BETWEEN THE SESSIONS
Thanks for being patient guys. It's baked. Here it is. Hope you enjoy. R.
ONE WEEK LATER.
Justin still felt nervous when he entered a parking garage alone, at night. His anxiety was vague, but he knew it stemmed from the bashing. Walking towards Brian's rental car in the hospital's garage after dark caused that crawling fear to return. He was exhausted, and that heightened his unease. His recaptured memory of the bashing was still limited. A glimpse of Chris Hobbes coming at him, wielding a bat. The sound of Brian screaming "JUSTIN!" just before the thud of wood hitting bone. Nothing more.
"Justin!" The voice echoed in the cavernous garage, the shock of it throwing him back into the memory. Only this time he saw soft lights, a circle of people, including Daphne, who was laughing with delight. He saw Brian, handsome as always in a dark suit, his body pressed to Justin's. The others were all watching Brian and Justin move together in languid unison. Someone was singing, "But don't forget who's taking you home and in whose arms you're gonna be. So darling, save the last dance for me!"
"JUSTIN!" The urgent summons cut off the memory, and Justin couldn't retrieve it. He stopped, turning to see Jeffrey catch up to him. While Jeffrey carried no bat, Justin still felt fearful.
"Is it Molly?" She was slowly progressing, but her improvement was so slight, they all knew she could slip back into critical illness at any time. Only Brian seemed convinced this was a corner she had turned, and she was on the mend.
"No change," Jeffrey responded. "Where are you going?"
Justin sighed, relieved. He considered his question, and then glared at him. "None of your business."
"You're meeting him, aren't you?"
"Don't fuck with me, twink. You haven't got the balls. Where is he? He's been gone for twenty-four hours. What the hell is he doing?"
Justin enjoyed seeing how desperate Jeffrey looked over Brian's absence. "You mean he doesn't tell you everything? I thought you were two were a couple."
Jeffrey grabbed Justin's shirtfront and slammed his back against the nearest car. This unexpected action knocked the breath out of Justin and filled him with dread. Jeffrey was big, as big as Brian, and powerfully built. Justin knew he was outmatched, and the bashing allusion returned in force. Jeffrey's handsome face was contorted in a mask of rage.
"Look, you little prick; Brian and I have a deal. Do you think I'm stupid? Do you think I don't know how he sneaks around, meeting you in a hotel room or some fucking closet to get his dick sucked or to fuck your little pink ass? Well, enjoy it while you can, baby, because when we go back to New York, the party's over. He's moving in with me, and I'll see to it that he never touches you again. You think he gives a shit about you? He's still working through his revenge for what you did to him. As soon as he convinces himself he can have as much of you as he wants, he'll lose interest. You're an undereducated, underachieving, vacuous little shit, and Brian deserves an equal as a lover, not some high school twink with a selfish streak. All he is to you is a checkbook, someone to pay the rent and keep you fed and cared for while you draw your little pictures and cheat on him. You don't give a flying fuck about that man!"
Justin inhaled sharply, and then said through clenched teeth. "I don't have to bribe him with the health of a sick kid to make him stay with me, do I? How can you say we're sneaking around when we're the couple? You are blackmailing him into sleeping with you, and nothing more, Jeffrey. You're one sick puppy. Don't you dare tell me I don't care about Brian when you're the one who's killing him. How can you get off with a man you have to coerce into fucking you? Who is physically and mentally sick over it? What kind of a fucking freak are you?"
Jeffrey looked as if he may hit Justin, but then the mask shifted and he looked icy calm as he said, "I'm the fucking freak that holds the key to whether your sister lives or dies. How much is that worth to you?"
"Problem here?" A security guard rolled up in the golf cart he used to patrol the grounds, and Jeffrey released Justin and glared at the man. The guard looked from him to Justin, recognizing Justin as the beautiful little blond having elevator sex. That was still one of the guard's favorite porn tapes. The man menacing him, dressed in a lab coat, obviously a doctor, was not the lover who co-starred with the blond.
"This is nothing to do with you," Jeffrey coldly remarked, dismissing this minion. The guard smiled wryly. Of course he was a doctor; he had that asshole superiority down cold.
"Want a ride to your car?" He asked Justin who nodded gratefully and hopped onto the cart. Jeffrey glared at him and said,
"You tell him to call me or I'm on the next plane to New York and I'm not coming back."
Justin responded with a one fingered salute as the guard drove him towards the aisle number he gave him. When they arrived, Justin unlocked the car, noticing the guard stayed there to make sure he got in safely. "Thanks for everything," Justin said with a smile, and the guard smiled back as he said,
"Thank YOU, kiddo."
Confused by that response, Justin just smiled and started the big Navigator, waving goodbye to the man without understanding what pleasure he had brought him.
Debbie greeted Justin at the door to her house as soon as he rang the bell. She hugged him and asked about Molly. He told her there was a little improvement, and then asked, "How is he?"
Twenty-four hours ago, Justin dropped an exhausted and completely depleted Brian off at her house. Debbie was reminded of when Brian was a boy and would show up with his bruises, left by his father, seeking sanctuary. This time his bruises were emotional, but his pain was no less extreme. Too tired to resist, Brian let Justin take him up to Michael's room, undress him, and put him to bed. Justin stretched out beside him until he fell asleep, which was almost immediate, and then he quietly slipped away and closed the door. Now, he was back, having spent the last day with Molly and Jennifer. By being visible at the hospital, he deferred Jeffrey's suspicion that Justin was with the missing Brian.
Debbie forced some pasta on Justin, which he eagerly devoured, sitting with him at the table, joined by Vic. "Honey, he's slept straight through. I've heard him get up to pee a couple times, and once he had a nightmare that was loud enough to wake Vic. I was at work."
Vic nodded. "I went in there and sat with him for awhile, and he drifted back to sleep, eventually, after I convinced him everything was fine and that he had only been resting a couple hours instead of twelve."
"Not a peep," Debbie said. "I've looked in on him to make sure he's alive, and he's hardly moved."
Justin smiled. "Great! He really needed this sleep. Unfortunately, Dr. Demented has reared his psycho head and Brian's going to have to calm him down or he's leaving. I know Brian would go crazy if he left, he'd never stop blaming himself. And I also know my Mom would be terrified of the consequences."
Debbie glared at him. "God, that man is pure EVIL! I know Ben's plan is solid, but after seeing Brian come into my home like a ghost, I'm not sure he can hold out another week."
"I know Deb. How do you think I feel? Knowing Brian is having to fuck this guy, and then dealing with the aftermath of it, when he's so ragged and abused. It's torture. But no one is being tortured more than Brian. We have to hang in there, and do this the right way. My Mom and Molly are also innocent victims of Jeffrey's disgusting web of lies and deceit, don't forget."
"I know, Sunshine, I know," she patted his hand. "You go up and take care of him. I'm going to make him some French toast. It's his favorite breakfast. I don't care if it is after ten at night." Justin went upstairs, quietly entering the room and closing the door. Brian didn't stir as he sat beside him and smoothed his hand up his bare back. His skin felt like silk over iron, and Justin opened the drawer of the bedside table. He withdrew a small vial of lotion he left there, while staying with Debbie, an emergency backup if he ran out of lube while jerking off. He warmed some lotion between his hands, and then smoothed it on Brian's back and shoulders, gently massaging it into his skin.
Brian eventually awakened to this gentle caress, glancing over his shoulder at Justin who smiled and straddled Brian's hips, putting his weight forward on his knees. "Just relax, let me wake you up properly."
Brian smiled and closed his eyes, luxuriating in Justin's sweet attention. The sensation was delicious, relaxing his muscles and soothing his skin. He wasn't sure when it turned sexual, but suddenly Brian became aware of the fact he had a boner banging his belly and he flipped over with easy agility, pulling Justin on top of him and kissing him deeply. Justin stretched out on Brian's body, raising his arms so Brian could skin off his shirt. They continued to kiss as Brian lowered Justin's jeans and didn't stop as Brian rolled him under him and ground his pelvis against Justin's.
Justin finally came up for air and reached for Brian's erection, guiding it towards the destination they both wanted. "Have you done it bareback with Jeff?" He asked. Brian winced and shook his head, no. That was enough for Justin. He smoothed a drop or two of pre-cum down the shaft to ease the glide and Brian did the rest.
Downstairs, Debbie and Vic exchanged a look as the unmistakable sound of the headboard beating against the wall echoed through the ceiling. "He's baaaaaack," Vic said with a smile and Debbie laughed, turning off the heat under the griddle.
Eventually, Brian and Justin joined Debbie and Vic. Both had showered and shaved, and Brian's old vigor seemed almost restored. Neither Debbie nor Vic was sure if it was the sex or the sleep that did it. Probably both.
"I'm confused about the time," Brian said as he sat at the table, accepting Debbie's offer of French toast. It was never the wrong time for French toast. "Is it midnight? That means I only slept a couple hours? It feels like more."
Justin smiled at him. "Try twenty-six hours. It's midnight the next day."
"That's not possible!" He protested, slathering the hot bread with butter, powdered sugar and syrup. "I couldn't have slept that long."
"You remember having a nightmare?" Vic asked. "Remember talking to me?"
He shook his head and glanced at Justin. "Molly?"
"About the same, or maybe a little better."
Brian beamed. "I told you she turned a corner!"
Justin exchanged a look with Debbie. "The doctors say it could still go either way."
Brian shook his head. "We just hold the course, she'll be fine," he stopped mid-bite and looked suddenly worried. "Jeffrey. What did you tell Jeff?"
"Nothing," Justin said stubbornly. "He knows we weren't together because I was at the hospital, but that's all he knows and he's not happy."
"Shit! I'd better call him. This is the worst possible time for him to bolt!" He took that last bite on the run, picking up the phone in the living room as the others glared after him.
"Never thought I'd see Brian Kinney jump to someone else's fiddle," Debbie challenged Brian in a loud voice. He frowned at her.
"You know it's more complicated than that, Deb. It's for Molly. We can't let her down now." Jeffrey answered the call, and the others watched as Brian turned away from them and began to soothe Jeffrey's anger with reassurances. Justin sighed and shook his head, reaching over to finish Brian's toast as Debbie gave his shoulder an encouraging pat.
Jeffrey was waiting when Brian came into his hotel room.
"I stopped by the hospital on the way," Brian said with forced cheerfulness. "I think her color is better. Jennifer said she watched a little television today."
"Don't get too cocky, Brian. She can still die, just like that," he snapped his fingers.
"Don't say that," Brian said with a wince and Jeffrey glared at him.
"I have a reservation to fly back to New York in the morning."
"You can't leave now! Not just when things seem to be going well! Give it a few days. We don't have to go back until Friday for your Winterfest event. I thought the plan was that we'll fly out Friday afternoon."
"Why do I think you'll be on that plane with me, Brian?"
"Because I gave you my word. Because you can't trick fate. If I bailed, and Molly sank, either a week from now, or a year from now, I'd know it was because I tried to fuck with fate."
Jeffrey stood and grabbed a handful of Brian's hair, yanking his head back as he stared hard at him. "I don't want some shell of you, Brian. I don't want what's left over after you spend yourself on Justin. I want every centimeter of you, including all of this," his other hand cupped Brian's genitals and Brian sighed and nodded.
"I know what you want, Jeff."
"All of my peers and my friends will be there to see me get that award. And it is very important for me to be seen with a new, high ticket boyfriend. Someone who can compete with Freedy's image. Someone worthy. And you will be adoring, understand? None of your black Irish sulking."
Brian pulled free of him and sat down heavily on the sofa. "I'll be Fred to your Ginger, Jeffrey. Don't worry."
"At least you look better. It must be partially true that you've slept these hours. You were beginning to look fagged out. You need to get back in the gym."
"Have you listed your loft?"
"Can't we just wait until we get back to New York?"
"Have you told Justin he has no free ride waiting for him there?"
"I will, ok? I WILL!" Brian fished a key to his suite out of his pocket. "I'm going to go change."
"I'm going to the health center in the hotel. You're right. I need to work out."
"At two o'clock in the morning?"
"It isn't that hour for me. I've been asleep forever."
"Before you go, Brian," Jeffrey lowered his zipper and pulled out his penis. He began stroking it as he stared at Brian's handsome face. "Take care of this for me, will you?"
Brian flared. "Take care of it yourself. You seem to be doing a pretty good job."
Jeffrey picked up the phone. "Front desk? Just to let you know, I'll be checking out in the morning. Could you have my bill ready? And I'll need a car around seven to...hold on a minute."
Brian came over to him, replacing Jeffrey's hand on his dick with his own. Glaring at him, nose to nose, with no spark of either excitement or affection, Brian began to masturbate him. "Never mind," Jeffrey said into the phone. "Change of plans." He hung up, sighing as Brian's expert touch excited him. He leaned forward and kissed him, finding Brian's lips stiff and unyielding. Jeffrey thrust his tongue against that barrier, and then placed a hand on the back of Brian's head, squeezing a handful of hair until Brian relented and admitted his tongue into his mouth.
Jeffrey explored the confines of Brian's mouth, arousing no reciprocal erotic curiosity, then pulled back and smiled. "Your mouth is so silky and smooth. Why don't you put it on my cock?"
"Jeffrey, just let me..."
"I said put it on my cock, Brian."
Brian sighed. "Ok, ok, I'll sit on the sofa and you can..."
"No," Jeffrey interrupted. "On your knees."
"Come on Jeff..." Brian pleaded.
Jeffrey responded by placing his hands on Brian's shoulders and urging him down. Brian bit into his inner jaw to quiet his response and closed his eyes as he went down on his knees and gave Jeffrey the submission he craved from him.
In the hallway of the hotel, outside Jeffrey's room, Brian leaned against the wall, his eyes closed. He could still taste him. Green, slightly metallic. He gagged, struggling to keep his stomach from rolling over. It wasn't the taste of the load that made him sick. It was the abject humiliation, the surrender of control.
"You can't trick fate," he had said to Jeffrey, and now those words came back to haunt him. He was superstitious, maybe, as he suggested. But he was also terrified of upsetting whatever balance there was in the universe that was giving Molly a shot at life. What if it was because of him? And what if he lost the good will of that fickle power, by going back on his bargain? He couldn't allow himself to think too hard about that conundrum. Because when he did, he couldn't see that light marking the exit anymore. Without that light, his whole world seemed to crush in on him with an unbearable weight.
"Justin," he whispered softly, but he knew Justin couldn't save him from himself. No one could. Numbly, he went to his own suite in the hotel, the one he had refused to give up, despite Jeffrey's insistence. He changed into sweats and tennis shoes, hoping that the mindless challenge of physical stress may clarify his thoughts and provide him with a plan. Sometimes his best advertising ideas came out of nowhere. Maybe he'd have the same luck with this. Doubting it, he stepped into the elevator, and pushed the floor where the health center was located. He wanted to do some weight machines, and also to run on the treadmill. Expending energy and getting nowhere was too indicative of his current status to pass up the guilty pleasure of irony.
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July 25, 2004