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.”