Be Careful What You Wish For

Chapter 24


*   *   *


Justin kept the towel over his head, but he said, "Brian?"

"You were expecting someone else?" Brian tried to joke.

"I was expecting you … about six hours ago."

"I … I had some things to take care of."

'And none of them was me,' Justin thought to himself. Aloud he said, "You might have called."

"I … I should have. Can you look at me … please?"

"Only if you have an explanation for where you've been."

"I was at the office. Where else would I be?"

"Lying on a beach in the Bahamas."

"What? Why the fuck would I be there?"

Justin threw off the towel no longer caring that Brian would see the tears in his eyes. "I thought you'd pulled another fucking disappearing act," Justin accused. "I thought everything we discussed, everything I felt … last weekend was a pile of crap. You can't keep doing this to me. I can't stand it."

Brian felt his heart snap. He hadn't intended to hurt Justin. He had merely taken care of business, and somehow, he had made things horribly wrong by doing that. "I didn't intend to…"

"I don't give a flying fuck whether you intended to hurt me or not. You did. And I've had enough."

Justin tried to brush past Brian and head for his bedroom where he could lock the door and maybe make his own plans to spend Christmas in the Bahamas. However, Brian had other ideas. He grabbed Justin's arm and pulled him up short.

"Let go of me, asshole!" Justin demanded.

"I will if you listen to me for a minute."

Justin tried to pull his arm out of Brian's grasp, but the man refused to let go. "All right," Justin conceded. "What kind of lame excuse are you going to give me?"

"I don't do lame excuses. In fact, I never explain. That's one of my rules, all of which I seem to break for you." He released Justin's arm. "I had a major problem with the Sleek Gyms account. They have a campaign coming out right after Christmas to get all the people who make resolutions to lose weight to join their gyms. There was a screw-up with the distribution of the paper ads. I had to straighten it out."

Justin glared at Brian. He knew Brian was telling him the truth. Brian always told the truth, even when no one wanted to hear it, no matter how much it hurt. He always told the truth, except about his feelings, and about the cockamamie relationship that they had allowed themselves to fall into. Brian had feelings for him. Justin knew that, but the man refused to face that fact, refused to admit that it was even a possibility. "So!" Justin said defiantly.

"I had to fix the mess before I could leave and it took longer than I thought it would. And then…"

"Then what?" Justin demanded.

"I got a call from Lindsay and Gus. He wants me to come home for Christmas. I said I would. I didn't know how to tell you."

"What difference does that make? You can go to Pittsburgh if you want. You can do whatever the fuck you want. You're telling me now and it doesn't seem to be a problem. You're just looking for excuses."

"Justin!" Brian said ominously. "I don't want to leave you alone at Christmas, but I didn't think you'd want to go back to Pittsburgh with me."

"You want me to go with you?" Justin asked his eyes getting large.

"Of course I do, but I don't want you to have a miserable Christmas. Gus asked about you too."

"He did?"

"He likes you … almost as much as I do."

Justin smiled. He couldn't help himself. "Sometimes you do know the right thing to say."

"I do?" Brian asked genuinely surprised.

"So, you want to go to Pittsburgh and spend Christmas with Gus?" Justin asked.

"I think I should."

Justin frowned. "But do you want to?"

"Yeah," Brian finally admitted.

"Then we'll go."

"We will?" Brian asked in surprise.

"We will," Justin declared.

"But I know how uncomfortable Michael has made you and all my other family…"

"The only one who counts is Gus."

"Yeah, you're right."

"Then we'll go," Justin said again.

"Thank you," Brian said sincerely. "I have … um … something to show you."

"What?" Justin asked, liking the idea of a surprise and suddenly finding that this holiday might not be so bad.

"You haven't been in the library since you got back, have you?"

"No, why?"

"Good, then my surprise will still work. Come with me."

"But I need to change," Justin said, realizing he was still standing there in his damp swimsuit.

"I'll help you take that off later. Come on."

Brian hurried out of the pool area and down the hall, dragging Justin behind him. They both had goofy grins on their faces, Brian because he couldn't wait to see Justin's reaction, and Justin because he couldn't wait to see what kind of surprise Brian had cooked up for him.

Brian opened the door to the library and told Justin to close his eyes. Justin did as requested and allowed Brian to pull him into the room, while he kept his eyes firmly closed. Brian let go of Justin's hand, and Justin heard him moving around. After a minute, Brian said, "Okay, open your eyes."

Justin opened his eyes and standing in front of him was a glorious Christmas tree decorated in the most lovely shades of ivory and a muted burgundy. It twinkled with a million lights. Justin gasped, "It's beautiful."

"You like it?" Brian asked almost shyly.

"I love it. You did this all for me?"

Brian nodded. "I don't usually have a Christmas tree, hell, I never have had a Christmas tree. But somehow I knew this Christmas was different … with you … here. I thought John would have approved too."

"He would love it. We used to go shopping for the biggest and best tree every year. Where did you get this one?"

"I have to confess that I had a decorator pick it out and dress it up. I thought I'd fuck it up if I did it myself."

"I don't think you could fuck anything up, even if you tried."

"I fucked up your homecoming," Brian said sadly.

"But you made it right … with this. Thank you," Justin said with a sad smile. "I was kind of dreading Christmas without John."

"I thought you might. I wish he was here too."

"I … um … I should get changed," Justin said.

"I kind of like the way you are. Only one thing would be better."

"And what would that be?"

"You have too many clothes on."

Justin giggled. This was the Brian he loved. Why couldn't Brian admit that he loved him back? "What are you going to do about it?"

"Come here and I'll show you."

Justin took a step forward and found himself in Brian's arms. The man kissed him until his toes started to curl and his brain screamed for oxygen. His cock was trapped in the damp swimsuit and he moaned as Brian released his lips but kept his arms around him so he didn't fall over. He felt Brian's fingers slide inside his swimsuit and knead his ass. He leaned into Brian wanting to be with the man again. He felt Brian's fingers press down and his suit gradually slid off his ass and down his thighs. His cock sprang free only to be trapped between their bodies as Brian gave him another smoldering kiss. He felt Brian release him and then kneel down peeling the damp swimsuit the rest of the way down.

"Step out of it," Brian ordered and Justin did as he was told. He seemed to have no independent thought of his own.

Brian's firm, strong hand took hold of Justin's cock and slid up and down. Brian slipped his thumb through the slit and coated his fingers with precum using it as lube to continue his ministrations. Justin swayed as the sensations swept through him. Brian gently pushed Justin against the back of the sofa for support before taking the engorged cock into his mouth.

Justin mewled as Brian swirled his tongue around, tasting Justin's essence. He deep throated the cock making Justin shiver with anticipation. Brian licked and sucked and pulled on Justin's dick until Justin couldn't stand it any longer. He wrapped his fingers in Brian's hair and let out a loud, "AAAHHHH!" as he came with great force, shooting his load down Brian's throat.

"Does that make up for my earlier sins?" Brian asked licking his lips.

Justin's eyes were still closed as the aftershocks continued to spread through his body. He managed to nod his head. Brian immediately grabbed Justin and threw him over his shoulder. He practically ran up the stairs carrying Justin. He couldn't wait to get to their bed and make love to his partner.

*   *   *

Hours later they lay in a tangle of sheets, sated and exhausted.

"Did you miss me?" Justin asked with a giggle.

"What was your first clue?"

Justin leaned against Brian and turned onto his side. He drew lazy circles around one of Brian's nipples as he studied Brian's face.

"What?" Brian asked as the silence dragged on.

"I'm thinking."

"About what?"

"About what to do for Christmas. About how we can make Gus happy."

"I think there's only one way. You said you'd go with me," Brian said.

"I know," Justin replied, starting to have some second thoughts about what he had promised to do. "Maybe we could ask them to come here for the holidays."

"I guess we could ask," Brian said uncertainly.

"But you don't think they would want to come?"

"Lindsay might, but I can't see Melanie going for it."

"Then there's only one thing to do."

"And what might that be."

"We have to go to Pittsburgh for Christmas."

"But I know you don't really want to be there … with the 'family'."

"I fucking hate Michael, but we don't have to spend time with him, do we?"


"Um what?"

"If we go to Pittsburgh, we'll have to go to Deb's for Christmas dinner."

Justin raised an eyebrow. "For a big, mean man, you sure are a wimp."

"What the fuck does that mean?"

"Can't you say no to Debbie?"

"I did once."

"And what happened?"

"She's pretty good at remembering things like that and cutting me out of her life," Brian admitted.

"She ostracized you?" Justin asked, finding it hard to believe that Debbie would do that to Brian.

"Not exactly. More like the cold shoulder from Antarctica. I was persona non grata for months."

"How did it end?"

"I guess I apologized."

"You did?"

Brian nodded. He didn't like to think about being in Debbie's bad books. She was the only mother he had ever really had to rely on. Someday he would have to tell Justin about Joan. He didn't relish the thought.

"Well, if you can do something like that, then I can stand to have Christmas in Pittsburgh."

"I … I appreciate the offer but I don't want you to have a miserable time over Christmas," Brian said sincerely.

Justin lifted his head and gently kissed Brian's lips. "It's because you say things like that … and mean them … that I'm going to Pittsburgh regardless of Michael or any other fucking thing."

"Thank you," Brian said simply as he pulled Justin up into another kiss. He would make his partner see how much he appreciated what Justin was doing for him.

*   *   *

Two days later Brian and Justin arrived at the loft. The following day was Christmas, so they had done their shopping in Denver before leaving for Pittsburgh. Justin had to admit that Christmas shopping with Brian had been interesting. Brian hated the crowds and basically they speed shopped their way through several stores, buying things mainly for Gus but also for other members of Brian's strange Pittsburgh family. They entered the loft, laden with bags of gifts as well as their luggage.

"I'm pooped," Justin said, dropping everything inside the door. "And I'm starving."

"They gave you pretzels on the plane," Brian smirked.

"Fuck you," Justin replied tired and grumpy.

"I intend to."

"Not until you feed me."

"Okay, okay, do you want to go out, or should I order in?"

"It's Christmas Eve, you better order in. The restaurants will be all booked."

"Okay," Brian said reaching for the phone and ordering from his favorite Chinese restaurant.

An hour later they had eaten their Chinese and unpacked their clothes. Justin looked around the loft.

"We need a tree," Justin said matter-of-factly.


"A tree, you know, the green things that you hang decorations on at Christmas time."

"No we don't."

"Yes, we do," Justin repeated. "I want a tree. It's the least you can do."

"Fuck! Where are we going to get a tree at this late date?"

"I saw a tree lot down the street when we were in the cab."

"Then let's go."

"You mean it?" Justin asked with one of his radiant smiles.

"I said it, didn't I?"

"Let's go," Justin said grabbing his coat.

"But I don't have anything to decorate it," Brian said as Justin pulled him out the door.

"We'll figure something out."

The best tree they could find at the lot was about three feet tall with scrawny uneven limbs. It was a true Charlie Brown tree. Justin fawned over it, telling Brian that they could make it beautiful. They stopped at a supermarket that was still open and bought some Christmas balls and tinsel and lights. Justin bought some food and a few other things he thought they would need and lugged it all back to the loft.

Once they had the tree standing in its holder, Justin made a decision. "Brian, call Lindsay and see if we can have Gus for an hour or two tonight. He can help us decorate our tree."

Brian smiled to himself at the "our tree" comment. He had never had a Christmas tree that was truly his own. The one in Denver he had never even seen until it was all assembled. "She may not want us to have him tonight."

"Just for a couple of hours."

"Okay," Brian said. "I'll try." He dialed Lindsay's number and was unlucky enough to have Melanie answer. He told her they had arrived and would like some time with Gus. Surprisingly Melanie agreed saying that she could use some alone time with her spouse. Brian said he would be right over to pick up his son. Justin smiled as Brian hustled out the door. He had some things to do before Brian came back.

By the time Brian returned, Justin had the meager decorations on the tree. It didn't look too bad. Brian was a bit disappointed though because he had wanted to decorate it with his son and Justin.

"Hey, Justin," Gus said running to the man he remembered from the dinner at Gramma Debbie's.

Justin hugged the little boy and lifted him up for a kiss. "I hope you don't mind that I stuck those decorations on," Justin explained to Brian. "We can do the rest of them together."

"The rest?" Brian asked. He was pretty sure all the decorations they had bought were already on the tree.

"I popped some popcorn and we have cranberries. We're going to string them," Justin declared.

"Yay," Gus clapped his hands.

Brian was sure his son had no idea what Justin was talking about, but he had to smile at the enthusiasm. They sat around the coffee table and Justin helped Gus load the string with popcorn and cranberries. Justin had found some dull darning needles at the supermarket, but Gus still needed help. Justin got Brian started on his own strand and told him to be fast because Gus would be very slow at doing his. Brian smiled and started his task.

Before too long they had used up the popcorn and cranberries and Justin helped Gus string them around the tree. He clapped his hands again as he saw the effect their work had accomplished. Brian had to admit that the tree looked pretty awesome in a weird, haphazard country sort of way. He liked it.

"I think we need a picture," Brian stated going to look for his digital camera. They had bought packets of batteries for Gus' toys so he had new ones to put in the camera. Brian took the first pictures of the tree and then of Gus and then Justin and then Gus and Justin and then each of them with the tree. They laughed and had fun. Gus even took a few pictures of his father and Justin in front of the tree. Then Justin took the camera and recorded several more pictures of Gus and his father. The camera had a timer so they were able to take a few of the three of them together. By that time, it was getting late and Gus was starting to flag. He sat on the sofa between Justin and his father as the timer took another picture.

"I think we should get you home, Sonny Boy," Brian said.

"Nooo," Gus whimpered.

Brian picked up his son and carried him to the door where he started to put on Gus' coat. "You want to come with us?" Brian asked Justin as he opened the loft door.

Justin went over and picked up Gus. He gave the little boy a kiss as Gus yawned. "I'll see you in the morning, okay?"

Gus nodded as his head slumped against Brian's chest when he handed him over to his father. "I'll be back soon," Brian said as he went out the door.

Justin cleaned up the mess from making the popcorn strings and then sat down on the sofa. He picked up the digital camera and started looking through the pictures. Some were a little blurry but there were several good ones, even a couple that Gus had taken of Justin and Brian were quite good. He came to the last picture of the three of them sitting on the sofa with the Christmas tree off to the side. It looked like a happy Christmas with a happy Christmas family. He'd have to show this one to Brian and pray that he saw the same thing that Justin did when he looked at the photo.

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