Be Careful What You
* * *
Brian looked out the window as his
plane descended into Denver. The mountains were spectacular, as always. But
something was different this time. He was going home. That was how it felt. And
it was home because that's where Justin Taylor lived. Brian felt his eyes well
up at the thought. He took a deep breath and tried to steady his nerves.
Now that he had decided that Justin was what he truly wanted, he wondered if he could actually do this. Deep in his heart, he knew he could, knew that he had to. He had to take this chance. John's words had really hit home. The list of things John regretted in his life was not long, but it was very significant. Brian had never believed in regrets. He lived his life and took the victories along with the mistakes, but as far as he was concerned there was no point in regretting what he had done. Brian could see that John had lived his life by much the same philosophy. He had made a success of himself, living his life as he chose, without explanations for anyone. And in the end he was filled with regret at the lost opportunity for love. That fact had driven straight into Brian's core as soon as he heard John's words. For he knew that if he let Justin walk out of his life, or be chased out as he had tried so many times to do, he would regret it. And he didn't want to end his life with regret when he could end it with Justin's arms wrapped tightly around him. That's what he had finally understood. That's what he needed and wanted and craved with every ounce of his being. How could he have been so blind!
The wheels of the jet jolted onto the runway and Brian felt himself tense, not so much in anticipation of the plane coming to a stop, but in fear of what awaited him at the mansion. He wondered if he had the strength to face Justin again. He had been such a coward and so delusional, convincing himself that Justin was just a pretend partner when he knew Justin was much more than that. But old habits died hard. He now understood the true meaning of that statement. He had been trying to hold onto those old habits, even when they no longer suited him, even when they stood in the way of what he truly wanted and wished for. They were what he knew, what had always worked for him. And what he might have with Justin was new and wonderful and scary.
Yes, he was a fucking coward. He admitted that to himself. He had wanted to tell Justin that he loved him so many times but he had always been too chicken shit to say the words. This time he was going to have to say them. He knew that. He prayed with every part of his being that he would be able to tell Justin what he really felt.
Brian undid his seatbelt and grabbed his carry-on from the overhead bin. He quickly exited the plane and headed for the taxis. And so it began.
The ride to the mansion didn't take nearly as long as Brian wished it would. Before he knew it, he was at the gate punching in the code so that it would open for him. Somewhat surprisingly, the code had not been changed. He supposed that Justin never expected him to return to the mansion, so why should he change the code. The taxi stopped in front of the sprawling house and Brian paid the driver. He got out dragging his bag behind him. He walked up to the door and watched the taxi disappear down the driveway. He stood in front of the door wondering if he should ring the bell or just walk in.
The mansion belonged to him and Justin jointly, but after what had happened in Pittsburgh, Brian could imagine the door being barred to him. Carefully he grabbed the door handle and put his key into the lock. He pushed the door open. He stepped into the now familiar foyer noting that nothing had changed. He deposited his bag by the front door and went into the library. Justin wasn't there, but the painting over the fireplace that he had been entranced with on his first visit to the house leapt out at him. Brian smiled at the memory of how his offhand remark about the painting had led to his first misunderstanding with Justin. And there had been so many more since then.
After staring at the painting for a few minutes and hoping unsuccessfully for divine inspiration, Brian knew he was going to have to do this on his own. He went to the kitchen and the pool hoping to find Justin. The man was nowhere to be found on the first floor. With growing fear Brian climbed the stairs. Justin had to be up there somewhere.
He stopped at the door to John's bedroom and stepped inside. "Thanks for having faith in me, Uncle John," Brian said softly to the empty room. "Thanks for loving me and trying to put Justin and me together. I know now that you were right. We should be together. I hope I can do this." He looked at the portrait of himself that Justin had made for John just before his uncle died. Why had he never seen before the obvious love that Justin had infused into the portrait?
Drawing a deep breath Brian headed for Justin's studio down the hall. That had to be where his partner was. Outside the door he hesitated. He wasn't sure whether to knock or just barge in. He decided he better just enter so that Justin couldn't refuse to see him. He opened the door.
Justin was working on a canvas at the side of the room. His back was partially turned to Brian and he didn't realize that Brian had entered. His little bopping motions told Brian that he was probably listening to music. Brian noticed the thin wire that ran from his ear to the iPod around his neck. Brian stood still and watched Justin work. He was never more alive than when he was creating. Except maybe when he was full of Brian's dick and begging for more.
That thought made Brian frown. He so wanted to be with Justin like that again. He could almost imagine that his dick was swelling at the thought. He reached down and cupped his cock in his hand. It did feel a little hard, but then it went flaccid again. Brian let out an audible sigh. Obviously that was too much to hope for.
"Justin," Brian said softly knowing that Justin would not be able to hear him. When there was no reaction, he repeated the word more loudly. Justin continued to work oblivious to the other presence in the room. "Justin," Brian finally said loud enough that he was sure Justin would hear him through the music he was listening to.
Justin wheeled around and stared at Brian in disbelief. He pulled the earphones off and demanded, "What the fuck are you doing here?"
"I I ran out of your pre-packaged dinners," Brian said trying to make a joke.
"Is that supposed to be funny? What do you want and how the fuck did you get in here?"
"I still have a key," Brian said with a shrug.
"I knew I should have changed the locks, but I thought it would be a long time before you would even consider coming here again."
"So did I."
"Then what do you want?" Justin frowned, truly confused.
"I I wanted to say I'm sorry," Brian managed to get out.
"Sorry for what? You can't feel something that you don't feel. I respect your right to say so."
"Stop being so fucking reasonable," Brian exploded.
"What do you want me to do? Yell? Cry? Well, no thanks. I've done way too much of that since you came into my fucked up life. Please, leave now!"
"No, wait. Don't throw me out. I came all this way to tell you some things," Brian pleaded.
"Tell me what? You already told me to bugger off, that you didn't want me around. What's happened to change that? Did your dick suddenly spring to life and you're looking for a convenient place to put it?"
"I wish!" Brian said sadly.
"Well, I stopped being your convenience, when you asked me to leave the loft. And now I'm asking you to leave here."
"I can't. I have to tell you this. And I'm sorry I kicked you out. And my dick still doesn't work and probably never will."
"I'm sorry about that too. I know what it means to you." Justin tried to sound sincere, and he did feel sorry for Brian's condition. But he wanted the man to go away and leave him alone.
"I'm sorry about everything, and I shouldn't have told you to get out of the loft. I'm still impotent. I didn't think you would be able to put up with that for ever. I was scared you'd turn away from me eventually, so I drove you away."
"Don't you think it's my decision where I want to be and whether that might or might not include you impotent or not? But you see; that's what was wrong with our relationship, pretend or otherwise. You made all the decisions and expected me to follow them. Well, whether you realize it or not, I made the decision to leave Pittsburgh, and I know it was the right one for me."
"But was it the right one for us?" Brian asked simply, not sure what else he could say.
"Us? There is no us, as you were so keen to tell me time and time again. I was too stupid to realize that you actually meant it. I kept hoping and wishing, but not anymore. I know we can never be together the way I wished for."
"Maybe we can," Brian said gently.
Justin laughed. "I'm not going to let you talk me into that one again. I don't even know why you would want to. I would have thought you'd be happy to have me out of the way and not interfering in your precious life."
"Well, you'd be wrong. That's what I came here to tell you."
"Wh what do you mean?"
"I mean that you wouldn't be interfering in my life. I I want you in my life. I want us to be together for real." Brian prayed that the sincerity of his words would get through to Justin. They had to.
"Are you making fun of me?" Justin asked with a frown on his face. Brian couldn't possibly mean what he had just said, could he?
"I'm not making fun of you, Sunshine. I want us to be together."
"No buts. I mean it." Brian smiled that little boy crooked smile that Justin found so endearing.
Justin felt his heart soar. Could it be possible that Brian meant it this time? What could have caused such an abrupt turnabout? As fast as his heart soared, it plummeted back to earth. He took a deep, steadying breath and asked, "So what led to this great revelation?" He held his breath waiting for Brian's reply.
Brian understood that he had broken through Justin's anger and his resolve never to get involved with Brian again. Now what he said would make all the difference. He had to get it right, and he had to get it out now.
"Do you remember me saying that my philosophy of life was 'No apologies, no regrets'?" Brian asked.
"I think I remember hearing you say that, and it is rare that you do apologize," Justin gently chastised Brian for all the times that an apology might have made things so much better between them.
"I never apologize," Brian stated.
"But I remember "
"That I apologized to you? I did. I I broke all my rules for you. Even when I was telling you the rules that I lived my life by, I was making concessions to them all the time for you."
"You were?" Justin asked with a frown. He had never realized that.
Brian nodded. "But it's the second part of that mantra that is significant."
"The 'no regrets' part?"
"Yes." Brian hesitated.
"Why is it significant? Don't stop now."
"John made another videotape, one that was only for me. I put it away and forgot about it. The other day I finally watched it."
Justin's face showed concern and hope and fear. "Can I see it? I'd love to see John once again even if it's only on tape."
"I didn't bring it with me, but I want to tell you about it. I'll show it to you later if you still want to see it after I've said my piece."
"I'll want to see it. I loved John."
"I know you did. He loved you too." Justin smiled. "Do you have anything alcoholic up here?" Brian asked. "I'm feeling a little shaky."
Justin chuckled. "Baring your soul can be taxing." Justin went to a cupboard and pulled out a bottle of scotch and a couple of glasses. "I think I could use one too. Have a seat," he added and they both sat down on the old lumpy couch against one wall. Justin poured them each a drink. Brian sipped his, knowing that he needed to keep a clear head. Justin watched him and smiled at the self-restraint Brian was showing in not downing the whole thing and asking for another. "So tell me more," Justin said setting the bottle on the floor and leaning back against the arm of the couch.
Brian swallowed. He turned slightly sideways so he could look into those blue eyes. "John talked about you on the tape, about how much it meant to him to have you with him." Justin smiled but said nothing. "He said that he had one big regret in his life. He wished he had found someone to love him and hold him when he took his last breath."
Justin's face clouded over. "You're not telling me that the cancer has come back and, and, that you're dying?"
"What I'm telling you is that it made me realize that if a man like John could have regrets even with all he had accomplished, then it was stupid of me to think that I would never have regrets in my life. And then I realized that I already had one. I regretted asking you to leave the loft to leave my life. I want you with me when I take that last breath hopefully far into the future."
"Brian," Justin whispered setting down his glass and touching Brian's cheek with the palm of his hand. "Are you sure?"
"I've never been so sure of anything. I'm scared shitless to admit it, but you're the only one I want. Can you accept me the way I am?"
"I already told you that it didn't matter to me," Justin said, leaning over and kissing Brian gently.
"I hate that I can't "
"Shhh, just kiss me," Justin said before capturing Brian's lips once again. The kiss went on and on as hands wandered to familiar spots and tongues collided with delicious momentum. When they finally broke the kiss, they were gasping for air. After a couple of deep breaths, Brian initiated another passionate kiss. He so wished he could take Justin the way he had so many times before.
And then he felt it. His cock began to swell and he moaned at the sensation that had for so long eluded him. "Do you feel that?" Brian whispered against Justin's hair as he pressed himself against his lover.
"I sure do," Justin smiled, feeling the swelling cock between their bodies. He was tempted to say 'I told you so' but thought better of it. He began pulling Brian's shirt off.
"Wait, what if it disappears?" Brian asked, fear clearly coming through in his voice.
"Then we keep on kissing and wait for it to reappear," Justin chuckled.
"How do you know it will?"
"I have faith."
"Yeah, you do, don't you?" Brian started kissing Justin again, some of his fear easing away. They continued undressing each other between the deep, passionate kisses. Brian felt himself continue to harden. His kisses grew more demanding as he began to believe what was happening. By the time Justin popped the buttons on his jeans, his fully engorged cock sprang free and they both laughed with pure joy. "Um I don't have any supplies," Brian admitted. "I never thought "
Justin put his finger on Brian's lips to stop him finishing that statement. He reached into a box on the table beside the couch and pulled out a condom and lube. "I'm always prepared," he grinned.
"Like a good boy scout."
"Hey, I was a boy scout."
"That must be what turned you gay," Brian smirked.
"I didn't have to turn, asshole," Justin laughed as Brian slid the condom on his rock hard cock. He lubed up and gently pushed Justin back flat on the couch. He hiked the man's legs onto his shoulders and placed his cock at Justin's pink pucker.
"I've missed you so much," Brian whispered as he breached the first ring of muscle.
"Not any more than I've missed you," Justin gasped as Brian continued to fill him. He grabbed Brian's forearms and held on as he waited for Brian to begin the ride they both so desperately wanted.
Brian pressed the rest of the way in and couldn't help but gasp, "Yes!" It had been far too long since they had been together like this. "I love you," Brian whispered before he captured Justin's lips in another sizzling kiss. His thrusts were long and slow as they both savored this long overdue connection. Brian stared into blue eyes filled with love and lust for life. He knew he had made the right decision to come back to Denver and pursue the most amazing man he had ever met.
Then, unable to delay it any longer, he began to thrust in earnest, carrying them both to the edge of that wonderful fall that they both wanted to share together. As Brian felt his balls, make that ball, draw up he actually smiled. He was alive and he had beaten the cancer and he had beaten impotence and he had Justin back in his life. "I love you," he repeated as he thrust fast several times and felt his release wash over him. Justin was right behind him as they fell off the precipice with their bodies pressed tightly together.
As the world stopped wavering in front of him, Brian lifted himself onto his elbows. He felt his softening dick slide out of Justin, but he didn't mind. They had done this together, and maybe everything was actually going to be all right. He sat up and pulled the condom off his dick. He tied it off and tossed it into a nearby wastebasket.
"I never thought I'd do that again."
"I knew you would," Justin said sitting up. He refilled their glasses and handed Brian his.
"You had more faith than me," Brian replied, clinking his glass against Justin's.
"I always did have," Justin smirked.
Brian smiled at Justin's eternal optimism. "Come here," Brian said gently pulling Justin around and spreading his legs so that Justin could sit between his legs and lean against his chest.
Justin liked that Brian's arm went around him and held him close. They sipped at their drinks, each in silent thought about what had just happened. Then a different thought clouded Justin's face. "You meant everything you said, didn't you?" He was afraid to turn his head and look at Brian.
"Every word," Brian whispered into his hair, "including the 'I love you'."
Justin's smile was radiant as he turned his head and they kissed once more. It was tender and gentle, not like the passionate and needy kisses they had just exchanged. The kiss ended and Justin turned back around allowing his body to fit tight up against Brian's.
"That was awesome," he said with a grin.
"I thought so too," Brian smirked. "Not so bad for someone who's out of practice."
"Me too," Justin replied.
"You mean you haven't ?"
Justin shook his head. "I would have eventually. But, I think I was waiting for you to come back, even though I denied it with every fiber of my being."
Brian kissed the top of Justin's head. "We are good together, aren't we?"
"Awesome," Justin repeated and giggled with pure joy.
"Totally awesome," Brian agreed laughing at the sound of Justin's joy. He wondered when the last time he had experienced pure joy was. Before he met Justin, he was sure he had never experienced it at all.
"So how is this going to work?" Justin asked as he sipped his drink.
"How's what going to work?"
"This. Us. Being together."
"Don't we just stay together?" Brian asked, confused by the question.
"Well, yes, silly, but where do we stay together? Are you going to relocate to Denver?"
"I I don't know. I hadn't thought that far ahead."
"You don't want to stay here, do you?"
"Um I'd prefer to be in Pittsburgh," Brian admitted, "but I guess I could stay here."
"You'd do that for me?" Justin asked.
"I'd do just about anything for you," Brian said taking a nip at the spot where Justin's neck met his shoulder.
"Wow! You've turned into a real sweet talker. Are you sure you're Brian Kinney?"
"I don't know anymore. This is all new to me. I don't know what the fuck I'm doing."
"Well, for someone who doesn't know what he's doing, I'd say you get an 'A' so far."
"You mean it?" Brian asked in surprise, but obviously pleased by Justin's vote of confidence.
"Brian," Justin said trying to keep his voice calm and steady even though he wanted to shout with joy. "I love you. I have loved you since I stopped hating you, very shortly after you arrived in Denver. I want to be with you. It may have been what John wished for us, but it was also what I wished for myself. The fact that you're finally saying these things to me is the best thing that could ever happen. I love you so much."
Brian set his glass on the back of the couch and used both arms to hold Justin tight against him. He felt Justin's fingers slide in between his own and they linked together as a symbol of what the future held for them. They stayed like that for some time. There was no need to talk; they were just happy to be together.
Finally Justin asked what had been troubling him, "Do you want me to come back to Pittsburgh with you?"
"I don't want you to do anything you don't want to do," Brian stated and he meant every word. "Gus is there and I hate to be so far away from him. And I talked to Michael before I came here."
"You did?" Justin asked turning his head to look at Brian. Brian nodded. "How did that go?"
Brian swallowed and began, "Not well at first. He started in about you. So I told him flat out, that I was coming here to make a life with you, if you'd have me. And if he still wanted to be my friend, he would have to have a major attitude adjustment where you're concerned."
"You did?" Justin smiled. "What did he say?"
"I think he finally understands. He said he would back off. He wants me to be happy."
"That's good. I'm glad you finally talked to him."
"I am too. I should have realized how bad things were between the two of you."
"I didn't want to cause problems," Justin said.
"If something's a problem for you, then it's a problem for me," Brian stated with another little squeeze of his lover.
"I appreciate that," Justin smiled.
"Oh, Michael had another idea that you might be interested in. I think it was his way of finally accepting you."
"What's that?" Justin asked, wondering if it would be some horrible test that Michael had devised.
"Michael's a comic book fanatic. Has been his whole life. He's always wanted to make his own comic, but he can't draw for shit. He wanted me to ask you if you might consider working on it with him."
"He did?" Justin asked in surprise. "I can hardly believe he would say that." The wheels were already turning in Justin's head. It would be a good thing if he and Michael had something in common besides Brian. And they wouldn't have to compete over this one. They'd be working together.
"So what do you think?" Brian asked, holding his breath as he waited for Justin's reply.
"I think we could talk about it."
"That's my guy," Brian smiled.
"Is that what I am your guy?" Justin giggled. He kind of liked the sound of that.
"You're my guy, my boyfriend, my soulmate, my life partner for real," he added.
"Are you sure you're not sick or delusional?" Justin laughed. "I never thought I'd ever hear those words coming out of your mouth.
"That makes two of us, Sunshine," Brian chuckled. "See what you do to me."
"I think I kind of like this new and improved Brian Kinney."
"I think I do too," Brian said, capturing Justin's lips in another kiss. "So, do you want to live here in Denver?"
"Hm, that would be my first choice, but I know Gus and your family are in Pittsburgh, and I don't really have any family "
"Except you," Justin smiled. He loved the sound of that. "So, maybe we should go back to Pittsburgh. I can paint anywhere and I'm sure I'll be very creative now that I have you to inspire me." That earned him another kiss. "Besides, if Michael and I are going to work on this comic, we should be a little closer than halfway across the continent." Brian squeezed his lover a little tighter. Maybe this really was going to work. "What should we do about the mansion and Maggie and the other servants?"
Brian knew that Justin wanted them to have jobs as long as they wanted them. "I actually did think about that," Brian said smugly. "Now this isn't written in stone, but I thought I'd ask Arthur to join Kinnetik Denver. His organizational skills and his contacts would be very valuable to the company. I thought we could offer him an apartment here in the mansion. That way it would be occupied and everyone could keep their jobs."
"And you wouldn't have to pay him too much," Justin chuckled.
"That too," Brian laughed. Justin did know him so well. "Do you think he might go for it?"
"I think he just might," Justin smiled and shifted around for another kiss. He pressed his ass against Brian's cock and felt the immediate response. "He's baaack," Justin singsonged.
"Those are the sweetest words in the English language," Brian gasped as Justin's hand found his dick. "You got any more condoms in that box?"
"Good, cause I think we're going to need them."
As he entered Justin for the second time, Brian knew that he had everything he could ever wish for. And he knew that Justin felt the same way. There would never be any regrets for either of them as long as they were together.
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