owe Brian an apology for your rude comments, don’t you?”
Lindsay pressed her lips into such a tight, thin line that they looked as if they had disappeared. She couldn’t believe the gall of this young man who was clearly nothing but the flavor of the week to Brian - even if he didn’t know it yet - and didn’t feel she owed him or Brian a damn thing. What Lindsay did feel was in order was to remind Brian of who exactly held the ball in their court.
“First of all, you little blond twerp, who are you to tell me when to apologize? You need to get this through that twink head of yours - once Brian gets bored with you, you will be thrown to the curb just like the rest. I’d advise you not get too comfortable or consider yourself special . . . because you’re not. Oh and Brian . . . my advice to you is to ask yourself how much do you like having your son around, and if your dalliances are worth risking Gus over?”
“I think it’s beyond time for you to leave, Lindsay,” Brian shot back at her, not deigning to lower himself to squabble over such important matters in the yard in front of his employee. “If you want to discuss this further, I suggest that we do it when you’ve got your temper under control.”
“Fuck you, Brian,” Lindsay hissed, trying to push Justin out of the way so she could get right in Brian’s face. “You don’t want to piss me off. I’ve already been talking to my father and his lawyers about our outdated custody arrangements. Don’t push me unless you want me to just take Gus right now?”
Justin had had enough of this insufferable woman trying to make unwarranted demands on his angel regarding his child. He didn’t think that the sexually frustrated sow would stoop so low as to use her own flesh and blood as a pawn in whatever sick little game she was playing, but she’d obviously gone beyond that now. It was time to put a stop to these detestable machinations.
“Ma’am, I suggest that you heed one of the lessons we’re taught early on in the military, ‘Do not engage in a battle of wits when you are unarmed’,” Justin instructed before Lindsay could say anything further.
Lindsey seemed so angry by this point that she couldn’t actually get any other words out even though her mouth was open. If she’d been an animal, she’d probably be frothing at the mouth by now. And, if Brian hadn’t been so angry at her that he could barely see straight, he would have laughed at the look of consternation on the woman's usually serene face.
Lindsey eventually managed to shut her trap. With a last look, she flounced off to her car, clearly in a tizzy that someone - especially a blond-haired field hand - would speak to her in such a way. She once again, for the second time in as many days, sped off in a huff.
“How the hell did you put up with her all these years?” Justin asked when Lindsey was well out of earshot.
Brian took a deep cleansing breath before answering honestly “I had to maintain a constant chemically-altered state of mind.”
Justin shook his head in amusement, not even bothering to hold back his laughter at Brian’s admission, as Brian led him to the stables to start his daily grind.
Chapter 8 - Dog Tags by samcdee
Justin is at Britin and helps Gus train JB. We also meet up with Debbie for the first time. Justin gets asked by Gus to stay for lunch and things heat up a lot between the boys afterwards. Enjoy!
Dog Tags - Military identification tags which are hung around the neck on a ball chain.
Chapter 8 - Dog Tags
Justin had just finished up repairing the stables doors, grooming the horses, and refilling the large grain storage bins with bags of feed from the local farm supply store. He was anxious to wash away the morning’s worth of sweat and dirt from every piece of exposed skin on his body. He’d already put all his tools away and closed up the barn for the afternoon. It was a hot day and he was ready to get out of the sun. He could work at Babylon this afternoon and enjoy being in the cool air-conditioned building instead of this swelteringly hot barn. He intended on wasting very little time in getting to the main house to clean himself up and then he’d have to find some way to get back into the city. As he rounded the barn, he noticed a very frustrated Gus close by in the yard, apparently trying to follow through on the ‘sitting’ lessons with his puppy. Justin observed him quietly for a few moments more before softly making his presence known.
“Hey, buddy, how’s the training going?”
“Not so good,” Gus replied sadly looking pleadingly up into the older man’s face. “I did everything exactly like you taught me earlier, but JB just doesn’t seem to want to listen. I don’t think JB likes me anymore Justin; and all because I won’t give him treats.”
“I’m sure that isn’t the case, Gus. JB is just a puppy and he probably just doesn’t understand what you want. He’s really like a baby, you know. You have to make things very simple for him or he’ll get confused. Now, let’s see what the problem is here and I bet we can work out a solution,” Justin said confidently, laying his hand on the boy’s shoulder to reassure him.
The next twenty minutes was spent training JB and generally getting to know one another a little better. During the short time, Justin discovered that Gus was a pretty smart kid and definitely had his father’s drive to find success in life. The thing that surprised him most about the precocious tyke, was that he shared his affinity for drawing and just about anything art related. Once they were satisfied with JB’s progress, the two new friends made their way to the main house to get cleaned up.
Walking into the grand house, the smell of baked ziti filled the air, making Justin’s stomach growl loudly and reminding him just how long it had been since his last meal. Gus chuckled at the sound explaining that his Grandma Deb was out in the kitchen cooking and suddenly came up with a bright idea. Since he didn’t want his new best friend to leave, he figured it would be okay to ask him to stay for lunch.
“Gramma Debbie, is there enough food for another person?” Gus inquired.
Debbie, in her loud but effusive voice responded, “Of course there’s enough ziti for another mouth. Did one of your friends stop by?”
“Yeah. Gramma, this is Justin. He’s teaching me how to train JB and he’s been helping daddy out in the stables.” Gus enthused.
Just as Gus and Justin entered the kitchen, Debbie turned around and was surprised to see not a kid but a grown man with Gus.
“Well, who’s this young man, Gus?” inquired Debbie.
“Gramma Debbie, I just told you, this is my friend, Justin,” Gus stated, bouncing on his toes with happiness.
“Nice to meet you, ma’am. Hope it’s not a bother…” Justin asked, breaking into his warm and welcoming smile.
“Well, aren’t you a breath of sunshine, Sunshine! No bother at all. Just clean up here at the kitchen sink and we’ll be ready to eat. That goes for you as well, Gus.” Debbie instructed, going about getting the food on the table.
Justin helped Gus up onto the step stool in front of the sink and then they both thoroughly washed their grimy hands. Gus giggled a bit as he and Justin fought for supremacy under the stream of water that came out of the tap. In the end, though, Justin let Gus have the top spot under the faucet, making sure that the boy used enough soap to get really clean before he rinsed his own hands. The two of them turned towards the table together and started to set the table with the dishes already laid out on the sideboard.
“Briaaaaaannnnn!,” Debbie bellowed to get the attention of the master of the house as she dished up the ziti into a large serving bowl.
“Jeeze, Deb,” Brian protested as he came through the archway from the nearby living room. “I’m not deaf, you know - at least not yet. You don’t have to scream like that.”
“Sorry, Brian. I didn’t know you were downstairs already,” Deb apologized but didn’t relent, pushing Brian ahead of her towards the table with the hot serving bowl of pasta working as a great prod to get the man moving in the right direction at a pace that satisfied the cook. “Sit your asses down and we can get started.”
“Dad, can Justin stay for lunch,” Gus thought it was wise to actually ask his father’s permission even though he’d already extended the invitation to his new friend.
“I don’t know, Gus. . . I’m sure Justin already has plans for this afternoon,” Brian tried his best to way lay his son’s request without actually saying ‘No’ to him.
“Justin doesn’t have plans, Dad. Do you, Justin?” Gus insisted.
Justin looked over at the hopeful gaze of the boy, and behind him the doubtful look on Brian’s countenance, and smiled his best and brightest smile. “You know, Gus, I don’t remember the last time I had lunch plans. I’d be honored to share your repast with you, Buddy.”
Brian managed not to groan aloud at Justin’s reply, even though he didn’t think he truly wanted the younger man to be here at the table with his family. He had absolutely no idea what to say to Justin - last night, and all their previous encounters, were just too fresh in his memory and brought up too many uncomfortable emotions. However, Brian was far too indulgent a parent to outright tell Gus he couldn’t invite a new friend to lunch.
“Of course, Sunshine can stay, Gus,” Debbie gushed as she set the pasta down on the hot plate and then quickly went back for the bowl of freshly grated Asiago cheese to top it with.
Brian knew that he was beaten as soon as Deb seconded the invitation. With a huge sigh, Brian plastered a fake happy grin on his face and seated himself at the head of the table. Debbie put out the cheese and a couple other condiments and then, chucking Brian under the chin affectionately as she passed by, took her own seat on the far side of the big trestle table. Gus plopped himself into the seat next to his father and patted the seat of the chair next to him to indicate that’s where he wanted Justin to sit.
“So, Justin,” Debbie said as she picked up the serving dish full of ziti and served herself a big helping before passing it along to Brian. “Where the fuck do you and your luscious bubble butt hail from? I know you’re not from around here - Brian has that ‘Fresh Meat’ look on his face every time he looks at you.” *Ha* The boisterous woman snorted out a cackling laugh at the embarrassed look on the young blond’s face and then winked at him to dissipate any harshness from her words.
Justin took a good long look at the woman with the bright, curly red hair sitting across from him and tried to figure her out. He took in her ample bosom, stout frame, and series of endless womanly curves. She was wearing far too much heavy makeup and had really long fake fingernails painted a bright red. She talked loudly and swore at every other sentence. On top of all that, the woman was wearing the most ridiculous long dangly earrings and a t-shirt that had a picture of a rooster on it with the caption ‘Got Cock’. Justin didn’t think he’d ever experienced someone quite like Debbie before. Somehow, though, she didn’t come across as crass so much as homey and real. Justin instantly liked the woman.
Justin gave Debbie a mega-watt smile, and began to explain in detail just how he and his luscious ass had come to be in glorious West Virginia, although he left out the part about his angel’s picture since he wanted to tell Brian about that himself as soon as he figured out how. Debbie remarked on the fact that he’d walked the whole way. Justin simply shrugged and told her that he liked to walk since it gave him the time and the peace to think.
“This one’s deep, Brian. You’re going to have your hands full with Sunshine here,” Deb cackled again, pointing her long red talon at Justin and giving Brian a knowing look.
“Deb, would you give it a fucking rest?” Brian groaned at the good natured but snide remark. Justin laughed heartily at the banter between the two people who seemed to have more of a mother and son relationship than that of employer and employee.
The rest of the meal went by quickly with lots of pleasant conversation and joking. Everyone seemed so welcoming towards Justin - well, except for Brian’s slightly reserved demeanor. Justin and Gus spoke at length about JB’s further training and agreed that Justin would stay the rest of the afternoon so they could work with the puppy more. Brian looked at his son with fond indulgence. He was amazed at the easy acceptance that Justin showed for his usually rather shy son. He’d never seen Gus take to anyone this quickly.
After dinner, Gus was drafted into helping Deb with the dishes. Brian ushered Justin out of the way of the hullabaloo in the kitchen, leading them both out onto the shady porch to wind down with an after-lunch beer. The warm summer breeze wafted over the pair as they sat in two side-by-side Adirondack chairs and sipped at their Iron City beer. Justin was comfortably full and the beer relaxed him just enough so that he felt slightly drowsy. Brian looked equally mellow as he leaned back in his own chair and took a swig at the neck of the silver bottle in his hand.
Fuck! Justin thought that it was impossible for the man from his picture to be any more beautiful, but somehow, Brian was even better in the flesh. It was quiet out here in the country. Justin had been waiting for the right moment to confess to Brian the true reason for his arrival and this looked like the perfect opportunity. Taking a big breath to shore up his courage, Justin dug his wallet out of his back pocket and pulled out the picture that he’d become so dependant on.
Running his fingers lightly over the tattered edges of the photo, Justin prepped himself to launch into a long explanation.
“Brian . . .” Just as he opened his mouth to speak, the shrill sound of Brian’s cell phone weakened his resolve and abruptly closed the window on his open opportunity.
“Kinney,” Brian barked into the phone, holding up one hand to silence Justin’s tentative inquiry. “What the fuck do you mean, there’s a broken water main? Isn’t it the city’s job to fix the fucking water mains? Why are you calling me, Ted? . . . Yeah, right. I’ll just wave my magic wand and fix it from out here at Britin . . . Whatever, Ted. Just take care of it . . ." Brian kept ranting at his employee as he got up and walked back into the house, completely ignoring Justin from that point on.
Justin let out the breath he hadn’t realized he was holding, and slowly got to his feet seconds later. He started to follow the agitated brunet back into the house, but was almost tackled by a small bundle of energy barrelling into his middle as Gus rushed out of the house. Gus was already shouting out Justin’s name even as he collided into the man he’d been looking for.
“Whoa . . . slow down there buddy. Where’s the fire?” Justin laughed as he set Gus back on his feet and made sure the boy wasn’t about to topple over.
“Can we get JB and start training him,” Gus asked, clearly excited to get started on the planned doggy adventure.
“Sure, Buddy,” Justin couldn’t help but smile at the boy’s enthusiasm. “You get JB and meet me in front of the barn, okay?”
The little ball of fire couldn’t run to fetch his puppy fast enough. The two of them spent most of the next two hours working with the young dog. They had pretty much mastered the concept of ‘Sit’ and had moved on to ‘Come’ by that point. ‘Come’ did involve a lot of chasing after an easily distracted puppy though and it was hot running around in the bright summer sun. Justin was dripping with sweat and ready for a break, but Gus was just too excited to let him relax just yet. Conceding to the child’s demands that they not stop yet, Justin resigned himself to being in the sun for at least a little while longer. He couldn’t stand the dripping wet t-shirt though and immediately peeled it off, using the one dry spot of cotton fabric to wipe off his brow and neck.
Gus’ eyes widened a bit as he caught sight of what appeared to be a picture painted on the older man’s hip, just above the waistband of his low-riding baggy cargo pants. Gus wanted to ask Justin why he had something painted on him, and why it hadn’t run and smeared away with all the sweat running down his side. Justin noticed at once that his little buddy’s attention was not on the puppy any more. When he followed Gus’ line of vision, he noted that Gus was focusing on the tat on his left hip that disappeared down his leg and into his pants.
“What’s that picture, Justin,” the inquisitive boy asked with all the candor any eight year old would have.
“Well, Gus, it’s called a tattoo. It’s a way to keep a memory fresh. The ink is permanent, so that I can never forget.”
“What don’t you want to forget?” Justin lowered his cargos and boxer briefs a tiny bit more, but not inappropriately so, revealing to Gus the rest of the commemorative body art.
“Before I came to Pittsburgh, I was in the Marines,” Justin tried to explain in terms the boy would understand.
“Like a soldier?” Gus asked. “My Uncle Ben was a soldier but he died.”
“Yes, exactly. I was a soldier just like your uncle. From what I’ve heard we probably could have been stationed in some of the same places. Anyway, when I was in the Marines, a couple of my good friends died, too. You see the names here on the tags, Gus?” Gus gave a small nod as Justin continued.
“These are pictures of what soldiers call ‘Dog Tags’. We all wear them around our necks,” Justin grabbed the chain he still wore around his neck and showed the small metal tags to the boy, waiting patiently while he read the information it contained about Justin. “If something bad happens to us, as long as we have our dog tags on, the other soldiers can tell who got hurt even if the person can’t talk. And, if someone gets killed in the line of duty, then it’s become a sort of tradition to keep the dog tags of those people who were close to you so you won’t forget about the sacrifice they made to keep you and others safe. These are the names of my friends who were killed. This way they will always be with me, and they’ll never be forgotten.”
Gus smiled up at Justin in awe at the very idea of being a soldier. “Justin, can I get a tattoo like that for my Uncle Ben? I don’t want to ever forget him either.”
Justin saw the touching seriousness in the young boy’s face as he asked his question and couldn’t help but laugh. Gus was so adorable. He could just see Brian’s face when his eight year old asked to get a tattoo and then blamed it on Justin.
“No, Gus. I think that it’s commendable that you want to remember your uncle, but I don’t think that would be a good idea; at least not until you’re older,” Justin chuckled as he tried to dissuade the boy. “I’m sure you won’t forget your uncle even without the tattoo.”
Brian came back out onto the porch after having finally resolved the latest crisis regarding Babylon. He hadn’t seen Gus in quite a while and felt that fatherly urge to check on his offspring’s whereabouts. He didn’t have to go far though. As soon as he walked down the porch steps, he spied Gus and Justin, along with JB, frolicking about in the clearing in front of the barn.
The sexy young blond had stripped down to his cargos. His chest and back shimmered in the sun with sweat. There were rivulets that ran from Justin’s hairline down his face and neck, adding to the sheen on his upper torso. As Brian watched, Justin threw his head back and broke into peals of boyish laughter. Something about the timber of that laugh went straight to Brian’s cock. He was instantly hard, the tip dripping out a bit of pre-cum and making a dark wet spot on the front of his slacks. Fuck, that little blond twat really got to him somehow.
Watching as Justin started back to work with his son and the pup, he admired the movement of the toned muscles of Justin’s back and pecs. As Justin squatted down to praise JB, the cargo pants loosely hugging his slim hips were pulled taut across the wondrous playground of his perfectly rounded ass; a teasing shadow of crack showing just above the waistline.
Brian licked his lips at the sight and the tightness in his slacks increased. Brian could almost taste the salty, sweat slicked skin. Before he knew it, Brian’s mouth was watering and his imagination was running off on all the other things he could do with his tongue to that gorgeous body.
What the fuck! He had to stop thinking this way. He couldn’t keep daydreaming about his stable boy. After all, he wasn’t some fucking dreamy-eyed schoolboy. He was Brian-fucking-Kinney; he’d fucked a lot of men and didn’t get all soppy about anyone before. He wouldn’t let this little blond - no matter how attractive his firm round ass was - get to him.
Brian forced himself to look away from the too-tempting sight. He headed back into the house and grabbed a cool bottle of water from the fridge, draining the contents in two large swallows. His mind wandered back to the hot sweaty blond and his son outside and he decided that maybe both those boys could use a cool drink themselves. He quickly grabbed two more bottles of water and headed out the door.
“Boys,” Brian interrupted as soon as he neared the training area. “Time to take a break and get some water. Here, drink this Gus. And then I think you should get out of the sun. You’ve been out here for hours and it’s way too hot.”
“But daaaaaad . . ." Gus protested “We were just getting to the really fun part.”
“Gus! No arguments. Here, take your water and JB and get inside right now,” Brian insisted with his full-on parental voice.
Gus grumbled under his breath but did as he’d been told. Brian handed the remaining bottle of water over to the hot sweaty blond who accepted with alacrity. As soon as Justin had the bottle in hand, he twisted off the cap and after taking a mouthful of the cold liquid, Justin proceeded to lift the container above his head and poured the remains of the proffered drink over his over-heated body. Justin then gave his head an enticing little shake, sending rivulets of water all around him; some of which splashed onto Brian.
“Damn, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to get you all wet Brian, here let me dry you off.” Justin offered as he bent over to pick up his now dry t-shirt which was lying in a patch of grass at his feet.
Brian moaned at the sight - those fucking loose cargo pants suddenly became so tight when the younger man bent over and they were low enough to start with that the tops of Justin’s ass cheeks swelled out just perfectly. Without any conscious volition, Brian’s hand moved towards the delicious sight and before he could stop himself, he found himself fondling the glorious roundness. He felt Justin tense up just a bit as his hand drifted lower, then the blond wiggled his ripe full ass into the touch, pressing back against Brian’s hand just enough to let the older man know that his caress was welcomed.
Brian trailed his hand upwards, no longer content with groping through the fabric of those annoying cargos, needing to feel the heat of the pale flesh against his skin. Before he realized it, his wandering hand had negotiated its way beneath the waistband of Justin’s pants and was inching its way down the tempting crack as if his fingers were being drawn there with some magical ass magnet. Justin stood upright and turned around just enough so that he could see into Brian’s eyes as he reveled in the feel of the frisky fingers’ touch. Justin wrenched his neck around and let his lips migrate over towards Brian’s invitingly soft lips. What started out as a light brushing of lips, soon became more demanding. Their tongues swirled and wrapped around one another with an almost desperate need to connect on an ever deeper level.
Brian came briefly to his senses and realized that they were still out in the open and visible to anyone who came along. Taking ahold of Justin’s hand, he drew him into the house growling. “I can’t hold out any longer, Sunshine . . ." Brian complained, unwilling to let Justin go again without a more thorough taste of honey - he wanted the whole damn hive.
Since Justin didn’t object, Brian swiftly led Justin up to his bedroom.
Chapter 9 - BOHIC by samcdee
Who's ready for the big sex scene? Well, ready or not, here it comes! Plus, extra, bonus content, Brian discloses a bit more about his brother, Ben, Lindz talks with her father about getting custody of Gus and Justin experiences another bout of PTSD that Brian lovingly helps him through. This, and so much more in the continuing saga of The Lucky One. . . Enjoy! J.S.T.
BOHIC - Bend Over Here I Come
Chapter 9 - BOHIC
Closing the bedroom door, Brian steadily walked Justin backwards to the bed. As the backs of Justin’s legs hit the edge of the mattress he let himself collapse down in anticipation of the ravishment to come. Brian didn’t disappoint.
Brian slowly stripped Justin of his clothing, and as each piece was removed, it was like watching an erotic striptease. As each new expanse of skin was revealed, Brian eye-fucked the nubile blond lounging on his bed. The promise of more intimate contact was more than evident in every look and movement Brian made. When Justin was completely naked, Brian divested himself of his own confining garments, and then slowly lowered himself onto Justin’s body covering him completely and peppering his face with soft wet kisses.
A low moan slipped from Justin’s lips as Brian licked a wet trail from the blond’s slightly stubbled jaw down his neck. His hands grasped the strands of Justin’s thick, sunshine bright hair in his frenzy. Brian proceeded down the luscious landscape of his flavorful blond, leaving a trail of nipping kisses and soft flecks of tongue, until he managed to capture a tantalizing nipple between his teeth. Feeling the fine hairs surrounding the areola, Brian sucked and pulled them between his lips, tugging gently and causing Justin to arch into the touch.
The scent and taste of Justin’s skin felt like sweet nectar to Brian’s taste buds. The younger man’s skin was still warm from the sunshine he’d been in all day. He even smelled like sunshine - hot, musky, slightly sweaty but with a tanginess that Brian couldn’t place. He’d been longing to set himself free, to let himself touch and taste every single centimeter of this man, ever since he’d first set eyes on him. Now, Brian was finally going to get his chance. He wanted to savor every moment of this journey of discovery, although his dick had other priorities and was egging him on to hurry things along.
Giving in to that sense of urgency just a little, Brian moved further down the lightly sculpted torso to run his tongue between the ridges that delineated each ab; reveling in the strength of these muscles in such a slimly built man. The younger man’s skin was so incredibly smooth, Brian’s tongue just glided along across the pale planes, dipping into all the nooks and crannies along the way until suddenly the texture of Justin’s skin changed drastically. Brian could feel the skin change, the landscape now fluctuating between slick and bumpy. Pulling away just far enough so he could see what was causing the change of sensations, Brian saw that he’d come across the section of scarring on Justin’s left hip. The change in texture was even more noticeable against his sensitive tongue than it had been when he’d touched that spot the night before with his fingers. Brian couldn’t help it - he had to taste and caress the scar tissue with his tongue and kiss it with his soft lips, wishing that the man he held in his arms had never been subjected to the pain that would have gone along with the gash in his skin.
“It happened a long time ago, Brian,” Justin whispered after Brian had spent several minutes longer laving at the site of the injury. He gently raised up Brian’s face so the beautiful man could see the sincerity in his eyes. “I want to move on and let those memories go, Brian. You shouldn’t dwell on them either.”
Brian managed a weak smile but nodded his head in agreement and then went back to his task of tasting the whole of Justin Taylor, quickly moving away from the scar tissue that Justin had said he wanted to forget. Moving more to the left, Brian’s lips found the edge of the darker, honey-blond pubes. He took a few hairs between his lips and pulled as he buried his nose in the musky locks. Justin’s tumescent cock brushed against his cheek, jumping at the contact.
Like a heat seeking missile, Brian’s salivating mouth made contact with Justin’s throbbing cock. Taking the tip between his lips, he gave it a gentle suck and swirled his tongue along the slit and the flare of the mushroom head. The horny brunet moved his hands to Justin’s hips just as he took all of Justin’s cock into his mouth and down his throat and anchored the blond’s lower body to the bed. As Brian pulled his mouth upward, he let the wetness of his saliva dribble down the throbbing shaft. With an audible pop, Brian lifted his head from the tasty treat.
Glancing up at his erotic feast, Brian saw that Justin’s head was thrown back, his hands clenching the bedspread. Brian’s eyes smoldered and he smirked a bit knowing that what was coming next would drive the gorgeous blond over the brink. With a bit of pressure on Justin’s hip, Brian indicated that he wanted the boy to roll over. Justin more than eagerly complied with the silent request.
Brian inched his way up Justin’s back, dragging his hands along the blond’s body as he went. Once he reached the tempting expanse of neck, Brian nuzzled his face in the honeyed hair, inhaling Justin’s unique scent. Moving his head a bit further down, Brian nipped and licked at the nape, working his way down the spine, sucking and licking each vertebra as he went. His hands added to the pleasure as he caressed Justin’s sensitive sides, working his way to the coming banquet.
Brian’s tongue flicked across the top of Justin’s ass crack, teasing the blond. Worshipping the beautiful and bountiful globes with kisses, bites and soothing laps of his tongue, Brian finally pried said globes apart, eager to get to the much anticipated treasure lying within. Flattening his wet appendage, Brian took his first taste of the sweet pink pucker. The taste was musky and like nectar to his taste buds. That first taste was enough to make Brian’s cock violently twitch and ooze precum.
Making his tongue more pointed, Brian started to circle around the naughty pink pucker, drawing circles with his saliva and every so often grazing over the sensitive, twitching hole itself. When Justin’s low moans turned into much louder whimpers, Brian changed tactics and instead of licking, began nibbling and sucking on the delicate folds of flesh. Before long, Justin’s ass was thrusting back at him, begging for more. Brian obliged by stabbing his tongue deeply into the delectable warm depths, delving as deeply as he could and then slowly withdrawing, adding a gentle bite to the tender skin at the entrance before diving in again.
With each new invasion, Justin was moving closer and closer to a glorious release. Brian’s tongue felt so wet and strong. Despite the fact that he was far from being a virgin, he’d never experienced the intimacy of having his ass eaten before. In addition to the incessant, slippery poking, Brian’s hand had somehow worked it’s way down between Justin’s groin and the now damp bedsheets and was stroking his rock solid dick in sync. The dual stimulus was too much. Before he knew it, Justin was thrown into a momentary sexual blackout.
Brian felt the relaxation of Justin’s hole and decided to add even more effort. The next time his tongue slipped inside, Brian let his index finger join the party. The long digit was able to reach much further than his tongue alone, exploring the intimate recesses, finding his lover’s inflamed and ready prostate with ease. Keeping up the tongue fucking, Brian added in a tender finger caress to that sweet spot, instantly bringing Justin back to the present with a loud “Ahhhhhh!” as the younger man arched up, impaling himself even more fully onto Brian’s finger.
Brian lifted his head enough to look up and see Justin flailing around, sweat dripping down the center of his back, his finely shaped hands clutching at the bedding while his moans got louder and more desperate.
“Ready for more, Little Boy?” Brian asked, his low voice sultry and full of suggestion as he slid up Justin’s back and rubbed his dick between the blond’s tempting ass cheeks.
Justin wasn’t even able to respond, he was so deep into the throws of passion. Brian chuckled quietly, loving that he could make his lover this incoherent. But he wasn’t even near being through with Justin Taylor. Brian wanted all of him - Now! He couldn’t wait even a second longer. As Brian reached for a condom from the bedside table, he thought briefly about just pulling Justin up to his knees and plowing away until completion. He could see in his mind’s eye how utterly intense it would be to slam into Justin again and again, fast and hard, over and over until they both collapsed. But, although normally Brian would have just gone for it, he hesitated. The image of those expressive blue eyes seemed to override everything. For some inexplicable reason, this encounter seemed different from all the previous fucks Brian had experienced. He longed to see the passion in those baby blues. He wanted this time to be more than just a fuck. Brian wanted to feel something beyond the simple momentary thrill of an orgasm. He knew this time needed to be more, different. He suspected that this time, with Justin, would be soul shattering.
Taking a deep breath while he retook control of his urgent needs, Brian raised himself enough so that he could reach down and flip Justin onto his back. The vibrant blue eyes he’d just been thinking about gazed up at him from beneath the dark blond lashes and pierced his heart.
Brian brought the condom pack to his lips, grasping the edge with his teeth and lifting an eyebrow in inquiry. Justin acknowledged his willingness to move forward with a shaky but happy smile. As Brian ripped open the packet and pulled out the latex disk within, Justin took it from his hand and sensually rolled it down Brian’s long, thick beautiful cock. Reaching over to the nightstand for the tube of lube, Brian squirted a dollop in his hand and caressed his latex covered cock. He then added another squirt of lube to his fingers and rubbed some into and around Justin’s spasming hole. Lining up his dick, he gently pushed his way through the first ring of muscles and then waited for Justin to relax. After a few brief moments, Brian felt the muscles soften and, after a tap on his thigh from Justin, he pulled back a bit and then pushed in further - past the second ring, grazing the swollen gland. Brian continued to pull back and push in until he was fully seated, balls deep inside the hottest, tightest hole he'd ever had the pleasure of plowing.
Justin was already grasping at Brian's hips and wrapping his legs around his waist, frantically trying to urge his lover on. Brian was happy to comply. With wild abandon, the impassioned brunet let his instincts take over, thrusting away with everything he had, enjoying every single vibration and throb that each pounding thrust incited.Throughout all, the mesmerizing blue of Justin's gaze never lost its focus on Brian's beautiful hazel orbs. The two men stared at each other, their eyes saying a myriad of things that their lips were too shy to utter.
Their love making seemed to go on forever and at the same time it all came to a climax much too soon. Brian's aim was exquisite, allowing him to hit Justin's sweet spot over and over and over again. It didn't take long before the little tingle in his gut blazed into a smoldering fire which then erupted along every nerve and fiber of the young man's being. With a high pitched keen, Justin came, his jizz shooting out of his dick like a rocket, spraying himself along the breadth of his lover's chest and even hitting Brian under his chin. The tight clutch of his spasming hole was easily enough to bring Brian to the edge as well, causing the older man to shoot buckets into the restraint of the condom. He then collapsed onto his hot and sticky lover, placed his arms on either side of Justin’s head, carding his fingers through the sweaty golden strands as he caught his breath.
Once Brian’s strength returned, he lifted himself from this human cushion and reluctantly removed his cock from the welcoming warmth, taking care to keep the condom in place until he could toss it on the floor. The sense of loss was so great, that Justin let out a mewl of disappointment at the feeling of emptiness. Brian, feeling a reciprocal loss, returned to his original position atop his lover and placed soothing kisses on Justin’s softly parted lips in comfort. They laid there together, arms and legs entangled, for a long time before either man felt the need to speak, let alone move. Eventually, however, Brian thought that he must be getting too heavy. He slid off his perch on top of his sated lover until he was stretched along the length of Justin’s right side. Justin automatically rolled into Brian’s warm body, not yet ready to let go of the closeness, and hooked his leg around Brian’s longer limbs.
The new position exposed Justin’s left hip to Brian’s line of vision. His fingers trailed down, tracing curlicues all along the luscious expanses of pale skin, leaving sense memories of touch over Justin’s shoulder, arm, side and then stopping at the injured and inked hip. This time, though, Brian’s fingers were drawn not to the long scar, but instead to the tattoo showing the set of dog tags. From this angle, Brian couldn’t read the names on the tags, but he knew they would be from people Justin had once loved and then lost. His fingertips traced the lettering as if he could garner the meanings of the lives this picture represented through only his touch.
“My brother Ben was a Marine,” Brian found himself confessing before he even knew he planned to speak. “I wonder if anyone has his tag tattooed on them. His death, it was . . . hard . . . I can’t get it out of my mind that he was probably shot by his own men. It’s . . . it pisses me off so much. I can’t seem to get past that. I’m still so angry . . . so lost, whenever I think about him dying so far away and to think it was all a fucking huge mistake . . . Do you think anyone has his name inked on their hip? Does anyone other than me miss him the way you miss these . . ."
“Every single loss is mourned, Brian. Every single soldier we lose is remembered. I . . . If I had room on my body to remember everyone we lost over there, I would be covered in tats. But, you should know that we never leave anyone behind. Your brother won’t be forgotten.” Justin reached his hand up to cup Brian’s cheek in his palm, trying to provide whatever comfort he could even though he knew from personal experience that there would never be a way he could compensate Brian for his loss.
“I can’t even look at Ben’s pictures anymore. I had to put them all away. Everytime I think about him, see his photo, I feel so empty . . ." Brian admitted, his voice now so soft that Justin, who was only centimeters away, could barely hear the words.
“Brian, I need to tell you something . . . I didn’t just show up here out of the blue. I had a reason for coming to Pittsburgh . . .” Justin was ready to confess everything - he knew this was the perfect opening to let him explain about the photo and bare his soul to his angel. “Brian, I came here for . . .”
*Bang, bang, bang*
“DAAAAAAD!” The reverberating pounding on Brian’s bedroom door and the clamoring for Brian’s attention by Gus, effectively ended the moment of intimacy and interrupted Justin’s confession once again. “Daddy, Grandma Deb says you and Justin need to get your asses downstairs for dinner NOW! She said if you don’t come out of there, she’ll bring up the screw driver, jimmy the lock and drag you downstairs by your dick *he he he*,” Gus relayed Debbie’s less than polite demands with a laugh, not in the least embarrassed by the situation.
“Guess that means we have to get moving, Sunshine. Hold that thought,” Brian whispered, leaving a tender kiss on Justin’s temple as he rolled out of bed and pulled on a pair of jeans. “I’ll be right down, Sonny Boy!” Brian yelled through the door while he held out his hand to help Justin up from the bed.
“Daddy, It’s me - Lindsey . . . I’m doing fine, Daddy, but I need to talk to you about my son . . . I’m not sure that living with Brian is the right environment for him. I don’t think that Brian is a very good influence on Gus . . ."
Lindsey had been livid ever since she’d met up with Brian and his latest trick arriving home early that morning. How dare Brian expose their son to a string of random men that would be in and out of Brian’s bedroom faster than Gus could learn their names. She was the one who should be in Gus and Brian’s lives, not some skanky man-whore. And the fact that Brian was letting this vapid little blond whore spend time with her son, talking and laughing and playing with that mutt together, was completely unacceptable. Brian would barely even let her into the house to see her own son, but he’d let some nobody spend hours with Gus? She wasn’t about to stand for that kind of shit.
Lindsey had thought through several scenarios of what she could do. She’d finally settled on the most efficacious means to get what she wanted - Ron Peterson. Her father was well-connected and wealthy. She knew she could get him on her side and he would get her whatever she needed. If anyone could take down Brian Kinney, it was her father.
“Daddy, I really need your help. I want to get custody of Gus back from his father . . ."
After dinner Gus had been put to bed and Debbie had sauntered off to her own suite of rooms. Brian and Justin lounged on the patio enjoying a nightcap in front of a small fire pit, Brian’s long arms wrapped securely around the smaller man’s torso. Both men were relaxed and enjoyed the sounds of the night and the feeling of closeness. After their bedroom activities earlier in the day, the desperate need and sense of urgency they’d always felt for each other had subsided a bit, leaving them feeling mellow. They watched as the flames in the pit snapped and crackled. The chirp of crickets and the croaks from the tree frogs in the distance all worked together to create a bit of magical nighttime music.
The peace of the evening and the comforting feel of Brian’s arms around him after the rather busy day lulled Justin off into a light doze before very long. He wasn’t completely asleep, simply drifting along in a haze, listening to the sound of Brian’s heart beating next to his ear and the quiet sounds of the night. It was probably the most peaceful he’d felt in years. Justin only blinked and purred a little when Brian gently shoved him off his chest to get up and see to the fire. He heard more than saw Brian moving around the firepit, getting two big logs from the woodpile at the far side of the patio and bringing them back to the fire. After a little bit more noise, the sounds indicative of Brian stirring up the fire and the logs being placed on top, Justin’s cozy, warm pillow - Brian’s chest - was back. As soon as Justin was once again wrapped up in the security of Brian’s warm embrace, he let himself drift off to sleep.
Meanwhile, Brian was also drowsing, enjoying the feel of the warm, pliant body leaning against him and the pleasant warmth emanating from the fire. He couldn’t believe that he was here, fucking cuddling with another man, and it hadn’t sent him running yet. Shit! Brian hadn’t ever felt this relaxed and comfortable with anyone before. He tried not to think about it too much though, worried he’d spook himself away. If he just listened to the fire crackling and didn’t think too much about how intimate this scene was, he could ignore the little voice in the back of his mind telling him this wasn’t for him, this wasn’t possible for Brian Fucking Kinney.
Just then the largest of the logs he’d added to the fire started to catch. It was a big pine log, probably not very well seasoned yet since it had only been chopped down at the beginning of the summer. Brian wasn’t at all surprised when the flames licked up the end of the log, eventually reaching a pocket of sap which boiled and then exploded into a fountain of sparks with a series of loud popping noises which sounded like repetitive rifle fire.
Justin heard the loud cracking even in his sleep. It was almost the same sound that a rifle made as the bullets shot out, breaking the sound barrier as they hurtled through the intervening space heading for a target. He instantly leapt to his feet, his body awake before his mind had managed to orient itself. The ongoing popping sounds triggered memories. Justin remembered the way you wouldn't actually hear the crack of the bullet until after it hit because it was traveling so fast. By the time you heard that sharp noise, it was almost always too late to duck. But you always did duck, instinctively, that sound demanded that you act.
While his mind was still catching up to the reality around him, Justin sensed that he wasn’t alone. Someone - probably one of his men - was there with him and the other man hadn’t been as quick on the uptake as he was. Without even thinking about it, Justin tackled the man standing next to him and forced the larger man down to the ground, covering his body with his own to shield him from the sniper attack. Justin was too late, though. He felt the pain of a bullet slicing into his hip, the searing fire, the pain jarring through him, spreading from his hip throughout his entire body. He screamed at the pain.
“Justin! Justin, wake up! Shit, wake up, please, Justin!” Brian was yelling, trying to get the smaller but still heavy man off of him where he’d been pinned to the ground after Justin tackled him. “Justin, it’s okay. It’s okay. It’s only a dream . . ."
Brian muttered streams of endless nonsense, trying to reclaim his young lover’s attention and ease him back to the reality of the moment. He was so lost, not knowing what to do or how to respond to this latest dream/nightmare/vision that Justin found himself stuck inside. Justin might be smaller than Brian was, stature-wise, but the kid was strong and tenacious. Brian couldn’t free himself from the blond’s vise-like, protective grip. It took several minutes, and the fire dying down a bit in the meantime, before Brian felt Justin’s breath slowing down and his desperate grip loosening enough that Brian could finally roll them both over and eventually stand up. He pulled Justin up with him, hugging the sweet, tortured man to him as tightly as he could, trying to fend off the onslaught of memories.
“Shhh. It’s okay, Justin. It’s okay. I’m here,” Brian found himself still whispering platitudes to the trembling man held in his arms.
“B-B-Brian? Where . . . Where am I?” Justin fought against his disorientation, trying to reconnect to this reality, this now, but still having trouble.
“It’s okay, Justin. You’re here with me at Britin,” Brian softly said, not wanting to further spook the young man. “You fell asleep while we were sitting together on the patio after having made love all afternoon. Everything is okay. I’m here and you’re here with me and everything is just fine. It was just a dream,” Brian continued to hold Justin, rubbing his hands in circles along the distressed man’s back. Eventually, the trembling stopped and Justin relaxed into his arms.
Glancing up at his brunet angel, all dazed confusion gone and replaced with kindling arousal, “Mmmmm . . . Making love?”
Brian shook his head, amazed that he had used those very lesbianic words - it was so unlike him. He couldn’t deny them, though. Maybe for the first time in his life, Brian Kinney really did understand the difference between fucking and making love. However, this was no time for deep philosophical musings. Instead of letting himself get caught up in such abstract thoughts, Brian swooped down, sucking in those succulent raspberry lips for another heated, toe-curling kiss.
Chapter 10 - URI by samcdee
Justin wants to tell Brian the truth about the photo but he’s afraid now because the truth might ruin the love that he and Brian have started to develope for each other. Meanwhile, we get another confrontation scene between Brian and Lindz. And, finally, Michael lets slip a little known fact that might cause Justin a LOT of trouble. Enjoy!
URI - Usually Reliable Information.
Chapter 10 - URI
Justin sat in his apartment, alone for the first time since Brian had found him there after their night of dancing two days before. Two days filled with Brian Kinney. Two nights filled with the sensual feast of making love with his angel. It had been everything Justin had ever dreamed of and more.
Ever since Brian had dropped him back at the club then hurried off to a meeting with Ted, Justin had been staring at the picture of his Angel. His fingers played with the tattered edges of the worn photo. He was totally amazed that he had actually found his Angel. That Brian had turned out to be everything he could have ever dreamed of - hot, sexy, beautiful, kind and the best lover Justin had ever had - was incredible. All those months ago when he was struggling just to survive day by day, he had often looked at that photo and fantasized about what the man behind the picture would be like. Justin smiled to himself, thinking that he’d never even come close to the amazing reality that was Brian Kinney. He’d only known the man for about two weeks and he was already hopelessly in love.
The only problem now was that Justin still hadn’t found a way to tell Brian the truth about why he had come to Pittsburgh. Every time he’d tried to explain it just seemed too difficult. He didn’t seem able to find the right words and then the timing always seemed off.
In the beginning it had seemed simply too embarrassing - Justin didn’t want to seem like some sappy sentimental type who needed roses and serenades. He knew instinctively that was NOT the type of man that would interest Brian Kinney. Besides, that wasn’t really Justin either. Justin wasn’t the type of guy who needed all the romantic trimmings and trappings. Normally, he wouldn’t be the kind of person who would get caught up in some impossible fantasy about somebody he didn’t even know and, at the time, had little chance of ever meeting. But somehow it had happened and he’d ended up searching halfway across the country until he found the man in the photo. How the fuck was he supposed to tell Brian about all that and not come off like some simpering little fairy.
Now that he and Brian had become so close, it seemed even tougher to find a way to tell Brian. It felt like he’d waited too long. If he disclosed everything about the photo at this point, after they’d fucked, Justin thought it would be far too awkward. If he was going to tell Brian about the photo, he should have done it right away, when they first met. If he told Brian now, it might seem like Justin had been hiding something or lying by omission. Justin himself felt like his failure to immediately disclose to Brian all about the picture and why he’d shown up in Pittsburgh was inherently deceptive. Opening up now, AFTER they’d slept together, was only going to engender a sense of distrust in their newly fledged relationship. Justin was already too invested in this . . . whatever it was they had. It might kill him if Brian were to pull away from him now.
Finally, there was also Brian’s feelings to consider. The very little Brian had divulged about his brother Ben had made a real impact on Justin. He could tell how much Brian had loved and relied on his now lost brother. Brian was still so broken up over the loss of Ben that Justin couldn’t bear to make it any worse by talking about his own battle experiences and possibly reminding his lover even more about his brother’s traumatic and unexplained death. Since Brian seemed reluctant to talk about Ben, Justin would have to respect that and not press him for more, at least for now.
The image of Brian on the photo that had pulled Justin through so many times while he was overseas was still in his hand. He’d carried that picture so far, it was like an old friend. It seemed to encompass so many meanings and shades of meanings, wishes, hopes, dreams, fantasies and emotions that Justin was almost afraid to be separated from it even for a moment. But maybe he’d been relying on those hopes and fantasies too much? As comforting as the picture was, it was also a crutch of sorts. Justin thought that maybe, now that he seemed to have the reality of Brian, it might be time to relinquish the fantasy.
With a lot of trepidation but even more determination, Justin finally decided it was time. Getting up off his bed, he walked solemnly across the bare wood floor of his tiny apartment and picked up his sketchbook from the small used bookcase he’d stashed in the corner. He flipped through the well worn book until he came to the next to last drawing. It was the one he’d done of Brian early this morning while his lover was still sleeping. Brian looked so peaceful and serene in his sleep. With a sigh, Justin squared his shoulders and purposefully slid the photo into the top binding where it would stay secure and then closed up the book and put it back on the shelf where it belonged.
The time to tell Brian about the photo and Justin’s journey to find his guardian angel had passed. Justin would rather keep what he had now rather than risk it by revealing what was probably an irrelevant minor detail. Maybe there would be a time in the future when Justin would feel comfortable enough to tell his full story to Brian. In the meantime, it was time to leave the photo of his angel behind and focus on the real thing.
Brian had just gotten home after ANOTHER meeting with Ted and the contractors about the ongoing plumbing issues at Babylon. Brian was annoyed that he was again being pulled into this petty day-to-day stuff. Ted should have been able to handle all this crap - pun intended - without Brian having to get involved. Brian was starting to suspect that his friend and financial advisor was trying to keep him in the loop solely for the purposes of letting the Boss think he was still important to the business. Either that, or Ted missed seeing his handsome face all the time.
Whatever. The impending doom of the exploding johns had now been averted, and Brian was finally free to return home to the peace of Britin to try and catch up on the sleep he’d missed the past couple of days. That little whirling dervish of a blond could fuck like the energizer bunny on supercharged batteries. The boy never seemed to stop, not even to take a breath, and he had one tight ass on him which just kept on giving and giving and giving . . . Brian had got very little sleep while his blond had been visiting - not that he was complaining, mind you. But Brian was looking forward to a little down time in the sack, alone.
Unfortunately, as he pulled up to the garage Brian realized that he wasn’t about to get any peace or quiet any time soon. A disapproving looking Lindsey Peterson was waiting for him on the front porch, a pinched look on her WASPish face and her eyes already flashing with a determination to find fault with him. Brian sighed as he put his Jeep into park and got out of the car. The last thing he wanted this morning was another confrontation with Lindsey, but it didn’t look like he had a choice.
“Lindsey, to what do I owe this dubious pleasure,” Brian drawled as he sauntered up the walkway towards the porch and the waiting apocalypse.
“Morning, Brian,” Lindsey lisped in a saccharine sweet voice that didn’t deceive Brian even a tiny bit. “Just coming in from ANOTHER sleepover, Bri? You’re getting a little old for that, don’t you think?”
“Not that it’s any of your business, Lindz, but I was up at 6:30 this morning. I’ve already been to a business meeting at Babylon and I’m back before 10:00. And, before you make any other unadvised comments, I slept here last night and had breakfast with Gus before I left and then Debbie took him to his swimming lessons at the community center. So, you can’t accuse me of neglecting our son. Do you have any other criticisms for me this fine morning or can I say goodbye and watch you drive off into the blinding sun.”
“Really, Brian . . . at least I’ll go off into the sun and not the burning fires of hell,” Lindsey’s hand fluttered up to her bosom in an obviously contrived affectation. “I’m sorry, Brian. That comment was uncalled for. I didn’t come here to argue with you, but do you always have to be so negative?”
“I’m not negative. I’m a realist. And I don’t think you’re here for a mere social call. So, whatever it is, out with it. Let’s get this over with. I’ve got better things to do than listen to you harp on me about everything that’s wrong in your world,” Brian was clearly fed up with Lindsey before she even began speaking, which put the woman on the offensive even more so than she’d planned.
“Fine. If you want to be so blunt about things,” Lindsey sniped, her lips thin with reproach. “I wanted to talk to you about our existing custody arrangement with Gus. I know that, after Mel and I broke up, we all agreed that Gus was better off staying here with you. But that doesn’t mean I don’t still care about my son. I was just such a mess back then. I needed to get away and get my head on straight. But now I’m back and I think it would be best for Gus if we started to act more like a family. I’d like to start spending more time here with Gus and you. I don’t appreciate how you treat me like some stranger who needs to get permission to spend time with my son. It’s not right and I’m sure it’s confusing to Gus.”
“Lindsey, the only thing confusing to Gus is the way you keep popping up whenever you feel the need to interfere and then disappear again whenever playing mommy is inconvenient for you,” Brian spat - this much bullshit from Lindsey far exceeding his recommended tolerance level for the entire day - as he tried to shoulder past the woman and get inside his house.
“Brian, be reasonable,” Lindsey refused to take the bait this time, intent on pursuing her agenda and not getting distracted by another silly argument. Lindsey grabbed Brian’s arm, her grip remarkably strong for such a delicate looking woman, and refused to let the man get past her. “All I’m proposing is that we start doing more things together, the two of us and Gus, like a normal family would. Instead of ‘my time’ with him and then ‘your time’ - handing Gus off in between like a football - we should just have family time. We could have dinner together as a family a few times a week, maybe go to museums or other stuff on the weekends, and I could even watch him during the day instead of Debbie.”
“Like a NORMAL family, hmmm?” Brian smiled condescendingly down at his old friend who was quickly becoming more of an enemy. “So, what . . . I’d be the butch, strong, supportive father and you’d be the doting mother and we’d all live together in some Leave It To Beaver-like hetero heaven? Is that how you see us, Lindz?”
“Well . . . what’s wrong with Gus having a normal family life . . .”
“What’s wrong is that that’s NOT us, Lindsey. We’re not a NORMAL family. In case you forgot, I’m gay. You’re a lesbian. We’re not happily married and never will be. And I for one don’t want to pretend to be something I’m not. How the fuck would that be good for Gus? You want to teach him to hide who he really is? Fuck you if you think I would ever agree to that kind of shit, Lindz.” Brian was beyond incensed by this point, glaring down his nose at the mother of his son and all her happy-family fantasies.
Lindsey had a stubborn set to her jaw now, her golden brown eyes glittering with anger at the prospect of being lectured by Brian. Brian shook his head, knowing that this entire discussion was useless. Lindsey had her mind made up and there would be no reasoning with her. Brian decided retreat was the only wise choice for him at this point. Using his free hand, he stripped her hand from it’s grip on his biceps and turned abruptly, heading back to his car instead of attempting to get around the irate woman blocking access to his home.
“You know, Lindsey, you do whatever you want, but don’t include me or Gus in your happy-hetero family plans,” Brian hollered over his shoulder as he strode away. “And don’t let me catch you spouting any of that crap around Gus, either. He doesn’t need you telling him that he isn’t 'normal' just because his daddy prefers dick and doesn’t want to fuck his mommy.”
“Fuck you, Brian,” Lindz yelled after the retreating back. “You have no right to keep me away from my son. And I’m getting sick and tired of all your insinuations that I’m not a good mother just because I took some time off to pursue my art career. If this is the way you want to play it, fine. You know as well as I do that if I really pushed things, I could get sole custody of Gus in a heartbeat. Nobody in their right mind would give an over-the-hill club boy like you custody of an eight year old boy. Especially if I got my father and all his cronies involved. How’d you like that, Brian?”
“Oh yeah? Well, come back and talk to me when you’ve got a job and a way to support your son,” Brian scoffed disdainfully. “You’re well on your way to forty, Lindsey - do you plan on having your Daddy support you for the rest of your life? You’ve got no job, you threw away your relationship with Mel, abandoned your son and now that you finally realized you’ll never be another Picasso, you have the balls to come crawling home and think you’re entitled to just pick up where you left off? Grow the fuck up! And, by the way, I don’t appreciate you threatening me. If you think that’s likely to get me to give you more contact with Gus, you’re even crazier than I thought.”
“Oh, and you’re the perfect father, huh, Brian? Yeah, I don’t buy that for a fucking second. We’ll just see who the court finds to be a better parent. Once they find out about you bringing your tricks here when Gus is around, I don’t think you’ll be prancing around all high and mighty,” Lindsey’s last dig brought Brian to an immediate halt just as he was about to get into his car.
“What the fuck are you talking about, Lindsey?” Brian turned back to face the tall blonde, truly confused by the woman’s accusations. “You know I would never trick around Gus.”
“Then, what do you call that blond slut that keeps showing up here every other day? Hmmmm?” Lindsey showed her claws way too readily, tipping her hand to Brian’s better people-reading skills and letting him know that there was lots more shit coming his way.
“Justin isn’t a ‘trick’. He’s an employee . . . and a friend,” Brian found himself adding the last part of that sentence before he even thought about it.
“I thought you didn’t fuck your friends,” Lindsey added in her most catty voice.
“Who I fuck, or don’t fuck, is none of your business, Lindsey,” Brian replied, his tone colder than she’d ever heard before.
“I think I have a right to know just what type of people you’re exposing my son to, Brian,” Lindsey’s calm, polished exterior had completely crumbled by this point, leaving her looking hard and angry and just plain spitefull. “And I think a judge would find it just as interesting as I do. You just think about that, Brian Kinney.”
Brian stood next to his car, shaking with anger, as a gloating Lindsey strutted past him and got in her own car. She gave him a facetious little wave and a fake smile as she drove off. Brian slammed his fist into the side of his Jeep, leaving a nice big dent in the door panel, and then cringed as the pain in his hand finally overwhelmed his fury.
After spending a few hours sharing her emotional woes with as many shots of tequila as she could handle at the Hershee bar - one of the best lesbian bars on Liberty Avenue - Lindsey decided it was time for her and Brian to come to a reasonable conclusion regarding their son. She would be the first to admit that when she had taken off and left Gus in his father’s care, it had been for selfish reasons. Her marriage to Mel had just fallen apart. She wanted a carefree life, but she also wanted Mel and she felt she couldn’t have either of those things if she were tied down with full-time parenthood. But being back and seeing how much of Gus’ life she’d missed out on made her regret the horrible decision she had made.
Downing her last shot, Lindsey gathered up her purse and headed to the one place she was sure to find Brian. Twenty minutes later Lindsey stumbled into Babylon quickly scanning the crowd for any familiar face that could point her in Brian’s direction. Coming up empty, Lindsey made her way to the bar where Ted, Mikey, and Em stood watching all the sweaty beautiful bodies gyrating on the dance floor. Right in the very center of them all, was their undisputed king, Brian Kinney, dancing with shirtless wonder #5389 - a tall, dark-haired beauty with rippling pecs, less than 2% body fat and, apparently, no objections to public displays of lust. Lindsey ordered another drink and then turned around to join the boys in watching the show, just as the beauty started to grope at Brian’s denim-clad crotch with one hand, his other snaked up under the hem of his dance partner’s shirt.
The boys watched with a mix of awe and envy as Brian effortlessly leaned in, whispering something undoubtedly erotic in the accommodating beauty’s ear.
“Bastard,” Emmett said shaking his head with a small smile.
“He doesn’t even have to try.” Michael replied.
Ted tried his best not to let his jealousy show as well, but couldn’t help adding his two cents. “Yep, as usual Brian gets all the beauties, while we get to sit back and watch.”
“What is it you think he says,” Lindz added acerbically, her expression disapproving but yet still somehow envious.
“Whatever it is, we’ll never know,” Michael replied, his own tone evidencing only the same sheer idol worship he’d always exhibited around Brian.
With a look of disgust, Lindsey sneered at Michael, “I see you haven’t changed. Still worshipping at the Altar of the Great God Kinney.” The rest of the gang heard, all rolling their eyes at the obvious truth of her words. “However, I’m not quite as enamored by your hero these days, Michael. Brian is being his usual asshole self about my visiting with Gus.”
Just as Lindsey was building up steam to run Brian completely into the ground, she noticed the object of her rage staring intently towards the stairwell that led down from the offices and the upstairs apartment. Much to the raven haired Beauty’s displeasure, he would soon find himself replaced by the gorgeous piece of blond boy ass currently descending and making his way towards the tall lanky brunet standing under the spotlight in the center of the dance floor. Lindsey kept her eyes trained on the dance floor, trying to discern through the masses of writhing bodies exactly what had now captured Brian’s attention, while her mouth kept continuously spewing drunken venom about how unreasonable Brian was being towards her.
“...and to make matters worse, he has the nerve to have some little blond bimbo around my son all the time...can you believe that shit!”
“You don’t mean Justin do you?” Ted inquired.
“Who’s Justin,” Michael asked, cluelessly.
“That’s Justin,” Ted pointed to where the blond had just made his way through the ring of spectators, emerging next to Brian, who immediately shoved the now unwanted Beauty away from him.
“OOOOOOO! What an absolute doll,” Emmett gushed as soon as he too got an eyeful of the slightly built blond that was now plastered against Brian. “Doesn’t he have the most delicious bubble butt you’ve ever seen? And would you get a load of that basket . . . there’s nothing there but the big bad wolf!” Emmett shrieked when Justin turned around and started grinding his ass into Briand crotch. Then as an afterthought he added “Well one thing’s for sure, this Justin must be someone pretty damn special, if the look on Brian’s face is any indication.”
Michael stood there with a weird look on his face, “I’ve seen that guy someplace before . . .” Scrunching up his forehead and brows in concentration, Michael combed his memory. “Yes! He was at Woody’s a few weeks ago showing a picture of Brian around. He wanted to know who Brian was. The photo was laminated and looked really old. Like it had been handled a lot. I told him Brian’s name and sent him here. What do you think that was all about?”
The turn of conversation caught Lindsey’s attention, she looked over to Michael. “An old laminated photo of Brian? How would that kid get a picture of Brian? How long ago, Michael? Didn’t the blond just start working for Babylon last week, Ted? If so, why was he asking about Brian before then? Unless . . . Ben, had a photo of Brian he took with him when he went overseas. I think it was even laminated . . .”
A cool smile graced Lindsey’s lips thinking of all the ways this little tidbit of information could work in her favor. This could be just the thing to help her get back into Brian’s good graces and get rid of that blond slut at the same time. And, if that happened, maybe she could work things so she didn’t have to go to court over Gus’ custody at all. Yes, this might work into her plans just perfectly!
We're just about getting to the good part, guys. Stay tuned! TAG
Chapter 11 - Blue Falcon by samcdee
Lindsey is off to get her nefarious plans started. What will happen when it comes to light that Justin has been showing Brian's picture around town?
Blue Falcon - A "buddy fucker". Someone who is a fuckoff and drags their buddies into shit with them.
Chapter 11 - Blue Falcon
“Lindsey, Pumpkin, how are you,” Ron Peterson said as he came into the solarium where Lindsey was waiting. “You look enchanting this morning,” he gave her a quick uncomfortable peck on the cheek before seating himself on the teak veranda chair next to the matching loveseat where Lindsey was perched.
“Well, dear, I see that living the bohemian lifestyle of the ‘Starving Artist’ definitely agrees with you. Who knew that poverty could be so becoming.” Lindsey cringed at the endearing backhanded compliment from her loving father.
Lindsey squared her shoulders and tried to disregard her father’s cutting remarks. “Daddy, I need your help with something about Gus,” Lindz offered, hoping to redirect the conversation to where she wanted it to go. She was heartened when her father’s attention instantly riveted on her. “I’m not sure that Brian is a good influence on Gus. I don’t know what I should do. I . . . I think maybe I should try to stand up to him but I just don’t know where to start.”
Ron Peterson, who had long doubted his daughter’s wisdom in letting a flaming fag father her child, instantly keyed into the topic at hand. “What’s got you worried, Pumpkin?”
“Well, I really don’t know anything concrete, but I’ve seen this young man - well, he’s really just a boy, you know - at Brian’s house several times lately and I just get this odd feeling about him, you know. His name is Justin Taylor. I don’t really know anything about him, and that’s exactly what worries me. I don’t want Gus exposed to just anyone. But I don’t know what to do, Daddy.”
Ron’s face scrunched up in confusion as his daughter spoke. He had never liked Brian Kinney. Even back when Lindsey was in college and she was ostensibly dating the man, he’d had his doubts. So Ron was sure that his little girl’s concerns were very warranted indeed.
“Well, dear, have you seen this . . . Justin acting inappropriately with my grandson?”
“I wouldn’t say it was inappropriate . . .” Lindsey played her ace card, “but, I thought they were very friendly with each other and it was rather quick . . . I did see this man hugging Gus while they were out in the barn. Justin was only half dressed at the time and . . . well, I didn’t think anything about it at the time, but now I don’t know."
Lindsey smiled triumphantly to herself as she watched her father’s face cloud over with anger. His skin was tinted hellfire red and his eyes nearly bulged out of their sockets as he stood and confronted her about her half-truths. Yes, Justin had indeed hugged Gus, and it was also a fact that he was shirtless at the time, but what she neglected to tell her dear old dad, was that it was hot out and he had been teaching Gus some dog training techniques for JB and that he was waiting for his shirt to dry in the sun.
“I wish you had told me about your concerns earlier, Pumpkin. This is not what I wanted to hear this morning. But, don’t worry. I’ll have my people look into this. If this Justin Taylor is at all sketchy, we’ll get to the bottom of it.”
“Thank you, Daddy. I’m so relieved. I know you’ll make sure that Gus and I are protected and safe,” Lindz said, satisfied that her mission was successfully completed. “But, please, Daddy, you will let me know if you find anything . . . incriminating . . . before you go to Brian, won’t you? I want to deal with this as discretely as possible . . .”
“Of course, Pumpkin,” Ron Peterson agreed willingly. Actually, it fit right into his own plans that his daughter would take care of this unseemly business by herself. Scandal was so tawdry. It would be better for everyone if this was handled behind the scenes. In his exclusive social circle, keeping one’s name from being sullied by those who reveled in slinging mud and airing their dirty laundry publicly, was of the utmost importance.
After dancing late into the night followed by a session of marathon sex, Justin was comfortably spooned against Brian’s front. Brian was still asleep as was evidenced by the wheezing snores coming from behind Justin’s head. Even when asleep, though, Brian’s cock was hard and nestled between Justin’s ass cheeks.
Justin was in that twilight state where the brain was awake but the body was in a resting languid condition. Something felt out of place but he wasn’t sure what it was. Some sound or feeling in the air had woken his mind.
And then he heard it, a soft click and a whispering voice beyond the closed apartment door. Then the soft whispers were soon followed by the quiet whoosh of closing drawers and rustling papers. Not wanting to wake his beautiful adonis, Justin carefully slipped out of bed and retrieved a pair of sweatpants, pulling them on before taking a peek around the painted screen that hid the sleeping area, to check out the disturbance.
“I’m in, Jake,” the tall nondescript man whispered, holding down the transmission button on the radio mike affixed to the shoulder of his jacket. “Give me ten and then I’ll be out of here.”
“The coast looks clear,” the words crackled back out of the speaker of the radio down by his belt as ‘Jake’ pushed open the apartment door and quickly made his way inside the small studio.
The man was efficient. He knew what he was doing. He was a professional. He didn’t need to ransack the place to get the information he was after. He silently moved across the floor towards the kitchen area and opened and closed each of the drawers in the cupboards, not interested in most of what they contained. In the one top drawer closest to the door, he paused a little longer, and rapidly went through the small bits and pieces of paper mixed in amongst keys and random knick knacks. None of it was what the man was looking for so he moved on.
There was a stack of papers on the end of the small table that looked like it doubled as a desk. The man flipped through them - noting that it seemed to be nothing but bills, unsolicited credit card offers and other recent mail. The only thing of interest there, was the bank statement, which Jake took pictures of using his camera phone and then put it all back where he found it.
There didn’t appear to be any other place where a person would keep documents and important papers other than maybe in the bookcase. Jake scanned the various book titles with amusement. This guy sure had a wide range of tastes when it came to his reading materials. In amongst the usual spattering of paperback novels, there was a tattered copy of the Complete Works of Shakespeare, a copy of Dr. Seuss’ ‘Cat In the Hat’, and one of the more recent non-fiction expose books dealing with the latest scandals in Washington. It was not exactly what the man had been expecting to find in the apartment of some flunky jarhead.
Jake pawed through the books a little bit more, intrigued for the moment by the inconsistencies. There were art books, science fiction, and even a biography or two. The art books seemed to be more numerous than the rest by a small fraction. Jake picked up a couple and flipped through the pages. Nothing of interest inside. All of the books were obviously second hand copies.
Then, almost on a whim, the man picked up the one tattered sketchbook shoved in between the other, mostly hardbound books. He flipped through the pencil drawings, noting briefly that they seemed pretty good to him. He was just about to put the book back where it had come from when something fell out from between the pages and fluttered down to the floor. Jake bent over and picked whatever it was up. He was going to look at the scrap he’d found and then put it back, but some sixth sense told him that he’d been here too long. He opted for just shoving whatever it was into his pocket, ready to get the hell out of there.
Jake was more than poised to leave, but without warning he found himself thrown to the floor, fully encased in a rear naked choke hold, a muscular arm coming around his body from behind, wrapping itself around his windpipe and then using the collar of his own shirt as the assault weapon choking him out.
“What the fuck are you doing in my house?” a menacing voice hissed in his ear. “Did some asshole special ops agent send you to take me out?” Justin demanded answers and quickly before the life completely drained from this pathetic fucker. Justin’s slightly trembling hands continued to tighten around the lapels of Jake’s shirt as his legs, wrapped around the invader’s torso, began to further squeeze the air out of his lungs. The hand of the arm wrapped around the guy’s neck was locked onto his own biceps so there was no way for the bastard to break out.
“What the fuck is going on out there,” Brian’s voice rang out from the area near the bed.
“Stay back, Brian. I’ve got this,” Justin warned, even as he heard his lover clambering out of bed and rushing towards them in the dark. “We just had a little uninvited nocturnal visitor. But he won’t be staying long.”
“Fuck that, Justin,” Brian, no scared little faggot that needs protecting, groused as he stomped away briefly, stubbing his toe on something in the kitchen, before flipping the light switch and illuminating the entire scene.
The light revealed Justin grappling on the floor with a beefy guy sporting the typical buzzed haircut and slightly paunchy gut which seemed to be the norm amongst a certain type of law enforcement professional. From the look on the guy’s face, he wasn’t enjoying himself. His eyes were slightly bugged out and his skin color was a blotchy red mixed with pale patches. Brian could tell that the gentleman hadn’t had nearly enough oxygen in the very recent past, what with his Sunshine’s arm wrapped around his neck and all.
“Well if it isn’t Officer Daniels. You’re not looking so good, can I get you anything? Beer, soda, a nice oxygen mask perhaps?” Brian indicated that his lover should unhand the man. “Justin, maybe I should handle the introductions. This is Jake Daniels, one of Pittsburgh’s finest, and in his off hours, I believe, employed as a security guard for Ron Peterson?”
“What? You actually know this low life son of a bitch, Brian?”
“I don’t know him, exactly, but I’ve seen him. When he’s not ‘serving and protecting’, he works for Gus’ maternal grandfather, Ron Peterson. And I don’t think you want to be handling a cop like that, Sunshine. I really do think you need to let the man get up and get a lungful of air.”
“What the fuck, Brian?” Justin exclaimed angrily, “This turd broke into my apartment and I’m supposed to let him go? Why the fuck was he even in here?”
Brian glared at Justin as if he were scolding his own son, letting him know in no uncertain terms that this little issue was not up for debate. The last thing either of them needed was to have a dead cop in their midst. Brian, in particular, didn’t need any run-ins with the cops, especially when it was all happening on the grounds of his club.
“You definitely need to let him go Sunshine, and my guess as to the reason for his visit is to spy on me . . . but we won’t know that until you let the man breathe.”
Reluctantly Justin slowly untangled himself from the good old boy in blue. Finally gaining his freedom, Jake went to his hands and knees pulling lungful after glorious lungful of much needed air into his poor depleted body. As soon as he was able, the gasping lout started to crawl as far away from Justin as he could get in the small apartment, keeping an eye on the dangerous criminal all the while. He was trying at the same time to reach for the mike of his still live radio, so he could surreptitiously let his partner in on what the fuck was going down.
“Yeah, you don’t need any backup, buddy,” Justin saw the move and was already way ahead of the guy.
The former marine, fresh from combat duty, wasn’t about to let the asswipe pull a ‘blue falcon’ on him. If by chance this creep did find something incriminating - although Justin couldn’t think what the fuck that would be - then he wasn’t going to let the guy call in some clue to his cronies. And, for that matter, he wasn’t going to let the guy out of here with that radio or any other electronics. Justin disconnected the mike from the radio unit, tossed it across the room so that it shattered against the wall and then efficiently patted the guy down, pulling a smart phone out of the guy’s back pocket.
“I’ll just keep the sim card for this, you know, as a little memento of our time together.”Justin said as he grabbed a pen off the nearby counter, popped the sim card out and broke it in half. “Ooops. It looks like I broke it. Too bad, so sad. You’ll have to get that replaced,” Justin handed back the phone itself with a big fake grin.
“Thanks a lot you fucking pervert. Hope you enjoyed the extra grope there,” rasped the still suffering cop, shying away as if Justin’s hands on his body had contaminated him.
“Oh believe me, the pleasure was all mine, Officer Jerk Off,” Justin smiled ingratiatingly at the man. “Now, why don’t you get the fuck out of here before I unpleasantly grope you some more.”
With the threat of having Justin’s fag hands on his body again, Jake quickly scrambled to his feet and made a hasty retreat towards the door.
Brian opened the door for the homophobic cop, “Better hurry. Don’t want any of that queerness to rub off on you!” Brian declared loudly as he slammed the door, almost smacking the cop’s ass with it as he left.
Once Jake was safely ensconced in the passenger seat of his car, Patrick, his partner in crime as well as on the force, gave him a quick once over. Patrick noticed the bruises starting to form around his throat and face.
“Damn, Jake! What the fuck happened to you in there?”
“Don’t even fucking ask,” Jake shook his head, really not interested in telling his partner that he was bested by a skinny little blond boy fag.
“Lindsey,” Brian said with a sarcastic smile as he opened the door to his son’s mother. “Why is it NOT a surprise to see you here this afternoon? Oh, yeah, that’s right, because I already had a run in with your father’s goon this morning.”
“I don’t know WHAT you are talking about, Brian,” Lindz said, unsuccessfully playing the dumb blonde card.
“Dumb is not becoming on you, Lindsey. I know the guy that busted into Justin’s apartment this morning works for your dad during his off hours as a cop. I’ve seen him doing security at parties you forced me to attend. What the fuck do you think you’re up to, huh?” Brian was incensed and not at all willing to listen to excuses. “Whatever the fuck you think you’re doing, Lindz, it stops RIGHT now! My personal life is absolutely none of your business.”
"Well you just might feel differently about that once you see what I have to show you,” Lindsey commented, her voice dripping saccharine. “It seems your little stable boy has been following you for some time now, just waiting for the chance to get close to you. Now ask yourself . . . why would the little wayward blond do such a thing hmmm . . ."
“What the hell are you going on about, Lindz?”
Lindsey opened her handbag and shuffled through it theatrically before pulling out a small laminated piece of paper which she presented to Brian in a thoroughly exaggerated manner.
“This is what I’m going on about my dear friend. I just happened to be talking to Michael the other day and he told me this very interesting story about some guy who’d been going around Liberty Avenue showing off a picture of you. It seems that your new blond boy toy was flashing this around town,” Lindsey added viciously as she pointed to the picture that Brian already knew so well.
Brian took the small item that Lindsey was holding out in her hand. As soon as it touched his hand, he recognized it as the photo he had given to his brother Ben before he’d left on his last tour. Brian had made sure it was laminated so it would hold up no matter where his brother took it. He’d told Ben to keep that with him everywhere. On the back, in Brian’s bold handwriting the words “Be Safe” were still visible beneath the well worn plastic. The corners were a lot more battered now than when he’d presented it to his brother, and the lamination was coming apart on one corner, but it was definitely the exact same picture he’d given to Ben.
“How the fuck did Justin get this?” Brian queried, his voice barely above a whisper. The mere sight of the picture of his fallen brother causing his throat to become as dry as the desolate desert that served as Ben’s final resting place.
“That’s a very, very good question,” Lindsey replied spitefully. “Didn’t you say that he was over there in Iraq too? And, if I remember right, there was that allegation of ‘friendly fire’ surrounding Ben’s death. So . . . who would have been close enough to him at the time of his death to have taken your photo from him? Hmmm?”
“Lindz . . . you really should see a shrink to get some help for that over-active imagination of yours. The fact that Justin had this picture - which, by the way, was obtained by your father’s goon illegally entering his home - probably has nothing to do with Ben’s death. Fuck, for all we know he and Ben were buddies and Ben gave it to him,” Brian offered the first alternative hypothetical that came to mind.
“Dear, sweet, delusional Brian. Stop thinking with your cock. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’d venture to guess that Justin hasn’t told you that he knew Ben, has he? Has he explained what he’s doing here in Pittsburgh. Isn’t it way too much of a coincidence that he just showed up here, with your picture in his possession, and never said ANYTHING about it?”
“Fuck you, Lindsey. This is none of your business. Besides, what the fuck do you care anyway?” Brian insisted, not yet willing to concede that his lover might have something to hide even though it wasn’t looking good.
“I don’t care about your sorry ass or where you’re sticking your dick these days, Brian, except of course that I don’t think it’s appropriate to let just anyone get close to my son,” Lindsey hit home her real point. “I mean, what do you really know about this kid, Brian? NOTHING, right? You just let anyone with a dick and a hot ass jump into your bed and then into your son’s life? I don’t give a crap who you fuck as long as you don’t do it where it will affect Gus. But, by bringing this sick stalker here, you’ve set yourself and Gus up for a world of hurt. Think about it, Brian? Think about what you’re setting Gus up for?”
“You know what? I don’t think you know what the fuck you’re talking about. This really has nothing at all to do with Justin, does it? You’re nothing more than a spiteful bitch, Lindsey, who’s jealous because it’s not YOU who’s here in my bed. Well, regardless of who I’m fucking or not fucking, or who I let visit my home, you’re not going to get what you want out of me, Lindz. I’m not going to FUCK YOU and we will never play happy family! I suggest you keep your turned up nose away from my business from now on Lindsey and stop going to daddy like the spoiled little rich girl you are every time you don’t get your way. Oh, and get the fuck off my property.”
And, much fun was had by all the authors! TAG
Chapter 12 - Clusterfuck by samcdee
Brian confronts Justin about the photo. Things don't go all that well . . .
Clusterfuck - Military term for an operation in which multiple things have gone wrong.
Chapter 12 - Clusterfuck
Justin was still feeling jumpy and on edge when he jumped out of the cab of the semi-truck that he’d thumbed a ride from earlier. He waved so-long to Mack, the trucker who’d picked him up back at the on-ramp to the freeway, and looked at his watch. He’d made better time than he’d expected, thanks to getting that ride. It was only 7:30 am and he wasn’t expected at Britin until late morning. But Justin hadn’t been able to sleep anyway, so he figured he might as well get started on the chores Brian had for him at the stables rather than waste time pacing in his apartment.
Ever since Justin had taken out the night time visitor who’d been searching his apartment two nights earlier, he’d been unable to calm down. He'd felt nervous and couldn’t sit still for long. He’d tried to contact Brian a few times yesterday throughout the afternoon and the early evening, but the man wasn’t answering his phone, so Justin figured he was probably still dealing with Lindsey. Unfortunately, Justin didn’t really have anything else he needed to do just then and wasn’t in the mood to draw or paint or read. Justin knew better than to even try sleeping when he was like this. If he closed his eyes, images from his time overseas that he’d tried to keep buried for the past several years would instantly pop into his mind. The last thing he needed right now was to succomb to a panic attack or get trapped in another flashback. Instead, he paced.
Since his apartment was pretty small, there wasn’t really much room for pacing, and he felt uncomfortably confined there - he didn’t feel safe even in his own home anymore. All evening and into the night, he'd found himself obsessively checking the lock on the door every fifteen minutes. Then, around midnight, he had given up and just pushed the table and several chairs over in front of the door as a makeshift barricade. When he caught himself debating over whether or not to try securing the windows, he knew he had to get the fuck out of there before he completely lost it.
It wasn’t even five am when Justin practically ran out of the apartment. He had no real destination in mind. He just knew he couldn’t stay in that small room any longer. The pre-dawn air was refreshingly crisp and invigorating. He just started to walk without any conscious direction. It wasn’t until Justin was already nearing the outskirts of downtown, that he realized his feet had him headed in the direction of Britin.
The first inhabitant to greet Justin was the farm’s watch-goose, Mei Mei, who had somehow gotten out of her pen already this morning - she was well known to be an escape artist of the highest order, almost a feathered Houdini. Mei Mei was accompanied by her trusty sidekick, Neptune, the Khaki Campbell duck that followed her everywhere, and Midge, the big red hen. Mei Mei *zoinked* at the man, challenging his right to walk on her farm, with her head held low to the ground and her wings outstretched in order to make herself more menacing. The duck and the chicken quacked and clucked along in support but stayed well behind their larger friend. Justin refused to be intimidated, although he had come prepared and wisely pulled the remains of his morning bagel out of his pocket, scattering the crumbs along the ground and effectively distracting the feathered guards. As he advanced a little further onto the property, Justin suddenly felt a gentle head butting at the back of his legs followed by the low whimpering of his favorite furry friend, JB. Justin stooped down so he was level with the pooch and gave him an affectionate scratch behind the ears, promising a round of play later on in the day when he had the time.
Brian was roused from his all-night reverie by the sounds of the goose announcing the arrival of a visitor somewhere in the front of the house. He reluctantly pulled himself up out of the depths of the overstuffed armchair where he’d spent most of the past night, drinking, thinking, and stewing over the news that Lindsey had been oh-so-happy to impart to him yesterday. He gingerly walked over to big picture window that overlooked the yard, and noticed a very shirtless and very sweaty Justin dutifully going about completing his daily tasks. His first thought was . . . damn he really is a sexy little fucker. But that thought quickly gave way to the slight nagging feeling that some or all of what Lindsey had said about the blond might be true.
From what little Brian knew about this beautiful ex-marine, he didn’t believe that Justin could be capable of something so nefarious. Sure, the circumstances that had caused their paths to cross were sketchy at best, but the idea that Justin had shown up merely to alleviate himself of some misguided guilt for killing Ben - intentionally or not - was completely ridiculous. Brian glanced at his right hand holding Ben’s picture of himself - the one that Lindsey’s goon had stolen from Justin’s room and then given to him as proof of Justin’s deception - and had to grudgingly admit to himself that the evidence was damning, but before coming to any conclusion he really needed to talk to Justin.
Brian slipped the photo into his front shirt pocket and, with a deep fortifying breath, walked out of the house, heading toward the barn and a confrontation with Justin. One way or another, he just had to know the truth. Ben was too important to him to just let this particular inconsistency fester like a boil in his mind. Brian had been trying to get a real answer out of the Marine Corps for so long now, without any real results. He’d filed form after form, he’d spent hours on the phone calling the Pentagon, JAG, military records, and everyone else he could think of including Ben’s unit commander, but there still was no definitive word on Ben’s death. He had to find out once and for all, and in order to do that, he would have to pin Justin down.
Brian slowly headed towards the main double doors on the front of the barn. Inside there was lots of activity considering the early hour. He heard the horses neighing and the poultry, who had followed the interloping blond inside, were clamoring for their own breakfast. Justin was whispering to the stable’s residents, his quiet reassurances and snickering laughter filling the empty spaces of time with a soft tenor trill that sparked a fire low in Brian’s gut. The early morning scene was almost magical - the early light trickling in through various cracks and the occasional open stall doorway - highlighting every dust mote drifting on the still morning air. The animals were crowding around the young man, who just happened to be standing under a direct beam of sunlight that illuminated his blond mane like a golden halo.
“What do you know, it seems like the head of the roost isn’t the only cock up before the crack of dawn. What brings you to Britin this early in the morning, Sunshine?” Brian interrupted the silent moment with his characteristic snark. “Trying to win points with the boss?”
“Brian? I didn’t expect anyone else to be up this early,” Justin’s head snapped around to look at his interlocutor.
Justin instinctively moved towards his lover as soon as he realized Brian was there with him in the flush of early morning. His arms reached for Brian, his intent clearly to encircle the older man’s waist in his grasp. Brian adroitly sidestepped the advance, however, and maintained his emotional as well as physical distance.
“Brian?” Justin questioned - he couldn’t help but notice the way Brian tried to avoid his touch.
“Lindsey came by to talk to me yesterday afternoon . . .” Brian started, his tone indicating that he was clearly uncomfortable with both the topic and the way he’d approached it. He reached into his pocket and pulled out the damning picture, holding it out as an exhibit to the accused - Justin - without any further explanation.
Justin looked up at the taller man, his breath held as he caught a good look at what Brian held in his hand.
“Where did you get this,” Brian insisted when Justin was still obviously at a loss for words.
“I-I-I . . . I found it,” Justin stuttered, unable to explain things, having been caught off guard like this.
“This was Ben’s. He took it everywhere with him. He told me he never went on a mission without it,” Brian asserted, waving the picture in Justin’s face as his voice broke.
“Brian, please listen to me,” Justin tried to stop the tirade, but Brian was on a roll and wasn’t ready to listen to Justin’s side of things just yet.
“No! You listen to ME! You come here . . . it wasn’t by accident, was it? What are you doing? Stalking me? Why do you have Ben’s picture, damn it? Why? Just fucking tell me!”
“I know I should have told you earlier. I tried . . . I didn’t know how.”
“Try telling me now,” Brian demanded.
Justin dropped the bucket of feed he’d been holding and turned away, unable for the moment to maintain eye contact with the man he’d come to love in such a short period of time. As Justin thought back to that horrendous episode, trying to get his thoughts in order enough to explain to Brian exactly what had happened, the voices, the noise, the heat of the scene seemed to envelope him. All around him, the comforting domestic environment of Britin’s stables seemed to bleed out and was replaced by that darkness that seemed to enfold every single one of Justin’s memories of Iraq. He was swept up by the noise of yelling, explosions, rifle fire and screaming.
“It was in the early morning. There had been a night raid. Things didn’t go as expected. There was so much destruction everywhere I looked. I just found it - glinting in the harsh sunlight - in the middle of nowhere. In the midst of all of it I found something. Something that ultimately saved my life. Brian . . . I know you probably won’t believe me, but that something was you! You saved my life, on more than one occasion, as others around me died.”
Brian looked on, dumbfounded, as Justin got lost in his memories, the young marine walking away as he spoke as if he was no longer in the stables with the older man.
“I tried to find out who it belonged to . . . on more than one occasion. I never stopped. But nobody claimed it. Finding something like that . . . in a war, it’s like finding an angel in hell . . . So I kept it with me. And I survived a lot of things. Things that I had no right to survive . . . And I promised myself that if I made it out, I would find that man and I would thank him for saving my life when others weren’t so lucky, but I couldn’t find the right words . . .” Justin instinctively grabbed ahold of the dog tags around his neck, his fingers unerringly finding the black one for his buddy Aces, tracing along the lettering as if he was reading the name in braille.
Justin turned back around and looked Brian in the eyes finally, tears marring his beautiful blue gaze. “How do you explain something that you don’t really understand yourself?”
“Understand this, this was BEN’S! It was meant to keep him alive and safe,” Brian couldn’t wait for any further explanation, his fury over the seeming betrayal taking over and overwhelming any understanding that Justin might be seeking. All Brian knew was that the photo that was meant for Ben - that was supposed to be Ben’s good luck charm and keep him safe - had been taken by another.
“I wish it had,” Justin mumbled so softly that Brian almost couldn’t hear the words. “I wish it had.”
“Well it’s good to know it apparently served it’s intended purpose, only it saved the wrong fucking person. I think you should go, Justin. Just . . . go!” Brian said, his voice quiet but scarily insistent.
Justin looked up at the angry hazel eyes that were shooting lethal glares his direction and knew that he’d lost. He’d lost everything. Without another word, Justin dejectedly walked out of the stables and out of his angel’s life . . . He didn’t even notice the green leaves of the trees or the dappled sunlight as he trudged his way back down the long driveway, his world had been subsumed by the sounds, images, and smells of the flashback that his confession had submerged him into. The greenery around him faded into the browns and tans of a desert landscape. The breeze blowing through the trees became the restless sweep of sand granules rubbing against each other in the unceasing winds of a barren arabian desert an ocean away.
From his hiding spot outside the barn door, Gus heard most of the dispute between his father and Justin. He had only come down to the barn to find his puppy, but as soon as he heard the raised voices, he hesitated to go inside. The little boy heard his father’s order that Justin leave and watched as Justin trudged past him without even acknowledging his presence. He started to wonder if he had done something to anger the man that he had quickly come to consider his new best friend.
“Justin! Justin!” Gus hollered after the retreating ex-marine, running after him down the driveway with JB trotting along and barking in sympathy.
Justin seemed engrossed in his own thoughts, however, and didn’t even look down at the eight year old or the bounding great dane pup. As the distracted young blond man turned and started down the main road beyond the end of the driveway, Gus stopped and stood in the middle of the road, looking dejectedly after the departing form. Justin’s shoulders were uncharacteristically stooped and his head down as he blindly shuffled down the long dirt road away from Britin.
Brian slowly emerged from the barn and looked stonily at where his former lover had disappeared, noting for the first time that Gus and JB were also looking at the man who was sluggishly walking away. Brian groaned at the thought that his sensitive son might have overheard some part of the conversation - Gus was still almost as overwrought at Ben’s loss as Brian was and the last thing the over-protective father wanted was to make things tougher on his son.
“Daddy why did you make Justin leave? I like Justin a lot, don’t you? He’s so cool and he helped me a bunch with JB - I don’t want him to go away, Daddy. Is he mad at me for asking him to help me train JB or because I couldn’t get it right? If that’s the reason, then I can try harder to . . .”
Brian interrupted his son, “No, Gus, no. Justin isn’t angry at you. Not at all. You didn’t do anything wrong, son. Justin and I just had a little argument, is all. You know adults don’t always agree all the time. It doesn’t have anything to do with you, okay?”
“Okay . . . but, will he come back then? I still wanted Justin to help me train JB. He promised he would and he said that a Marine never breaks his promise - they never leave a man behind . . . He will come back, right?” Gus pleaded, looking up at his father with those big round, sad brown eyes that normally Brian just couldn’t resist.
“We’ll have to see about that, Sonnyboy. I’m not sure that Justin and I will be seeing very much of each other anymore. We don’t really agree on somethings, but it doesn’t have anything to do with you, Sonnyboy . . ." Brian tried to placate the child without promising anything about Justin, who wouldn’t be back again if HE had anything to say about it.
“But, Daddy, that’s not fair,” Gus whined, clearly not willing to give up his new friend and not at all mollified by his father’s flimsy explanation. “I like Justin! I want him to help me with JB. Why can’t he stay and help me? You’re always sending the people I like away. You sent Mommy away and Uncle Ben went away too . . . I don’t want anybody to go away anymore,” Gus had broken into sobs by this point, and Brian’s heart was breaking right along with it.
“Gus, I know this is hurting you and I’m sorry about that . . .”
“You’re lying. You’re NOT sorry. You always do this. I HATE you!” Gus screamed before Brian could say more - as unapologetic as any hurt eight year old - and then ran towards the house, leaving Brian dumbfounded.
Brian was left standing alone, more alone than ever now . . .
Sorry this chapter is a bit short and had a nasty cliffhanger at the end (You can blame JP for the cliffie!) We hadn't posted anything in quite awhile so we thought you'd rather have this now than wait for more. We're getting to the big climax here - soon - so just hold on and we'll get everything resolved for you.
Thanks once again for all the wonderful reviews and to those readers who have been helping us along as we write online. We love the company and the added inspiration. The more the merrier!
P.S. Mei-Mei the goose, her duck Neptune and her chicken Whatchmacallit are the real pets of TAGSIT!
Chapter 13 - SNAFU by samcdee
Gus runs away. Will his attempt to talk to Justin about his Uncle Ben result in revelations that will explain how Justin ended up with Brian's picture? Enjoy!
SNAFU - Acronym for the sarcastic expression - situation normal: all fucked up.
Chapter 13 - SNAFU
After allowing himself a few more moments to indulge in his self-imposed pity party, Brian found the strength to will his feet to move from the spot they were rooted in and headed for the house as well. He really needed a drink or a joint - or maybe several of each - in order to deal with all the shit that had been suddenly piled on his shoulders. Brian still wasn’t sure whether or not to believe Justin’s recounting of the events that landed his picture in Justin’s hands. Nothing that Brian had learned about the young former marine in the past few weeks gave him reason to believe that Justin was anything but sincere. However, Brian still couldn’t get over the feeling of betrayal, the guilt from knowing that his brother had met his death without even having the familiar comfort of the photo of Brian with him at the time. However illogical it seemed, Brian imagined that somehow, some way, it was the absence of the good-luck photo that had contributed to Ben’s demise and he couldn’t forgive Justin for that unknowing fault.
Brian’s progress up to the house was slow. He was literally and figuratively dragging his feet. After the confrontation with Lindsey yesterday and then the bigger one with Justin this morning, he wasn’t looking forward to having to spar with his son now, too. Brian desperately wished that Gus hadn’t witnessed the little falling out with Justin. His son was so fragile these days. He almost wished he’d never allowed Justin to get close to his son - especially if he was only going to be a part of the boy’s world for such a short time. Gus didn’t need more people disappearing out of his life without warning. Brian didn’t really know what he was going to say to his tenderhearted son or how he was going to explain this. He didn’t really understand himself why he was acting the way he was, so how the fuck was he supposed to explain it so an eight year old could grasp the situation. Ah, the joys of parenthood, thought Brian, as he squared his shoulders and prepared to do battle with his unhappy child.
“Gus!” Brian hollered as soon as he pulled open the side door and made his way inside. “Gus, come down here, please! I need to talk to you, Sonnyboy!”
When he was met by complete silence, Brian was sure that Gus was just ignoring him. His son had been pretty pissed at him for sending Justin away the way he did. Brian let five minutes pass before he tried calling for Gus again.
“Gus did you hear me? Listen, I know you’re upset about what happened but you really need to come down here so we can talk about this!” When more than sixty seconds elapsed and there was still no response from his errant offspring, Brian let his voice raise a bit. “Gus Peterson Kinney. Get your skinny little behind down here. I don’t care how annoyed you are with me, you still don’t get to disrespect me and ignore me when I tell you to do something . . . GUS!”
Brian, now beyond pissed off at his petulant child, finally stomped up the stairs and barged uninvited into his son’s room . . . only to discover complete silence and an empty room. Brian then tried the closets, bathrooms, and all the hiding places that Gus didn’t think Brian knew about, but still he was nowhere to be found. As an afterthought, Brian went back into Gus’ room in case he’d happened to slip in while his father was searching another part of the house. Unfortunately, Brian found that not only had Gus disappeared, but he had taken his school backpack with him.
All the sudden, Brian’s stomach dropped and he was chilled by a cold sweat. “Gus! GUS! GUUUUUUUSSSS!” Brian screamed, in a total panic, dashing back down the stairs as fast as his feet would go without tumbling down to his death.
Brian already suspected that he wouldn’t be hearing any response, but he couldn’t help hoping that he was just over-reacting and his beloved son would turn up just around the next corner. However, when he noticed the absence of JB’s leash which was normally draped over the banister next to the back steps and the big bag of dog treats Gus used for training the puppy that were usually waiting on the shelf where the spare keys and other odds and ends hung, Brian knew that he was too late. When he bolted through the screen door, Brian also spotted a trail of tiny sneaker prints leading away from the property across the front lawn which was still wet from the morning’s dew. Brian’s panic welled up again and he knew he would have to enlist help in finding his son.
“Hey, Bri . . . “ Ted was interrupted by his phone in the middle of giving Justin directions about which rooms at Babylon needed a paint touch up. “What? Slow down, I can’t understand you . . . Gus is missing . . . ?”
Justin couldn’t help but overhear what Ted was saying, considering their proximity. Justin could clearly discern the panicked timber of Brian’s voice coming from Ted’s cell phone.
“Okay, okay . . . just try to stay calm and I’ll be there as soon as I can.” Ted ended the call and wordlessly turned his attention back to Justin. Justin could read in Ted’s eyes everything he was unable to verbalize at the moment.
“Ted? What’s going on?” Justin demanded, as the older man tried to rein in his own worry.
“It looks like Gus has run away,” Ted confessed, looking almost as stunned as Justin felt at the announcement.
“What? Why? What did Brian say?” Justin implored and grabbed at Ted’s arm as if to physically pull the explanation out of his body.
“I didn’t get any more. Brian wasn’t making a lot of sense. He just said that Gus was missing and asked me to call everyone to help look for him. I’ve got to make some calls . . .” Ted was already drifting away from the scene, his cell phone out and his fingers punching intently at various buttons, as Justin peeled away and bolted out the main door of the club, sprinting as fast as he could towards the corner of Liberty Avenue where knew he could find a cab.
Less than twenty minutes later, the young blond spilled out of the taxi in front of Britin, running towards the door before his feet even hit the ground. He didn’t really pause long enough at the front door to knock before plowing through and yelling out for Brian. As Justin barged through the front door, Brian was just coming down the hall with his cell phone to his ear. Brian and Justin both came to a dead stop when they laid eyes upon the other.
Brian covered the mouthpiece of his phone before asking Justin in a harsh voice, “What the fuck are you doing here?”
“Ted told me about Gus. What can I do to help?” Justin huffed out an offer of assistance before he’d even caught his breath. “How long has he been missing?”
“I . . . I don’t know,” Brian was too distracted to really think logically about Justin’s questions. “However, I do know he overheard our argument earlier and I think he left because of our little tongue wrestling match earlier. He . . . he didn’t want you to leave and . . .” Brian fell silent, unable to finish his sentence due to the overwhelming uncertainty and guilt he felt already for lashing out at Justin earlier.
Brian faltered, his head cradled in his hands as he dropped into a chair by the door. Justin, unsure of his welcome, slowly made his way to Brian’s despondent form. He hesitated but then, giving in to his urges, he let his hand fall to Brian’s shoulder with a comforting caress.
“Listen, the reason why Gus left isn’t what’s important right now. What is important is that we pull ourselves together and go out and find your son. Where should we start looking?”
Brian simply shook his head, confused and too distracted to think logically. “I don’t know . . . I don’t know.”
It was late evening and nobody had heard anything more from Gus since he’d disappeared from Britin earlier in the day. Justin and Brian had driven around the neighborhood for hours - stopping in at every one of Gus’ friend’s houses and just generally canvassing the area. However, they’d had no luck, so after a few hours, Brian decided to drop Justin off back at Babylon. He thought he’d head over to see Lindsey and break the news to Gus’ mother in the gentlest way he knew how.
As soon as Brian dropped Justin off at Babylon, he started up the stairs to his small apartment. Before he’d gone more than five steps, though, he heard a scuffing type of sound behind him on the street. Becoming instantly alert, his combat senses kicking into immediate high-gear, Justin adjusted his eyes to the deep shadows of the alley. The noise was coming from near the dumpster. Justin crouched into a defensive stance, ready for whatever might jump out of the shadows. Then, as he watched, one particular shadow detached itself from the darkness and slowly walked towards Justin.
“Is my dad gone yet?” Gus’ little voice was so hushed it was difficult to catch, but Justin’s expert hearing picked up the tenuous question.
“Gus? Is that you?” Justin asked as he rose from his battle ready position. “Are you okay, buddy? Your dad and I have been looking for you all afternoon.”
“I didn’t want him to stop me from coming to talk to you,” Gus tried to explain as he made his way out from the depths of the alley towards where Justin was waiting for him on the stairs. “I made a drawing for you . . .”
Gus rifled through his beloved backpack and carefully pulled out the halfway decent picture he’d drawn of himself with his dad, Justin, JB and a fourth person who Justin didn’t immediately recognize, all having a picnic together on the vast grounds of Britin. Justin’s hands shook slightly as he accepted the heartfelt gift.
“This is great, Gus. Your drawing is really getting good. I recognize you, me, your dad and JB, but who is this,” Justin asked, pointing at the other person in the picture.
“That’s my uncle Ben,” Gus replied as his once twinkling eyes clouded over with sadness. “I heard what my daddy said to you about Uncle Ben. I . . . I don’t think you took Uncle Ben’s picture just to hurt him. You didn’t, did you Justin?”
Justin smiled softly at Gus as he reached out and ruffled his hair. “Of course not, Gus. I would never take someone’s lucky charm. Did you know that lots of soldiers carry a picture or something else with them for luck? I knew a staff sergeant who used to carry a green crayon that his daughter gave him. He refused to take a step outside the wire without having that crayon in the ankle pocket of his uniform. And another troop I know always carried her bible with her when she was overseas. Another had a locket with a lock of their child’s hair. The commander of our unit carries a $2 bill that his father gave him when he was a boy. There are many personal objects that are significant to each individual which bring comfort and luck. So, like I said, it’s pretty common and I would never disrespect anyone’s beliefs.”
“Did you carry a lucky charm with you Justin?” Gus asked hesitantly, looking up into Justin’s face with obvious hero worship.
“Yeah I did . . . only I didn’t know it,” Justin’s voice was choked up with emotion as he thought back to how many times Brian’s picture had gotten him through the toughest of times while he was in the sandbox. “Come on upstairs with me and I’ll tell you about it.”
Once Justin had Gus corralled in his apartment and knew the boy couldn’t easily escape again, Justin finally calmed down a bit knowing that the boy was safe. “Let me put this picture you drew up on the fridge first,” Justin said as soon as they got inside. “Your drawing is really pretty good, Gus. I can tell you worked hard on getting the details of your dad’s face just right. I like the way you’ve done the shading here,” Justin commented as he pointed out different parts of Gus’ drawing, hoping to delay any further discussion of difficult topics.
“Thanks, Justin. My mom taught me how to do that. But the picture of Uncle Ben is my best, I think. See, I’ve got a picture of my uncle right here,” Gus explained, pulling out a small wallet sized photo out of his backpack. “See, here’s the picture of Ben that I always keep. It’s like my own good luck charm.”
It took only seconds for Justin to look at the photo of Gus’ Uncle Ben and immediately connect the picture to his own memories. He couldn’t believe THAT was Brian’s brother. It wasn’t possible, was it? How the fuck could Brian’s brother be ‘Aces’ - the battle buddy Justin had spent so much time with during his last tour of duty. Suddenly everything became clear to Justin and he couldn’t wait to tell Brian exactly what he now understood.
“Gus, I think we need to call your dad and let him know you’re okay. He’s really worried about you, you know. What do you say?” Justin asked, eager to reassure Brian, but unwilling to betray Gus’ confidence if the boy didn’t want his father to know where he was just yet.
“I guess. I didn’t mean to worry him, I was just really mad at him for yelling at you and all . . .” Gus explained with trepidation.
“It’s okay, buddy. I know you didn’t mean to worry anyone, but still, we need to call and let him know you’re here and safe,” Justin reassured the child. “Here, you can call on my cell phone.”
“Dad’s going to be so pissed off at me . . .” Gus still hesitated, holding onto the phone but not yet ready to push the buttons to dial his home phone number.
“Gus,” Justin said, his voice low and comforting as he squatted down next to the boy and put his arm around the thin shoulders. “Your Dad WILL probably be angry, but that’s only because you’ve worried him. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you or that he won’t be thrilled to hear that you’re safe. Now, just man up and call him, soldier!”
Gus sighed deeply but pushed the numbers to call his father. Justin was still waiting with his arm around the boy’s shoulders in a gesture of support so it wasn’t difficult to hear when Brian answered the phone with a shouted, “Justin! Have you found him!”
“. . . Dad . . .” Gus almost whispered into the phone in response to the violent greeting.
“GUS! Where the hell have you been, young man?” Brian shouted into the phone before his brain could stop his mouth from spouting off and scaring the child more. Brian heard Gus make a whimpering sound of distress. He realized that he needed to stay calm and not take his anger out on his son by yelling at him. Taking a cleansing breath, Brian amended, “Gus, I’m sorry for yelling. You just scared me, disappearing like that, and I’m so relieved to hear from you. Where have you been, son?”
“I needed to talk to Justin,” Gus replied, his voice still hesitant. “I heard what you said to him but I don’t believe you that he’d hurt Uncle Ben. He said he didn’t take Uncle Ben’s picture, Daddy, and I believe him. He wouldn’t take another troop’s good luck charm.”
“That doesn’t really matter right now, Gus. All I care about is that you’re not hurt and that you come home as soon as possible. We’ll figure all this out when you get here. Okay?”
“Good. Now put Justin on the phone . . .”
It didn’t take long for Justin to call for a cab and soon Justin and Gus were seated in the back on their way to Britin. Gus was still a bit jumpy and too busy worrying about what his punishment would be to be much of a conversationalist. Justin never did get the whole story about how the kid made it all the way into the city and down to Liberty Avenue by himself. In an effort to distract the child from the horrific images his imagination was conjuring up about his impending torture at his father’s hands, Justin thought back on the very last topic he thought he’d want to discuss - the morning he’d found Ben’s photo.
“Lots of things happen in a battle, Gus. It’s not pretty. Sometimes you don’t have time to think - you just have to react and follow your training and your orders. And, even when you mean well, it doesn’t mean that things always happen the way you’d like them to go.” Justin’s face became somber as he willed himself to try to explain the dirty details of war in a way that Gus could understand. “Sometimes . . . Well, sometimes things go wrong no matter how much planning you put into it or how careful you are, even with the best of training. Innocent people sometimes get hurt, and some good soldiers don’t make it back home . . . just like your Uncle Ben, or 'Aces', as I knew him.”
Gus turned slightly in the bench seat of the cab and looked to Justin in complete confusion.
“Why did you call Uncle Ben ‘Aces’?”
“We called him ‘Aces’ because he was someone we could all depend on to have our backs when we needed him, and he was one hell of a stand up guy. He was an ‘Ace’, you know? The best battle buddy you could have.”
“So Uncle Ben was pretty special then, huh?”
“Yeah, he really was, Gus. In fact, he gave his life because he refused to leave any of his men behind. Your Uncle was an incredible hero, Gus. I’m proud that I knew him and . . . I’ll never forget how great a man he was. In a way, he even saved my life, you know? I found his picture of your father the morning after a battle and - remember when we were talking about good luck charms, well, I sort of thought of that picture as my good luck charm after that. I didn’t know the picture had belonged to Aces, all I knew was that I felt safer whenever I had that picture with me.”
Gus smiled and nodded silently in understanding, as the taxi began to slowly meander up the long driveway that led to Britin. Justin noticed that the weather had turned nasty during the trip out to the burbs and it looked like a huge rain storm was just waiting to hit; dark roiling thunderheads were moving in fast. Gus’ smile quickly faded as soon as the house came into sight, his nervousness taking over in anticipation of the foul mood his father was sure to be in.
“Don’t worry, Gus. You know your father loves you more than anything. He might be angry, but it’ll be okay. Besides, I won’t leave you to take your punishment alone. I got your back, Buddy!” Justin tried a bit of reassuring chatter.
Right as the cab pulled to a stop by the front walk, the door to the house slammed open and the occupants of the cab watched as both Brian and Lindsey boiled out, anger clearly lining both adults’ faces. Even before they got out of the taxi, the passengers could hear the two angry parents shouting at each other at full volume. Brian reached out with his right hand to try and stop his old friend who seemed, nevertheless, intent on storming away into the storm.
“Don’t touch me, Brian! How do you have the gall to try and calm me down when YOU are the one who let Gus just wander off.”
“Now let’s be clear, Lindsey . . . It was your fucking meddling that got us into this mess in the first place. Gus and I were doing just fine until you came in here and started making trouble about Justin. You gave up your right to criticize my parenting skills when you chose to just disappear from Gus’ life on a whim a few years ago. So just back off and leave my son and I alone, Lindsey,” Brian spat back, causing the tall bleached blond to turn again to face him in her full wrath.
“Well, if that’s your idea of good parenting, Brian, then I can’t wait to hear what a judge will say about who should have custody of Gus from now on,” Lindsey threatened, oblivious to the fact that both Gus and Justin were now standing next to the cab and listening to every word she screamed at her child’s father. “I bet they would love to hear all about your little sexcapades in the backroom of Babylon, better yet, visual proof of your ineptitude in taking care of Gus would really open their eyes. Fuck, yeah, I’ve got pictures - thanks to my father’s PI - and you don’t want to even know what they show! Oh . . . and let’s not forget your little blond boy toy running around half naked in front of our son. A kid who hasn’t yet even explained why he was stalking you or how he was involved in your brother’s death. So, if I were you, I would tread very lightly Mister Kinney. Don’t fuck with me or I. Will. Make. Your. Life. HELL!”
“Mommy? What are you saying,” Gus finally interrupted the shouting match between his irate parents. “Why . . . Are you trying to take me away from daddy! You can’t. I . . . I . . . don’t want to leave daddy. You can’t take me away. I won’t go . . . I, I, I hate you!”
Three confused adult faces turned to watch as the distraught little boy threw down his backpack and bolted towards the barn just as the angry grey sky above opened up and dumped a deluge of rain on the scene. Everyone froze for a moment or two, trying to take stock of the situation and mutely figure out what exactly to do next. But, before anyone could settle on a course of action, the main barn door was flung open and Gus, mounted bareback on a huge dappled grey Arabian gelding with its long silver mane and tail flying, came galloping wildly out of the barn, the big Great Dane puppy following on it’s hooves, both animals running full tilt past the bewildered adults. Before anyone could stop them, they headed off down the driveway, lit up by a bright, sulphurous slash of lightning, toward the small one-lane bridge over the nearby river.
*Evil Authors laughing at nasty cliff hanger*
Chapter 14 - Screwed the Pooch by samcdee
Gus runs off on horseback as a result of hearing Brian and Lindsey arguing over him. Everyone runs after him to try to save the boy just as a huge storm hits. What will happen to our sweet boy and how will the adults react to this setback? Read on to see . . .
Screwed the Pooch - Messed up real bad.
Chapter 14 - Screwed the Pooch
The three stunned adults wasted no time in running after Gus and the horse that was clearly much too much of a handful for the eight-year old boy. What-ever-the-fuck had been the reason for their not so little spat was quickly forgotten. The important thing at the moment was to get to Gus before he was seriously hurt. The boy was sliding all over the horse’s broad, unsaddled back, unable to grip strongly enough with his thighs to keep control of the high-spirited beast. How the child had even managed to get a bridle on the horse who was more than 15 hands tall was a mystery to the adults, but they really didn’t have time to ponder that little miracle while they were racing to catch up to Pashka and Gus.
Even Lindsey and Brian, the two fastest runners, really had no hope of catching the galloping gelding, who was taking full advantage of having an inexperienced rider on his back. He was kicking up his hooves, throwing up his head gleefully, his tail held high and his big velvety nose flaring as it huffed at the ozone-tinted air that accompanied the approaching storm. As the raindrops fell in nearly blinding sheets, the sky was split open by an angry bolt of lightning ripping across the rapidly darkening horizon. The bright flash of light startled the unruly horse, causing the animal to rear up, his front hooves raking at the air as a high-pitched whinny rent the night.
Unbelievably, Gus somehow clung to the horse’s back even when it rose up almost vertically. The child grappled onto the horse’s long mane, holding on for dear life, but dropping one of the reins in the process. The skittish gelding was already in a dead run when it’s hooves hit the ground once again, running off down the long dirt road heading towards the small one-lane bridge that transversed the river about a hundred meters from Britin’s driveway.
Gus did the only thing he could and pulled with all his might on the one rein he still had ahold of. The lightning crazed horse fought against the rough control but as it’s head was pulled around to the right, it’s body inevitably followed, causing the large beast to turn and run in a big curved circle. It didn’t slow him down much, but it did allow the pursuing adults to catch up to the wildly careening animal.
“Gus! Gus!” Brian and Lindsey yelled in unison as they ran up to the edge of the roadway.
Brian made a wild grab for the spooked horse’s free rein, but missed as Pashka dodged abruptly to the left. Instead of running straight down the road, the horse was now heading almost directly across the road, aimed at the almost flooded bridge. Brian was pelting across the roadway surface and Justin was coming up from behind the group but Lindsey was now the closest. Unfortunately, Lindsey made the amatuer mistake of stepping directly in the path of the agitated creature just as another flash of lightning ripped across the sky.
Pashka again reared onto his hind legs, his front hooves flailing wildly at the noisy and fluttering obstacle that had appeared out of nowhere in front of him. The hard iron-shod hoof connected with a thud against Lindsey’s temple and the woman crumpled to the ground. The yapping, gangly Great Dane puppy, barking at the horse’s feet, didn’t help calm the situation any - Pashka looked down on the menacing dog with wide, red-veined eyes, and pranced nervously in place for several seconds, it’s tiny brain working frantically to figure out a way of escape.
In the meantime, the momentary pause allowed both Brian and Justin to move in closer to the animal, barricading him against the railing at the edge of the bridge so he no longer had a free path down which to flee. The addition of more flapping humans did nothing to calm the frightened horse, though. He couldn’t run, so he continued to rear, alternately striking out with his front hooves and then kicking up his back legs, trying to get away from the scary two-legged phantoms.
The wildly lurching horse finally managed to unseat the terrified child, plummeting him down onto the hard-packed surface of the dirt road. Gus’s head hit the ground before the rest of his little body and he lay limply right at the feet of the now terrified gelding. Brian was trying futilely to grab onto the dangling reins of the bridle in order to pull the horse away, but it was rearing and stomping around so frantically, shaking it’s head crazily, that the leather straps kept dancing right out of his reach. Justin was busy simply trying to avoid the lethal rear hooves and therefore wasn’t capable of reaching the boy.
For about thirty seconds, the air around the violent scene calmed slightly and the rain seemed to let up just enough that Brian could clearly see the entire spectacle: Gus and Lindsey lying practically under the agitated horse’s hooves, with neither he nor Justin anywhere close to being able to protect them. The atmosphere all around the tense group was charged but almost silent for several heartbeats. Then there was a flash of light so close by that the humans felt the electrical current on their skin before their eyes even registered the light, followed almost immediately by an extremely loud clap of thunder as the tall oak tree at the edge of the road about twenty meters away burst into flames.
The horse became further spooked by the crackling noise of the fire taking over the nearby tree. His stomping hooves were getting closer all the time to where Lindsey and Gus lay in the gravel and mud. Lindsey, coming to her senses right then and seeing the gelding’s actions, wrapped her arms around Gus and then rolled them both off to the side. This unfortunately saved them from the horse’s hooves but, as they rolled underneath the protective guardrailing of the bridge, it landed them into the churning waters of the storm swollen stream.
Lindz and Gus fell about twenty feet, landing in the cold creek water, and floated downstream for a couple of meters before she was able to grab hold of a boulder sticking out of the raging waters. Taking quick action, Justin ran to the streambank and jumped in, ready to assist mother and son, while Brian, who had finally snared one of the horse’s dangling reins, pulled the horse safely off to the side. The former Marine swam with strong, sure strokes towards the pair holding tenuously to the rain slicked rock. Lindsey handed Gus over to Justin’s waiting arms and watched as the brave young man headed towards the nearby bank with her precious son in his arms. The woman, who was still dizzy and slightly disoriented from getting kicked in the head by a two ton beast, knew that she couldn’t make it to the side of the river on her own. All Lindsey could do was hold on with her remaining, tentative strength, watching to make sure that her child at least was safe.
Within moments, Justin had made it to the side of the river. Justin grappled his way along the side of the rocky streambed, pulling himself and Gus from the waters. Brian reached down to assist Justin and his son. With help from Brian, they eventually managed to get a still unconscious Gus up the bank to safety. Brian gingerly held his son to his chest as Justin turned and prepared to immediately dive back into the water. But, to both Brian and Justin’s horror, before Justin even got back to the edge of the overflowing creek, they helplessly watched as the young mother was lost in the angry waters of the stream as a large tree branch barrelled down and caught Lindsey by surprise.
A look of shock and horror marred both men’s faces after witnessing Lindsey being swept away by the branch and the violent currents; not knowing if she was dead or alive. The rain continued to pelt down around them without mercy. They stood together, arms around each other and Gus and just waited, frozen in space and time, without knowing what to do next.
An hour later, they were still all standing around at the side of the road, but now there was a small blockade set up and the road nearby was teeming with emergency vehicles and personnel. An EMT had looked over Gus and given him a clean bill of health. The boy, with his father and Justin standing nearby, was sitting on a camp chair under a canopy tent that had been erected by the Sheriff’s office while they were all being questioned by a deputy. Everyone was draped with blankets that the EMT had handed out and they looked like a bunch of half-drowned rats.
“Mama’s going to be okay, right Dad? I mean, she is coming back . . . isn’t she?” Gus finally asked the question he’d been holding back ever since they had pulled him out of the water.
“I don’t know, Sonnyboy . . . I hope so, but . . . I don’t know,” Brian answered as truthfully as he was able to, all the while watching the obviously hopeless search effort going on down at the riverside.
“Don’t worry buddy, no matter what happens, we won’t leave her behind,” Justin assured his small friend, hugging the boy to his side to comfort him.
It didn’t seem like there was anything more the three of them could do, and by this point Gus was shivering so badly in his wet clothes that his teeth were audibly chattering, so the threesome started the long trek back to Britin. Justin wasn’t quite sure that he was welcome, but he couldn’t rest until he made sure that Gus was safe and that Pashka got a good once over himself. Both the shaken youth and the quivering gelding had been through quite the traumatic ordeal in the past few hours.
The three parted ways at the house, with Brian taking his son inside to get him into dry clothes. JB seemed torn by which group he should follow, choosing at the last minute to stay with his young master and attentively trailing Gus into the house. Justin was intent on making sure everything was okay in the barn, even though he was just as wet and cold. Even from the driveway, Justin could see that several of the outer stall doors were flapping around in the wind from the storm - probably scaring the shit out of the high-blooded horses inside. He stopped inside the barn just long enough to pull on a pair of tall rubber boots before he headed around to the paddock area and spent the next twenty minutes trying to secure all the stall doors while he waded around in the muck of the horses’ runs in ankle-deep mud.
Brian was finally able to get Gus bathed and put to bed pretty easily. The boy was utterly exhausted after his long day. As soon as Brian was assured that his son was warm and dry, he immediately started to wonder if Justin was still on the grounds. Pulling on a dry jacket, Brian headed back out into the storm, which seemed not to have abated at all.
“Justin? JUSTIN!” Brian yelled when he couldn’t find the younger man anywhere inside the barn. “Justin, where the fuck ARE you?”
Just then Brian heard hammering on the outside of the south wall of the barn and, with a resigned sigh, he marched back out into the rain once again. Brian found Justin beside the barn repairing a damaged plank of wood and resecuring the latch that was supposed to hold the upper portion of the stall door closed. Just as Brian neared, an unforgiving gust of wind whipped around the end of the barn and grabbed onto the unsecured door, hurling it towards the back of Justin’s head. Brian intercepted it at the last minute and pushed Justin quickly out of the way before it hit him hard across the back of his skull.
“Shit!” Justin muttered as his shoulder hit the wall of the barn where he was thrown, missing getting gashed by the heavy wooden door by only inches.
Brian reached out and, without saying anything, pulled Justin back to his feet, wrapping his arms around the smaller form and holding on tight while they stood together with the rain still pelting down on them. “I got you,” Brian finally whispered, as his lips ghosted over Justin’s.
“Brian . . . wait, we need to talk . . . about Ben. I know what happened to your brother. Gus showed me a picture of him today and I finally realized who Ben was. I was . . . I was there . . . Ben wasn’t killed by friendly fire, Brian. It was a sniper. And he died trying to get his men out of there safely. He did everything right. It wasn’t anyone’s fault.” Justin spoke tentatively but seeing that he had Brian’s full attention, he continued with more strength. He started from the night of the raid and forged straight through to the day he wound up on Brian’s doorstep.
“. . . so when I found your picture, I knew I had to come and find you . . . to thank you for saving my life more times than I deserve.”
Brian grabbed the back of Justin’s head and rested his forehead against the blond’s, looking into his eyes for any hint of deceit. The clear blue eyes showed nothing other than pure honesty and heartfelt sincerity.
Still holding the back of Justin’s head with his hands, Brian caressed the golden threads of wheaten hair, the balls of his fingertips massaging the scalp. At the same time, Brian’s other hand found its way to Justin’s hip, pulling him closer until their hard cloth-covered dicks touched.
Brian leaned in to place sweet, nibbling kisses along Justin’s full lower lip. Justin slipped out his tongue to lick along Brian’s upper lip and wrapped his arms around Brian’s slim waist, increasing the cock on cock contact. Justin let his hands slip down further to caress the round globes of Brian’s beautiful ass. Brian’s arm snaked further around Justin’s waist, pulling the smaller body as close to his own as was physically possible, all the while never relinquishing contact with those perfectly soft, coral-pink lips.
“You know, Sunshine, you’re making it very hard for me to stay mad at you,” Brian admitted when he finally stopped for a breath. The only reply he got from the gasping blond was to feel Justin begin to slowly grind his hips against Brian’s thigh, clearly demonstrating that no words were really needed anymore. This suited Brian just fine, as he had no idea of what to say to Justin at the moment anyway.
Justin’s strong, calloused hand trailed around the back of Brian’s neck and pulled the taller man down far enough so that their wordless lips were once again locked together. For innumerable minutes, the kiss was interrupted only by the occasional nip of teeth as one or the other’s lips were taken hostage before they could try and escape the intense coupling. Breathing became almost irrelevant. The need to stay connected overrode any mere physical form of gratification. The cold runnels of raindrops cascading down from the eaves of the barn onto their sopping wet clothing didn’t even register. Neither did the gusting wind or the repetitive pounding of the loose stall door slapping woodenly against the stable wall. The only thing that was important at that exact moment was staying acutely aware of the one warm body pressed against the other.
It was only when Brian started to move forward a step, intent on pinning Justin’s writhing body more firmly against the wood siding of the barn so that he could get better leverage to ravage the blond properly, and his prada boot squelched in the sucking mud of the horse run, almost pulling all the way off, that Brian realized they were still outside in the middle of a storm.
“Sunshine, what do you say to moving this little dalliance out of the rain,” Brian proposed with a chuckle, his hand pushing back the drenched blond locks off Justin’s forehead at the same time.
“Well that works perfectly for what I have in mind, Mr. Kinney,” Justin replied with a cheeky grin, twining his fingers with Brian’s and tugging the larger man after him through the closest open stall into the relative calm of the musty barn.
Giggling like a school boy instead of the seasoned Marine that he was, Justin led his willing playmate towards the pile of straw bales stacked against the far end of the main aisle. He pulled an old horse blanket off a hook on the wall as they passed by, and then tossed it over the nearest contiguous bales, creating a neat little raised bed, just perfect for the two horny men. Justin then turned and forcefully pushed an unprotesting Brian down onto the makeshift pallet, falling on top of him in the process, and proceeded to whisper every little dirty thing he planned to do to Brian’s body hotly in his ear.
Hearing Justin’s filthy suggestions caressing along his ear, Brian grabbed ahold of the neckline of Justin’s shirt and, with a loud rip, tore it away from his Marine’s hot and sweaty chest in a lust induced frenzy. Brian’s tongue instantly latched onto the first dusky-colored nipple he could get access to. He slowly made teasing circles around the sensitive nub, until it was a hardened pebble between his lips, allowing him to take a satisfying little nibble that elicited a deep moan from the young blond. Rolling them both over so that he now had his blond lover trapped beneath him, Brian ran his eager nose along Justin's sweaty chest and underarms enjoying the clean, manly aroma, letting the musky scent drive him even more wild while his hands continued south.
Justin’s hands were almost as busy, only going slightly slower in an effort to remove Brian’s designer shirt without the accompanying ripped fabric. He managed to get the first four buttons undone the correct way, before giving up and biting off the last two so he could get to the warm olive-toned skin under all that unnecessary clothing as soon as possible. He felt such an amazing sense of relief when his hands were finally able to caress the broad expanse of Brian’s well-toned chest that he almost lost track of where he was headed. For several long seconds Justin simply let his hands run softly over every inch of the heated skin, wallowing in the silky texture of Brian’s smooth chest, his firm abs and his well-formed shoulders.
“Brian . . . Brian. Fuck, Brian. I’ve wanted you since the first morning I found your picture,” Justin panted, his hips automatically shifting in order to help out as Brian unzipped his jeans and started pushing them over his ample rear.
“Don’t worry Sunshine, you’ll have me . . . all of me. Now just relax and enjoy it,” Brian whispered, standing up briefly so that he could rid himself of his pants as efficiently as possible.
The glorious sight of Brian standing naked above him was almost more than Justin could handle. “You’re so beautiful, Brian. Fuck! I thought you were too gorgeous to be real when you were only a photograph. But, seeing you here, in the flesh, My Angel, you’re breathtaking. You are . . . you’re a fucking god-damned angel, Brian. My Angel. Mine . . .” the impassioned younger man moaned as his skin flushed with an electric tingle and goose bumps arose along his shoulders and arms.
“Yours . . .” Brian murmured in response without even thinking about it as he shook his rain-wet hair, letting droplets fly every-which-way, before he crawled back up onto the bed of straw bales and stretched himself out over the expanse of his lover’s creamy lengths, his body pushing for more than intermittent involuntary declarations of love. “Put your legs up . . . on my shoulders. That’s it . . . I’m going to fuck you now, Sunshine. I’m going to fuck you so well and so hard that you won’t be able to walk back to the house when we’re done. And you, Sunshine, are going to scream my name so loud that the fucking horses bolt. Are you ready?” Brian intoned lustily just before he bit off the top of the condom packet he’d fished out of his discarded pants’ pocket and adroitly rolled it down the shaft of his cock one-handed, all the while peppering the sleek alabaster skin of his boy with wet open-mouthed kisses wherever and whenever he could reach.
Crazed with passion and completely unable to take it slowly, Brian placed his sheathed cock at Justin’s pulsing entrance. There was no time for any further preparation. Both men wanted and needed this right now - their urgency was almost palpable. A moment later, Justin felt the blunt tip of Brian’s heated flesh push eagerly against his puckered hole before it insistently slipped slowly past the first ring of tight muscle, causing him to hiss at the initial pain. Despite the small sounds of discomfort he couldn’t hold back, Justin felt his hips thrust upward, his back arching erotically as his body strove to force his lover deeper and deeper, the need to feel all of Brian at once driving him to transcend any slight pain as he strove towards the pleasure he knew was waiting.
Soon the sounds of unadulterated pleasure echoed off the stable walls. Brian thrust in and out of his strong young lover’s body, frantically chasing what could very well be the best orgasm he’d ever have the pleasure of experiencing. He was overwhelmed by the sensations he was experiencing as his cock kept delving into the wondrous depths of his generous lover, every ridge and twist of the welcoming chanel gripping his cock with an unearthly warmth that seemed to radiate out through his whole body.
The repetitive in and out, the pulsing thrusts, the gripping and pulling as he pummelled into that willing blond body was like pure ambrosia. Brian had never experienced such heights of pleasure, no matter how many male bodies he’d penetrated or how many mouths he’d fucked. This - this right here - was something different. This was what it was all supposed to be about. This was the ultimate delight. This feeling was the epitome of true happiness. Brian couldn’t fathom how he’d managed to go his whole life without even coming close to experiencing such bliss. Everything else up to this moment was only practice for the ultimate in pleasure that he was now being subjected to as he continued to revel deep in the inner sanctuary of his intense and generous lover.
Brian couldn’t hold back much longer. Based on the sounds emanating from Justin, the youth wouldn’t be able to hold himself back more than a few moments either. Brian took the blond’s weeping cock in his hand, gave it a couple of pulls at the same time he thrust himself deeper into Justin than he thought was possible. The twin stimulation was just enough to push Justin over the edge. Ropes of thick white come erupted, shooting out and decorating Brian’s chest, the horse blanket and the barn wall next to them with images of love. All the while, Brian could feel the younger man’s body trembling in his arms even as his own body started into its own sweet, evocative, convulsions of delight. Brian answered with his own release moments later, accompanied by a low satisfied growl. Somehow even the bales of straw under them seemed to quiver as the world went temporarily black outside while the colors inside Brian’s brain exploded in bright splashes of orange, red and yellow.
“Fuck . . .” Brian panted, collapsing on Justin, “Fuck, Justin . . . Love . . . You. . .”
And, if the monumental orgasm Justin had recently succumbed to hadn’t taken his breath away, Brian’s unconscious declaration would have done it. “My Angel . . .” Justin gasped, as his heart pounded unrelentingly in his chest from the brunet’s mere words.
Several minutes of staring intently into each others’ eyes ensued, before both men had recovered their senses enough to realize that they had descended dangerously close to lesbionic sentimentalism. With an uncharacteristically joyful laugh, Brian jumped up off the psuedo bed and enthusiastically pulled Justin after him. He flung open the big main door at the front of the barn and, naked as a couple of mole rats, the normally stoic older man led his unresisting lover outside, back into the rain. With a childlike abandon, Brian embraced Justin and started dancing around the grass-covered yard, giggling and laughing in a way he hadn’t let himself in more than two decades, spinning his dance partner around and then dipping him, almost bending him in half, as his blond tresses came precariously close to sweeping across the soiled, rain drenched ground.
During all this light-hearted frivolity, Brian lost his footing in the slick grass and puddles of mud. His arms wheeled, trying to catch his balance. Unfortunately, he landed ass first in the closest mud puddle, a shocked look on his face which then turned to mirth. Justin, at first almost as shocked as Brian by the older man’s tumble, eventually reached down to help Brian up, laughing all the while. Brian accepted his hand but, instead of taking the assistance, he pulled his laughing lover down on top of him and immediately rolled Justin under him, slipping and sliding in the mud around them. Justin, caught off-guard, did nothing to stop his fall. Brian followed up with a handful of mud squelched intentionally in Justin’s face. As soon as the young blond caught his breath, he retaliated with his own fistful of mud slung into his lover’s unsuspecting, yet beautiful, face. The two continued to wrestle around for a few minutes more, the two beautiful naked bodies rolling around wantonly in the mud with complete abandon, before Brian decided that catching their death of cold wouldn’t exactly be an attractive look for either of them. Using all his strength, Brian pinned Justin’s body under his own and kissed him silly until his wrestling companion finally gave up and relinquished control under the pressure of the onslaught of Brian’s lips.
Finally breaking apart, the lovers laughingly headed back into the barn and gathered up their discarded clothing then headed toward the main house. There was still a lot that needed to be resolved, but there would always be tomorrow. For now, Brian and Justin simply wanted to relish the closeness that they’d captured and enjoy the joy they had discovered. It was enough for the moment. They’d deal with whatever else needed to be dealt with at some later time. For now, the shower and then Brian’s bed was calling and there was nowhere else either man wanted to be.
Thanks to everyone who is reading and especially to those who have taken the time to leave a comment/review. Sorry that we've been remiss in responding to reviews - TAG is useless at responding to reviews and there's some confusion about who else will reply, but we're working it out. We DO love all our readers and cherish each and every review. There should be one last chapter and then this wonderful collaboration will be finished - Thanks again to all who read and enjoyed our joint endeavor! J.S.T.
Chapter 15 - Epilogue: Mission Accomplished by samcdee
The final chapter! It's amazing! You'll love it! Well, at least we authors loved it! Thank you to all our readers and especially to those who took the time to leave comments and reviews. J.S.T.
Chapter 15 - Epilogue: Mission Accomplished
(6 Months Later)
Brian and Justin stood with a very sullen Gus as they visited Lindsey’s final resting place in the Peterson’s family plot.
It had taken almost a week before the County’s Search and Rescue team had found Lindsey’s body after the flash flood waters had finally receded. The entire week had been kind of hazy in everyone’s minds - there were whole days spent sitting around feeling helpless as the family waited. For the first twenty-four hours, there was a sense of hope that there would be some word from the ‘rescue team’. After that, though, all they could hope for had been some confirmation from the ‘recovery team’ that her body had been located. And all the while, both Brian and Gus had wallowed in their feelings of guilt, thinking they had been at least partially responsible for the woman’s death.
The regular visits to Lindsey’s grave had been therapeutic for both Kinney men. There was something about being in this peaceful, quiet place where there were no outside pressures that let both Brian and Gus finally let go of all their guilt. It was only here that both could let their emotions free. Slowly their psyches healed. It wasn’t fun, but it was necessary.
The only member of the party who seemed to be enjoying these solemn outings was JB, the almost full grown Great Dane puppy, who was now almost three feet tall and usually spent the entire visit bounding through the long grass around the graves chasing rabbits. On this particular visit, while the precocious puppy was playing hide and seek with the wildlife, Brian was carefully placing a single rose on the engraved marble that served as Lindsey's headstone. After speaking a few kind and loving words, Gus was handed a rose of his own. The boy kissed it gently before placing it next to his father’s, shedding tears and murmuring a few private words to his mother in a whisper that Brian couldn’t hear.
Justin was standing a few paces back from Brian and Gus. He was there to be supportive, but didn’t want to intrude. Considering all the death that Justin had seen in his military career, it was strange but he really didn’t feel very comfortable in this setting. He understood that some people needed a place where they could go to feel close to their loved ones, a place they could come to after they were gone to honor their memories. But the piece of ground where their bodies were planted to waste away didn’t seem like the right place to do that, according to Justin. He would rather celebrate the memory of those who had passed in a place of living rather than visit a citadel of the dead. Since Lindsey had never been to this place - this rather barren, grassy hilltop with a great view of the Pittsburgh suburbs that was otherwise void of any memories related to Gus’ mother - it just didn’t feel like her spirit would linger here.
This also got Justin to thinking about Ben as well. About how he could find a way to feel close to his old battle buddy and find some kind of spiritual closure. But, whatever that would be and wherever it would happen, it wouldn’t be in this emotionally empty place.
As soon as Gus was finished updating his mother on how he was doing in school and suchlike, the group moved away. They walked the few yards over, stepping over the pitted ground of other graves, towards the row where Brian’s step-family had their plot. Spotting the little plastic American flag implanted into the soft ground next to the marble marker that adorned the gravesites of all veterans, they easily made their way over towards Ben’s headstone.
“Daddy, why are we stopping here? Is there somebody important here too?” Gus looked up at his father, his little face so grave and serious that it almost threw Brian.
Squatting down in front of a headstone, Brian pulled Gus towards him in a comforting hug, “This is where your Uncle Ben is buried. I thought you might like to see this spot too. You know, in case you have anything you want to say to Uncle Ben . . .” Gus nodded silently, stepped forward and began to speak softly to his Uncle.
“Hi, Uncle Ben. Daddy and me were here visiting Mom. Daddy thought it would be nice for me to talk to you before we left too. Well, first I want tell you that we love you very much and we miss you a lot. Oh . . . and we met one of your battle buddies, Justin. He said it was because of you that he was able to find us. You saved his life Uncle Ben . . . did you know that? Now Daddy and Justin love each other and they are very happy. Thank you for saving Justin. I wish you didn’t have to die to do it, but it was still great that somehow you helped Justin to find us. Oh, and thank you for making my Daddy be happy again, Uncle Ben.”
Gus then turned to his father with an angelic smile on his small face. “Is that good, Daddy?”
“It was perfect, Gus,” Brian assured his son, ruffling the soft auburn hair with one hand as they moved away from Ben’s grave towards the clear area where a certain beautiful young blond was waiting for them.
When he was close enough, Brian pulled Justin close, kissed him softly on the lips and smiled tenderly at his lover.
“Daaaaddddd!” Gus complained as their kiss threatened to become more than just an innocent show of affection. “The dinosaurs are extinct. They are interesting and all, but I don’t want to watch them making out or anything . . ." Both Brian and Justin burst out laughing at Gus’ antics.
“You’ll pay for that Sonny-Boy,” Brian threatened, but there wasn’t much venom in his voice.
“But . . . I won’t . . .” Gus laughed uproariously at his Dad’s empty threat all the way back to their car.
The bed was still made, but other than that, everything else had been packed up into various boxes, ready to transport all of Justin’s possessions to Britin. It had taken six months for Brian to convince Justin that he was truly ready to make the commitment to having Justin living with him full time. This was supposed to be the last night in Justin’s tiny studio apartment above Babylon. With Gus safely sent off to Debbie’s for the night, the lover’s had all night to enjoy the privacy of the little room before their joint lives as family men back at Britin would recommence. Brian intended to make the most of it.
Justin, feeling a bit nostalgic, stood in the apartment bedroom that he and Brian had shared so briefly when he felt a tingle at the back of his neck. Justin then felt the arms of his dark and sexy lover wrap around his waist, placing sweet sucking kisses along his neck and nipping down his spine. The aroused blond leaned into his lover's body, rubbing his delectable bubble butt into Brian’s groin, feeling his thickening cock.
“Brian . . .” Justin gasped. “We don’t have the time for sex. We’re going down to Babylon in a matter of minutes for Ben’s tribute.”
“We still have some time . . .” Brian murmured while pulling Justin’s shirt from his torso and quickly moving on to the fly of his Marine’s cock hugging camo-pants.
“No, Brian, we don’t,” Justin insisted, tugging the zipper of his fly out of his lover’s fingers and moving adroitly away so that Brian couldn’t further disrobe him. “Need I remind you that YOU are tonight’s host and therefore need to actually be there on time? We’re already fashionably late. If you fuck me - AGAIN - we won’t be fashionable anymore, we’ll just be LATE! Now, get moving, troop! MARCH, before I smoke your hot little ass until the walls sweat . . . and not in a good way.”
“I love it when you get all butch on my ass, Sunshine.” Brian said with his customary smirk.
“I’ll show you how butch I can be with your ass later, private. For now, get your skinny ass moving and get down to your fucking party!” Justin ordered using his drill-sergeant voice, the demanding timber making Brian’s dick twitch in his olive drab costume trousers.
Brian complied obediently, turning towards the door with a crisp clicking of his boot heels and marching with an exaggerated goose-step towards the door and the back stairs down to the club. Downstairs in Babylon, the club had been decorated to make the entire venue look like it was right out of some middle east bunker. The walls were draped with camouflage netting and there were piles of sandbags against several walls. Somehow they had even managed to get several combat jeeps inside as well as one hulking huge bradley tank. The dancefloor was encircled with concertine wire fashioned out of aluminum (Brian wasn’t taking any unnecessary chances of anyone getting hurt). The go-go dancers were all dressed in nothing but combat boots and skimpy camo shorts or camo g-strings and shiny silver dog-tag necklaces. Even the glitter raining from the ceiling that night was olive drab, green and gold. It was the perfect tableau for the military tribute night that Brian was hosting to honor not only Ben but all the gay men and women in the military.
The crowd was eating up the theme night idea. Everyone had apparently hit the local army surplus store for costumes that night. The dykes were having the time of their lives, dressed up more macho than most of the men that frequented the club could ever pull off. Even the usually fem drag queens were dressed all butch tonight - and apparently they were totally loving it. Brian was sure he saw ‘Sheba’, one of the more notorious drag queens on the Avenue, dressed in full combat gear and looking especially butch with a scruffy beard and carrying a mock-assault rifle. Shit! He was definitely going to have to check in with security to make sure they were on top of all these ‘pretend’ guns that looked way too authentic for his piece of mind.
Justin chuckled as Brian tried to conceal his nervousness that he would somehow fail to do his brothers’ memory justice tonight. Justin knew how much this meant to Brian, and he was determined to help his lover make this night the best damn tribute anyone had ever seen. The only problem was that this environment was definitely making him a bit nervous. It seemed a bit too real. Justin might have come a long way in dealing with his PTSD, but this scene was putting his coping skills to the test. It was almost time for Brian to make his speech, and he was praying to everything holy that he could hold it together through the memorial.
As planned, the music stopped playing after the completion of the current song and Brian made his way to the DJ’s booth to make his speech.
“Thank you all for coming tonight! Many of you knew my brother, Ben Bruckner. He was a Marine who was killed in action in Afghanistan. Ben was gay. You probably already know that since this was one of his favorite hang outs before he joined the U.S. Marines and I’m sure that many of you ‘MET’ him here at one time or another. But, in the end, it didn’t matter if he was gay or straight or crooked or purple or whatever. He was one of the few people willing to take on the toughest job imaginable and he did it with more pride than any of the rest of us could possibly imagine.
“Initially I’d been told that Ben was killed by friendly fire, and it took me a long time to wrap my mind around the fact that, possibly, one of his own could have taken his life. I felt I lost everything that day. My trust, my heart and soul, everything I believed in was stripped away from me in that moment. Then one day, this infuriatingly charming little blond walked into my life, and it was once again turned upside down.” At these words Brian had to pause to compose himself, trying his best NOT to look down where he knew Justin was waiting for him for fear he would lose his cool completely.
“After weeks of getting to know him, he told me a story that at first seemed like the biggest crock of bullshit that I had ever heard, but as I listened it was the one thing that made me believe in fate again. See, he found the picture of me that Ben always kept with him while on the battlefield. He literally walked all the way from Illinois, the crazy fuck, just to find me. He said he owed it to himself to find the man who saved his life. Ben would have been so fucking proud, because the picture he carried served it’s intended purpose.” Brian was openly weeping now, and Justin wanted nothing more than to go to his lover’s side and comfort him, but he knew that Brian needed the space to get through this.
Brian looked back at the notecard he had in his hand, determined to continue regardless of the emotional overload that was threatening to take him over. “To paraphrase another writer’s tribute to the military:
‘[Ben gave his life for his country]. He asked nothing in return, except our friendship and understanding. Remember him, always, for he has earned our respect and admiration with his blood. And now we even have women over there in danger, doing their part in this tradition of going to War when our nation calls us to do so. As you go to bed tonight, remember this. A short lull, a little shade and a picture of loved ones in their helmets or pocket is all they have to remember their families by’.”http://www.perrymarshall.com/articles/american-soldier-tribute/
“I’m forever honored that my brother thought enough of me to keep my picture by him through all his many missions. I’m even more grateful that, when his life was at an end, something as trivial as a photo of me could serve the purpose of providing another very special individual with the fortitude to carry out the remainder of his duties. And, I’ll be forever grateful that that picture managed to bring Justin Taylor into my life.”
“Please join me in celebrating the lives of my brother, Ben, and all the other gay men and women who have served our country in the military both here and abroad over the years!” Brian proposed, holding out his hand and subtly backing away from center stage as the featured floor show took stage and the music started, thankfully taking the spotlight away from him before he totally lost his cool.
Brian stalked his way back to his delectable blond standing near the bar. He was more than ready to continue where they left off earlier in the upstairs apartment, but first he had one last little tribute to accomplish. Slipping one arm around Justin’s waist and giving a slight reassuring squeeze, Brian motioned for the bartender’s attention.
“Johnnie Walker Black. Make it a double,” Brian ordered and the server nodded.
The bartender placed the large glass of dark amber liquid on the top of the bar and, at the same time, he handed Brian a small printed card that had been waiting behind the bar all evening. Brian carefully centered the glass of scotch on the backlighted white-topped bar counter. Then, with a resigned sigh, he placed the small placard in front of the glass filled with the dark amber liquid. After fiddling around for a few moments, ostensibly making sure the little sign was straight, but probably just trying to hide any sentimentality he might be suffering, Brian sighed, pulled his shoulders back and raised his chin with a small nod towards the ceiling in a silent thank you, and final farewell.
As Brian stepped back a pace, Justin moved up and his eyes closed briefly while he remembered his friend. In his thoughts, he thanked Aces once again for leaving Brian’s photo where he would find it. If it hadn’t been for that one small fortuitous mistake, Justin was sure his life would be much different today - assuming he’d even still be alive at all, it would undoubtedly be much emptier because it wouldn’t have Brian in it. Then, twisting the cap off his bottle of beer, Justin drank a silent toast to Aces’ memory, placed the bottle cap down carefully on the edge of the placard reserving his place at the bar for this special night and turned to follow his Angel. As Brian and Justin moved away, others who had known Ben also drank a toast or two to his memory and left their bottle caps on the bar near his spot to show they still remembered and appreciated his sacrifice for his country.
Now that the hardest part of the evening was over, nothing short of a nuclear bomb blowing up Babylon would stop Brian from completely claiming Justin as his own in every way tonight. Enough mourning for their losses - this was also a time to celebrate their victories and the fact that Justin was here with him tonight was the biggest victory Brian could possibly hope for. So, as soon as they were far enough away from the crowd at the bar, Brian wrapped his arms tighter around Justin’s waist and whispered huskily in his ear “How about we continue this little celebration of life in private, and do some living of our own?”
Without saying a word, Justin grabbed ahold of Brian’s hand and led him out of the club and upstairs to his soon to be vacated apartment.
Standing just inside the closed door of the apartment, Brian hastily pushed the younger man up against the door, pinning him in place and ravaging his lips like a man starved. Brian’s tongue was relentless as it rediscovered every recess of the blond’s sweet mouth, and Justin totally gave himself over to Brian's hunger knowing he was in very good hands. The kisses soon turned from desperate and all consuming, to tentative and tender . . . almost too tender given how hard for each other the two men had been all evening.
"Shhh . . . don't worry, I'll get you there, Sunshine. We have the rest of our lives, there's no rush."
Justin ran his hands through Brian’s hair, fisting it as the tall talented man moved his mouth and hands lower, moving relentlessly towards his now tented pants. Brian grazed his teeth over Justin’s erection through the soft cotton of his camos. Justin couldn’t help but buck as the warmth from Brian’s mouth drove him crazy, causing him to squirm in an attempt to find relief. Brian meanwhile slipped his hand down the front of Justin’s pants, cupping him first then stroking him and finally lowering the zipper to get more contact. Justin couldn’t help the rush of pre-cum that gushed out, leaking onto his trousers and creating a wet spot as he begged for more.
Brian chuckled as he felt the spurt of warm wetness spreading out on the fabric that was now pressed firmly against his thigh. His little blond warrior was on fire tonight. It was definitely time to get rid of the detritus of clothing. Hooking his thumbs inside the waistband of Justin’s briefs, Brian dropped abruptly to his knees, pulling every bit of clothing along with him. In a nanosecond, he had Justin’s Nike sneakers off and the puddling pants were no more.
Brian immediately dove down, practically inhaling Justin’s thick throbbing cock into his warm, wet mouth, sucking at the turgid flesh like a manic vacuum cleaner hose on overload. Justin gasped at the almost instant surge of pleasure which almost overwhelmed him and mewled a bit as Brian kept attacking him, licking, sucking hard and swallowing in order to give his lover every ounce of pleasure he could as quickly as possible. He’d never seen Brian this voracious. It was like he was starving, trying to eke out every last sinew of pleasure possible in order to stave off the still haunting specter of death that had somehow followed them upstairs from the benefit show. Brian intended to prove with his mouth, his hands and his body just how alive they still were and he was going to do it in record time, if the initial pace he’d set was any indication.
Brian was just about to help speed things up even more, determined to make this particular blowjob insanely unforgettable, but as he trailed his thumb down the cleft of Justin’s ample ass, he discovered that his helpful little soldier was already prepared for full combat. Somehow, sometime, between their last shower fuck and the time they’d arrived at Babylon, Justin had lubed up and plugged his tight, pink pucker in preparation for the sensual battle he knew was in the plans for the night to come. Thoroughly enjoying the pre-skirmish planning his boy had resorted to, Brian pressed lightly on the base of the plug with his thumb and wiggled it around nicely until he was rewarded by a series of needy moans and whimpers. It was so refreshing to have a lover who was so incredibly creative and always ready for him. Sex with Justin was always a bit of an adventure and never, not for a single moment, dull or repetitive.
Lifting Justin’s legs up to rest on his shoulders, the boy’s back still propped tenuously against the wall next to the door, Brian managed to defy gravity long enough to pull out the butt plug and burrow his face deeper under Justin’s balls. Strangely enough, instead of Justin’s usual musky, earthy scent, Brian was almost overcome by a heady aroma of fresh picked strawberries. Inventive little fucker, thought Brian, as he stuck out his tongue and took a good long lick across the well-relaxed muscular aperture that was simply waiting for his straining and ready cock.
“Mmmmmm. And I thought you tasted good before, Sunshine,” Brian murmured in approval as he lapped at the flavored lube that Justin had applied liberally.
Justin would have replied with some witty rejoinder, but right at that moment, Brian’s tongue aggressively invaded his hole and he was unable to say anything coherent from that point on. Justin folded his legs upward in order to push his ass and eager rosebud even harder against Brian’s swirling and plunging tongue, wanting more contact. Unfortunately, Justin’s unorthodox maneuver caused a definite imbalance in the already awkward position they had been in up till this point. When Justin’s sweaty back lost contact with the wall behind him, suddenly there wasn’t enough support to hold him up and Justin began to topple over sideways. Since the only thing holding Justin up besides the coefficient of friction between his skin and the plaster on the wall behind him was Brian’s face, the whole precarious and unwieldy twosome came crashing down in a big, unsexy, and slightly painful heap.
“Fuck, Sunshine,” Brian came up sputtering, from somewhere under Justin’s ample ass. “I think I fucking sprained my tongue.”
Justin did feel a tiny bit sorry for the poor injured man, but when he tried to imagine himself explaining to their friends the exact nature of Brian’s tongue accident, he couldn’t stop himself from laughing. Hesitating only a moment, Brian joined in, and pretty soon both lovers were rolling around on the floor laughing so hard that they almost couldn’t breathe. Brian was too amazed at the amount of pure unadulterated fun he had with Justin - while engaging in sex, playing with Gus, or just hanging out - to be offended for long at the interruption of his erotic pursuits. In fact, he didn’t remember ever laughing this much with any prior lover, and it only endeared his Sunshine to him even more.
“Enough with the fucking acrobatics, you annoying twat,” Brian managed when he’d finally quelled his amusement enough to speak again.
With one last chuckle, Justin got up and pulled Brian to his feet, dragging him over to the comfort of the bed. Once there, he pushed him down with some authority, being the bossy bottom that he was, using his writhing and sinuous body to insist that Brian fuck him, fuck him now and fuck him well. Brian was not adverse to complying with his favorite bottom’s wishes. In fact, Brian was all in favor of ending this evening with a good, thorough ramming into that absolutely perfect backside. And so, without further ado, Brian flipped his unresisting lover over so that he had more leverage, forcefully twisting the smaller body around so that Justin’s face was now planted in the mattress and then manhandled his hips upward until that lovely strawberry scented ass was right at Brian’s eye level as he kneeled behind. Justin simply allowed himself to be thrown about like a ragdoll, secretly enjoying the rough handling when it came about at the hands of his trusted and always caring lover.
Brian inhaled deeply, loving both the sight and the scents that pervaded his senses at this point. His eyes caught upon a bright red tube sitting on the side table next to the bed and grinned. How appropriate: Good Head Strawberry Lube. He would probably never think of those sweet innocent berries in the same way again. Of course, he wasn’t sure what tasted better, the strawberries or Justin’s sweet provocative little hole, but that was beside the point.
By this time, however, Brian had had enough of the preliminaries, and was ready to move on to the main event. He reached over to open the bedside drawer and pulled out a condom, quickly sheathing himself and entering the already well-prepared Justin in one long, strong push. Brian relished the wet warmth and the tight squeeze surrounding his cock as he began a fast and furious pace that left Justin panting and clinging to the sheets beneath him for dear life.
Justin was amazed that his lover could manage such a fast and furious approach and still maintain the intimate feeling of the encounter. But, in spite of the rough ride, Justin felt immediately overcome by the communion of their spirits. It was always this way between them. There was always this connection between them, between their bodies, their minds, their emotions and their souls, so that no matter what their sex drives unerringly meshed perfectly, turning any engagement into lovemaking no matter what the circumstances.
"Brian . . . so close . . ." Justin moaned in between Brian’s frantic thrusting and unerring ability to rub against his stimulated prostate.
"Don't hold back, Sunshine . . . let go."
The head of Brian’s cock grazed Justin’s sweet spot just twice more, and his orgasm hit him with enough force that he actually came close to passing out. Justin’s body felt like it was electrified from within. When the sparks from inside him arced across the intervening space and set off Brian’s own short circuit, it seemed perfectly inevitable, and both men shuddered along until their release was complete and their panting bodies were liberally coated with a smearing of Justin’s viscous white cum.
To Justin, it felt like this one particular moment in their lives was the culmination of so many strands of his life. As he lay there reveling in the feel of Brian’s heavy body draped over his own in completely satiated abandon, Justin mused over the entirety of the evenings events. He loved the heavy weight of Brian pinning him down bodily. It reminded him again that he was alive and loved. Things could have been so incredibly different. Things could have turned out so horribly wrong. Was it always his fate to reach this perfect ending? Did he really deserve such bliss? How had he worked this feat of amazing serenity? It was amazing and incomprehensible but there was no way Justin would ever want to fight it.
As he felt Brian’s breathing slow, the warmth of his breath heavy and comforting as his lover’s face lay cradled in the crook of his sweat-slicked neck, Justin only had one last thought in mind as they both began to doze in post-orgasmic satiation:
“Everyone has their own destiny. Not everyone makes the choice to follow it. I'm lucky I did.”
We did it! We did it! We did it! What a wonderful collaboration! Thank you to both Jazzepoet and Samcdee for the tremendous effort we all put in. Also, thanks to both for the ongoing commitment and overwhelming friendship we've experienced the past six months - this story is only great because of the people who worked together to write it! TAG
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters and settings are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.