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by Randall Morgan

Because I will be gone after tmo thru Saturday, I wanted to go ahead and post the Wednesday segment of TQM. Hope you enjoy it. I won't be checking in after tonight until the weekend so if you have any comments, or questions, pls share them today. Thanks to all of you for being my friends and my distraction while Brian was away. It was a very difficult four months, well, almost four months, but it's OVER now, and in about twenty-four hours, we'll be together. Can't wait. Again, thanks for being there for me. Enjoy the story. Love to all, Ran

Chapter 20: Justin's POV

The three of us, Brian, Ronan and me, sit at a table in a small pub, drinking beer and contemplating the lore we just learned from the badger. Nothing we heard made us feel better about things, in fact, it made things worse. Now Ronan is convinced her brother, Jimmy, became entranced by one of them, and has followed him to his doom. I'm convinced we're in way over our heads, and Brian's convinced he's some kind of genetic freak. Swell. More ammunition in his anti-baby armory. The end result of all this knowledge is that we're depressed into silence. All around us, people laugh, play games, drink and tease one another while we stare sullenly into our brew.

"I think he got some of it wrong," Brian finally says. "And if he got some of it wrong, maybe he got most of it wrong."

"What did he get wrong, Brian?" She asks before I can.

"This mortal-fairy union thing, for one. If my grandmother went with this fairy, why would she leave the child he fathered behind with her mortal husband? Why not take him with her?"

"Perhaps she knew if she did, he could never come back into this world," Ronan responds. "Just as she's trapped forever in the land of the fey, the child would be as well."

"Then why do they want me to `come home'? If it means live among them in some weird little parallel world, how do my skills benefit them? They don't."

"He also got it wrong about the King and Queen. There's more than one king. Ariel referred to Fiachna as a `lesser' king. So there must be degrees of royalty."

"Yeah," Brian agrees. "And he knew very little about the Quiet Men, relating them only to the legends of the `tall, shining ones'."

"And about the power of a protective charm," I add. "Ariel's little pixie on a chain did nothing to protect you from the Quiet Men."

"That's true. Without Fiachna, I'd be dead."

I reach over and squeeze his hand as he smiles weakly at me. "What do we do now?"

"Wake up from this nightmare," I suggest as Ronan sighs.

"Would that we could."

Brian suddenly stands up, throws some money on the table, grabs my arm. She follows us out. Without saying a word, he leads me down the street at a fast pace and into a club. It's still early, the crowd is sparse but straight. He sheds his coat, peels mine off of me and throws them on a barstool, leading me to the dance floor. The sound system blasts "Boom" by Crystal Method, reminding us of home. He moves into a dance and I move with him. He lowers his forehead to press mine, grinding to the beat, moving sensuously from side to side. Ronan watches until he signals her over. She joins us in a three-way, and the rest of the room recedes as we follow Brian into this sensuous dance.

The small crowd watches us with eager curiosity. There's something innately erotic about the way Brian dances, and Ronan adds a factor the two of us alone lack. The rhythm cleanses us, purges us, reconnects us with our own society. By the time the song ends, I want to throw him down and fuck him blind, but it's not that kind of club. He reads my raw need and grins at me. "Later," he whispers in my ear, sending a chill up my spine.

A man enters the room, tall, dark-haired, blue eyes, no, they're gray, no slate blue, and thickly lashed. He wears leather pants with a black cashmere sweater that shows off his lean, muscular build. He's drop dead gorgeous and he zeroes in on me. I feel his gaze like a tractor beam, reeling me in. He ignores Brian and Ronan as he takes my arm and leads me to the floor as Cake Hole takes over on the sound system. I can feel Brian watching us, but this man absorbs most of my attention, he's that hot. He dances like a pro, smooth and provocative as the music merges into Curveball, a Crystal Method triple shot. He pulls me in against his body, and I feel the slope of his big cock, and the wall of his muscles as he grinds against me to the thump of the back beat. I force myself to breathe. I spread my hand on his face. I want to know if he feels like a dolphin. He grins at that gesture, and I'm relieved that his flesh feels perfectly human.

When the number ends, he pushes a slip of paper in my pocket and winks at me. He leaves the club and I watch him go before I see Brian's thundercloud expression and realize he wasn't pleased by this little performance. The dark man's spell dissipates and I return to my lover with a sheepish smile. He doesn't smile back. Instead he just glares. "So I should be at your hotel by nine, Brian?" Ronan is saying and he forces his gaze away from me, to her.

"Yes, nine. Come on, I'll put you in a cab."

We leave the club together, seeing Ronan off in a cab and then we hail one for ourselves, having left the limo behind. "Where are we going at nine?" I ask, anxious to get his mood moved away from the dark man and he's staring out the window as a light sleet begins to fall. He's segueing into the sullen Brian he often becomes when jealousy lights him up and he can't admit to it. I hope I can get him out of this mood before he slips too far into that valley. It's one of his worse moods and it's very hard to shake.

He doesn't even answer me. The valley has been entered.

I sigh. "It was just a dance."

He doesn't answer me.

"Brian," I put my hand on his arm and he shakes it off. Wow, he's really mad. "It was just a dance. It didn't mean anything."

We reach the hotel and he gets out first, leaving me to pay the cabbie. By the time I enter the lobby, he's already gone. I follow him up and hear the shower as I enter the suite. Smiling, I start to go in, but he's locked the door. The big baby. I sigh and sit down on the edge of the bed, withdrawing the paper the guy stuck in my pocket. It says, "Resist," followed by a phone number. I scowl at it and then tuck it into a slot in my wallet, unsure why I'm keeping it, but I feel compelled. Not for the reasons Brian fears, but...not sure why. Resist what? Resist whom?

Brian comes out, his hair wet, his face wet, his body wrapped in a hotel robe, the opening revealing his bruised chest. He looks gorgeous. I'm reminded of our first night together when he emptied that Evian over his head. Damn, he's stud. Does he really think some hot guy on the dance floor is going to turn me away from him? Never. No one can turn me away from him, but I guess I like the fact he still gets jealous, and so do I. We both know the other is attractive to predators, but we also usually have faith that what we share precludes anything bad from happening. Tonight Brian seems really annoyed.

He sits down on the bed, scrubbing a towel through his hair and I take it from him and do the scrubbing honors myself, then smooth the auburn spikes with my fingers. He stares straight ahead, not at me. I lift his chin on my fingertips, forcing his gaze to mine and he finally connects. I see it there in those bottomless hazel eyes. The pain, the fear, the uncertainty... the old Brian. The hurt child he carries around inside. I lean down and whisper the magic words in his ear. His eyes close. I watch the pain cross his face like a shadow.

"You're the only one," I say and he sighs.

"You touched his face. I was okay with it until you touched his face. That's the way you touch me."

I smile and shake my head. "I wanted to see if he felt like a dolphin. It's the truth. I thought he might be one of them."

Brian looks up at me, questioning. "Really?"

"Of course, really. What else?"

"I...I thought...."

"I want to have your child, Brian. You think I'm on the market?"

He finally smiles, a little. "You don't have the hips for it."

"Don't sell me short." I know what I have to do. I retrieve the slip of paper from my wallet. It can't be a secret between us or it will assume an importance it otherwise lacks. "He gave me this. I felt like I had to keep it. Not to date him, but because he's somehow connected."

He looks at it and then frowns. "What do you think that means? Resist?"

"I have no idea."

He hands it back. I crumple it up, but he stops me from throwing it away. "Keep it."

"Are you sure?"

"No, but keep it. And get your ass naked and get in this bed with me."

I smile and put the number back in my wallet as I begin peeling off my clothes. His hand goes to his cock, stroking it gently as he watches me undress, and I know we're back. The sullen Brian is gone for now. Living with Brian is a constant walk on thin ice, but I don't mind. I like it. It keeps me on my toes. I know I'd be bored with a less complex lover, and so would he. As I crawl into bed beside him, he kisses me and I reach down to replace his hand on his cock with my own. He moans and then suddenly grabs my wrist and wrenches my hand up between our faces. "What the fuck?" he asks, and I look at an ink stain on the side of the middle finger of my right hand. I pull free of him and read the word "resist" on that digit in ink blue letters. I try to wipe it off with the damp towel but it won't budge.

He looks confused, but so am I. "I don't get it," I say, leaving the bed to go into the bathroom. Neither soap nor alcohol removes the stain. I return to bed and cuddle up to him.

"I thought you said he wasn't one of them," he says and I sigh.

"He wasn't a selkie. I don't know about the rest. I didn't think he was, and I didn't feel him do anything to my finger."

Now I have the gold band on one hand, this cryptic message on the other. Brian grabs me and kisses me hard, his hands roaming my body. I respond, knowing what he's doing. The best way to combat the surreal is to remind ourselves of this one bond that no one can erode. With that goal in mind, we lose the world of the fey to the world of the flesh.

Go to Chapter 21

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.
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July 25, 2004