Brian and I showed up at my mother’s house, and Emmett was practically gleeful. He always believed that Brian and I belong together. He just didn’t want to try to tell us how to live our lives. Hannah ran for Brian first.
“So did you two figure out anything?” Emmett asks.
“We are going to try again, but this time we understand each other. The only problem we’re having is figuring out where. He wants to start a company of his own and the people he wants to work with live here, well, one doesn’t.” I tell him.
“So he’s trying to steal my artist?” Charles asks.
“If he decides on Chicago, he thinks you and he could work together. I think if I wasn’t part of the equation it would be here.” I tell him.
“Business wise he would be smarter to stay here, he knows the people and businesses here, in Chicago he’d be starting from scratch.” Charles tells me.
“We’ll have to see if Cynthia, Ted, and Murph are willing to relocate.” I tell them.
“Ted, my Ted?” Emmett asks.
“Yes, your Teddy. Brian said he wanted to get Ted out of his closet. I think he plans to invite them to dinner tomorrow to see whether they want to venture into the unknown with him.” I tell him.
“If Brian is doing it, they’d be crazy not to run for it. Justin, maybe it’s time for you to compromise, it sounds like Brian is the one compromising everything for you.” Emmett tells us.
“Justin, if you really want this, I’ll support you.” Charles tells me.
“I never stopped wanting him, it’s just everything else that was the problem.” I tell him.
“Then do what it takes to get rid of the problems.” Emmett tells me.
“We only get to break Michael’s nose once a decade.” I tell Emmett, who is giggling with me.
Emmett’s phone rang and he stopped laughing and smiled when he looked at the screen. “He finally called.” He tells Charles.
I went outside before answering, I didn’t want anyone around when I answered Ted.
“Teddy, how are you?” I ask.
“I’m good, but would be better if you would agree to have lunch, or at least let me apologize for not letting you explain.” He tells me.
“All you ever had to do was call. I would forgive you for anything.” I tell him.
“You should at least make me work for it, the way Justin was last night.” He tells me.
“You saw Justin?” I ask.
“He was walking down Liberty Avenue, I figured I need to keep the other guys who were eyeing him from getting their heads bitten off. Brian really pissed him off.” He tells me.
“They seemed okay when they showed up at Jen’s house.” I tell him.
“I’m glad that he didn’t let what Brian said get to him.” He tells me.
“What did Brian say to Justin?” I ask.
“If they want you to know they’ll tell you. I won’t be another person who interferes with their relationship. So instead, how about you and I see if we can find a way to be the friends we were.” Ted tells me.
“I think Brian wants to talk to you tomorrow at dinner. I’ll make sure Charles and I are there.” I tell him.
“Why would Brian want to talk to me?” He asks.
“I’ll let Brian tell you, just answer when he calls you. You're on a short list of invited, a very short list.” I tell him.
“You aren’t going to tell me are you? Do you not realize that it’s a reason to be afraid, that I’m on a list of people Brian wants to talk to?” He asks me.
“Does it help that Lindsay and Michael aren’t on it?” I ask.
“A little, but maybe if you tell me who else is on it, I can control the image of Brian breathing fire on me out of my head.” He tells me.
“Cynthia is on it.” I tell him.
“His old PA?” He asks.
“Hopefully his soon-to-be PA, and that’s all you're getting.” I tell him.
“I guess it can’t be that bad then. Of course, being able to talk to my friend Emmett is worth anything.” He tells me.
“I love you Teddy, you know that don’t you? No matter what happened, I always loved you.” I tell him.
“I love you too Emmett, and I plan to show you that you were the friend I should have stuck by.” He tells me.
“Leave it where it belongs, in our past. I want to start with a clean slate.” I tell him.
Charles came out, and waited for me to hang up before opening his arms for me. I walked into the arms of the man who made my life everything I wanted.
“Everything okay?” He asks.
“Everything is fabulous, Teddy called.” I tell him.
I made the calls and wasn’t surprised when they all agreed to have dinner with me. I asked Cynthia to come to the loft before dinner, because I wanted to offer her more than her old job. Justin called to tell me he would be a few minutes late because Molly was coming home and had a surprise for him. He promised to be here as soon as he found out what Molly was up to.
“Brian Kinney, I should kick your ass for not making me go with you.” Cynthia tells me.
“There are a lot of things I should have done, but I’m working on correcting all of them.” I tell her.
“So this isn’t just dinner?” She asks.
“I want to offer you a chance to finally spread your wings. I’m starting a company, and I think it’s time that you become what you are, an Ad exec.” I tell her.
“Not your assistant?” She asks.
“You were always more than that, not that Vance will ever see that.” I tell her.
“Who else are you trying to get? I still have contact with most of the people who you didn’t complain about.” She tells me.
“Murph is coming to dinner, Justin doesn’t want to head the art department. Ted, if he has any sense will join as CFO. The only thing that could be a problem is where the company will be located. I wanted to do it here but Justin doesn’t want to live here.” I tell her.
“Justin as in the Justin who was allowed to interrupt your day?” She asks me.
“One and the same, also the father of our daughter Hannah.” I tell her.
“When did you two get back together? The last time we talked you didn’t mention him.” She asks.
“Last time we talked I didn’t know he had my daughter seven years ago.” I tell her.
“He didn’t tell you?” She asks.
“He tried. Unfortunately he made the mistake of trusting my friends to get me to listen to him.” I tell her.
“He didn’t go to Lindsay did he?” She asks me.
“He thought they were friends.” I tell her.
“No one is that woman’s friend, unless they serve a purpose for her.” Cynthia tells me.
“I never knew you cared one way or the other about Lindsay.” I tell her.
“Most of the time I didn’t really care at all. She wasn’t like Michael, who never understood you had a job that didn’t include catering to his whims, but she didn’t like it if you were busy when she called. She was in the office one day when you were in a meeting and Justin called, it wasn’t fun when I put him through and didn’t let her in your office.” She tells me.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” I ask.
“She didn’t make a scene, just commented that you were probably lining up your tricks for the night. I don’t know for sure, but it was like she only thought Justin was around in case you didn’t find someone else for the night. Then it was like she realized what she said, and she tried to act like it was joke by saying Justin should concentrate on his art, not you.” She tells me.
“They are not friends, and if Lindsay sniffs around, nothing about Justin or our daughter Hannah is mentioned around her.” I tell her.
“I never discuss your private life.” She tells me.
“When Justin gets here we can meet the others.” I tell her, wondering where he was.
I parked behind Brian’s car, so I didn’t see who was standing in front of his passenger door until I got out.
“You just can’t leave Brian alone.” He tells me.
“He hasn’t changed, not that I ever saw that as a possibility. It would have required more than the two brain cells he possesses.” Daphne tells me.
“Oh look, it’s your little girlfriend. I guess you have to have someone to fight for you.” Michael sneers.
“Not really, I just think fighting you is like fighting cockroaches. You hide in the shadows and only come out when you think it’s safe. If you really want to do this, find some original lines. I already know the ‘he doesn’t do love’, ‘I can’t expect him to change for me’, and the oh so famous ‘he always has and always will’. Try something I haven’t heard, because I at least want to feel like you have half a chance of joining me in the ring.” I tell him.
“Why would I want to be in a ring with someone who lets anyone fuck them.” He tells me.
“Wait, are you insulting Brian or Justin?” Daphne asks him.
“Really, I doubt you ever made up the numbers Brian was bringing to the table.” She tells me.
“At least I wasn’t a fucking stalker who didn’t understand no one wanted him around.” He tells her.
“Man, Brian sure fucked me like he wanted me around, you know what that’s like, oh wait, you don’t.” I tell him, smirking.
“He would never have wanted me to be a trick.” He tells me.
“If you stopped at never wanted you, I could agree.” I tell him.
“I’m the one he still wanted in his life after he left, can you say the same?” He tells me.
“Nope I can’t, but notice who he’s with now.” I tell him.
“Enjoy it while it lasts, you know, until his next trick.” He tells me.
“Justin, if I punch him do you think the police will think it justifiable, it’s something I always wanted to do.” Daphne tells me, hopping up and down and clapping. “What, it’s as childish as I can be, Michael would understand it.” She tells me, when I shake my head at her.
“Daphne, you’re about to actually be a doctor, there is just no way for you to dumb down to his level.” I tell her.
“Brian came to me when it was important, who do you think he came to when his father died, it certainly wasn’t you. He took me with him and he stayed at my house, in my bed. He wanted someone who wasn’t just the guy he fucked.” He tells me.
“Yet when he was losing his job, what was it you did to help him? Chicken and pizza, and a speech about how it was his fault, that was your answer.” I tell him.
“It was better than you sitting around doing your homework.” He tells me.
“He did a lot of homework to get rid of that asshole.” Daphne tells Michael.
“Justin?” Brian asks.
“Hey, look who’s here.” I tell him, hoping he missed that part.
“Brian, I came here to see you, not the blond pain in your ass.” Michael says loudly.
“Then you wasted your time coming here, because the only pain in my ass is you.” Brian sneers.
“He’s a lying scheming little shit who most likely found someone who looked like you so you’d think his bastard…”
“My what, are you ready to back that up?” I tell him when he stood there holding his eye. “I can correct your nose too, it looks like the doctor didn’t set it right.” I tell him, as Brian grabs me. “No, if Michael wants to say anything about my daughter he better be ready to back it up, because I have no problem explaining to anyone why I stomped the fucker in the ground.” I tell them.
“Did it feel good? I’ve always wondered.” Cynthia asks me.
“I don’t know, let me try it again.” I tell her, slipping from Brian’s grasp and walking towards Michael. “Why are you backing away, afraid you need to bring someone to help you fight?” I ask, as he turns and takes off.
“Justin.” Brian calls me.
“I’m not sorry.” I tell him.
“You have no reason to be, I was just wondering if you needed ice for your hand before we go to dinner.” He tells me. “Daphne, gorgeous as always, but I think you get to explain that statement.” He tells her, and yes, that whine came from me. Why does he never forget the things I don’t want to explain.
“I can explain a lot to you about your bestie and Justin, all you ever had to do was ask.” She tells him.