When Emmett had finished his story, both Brian and Justin looked astonished.
"You mean Michael was behind all of what happened in Babylon?" Brian asked.
"Well not alone but yes, I'm afraid so."
"That son of a bitch!" Brian exclaimed. "And he wonders why I don't talk to him!"
Justin put a reassuring arm around Brian's waist and Brian seemed to calm a little.
"Why is Michael behaving this way? Does he really think this will help Brian?"
"I think he's jealous of Brian. I mean it's not a new thing, he's always been like that but now he's really gone too far. I've tried to understand Michael but this time I just can't anymore. I won't just stand by when he's trying to ruin your lives."
"I really appreciate this, Emmett," Brian said.
"No problem, you've helped me so many times that I definitely owed you one. Or two or three."
Brian cocked a brow. "Well thanks anyway."
"Anytime. So I guess I need to go now so you two can leave to go to the party."
"Yeah, we need to hurry so we won't be late," Justin said looking at his watch.
"You have some sort of a plan?" Emmett asked.
"Oh yeah," Brian said smiling wickedly.
"Wanna tell me about it?"
"Sorry, no time. I assure you that everything's ready for tonight's show. I'm sure you can read all about it in the newspapers tomorrow though."
"Yay, can't wait!" Emmett exclaimed clapping his hands together. Justin smiled at Emmett's excitement. "Okay, I'm gonna go now. Maybe I'll see you tomorrow?"
"Maybe," Brian said.
"Have a great time at the party, boys!"
"Okay, get your butt on the roll; we need to be there on time."
"Here we are. Are you ready to go inside?"
"As ready as I'll ever be," Justin answered.
Brian and Justin started walking towards the entrance and Brian's hand found Justin's. Justin smiled to himself but opted not to say anything so as not to ruin the moment.
When they reached the door, they weren't all that surprised to see Michael there. Michael on the other hand looked a bit baffled.
"Brian, what are you doing here? And with HIM?"
"Nice to see you too, Michael. WE're here for the party like everybody else."
"Well you're not welcome here. Either one of you."
"Oh yeah? And you're gonna stop us?"
"Is there a problem?" a man asked. It was the man from the parking lot so it was obvious he worked for Craig.
"Well Doug, these two are trying to get in but I made it clear to them that that's not gonna happen."
"So why are they still here?"
"I guess they don't know how to take 'no' for an answer," Michael said smirking.
"Maybe you should enunciate?" Doug said.
Brian was fuming. 'I won't take this shit from anyone,' he thought. "Enunciate this," Brian said and raised his fist and punched Michael. Michael went down like a feather and lay on the floor unconscious.
"Michael's never really been a fighter," Brian stated.
Craig was in the room with all the guests but had witnessed the commotion and took two of his goons with him and headed towards the entrance. When he saw Michael on the floor, he muttered: "Damn, I knew he was worthless."
"Hello Craig," Justin said disgust in his voice.
"Justin," Craig said looking at his son. "Take him away," he ordered his employees and before Brian could react, they had grabbed Justin and were trying to haul him away. Just when Brian tried to stop them, Craig's particularly big goon took a hold of him and he was trapped. Justin was starting to panic.
"Not so fast," said a familiar voice.
Brian turned towards the voice. "Emmett! What the fuck are you doing here?"
"Well, Brian darling, I came to make sure everything went all right. AND I brought some gifts. Todd, Daniel, Stephen and Andrew, say hello."
The quartet said 'hello' in a mocking voice.
"Todd?" Brian asked. "You actually left the backroom?"
"Well, for a worthy cause," Todd grinned.
"I appreciate it."
Daniel and Stephen were really beefy guys and they could be quite frightening when they wanted to be. And now they wanted. All the guys, well minus Emmett, had at some point been serviced or had serviced Brian so they wanted to show their gratitude. When Emmett had asked them to help, they were more than ready to oblige.
Craig and his men looked a little pale and Craig was about to slip away before anyone noticed but Emmett was awake. "Uh oh, I don't think so," he said and took a hold of Craig's jacket. Although Emmett wasn't a muscular guy, he had his height on his side and Todd came to make sure Craig wasn't going anywhere. Emmett took Craig's arm and twisted it onto his back. "If you make a sound, I'll break your arm, understand?"
"I understand," Craig managed to croak.
Emmett's helpers were very effective and in no time Brian and Justin were freed. Andrew had one of Craig's goons under control and Daniel and Stephen had Doug and one very scared employee in their loving arms.
"I think we're just gonna go outside and have a little talk with our new friends, won't we?" Daniel said.
"Yeah, we'll come too," Andrew said pulling his prey towards the door.
"I don't want to," the man whimpered.
"When I want your opinion, I'll give it to you," Andrew said firmly to the quivering man.
"Thank you guys," Brian said when the guys walked towards the door.
"Anytime, Brian, anytime," Stephen said.
"Well, I think the main event is about to start. Let's go a little closer so we can see and hear better," Brian said.
The group settled near the wall so that it wouldn't be so easy to spot them. The video screen was so big that you could see it almost anywhere in the room. A distinguished looking man stepped on the platform.
"Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention please? Thank you. My name is Ricas van Mies and I'm the CEO of Pittsburgh Business Association. I'm delighted to announce the Businessman of the Year, Craig Taylor!"
The audience gave a standing ovation and Justin cringed.
"I can't see Craig at the moment but I'm sure he's here somewhere," the man continued. "And now we're going to see a retrospective of Craig Taylor's achievements. Let's have a look!"
Brian gave Justin a mischievous grin and got a smile in return.
The big screen was filled with clips of Craig with his associates and glimpses of his various projects but suddenly that ended and Brian appeared on the screen.
"You believe Craig Taylor is all that? Well he might be but he's also so much more. Did you know that he sent his own son to a place called Greenhills so that they could cure him of his illness? Yeah well, that would've been a good thing to do if his son, Justin, was actually sick and if the place wasn't a total brainwash and torture central. How do I know that, you might ask? Well I was there too, sent by my lovely friends. They thought I needed to be cured of... well that's not important. Besides, I kinda like that little fault in me, and Justin likes it too," Brian said smirking. "I'm sorry, I digressed. Anyway, Craig Taylor sent Justin to Greenhills because he happens to be gay and that didn't go well with Craig and his plans. He wanted his son to be normal and with normal he meant straight. Well a little newsflash for everybody - gayness isn't an illness and you can't cure it. I guess they forgot to tell you that at Greenhills, didn't they, Craig? Anyway, I thought you wouldn't take my word for all this so I have some footage from Greenhills that shows what kind of living hell that place truly is."
Images of Greenhills' patients strapped in their beds and doctors giving them all kinds of "treatments" filled the screen. It also showed Brian and Justin as patients so it was clear to everyone that they really were there.
"How did you get all that material?" Justin asked astonished.
"I have my ways," Brian said cryptically.
Justin raised a brow.
"No, I didn't fuck anybody; I just used money. Let's just say that there were some surveillance tapes and Santa's little helpers involved. The less you know the better."
"I don't think I need to say more," Brian's voice continued on the screen. "You can draw your own conclusions. Though I advise you to think if this man is really worth an award. But I don't want to end this presentation on a negative note so here's something positive for you."
Brian and Justin appeared on the screen as well as a third person and soon the whole room witnessed Brian and Justin getting married. When the happy couple kissed, you could hear some gasping but also some contented sighing and aawing. Justin smiled at the memory and looked at Brian who was smiling too.
The video ended and there was a dead silence in the room.
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