BETWEEN THE SESSIONS
Gang, here is the latest between the sessions episode that takes place following the session 6 meeting between Brian and Lydia in Deconstructing Brian. The plot thickens...LOL! Randall
Brian threw his jacket over the back of a bar stool as he entered his loft in Soho. He was tired. The session with Lydia had been emotionally exhausting. He winced at the sound of some new group he felt he was too old to appreciate blasting from his five thousand dollar sound system. He spied Justin, stretched out on the chaise, sketching an image in his tablet, oblivious to Brian's entrance. Brian picked up an orange from the glass bowl on the counter and threw it at him, hitting him squarely on the left temple. He silently congratulated himself on his perfect aim as Justin yelped and glared at him. Brian made a slash signal across his throat and Justin dutifully turned down the volume with the remote control.
"That hurt!" He complained, rubbing his temple briskly. Brian poured himself a scotch and sat down heavily on the sofa.
"Don't be such a big baby."
"Look who's talking..." Justin came over to him, crawling onto his lap. Brian smiled slightly and kissed him on the mouth.
"Why aren't you dressed?" He asked, pulling at the waistband of his gray sweats and peering down to see what he could find inside. Justin laughed.
"Stop it! I'm not going."
Brian let the pants snap back with a pop against Justin's belly. "What do you mean? Of course you're going."
"Nope," Justin left his lap and sashayed into the kitchen, staring at the contents of the refrigerator that he had recently stocked with goodies. "You go. He doesn't want me there, anyway. Why be fake about it?"
Brian downed his scotch and walked over to him, slamming the refrigerator door shut and glaring at his lover.
"We accepted a dinner invitation. The two of us. You can't just cancel this late. It's rude and petulant and you aren't getting away with it. It's in his home, Justin. He cooked. It's not as if we were going out to a restaurant. You're going, so get your fine pink ass into some decent clothes and do it now."
Justin's blue eyes shifted into a flinty shade of gray. Brian knew that color well. He tensed as Justin said, "You aren't my father. Don't tell me what to do like I'm some naughty child. I'm not going, so fuck off!"
"What is your damage?" Brian insisted. "You're the one I'm in love with, not Jeff!"
The silence stretched between them for what seemed an eternity. Brian felt his face grow warm beneath a blush as Justin's expression morphed from anger to wonder. "What did you just say?" Justin demanded.
Brian turned away and walked towards the bedroom, unbuttoning his shirt as he went. "Fuck it. Go, don't go. I don't give a shit what you do."
Justin followed, overtaking him to stand in front of him and block his way. "What did you say in there?"
"I said I don't give a shit what you do!" Brian pushed past him and threw his shirt on the bed. The suit pants came off next but before he could reach for a pair of jeans, Justin stopped him.
"You said you were in love with me."
Brian met his eyes, then sighed and sat down on the edge of the bed. His long, bare legs stretched out in front of him. He looked up at Justin and shrugged. "You doubt it?"
"You've never said it. Never. Except sometimes when you're coming and that doesn't count."
"Yes, I have. You just haven't heard me. There are many ways to say 'I love you', Justin, and I think I've said it a thousand times."
"Yes, but when you never hear the words, it becomes easy to convince yourself you're living in a fool's paradise. Brian, say it again." Brian looked up at him, then smiled. "No."
"You can't solicit it. Just let it go for now, okay? I'm mad at you. Let it go."
Justin pushed him back and stretched out above him, pinning his wrists to the bed as if he had the strength to restrain Brian. Brian let him, smiling up at his flushed face. "What are you going to do now? Rape me?"
"I love you, Brian Kinney."
"I know you do, Justin Taylor. So?"
"So, fuck me."
"We don't have time."
Justin reached inside Brian's briefs to fondle his already stiffening penis. "Make time." He kissed Brian's neck, his collar bone, his pectorals, spending a moment at each hard little nipple. He drug his kisses down his belly, slipping his underwear down and flicking his tongue across his cock, feeling it lengthen and fill under his manipulation. Brian moaned and closed his eyes, freeing one of his hands to place it on the back of Justin's head, separating his pale hair between his fingers.
Justin raised himself on his knees and pulled off his shirt and sweatpants, feeling Brian's gaze burn through him. He never tired of the way he felt when his lover admired his body with such blatant lust. Brian grabbed him and flung him back on the bed, covering him with his own body, filling his mouth with his tongue as he ground his erection against Justin's hard cock. Justin wrapped a leg over him, his heel anchored in a dimple above the rise of Brian's buttocks, molding his body even closer. The heat enveloped them like an August afternoon, breaking out the sweat and pumping up their heart rates. As Brian continued to kiss him, humping his pelvis in an instinctive motion, Justin reached down and positioned Brian's erection against the portal to his most intimate recesses. Brian pushed, Justin bore down, and the penetration was swift, unlubed, and raw. For the first time, they made love without the interference of a condom, and the sensation was not lost on either of them.
Just as Justin felt the hot release of Brian's passion, he also heard him moan, "I love you," into his ear, and this time, he knew he meant he loved HIM, Justin, not just his tight ass or the relief he offered him. He held tightly to Brian, his own orgasm fading into normalcy as he contemplated what they had just done. Right or wrong, it was too late to go back. If there was a risk, it had been assumed. "I love you, too," Justin whispered, and held Brian as long as he would allow him to maintain the embrace.
Jeffrey's condo was in a corner of a good building where Fifth Avenue met the Village. His windows overlooked Washington Square on one side, the busy traffic of Fifth on the other. He opened the door, greeting Brian and Justin with a smile and waving off their apologies for being late. He noticed the languid affection between them, their interlaced fingers and easy intimacy. Immediately he understood the reason for their lateness. The stab of envy he experienced was troubling to him.
"Your timing is perfect. I just got the little monster in bed for the third time. Zeka, her nanny, is off tonight. Bad planning on my part. What is it with kids? You can get them in bed, but you can't make them stay."
"I know what you mean," Brian said drolly, glancing at Justin, who beamed back at him.
The large airy rooms were decorated in what Brian thought of as old money shabby chic. Chintzes and Chippendale overlooked by portraits of family members painted by John Singer Sargent. Jeffrey may be paying off student loans, but Brian suspected there was a trust fund lurking in his bank. A grand piano graced one corner, the top littered with photos of friends and relatives in gleaming sterling silver frames. An Asian man came from what had to be the kitchen, his dark clothes covered with a cotton canvas chef's apron. He had a goatee and his thinning black hair was buzzed short. He was fashionable and slim, but not the man Brian pictured as a potential lover for Jeffrey. He watched Jeffrey taste the sauce the man offered him on a wooden spoon and comment that it was perfect. He then introduced him to the others.
His name was Leo Chang. Jeffrey described him as a force in the art world of New York, president of the Artists Association of Soho and owner of three important galleries in Soho, the Village and mid-town. Brian exchanged a glance with Jeffrey, realizing this guest had been included for Justin's benefit. "I also make a mean Peking duck, which is why I get invited to dinner parties and told to bring my apron," Leo quipped and Jeffrey laughed.
"You volunteered! Leo, Justin is the young artist I was telling you about. Why don't you two talk and Brian can help me get the food transported to the table?"
Justin was truly interested in talking to Leo about the art world in this city, and Brian smiled wryly at Jeffrey as he followed him into the kitchen that was filled with the delectable aromas of Leo's cooking.
"Why do I sense a hook up, Jeff? Strong arming your friends into meeting promising young artists?" He hefted himself to sit on the edge of a clean countertop as Jeffrey transferred food from cooking pots to white porcelain serving dishes. He glanced over his shoulder at Brian and smiled.
"Leo was more than happy to do it. He's always on the lookout for fresh new talent."
"Just so he understands the only thing Justin is peddling is his art."
"Don't worry about that. Leo is good and married to an anesthesiologist named Bill with whom I've worked often. Bill would be here too, but he had a surgery scheduled. Leo's a powerful man on the art scene, Brian. He could do Justin some good."
"Okay, in that case, thanks. What smells so good?"
"Peking duck, green beans with shredded pork, dumplings and homemade hot and sour soup. By the way, how do you feel about Chinese food?"
"Hate it," Brian said, then smiled and shook his head when Jeffrey looked startled. "Kidding."
"You two seem...happy."
"You should have seen us a little earlier."
Jeffrey turned to face him. He was wearing his glasses, and he crossed his arms over his chest as he smiled slightly. "I'm not sure that would be kosher, watching you guys in bed."
Brian met his gaze with a smile. "Before that."
"Ahh, makeup sex. I remember it well. Why were you fighting?"
"Because he was being a twat. It's not important."
"I'm jealous, you know."
Brian's stomach tightened. "Uh oh."
"No, relax, not for the reasons you think. Not because he has you. Well, maybe a little because he has you, I'll admit that. Mainly because I envy the affection you feel for each other. The being part of a couple. I miss that."
"It's not as if you couldn't have that if you wanted it, Jeff. You're gorgeous, rich, stable, a frigging doctor. Every gay boy's dream."
Jeffrey shrugged and tapped the handle of a serving spoon against Brian's denim clad thigh. "It's not that easy. All the good ones are taken, it seems."
Brian wrapped his hand around the stem of the spoon as he met Jeffrey's eyes. A moment of intimacy passed between them, then Brian sighed.
"Better get this shit on the table before it gets cold."
Jeffrey smiled and nodded, handing Brian bowls of soup and following him into the dining room with two bowls of his own.
Dinner went much better than Brian anticipated earlier that evening. Leo and Justin talked art and artists, lost in minutiae that neither Jeffrey nor Brian could follow, but that obviously fired the two of them. Brian had resolved not to be jealous of Leo, based on Jeffrey's reassurance, which allowed him to relax and enjoy the fact Justin was so enthusiastic about something in New York, other than Brian himself. He and Jeffrey spoke quietly about a new play they both read about in the Times and wanted to see. Jeffrey suggested putting a group together to go, and Brian said he would see if he could wrangle free tickets out of his agency. The tickets were usually used to entertain clients, but Brian was high enough on the food chain now to occasionally claim them as a perq. The food was perfect. Over dessert, that was a double chocolate flourless cake from a bakery in the Village, which Brian refused, obsessive about his waistline,
Justin suddenly asked, "You okay with that, Bri?"
Brian looked up from his black coffee, surprised by the inquiry. "Okay with what?"
Justin rolled his eyes. "You ever listen to me?"
"Not when I have alternatives," Brian said with a smile. The others laughed, including Justin, who then said, "Leo invited me to go to his gallery in Soho to have a preview of his new show and then he'll drop me off at the loft. Is that okay?"
"Assuming you and Jeff don't want to go, of course," Leo added, and the others nodded their agreement. They did not want to go.
"If you're asking me if I can get home all by my little self, I think I can manage. If you're asking my permission...why?"
Justin smiled and walked over to kiss him gently. "Okay, then I'm going."
"Have fun. See you at the loft."
Leo and Justin both thanked Jeffrey who laughed and reminded Leo he did all the work. When they were alone, Jeffrey offered Brian a brandy which they carried into the living room to sit before the fire. "He's happily married, right?" Brian asked, exhibiting a hint of insecurity that he found annoying. "Leo?"
Jeffrey smiled. "Totally. Not that it would matter. Justin is obviously mad about you."
Brian shrugged. "You'd be surprised," he said ambiguously and Jeffrey didn't inquire. After a moment of silence, Brian asked, "Who is this playing on your sound system? I like it. Kind of Latin, but danceable."
"It's tango music. Todo Tango. You like to dance?"
"I do. But never tried the old tango."
"No, is there a club here where the tango is big?"
"There are tango clubs, Brian!"
Jeffrey got up and retrieved a photo from the piano. He handed it to Brian, who focused on two men in a hot embrace. Both wore dark suits, and were handsome and lithe. He recognized Jeffrey after a minute, but he also recognized the other man. He was a prominent model, appearing in a Ralph Lauren campaign as well as promoting many other products with his perfect features and lean physique. "Isn't this what's his name? That Ralph Lauren guy?"
Jeffrey laughed. "How he loves to hear himself described as 'that Ralph Lauren guy'. His name is Friedrich Bauman."
"German?" Brian took in the blond hair and icy blue eyes, a striking contrast to Jeffrey's all American brunet good looks.
"Oh yes, a transplant from Frankford. The Aryan Ideal personified. Except for that little homosexual issue."
"He's drop dead gorgeous."
"Yes, Freddie is a beauty. The original beautiful bastard. He's my former lover."
Brian considered that, then held up his palm for a high five. Jeffrey laughed and slapped his hand.
"Believe me, he doesn't rate a celebration. I've been so much happier on my own. I'll never go through that again, just because someone looks the way Freddie looks. Not worth it."
Brian shrugged and handed the photo back. "Worth it for one night."
"True, it was the 1094 other nights that were the problem."
"You were together for three years?"
"A little longer than that, I guess."
"You ever see him? Outside of GQ?"
"Only if we happen to be at the same function. Rarely he will call, always because he wants something from me."
"Usually free medical advice or a prescription."
"Will you do that?"
"Absolutely not, but he still asks."
Jeffrey grew quiet, staring into the flames, his brandy balanced on one knee, supported by his palm. Brian studied his delicate profile and felt a stab of sympathetic pain at what he viewed as Jeffrey's silent sadness over his failed relationship. He stood and offered his hand to him, which Jeffrey stared at with a look of confusion.
"Teach me how to tango."
Jeffrey laughed. "Are you serious?"
"Dead serious. Come on, I'm a fast learner."
Jeffrey stood and together they moved a few pieces of furniture towards the wall, to clear a space to dance. "You're going to have to be the girl," Jeffrey said with a grin. "I don't know how to do it any other way."
Brian laughed. "Fine, I know how to roll over and take it. Let's go."
"Ok, this is the Argentine version of the tango, which is the only one I know. And I don't do any of the really fancy moves. First, we determine our dancing frame, which is very important in the tango. You move within your space, and I move within mine."
"Didn't Patrick Swayze say that to Jennifer Gray in 'Dirty Dancing'?" Brian quipped as Jeffrey took his right hand in his and motioned for Brian to place his left hand on Jeffrey's opposite biceps. Jeffrey's right hand rested lightly in the small of Brian's back. They were both acutely aware of their proximity.
"Never saw that movie," Jeffrey finally said.
"Oh god, Jeffrey, how did a man your age and GAY miss that movie?"
"Just lucky I guess. Now concentrate. Visualize yourself as a great jungle cat, huge and smooth and feline. Keep your weight on the balls of your feet, not your heels, and mimic the way a cat walks, like feathers on silk."
Brian fixed his gaze on Jeffrey's, thinking of them both as sleek leopards on the Serengeti, all muscle and lethal grace, as if they hid no skeleton. Jeffrey went on.
"This hold we're in is called the abrazzo or embrace. In the tango, you never release your partner. First, we'll just walk together along the perimeter of the dance area, which is called the line of dance. The walk is known as la caminata. You look right, I look left, and I'll walk you backwards. Take long strides, with your weight forward."
Brian waited until he felt Jeffrey's lead, then he stepped back. Their knees touched a few times as they became accustomed to the dance, but soon they were walking in perfect harmony, and Brian felt that strange union of two dancers becoming one creative force. Their shared height made them beautifully symmetrical, and after they walked the perimeter, Jeffrey said, "Now we reverse. You walk forward, I walk back."
"Isn't this kind of like the Texas Two Step?" Brian asked. "Yee-haw!"
Jeffrey smiled. "I thought so too at first. It quickly diverges, though. Feel the rhythm in your heart, Brian. Move to that beat."
They walked the line of dance several times, each pass becoming more fluid, more harmonious, until Brian no longer thought about what he was doing, moving from instinct.
Jeffrey showed him a couple basic variations. The el paseo, or stroll, was a stylized walk, and la cadencia was the el paseo while standing in place, marking time to the music without making any forward progress. Brian found that move extremely hot, moving in sync with Jeffrey while standing in one place. It was as if they were making love, zipless. Jeffrey showed him how to pivot using la cunita, or the rock step, which was athletic as well as sensuous. They were both breathing a little harder from the exertion and the excitement, when Jeffrey impulsively pulled Brian up against his body. Brian felt the thrill flood him with adrenaline. "You're invading my dancing frame," he whispered as Jeffrey tightened both arms around his waist.
"You move like a panther. You're beautiful, Brian."
"You haven't seen my best moves," Brian replied, unable to deny the heat that flowed between them like an unbroken electrical current.
Just then, a thin, wailing sound emanated from behind the sofa. Both men turned to look as the noise intensified. Jeffrey heaved a sigh and released Brian, walking over to pick up a small device. "Baby monitor," he explained. "Hannah."
Brian nodded, relieved by the intervention of the baby. What was WRONG with him anyway? Just that night, he told Justin he loved him. He did love Justin. There was no question that he loved Justin. So what was this shit? It was as if the sensual dance had overcome his good judgment. He couldn't write it off as the momentary sexual attraction he felt for a trick. With Jeffrey, it was more than that. But what was it? Why was he so drawn to him and what did it mean for his relationship? Brian grimaced as he wondered if he was being so engulfed by Jeffrey because he feared abandoning his freedom to Justin? Is that what Lydia would tell him? Since when did he even give a shit about this kind of self-analysis? And if he wanted Jeffrey, why was he being so reluctant to satisfy that desire?
Jeffrey re-entered the room carrying a sleepy Hannah, who was resting her head against his shoulder. She was dressed in footed pink fleece pajamas, her eyes half closed in slumber. "Is she okay?" Brian asked and Jeffrey nodded.
"Bad dream, I think. Or maybe Justin has her on his payroll. Sorry that got a little intense at the end, Brian."
"It's just a very sensual dance."
"Yes. Can we have another lesson some time?"
"If you think we should."
"Why not? We're adults. I'm going to go, Jeff. It's late."
"She'll be going down again in a minute. Sure you can't stay? I promise to be good."
"Being good is not the issue. I'm not sure what's happening here, but I don't think we should keep telling each other its JUST FRIENDS. I have friends. This is not just friends."
Jeffrey looked into his eyes and nodded. "I understand. I feel the same way. I've tried, Brian, and I'll keep trying, but...I'm so attracted to you."
"I feel the same about you."
"Tonight, when we were dancing, I realized something for the first time."
"Your eyes aren't brown. They're a dark, muddy shade of green. Like moss on a rock."
Brian laughed, pleased by the tension breaker. "Your point would be...?"
"No point. Just a fact. You are incredibly beautiful."
"Stop it. I'm not Freddie."
"No, and that's another point in your favor, but you're every bit as beautiful as he is, without all the self obsession."
"Jeffrey, I love Justin."
"I know you do. He's delightful. But..."
"But he's a kid. A smart and lovely kid, but you are so much more worldly. And...shit. Listen to me. I'm stopping now. I like Justin. I can't dis him. He's done nothing wrong. I have no right to feel this way for his lover."
"Maybe we should cool it for awhile."
Jeffrey was silent for a moment, then sighed. "Maybe that's best."
Brian hated the thought of a separation, and that fact reinforced his belief that he should put some distance between Jeffrey and himself. "I don't want to fuck this up with Justin and you could never be just a trick to me."
"I don't want to be just a trick to you and I don't want you to fuck it up with Justin, either, believe it or not."
"Okay, then, we'll cool it a little."
"Sure, not goodbye, but later, right?"
"Right. Thanks for the dinner and the tango lesson." He patted Hannah gently on the back, but she had fallen asleep and was oblivious. He leaned over to kiss Jeffrey's cheek. Jeffrey turned and caught Brian on the lips, a soft, sweet kiss that was just slightly heated with passion, but was such a strong connection that Brian felt it more rabidly than almost any kiss he had ever experienced.
"Shit," he said, taking a step back and shaking his head. Jeffrey smiled wanly.
"Don't give up on us, Brian. Let's find a way to make it work without causing any collateral damage. I like you too much to lose you." Brian met his gaze with a sigh. "I don't know if that's possible, Jeff. I like you too much to be your buddy."
"I know, but let's try."
He nodded and gathered his jacket, leaving the apartment without further conversation.
Brian walked all the way back to the loft. He wanted the time alone to clear his head and put his emotions in some kind of perspective. He was in love with Justin. More than ever. Yet he had conflicts about him, insecurities caused by their breakup, baggage from the past, uncertainty about what Justin felt for him. He couldn't imagine anyone else occupying his home and his life the way Justin did. But he was overwhelmed with unfamiliar emotions towards Jeffrey. He admired him. He liked him. He was comfortable with him, and yet he was also strongly attracted to him. He wasn't sure what it was he felt, but he knew it was important and dangerous. Brian Kinney, the iceman, had just found himself on the horns of an emotional dilemma, and he didn't like it one little bit.
|Disclaimer: The television show Queer As Folk and its characters are the property of Showtime and CowLip Productions. No money is being made. Stories and discussion are intended purely for the entertainment of fans of Queer as Folk, the Brian and Justin characters, and Randall's writings.
Contact Site Admin with questions or technical problems.
July 25, 2004