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BETRAYAL by Julesmonster

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Part Three

Justin slouched onto the bed at their hotel room as soon as they walked through the door. He was more tired than he had realized. Brian had needed to shake him awake when they landed, and he had felt like a sleepwalker as they made their way through the airport to the rental car agency. It hadn't taken long to get checked into the hotel, but it had seemed like forever to Justin.

"We'll order room service and have an early night," Brian promised as he sat beside Justin and pulled him into his arms. "That way you'll be up and ready to go with me in the morning."

Justin pulled back a little and looked up at Brian. "You want me to go with you?"

Brian nodded. "There's just a short meeting in the morning, and then the rest of the day is ours. We'll have to leave by five, though, to make our nine o'clock flight out of Boston."

Justin nodded. "Okay. At least the headache is gone. Now that everything is finished and I know I can just relax for the next week, the tension has disappeared. Now I'm just tired."

"Me too," Brian agreed. "I've had a lot to do these past two weeks as well. Between getting everything set up with the new partnership and making sure everything was clear for our trip, I've been almost as busy as you."

"So we'll eat dinner, and go to bed?"

"We'll eat dinner, have a bath in that enormous tub I spied in the bathroom, and then go to bed," Brian said.

"Sounds like a plan," Justin yawned.

An hour later the two were settled into the tub with Justin leaning his back against Brian's chest. They had ordered soup and salad from the hotel's room service menu and a dry chardonnay, which they continued to sip as they relaxed in the tub.

"You know," Brian said, "for months I've listened to you over the phone every night as you lazed in your tub across town from me, and all I could think of was, 'Why the fuck isn't he here with me?' We could be in that oversized tub that the architect insisted I needed for resale when I renovated the place five years ago. I certainly never use it, but every night I heard you splashing around, I thought maybe we should use it together."

Justin smiled, "Sounds heavenly. Maybe we should. Though your method for getting me relaxed in the evening is a lot more fun."

Brian pinched Justin's hip in retaliation, "I'm being serious here, brat."

"My apologies; please continue," Justin said with mock dignity.

"As I was saying," Brian huffed. "I...God this is too fucking difficult."

"What is?" Justin asked. He leaned forward and turned his body so he could see Brian's face. Brian glared at him and pulled him back against his chest.

"I know we've argued and debated the issue for months, but you have to realize that the circumstances have changed. I've changed. You've changed." Brian paused as if gathering his resolve to complete a distasteful task. "I want you to reconsider moving in with me. I want us to be together. I want...I want...Shit! I swore I would never..."

"Brian?" Justin asked in confusion.

Brian seemed to steel himself and continued on as if Justin hadn't spoken. "I want to make a...commitment."

This time when Justin turned around, Brian didn't stop him. Justin knelt on the bottom of the tub and stared into Brian's eyes. Despite the distaste obvious on his face, his eyes told how he truly felt.

"Are you sure about this?" Justin asked.

"Positive."

"How positive?" Justin asked, needing to be sure of Brian's feelings before he made a decision.

Brian huffed and looked away. "Positive enough to have my lawyer draw up papers that will join all of our financial holdings and give us medical proxy. Enough to put your name on the deed to the loft. Enough set up this little trip to Vermont. Enough to set an appointment with a Justice of the Peace."

Justin's eyes widened in shock. Brian was asking him to marry him, not just move in.

"Enough to buy the apartment below my loft so that you would have studio space nearby." Brian continued as he looked at Justin and tried to gauge his reaction. "Enough to have the contractors bust a hole in the loft floor to install a spiral staircase between the two spaces."

"Fuck," Justin whispered. "That's pretty fucking serious. Why? Why now?"

"Because I hate sleeping without you," Brian said. "I hate not waking up with you every morning, not knowing if you are okay or if you had a nightmare. Because I've changed and you've changed and everything has changed. Because I don't ever want this to end."

"You're serious?" Justin asked again.

"I thought we had already established that," Brian smirked, feeling a little surer of himself now.

"You don't have to marry me to get me to stay," Justin told him.

"Good to know, since this isn't a marriage," Brian told him. "It's a civil union. And a legally binding partnership."

"What's mine is yours and what's yours is mine?" Justin asked. Brian nodded. "Will there be rings involved?"

"I don't think so, Princess," Brian scoffed. "I might consent to...a bracelet or pendant. But no matching jewelry! We are not the munchers."

Justin nodded. "Yes."

Brian looked at him. "Yes?"

"Yes, I'll enter into a civil union and a legally binding partnership with you, Brian Kinney." Justin smiled. "I'll wear your bracelet or pendant and live in your... our loft. I'll share my bath time with you and in return I want-"

"Don't ask me for monogamy," Brian warned. "I've slowed down a bit, but I'm not sure I can promise that."

Justin smiled. "When was the last time you picked up a trick?"

"You should know," Brian huffed. "I always tell you about them."

"Almost two months Brian," Justin told him. "And you never bring them home anymore. I can live with that. That wasn't what I was going to say."

"Oh," Brian deflated a bit. "What did you want in return, then?"

"You," Justin smiled. "Just you. And if you stay out some night, I want to know that I'm the one you are coming home to. I want you: the good and the bad, the exciting and the mundane."

Brian smiled, "I think I can give you that."

"So we're going to do it?" Justin grinned.

"We're going to do it," Brian agreed.

"Kind of convenient that we're going on vacation right after," Justin said with a small smirk. "One might almost call it a hon-"

"Don't you even fucking think it you little twink," Brian growled. "This is not the H word."

"Right," Justin laughed and kissed his soon to be partner.

BJBJBJBJBJ

Brian sighed as he waited for Justin to finish fixing his hair in the city hall men's room. It was almost time for their appointment and he didn't want to be late. They had looked over the legal documents Brian's lawyer had prepared for them and had agreed to sign them after the ceremony. The Justice could serve as witness and notarize them. Brian would then ship them to his lawyer to be filed at the Allegheny County courthouse while they were away.

Justin finally exited the men's room, and Brian looked him over once again. He looked gorgeous in his gray slacks and black sports coat with a silk tee underneath. Brian was wearing black trousers with black cashmere v-neck sweater and a black leather sport coat. They made a striking couple, if Brian did say so himself.

"Come on Princess," Brian scolded, though his tone held more tenderness than censure. "We don't want to be late to our own... shit... ceremony."

"I know what you almost said," Justin teased. "And we still have five minutes before our appointment."

"I just want to get this over with," Brian told his young lover as he dragged him down the hall to the Justice of the Peace's office.

"Sure," Justin said with a grin.

Ten minutes later, they were standing in front of the Justice and reciting vows. In the background, the woman's administrative assistant was snapping pictures with Justin's digital camera. Brian almost cringed when he realized that there would be photographic evidence of his downfall, but quickly put it out of his mind as he listened to the Justice and repeated his vows. Somehow, he hadn't realized that they would mean quite so much. He had thought that this part was just a formality. But standing there, looking into Justin's eyes as he used words like love and forever, it suddenly meant everything.

Justin smiled as he repeated his vows, the light in his eyes a promise. Then they kissed and Brian was vaguely aware of the camera's flash, but didn't care since he was holding Justin. They signed the documents and forms to make it all legal, the Justice notarized everything, and then it was over.

Brian had made reservations at a very nice restaurant and had arranged for a small cake and champagne. Justin grinned at him the entire time he was cutting pieces from the small cake for them. "Are we going to feed each other?"

Brian snorted. "I think not."

"The assistant took some great pictures," Justin told him. He had already looked through them all on the camera's tiny screen.

"That's great," Brian frowned. "I might just have to lose that memory card."

"Brian!"

Brian sighed. "We didn't really talk about this last night, but, Justin, I'm not sure I'm ready to discuss this with the world."

Justin nodded. He had almost expected that. "I'll have to tell my mother, you know. We sent copies of the contracts to my lawyer, who is also her lawyer. And the accountant handling my trust will be notified as well. It's bound to get back to her."

"Your mother," Brian agreed. "But make sure she knows to keep this quiet. It's not that I'm ashamed of what we have, but I just don't think it's anyone else's business."

Justin smiled. "I know. It's fine."

Brian smiled back. That was why he had done this...Justin always seemed to understand; even if he didn't agree with something Brian said or did, he always understood.

"So, we have a couple of hours before we need to leave for Boston," Brian said by way of concession. "We could look for those trinkets you wanted. Or we could wait and look for them in London. It's up to you."

Justin's smile grew wider. "I think London for the trinkets, but we could look around a few shops here. Maybe there really are some up and coming company's that could benefit from Brian Kinney's expert advertising."

Brian looked at Justin with cynicism. "You just want to buy some cheese and maple syrup to ship home."

Justin laughed. "You caught me. Please?"

Brian gave a mock glare. "Fine, but no flannel."

BJBJBJBJBJ

Several hours later, Brian relaxed in his business class seat on the airplane and recalled that brief shopping trip. It had been interrupted more than once by trips to the men's room. And they had stopped twice on the drive to Boston. Then a quick fuck in the private restroom of the first-class lounge. Despite their lack of hotel since the ceremony, he thought that their... trip, damn it... was off to a good start.

Justin had ordered enough cheese and syrup to keep them in the shit for a year or more. Brian had adamantly refused to allow him to buy any for their friends. If they knew the two were in Vermont, they might put two and two together. And Brian was not ready for that yet. Instead, Justin had limited his gift giving to his mother, with strict instructions that nothing should be sent until after they were back from their trip and Justin had time to explain.

Brian rather liked Jennifer Taylor. She reminded him of Justin in some ways. She wasn't afraid to speak her mind and she let you know just where you stood. A lot like Brian. Of course she tended to be a bit more circumspect in the way she handled things.

She was going to have a fit when Justin told her what they had done.

Brian smirked. He already had plans to be far away from those two when they had that conversation.

Brian felt a little bad that they hadn't had any of their friends and family there. Not for his sake, or even for Justin's, but because he knew how much it would have meant to Jennifer and Debbie. And maybe even Mikey. But there was always the chance that they would have tried to talk them out of it. Mikey still didn't see Justin as anything but a threat, and Debbie and Jennifer would want to protect Justin from the big bad Brian.

Brian had actually tried to talk to Mikey about Justin last week, but Mikey wouldn't hear anything Brian had to say. Brian thought back on that conversation and realized that every time he had brought up change or commitment or Justin, Mikey had cracked a joke and changed the subject. He'd even made a comment about how glad he was that Brian had finally dumped the twink.

Brian had to walk away or punch his best friend after that comment. He took deep breaths as he walked to the bar to order a new round. It wasn't really Mikey's fault that he mistakenly believed that Brian and Justin had broken up. Justin wasn't around the places the crowd frequented because of his residual issues from the attack. The only time he was around was when he was at the diner, and he obviously didn't talk much about anything while he was there. Probably because of Mikey's often open hostility. He would have to ask Justin.

"You're thinking too loudly," Justin complained from the seat beside him. Justin shifted his seat so that it was no longer reclining and looked at Brian. "What's on your mind?"

"Mikey," Brian admitted. "And why he's so blinded to the possibility that I could change."

Justin shook his head. "Is that what's keeping you awake?" Brian just nodded. "Well the answer to that is both very simple and very complex, I think. Maybe you should call the flight attendant and order a couple of drinks for us."

Brian nodded again and pressed the call button on the console beside his seat. A few minutes later, Brian had a scotch and Justin a ginger ale.

"So? What's your theory?" Brian asked once they were alone again in the relative privacy of the business class cabin. Most of the people around them on their overnight flight were already sleeping.

Justin looked at Brian for a long minute before answering. "I think that Mikey fell in love with the irreverent and recklessly wild boy that he once knew. And I think it's very hard for him to give up the dream of being with that boy."

"But that boy no longer exists," Brian said softly. "He hasn't existed in quite some time."

"I know," Justin said. "Even before we met, I think you were beginning to change, to grow up a bit. But Michael can't see that. He can't or won't because if he does, it will destroy his dream."

"So what do I do about it?" Brian asked. "I can't let him keep holding me back. I can't let him keep running you down, like he does. But I don't want to lose his friendship."

Justin paused, unsure how to say what Brian needed to hear. "He's got to let go of the dream Brian, for both of your sakes. Even without me in the equation, this would have had to happen sooner or later. It may take some hard truths to make him see that you've changed. And even then, he may not want to give up the dream."

"But I can't let him continue on this way," Brian argued. "So what do I do?"

"Tell him the truth," Justin suggested. When Brian frowned at him he chuckled. "Not ALL of the truth, but give him enough that he knows that you are serious. Give him the facts, lay down the ground rules and let him make his choice. I'm afraid it may be too late for him to accept me. Or the new and improved Brian Kinney, but he might just surprise me."

"And if he refuses?"

Justin gave him a sad smile. "Then you have a choice to make. And it has to be your choice. I won't make it for you, or try to influence you. He's been your best friend since you were fourteen. I won't ask you to choose between us."

Brian nodded. He knew what he needed to do, but he was reluctant to do it.


"Finish your drink and lay down with me. Tomorrow's going to be a long day," Justin urged. Brian threw back the rest of his scotch, turned off the overhead light and reclined his seat. In the darkness of the plane's cabin, he reached out for Justin's hand and gave it a squeeze.

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