Now That You're Here - The College Years

Chapter 19


The pilot was waiting outside the jet when Matt, Brian and Justin arrived.

“Good morning Matt. It’s good to see you again.”

“You too, Edward. These are my friends, Brian and Justin.”

“Welcome, all of you. The flight plan is set and the weather in New York is perfect for flying. We should have no problem reaching our destination on time. Go on aboard and get settled. We’ll be leaving in about fifteen minutes.”

“Thanks Edward,” Matt replied before boarding the plane. Brian and Justin were right behind him, and their obvious awe as they took in their surroundings had him chuckling under his breath. He remembered his awe the first time he had seen it.

“This is incredible,” Brian said as he looked around. “It’s definitely the way to travel.”

“I can’t even imagine having this, you know? Having so much money that you have your own plane?” Justin added.

“I can’t either, although knowing David is really opening my eyes. Last month he bought his nieces a pony and riding gear for their birthday. It was crazy. The looks on their faces was priceless, too.”

“That was the Florida trip, right?” Justin asked.

“Yeah, we also flew to Vegas one weekend and snuck into one of the casinos. It’s amazing, what you can do when you have money. I don’t think I’d like the responsibility that goes with it, but it’s pretty cool to get a taste of it.”

“Florida, Vegas, New York…you’re sure spending a lot of time with David,” Brian pointed out.

Matt looked over at Justin for reassurance and was comforted by the nod of encouragement before turning back to Brian. “That’s because we’re dating.”

“Who’s dating?” Brian asked in confusion.

“David and I,” Matt answered nervously. He hated the way his heart was beating so fast.


Matt almost laughed at Brian’s inability to form a proper sentence. “Bri, I’m gay.”

Brian looked from Matt to Justin and back. “No you’re not.”

That did make Matt chuckle. “Yes I am.”

“But I don’t understand.”

“Do you need me to draw a diagram?” Matt teased.

“What…no…I don’t mean it like that, asshole. What the hell happened? How did he…”

“Brian, don’t,” Justin jumped in, stopping Brian from finishing his though. “Remember Sean’s reaction?”

Brian dropped down in the nearest chair and took a deep breath before continuing. “How long?”

“How long have I known? Probably since I was about twelve. How long have I accepted it and decided to actually ‘be gay’? Well, probably about a month, give or take. Then again, I still have moments when I want to jump back into the closet and lock the door, so my time frame might be a bit off.”

“Wow…that’s…wow. How come you never said anything?”

“Because I never planned on doing anything about it. I was perfectly content to find a woman to settle down with and live my life in the closet so why bother telling anyone what was in my head?”

“But why?”

“Come on, Brian. You’ve met my family. Do you honestly think that the men in my family are going to roll out the rainbow carpet and accept me being gay?”

Brian sighed as realization set in. “Yeah, I guess you’re right. So what changed your mind?”

“David,” Matt admitted with a smile. “The first time we met, he sensed that I was gay and just thought I was in the closet to the outside world so when we were alone and talking, he kissed me. It was the most amazing feeling on the planet. Unfortunately it took almost two months before I would actually speak to him again and that was to tell him I wasn’t gay.”

“So Thanksgiving weekend?”

“I was still fighting it then, but after spending the weekend with him, I knew I couldn’t walk away.”

“So, I’m guessing that Justin knew since his jaw didn’t hit the floor like mine did.”

“I told him when I was home for Thanksgiving. He knew I was dealing with something and by then, I needed someone to talk to,” Matt explained.

“I’m sure you did. I just don’t understand why you hid it from the rest of us. We could have been there for you.”

“I just wasn’t ready. I know you probably can’t understand my reasons. You were thrown out of the closet at fourteen and then moved in with the gay super couple, and don’t get me wrong. I’m sorry your parents are assholes. That just sucks, but at least you had someone to turn to. If my family disowns me, I have nowhere to go. I had to hide.”

“That’s not true. You have Chris and Zan just as much as I do, and you know it.”

“Oh yeah, they just got their house back. I’ll just move right in,” Matt replied sarcastically.

“You know they would take you right in. It’s so empty now that Steve and Jason are gone, although I think Justin is secretly hoping that Jason ends up moving back.”

“Isn’t it working out for him at home?” Matt asked, turning his attention to Justin.

“Not really. I think he was hoping to put everything behind him and have things go back to the way they were before he moved out here. Unfortunately that’s not going to happen. He’s not in high school anymore, most of his friends are away at college, and he’s not the same person he used to be. I feel so bad for him. He feels so miserable and alone.”

“I don’t know how he could feel alone,” Brian said. “The two of them haven’t stopped talking since Jason landed in Pittsburgh. Between the text messages and the phone calls…do you know that Jason called right in the middle of a blow job and Blondie over there actually answered the phone?”

“Brian!” Justin exclaimed in horror.

“Well, you did,” Brian laughed. “Under the circumstances, I’m sure Matt understands the severity of the offense.”

“And I’m guessing by your outrage that you were on the receiving end?”

“I would have kicked back and put the TV on if I was the giver,” Brian answered.

“Will you two please stop it? The topic of conversation is supposed to be about Matt being gay, not what we did or didn’t do last night.”

Matt smiled at Justin’s embarrassment. “At least tell me you finished once you got off the phone.”

“Go ahead Blondie, tell Matt what happened when you got off the phone,” Brian prodded.

“Bri…can we not…”

“You see Matt, I don’t know what happened when he got off the phone because they talked so long that I fell asleep.”


“Oh please, and you woke up this morning with my mouth on your dick as an apology, so stop playing the injured party. Now can we please change the subject?”

“Mmmm…early morning blow jobs are the best,” Brian groaned teasingly.

“I’m becoming a fan of them myself,” Matt added.

“And as for you being gay, I have to say, I’m stunned. If I had to pick one straight guy out of our group to be gay, you would’ve been my last choice. But whatever, all I want is for you to be happy. If David makes you anywhere close to as happy as Justin makes me, then you’re a very lucky guy. And remember, I’m here if you ever need anything. We all are, even Chris and Zan.”

“Thanks Brian. I appreciate that,” Matt said as he hugged Brian. “So, who would you have picked to be gay?”

“Steve, of course.”

“Why of course?”

“Because Steve is very, very gay friendly.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Matt prodded with obvious curiosity.

“Well, I’m not sure how he’d feel if he knew I told you, but when I first met Steve, he was a little bi-curious. He had just found out about Dane and then met Zac. I guess he was wondering if he was missing out on anything.”

“Oh my God, you slept with Steve?” Justin exclaimed.

“Relax, we didn’t sleep together. We just shared a couple of hand jobs, that’s all. It was no big deal. He decided that, although it was fun, he’s rather play with pussy, and that was that.”

“Excuse me, guys,” Edward said from the doorway. “We’re going to be taking off in a few minutes. Please take a seat and fasten your seatbelts. I’ll let you know when it’s safe to move around again.”

“Okay Edward, thanks,” Matt replied hoping that the older man didn’t hear their conversation. He had just fastened his seatbelt when his phone rang. He smiled as David’s name appeared on the screen. “Hey Babe, we’re just getting ready to take off.”

“I know,” David replied. “I just got off the phone with Edward. I’m getting a little impatient. I really miss you.”

“It hasn’t even been two weeks yet.”

“It’s been thirteen very long and lonely days,” David told him. “Are you nervous about talking to Brian?”

“Nope, it’s already done.”

“Really? Wow, and you haven’t even left the ground yet.”

“It kind of came up in conversation. He mentioned that we spend a lot of time together. It was just easier to tell him the truth.”

“That you’re falling madly in love with me?”

Matt’s stomach fluttered at his teasing. “Yeah, something like that.”

“And he was okay with it, of course.”

“Babe, I never doubted that my friends would accept me. It’s my family who is going to turn their backs on me, but I don’t even want to think about that right now. How are things with you? You’re meeting us at the airport, right?”

“Actually, that’s one of the reasons I’m calling you. I’ve arranged to have a driver pick you up and bring you to the apartment. He’ll be holding a sign with your name on it and waiting by the main entrance.”

“But…why? I thought you’d be there waiting for me…us.”

“Believe me, I want to be. I’m just a little nervous. I really miss you. I’m afraid that I’ll get so excited when I see that gorgeous face of yours that I’ll forget all about that closet of yours and take you right there in a kiss that would set off the sprinklers.”

“Oh…um…okay, then. A driver would probably be best.”

“I figured you’d agree. Besides, Danny’s here. He actually managed to get the day off so he’s going to come with us tonight. Now I’d better let you go. I know Eddie’s getting ready to take off.”

“You know, he hates when you call him that,” Matt laughed.

“I know, that’s why I do it. See you soon, Babe.”

“See you soon.”

The flight was uneventful. The three of them spent their time talking about their plans for the future and where they wanted to be in five, ten, and twenty years. Time seemed to fly and before they knew it, they were in a car, watching as the driver maneuvered through traffic in New York.

“Damn, there are so many people,” Brian pointed out.

“It’s the most populated city in the country,” The driver offered. “Are you gentleman staying long?”

“Just a few days,” Matt told him. “We have tickets to Phantom of the Opera.”

“Excellent show. You’ll love it,” The driver promised.

When they pulled up outside David’s apartment complex, Brian let out a whistle. “Holy shit, David lives here?”

“Well, it’s one of the family homes. They’re in the penthouse,” Matt explained.

“Of course they are,” Brian mumbled as he climbed out of the cab.

The doorman came over to them immediately. “Good afternoon sirs. Mr. Jackson is waiting for you. Go right on up and I’ll make sure your luggage is brought up right away.”

“Thanks,” Matt mumbled as he glanced at his friends. He wasn’t even sure how the doorman knew they were there for David, unless he knew the driver. They walked inside the grand foyer and stopped in their tracks. “Um…wow.”

“This place is gorgeous,” Justin whispered as he looked around.

“I can’t even begin to imagine living here,” Matt said. He shook his head in order to shake away his awe. David was upstairs waiting for them. He couldn’t wait to see his boyfriend. He started leading them towards the elevator and was surprised once again when he was addressed.

“Good afternoon sirs. Right this way.”

Matt didn’t have to tell the man where they were going. Instead, he just escorted them into the elevator and used a key before pushing the button for the penthouse. It only took a few moments for the elevator to reach the top floor. “Here you go, gentleman. Your luggage will be up shortly.”

“Thank you,” Justin replied as they exited the elevator right into the foyer. David was standing against the far wall waiting for them.

“Hey guys, come on in.” He walked right over to Matt and took him in a heated kiss that lasted until he heard someone speaking from behind them.

“Alright you two, knock it off,” Daniel laughed. “You’re being rude. Hi, I’m Davey’s brother Daniel.”

Justin stepped forward with his megawatt smile. “Hi, I’m Justin.”

“Brian,” Brian added as he stepped up alongside Justin.

David pulled back and smiled. “Sorry about that. Hi guys, how was your flight?”

“Um…good. It was good,” Matt replied as he tried to shake off the feeling that David’s kiss had left behind. “Sorry guys.”

“Hey, don’t worry about it. You’ve caught us in a few compromising positions in the past. A kiss is nothing.”

Matt laughed. “That’s very true.”

“Although under the circumstances, I probably should’ve charged you admission.”

“Ha ha,” Matt replied as he gave his friend a shove. “Hi Daniel. It’s good to see you again.”

“You too, Matt,” Daniel said as he pulled Matt into a quick hug. “It’s about time you got here. If my brother paced the living room any longer, we’d have to replace the rug.”

“Oh shut up,” David laughed. “Come on in, guys. I’ll give you a quick tour and show you where you’ll be staying while you’re here.”

“This place is amazing,” Justin offered as he looked around.

“Yeah, of all the homes we have in the family, this is my favorite,” David told them.

“That’s because my place is only two blocks away,” Daniel shoved him gently.

David laughed and shoved him back. “Oh shut up.”

The afternoon flew by quickly. Brian, Justin and Matt got settled, they all had a light lunch, and then it was time to go see the show. Phantom of the Opera was even better than all the critics had boasted, leaving the three visitors in awe. Once the lights came up, they all headed out to the lobby. The place was really crowded as they forced their way outside. Daniel had just stepped to the curb to hail a cab when David was spotted by a reporter who immediately rushed over to him, causing a crowd of people. A man with a video camera appeared behind him out of nowhere.

“David! David! Can I have a few minutes of your time?”

David cursed under his breath and looked towards his brother for help. “Now’s not really a good time. I’m with friends.”

“Just a minute, David! It’s rare for you to be here in the city. You’ve gotta give me something,” the reporter insisted. “Come on, give me a few minutes.”

Daniel pulled him close. “Talk to him for a few minutes. I’ll take the guys and get out of here. We’ll meet you back at the penthouse.”

David nodded slightly to his brother, knowing he didn’t have a choice. He didn’t chance a look at Matt as he stepped forward. “Fine, but make it quick. I’ve got somewhere I have to be.”

Daniel managed to hail a cab and ushered Brian and Justin inside. Matt wasn’t so easily moved.

“We’re just going to leave him here?”

“Matt, it’s best if we go. You don’t want to end up on the evening news, do you? David will talk to the douche bag for a few minutes and then catch a cab and be right behind us. You don’t have to worry about him.”


“Buddy, the world knows that David is gay. The paparazzi has been trying to link him with someone for years. Do you want to be the one he’s linked to?”

“But they wouldn’t know that we…”

“Maybe not, but then again, people like that guy don’t always post the truth. Besides, anyone with eyes can see how much David cares for you in the way he looks at you. It probably wouldn’t be hard to figure out that there’s something between you.”

Matt shivered at the thought of being outed to his friends and family via television. “Okay, then I guess we’d better go.”

Matt and Daniel jumped in the cab and then they were on their way. They made it back to the Penthouse quickly, and as soon as they were inside, Matt started pacing.

“Relax Matt, David will be fine. He’ll be here soon, okay?” Daniel offered.

“How did that asshole find him?” Justin asked curiously.

“People like that are what we call bottom feeders. They spend their lives hanging around restaurants and theaters looking for their next story. David’s been highly sought after because he’s the one who’s going to be Dad’s successor. Between that, and him going to school in out of the way El Paso, reporters go nuts when they see him,” Daniel explained.

“That’s gotta suck,” Brian said.

“David’s good about it, though. He doesn’t really let them get to him, probably because he doesn’t have to deal with it in Texas,”

“I don’t think I could handle being in the spotlight like that,” Justin said. “Having your privacy invaded constantly? That’s ridiculous.”

“It’s not always constant. I live here in the city and after the first couple of months, they started leaving me alone. And while they were harassing me, my boss was in heaven. The publicity the restaurant got having a Jackson in the kitchen was great for business. Now I just go about my life, and only really deal with reporters when the family is around.”

Matt remained pretty quiet as he continued pacing and watching the door. He didn’t like the idea of David staying behind with the reporter, although he knew that was ridiculous. David was a grown man who grew up in the public eye. He certainly knew how to handle himself. Yet Matt couldn’t help but worry. He’d feel better once his boyfriend was home again.

It was another thirty minutes before David finally walked through the door. “Sorry about that, guys. That damn reporter asked a hell of a lot of questions.”

“Why didn’t you tell him to take a hike?” Daniel asked. “Given him the two minute time limit?”

“You know me, I have a hard time saying no. Besides, it doesn’t happen often so it doesn’t really bother me.” David pulled Matt into his arms and kissed him. “I’m sorry if it felt like I deserted you. I wouldn’t have stayed behind if Danny wasn’t with you.”

“It’s okay…I was just a little worried,” Matt admitted.

“I’m fine…everything’s okay,” David assured him. “Come to the bedroom with me. I want to talk to you for a minute.”

“Um…okay,” Matt replied nervously.

“Relax,” David chuckled. “It’s nothing bad.”

“Before you two disappear, is anyone hungry? I was thinking of ordering a bunch of grease and carbs,” Daniel said.

“Sounds good to me. Order whatever you want,” David replied as he pulled out his wallet and tossed it at his brother. “My treat.”

Once David had Matt alone, he kissed him deeply. He hadn’t planned on letting the kiss get out of hand, but the minute Matt opened for him, all bets were off. He walked the younger man backwards until his knees hit the bed and the two of them went tumbling down without breaking contact. A small voice inside David’s head told him he needed to pull back. They’d have plenty of alone time later, after everyone went to bed. Now all he wanted was to tell Matt about the interview. But Matt had other ideas, which was evident when David felt Matt’s hand quickly open his pants and reach inside.

“Oh God,” David groaned as Matt began stoking his now aching cock. “Please…it’s been so long.”

“I want you,” Matt whispered huskily as he ended the kiss and started nibbling lightly on David’s neck. “I need you so much. I want to bury myself inside of you until I can’t tell where I end and you begin.”

David couldn’t hide his surprise. Although they’d had sex several times in the six weeks since they’d been together, David was always on top. Matt seemed to prefer it that way. His sudden desire to change positions turned up the heat on David’s already active libido. “Anything you want, Babe. I’m all yours.”

It didn’t take long for them to strip down. Matt had a lingering feeling that they shouldn’t be indulging when the guys were ordering food and expecting their return, but he couldn’t seem to stop himself. Although he hadn’t admitted it to David, their thirteen day separation affected him more than he thought it would. His anxiety over leaving David behind at the theater and the relief of his return seemed to stir a need in him that he’d never felt before. Once they were settled on the bed with a condom and lube within arms distance, Matt began his exploration of his boyfriend’s body. He’d always loved kissing and nibbling his way down to David’s leaking cock, but this time was different. His goal was different. He was finally going to give David the same pleasure that David gave him. At least he hoped that was what he was going to do. He also hoped that David wouldn’t notice the way he was shaking in anticipation and fear. He had been thinking about what was to come for weeks, but he was worried that he was going to do something wrong. That was the main reason for his constant desire to bottom. He didn’t want to do anything that would end up hurting the man who gave him his greatest pleasure of his life.

Shaking off his thoughts, Matt reached for the lube and coated his fingers while he teased David’s cock with his tongue. Once he was sure that he had enough, he brought his fingers to David’s entrance and began lightly brushing the opening.

“Ugh,” David moaned as he felt Matt at his hole. It had been a long time since he trusted someone so much. Ricky had been the only person he even considered bottoming for. “Babe, I…please.”

“Shhh,” Matt replied as he slowly began pushing one finger inside. “Just lie back and relax. I’m gonna make you feel so good.”

David did as Matt instructed and wasn’t disappointed. Despite his lack of experience, Matt knew exactly what buttons to push and it wasn’t long before Matt had three fingers inside of him and he was ready to explode. “Please Babe…please. Now. I can’t wait any longer.”

Matt shivered at the longing in his boyfriend’s voice as he slowly withdrew his fingers and reached for the condom. In moments, he had himself ready and nudging at David’s well prepared hole. “Ready?”

“I’ve never been so ready for anything in my life,” David whimpered.

That was all the reassurance Matt needed. He took a deep breath and slowly entered David for the very first time. The tight heat that engulfed him brought him quickly to the brink and he had to stop moving and take a deep breath before he ruined the moment by coming way too soon.

“Are you…alright?” David asked when he noticed a pained look on Matt’s face.

“Alright? I’m incredible,” Matt chuckled. “You’re so hot and tight and…oh my God. This is incredible. I just need a minute to pull it back. Are you okay? Am I hurting you?”

“No, you’re perfect,” David replied before pulling Matt down and kissing him deeply.

Nothing more was said between them as they quickly found their rhythm. Matt wanted the feeling to last forever, but there was no way that he was going to be able to hold out for long. The moans and cries coming from David told him that he was not alone in his need. As his orgasm began building, Matt reached down and grabbed David’s cock, tugging it in rhythm with his thrusts. He felt David’s come cover his fingers just as his orgasm ripped through him, causing him to forget his need to keep quiet as he shouted David’s name in release.”

“Was I okay?” Matt asked as soon as he got his breath back.

“You were more than okay,” David told him. “You were amazing and you can do that again anytime you want.”

“Thanks,” Matt giggled. “I’ll keep that in mind.”

“You might want to keep it down next time, depending on where we are though.” Matt looked at David in confusion, causing the older man to chuckle. “You got a little loud there at the end.”

Matt felt his face heat. “Oh God, how loud?”

“Well, there’s a chance that nobody heard you…if by chance the guys went down to the lobby before you shouted my name.”

“Oh God,” Matt groaned as he buried his head in David’s chest. “Why didn’t you warn me…or cover my mouth or something.”

“Sorry Babe, I was mid-orgasm myself. Thinking wasn’t really in the cards for me at the time,” David laughed. “Relax, we’ve all be there before. In fact, you’ve actually seen Brian and Justin having sex, if I remember correctly. There’s no reason to be embarrassed because you got a little loud.”

“But…your brother…”

“He’s had sex before, too. There’s no reason to be upset.” David kissed him, hoping to distract him from his thoughts. It seemed to work as Matt deepened the kiss. They were once again lost in each other when they heard a light knocking on the door. Matt quickly jumped up and ran into the attached bathroom, causing David to laugh. “Come in.”

Daniel walked in with a wicked grin on his face. “Are you two done in here? The food has already been delivered and it’s getting cold.”

“Sorry,” David replied.

“You are not,” Daniel laughed. “And from the sound of things, neither is Matt. Come on, you’re being rude to your guests. Brian and Justin seem like great guys, but they didn’t come here for me.”

“I know…and I am sorry. We didn’t mean to…well, I had planned on waiting until we all went to bed before…I really only brought Matt down here to talk to him about the interview, I swear.”

“Hey, no need to explain. I know how crazy you’ve been without him. Just get a move on. We’re waiting for you.”

“Thanks Danny.”

Once his brother was gone, David got up and went in search of Matt. He found him in the bathroom, splashing water on his face. He leaned in the doorway and watched his lover for a moment before clearing his throat. He chuckled when Matt jumped in surprise.

“Oh, I didn’t know you were standing there,” Matt said.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you. The food’s here and the guys are waiting for us and I haven’t even told you what I brought you down here to tell you.”

“Yeah, I guess we got a little distracted. What’s up?”

“I just wanted to warn you about my interview. The reporter asked if I was seeing someone and I told him no. I was afraid that if you got wind of it, you’d think I was trying to hide the fact that I’m with someone and I’m not…well I am, but that’s only because I’m trying to protect you.”

“Protect me?”

“Yeah, I considered saying that I was in a relationship and just keeping quiet on the name, but I was afraid that offering them a scrap like that would just make someone determined to find out who I was dating. We spend almost all of our time together. If someone started poking around, your name would be the first thing they’d come up with and then it would be all over the tabloids,” David explained.

Matt sighed. “Yeah, I guess that would be bad, huh?”

“Babe…you know I didn’t say that because I don’t want anyone to know I’m seeing someone, right?”

“No, I know,” Matt mumbled.

“Then why do you suddenly look so sad?”

“I’m not…I’m fine. We’d better get back to the guys.”

Matt tried to walk away, but David grabbed him and wouldn’t let him by. “Hey, you’re not fine. You’re upset. Talk to me.”

“Look, it’s not your issue, it’s mine. I know you said what you did to protect me, but…”

“But…” David prodded when Matt hesitated.

“Are you sure that’s all it is? I mean, it can’t be easy for you, being stuck with some guy who’s still in the closet. Up until this weekend, we couldn’t even hang out with our friends without having to watch everything we said and did. You have to be getting sick of it all.”


“Seriously David, don’t tell me you’ve never considered finding someone easier.”

“Okay, that’s it,” David said as he took Matt by the hand and lead him to the bed. “Sit.”

“David, we have to…”

“Sit down, Matt. I have something to say.” David waited until Matt was sitting on the end of the bed and then knelt down in front of him, forcing eye contact. “I wasn’t going to say anything for a while because I didn’t want to freak you out, but if what you’re suggesting has been going through your head, then fuck waiting. I love you, Matt. I know you probably think it’s too soon, but I can’t help how I feel. I am completely head over heels in love with you. You are the first person I think about in the morning and the last person I think about before I fall asleep at night. I want to spend every waking minute with you and I want to have you in my arms while I sleep every night. And as much as I want you to come out of that closet of yours, you could stay in there forever and I will still be right here with you because I can’t imagine my life without you in it.”

Matt’s eyes filled with tears. “Um…”

“You don’t have to say anything. I know it’s only been six weeks. It’s way too soon for such declarations. I just didn’t want you to ever doubt how much I want to be with you. Trust me, as soon as you are out of the closet and your family knows you’re gay, I will be calling every reporter I’ve ever met to tell them that I found the love of my life. Now, why don’t we…”

“I love you, too!”

“Babe, you don’t have to say…”

“I know I don’t have to say it. I want to say it. I’ve been holding it in for weeks now. I think I’ve known it since the first night I fell asleep in your arms, but I kept telling myself it was too soon. I kept trying to stop all those thoughts I had of what our life would be life in ten, fifteen, twenty years. I kept telling myself to slow down, but it was hard. So hard when you make me happier than I ever thought possible. These last thirteen days have been hell for me. I’d lie in bed each night and miss you so much that it scared me. God, I love you so much.”

David took Matt’s face in his hands and took his mouth in a heated kiss. His heart was racing from the sheer joy of having his feelings returned as he lost himself in the man he loved. A knock on the door quickly pulled him back to reality. “We’re coming,” he called out.

Matt smiled at David’s obvious frustration. “We really should get out there. Brian and Justin are probably getting pissed at me.”

“Do you think so?”

Matt thought for a moment. “No, probably not, but we’re still being rude. I asked them to fly out here with me and I’ve been ignoring them for the last what? Hour? I’m not being a very good friend right now.”

“I wouldn’t go that far, but you’re right. I didn’t extend an offer to them with the plan of keeping you locked away in the bedroom all weekend…although now I can see the mistake on my part. I should’ve had you come alone. Then we’d only be leaving this room to answer the door for the food delivery people. Come on, let’s go.”

Just as Matt had thought, Brian and Justin were not upset with him for taking some time with David. Brian had scoffed at Matt’s attempt to apologize and Justin assured him that if he and Brian we ever separated for thirteen days, no one would see the two of them for days. Everyone laughed as if he was kidding, but he and Brian both knew that it was the truth. Then again, neither of them would allow a separation for that long. The longest they’d ever been apart since they met was the four days when Justin and Zan were in Pittsburgh and it had been the longest four days of their lives.

The rest of the night was filled with telling stories and hysterical laughter. Daniel offered up some of the most embarrassing dirt he had on his brother, while everyone else relayed stories of their own embarrassing moments in life. It was well after midnight when Matt wasn’t able to hold back a yawn.

“Oh Babe, you guys must be exhausted after getting up so early for your flight. We should all get to bed.”

“I won’t argue with that,” Brian said, fighting his own yawn.

It took a few minutes of arguing between the brothers to convince Daniel to stay at the penthouse and not return to his own apartment and then everyone said their good nights. Brian grabbed Justin by the hand and dragged him down to their room as soon as he could, ready to climb into the king-sized bed that waited for them.

“Bri? You’re not really that tired, are you?” Justin asked as he started removing his clothes.

“I’m exhausted, but not too tired to fuck you into the mattress, if that’s what you’re asking,” Brian replied with a smirk.

“Always the romantic,” Justin laughed.

After a long, leisurely round of love-making, Brian made himself comfortable in the center of the big bed, with Justin lying in his arms. “So Matt’s gay, huh?”

“You’re not mad that I didn’t tell you, are you? I wanted to. I was dying to tell someone, but he made me promise not to tell anyone.”

“Of course I’m not mad. You’re a good friend. I’d expect nothing less from you. I just can’t believe it, you know? I’ve known Matt for almost five years and I always prided myself on my great gaydar. I never in a million years would’ve thought he was gay. I feel really bad for him, though. His family is going to flip out.”

“Do you really think so?”

“Oh, absolutely. Do you know how many times I’ve overheard his father talk about ‘faggots’?”

“But he’s always been very nice to me,” Justin protested.

“To your face,” Brian clarified. “He’s a cop. He knows how to be diplomatic. He’ll deal with us queers because he has to…he may even like a couple of us…but to have his own son be one of us? I’m sorry, Justin. I know he’s your friend and you don’t want to see him get hurt, but you’re going to.”

“You think he should stay in the closet?”

“No, I don’t. I don’t think anyone should live a life different from how they were born to live it. Besides, I see how happy he is with David. Life is too short to turn away from someone that makes you feel like you’re the most important person in the world. I’m just saying that he’s going to lose a lot when he comes out.”

“Oh God, poor Matt,” Justin murmured.

“Don’t worry, we’ll all be there for him. He’ll be okay.”

“I hope you’re right.”

“I’m always right,” Brian teased. “Now kiss me goodnight. I’m so tired.”

Justin reached up and kissed Brian tenderly before pulling back. “I love you so much.”

“I love you too, Blondie.”

The next few days flew by way too quickly. Daniel had to go back to work, but David did his best to be a top notch tour guide and show everyone around. Brian and Justin kept their distance from each other while they were in public places so that they all just looked like four friends having fun instead of two couples and David wore a backwards baseball cap and dark sunglasses to hide his appearance. Nobody recognized him and they were all able to have some fun. The original plan had been to fly back on Monday, but the four of them had been having so much fun that they decided to extend the trip one more day. On Monday night, as they were just settling down to watch a movie, Brian’s cell phone went off.

“Hang on a minute, guys. I’ve got to take this,” Brian said. He flashed the screen towards Justin and then left the room.

“Who’s that on the phone?” Matt asked.

“It’s Zac,” Justin replied. “I hope he’s calling because he finally came to his senses.”

“Me too,” Matt agreed.

Brian made his way to the bedroom he and Justin were sharing before answering the call. “Hey Zac, I’m so glad you called. Is everything okay?”

“No…not really. I fucked up, Bri. I fucked up really bad,” Zac said softly.

“It’s okay, buddy. We can fix it. Everything’s going to be okay,” Brian assured him.

“No it’s not. Not this time.”

The hopelessness in Zac’s voice tore at Brian’s heart. “Yes it will, you’ll see.” Brian could hear a lot of beeping and commotion in the background. “What’s going on, Zac? Where are you?”

“I’m in the hospital,” Zac admitted. “There was an incident.”

“An incident? What happened? Are you okay?” Fear gripped him. “Zac?”

“I’m fine…I mean, I’ll be fine. Can you just do me a favor? Can you tell Jason I’m sorry? I never meant to…I’m just really, really sorry for everything.”

“Zac, tell me what’s going on!” Brian exclaimed as his fear escalated.

“Goodbye Brian,” Zac whispered before hanging up.

“Fuck!” Brian screamed as he threw his phone, once again watching it smash to pieces.

“Bri? What’s going on?” Justin asked from the doorway. “We could hear you all the way down the hall. What did Zac want?”

“I don’t know. He’s in the hospital, but he won’t tell me why. He just said that he fucked up really bad and asked me to tell Jason he’s sorry. I’ve never heard him like that before and I don’t know what’s wrong. How can I help him if I don’t know what’s wrong?”

“Guys, is everything okay?” Matt asked, joining them in the room. Brian gave him the same story that he had gave Justin. It was all he knew. “Do you know what hospital he’s in? Maybe we can call and ask how he is?”

“They won’t tell us anything. They’re not allowed to give information over the phone,” Justin pointed out.

“That’s true, but I might be able to help,” David said from the doorway. “I’m sorry to intrude. I know it’s none of my business, but I was heading to the bathroom and I couldn’t help but overhear.”

“You’re not intruding,” Matt replied.

“Yeah, dating Matt officially makes you one of us,” Brian told him. “But I don’t know how you can help, unless you have contacts in…shit, I don’t even know what hospital he’s in.”

“I don’t have to have contacts at the hospital.”

“Then how can you…their computer system,” Matt said.

“Jackson Technologies provides the security software for every hospital in the country, as well as some in other countries. I can get past the security wall and find out what’s going on,” David smirked.

“But can’t you get in trouble for that?” Justin asked.

“Justin! We need to know what happened!” Brian cried.

“It’s okay, Justin. As an employee of Jackson Tech, I have access to the system. Who do you think they call when they have a problem? I’m not supposed to be using their system for my own personal reasons, but no one will ever know. Come into the office. I just need some information.”

They all followed David into the home office and waited patiently while he accessed the database. Once he had Zac’s full name and address, he was able search the area hospitals and find out where he was being treated. It only took him a few moments to pull up his records. “Um, guys?”

“What is it? What happened to him?”

“Your friend is being treated for head trauma,” David said hesitantly. “And a gunshot wound to the shoulder. According to his records, they’re scheduling him for surgery to remove the bullet.”

“A gunshot wound? He was shot? How the hell did that happen?” Justin asked rhetorically.

“I’ll tell you exactly how that happened. Fucking Nicky!” Brian barked as he began to pace.

“Let me make a few phone calls and see what else I can find out,” David offered before leaving the room.

“I can’t believe this is happening. We need to get home. What if he…”

“Don’t go there, Brian,” Matt demanded. “Don’t even go there. I doubt if we can get home tonight. Jackson Tech’s planes bunker in Florida when they’re not in use, but I’m sure we can get out of here early tomorrow morning. Zac will be fine and we’ll get there as soon as we can.”

“Yeah…alright. I need to call Chris and…fuck!” Brian exclaimed as he looked at his broken phone lying on the floor.

“Babe, you have to stop throwing your phones every time you get mad,” Justin reprimanded him. “This makes two phones in three months.”

“Oh stop lecturing me and give me your phone,” Brian muttered as he put out his hand.

Brian called his brother and told him what they knew so far. Chris was immediately concerned and relayed the message to Zander, who planned on calling Zac’s parents. As far as anyone knew, Brian was the only person Zac called. Once that was done, the three of them went out to the living room where David was pacing with his phone to his ear. After reiterating that he’d be waiting for a call back, he hung up the phone.

“Okay, I spoke with my pilot. He’ll be in New York by five am. He’s going to lay down and get some rest now. Sorry I couldn’t get him here any sooner. He’s been on the go all day and the last thing any of us needs is an exhausted pilot. I’ll have a car here by four, waiting to take us to the airport. I also called in a favor to a friend. I’m waiting to hear back from him now. He has a contact in the FBI who has access to just about all law enforcement records. If your friend was shot, the police have to be involved. He’s going to find out what happened.”

“Shit, I didn’t even think about that. I can call my father and see if he knows anything,” Matt said.

“You can, but it’s not necessary. I’ll have a full report in about ten minutes. Does anyone want anything to drink? I don’t usually condone underage drinking, but under the circumstances, a little bit of brandy might hit the spot.”

Brian was the only one who accepted the offer. His nerves were shot waiting for more news on what happened to Zac. As soon as David handed him a glass, the phone rang, causing everyone to jump in surprise.

“Hey Thomas, what did you find out?”

Everyone sat there watching while David spoke to his friend. They didn’t know what was going on, but they could tell from the one sided conversation that whatever happened with Zac, it wasn’t good.

“Okay, thanks buddy. I owe you one,” David said before hanging up the phone. “Guys, I wish I had better news. Your friend seemed to have gotten himself in a whole mess of trouble.”

“What happened?”

“Well, it appears that Zac was shot in a drug deal that went bad. The cops were called by a neighbor who heard the shots and Zac was arrested at the scene before being taken to the hospital. As soon as he’s recovered enough from the surgery, he’s going to be taken into custody.”

“What the fuck?” Brian barked.

“Bri, calm down,” Justin soothed. “It’ll be okay. It’s his first offense so I’m sure he’ll just end up with a slap on the wrist.”

“I doubt that, Justin. Apparently Zac and his friend were the ones doing the dealing. He’s going to be charged with cocaine possession with intent to sell. To make matters worse, he was in a school zone. A charge like carries a sentence of three to ten years.”

“Oh God,” Brian groaned as he dropped down on the couch and buried his face in his hands.

“David, there’s got to be something we can do. Zac can’t go to jail. Is there anyone you can call? Any way you can fix this?” Matt asked.

“I’ll do what I can, but I don’t think my money and connections are going to help this time. According to Thomas, the Arizona State Police have been trying to nail a drug ring in your area for quite a while now. Apparently your friend was in the wrong place at the wrong time, but I don’t know how to prove that he isn’t part of the bigger picture.”

“What about Nicky? He’s the one behind all of this. Maybe Zac can help them nail Nicky and then walk. Nicky’s done it before.”

“That might have worked if Nicky was still alive. He was pronounced dead at the scene from a bullet to the head. Unless Zac knows who Nicky’s supplier is and can help them land a bigger shark, your friend is going to go down for what his buddy’s been doing.”

“I’ve…I’ve got to call Jason,” Justin said softly. “This is going to kill him.”

“Maybe you shouldn’t tell him yet,” Matt said. “He’s dealing with so much right now. Do you think it’s wise to add to his grief?”

“I can’t not tell him, Matt. He’s going to want to be there for Zac. Hopefully he can find a flight out tomorrow morning.”

“Where is he? Doesn’t he live with you guys?” David asked in confusion.

“No, he moved back to Pittsburgh last week to make things easier on Zac. A lot of good that did.”

“Okay, go call Jason. Tell him to be at Pittsburgh International by six am. We’ll swing by and pick him up on our way to Arizona,” David said.

“David, that’s really nice of you, but you don’t have to do that. I’m sure he can get a flight out,” Justin assured him.

“I’m sure he can, but why spend the money when we’re going to be in the air anyway? Besides, I don’t know your friend really well, but I imagine Jason is going to be devastated when he finds out what happened. There’s no need for him to have to deal with traveling on his own. He’ll be much more comfortable with his friends.”

“Thank you so much,” Justin said as he reached out and pulled David into a hug. “I really appreciate all that you’re doing for us.”

“Hey, it’s no problem. What’s the point of having all that I have if I can’t help friends in need? Now why don’t you guys go off to bed? Call your friend and then try to get some sleep. We have to be up super early tomorrow.”

“Yeah, that sounds like a good idea,” Brian said. “Thanks David. For everything.”

“You’re welcome.”

Once Brian and Justin were gone, Matt turned to his boyfriend and sighed. “I can’t believe this is happening. I’ve known Zac since the ninth grade. He’s not a drug dealer. He’s never broken the law in his life before he hooked up with that asshole. He can’t end up in jail. He just can’t.”

David pulled Matt into his arms and offered him as much comfort as he could. “Shhh, we’ll figure something out. Just wait until we get to Arizona and talk to him directly, okay?”

“We?” Matt asked as he pulled back and looked into David’s face. “You’re coming with us?”

“Of course I am. I’m not going to let you deal with this alone. Besides, you never know when I might come in handy to have around.”

“You certainly have tonight. Thank you so much. I really appreciate everything you’ve done.”

“Hey, I love you. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for you.”

“I love you, too.”

“Good, now let’s get to bed. I have a feeling that tomorrow is going to be a very long day.”

Matt allowed David to lead him to bed, but his mind was on Zac and how grim his future looked at the moment. David may be rich and well connected, but he wasn’t a miracle worker and it sounded like that was what Zac was going to need to get out of the trouble he was in. A miracle.

End of part 19


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