Where Have You Been

Where Have You Been?

"Where have you been, Brian?"



Brian sighed. Sometimes he resented having to explain his actions to Justin, but he supposed it was part of … being together. "I was meeting an old friend."

"An old friend? Who? Is it anybody I know?"

"He's my old friend, not yours," Brian said as he took off his jacket and dropped his keys on the counter.

"You look hot," Justin said admiring the tight jeans and the black sweater that Brian was wearing."

"I always look hot," Brian said with a smirk.

"True, but you look especially hot tonight."

Brian smiled, Justin's inquisition about where he'd been forgotten with the compliment. "I know," he grinned.

"So who is this guy?"

"Who said it was a guy?" Brian asked tongue in cheek.

"You were out with a woman?" Justin asked in total surprise.

"I do have women friends, you know," Brian replied rather indignantly.

"Lindsay and…"

"Well, Lindsay anyway," Brian said grudgingly.

Justin chuckled to himself. "So who is she?"


"Zach is a woman?"

"Not the last time I looked."

"But you said…" Justin began in confusion.

"I just asked 'Who said it was a guy?'."

"I know but that implies…" Justin stopped as he saw the amused look on Brian's face.

"Gotcha, Sunshine."

"Okay, so who's this Zach?"

"I went to Penn State with him."


Brian headed for the bedroom. He looked like he didn't intend to say another word about Zach.

"Brian, who is he, why did you meet with him, where did you go, what does he look like?"

Brian smirked. "Jealous, Sunshine?"

"No, no, of course not. I just … want to know."

"Zach was in several of my courses at university, he's in town just for today, we met at Woody's and the cat blew up."

"What? What did you say?"

"I said Zach was in several of my courses…" Brian began to repeat his words.

"That's not the part I'm asking about," Justin declared in annoyance. "Sometimes you're just plain maddening."

"Grab a couple of beers and I'll meet you at the sofa," Brian ordered as he headed to the bathroom.

Justin was waiting on the sofa when Brian came down the steps. Brian had changed his sweater for a T-shirt. He sat down beside his partner and took a swig of the beer.

"Where were we?" Brian asked deliberately delaying his explanation.

"You were explaining about Zach."

"I thought I had."

"What does the fucking 'cat blew up' mean?"

Brian laughed. Zach should have been in college during the fifties or sixties. He thought he was a beatnik. He wrote the most obtuse and ridiculous poetry you ever heard. He wore a beret, if you can believe it. Always dressed in black, but certainly wasn't goth, and he called everybody man and cat, everything was hip and happening. Most people at Penn State didn't know what he was talking about and thought he was fucking nuts."

"I can imagine," Justin chuckled sipping on his beer and watching Brian's face. He loved to learn about the old Brian, the one who existed before Justin came along. Brian never much liked to talk about the past, so any opportunity to find out more about Brian's earlier life was always good.

"I liked him though. He was … different, but harmless, and always good for a laugh."

"So he was your friend?"

"Kind of. We were never all that close. He came from Idaho, some backwater burg."

"Is he gay?"

Brian raised an eyebrow. "I have friends who aren't gay," he said evenly.

"Does that mean he's gay or not?" Justin asked having learned from Brian's earlier question not to fall into the same trap. He did, however, feel a twinge of the jealousy that Brian had mentioned earlier.

"He's not gay."

"Oh!" Justin said in surprise.

"You thought we were getting together for mutual benefits?" Brian asked with an evil leer.

"Well, you still haven't told me what he looks like, so how do I know?"

"I did tell you."


"When I said that the cat blew up."

"What the fuck does that mean?"

"Zach has gained at least seventy-five pounds since I last saw him, but he still spouts poetry, wears a beret and dresses in black, just takes a lot more black to cover him."

"Oh," Justin said as the light finally dawned. "I get it. The cat blew up in size."

"Yes, Sunshine," Brian sighed. "You have nothing to worry about with dear old fat straight Zach."

"I never have anything to worry about where you're concerned, Kinney," Justin said confidently, as he pushed Brian back on the sofa and started unbuttoning those tight jeans.

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