Southern Sunshine

Chapter 6

Brian's eyes were beginning to cross as the droning speeches wore on. He was bored out of his fucking mind and he hadn't seen hide nor blond hair of Sunshine. The kid had gotten him hard looking every bit the boy he was in that waiter uniform. Brian got up and discreetly circled around till he was near the kitchen. He snagged Dee on her way into the kitchen.

"Dee, be a dear and send Sunshine out. I want to thank him for the excellent meal."

Dee smirked, "Sure thing, Mr. Kinney."

Dee searched the kitchen but found only Vic. "Where's Sunshine?"

"I don't know. He was gone when I came back from the bathroom."

Dee frowned; the hall wasn't all that big. If Justin wasn't circulating out in the dining room and he wasn't in the kitchen or bathroom, where the fuck could he be? Dee decided to check out back. Justin didn't smoke but maybe, just maybe, he was taking out the trash. Dee went out the back door and carefully searched around the back of the building.

"Sunshine, are you out here? Sunshine? Fuck!"

When Dee came back her face was a mask of worry. She went into the dining room to snag Emmett and ran into Brian instead.

"I can't find him; I think somethen is wrong. He should be here; he's always under foot."

Brian grabbed Dee by the shoulders and shook her lightly. "What do you mean he's missing? Where could he have gone?"

"I don't know; he just wouldn't take off. I've checked everywhere; he's not here."

"Ok, calm down we'll find him. He has to be here somewhere." Brian spotted Emmett and gestured for him to come quickly.

"What's wrong?"

"Sunshine's missing," Dee said trying to keep the panic from her voice.

"What? Are you sure?"

Brian led them into the kitchen and took charge. "Ok, where was the last place you saw him and where have you checked?"

"The kitchen," both Dee and Vic said.

Dee elaborated, "Sunshine was putting the ice cream on the dessert and finishing up."

"I left him working in the kitchen when I went to use the bathroom," Vic said.

"Ok, we can rule out the dining room. I would have noticed him. Vic, check the bathrooms again. Emmett and Dee circle around the building, go in opposite directions till you meet up out front and be thorough. You check the coat room," he barked at the other waitress.

Brian remembered the grungy fiddler that had had an interest in Sunshine. A sick feeling crept into his gut. What if the fiddler dragged Sunshine off and forced him to do something he didn't want to do. Brian began to pace the kitchen like a caged animal. Several times his eyes happened to land on the freezer. Sunshine had been in the kitchen finishing up the dessert, ice cream. The pieces suddenly clicked into place, the freezer. Brian rushed over and yanked open the door. He was horrified by what he saw. Sunshine was lying on his side with his arm limply stretched out. Blood was caked on his knuckles and fingertips from his frantic attempt to free himself. Brian quickly propped open the door and made sure it would stay open, then rushed inside and scooped Sunshine up in his arms. He was so cold. His skin had a bluish hue to it and his lips were stained purple as if he were wearing lipstick.

"Oh God, Sunshine, come on; wake up. You're ok now."

Vic came back to see Brian cradling Sunshine to his chest.

"Get Emmett and Dee back here. He needs to go to the hospital now!"

Vic rushed off to do Brian's bidding. Brian found a place to sit with Sunshine on his lap. He carefully loosened the blond's tie and took it off. He began rubbing Sunshine's body trying to get some color into his skin. He felt for a pulse but that worried him even more, it felt way too slow for his liking. Brian looked up when Dee an Emmett came rushing in. Brian threw his keys at Dee.

"Get the Jeep and pull it around back. Emmett, get my coat I need something to wrap him up in. Do it now; move it!"

With Vic's help he shrugged off his suit coat and tucked it around the boy. He didn't care if it got wrinkled or stained. Brian caressed Sunshine's cheek noticing ice chips on his cheeks from spilt tears. Justin's eyes fluttered open momentarily.

"Hey sunny boy, come on; no sleeping. Try to stay with me. I've got you." Brian ran his fingers through Sunshine's long hair. His hair was adorned with ice and frost.

Emmett raced back with Brian's overcoat and wrapped little Sunshine up. "How the fuck could this happen?" Emmett nearly screamed.

"I think the handle was faulty. If anything happens to him we're suing the fuckers."

Brian ran out the back door with Emmett hot on his heals. Vic had promised that he'd take care of things and get the others to help. Brian climbed in the passenger seat and settled Sunshine on his lap holding him close. He cranked up the heat and made sure it was directed right on Sunshine. Emmett sat quietly in the back observing Brian's protective mama bear mode. He'd never seen Brian like this before and it scared him a little. Ethan scowled as he watched the other man carry the blond that he so badly wanted away.

"Dee, get us to the hospital as fast as you can. Run lights if you have to, just fucking hurry."

Justin's eyes fluttered open again and Brian sighed in relief. "It's ok, you're all right now. You're going to be fine," Brian murmured next to Sunshine's ear.

Justin tried to speak but couldn't through his chattering teeth.

"We'll get you warmed up, just hang on, ok?" Brian whispered.

Dee drove like a mad woman to the hospital. She was ever mindful that if she crashed the Jeep Brian would kill her. She drove right up to the front entrance of the ER screeching the tires as she stopped quickly. Brian was out the door and running for the entrance. Dee kicked off her heels so she could catch up to him. Knowing that Justin was in good hands Emmett moved the Jeep so it wouldn't get towed.

"We need some help!" Brian yelled.

A nurse and orderly raced into action.

"What happened?"

"He got locked in a freezer; I don't know how long he was trapped in there. He regained consciousness on the way here but he hasn't been able to talk."

"What's his name?" the nurse asked.

"I…" Brian fumbled for an answer.

"Justin Taylor, his name is Justin Taylor," Dee said.

Justin was put on a gurney and whisked away with Brian standing there clutching his coats. A nurse thrust some forms in their faces. Dee took the clipboard.

"When can we see him?" Brian asked.

"You can go back in a little bit, they're starting to warm him up now."

Brian gave Dee his suit coat to wear. "Here, put this on."

Dee gratefully put the coat on to cover up her skimpy waitress uniform. Brian sank down on a hard chair while Dee continued to fill out the forms.

"How is he?" Emmett rushed over.

"Don't know, they're warming him up," Dee replied.

Emmett sat down on one of the chairs. "God, I feel so responsible."

"It was an accident," Dee murmured. "I'm just glad Brian found him. Justin is the only family I can actually stand."

Not far away Justin's clothes were cut off and a hospital gown was hastily put on him. As soon as the warming blanket was ready they put it over top of Justin. Since he had shown late symptoms of hypothermia a warmed IV was started. His skin was so cold and icy, a blue gray. A nurse began to clean the blood off Justin's hands and lightly bandaged them. Later they would be x-rayed for any fractures. The top priority was to warm Justin slowly back up. As Justin got warmer he felt a lot better. He knew he was in the hospital and really wasn't very fond of that. Justin wanted his cousin and tried to get that across to anyone who would bother to listen to him.

A nurse poked her head into the waiting room. "Justin is asking for Dee. He's becoming agitated; you can come back now and keep him calm." Dee stood up as did Brian.

"Could I come also?"

"Sure, the main thing is to keep him calm."

They followed the nurse to Justin's cubicle. Dee and Brian stood on either side of his bed.

"I'm here," Dee reassured her baby cousin. "Just relax and get warm. We can't take a twink-sickle home."

Justin smiled and laughed softly. Justin glanced over at Brian when he felt soothing fingers gently running through his hair. "Brian," his voice rasped.

"You scared the crap out of me, kid. If I find any gray hairs I'm holding you personally responsible."

Justin giggled. "Sorry." His face suddenly turned serious. "I was pushed."

Brian pulled up a chair next to the bed. "What? What are you talking about?"

"The freezer, I was pushed."

Brian exchanged glances with Dee.

"Baby, are you sure? The handle was faulty; that's how you got trapped," Dee said.

"You have to believe me, someone pushed me."

"I believe you," Brian murmured. "Did you see who it was?"

Justin shook his head. "It happened so fast. Thank you for saving me. I was so scared."

Brian silenced him with a soft kiss. Justin's lips were still cool but the purple was fading to a deep red. Next to his pale white skin the deep red contrast was striking. Justin looked so small and fragile under the blanket. Wanting contact with Justin Brian kept his hand on the boy's shoulder. He would have held Justin's hand but he didn't want to hurt the boy.

"I won't have to stay the night, will I? I don't wanna stay; I wanna go home with you, Dee."

"I'm not sure. I'll ask when someone comes by. I'll stay right here with you until they throw me out or you can go home, whichever comes first."

Brian leaned in and spoke softly to Justin. "I've been wanting to tell you how good the dinner was. You were a big hit tonight, Justin."

"How did you…"

"They needed your name before you were admitted. I'm glad Dee was with me. I promise to only use your name when we're alone or until you want other people to know. You looked really hot tonight. I much prefer the male look."

Justin smiled shyly up at Brian. Their moment was interrupted by an orderly who needed to take Justin into x-ray.

"We're not going anywhere," Dee reassured Justin.

After Justin was gone Dee looked at Brian.

"You really do care about him, don't you?"

"I'll admit he's sweet and I don't like seeing him hurt."

"Well, Justin has a big ole crush on you. I don't want to see him hurt either."

Brian looked away and huffed out a breath of air. "I think I'll go fill Emmett in on how Justin is doing."

Justin's hands were x-rayed; luckily there were no fractures in either. His hands would just be very sore for a while. Justin's temperature was taken and noted. It was about three hours later before his papers were being processed for his release. Dee signed the release forms while the Doctor went over some last minute instructions with Brian.

"As soon as you get him home he should have a warm shower, not hot but warm. Keep him under warm thick blankets and some good old fashioned chicken soup couldn't hurt either. To be on the safe side you should take his core temperature a few hours from now. The best thing for Justin is to keep him warm and get plenty of rest."

"Thank you, doctor," Brian said.

"A nurse will be by to give him some scrubs to go home in."

A few minutes later a nurse came by with scrubs, a blanket and a wheelchair. With some assistance from Dee Justin went into the bathroom and changed. He also used the facilities. When he came out Brian draped the blanket over him toga style and helped him get settled in the chair. As soon as Brian wheeled Justin out, Emmett was fawning all over him.

"Baby, I'm so glad you're all right. You'll still cook for me, won't you, not hold this little incident against me?"

"Of course I'll still cook for you, Emm. Though I don't think you could get me to walk into another freezer anytime soon."

"That's completely understandable."

"Sorry about the uniform. They kinda had to cut it off."

Emmett patted his shoulder. "Don't worry about it, baby. The main thing is you're ok."

"Why don't you catch a cab back to the hall? I'm going to take the 'girls' home," Brian teased ruffling Justin's hair.

"Ok sure, I really do need to get back. Justin, you take care of yourself, sweetie."

"I will," Justin smiled softly.

Brian gave Dee the keys to get the Jeep while he waited with Justin at the entrance. They didn't want to take a chance exposing Justin to any kind of cold.

"What did the fiddler want?"

Justin made a disgusted face. "Oh him, he's been wanting me to go out with him practically since I got here. I'm just not interested."

"Could it have been him?"

"I don't know; I suppose. It could have been anyone, but I don't really know anyone that hates me that much. My first thought was that it was Chris Hobbs from back home. If it were him though, he would have done a lot worse than that. Plus he would have to find me first."

Brian wheeled Justin out to the Jeep when it rolled up out front. He opened the door and picked Justin up setting him gently inside. Brian fastened Justin's seatbelt for him. Justin felt cared for and safe. He was still a bit nervous about who would do such a thing to him. Dee climbed in the backseat to let Brian drive. Brian adjusted the heat before he took off.

Justin halfheartedly protested when Brian carried him into the apartment. He loved being in Brian's arms yet he didn't want to come off as some fragile little princess that needed catering to. Brian set him down on the couch.

"How do you feel? Are you still cold?"

"I'm ok, but I think I could use that warm shower now. I don't know if I'll ever feel warm again."

"I could help you shower unless you want Dee."

"Dee can help me; you don't have to stay."

Brian sighed and rolled his lips into his mouth. "I do have a few things I need to do but I'll come back, ok?"

Justin nodded quickly after seeing the expression on Brian's face. Brian wanted to be with him. His brain must still be severely frozen if he didn't want Brian to help him in the shower. It's just everything was so new and going a bit fast; he was taken off guard. Brian let himself out while Dee led Justin into the bathroom. Justin was still a bit unsteady on his feet.

Brian drove to the loft. He wanted to get out of his suit, then he would call Cynthia. When Brian got to the loft he shed his Armani and tugged on a pair of soft worn jeans and a t-shirt. He padded down to the living room to call Cynthia.

"Hey Cynthia, did I wake you?"

"Hey Boss, no I was up."

"I just wanted to let you know that I'm not coming in tomorrow. There was a bit of a family emergency. I need you to push any meetings I had back."

Cynthia knew by family Brian meant his chosen family, not his blood family. "Will do, boss. Is everyone ok?"

"Yeah, I gotta go, Cyn."

Brian shrugged on his leather jacket and was out the door. He was planning on a quick stop at the Liberty Diner. The diner was fairly busy, with the patrons stopping to eat before hitting Babylon. Brian sat down at the counter. It was a few minutes before Deb worked her way over to him.

"What can I get you, Brian?"

"Some soup to go, Deb. Listen, do you have a minute?"

"Sure, the hungry masses can wait a few minutes."

"You're going to have to do without Sunshine for a few days."

"What, why?" Concern was rising in her voice.

"He had a bit of an accident tonight."

"Christ, is he all right?"

"Yeah more or less, he's still a bit on edge though."

"What the fuck happened?"

"If you'd quit interrupting, I'll tell you."

They both glared at each other for a moment.

"Sunshine was helping Emmett cater the advertising banquet for extra money. He got locked in the freezer; we didn't find him right away. I had to rush him to the hospital."

Deb clutched at her chest. "Sunshine, is he all right?"

"Yeah Deb, he's ok, but he could use a few days off though."

"Of course, say no more. How the fuck did he get trapped in a freezer?"

"He said he was pushed. The handle was also faulty so he couldn't get back out. Try to keep an eye on him when he's here. Someone may be after him; he's scared."

"I'll get Sunshine his soup."

"Thanks Deb."

Debbie filled two large containers, one with chicken noodle and the other with vegetable soup. She also packed up a couple of thick gooey brownies that had momentarily replaced the lemon bars. Brian arched a brow at all the food she set before him.

"What? He's a growing boy; he needs to eat. He's way too thin."

Brian threw some crumpled bills onto the counter and grabbed up the bag that held Deb's comfort food.

Brian drove back to Dee's place. Dee answered the door in skimpy pajamas. Brian tried not to sneer his displeasure at her attire but he didn't think he was very successful.

"I just came from the diner; I got some of Deb's soup. I told her what happened so she'd give him a few days off."

Dee took the bag from Brian and took it into the kitchen.

"Thanks, I'm sure he'll appreciate it."

"Where is Justin?" Brian inquired casually.

"I put him to bed. I'm not sure if he's asleep yet. He's had a lot of trouble sleeping since he got here, nightmares and such."

"I'd like to see him."

Dee gave him her own smirk but said nothing. It seems they were both smitten with each other and she thought it was rather cute. "His bedroom is down the hall."

Brian turned on his heel and went off down the hall. He found Sunshine's room and tapped lightly on the door. When he didn't get an answer he quietly opened the door. A smile pulled at his lips when he saw that Justin had fallen asleep with his sketchbook opened on his lap. Brian went in and closed the door behind him. He picked up the sketchbook before it fell off the bed. The page was opened to a sketch of him. The kid was damn good. He closed the book and set it on the nightstand. As quiet as he could he shucked off his clothes. He left on his underwear; he didn't want to scare Justin. Brian crawled into bed and wrapped himself around the small blond to share his heat. He buried his nose in the soft blond hair and had no trouble drifting off.

A few hours later Brian woke to the sound of Justin whimpering and clinging to him in his sleep. Brian murmured comforting words in his ear and rubbed small circles on his back. Justin relaxed under Brian's touch, his eyes fluttered open and he stared at Brian in surprise.

"Brian, what are you doing here?" Justin whispered.

"I told you I'd be back. I hope you don't mind me crashing with you."

Justin shook his head then he asked with eyes widening, "Are you naked?"

Brian smirked, "Not completely."

Justin relaxed. He was oddly relieved and disappointed at the same time.

"Want to talk about your dream?"

Justin blew out a puff of air. "It was just stuff that happened back home mixed up with what happened tonight. I really don't want to talk about it."

"Ok, that's fine. Did Dee take your temperature yet?"


"Well we should probably do that now and then if you're hungry I got you some soup from the diner."

Justin's stomach grumbled that it was a fine idea. Brian smirked and grabbed up his jeans. Justin blushed furiously as he watched Brian tug on his jeans. He padded down to the bathroom and rummaged around in the medicine cabinet till he found the things he needed.

"Brian, I feel fine really I'm not cold at all."

"Doctors orders, if it's normal then we won't have to do it again."

"Oh fine," Justin sighed and parted his lips.

Brian chuckled, "The doctor said core temperature, so roll over, Sunshine."

Justin's mouth dropped open in shock. "That's really not necessary."

"I'll give you a choice, either me or Dee; you choose. I promise I have a gentle touch."

Justin squirmed more than a little uncomfortable and embarrassed. "I think you're having way too much fun with this," Justin grumbled. "Ok, you can do it," he relented.

Brian lay down on the bed next to Justin. "Just roll onto your side."

Justin hesitated then did what he was told. Brian spread some lube on his finger and warmed it up first. He tugged down Justin's pajama bottoms till Justin's pale creamy bubble butt was exposed. Brian inwardly groaned at the site, his dick twitched with interest.

"Just relax, ok. I won't hurt you."

Brian slowly eased his finger inside Justin. He heard Justin gasp. "Does it hurt?"

"No," Justin whispered. It definitely didn't hurt. It actually felt good. So good to Justin's dismay that he was getting an erection. Justin's breath hitched as Brian thrust his finger in and out a few times before replacing his finger with the thermometer.

"Just hold it there for a minute or two. You ok?"

Justin was being pretty quiet. "Yeah."

"Are you hard?" Brian teased.

"Mm hmm," Justin mumbled under his breath.

Brian chuckled softly," Happens to everyone, Sunshine. You don't have to be embarrassed with me."

Brian gently pulled out the thermometer and squinted at the tiny numbers.

"Well?" Justin asked.


Justin hitched up his pajama bottoms.

"Do you want some soup now?"

"Yeah, I really didn't get a chance to eat much. I was too busy helping out."

Justin followed Brian out to the kitchen. Brian washed his hands at the kitchen sink. "Deb sent over two kinds of soup, chicken noodle and vegetable. Which do you want?"


Brian turned around drying his hands off and couldn't help smiling. Justin looked fucking adorable with his sleep rumpled blond locks. His t-shirt had a picture of a rubber ducky on it as did the matching baby blue bottoms. Justin wore thick fuzzy socks on his feet. He looked all of twelve.

"What?" Justin asked self consciously.

"I'm just admiring your sleep attire."

Justin looked down and blushed. Brian was right; it was a bit cute.

"It's Dee's."

"Of course it is."

Justin sat at the table and watched Brian warm up the soup and reveled in this little bit of domesticity.

"I talked to Deb. She's giving you a few days off."

"Brian," Justin sighed. "I need the money."

"I know but you also need to rest. Just take the day off then you can go back." Brian served Justin his soup.

Justin awkwardly picked up his spoon. His bandaged hands were clumsy with the thick bandages. Brian took the spoon from him.

"Here," Brian held the spoon up to Justin's lips to feed the boy. Justin smiled at Brian.

"It'll be practice for the day when I have to feed Gus."

They sat in silence while Brian fed Justin. When the soup was gone Brian tidied up the kitchen while Justin headed back to bed. Brian followed him soon after. Justin shyly snuggled up to Brian and ended up falling asleep on the man's chest.

Return to Southern Sunshine