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Chapter 9: He's a Magic Man...

Here is the next installment of Mickey Dee. Sorry you had to wait. Glance at chapter 8 first if you've forgotten what happened....enjoy. Randall

Dee was feeling a little alarmed as Brian pulled onto the long road leading to the house. Finally, it became visible in the distance. A porch light beamed. The house appeared well cared for, freshly painted, the lights inside providing an amber glow in the night.

"What are you doing, Brian? People live here! We can't just roll up on their property unannounced!" She insisted.

Brian glanced at her, and shrugged. "Relax." He parked the Jeep and got out, waiting patiently for her, but not opening her door for her. He was too pissed off to be polite. She reluctantly followed him. He used a key to open the kitchen door and called out,

"Anyone home?"

Dee had this recurring fear of being caught in a house where she had no right to be, and she stayed far behind him. Inside, the kitchen was sparkling clean, even though the lingering aroma of a cooked meal remained. In a distant room, music played. Something vaguely electronic and danceable. An ugly, speckled hound trotted into the room. He came straight over to Brian, wagging his tail with pleasure and grinning in that doggy way as Brian scratched his floppy ears. The dog then eyed Dee suspiciously, but decided she must be friendly and ambled over to greet her.

"Is that you, Brian?" A man's voice called from the direction the dog had come from.

"Yeah," Brian replied.

"Come on in. I'm on the computer."

Dee froze, recognizing that voice. Brian took her arm, forcing her forward. The main room was much how she remembered it, dominated by a huge stone fireplace, brick floor and beamed ceiling. The furnishings were newer, more upscale, but chosen to blend well with the architecture. He was seated at a desk positioned in the U of the bay window, working on a computer with a flat screen monitor. His back was to them. Dee could see that he was still slim, still had all his hair, but the chestnut brown was threaded liberally with silver. How old was he now? A quick mental calculation put his age at forty-four. He wore a heavy pullover sweater and soft beige corduroy trousers. He glanced over his shoulder at Brian and smiled. Aidan was still handsome; the aging of his face enhanced by his fine bone structure, and set off by steel rimmed glasses perched low on the narrow bridge of his nose.

"What brings you all the way out here on...?" Aidan stopped mid-sentence. He stared at Dee and removed his glasses, placing them on the desk. He got to his feet, wearing only a pair of wool socks, no shoes. "Dee?"

"Aidan? I thought you said he was missing, Brian. Apparently you found him." She didn't like being used as the goat of a joke, and she made no secret of that fact.

"Yes, Brian," Aidan said firmly. "I thought you understood our arrangement."

Brian looked from one to the other, and then smiled coolly as he went to the bar and poured himself a drink. "I guess there's a lot I got wrong, Aidan. Like the fact I thought my old man was unfair to you."

Aidan looked past him to Dee. "You told him," he said quietly. "Why? After all this time?"

"Let's just say I put her in a corner, Aidan. She didn't have much choice," Brian responded on her behalf.

"I don't understand," Aidan admitted.

"Neither do I. I don't understand how my uncle, whom I believed to be my friend, could seduce this young girl, this girl I cared about. Can you help me understand that, Aidan?"

"Pour me one of those. Dee?" Aidan played host, borrowing time.

She shook her head, noticing how he gave her a long look as he walked past. Some things never changed. Aidan still had that sly way of looking at her that made her feel like that silly virgin all over again.

"It was a strange time, Brian," Aidan reminded him. He sat down by the fire, stroking the hound as it sidled over to him. "I was very angry at your father and worried about my future. You were going through whatever you were going through with your sexual orientation and Dee got caught in the middle with a bunch of oversexed Kinney's. Not a good place to be. I've long wanted to apologize for steamrollering you that night, Dee. It was wrong. I was old enough to know better."

"Well, now..." Brian said calmly, as he took a seat on the couch. He patted the cushion beside him, inviting Dee. She reluctantly joined him. "That makes it all ok, then, Aidan. You were mad at my dad, and Dee was too young and inexperienced to know better. Oh, and I grew up to be a faggot. So no harm, no foul."

"You're not suggesting my deflowering Dee caused you to be gay I hope," Aidan replied.

"No, but I am telling you it indirectly led to our breakup."

"How do you figure that? I left right after I met her. I never saw Dee again."

"I was pregnant by the time you left," Dee said quietly. "You knocked me up, Aidan."

His eyes grew wide as he looked at her. Again, she was amazed by how much he and Brian were physically alike, separated only by age and by Brian's unyielding sense of style. "After one fuck?" Aidan asked incredulously.

"How many do you think it takes?" She demanded. "And yes, you were the only one, so the field narrows."

"What about him?" He motioned to Brian and she shrugged.

"By the time I made love to Brian, the bun was already baking."

"And no one told me?" Aidan appeared offended.

Brian groaned. "Come on, Aidan! Where the fuck were you? It took me five fucking years to find you in Butt Fuck, Alaska! I never knew Dee was pregnant anyway, she just moved away. Out of the country. I only now found out about a kid. Judging by his looks and his general age, I figured he was mine. But Dee set me straight."

"Why didn't you tell me, Dee?" Aidan insisted. She sighed.

"For what reason? So you could marry me? I was a kid, Aidan. I had no interest in marrying anyone. My parents had more than enough money to support my child. He was cared for with love and in comfort. I allowed my folks to believe Brian was the father because it was just easier. They never planned to make any demands on him. Frankly, I wasn't sure I wanted to tie my baby to your dysfunctional family!"

Brian laughed. "You got that right! Bunch of crazy Irish fuckers. I wish your parents had adopted me."

Aidan combed his fingers through his hair in a nervous gesture. "Ok, so this is the secret of the pyramids. Brian never knew we had that little fling. Or that you got pregnant. I never knew about the baby. You didn't know where I was and you weren't sure you wanted me in your life. So far so good. When did we decide, a decade and a half later, that all this has to be pulled out of the bag and bashed around between us? What's the point of all this?"

Dee leaned forward to glare at him. "Because you happen to have a son with a very strong will. He has his own ideas about what knowledge he is entitled to gain. He's the one who ran away to Pittsburgh to find his father. He's the one who managed to locate Brian. This is all about him, the only true innocent in this whole sordid situation!"

"I actually think I'm pretty innocent here," Brian said with a shrug. "I know I can't often say that, but what did I do?"

She looked at him with a sigh. "You introduced me to your uncle. That's bad enough."

"Wait, wait, wait," Aidan interrupted. "I agree that you're innocent, Brian, but no harm was intended. I fully accept my role as spoiler and defiler and whatever term you want to give it. I'm not proud of it. But I was a mess back then, and I can't reverse it. I would if I could. The time I spent getting my life in order wasn't wasted. I'm a different man, now," he looked over at his nephew. "Brian? Will you at least agree with that?"

Brian nodded. "Yeah, you're an old man, now. Flame doesn't burn quite so brightly, does it?" He met his uncle's glare with a defiant lift of his chin. "Ok, ok, you did finally get your shit together with a little help from your friends."

"If you mean you, Brian, I freely credit you with being a very strong force in restoring some order to my life. You took the trouble to find me when no one else cared. You corresponded with me and reminded me that I had a link with the rest of the world. You confided in me and made me feel needed. And you bought back the family farm and made a home here for me, keeping both the acquisition and my presence secret from the rest of the clan."

Dee glanced at Brian. "You bought this place?"

He shrugged. "I had a good run when the market was bull. I've always loved this place. I asked Aidan if he would come back and take care of it for me."

"I was reluctant to come back here," Aidan said. "Especially when Jack was still alive. But Brian convinced me."

"So you own this place, Brian?"

"No, not anymore. Aidan does. He bought it from me. It's only right. He's the one Kinney brother who cared about it, and who worked the land. I know he'll never let it go, and he agreed to leave it to me when he dies or to Gus, if I'm gone."

"Not to be rude, Aidan, but how can you afford this place?"

Aidan glanced at Brian, who shrugged. Aidan then got up and went over to the bookshelf, removing a book and handing it to her. She looked at the cover, and nodded. "I love the mysteries by Emily Kennedy. They're dark and complex and a great read. I've read all nine of them. So?" She glanced at the attractive, petite, gray-haired woman on the back of the dustcover. Aidan smiled.

"I'm Emily Kennedy, Dee. Well, actually my mother was Emma Kennedy. I borrowed her maiden name, tweaked it, and pulled an image out of stock of a woman who seemed to fit the bill. I write those novels, and thanks for the compliment. Because of readers like you, I could afford to buy the farm back from Brian, and have more than a little left over."

Dee stood up, and walked over to the bookshelf. She looked at the volumes, and then at the two men. She smiled slightly. "Why are you hiding out, Aidan? Are you a wanted murderer or something?"

He laughed. "No, my only mayhem is in written form. I just found that I prosper living a quiet life and self-destruct in the public eye. I love my life here."

"You don't get lonely?"

"Sure. You don't get lonely in the big city?"

"Yes," she said quietly. "I do."

"So..." Brian interrupted the sudden emotion between them, unreasonably bothered by it. "Let's get back to the real reason for this visit. What do you plan to do about Mickey Dee?"

"Who?" Aidan asked, confused. Brian cut him a glare.

"Your son, Aidan, your son."

At the loft, Justin and Mick were enjoying a loud video game of Starship Destructors as Michael looked impatiently at his watch. They had already ordered and devoured pizzas, Mick's clothes were laundered and back on his body, and now the "boys" were playing games while Michael wondered whether Dee and Brian were rekindling some old "games" of their own?

When the front door slid open, Justin smiled up at Brian as Mick looked sheepishly at his mother and Michael was amazed to see Aidan. Ignoring the other two, Justin went over to greet Brian with a hug. Brian felt Dee's eyes take in the young blond, but if either she or Aidan disapproved, they could fuck themselves. This was who he was now, and he fought for the right to be himself.

Dee exchanged a tense look with Michael, her eyes then fixing on her son, who hung back in sullen silence. Justin's gaze settled on Aidan. He was fascinated by Aidan's physical similarity to Brian.

"Mikey, Justin, let's go eat. Leave these guys alone for awhile," Brian invited.

"We've eaten," Michael gestured to the empty pizza boxes on the kitchen counter. Justin rolled his eyes at Michael's density.

"Then let's get DESSERT," he said, smiling as Brian gave him a grateful squeeze.

"You don't have to go," Aidan was uneasy. His nephew glared at him.

"Uh, yeah we do, Unc'. Take your time." Brian herded the other two out and shut the door behind them.

"What's up with that?" Michael persisted as they took the elevator down to the garage. "When did you find Aidan? And where? He looks great. So does Dee, I guess." Complimenting Dee was hard for Michael and Brian glared at him as they piled into the Jeep.

"She looks more beautiful than ever. As for Aidan, it's a long story. I may tell you some time, but not now."

"If you think she's so beautiful, why don't you marry her?" Michael pouted, feeling sixteen and jealous all over again.

"Meow," Justin said with a laugh, always amazed by Michael's proprietary interest in Brian. No wonder he never had a chance to be Brian's boyfriend. Brian would suffocate under that much crowding.

"Shut up, Mikey," Brian said with a frown, driving towards the diner, as if on auto pilot.

"So why is Aidan here?" Michael wouldn't let it go. Justin, who had figured it out immediately, leaned over the seat to glare at Michael in the back.

"Because he's Mick's dad? Duh."

"What the fuck do you know?" Michael challenged him and Brian sighed, patting Justin's thigh.

"More than you, obviously, Mikey," Brian said softly. "He's absolutely right."

"But..." Michael shut up in confused silence, trying to figure out the obvious as Brian and Justin exchanged a knowing smile.


Go to Chapter 10

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July 25, 2004