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.