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Hi, I'm Brian, Randall's boyfriend. I'm posting this for him because he isn't feeling well, and didn't want to disappoint everyone. He said to thank his team and that he hopes you will enjoy this chapter. I'll print off your feedback for him, because it always picks him up. Thanks for understanding (if you want to send something personal to Randall that you would rather me not open, please just mark it For Randall Only or something and I won't open it) Regards, Brian O.

Reconstructing Brian

Chapter 24

Brian lunched with Justin and Mick when Jacobi decided to work on the case over the break. Brian ate nothing and only sipped at his Coke. Justin reached over and covered Brian's hand with his own.

"You did fine. Didn't he do fine, Mick?"

She met Brian's gaze and nodded. They both knew, even with Justin trying so hard to be supportive, that it was going to be hard to convince a jury of straight people to care about what had happened to Brian at the hand of Jeffrey Walker.

"You're very credible, Brian," she reassured him. "You come across as someone they can believe and you look credible because you give them the straight scoop, even if it's bad for you."

He smirked at her. "I am under oath, after all. What else can I do?"

"Exactly what you're doing. But you know this will get much worse on cross. She has to shred you to save him."

"I know."

"They say it's hard to feel sorry for the beautiful and the rich," Justin said with a sigh as Brian smirked at him.

"The rich part is certainly wrong now, and the beautiful part is fading fast."

"True," Justin teased. Brian glared at him.

"What's that supposed to mean?"

Justin laughed. "I'm just fucking with you, baby. You know you're beautiful, and I don't give a shit if you're rich."

"God damn it, do NOT call me 'baby'!"

Justin laughed and leaned over to kiss Brian on the cheek, oblivious to the other diners, including Mick.

Back on the stand, Brian faced questioning from the icy blonde lawyer, who was dressed perfectly in a crisp Armani suit and Mikimoto pearls that were the size of chickpeas.

"Mr. Kinney, how many men have you had sexual relations with?"

"Objection," Jacobi was on his feet. "Mr. Kinney is not on trial."

"No," the defense counsel allowed. "But the defense asserts that it was Mr. Kinney, not Dr. Walker, who was the sexual predator in this relationship and that the intimacy was not only consensual, it was solicited by Mr. Kinney. Therefore, Mr. Kinney's sexual habits are very relevant to the defense."

Brian listened as they argued the distinction between this case and precedent shielding the use of past sexual history of a rape victim in trial. Walker was not on trial for rape, because the D.A. didn't believe he could make such a charge stick. Rather he had been charged with assault, by using narcotics as his weapon, so the protections were less apparent. Brian let his gaze wander past the impassive faces of the jury, over Jeffrey's smug countenance, to Justin's comforting presence beside Mick on the row behind the DA's counsel table. Justin gave him an encouraging smile, and Brian nodded slightly, relaxing a little. The objection was overruled and the elegant blonde engaged Brian once again.

"The question is, how many men have you had sexual relations with, Mr. Kinney?"

"I don't know."

"More than five?"

"Objection," Jacobi asserted. "He's answered that question. He doesn't know."

"I'll ask it another way. Can you give me a range, not an exact number, of men you have had sexual relations with? For instance, between one and ten? Whatever the number may be?"

"I've never counted the number of men I've been with. I don't keep a tally."

"Estimate, Mr. Kinney. More than one hundred?"

Brian glanced at Justin, and then said, "Yes."

"How many more? More than five hundred?"

Brian sighed, unwilling to sit there and let her tick her way up to a more likely number. May as well get the trash out there on the lawn for everyone to see. "Look, if I had to estimate, and I guess I do, the number is probably closer to three thousand."

Justin didn't visibly react, but the jury appeared shocked by that number. Jeffrey was glowering at Brian as the blonde let the testimony sink in and then said, "Three THOUSAND men? Are you talking about the number of times you've had sexual relations or the number of men?"

"Number of men."

"Were you a prostitute, Mr. Kinney?"

"Objection!"

"Withdrawn. Where did you meet all of these men?"

"Different places. Clubs, baths, parks, parties, the internet, parades, athletic events, airplanes…wherever people meet people."

"Would you agree that you're very experienced sexually?"

"Yes." The courtroom tittered at that statement of the obvious and the judge called for order.

"In the last year, how many men have you had sexual relations with?"

"Two."

"Just two?"

"Yes."

"Who are they?"

"Jeffrey Walker, and my partner."

"Ah, your 'partner'," she said with sarcastic glee. "Are you in a monogamous relationship now?"

"Yes."

"After literally thousands of sexual partners, you want the jury to believe you stopped cold turkey and went into a monogamous relationship?"

"It's the truth."

"And why did you change your ways, Mr. Kinney?"

"I grew up. I discovered what matters. I got psychiatric help to sift through my intimacy issues."

"And what is that matters to you, Mr. Kinney?"

"If you're lucky enough to find someone whom you care about and who cares about you, don't f…screw it up. It probably won't happen again," he glanced at Justin, who smiled and nodded.

"And yet you weren't faithful to this partner of yours, were you?"

"No."

"You had sex with Dr. Walker, isn't that right?"

"Yes."

"The first time you had sex with Dr. Walker, where was that?"

"In his cabin in the Berkshires."

"He invited you to go to the cabin with him?"

"Not exactly. I knew he was there, and I found him. I wanted to talk to him. I had a business meeting in Boston, and I just drove to the cabin to confront Jeff."

"About what?"

"He had confessed some feelings for me and I wasn't able to return those feelings because of my involvement with someone else. But I liked Jeffrey at that time and I wanted to explain things."

"You followed him all the way to a cabin in the Berkshires to explain things?"

"Yes."

"And once there?"

"We talked, but we also had sex."

"At who's instigation?"

"It was mutual."

"And then?"

"I realized it was wrong for me. I needed to be with my partner, and this wasn't working. I couldn't be the free-wheeler, sexually, anymore. I didn't want to lose Ju…my partner. Not for anyone. So I left."

"And when was the next time you had sex with Dr. Walker?"

"He came by my loft in Soho a couple days later. My partner and I had a fight when I told him what happened with Jeffrey and he went to stay with friends. I was alone and pretty fu…messed up. Jeffrey showed up and I reverted to a long-standing method of pain management and had sex with him."

"At whose instigation?"

"Mutual."

"And the next time?"

"That was it. My partner and I patched it up, and I wasn't going to risk it. But about that time, he found out his younger sister had leukemia, so things changed."

"Did you solicit Dr. Walker's help with her illness?"

"Yes."

"Why?"

"Because she was gravely ill and he was a specialist in that area, and I was desperate to help her."

"And did he refuse?"

"No."

"Even though you seduced him and then rejected him, he agreed to assist your lover's sick sister?"

"Objection."

"Withdrawn. Did he agree to assist your lover's sick sister?"

"Not at first, but ultimately, yes."

"And did she improve?"

"She got a bone marrow transplant from my partner. That donation saved her life."

"So she did improve under Dr. Walker's care?"

"Yes," he admitted reluctantly. "I believe he made a difference in her outcome."

"And did he charge you for that care?"

"Not money."

"What did he charge?"

"He blackmailed me into having sex with him, in return for treating Molly. He said if I didn't, he would let her die. He wanted me to be his partner, to leave Justin, and he used Molly's life as his bargaining chip."

"I see. Dr. Walker is…would you agree with me that he's a handsome man?"

Brian glanced at Jeffrey's WASP profile and nodded. "He's handsome."

"Brilliant?"

"Yes."

"Do you know whether or not Dr. Walker is financially prosperous?"

"Filthy rich."

"And do you know whether he is respected in his field?"

"Yes, very."

"And yet you ask this jury to believe he had to blackmail you with the life of a sick child, after devoting himself to years of treating desperately ill children, in order to get you in bed? You? A man who admits to THOUSANDS of sexual encounters?"

"Jeffrey Walker is a sick puppy beneath all those advantages."

"Objection, unresponsive."

"Answer the question, Mr. Kinney," the judge instructed him and Brian sighed.

"What was it again?"

The Court Reporter read it back and Brian responded, "Yes, I'm asking you to believe that, because that's what happened."

"Mr. Kinney, have you ever used drugs before or during sex to enhance the experience?"

"Yes."

"What drugs?"

"I don't know. Different things at different times in my life."

"Ecstasy?"

"Yes."

"Special K?"

"Yes."

"Poppers or amyl nitrate?"

"Yes."

"Crystal meth?"

"Yes."

"Cocaine?"

"Yes."

"Viagra?"

"Yes, once."

"Did I leave anything out?"

"Not that I can remember."

"How often did you use a chemical to enhance your sexual performance or enjoyment?"

"I didn't track it."

"Ten per cent of the time? Fifty per cent?"

"More than ten, less than fifty. Maybe a third of the time. It's hard to say. Those disco drugs really weren't tied to a specific sex act, they were just part of a whole evening that often ended in sex."

"Were these drugs prescribed?"

"No."

"Have you been treated for addiction?"

"I'm not a drug addict, nor have I ever been."

"But drugs and sex, combined, are not unknown to you."

"No."

"Then, if Dr.Walker gave you drugs during sex, as you allege, how was that so different from your previous countless experiences with drugs and sex?"

"Because I didn't know what it was and didn't ask for it. And I didn't even want to perform sexually. The drugs pushed me over."

"Have you ever drugged a sex partner?"

"Not without being asked to do so by that partner."

"Do you know that possession of cocaine and many of the drugs you mentioned is a felony?"

"I'm not possessing any of those drugs. I was testifying about the past."

"Mr. Kinney, are you employed?"

"Yes."

"By whom?"

"I'm self-employed."

"Why did you leave your last job?"

"I was fired."

"Weren't you fired because you failed to carry out your responsibilities in a reasonable and predictable manner?"

"I was fired for two reasons: one, I'm gay, and they can't handle that, and two, Jeffrey Walker's family is a client of the firm I worked for and they put incredible pressure on the agency to get rid of me to punish me for filing a complaint against Jeff."

"Did you sue the agency?"

"Yes."

"And did you sue the Walker family and Jeffrey Walker, Senior, personally?"

"Yes."

"Tell me, do you know what happened to Jeffrey Walker, Senior?"

"Yes, he recently committed suicide."

"Was the pressure of this criminal prosecution and your lawsuit a factor in his suicide?"

"Objection!" Jacobi inserted and after an argument, she asked another question of Brian.

"One last thing, Mr. Kinney. How is Molly today?"

"She's doing quite well. I saw her recently. Her chances are good."

"Thanks to Dr. Walker?"

"In part."

"I have no further questions."

And with that, Brian was released.

Brian and Justin had dinner with Mick and Lindsay that evening. Lindsay and Gail cooked, and Brian was unusually subdued, spending quiet time reading to Gus and sipping at a glass of merlot as he awaited the meal. He ate very little, and helped Lindsay get Gus ready for bed, tucking him in himself. When he rejoined the adults, Gail was offering them Devil's Food cake, which Brian declined.

"It's your fave," Lindsay tempted him, but he shook his head.

"Not hungry. I feel like the scum of the earth after she finished with me today. Like some promiscuous, drug-crazed comic book stereotype. My guess is Jeffrey has had a fair number of tricks, too, and he's no stranger to party drugs. It's part of the culture. It may seem extreme to the jury, it would even be extreme to segments of the gay community, but it's not unheard of behavior in my world."

"Brian, you don't know those people on the jury. You'll never see them again. What they think of you is less than zero in importance," Mick reassured him. "We never thought this was going to be easy. You told your story, you told the truth, either they believe you or they don't. You can't control the outcome."

"I'm sorry," he said to Justin.

"For what?"

"For putting our private life out there for everyone to enjoy. For dragging you into it. For the whole fucking dog and pony show."

Justin sighed and went over to Brian, looping him in his arms. "Shut up. I don't give a shit about it. And I knew you had big numbers in your past, no surprises there. You were brave and you were honest. If they don't buy it, fuck them. Only one thing bothers me."

"What's that?"

"I feel like I should go out tricking tonight to try and close that cavern of experience between us."

Brian smirked at him. "Well, it'll be a busy night."

Justin laughed. "Makes me ache just thinking about it. Is there a circuit party in town?"

Brian chuckled. "Yeah, you're in luck. The Train Pullers of America are meeting at the Waldorf. You can still be the late floorshow."

"Okay, like I don't understand ANY of this?" Gail said with a perplexed frown and her mother sighed.

"And that's a good thing," the phone rang and Mick picked it up. It was Jim Jacobi. They talked briefly and then she hung up, and looked tensely at Brian. "His boss wants him to offer Walker a plea. He thinks they can't win this one. He wants to give him time served and community service if he pleads guilty to lesser charges."

"That is incredibly cowardly bullshit!" Brian exploded. "They put me through this pain only to cop a plea to this asshole?"

"It happens all the time, Brian. It's no reflection on you."

"The fuck it's not! You think if they believed that I did such a great job they'd still be offering him a plea?"

"You can't stop it, and he may not even accept it, Brian."

"Fucked again by the system," Brian said curtly and motioned to Justin to leave. As they went, Justin thanked them for the dinner, and then followed his fuming lover down to the street.

In the taxi, Brian said nothing. Justin allowed him that space, gently resting his hand on his thigh, just as a totem of quiet support. When they arrived at the loft, someone stepped out of a black limo idling at the curb. Brian automatically tensed, given his recent experiences, and protectively pushed Justin behind him. He relaxed when he saw the person was a slight, older woman.

"Mr. Kinney?" she asked tentatively. "May I have a word with you?"

Jeffrey's mother. Brian tensed. "I don't think we have anything to say to each other."

"I understand why you feel that way, but please. Will you give me five minutes of your time?"

Justin squeezed Brian's waist with both hands, as if to urge him to say no, but Brian relented. Whether it was his curiosity, or his acute instinct for people, he waved her into the building. As he opened the loft door, Justin apologized for the disarray, explaining they were in the midst of renovations. Brian introduced his partner, and she said her name was Karen Walker. In the light, she appeared tired, but she was impeccably clad in Chanel. She sat down on the edge of the sofa and declined their offer of a drink. Brian and Justin commandeered chairs from Cynthia's unfinished office, since the rest of the living room furniture had been moved out.

Brian wondered what this woman had been through, not only with the recent death of her husband and her son's lunacy, but her whole life, under the thumb of a megalomaniac like Jeffrey Walker, Senior. She seemed nice enough, not icy and remote. Her once-youthful beauty was still shadowed in her features, but recent events had rapidly aged her. "How's Hannah?" He asked about Jeffrey's daughter, and that brought a smile from her.

"Hannah is the light of my life. She's become reacquainted with her mother, my daughter, Susan. Susan has worked very diligently over the last two years to put her life back together. She went through an extended rehab and hasn't used drugs in eighteen months. She has a responsible job in a company unrelated to Boston Industries and pays her own way in an apartment not too far from where I live."

Brian nodded. Jeffrey made his sister sound like a flake and a whore. He wondered how much of that was his typical bullshit. How hard did he push to adopt Hannah, not out of love or a sense of responsibility, but because his image demanded a child and his ego required a blood connection? "I'm glad. My son is Hannah's age. She's a lovely child."

"Yes, she really is. She's so like Susan, when she was that age. I just hope…well, we were very unfair to Susan. My husband was a traditional man, and his son was his complete focus, when it came to the family. Jeffrey was brilliant, the spitting image of Jay, and driven to succeed. Jay never gave Susan a thought. She struggled so hard to be noticed, finally giving in to negative ways of seeking his attention. I don't just blame Jay. I was there. I failed her, too. But she's forgiven us both, as part of her therapy, and is on a solid path now. I was hoping she and Hannah….but…it looks like Jeffrey will be home soon, and…"

Brian tensed. "I'm sorry you had to hear all that in court. It couldn't have been easy for you to listen to, but whether you can believe it or not, everything I said in there today is the absolute truth. It happened exactly the way I said it did. It was, in fact, even worse, since I was the one living through it. It was the darkest time in my life, not only because Molly was so gravely ill, but also because Jeffrey took my soul from me. You shouldn't do that to a person. It's not right. If not for him," he reached over and took Justin's hand in his. "I would have been lost. His infinite patience and determination were what saved me."

Justin smiled sweetly at him. "Not true. You have an inner strength that you always discount. You wanted to find your way out and back to me as badly as I wanted that to happen. And you risked everything in a misguided attempt to save my little sister's life. That makes you pretty heroic in my book."

"Moronic, is more like it, in retrospect."

Karen Walker watched their exchange with a slight smile. "I'm very glad for you both that it worked out the way it did. And I'm very sorry for what you went through because of my son, Mr. Kinney."

Brian looked over at her, surprised by that apology, and even more surprised by the fact it meant a lot to him to hear her say it. "You are?"

"Of course I am."

"You believe me?"

She met his eyes and sighed. "Yes, I believe every word of your testimony, unfortunately. I wish I didn't. I wish that I could excuse Jeffrey, explain that he had a very hard time growing up in our home, with such a demanding and expectant father. I wish I could say that the cruel reaction he got from my husband when he finally admitted he was gay excused some of his behavior. I wish I could, but I can't."

"It isn't true?" Justin asked, and she shrugged sadly.

"It's all true. But it's no excuse, is it? Jeffrey had every advantage. The best education available, natural assets like a good mind and a handsome face, a personal fortune, and parents who loved him, even when they were misguided in that love. We weren't perfect. I could have intervened more with his father, I should've tried anyway. I could've called Jeffrey on some of his earlier signs of bad behavior. But what's done is done. He is who he is, and I accept my responsibility in what he's become. I just want to apologize for the imposition of my family into your life, Mr. Kinney. And for what you had to go through today. And for what will happen next, which is just wrong."

"You mean the plea?"

"If he takes it. If he walks out because of it."

"What do you mean, 'if'?"

"You don't understand the reach of his ego. It may seem like an obvious decision to you, and that would be true for almost anyone other than Jeffrey. He doesn't want to admit to any carry that blot on his record. He wants vindication."

"How does he get vindicated?"

"A 'not guilty' verdict."

"That would be an incredibly stupid gamble."

"Perhaps, but Jeffrey… Jeffrey has plenty of courage when it comes to enforcing his own ego."

"Well, I guess he'll do whatever he thinks is right. My part in this is over. I don't intend to go back into that courthouse. Let the jury decide what they will."

She nodded. "I suppose that's all we can do. But I have another reason for being here, besides wanting to apologize."

"What's that?"

She looked uncomfortable, trying to find a way to launch into her true motive. "I believe the only way Jeffrey will ever be humbled enough to truly look at the man he's become and change the path he's taken, is for him to be punished for his actions. If he walks away from all this with what he sees as a moral victory, his megalomania will only increase. That's the worst thing that could happen to him. At some point in his life, he needs to see there are repercussions for evil deeds."

Brian was shocked by her statement. "Uh, I think that horse has left the barn."

"Not necessarily," she responded. "I have many friends in very high places, Mr. Kinney. Will you hear me out?"

Brian nodded and gripped Justin's hand tightly as they both listened to Jeffrey's mother plot her own son's comeuppance.

Go to Chapter 25

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July 25, 2004