Be Careful What You Wish For
* * *
Justin awoke all curled up inside Brian's arms. It took him a minute to realize where he was, but then a smile spread across his face. He hadn't felt this happy in months. He gently squiggled around until he could look at Brian. He loved watching the man sleep. He was so beautiful … in a classical, Grecian statue kind of way. He had that patrician nose that so many of the classical Greek or Roman statues had. Brian wouldn't be called a pretty boy, but he certainly was a striking man.
And then there was that body. Justin felt himself start to grow hard as he thought about Brian deep inside him last night. Brian's body had been tight against his own and that memory sent little shivers all over him. Justin turned a little more so he could slide down and place his head against Brian's shoulder. He let out a sigh of contentment.
When had he fallen so deeply in love with this impossible man? If he told the truth to himself he would have to admit that he had lusted after the body from the very beginning, even when Brian had insulted his painting the first time they had met. Justin smiled at the memory. He had enjoyed seeing Brian squirm when he had realized the mistake he had made. But somewhere along the line his lust had turned to love. Maybe it had been when Brian sat at the hospital with him when John was dying, maybe it had been the first time they had comforted each other, even the time they had slept huddled together in John's bed after his death. Each time had been special, and Brian had been so gentle and kind. That didn't really have to do with sex either, Justin realized. It was the kind and caring side of Brian that he had grown to love. That was the part that was so much like John. Maybe that's what John had seen when he had instigated posthumously this arrangement that the two of them were now living. Justin was sure that John had never intended it to be a sham, but that's what it was, a fucking sham.
Justin sighed. Why did things have to be so complicated? Why couldn't they just love each other? He already knew the answer to that. Brian didn't do love, didn't believe in love, didn't even want love. And that was the crux of the problem. Justin had wished for a relationship with the man, and he had one. The only problem was that it was all a lie, and Brian couldn't wait to get out of it.
What was that old saying "Be careful what you wish for" because you might not like it if and when you got it. And that's exactly what had happened to him. He lifted his head and gently kissed Brian's cheek. Even though it was an impossible situation, he still loved the man. He laid his head back down on Brian's shoulder and waited for the talk that Brian had wanted the night before. The talk that would likely separate them once and for all. Until they had that talk he would just lay there touching Brian and wishing that the future would be other than what he was sure was coming.
Brian felt Justin kiss his cheek and did his best to keep his breathing slow and regular. He wasn't ready for Justin to know he was awake because that would mean they would have to talk, and he had no idea what he was going to say. He knew what he should say, but he wasn't sure whether he could say that or not. He didn't want to hurt Justin. All he wanted to do was protect the young man. But every time they were together it got harder and harder to be apart. That was true for him as well as for Justin. They couldn't go on hurting each other the way they had been.
Brian realized that he was admitting, if only to himself, how hard it had become to be separated from Justin. Justin wasn't the only one who was hurt by what they were doing. Brian had to wonder when he had developed a heart, a heart that could be hurt, especially by the little blond lying next to him. Everyone thought of Brian as heartless and he had always been so quick to agree with them. When had all that changed?
Brian knew the answer was when he had met Justin. That first day that he had arrived in Denver and had unwittingly insulted Justin's painting, and Justin himself, that had been the beginning. He had tried to make it up to the young man immediately, and normally he wouldn't have given a flying fuck about some guy's feelings. But Justin was different, and he had known that from the very first moment they had met. No one had ever caused the things to happen in Brian's heart and soul that Justin caused.
This fake relationship had become so real when they were together. Last night he had actually felt like Justin's partner. He had been so happy with Justin's reaction to his arrival. It had made him feel good. He knew he had made the right decision to fly to New York. There was nothing better than a happy and horny Justin. Brian felt the smile spread across his face. He couldn't stop it, and he didn't want to.
"How long have you been awake?" Justin asked softly.
"A while," Brian admitted, keeping his eyes closed.
"You woke up when I kissed your cheek, didn't you?"
"Why didn't you say something?"
"I wanted to see what you'd do next."
"Hoping I'd blow you?" Justin giggled.
"That would have been nice," Brian smiled.
"I could do it now," Justin volunteered.
"As nice as that would be, I think we have other things to do," Brian stated as he opened his eyes and stared into the blue ones that held such promise.
"You want to talk?"
"Fuck no. You know I hate talking … especially about…"
"Yeah, I know."
"But I guess it's necessary."
"We need to settle a few things."
"I hate this."
"Then why do we have to do it?" Justin asked, the tears that were building clearly catching in his throat.
"It's all right," Brian said, gently pulling Justin against his chest and resting his chin on the top of the blond head. He blinked back his own tears. What the fuck was he going to say?
"It's not all right," Justin whispered. "It's not all right at all." But he let Brian hold him, because that's where he wanted to be … in Brian's arms … forever.
They stayed in each other's arms for a few more minutes before Justin pulled back, trying his best to hold back his emotions and prepare for what was coming.
"I guess this is goodbye," he finally said softly.
"What?" Brian asked in confusion.
"That's why you're here, isn't it? I know we still have to pretend to be together for the sake of the will. Don't worry, I promise to…" Justin stopped unable to go on.
"Justin," Brian whispered.
"No…it's okay. I just…We knew this was going to come to an end, right? It's probably for the best that it happens now, before I…well, it's just better this way. We can figure out what to tell everyone later. I'm sure if I just explain things to the house staff, they'll…"
"Justin," Brian tried again.
"It's okay. I'll just tell them that things aren't working out and that we're going to take some time apart. I'm sure they won't…"
"Justin!" Brian exclaimed, finally grabbing the blond's attention. "Would you stop talking and listen to me for a minute? I didn't come here to say goodbye."
"You didn't?" Justin asked with uncertainty. "But…then why are you here? You said that you wanted to talk. I just thought that…I mean…"
"We do need to talk," Brian replied, stopping Justin mid-sentence. "Things haven't been working out so well between us lately and I just thought that we should come up with some new rules to make things run smoother. That's all."
"New rules?" Justin thought for a moment before his heart dropped down into his gut. "Oh, you mean you want permission to start tricking."
"Would you stop jumping to conclusions? This has nothing to do with tricking," Brian sighed in frustration. "Fuck! No wonder I don't like talking."
"Okay, I'm sorry. I won't say another word until you're done. Now please, continue."
Now that Brian had Justin's undivided attention he wasn't sure he wanted it. He still wasn't sure exactly how to say what was on his mind. Probably because he wasn't exactly sure what was on his mind. Well, he'd just have to jump in and hope for the best.
"Look, this just isn't working the way it's supposed to. We haven't seen each other in months. The house staff is starting to ask questions. Even Lyle is starting to get suspicious. They know that something is going on between us and it's just too risky," Brian explained, trying for the easy way out. He should've known Justin would be difficult.
"If that's all you're worried about then I'll talk to them. I'm sure I could stay here in the city a little bit longer. I can paint anywhere. I'll just tell everyone that it's because of the show. I'll let them think that I made some new contacts and want to look into them or something. It's not that uncommon for partners to be separated from one another because of work. Look at Gerard," Justin replied sadly.
"Don't worry; I'll take care of it. Just let me talk to Gerard and make sure that the guy I'm subletting from isn't going to be back for awhile. If I need to find another apartment, it might take me a little bit longer to…"
"Shit, don't you ever take a breath?" Brian barked suddenly, finally at the end of his rope. "I miss you, all right? I'm here because I miss you!"
Justin sat there in stunned silence, letting Brian's words wash over him in waves of pleasure. It wasn't a declaration of love, but it was close and caused Justin's heart to swell. "I miss you, too," he whispered.
Brian could see the joy in Justin's watery eyes and knew he had to say something to keep the situation from going completely out of control. He had already admitted more than he planned.
"Look, nothing has really changed between us. It's just that I kind of got used to having you around and since we don't have that much time left, I thought we should make the most of it. Once the year is up, we're still going to be going our separate ways. I still don't believe in love and relationships. That's not going to change. We can keep in touch. Business is so good that I'm going to end up keeping the Denver location. I don't know why I thought I'd be able to just pull up stakes once this was all over. Luckily it's a small office with a low overhead, so it shouldn't be too much to handle. Everyone on my payroll has pretty much proven to me that they can handle things without me if they have to. We can see each other when I'm in town, hit the clubs, that sort of thing. But the bottom line is that once I get the payoff from the will, I'm heading back to Pittsburgh to open a branch of Kinnetik there so I can get on with my life. I don't want to imply anything else."
Once again Justin was experiencing Brian's push and pull, but this time it felt different. This time he could actually feel the fear radiating off the older man as he tried to explain his plans for the future. Maybe he was crazy. Hell, he should probably have his head examined, but for the first time in a long time Justin actually had hope for his future with Brian. He just had to tread carefully so that he didn't add to the fear that was so obvious in Brian's eyes.
"No, of course not. We'll go back to our original plans, but you've got to stop running away all the time," Justin replied tentatively.
"I don't run away."
"Come on, Brian. You're the reason we got into this situation to start with. I wouldn't have been able to go away without you knowing if you ever bothered to come home in the first place," Justin pointed out. "And even when you did bother to come home, you always snuck in after midnight and stayed in the guest room instead of our bed."
"I didn't sneak," Brian replied indignantly. "I simply came in quietly and didn't want to wake you. I was being thoughtful."
Justin laughed at the boyish look on Brian's face. "Well, whatever it is that you do, you have to stop it. If we're going to be a couple, pretend or not, we need to act like it. Besides, I don't know about you, but I'm getting tired of snuggling up with my right hand every night."
"I thought you were ambidextrous," Brian teased.
"You shit!" Justin exclaimed as he jumped up and attacked Brian, finding all those hidden ticklish spots that he'd discovered during their time together.
Brian let Justin have a few moments of fun before using his size to overpower the blond, kissing him as he ground their semi hard cocks together, effectively taking Justin's mind off tickling and onto more pressing matters.
Brian spent the weekend with Justin in the city, where they did sightseeing during the day, spent the evenings at the gallery, and the nights wrapped up in each other's arms making up for lost time. By Monday morning, neither one of them were ready to say goodbye.
"So you'll be home on Friday?" Brian asked once again.
"Yeah, that was the deal. I had to be here through the first week. Not that it should matter. I still can't believe that I sold out on the first night."
"Why can't you believe it? People know real talent when they see it," Brian told him.
"Thanks," Justin said shyly, enjoying the praise Brian was so quick to offer. "I guess we better get going or you're going to miss your plane."
"Yeah, you're probably right," Brian agreed reluctantly. "Call the office when you land on Friday and I'll meet you at the house so that I can welcome you home properly."
"Oh, by fucking me into the mattress?" Justin teased.
"I might take you out to dinner first," Brian said, but than laughed at the skeptical look on Justin's face. "Okay, but I'll definitely take you out after I fuck you into the mattress."
"Who could refuse an offer like that? Call me when you get in so I know that you made it all right," Justin said.
"Yes, mother." Brian pulled Justin close and kissed him one more time before climbing into his cab and giving a final wave as they drove away.
Justin watched until the cab was out of sight before hailing his own and heading to the gallery. He found Trevor behind the counter looking through the receipts from the night before with a smile on his face.
"I take it business is booming?" Justin said in greeting.
"I'm telling you, Blondie; having you here has been wonderful for the gallery. Gerard better not let you get away. You're good for business," Trevor replied with an even bigger smile. "So where's Prince Charming?"
"Getting ready to catch a flight back to Denver. He's got some accounts that need work before he closes up for the holidays. It's funny, but even though I've been here for months without him, the rest of the week looks lonely now that he's gone," Justin said sadly.
"You've been pretty lonely since you got here. Now shouldn't be any different," Trevor pointed out. "Look Justin, if you want to talk about it, I'm a pretty good listener."
"Talk about what?" Justin asked, feigning innocence.
"Whatever it is that had you so upset when you got here. Obviously things between you and Brian haven't been as good as they should be. Why don't you tell old Trev about it? I'm sure you'll feel better."
"Old Trev? You're only 25. I don't think that puts you in the old category just yet," Justin laughed. "Thanks, but I think things are going to be okay now. Brian and I had a heart to heart on Saturday morning and worked things out. For now anyway.
"All right, but the offer stands. You know how to reach me if you need me," Trevor reminded him. "Gerard's in his office. He asked me to send you in when you got here. "Go see what he wants and let me get back to work so I'll be ready for you to take me out to lunch when it's time. I distinctly remember betting you that Brian would show up at the opening and I won."
"That's one debt that I'll happily pay," Justin replied before heading off to see Gerard, his smile unwavering as he went. It was the first time in months that he was truly happy and it was all because of Brian.
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