Be Careful What You Wish For
* * *
The following day Brian and Justin reported to Lyle that they were attempting to form a relationship as per John's wishes. Lyle was pleased at the quick response and told them that they would have to show their intentions over the course of the next months if Brian wanted to collect the inheritance that John had promised.
Brian decided that they should head back to Pittsburgh very shortly so that he could set things in motion for forming his own ad agency. He wanted to settle the Leo Brown business and see if Brown would be amenable to following Brian to his new company. A high profile account like Brown Athletics would be just what a new company needed.
Justin was very interested in meeting Brian's friends and family, about whom Brian said very little.
Brian made them reservations on a flight for the next day and they spent the rest of that day packing and organizing what they would take to Pittsburgh with them. Brian packed up all the gifts that John had mailed him over the years. He had them shipped back to the loft. Maybe Gus would like some of them and Michael certainly would.
Once that was done they went down to the dining room for dinner. They held hands as they entered putting on a show for the staff. Brian had to admit that he rather liked the feel of Justin's hand in his. He held out the chair for his "partner" to sit down. Justin smiled that killer smile of his. Brian felt his groin tighten and his heart flip over. This was going to be tricky.
Somehow they got through dinner. Brian decided he would like a swim soon after and headed for the pool. Justin went upstairs. Before Brian started his swim he decided that he should call Lindsay and let her know he was coming back to Pittsburgh.
"Hello?" Melanie's voice came over the phone.
'Shit!' Brian thought. Melanie was the last person he wanted to speak to. "Is Lindsay around?" he asked.
"No, asshole, she's working late at the gallery," Melanie replied.
"How's Gus?" Brian asked hoping that would receive a more pleasant reply.
"He's just fine, not that you would know anything about Gus."
Brian bit his tongue. "Mel, would you please tell Lindsay that I'll be back in Pittsburgh tomorrow and I'd like to see my son."
"You mean our son."
"I mean Gus."
"I'll tell her that you are condescending to pay us a visit."
"Mel," Brian said the warning clear in his voice.
The line went dead. Brian wondered what that woman had against him that made her so fucking miserable to deal with. Maybe it was as simple as the fact that she was a fucking miserable bitch. Brian hit another number and waited.
"Michael, I wanted to let you know I'll be back in Pittsburgh tomorrow."
"Great! I wondered where you had been lately."
"I'm bringing you something," Brian smiled.
"You are? Is he big and brawny and beautiful?"
Brian knew Michael would be fantasizing all kinds of things about what his surprise might be. "Don't get your tighty whities in a knot. You'll like it."
"Do you need me to pick you up at the airport or something?"
Um … no thanks, Michael. I'll take a cab. I'll see you when I get back." Brian didn't think Michael meeting Justin as soon as they got off the plane was a very good idea.
"I can't wait to see what you're bringing me."
Brian could almost picture puppy dog Michael wagging his tail in anticipation. He shook his head. "See ya', Mikey." He cut the connection.
As he slid into the pool he heard some noise and turned to see Justin come in. He had a swimsuit covering his well endowed package. Brian felt his cock grow hard at the sight. He and Justin had been together several times now and it never seemed to get old. He couldn't remember hardly ever wanting to fuck a guy more than once. But this Justin Taylor was a whole different kettle of fish. He wondered once again what he was getting himself into with this charade they were playing.
"I thought you might like some company," Justin said with a smile.
"Sure," Brian agreed.
Justin dove into the deep end. Brian swam over to him and got in his personal space. He liked being close to Justin.
"Hey," Justin laughed. "We're supposed to be getting some exercise."
"I can think of a better form of exercise," Brian smirked.
"Later," Justin laughed and dove under the water swimming away from Brian.
"Definitely later," Brian said diving after him.
They swam around for a while, chasing each other and generally just frolicking with each other. As that thought sifted through his brain, Brian could hardly believe that he was thinking of himself as frolicking with … anyone.
Finally they climbed out and sat on the edge of the pool dangling their feet in the water. Justin was silent for a while and Brian watched him wondering, and actually caring, what Justin was thinking.
"Do … do you want to go to a club tonight?" Justin finally asked.
"I asked you first."
Brian sighed. He didn't really feel like a club unless Justin wanted to go and they could go together. "I'm not really in the mood."
"I thought you might like one last kick at the can before we left Denver."
"You make it sound like we'll never be back."
Justin shrugged. "We might not be. At least you may never come back."
Brian stared at Justin. "Would you care?"
Justin flinched just a bit. "Yes … yes, I would."
Justin hesitated unsure how he should answer that. Justin decided to be honest. "I've grown quite … fond of you," he said with a small smile.
Brian grinned. "I don't think I've ever had anyone be fond of me before."
Brian shook his head. "They think I'm hot or mean or an asshole, but never has anyone been fond of me."
"Then I'm proud to be the first."
Brian smiled. It was warm and genuine. Justin could feel it. He liked what he felt.
"So, what do you want to do tonight?" Brian asked.
"Could … would you like to see a movie?"
"Yeah, you know, the thing where they turn the lights out and flash moving images on a screen," Justin chuckled.
"Oh that! Sure, what do you want to see?"
"I'd kind of like to see that cowboy movie."
Brian frowned. "Cowboys?"
"Yeah, Brokeback Mountain."
"Oh, that cowboy movie," Brian laughed.
Justin grinned at him. "What do you say?"
"It's almost eight-thirty. We can probably catch a late show. Let's go."
They stood up and wrapped towels around themselves. Brian started to open the door when he found Justin standing close beside him. He stepped through and took Justin's hand before closing the door behind him. He held that hand as they walked upstairs.
* * *
"So, what did you think?" Justin asked as they came out of the theater.
"Is that all … just interesting?"
"It's not the best movie I've ever seen."
"Really? I thought you'd like it."
"I didn't say I didn't like it."
"But it was only interesting?"
"I'm not a romantic," Brian declared. "I think all that crap is a bit much. Too hetero for my taste."
"But it was a great love story."
"With a tragic ending."
"Because the lovers aren't together?"
"Yeah, it's a waste."
"But those were different times."
"You don't think so?"
"Not really. You heard some of the comments about fags as we were coming out of the theater."
"Yeah, but at least they went."
"So they can feel superior to us poor depraved, sick individuals. Or else they were dragged there by someone who really wanted to see the movie."
"Like I dragged you?" Justin asked with a frown.
"You didn't drag me. I went of my own free will."
"Because I wanted you to."
"I appreciate that, Brian."
"I am trying to be a good partner," Brian said with his tongue in cheek.
"You're doing a good job so far."
"Thank you very much," Brian grinned as he opened the door to his rental car for Justin.
"Faggots," someone said from a nearby car.
Brian glared in the direction of the voice but he wasn't sure who had said it. There were a lot of people getting into their cars now that the movie had let out.
"Let's get out of here," Justin said.
Brian got in the car and spun the tires as he zoomed out of the lot. "Fucking assholes!"
"Calm down, Brian. You don't need to kill us just because there are bigots around."
Brian was about to make a smartass retort, but he bit his lip and slowed down.
"Is Pittsburgh any different where prejudice is concerned?" Justin asked innocently.
"Not so's you'd notice. Bigots are everywhere. As I'm so fond of saying, 'There's only two kinds of people; the ones who hate you to your face, and the ones who hate you behind your back.' Makes life so worth living."
"I … I don't hate you," Justin said hesitantly.
"I didn't mean you."
"But you must have friends and family. They don't hate you, do they?"
Brian snorted. "My fucking so-called family hates my guts. And as for my friends, they hate me on and off."
"On and off?"
"It would take too long to explain. You'll meet them tomorrow anyway."
"I … I kind of wanted to be prepared. Tell me a bit about them."
"What do you want to know?"
Brian pulled into the mansion grounds and brought the car to a halt near the house. "Shall we go sit in the garden and I'll tell you whatever I can."
"Okay," Justin said with a smile. Now maybe he would find out all the things he wanted to know about Brian.
They walked around the house and found the bench where Brian had sat a few nights before. Brian lit a cigarette and held the smoke relishing the calming effect it had on his system. He wasn't sure how much he wanted Justin to know about him.
"So, are you going to tell me about your family?" Justin asked.
"My father died of cancer a year ago, my mother thinks I'll burn in Hell for the lifestyle I lead, and my sister has no use for me but lots of uses for my money."
"I wish I had my mother and father," Justin said sadly.
"Sometimes we're better off without them."
"You don't really believe that, do you?"
"Yes, I do."
"What made you so cynical?"
Justin sighed. This was getting him nowhere fast. He was sorry he had asked about Brian's family. "Tell me about your friends."
"Didn't you get enough of an earful with my family?"
"What can I say? I'm a glutton for punishment."
"Brian," Justin said with a frown. "You are planning to tell them that we're a couple, aren't you?"
"I guess I have to if I want to start my own ad agency."
Justin winced. He hated when Brian talked like that. It made him feel like he was merely a glorified meal ticket. It made him feel like he didn't mean anything to Brian at all. He hated that feeling. "But you don't really want to," Justin said feeling sick to his stomach.
"Not really. They'll think I've lost my fucking mind."
"They will? Why?"
"Because I don't … do relationships, or boyfriends or partners. Because it goes against everything I believe in."
"Then maybe we shouldn't do this," Justin managed to get out around the huge lump that had formed in his throat. This whole thing was a colossal mistake.
"It's only for a while. We don't have to keep the charade going for too long."
"Right, how could I have forgotten that it's all a charade?" Justin stood up feeling very unsteady on his feet. "I think I'll go to bed."
Brian stood too and he watched Justin sway slightly. He put his arm around Justin's waist and felt the man lean into him. "Are you all right?"
"Feel kind of sick. Maybe it was that popcorn at the theater."
Brian pulled Justin closer and started walking him towards the house. Justin didn't protest or pull away. They made their way into the kitchen which was the closest door.
The cook gasped when she saw Justin. He looked so pale now that he was in the light. "What happened? Is Mr. Taylor ill?"
"I'm going to take him upstairs to his room. Maybe you could bring us some aspirins."
"Certainly, sir," the woman said as Brian helped Justin through the room and then into the foyer and up the stairs.
"I'm fine," Justin said as they got to the door of his bedroom. "Just leave me here."
"I'm not leaving you alone. Come inside and get into bed."
"I don't need your help," Justin protested pulling away. He swayed and Brian grabbed him leading him over to the bed. Carefully he pulled off Justin's clothes feeling how cold Justin's skin had become. A tap at the door told Brian that the cook had arrived. He laid Justin down and covered him with a sheet. He went to the door and opened it.
The cook handed him a tray containing a pitcher of water and a bottle of aspirin along with a glass of what seemed to be warm milk. "Is he all right?" she asked looking over Brian's shoulder.
"I think he will be. Do you have some extra blankets?"
"In the top of the closet," she replied. "Oh, and there's a little brandy in the milk."
"Thanks." Brian closed the door and set the tray beside the bed. He went to the closet and found two blankets. He brought them to the bed and spread them out on top of Justin. Justin seemed oblivious to what was happening. "Justin," Brian said but received no response. "Justin." He pulled the young man upright and told him to drink some of the milk. Justin blinked and drank a bit. With a moan he laid down again and pulled his knees up to his chest.
"Cold," he murmured.
Brian shucked off his clothes and crawled under the covers. He spooned himself against Justin's back and wrapped his arms around the slender frame. He held him tight and started whispering, "You'll be fine, Justin. Relax and let me hold you. You're safe with me. I'll look after you now that John isn't here. You don't have to worry. John wants you to be safe and I'll see that you are. Relax and lean on me. I won't let you go."
Gradually Brian felt the tension and rigidity start to fade from Justin's body. After a while he led out a shuddering breath and cried silently for a little while. Brian kept up his litany of how he would help and support Justin in whatever he wanted to do, how he would never abandon him, how he could feel safe and secure. After a very long time Justin's breathing became steady and Brian knew he had fallen asleep. He still kept talking like it would ease Justin's pain and make the night shorter.
Brian wasn't sure when he fell asleep, but his last thought was about what they had to face the next day and if either one of them would be ready for it.Return to Be Careful What You Wish For