Midnight Whispers
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After escaping from an abusive relationship, Justin, Jennifer and Molly have begun a new life in Pittsburgh. When Justin’s ex tracks him down, can Brian save him in time? *STORY IS COMPLETE*

"> Hiding in Plain Sight by starfire64
Feature Summary:

***Featured Story for January 2018***(by Predec2, Bob, and PABoi)

stories/1077/images/hips_banner2.JPG

After escaping from an abusive relationship, Justin, Jennifer and Molly have begun a new life in Pittsburgh. When Justin’s ex tracks him down, can Brian save him in time? *STORY IS COMPLETE*


Categories: QAF-U.S. FICTION , Alternate Universe , Abuse , Out of Character , Romance , Violence Characters: Craig Taylor, Jennifer Taylor, Justin, Molly Taylor, Original Character(s)
Challenges: None
Series: None
Chapters: 17 Completed: Yes Word count: 40533 Read: 59061 Published: October 02, 2012 Updated: December 29, 2017
Story Notes:

STORY DISCLAIMER:  QAF belongs to Cowlip and Showtime. The plot and original characters belong to the author. No copyright infringement is intended and no profit is being made.

1. Prologue by starfire64

2. Chapter 2 The New Job by starfire64

3. Chapter 3 The Growth of an Attraction by starfire64

4. Chapter 4 : Come Undone by starfire64

5. Chapter 5: Come Apart by starfire64

6. Chapter 6: Tall Dark Angry Stranger by starfire64

7. Chapter 7: Out of Time by starfire64

8. Chapter 8: Houseguests by starfire64

9. Chapter 9: Gone by starfire64

10. Chapter 10: Fly Away by starfire64

11. Chapter 11: Old Friends by starfire64

12. Chapter 12: White Knight by starfire64

13. Chapter 13: Into the Lion's Den by starfire64

14. The Countdown Begins by starfire64

15. Chapter 15 Closing In by starfire64

16. Chapter 16 - The Final Countdown by starfire64

17. Chapter 17- Epilogue- Dawn of a New Day by starfire64

Prologue by starfire64
Author's Notes:

This chapter is dedicated to Predec 2 who has supported and inspired me from the very beginning, and has been a huge help in getting this chapter posted.  

Jennifer stared out the window of her son's fourth floor hospital room; tears blurred her eyes and fell in a steady stream down her face.  The guilt she felt was over whelming. How could she have not known what was happening, how could she have been so blind not to see what that....that.....monster was doing? A small gasp rushed past her lips before she could stop it and she clamped a hand over her mouth, looking toward the bed fearfully, but he was still sleeping.

She wiped at the tears streaming down her cheeks and walked the few steps to the bed, reached down and gently brushed a strand of hair off his forehead. Her eyes lingered for just a minute on the bruises that marred his beautiful face before slowly tracing the outline of his body beneath the thin white blanket. What was under that blanket was far worse than the bruises that peppered his neck and face, she knew, she had seen what had been done to him.

A slight tremor went through her as she remembered racing into the emergency room two weeks before and nearly fainting at the sight of Justin's unconscious, bruised and bloodied body.  The damage had been extensive, two fractured ribs, a dislocated shoulder, a multitude of cuts and bruises and his back.... oh god she didn't want to think about his back...... Then, her eyes locked on the cast that covered his right arm from his fingertips to his elbow. The doctors didn't think that Justin would ever fully regain the use of his hand. As she sat down in the chair next to the bed she remembered the sadness and heart break on her son's face when the doctors had told him, art was both his passion and his career.

She silently cursed the man she blamed for bringing this all down on them, Craig, Justin's own father. If Craig hadn't done what he did then maybe Justin wouldn't be lying in this hospital bed. Justin had come out to his family the summer he'd turned seventeen. Craig had been horrified; adamantly refusing to believe his son was gay. He'd tried to convince Justin that he was confused, that he was too young to know what he wanted and that this was just a phase he was going through.

Justin had turned the tables on his father, announcing that he had already been with a guy and had liked it, that had been the first and only time that Craig had hit Justin. Craig had glared down at his son, demanding that he give up his disgusting lifestyle, Justin had refused and Craig had kicked him out of the house. Justin moved in with Daphne and her parents and finished his last year of high school. By then Jennifer had divorced Craig.

Before his father had turned his back on their son Justin had been all set to attend Craig's alma mater, Dartmouth, forsaking his long time dream of going to art school. After the blow up, Craig had refused to have anything to do with Justin, including paying for college. Surprisingly, Jennifer's own family had been more tolerant and understanding, her parents had offered to put Justin through art school and two years later Justin had graduated with honors.

Soon after, Justin had gotten a job with Mason Inc. a company that specialized in restoring damaged pieces of art and was soon one of their top artists.  It was there that he also met Glen Halbrook, a green eyed; black haired, six foot tall Adonis, five years older than Justin and the junior vice president of the company. 

She wasn't sure if she had liked Glen at first, everything about the man seemed too good to be true. From his meticulously groomed hair, to his perfectly manicured nails, down to his highly polished Prada boots. But the man had seemed utterly captivated by Justin, being almost relentless in his pursuit of the blond. Often, Justin would find some small gift of some sort waiting for him at work, a neatly wrapped bundle of ridiculously expensive paint brushes, a dozen red roses in a clear glass vase and once, a Rolex watch. After three weeks of turning down Glen's date requests, Justin finally relented and agreed to go out with him.

That had been the start of an eight month long relationship and Justin had been happy beyond belief, she had gathered up all the misgivings she'd had about the older man and pushed them to the back of her mind, if Justin was happy than that was all that mattered.

Jennifer sighed, looking around the room, several flower arrangements, sent by her colleagues at the real estate agency sat on the small table near the foot of the bed with get well cards attached. Her boss had been very understanding, telling her to take all the time she needed to stay by Justin's side.   

Everything had been so good, she had a job that she loved, Molly was going to a great school and Justin had a wonderful career and an incredible man who loved him, everything was a bed of roses...or so she thought.

 Then Glen managed to talk the younger man into moving in with him.

It was Molly; Justin's younger sister that noticed the supple changes in her brother first.  She had tried voicing her concerns to her mother, but Jennifer, thinking Molly was just going through some weird kind of sibling jealously had brushed them off.

It wasn't until she'd gotten the call from the emergency room that she'd realized how wrong her assumptions had been.

Jennifer closed her eyes, thinking of all the things Molly had said.

Mom, I think something's wrong with Jus.

Why is Jus wearing long sleeves in the middle of summer?

Jus was limping today; I think he hurt his leg.

Glen wouldn't let me see Jus, he said he wasn't home but Jus's car was in the driveway.

At the doctor's encouragement, Justin finally opened up to his mom, telling her little by little all the sordid details of their relationship.  She had learned that the man had begun abusing her son soon after Justin had moved in with him. Glen, it turned out, was far more interested in Justin's art skills then in Justin himself and had planned on using those skills to make himself financially independent.  When Justin had refused, Glen had resorted to more vile persuasions.  

Luckily, she had been able to talk Justin into filing a restraining order against the man and a friend who worked at the court house had come and helped Justin fill out the papers.  

Glen had shown up at the hospital in a rage the next day.  Shaking the paper in Justin's face he screamed that a little piece of paper meant nothing, Justin was his and nothing or no one was going to change that. It took two male orderlies and a male doctor to physically restrain him until the police got there.

Although the order was firmly in place both Jennifer and Justin knew they hadn't seen the last of Glen Halbrook, and as soon as Justin was released from the hospital they were getting as far away from this town and Glen as they could.

Chapter 2 The New Job by starfire64
Author's Notes:

Brian and Justin meet. Will there be an instant attraction?

One year later.

Justin tried on one shirt after another, having trouble deciding which one was presentable enough for a job interview. Finally deciding on a dark blue, short sleeved one, he glanced at the clock on his bed side table. Fuck, he was going to be late if he didn’t get his ass in gear. He had just finished buttoning the last button when his mom knocked on the door and poked her head in.

“Justin you’re going to be late if you don’t hurry.”

“I’m going” he said, then paused to take one more *once over* in the mirror

She smiled “Honey, you look fine” then shook her head, her smile growing slightly wider at his snarky reply. 

“I know.”

Justin gave her a quick peck on the cheek then picked up his portfolio off of the floor “car keys?”

“On the coffee table.” Jennifer answered, pointing toward the living room.

As she watched her son snatch up the keys on his way out, she slowly shook her head and smiled then turned toward her own room to get ready for work. The past year had been hard on them all, especially Justin, it was good to see some of his old self slowly returning.

After hearing about Justin’s injuries, a cousin had offered them a place to stay and two guest rooms had been home for nine months. Justin’s recovery had been slow, hampered down by panic attacks and nightmares. Jennifer had to give credit to her cousin Mary and Mary’s husband Bob for getting Justin through that painful time, something she hadn’t been able to do. Bob was a remarkable therapist and had taken time out of his evening hours to help her son regain the use of his hand and long, late night talks with Mary had aided Justin in rebuilding his confidence, not only in himself but in the people around him.

Through her old colleagues at her previous job, Jennifer had heard of an opening in a real estate agency in Pittsburg and after a glowing recommendation from her old boss, had been hired sight unseen. 

They had now been in Pittsburg for three months. Molly was enrolled in a private school, she had a promising career and after a checkup with the doctor, Justin had been given the all clear to resume his work. Best of all there had been no word from Glen.

Life was finally looking up.  

~*~*~

Cynthia had just poured herself a cup of freshly brewed coffee and sat down at her desk when Brian came storming in the front door.

“Coffee” he demanded.

She leaned back against the tall back rest of her office chair and crossed her arms “what do I look like, your maid for the day?”

He stopped and one eyebrow shot up “maybe you’d like a change of scenery, the unemployment line perhaps?”

The tall blond actually had the audacity to smile at him “oh, I’m shaking in my high heels” she said, matching Brian look for look. She’d known the ad exec for at least seven years, having first worked with him at Vanguard and now Kinnetik. She was probably one of the very few who really understood him and didn’t put up with his bull shit. The only other person Cynthia knew that had the balls  to go toe to toe with Brian in a good old fashioned stare down was Debbie, the mother of Brian’s best friend Michael.  

Brian stared for a moment longer before the infamous Brian Kinney smirk appeared on his face and he nodded in silent approval “I can see that. Cyn, would you please get me a cup of coffee?” he asked as he headed toward his office.

 “That’s better”

As she carried the cup past her desk she grabbed up the resume from the top of the stack of papers sitting on the corner of her desk and carried both to Brian’s office.

“You have an interview with Justin Taylor in twenty minutes” she said handing him the steaming cup.

“Good, send him in when he gets here” he replied, plucking the paper out of her hand.

Exactly twenty minutes later Cynthia was busy at the computer when she heard the door open. She glanced at the clock on the computer screen without looking up, good, right on time she thought. She knew how Brian felt about anyone being late, especially when it came to business. In fact it had been his major pet peeve when he had been at Vanguard. After Kinnetik had opened, he’d made it clear that anyone who made a habit out of coming in late would be receiving a pink slip for their troubles.

When she finally did look up, she almost had to pick her jaw up off the floor.  Standing next to her desk was one of the most gorgeous men she had ever seen. Bright blue eyes looked out from a boyishly handsome face, framed by slightly shaggy, light blond hair. He gave her a closed lipped, though friendly, smile which slowly turned into a look of confusion as she continued to gape at him.

Justin shifted uncomfortably from one foot to the other, wondering why she was staring at him like that. He resisted the urge to wipe a hand across his face in case he had any remnants of breakfast on his chin, even though he knew he didn’t.

“Um, hi I have an interview with Mr. Kinney”

His soft voice brought her out of her trance “oh, yes, of course and your name?”

 “Justin Taylor” he replied.

Cynthia nodded “just a minute please” then pushed the intercom button “Brian, Justin Taylor is here.”

A second later Brian’s voice came back “send him in.”

“Right through that door Mr. Taylor, and good luck” she said smiling at him.

Justin returned her smile “thanks” and turned toward the door marked *Brian Kinney*

As she watched him head toward Brian’s office she hoped she wouldn’t soon be rooting around in the top drawer of her desk for ear plugs, which still came in handy from time to time.  As part of her job she reviewed all incoming resumes first, deciding which ones to give to Brian and she knew that the blond now knocking on Brian’s closed office door was by far the best candidate for the position. She knew her boss didn’t normally go for blonds, but with looks like this kid had, a brick wall would be attracted to him.

~*~*~

Justin nervously knocked on the wooden door and after hearing “enter” turned the knob on what he hoped would be his future.

Brian stood up from his chair and began to walk around the desk gazing appreciatively at the man walking through the door. On the outside he was calm, cool and collected as always, but on the inside, it took every ounce of strength he possessed to keep from openly drooling, the blond was absolutely stunning. A gleam appeared in his eyes as a mental image of the young man naked and bent over his desk, moaning with every thrust into his supple body, flashed in Brian’s mind.

If Justin had any inkling of what was going on inside his potential boss’s head right then he would have turned tail and ran back out the door. As it were, Justin was just as drawn to Brian as Brian was to him. The artist in him took in every detail of the man’s body, auburn streaks naturally highlighted the dark locks while green specks seemed to dance in the hazel eyes. Unconsciously his eyes skimmed downward, the charcoal grey Armani suit fit the man like it had been made specifically for him.

Amused by the blonds slow perusal Brian stood there for a moment before holding out his hand.

“Hello, I’m Brian Kinney.”

“Justin Taylor” Justin replied, grasping the man’s hand and had to hold back a gasp at the electric current that seemed to dart back and forth between their clasped hands. Christ, he hadn’t been this drawn to someone ever, not even…..no, he wasn’t going to go there, that part of his life was over he thought as he let go of Brian’s hand.

If Brian was puzzled by the look that flashed across Justin’s face he didn’t outwardly show it and the look disappeared just as quickly as it had appeared. Whatever it was, Brian realized that Justin was just as good at masking his feelings as he was. This was definitely going to be an interesting interview.

~*~*~

An hour later, Cynthia was filing some papers when the door to Brian’s office opened and Justin came out followed by Brian. She noticed Justin didn’t have that freshly fucked look about him.

“Cyn, say hello to the new head of the art department”

The tall blond closed the cabinet door and walked up to Justin, her heels clicking on the tile floor.

“Congratulations Justin and welcome to Kinnetik”

Justin smiled and clasped her outstretched hand “thank you”

“Why don’t you show Justin around while I get with the accounting department and have him added to the payroll”

She nodded “sure thing Brian” then turned to the blond standing by her side “what do you say we start with the art department”

As they started for the hallway on the opposite side of the room, Cynthia glanced back over her shoulder and was surprised to see Brian staring after them with a look on his face that in all the years that she’d known him, she’d never seen before.

She smiled, he didn’t know it yet, but her boss was so totally fucked.

End Notes:

Thank You to everyone who has commented. You all have made me feel so welcome : )

Chapter 3 The Growth of an Attraction by starfire64
Author's Notes:

In this chapter, Justin meets Emmett, Mikey and Deb and a night at Babylon leads to a shocking turn of events.

Glen furiously slammed the phone down back onto its cradle. Why the fuck was he paying this incompetent jackass two hundred dollars a day just to be told, again, that his wayward lover was nowhere to be found. He stood and walked to the mahogany liquor cabinet he’d had specially designed and built two years before.

After pouring himself a tumbler of scotch from the crystal decanter he walked to the large picture window overlooking the city of Los Angeles and gazed out at the bright lights that lit up the night sky.

“You can run my dear Justin, but you can’t hide forever” he took a long drink, feeling the amber liquid burn a welcome path down his throat. He stood there for a long time staring out the window and thinking of all the delicious ways the young blond would pay for running out on him. 

“I will find you.”

~*~*~

The meeting with the owners of Rudolpho’s, a new chain of Italian restaurants that was opening up all up and down the east coast, was just coming to an end late Friday morning. Judging by the smiles on the two men’s faces as they looked at the preliminary sketches Justin had worked up, Kinnetik was about to sign on a brand new client.

“This is wonderful Mr. Taylor.” Nico’s dark head bobbed up and down, reminding Brian of the bobble headed toys people bought to put in the back windows of their cars. He flashed Justin a triumphant look, the deal was as good as done.

“Yes it is exactly what we are looking for” Angelo, the elder of the two brothers agreed “can we meet again, in say two weeks time to view the layouts?”

“Of course, that will be plenty of time to give our art department time to get them finished.” Brian replied after getting an affirmative nod from Justin.

As the two stood up and prepared to leave, Brian and Justin shook hands with the two brothers and watched them walk out the door to finalize the next meeting date with Cynthia.

Brian turned to Justin who had a huge smile on his face.

“I’d say that went rather well” Brian said, returning Justin’s smile.

The blond head nodded in agreement “I think so too” Justin gathered up the sketch book that Nico had laid on Brian’s desk “I’ll get Mac started on this” he started to walk out the door but turned back at the sound of Brian’s voice.

“How about we go grab some lunch?” 

 “Know anyplace that serves good cheeseburgers?”

Brian snorted “Yeah, Ophelia’s in New Jersey but since we have to be back here in an hour I’d suggest somewhere a little more local.”

Justin laughed “be back in just a minute.”

As Brian sat down to wait, he couldn’t keep his mind from drifting back over the last four months. It hadn’t taken long for the blond to form a great working relationship with the artists he was overseeing, the three men and two women had instantly taken to Justin’s gentle guidance, quick wit and easy going nature, even Cynthia and Ted had been drawn in.  The only one the younger man had seemed bent on keeping everything on a strictly professional level with was Brian, it seemed the harder the older man tried to get to know the blond better, the more determined Justin became to keep him at arms length, even though the growing attraction between the two was obvious.

Cynthia had decided to confront her boss one evening after returning to the office for a forgotten house key and found him still at his desk, a nearly empty glass of whiskey sitting on the polished wooden top.

“You really like that kid, don’t you?”

She had smiled when all she’d received was a glare “come on Bri, I know you and you know me well enough to know that what you say won’t leave this office.”

After a minute or so he’d finally relented, his assistant *was* the only one of his friends that he completely trusted and he knew that what he was about to say would never make it past the office door.

“Yeah, I do” Brian answered “for all the good it does me” Cynthia sat down in the chair across from his desk, reached across and laid her hand on the larger, slightly tanned one lying next to the glass.

“He likes you too” she chuckled when Brian quirked an eyebrow at her “his eyes light up whenever he hears your name.”

Then she sighed and drew her hand back “just give him some time, there’s more going on with him than what he’s letting on” she rearranged a small stack of papers on his desk then looked at him after taking a deep breath “I think something bad happened to him in California.”

“Like what?”

He remembered that she had slightly shaken her head as a concerned look had crossed her face.

“You know how he doesn’t like to be touched?” she had waited until he had nodded, that had been one of the first things he’d noticed about the blond, he seemed to shrink back and fold in on himself whenever someone inadvertently touched him “I asked him about it one day, after Bill accidently brushed up against him, he’d jumped like he’d been scalded with hot water.  You should have seen him, he didn’t answer me, he just went deathly white, and I actually thought he was going to be sick.”

Brian remembered thinking at the time that there was only one thing that would have caused the reaction that Cynthia had described. The same thought held true even after four months.

Rape. Just the thought had made his skin crawl and to think that someone could have done that to Justin made him sick to his stomach. After that he had quietly stood back and watched, making sure Justin had every thing he needed, while the want and need for the pale skinned man steadily grew stronger.

It had all come to a head one day when the CEO for a cosmetics company, a man who had made it blatantly clear he was used to getting what he wanted, cornered Justin in the hallway leading to the art room and had the blond pinned up against a wall, slobbering down his neck. Luckily, Cynthia saw what was happening and the next thing Justin knew, the obnoxious man had been forcibly pulled away and was facing a furious Brian.

The letch had then informed Brian and Justin that the only way to clench the deal was if Justin spent the night with him. Brian had taken one look at Justin’s shaking form and the bruise beginning to take shape on his arm and promptly had the man escorted out of the building by a security guard after grinding out a rough “no fucking way” between clenched teeth.

That was also the day Brian got a crash course in dealing with a panic attack.

Since then Brian had slowly but surely begun to break down the protective wall Justin had built around himself. They had started spending more time together outside the office and, not surprisingly, a friendship had begun to develop.

His thoughts were interrupted when Justin appeared at his door “Ok, let’s go and I’m paying for my own lunch.”

“I wouldn’t have it any other way Taylor” Brian answered as he stood and led the way out the door. 

~*~*~

The small bell above the door to the Liberty Diner jingled as the two walked in, Brian led the way to an empty booth in the back, completely ignoring the wide eyed, open mouthed looks from several of the customers as well as the brightly dressed waitress standing behind the counter. They didn’t have long to wait before the woman snatched up the order pad and came rushing over.

“Well asshole this is a surprise, you actually showed up here for lunch.”

“Nice to see you too Deb” Brian replied with a smirk, then glanced at Justin “Justin this is Debbie”

Justin, who had been watching the exchange with a wide eyed look of his own, smiled up at the woman “Hi Debbie, it’s nice to meet you.” 

“Nice to meet you too” Debbie answered, returning his smile “You could take some lessons from this kid in respect you know, it sure as fuck wouldn’t hurt” she said pointing the end of her pen at Brian.

Brian snorted derisively and looked away but not before noticing that Justin was starting to fidget nervously in his seat, Debbie noticed it as well.

“Oh, don’t mind us honey, we’re always doing this” she said “truth is I love him like my own, in fact I practically raised him and my son Michael together”

After a confirming nod from Brian, Justin began to relax and enjoy the back and forth banter between his boss and Debbie. After a few minutes it became apparent that Brian did indeed hold a great amount of love and respect for the brassy woman. At one point Justin laughed at something Debbie said and suddenly time seemed to freeze for Brian. He gazed at Justin with rapt attention; every time he saw that huge smile it always managed to knock the wind right out of his sails, the lights in the dinner suddenly dimmed in comparison, even Debbie seemed stunned by the bright smile.

“Sunshine” 

“Huh?” Justin asked, confused.  

Debbie gave Justin’s cheek a light pinch “Sweetie, with a smile like that, who needs the fucking sun” she said, earning another smile.

Brian was surprised to see that Justin didn’t seem to mind the light touch, but at the same time couldn’t stop the feeling of being slightly put out, why couldn’t it be him that Justin wanted touched by. He finally cleared his throat “can we get some lunch or do we have to go somewhere else?”

“Oh you asshole” she exclaimed, pulling the order pad out of her pocket “what’ll it be?”

Without even looking at the menu Justin asked “can I get a cheeseburger, fries and a large coke please?”

“You sure can sunshine.”

Brian started to open his mouth, but Deb interrupted “let me guess, turkey on whole wheat and a salad” she said, winking at Justin.  

As Debbie headed to the kitchen with their orders, Justin looked across the table at Brian.

“So you come here a lot huh?”

“Yeah, it’s one of my usual haunts.”

“I like Debbie, she’s nice” Justin said, then grinned as Brian snorted and answered “bossy as hell”

The two made small talk mostly about the goings on at the office while they waited. Brian found his eyes straying to Justin’s full kissable lips time and time again. He wanted to lean across the table and take that mouth with his own, wanted to hear Justin’s moan of surrender while his tongue explored the inner crevasses of Justin’s mouth.

Meanwhile Justin was lost in his own thoughts as he gazed back at the tall brunet across from him. The attraction toward the man was getting harder to fight with each passing day, often he found himself wandering out into the main reception area at Kinnetik with some made up excuse, hoping to catch a glimpse of the ad man. A few times he had even perfectly timed his leaving for the day, catching Brian just as he was walking out to the parking area.  Right now all he wanted to do was lean across the table and press his lips to Brian’s.  

The sound of a throat clearing made Brian’s’ eyes flash to Justin’s face, a pink tinge glowed on Justin’s cheeks as blue eyes stared back at him. Before either one could say anything someone plopped down next to him. Justin ducked his head, thankful for the distraction.

“Hi Bri” Michael said as Brian moved over to make room for the small dark haired man “what are you doing here?”

“Its lunch time Mikey, I’m doing what everyone else does at this hour.” Brian answered then scowled as Emmett slid in beside Justin, he noticed the blond immediately scooted over as close to the wall as he could. If Emmett noticed the action he didn’t let it show as the tall queen beamed at Justin.  

“Well, well, well who do we have here?”

“Emmett, Mikey this is Justin.”

“Very nice to meet you “Emmett said, extending a hand toward Justin, who gripped the hand briefly while giving the tall thin man a friendly smile.  Michael looked at the blond with a critical eye.

“Isn’t he a little young for you Brian”

“He works for me Mikey” Brian answered, giving his friend a look that clearly said *mind your own business*.  Michael sighed; he just didn’t want Brian getting hurt. 

“We’re still on for Babylon tonight right?” Michael asked. Brian nodded as Debbie came back over and took Michael and Emmett’s orders then hurried back to the kitchen since the lunch time rush was in full swing.

Emmett gleefully rubbed his hands together “your coming with us aren’t you” he asked Justin. Justin opened his mouth then looked at Brian who shrugged his shoulders “it’s up to you sunshine”

Justin gave a shy smile at the mention of his new nickname as Emmett and Michael stared at them in surprise.

“What?”

“Sunshine?”

Brian grinned “that’s what ma started calling him.”

 Emmett clapped his hands together rapidly and replied in a high excited voice “oh, I love it, it’s so cute”

“What’s Babylon?” Justin asked, looking first at Brian then Michael and Emmett. It was Michael that answered.

“It’s a dance club a couple of blocks from here.”

Emmett gave Justin a very well done imitation of a sad puppy-dog eyed look “please, it’ll be so much fun.”

Michael nodded in agreement “yeah, I think you’d have a good time.”

Justin nodded “ok, I’ll come” he used to love to dance and it had been so long since he’d had the opportunity, he wondered what he had in his closet at home that was dance club material. Just then Debbie appeared back at the table with Brian and Justin’s lunch.

 She set Brian’s plate down in front of him “You’d damn well better be at my house for dinner Sunday” she exclaimed shaking a red tipped finger in front of his face, then turned her attention on Justin “and that goes for you too sunshine.”

Brian smirked as Justin began to stammer “I…I…uh…”

Emmett smiled and placed a hand on Justin’s arm, missing the dark look Brian shot his way.

“Sweetie, it’s better all around if you just smile, nod your head and say yes Deb.”

Justin gave Brian a grateful smile when the other man reached across and lifted Emmett’s hand from where it sat on his arm and placed it on the table. He looked at his new friends for a minute then looked at Debbie, who stood there snapping her gum “yes Deb” giving her a smile and a nod.

Emmett laughed with glee and rapidly clapped his hands together “oh good, I’ll pick you up.”

“Honeycutt, *I’ll* pick him up.”

~*~*~

Jennifer closed the door as Justin walked out to Brian’s car. She had met her son’s boss several weeks ago when she had stopped by to tell Justin, her and Molly were going to a movie. Unlike Glen, whom she now hated with bitter passion, she had liked Brian right from the start. The man had been unapologetically honest in his answers to her questions. He had looked her straight in the eye when she’d asked him if he was interested in her son and had answered simply “yes”.  When she had turned to leave the building he had placed a hand on her shoulder.

“All I need is a chance Jennifer, I won’t hurt him.”

Jennifer had stood there for what seemed like hours looking into the unflinching hazel eyes and had seen nothing but honesty. 

She shooed Molly upstairs to get ready for bed, yes, she would give him that chance and there was nothing she could do but hope Justin did too.  

Babylon’s nightly bump and grind was well under way when Brian and Justin arrived. The sea of bodies parted as the two made their way across the crowded dance floor. Dozens of eyes watched them as they passed, some curious, others openly leering.  Brian could feel the heat from Justin’s body on his back even though the man wasn’t actually touching him, he was just that close. Brian was so aware of the blond behind him he could feel the nervousness rolling off him in waves and wasn’t a bit surprised when he felt the tips of Justin’s fingers slip into his back pocket. He reached back and gave the trembling hand a comforting squeeze as they reached the bar.

“Hi Bri, hi Justin.”

“Mikey.”

“Oh my god, Justin that shirt is so hot on you” Emmett squealed as he reached out to touch the sleeveless, baby blue, skin tight shirt. Brian grabbed his hand before it could make contact “don’t touch” Emmett opened his mouth to say something but stopped when he saw the warning in the narrowed eyes, his own eyes flicked over to Justin noting for the first time the tenseness on the blonds face. Something wasn’t right.

He looked back at Brian, nodded and moved to stand on the other side of Justin as the bartender appeared in front of them.

“What’ll it be boys”

“Beam, two” Brian answered, then turned and rested his back against the bar, balanced his elbows on the edge and let his arm lightly touch Justin’s.

As the four drank and talked, guys began to trickle past, obviously cruising the small blond, some even had the balls to stop to talk to Justin. He politely answered their questions but turned down each request to dance.  

As the last guy was turned away with a disappointed look etched on his face, Justin sat his empty bottle on the bar and grabbed Brian’s hand “wanna dance?” he asked, Brian smirked at the man Justin had just turned down as he towed the blond out onto the dance floor. Justin couldn’t help the grin that spread across his face; this was what he had been waiting for as the tall brunet turned and laid his arms on Justin’s shoulders, he just wished it hadn’t taken him this long to work up the courage to ask.

Justin placed his hands on Brian’s waist and nestled his face against Brian’s neck as the two began to sway to the music. The pounding beat wasn’t exactly the best music for slow dancing but as long Brian’s strong arms were around him Justin didn’t care.

“Doing okay?” Brian asked, his warm breath whispered across Justin’s skin, sending a quiver racing up and down Justin’s spine in response. Brian idly started to play with the silky strands of hair on the back of Justin’s neck.

“I’m fine” the puff of air that skittered over Brian’s neck when Justin spoke went straight to his cock, making it harden almost instantly. Despite what was happening in his jeans Brian had to know what had made Justin ask him to dance when he had turned down countless offers.

“Why’d you ask, me I mean?”

“Because you’re the only one I wanted to dance with.” Justin answered, lifting his head and staring into Brian’s eyes.  Brian stared back, his eyes lowered to Justin’s lips then darted back to stare once again into the blue eyes that had haunted him for the past four months. He wondered if he dared take the chance. Justin seemed to read his mind.

“Kiss me.”

“Are you sure?”  

Instead of answering Justin closed his eyes and pressed his lips to Brian’s.

Brian had kissed, hell, had fucked hundreds of men but no one’s touch had ever effected him like this. His hand weaved through Justin’s hair as his tongue demanded entrance into Justin’s mouth which the smaller man gladly gave. They never realized they had stopped dancing as they stood pressed against each other in the middle of the dance floor. Justin’s hands had moved from Brian’s hips to wrap themselves tightly around his back. He moaned as Brian’s lips brushed softly back and forth against his while the man’s tongue darted and danced with his own. They gradually broke apart a few minutes later, amidst the cheers of nearby dancers who had stopped to watch the impromptu make out session.

As they made their way back to the bar Emmett clapped his hands gleefully “that was some show you two.”

“Eyes back in your head, Honeycutt.”

“Don’t call me Honeycutt, Kinney.”

 “I’m going to go to the bathroom.” Justin said, leaning close to Brian who nodded and watched him head toward the bathroom.

“Emmett” Brian grabbed the tall queen’s arm “go with him and make sure nobody touches him.”

A questioning look appeared on Emmett’s face “why?” 

Brian shook his head “never mind just” he sighed “just make sure ok?” 

Emmett nodded, this wasn’t just Brian being jealous, the man was really concerned “sure Brian”

After Emmett had gone off in search of Justin and the bathroom, Brian ordered another beer and looked at Michael “what?”

“He makes you happy doesn’t he?” Michael said, thinking about the kiss he’d witnessed on the dance floor. 

Brian considered not answering as he picked up his beer and took a long swallow then apparently decided against it as he looked at his long time friend.

“Yeah Mikey, he does.”

Michael smiled “I’m happy for you Brian” he said, playfully hitting Brian on the arm “maybe one day I’ll find someone who makes me happy too”

Brian snaked an arm across Michael’s shoulders “just as long as it isn’t Justin.”

It wasn’t long before Brian began to look around; he hadn’t seen Justin and Emmett return and was beginning to get a bit worried.

“Mikey, did Emmett and Justin come back yet?”  

“I haven’t seen them, why missing boy wonder already?”

Before Brian could answer one of Babylon’s muscular bouncers appeared at his side.

“Hey Kinney, that kid you came in here with is in trouble.” the man had to yell to be heard over the thumping beat of the music.

“Fuck, I told Emmett to watch him” Brian yelled out as he and Michael followed the beefy man across the room. To his surprise the man didn’t lead them to the bathroom, but to the back door of the club. As they reached the darkened hallway Brian could see a group of men huddled near the opening. He managed to push through the tight knit group aided by the bouncer and Michael. What he found made his blood run cold; Justin was on his knees on the floor, arms wrapped tightly around his middle, gasping for breath and shaking like a leaf, his face was pasty white. Emmett was squatting next to him, arm extended but not touching Justin, tears streamed down his face.

“What the fuck happened?” Brian shouted, kneeling next to the distraught blond.

“We were in the bathroom and a man tried to hit on him, Justin told him he wasn’t interested but the man wouldn’t take no for an answer” Emmett cried, hiccupping through his tears “when we tried to leave he grabbed Justin’s arm and started to pull him out the door.”

Brian reached for Justin, only to have the trembling body lurch away from him.

“Noooooooo” Justin’s voice was only a low moan but filled with so much pain and fear it shook Brian to the core. Michael reached down, quietly urging Emmett to his feet and out of the way. 

“Justin, it’s me.” Brian said, leaning down trying to get Justin to look at him, when he saw the terrified eyes dart to him and hold, he knew he had Justin’s attention. He began to rub soothing circles between Justin’s shoulder blades.

As soon as he felt Justin lean into his touch Brian stood up, gathering Justin into his arms as he did and looked at the bouncer standing just behind him “I need to get him out of here.”

Within seconds they were outside in the cool night air, cloaked by the darkness of the alley.

Brian sat on the ground holding Justin in his arms, Michael and a teary eyed Emmett stood quietly nearby.

Brian continued to talk to him in a calm steady voice telling him to breathe, just breathe, until the trembling in Justin’s body subsided and he felt a hand creep up to clench at his shirt. 

“B…Brian?”

“Yeah?”

“Head hurts.”

Brian leaned to one side, wriggling his fingers into his front jean pocket until he found the keys.

“Mikey” Brian held out the key ring to his best friend “get the jeep.”

As Michael scurried off Emmett knelt down beside Brian and Justin “Justin, oh baby, I’m so sorry.”

“S’ ok, not your fault.”

“But…”

“Em”

Emmett’s eyes lifted to peer into Brian’s.

“This has happened before.” the other man said quietly, he didn’t have a chance to say more because just then Michael roared up in the jeep. Brian helped Justin into the passengers’ side and ran around to the drivers’. In a second all that was left in the alley were two shaken men and a cloud of dust.  

End Notes:

You guys are totaly awesome. 33 comments with only two chapters posted. I feel very honored everyone, Thank You so much!

Chapter 4 : Come Undone by starfire64
Author's Notes:

Molly reveals a shocking secret, and Brian learns the extent of Justin’s abuse. WARNING: this is pretty graphic.

As the jeep sped along the dark streets Brian kept glancing worriedly at Justin. The gasping and trembling had stopped, and the blond head now rested on the head rest of the passenger seat. Justin had his eyes, trying to think of anything but the pounding in his head, but even through the pain he could still sense when the troubled hazel eyes turned his way.

Please don’t ask Brian, please don’t …….

“Justin?”

The blue eyes blinked then Justin’s head turned and he looked at Brian.

“I’m taking you to the loft; I think I’ve got some Tylenol there”

“Can’t, allergic…meds at home”

Who the hell is allergic to Tylenol Brian thought, but at the next stop sign he turned right instead of going straight like he normally would have; a moment later Justin gasped and grabbed his head.

“Getting worse?”

His only answer was a low moan and Brian pressed down on the gas pedal a little harder; hoping none of Pittsburgh’s finest happened to be patrolling the area but soon enough they were pulling into the driveway.

The glow from the headlights briefly lit up the darkened living room before Brian turned the ignition off and jumped out. He ran around to help Justin out of the passengers side, grabbing the keys to the house out of the blond’s hand. Fumbling in the dark Brian finally unlocked the door and helped Justin into the room, quickly flipping on the light switch next to the door.

“Where are they?”

“Kitchen, top cabinet over the sink.”

After retrieving the pill bottle and filling a glass with water, he carried them back to the living room and sat down next to Justin. He handed the water to Justin, quickly read the instructions on the pill bottle, unscrewed the lid and handed two pills to the blond.

Justin leaned back, feeling Brian’s arm slip around his shoulders and gentle fingers begin slowly massaging his scalp; after a few minutes Justin began to relax.

“Better?”

“Yeah, thanks” Justin answered, not sure if it was the pills finally kicking in or Brian’s fingers or a combination of both. As the constricting band of pain in his head began to lessen, he curled further into the warm body next to him, tucking his head up under Brian’s chin. Brian briefly rubbed the bottom of his chin on the blond locks, feeling a few stray hairs tickle his bottom lip. He wanted to kiss away the few remaining shards of pain from the plump lips but knew now wasn’t the time.

There was something far more important that he needed to get out in the open.

“We need to talk about this,” Brian said, running a soothing hand up and down Justin’s arm when he felt the blond’s body stiffen slightly.

“Not now, okay?”

“Justin….” Brian’s hold tightened slightly when Justin tried to pull himself out of his arms. He finally had the blond where he wanted him, even if it was under less than desirable circumstances, and he wasn’t about to let him go now. He reluctantly gave in to Justin’s wishes.  

“Alright, later.”

Brian felt a small wave of relief when Justin sighed and settled back in. The hand that had been on Justin’s arm moved to the back of his neck, fingers lightly rubbing small circles while the other rested across his shoulders. As they sat there Brian felt a surge of contentment that he hadn’t felt in a long time and knew the small blond wrapped tightly in his arms was the reason.

Then a light came on in the hallway. “shit”

“Justin?”

Jennifer wrapped a fluffy pink robe around her as she walked into the room and stopped when she saw her son and Brian on the couch. She started to smile at the sight, but then her eyes fell on the pill bottle sitting on the coffee table. Her eyes flashed back to the couple, seeing the challenge in Brian’s dark eyes as he stared back at her and the protective way he held her son. She came further into the room and sat down on the edge of the couch cushion.

“What happened?” she asked quietly, picking the bottle up and looking at it.

“He ran into a little problem at the club,” Brian answered.

Jennifer gripped the small plastic tube tightly in one hand as she gently smoothed the other over the blond head nestled in the crook of Brian’s neck. It had been nearly six months since Justin had had a panic attack; she’d hoped they were finally over. Her son’s eyes were closed but she knew he wasn’t sleeping.

“Oh, honey”

Justin sighed and sat up, giving the brunet an apologetic smile and this time Brian reluctantly let him go. He stood, knowing that if he didn’t escape to his room now his mother would spend the next two hours coddling him to death. Both Jennifer and Brian reached for him at the same time when he wobbled slightly and he held a hand up to stop them.

“I’m going to bed” he said to his mother as he shifted his eyes to Brian.

 “Thanks..” he said before starting toward the hallway.

“Justin, I think……”

 Justin stopped and looked pleadingly back at his mom, shaking his head slowly. “Not now mom, please”

“But…”

“Jennifer…”

“Mom, what’s going on?”

Two pairs of eyes looked up to see Molly coming into the room. Justin lowered his to the carpeted floor. 

“Molly, honey, it’s nothing, what are you doing up?”

As Jennifer started to rise to take her daughter back to her room, Molly gazed thoughtfully at her brother. Justin’s head was down, staring at the floor, his shoulders had that hunched look she’d seen so often when he was with Glen, like he was trying to mentally prepare himself for something bad that was going to happen. Unfortunately, she had first hand experience what that something bad could be, something neither her mother nor Justin knew about.

In her mind’s eye she watched that horrific scene unfold again. She’d gone to Justin’s to show him the A she’d gotten on her math test, she had worked so hard for that A and she knew Justin would be proud of her. She had just started to ring the doorbell when she had heard a sharp cry. Curious, she had wandered over to the side of the house intending to go through the gate leading into the back yard.  Just as she was passing the large picture window in the living room, she heard another yell; the voice was muted because of the glass but she could tell it was Glen’s. She stopped and looked in, and what she saw had made the blood in her veins freeze. 

It had been something a girl of her age should never have had to witness, something she never should have seen.

“Molly?” the sound of her mother’s voice brought her out of her memories with a jerk and she turned to look at Jennifer. The sight of the tears streaming down her daughter’s face brought Jennifer up short. “Honey, what’s wrong?”

But Molly’s eyes weren’t focused on her mother; instead she was gazing at Brian, still seated on the couch. Her blue eyes, so much like her brother’s, flashed to Justin then back to Brian and something inside her snapped. “You ass, you said you wouldn’t hurt him. I thought you were different but you’re not, you’re just like Glen. I hate him and I HATE YOU!” she hadn’t realized she was moving until suddenly her small fists were beating on Brian’s chest with everything she had and Brian didn’t try to stop her. It was Justin who finally managed to wrestle her away from him.

 “No, Mol! Brian didn’t do anything.”

Her breathe caught in a sort of hiccup as she managed to turn in the tight grasp Justin was holding her in.  “I KNOW WHAT HE DID TO YOU, JUS. I SAW HIM…. THE CIGARETTES, I SAW WHAT HE DID TO YOUR BACK!”

“What?” Jennifer’s hands flew to her mouth.

Justin stumbled back, shock written on his face; how could she have seen that?

Brian moved from his seat on the couch to the floor, lifting himself up onto his knees to put himself at eye level with Molly as his hands flew to her small shoulders, shaking her gently to get her attention. “Molly, what did you see, who hurt Justin?”

The young girl wiped furiously at her tears as Brian waited impatiently, trying not to shake her as his concern for her brother, and the frustration of not knowing, rapidly grew to a boiling point. She looked at him and Brian seemed to read what was going on inside her head. “Molly, I would never, ever hurt Justin, you’ve got to believe that.” 

It took another few seconds but then she began to speak in a small voice. “I went to show Jus the A on my math test; you could see the big mirror in the bedroom from the living room window. I could see Glen, he had a cigarette in his hand, he….he…”

Molly covered her face with her hands, not able to go on and Brian gathered the small body close to him, looking first at Jennifer then at Justin.

 “Who the fuck is Glen?”

Brian said this in a conversationalist tone, but Jennifer could see the deadly rage in his eyes. She swallowed, hard, suddenly glad that the man was on their side. Justin, on the other hand, was gazing at Brian with the classic deer in the headlights look, but again it was Molly that answered. Her voice was muffled against Brian’s shoulder.

“He’s Jus’s ex-boyfriend.”

Even as the girl cried her heart out, arms wrapped tightly around Brian’s neck, Brian was gazing at Justin with a look that said that talk was going to come a hell of a lot sooner than the blond had wanted.

“Justin, take your shirt off.”

Justin shook his head, looking like he wanted to be anywhere but there.

Brian gently pushed Molly toward her mother and stood up, slowly advancing on the blond.

“Either you take it off or I fucking will.” The anger in Brian’s voice was clearly evident now and Justin backed away even though he knew the anger wasn’t directed at him. It was the reaction to a different man’s anger surging to the surface. Brian stopped just a foot from Justin when he saw the fear flashing in his eyes.

They were so close to getting every thing out into the open, they couldn’t stop now; he took a few deep breaths trying to calm himself down.

“Come on, Sunshine, don’t stop now.”  

“Molly, come on, honey, lets get you back to bed”

“No, mom, I’ve seen Jus’s back, the other scars, too”

Brian’s eyes slightly narrowed; there were other scars on Justin’s back?

Justin’s gaze dropped, giving in to the inevitable as he slowly pulled the shirt over his head, turning as he did.

Brian tried, really tried to stifle the gasp that came bursting from his lips as he stared horrified at the scars littering the pale skin.

Four long strips of criss-crossed, slightly raised pink welts started at the top of the blond’s shoulders and ran down the length of his back, two disappearing into the waistband of his pants. Brian had visited a few BDSM clubs in the past and knew that only a whip, wielded with extreme force, would leave that same type of scar.

Small, round, darker welts that appeared older than the others peppered his back like splattered rain drops; those he suspected had been made by the lighted end of a cigarette.

Justin’s shoulders started to shake; this was the last thing he’d ever wanted Brian to see, the marks that another man, in desperation and in anger, had left on his skin. Tears blurred his eyes and ran down his cheeks. He knew Brian wasn’t perfect, but for Justin he had been, he was everything he’d ever wanted in a friend and as a lover and now that chance had been taken away. Brian would never want him now; he lifted his gaze to stare brokenly into Brian’s eyes. That shattered look in the blue eyes staring back at him was Brian’s undoing. He moved swiftly, gathering Justin into his arms and held on.

Neither one noticed when Jennifer and Molly left the room.

~*~*~

The morning sun shone brightly as Jennifer filled the coffee pot and turned it on. She puttered around the kitchen trying to keep her mind off what had happened the night before. A short time later the timer on the coffee pot went off, indicating it was done brewing.  Hearing a noise behind her, she turned and wasn’t a bit surprised when Brian came walking into the room. She’d seen his jeep still parked outside and knew he’d stayed; she took one look at his tousled hair and handed him a cup of coffee.

“You didn’t get much sleep last night.”

“No” he said, taking a swallow.

“Did Justin?”

“Some.” Brian ran the fingers of one hand through his hair.

Jennifer finished pouring herself a cup of coffee and sat down across from Brian, running the edge of her fingernail on the edge of the cup.

“How’s Molly?”

“Still sleeping.”

Brian took a deep breath then cut right to the chase. “How the hell did he get involved with that son-of-a-bitch?”

Over the next hour Jennifer related the details of Justin’s coming out, his fight with his father, Craig’s refusal to pay Justin’s college tuition and her parents’ refusal to let her ex-husband ruin Justin’s dreams.

When she got to the part about Glen, she felt her breath catch. She hated to even think about the man much less talk about him, but she also knew Brian wouldn’t let it go until he knew every detail.

“Glen began chasing Justin almost right from the start.”

Jennifer took a sip of her coffee trying to gather her thoughts, then continued. “Justin tried to concentrate on his job, his work.” She looked at Brian with a small smile. “My parents had put their trust in him, putting him through college; he didn’t want to let them down.”

She got up to refill the cups then sat back down. “Glen wouldn’t take no for an answer, constantly hovering over Justin at work, sending him small gifts, calling him at home.” She shook her head, remembering.

“I guess after a while, Justin got tired of saying no.”

“When did the beatings start?” Brian asked.

“After I moved in with him.”

Neither one of them had noticed Justin leaning against the entrance to the kitchen until he spoke. Brian pulled out a chair, motioning for him to sit.

“I didn’t know you were up, honey,” Jennifer said as she set a cup on the table filled to the rim with steaming black coffee “How’s your head?”

Justin took a sip. “Better.” He then looked at Brian as he added “I missed you.”

A crooked smile crossed Brian’s lips as he reached out, running the palm of his hand over Justin’s T-shirt clad shoulders. “I’m not going anywhere, Sunshine”

Justin faintly smiled back, leaning into the touch. Jennifer noticed this and was thankful that what had transpired the night before, had actually seemed to draw the two men closer together.

“I thought he really cared about me, turns out he was more interested in what I could do than me.”

“What do you mean?”

“He saw me as a way of getting rich….he found some buyers, who would pay a lot of money to buy an exact replica of famous pieces of art.”

“Such as?”

“The Mona Lisa, The Last Supper, American Gothic, things like that.”

Brian let out the breath he didn’t know he’d been holding. “You can duplicate those?”

Justin nodded and shrugged his shoulders “sure”

Jennifer rose and touched Brian’s shoulder. “Come look at this.” She waited until Brian was standing next to her, then led him into the living room and stopped in front of a framed painting hanging on the wall. She smiled, gazing at the picture. “Justin’s very gifted when it comes to painting, he always has been.” She turned to Brian. “He painted this when he was ten.”

The painting was of a wild stallion rearing against a stormy sky. The dark clouds swirled and clashed together as if battling for dominance with the horse. Jagged streaks of lightening hung down through the black clouds, sending brilliant streams of light across the wind and rain swept prairie.  Brian could almost hear the thunder echoing out from the painting.

“Christ.”

“Now you know why Glen was so interested in Justin’s talent.”

Justin stopped next to Brian also gazing at the picture. “Sometimes I think it would have been better if I’d never picked up a paint brush.”

Brian wrapped an arm around Justin’s shoulders. “Then I would never have met you,” he said, placing a gentle kiss on the blond head.

“He’ll find me eventually.” Justin replied, laying his head on Brian’s shoulder. “He won’t stop looking until he does.”

Brian moved to stand in front of the blond, placing a large hand on either side of Justin’s face and waited until the blue eyes locked onto his.

“He’s got to get past me first.”

~*~*~

“He said he’d be here, ma, he had to pick up Justin.”

Debbie pulled another pan of lasagna out of the oven and set it on the hot pad Michael had just placed on the table. “Well, they’d better hurry the fuck up or we’re going to start with out them.”

As Michael set the garlic bread on the table, the sound of voices could be heard in the living room, mainly Gus’s.

“Daddy!”

“Hi, Sonny Boy”

Debbie poked her head out and saw Brian standing just inside the doorway, holding Gus in his arms. Gus had his head turned toward the door as if looking at something or someone. “About time you got here, asshole. Where’s Sunshine?”

“Well, hello to you, too, ma,” Brian said sarcastically as Justin popped out from behind him.

“Right here, Deb,” Justin said. “I was just saying hello to this little guy here.” It was then that Debbie realized what had caught Gus’s attention.

 “Justin, let me introduce you to the rest of the family,” Brian said, lowering Gus back down to the floor. Justin watched as Gus toddled back to two women whom he thought must be his mothers.  Brian had told him about his son several months ago and was amazed to see how much the youngster looked like Brian. Justin sent a quick glance at his tall, dark- haired boss/soon-to-be-lover, at least he hoped, and knew that Gus, like his dad, would soon be heart stoppingly handsome.  

“You’ve already met Emmett, Ted and Mikey,” Brian said, as Justin gave each a friendly smile as well as returning Emmett’s little wave. “That’s Gus’s mom, Lindsay, and Melanie,” Brian gestured toward the two women. The pretty blond gave Justin a tight-lipped smile while the small dark- hared woman glowered at the two of them.

“And, this is Debbie’s brother Vic.”

“Hi, Justin, nice to meet you.” Justin smiled as Vic stood up to shake his hand.

“Christ, Brian, now you’re bringing tricks here?” This came from the woman Brian had pointed out as Melanie.

Before either Brian or Justin could say anything Michael stepped in, surprising both Brian and Justin. “Justin’s not a trick, Mel. He’s the head of the art department at Kinnetik.”

“Uh, huh,” Mel sniped; leaning back against the back of the chair she was sitting in and crossing her arms; she wasn’t going to believe that for one second.

Lindsay’s eyes faintly lit up, though. “So you’re an artist?”

Justin smiled and nodded. “Yeah”

The rest of the evening went smoothly, although Mel kept sending glaring looks at Brian throughout the night.

The only down side for Brian came when he went into the kitchen to get a glass of water and turned around to find Lindsay behind him.

“Brian, what do you really know about Justin?”

“Like Mikey said, he’s the head of my art department”

“Yes, I know, but how long have you known him?”

“Four months; anything else your inquiring little mind wants to know?”

“So he really isn’t a trick, is he?”

“Fuck, Linds, when have you ever known me to bring a trick here?”

“Never.”

Brian sighed, setting the glass in the sink. “Look, I like him and …..” Brian shook his head, not wanting to say more. “Just leave him alone, ok?”

At that Brian had gone back out to join the others and Lindsay hadn’t been able to corner him again.

As the evening dwindled down everyone got ready to leave. First Emmett and Ted left, then Michael, the girls and Gus and finally Brian and Justin.  As soon as they got to the jeep, Brian pressed Justin against the passenger door, kissing him thoroughly.

“Mmmm, I’ve been waiting all night for that,” Justin said in almost a whisper.

Brian smiled. “You could have kissed me anytime, Sunshine.” He gazed into Justin’s eyes, wondering if he was correct in reading the lust coming from those blue orbs. “Want to go someplace?”

Justin nodded. “How about back to your loft?”

Brian looked at him. “Are you sure”

“Yeah, I’m sure.”

Debbie watched from the window, smiling widely, as the two climbed in and the jeep sped off into the night.

“It’s about fucking time.”

End Notes:

Again, I want to thank everyone for their support, it really means so much to me : )

Chapter 5: Come Apart by starfire64
Author's Notes:

Just realized I’d gotten the chapter titles mixed up when I posted the last chapter, not the chapters themselves, just the titles, so they are still in order as they should be. THIS one was originally called “Come Undone” but for here I’ve renamed it.  This chapter is just a little bit shorter than the others and the stuff written in Italics are Brian’s thoughts.

 “You want something to drink?” Brian asked, while he slid the heavy steel door to the loft shut.

“Yeah, JD if you have it.” Justin answered, wandering around the loft. He had been here a few times before, and the vast openness of the entire place intrigued him, you could stand in one spot, turn in a full circle, and see everything. Even the glass partitions that made up the bed room didn’t stand in the way of seeing what was inside. He loved coming here, usually, but tonight the wide expanse of the loft was drenched in stillness, as if waiting for what would soon happen. He felt Brian’s hand on his back as the dark- haired man stepped up next to him and turned, taking the glass that was held out to him. Brian watched in amusement as Justin downed the drink in one gulp and one side of his mouth lifted up in a half smile.

“Nervous, sunshine?”

Justin gave a small laugh “a little.”

Brian finished his own drink then set the glass on the counter top, “we don’t have to do this.” he said, wrapping long fingers around the back of Justin’s neck and pulling him closer so that their foreheads touched.

Justin shook his head “I need to Brian” he answered, running the palm of his hand across Brian’s cheek “I need to replace the bad memories with good ones, new ones, and I want them to be with you.”

Brian curled his lips inward and nodded, “Then let’s make some good memories.” 

He was determined to do just that as he slowly licked Justin’s full bottom lip, and then plunged his tongue inside, his cock quickly responding to the sound of Justin’s throaty moan.

Four hours later, Brian lay in bed, Justin’s slumbering body sprawled across his chest. One arm was wrapped around the blond’s waist while the other lazily moved up and down Justin’s back, his fingers lightly tracing the scars. To say he’d been surprised at Justin’s wild abandon would be putting it mildly. Once started, the blond had been insatiable, and, for once Brian hadn’t minded being used. In fact he’d relished the aggressiveness the blond had displayed, nearly pushing Brian to his limits. 

As he lay there Brian’s eyes fell on each piece of furniture that had been used as a prop in one way or another. One of the chairs next to the kitchen table still lay on its side where it had fallen after Brian had shoved it with his foot.

*Warm skin met cool smoothness as Justin lay back on the table top, hearing a crash he raised his head to peer down at the chair that had been knocked over on its side, he grinned at Brian. A second later he groaned as the thick length of Brian’s cock worked its way inside him. Brian set a quick pace, watching as the blond’s body rocked back and forth with every thrust.*   

 Fuck, he could still hear Justin’s moans ringing in his ears. Then his eyes moved of their own accord to the couch.

*Justin was bent over the arm rest, fingers digging into the soft white leather.  His bare toes scrambling for purchase in the thick rug as deep rasping groans and the harsh sound of skin slapping against skin filled the room. He turned to look at Brian over his shoulder “fuck me harder.” The sound alone had been primal.*

Justin stirred in his sleep, moving his leg and Brian bit back a gasp as the small knee nudged his cock. He felt a twitch; sleep would definitely be a long time in coming.

~*~*~

 “Mr. Halbrook. I have some information I think you’ll be interested in.”

“This had better be good news Palmer.” Glen growled into the phone as he sat down.

“Oh, it is.” Dwayne Palmer replied, smiling at the man sitting across from his desk. “Justin Taylor is in Pittsburgh,”

Glen listened intently, jotting down the details on a piece of paper while the private investigator talked.

“Thank you Palmer, this is very good news, indeed” Glen said, staring at the paper “You will be well rewarded, I assure you.” he finished, then made a quick call to the Las Angeles airport, securing a ticket on an early morning flight and another for a hotel room before setting the phone down.

He rubbed his fingers thoughtfully on his chin as he contemplated his reunion with the smaller man.  He smiled as he imagined the look that would be on Justin’s face when they saw each other again and he laughed softly. The thought of being reunited with his young lover sent a surge of excitement through him, knowing the search was almost over.

As he stood and walked into the bedroom to pack a suitcase, his eyes fell on the bed and he paused, seeing the pale body laying there, waiting for him. He ran a hand slowly down the front of his black satin lounge pants. Justin would soon be back in his home, and, in his bed, where he belonged.

He finished packing then turned to the dresser and pulled out the top drawer, where various brands of condoms and lube lay scattered amongst the other contents.  He picked up a condom packet and slid the pad of his thumb over the outer cover, remembering the exquisite feeling of being buried balls deep in Justin’s tight ass, then dropped it and picked up the thin nylon rope. As much as he relished the thought of having the young blond under him again, there were other important matters to take care of first. The consequence of Justin’s disobedience in disappearing was long overdue.

~*~*~

In an office in downtown LA, Dwayne Palmer counted out five hundred dollars in cash and handed it across the desk. “Thank you, that young man has eluded me for quite some time.”

He watched as the tall, grey- haired, slightly balding man stuffed the cash into his wallet then turned and walked to the office door. As he opened it to go out, the man turned back and smiled “Yes, my faggot son can be a pain in the ass when he wants to be.”

Dwayne watched in open mouthed astonishment as Craig Taylor walked out the door. 

End Notes:

Again, many thanks to everyone for their comments and encouragement.

Chapter 6: Tall Dark Angry Stranger by starfire64
Author's Notes:

Glen arrives in Pittsburgh, and shows up at a couple of the gangs usual haunts. There is a sentence in here that will probably make you think, WTF is she thinking? Haha. Don’t worry, it won’t actually happen.

Glen sat in the plush green, blue and white pinstriped chair in his room, staring at the photograph on the computer screen. He had arrived in Pittsburgh an hour earlier, and his still packed bag lay on its side, on the bed where he had tossed it as soon as he had gotten into his room. While he’d waited for his computer to boot up, he had gone over every bit of information that his private investigator had given him the night before, his main point of interest being Justin’s current place of employment, Kinnetik and the company’s owner, Brian Kinney.

It had taken just a few clicks on the keyboard to find what he had been looking for, and what he’d found had come as a pleasant surprise. It seemed that Kinney had once been employed at Vanguard, and surprisingly enough, Glen’s own employer Mason Inc. had used Vanguards expertize in the past which had helped build Mason’s sizable reputation in the art restoration business.

After leaving Vanguard, Kinney had opened Kinnetik, and in as little as a year and a half, Kinnetik’s reputation had surpassed Vanguards as one of the top ad agencies in its field, and many of Brian’s old clients had switched agencies that first year.

Another few clicks had taken him to the website of the local paper where a month old article had boasted of a talented young man who had been hired as head of the art department.

The article also included a photograph of Brian Kinney, and Glen had been stunned at the man’s beauty. He leaned back against the comfortable padding on the chair, staring at the photo, if he wasn’t on a mission to reclaim his run-a-way lover, he just might be persuaded to take Kinney for a quick tumble. The very idea of being rejected by the man was so preposterous that the thought never even crossed Glen’s mind.  Glen smiled as he gazed in appreciation at Brian’s picture, yes, a good hard fuck would be just what he needed, not that he’d been celibate in the year since Justin had been gone, far from it. There was just something in the face smirking back at the camera that made his cock twitch in anticipation.

While still on the papers website Glen noticed a small image on the lower, right hand side of his screen and clicked on it. The image instantly popped up and showed the inside of a diner on Liberty Avenue, Glen’s eyes quickly scanned the photo, and slightly widened as they landed on a couple sitting in a back booth. He zoomed in on the couple and felt his tamped down anger begin to simmer, it was Justin, his very own, blond escape artist, and Brian Kinney. It appeared neither man was aware of being photographed, and the scene they presented was quite cozy.

Glen’s eyes narrowed as his anger grew, Kinney had an arm draped across Justin’s shoulders while the blond was leaning back against Brian’s chest, Justin’s face was turned up toward Kinney’s and his hand appeared to be caressing the other man’s cheek. So, Justin had taken another man to his bed, had he? The simmer turned into a boil as a wave of fury washed through Glen, how dare that impertinent little fuck take another lover.  He had meant what he had said that day in the hospital, Justin was his and Glen vowed that the blond would pay dearly for this act of defiance.

Glen grabbed up the computer, preparing to fling it against the wall, but a sudden thought had him hitting the back button instead. He sat there gazing at Brian’s picture; the man was, after all, stunningly beautiful and Glen knew Justin all too well. A cunning smile crossed his lips, what better way to knock Justin off his feet than to have the man walk in and find Glen fucking the ad man over his own desk. With the image of Kinney’s naked body swirling around in his mind and knowing Justin would be there, Glen made a split second decision, perhaps it was time Mason Inc. switched ad agencies as well.

~*~*~

“Here you go honey” Deb said, as she set a glass of iced tea down in front of the tall dark-haired man sitting at the counter. She looked up as Michael leaned across the counter to kiss her cheek.

“Hi, Ma.”

“Hi sweetie, what are you doing here?”

“Brian’s meeting me here for lunch.” Michael said, sitting down on one of the stools. Neither noticed the man sitting a few seats down suddenly perk up at the sound of Brian’s name. Deb walked to where Michael was sitting and leaned on the counter.

“Well, what can I get you to drink honey?” She asked, giving a loving pinch to her son’s cheek.

“Coke” Michael answered just as the bell above the door tinkled announcing another customer. A wide smile crossed Michael’s lips as Brian sat down beside him and placed a friendly kiss on his lips “Mikey”

“Hey Bri.”

Debbie came back and placed Michaels coke down in front of him “where’s Sunshine?” she demanded, without a hi, hello or go to hell.

Brian quirked an eyebrow at her “what, no hello Brian?”

Debbie rolled her eyes and smacked her gum “asshole, hello Brian, now where the hells Sunshine?”

 “He’s having lunch with his mother.”

Debbie’s harsh demeanor instantly changed and she smiled “oh, well, good for him” she pulled an order pad out of her pocket “what do you two want to eat?”

Brian ordered a turkey on whole wheat, a side salad and a cup of coffee and Michael ordered a cheeseburger and fries. Deb took the orders to the kitchen and was back in a heart beat.

“You and Justin had better be at the house on Sunday” she said, tapping her finger on Brian’s chest “I’m fixing Sunshine’s favorite, Rigatoni” before she could say anything else someone called her from one of the booths and she shook her finger one more time at Brian and left.

Michael looked at Brian “Justin’s favorite is Rigatoni?”

Brian shrugged his shoulders “fuck if I know.”

Soon enough the bell signaling their lunch was ready, dinged and Kiki set the plates down in front of them “Need anything else boys?”

Brian shook his head since Mikey already had a huge amount of burger in his mouth. Michael finished chewing and swallowed, then turned to Brian “you and Justin are coming to Woodys tonight right?”

Brian nodded “we’ll be there.”

“Good, Emmett told me Justin’s a good pool player so maybe me and Em can team up against you and Justin.”

The two finished eating and then Brian pushed his empty plate away and stood up; pulling a ten out of his wallet and tossed it on the counter “wouldn’t miss it for the world Mikey” he leaned over, this time kissing Mikey on the cheek since the later had just shoved the last of his French fries in his mouth “later.”

Mikey nodded and waved, popped the last bite of burger into his mouth as he stood and yelled to Debbie “bye ma” and walked out the door. Kiki was wiping down the counter when the dark haired man called her over “I was wondering if I could ask you a question?”

Kiki nodded “shoot”

“Would you tell me how to get to Woodys?”

Kiki smiled, she liked this handsome stranger, so nice and polite.

“Sure thing sugar, it’s a block down that way.” she said as she pointed in the general direction.

The man smiled and grasped her hand before she had a chance to set it down on the counter, brought it to his lips and placed a kiss on the back of her hand “thank you, my dear.”  He smiled, handed her a fifty telling her to keep the change and walked out the door.

Kiki stared in open mouthed astonishment at the closing door.

Glen walked out to the street and waved for a taxi, he got in and gave the driver the address for his hotel. As the car proceeded down the highway, Glen stared out the window lost in thought. He had gone to the diner hoping to get information and had been surprised when Kinney himself had shown up. The photo of the man did not do him justice Glen decided, Kinney was absolutely stunning and Glen knew that he had to have the man before flying back to LA with Justin in tow. Glen smiled at his reflection; this would turn out to be quite an interesting trip.

The car stopped at a stop sign then turned the corner, the occupants never noticed the tall, pretty blond woman standing at the corner with a stunned look on her face. 

Jennifer shook her head, no it couldn’t be, it had to be someone who resembled him. There was no way that Glen knew where they were.

~*~*~

It had been easy enough to find Woodys and Glen presently sat at the far end of the bar watching the game going on at one of the pool tables. Justin’s hair had grown longer, the shaggy ends reaching just below his ears and if it were possible the blond looked even more beautiful than he had before. He watched as Justin blew a strand of hair out of his eyes and lined up for another shot. Glen’s eyes lowered to the perky ass that was clothed in black denim. He would never have permitted Justin to wear such tight fitting pants in public, but right at the moment, his hands itched to grasp and mold the firm round cheeks.

Justin took his shot and stood up straight, tossing a grin over his shoulder at Brian who stood nearby holding a pool stick in his hand as his ball disappeared into a pocket. Brian grabbed Justin by the back of the neck, pulling him close and planting a very hot, tongue down the throat, congratulatory kiss on the blond’s lips.

Glen’s eyes narrowed in rage as the kiss went on, Justin had slackened his hold on the pool stick and a tall, thin man in a bright pink shirt and red pants caught it before it crashed to the floor. Justin had wrapped his arms around Brian’s shoulders and seemed to be attempting to suck Kinney dry through his mouth. The two finally broke apart to the sound of hoots and hollers and a smaller brunets, the same one who had been with Kinney at the diner, laughing yell of “Christ, you two, get a room.”

Justin and Kinney left a few minutes later and Glen sat alone at the bar, nursing his drink. As an idea began to take root, a malicious smile began to curl the corners of his lips upwards. The more he thought about it, the more the idea appealed to him and a low chuckle escaped unnoticed past his lips. This was going to be so much fun.

~*~*~

Brian and Justin had taken Michael’s teasing comment to heart, and as soon as the loft door had been closed behind them, Brian pounced on Justin.

“Ah, fuck….Brian” Justin moaned, reaching above his head to tightly grasp the pillar Brian had pushed him against. His head was bent forward, slightly glazed blue eyes trying to focus on the dark bobbing head. He could feel the head of his cock hitting the back of Brian’s throat each time the brunet sucked him in, combined with the semi-rough massage being applied to his balls by one of Brian’s hands was enough to threaten to send him over the edge.

He gasped and let out a strangled sound when Brian pulled back leaving just the head of his cock in his mouth and ran the tip of his tongue through the slit then dove down, swallowing him, again.

Brian’s hand, the one that wasn’t playing with his nuts, was on his upper thigh, holding his bare ass firmly against the smooth coolness of the pillar. A fine sheen of sweat was already beginning to form on Justin’s back and butt cheeks, making his stance against the beam a bit precarious. Justin tightened his grasp, determined to stay on his feet while Brian continued to deep throat him.

Just as his knees threatened to buckle, Brian’s hand that had been busy with his balls moved to his other thigh, holding him hard against the pillar as the sucking grew more intense. Tiny mewls tumbled from Justin’s lips as his head fell back against the steel beam. The only warning Brian had was the slight shifting of weight before Justin was shooting down his throat.

A moment later he rose, kissing Justin and thrusting his tongue past the blond’s parted lips. Justin softly moaned, tasting the slight saltiness of his own seed on the other man’s tongue. Brian reached down, grasping Justin’s ass cheeks and lifted him. Justin smiled against Brian’s lips as he wrapped his legs around Brian’s lean waist and felt himself being carried across the room.

Long, strong fingers kneaded the warm skin as Brian walked toward the stairs going up into the bedroom. Justin was lowering and raising himself in time with Brian’s movements, rubbing himself against Brian’s hardened cock and Brian growled in response.  As soon as they reached the bed, Brian unceremoniously dumped Justin onto the midnight blue comforter, smirking as he walked around the bed to the nightstand for the lube and condom. Justin had rolled onto his stomach when he felt hands at his hips pulling him onto his knees. He heard the flip top on the lube being opened and gathered the dark material into his hands. The lube always seemed to be cold when it first touched him, and he waited for the first drop, but still couldn’t stop the gasp of surprise when he felt the wet coolness dripping onto his rectum.

“Fuck, that’s cold.”

He heard Brian’s soft laugh behind him “don’t worry, it’ll heat up.”

Before Justin could send back a snarky reply, he felt a long finger being slowly worked into him, going in a little bit, and then being pulled back before going in a little further. A long, gasping sigh escaped him at the pleasurable feeling of being fucked by Brian’s finger. Soon another was added and the feeling began to intensify, and he began to rock back and forth against the thrusting of Brian’s fingers. As much as he enjoyed this, he began to want, no need, something else, something longer and thicker to replace the fingers.  

Justin rose up on his hands, locking his elbows and looked back over his shoulder.

“Brian, fuck me.”

There was a brief feeling of emptiness when Brian extracted his fingers but the sound of the condom package ripping let Justin know that the feeling was only temporary. In just a matter of a few seconds, Justin felt the head of Brian’s cock push past the ring of muscle and his mouth fell open at the feeling of being completely filled as Brian entered him in one long smooth thrust.

Brian’s hands held Justin’s hips as his own began to move in an age old rhythm. Back and forth, in and out, Brian looked down; watching as his cock disappeared then reappeared again and again. He could feel the heat from Justin’s body through the condom, and could hear the moans and gasps coming from the man’s mouth.

He leaned over Justin’s body, placing his hands on the comforter next to Justin’s, feeling the other man’s sweat dampened back moving against his stomach and chest. Justin’s fingers laced with his as the pleasure rose another notch. Brian’s hips began pumping hard against Justin’s, nearly forcing the man down flat on the bed but Justin pushed back, staying on his hands and knees.

The brunet was breathing in harsh, guttural pants, sounding almost like grunts in Justin’s ear. Brian’s hips picked up the pace and he wrapped one arm around Justin’s waist, he was so close, so fucking close.

Suddenly Justin let out a yell and Brian felt the ring of muscle constricting around his cock, sending him over the edge.

“AHHHHH, FUCK”  

Seconds later they both fell sideways on the bed, Brian’s arm still wrapped around Justin and his chest heaving against Justin’s back.

Justin ran his hand up and down Brian’s arm, feeling the fine hairs prickle under his palm and smiled as he moved his head back, tucking it up under Brian’s chin. Brian regretfully kissed Justin’s shoulder a minute later as he reached down between then, intending to gently pull out, but Justin grabbed his arm.

“Not yet, stay inside me.”

Brian moved his arm back around Justin, nuzzling his nose into Justin’s blond locks.

“Ok”

Later, after Justin had fallen asleep and Brian had thrown the condom in the trash and cleaned up, he lay in the bed next to Justin, softly running the palm of his hand over Justin’s back, feeling the ridges of the scars beneath his skin, and vowed that one day, he’d meet this bastard face to face and the man would find out what real pain felt like.

End Notes:

Well, folks, this is the last pre-written chapter I have, so from here on out, I am going to try to post once a week. If you’ve already read this chapter elsewhere, you may notice it’s been very, very slightly revised from that version.

Chapter 7: Out of Time by starfire64
Author's Notes:

Brian and Justin have some fun in the shower, Jennifer wonders if that really was Glen in that taxi and Glen arrives for his meeting with Brian. I’m not real thrilled with this chapter, but I didn’t want to mess with it anymore for fear of really lousing it up. I hope you all like better than I do.

Fingers scraped against wet glass as Justin dug in with his toes on the slightly slippery flooring of the shower stall; incoherent moans tumbled from his open mouth as Brian repeated the long hard thrust into his body. What had started out as a leisurely good morning blow job had rapidly grown into a much more pleasurable activity, in the shower, as warn water rained down on the two lovers. Brian’s fingers gripped Justin’s hips, holding him steady as his own hips slammed forward. The blond head fell back, resting on Brian’s shoulder as the head of Brian’s cock nudged his prostate on each inward pass, sending ripples of spine tingling electricity up his back.

“Ah….fuck….c…can’t hold…off….” Justin gasped, his voice sounded raw even to his own ears.

Brian reached around him, wrapped his fingers around the stiff appendage rising up from the dark blond curls and gave a few tugs “then come….NOW!”  And Justin did, with an earth shattering orgasm that would have had him sinking to the wet floor mindlessly if Brian hadn’t been holding him up.

Thirty minutes later as the two were making their way to the underground parking garage; Justin’s stomach began to rumble, sending a pink blush sneaking up Justin’s pale skinned neck.

Brian laughed and threaded his fingers through the slightly damp hair on the back of Justin’s head, pulled him close and lightly kissed his lips.

“Guess we had better feed that animal in there.” he said, then smirked as Justin’s stomach growled an answer.

~*~*~

Cynthia stood at the copy machine, watching as duplicates of the form she was copying slid out into the catch tray.  She lifted the coffee mug to her lips, taking a swallow as her eyes gazed at the clock on the nearby wall.  Brian had called twenty minutes earlier to say  that he and Justin were on their way but that he needed to feed the growling monster sitting in the passenger seat first.  She had lightly laughed when she’d heard Justin’s embarrassed “Brian” in the background and after, half jokingly, requesting a cinnamon bun, had told her boss she’d hold down the fort.

She had just gathered the fresh copies in her hand when the door opened, she looked over and smiled a greeting as Brian and Justin walked in. A Styrofoam to-go cup was clutched in one of Justin’s hands, while the other held a small, white, bakery style paper bag. Justin smiled back at her as he walked over and handed her the bag.

“Breakfast, my lady” he said, bending at the waist and sweeping his arm out, and away, from his body with a grand flourish, all the while keeping the Styrofoam cup in an up-right position.

“Why, Thank you, kind sir” Cynthia laughed, playing along as she curtsied. Brian shook his head, the corners of his lips curling upwards in amusement at the antics of his secretary and young lover.  He knew his blond friend had taken a shine to Justin almost from the moment they had met, treating him as the younger brother she never had.

Justin turned and walked back to Brian as Cynthia took the bag to her desk. As soon as he got close enough the blond reached up and laid a hand alongside Brian’s cheek, rubbing the pad of his thumb over the freshly shaven skin.

“Later” he said, looking into the hazel eyes.

Brian’s answer was to pull Justin close with a jerk and push his tongue past startled lips. A soft moaning sigh escaped the blond as he wrapped his arms around the brunets’ shoulders, loosing himself in the smoldering kiss. It wasn’t until a few moments later when the sound of a throat being cleared reminded them they weren’t alone. They reluctantly pulled apart, Justin’s sunshine smile at full wattage as Brian turned to glower at Cynthia who was propped up against the edge of her desk, grinning like a Cheshire cat.

Brian raised an eyebrow “don’t you have something to do?”

Cynthia chuckled “of course, but this is soooo much more interesting.”

Brian shook his head and rolled his eyes as Justin laughed and started for the art department, giving a wave in Cynthia’s direction as he scooted past.

After Brian had disappeared into his office, closing the door behind him the tall blond sat down to finish off the sweet roll, thinking how much things had changed in the past months. Brian was much happier since he had managed to break down the rest of Justin’s walls, though she still didn’t know what had brought about that change. All Ted had let slip, was that some trouble, one night at Babylon, had allowed Brian to sweep aside the remaining few bricks Justin had build around himself.

~*~*~

Jennifer sat behind her desk at Carson Real Estate, her mind in turmoil over who she thought she had seen the previous day.  She was glad that Justin had recently taken to spending most of his nights with Brian. Since his room was right across the hall from hers, he would surely have heard the movements in her room, since she had spent much of her own night tossing and turning while the brief image of the Glen look-a-like had played over and over in her mind.

She still wasn’t sure if it actually had been him, the glass on the Taxi had been tinted and the man’s face had been slightly tuned away from her line of vision, but the overall posture and profile of the turned head had borne an alarming resemblance to that of her son’s former lover.

She absentmindedly shuffled the papers on her desk, should she call Justin? Warn him? But what if the man she had seen wasn’t Glen, did she really want to put her son through all the fear and dread that Justin had displayed for months after they had left Los Angeles, only to find that the man she had seen, hadn’t been Glen after all?

She sighed and bit her bottom lip as she thought about her son; Justin was finally, finally, putting his past behind him thanks to Brian. The tall, hazel eyed, brunet had become such a prominent fixture in their lives, especially after finding out what had happened to Justin.

 Jennifer smiled to herself as she got up to stretch her legs, where one was, the other often wasn’t far behind and she had a feeling Justin was falling for his hazel eyed boss. Brian had been so good to, and for, her son and she didn’t think that……..Brian…….Brian…..Jennifer whirled around to stare at the phone “Brian” she breathed.

The thought had hit her like a fast moving locomotive. Brian, of course, why hadn’t she thought of him before? She rushed back to the desk and picked up the phone and punched in the now familiar numbers.

“Good morning, Kinnetik, how may I direct your call?” the friendly, but unfamiliar, female voice asked.

“This is Jennifer Taylor, May I please speak to Brian?” Jennifer asked.

“I’m sorry ma’am, but Mr. Kinney is in a conference call.”

“What about Cynthia? Is she available?”

“No ma’am Cynthia is out of the office for a few hours. Can I take a message?”

Jennifer was about to leave a message for Brian to call her as soon as he could when there was a knock at her door. She looked up to meet the hopeful eyes of her new clients, a newlywed couple just starting out and motioned them to come in.

“No, thank you I’ll call back later.” Jennifer reluctantly answered as she ended the call. The beaming couple sat down across from her, having no idea what their untimely arrival had just set in motion. 

~*~*~

Glen hummed softly to himself as he finished toweling off with the oversized, fluffy, white towel embossed with the hotels name in copper threads on one corner. The plan he had formulated the evening before, after witnessing the heated lip-lock by his young lover and Kinney, had been perfectly thought out and fine tuned during the night.  An early morning call to a friend back in LA had resulted in the first part of the plan being completed, and the outcome of that call now lay in a large yellow envelope sitting on the corner of the bed.

As he dropped the towel and padded naked out of the bathroom he stopped at the opened doors of the small closet in his room. He carefully selected a dark grey Armani suit and laid it on the bed, smoothing his hands over the material then turned and selected a long sleeved black silk shirt from the hotel closet, and picked a tie matching the shade of the suit to complete the ensemble.  He needed to look his best when he arrived at Kinnetik for his meeting with Brian Kinney. 

An hour later Glen walked out to meet the waiting Taxi, the yellow envelope held firmly in his hand.  As he sauntered past an older couple waiting in the lobby, they turned and smiled to each other as the softly hummed tune of “the wedding march” trailed behind him.

~*~*~

The taxi pulled into Kinnetic’s parking lot just in time for Glen to spy Brian and Justin returning from lunch. As the two men disappeared inside the building, Glen paid the driver, grabbed up the envelope and got out. Walking through the entrance, he looked around the spacious reception area, noting the friendly atmosphere. As his eyes swept along the walls he noticed two large paintings hanging on opposite sides of the room, yet precisely in line with each other. He walked over to look at one then turned and walked to the other, paying special attention to the names engraved on the on the small gold plated name plates fastened to the bottoms of the polished Cherry wood frames.  He smiled to himself; he would have known Justin’s work anywhere.

“Remarkable aren’t they?”

Glen turned to gaze at the pretty blond woman sitting behind a large desk and nodded “very remarkable” he said before turning and striding up to the desk.

“I have an appointment with Mr. Kinney” Glen glanced at the Rolex on his wrist “at 1:00” and waited while Cynthia buzzed her boss to let him know that his next appointment had arrived. As soon as Brian answered Cynthia stood and walked to the door of Brian’s office with Glen close behind, eager to set the rest of his plan into action.

 “Justin’s mom called a few minutes ago. She wants you to call her back ASAP.” The blond woman told Brian as she moved slightly to one side to let Glen by. Cynthia didn’t notice the sharp look the man tossed her way as she headed back to her desk; Brian did and wondered what the look had meant.

Brian smiled as he moved forward to shake Glen’s hand “Mr. Halbrook, I’m Brian Kinney.”

“Mr. Kinney, so nice to meet you. Please call me Jeffery” Glen replied smooth as silk and using his actual first name. He held onto Brian’s hand just a second longer than necessary, taking the time to roll the pad of his thumb back and forth on the side of Brian’s hand.

As Brian released Jeffery’s hand, he had to resist the sudden urge to wipe his hand on the side of his pant leg, the man was obviously on the prowl, but there had been something in those green eyes looking back at him, something that appeared almost sinister.

“Care for a drink?” Brian asked, feeling the overwhelming need to put some distance between himself and the other man. It was a strange feeling, one he’d never had before and he couldn’t quite place his finger on why he felt the way he did. He attempted to mentally shake it off as he reached for the decanter sitting on the top shelf.

“Bourbon?” he asked, tossing a glance over his shoulder and seeing the affirmative nod “then we can discuss what our two companies can do for each other.” 

After Brian filled the glass he turned, surprised to see Jeffery standing so close to him they were almost touching. The man ran a finger up under the lapel on Brian’s suit jacket “I would definitely like to know you better” he replied, giving Brian a smile that clearly stated what his intent was. The alarming feeling within him suddenly spiked and Brian’s hand flew up seemingly of its own accord, grasped the man’s wrist and took a step back.

“Sorry, I have someone.”

Brian watched as the man’s eyes narrowed in displeasure, he could sense that Jeffery wasn’t used to being turned down and that it didn’t set well with him. He barely managed to bite back a smirk as the other man gave a small nod as if accepting Brian’s words, then turned and walked to the two chairs positioned at an angle to one another in front of Brian’s desk and sat in one of them.

“How convenient for you.” he said. He lifted the glass tumbler and took a drink, staring at Brian as the brunet took a seat in his own chair across from him. His eyes narrowed thoughtfully as he studied Brian over the edge of the glass. He hadn’t counted on Justin’s influence over the other man, the blond clearly had Kinney wrapped around his finger. Glen finished his drink and set the tumbler on the edge of Brian’s desk, as much as he would have liked to have the brunet writhing under him, he could see now, that fantasy wasn’t likely to happen and it was time to switch to phase two of his plan. Brian must be made aware that Justin belonged to him and only him. 

“I too had someone” Glen stated, opening the envelope and removing its contents “before he ran off.”

“Look…….” Brian began but Glen held up a hand, placed the paper on the desk and pushed it toward Brian.

“Justin may be your lover Kinney, but he is my husband and he will remain mine until I say otherwise.” Jeffery stated, glowering at Brian.

All Brian saw before a rage unlike anything he’d ever known overtook him, was the type written name on one line….. J. Glen Halbrook.

“YOU, SON OF A BITCH” Brian roared, as he launched himself over the desk. The tumbler Glen had set on the edge of Brian’s desk toppled over and shattered as it hit the ground.

“BRIAN”

Chapter 8: Houseguests by starfire64
Author's Notes:

As promised, here’s the next chapter. There is a short description of abuse in this one.

“YOU, SON OF A BITCH”

“BRIAN!!!!!”

Justin watched in shocked silence as Brian launched himself over his desk. The man, whose back had been to the door, and Justin, toppled over with his chair as Brian’s initial punch landed squarely in his eye. The two quickly jumped to their feet, and the client, his back still facing the door, wiped a hand across his face and said in a low, sneering voice.

“Good one Kinney. But, not good enough.” He said as he suddenly swung with his left hand, catching Brian in the right cheek. The ad exec stumbled back a few steps, then straightened as he caught his balance.

Cynthia, who had rushed to the open doorway at Justin’s shout, stood behind her blond friend, her hands digging into his shoulders as they watched the fight. The two men began to circle each other; and she noted that each seemed equally matched in height although the other man was slightly heavier than her boss. As the men began raining blows on each other, she didn’t notice that Justin’s body had gone ridged when the taunting voice of the man had reached their ears, until she felt a violent shudder go through Justin’s body. She tilted her head slightly to the side as she glanced at Justin’s face and her gaze held. Justin’s normally pale skin had drained of all color as his wide blue eyes watched the fight; he seemed to be in some sort of trance.

As soon as that threatening voice had reached Justin’s ears, he’d known instantly who it was. Somehow, in some inconceivable, horribly unbelievable way, Glen had finally found him. His mind flashed back to another day, and another time.

“Why do you make me do this Justin, it would have been so much easier if you had just done what I asked”

Of course Justin had been unable to answer, tied to the bed as he was, with the dark grey duct tape covering his mouth. Justin heard the whir of the whip as it started its downward arch again. Felt the horrible sting as the leather strip landed on his already abused back, he arched his head back and …….Screamed.

 Justin was startled out of the terrifying memory at the sound of Cynthia’s scream right next to his ear. Then his eyes focused on an equally terrifying sight. Glen had somehow managed to get Brian on the floor; the slightly heavier man straddled his lover as hard fingers tightened around Brian’s throat. Brian clawed at the fingers trying to get a grip on the long digits pressing down brutally on his airway. He knew without a doubt that Glen would go after Justin next; he had to get out of this, had to protect his young lover…..  

Suddenly, Glen wasn’t there anymore as the other man’s head snapped backwards from a well aimed kick to his face. Brian rolled to his side, clutching his throat as he struggled to breathe and gentle hands grasped his arm and shoulder as Justin knelt at his side.

“Brian?”

“M’ok, Jus” Brian muttered a bit roughly, placing a hand over the one that was on his arm. A movement out of the corner of his eye sent his head whipping around and he struggled to sit up, trying to push Justin behind him at the same time.

Two security guards held the struggling man between them as Glen held both hands over his bleeding nose. He glared at Justin as bright red blood dripped through his fingers.

“You little fuck, you broke my nose” he exclaimed as the security guards began to haul him bodily from the office “you’ll pay for this Justin.”

As Justin and Cynthia helped Brian over to the couch, they could still hear Glen’s threatening exclamations as he was drug through the reception area toward the main doors.

“This isn’t over Justin, you hear me?  You owe me!” Glen’s voice died out as the doors closed behind him.

~*~*~

Jennifer finished wiping off the counter as she gazed thoughtfully over at her son and Brian sitting on the couch. She noted the tender way her son stroked his hand across Brian’s cheek as low murmurs reached her ears. She couldn’t hear what they were saying but it was obvious that both men were deeply affected by what had happened.  

She thought about all that had transpired in the two hours since she had gotten the call that had sent her racing to the loft. All she had known at the time was that Glen had been at Kinnetik and Brian had been hurt, it wasn’t until she’d arrived and gotten a look at Brian’s face and neck that she realized how bad it could have been.

A quickly applied ice pack had stopped the swelling on Brian’s eye and some of the reddened fingermarks on his neck were beginning to turn purple. Soon after she had arrived, she had voiced her concerns that Glen would press charges against Brian but the man had assured her that that was highly unlikely, Glen would be too afraid of the police finding out about his illegal activity to take the chance.

Jennifer faintly smiled, remembering Brian’s recount of how Justin had come to his rescue, but at the same time she feared what Glen would do now that he knew where Justin was. From all she had learned about the man since they had fled California, Glen wasn’t the type to take Justin’s fighting back lightly and she feared the retaliation of her son’s former lover.  She wondered if they should just pack up and leave, but as her eyes fell once again on the two men snuggled together on Brian’s sofa, she knew in her heart that wasn’t an option.

She turned to put the container of food that Debbie had sent over in the refrigerator and as she straightened back up and closed the door she felt a hand gently squeeze arm as Justin stopped next to her to put the now limp, mushy ice pack back in the freezer.

“How’s Brian?” she asked.

“Still beautiful” Justin smiled, his blue eyes fastened on the man now walking toward them. Jennifer reached out to gently touch the area under his bruised eye, concern for the man who had become like a second son to her written on her face.

“I’m so sorry Brian” she said, wishing that she had been able to warn him earlier, she drew him into a quick hug, thankful that he hadn’t been hurt worse. Brian awkwardly returned the hug while a suspicious lump rose up in his throat. He still had a hard time comprehending how Justin’s family had accepted him into their lives so quickly.  

“So what happens now?” Jennifer asked as she watched Brian pull her son into his arms, his hand rubbing soothing circles on Justin’s back. She noticed how Justin seemed to melt into Brian’s embrace and realized that, although her son was putting on a brave face, he was still extremely shook up over what had happened.

Brian looked at her over Justin’s shoulder “I think you three should move in here for a while”

Jennifer was about to protest when Justin beat her to it “Brian, no, thank you but no” he said, pulling away and shaking his head “I won’t hide from him, not anymore.”

Jennifer watched as Brian’s big hands settled on Justin’s shoulders, then moved up to gently cradle the pale face “I need to know your safe, sunshine” he said quietly, then added as he glanced at Jennifer “all three of you” the hazel eyes then shifted back to the blue ones staring back at him “If you won’t do it for yourself, then do it for me.”

Jennifer stood still, hardly daring to breathe until slowly Justin’s arms rose to wrap around Brian’s waist as he nodded and burrowed his face in the crook of Brian’s neck.

“Jen what time does Molly get out of school?” Brian asked, as he fished his cell phone out of his front pocket.

She looked at her watch “in twenty minutes”

“Fine, pick her up, go back to the house, and pack for at least a week, maybe more. I’ll have Mikey meet you at your house” he finished, punching a few numbers on the phone and holding it up to his ear.

Later that night after they gone to bed, Jennifer lay awake on the large futon Justin had pulled out for her. Molly had opted to sleep on the sofa even though Brian had warned her that the piece of furniture wasn’t very comfortable. She heard a startled gasp then a quiet voice in the bedroom as Brian once again comforted her son after another nightmare.

“Its okay Justin, you’re safe”

“Brian?” 

“Right here, its okay, go back to sleep”

“M’k”

Jennifer smiled in the darkness, when the first nightmare had woken Justin she had started to get up to go to him then heard Brian’s quiet voice.  Her own inner voice had told her not to disturb them and she was glad she had listened.  The quiet tones in the bedroom had carried to her ears and it was clear that the older man cared just as deeply for Justin as her son did for him. It wasn’t the words that told her, but the gentle, caring tone of Brian’s voice. She knew without a doubt that she was loosing her son to another man, again, but this time it didn’t bother her. Justin was in good hands.

Silence filled the loft once again and Jennifer turned on her side and closed her eyes, wondering what tomorrow would bring.

Chapter 9: Gone by starfire64
Author's Notes:

Someone comes up missing and Justin gets a very disturbing phone call. Oh, cliffhanger at the end.

Jennifer pulled up to the curb in front of the school and parked “Don’t forget, I’ll be here in time to pick you up this afternoon” she said, as she looked over at her daughter.

Molly rolled her eyes “I know mom” she said in an exasperated tone, as she unbuckled the seat belt and twisted around to grab the back pack out of the back seat. Her daughter had fallen head over heels in love with the pink and white designer bag when they had seen it in a store isle several weeks ago, unfortunately the bag had had a designer price tag to go along with it and Jennifer had determined that it was way out of her check books range. But, as luck would have it, they had been shopping with Brian at the time, and he had left them in the check out isle only to meet them at the entrance a few minutes later with a suspiciously large bag in hand. Jennifer smiled at the memory of Molly’s huge grin, bright enough to rival her brothers, when they had reached the car and Brian had handed her the bag and she had pulled the back pack out.

Molly hugged and thanked him and Brian had cast a sheepish look at her mother over the young girls shoulder. Jennifer had shaken her head and given him a look back that had said *you’re on your own here, buster*   

With the memory fresh in her mind, Jennifer told her daughter “I just want you safe, honey” she turned back to stare out the windshield “ever since Glen showed up, I…….” her hands tightened on the steering wheel as she tried to keep the fear induced tears from streaming down her face, she refused to cry in front of her daughter, she was the adult, she was supposed to be the strong one, the brave one.

A small hand grasped her chin and turned her face to meet her daughters “I know mom” Molly replied again, this time much softer “I’ll be careful, I promise”. Molly smiled and grabbed the door handle, blowing her mother a kiss as she got out and closed the door. Jennifer sat and watched as Molly ran up the steps and didn’t pull away from the curb until after her daughter disappeared inside the building.

It had been a week since Glen had shown up at Kinnetik, and after he had been bodily thrown out of Brian’s place of business, the man had not been seen or heard from, it was almost as if he had fallen off the face of the earth.  But, as Jennifer drove to the real estate office she couldn’t shake the feeling that something was going to happen.

~*~*~

Cynthia looked up and smiled to herself as Brian walked past her desk heading toward the art department. This was the third time today that the man had wondered in that direction “making the rounds” he had said earlier.  Brian had never *made the rounds* before, preferring any problems or questions be brought to him. But, since the incident with Justin’s ex, she couldn’t blame him for wanting to keep a close eye on the younger man. Brian had even beefed up security as a precaution, hiring three extra guards, two to stand by the main door and one to stand out side Justin’ office.

She chuckled lightly, remembering the scene that had caused. The shouting match in Brian’s office had carried out to the main reception area even through the closed door. The blond had been pissed when he learned that the artists in the department couldn’t even get in to see him without first getting clearance. Luckily the only ones present at the time had been the guards, Ted and herself. The yelling had gone on for a good ten minutes when it suddenly died down and one of the guards had breathed a sigh of relief, that is until other sounds had begun to trickle through the door. Ted had beat a hasty retreat to his own office while she had calmly pulled the top drawer to her desk open and removed the ever present set of ear plugs, plus an extra set which she had tossed to the red faced guard as loud moans replaced the heated words from a few minutes before.

The chuckle turned into a laugh, the straight as an arrow guard had certainly gotten an education that day.

~*~*~

Justin sat in front of the computer going over a new layout for an ad with one of the artists when he felt a warm, slightly giddy, feeling slowly begin to spread throughout his body and he smiled.

Brian.

Ever since they’d met, Justin could always tell when the older man was near, the feeling he got was so intense, like a spark just waiting to burst into flame, which it usually did as soon as he was wrapped in the brunets strong arms. Justin loved those times, whenever Brian’s arms were around him were the only times he felt completely safe. Blue eyes rose to meet hazel as Brian walked into his office.


The young graphic artist standing next to his desk looked over her shoulder “Hello, Mr. Kinney.”

“Miss. Andrews” Brian answered as he moved further into the office and sat down on the earth toned sofa, much like to one in his own office except a different color. Justin tossed a smile over his shoulder before turning back to the task at hand.

“It would look better if we changed the font to this size and changed the color to purple.” Justin said to the red head. He pressed a few buttons on the key board and the two pictures within the split screen on his computer instantly showed the differences between the original layout and the improved one.

Sheryl nodded her head “it does look better” she said, flashing a smile at the blond sitting in the chair “thanks, Justin.”

As soon as the girl had gone, Justin turned in his chair and looked at Brian for a moment then stood and stretched, knowing Brian’s eyes were following his every movement.  He then walked over and took a seat next to Brian and gently touched his face.  The bruise around the man’s eye had faded considerably in the past week.

“So what do I owe the pleasure of this visit?” Justin asked.

“What, I can’t see my boyfriend when he’s working?”

Instantly the trademark smile appeared on Justin’s lips as he leaned forward placing a soft kiss on Brian’s at the same time stroking the pad of his thumb across Brian’s cheek. He felt Brian’s hand on his leg, rubbing up from his knee, to his hip, and back down, and his cock twitched.

“Mmmm, keep that up and we’re going to have to invest in some ear plugs for the art department.” Justin said, leaning back just enough to peer into the slightly darkened hazel eyes.

Brian’s eye brow rose toward his hairline “can’t we just send them out to an early lunch?”

Justin laughed as he looked at his watch “Brian, its only 10:35” he said “and we have a deadline, remember” then he looked at his lover with a serious expression “and, you have a business to run. I’m fine Brian; you don’t have to keep checking on me, especially with my watchdog out there.” Justin said, pointing his thumb over his shoulder toward the door to his office where the guard stood outside.

“Fine” Brian huffed, standing and pulling Justin up with him “but just remember that ass is mine at lunch.”

~*~*~

Craig looked out over the balcony of his up stairs office at Taylor Electronics as his eyes swept over the downstairs show room, and he felt a deep sense of pride as he looked out over his empire. One day, this would all go to his new born son Max, who had been born just two weeks ago.

Beth, his wife of two years, and fifteen years his junior, knew he had been married once before but Craig had always been careful to tell her only about his daughter Molly. As long as he had anything to say about it, she would never know about Justin, Craig’s eyes narrowed in disgust as he thought about the son that he had been forced to disown.

He turned and went back into his office, his thoughts still on the man he no longer claimed as his son. In truth, when he had heard that a private investigator was searching for Justin he really hadn’t known where Justin was, nor had he cared, until he had heard about the five hundred dollar reward the man was offering. That’s when he had called Molly’s cell phone on the pretense of being worried about Justin. It wasn’t until he’d pleadingly told her that he had heard of Justin’s stay in the hospital and just wanted to make sure he was doing better, because after all, he’d told Molly, Justin was still his son and he worried about him. After that it had been easy to get the information he’d needed.

A self satisfied smirk curled one corner of Craig’s thin lips at the memory of the expensive dinner and night out he’d treated his wife to after he’d left the investigators office that day.

~*~*~

Jennifer had just returned from an early lunch when her cell phone rang, thinking it was probably Justin checking on her, she didn’t bother to look at the caller ID as she dug it out of her purse and answered it.

“Justin, I’m fine.”

“Mrs. Taylor?”

Jennifer’s eyes narrowed in confusion at the unfamiliar voice, the only people that had her cell number were Justin, Brian, Molly and the private school Molly attended “Yes, this is Jennifer Taylor.”

“Mrs. Taylor, this is Mary Johnson from Ellis academy. We noticed that Molly isn’t in school today, is she sick?” 

Jennifer felt her heart slam to a stop in her chest, her eyes locked on to the small framed photo of Justin and Molly sitting on her desk, Molly was standing in front of her brother, Justin’s arms were wrapped around her shoulders and Molly’s small hands were curled around her brothers’,  both were smiling into the camera.  Jennifer tried to remain calm even though the dark suffocating feeling of fear was rushing through her body like an out of control freight train.

“Ms. Johnson, you must be mistaken, I dropped Molly off there myself this morning.”

“I’m sorry Mrs. Taylor; she isn’t here and hasn’t been here all day.”

Oh god, no, not Molly, Please, dear god, not her daughter …..

“Mrs. Taylor, are you there?”

Jennifer blinked the tears back, she had to be strong “Yes, yes, I’m here” she took a deep breath, trying to control her racing heart “are you absolutely sure Molly isn’t there?”

“Very sure” the voice on the other end answered somewhat indignantly.

“Thank you” Jennifer said and pushed the off button on her phone. She sat there as the tears began to stream down her face, Glen had her daughter, she could feel it seeping into her bones. She tried not to imagine the fear her daughter must be going through at the hands of that monster. The same man who had put Justin’s broken, tortured body into a hospital for nearly four weeks now held her daughter’s life in his hands.

Jennifer looked at the phone in her hand and began to scroll listlessly down the row of numbers until she reached Justin’s cell number and pushed the call button, it immediately rolled to voice mail. Then she tried Brian’s phone and breathed a sigh of relief when it began to ring.

Brian was had just handed some papers to Cynthia to be filed when the cell phone in his pocket began to buzz, he pulled it out and saw Jennifer’s name on the screen.

“Jennifer”

“Brian” At the sound of Jennifer’s choked voice Brian’s body went ridged. He could hear her quietly sobbing on the other end.

“Jennifer, what’s wrong?”

“Oh god, Brian, Molly’s not at school.”

“Okay, stay calm, Justin and I are on our way to pick you up.” Brian whirled and started for the art department, talking to the distraught woman as he hurried down the hall. Reaching the huge open room he saw Justin standing at the far end, leaning over one of the artists drawing tables.

“JUSTIN”

The blond looked up and a smile began to form on his lips but as he took in the ridged posture and the fact that Brian still had his phone plastered to his ear the smile quickly faded. He hurried over to where Brian’ was standing.

“What is it?” he asked.

Brian grabbed his arm as he flipped the phone shut and shoved it back into his pocket “come on, I’ll tell you on the way.”

~*~*~

Justin stood in his mom’s living room just in front of the large picture window next to the front door. It was dark outside, but his eyes were fastened on the handle bars of his sisters’ bicycle lying out on the front lawn. The metal bar gleamed brightly in the glow of the nearby streetlight and behind him, in the dining room; he could hear the quiet voices of their friends talking. It hadn’t taken long for *the gang* as Brian liked to call them, to show up as soon as they had heard the news.

He glanced at his watch; it had been eleven hours, fifty two minutes and seven seconds since Molly had disappeared. The police had been no help at all when Brian had called the station, claiming that someone had to be missing for twenty four hours before they would do anything.

He felt someone step up next to him and he turned his head to see Debbie standing there with a plate of food in her hand.

“You need to eat something, Sunshine” She said gently, holding the yellow and white plate out.

Justin shook his head, food was the last thing on his mind “Not hungry, Deb, thanks” he turned back to stare out the window again “how’s mom?”

Debbie leaned over to set the plate on the coffee table then straightened back up “she’s asleep, finally” she wrapped an arm across Justin’s shoulders, hugging him to her “how’re you holding up kiddo?”

“Not so good.” Justin answered, his voice breaking. Debbie turned to look over her shoulder as she caught movement out of the corner of her eye. It was Brian stepping up to wrap his arms around Justin from behind. The red-wigged woman gave one last heart felt squeeze to Justin’s arm before leaving him in Brian’s capable hands.

Justin turned and wrapped his arms around Brian’s waist as he gave into a mini breakdown. While the blond quietly sobbed into his chest, Brian tried to comfort his lover, holding him close as his hand rubbed soothingly up and down his back. He rested his chin on top of the blond head as his eyes stared unseeing out the window. Cynthia had checked Kinnetik’s client records to find out where Glen was staying and Brian had managed to get a police officer, one of his former tricks, to check the hotel, only to find out that Glen had checked out several days before.

After a few minutes he felt Justin stir in his arms and he loosened his hold just enough for Justin to move his arms up to slide around his neck.

“He won’t hurt her” Justin said quietly “he’s using her to get to me, he wants me.”

Brian looked down at Justin’s tear streaked face “We’ll get her back, Justin.”

Justin opened his mouth to say something else but before he could Michael stepped up to them, “I’m gonna take ma home, then I’ll be back.” he said, smiling at Justin and gently squeezing his shoulder.

Justin nodded then looked at Brian “why don’t you go with them, you probably need a break.”

Brian started to shake his head but Justin stopped him with a hand on his chest “Brian, go, its okay, really, I’ll be fine until you guys get back.”

“Are you sure?”

Justin nodded and tried to smile “I’m sure, go” he said giving Brian a gentle push in Michael’s direction. After receiving a hug, a kiss and a stern “If you need anything, you call me” from Deb and a soul shattering kiss from Brian, they walked out the door.

Justin sat down on the couch and propped his elbow on the couch’s arm rest and his chin in his hand as Emmett came to sit next to him.

“Hi sweetie” Emmett said, smiling softly. He really had no idea what to say to his young friend but wanted to be there in case Justin needed anything while Brian was gone.

“Hi, Em.” 

They had only sat there for a few minutes when Justin heard his phone ring; he pulled it out and glanced at it before turning to Emmett “sorry Em, I have to get this.”

Justin went out onto the front step and quietly closed the door behind him.

“Mol, where are you?”

“Aw how sweet, worried about your little sister are you.” Justin’s blood turned to ice and he shivered at the slightly nasally sound of Glen’s voice.

“Where’s Molly?”

“She’s safe, for now.”

“I want to talk to her.”

“DON’T TELL ME WHAT TO DO” Glen screamed, then added in a sudden, and eerily, calmer tone of voice “its time for you to come home Justin.”

Justin’s eyes widened home, fuck, Glen was back in LA, and he had Molly with him ……. He tried to focus as Glen continued to speak “I need that painting finished, my love, and you need to take your rightful place back where you belong.”

Justin couldn’t help the involuntary shiver at the threat in the other man’s voice.

“Glen, please let me talk to Molly, just for a minute, please” Justin asked as his voice took on a pleading tone. There was silence on the other end for a few seconds then a faint rustling sound.

“Jus?”

“Molly, are you okay?”

“I’m scared, I……”

Justin winced as he heard Glen’s voice, far away at first, then closer as he brought the phone back to his mouth “you have twelve hours to get here Justin, or she’s dead. Oh, by the way, if you tell anyone, including lover boy, about this call, dear little baby sister and Mr. high and mighty ad man will both die. Is that understood?”

“Yes”

“Ah, ah, ah, what is the correct way to answer?”

Justin pinched the bridge of his nose, something he had picked up from Brian  “Yes, sir”

~*~*~

Glen smiled in satisfaction as he flipped the cell phone closed and set it on the table then turned to his housekeeper with a smug look “ take this sniveling brat to her room and lock her in”

Glen turned and went into the study to make plans as one thought went through his mind. Justin was finally coming home; he could almost feel the pale body beneath his already.

End Notes:

Ok, folks, only one more chapter to go before this wild maniacal ride is over. I’ve already started it and hopefully will be posted Friday.

Chapter 10: Fly Away by starfire64
Author's Notes:

In this chapter Justin takes off to LA.  Hey, everyone, sorry this is late, too much to do and not enough time to do it in. But, there is good news; this is NOT the last chapter. More details in the end notes. Oh, a word of warning, this chapter is very angsty.

Justin slowly lowered his hand, the cell phone temporarily forgotten as he replayed Glen’s warning over and over in his head.

You have twelve hours to get here or she’s dead …… twelve hours she’s dead …. dead …. dead ……

A violent shudder raced through his body, there was no doubt in his mind that Glen had meant every word, just as he realized with startling clarity how desperate the man must be to have taken his sister.

The buyer for that unfinished painting had given Glen a healthy down payment of fifteen thousand dollars with the promise of another twenty thousand when the painting was finished and delivered. Realizing the huge financial gain he could benefit from, Glen had forced Justin to begin the painting but less than half way through, the blond had refused to finish it, and had ended up in the hospital for his troubles.

Justin knew he had no choice but to do exactly what Glen demanded or his little sister would pay the price. He smiled sadly as memories played across his mind like moving pictures on an old time movie reel.  Molly, smiling happily into the camera as she sat on Santa’s lap or playfully tossing a cupful of water onto his head on a hot summer day  and of the hide and seek games she loved to play when she was younger.

He wished they were playing that game now.  

He turned his head and looked through the window; Lindsay and Emmett were in the kitchen, putting the last of the newly washed dinner plates back into the cupboard. Ted was at the table, putting the remaining few slices of french bread into a zip lock bag to go into the refrigerator. He sighed heavily; he had made friends here, good friends that wouldn’t understand why he had no choice but to do as Glen demanded. He stepped off the porch and walked to Molly’s bike, lovingly running his hand over the handlebars. He remembered when she had gotten it, she had begged her mother to let her ride it to Marcy’s house a few blocks down. Jennifer had finally consented when Justin had offered to follow the youngster in his car and he had smiled and waved whenever Molly’s reddish blond head would turn to make sure he was keeping up.

As he walked to the sidewalk, he turned and let his gaze trail along the outside of the house to the side that held his mother’s bedroom. He ached with the knowledge of what he was about to do, sacrifice his happiness, his freedom and quite possibly his life for that of his sisters, but in the end it would all be worth it, his mother would have Molly back,  even if it was with his last dying breath, Justin would make sure Molly returned safely.

He took one last look in the window at his friends gathered in the kitchen, then turned and walked off into the night.

~*~*~

“Fuck, I don’t understand this Mikey, why would he just disappear without telling anyone where he was going?” Brian demanded in frustration, one hand on the Jeep’s steering wheel, the other he raked through his hair.

Michael shook his head, his concern for the blond growing “I don’t know, Emmett did say he’d gotten a phone call just before he left.” Michael said from the passenger seat. He turned briefly to peer at the tall dark haired man next to him then looked out the window again. All the while keeping his eyes open for any sign of a small blond man.

“Yeah, he did. I’d like to know what the fuck that was about” Brian answered, reaching down into the cup holder where he’d placed his cell phone after trying to call Justin the last time, “maybe he went to the office.” 

Brian hit the speed dial for Kinnetik on the vague hope that Justin was there. The security guard that answered claimed that he hadn’t seen Justin but would go to his office and check and would have Justin call him if the blond was there. Several minutes later the guard called back and told Brian, Justin wasn’t in the office or anywhere in the building.

“FUCKFUCKFUCK” Brian shouted, banging his closed fist on the steering wheel “God, Sunshine, where the fuck are you?”

Michael looked at him “you don’t think…….” Brian cut him off before he could finish “NO, don’t even think it, Mikey.” he said, shaking his head. But, even as Brian stared out the windshield, he couldn’t help thinking that his long time friend had just voiced his deepest fear, that Glen had somehow gotten a hold of Justin. No, he thought, Justin was too smart; he knew what Glen was capable of and would do anything to avoid falling into that trap.

Refusing to think the worst, Brian turned the jeep back toward Jennifer’s house, hoping Justin had gone home.

~*~*~

The plane picked up speed as it taxied down the runway, the engines roaring as the nose lifted off and the bulky metal bird rose into the air. Justin stared out the window as the ground seemed to drop out from under him. He watched the lights of the city below him as they got smaller and smaller, glittering like diamonds below him, then the 747 tipped slightly to the left in a half circle, before leveling out, heading west.

The blond stared sadly out the small window, resting his forehead against the coolness of the glass, as the plane carried him further and further away from his home and loved ones.  After reaching the airport he had been lucky (or unlucky) enough to be told that a seat had just been canceled on a non-stop flight from Pittsburgh to L.A.  The ache in his heart intensified as the aircraft swept onward toward its destination. The pain of knowing that he would never see Brian again, never feel the safety of the other man’s arms and never feel the thrilling rush of passion at the touch of his lips was overwhelming.

“Sir, are you alright?” asked the kindly old lady, seated next to him, as she handed him a small box of tissues.

Justin nodded, realizing as he reached for the box, that tears were trickling down his face “yeah, I just don’t like flying.” he said with a small smile, hoping she believed his lie.

“Uh huh” she answered, glancing toward the front “the fasten seatbelt sign is off, why don’t you call him. It might make you feel better hearing his voice.”

Eyes widening in surprise, Justin stammered “h…how did you know?”

She laughed and patted him on the knee “my grandson is gay, he gets the same look on his face when he has to go somewhere without his partner” then, she gave him a knowing look “go ahead, give him a call. I’ll just take a trip to the little girls’ room to give you some privacy.”

With that, she rose from her seat and began to slowly make her way down the narrow isle. Justin watched her for a moment then turned back to look out the window. What could it hurt he thought, once he reached LA, he knew Glen would never allow him to call anyone, certainly not Brian.  He shifted in his seat; hand going into his front pocket where he habitually kept his phone, Brian deserved to know why he had left so suddenly, why he was ……..

Fuck ….. its not there …..

Justin shoved his hand in his other front pocket, hoping against hope that it was there, it wasn’t. Suddenly desperate to hear Brian’s voice one last time, he frantically searched all around and under the two connected seats, even asking the person behind him if he had found a cell phone on the floor. After receiving an irritated *no* he sat back down, conceding defeat.

A few minutes later, his seat mate returned and he gave her a brief, watery smile, before turning to stare dejectedly out the window. He had lost his last connection with the man that he had fallen deeply in love with and it tore him apart to know he had never told Brian that he loved him.

As the hours crept by and the plane sped westward thoughts of Brian kept him from breaking completely and when it finally began its decent into Los Angeles he gave one last thought to the man he had loved and left behind, and then steeled himself for what was to come.



End Notes:

I was a bit too hasty in thinking this was going to be the last chapter. After thinking long and hard about it (about 20 minutes- HA), I realized that if I ended it now, I was leaving waaayyy too many loose ends untied. So hopefully you folks won’t mind, but I’m going to keep chugging along on this for a little while longer.

Chapter 11: Old Friends by starfire64
Author's Notes:

In this chapter Brian and Mikey find a clue to where Justin has gone and Brian turns to an old friend for help. Sorry, no Brian/ Justin reunion in this chapter and it will probably be another two chapters before that happens. Oh, I have no idea how the GPS in a cell phone works, or even if they have it, everything is just made up.

Brian sat on the couch, slumped forward, elbows on his knees and his head rested wearily in his hands. Bright rays of early morning sunlight beamed in through the window behind him, casting his shadow on the coffee table a few feet in front of the couch. When he and Michael had returned the night before, he’d walked in anxiously hoping to see a certain blond waiting for him. But, one look at Emmett’s tear stained face had told him that hadn’t been the case.

Both Emmett and Michael had opted to stay the night, instead of returning to their apartment and for that he was grateful, the presence of his two friends had been the rock he’d needed to help ground him during the silent hours. He wouldn’t admit it to anyone, even though he was sure they already knew, that the thought of Justin being in the hands of that madman terrified him. Hell, just the fact that Justin wasn’t answering his phone terrified him, and that alone told him that something was deeply, deeply wrong. Justin had never, not returned his calls, and the blonds voice mail was packed with Brian’s worried messages.

He sighed and ran his hands down his face, catching a glimpse of Jennifer coming into the room between his splayed fingers. He sat up and leaned back against the cushioned back of the couch as she stopped next to him, he noticed she was holding two steaming cups in her hands. 

“I won’t ask how you’re holding up.” she said, as she sat down next to him and sat one cup on a small, rounded, woven coaster sitting on the short glass table.

“I appreciate that.” he answered, lifting the cup and taking a sip of the freshly brewed coffee. Debbie had returned a short time before Jennifer had risen and Brian could hear the clang of pots and pans in the kitchen as she set about preparing breakfast. He could hear the low murmur of subdued voices in the kitchen, and the occasional twang of Emmett’s southern voice as the tall queen talked with Michael and Debbie.

Jennifer stared at the steam rising from her mug then sighed as she lifted her eyes toward the dark haired man beside her “I keep wondering where they are. If they’re scared, cold, hungry” a sound tumbled out of her mouth, sounding suspiciously like a sob as she tucked a strand of blond hair behind her ear “You don’t think Glen……..”

Brian turned to her and grabbed her hand “Don’t think that, until we know for sure” he looked at her, noting that the worry lines on her face and the glassy red rimmed eyes made her look about ten years older “Jen, I’m going to find them, I promise, I’ll find them no matter how long it takes” he said offering her a small smile “I never break my promises.”

She nodded and gave his hand a squeeze “I know” she said, then set her cup on another coaster “this is just so hard, you know. Justin wouldn’t just disappear like this” Jennifer brushed at a stray tear that had begun to trickle down her face, then gave Brian a watery smile as she released his hand and stood up “ I’m going to go sprinkle some water on my face”

Brian nodded and watched her trudge up the stairs; he knew she needed some time to herself to regroup. After a few minutes he noticed the voices in the kitchen had slightly risen and had just stood up to go see what was going on when he heard Debbie’s brassy voice.

“That little shit, I could ring his fucking neck for running off like this.”

Brian stopped and turned around, the last thing he needed to hear was Justin being blamed for something he was sure the blond hadn’t deliberately intended to do. He went out the door, slamming it shut behind him and walked down the steps to the walkway and stopped. A moment later he heard the door open and close and then Mikey stepped up next to him.

“Ma didn’t mean it Bri; she’s just worried like the rest of us.”

“I know, Mikey.”

They stood there silently for a few minutes, both lost in their own thoughts, and then Michael turned his head as he watched Brian take his cell phone out of his pocket.

He gave a small huff as he flipped it open “I don’t know why I’m trying again, he’s not going to answer it.” he exclaimed as he pushed a button and held the phone to his ear. Michael walked toward the hedge rimmed sidewalk to give him some privacy in case Justin actually did answer this time. As he neared the greenery a distinct ringing caught his attention and he began to slowly walk in that in direction. The ringing stopped just as a loud frustrated “FUCK” came from behind him.

Michael turned swiftly “Brian call him again.” he said as he turned back.

Brian appeared next to him a moment later, he’d seen Mikey’s reaction and the urgency in the other man’s voice puzzled him “why?” he asked.

Michael’s dark head slowly turned from side to side, a puzzled expression on his face “I swear I heard something when you tried to call him just now.”

Brian punched in the number again and this time both men heard the ringing coming from the bushes. They began to walk toward the sound, eyes scanning the ground as they searched. Michael saw it first, the glint of something shiny hidden just under the bush, he leaned over and picked it up.

“Brian?”

“It’s Justin’s.” Brian said, taking the phone in his hand. The battery was nearly drained, and Brian hoped there was still enough power to operate the device long enough to do what he needed to do. He quickly pushed the menu button and scrolled down the list of incoming calls; and two pairs of eyes widened as Molly’s name appeared on the screen. Brian quickly hit the GPS button to open the software and both men waited impatiently while the program searched for the location of Molly’s phone.   

A few seconds later a street address in Los Angeles, California appeared on the screen, and Brian sucked in a harsh breath.

“Shit, is that….” Michael started to ask, and then realized he was speaking to empty air. Brian was already racing for the porch steps.

Jennifer was just going into the kitchen when the door slammed open and Brian ran inside “we found Justin’s phone” Brian said stopping in front of her and holding the phone out “Jen do you know this address?” he asked.

Her hand flew to her mouth, covering it as a small cry escaped “Oh my god, Brian, that’s Glen’s address.”

Brian knew he didn’t have much time; the call had come in at 11:00 pm and Justin had disappeared a few minutes later. Hopefully, Justin hadn’t been able to get a flight out right away so there was the possibility that Brian could get to California in time.

“I’m going as soon as I can get a flight out” he said, wrapping his arms around Justin’s terrified mother, then whispered in her ear “I’ll get them back, just hang on a little bit longer.”

He released her then turned toward the door when he heard Debbie’s voice close behind him.

“Stop right there asshole” he turned to find himself wrapped tightly in smothering arms as she quietly said “you take care of yourself, you hear?”

“I hear Deb”

As Brian headed for his jeep, he pulled his phone out of his pocket, and punched in the number that would connect him with his secretary and two rings later Cynthia answered the phone.

 “Cyn, get me Pete Weller's number in New York”

~*~*~

Brian glanced at his watch as he came out of the bathroom and tossed his shaving kit on top of the pile of clothes shoved haphazardly in the large duffle bag. As soon as Jennifer had confirmed the address glowing on the small screen, Brian had realized that this was far more complicated than he could have imagined. Glen had taken extreme measures to reclaim his former lover and Brian knew that this rescue was something he wouldn’t be able do alone, he needed help and there was only one person he would turn to, and that person was Pete Weller. The call to his former neighbor and retired FBI agent had been very promising. Even though the man had been retired from the agency for several years, he still had contacts within the organization and even used his private jet to fly undercover agents to wherever their current assignments were. Luckily, Pete had been home when Brian had called and had volunteered to fly Brian to California.

Brian took one more look around the room as he zipped the bag closed; he had to be at the airport in thirty minutes. He picked up the bag, tossed his jacket over his arm, set the alarm and closed and locked the door behind him.

End Notes:

I'll try not to let so much time go by between updates again. Thank you to everyone for your reviews and for hanging in there with me : )

Chapter 12: White Knight by starfire64
Author's Notes:

I have no knowledge of how the FBI works in any situation, I just made everything up and there's a cliffy at the end.

 Brian arrived at the airport with a few minutes to spare and made his way to the designated meeting area. As he approached a door marked PRIVITE, a beefed up security guard stopped him and asked for his name, Brian waited impatiently as the man looked down the list of approved names, after what seemed like several minutes but in reality was probably no more than a few seconds, the guard found what he was looking for and took a pen out of the front pocket of his uniform shirt and marked a line through Brian’s name.

“You’re all clear Mr. Kinney, go on in.” he said, opening the door.

As soon as Brian entered the room he saw a familiar face coming through a door on the opposite side and felt a small smile cross his lips at the sight of his old friend. He started across the room at the same time Pete’s grey eyes met his and the smile on his face widened. Time had been good to the man he decided, Pete’s dark brown hair was now lightly peppered with grey and small wrinkled laugh lines were at the corner of his eyes, when they were within a foot of each other Pete reached out and pulled him into a strong bear hug.    

“Damn, it’s good to see you” Pete said, finally pulling back just enough to look Brian in the eyes.

Brian nodded “it’s good to see you too” he said, and then added “I didn’t know who else to call.”

Pete looked at him closely, noticing for the first time the deep worry that showed in Brian’s eyes. After getting the call from Brian the night before, he had done a little digging into Glen’s background and what he’d found wasn’t pleasant. Justin was in deep trouble, and Brian had every right to be worried about his boyfriend.

 “Brian, we’ll get him back” Pete said.

  The two continued to talk as they headed back out the door Pete had entered a few minutes before, Pete’s jet was parked next to a small hanger and Brian could see a small fuel truck pulling away from the plane.  

As the two boarded, Brian was surprised to see another man sitting casually in one of the plush, chocolate colored leather seats. The ankle of one booted foot was propped on the opposite knee and an open magazine rested in the hollow of the man’s bent denim clad leg.

The man regarded him curiously as Pete pulled the heavy door shut, but Brian could sense the coiled tension in the man and looking into the brown eyes staring back at him something told Brian that this man would make a welcome ally or a deadly enemy.

“Brian, say hello to Steve Newton” Pete said, shrugging out of his jacket, turned and hung it in the small closet built into the wall behind his seat “I thought he might want to tag along with us” he finished, as Steve closed the magazine, uncurled his leg and stood up. Brian saw that Steve was at least two inches taller and about fifty pounds heavier, but where the extra fifty pounds would have made any other man look slightly overweight, Steve’s was all muscle. As the other man sauntered the few steps that brought him up to Brian and reached his hand out, Brian was once again thankful that this man was on their side.

After shaking the man’s hand, Brian sat in the seat opposite the one Steve had just vacated “how long have you known Pete?” he asked as Steve sat back down and both men buckled up as Pete started the planes engines.

“About eight years, give or take a month” he grinned “you?”

Brian smiled back “since I was six” he said “I lived in the house next to his before my family moved to Pittsburgh.”

They leaned back in their seats while they listened to Pete talking to one of the controllers in the tower giving them the flight itinerary. In a few minutes they were cleared and the plane began to slowly taxi to the runway and Pete was given the all clear. Within minutes they were airborne and the older man glanced back over his shoulder “Steve’s here because I thought we might need his area of expertise.”

Brian looked at Steve with a raised eyebrow in a silent question and the man motioned with his thumb toward the back of the plane. Brian turned his head and it took only a moment to notice the two leather gun cases strapped to the back wall.

Brian swallowed around the lump in his throat, if Pete thought they needed a sharp shooter with them, then Justin was in far more trouble then either one of them realized.

“Steve, why don’t you fill Brian in on what we’ve found out.”

Over the next two hours Brian learned that Glen had been an only child and his parents, both coming from very well off, influential families, had showered Glen with anything and everything the man had desired while growing up. At the age of sixteen Glen had been arrested for breaking another boy’s nose when the kid had spurned Glen’s advances. It hadn’t been long before he was out of jail, and the other boys’ family had left town six months later when the influence of Glen’s extended family had left the father with no means of supporting his family.

Brian shook his head; his hatred for Glen growing stronger, the father of the other boy had been released from his job at the instance of Glen’s uncle, a silent partner in the lumber business the father had worked at for over twenty years.

After graduating from a private high school, Glen had gone to Yale, majoring in business, and managing to put another man in the hospital with injuries that rivaled Justin’s. It seemed Glen had a fondness for roughing up his boyfriends.

He had started working at Mason Inc. three years before Justin had and had quickly worked his way up to the junior vice Presidency by literally fucking his way to the top. The year before Justin started; Glen’s then boyfriend had made several quiet trips to a hospital in the upper part of Los Angeles, once for a broken arm and another, three months later, for two broken ribs. The year Justin had started working at Mason Inc., the boyfriend mysteriously disappeared. 

“And you think he’s dead?” Brian asked, handing the photo of a young auburn haired man back to Steve.

Steve shrugged his shoulders, as he placed the photo back in the briefcase he had pulled out from a storage area under the co-pilots seat “we don’t know”

After Steve had replaced the brown case back under the seat he sat down next to Brian “we got word that his family is still searching for him from another unit in the bureau.” 

Brian’s worry and fear for Justin was bearing down on him like a lead weight as he thought of his young lover in the hands of a possible murderer.

“There’s something else you should know before we get there” Steve said, looking at Brian “two of our agents will be tailing Justin as soon as he gets off the plane.”

Somehow, Brian thought, that didn’t give him any relief from the fear for Justin’s life.

~*~*~

Justin glanced at the people walking by as he hurried through the terminal, quickly dodging in and out of the seemingly endless flow of people coming toward him anxious to make their own connections.  He was in such a hurry to get out to the parking area where he knew the taxi’s would be waiting, he didn’t notice the man in the blue shirt look at him sharply then glance at the photo he was holding then quickly start after the fast moving blond, quietly speaking into a small microphone clipped to the collar of his shirt.

The man continued talking as he followed Justin out into the sun lit parking area and watched the blond climb into a taxi as a maroon colored car pulled up in front of him.  As the taxi pulled out into traffic, the other car pulled out behind them, keeping a safe distance so as not to be readily noticed.

Justin looked out the window at the passing homes and business’s as the knot in his stomach grew with each passing mile and tried to force all thoughts of Brian from his mind. He needed to concentrate on getting Molly out of Glen’s clutches, and safely back in their mother’s arms and then , and only then, could he allow memories of his hazel eyed lover to wrap around him, cloaking him from the wretched existence he was returning to. A quiver of apprehension raced up his spine, the revenge for his running out on Glen was sure to be more brutal then the beating he had taken when he had refused to finish the painting, and that beating was the one that had landed him in the hospital.

The taxi drew up to the curb and stopped and Justin paid the driver, got out, and stood on the sidewalk as the car sped off. The house looked the same as it had when he’d left, the manicured lawn and pruned hedges looked the same, so did Glen’s car sitting in the driveway. There was another car parked next to it that Justin didn’t recognize but that wasn’t his biggest concern, it was what was in the house that was.

Slowly he walked toward what once had been his home, up the concrete walk, and up the steps onto the covered front porch.    

Parked down the street the two men in the car watched Justin raise his hand to the door as if to knock then exchanged concerned looks as the door opened and Justin was forcefully pulled into the house.  

End Notes:

Thanks to everyone who has been reading and reviewing : )

Chapter 13: Into the Lion's Den by starfire64
Author's Notes:

Hey everyone, I apologize for being gone for so long. My short break from the story turned out to be a lot longer than I wanted thanks to RL. A big thank you goes to a very special friend for her friendship and understanding as well as the gentle nudges to get my butt back in gear and start writing again, haha. You know who you are.

In this chapter we'll find out a little more about what happened to Glen's ex boyfriend that was mentioned in the last chapter.

The hand on Justin’s arm felt like a vice, clamping down with unrelenting force as he was yanked inside the house. He whirled around as soon as he was released and stood watching cautiously as his former lover closed the door.

Glen leaned back against the heavy wooden panel, crossed his arms over his chest and mentally patted himself on the back. The smile that formed on his lips didn’t quite reach his eyes as he gazed triumphantly at the blond. Finally, Justin was back where he belonged and his to do with as he wished and he had a long list of grievances the younger man would soon be paying for. The embarrassment and inconveniences he’d endured over the past year were unforgivable and his body tingled with the excitement of dealing out Justin’s punishment.  Losing the buyer he’d found for the unfinished painting two months after Justin had run away was unfortunate, thank god he’d recently been able to find another buyer, but the indignity of having to traipse all the way across the US to retrieve Justin, only to find his wayward lover in the arms of another man, was reprehensible and Justin would pay dearly for Glen’s humiliation.

The older man knew exactly how that would play out, the shackles that were hanging from the four corners of his bed frame, were well worth the money he’d dished out for them weeks ago and even though they were still fairly new, Glen knew they could withstand any amount of struggling they were subjected to: they were already well broken in from use, as were the other, more interesting toys he had lined up neatly on top of the dresser. Soon the leather bands would be fastened tightly around Justin’s wrists and ankles instead of the slim red haired man they’d been attached to the night before.

That one, he knew would have to be taken care of soon. Now that Justin was back, he no longer had use for the sniveling shit he’d been dating when he had first met Justin. Glen laughed inwardly, dating was such a weak term, the only use the little twit had been good for was a hard fuck. Now, with Justin back where he belonged, he could get rid of the other one once and for all.  That is until Justin had served his use as well.

Focusing his attention back on the man in front of him, he let his eyes roam freely over Justin’s body, noting to his displeasure that the blond was not cowering in fear like he should have been, ready to beg for his forgiveness. Instead Justin was standing tall, a slight challenge shining in the blue eyes staring back at him. That wouldn’t do at all he thought, he could tell the lesson needed to begin sooner rather than later.

Unbeknownst to Glen, Justin had been reading every expression that had crossed the man’s face accurately; after all he’d had plenty of experience and Justin knew he had some long and painful nights ahead of him. 

“I think it’s time we got reacquainted, don’t you?” Glen asked, but as he pushed away from the door, he was surprised to see Justin shake his head negatively.

“I want to see Molly”

Justin was well aware of the risk he was taking by taking a stand against Glen but he also knew that once Glen had his hands on him he wouldn’t get another chance to see his sister or tell her how much he loved her. Once the painting was finished, he knew death would be a long time in coming, but it would come…..eventually. Glen had nearly beaten him to death once before, this time he wouldn’t stop, Justin knew, he’d seen it in Glen’s eyes. The only thing that saddened him was that he never got the chance to tell Brian that he loved him or to say good bye.

Glen’s face clouded in rage as he straightened to his full height, how dare Justin put his own needs in front of his. The intense anger he felt temporarily blinded his judgment and prevented him from taking a closer look at his surroundings; if he had he’d have noticed the man standing quietly in the slightly darkened interior of the next room.

 “You’ll see the bitch when I say you can see her”

 Justin stood his ground as Glen approached; the action only seemed to infuriate the man more and he knew he’d feel the heavy weight of Glen’s anger in less then a second.  As Glen stepped closer he saw the other man’s right arm raise and the hand close into a tight ball, and only one thought skidded to a stop in Justin’s mind as he tried to prepare himself for Glen’s fist smashing into his face……. Brian.

“Halbrook!”

The man striding into the room wore a look of extreme displeasure and Justin spared a look at Glen, wondering how the other man would take this intrusion. To his surprise two expressions quickly flitted across Glen’s face, first astonishment then dismay, much like a kid caught with his hand halfway out of the cookie jar with only a half hour until supper time. Justin shifted his gaze back to the newcomer only to find the chocolate brown eyes locked on his. He didn’t have time to wonder at the brief look of compassion before those eyes shifted back to Glen.

Joshua had insisted on being there when Justin arrived, one to meet the young artist who had started the painting and second, a deeper, more foreboding feeling had driven him to be there and he always went with his intuition. Luckily years of hard work prevented him from showing any emotion as he stopped between Glen and Justin. He felt a pang of sympathy for the look of relief that had been on the astonishly young looking face. If he hadn’t known better he’d say the kid wasn’t any older than his own sixteen year old son. Knowing he had to somehow prevent Halbrook from doing anything stupid, he decided to make his intentions known instantly.

“I suggest you save your revenge for later, if there is even one drop of blood splattered on that painting, you will deeply regret it” Joshua narrowed his eyes in warning “do I make myself clear”

Glen huffed in annoyance “perfectly”    he said, shooting an angry look at Justin.

Joshua, feeling he’d gotten his point across, nodded then turned to Justin “who is this Molly you spoke of?”

“My sister” Justin pointed a finger at Glen “he kidnapped her and brought her here”

“Well then, while Justin visits with his sister, you and I will discuss the final price for my newest decoration” Joshua replied confidently, instinctively knowing that the mention of money would grab Glen’s greedy attention and was rewarded when the man’s face lit up.

He watched as Glen roughly grabbed Justin’s shoulder and propelled the younger man down the hallway, stopping in front of a closed door at the far end. He could tell Glen was speaking to Justin as the man pulled a key ring out of his pants pocket and proceeded to unlock the door before shoving Justin inside and closing the door behind him.  

Over the next few minutes the men came to an agreement on the final price of ten thousand dollars, deliverable when Justin had completed his work. Although the price was extreme Joshua needed the painting, though he wasn’t about to let Glen in on his little secret until it was time.

After they had reached a mutual agreement, Joshua stood “the boy remains untouched as long as he works on my painting, is that clear?” he asked. He didn’t really trust the other man to keep his word but couldn’t find any other reason to remain inside the house without raising Glen’s suspicion.

“Yes, yes you’ve made it abundantly clear” Glen replied, holding the door open and all but pushing the other man out into the warm afternoon air. After Joshua had left and Glen closed the door he gazed down the hall, a thoughtful expression on his face. What Joshua Penhall didn’t know wouldn’t hurt him he thought as he began to walk toward the room that had become Molly’s prison for the past few days. He would still enjoy Justin’s body, but refrain from the blonds’ punishment until after the painting was finished.

Joshua sat in his car staring at the house for a few minutes then started it and backed slowly out of the driveway. He was one of the FBI’s top agents when it came to finding missing people and was used to being in dangerous situations, and the feeling in his gut told him that this had the potential to turn deadly. As he pulled up to the stop sign he reached under his seat, pulled out a folder and placed it on the consol next to him. He didn’t need to look at the small color photograph clipped on the front of the folder; he spent countless hours studying the face of the auburn haired young man pictured in it.

Andrew Jennings had been Glen’s boyfriend for two and a half years, and according to his family, had been happy and very much in love. Then Glen had met Justin and Andrew had mysteriously disappeared without a word. Andrews’ parents were slowly loosing hope of finding their son alive and Joshua himself was beginning to have serious doubts. He had a bad feeling, one he had felt a few times before and he didn’t like it. Justin was in deep trouble and he would do everything in his power to keep the young blond from vanishing without a trace.

As Joshua rounded the corner and pulled up behind the FBI car parked next to the curb he shut the engine off, grabbed the folder and got out. Hopefully it wouldn’t be long before Pete’s plane landed and they could get both Justin and Molly out of there. 

The two men in the car glanced back at him as he slid into the back seat and acknowledged each with a nod “Bill, Mike good to see you two”

Mike chuckled as he handed Joshua a bottle of water from the passenger seat “you saw us at briefing this morning”

After unscrewing the lid and taking a sip, Joshua put it back on and shook his head “that is one cold S.O.B”

“Anything?” Bill asked looking at Joshua in the rear view mirror and sighed as he received a negative shake of the head.

 “Not a clue, if he’s still alive, Halbrooks got him stashed someplace else” 

“How long before Pete’s plane lands?” 

Bill slightly turned his arm, hand still on the wheel, and glanced at the gold watch around his wrist “in about an hour and a half”

As the three settled down to wait, Joshua looked out the window, the feeling of unease growing with each second that ticked by.

The Countdown Begins by starfire64
Author's Notes:

Sorry for the wait everyone, this chapter had me kind of stuck for a while but I finally got all the kinks worked out of it. In this chapter Brian finds out a surprising connection between Steve and Andrew, Justin gets to spend a short time with Molly and Glen is hiding someone else in the house.

The minutes ticked by slowly, too slowly for Brian as he glanced at his watch, only ten minutes had gone by since the last time he’d looked.

 “Fuck” he grumbled, couldn’t this fucking plane fly any faster? He turned his head to look out the small window, the landscape far below seemed to be playing peek-a-boo with the clouds just under the plane. The jet had been in the air for three and a half hours with still another estimated hour and a half to go and Brian had spent much of that time thinking about Justin.

He kept reliving the last time he’d seen the blond, they had all been at Jennifer’s after Molly’s disappearance and he had been standing with Justin when Mikey had come up to them saying he was going to take Deb home. Justin had urged Brian to go along for the ride…… ”Why don’t you go with them, you probably need a break.”

 Brian hadn’t wanted to leave, but Justin had been right, he had needed a break. He remembered pausing at the door, turning to give Justin a small supportive smile before following Deb and Mikey out into the darkness.

He’d been kicking himself ever since, if he had stayed, he would have been with Justin when he had gotten the phone call, could have kept him from jumping on the first plane to LA, should have……….  

“All those thoughts running through you’re head isn’t doing you a damn bit of good.”

Brian turned his head to glare at Steve in the seat opposite his. The man had tried to make small talk with the brunet earlier in the flight but Brian’s mind hadn’t been on conversation and the other man had seemingly given up. Now the back of Steve’s seat was pushed into a reclining position, his eyes were closed and one long leg was stretched out in the isle.  Brian had thought he’d been asleep, but even as he watched, Steve lazily opened one eye and slightly turned his head in Brian’s direction; there was no sleep blurred look in the cold, clear eye staring back at him. Suddenly Steve opened the other eye and sat up, repositioning the seat into an upright position.

“You keep thinking those thoughts; they’re just going to drive you crazy!”

“Do they teach mind reading at the FBI academy now?” Brian asked, irritated that his thoughts had been interrupted.

Steve didn’t let the agitated tone get to him. He knew the frustration of not knowing what was happening to Justin right at this very moment was weighing heavy on Brian’s mind. He’d felt that way himself too many times, knew what the fear and worry of not knowing what was happening to a loved one felt like.  

“Nope, just seen a lot of people go through the same thing you’re going through now….. If I had only been there or there had to have been something I could have done” Steve glanced over at Brian “sound about what’s going through your head right now?”

Brian sighed, knowing Steve was right “Yeah” the momentary aggravation of having his thoughts interrupted was gone, eased by the sound of Steve’s calm voice. 

“There wasn’t anything you could have done Brian, you couldn’t have stopped him from going.” 

“I know” Brian nodded, knowing Steve wasn’t saying something he hadn’t known already “you’re right, I know” he then glanced at the man “I thought you were asleep” 

Steve let out a small derisive snort “I haven’t slept since I started looking for him.”

That’s when Brian noticed the small picture of Andrew in Steve’s hand. He had been so lost in his own thoughts and worry over Justin that he hadn’t noticed when Steve had retrieved the picture out to the briefcase that was now sitting on the seat next to him. The hazel eyes moved back to Steve’s face and Brian saw for the first time the haunted shadows in the other man’s eyes. There was something there and Brian wasn’t sure what it was but had a sudden feeling that the case of Glen’s missing ex boyfriend held a special significance for Steve. The other man was waging an inner battle with a demon he couldn’t exercise and Brian wondered if he and Steve had more in common then he thought, even though his ever present gay-dar had so far been quiet. 

Brian slightly inclined his head at the picture “he’s more than just another case I take it”

Steve gave a small smile “he’s my brother, step brother actually” he answered, gazing fondly down at the small photograph “my mom died when I was just a baby and dad married his mom when I was six, Andy’s four years younger then I am.” 

He looked back at Brian then “I have to find out what happened to him, this is tearing my parents up inside. My dad is holding up pretty good I think, but mom….” Steve shook his head turning and placing the picture back inside the briefcase then turned back to face Brian again “mom’s having a hard time with this, Andy’s her baby.”

“So that’s really why you’re here?”

“That’s why I’m here; Pete knows I’ve been looking for him” 

Brian looked up toward the front of the plane where Pete was manning the controls “he’s a good friend.”

“Yes, he is” Steve answered. Brian watched the man turn and settle back into his seat and knew the rare moment was gone. He stood and stretched then moved up to the front of the plane.

Pete glanced over as Brian slid into the co-pilots seat “How are you holding up?”

Brian shook his head “I can’t stop thinking about him, in that fucking house, with that…” he stopped for a moment, running a hand wearily down his face “What was he thinking Pete, what the fuck was he thinking, why didn’t he tell me first?”

Pete sighed “I don’t know, but knowing what we know about Halbrook, I’m guessing either him or a member of his family threatened his mother, his sister or possibly even you.”

“Justin’s not the type to just go off without telling anyone” Brian said, leaning his head back on the headrest.

“I didn’t think he was” Peter said, his eyes back on the instrument panel in front of him “but for some reason he did and we have to find out why. Judging from what you told me about him, he seems to have a pretty level head on his shoulders”

“Most of the time”

“Like I told you before, we’ll get him back Brian” Pete took one hand off the throttle, giving a quick comforting squeeze to Brian’s shoulder “right now he’s got one thing going for him and that’s the fact that Glen has another buyer for that painting and needs it finished.”

“I don’t suppose you have any idea who the buyer is, do you?” Brian asked and was surprised to see a wide smile split Pete’s face.

“He’s one of us.”

~*~*~

Pete reached into his shirt pocket and pulled out his cell phone to turn it on after he had brought the plane to a stop next to the special hanger set aside for law enforcement at LAX. As soon as he turned it on the phone beeped letting him know a message was waiting, he recognized the number instantly, it was the other team that had followed Justin to Glen’s house. He shrugged out of his seat belt, glancing back to see both Steve and Brian unhooking theirs as well. Still watching as the two men stood and began to move around the cabin he returned the call.

Brian unstrapped one of the cases hanging on the back wall of the plane and handed it to Steve. As he turned he caught Pete’s eye, his long time friend was staring straight at him as he spoke softly into the phone then several seconds later disconnected the call.

“We gotta move boys” he said as he tossed Steve a look “get on the phone and get that car here now!”

As Steve pulled his cell phone out of his pocket, Pete motioned Brian to one side “that was the other team, Justin’s inside the house. Our man on the inside said Justin’s fine for now but doesn’t know for how long, he thinks Glen is about to crack.”

If Steve noticed Brian’s suddenly pale face, he didn’t mention it as he stepped up beside them.

“Cars’ waiting outside”

As the three raced down the steps to the waiting car only one thought was going through Brian’s mind………. hang on sunshine, I’m coming.

~*~*~

Justin felt Molly’s tears soaking through his shirt and had to hold back a few of his own as he felt the tremors racking her small frame. She had been sitting on the bed when Glen had opened the door; shoving him inside with a snarled “you have ten minutes”. Molly had taken one look at him before breaking into heartrending sobs and racing across the room, flinging herself into his arms even before Glen had shut the door behind him. 

Finally with a small hiccup she pulled back slightly, lifting a hand to swipe at her tear blurred eyes “I’m so sorry, Jus. He made me call” 

Justin smiled and replied “its okay Mol” he replied cupping one side of her tear blotched face tenderly in one hand “he didn’t hurt you did he?” he asked.

Molly shook her head “no, I’m okay.”

He nodded and took a quick glance around the room as he took her hand, leading her back to the bed where she had been sitting when he’d come in. The room was sparsely furnished, holding just a small bed, nightstand, a small empty bookshelf and a dresser. 

As they sat down he placed an arm across her shoulders hugging her against him and gave a faint smile as the girl returned the gesture.

 “How’s mom?” Molly asked.

“She’s okay, worried about you” he replied, resting his chin on top of her strawberry blond head “and me too now.”

Molly looked up at him and Justin found himself staring into a pair of blue eyes so much like his own “but, Brian’s coming right? He’ll get us out of here.”

Justin had to smile at the confidence his sister had in Brian, to her the man could move mountains and part oceans but knew his next words weren’t going to make her feel better.

Justin shook his head “Brian doesn’t know” he stopped and closed his eyes for a moment; as  thoughts of the dark hared lover he’d left back in Pittsburgh threatened to bring him to his knees  “I didn’t tell him.”

Molly sat up and looked at him like he’d lost his mind “you didn’t tell him?”

Justin stubbornly pushed all thoughts of Brian out of his mind as he turned to face his sister; there would be plenty of time to think of the taller man later. He had to concentrate on Molly right now.

“Molly listen, we don’t have much time here, okay?” he said urgently and  waited until she nodded her head “When I got the call, Glen warned me not to tell him or anyone else, he said you were both dead if I did. I didn’t ….I couldn’t take that chance”

Justin pleaded with her to understand, he loved them both so much and would do everything in his power to keep them from getting hurt even if it meant sacrificing his own life.

 Finally she nodded “What do we do now?” She asked in a small voice.

“I don’t know yet, but I’ll get you out of here” Justin answered “I promise”

“How did you wind up with Glen?”

Justin reached for her hand and gave a gentle squeeze when a slight tremble went through her; he knew the kidnapping had been a frightening experience and talking about it wasn’t easy for her.

“Mom had just dropped me off at school. I watched her drive away then turned to go in the building. I had almost reached the steps and then suddenly Glen was right there in front of me” she hitched in a breath as the tears welled up in her eyes again “he said, your going to help me get that asshole back where he belongs” she looked at Justin “I told him to go screw himself and tried to go around him. He grabbed my arm and opened his jacket enough for me to see a gun shoved into his pants. I was so scared Jus.”

She looked at him as a tear began to trickle down her face “he made me go with him, I didn’t want to but he told me he would shoot anybody that tried to help me if I screamed, so I just went with him.” 

Justin wrapped his arms around her while she cried on his shoulder, vowing that if it was the last thing he ever did, he’d see her safely back in their mother’s arms.

~*~*~

Glen mentally gave himself a pat on the back as he approached the door to Molly’s room. Ten thousand dollars was an extraordinary amount for the painting but, being the fool that Joshua was, the other man hadn’t so much as blinked an eye when Glen had named his price, and had readily agreed that the sum would be paid in brand new, one hundred dollar bills. A self satisfied smile crossed his face as he rubbed his hands together gleefully; he could almost feel the crisp green papers filling his hand.

As he reached the door he grabbed the handle and unceremoniously flung it open, allowing it to bang loudly on the wall, smiling mirthlessly as the two young blonds inside jumped at the sound.

“Times up my love” Glen said, smirking at the way the color drained from Justin’s face. Without sparing so much as a glance in Molly’s direction he stalked into the room and grabbed Justin’s arm, yanking his captive off the bed. Justin winced as Glen’s hand tightened on the already forming bruise left there when he had been hauled roughly into the house earlier.

“NO. Justin…..” Molly cried, launching herself at her brother and locking her small arms around his waist. Justin gave her a quick hard hug with his free arm as Glen looked on, then tiring of her sniveling; Glen jerked him away and proceeded to pull him towards the door, leaving a sobbing, broken hearted girl standing in the middle of the room.

As he was propelled down the hallway Justin glanced over at his ex as Glen snarled at him “The painting is in your room, I suggest you get started immediately”

Glen jerked him to a stop in front of a door Justin recognized as the door to the spare bedroom he’d once used as a studio. Opening it Glen looked at him “Use the time wisely Justin, I may go easy on your punishment if you do”

 Before Justin had a chance to reply, Glen pushed him inside and closed the door, taking care to lock the newly installed locking knob, he didn’t want his prize getting out and wandering the halls when he was amusing himself elsewhere. Justin looked around, before where there had been canvases of all sizes, paints, brushes and other various supplies lining the walls now there was only an easel with a large canvas sitting on it, a small table that held his paints and brushes and a chair against one wall. 

Glen walked back to the spacious front room and over to the liquor cabinet, pouring himself a generous amount of brandy from the decanter sitting on top. As he turned he caught a glimpse of his reflection in the large mirror hanging over the huge fire place built into the opposite wall. He smiled and raised his hand in a silent toast, laughing lightly while the image in the mirror did the same.

He raised the glass to his lips, taking a swallow while he walked to his favorite chair and sat down. Despite his earlier intent of having Justin share his bed at night, he was beginning to rethink his plan. He was still angry enough that he knew once he had Justin in his bed he wouldn’t be able stop with just a mere fuck, and while he resented the boundaries Joshua had put on him concerning the blond, he was perceptive enough to know that Joshua would want to see and talk to Justin before he paid Glen any money. As much as he disliked the idea, Justin would have to remain virtually untouched until the painting was finished, but, that didn’t mean he couldn’t have some fun with his reclaimed lover in the meantime.

Still lost in thought Glen’s mind switched over to the other male “guest” he had stashed away in the hidden room behind the walk in closet in his bed room. He absentmindedly swirled the amber liquid slowly around in the glass as he pondered the situation.  

Andrew was another matter altogether, now that he had Justin back under his control, Andrew would just have to disappear, this time for good. He knew he couldn’t return the red head to the man he’d initially given him to when he and Justin had first gotten together. The man had been a client at Mason Inc. and had taken an interest in Andrew when he had first seen him, claiming the red head matched his own fiery nature. Glen huffed out an amused laugh, Andrew had proven to be too much for the man, fighting him at every twist and turn and the man had shown up on his doorstep one day with Andrew in tow, demanding that Glen take him back.  He had and in the six weeks that Andrew had been in his home he had taken great pleasure in teaching the bitch the error of his ways.  

A plan began to take root in his mind, a plan so deliciously brilliant that he was surprised he hadn’t thought of it earlier. He quickly knocked back the remaining brandy and sat the glass on the small table next to the chair and stood, the smile on his lips not quite reaching his eyes as he started down the hallway.

Maybe it was time Justin and Andrew met.

Chapter 15 Closing In by starfire64
Author's Notes:

WARNING- some of this may be a little graphic!

Molly makes a startling discovery and with the 'help' of a new friend manages to escape. Brian, Pete and Steve reach LA. Sorry, no Justin in this one but he and Brian will be reunited soon. And, I'm pretty sure the FBI wouldn't let just anybody get involved in what's about to happen but because of where the story is headed, Brian has to be : )  I hope everyone has a safe and happy New Year.

Brian sat in the back seat of the dark blue Ford Taurus, watching as the city of Los Angeles whizzed by. They had been on the interstate for ten minutes when Pete’s phone rang, Steve, in the drivers seat glanced over at him as he fished his phone out of his shirt pocket.

“Its Joshua” he said looking at the lighted screen then punched the answer button.

Brian listened intently to the seemingly one sided conversation, from what he could make of the questions and comments his old friend was making, Glen was rapidly becoming more and more unstable. Joshua had been in the house when Justin first  arrived and had been able to keep Glen from harming him and for that Brian was thankful.  Steve asked quietly if there was any sign of Andrew, and Pete relayed the question to the agent then shook his head regretfully.

“Nothing”

Sighing, Steve once again focused his attention on the road but Brian could see the firmly set jaw and both hands clench the wheel hard before relaxing again. Brian’s fear, as well as his hatred for Justin’s ex grew. The outcome for Andrew didn’t look good and with Justin and Molly trapped in the house with that low life, murdering sack of shit; Justin’s chances didn’t look promising, even though Joshua’s threats had kept him unscathed for the time being. He swore if he ever got his hands on Glen, there wouldn’t be a breath of life left in him when his fingers were finally pried from around the fuckers’ throat.  

Pete closed the flip part of his phone and glanced back at Brian as he slid the device back into his shirt pocket.

 “We’re almost there”

~*~*~

Molly sat on the bed, staring out the window at the tall wooden privacy fence of Glen’s back yard.  Now and then a heavy sigh escaped past her partially opened lips as she thought about the predicament she and Justin were in. While she understood why her brother hadn’t told Brian where he was going, she knew that if she could find some way to get out of the room and get to a phone, without Glen finding out, Brian would figure some way to get them out of there.

She rose and walked toward the glass pane watching as a bird flew into her line of vision and out again as it passed the other side of the window frame. As she got closer the line of rose bushes lining the fence slowly rose from the bottom of the window and she knew that if she took a deep breath she could smell the fragrant red flowers that dotted the green thorny plants.  She had been in that back yard once, she and her mother had been invited for a back yard barbeque right after Justin had moved in with Glen, that had been one of the few happy times she could remember before Glen had shone his true colors.

Her eyes dropped to the bottom of the window and it took a minute or so for her to realize that something didn’t look right about the bottom portion of the frame. She bent forward a little and looked closer, the wood on the bottom of the frame looked as if someone had tried to pick it open with something. Looking at the rest of the frame she could see that the paint on the bottom looked fresher then the paint on the rest and running her fingers along the bottom she could tell why. The bottom of the frame had been nailed shut and painted over, she could see that a piece of the frame was sticking up just a little bit but try as she might she couldn’t get her fingers underneath it to pull it up. She was so intent on working she almost didn’t hear the thump coming from the wall behind her. She stopped to listen; afraid Glen was coming back but then realized that the sound had not come from the direction of the door. Shaking her head she turned back to the sill, but then she heard it again, a distinct thump directly behind her.

She turned and walked over to the wall and heard a sound almost like a moan coming from the other side. Letting her eyes roam downward she was surprised to see a vent near the bottom of the wall, she hadn’t noticed it before. Kneeling down and feeling slightly foolish she asked in a quiet voice “Hello?’ And nearly fell back on her rear end when a voice, distinctly male answered her.

“Help me”

Molly’s eyes widened “Justin?”

“No, not Justin” the voice answered back. Molly’s eyes narrowed in confusion, the voice sounded strange.

“Who are you?”

“Andy….my name’s Andy”

Sitting down and pulling her knees up to her chest she wrapped her arms around them, resting her chin on the tops of her knees “you sound strange, are you okay?”

She heard slight movement and a low moan “No, hurts”

Her head popped up and she stared at the wall “he hurt you didn’t he?” she asked in a small voice, looking around the room half afraid that she would see Glen standing in the doorway.

She heard him speak again, a little stronger but strained “I know that room you’re in; Glen kept me in there when I first came back here. Go out through the window”

“I can’t its nailed shut”

“There’s a knife hidden under the base of the lamp on the nightstand”

Molly shook her head not thinking that Andy couldn’t see her “There’s no lamp there”

“Shit” came the muttered curse threw the vent, then “see if it’s under the bed or in the closet”

  She got up and looked under the bed, not seeing it there she turned to the closet and high up on the shelf above the metal clothes rack was the lamp. Knowing she wouldn’t be able to reach it she looked around and her eyes settled on the night stand. Working quickly, she tugged the stand into the closet and climbed up, feeling it teeter a little under her weight. Holding onto the shelf with one hand and tipping the lamp over with the other she felt around in the base with her fingers and was rewarded when they closed around the handle of the knife.

Walking back to the vent she knelt down “Okay, I have it, what now?”

“Some of the board around the bottom of the window is loose, try to pry it open with the knife”

Molly hurried back to the window and shoved the blade of the knife in under the board and was surprised when she was able to wiggle it just a tiny bit. Working feverishly she picked and pried until finally with a small protesting noise the board popped loose. Gleefully she grabbed it and tossed it on the bed, hurrying back over to the vent to tell Andy. 

Just as she kneeled down however, she heard a different voice, one that made her cringe. Listening silently she tried to make out what Glen was saying, at first it sounded muffled, like he was too far away but then his voice came through more clearly as if he had moved further into the room. 

“Come on bitch”

Then she heard Andy’s voice “No, Glen please don’t” a muttered curse followed, then a thud and a loud groan and knew Glen had done something to hurt Andy.

“What did I tell you about saying no to me?”

Not wanting to hear more of what was happening to her new friend Molly turned and as quietly as she could hurried back to the window. Glen’s voice had a scary ring to it and she knew that she had to get help fast, not just for Justin but for Andy too, he had sounded so weak.   Within seconds she had the window up, crawled through the opening, and landed with a quiet thud on the grass a few feet below. Running to the gate she slipped through it and ran down the short alley toward the open street.

Not thinking about anything but trying to find help she didn’t think to pause to look for on coming cars like she normally would have but blindly ran out into the street. The loud blare of a car horn and the screeching of tires caused her to turn; all she had time to notice was the silver radiator grill and headlights of a dark colored car bearing down on her.

Instinctively she put her hands out as if to ward off the impending collision, closed her eyes and waited…….and felt the warm hood of the car under her palms as it skidded to a stop in front of her. 

~*~*~

If not for Steve’s quick reflexes the car would have rolled right over the young girl, it had been too damned close. It took Brian only a second to realize who the girl was and was out the door in a flash not paying any mind to the three people who had jumped out of the car parked just fifty yards away and were running toward them.

“Jesus, fuck Molly. Are you okay?” Brian asked as small arms wrapped themselves around his neck and released a huge sigh of relief when he felt her nod her head against his shoulder. The words he’s here, he’s here, he’s here, kept repeating themselves over and over inside her head while she held onto him with all the strength her small arms could muster.

“I’m s..s..sorry, I wasn’t thinking. I didn’t look” Molly shakily said as Brian and one of the other men from the first car helped her into the back seat of the Taurus.

Settling back against the seat of the car she wiped her eyes as Brian and the other agent climbed in, one of each side of her “I’m really sorry Brian. I was trying to find help”

Brian shook his head as he wrapped an arm across her shoulders and pulled her to his side “I’m just glad you’re okay. How did you get out of the house?”

Eyeing the two men in the front seat as they pulled up behind the other car, Molly wasn’t sure how much to tell him, especially when the two men still standing outside leaned in, resting their arms on the now rolled down windows on the front and back passengers sides.

“I had help”

“Molly, these are my friends Pete and Steve” Brian said, indicating the two men in the front seat. He’d seen the look she was giving them and had seen the distress on her face, he then glanced at the man on Molly’s other side “and you are?”

“Joshua, and like Brian here, I’m also happy to see you’re alright”

The man leaning on Pete’s window added “I’m Mike and that’s Bill” he said motioning to the man at Joshua’s window with his thumb.

 Molly looked at Joshua “your voice……I heard you, you were in the house earlier”

Joshua nodded; he was still shaking inside at the thought of what had almost happened, thank god for Steve’s quick reflexes.

“Yes, I was”

“Molly is Justin okay?” Brian asked, fearing her answer but needing to know.

“Yeah, he seems to be” then she thought of Andy “but I don’t think the other one is though”

Both Pete and Steve swiveled their heads around to stare at her “what other one?” Steve demanded in a harsh voice.

Molly jumped and stared at him with wide frightened eyes, the look on the man’s face was formidable.

“Molly, Steve’s brother was living with Glen before he met Justin. He went missing right before Justin moved in with Glen” Brian told her. 

“Is his name Andy?” she asked and was surprised when Steve’s eyes widened and his face lost color, he nodded his head.

“He’s alive, but he’s been hurt. I only talked to him through a vent in the wall. He sounds bad”

“What do you mean” Pete asked, turning crossways in the front seat so he could see her over the headrest.

“He sounds really weak” she said “he told me there was a knife hidden in the base of the lamp in the closet. I got it and managed to pry open a board on the window. When I went back to tell him I’d gotten the board loose I heard Glen’s voice in the room with him”

“What was Glen saying Molly?” that was from Bill still leaning on Joshua’s window.

“He said….” she looked up at Brian, drawing on the man’s presence to give her strength “he said come on bitch. Then I heard Andy say no, Glen please don’t. Then I think Glen hit him or something.”

Pete looked at Steve noticing the pale pallor on the man’s face and the ticking in his jaw “if you don’t think you can do this we can get another shooter in here”

 Steve shook his head “No fucking way” he glanced at Molly with an apologetic look and she grinned back at him

“Don’t worry; I’ve heard my brother and Brian say that lots of times” Molly said then looked at Brian again “get them out of there Brian, please, Glen’s acting really weird”

“We will” he answered giving her a quick hug as the others began to move. Steve exited and moved to the back of the car and opened the trunk. 

“That house there has a for sale sign on it” Steve said pausing with a small duffle bag in one hand  and pointing at the house next door to Glens with the other.

“I’ve only seen the real estate agent there” Molly told them, stopping next to the opened hatch and looking at the two gun cases lying on the carpeted bottom of the trunk.

“How many times” Pete asked.

“Just once” she replied.

Pete nodded and gently steered her to the first car “Let’s get you in here where you’ll be safe” He looked over his shoulder, Bill was walking behind them “get on the radio with the office and tell them we’re going in now”

Pete looked at Molly “honey, I want you to stay here. Bill will stay with you”

After Molly was safely in the back seat she turned to stare out the back window. Pete was fastening an earpiece to his left ear and seemed to be arguing with Brian. She saw Steve and the other one, Mike, saying something then Pete sighed and nodded his head and Brian attached the earpiece to his own head.

After testing the devices and making sure all four agents and Brian were able to communicate with each other Steve and Mike began separate journeys toward the empty house and Glen’s house. Pete and Brian headed toward Glen’s back yard and Joshua walked straight up the drive toward the front door. 

Chapter 16 - The Final Countdown by starfire64
Author's Notes:

Just re-posting the last two chapters that were lost because of the hacking. Unfortunately all of the reviews that were attached to those chapters are gone, those of you who did review them, Thank You : )

Justin turned away from the window, eyes briefly closing in relief. He’d been standing looking out at a neighbor’s house when a flash of movement caught his attention. Moving slightly to one side, he’d been able to see just a small portion of the gate leading into the alley from the back yard and had seen Molly slip through it.

Glen had walked past his door just a short time before he’d seen his sister outside and he had listened with dread as the footsteps had slowed for a second then continued on. Now, he listened for any sounds telling him that Glen had seen his sisters’ escape but the house remained quiet, and for some reason that thought didn’t put him at ease.

As he started back across the room his eyes fell on the canvas and the partially painted face of the woman staring back at him. The Mona Lisa smile seemed to twist into a mocking sneer as sudden, unwanted memories flooded his mind.

...”No, Glen don’t”….a fist connecting with his face and the taste of blood in his mouth….

…“I own you, you stupid little fuck” Glen’s enraged face was close to his “you will do as I say”

…”I won’t….”….the carpet coming up to meet him as he fell to the floor………

…”wrong answer Justin”

Justin slumped heavily in the chair, slightly rocking back and forth as his hands went to his head gripping his hair in tight fists as the memories continued to whirl in his mind. He’d been so excited when Glen had first approached him, thinking that he would be doing some minor restoration on the famous work of art. Then everything had fallen apart when he learned that the work he’d be doing wasn’t restoration but an actual exact copy that Glen planned to sell. Of course he had refused, and that refusal had gotten him the first of several horrible beatings. He remembered trying to curl in on himself as kicks and punches rained down on his body before everything had gone black. He woken up suspended from the ceiling, his arms secured to a metal hook and Glen was beating him with a whip. In an act of self perseveration he’d finally relented and agreed to do the painting, Glen had forced him to start that same day.

Two more beatings followed, one when Glen thought Justin should have been working faster and the third and last one, the one that landed him in the hospital was when he had out rightly refused to finish it. The memories of that kept replaying over and over in his mind as his body began to shake. Then miraculously, his mind switched to other memories, more pleasant memories of gentle kisses and soft touches, Brian holding him in the darkness of the loft and Brian making love to him.

The memories went on and on jumping back and forth between Glen and Brian.

Glen ….. beating him …… degrading him ……. humiliating him ….. hurting him ……..

Brian ….. holding him ……. kissing him …… loving him …… touching him ……

Glen…

Brian…

Glen..

Brian..

Glen.

“YOU MOTHER FUCKER!”

With an outraged yell he rose and swept his arm across the small table watching as paint tubes scattered across the floor. The canvas and easel were next; breaking the canvas across his up lifted knee and throwing it across the room, the canvas was followed by pieces of the easel. When he was done, Justin stood in the middle of the room, his chest heaving in exertion as he surveyed the damage.

~*~*~

Glen half drug, half carried Andrew into the bedroom and pushed him onto the bed watching him slowly roll over onto his stomach. He noticed some of the deeper welts on the freckled back had reopened and growled out a warning “don’t fucking bleed on my bed” before walking to the nightstand.

He didn’t bother securing the man to the bed though; he knew that in Andrew’s half starved, weakened state the man wouldn’t be going anywhere. He reached the nightstand and opened the top drawer, pulling out a small, short barreled pistol and turned around, smirking at the wide eyed look in the terrified eyes staring at him. He felt no remorse over what he was about to do, after all, everything that had been done to the red head lay solely on Justin’s shoulders and he intended to make Justin well aware of that fact.

 “Soon Andrew, it will be all over soon” he said, setting the gun on the nightstand, enjoying the fearful look on the other man’s bruised face. That look was nearly his undoing as he groaned with sudden lust, nothing made him hotter than knowing he had complete, total control over another, that they would do anything, let him do anything, just to avoid his wrath.

Feeling his cock start to twitch, he decided his plans for Justin and Andrew’s meeting could be put off for a short time as he began to walk slowly to the bed. His hands rose to the buttons on his silk shirt, watching Andrew’s face as the buttons slid through the holes with every step closer to the bed. He was confident that no one knew where Justin was due to his threat against Molly, and he was equally confident that Andrew’s family had stopped looking for him after months of no word from the missing man.

“I think a farewell fuck is in order, don’t you?” Glen said as he shrugged the shirt off his shoulders and watched the muscles in Andrew’s neck tighten.   

However, just as he was preparing to reach down and jerk Andrew to his knees he heard a crash from down the hall and whipped his head around to stare at the closed door just as another crash was heard. Molly didn’t have anything in her room that would make that sort of sound but Justin…..His eyes narrowed as a snarl escaped his lips, the painting…...

“That stupid little fuck has no idea who he’s dealing with.”

Andrew closed his eyes as Glen slammed the door open and disappeared down the hall. Hopefully Molly had been able to escape and help for him and Justin would be coming soon.

~*~*~

Justin heard heavy footsteps coming down the hall and stopping right outside his door and watched wearily as Glen flung the wooden panel open and stalked into the room. This wasn’t going to be good he realized and his mind barely had time to register that Glen’s upper body was naked before he was sent flying across the room, landing heavily in a jumbled heap against one wall. Glen was there before he had time to pick himself up and the older man grabbed him by the hair jerking Justin to his feet. Justin didn’t have time to wonder what his next move would be but instead felt a solid blow to the stomach that would have sent him doubling over in pain if not for the fingers still holding firmly to the hair on the top of his head.               

“You fucking little prick” Glen’s face was close to his and Justin felt small drops of spittle raining on his face as the other man spat the words out “you will fucking pay for this, Justin, that ten thousand dollars is coming out of your ass.”

Despite himself Justin could help but choke out a laugh “better my ass then in your pocket you son of a bitch.”

Glen’s face took on a pure rage and Justin briefly wondered if his outburst had just gotten him a one way ticket to hell when he noticed Glen eyes change to a more calculating look.

“We’ll just see how Andrew feels about that” Glen announced as he quickly twisted Justin’s arm behind his back and laughed when he heard a loud yelp from the smaller man.

Despite the pain in his arm Justin couldn’t help but wonder…….Andrew? who the fuck is Andrew? as he was propelled out the door and down the hall at a fast pace.

~*~*~

Pete and Brian snuck around the back of the house and into the back yard, trying to stay low and out of sight from the windows. Just as they were easing up to the covered patio they heard Steve’s quiet voice coming through the headsets “in place” Pete looked to the empty house and could see Steve looking down at them from his hiding place on the roof and slightly lifted a hand in acknowledgement.

Then Bill’s voice came through, just as quiet “Molly says there’s a back door leading into the kitchen but he usually keeps it locked.”

Pete reached up and touched the button to activate his microphone “got it covered.”  

As they were approaching the back door Pete stopped and turned to Brian “when we get inside, you need to stay right with me, Brian, no matter what you hear or see, got it?”

“Yeah, I got it” Brian answered, grudgingly accepting the fact that Pete was right, if they were going to get Justin and Andrew out of there alive he had to do exactly what his old friend told him to do, after all it wasn’t everyday that the FBI allowed a civilian to actively participate in a hostage situation.  

As Steve finished adjusting the scope on the rifle he tried not to think about his brother, without much success. Although Andy was in reality his step brother, Steve didn’t think of it in those terms, Andy was his brother, they had grown up together, gotten into trouble together and when Andy had first come out to their parents at the age of eighteen, Steve had been right there with him, giving him all the moral support he needed. It had taken them both by surprise when their parents had looked at each other and burst out laughing. Their mother had told him “honey, we’ve known that since you were eleven, you could have been born with green skin and purple hair and we’d still love you” then their father had gotten up from his chair and wrapped his arms around the teary eyed teen “you’re our son, and being gay is just a part of who you are, we will always love you, no matter what. I’m damn proud of you” then Steve had been pulled into that embrace himself “damn proud of both my son’s.”

Shaking his head to dislodge the memories, Steve began monitoring the windows through the scope, there would be time to reunite with Andy later, he hoped, right now he had a job to do.

“Bingo, Halbrooks in one of the rooms at the back of the house” Steve announced into the small microphone attached to his ear.

“Is he alone?” came Joshua’s quiet voice. The man was currently standing just outside the front door waiting for the all clear from Steve to go in.

“Looks like it” he answered and watched curiously as Glen removed his shirt……. what the fuck is he doing?

Then he heard Pete’s “We’re in.”

Steve moved the rifle over a bit and focused on what he had found to be the kitchen since he could see the refrigerator through the window and was rewarded a second later when he saw Pete and Brian step into view.

Swinging the rifle back to the bedroom window he was just in time to see Glen jerk the door open and leave the room.

“Shit, find cover, he’s left the room.” 

Swinging the rifle back to the kitchen window, he was relived to see that Pete and Brian had disappeared from sight, and then checked the living room knowing that Joshua had slipped through the front door a few moments ago, there was no sign of any of the three men. Satisfied that they had found temporary hiding places Steve again focused on the bedroom window.

“Steve, can you see him?” Pete whispered into the small microphone. He and Brian had ducked into the laundry room when Steve had given the alarm, from his spot behind the door, he couldn’t see Brian who had crawled over the tall laundry hamper between the washer and dryer and was hunched down behind it.

“No” came the whispered reply.

“He’s down the hall, I can hear him talking to someone but I can’t make out what he’s saying” Joshua whispered from his hiding place behind the couch and the wall “sounds like he’s in one of the other bedrooms.”

Just then they heard a loud yell and Pete frantically motioned for Brian to stay put when the brunet shot up from his hiding place.

“Fuck it, Pete that was Justin”

“Stay there, we can’t do anything until we know for sure where he is” Pete demanded.

Just then they heard Steve’s voice again “he’s back in the bedroom now, he has Justin with him.” 

He didn’t tell them that Justin had blood trickling down his chin or that the blond was now looking at some point below the window with a look of absolute horror on his youthful face.

~*~*~

Justin stood looking at the bed, not realizing that the look on his face was telling Glen all he needed to know about what was going on in his head. Fuck, if not for the red hair and the spattering of freckles across the young man’s back, it was as if Justin were standing outside his body looking at the beaten shell of the man he’d once been.

“What the fuck” he turned his head to look at Glen “what the fuck did you do?”

Glen gave a low sadistic laugh “I would think that would be obvious, Justin, while you were away Andrew here conveniently took your place.” 

Glen grabbed Justin by the back of the neck propelling him closer to the bed “see what you caused Justin, by running away like you did? This your fault you little slut, all of it” and with that he gave Justin a hard shove toward the bed, the blond felt himself being pushed forward and saw the red haired man tense up, gasping in response to the momentary tightening of his muscles. Justin managed to stumble to one side so as not to fall on the injured man’s back, unconsciously keeping himself between Glen and the bed.

“No, not….your fault” came a faint mumble from the bed “don’t believe him.”

“Shut the fuck up, bitch.”

Glen raised his arm, closing his hand into a fist and started to move closer to the bed preparing to deliver a hard right to Andrews’ already bruised ribs when he was surprised to find himself roughly shoved to one side. Stumbling sideways he managed to catch himself on the corner of the nightstand and with a roar he turned and launched himself at Justin.

~*~*~

Pete and Brian had left their hiding spot and after joining Joshua in the living room, they started down the hallway, Pete making sure Brian stayed behind them. Both agents had their guns drawn with the barrels pointing at the ceiling. They had only taken two steps when the sudden sounds of fighting reached them; they all looked at each other then took off at a run toward the open door of the far room, the sounds getting louder with each step and Steve’s urgent voice ringing in their ears.

“GO, GO, GO”

Justin was too busy trying to keep Glen’s fingers from wrapping around his throat while the other man spat obscenities at him that they didn’t hear the three men racing into the room or coming to a shocked stop just inside the doorway.

Justin managed to land a hard right to Glen’s chin sending the other man rolling off him just as a strange voice yelled “FREEZE HALBROOK!”

Justin sat up wiping blood from the corner of his right eye and looked at the door, standing there holding a pistol on Glen was a man he’d never seen before, the man that had been in the house earlier, Glen had called him Joshua, was standing slightly behind him and a bit to one side, also holding a pistol and standing behind them was…….Brian?

“Brian?”

“Justin come here” Joshua instructed at the same time motioning with his unoccupied hand. As he started to stand he caught a movement out of the corner of his eye and realized too late that he had inadvertently put himself between Glen and his rescuers.

During the fight with Justin one of them had bumped into the nightstand, knocking Glens’ gun to the floor and as he had rolled away from Justin’s punch he managed to grab the handle and quickly stood, reaching for the blond. Brian watched horrified as Justin was caught from behind and pulled tight against Glen as the other man wrapped an arm across Justin’s upper chest.

“Justin” Brian started around Pete only to be pushed roughly back, it was then Brian found himself looking down the barrel of a pistol.

“Aw, how sweet, lover boy’s come to rescue his little boyfriend” Glen said mockingly, shaking his head “except Justin and I have some unfinished business don’t we sweetheart” he began to slowly maneuver Justin toward the closet, intending to lock both of them both safely in the hidden room.

Pete was paying close attention to the deranged man’s movements and as Glen slowly shuffled  into Steve’s line of vision he glanced over the man’s shoulder to see the sniper watching through the scope on the rifle “Turn him loose Halbrook, you have nothing left to gain.”

“Nothing but ten thousand dollars, which until you showed up, I intended to make Justin pay” a semi hysterical cackle rose up from Glen’s lips “and pay and pay and pay.”

Andrew had been watching the confrontation and suddenly realized where Glen was headed and knew that if Glen was able to secure himself and Justin inside the room, the blond was as good as dead.

Pete knew Steve had a clear shot but with Justin being held firmly against Glen’s chest, probably wasn’t taking it for fear of hitting the blond. He and Joshua would somehow have to keep Glen in front of the window and try to get Justin away from the man. Just as he was about to move though, the choice was taken away by the injured man on the bed. 

Glen had moved close enough to the bed for Andrew to reach out and grab hold of the man’s pants leg. Glen was momentarily distracted by the movement and looked down, doing two things without realizing it, the hand he held the gun in lowered and he loosened his grip on Justin. The blond saw his chance and took it, twisting out of Glen’s grasp at the same time all hell broke loose.

The next few seconds seemed to go by in slow motion for Brian with several things happening at once.  He saw Justin break away from Glen, saw the man turn and start to swing his gun back toward the blond; felt himself being pushed forcibly back into the hall by Joshua at the same time Pete and Joshua dove into the room.

 Suddenly two shots rang out, and Justin turned startled blue eyes to his……..and fell to the floor. 

Chapter 17- Epilogue- Dawn of a New Day by starfire64

One year later……..

A burst of laughter erupted from the living room and Jennifer glanced over her shoulder as she was placing the plate she had just finished drying back into the cupboard.

“It’s so fucking great to have the family together like this” Deb said handing her a wet coffee cup.

“It is isn’t it?” Jennifer answered “there was a time when I……” she stopped, suddenly choking up and Deb quickly dried her hands on a dish towel and placed a comforting arm across her shoulders squeezing slightly.

“It’s been a year, hasn’t it?”

Jennifer nodded and looked at her friend through tear blurred eyes “I can’t believe a year has gone by already”

“It’s been a challenge, that’s for sure” Deb said quietly, then took her arm from Jen’s shoulders, turned her toward the crowd of people in her living room and gave her a gentle push “why don’t you go on in; I’ll finish this”

“Are you sure?” Jennifer asked then gave her friend a grateful smile as the other woman nodded. Debbie stood there for a moment watching the tall blond go in and sit next to Lindsay. Then, instead of turning back to wash the last cup, she leaned against the wall and crossed her arms over her chest, thinking back over the past year.     

Several months after the incident, numerous charges had been brought against Glen; amongst them were forgery, fraud and kidnapping. The trial that followed only lasted five days and Brian had flown them all to Los Angeles to support Justin, Molly and Jennifer. During the trial, it was discovered that Craig had been the one who notified the private investigator of Justin’s where- a- bouts. When asked by the judge why he would do that to his own son, Craig had glared over at Justin, coldly declaring that the only son he had was five months old and still in diapers. That the blond he was looking at now was nothing more than a dirty faggot and lower then the dirt beneath his feet. His nose had risen in the air then and he had stared at Justin with a superior attitude, proclaiming that this particular faggot wasn’t fit to breathe the same air as Craig. After the trial was over for that day, Craig’s young wife had walked right up to her husband and had soundly slapped him across the face, telling him that he wasn’t fit to breathe the same air that either one of his son’s did and that she was taking the baby and moving back in with her parents. They were now divorced and his ex wife literally walked away with everything, the house, both cars, the business and the bank account. Last they had heard, Craig was living in a homeless shelter.

After very little debate by the jury, Glen had been found guilty on all accounts; unfortunately nothing could be done to the man. Glen was now confined to a wheelchair, permanently paralyzed from the neck down. Steve’s sniper rifle had jammed when he’d tried to pull the trigger that day and it had been Joshua’s bullet that had slammed into the man’s shoulder. The impact had sent Glen careening into the dresser, breaking his neck when his head had snapped backwards. Glen’s own gun had discharged, hitting Justin in the leg, fortunately that particular injury was a minor one and Justin had been released from the hospital within a week.  

Her eyes fell on the two sitting together in a chair; Justin was curled up on Brian’s lap, wrapped lovingly in the brunets’ arms, the rings on each man’s ring finger gleaming brightly. A commitment ceremony had been held the month before and after a three week “honeymoon” in the Bahamas, the two had returned to the family fold. 

A high pitched squeal over by the TV set made her smile as she watched Molly playing with Gus, making the youngster squeal with laughter as she playfully ran a small toy truck up and down the childs back. That was one strong little kid she mused, maybe not physically, but she was strong minded. She had shown more courage that day then most people had in their pinkie finger and Debbie was damn proud of her. The girl had also made steadfast friends with the three FBI agents, earning their respect with her daring escape, if not for her, Debbie was sure the outcome would have been much different.  

Then her eyes shifted over to the couple on the couch. Sitting close together, holding hands and with his head resting on the southern man’s shoulder were Emmett and Andrew. Now that, she thought with a slight chuckle, had been one hell of a surprise, especially for Andrew.

Andrew had relocated to Pittsburgh eight months ago at the invitation of Brian and Justin and until just recently he had lived with her and Vic. She thought back to the day Emmett had first laid eyes on the shy young man, Em had taken one look at him and had fallen hopelessly in love. But the road to happiness hadn’t been an easy one, to say the red head had been deeply affected by the prolonged abuse suffered under that asshole Glen’s hand would have been an understatement. His scars, both physical and mental ran so deep that even after one year, he still suffered from panic attacks, but the support of the entire family had gone a long way in helping Andrew’s recovery.  It had taken some time, but Emmett had finally broken through the protective wall that Andrew had built around himself and the two had become inseparable.   When Jennifer mentioned she had a small two bedroom apartment added to her listings, it had been Andrew who had approached her about it, and after a hefty down payment provided by Brian as a housewarming gift, the two moved in together. With Emmett’s gentle, caring nature and continued love, she had no doubt that Andrew would continue to heal.  

As Deb turned back to finish washing that last cup, a happy smile crossed her face, things were back to normal and her family was whole again.

It couldn’t get any better then that.

End Notes:

I couldn’t repost this last chapter without sending out a big Thank You to Bob and his amazing team of people for the hard work in getting this wonderful site up and running again. Thank you too to Kim, for keeping us posted on the progress : )

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