Chapter 1: Finally talking things over
In front of me was what I have been waiting for my whole life... well, that's a bit exaggerated. In front of me was what I've been waiting for since I met the Face of God all those years back.
I wanted to jump on him and scream yes over and over again. However, I knew that if I wanted a real marriage, I would need monogamy and the true Brian. Most of our problems come from moving to fast and making decisions impulsively. I've always known that he loved me, but he was only able to confess it because in less of five years he almost lost me twice. That's not a man I believe is able to put on the table what it's needed for marriage... at least not now.
We needed to do something we were only ever brave enough to do after we made a horrible mistake and wanted to corrected, as: after the whole issue with Ethan and Brian's cancer. However, this time I have to do it first; because I knew Brian will never do it by himself.
On the other hand, he made this grand gesture, breaking all his rules for... not me, but himself and our future. He sold the two things that characterizes Brian Fucking Kinney, the man he has been for so long and the reputation that has caused us so many problems. It showed me that he is willing to change. Also, him looking at me with such an open and unguarded expression, after saying such sweet words and calling me his prince, made me reconsider what to do.
"Yes" I answered.
Before I knew it, I was in his arms and we were devouring each other's mouths as if there was no tomorrow. We ended up naked on the floor with only a blanket covering us, he tells me how he would like to be able to see the faces of the gang when they open the invitation to our wedding. That's when I knew that we were moving too fast. Brian was acting out of fear and desperation, trying to act as he believes I want him to, afraid of losing me: his light in the darkness. I am not being presumptuous I just knew my place in Brian's life; which I shared with Gus. Otherwise I wouldn't have stayed by his side after every humiliation he made me pass through; I am not that desperate!
"Bri... we need to talk" I started tentatively, not knowing how to phrase my feelings without him lashing out "Please, listen to me carefully and understand what I really mean before you get defensive".
I hated begging as much as Brian does, but I really didn't know what to do without losing him again to his old bad habits. I felt him tensing, noting my serious tone. However, when I tilted my head so I could see him in the eyes he relaxed a bit.
"Ok" was all he said, but by the way he tightened his arms around my waist, snuggling me closer to his chest and dangled his legs with mine I knew that he was willing to fulfill my request.
"Marriage is a commitment, it means monogamy. I am not asking you to give it to me or giving you an ultimatum of: only me or we don't get married" I added rapidly when I saw him closing, putting shields to protect him from me.
It hurt, but I understood where it comes from, and I never hated someone as much as I hated his parents then. It took a while before he relaxed again, but when I was sure he had I began talking again:
"We can have other things that surely will mean more to you than a ceremony that holds no legal background. Such as: Living wills, powers of attorney, life insurance, health insurance and a domestic partnership agreement. Then we would be as married as we can be now a days. I don't want a big ceremony, with the gang there to make too much of a scandal and a judgmental priest. When you are ready to stop tricking and settle down, then we can get married. And the ceremony will be small and simple, with only us, my mom, Daphne and Gus. Our promise to each other will mean much more than the 'Now I proclaim you, by the power the state of Pennsylvania gave me, husband and husband' of a boring fucking priest who wants to be anywhere but there".
All my fears were gone as I finished my little speech. How could I ever doubt him? As I always tell him, 'I am into him', he is into me as well.
I only had to look him in his eyes to know that he comprehended me.
"It might take a lot of waiting" he warned me, making me laugh.
"Is that you aren't getting it by now? I will wait until the end of the world for you, I will never leave your side as long as you love me and want me there. I'll walk through hell with you if you need me to. Until then, we will be engaging" I promised him.
The smile that broke into his face then was worth every painful moment, every tear and every humiliation I had to go through these last few years. It was the smile of a man who has been lost and drowning in a sea of sorrow, who had finally found shore.
"The fucking longest engagement!" he joked pulling me into a consecutive sequel of small sweet kisses. Not that I'll ever describe his kisses like that if I don't want Brian going ballistic.
"I don't care" I replied, pulling him into a true kiss.
Next thing I knew we had two more rounds of amazing sex... no, love making in our home. While lying down in his warm embrace, head above his heart, enjoying its steady beating; then it occurred to me:
"We also have to discuss Gus".
Chapter 2: Keep quiet no more
"Gus? Why should we discuss Gus?" he asked me confused.
"Easy, silly, we can't let them take away your son" I replied, trying to sound as normal as I could. As if I weren't talking about starting a fight that will surely end up in court, because with Mel's unreasonable hate for Brian it will, and might end up tearing our family apart. I just wish that most of them will end up in our side "We need to restore your rights as Gus' father soon and stop them from making the worst decision they had ever made. How can they even think of running away to Canada, because that's what they are doing! They are acting out of fear and being irrational, it's not as if their problems will just go away because they left Pittsburgh! It's like when they demanded you to give up your rights so they would stop fighting, the stupid excuse they gave everyone about how you didn't want to be a father..." I felt bad for saying that, especially when I noticed Brian flinch in response, but I kept quiet for so long that I need to finally say what I have been keeping hidden "... and that Melanie needed to have her rights as Gus' mother. That's bullshit! She could have done that without taking away yours!"
I had to stand up and pace, trying to calm myself down. Otherwise, I will surely get dressed and drive towards their house to give them a piece of my mind. I absentmindedly noticed Brian rising, but still on the floor, looking at me with a shocked expression. Although I knew that i had to calm down before I ruined things with Brian, for moments like this when things get to real he usually pushes me off the Kinney cliff, I couldn't... I just couldn't stop myself. I loathed how they used Brian for his money and to show off (Lindsay) or put him down in front of his own son out of fear that your wife will one day leave you for him (Melanie). I once used to admire them, they were like older sisters to me and I know they feel the same about me. But I can't continue to overlook how irrational and childishly they act sometimes. This time they are not only ruining their lives, or Brian's, but the kids' as well. I can't let that happen.
"At the end of the day that didn't stop them from cheating or splitting up or fighting, you did that in vain. The worst is that I knew how hard it was for you... and no one ever cared! They just saw it as you taking a weight off your shoulders, but I know that you did that to give your son the best life he could ever wish for. A life that you would have liked someone to have chosen for you. Giving up your child, for the good reasons, is the most admirable thing someone can do... and the hardest. But then again... no one cared" I knew that there were tears running down my cheeks, that this same behavior is the one that Brian hates the most. But I couldn't stop, I had kept myself quiet for too long... but not anymore.
"And now... now they want to take him away again! But this isn't about just you, it's about the kids' as well. What will happen to poor JR who is just a baby and will not have the experience of living with a constant paternal figure? I don't care what the hell Debbie thinks about how important mothers are for the babies, so are the fathers! Poor Debbie, she had bad luck and suffered a lot raising Micheal on her own. I'm not saying it isn't admirable, it is. But she can't treat fathers as if they aren't worth the child's time. It hurts!" I had to stop to take deep breaths.
I started to feel dizzy; I might be hyperventilating. Brian rapidly got on his feet and rushed to my side, trying to make me calm down and stop talking. But I couldn't... I couldn't stay silent again. So shook him off and headed to the other side of the room... and the room is big! So I can have enough space between us to be able to continue talking "And the girls... do they even have jobs there? Do they know that Melanie will have to study law again so she can work in Canada? Do they even have a stable home to put the kids in? I know that they have savings, but are they enough to raise two kids and move to a new country where there is no family to help them, or jobs to take a salary, or to pay for their new house. Do they even know what they are doing? Or are they rushing into things like the whole gang seems to love to do?!" the last part was dripping with sarcasm, but I couldn't handle it anymore. Not just because they are hurting the whole family with their actions, or hurting Brian, I love Gus as a son and his moving to Canada breaks my heart into a million pieces.
"I don't have the best record, they will never chose me over the munchers" Brian finally said, breaking the awkward silence that was created after I stopped talking.
I hated the girls at that moment for putting that resigned expression in his face, for making him experience as once again his family let him down. However, this time worse because he truly believed and trusted this family. I will make sure that the girls get the help they need to get back to the big sisters I once loved so deeply.
"You will if you attack now" I replied.
Chapter 3: Preparations for the fight
I hated myself for what I was going to say and how we will have to act, but they pushed us to this limit. As they say: You reap what you sow "They just came out of a legal fight against Ben and Michael, also with the moving and all they don't have a lot of cash laying around. And this time they can't ask you, which means that while you can afford one of the best lawyers... they can't. Also, they are always saying that they used the sperm of people they know because they wanted the child's father to be present in their upbringing. But now with moving to Canada and the fight over JR, they don't look so good. They seem as mothers' who are trying to take away their children from their fathers. You having a bad record or Melanie not wanting you to be the father... well, they can't use that in court. Principally because they both knew what kind of person you were when they chose you as the father, you didn't deceive them or sold them lies about yourself. You are also their friend and part of the same family, if you are such a bad person why would they have chosen you as the father of their child or a member of their family and group of friends? If things get tense or seems to not be going as we have planned, we can always add that little story you told me once about Lindsay asking and taking your sperm while you were drunk. It wasn't consensual, what she did to you, cause you weren't in your right mind to give them a truthful answer" I saw him opening his mouth, angry glare in place "It doesn't mean that you regretted Gus as the outcome or that we really need to mention it, just remember it in case you need it".
"If they insist on your... not so stellar past, we can add that since the cancer you have stopped smoking and using drugs. Also, you don't get drunk to the stage you are almost in a alcoholic coma. You drink like a any other person, and sometimes you have a glass or two more than you should. However, I haven't seen you drunk, really drunk, ever since you found out you had cancer. As for the tricks and partying, you never do that when you have Gus over. And now that the loft is sold and Britin is half an hour away from the city I am sure we won't see any tricks home ever again".
"Britin?" he asked, confused.
And really ,is that everything he heard about what I just said?! I complained in my head.
"Yes, Britin. That's how I named our house. I name things, that's my job: Gus, Kinnetik and now Britin. I'm quite giddy to know what's next" I told him, my sunshine smile in place. For a moment, when he smiled back, I was able to forget about the situation we were in. However, reality was a strong thing and soon I remembered to stay serious and talk about things in a responsable, adult way... wow, I never thought I would say that "In the providing aspect, you have a lot of money and own a business that is rising and becoming the best advertising company in the city, very fast if I may add. The loft might have not been the best place to have Gus over, but now that we have this palace there is no one that can say anything against the living accommodations. We will need to furnish it fast and do it before going to court against them" I added, a very manipulative but amazing idea suddenly occurring to me "Knowing the gang I am sure that they didn't notice the changes in your life since the cancer, or how you always put Gus first- then again if Melanie mentions how irresponsible you are, why would she leave her dear son to stay over the night when she 'knew' you would bring a trick to the loft?- , also we shouldn't tell them about Britin..."
"Justin!" he cut my rambling off "What are you trying to say?" by the calculative look in his eyes, I knew that he was into me and understood I had a devious plan. One that I didn't like to use, but then again the girls are forcing my hand.
"We shouldn't tell them or even hint about how relax, we can be about your past because if they go blind and cocky to the courtroom they will be so shocked by the bomb we throw at them, that they surely won't know how to react in time. Also, we should contact you old security service and ask for the tapes of the camera- you added outside your loft door after the robbery- during the days Gus stayed over, as evidence of your good behavior while having your son over. Because something you did better than them was not to subjugate your son to your problems, they did. I am sure Gus heard them fight a lot of times when they were having problems, or how he was forced into the reality of her parents splitting up and then coming back together without being old enough to understand what was going on, or how Melanie is always talking bad about her son's father while preferring her daughter's dad. Gus doesn't understand that what she thinks about his Daddy that he loves so much, is she letting her problems and emotions cause issues in her son's life. She lets her emotions affect how she behaves towards her children, did you notice how she had been neglecting Gus since JR has been born?" I questioned him.
"She is just a baby, she needs more attention" he tried to make excuses for them, not wanting to believe how all of this has slipped past him. How he had failed as a father, he surely must be thinking.
It's kind of ironic how the person that's all the time stating that excuses don't count for nothing is now using one, not even for himself! I thought surely amused by the whole situation, if it wasn't so tragic.
"It doesn't matter, when Molly was born mom never neglected me or made me feel as I wasn't as important as her" I replied.
"Mom is amazing, it doesn't count" he complained, the opening his eyes widely when he noticed what he had just said.
"She surely is" I smiled calmly at him, letting him know that there was nothing to worry. That I am not angry or jealous about sharing my mother, and that mom wouldn't mind at all being called 'mom' by the one she considered as a son already. By how he relaxed all of the sudden, he must have surely listened to what I didn't say "As for Melanie never wanting you to be the sperm donor... then she should have fought harder. At the end she was the one who relented, it isn't as if Lindsay had gone behind her back or you forced Lindsay to get pregnant with your child" I said, getting back on track "Also, if she was so against you being in Gus' life why would she have the same arrangement with you that Michael had to fight her in court for".
"We have no agreement!" he snapped at me "That's the problem!" this time instead of sounding angry, he just sounded depressed. I wanted to go to his side and cheer him up, but I knew if I tried to do that we would end up having sex- as we always do- and we have to finish this conversation.
"You do! Gus stays every other weekend with you, you paid for his day-care and are going to pay for his school, you give them money whenever they ask- that can be considered support- more than it's necessary and Michael and Ben surely will ever do, you pay for his medical bills and he is under your life insurance, something that his mother's never took the time or care to do. All that and they never had to take you to court for. If Michael was such a perfect role model, why did they gave you all those rights without even a fight? That kind of act of faith needs trust, which makes Melanie's complain null".
"What if she says that she only did that because Lindsay wanted her to?" Brian asks carefully, but I could see that I was inning him over.
"Then she will look as an irresponsible mother who doesn't care enough for her son to let him spends time with such a bad influence" I answered him.
"She could reply that she was only letting her son spend time with her father" Brian insisted, as if he wanted to find a mistake that convinces him not to do this.
Doesn't he remember who he is talking to? I asked myself in my head. I didn't get 1500 on my SAT for nothing, I might not be a genius but I am very intelligent.
"Then she will be contradicting herself with not wanting you to be the father and saying all the time that you gave up your rights to be Gus' father, which means that she is now his Momma. She then will sound unstable, which will be used in our favor. She didn't need a stupid piece of paper to let her know her place in Gus' life. What she never understood is that you would never do something so awful as not letting Gus see her Momma, to your own child" I told him.
He was looking at me surprised again, but this time with a pride shining in his eyes. As if he couldn't believe it "Have you ever thought of studying law?" he asked me.
"I am" I answered.
"What? Since when?!" he demanded to know "And how did you get the money to pay for tuition? Tell me that you aren't doing anything dangerous or reckless!".
"Calm down Bri, that will be a story for later. Now we have to finish planning what to do, I will tell you everything afterwards. But you don't have to worry about anything, cause I haven't been doing anything stupid" I calmed him down, when I was sure that he has relaxed I continued "You will also need to add why you decided to fight them now. You will need to use the reckless decisions they are making by moving to Canada so fast. They don't have jobs or a house, Melanie will even have to go back to school to have a decent job. And even then, don't they know that it doesn't matter that being gay isn't a big deal there they still will be discriminated for being American? I really want to know how they plan to maintain themselves?" I looked over Brian expecting him to know the answer, when I saw his guilty expression, it suddenly hit me "Those fucking bitches!" I yelled furiously, surprising both of us, I am never the violent one.
But I am fed up of the gang treating Brian so badly, how sick is it that they want him to support them monetarily while they take his son away from him?! The worst thing, and what angers me the most, is that after all the abuse he has been receiving... all his life he thinks he deserves to be treated like that. Because even is he doesn't want to believe it the gang has been abusing his trust and love over and over again. I don't think that they were doing that on purpose, I just think that they never cared enough to see through the façade of Brian Fucking Kinney- the man who cared too much to show it. At least Teddy and Emmet knew the truth now, Teddy himself came the other day and asked me a way to support Brian after what the girls pulled on him. I am sure that they'll take our side over theirs. I just wish Brian snaps out of it and notices that the 'best-friend' places Lindsay and Michael are always bragging about, were replaced by Cynthia and Teddy. Now that Blake is back with Teddy we have an extra member of the family in our side. He might have not been a long time with us, but I knew that they were meant to be, as cheesy as it sounds. For like Brian and I they always end up back together no matter how many times they break up, it just wasn't the right moment when they gave their relationship a try. I just hope this time it is. Also, I need to find a way for Emmet and Drew to get back together. But I need to finish this first.
"You didn't only pay for their wedding or help them pay for their actual house, you are also paying for the one in Canada. What else? Did they ask for a car?!" I was being sarcastic, but when he answered me saying that Lindsay asked for one, but he drew the line there I was about to explode. Until another devious idea came into my mind "We can accuse them of not having the needs to support Gus" he snapped his head so fast that I was afraid that it might fall off "Your money isn't only supporting Gus, but the girls as well. You are paying for things that as an adult and responsible mothers, they should have to pay for themselves. But now you are telling me that you are the one paying, a judge will see that as being unfit".
"I didn't do those things so I could throw it back to their faces" he stated angrily, no... he used anger to mask his hurt.
"Like they do" I said, making him wince "How many times did Debbie, Lindsay or Michael tell you how you owe it to them for things they did in a past. True friends and family doesn't do that Brian" I knew I was pushing it and was taking things too far, but it was as if I were possessed and couldn't stop my mouth from moving "If anything they are the ones that owe it to you now. You paid them back a long time ago, over and over again. If they can do it, why can't you? Also, if you take your money out of the table, how do they expect to move to Canada?"
"Justin..." he sighed tiredly, shaking his head slowly.
"Justin what?" I replied, finally fed up with the gang's eternal drama "What will you do Brian? Are you going to finally stop being a coward and stand up for yourself and what you want? Or will you just continue suffering for the rest of your life? Because it hurts Bri, it hurts to see the man I love has suffered by those he calls family"
Damn it! What have I done?! Things were so good, why did I have to open my stupid big mouth now an ruin it. He'll surely back down from our plans for a long engagement and kick me out of our... his house. I was so absorbed in my depressed thoughts that I didn't notice when Brian started to talk.
Chapter 4: First step
I could only stare at this amazing man in front of me. This man whom I had wronged and hurt over and over again, but still cares about me. This man who I am in love with, and loves me back. No one has even defended me so strongly before, or believed in me so much. I have always been the unwanted one, the irresponsible one, the one to always blame and degrade. My own family doesn't even care, a third of what Sunshine here does! They only come to me for money or help and then talk behind my back about what an asshole I am. No one ever expected something from me... until Justin came into my life.
The little shit expected things from me, expected a lot from me. Not because he is greedy, but for he knew I could give him that. In less than a night he penetrated my walls and saw the real me... and still fell in love with this broken man! That scared the shit out of me. I wasn't prepared for him... might have never been if I speak honestly. So I did my best to push him away, make him hate me and leave. I thought that it was the best, I wouldn't ruin another life- as my friends always say I did with theirs- and I won't get attached to him and then have my heart broken when he leaves me for someone else... because everyone leaves at the end, nothing is forever. Then the bash... the prom happened and my doubts came true, if I had just kept my distance Sunshine wouldn't have almost died.
When Ian came around I knew that this was my chance to get rid of Justin, by pushing him to someone who could really give him what he wanted- flowers, picnics, romance, dates, and was able to say 'I love you' back. So I acted as the asshole of before and then fucked Rage. I never thought it would hurt so much. What hurt the most wasn't that he left me for someone else, even if it meant my worst fears becoming true or that a piece of my soul left with Justin that night. What hurt the most is that I had lost him before that night. When he woke up from his coma, my Sunshine came back stronger than ever and each step he did forward in his recovery make me so proud I felt I could burst. However, I knew he wasn't the same- he had lost the ability to read me. The only person I could always rely on to be there for me and truly know me and what I needed in my times of need was gone... and it hurt. It hurt knowing that my little shit that was into me was gone.
I know that I shouldn't have freaked out and blame it on him, taking all my anger and frustration in him. But I couldn't stop myself, I was loosing the only thing that truly mine and made me so damn happy. I had already given up my rights to Gus by then, and I felt myself crumbling down. His nightmares didn't make it easier either, being reminded every night by his screams that I had almost lost the second best thing that had ever happened to me-Gus is the first- was he maddening. So I made sure he never spoke of it, that he swallowed all his pain and suffered on his own because I had to be strong for him, he needed me to be strong for him... and I couldn't do that if I were breaking down with him every night at the memory of his pale, bloody stained, unmoving body on the ground of that parking garage.
When I discovered my cancer I kicked him out, afraid again of being abandoned because I wasn't perfect... I wasn't God Brian Fucking Kinney anymore. He wouldn't love me anymore. Which was all bullshit for me to hide my fears and insecurities behind an uncaring, cold façade, because Justin was the only person who has never loved me for being perfect. If anything he loves me for being imperfect, for being human. He never asks for anything, or blames me for stuff- even when I was to blame-, or tries to impose this idea he has of me on my persona. He treats me as an equal and expects me to treat him as such myself, he doesn't let me get away with my bullshit and pushes me to be the best man that I can be. Not because he demands it, but because he inspires me to be better. He lets me decide my own life choices, and when things get hard he stays with me and helps me get through them. I had never felt safe as I do when I am with him, because I know that he will always have my back and that he'll always love me unconditionally.
Looking at him right now, after we got engaged and he defended me so fiercely, I could only think of one thing: I want to marry this man right now. I want to make sure that I'll have another thing in my power to make sure he can't leave me so easily again. But then I recall his words and know that he is right, we can't rush into things again. It never ends right. I need to make sure I can promise him forever and that he'll be the only one, or I will truly loose him then. No matter how much he loves me, he would never forgive me for hurting him like that. Peter Pan has to leave the Isle of Neverland and Wendy and his lost boy behind to fight Hook on their own, I needed to grow up... and surprise, surprise that decision isn't as scary as I thought it will be. Not when I have Sunshine by my side, then I know that everything will be all right because we will face any adversity together.
But first I need to calm Justin down and assure him that there will be no more pushing. I clenched my fists angrily at the proof that he, like everyone else, expects the worst from me in this kind of situations. However, I calm myself down because I have to accept that I hadn't giving him any reason to believe otherwise. Another thing that I have to change... and fast.
"I'll have to call my lawyer and see if she can arrange a meeting for tomorrow. Also, I'll see if she can have the papers ready for the living wills, powers of attorney, life insurance, health insurance and a domestic partnership agreement" I tell him. He stopped fidgeting to look at me shocked "We will have to work the rest of the day putting together a file with everything you just said we could use to win the case, so we will have something to show Laura when we meet her".
"We?" he asked, with an adorable confused pout.
"Of course, we" I replied with a smirk "After all, we are partners and we'll be as married as we can be under the actual law. The only thing that we'll have left to do is join our bank accounts, I know you Justin so I am sure that will take a bit more of convincing until you accept to join them. I've already put this state under both of our names and as for Kinnetik, I've made sure that you own fifty percent of the company, and if anything ever happens to me my half of the company goes to you. If I am fighting for my right back, then you'll get guardianship over Gus as well. He is as much of a son to you as he is mi..." I never got to finish what I was saying because I found myself with an armful of blond bombshell and my mouth being attacked with the sweetest lips I've ever had the pleasure of tasting.
"You-are-amazing!" my Sunshine told me between kisses. We stood there, in the middle of the room, in each other's arms, panting breathlessly as we got lost in each other's eyes...
Wow, I am truly turning into a lesbian. I need to have my dick deep inside his tight ass to assure myself that I am not growing a twat. I thought a bit perturbed, but happy at the same time. And that's what we did, we had se... we made love a couple more of times before starting to work. I need to find out why he got himself involved in law, and especially how he is paying his college fee. I know that he would never lie to me, but it wouldn't be the first time he got into some kind of trouble to get money... I think I'll never be able to stop worrying about him. My Sunshine is everything to me and if anything would happen to him... I already almost lost him twice, I can't go through that again.
Also, knowing that I didn't know what was going on with his life hurt me. But I was also ashamed of myself, I was so immersed in that stupid bet against Brandon that I didn't pay enough attention to what was going on in Justin's life. That got me idea... but that's for later. Working side by side with Sunshine calmed me down and helped me stop thinking about my guilt. It never ceased to amaze me how much in tune we are with each other. Guessing what each other wanted with only a few words, knowing what the other was going to do next with only a look, and being there for each other emotionally without even a single word or look... we just knew.
Before we knew it the day has turned into night, and night into day. At the moment I was parking the vette in front of Laura's firm: Triskele. I met Laura in college, she was studying pre-law to follow her mother's footsteps and one day inherit the family's law firm. That day being a few months back, I've never seen her so full of joy which made me happy for her. Much to Lindsay's dislike she was the one that I truly considered my best friend. Lindsay has always been the older sister I always wanted in Claire.
"Calm down" I tried to get Justin to relax, he has been a nervous wreck when I mention where we were going this morning. He truly was into law and meeting the famous Laura Lune was a pressure he wasn't ready to face all of the sudden "She'll love you".
"You want me to calm down!" he hissed "You just dropped a bomb on me an hour ago, telling me that Laura Lune is not only going to work with us but also is your best female friend! Are you insane! How could you convince me into making a file against Melanie and Lindsay? She surely will be disappointed and maybe embarrassed if you are going out with me... I am just first year student of pre-law you can't expect me to do something worth her admiration!".
"Ok, that's enough!" I growled angrily, making him shut up and look at me surprised. I've never used that tone on him, but I could not continue listening, talking bad about himself "You are amazing, she'll love you and surely offer you a job at the end of the meeting, and you already have an incredible handling of law for being just your first year. Now we'll go inside the firm and have the meeting with Laura, then we'll go shopping for furniture for Britin. Ok?" I smiled when he nodded, and finally got out of the car. He followed me out and let me wrap my arms around him "Everything will be all right Sunshine, we are together after all" I whispered in his ear and enjoyed immensely how he melted against me.
Yeah, everything will be all right. I thought happily as I guided Justin inside the firm and prepared myself for a long day.
Chapter 5: Problems and more problems
"These are good... very good" I commented, impressed by the file case Justin did "Are you sure you are only a first year student of pre-law?" I asked him, because there was no way he is that good so young and inexperienced.
"Yes" he replied shyly, blushing a bit.
He's so adorable! I squealed in my head, but kept it cool outside.
I am a professional, and I'm working right now. There is no way I will act so childishly just for a pair of baby blue eyes, cute pouty lips, sunshine smile... adorable blush... "That's it!" I exclaimed, jumping off my chair, sending it flying and startling the two men in the room "I am keeping you!" I rounded the desk and wrapped my arms around this adorable angel "You're gonna be my little brother, understood? I'll teach you everything about law and give you an internship with us".
"Ar... are you sure Miss. Lune? You don't know me that well" he stuttered adorably, blushing increasing.
"Of course I am! Brian told me everything about you sweetie. I hate his so called 'family', they are mean and childish. They don't appreciate what they have- until they need something- and they can't accept when they do something wrong. They just blame it on Brian!" I ranted angrily, returning to my seat on the other side of the desk "So I told Brian this, after the first time I met them: 'I will always be here for you, and I love you best friend. But I won't be dragged into the fucking mess that your family is. So keep me out of it'. When you came around I loved you right away, just by listening at Brian I knew you were an angel sent from heaven to fix the mess that Liberty Avenue's local gang is" I almost squealed when both of the blushed. They are so cute! "YOU made me rethink if I should reconsider getting to know the gang, the way Brian talked about how you made everyone change and thrive to be better. Not only the gang, but also almost all of Liberty Avenue. How your advices, willingness to always lend a hand and your kind and accepting attitude helped everyone to stop being the good for nothing those stupid bigots think of them, and succeed in what they want to. Just look at Emmett and Theodore, they were no ones and now they are successful in their field. Even Debbie started to live her life and got a boyfriend!" I believe that Brian wishes that the ground opens and eats him, but I can't stop myself I love this new Brian so much that I just have to make sure this angel stays... otherwise it will be my best friend's ruin "And call me Laura! We are practically family now."
"Thank you Mis... Laura" he replied with a sunshine smile, cheeks still red.
"You think we can win?" Brian asked, not so smoothly trying to change the topic.
"Of course we will! What do you take me for? I am Laura Lune, and I always win" I replied with a confident smirk, making both of them look at each other before smiling to me "The fact that you didn't sign the papers, to give up your parental rights, before a lawyer or a judge, and that you were a very present presence in your son's life and the support money you gave them through the years has been more than enough... you can have them restored without even going to court. Especially since Mrs. Marcus couldn't have gone through the adoptions, the way you gave up your rights wasn't legal so the adoption wouldn't have been either" I didn't know the effect my words had until I looked up from the file to see an almost catatonic, pale Brian being coddled by Justin- who was sitting in his lap now and was putting kisses all over his jaw while murmuring sweet nonsense "They... they lied to you. Didn't they? They made you believe that your son wasn't yours anymore and held it over your head all the time? Made you think that they had a power, one that they didn't, to take your sonny boy away from you... good."
"Good?!" yelled a very angry Justin "Good you say?! Our family is breaking, stabbing each other in the back for power and money. Blaming US for everything and getting all the good things in life at our expenses. First Michael and now Lindsay and Mel, who next?! Debbie?! Teddy?! Emmett?! You?!" he shouted at me.
"Good, because we can use it in court" I replied calmly, even though I wanted to have the liberty to react as angel just did.
"Court? You said we didn't need to take it to court" Brian seemed to have snapped out of it and was looking at Justin- who had jumped off his lap and was now pacing all over my office- with a confused expression, then I knew that he had noticed what angel had let slip just now.
"To get your parental right restored, for that we won't need to go to court. We will have to fight to get better visitation rights, you need to have your son with you at least every week-end. I'll be aiming for three days a week, but only if that's ok with you" I tell my friend, forgetting about Justin's drama for a while. The look of pure surprise and hope in his eyes, as if he didn't deserve the love or the time of his son, made me hate those harpies more than I ever loathed someone... even more than Jack Kinney "I take it's a yes" he just smiled slightly at me and nodded, Justin was back to where he belonged- next to Brian- and was hugging his boyfriend.
"Now Sunshine..." Brian started, breath tickling angel- which made him giggle- as my friend nuzzled against his neck "What did you mean by Michael first?" even not knowing him much, it was easy to notice him tensing "Sunshine?" he asked worriedly.
By angel's stricken, pale face I knew that whatever it happened between them was bad... very bad.
As soon as I notice him tensing, I knew that it was very serious. Justin never tenses when he is in my arms, NEVER. One of the things I love the most about my fiancé, is that he trusts me so much that he's never worried about getting hurt or feeling uneasy in my arms. He trusts me to keep him safe and happy. Him reacting like that is bad news... very bad news.
And it worries me.
"My prince, what's wrong?" I asked him concerned, not caring that Laura could see me in my lowest. I trust her not to hurt me like my 'family' did... and does.
"You'll hate me" he said it with such a conviction that broke my heart.
"I will never hate you, you are my prince Justin. Without you I... I am no one. So please tell me, I need to know what I did wrong" I aske... pleaded him. That seemed to unfreeze both of them, since I never beg.
"Is that you don't get it Brian! You didn't do anything wrong, it's his fault!" He hissed angrily, spitting the word 'his'.
"What did Michael do now?" I asked tiredly- since the idiot never seems to stop getting into messes-, but calmer now that I know I can fix it.
"He cheated me with Rage!" I froze at his angry words "I always thought that it was a bit strange that someone wanted to do a Rage movie from a comic that doesn't even get a grand for each volume. So when I was in Los Angeles I dogged down a bit... and surprise, surprise: Rage is an international comic! Here it might now be so popular because of the discrimination, but Canada and Europe have a big demand of the only gay superhero there is in the market. Plus the money that the movie producers gave the bastard he owed me over 100K!"
No, no... please Michael let it all be a lie. I thought desperately, not wanting to believe that not only one of my best friends would betray me, but both of them. We needed that money after I lost my job, how could he do this to me?! Am I really just a bank for them? To come and ask when they need help, but have no one to lean on when I needed. I look at my beautiful partner- who was back to pacing around the office- I never really appreciated how much I depended on him, how he was the only one that was always there for me... even when we weren't together.
"The worst thing was his damn excuse! 'Why does it matter? It isn't as if you do anything but just draw my ideas? I am the one who does all the real work. Also, it's not as if you need the money. Just continue being Brian's kept boy and you'll be fine. I need it for my family, you and Brian don't have that and never will with that disgusting style of life you follow'. " he imitated Michael's whinny tone.
I couldn't breath, I still recall the times after I began Kinnetik when he came asking for money for Debbie's mortgage, Hunter's education and Jenny's support. Where the hell did all those 100K went to?! I screamed in my head, all the hurt and pain turning into pure, real RAGE.
"How could he say that?! How could he do that to you Brian?! His so supposed 'best-friend'!" My heart ached when I noticed he wasn't angry for himself, but for me. That's the one I always choose over him was the one that screw me over, the one I didn't have to trust. But Justin, who I have hurt over and over again, treating him as the gang treated me, is still thinking of me first... it made me feel like crap. It was worse when I discovered why Sunshine never came to me when he discovered this. He was sure that I would choose Michael's side over his, even when the bastard was in the wrong one here. How much I've hurt him... but not any longer.
"Do you know in what did he spend all that money on? On his stupid toys!" With those final words my heart broke completely.
Who are you Michael? Because you are not the same boy I met when you were fourteen. When did you turn so bitter and manipulative? Have you ever been this selfish and cold hearted? Why didn't I notice it before? I questioned myself in my head.
"Laura... we'll need your help for another case. We'll sue Michael for fraud and thievery" I told my best-friend tiredly and heartbroken.
"Oh, that won't be necessary" Justin scoffed. I almost jumped off my chair and screamed at him in rage, Michael was the wrong one here and shouldn't get away with it. But I stopped myself, it was my fault that Sunshine believed he should behave this way. I fucked him up to this point, I hated myself as much as I hated Jack then "I already did that" I snapped out of my thoughts with his declaration "Why do you think I got into law? I knew you wouldn't take my side, neither the gang, over Michael's. My mother had enough problems dealing with the bastard of my sperm donor and working to support Molly. So the only thing I could afford then was a not very good lawyer. That's why I began studying law by myself and made a file with all the proof I needed to get him to jail. I gave my lawyer very specific instructions of what to say and how to act during the hearing, before then I met with Michael and told him the situation he was in and how many years of prison, he'll be facing if he didn't approve of my demands during the hearing and wanted to take things to court"
My jaw fell at the devilish vixen in front of me. This wasn't sweet, playful, good, artist Sunshine. This is the manipulative, devilish, bad, lawyer Justin... and he's sexy as hell. Both figuratively and literally speaking. I sported a hard on, the only thing I wanted to do then was bend him over Laura's desk and fuck him fast and hard.
"You threatened him?! You know that he can use that against you?" Laura warned him, making me tense at the possibility of my prince being in trouble.
"Don't worry, I didn't threaten him. I just told him the truth, lay down some facts of the reality he never wants to face. This time for once he heard me and did the rational thing: he accepted my terms without a protest. He whined and threw daggers at me, but still sign the papers in front of our lawyers and the judge. The fact that I mentioned how angry his 'best-friend' might be when he finds out he lied to him and how disgusted that he has a criminal record, might have helped. Sorry by the way Bri, I didn't want to use you like that... but he really angered me. He didn't even care what his husband, mother and son might feel and think about him going to jail. Not even the fact that Melanie might take his parental and visitation right over Jenny because of this. He only cared what Brian Fucking Kinney might think!" Justin scoffed, it was a side I've never seen of him... and I love it. This strong and dependent Sunshine is very attractive, what saddened me is the fact he is only showing it because he's fed up of the mistreatment we've been suffering from what is supposedly to be our 'family' "By the way Bri, we really need to get Michael some help. His obsession with you is... scaring me. I don't want to think what he'll do if it gets even worse."
Is this what Lindsay and Melanie are always talking about. A partner to lean on and support you always. To call you out on your bullshit and brighten your day when you're blue. Someone you feel safe and loved by, one that calms you down with just a touch and his presence. I then almost laughed, because it was then that I noticed that neither Lindsay and Melanie, nor Michael and Ben, have that. Justin and I, the ones they are always bad mouthing because we are not monogamous, are the ones who really had a relationship. Even when we weren't together we still cared for each other and covered each other's back, not like Melanie and Lindsay did when they split up. When someone screwed up we let the other owned up to it, but helped as well as not holding it above their heads later, not like Michael seems to do with Ben all the time... we are partners! That discovery seems to make everything alright, I didn't care anymore that I am surely going to lose the only thing I ever known as a family since I have Justin by my side. And with him came Mother Taylor, the cutest little sister in the world- Molly- and the best fag hag ever- Daphne. I also will still have my best-friend -Laura of course-, Cynthia- who took Lindsay's place as my older sister a long time ago- and maybe Teddy- who has been my real brother of the heart, not like the bastard of Michael. Maybe I should tell him that... tell my side of the story for once. Cause this time I won't lose anyone over the stupidity of the gang's children.
"What did you get him to accept?" Laura's questions stopped my train of thoughts, bringing me back to reality. Both of them were wearing a very scary grin, it kind of reminded me of Alice in Wonderland's Cheshire Cat... just scarier and more evil. I was very happy to know that they love me very much and will mostly be always on my side, because I really pity those who get on their bad side.
"Well, for not charging him with fraud I took his dream away. Destroying his happiness and the only thing he ever really loved about work" once more I could only stare at my partner, smile spreading as I got what he meant with those words "Rage is mine, I own it completely. For which I should thank you Brian, you put a clause in our contract that if someone screw the other over they forfeit their shares over Rage to the other. Michael was so stupid that he never read the contract before signing it."
"Sunshine, I didn't put that clause in the contract? But it's a very good idea for later..." I said thoughtfully.
"Then it must have been Mel... maybe there's still hope for her" he murmured. Sometimes I forget that he is suffering as much as I was about the girls' betrayal. I might have lost a friend, but he lost his older sister. The fact that he only mentioned Melanie wasn't lost to me either.
What did Lindsay do for Justin to think she doesn't have redemption? I'll have to ask him later. I thought to myself.
"What about the thievery charges?" Laura insisted excitedly, almost jumping on in delight.
Do I really have something for venomous WASP, who are very good at revenge and love being sadists? I thought when I noticed how much fun they were having over punishing someone over how they wronged them. No wonder why Justin fell in love with law, he can use his manipulative and sadistic side against those that deserve it. He must get his degree and I'll be in every court case I can, for support of course. The fact that this side turns me on as fuck has nothing to do with it... nothing at all!
"I demanded that he gave me all those stupid toys he bought with the 100K that were supposed to be mine, should have been mine. I'm really glad I followed your advice Bri and didn't just accept the 34% of the shares that Michael offered me and fought for the 50%. You should have seen his face! He tried to say that they are a necessity for his store!" He snorted amused.
"What did you say?" I asked, he looked surprised at me "Come on Justin, I know you. You only took his shit for me, something that you won't have to do again... ever again. He is over to me!" I assured him, gaining a shell shocked expression, but then it turned into the biggest sunshine smile I've ever seen "But then you there was no one around, you must have replied. After all, you never take anyone's shit."
"I told him: 'You shouldn't worry about your store, after all you were the one that spent over 200K in toys... ups, sorry, collectible figurines and first edition comics'. The judge and lawyers, even his, looked at him as if he were crazy!" Justin laughed "Sorry, I am not usually this mean. But we had to go through really bad moments during our fight against Stockwell, and money that was rightfully ours and would have helped us a lot was spent on toys, for goodness sake! I was furious and just wanted him to pay... and pay he did" he apologized to Laura, surely not wanting to give her a bad idea of how he was in reality.
"Don't worry, I understand completely" Laura assured him "Who the hell spends 200K in toys?! Specially while his 'best-friend' was unemployed and in financial crisis, because he was fighting for their community. Something is wrong with that guy, no one is that selfish!"
"Something is very wrong with him" I nodded in accordance, that's when both of them seem to remember I was still in the room. They opened their mouths, to surely apologize for not taking into account my feelings, but I cut the off "Relax, everything you said is true. Also, I was serious in what I said: Michael is dead to me. I don't want anyone to mention his name in my presence again, at least not when we are not discussing how we'll bring him down in court."
"But I already did that..." Sunshine started, confused by what's going on.
"No, you got your revenge and made him pay for what you did. In a way it's kind of worse than sending him to jail, cause he is free, but trapped seeing you have everything he ever wanted legally and even made a bigger success than he did. Cause that's what happened, or am I wrong? I do recall Teddy congratulating Michael- on day while we were having dinner- saying something about, that in the last months Rage made the same amount of profit that it had done in the years before combined. And that the shared are worth even more now, than they ever did before. I was confused by how angry he seemed, Michael looked as if he were about to cry that night" I smiled at my partner, who didn't even look surprised by me being able to figure it out so easily. He knows me, and knows how intelligent I am "You were able to make the same success that took Michael years in less than one year. How did you do it?"
"Brian!" Scolded me Laura "Justin is an excellent artist, don't doubt his talent or ability to be better than Michael... what isn't that difficult if you ask me" she muttered the last part, making us both laugh.
"Relax Laura, I know what he meant. He knows that I am more than capable to conquer the art world... and the comic one. But he is just curious about how I did it" Justin calmed her down, gifting me with a sunshine smile. I love so much how in tune we are with each other "First of all, Michael's contract with the editorial was a complete mess. Not to count that his management with taxes was even worse. So the first thing I did was terminating the contract, they only needed one last volume and that was everything. So I did it, but it was a Cole Taylor original. That's the name I use to work with everything related to comics, my artistic name in the art world is JCT, and in the future I'll use Justin Taylor when working as a lawyer" he explained that to a very confused Laura, who then nodded, satisfied with the answer "Michael's contract said that the editorial still had the rights over Rage if said comic made over 50K, they would still have the rights to be the only ones that could publish it. However, I found a loophole in which was stated that it only worked if Michael was still the owner of the comic. The bastard never mentioned me in the contract or gave me any credit, I was working without getting any recognition!"
"That little shit! Whatever you are planning I'll help you Brian, but let's keep Justin out of it. Look how stressed he is, he already had more than enough shit dealing with Michael. Let's finish this, just the two of us. Luckily, after he finishes his explanation, he'll forget about your decision of taking Michael to court" Laura whispered, luckily my prince didn't seem to notice. I didn't like the fact about lying to him, that's how the problems always start, but Laura was right... I've never seen him so angry and frustrated, not even after the bashing. And that's a lot to say! So, as I don't like my prince feeling like that, I just gave my friend an affirmative nod.
"It worked to my favor this time, as Rage got a new owner. I made them the last damn comic and then moved to work with a publishing company in Los Angeles. I met the head of the comic and graphic art section chief during my stay there, more specifically during a party of Keller. We became friends and he expressed how much he loves the comic, but thinks that's very repetitive and if the characters lived in a fantasy land. Everything always being too perfect to be true, not something people can relate to. I remembered that when I made the last volume of the first series of the comic Rage, I called it Fantasy Land. I last fuck you to Michael! At the end Rage saves Zephyr from the hands of Lotus, a villain that subdues their victims outing them in coma state where they only have beautiful dreams. A perfect fantasy land at the victims' preference, then he feeds of the endorphins that they release during their sleep."
I blinked, surprised, that was a fantastic idea! Much better that something Michael could have ever come up with. What I never understood is why Michael wanted to repeat the same mistakes that Captain Cosmo did, is that he never understood that it got canceled because it was boring and people got fed up of always reading the same thing. I thought sadly at my ex-friend's stupidity. Michael really needs to leave fantasy land and enter the real world.
"So when fantasy land didn't exist anymore the real world came. While working with Michael's ideas for Rage, I was drawing my own version of the comic. I wrote what really happened in our life Bri, I couldn't stand him twisting the line of the story so much. So after making sure that everything was alright with the contract with the new editorial I handed in all the volumes in the new series of the comic: The Real World, Take I. But I asked the editorial to publish more in Canada and Europe, there are print copies in the United States but not as many as it used to be. In our country we focused more on seeking the comics via the internet, like e-books. The discrimination here is still strong, so buying a gay superhero comic is dangerous. It will end up being a loss of resources and money, but you'll be surprised at how many people buys them by Internet. The fact that no one knows that you have them... it helps a lot to get to the closet cases. I also asked Teddy to be in charge of Rage's account. That's how I ended up gaining the same amount of money that Michael did in years, the fact that Rage was already moderately popular helped as well. I didn't have to go out looking for a market, it was already there... I just expanded it."
"Who the hell taught you to be such a good businessman?!" Demanded to know Laura.
"Blame the asshole of my sperm donor, who since I was a kid wanted to insert his beliefs of what I should be in the future in me. No matter how much I hated our conversations. Also, Bri helped quite a lot. It seems I end up paying more attention after having sex, while being cuddled in bed. You don't know how many times Brian got home, tossed me into bed to have angry sex with me, to then rant like only Rage would about the idiocy of the people he works with" Justin and Laura laughed, I would too but I knew he was hiding something.
"Spit it Sunshine, I know that you are keeping something" I demanded with a glare, but without heat behind it.
"The editorial might be demanding that I turn in the last volume of the second series... but I didn't know how you would react. Now I am thinking of giving it to them, only because you said that you are over Michael. Are you really completely sure of that decision?" He asked me carefully.
"I am. What did you do Justin? Did you kill his character in the comic?" I questioned him.
"Even worse... I made it so Zephyr couldn't handle the real world, as Michael can't, the effect of his time imprisoned by Loutus was so big that he ends up loosing his mind. Zephyr turns into a villain wanting to destroy Rage for taking him away from the perfect world he was in, and bringing him this broken and horrible world. At the end of the volume Rage and JT blame themselves for not noticing beforehand how Zephyr wasn't getting better, for not noticing that he wasn't what they wanted to believe and decide to find him and save him. That's the main purpose of the third series of Rage, which will be: The Real World, Take II" he explained to me slowly "Please don't be angry at me!"
"That's... genius!" Laura exclaimed, throwing her head backwards to laugh wholeheartedly "In... Incredible boy! Michael will be so angry, you turned him into what he hates the most in the thing he loves the most... well, loves the most after Brian. You are an evil genius and you have to work for me!"
"Thanks!" Justin smiles brightly, and I really wonder how someone can love to be called an evil genius... but then again I am surrounded by crazy people.
"Bring the papers Laura, we need to started signing our POA, medical proximity and all that shit. But while we do that I need you to do another thing for us..."
Chapter 6: Reasons and explanations
"So... that's why you decided to study law. Because of what happened with Michael" he said.
"Not exactly... it was what pushed me into studying law. But it is a combination of things really. Gus principally, since you signed away your rights I've been searching for ways to have them restored. How else did you think we put together the file so fast?" I replied, continuing signing the papers that Laura gave us before she left. They were about the stuff I promised Brian we'll have, such as medical proxy, POA, between other things "Then there is the stuff with Craig..."
"What the hell did that bastard do now?!" he growled angrily, I hate when he is unhappy but in these kind of cases it warmed me to see that he was finally ready to show that he cared about me.
"He stole money from Molly and me. It is not a big discovery to know that Craig married my mother for the money her parents left her, but gramps never liked him so he made sure that all the money was left for us, his grandchildren, and not the asshole of my sperm donor. I don't know how he did it, but he made sure mom never knew about that little arrangement and stole everything they left us after they got divorced" I told him, stopping from signing the papers cause it still hurt to know that the one you considered your here once hates you so much now "It took a year but we were finally able to win the court case and get all the money back, how else do you think I was able to pay my tuition to finish my Fine Arts degree in PIFA and start pre-law in Carnegie Mellon?"
"I... After you told us about Michael I thought you used that money to pay for the tuition. Wait a second... you finished your studies in PIFA?! And did that bastard go to prison?" he demanded to know.
"Ok, calm down. I'll tell you everything. Let's finish with the bastard of my sperm donor first. No, he didn't go to prison. However, he is in bankrupt at the moment. He already lost his business for all the payments he had to do to us" I explained "It's kind of a poetic victory, he was the one that accused me of being a failure and made sure to tell mom and Molly all the time that without him they couldn't survive. But look at us now! I am the owner of an international gay comic which's popularity increases with each volume, graduated from one of the best art universities of the country and am going for a second degree. While my mother is making a great living out of her career as a real state agent, enough to support herself and Molly. Has full custody over my sister and is in a stable relationship with a young man... I can't believe I said that last part" I muttered to myself but Brian heard me, the asshole even laughed at me "We won, and now he is seeing the empire he built and was so proud of fall"
"I'm so happy for you sunshine... but what about the money you got after winning the case against Michael?" he asked me curiously.
"I used it to pay for the lawyer that helped me, then to get one of the best lawyers of the city for the fight against dad... you really don't want to know the bill received afterwards. But at least it was worth it. Then I..." I stopped talking, not knowing how he'll react about it. Communication is easier now, but I don't want to push my luck.
"Yes, Justin... what did you do with the rest of the money?" he glared at me, knowing that I was hiding something huge from him.
"I might have signed a check anonymously to a certain someone so he could pay his debts for fighting against Stockwell..." I said it all in one go, fast and without breathing. I thought I might have to say it again cause he wasn't able to understand, but when he looked at me frozen in shock I knew he heard me just fine.
"You... you paid my debts? Justin I never wanted your money?! Or for you to feel indebt to me?!" he exclaimed, eyes wide open almost... wild.
Oh, oh. He is blaming himself, why the hell does he always blame himself?! I thought sadly and annoyed. He surely believes that he made me renounced to my dream of finishing college and being a great, because he made me feel as I owed it to him after everything he did for me... just like his biological parents and the so called 'family' always does.
"Brian stop it" I cut him off, voice firm and strong "Look, what I did I did it because I wanted to and I could. Just like you always do. You never made me feel as if I owed it to you, or if I was indebt to you. I know you don't act because you want something from other's, that's not you. You are a caring and generous man, that's why I wanted to return a bit of that generosity. I couldn't let you go into bankrupt for fighting against an asshole, for defending our community! If you feel uncomfortable by it, think of it as me paying the debts I accumulated with you for my earlier years in PIFA. We had arranged that whenever I was able I would pay you back" I tried to calm him down.
"Then... why did you continue working without pay at Kinnetik?" he asked, already calmer than just a minute ago.
I smiled calmly at him, then I stood up and sat on his lap "It's called an internship" I replied, wrapping my arms around his neck "Something that's essential for graduating in PIFA. Don't blame Ted or Cynthia, I asked them to keep it a secret... I wanted to have an excuse to be near you even when we were over. No matter how masochist the decision was"
"They knew... it doesn't matter anymore. But from now on we will not lie to each other again, ok?" he stated, I could only smile my sunshine smile and nod "How did you finish college so fast? You still had approximately two years to go, I don't think it even took you a year to have your degree"
"It all began during the our struggles during the fight against Stockwell, you warned me off dancing for Saperstein. I listened to you... but told you otherwise because I wanted to make you worry- as bad as it sounds. I wanted you to show that you cared, to be jealous- of all those men salivating for my ass- and to not take me for granted, so you wouldn't just kick me out or finish things off because things weren't going as you wanted them to... I was in a bad place then Brian. I had just found out that Michael had been cheating on me since the beginning, even when it was clear we needed the money! I was scared, and feared that you would leave me... you already did that three times before. If you would have done it a fourth one... I won't be able to survive it"
"You left me three times as well Sunshine, we are even" I wanted to protest that it wasn't a competition, that I didn't do what I did out of anger and wanting to take revenge on him. But I stopped when I saw the pain in his face, I hated that I caused that. However, I also saw in his eyes that the hurt didn't only come from my actions, it also came from how guilty he feels about the way he behaved "That's in the past now" he finally said after a while "Where did you work on then?"
"That's the curious thing, I had a few event for the LGBT. Nothing big, mostly sketches and some paintings now and then. Sometimes they even asked for my number to ask for a personalized sketch, like portraits for themselves or as a gift. I charged extra for those" I started to explain, feeling silly for getting all excited for something as small as that.
Luckily Brian didn't feel the same, cause he said: "I'm so proud of you Sunshine"
"Why so sad then?" I asked carefully, not wanting to make him feel even worse.
"I made you feel so insecure in your place by my side that you had to hide all these stuff from me... how can you still want to be besides me after everything I made you go through?!" I was startled by the naked anguish in his voice.
He truly is changing, I thought happily.
"The same way you put up with everything I did to you, Bri" I replied rapidly, a fond smile on my face "But as you said before, it's on the past now" I kissed him softly before continuing "During one of my events, I was approached by Jessica Stuart.
"Wait, isn't she the one that won against Stockwell after our ad was revealed?" he asked me surprised.
"Yes, she is. She came because she had heard about what's going on with us and wanted to help a bit, especially after everything we've been doing for the city. I think she just wanted to look better in our community, but I accepted her deal anyways cause we needed the money. She had began a plan to change the look of the city, make it more appealing for tourists and it also helped giving artists jobs. I worked in murals all over the city and even a painting in the city hall"
"That's you?! Now I know why I suddenly started to see you all around the city" he commented, making me giggle "I should have known those murals are yours, your art is unmistakable to me"
"It's easy not to see things when we don't want to, even when they are in front of you" I told him, we both stayed silent when we realized how true my words were and that it happened more than once to us... and to the gang "However, I still haven't answered your question. When Stockwell fell, she asked me if I wanted to her help to get me back in PIFA. She said that for me, because of the unjust reasons I had to go through she would even give... I would call it a VIP treatment. I would return to classes as if I was never gone, but as she knew I've been studying on my own she arranged so I would make a test to see how much more learning did I need to graduate. It seems like I didn't need much"
"That's very nice of her... and unexpected" he replied carefully.
"Relax, I know that it's kind of strange to have a politician being so generous and not wanting something in return" I laughed at his wary expression "We became... kind of friends? Anyways, during my work there I met a lot of important people and had friendly chats with them. It came to a point where I would be their own private adviser, for their personal lives anyway. My name began to be known between them, which helped me during me getting back to PIFA and the cases between Craig and Michael"
"Personal adviser?" he laughed at my description.
"Well, it all began with Jessica, we began talking more and more during work, I gave her my own vision of how I thought things should be done. Then I found out that she was having problems at home, her husband was angry that she kept on spending more at work, so I gave her an advice... it worked. She continued coming to me since then, when she has a problem and can't fix it she asks for what I think she should do. With others it started just by a friendly chat and then when they found out about my personal relationship with Jessica they started asked me for advice every now and then, but mostly her- that's why I can say that we are kind of friends" I suddenly smiled, at the wicked idea it occurred to me "That can help with the case! I know that we will win, there is no doubt about that... but just in case I can comment my situation to Jessica if things get hard"
"I... that's going to far Justin" he said, not sure about my plan.
"I won't do it if it isn't necessary Bri, just in case" I promised to him.
"Ok, then" he sighed defeated, making me beam "Only if things go south, ok?"
I nodded my head rapidly, lost in my excitement I began bouncing on his lap. Soon the warmth of his eyes turned from fondness and happiness, to lust and hunger. He groaned almost savagely before pulling me into a deep kiss. Unfortunately, it didn't go any further cause we were interrupted by the bang of the door. I scrambled off his lap, almost falling if it weren't for Brian helping me out. I stood straight- the irony of that word- ready to apologize for the uncordial way we were behaving, when I noticed how angry... no, furious she looked.
"You won't believe what the fucking bitch did?!" she yelled.
Chapter 7: Gift of a friend
I could not believe it. I knew that every hope of getting the sister I once saw in Lindsey were long gone... but for her to do this. To her best friend! Damn it! Daphne and I should start teaching a course of 'How to be a best friend'. Because if people think that best friends do... the unspeakable thing that Lindsey did, or what Michael did to us... then the world is going to hell, and quickly if I must say.
"I... I need a moment..." Brian told us, rushing the fuck out of the office. I was about to follow him, I've never seen him so pale... or so sad before. He looked as if his whole world is crashing.
He just found out that his two best friends, the ones he thought had always been to him and he had let see him in his lowest, betrayed him. Used that trust he doesn't give so easily against him and in the moments of need left him to rot. Of course, his whole world is crashing! I snapped at myself, in my head.
I looked annoyed at Laura when she stopped while I was about to follow him outside "He need space and time, he'll be back. Don't worry" I was still not sure if I should listen to her, it must have been clear on my face, because she soon said "Trust me on this. Don't you always end up fighting when he is in a similar mood? Just wait until he comes to you. Maybe before you had to go to him, but he learned his lesson and now it's his time to be searching for you" I nodded and followed her advice, especially since she was right "By the way, I have a few more papers for you to sign. Here they are".
I was so distracted by everything that happened that I didn't even read what I signed, I just trusted her and Brian- cause I'm sure that those papers were what he had asked of her a not even an hour ago, and the principal reason why she left the office in the first place. However, when I finally came to my senses, I cursed myself for being so reckless and tried to get a look at what I had signed, only to have the papers taken from me by Laura.
"Laura... what did I just sign?" I asked her slowly, not liking the feeling I was getting. Something is telling me that I was just tricked by the pair of best friends- at least this one I do approve of! I thought to myself.
"Nothing!" she said too quickly for my liking.
It was kind of fun how the fierce and always in poise Laura Lune turned into a stuttering, nervous mess. I think that's because in court she is always defending what's right, she is always on the side of truth. Now she is lying... hiding something and doing what she shouldn't do.
"Give me those papers now!" I demanded, frustrated at Brian and wishing that he didn't do something stupid. Like he always does. She hesitated for a second, before sighing to then pass me what was mine "That fucking bastard!" I cursed "How does he dare do something like this?! Especially when I told him I was not ready!"
"Because the reason why you are not ready is stupid" he replied behind me. I turned around to glare at him, furious at what he had done without my consent, but when I saw his tired and defeated expression I couldn't stay mad at him any longer "Listen Justin, you do not want to join our accounts because you believe I would feel as if you were using me for my money... like everyone else" he spat those words with so much venom that even I flinched at his tone. That's something I haven't seen since the ba... since prom "I could understand that, because I thought you would be a pre-law student without a decent job and that would turn me into some kind of sugar daddy. Not that I ever consider our relationship like that, but I can see how you... and another might see it as such. But now you are telling me that you have back your fund, which is paying for your college education, you have paid me back everything that you owed me- something you didn't really have to do- and you own a comic that has a great mensual income. You can't feel like uncomfortable with us joining our bank accounts, not now. Especially since it's all that's left to be as married as this country will let us... you promised me this Sunshine"
"That's so unfair Bri!" I whined at the dirty tricks he's using "You can't open yourself up, something you do not do, and expect me to say no... Brian, I am not ready for this. Maybe I am doing fine now, but I am not even close at what you've achieved. If we join accounts you'll be the one earning more money..."
"Do you love me for my money?" he cut me off, I was startled by his angry tone "Do you use the word 'love' as a ruse like Michael and Lindsey to trap me and utilize me to your whims?"
"What? NO! Of course not Bri! Why would you think that?" I demanded to know, hurt by the way he was behaving. I thought he was changing... but then again we fall back into bad habits because we are moving too fast.
"Why would you think that?" he replied, freezing me. I looked from my hands on my lap to him and could only stare at him, shocked by the question... one that made much more sense than I wanted to admit "Because that's what you are sounding like. I know what you are thinking: 'Poor Brian, his two best friends stole from him and treated him like a bank. Now he surely is sensitive and doesn't trust anybody. I won't bring up the idea of joining accounts so he won't feel like I am using him for his money'" I couldn't snap out of my trance, he just changed so much that I can't believe it. When did that happen? Why didn't I notice it before? I asked myself, in my head "I admit I would have reacted that way once... but not anymore Justin" he got closer to me, collocating his hands on my cheeks and smiling gently down at me "I love you, Sunshine. And I know you love me for who I am: this broken man. I want to share everything I have with you, the same way you do with me. Not because I have to or need to, but because I want to. At the beginning I'll admit I wanted to do it because I was afraid you would leave me one day. I wanted to have another reason for which you wouldn't be able to leave me so easily, a reason for us to still be connected even if you are not by my side... a way of being able to see that you are always being cared of and that you will never need anything, ever again. I once failed you, I hated not being able to take care of you. Seeing your smile whenever I bought you something new... I just wanted to make sure you have everything you need and want"
"Oh, Bri! You never failed me! I always had everything I need and wanted, because of you. Because you were by my side, you are everything I need to be happy. Those smiles weren't because you gave me something, but because you showed that you cared about me and my happiness. That's what made me happy" I told him, not caring that I cut him off in a unique moment of honesty.
I should have left him to finish speaking, we both needed that, but I couldn't let him continue blaming himself for everything. Especially not, that, when Michael it is to blame for the adversities we had to go through during those times. But it made us stronger, something the bastard surely wasn't counting on. Suck it idiot! I celebrated in my head.
"I know, I know that now. You taught me that, you taught me a lot of stuff. Just like I taught you. Now I want us to share our bank accounts because I want us to share our lives. How much money we have shouldn't matter, it never has. Not between us. So, what do you say? Share your life with me" the asshole didn't even ask, he just demanded.
"You know normal people ask?" I teased him, with a sunshine smile. One that he took as the answer to his not-question.
"Since when are we normal?" he teased me back, leaning down for a long, hot and provocative kiss.
"Guys, I am really happy for you, but you are still in my work office. So, cut it off! The last thing I need is live porno in front of me" at Laura's demand I pushed him away rapidly, blushing at how I let myself go. But then again, it always happens when Brian is around "Just sign next to Justin Brian and get the hell out of here. There is nothing more we can do today, I'll call you to arrange another meeting"
We chuckled and did as she ordered, before heading to buy furniture for our house. As soon as we entered the store a woman in her fifties greeted us with a warm smile "Mr. Kinney! It's good to see you again. And who might be this beautiful young man?"
"Mrs. Gonzales, this is my partner Justin Taylor-Kinney. Sunshine, this is Karina Gonzales. She's always the one I chose to work with when I need help decorating my living arrangements. I will have to ask your help once again" Brian presented us, how I love hearing my new last name from his lips!
"Always a pleasure" she replied, this time her warm smile directed at me "Have you acquired a new loft? Or made it bigger?"
"No, we bought a state outside of the city. On the first floor there is a big kitchen, a spacious living-room, the dinning room has a nice size as well, the visits' restroom, a mudroom and my office and my own private gym. For that last one I still have the machines that I brought with me from the loft, but this time I have space so I wanted it to be well equipped. Also, it is in one of the corners of the house and all the outside walls are made of glass in that room" it never ceases from amazing me how imposing and secure of himself is Brian sometimes. Mrs. Gonzales could only nod her head and write down all the information he was giving her, not even a space for a question "The second floor has five bedrooms, not counting the master one. One of them is for guests and has its own private bathroom, the other four are divided two on each side of the corridor and each pair has a bathroom that connects the rooms. One of those will be for my son, we will be in charge of every decision for that, and the one that is connected to it... will be left untouched for now. It's for the future" as he said that he was looking at me. I could only blink rapidly, trying not to shed the tears that were threatening from leaving my eyes. That wasn't just an order for her, but a promise to me... no, our future "The other two will be left for Justin's decisions, they are for my sister and mother whenever they are visiting us" I whipped my head so fast that I was afraid it would snap.
Mrs. Gonzales was also looking at him strangely "I thought you don't get along with them, did that change?" she asked him confused, count me in. I also have no idea what he is talking about, unless... no, impossible!
"They are the in laws, Mrs. Gonzales" he replied to her, but then whispered for only me to hear when she turned away and directed us to her desk "My true family, one that will always have the door open to our home" this time I did shed a few tears. The symbol of the open door without locks stopped, at that right moment, being one of fear about being kicked out and about how disposable I am. Now it turned to be one of love and security, knowing that no matter the fight my family and I will always find an open door to the solace Brian means for us "Our bedroom has a walk in dressing room..." I tried to contain my giggle at his dreamy expression, the dream come true of a fashion queen like Brian Kinney, but failed. Which earned me a glare from him, but I could see no heat behind it so I didn't mind it that much "... and a bathroom. However, this one is big and has its own private Jacuzzi. There's also the problem of the attic, I want you to contact a remodelling company you trust completely and are efficient. I want the attic divided into three different rooms: one that will be used for storage, a game room for the children and our own private movie theatre. For which Justin insists there should be a popcorn machine" he pouted, it was well hidden and only I that I know him so well was able to notice it.
"Something else Mr. Kinney?" she asked, by the small smile on her face I guessed I should have given her perception abilities more credit.
"Yes" he replied straight forward "See if the remodelling company you'll be contacting for the attic can build a swimming-pool. We also have a lot of ground behind the house, I want to use some of it to build that. What do you say about leaving the tennis court?" he turned to ask me "We can always learn a new sport" I just smiled and nodded "Good" he returned the smile before returning his attention to Mrs. Gonzales "The rest of the grounds will be well maintained, for which, if you know about any good gardening contacts that you could pass me, it will be appreciated. But I want the stables we have to leave, I want it turned into an art studio for my partner. It should be very well illuminated and if the roof could be made of sky, much better. See if the remodelling company can do that"
"I think that's all" I finally said after a while. When he stopped talking we just waited for it to come, for him to continue talking and not even letting us open our mouths. But it never came, so I think we are safe to speak now... at least for now.
"Well, then, gentlemen follow me. From the tone in your voice Mr. Kinney, I believe you want this as fast as possible" Mrs. Gonzales told us, guiding us even deeper in this huge store "It seems like we are having a long day ahead of us"
If you only knew half of it, I thought to myself. But smiled at Brian, interlacing our fingers- happy that now he doesn't pull away- and followed her.
-Seven hours later-
"God dammit! Look at the time, it's five in the afternoon!" I exclaimed once we exited the store "We didn't even stop for lunch" I complained, my stomach protesting with me... very loudly if I may add "But at least we almost finished everything. Where is the Vett by the way?"
"The Vett? I thought you would like to drive your own car, to our home" he commented.
It took me a while, but as soon as I realized what he had said I froze and looked at him, shocked "What did you just say?" that's when a Metallic Blue Lexus SUV paraded in front of us "Goodness Brian! She is beautiful!!!" I exclaimed, joy overtaking me "Wh... why?!"
"I do owe you a lot of birthday presents" he replied, wrapping his arms around my waist from behind. My smile only grew bigger and brighter when Emmett, Ted, Debby and Blake descended from the SUV "Luckily for us, for once Debby did as I asked her and prepared a nice picnic/dinner for us. Then we'll finally have the picnic you so much wanted when we get back home" this time I could stop myself and cried.
I cried for being kicked from the house by my dad, by Brian, I cried because of what happened during the prom, I cried for all those beautiful and horrible moments I passed with Brian. I cried in joy at how imaginably happy I was feeling. I cried because even if the family is divided at the moment because of our fight, this time they are on our side. Surprisingly, even Debby!
"You told them" I stated, not accusatory or anything "Was it when you left Laura's office?"
"Yes, I left for a cigarette, but then decided that it was time for them to listen to my side of the story for once. Then when I dialled Emmett I ordered him to get Ted and go buy this precious gem for you, after all every prince needs its own carriage" he whispered in my ear, making me shiver, and kissed my cheek sweetly.
"Sunshine!" Debby pulled me out of Brian's embrace and into hers "Brian told us everything they did to both of you, what a fucking disgrace! I can't believe it! How were we so blinded by them?!" I looked at her shocked, once she released me, not knowing if I was looking at the right Debbie. She talks like that about her 'precious' Mickey... yeah, that's a joke "I know what you're thinking Sunshine: 'How is it possible that Debbie is finally seeing the truth about her son?!'" her sad smile made me want to go searching for Michael and kick his ass for hurting her, but I stopped myself cause I don't want to end up in prison "If it were a couple of years back... I would have sided with him and no matter what I wouldn't have listened to what anyone had to say to me. Even if the truth was fucking hitting me on the face" she admitted, ashamed of what she would have done "But now things are different, I learned that I do have a life outside of Michael. It took me a bit to wrap my head around what the asshole told me... but with the help of Carl I was finally ready to let go. Michael is now an adult and he has to pay for his mistakes, I am on your side this time. Because even if blood connects me to Michael, you both are the sons of my heart and that will never change" by the end of her speech I was in tears again, and by the drops I felt on my neck so was Brian "Now, let's stop crying like babies. We just came to tell you that you have our full support, as well as Carl's. He couldn't make it because he has the night shift today, but he sends his regards. Ah! I almost forgot, the family's dinner of this week is at Jennifer's. Because even if I fucking tell Michael to stay the fuck away, he will end up barging into my house. And then when we wouldn't find us he would go through each of our places until he located us. Luckily he hates you so much that he never cared to know, where does your mom live"
And I never thought I would love to have someone hating me before, what can I say? Michael really just amazes us sometimes.
Chapter 8: Lunch with the (overprotective) siblings
The next day we had another meeting with Mrs. Gonzales, then we visited the sperm donor biggest competition and gave them a lot of money: three flat screen TV and DVD's player- one for the master bedroom, the other one for the living room and, lastly, one for the game room-, a good sound equipment that allows you to listen music all over the house even if the CD player was in the living room, one Mac computer for Brian's office and two HP laptops- one for each.
We also found out that they could make us a personalized screen, for our private movie theater. However, when I saw the price I almost got a heart attack. I was about to tell Brian to forget about it, that we didn't need it- even if I was delighted with the idea. But the warning glare I got from him made me close my mouth before I could even make a sound. We ended up buying it, the reason I got from him was that his prince deserves only the best. His answer warmed me with a joy I could not describe, but my sunshine smile and glittering eyes did the job for me.
Our next stop that day was to acquire the equipment for the gym. I loved that stop, not because I finally found the beauty of sport. But because I was able to see how much Brian was enjoying himself, like a kid in a sweet shop. Also, because by then I noticed how much I was able to contribute. Not as much as Bri, of course, but I helped quite a bit.
A couple of weeks later, after all the remodeling company's men coming and leaving our home. They worked twice as hard and twice faster, which I wasn't surprised by after all the money we were paying for. People from the electronics company passing by to settle the stuff we bought. When all of them were over and we had a cleaning service come and make the state look as good as new, we finally had the furniture brought. I am not ashamed to admit that when we saw our home finally finished, I cried, cried in happiness for having a home again. No matter how much I love the loft, I had never felt in home since the bastard kicked me out of my childhood house... until now.
We still had a lot of things to do. The grounds behind the house still need a gardener to work on it, but we still haven't found the right one. Brian has always been kind of picky, especially with whatever its his. Also, I knew that this place would be the first he has ever considered a home. The loft was a sanctuary for him, a place he lived while waiting for his so desired home. Another thing that made me burst with happiness.
My studio was done, but bare, we'll leave that for last. Firstly, we need to childproof the whole place and fill the game room with toys for Gussy. That's what Brian is doing at the moment, while I am about to try an recruit some politician help for the court case we are going to have. Right now I was entering Lune, the most famous and high class French restaurant in the city, wearing my new Armani suit- courtesy of Brian.
"How may I help you, sir?" the host asked me politely.
"I'm here to meet..." I began answering, with a polite smile of my own.
However, before I could say anymore, I got interrupted by a cheerful voice behind him: "Justin! You made it!" Jessica Stuart exclaimed, coming towards me and enveloping me in a tight hug "I thought you weren't going to make it. Come, everyone is waiting for you" then she proceeded to guide me towards the section of the restaurant that holds a private room with a big table, used mostly for business meetings or private events- such like this one "Guys, Justin is here!" she stated, almost bursting with joy.
I looked at her trying not to show my confusion at her behavior, she is always so compose that this almost childhood way of acting really shocked me. But watching her almost skip towards her husband at the head of the table, and them kissing so blissfully, brought a sunshine smile to my lips and I really didn't care about the why.
"It's good to see you again Taylor, you disappeared these last weeks" Jordan Johnson, or JJ like I prefer to call him, greeted me "Where have you been hiding?" he joked, wrapping an arm around me in a small hug.
"Got back with my ex, we were celebrating" I replied, gaining the whole table's attention and a wave of congrats, after a small moment of shocked silence.
I was glad to notice that I knew everyone invited to this gathering. The majority close friends with Jessica, which meant that they were close to me, or at least trusted my advices or confided in me a lot. It kind of reminded me of friends getting together to celebrate something over lunch, but to celebrate what?
"So who is the lucky guy? We need to know who to threaten with ruining his life if he breaks your heart" Jackson Stuart, Jessica's husband, questioned me.
Ever since I met them, and kind of saved their marriage over my advices, they took the place of older siblings that once was for Mel and Lindsey. I never said anything for fear of being rejected by them, after all I am just a novice artist while they are the most powerful couple of the city. Why would they consider me family? But in moments like this, when they show me how protective they are of me, hope grows in me that maybe... just maybe I am something more than a free couple counselor.
"Brian Kinney, he owns his own advertising company" I said, but before I could finish my answer JJ interrupted me.
"Kinnetik?! I have a meeting with them at the end of the week" he exclaimed.
"You are that big shot Bri has been pestering about?! You know that he left the WHOLE project on my lap because he didn't trust anyone else in the art department not to scr... mess things up?!" I exclaimed "I worked my ass off for that presentation. You better sign a deal!" I threatened him, with a warning glare.
"You work for your boyfriend?" Jessica asked me, suddenly sobering from her high of happiness "Justin... are you being pressured into..."
"I'll stop you right there Jess. Bri and I have known each other since I've been seventeen and when he was my boss we weren't together" I fixed things before they got out if hand.
"So you don't work for him anymore? Then how are you in charge of the presentation for me?" JJ questioned me confused, like everyone else.
"Because I own half of the company now" I helped them out "We kind of got as married as the law allows us" Soon afterwards I had a whole new wave of congrats and demands of meeting my husband. I calmed them down with inviting them to a home warming dinner when our house was finally ready to receive visits. The rest of the lunch continued without a hitch. Until Jessica called out for our attention, after we had ordered the dessert.
"You surely must have wondered why is it that we invited you all for lunch today" she began, regaining the poise that characterize her "After many years of trying and postponing... we finally decided to have a child together" my jaw dropped, as everyone else's, at the revelation "We went to the doctor and they said that it was impossible for us to have children together... something about my uterus not being a good place for a baby to grow and Jacks' sperm not having enough potency to impregnate me" I shed a single sad lonely tear for them, hating that amazing couples are the ones that always suffer "So we decided to adopt. We found the perfect pair of sons someone could ask, five years old twins: Ethan and Aiden. They have Jacks' blond hair and blue eyes, so at least they will resemble one of us physically" I was so happy with them that I almost burst into tears, and I did with her following words: "We also wanted to know if you, Justin Cole Taylor would like to be the godfather of our sons. Jacks' older sister, Malia, will be their godmother. And I, as I am a sole child, would like to offer the option to the most similar thing I have to a little brother"
In tears I could only nod my head overjoyed. Hugs and pleasantries were exchanged, before returning to our seats for dessert. Questions about how they found him or when they were coming home were asked. I didn't even notice when I drifted towards the problems we are having with Gus or that I began to show my sadness in my face, until Sabrina Stuart called me out on it: "Sweetheart, are you ok?"
As if they were in synch all of their heads turned towards me at once, most of them curious and some worried about me. "You see... Brian has a son. His name is Gus and he is four years old" I began, smiling my sunshine smile when I thought about the little boy "He calls me papa..." I said in a whisper.
"That's good... isn't it?" Jess asked me slowly, not knowing what was going on.
"Well..." I began explaining to them the situation we were in, at the end of it, I had a table full of the most powerful people of the city angry... in our behalf.
"Don't worry Jus, we'll take care of everything" Jackson promised me with a sombre expression.
-Two days later-
We had just finished putting the last touches to the game room and the WHOLE house is finally childproof. Bri and I decided for one of the many sketches I draw for a mural in Gus' room, which I was going to start on next week. For now I was resting in bed while surfing through the Internet, for ideas for my studio, when Brian entered the room with a stunned expression and his phone in hand.
"Justin care to tell me why Jordan Johnson just signed a contract with me without even seeing what campaign I had planned for him? Or, why Kinnetik is receiving calls from Pittsburgh's top companies and politicians, interested in us advertising them?" he demanded to know pissed off.
Chapter 9: Rage part 1
"Well?!" he snapped when I didn't answer for a while.
"I swear I didn't know they would do that!" I exclaimed, snapping out of my shock.
"Who? And what?!" he demanded to know.
"Look, you know that the other day I had lunch with a lot of the most powerful people in Pittsburgh" I started slowly, trying to wrap my head around what just happened and trying to make sure Brian doesn't go ballistic "I kind of underestimate my value to them... Jessica asked me to be her sons godfather" if I weren't feeling so overwhelmed right now I would have laughed at how comically my partner looked when his jaw dropped "Incredible, isn't it?! She and her husband said that I am like a little brother for them... All of them were furious when I told them about what Lindsay and Melanie are pulling. He said they would take care of it. I thought he meant to use the contacts they had and Jackson helping out with some of his lawyers, after all he has the second best firm in Pittsburgh and one of the best in the east cost. But for them to change from Vanguard to Kinnetik in matters of days... I can assure you I didn't imagine this!"
"Are you sure you didn't mention anything about Kinnetik to them?" he questioned me, making me angry. Even though I knew he didn't ask because he doesn't trust me, but because I tend to forget stuff that usually... well, almost always is important.
"Brian! I know what I say and what I not! I did not..." I stopped in mid rant, ignoring the way Bri raised a single eyebrow as to say: 'What were you saying?' "Now that you mention it... I kind of gave of a piece of information that might have caused this sudden change" he nodded, silently demanding me to continue "When I mention that we got back together, Jordan interrupted me saying that he knew you because of Kinnetik and I just connected the dots. I knew that Jordan was the big shot you were so obsessed with getting and... I might have overreacted. My reaction was so dramatic that I might have won an Oscar over it. Then they began questioning my relationship with you, because you were my boss... that I might have been pressured by you. So I defended you, saying that I own half of the company. That might have been the reason why you got all those phone calls"
"But still, that doesn't explain why Jordan Johnson didn't even wait for my pitch to sign the deal with us" Brian replied, slowly climbing on the bed.
I almost sighed, relived to know that I didn't completely screw things over with him, which immediately made me feel guilty. After all, Bri had changed and now I had proof that he wouldn't turn around and leave me as soon as things got rocky. But after five years of being rejected over and over again... it takes time to see things differently.
"You know that I told you that instead dancing on a pole, I was selling sketches and some paintings now and then. Well, one of them was a portrait of Jessica and Jackson, the rest, but three, were bought from habitants from Liberty Avenue" I started answering him "Those three were my biggest commission ever, as an artist of course. Jordan bought them, one for his guest room in his home, one for his office and the last one in the dining-room in his house in Miami. Ever since then, and afterwards, when Jessica presented us in the party- to celebrate the closing of the project to make the streets of Pittsburgh more pretty- we stuck a fast friendship. I gave him some tips with dealing with some business problems he was having with Liberty and since then he trusts my judgement, after all it never failed him. I think that's why he signed the deal after I told him I worked on it completely on my own"
"I see..." I didn't like the tone he was using at all, it worried me to be honest "Should I be worried about this 'friendship' you have with Johnson?" my eyes widened at the obvious jealousy in his tone. I chuckled softly, at how cute he looked pouting, and kissed the pout away.
"Relax Bri, Jordan is completely straight. He was no gay or bi bone in his body, but totally accepts us" I assured him, pulling him down for a long kiss this time "Now, we have to talk about business" I stated, rolling us over so I would be above him. By the confuse expression on his face I knew I had to clarify things "I mean about Kinnetik. If I want to continue studying law and have an internship with Laura I won't have time for continuing working with Kinnetik as I used to. Also, when we win Gus' guardianship out time will be divided in him, work and us. Let's not ass the fact that I have to continue working on Rage. I will help out with all the campaigns for the phone calls you received today, that's for sure. And for any other big shot you need me for. After that I'll tend to leave things for you to manage, which will be different when I graduate from law school. Then I'll work at Kinnetik almost all the time, discounting the time I use for my art, not only in the art department, but also handling any kind of legal issues we'll have" soon I find myself being flipped over and my mouth ravished by my fiancé "Brian..." I sighed when he stopped kissing me "What was that for?"
"For being perfect" he replied smoothly, making me blush like a virgin- something that I'm really not "As long as you promise being in charge of the campaigns for those blood thirsty politicians you brought to my door" I laughed at that "Then, then everything will be ok... after all, we are together in this"
I smiled softly at his last words "As long as we stand together Bri, nothing can stop us or tore us apart" I promised him.
I was obsessed... well, I've been since I saw an angel standing down that streetlight in front of Babylon. But this is another kind of obsession, I love Rage! I never really liked comics or heroes, I just acted like I was interested in them for Mi... the unmentionable when I believed we were friends. Now that I know how things truly were, I didn't have to act. I hated how unrealistic they are and how you never feel identified with them, which is why I always preferred books over them. But Rage... Justin is truly a genius! He uses real cases, things that truly happened and were broadcasted in T.V as a muse from where to draw the next volume. Not to mention the art, I'll never get tired of seeing his creations.
Right now I am finishing the last comic from the second volume, I had it for weeks now- even if it was only available to the public today, the advantages of being engaged to the creator- but wanted to first read the ones before. Otherwise, I wouldn't understand a thing, even though Justin spoiled a few things. I want to finish it fast so I can catch Justin working on the third volume of Rage, when his phone starts ringing. I read the last strip before answering without seeing the caller ID, just to be yelled at: "How dare you do this stupid stalker twink?!"
Damn it! It's the unmentionable!
Chapter 10: Rage part 2
When someone rang the door, I felt my heart stop for a second. No one was supposed to know we live here, not even the gang... or at least the part of the gang we have on our side knows where we live nowadays. We wanted all covered so no one would spill the beans, this secret is key to winning against Lindsay for Gus' parental rights. Then when I began thinking clearly again, I deduced that this shouldn't mean that the gang knows about Britin, but surely a neighbor that wanted greet us. After all, we've been living here for a while now and in such a friendly neighborhood it was going to end up happening.
However, you'll know my surprise when it wasn't a neighbor there when I opened the door. It was one of the last persons I would have expected. It was...
"Isak?!" Justin exclaimed, surprised, his expression made me laugh and forget about all my problems. He always has this kind of power over me, just like Even and Jonas. Another reason why I value my friendship with him so much.
"In the flesh! I hope I didn't interrupt anything" I replied.
"Not at all... I just finished the first comic for the third volume. Wha... what are you doing here?! Shouldn't you be in Los Angeles?" he demanded to know, still not snapping completely from his state of shock at my surprise apparition "Is something wrong?"
"No! No, relax everything is fine... in reality more than fine" I assured him, with a dreamy smile "Can I borrow you from your boyfriend for a little conversation?" I asked him shyly, not wanting to bother others- a habit that hasn't left me from my days in highschool.
"Sure..." he answered me, frowning confused "Just let me tell Bri before" with that said Justin left me at the door in search of his beau. When he came back, he had a serious expression on his face that made me worry "He is occupied at the moment, whatever he is dealing with must be important cause he didn't wait to find his phone and used mine instead. I didn't want to interrupt him so I left him a note. Let's get going! There is a nice family café a few blocks from here, so there is no need to take your car" he added when I offered him to drive us "Also, Bri bought me a car. I'll show it to you later!" Justin told me excitedly.
I smiled, not wanting to lessen his happiness. But I still do not understand his relationship with that man, I was heartbroken when I saw Even kiss Sonja after telling me that he had broken up with her. To see the love of my life fuck man after man in front of me... that would break me completely. Justin really is a very strong man. However, I really can't judge him. When we were young my friends and I were suckers for drama.
I did tell my own high school drama to Justin while he was in Los Angeles. He was giving up not only in Brian, but himself as well. And hating himself for all the stupid decisions he made. I was lucky to catch him in time before he did someone more stupid. I told him my story, so he won't feel as if he is the only stupid teenage boy out there, and explained to him that you are what you let yourself be. No one can turn you into someone you are not. He took those words to heart... and look at everything he had achieved since then: Rage, he finished college and is going for a second degree, making a name for himself in the art world of Pittsburgh- to begin with for now-, making friendships with the high people of his city's society and being engaged to the untamable stud of Liberty Avenue. I know all this because we kept in touch since he left Los Angeles, almost on a daily basis.
I've never been more proud of him. I just hope that he will accept the proposition I have for him.
I chuckled at his incredulous expression, he should have gotten used to my habits by now.
"Justin, you know that I do not only work for an editorial?" He asked me, once we had ordered and the waitress had left.
"Of course, I do! You make deals with Hollywood to turn the best sellers your editorial publish into movies" I answered, rapidly.
After all, I've heard the story of how they made their careers. About how Isak, Even, Jonas and Eva became who they are. It all started, like any good story Isak ever told me, with one of Even's maniac episodes. He was in his last years of cinematography, Jonas on his third, Eva studying to be an agent and Isak, after a long time not knowing if he wanted to be a scientist or a writer, he was in his last year of English- he had skipped one year for being too smart.
Going back to Even he did an impulsive thing, like he always does in one of his episodes, he enrolled in a Scottish History class that the university was giving- Even loathes history! Afterwards, he couldn't get out of it and was freaking out about not being able to get his degree because he failed that damn class. So, Isak took matters into his hands and fixed things smoothly. He linked something Even hated with something he loved: he wrote a script about the topics they were dealing in class. After all, Even always recalls every line the actors say in movies. Why wouldn't he do the same now?
The only difference now, was that Isak made it into a T.V show, not a movie. Because there was too much information to fit into the script of a movie, but if divided into chapter it was possible. He also added romance and mystery to it, it wouldn't be an interesting T.V show otherwise. It was about the life of Mary Stuart and how she tried to defend her kingdom from the English that wanted to invade them. He named it: Reign. The funny thing was that something that was meant to help his boyfriend landed them the job of their lives.
Even and Jonas had started a YouTube page during their last and second year, respectively, in highschool. They posted videos they made, and became very popular. With time they reached over million subscribers, and caught the attention of a very important director in Norway- the four of them are originally from there. They started as their assistants, learning from him every day, and then moved to help him out sometimes with the edition of some scenes. One day when Even left work, he left Isak's script behind. Elias, the director, found it and took it home to then give it to his apprentice the following day. But at the end he caved in to his curiosity and read it, he was amazed by it and contacted a friend of his in Los Angeles that wanted to promote a T.V show Reign. After putting a good name of Even and Jonas his friend accepted letting these young geniuses to direct the show, he must have really trusted Elias to do that so blindly.
After getting the fantastic news, they all moved to Los Angeles after the graduation of Isak and Even. They lived in an apartment together, nearby the university Jonas and Eva transferred to for their last year of college. No one really trusted the show to be a success, after all, it was directed by someone who had just gotten a degree and another one who was still studying, it was represented by an agent that was still in college and the script was written by someone who had only graduated last year. They proved them all wrong. It was a lot of work, but Reign became a very successful T.V show worldwide . It lasted for FOUR seasons. Not because it was cancelled, but because the guys didn't want to stretch the show too much and risk loosing the essence of it.
Afterwards, Isak left the scene of Hollywood and landed a job in one of the top editorials in Los Angeles. He became the head of the fiction and fantasy department that I met at that party. But by leaving, he caused Eva to lose a client, he felt bad for doing that so he took it to himself to find a new one for her best female friend. At the end he found Beatrice Steven, an old lady who had just signed a contract with him to publish her first book- which ended up being a best-seller and turned into a movie after Isak presented it to his husband Even. That's how Isak got his new place into Los Angeles' filming scene. At the end the editorial asked her to write another two, which of course their movies were also directed by Jonas and Even. They make such a great team, Jonas never complains when Even has to be absent because he had a maniac attack.
Their story is something I always kept in my head. It made me not feel alone- I wasn't the only young gay man that did stupid things impulsively- and gave me strength to continue fighting to be successful, to prove to everyone and myself that I was worth giving the chance to live after the... the bashing. And Isak is my role model, the one I always want to make proud. Sometimes I wonder why he befriended me, after all he is eight years older than me and successful. But then again, I bagged Brian Fucking Kinney. Who is also, successful and twelve years my senior.
"You know that Even and Jonas just finished filming the third movie of the Dream, Dreaming trilogy, and will surely soon start looking for their next project. Which reminds me, I have your invites for the premiere in my car. You can bring Brian and Gus with you, if you want" he told me, getting off track. I flashed him my sunshine smile, after all, it would be my first premiere "Also, Beatrice is planning on retiring. She thanked us for making her dreams come true, but she could no longer stand the pressure that Los Angeles brings- if I am being honest after eight years there, neither do I. That causes Eva to lose another client, again. So, I found a way to make the five of us happy"
"Wait a minute... did you just say 'the five of us'?" I asked him confused, again.
"Yes, I did. I meant: Even, Jonas, Eva, you and I" he answered. Before I could demand some answers, the waitress came with our drinks and food. I had to wait until she left to open my mouth, to then just be interrupted by Isak again "You see, Rage has a big chance to be a huge success. The only thing that caused to fail the first time was the horrendous story line that Novoty made. However, now that you gave it an incredible ending and explained why everything was so fake at the beginning... well, there is no chance of failure. We would use the same cast, Even and Jonas liked them, and I almost finished writing the script- I began as soon as you signed the contract with us. Rage storyline is more of a T.V show, but the first volume is so maddening at the beginning that makes you want to stop watching it. So, we would focus on how Rage became who he is, how he met JT, a few of the most interesting cases he had in Dreamland and how he saved his sidekick- that battle will be the main focus of the movie. Then the volume two and the rest that will come, will be turned into a T.V shows. Otherwise, it will feel as if it was being rushed, if it were turned into a movie. We could use Kinnetik for advertising, and you wouldn't have to worry about moving to Los Angeles again and leaving your family behind, like last time. Even and Jonas want to film it here in Pittsburgh, to make it more realistic. After all, Rage fights the crime of Pittsburgh's streets, not Los Angeles'. Eva could also represent you, not only as a comic writer, but as an artist. In the eight years we've lived in Los Angeles, she had accumulated a lot of contacts. Also, comic con wants you to represent Rage in Los Angeles, here in Pittsburgh, Canada, Argentina, France and Norway. For that you'll need an agent to have your back. It's a win win for everyone: I get to leave Los Angeles and live here with you, Even and Jonas have their next project, Eva gets the client she needs, your comic gets turned into a movie and Brian has a new client. Now that i think about it... it's a way to make the six of us happy. So, what do you say Justin? Deal?"
Chapter 11: Rage part 3
I sighed as I finished up the call, without even replying to the bastard. That would have been just a waste of breath. I had the desire to throw the phone against the nearest wall, but it was Justin's so I couldn't. Then I went looking for my lover, I needed him right now. Strangely, I didn't find him anywhere. At one point I just gave up and went to call him, when I recalled I still had his phone. Luckily I found the note he had left me:
Bri, I saw that you were busy before, so I didn't want to disturb you. Do you remember my friend from Los Angeles, Isak? The one that works for the editorial? Well, he is in Pittsburgh for a surprise visit. We went to that family café we like so much, to catch up. I'll be back before dinner.
To the café then. I thought, going in search of Justin.
When I got to the café I quickly located my fiancé. He was sitting by the window in front of a very attractive man: tall, blonde, blue eyes, thin and nice smile. Who looked much younger than he really is. I am not describing Justin, but his friend Isak- they could easily pass as brothers. The main difference was the vibe they gave out to others, while my fiancé is all sunshine and brightness, Isak is like those baby angels that you want to shelter from the cruel world- and that's coming from me! If I weren't so sure of Justin's feelings for me, and the fact that I don't do jealousy, I would have been jealous. But I knew that for Sunshine he was just a very good friend, a role model.
It was almost hilarious when I noticed that Sunshine was frozen in shock. I've never seen the polite and educated little WASP speechless, I think he had just made history. But when I began to see tears forming in his eyes I grew concerned. I quickly ducked to the table behind them, using how distracted they were by Justin's sudden tears so they wouldn't see me. This was his business, I could not interfere. I could only be here for him when things collapse, and give him the support he needs.
"I... I cannot do it Isak, I am so sorry!" I heard him whimper between tears, it broke my heart hearing him so sad... and defeated.
What couldn't he do?! I asked myself in my head, wanting to know what was causing my fiancé such pain, so I could fix it. After all, for me Sunshine could do anything he put his mind into- only look at what he had achieved in such a young age!
"Justin... what do you mean by you 'cannot do it'?! This is Hollywood we are talking about! Comic con! Two of the greatest honors comic writers get! You should be proud and starting to plan things" I heard Isak complaining, but I couldn't really pay much attention to him over the beating of my heart.
I couldn't breath, I felt as if I were suffocating. Why? Things have gone so well lately for us, we became the solid and unbeatable team, we were supposed to always be. Why always me? Now he'll be leaving, Hollywood is knocking on his door again. Why again? The thought of not being able to wake up next to him every day and fall asleep cuddling him into my chest... it scared the fuck out of me. Why does it have to happen to us? I need him, Justin had become my new kind of drug. One that is ten times more potent than anything Anita could have ever sold me. His sunshine smile, his twinkling blue eyes whenever he looks at me- shinning with love-, his melodious laugh, his delicious cock, his perfect ass and beautiful mind.
What's worse is that I would have just accepted and rest assure that Justin would always follow me whenever I go. If New York knocked on my door, I wouldn't turn it away. So, how is it fair that I would ask that from him. Then I made the decision of following him to Los Angeles as soon as the fight against the munchers end.
Wait a minute... he couldn't do it?! I exclaimed in my head, snapping out of my train of pain. Movie and Comic con! They are great opportunities! Wait... Justin wouldn't... he wouldn't refuse for...
"I cannot leave Brian in a moment like this Isak!" that's it. Those were the words that finally broke all my barriers, that made me fall in love with him all over again. He would give up a lifetime opportunity for me. Without a second thought, selflessly. How was I able to land such a perfect man?! "I'll accept the movie deal, since it'll be filmed in Pittsburgh, and let Eva be my agent- I've been looking for one anyways. But right now with Gus' parental rights fight coming up, my studies and this new job I have with Laura Lune... I cannot go into tour all over the world for Comic con. I just don't have the time. Brian needs me here, I won't abandon him... not like everyone else"
Sunshine, no... you cannot give up your career for me. I would never ask that from you! I exclaimed in my head, touched by what he was trying to do, but heartbroken for causing him such pain.
"Do you really think that Brian would have wanted you to give up this opportunity for him?" Isak asked him, firmly.
"You can't tell him about this!" my fiancé exclaimed loudly, making me jump and a lot of the patrons to turn their heads towards him. He surely must be beat red right now, but instead of chuckling at Sunshine's embarrassment, I could only focus on the desperation in his voice. Is he really afraid of me? I questioned myself "I know that he wouldn't want me to. He once would have pushed me of mountain Kinney, so I would have taken the chance... like he did the time before. But right now there's more at stake. Brian might think I need this, and maybe I do, but he needs my support even more. If the movie is a success, Comic con might want me again next time. If not, I would have gained a son which is more precious to me than anything"
There's no more thinking about it. I'll marry him as soon as I have my son back. We'll be just the three of us and no one else. That's all we need, and I don't care that Mother Taylor and Debbie will kill us when they find out we ran away and got married. This is the man that loves me unconditionally, that will put me and my son before anything else. How could I not tie the knot with him and make sure he never leaves us?! But I'll have to keep it from him for now, he wants us to take things slowly. I hope he'll like the surprise.
"Justin, how good do you know me?" Isak asked my fiancé and continued without letting him answer "Do you really think I would just let this bomb on you knowing everything you are going with and not make sure you'll be able to accept? I wouldn't cause you that kind of pain, come on Justin! You are my young apprentice! I would never do something to harm you like that"
Ok... I kind of am starting to like this guy. I thought, contemplating how he was going to fix things up.
"What do you mean by that?" Sunshine asked his friend slowly, hope slipping through his tone of voice.
"When will you take 'the munchers', like your fiancé calls them, to court? And how long do you think it will take you to win it?" he began, confusing me with where is he trying to go with this.
"In two weeks. And Laura is sure that in two more we can easily prove what an unfit mother Lindsay is and win the rights over Gus" and by the tone in Justin's answer he was as well.
"You are at the end of your school year, aren't you? The only thing you have left are your finals. And for what I've heard you'll wait until the beginning of your second year in pre-law, before you start working with Miss Lune- after all you want that to count as an internship and give you credits for your degree. Which means that you'll have all summer to only focus on your art. Comic con this year, is during the summer Justin! You'll be free to travel around the world promoting not only your new volume for the comic, but also the movie! It will be a tight fit, you'll need a timetable and stick to it or it won't work... but I believe you can do it Justin. After all, you have the brains and abilities too. Brian could also bring Gus along, he'll have to skip a few weeks of work and then spend the rest of the trip working from the computer... but if he really loves you he'll follow you anywhere" Isak tells him.
"I surely will" I assured them, startling them when I came out from my hideout.
"Bri... how much did you hear?" Sunshine stuttered, eyes wide open.
"Enough to know you would throw away an incredible chance for me and Gus" I replied, taking a chair, from a table nearby, and sitting next to my fiancé "What countries will we be visiting?" I asked the other blond.
"The United States, of course, the cities of Los Angeles and Pittsburgh. Then: Canada, Argentina, France and Norway" he answered.
Canada... I thought, smiling softly at how things were fitting just like they should. Sunshine wants to take things slowly and he will: first signing his contracts for the movie and Comic con, then the fight for Gus' parental rights, after that, his finals, followed by the worldwide tour for promoting his comic and future movie, we get hitched in Vermont- just the three of us- and when we come back I get back to Kinnetik and Justin to his studies and internship with Laura, while raising Gus. It will be hectic for a while, but it'll be one step at the time. Justin is right, we cannot take over everything at once. No matter how good we are, we wouldn't be able to handle it.
"Justin will do it. No arguing Sunshine" I warned my fiancé when I noticed him opening his mouth, ready to protest "Do I need to tell you that this should be kept a secret?" I questioned the man sitting in front of us, smiling softly at us.
"My lips are sealed" he assured me "Fy faen! Is it really that late?! I have to get going, I have a business meeting soon. Let's meet again soon before I get back to Los Angeles. I need to give you the invites and you have to sign the contracts. Also, I need to discuss with Brian about having Kinnetik be the only one advertising Rage internationally" he told us, putting some cash down on the table and then rushed out of the café.
This would be the first account I'll be representing internationally... Justin you'll never stop bringing good things into my life, will you? I thought, almost bursting in joy at this great opportunity.
"We have to talk with Laura, we have another job for her" Justin told me, laying her head on my shoulder, as I wrap my arm around his shoulders pulling him closer to me.
"Invites?" I asked curiously.
"Yeah, you, Gus and I get to go to the premier of the third movie of the trilogy Dream, Dreaming" he answered.
"You never cease from amazing me, do you Sunshine?" I commented, shaking my head amused.
"I have to keep you on your toes, Bri" he replied, cheeky smile on place. But then, it vanished to get replaced by a serious one "What was that phone call about? When I went to see you before I left with Isak, you were on the phone with someone- my phone"
"You were working on Rage so I didn't want to disrupt you and answered the phone call for you, without checking who was it from... it was the unmentionable" I answered him "The idiot found out about what you did to his character and went ballistic, I think I've never heard him whine so much before. And that's something to say. At least we got something from him"
"What do you mean by that?" I demanded to know, all amusement gone and replaced with anger.
"You see, the munchers will surely use the unmentionable to testify against me- about what a horrible father I am. He'll surely will do it, because being a full time father will mean that I'll not have enough time for him and his whiny needs" I began explaining "But he never would have thought I was the one who would answer your phone, he still thinks we are over. So, when I answered the call he sang like a bird. Surely to make you feel like shit, that he had won so many times over me against you. I just can't believe I once thought he was my only and real friend... that piece of shit tricked us both for too long" I spat the last part as if it were poison.
"What did he do?" Justin growled, and if things weren't so messed up I would totally be turned on right now.
"Why don't I just show you?" I replied, playing the recorded conversation. Thank goodness I thought fast, now the judge will not believe a word this lying criminal says- this is proof of how unreliable the unmentionable is. By the end of the recording Justin was fuming "Don't do anything stupid Sunshine. Wait until we are in court, then everyone will know what Lindsay and the unmentionable did to us. We'll take every skeleton they have in their closet into broad daylight, and we'll show everyone how they've wronged us. Revenge, after all, is a dessert better served cold"
Chapter 12: Hit me with your best shot
I can't believe this is happening... is this really happening? This is happening! This is the best day of my life, at least, second best to the day I adopted Hunter. I exclaimed in my head, bursting in joy, but trying to remain calm on the outside.
"I can say that after meeting you, I rest assure of every doubt I ever had about publishing your book" Mr. Valtersen told me "But you need to keep in mind that it won't happen yet. I need to move here first, and make sure that our new branch here is in function perfectly before taking on new writers" he warned me.
"The main editorial you work for is in Los Angeles, isn't it?" I asked him, curiously.
"Yes, it's kind of new- only a decade old. I've been with them for eight as the head director of the fiction and fantasy department, before I was ascended as the director of their first branch- here in Pittsburgh. We bought over The Pitt's Editorial, they had a very good team, but weren't that lucky lately. Ever since I won Rage over us, their finances have been descending more and more each month that passes" he answered "I really cannot imagine why other editorials called your work boring, this is great! It portrays the lifestyle of gay men in Liberty Avenue perfectly! It's entertaining and will culture a lot of people about the life style of the lesbian and gay community"
"I changed my way of writing, and what I wrote about. My other works, on the other hand, are boring" I admitted, but I was still stuck with the news that Rage changed their editorial. Michael never told me that! "Excuse me, but since when do you publish the comics of Rage?" I questioned my new boss.
"Ever since Taylor got the whole ownership from the thief that Novotny is!" Mr. Valtersen replied, what shocked me the most wasn't the venom in my boss' tone when he mentioned my husband, but that he called Michael a thief "You didn't know about that? It was quite a commotion in the literary world! Michael Novotny cheated on his partner the true genius behind the success of Rage- because people only bought the comic for the pictures, not the horrible story line that the thief wrote. Luckily, when Justin got his rights back over the comic he did wonders with that. You know what's worst is that Novotny didn't only spent his 100K on toys, but also the other 100K that belonged to Justin. Who does that? Spend 200K in toys, sorry, collectibles"
He kept on going about how Justin won the court on his own, without the support of his family- about what a poor boy he was, surely thinking that he wouldn't have our support because he would back up 'poor, angelic Mikey'. But I stopped listening, at least not completely. My mind was stuck on the fact that I sleep, am married to a man I thought I knew. How could he do something like that?! To Justin the least! That boy has suffered more than anyone I know, and is the strongest person I know. And what's worse, he asked Briana and me to give him money to pay support for Jenny when he had a lot of it already. And spent it on toys!!!
But... I already know the answer to that. I thought sadly and feeling more defeated than when I discovered I had HIV. He did all of this for Brian. To punish Justin for having what he never had, the most desired collectible. But what he doesn't get, is that by punishing Justin he punished Brian. I wasn't part of the gang then, but from what I've heard during the fight against Stockwell they were very tight on money. And those 100K would have done more than wonders for them.
"You know, I was kind of not sure if I should have met with you today. A lot of editorials are weary of you, since this last year. It's because of your last name, I thought you would be related or married to Michael Novotny. None of us want to go to court because you stole this incredible work from someone, that's why you've been having a lot of doors closed in your face. But it's impossible that someone this talented and intelligent is related or married to the idiot of Novotny" those words snapped me out of my trance.
Not even did he screw Justin over, but was about to ruin my dreams of becoming a published writer?! I screamed in my head, stunned. I won't let that happen, he can't go unpunished for what he did. No matter how much I love him... no, I don't love him. I love the Michael I thought he was, not this man I do not recognize. I appreciate what Justin tried to do for us- Debbie, Hunter, Jenny and me-, but Michael cannot stay free and hurt another person like he hurt poor Sunshine.
"Are you ok Mr. Novotny-Bruckner? You look kind of pale" I asked him, faking worrisome. I knew perfectly well why he looked as if he had seen a ghost.
"I am... I am not feeling very well at the moment, may I take my leave? Or is there another thing we need to discuss?" he asked me.
"No, please leave. Will arrange a date for our lawyers to go through the contract later. If you are ill, you should get to your house and rest. Please take care of yourself and get better soon" I told him softly. After all, it wasn't his fault that his husband was a bastard.
"Thank you" with that he left the restaurant.
I smiled to myself as I saw his retreating back, it's been a while since I manipulated someone, by revealing a secret that was confided to me, and caused havoc in a relationship. Not since my first year, when I broke Eva and Jonas up. I promised not to do something like that again, but Novotny hurt Justin. No one hurts those I care about and gets away with it. I just hope that Sunshine won't want my head on a silver platter when he finds out- because he'll find out. He asked me to stay out of it, but I couldn't do it when a chance like this showed itself:
Not only do I get a new incredible writer to add to my team, but I get to avenge my apprentice. Talk about killing two birds with one stone!
Not only am I getting one surprise visit today, but two. You'll know my shock when I opened the door and saw Ben standing behind it. I couldn't breath and felt that my heart was in my throat, about to jump out of me.
Is Michael aware of where we live now? He'll ruin everything we worked so hard to get! Those fearful thoughts were the ones running through my head at the moment, just a few moments ago I was celebrating with my fiancé joyful news... and now, now I was scared shitless in my OWN home. How can this be fair?!
"Hey... may I come in? We need to talk" he told me, seriously and looking... guilty?
"Ehm... ok" I said slowly, opening a door a bit wider for him to pass through "Bri! We have a guest!" I announced loudly, as I guided Ben to the living room, making sure that he knows that he has to put his pants back on.
"What the hell is he doing here?!" my fiancé exclaimed, looking furiously at Ben, even if what he said was directed to me.
"I'm not here to have a fight... I know what Michael did... and I won't support that" Ben told us, taking us by surprise.
"Why don't we all take a seat and talk things through? I will make us some coffee. Would you like something to eat as well?" I offered Ben politely, my WASP raising kicking in and making me act as the best host I can be.
"No, thank you" he replied, kind smile in place, as he took a seat on the leather armchair.
"I'll be right back" I rapidly left the living-room, not wanting to stay any longer in that suffocating atmosphere. I took my time preparing the cups of coffee for the other two, and tea for myself. I grabbed a few salty cookies, then I rapidly returned to the room before Brian ends up killing Ben "So, what do you mean by 'I know what Michael did'?" I asked him, once I've taken my seat on Bri's lap- on the loveseat.
"Don't play coy Justin, I know that he cheated on you on Rage" Ben cut my bullshit off "He can't get away with what he did!" he exclaimed passionately, surprising us. We never thought he would end up taking our side, he was so blinded by Michael that we thought he would be deceived by him- then, so did Debbie. She surprised us, as well.
"He is your husband" Brian replied "Why would we trust you to not stab us in the back for him" my fiancé, always the untrusting one.
"Because I married Mikey, the angel boy who could do no wrong. That role, he played so well that he deceived us all: you, Debbie and I. When I met Mr. Valtersen earlier today, to discuss my book, he told me the truth. Then when I've confirmed things with Debbie, I knew I never really loved Michael- the true Michael. How can I love a man that would do that to his so supposed best friend? To someone who had never hurt him?!" he asked to no one in particular, looking at me for the last question "I cannot sleep next to a man like that, be married to a man like that. A manchild that never really loved me, just used me as a placeholder for the one he truly liked" he turned his gaze towards Brian, I felt bad for Ben then. He is a great guy, a good one, and Michael doesn't deserve him... doesn't deserve none of these two incredible men in his life "What can I do to help?"
"Why don't you ask Brian? He is the one that's making secret plans with Laura Lune lately?" I asked sarcastically, looking at my fiancé with a raised eyebrow.
"How long have you known?" he asked, having the decency of looking a bit guilty- that's progress for the ex-stud of Liberty Avenue.
"Since day one, you really thought you could keep something like this from me?" I demanded to know, incredulously.
"No, I just wanted to know how long it with take you to find out. It seems I lost the bet against Laura. You made me lose 100 dollars" he replied smoothly, lying through his teeth. But I let it slide, just because he was choosing me over Michael "Laura and I are trying to put him in prison, if you could get us some evidence from the house or shop... that would be of great help" Bri told Ben, trying to get the spotlight away from himself for once.
"I can do that" Ben answered my fiancé.
"No! You cannot!" I stated, making them look at me shocked "We cannot press charges against Michael. Part of the deal, to make sure this never reached court and that Michael went along with it without a protest, was that I couldn't press charges against him for this crime later on. If you want revenge... we'll have to find another way"
"I have another way then" Ben suddenly said after a while of silence, all of us thinking about a way to punish Michael "The house is under my name, I was already planning on divorcing him. I could kick his ass out the door as soon as I get back home. Hunter's guardianship, will not be a problem, principally because he never signed the adoption paper- I was the only one. I should have finished things off with Michael a long time ago, ever since I've noticed the way he behaves towards Hunter. Especially since Jenny was born, I've never seen such an immature and jealous person before" I was shocked by his offer... but it was too much. I couldn't let him do that for me "Before you try to complain, I am not doing this for you... at least not completely. This is for me and my son too, it's for our new beginning. Let us do this" he asked me, with such a determination in his eyes that I couldn't say no.
"Ok" I told him "If that's what you truly want" he smiled warmly at me "I have a question, how did you find out where we live?" I asked him, guessing what might be the question but still wanting to be completely sure.
"I met with Mr. Valtersen again and explained him my situation, he was kind to supply me with the information I needed" he answered, and I made a mental not to kick Isak's ass for getting involved with stuff that isn't his incumbency.
"I still have to do something about Michael" Brian stated, taking me by surprise. Wasn't what we have done until now enough punishment? As if reading my mind, he continued "You both were wronged by him, and got his revenge over him. I was wrong, and for once I want him to pay for it"
"He still owes you money, doesn't he? For saving his shop from bankrupt so many times" Ben commented, making us turn our attention to him "Demand it from him back, you had a contract and from the goodness of your heart gave him more time to pay you back. You are not friends anymore, not that Michael knows. The money you gave him isn't too much for him to sell all his collectibles, but enough take his shop away from him"
"I like the way you think, Ben" I told him, looking at the professor in wonder- was it there an evil mind under his Zen act all along and I never noticed before? "We could pay a visit to Mel today, tell her that she can't take Gus away to Canada. That will anger her, and make her act irrational. She'll end up not listening to us and will try to take Gus with her. Then we can get them arrested for attempt kidnap, it will help a lot for our case. We don't want Mel in jail, but let's see if we can pull off what I did with Michael- the fear of ending up in jail can do wonders when you want something in return. That same day you, Ben, will kick him out of the house. But before that, you Brian will give him an ultimatum of two weeks for him to return the money"
"Isn't that the same date the girls are leaving?" Ben asked to no one in particular.
"Yes, it is. But knowing Michael he'll think that Bri will give him more time, that he is joking- even if it is written in a contract" I added looking at Brian "Knowing Michael he won't even read the contract before signing it, not believing that his 'best friend' might wish him anything but happiness and good stuff. You'll have it said in the contract that if by the end of two weeks he hasn't given you the money he owns you, his store will automatically pass to be yours. So, Michael sad and wounded that his husband has left him will search a place to stay in his comic store- after all, there is an apartment above it. But will find out that he doesn't own it anymore, he'll be too occupied with his life that he won't be able to help Mel or the bitch she has as a wife during court" I finished telling them my evil genius plan, before stretching over the lover seat, but tried to not leave Bri's lap completely.
"Won't he try to defend himself that he doesn't have the money to pay him back and just needed more time?" Ben questioned me.
"He surely will, and he'll try. But what he doesn't know is that Brian knows about the 100K that he spent on toys, he could just sell them and give us the money. It would be unthinkable to him, but in court and any lawyer would tell you that with this information his 'defence' is null" I replied, trying to take the well deserved nap, I need before the munchers-mess will have to deal with later this evening.
"Brian... you have an evil genius as your partner" I heard Bri's chuckle following Ben's comment, before drifting to sleep.
Chapter 13: What have I done?
I ran away from my momma and mommy, locking myself in my room. I didn’t like it, I didn’t like the way momma always talks badly about daddy or how mommy talks about papa- my Jussin!
Daddy came today to visit me, momma didn’t let me see him. She never does. She always says that daddy doesn’t love me, not like Uncle Michael, loves and pays attention to JR. But daddy and papa are always there for me. It hurts me… mamma’s words hurt me.
They fought, again. She kicked him out of the house and told me that I would never ever see or talk to my dad again. She told mommy to control her son, when I started crying, and to stop overreacting like the queen of my daddy.
Why does she always call me mommy’s son when she is angry at daddy? I am also her son! Papa never stops treating me as his son when he is angry at someone, he doesn’t care that I am not his by blood. I thought, sadly. Momma does.
She screams at mommy, mommy screams back and then they scream at me. They aren’t happy and I am not happy. I am happy when I am at daddy’s, he never screams at me. If I do something bad he explains it to me calmly, sternly but calmly too. He and papa fight, but they always do when I am not in the room and they don’t scream- they talk. Momma and mommy never do that. Daddy and papa are happy, and I am happy.
I hear JR starting to cry and momma entering her room, to sing to her and call her: ‘her sweet good girl’. I cry harder, muffled against the pillow, because I didn’t want to get into more trouble. I wanted to be her ‘sweet, good boy’, too. I didn’t want to be here, or go to Canada. I wanted to stay with daddy and papa, for ever!
How dare he talk to me like this?! As if he owns MY wife and MY son! I exclaimed in my head, as I drag MY family through the airport, still fuming from what happened a couple of days ago. He just entered MY house and told me that I was not allowed to take ‘HIS’ son to Canada. Who does he think he is?! He gave up all his rights to Gus a long time ago. He is MINE!
“Miss Markus and Miss Peterson I’ll have to ask you to come with us. Struggling will only make things worse” a guard from the airport demanded, when we reached our turn in immigrations.
He took Gus into his arms rapidly and passing him to pretty, well dressed woman behind him and another two guards. The woman smiled kindly at Gus and whispered something, that made him smile happily and giggle, before starting to walk away- a guard followed her closely behind, keeping an eye on us.
“Hey! What do you think you are doing?! That’s my son!” I screamed at the guards, but stopped, frozen when I saw Gus pressing his hands against his ears, closing his eyes hard and flinching at each word that left my mouth.
“Stop right there!” The guard warned us, hand on his weapon. But I didn’t pay him any attention, I was concentrating on my son- the one who was clinging to a strange woman happily while he flinched away from his own mother “Miss Markus and Miss Peterson you are both under arrest for the kidnapping of Gus Markus Peterson-Kinney”
That’s when I snapped out of my trance, and began to struggle when the guards tried to cuff m- only to receive a bat against my diaphragm. I couldn’t comprehend what the fucking hell was going on, but when I stopped wheezing and looked at my wife to tell her that everything was going to be ok… I saw it. I saw her face paling and guilt… no embracement, at being caught on her face.
“What have you done?!” I accused her, angrily.
She didn’t answer, she didn’t talk to me the whole ride to the precinct. Not even when we were placed in the holing cells. I tried to get some answers from her, which only caused me to get worked up and start yelling at her. She yelled back then, hurtful stuff, but still didn’t tell me what I wanted to know.
I noticed Gus flinching again, I tried to get him to talk to me. However, he just ignored me, sliding closer towards the social worker woman. That angered me, why was he such an impertinent little shit sometimes?! That asshole surely told him to act like that! So, I snapped at him. Telling him that once I got out of here I’ll ground him for life, if he didn’t respect me as a mother.
I got a response from him, then… but not one I expected.
“No! You said I would stay with daddy, you promised me that I don’t have to return to them. I want to stay with daddy! I am happy with daddy, they hurt me and are all the time screaming! I don’t want to be sad… I want my daddy…” soon Gus broke into tears, sobbing frantically as he clung to the woman.
I could only stare at them in shock, not knowing what the fuck just happened… until, I recall everything that happened a couple of days ago. I was stunned at my horrible behavior, at how I treated my own son… I acted towards him the same way I always did with the asshole of Kinney. I tried to recall other moments like that one… and found a lot of them.
I could only stare at my wife- the one that stabbed me in the back- slumped against the wall, my son crying and clinging to a woman he didn’t know- scared of me-, and then at my own hands- bruised by the cuffs they had put on me.
I could only stare at myself and asked in my head: What have I done?
Chapter 14: Welcome home
“Come again, Laura” I said, blinking stupidly with my jaw dropped- I just couldn’t believe my ears.
“Social Services took all parental rights from Lindsay, stating that she was an unfit mother” she repeated again “You see, Miss Rosewood- the social worker- witnessed the horrendous behavior from Markus towards Gus, and the bad and unstable relationship they both had. So, after a throughout check up of Peterson’s economical situation and asking around about her relationship with her ‘wife’, they found out about everything. That they didn’t have a place to live, since they didn’t have a place in Canada and weren’t planning on using their savings to buy one, but depend on Brian to buy them the life they desire. Even though, they are trying to take Brian’s son. Also, thanks to your mom they can’t have their house back. She is fast! How did she sell a house in less than a week?”
“She’s been planning on leaving them on the streets for weeks now, she found the perfect couple and the only thing left was having them see the house” I answered.
“She is good” Laura commented, and I was afraid for a second.
I made a mental note to never leave them alone in the same room. I am all for being manipulative WASPs and poison our way to the top… but those two won’t just leave things like that. They will end up planning the world domination, and I believe that they might end up being successfull.
“Can we get back to the real issue?!” Bri growled, impatiently. I didn’t take it personally, I knew what he was thinking: This is too good to be true.
“Of course” Laura replied “They also found out that she has no savings on her bank account, she used it all to buy a new wardrobe for Canada. New life, new style it seems” she scoffed, anger boiling inside of me at how selfish that bitch is “She not having a job, screwed her over. She has no way of being able to support raising Gus. As she and Markus don’t share a bank account, all savings that Markus has she cannot get. That way all plans B she could have had, won’t work. You won’t help her, neither will Markus. Since she found out that Peterson never brought in the paper you signed, giving up your parental rights, she’s quite destroyed and very angry at her. Not to mention, the fact that she was never more than Peterson’s girlfriend legally. Who would do that to your partner? Lying about the fact that your girlfriend wasn’t even your son’s guardian, a son that she helped raise! Markus never had any legal hold over Gus, her worse nightmare coming true”
“So… Gus is mine… ours?” Brian asked slowly.
“Yes, he is. Economically she could have demanded some aid or sold some of her stuff, but the unfit part comes on the fact that she mistreated Gus and left him in the care of someone who was deemed dangerous to the emotional and psychological health of Gus… that was what finally broke Markus" I felt bad for Mel, she was only confused and manipulated by the bitch she considers a wife. However, I couldn't not feel happy that Gus was ours now "Not to mention that she knowingly deceived her 'wife' and you about Gus' legal guardianship. Also, she deliberately kidnapped Gus- even after you went to their house and told them they couldn't. She'll be surely facing time in jail. Social Services couldn't let such a woman in charge of raising a child, when said child has two fathers with money and that love him with everything they have. It was a good touch that you used the favors, that those friends with power, owe you. That speeded the procedure. From now on you, Brian Taylor-Kinney, are the only one with legal power over Gus. No one can take him away from you anymore" she assured him.
"Wow, his name is already changed and in Brian's care? That truly is fast, the Stuarts have more power over the city than I had thought" I commented, thoughtfully.
"What about Justin?" Bri demanded, making me leave my scheming in favor of paying attention to their conversation.
What does he mean by: 'What about Justin?'? I thought, confused. All this has always been about Gus and him.
"Social Services will have to check him more thoroughly, taking into account Gus' track record with the couples of his biological parents: Mel, Sam and that French guy- who I never remember his name. But with the Stuarts' seal of approval and how clean Justin is, not counting everything he achieved in such a short time, they'll soon see that Justin isn't harmful at all. On the other hand, he is a someone Gus can look up to as a role model of determination and strength" Laura told us, smiling proudly at me.
I had to bat my eyes rapidly, trying to contain the tears that threatened to fall from my eyes. We bid each other goodbye after that and we both enjoyed the rest of the afternoon with our son. How good it feels to be able to think that and it being true... at least in the legal way. Gussy has always been our son, no matter what a fucking piece of paper says. Soon after we tucked Gus in bed, before we could reach our bedroom to celebrate, we were interrupted by the doorbell.
I huffed frustrated, and stomped towards the entrance. I was about to scream at whoever it was. I didn't care, I just wanted to get laid! But froze when I opened the door, a scream caught in my throat. Isak stood in front of me, all bruised and bloody. Tears running down his cheeks, him holding his left arm- which seemed to be broken.
"Isak... Oh my God! Who did this to you?!" I demanded to know, angry- not at him, but to whoever dared to hurt my mentor.
Isak only cried harder, knees buckling. I acted fast and got him inside the house, demanding Brian to get me some towels, water and the first aid kit. When he entered the living room, his eyes darkened in rage- a look I know, cause he gets it every time someone talk about abuse, his mother or his father. I shook my head, silently asking him to not say anything and leave the rest to me. Once I had Isak fixed up, I washed my hands and brought him a glass of water. Bri had moved to his other side, I smiled at the care he was showing for someone he barely knew.
"Can you talk now?" surprisingly it was Brian who broke the silence of the room.
I continued, when Isak finally nodded, slowly, after a while: "Can you tell us who did this to you?"
"E... Even" he stuttered, giving me the shock of the year.
One thing that I knew for sure about their relationship, is that they loved each other as much as Brian and I were in love. Even is the sweetest man I know, and he adores Isak more than life itself. There is no way that he would raise a hand at him... at least, not intentionally. So, then I knew that whatever is going on was very, very bad.
Chapter 15: Heartache
"Isak... can you specify please? You are scaring us" I begged him "I know that Even would never raise a hand on you, not on purpose... was he having an episode?" I asked slowly.
"After so many years together, and he with his bipolarity, we thought we already knew everything we had to know about his illness" Isak started "He always takes his medicine, we go together to his schedule dates with his therapist and we believed we had managed to control his maniac episodes. It's been a decade since he had the same number of episodes each year, all around the same time. We thought we could predict them and be relax... how wrong we were" his comment made my blood freeze, and my heart to almost pound out of my chest "Even already had all the episodes he was supposed to have this year, according to what we believed. He never gets violent you know, he ends up doing reckless things and impromptus ones. Then, he gets very depressed and has to stay in bed for at least a week, more if said episode was a big one... tonight he lost his mind. I don't know what happened, he just began throwing things around and spouting things in German. I was so afraid... not of him! But for him! The was so much glass on the floor, and he was in the middle of it. He could have gotten hurt! So, I tried to him down. It didn't work, he just got even more violent. It reached a point where he had grabbed my right arm so hard that I was afraid he would crush my bones"
So, that's where he got his arms hurt. I hated that this happens to people so good such as, Isak and Even. I couldn't even fault Even for all of this, it wasn't his fault that he was bipolar after all.
"That's not all" Brian said, with a grim.
"No... when I tried to get away from his hold, he backhanded me" he admitted, grazing his black eye softly "Making me fall on the glass" I gasped "That's when Jonas and Eva appeared. They are renting the house next to ours, and were able to hear all the noises of things breaking from their place. They called the police and an ambulance before rushing to our house, afraid that we would be hurt or needed help. I would have laughed at their expressions of pure shock when they discovered that no one had broken into our house... but that I was hurt because of my husband" I hugged him tighter, minding his injuries, when he let out an empty chuckle.
"Jonas was furious, he saw me laying on the floor with tears rolling down my cheeks, glass surrounding me and a small pond of blood forming under me. I was still in shock, so I didn't know who started it, but when Eva helped me on my feet I noticed the fists flying and both of them destroying the living room even more than it already was. No matter how much I yelled at Jonas, telling him that it wasn't his fault, that he was having an episode, my friend didn't stop until Even was knocked out" now there were tears coming from his eyes, once again. I hated how impotent I felt, that the only thing I could do is hug him and pray everything gets better "It took me a while, but I was finally able to convince the police and Jonas of Even's innosence. He was taken to the hospital, they were notified of the situation and that Even might be dangerous when he wakes up. Eva and Jonas followed the ambulance to the hospital, but I couldn't. I couldn't even stay enough for the EMR to check me up, I needed to get out of there... I am such a horrible husband!"
"What are you talking about?!" Brian demanded to know, angrily "You just passed a traumatic situation! You cannot be blamed for that. The important thing is that you don't hate or blame your husband, that you know he didn't do that on purpose. Do you still love him?"
"Of course I do!!!" Isak snapped at my fiancé, angry at being asked something so obvious.
"Then you should not worry about it, Justin will give you a ride to the hospital and you'll be there for him. You just needed time to process everything. Even will surely understand that. I would come with you, but we live far away from everyone we know and trust, so we don't have anyone to babysit Gus while we are gone" Bri told my friend "Now go" he ordered us.
I smiled at the love of my life and kissed him, expressing how grateful I am and promising a big reward for his incredible behavior when I get back from the hospital.
I groaned as I started to wake up, confused when I felt an oppressive sensation on my wrists. I blinked rapidly, eyes getting a bit hurt, at the bright lights in the room.
Why would Issy leave the lights one while we are sleeping? I thought, confused. Isak!
I suddenly remembered everything that happened that night, how I finally lost my mind and my worst nightmare came true: I hurt my guardian angel, the light and love of my life. I began to struggle, when I noticed that the oppressive sensation of before meant that I was being restrained against my will.
"..y .... vy... Evy... Evy!" I don't know how long Isak has been calling out my name, I only knew that just then I have been able to hear his voice "Evy, calm down baby. I'm here, everything is going to be fine" he hushed me softly, hovering over me.
I then noticed that I've been here for a while now, his bruises and cuts have almost healed by now. But there were still small scars and his eye was still a bit black. It make me want to throw up. How could I have raised a hand on my husband? What kind of demon am I?!
"Issy... I am so sorry, my love" I apologized "Please forgive me" I wasn't ashamed to cry.
"There is nothing to forgive, Evy" he assured me "I know you would have never raised a hand on me, not willingly. Now that you are calm, let me call the doctor. They need to check you up" he told me, before he left the hospital room. Not very long afterwards he came back with a black man following him. The doctor left us on our own, me unrestrained, after deeming normal again "You've been here for two weeks" he informed me, when he saw the question in my eyes "You really gave Eva a lot of work, the press had a field day with... the eventful night we went through. Luckily, everything has calmed down now"
"It seems I had a lot of visits" I commented, noticing that the room was full with flowers, balloons, some teddies and even a couple of chocolate boxes.
"You haven't seen the house, most of the are from fans of yours" Isak replied, I cringed at the memory of how I wreaked the house "Relax, your parents flew all the way from Oslo to Pittsburgh as soon as the news hit the T.V. They had to be here for us" he smiled at the kindness of my parents "Your mom is taking care of everything, she called a cleaning service to make all the mess vanish and then took it on herself to redecorate the living room again. You enter the house and you would have never imagined there was a fight"
"A fight?... Jonas! Goodness, I fought him. Is he ok?!" I demanded to know.
"He had a split lip and a black eye, but at the end you were the one who was knocked out. He is fine now... but still angry at you. So, you'll have to tread carefully around him" he warned me.
"It's ok, if things were reversed I would have reacted the same way. If not worse" I replied "Wait a minute... two weeks have passed since that night? Doesn't that mean that tomorrow is the court case against Lindsay and a week later will be the one against Michael?" I questioned Issy.
"Yes" my husband replied.
"Then let's better sign my release papers, we need to be there for Justin. After what that bitch did to him, he'll need us there to support him" I stated, getting ready for the fight.
Tomorrow all the cards will be on the table, and everyone will know that Lindsay tried to kill Justin.
Chapter 16: Guilt and second chances
I don’t know what I am doing here. Well, I know that I should have been sentenced to prison for a year, for being an aid in kidnapping my so… Gus. Just a year because I wasn’t deceived by my ‘partner’, believing that I had every right to take Gussie with me. However, the fact that Kinney came to my house told me that he had every right to stop me and gave me the papers- which I thought were bullshit and didn’t even read them, before throwing them away- that put me in a precarious situation. Luckily, I only got one year of the sentence. However, for a strange reason Kinney’s lawyer gave me a deal… one so good that I couldn’t say no to.
They would not take me to court for my ‘felony’, her words not mine, as long as respected the fact that I should respect the restriction order to any property belonging to the Taylor-Kinney couple. That any visit I should have with Gus should be first approved by the Taylor-Kinney couple, and accepted by Gussie- who is still afraid of me- and must happen in a public space, with someone there to keep an eye on me. That I had to contact the therapist, until he or she deemed me well enough to let go. Also, I had to attend every session of the court cases against Lindsay and Michael.
That last request confused the heck out of me. I still don’t know why I was here, as I sat in court, waiting for it to begin. But didn’t dwell on it much, I preferred accepting the deal over going to prison. I had a daughter to think of, and a son to gain over. It broke my heart the whole situation with Gussie, but I knew that Justin was right… even if I would never say it out loud. I still remember his visit, while I was in custody:
“Justin?!” I exclaimed in surprise, happy to see a friendly face in such a horrible situation.
“Melanie” the lack of nickname and usual warmth in his voice, caught me by surprise. I knew then that whatever he had to say, was very serious and important “Are you happy now? Look at where you landed”
“This is all that asshole’s fault!” I snapped at him, not liking that he was faulting all this on me.
“What the hell are you talking about?!” He snapped back at me, stunning me- he never used such a tone with me “You are the one that trusted the wrong person, you are the one that took your anger on your son, you are the one that preferred your daughter over Gus, who doesn’t have any blood relation to you, you are the one that caused him emotional distress, you are the one who didn’t listen to Brian and fell into Lindsay’s trap- which made Social Services to take Gus away from you both forever. You are the one who never acted like an adult and blamed everything on Brian or men in general! Brian is not to blame for your failure or that Lindsay never ever loved you. Your misery is what you harvested! Brian never tried to take Gus away, you pushed the one you claimed to be your son away by preferring the one that’s blood related to you. You were the one who tried to take Gussie away from his friends, family, country… from everything he loves and knows! Have you ever thought how this would affect him? No! You just thought of yourself, what you wanted. You acted out of fear and anger, that’s not how mothers should behave Melanie. Your children always come first, but you didn’t even think of your favorite child. You were about to leave your children fatherless, JR would have been raised without a father there for her!”
“I have no favorite!” I objected, finally over with taking shit from anyone who is called Kinney.
“Tell that to your actions! To Gus! Who told us about how you would yell at him whenever you get angry at that bitch or at Brian, calling him Lindsay’s son and not yours. The one who cried himself to sleep, after you called him ‘an overreacting, queen like his father’. The one who had to listen every night how you sang and told YOUR daughter that you loved her and she was such a ‘good, sweet girl’. When everything he ever did was want you to love him like he was your son, to just listen what a ‘good, sweet boy’ he was. But he never got that… because he never was your favorite. Because he reminded you so much of Brian, of how Lindsay preferred him over you even to have a child with” his words were like knives to the heart, hurtful as the truth always is “You need help Melanie, because I know that you are a good person. An incredible lawyer, mother and big sister. But you’ve been so entangled in Lindsay’s manipulation for so long that you’ve lost sight of who you are. Brian has been never to fault, Lindsay wanted you both to fight- she thrived in it. Your hate and insecurities are dangerous, not only to others, but to yourself. Stop before you end up in a path of self destruction”
With that said, he left. Leaving me behind gaping at the tongue lashing Justin just served me. At first, I was furious at being disrespected like that. But then, I recalled Gus’ fear of his own MOTHER and began to think what he had told me. I started to see that what he had told me was true… that all along I was wrong.
So, I didn’t dwell much on the ‘why’ and ‘what’ of my situation. I was just grateful for the second chance I was given, with my son and daughter. I still hated the asshole and was very hurt at what Lindsay did, expecting it all not to be true and find something so I could fault it on Kinney. But bite my tongue, not wanting to be thrown in jail, and talked to my therapist about it.
I was snapped out of my thoughts when the judge was presented, and waited for the fight to begin- hoping that I might finally get some truths.
Chapter 17: What that wicked witch really did
"Laura calm the hell down!" Brian demanded, but I could notice that he was very concerned about his friend "What did Lindsay do this time?!"
"Does the name Richard, Giovanni Conde sound familiar?" Laure asked me, glare in place, making my blood run cold.
No, no... NO! No one was suppose to know about him! I freaked out internally.
"Sunshine, what is she talking about?" Bri, turned towards me and asked calmly... no, fearfully. Surely, scared of the answer when he noticed the clear fear on my face and my tense posture.
"I'll tell you who that fucking bastard is: he is a hit man!" She barked, her words freezing my fiancé on his seat "I was calmly taking care of the extra paperwork you asked me to do, when Bryon- one of my best lawyers- came with huge news. Richard, Giovanni Conde, a hit man we had been trying to find proof to incriminate that bastard and sent him to prison, was captured by the police. You want to know the curious thing? Said police was aided by the one that was being targeted by that bastard, a PREGNANT almost twenty-two years old blond artist. Want to guess who said twink is?"
"You... you're pregnant Justin?" Brian stuttered.
Clearly shocked by the news that he completely forgot the fact that the mother of his other child contracted someone to target my baby and I. I nodded slowly, a watery smile appearing on my face, nervous of his reaction. I was delighted when he just smiled brightly, before rushing to my side and spinning me around the room.
Flashes of a room full of teenagers, music and us in tuxes while we were dancing. Brian lifts me from the floor as our song played on the back. No wonder why Bri was so stubborn about this being our song, I could see it clearly in his eyes. As we danced, our gazes never leaving the other's, it was his first declaration of love to me. I never hated Hobbs more than then, he took this from us.
When he finally put me down, I didn't mention the fact that I was finally starting to remember that night. There were enough things going on already, Brian just found out about Michael's betrayal and now he'll discover that bitch's one. He had been on an emotional roller coaster already, I couldn't add another thing more. Also, I wanted to share this small secret when the time was right... maybe on our wedding day- in our vows.
I was able to hid the reason of my tears, by blaming it on my hormones and happiness at sharing my pregnancy with my fiancé. So, no one questioned them. When in reality I was emotional by the fact of finally remembering when Bri accepted me by his side and found out he fell in love with me.
"How far along are you?" Brian demanded to know.
"Five months" I told him, placing my hands over my belly. Chuckling when he rapidly followed my lead "It's a little girl"
"A girl? Our little princess" he sighed happily "I hope she gets your beautiful golden locks and captivating baby blue eyes" he whispered, against my ear, after kissing my forehead "Wait a second... Conde. Did he hurt the baby?"
"He... he shot me. Our princess was in a critical condition for a while... both of us were. Luckily we survived, our doctor was able to save us" I confessed, feeling his arms tighten around me.
"Why didn't you tell me?!" He demanded to know.
"We've only been back together for a couple of days. I was planning on telling you since I found out about the pregnancy, but then he began stalking me and then shot me. I was already in danger, I couldn't put you in it too. When I was released from hospital the fire happened and then you proposed. Then, we began starting to plan our attack towards the girls to gain Gus back. So many things happened, one after the other one that I... I forgot I guess. It became such a normal thing to me, another part of my life that I didn't notice that you weren't part of it"
I regretted the wrong use of those words, as soon as they left my lips and I noticed Bri flinching. But before I could correct myself, he started talking again: "I am now. Now I understand why you believe that Melanie has a chance to redeem herself, but Lindsay doesn't. Tell me why that bitch isn't in jail yet?!" He growled angrily, but I didn't take it personally because I knew that his rage wasn't directed at me.
"Easy, I have no proof that she hired him. I know by sure that she did it because I heard her demanding to know why I wasn't dead yet, when they thought I was still unconscious. You see, I was kidnapped by the bastard, knocked out cold and taken to an old warehouse- as cliche as it sounds. Only to wake up tied up to a sink in a small and smelly bathroom. Then I heard her yelling at Conde, ordering him to finish the job she paid him for. That as long as I was carrying your stupid child she'll lose money from you. Gus wouldn't matter any longer because now you would have your own baby" I could see that he was sickened and shocked by the horrendous words and acts of the one he used to consider as a sister to him "I broke my wrist so I could get out of the handcuffs and escaped by the open window of the bathroom. Then I ran for my life, luckily my mother called the police and they were already looking out for me... but they couldn't stop Conde before he shot me. By the time I woke up and told them what really happened, Lindsay already was gone and all the proof of her being at the warehouse that night. The bitch even had an alibi to where she was that night. I was afraid of her hiring someone else to finish the job, so I bribed the doctor to report me loosing the baby and breathing relived at being left alone by her"
"She can't get away with it?!" Snarled Laura, furiously.
"She won't, relax. I contracted a private detective, with the help of my mother, to get justice at what she tried to do to me. I'll take her to court as soon as I get the proof I need" I assured them both.
"You aren't on your own anymore, Sunshine. You have us to cover your back and lean on" Brian told me, kissing my lips softly "Pass me the contact of that detective, I need to have a serious conversation with him. I will not let that crazy bitch near any of my children"
"At least, she didn't only screw both of you" Laura told us, chuckling Emily "Not even her wife Was able to escape her wickedness"
I was snapped out of my memory, when Brian wrapped his arms around me, from behind, and started to caress my six months pregnant belly. Sighing each time our little princess kicked, he was delighted by the fact that she only seemed to steer and kick when he touched my belly. I was happy too, I almost never got woken up in middle of the night by a restless kicking baby in my stomach.
"Are you ready?" He asked me.
I took a deep breath and steadied myself, looking at the intimidating courtroom door. Knowing that on the other side of it was my worst nightmare and enemy. More than Michael, more than Chris. Someone who at one moment considered as a friend, a big sister, and then was betrayed in the worst way by her. For what? Money?
When I finally calmed down, I nodded my head and pushed the door open. Ready to face her the wicked witch and melt her, just like Dorothy did.
Chapter 18: HELP!
Sorry guys, but this is not another chapter. You see, we are only a few chapters away from receiving the Taylor-Kinney princess into the world. However, I have a little problem... I don't know what should be her name. That's why I am asking for your help. Please, if you can comment with your idea of what should be her name and why I'll be very glad.
Chapter 19: WE HAVE A WINNER!
Thanks to all of you who had commented and helped me find a name. No one gave me the whole answer, but I combined two of them.
Her name will be: Abigail Eliana Taylor-Kinney.
Abigail (Abby) was a name a lot of you recommended me to use and means "My father's delight", I couldn't think of a better name for Brian and Justin's little princess. So, thank you to all of you who advised me to use it.
Eliana means "daughter of the sun", and Proud Acadian commented that he could see Brian trying to link two of his most precious gifts together: Justin and Abby. I thought it was a perfect fit for a second name. So, thank you Proud Acadian.
That's all, I'll try to finish writing the next chapter but I have a writer's block at the moment. What I can tell you is that in the next chapter will have the beginning of Lindsay's court case and Michael's falling- he really should have read the contract Brian gave him before signing it.
Chapter 20: From bad, to worse
What the fucking hell?! This can't be happening! I exclaimed in my head shocked, I would normally be furious at this kind of situation but I was too stunned for it. What did just happen?
One moment I was demand... asking to have lunch outside, hoping to catch Brian there. It's been a while since I've seen him and he cannot ignore me like this, after all I am his BEST FRIEND! Also, I had to talk to him about the ultimatum he gave me for the money. Ask him for more time, I don't have the money in my bank account- there is no way I can loose my shop or sell my colectibles, it is already too much that I had to give half of them to Boy Wonder. He surely had something to do with Brian's decision! MY best friend wouldn't have done this to me on purpose. That blond ass had it against me since the beginning! Always jealous of me, knowing that I has always been Brian's most precious and loved person, and that he had no place in our relationship. He took Rage from me, made me loose half of the dreamed collection of any comic fan and now he is trying to take the store from me.
I wish Brian would have left him to bleed out on the parking lot! He would have made us all a favor by getting rid of Wonder Boy. What a better world would it have been! I thought to myself, not wanting to be punched again for saying it out loud.
Immersed in my thoughts I didn't notice Ben bringing some baggage downstairs and throwing it out into the street, or Hunter kicking some boxes next to where the bags ended. However, I did notice when both of them grabbed me, each from one arm, and dragged me out of MY house.
"What the hell are you doing?!?!?!" I screamed at them, enjoying how they flinched at my melodious high notes.
"Kicking you out!" Hunter mocked me, I glare at the little shit.
If it were up to me we would have left him with his mother to continue selling his body, he is only a whore and will always be a whore. But no, Ben had to bring this charity case in MY house. I'm surely that they are fucking, that's the only thin that boy is useful for and the only reason why anyone would want him. I would have demanded him to pay our generosity with his body. But I already have enough with sleeping with one sick man, I don't need another way to be infected. I don't know what the hell was I thinking when I married Ben.
I only dated him because it got me the attention I wanted from the gang, thanks to the drama my mother was creating because Ben had HIV. It gave the perfect oportunity to make Brian jealous and focus on me when I went to him to complain about how irrational my mother was being. However, when Brian ddin't stop me from marrying Ben like I wanted, I was furious at him. I wanted to punish him, make him regret losing me. So, when he finally was ready he would come begging me to me his- like it had always meant to be! I would easily divorce Ben and get rid off the two sick perverts, who is stupid enough to get HIV anyways.
"Stop right there Michael! Otherwise I'll have to punch you for galring at my son" Ben threatened me, taking me by surprise.
Ben never used that tone with me. Who the hell does he think he is?!
"You can't kick me out!" I growled, turning my glare towards the bastard of my husband- how I hate to refer to him like that! Brian is the only who I'll ever want as my husband.
"Yes, we can" Ben replied smugly, I wanted to scratch his eyes and wipe that smirk off his face "I bought the house with my money, I am the one who pays for everything, the house is under Hunter's name and mine, you are the one invading our home" he stated, shocking me once again. I couldn't believe he never put my name on the lease, after all I always thought of him as a sick love puppy who would do anything to make me happy and comfortable "We can kick you out at any moment, and we decided it to be TODAY! After what you did to Justin I couldn't wait to get rid off you, but I needed this ready before hand" he threw me an envelop that I almost couldn't catch, but didn't pay any attention to after having it in my possession.
"That little shit told you?! I am suing him for breaking the silence demand!" I threatened.
"You can't, because he wasn't the one to tell me about it. Everyone in the literary world knows about what you did! They wouldn't sponsor my book because of that, but then again why would you care about anything that isn't about yourself?! Lose our numbers, forget about us and keep on living your pathetic life" with that said, they slammed the door onb my face.
I stood there, frozen in shock, only to then snap out of it and start yelling as loud as my lungs let me and bang the door, demanding to be let in. I continued like that for almost half an hour until the police came and cuffed me. I wasn't so worried as they dragged me into the backseat of the car, after all my mother is dating a detective- that's the only good thing she has ever done! That, and satisfying my every wish.
As soon as I am realized, I am going to Brian's and ask for his help. He won't let me down. After all, I am his BEST FRIEND.
We all waited for Lune to start her case, even when we all know that she is going to prison for kidnapping.
“I call Lindsay Marcus-Peterson to stand” she began. My wife- soon to be ex- was the picture of innocence, not making a fuss and heading towards the place with crocodile tears on her eyes. As if, anyone would believe her pathetic acting “Mrs. Peterson-Marcus, could you please tell me where you were during the thirteenth of February?” She asked, confusing me.
Why would she ask for something that happened almost three months ago? Us trying to take Gus to Toronto only happened a a few days ago. I thought, puzzled.
“I… I don’t know what does that have to do with us trying to give Gus a home in an accepting country” Lindsay evaded the question, catching my attention.
Why was she trying to take the spotlight out of her? She always wants to be the center of attention! I exclaimed in my head, getting more and more confused each second.
“Please, Mrs. Marcus-Peterson just answer the question” the judge demanded from her, but like any Peterson- the entitled bitch- thinks she is above rules and didn’t do as the judge ordered.
“This is outrageous! I am Gus’ mother and he was taken from me, unjustly, and now the real kidnappers are losing time by asking unnecessary questions about something that is not their business and has nothing to do with the case!” She exclaimed, trying to sound angry about the injustice but only ended up sounding… scared? “Your magistrate, is it wrong that I tried to give MY son a bright future, in a country that accepts his parents for what they are and not try to bomb them?! I was just thinking about him and he was taken from me for being a caring mother. How is that justice?!”
I could only stare at the woman who I once thought as my loving wife, the one I gave up everything for her and tried to please by doing anything for her. She not once referred to me as Gus’ momma, when the asshole and Justin did it all the time when they presented me the deal I accepted at the end. She only cared about herself, it was completely clear on her speech. Did she ever really love me? Or I was only another pay check, like Brian, to her?
"Mrs. Marcus-Peterson, just answer the question” Lune ordered, a stern look on her face “You were caught red handed on fraud attempted kidnapping and resisting arrest. For that you’ll go to prison, you’ll have the formal hearing in a couple of days against the state. However, you are here today to defend yourself for the charges of attempted murder”
A lot of people gasped in shock, I think I saw Lindsay’s mother faint at the statement. The gang also looked stunned, they must have come here thinking like me. I, myself, couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Lindsay might be a cutthroat bitch, she could be a malign WASP, a manipulative and sly snake… but murder? I can’t accept it! I can’t accept the fact that I slept next to a murder, that I let such a dangerous person live under the same roof of my dear children- that I failed to protect.
"That’s a lie!!!” She spat, glaring furiously at Justin and Lune.
"You don’t feel so comfortable anymore, do you? Tell me, Mrs. Marcus-Peterson do you know that even by paying with cash you can still find a trail? You were at a shabby and abandoned warehouse, during the thirteenth of February. The same place that a few weeks later was used to contain a very pregnant Justin Taylor-Kinney” more gasps were heard, I myself were one of them. When did they hyphened their names?! “Because you were jealous that you weren’t the only one that got pregnant with Mr. Taylor-Kinney’s baby. You didn’t like the idea of someone taking the place you thought you only could have in Mr. Taylor-Kinney’s life- the mother of his children. You hated knowing that you wouldn’t get as much money as before, because there is a new baby coming…”
"Was, there was! Conde made sure of that! Brian Kinney only has one child, MINE!” I almost followed Mrs. Peterson, feeling light headed at the crazed expression on her face.
For goodness sake… how could I have not noticed it before? She is insane!!! I exclaimed in my head.
"How did you know that I was talking about Conde? I never mentioned his name. How did you know that Mr. Taylor-Kinney lost his baby? He never told anyone that he even was pregnant. Neither did I mention that the baby was gone” Lune asked her slyly.
She is good… very good. She repeated so many times the hyphened last name to get to Lindsay’s nerves and make her commit a mistake, which she did right now. I praised in my head, not daring to say it out loud when she was the same lawyer that helped the Kinn… Taylor-Kinney’s take Gus from me. But then again, I had a hand on that and Social Services were the ones to make the decision.
"The fetus is gone! I made sure of it! The doctor I bribed to give me information told me so, and the money I payed Conde is proof of my efforts” the whole court room was silent.
At first, it seemed like she didn’t know why everyone was looking at her with various degrees of shock and disgust, but then it all seemed to click and the paleness of her own face was proof that she noticed what she had just confessed to do.
"Thank you for the contribution, Mrs. Marcus-Peterson. Your magistrate, if you go through the evidence we brought you’ll see proof of Mrs. Marcus-Peterson driving through a road could only lead to the abandoned warehouse both days: the one of the transaction with Mr. Conde and the one when Mr. Taylor-Kinney was kidnapped. We have the written confession of the doctor who unclosed private information of his patient in exchange of sex with Mrs. Marcus-Peterson…” knowing that she cheated to be with a man, again, was like a slap to the face “… and the one of the private investigator she had contracted to follow Mr. Taylor-Kinney’s every move. Also, we have the evidence proving fraud… again. She had used Mr. Brian Taylor-Kinney’s support money to pay for all of that, otherwise it would have been impossible for her to be able to pay all the expenses. Mr. Justin Taylor-Kinney, is also ready to testify hearing her arguing with his kidnapper the night he was taken away”
"That won’t be necessary, Miss. Lune” the judge replied. It took a while as her went through the whole evidence and the jury to make their verdict. But there was no question was about how many years they will charge her with “Mrs. Marcus-Peterson, you have been found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder- that will be fourteen years in prison. And you have also been found guilty of fraud, that will be another year of sentence. When you come out you’ll have five years of probation and will no longer be able to live in this state, or any the Taylor-Kinney family lives on” with that the jury used her hammer and raised to leave… when hell broke free.
Lindsay jumped out of the stand and rushed towards Justin, ready to rip his eyes off. When Brian intersected her and pushed his lover towards Lune, who rapidly took him out of the court room. It took two guards to get her off Brian, who had his whole face bruised. She kept of screaming about finishing the job, killing that baby who didn’t deserve to live and not let anyone take her place in life- as Brian’s wife and mother of his children.
She was completely insane… and I could only sit there, with tears running down on my cheeks, and think: What the hell have I done?!
When the half the gang rushed towards Justin and the other half to help Brian, I could only look at them sadly and scold myself for being so blind. I lost everything for that bitch! And I have no idea of how to win it all back… or if it is possible…
Chapter 21: Best friend? Not so sure...
Thank you for your patience and sorry for not updating sooner. I hope you all liked these last two chapters.
It went well… it went very well.
It helped that during the time that bitch was in jail Brian and I payed her daily visits, it paid her egocentrism but also helped to get her closer to the edge. The first crack was when she was caught, that rocked her- since it never happen before, since she was too perfect for it to happen. Then with the news that her ticket to the life she wanted- Gus- was taken away from her forever, that’s how she started to really break. The news that Brian and Justin were back together and they had hyphened their names, was the other blow. Being charged by Brian and Justin through me- the only woman she ever considered a threat- was the third one.
But it wasn’t strike yet.
That her ‘best friend’ couldn’t hear reason and wanted her gone from her life was what totally broke her. What she always wanted: the fame, the money, the perfect man, the hetero dream… all gone. She had to be restrained before someone ended up losing an eye. It was a nice touch from Brian to contact the Petersons and telling them with every detail what their precious little princess has been up to. I never was so happy about a woman being such a bitch towards her own flesh and blood, specially when she was disowning her daughter.
That was proof about him not caring a damn about her, not even as Gus’ mother. When he found out that his money was being used to pay the people that almost killed his daughter and fiancé… something broke inside of him. He begged Justin, in front of me, not to leave him, to forgive him, to not take their daughter away from him, to keep on loving them (Gus and Brian)… all this had taken a toll on him. It took days for him to collect himself, but thanks to the support from Justin he was able- but I could still see that something was missing within him. I just hope Angel is able to bring it back before it’s too late.
I was kind of surprised that she didn’t attack my friends as soon as she saw them in the court room, that bitch is as crazy as you can have them. I also was- something that I would never admit, not even to myself- envious of her ability to be such a good actress. She was able to keep it all together, even when she was loosing it. However, I didn’t let that stop me. I kept on reminding her that her dream is gone, that someone else has taken the place as Brian’s spouse and mother of his children. The news that she also failed on killing the baby was everything I needed to have her spilling all the beans.
It all happened so fast that her lawyer didn’t know what was going on and wasn’t able to do a damn thing about it. But by the end, I think he was glad he had lost the case- as everyone there he wanted her locked away. But then again, with that mouth of hers and sense of entitlement she won’t survive a year in prison.
I never ever wished death to anyone… but her… I just want her gone!
“She was given another year for assault” I informed the gang when I exited the court room, they were allowed to just have me to represent them when the verdict was given- after the attack of Lindsay it was the least they could do “That will be sixteen years in prison, and don’t worry I made sure to have her transferred to the other side of the country. With some help of our ‘friends’” I winked at Justin, who tried to smile at me but it didn’t reach his eyes “Don’t worry about the other hearing, that’s just a formality. She’ll surely be charged with a year for fraud, again. Another reason for resisting arrest. And five years for attempt kidnapping” I continued, trying to cheer them up… but it didn’t work.
“Then we’ll take our leave” Justin spoke for both of them, Brian looked dead on his feet “We just want to get home and get some rest, enjoying the company of Gus… alone” he added, looking at his mom and Debbie specifically during the last part.
They looked ready to protest, but Trucker and Carl intervened and convinced them that it was the right thing to do. With that fixed, they said their goodbyes and left. I just hope that Michael’s case goes easier than this one… but then again we are talking about that idiot, things always gets worse with him.
Argh!!! I was so angry! I couldn’t believe the horrible day I had. The idiot, good for nothing, boyfriend of my mother wasn’t working when I was brought in, so I had to stay a night in jail. Then I tried to book a room in a hotel, just to find out the bastard of my husband took all the money out of the share account and closed it, from his part. Humiliated I had to leave, listening to the people talking and laughing behind my back.
Just wait, just ALL of you wait! When I tell Brian about it, he’ll make sure they all pay. After all I am his BEST FRIEND! I kept on thinking all my way towards my shop, disgusted to stay at the ratty apartment above it.
But when I got our of my car, I could only look- frozen on my place- as people were entering and leaving the shop. Packing things on boxes and leaving them on the street.
“What the fucking hell do you think you are doing?!” I screamed at them, rushing to my shop “Move!” I growled at the man, blocking my way inside.
“Is that suppose to sound threatening? Don’t joke with me” he mocked me, making his companions laugh- I blushed, embarrassed at the whole situation “You must be Michael Novotny-Bruckner, the old proprietary” he commented.
“No, I am Michael Novotny-Bruckner the proprietary of the shop of the shop” I responded.
“No, you are not. If you had taken the time to read the contract, listen to Brian’s warnings and paid the debts you have… then, maybe yes. But now this shop and your inventory belongs to Brian. You’ll keep the toys you bought with the 100K you were given from Rage. But NOT-A-THING-MORE” I turned around towards the origin of the voice.
The woman talking was pretty: tall, long brown hair, toned body and chocolate eyes- which were glaring fervently at me.
“Who the hell are you?!” I demanded to know.
“I am Brian and Ben’s lawyer. And from what you showed me, you never read a damn thing. So, I’ll explain to you that the envelope Ben gave you has the divorce papers inside. I recommend you to sign them and let this go smoothly. I don’t think you are in a position to afford a court fight for it, not when you won’t sell those silly toys” she told me.
“They are collectibles!” I shouted at her.
“That’s all you’ve taken from this?! What a joke of a man you are, Novotny! Here you have” she snarled at me, slamming another envelope on my chest “You’ve been served. You better de gone in ten or I’ll have you being arrested by the police for traspasing, again” she threatened me.
I stood there, gaping like an idiot at her retreating back, until I overheard one of the guys dialing the police and ran towards my car, driving as far as I could. I didn’t want to spend another night in prison!
Once I knew I was far away and safe from the police, I opened the envelope… all my nightmares coming true. Brian knew, he knew that I was the one who broke in and stole his stuff. I just kept on staring at the paper, that woman gave me in representation of my best friend, thinking everything was lost.
But, then I realized I was being an idiot. Brian was just acting out! He believes I betrayed him, that’s why he took the shop away from me and the reason why he served me. However, he would never really want to hurt me. I just have to call him and explain that it was all a plan to make him get rid off Boy Wonder. Now that he is finally gone from our lives, he can understand I just wanted to protect him like the good, best friend I am.
However, my enthusiasm dimmed when he had blocked me from his cell. And when Kinnetik told me they were ordered not to answer my calls anymore. Or when the rest of the gang demanded from me to loose their numbers and then ended the call, without waiting for an answer. Ma didn’t even answer the phone, it was the idiot of Carl who demanded from me to get my act together before thinking of contacting my mother again.
Who the hell does he think he is?! I exclaimed in my head.
Getting fed up of being ignored, I drove towards the loft and screamed when my code didn’t work. I kept on pressing the button of the intercom, demanding to be let in. That he can’t treat me like this and ignore his BEST FRIEND. Just to be answered by a trick… a Braden… Brandon? I don’t know. But the piece of ass dared to lie to me and tell me that the loft now belonged to him. The loft is an escencial part of Brian Fucking Kinney- what identifies him as the Stud of Liberty Avenue. MY Brian would never give that up.
But, he did… the police came, because Brandon- the new owner of the loft- called them and demanded me to leave. Otherwise, they’ll have to bring me in… again. That being the last thing I needed today, I got into my car and drove away.
This can’t be happing…
None of this had to happen...
Why is no one taking care of me?!
Chapter 22: Opening up
"Bri, baby, the boxes with the Unmentionable's comics had just gotten here" I told him, soflty, as I gently placed my hands on his shoulders, trying to get his attention. Since we got back from court, yesterday, he hasn't left bed. The whole situation has him at his limit "What do you want to do with them?"
"Take three copies of each comic, at least the kids will enjoy them: one collection for Gus, the other one for our little princess and the last one for Molly. Sell the rest by eBay, at least we'll gain some profit out of the unmentionable's obsession" he answered me.
"We'll gain profit from selling his store and renting the flat above it, won't we?" I asked him, confused.
"No, we'll get profit out of selling the comics and renting the flat above the store. The store itself is an investment" he replied, puzzling me even more.
"Investment for what?" I pressed, wanting to know what was going on.
"Take it as killing two birds with a stone, make you happy and make him suffer. I want to turn the store into an art gallery, that will make him suffer as nothing else could. Seeing his dreams turning to dust, just to resurface from the ashes as the fulfillment of yours. And the most important thing, it will be the perfect wedding gift to you" Brian confessed to me.
"Bri... what... why..." I stuttered, overwhelmed by what I just heard.
He finally turned around, to face me, a small smile playing on his lips "I know that you are planning on taking a sabbatical year from school and ask Laura to wait for you, for that internship. You already contacted the mayor, telling her you would not be able to help her out with any more murals around the city, anymore. After the summer, the only thing you'll have left to do is work on Rage, help me every now and then with Kinnetik and visit the movie montage every other day" I could only stare at him, like an idiot, not believing how much he knew about stuff I never told him.
"This has taken a toll on you too, Sunshine. There is no need to hide it or feel embarrassed about it. You almost died, Justin. Our baby, almost died. You want to take a year for yourself and to raise our daughter and son, there is no shame on that. Also, it's not like you would be doing nothing at all, not that it would be wrong if you wanted to do nothing but stay with our children" he rushed to correct his slip "You would be continuing to create an amazing, international, comic. Also, you would be advising a millionaire advertising company and overlooking the movie about your comic. I don't get why you see taking things slowly as a bad thing, Sunshine"
I could tell him I don't know why, but that would be lying... to both of us. No matter how much I would like it to be true, I know the reason why I had to be in control. However, I didn't want to admit it. I then looked at the earnest look Brian has ever shown me. This man who changed so much for us, why couldn't I do the same. I took a deep breath and decided to go with the truth, to finally face the music.
"After the bashing, everything crumpled around me. I couldn't control my hands, I couldn't control the people I could see- perfect example, when my mother forbid you to see me-, I couldn't control where I could live, I couldn't control what I could say... how I could feel. I lost control of everything, Bri. Everything was near, but at the same time out of reach. I hated that feeling!" I snarled, under my breath. A few tears rolling down my cheeks "I also, felt so lost and unwanted. Someone had tried to kill me! Was I that unwanted that the world was a better place without me?!" I suddenly raised my voice's tone, my emotions everywhere.
"Then I didn't know I had your support, well I did but with everything going on I couldn't see it clearly. I thought I was on my own... so, I decided to take back the reins of my life. I began looking for ways to support myself, so I would need of no one if things didn't work between us. One thing led to the other and suddenly I was doing ten things at the same time. I was overwhelming and too much sometimes, but it kept my mind occupied and our of the painful reminder of how sad my life was. It also was the reputation I gained, the boy who could achieve anything! Who wouldn't want to be that person. I thought I could have a baby, I could have a relationship, I could study law, help you and the Stuarts out, I could have my dream internship and continue drawing Rage" I scoffed, humourlessly "I was naive and presumptuous. I can't do it all... what's so difficult for me to admit it is that it would mean I don't have control over my life anymore"
"You can't control everything, Sunshine" he tried to placate me, but only making it worse.
"I know! I know that... but it doesn't mean I like it. Bri, it all started like this" I admitted, defeated.
"What?" He inquired, gently.
"My downfall" I answered, flashing him a sad smile "It all began with my emotions being everywhere, not being able to handle the situation- then the bashing, now the murder attempt-, the next thing I know I was cheating on you and lost complete control over my life. I don't want that to happen again... I don't want to be all alone again..." I sobbed, suddenly being dragged into my fiancé's arms "I hate being weak" I complained.
"I won't let that happen, Sunshine. This time I'll be there for you, every step of the way. I won't leave, Gus won't leave, the gang won't leave, your family won't leave and when our little princess gets here, she won't leave either" he promised me "And don't ever talk about yourself like that again. You arte the strongest person I know! You feel, but got up again ten times stronger than before. You have gone through so much in your life, more than people double your age had. And you succeeded! You are a successful young man, there is nothing to be ashamed. Sometimes all you need is time and help to get better, after such a traumatic situation... and I am so sorry I wasn't abel to give you either then, but I can now. So, please don't hide Justin, let me be there for you"
"Ok" I replied, softly, looking into his eyes full of love. My eyes filling with tears, ready to fall at any moment "Be there for me"
"I will" he promised me "However, I also know that you need a reminder that you still are in control of something, that thing will be the art gallery. When you go back to your studies and it might be too much, you can always hire a manager. But the final word and decision will always be yours, that's why I gave you all the rights to it. Shh..." he shushed me, when I opened my mouth to protest at that "I know what you'll say, that it isn't necesary or that you want me to have half of the shares to myself. But I know you need this. So, let me do this for you" he requested from me.
"Ok" I finally relinquished, with a sigh, gaining a winning smile from him "However, the flat above the store will only be at your name. And any profits you get from it and the comics we'll sell by eBay will also be yours"
I know he didn't like my offer, but ended up accepting it because he knew I wouldn't back down. We are both that stubborn. Afterwards, we cuddled in bed and fell asleep in a sea of beautiful dreams.
Chapter 23: 'He is my BEST FRIEND!'
I never thought this day would come. It was unthinkable to imagine my son being such a backstabbing brat! I held a sob as I stare at my Michael being dragged across the courtroom, Cral wrapped his arms around me in support. I had to keep it together, I had to at least do that for my kids- those two beautiful boys I adopted, that suffered enough for a life time. They tried to be quiet for years, about Michael's misbehaving and suffered in silence, to not hurt my feelings. But enough is enough, he can't get away with this.
It took the whole family being against Michael and telling me they would rather lose me than keep me with my son in the combo. It took me having Carl threaten to leave me if I didn't open my eyes. It took me Jennifer smoking to my house and yelling at me for being such a blind mother, who couldn't see anything wrong wit's her son. It took me all of this, but I finally woke up. I finally began to see the real Michael, not the angel who couldn't do anything wrong image I had of him.
I looked back in my memories, and wanted to slap myself in the head for being so blind... for not seeing the manipulation and pain he made sure others suffer when he didn't get what he wanted. I was so ashamed of myself, that I was not sure if I should show myself to them. Luckily, they are both fucking sweethearts and told me there was nothing to forget. If a parents mistake shouldn't be held over the child's head, why couldn't it be the same when the kid commits the mistake?
The kids that aren't even related to me treated me way better than my own flesh and blood. I sometimes feel like I am only a waitress for Michael, someone to give him money or whatever he wants when he is in need. That hurts me more than seeing him going to prison and not being able to do a thing about it.
I just don't know where did I went wrong.
"Madam judge, I present you the evidence, recollected by Mr. Brian Taylor-Kinney, with the admisión of Mr. Novotny to the breaking and entering of Mr. Brian Taylor-Kinney loft and to the robbery" Laura Lune stated, pressing the button to play the recording from the mobile phone in her hand.
"Listen to me, you little shit! I have no idea why you think you have the rights to turn MY character into the bad guy in Rage, but you won't get away with that!"
The annoying voice of the accused sounded loud and clear, this will be fast if he ends up admitting his crime. And by the paling face of the rat, I could see he wasn't expecting his BEST FRIEND to have recorded this conversation.
I've only seen the idiot twice and already want to kill him for being such an annoying little shit- as he called poor Sunshine. Yes, I know Justin. He must have not recognize me, because before being a she I was a he. He was the one who gave me advice about not hiding my true self anymore and how to help the ones near to me with this new change.
Now that I am finally, truly happy, I have the chance to repay him his kindness. Of course, I won't send someone who doesn't deserve it to prison. But I can speed up the process so there won't be the need of many hearings for the Taylor-Kinney family to deal with.
And this egocentric jerk, really deserves it!
Even hearing him in a recording gives me a headache! I complained in my head. No adult man can sound like that. He must be doing it on purpose!
"I'll ruin you! Don't think I haven't done it before! Brian listens to me, or have you forgotten? I turned him against you over and over again before! Like when I told you not to tell him about you are hearing the voice message from the hospital, so I can make you seem like you wanted to control everything in his life. Or when I didn't give you a chance to explain and went behind your back to tell MY BEST FRIEND that you were cheating on you. He chose me over and over again, in the past. What makes you think he won't do it again?!"
I noticed Brian gripping the table harder, until his knuckles were white. I knew that he blamed himself for not being there for Angel, for believing the one he thought as a friend instead of the man he loves and has always been there for him. Hearing this, again, was only making things worse. But he had to pull through it, for Justin- for his family's happiness and peace.
"You know which of the many times I sabotaged the dream you wanted so strongly to come true, you fucking idiot, is the one I like the most? The times when I stole the loft and blamed the fault on you!"
Gotcha! I thought pleased with myself, stopping the recording. There is no need to make Brian and Debbie suffer no more, the heart-breaking sobs coming from her were enough as it is.
"As you can see, madam judge, there is the recorded confession of Mr. Novotny's crime. Let's remember that Mr. Novotny's criminal record isn't clean either, and this is not the first act of aggression against Mr. Brian Taylor-Kinney's fiancé" I enjoyed how the idiot's eyes almost popped out of his skull. I still can't believe he is real, since the beginning I've been calling Brian by his hyphened last name and just now, that I spelled it out for him, did he figure out they got back together... he really has problems "Mr. Novotny cheated on Mr. Justin Taylor-Kinney on Rage, the international comic they both used to share. Now belongs only to the latter, because the infraction the accused committed" I rested my case, sitting down next to Brian.
Before that I rapidly gazed towards Melanie, who looked as if she wish the ground to swallow her. Not only was she married to a crazy bitch that wanted the one she considers like a little brother dead, the one she chose as her daughter's father- who was supposedly much better than Brian- was a criminal... and a bad one at that. She had it coming, now her children will never be siblings. No matter how much she desires it, now that she figured out she has no rights over Gus she has no way of making him see JR as his sister. Especially now that Justin had blood related baby coming, and Brian isn't desiring to have nothing to do with the unmentionable... she is screwed. But then again, she had it coming. She brought this to herself.
"Fiancé?!" the annoying, high pitch voice of the unmentionable resonated through the courtroom, making us all wince at it. Not only was he annoying, his voice reflected that as well "When did that happen? Is it a joke?! Brian doesn't do love or marriage?! It's a trick! Don't believe a word of it, it's a fucking trick!" now he began yelling at the judge "He is a fucking trick! Who has been jealous of me since the beginning, for having what he'll never have: Brian's love!" now he has lost his mind completely "If he were relevant, why the hell isn't he here to support his fiancé?!" he spat the word, with a crazed glint in his eyes that worried me.
I grabbed my friend's hand and squeezed it, I was all that was stopping him from throwing himself at the unmentionable and beating the crap out of him. Justin was at home with Gus, because there was no need to stress him over this- more than he already was over Lindsay's. It was no good for the baby, Brian feels guilty enough, he demanded him to stay home. Also, as the crime was against him there is no need for Angel being here. He was mad, but he relented because it was in the best interest of his little girl.
The yelling continued for a while, the idiot ignoring the warnings from the judge, until she called the guards to retire him from the room. The idiot couldn't get a clue and kept on screaming that he was Brian's best friend and they couldn't do this to him, that it was surely all a mistake. Debbie's sobs were loud and clear, the only thing that broke the silence of the room. There was a break of an hour, to let the jury and the judge decide the sentence. Meanwhile, I was trying my best to calm Brian down and the rest of the gang to console Debbie. Melanie tried to reach out for us, but we all ignored her. The hurt was clear on her face, but it didn't get the pity it was desired.
When the hour break was over, everyone got back in again. However, the lawyer was there to represent the unmentionable- with him being in jail.
"We had reached a sentence, Michael Novotny was found guilty of robbery and will spend six years in prison. With three years of probation and a restriction order to any propriety own by the Taylor-Kinney's and any member of the family" with that said, she ended our problems- she brought the peace so longed for.
Chapter 24: Wedding bells at the horizon
We were having a blast! Without having to worry about that bitch and the unmentionable, we were as happy as we could be. After wining both cases, we returned to normal- but with the upgrade of no more interruptions or those annoying two idiots thinking they had the right to be involved in our private life. Brian returned to work, trying to organize everything so he could accompany Gus and me to the tour. I finished my first year in pre-law with flying colors and gave my notice, to the university, that I would take a sabbatical year. I was relieved that neither of the three (Jessica, Laura or my college) were angry at me for that.
I started sketching some ideas for my art gallery, but nothing definitive yet. With my finals, preparing for the tour and spending time with my family, I didn't get to put my head on it. But at least, I started talking with Ted about numbers, with Brian for ideas to advertise it, with Laura for any legal stuff I would need and with Emmett for his help for the inauguration party. I was still in contact with some of my old teachers in PIFA, who had their eyes on some rising stars who might be good enough to present some of their works for the opening of my gallery. My old teachers gave me the numbers of their students and some pictures of their works, I liked a couple of them enough to schedule an interview with them, for when I get back from the tour.
I still had to ask Jordan for some advice about handling my own business and start thinking what pieces, from the ones I have in storage, I was to put on sell for the inauguration of my gallery. Thankfully, I used more than half of them to decorate Britin and the list of choices was reduce- so, I didn't have to lose my mind choosing from a lot of them
I was, also, able to finish another chapter of the third volume of my graphic. The difference in the way we, Isak and I, publish it in comparison of when I first began Rage, was that the printed graphic novel is sold when the complete volume is finished, not chapter by chapter like comics. But it doesn't mean that my fans have to wait months to know what happens in the next volume. Isak came up with the idea of downloading the chapters on the Internet, for the clients to but them like e-books. However, we never upload the last chapter of the volume, if you want to know what happens at the end you need to buy the print copy of the graphic novel. Luckily for me, Rage was continuing to have a great success, if not more than the previous ones.
The tour was doing great, and Eva was an excellent choice as an agent- always calm and in control of the situation. Gus and Brian were also having a great time, when they weren't with me at the Comic Con, they were sightseeing. And when I was busy with interviews, Brian had a blast shopping and shipping everything back to Britin. He was lucky we are both rich, otherwise we would be in trouble, thank to his clothes obsession.
I still recall his response when I complained about how much money he spent in Los Angeles: "But Justin! The new Prada and Boss collection are out, I need to have them all- it's good for business. Also, it's PRADA!"
I am engaged to a shopaholic, but I love him anyways.
Los Angeles, Pittsburgh and Canada were a dream come true, the family vacation, we deserved after so many years of struggle and adversities. It, also, had the perfect amount of work for us, two workaholics. We were now finishing in Argentina, waiting impatiently to get to France and Norway. But I knew that Brian was keeping something from me, nothing bad but a surprise. He might fool everyone, but I know him as the palm of my hand. I normally would have called him out on it, but I was in a good mood and decided to let him have his fun.
I might end up loving the surprise!
If only I knew how true those words were...
-Back in Pittsburgh-
These last few months were rough for me... but I was getting better.
When the cases were done, I used the money I earned, by buying the old house and bought a modest apartment for JR and me. It wasn't as big as the house, but good enough for the two of us. Gus even had his own room, for whenever he was ready to forgive me and come back to live with me. I made sure to terminate any legal claim Michael had on JR, and gave them to Ben. They might not be related by blood, but if I learned anything from this whole ordeal, is that blood doesn't mean it all. Ben has been there for JR since the beginning, and he was the one who paid support for her when Michael lied about not having enough money to do it himself. Also, I couldn't take her away from him the same way I feared Brian would do to me with Gus. He and Hunter were delighted with the news, and I gained a few points with them- they still were angry, but accepted me back in their lives... the same can't be said about the rest of the gang.
Justin refused to even look at me, Brian didn't acknowledge my presence, Debbie gave me a lecture every time I met her, Emmet was polite to me but cold at the same time, Teddy was the only one who started to forgive me- and only because our friendship was the longest. I worked a lot of stuff with my psychologist and finally accepted that the world isn't against me, and things didn't go wrong in my life because others wanted me to fail. My feminism toned down a bit, realizing that me not achieving my dreams wasn't because I was a woman and this was a man's world. Then, I began trying to accept the fact that Brian isn't my enemy, that this isn't a war... and even if it was, I already lost it. That was more difficult, but I was getting there. Another issue I was trying to resolve was the guilt I was feeling for the way I treated Gus- I think I'll never overcome that... but it was still worth trying.
"Ted!" I called out to my friend, when I saw him leaving Kinnetik.
I've been trying to call Brian for weeks now, but he never answered. I wanted to see if Gus was ready to see me yet, I missed my little boy. So, I decided to walk towards his office and get some answers personally.
"Mel... what are you doing here?" he asked me confused.
"Trying to catch Brian, what about you? Why are you leaving the office in the middle of the day?" I replied.
"Double lunch date with Emmett and Drew" he answered.
"They got back together?" I inquired, happy for Emmett- he deserves happiness more than anyone.
"Yes, Drew figured out he didn't need to party and experiment being finally out of the closet. He came back for him and made a huge gesture to get him back and get him to forgive him. I'm surprised you didn't know, it was all over the news- Drew even got his closest friends from the team to tag along and help him out" he informed me "Why would you try to find Brian here? He is in Argentina by now, with Gus and Justin. It's a Rage world tour in Comic Con"
"What?! He took Gus out of the country and I was not informed!!!" I exclaimed, angrily at his guts.
"Why would they need to ask you anything? You are no longer his mother Mel, you never really were" his words were like a cold bucket, I could only stare at him in shock- not believing that my best friend would say such cruel words to me "I love you Mel and I know you want to atone for your sins. However, you need to understand that Gus will never come back to you. He is officially Brian and Justin's and they will make it so it always stays like that. You have no legal reason to demand partial custody and after the way you behaved Social Services will make it so you'll never get it. Be lucky that they let you keep JR and that Brian and Justin let you still be in Gus' life- but only as his aunt, that's all you'll ever be" I began to sob by then, but he kept on going "Also, they'll never allow Gus to see JR as his sister, not knowing she has Michael's gens, and with them expecting one of their own. Again, you are lucky they are considering letting Gus, play with her 'cousin'. You lost Mel, you need to accept that and move on. That way it will be better for everyone involved" with that said he turned around, and walked away.
I hated it... I hated how true his words were. How delusional I was in believing Gus will ever come back to me after everything. When I got back home, I entered the room I had prepared for him and tore everything, it looked like a hurricane had passed by when I was finished. Tomorrow I would make the arrangements to make it into a guest room, but tonight I cried myself to sleep on the bed that should have been my son's.
Chapter 25: Yeah, things couldn't be more perfect
Gus was beaming happily, about to burst at any given moment. So, I speed down the street trying to get as fast as I could to the surprise I had planned for Sunshine. However, the traffic in Buenos Aired is almost as bad as in New York. It took us a while, but we finally reached the headquarters of the civil registry. Eva was there, dutifully waiting for us outside, with our suits for the ceremony.
"Do you still have them?" I whispered to Gus, as I lifted him from the back seat and helped him get off the car.
"Yes" he murmured back, patting his pocket where the wedding bands were.
"Good" I praised him, patting his hair after I put him down- he looked so cute in his navy blue, Boss suit.
"Brian! What is the meaning of this?!" He demanded to know, voice high and rough, from the emotion.
"You know Spanish, Sunshine. Tell me yourself" I requested from him.
"Mom and Debbie will kill us" he replied, coming to my side. I wrapped my arms around him and kissed him square on the lips "Why here and not in Canada?" He asked, confused by my choice.
"Everyone gets married in Canada now, I wanted our union to be unique... also, if I wanted Eva's help I knew for sure she would call Jonas, Isak and Even. If we were in Canada they would have gotten there in no time and crashed the party. When they get here, we would have left for Paris then. Also, spending our honeymoon in Paris and Oslo is just perfect. Having enough Gus time and Eva ready to babysit him, when we want to spend some adult time as a wedding gift... don't tell me you don't like the idea" I answered him, a teasing smile spreading through my lips.
"We would have missed Gus too much" he conceded, a Sunshine smile playing on his lips.
"Then, let's get married!" I stated, heading towards Eva for my suit and handing Justin's to him.
Mine was black Prada one, of course, with a white tie.
I knew I made the right decision when I saw the hungry eyes of my soon-to-be husband, devouring me, as soon as I got out of the bathroom. But, even with my narcissism and all, I had to admit Justin looked even more eatable than me, in his Armani white suit.
I almost creamed my pants, when he finished changing. The belly made him look even more hotter, after all that's my baby! It took all of me not to rip it off him, in front of everyone, and have my wicked way with him right then. Luckily, Gus reminded me of his presense and my parental instincts were on alert- I won't scare him like that, no kid should see their parents going at it.
"Ready?" Justin asked me, softly with a huge smile on his face.
"Always" I replied, cheekily.
He wrapped his arms around mine, and we both walked towards the room I booked for us- Eva and Gus right behind us. The man, conducting the ceremony, started talking, but I could only stare at my Sunshine's blue, enchanting eyes. I didn't know he was talking to me, until Justin nudged me a little with a small smile. Then, I knew it was my moment to say my vows.
"I don't know what to tell you that I hadn't already said, or that you don't know. I hurt you badly, for so many years and I'll never forgive myself for that. But you, being the kindest person I know, and let me back in your life. I love you more than words can describe, it took me a while to get here, but now that I am... not even fucking death will bring us apart" by the end of my small speech Justin was in tears, and Gus frowning.
"Papa why are you crying? Daddy said nice words to you!" The little boy complained, making us all laugh at his innocence.
"I am crying because your daddy made me very happy, Gussy" Sunshine assured our son, who smiled, relieved that no one was sad in such a happy date "Bri... my perfectly imperfect Bri, I have loved you since the moment I saw you hold you... our son for the first time. And I knew you were the one, when you took my first time not very long afterwards. I might have doubted your feelings for me, like many others did, of that I am ashamed. However, I only had to look into your eyes to see what you couldn't say in words" he took a deep breath, I thought that he had finished but soon started talking again "Just like when you came to my prom and danced with me, in front of a bunch of snotty teenagers and disapproving teachers. I saw then, for the first time what I really mean to you. I fell in love with you all over again, as you lifted me up in the air, your eyes never leaving mine... I've never been more happy in my entire life"
When he finished, we were both in tears but smiling brightly at the same time. My Sunshine was completly back! He remembers! I thought I couldn't be any happier, and he just comes and proves me wrong again. This is truly the greatest gift I've ever received, the perfect wedding present.
"Who has the rings?" The man asked, smiling kindly at Gus when he clumsily took them from his pocket and handed them to him.
"Oh, Brian!" He gasped, breathlessly "They are beautiful!"
They were two simple white gold, Tiffany bands, with the Celtic knot decorating it. The perfect combination of the two of us: my Irish heritage and the gold, for Justin was my golden boy.
We exchanged the rings, signed the papers and finally kissed. The ritual was complete when we got back to the hotel and Eva took Gus for the night, letting us enjoy each other as newlyweds.
-Two months later-
"I am never letting your fucking dick near me again!" Justin kept on screaming at me, as the doctor tells him to continue pushing "Did you hear me, Brian? NEVER!" I winced at the strength of his hold on my hand, but kept quiet because he must be having it worse.
"I can see the head, one more push" the doctor ordered.
"Did you hear that, Sunshine? One more push and we'll have our princess" I encouraged when he sagged against me, tiredly "You can do it, Justin. ONE MORE PUSH!"
"Ah!!!" He screamed, using all of his remaining energy to bring our daughter to the world.
"Congratulations! You have a healthy, little girl" the doctor handed Justin our baby.
"She is perfect!" I sighed, breathless at the beauty in my husband's arms.
She was the most perfect creature in the entire world: small, with an adorable little nose and rosy lips. When she opened her eyes, I gasped as I stared back at the same shade of blue I wake up to every morning. With her blonde curls, she was the perfect image of Sunshine. I made a mental note to ask Carl for a gun, I'll need it when she is off age and suitors will come for her. There is no way I'll let them take my little princess away from me!
"Do you have a name yet?" One of the nurses asked, gently.
I looked down at my husband and smiled, letting him answer- he is the one who names things in our family after all.
"Yes" Justin replied "Her name is: Abigail Eliana Taylor-Kinney"
Yeah, things couldn't be more perfect. I thought happily, finally in peace.
Chapter 26: Epilogue
Life was good.
After our little princess was born-six years ago-, I took the next years calmly. Dedicating myself to my family, Rage and the art gallery. The opening was a great success, with great reviews and sold everything on it's thirds year of being open. My name and Brian's was enough to seduce a lot of buyers to a brand new gallery. It made me sad that they came for us an not for the art, but I also happy that I made the careers of some amazing artists easier. The next six years I dedicated myself on searching for new talents to be discovered and helping them out. Soon my gallery was the most famous in the city, and one of the best on the state. My career as an artist was also a big success, nowadays Eva is busy arranging shows with the top galleries in New York for me.
Things have been calmes these last few years, however this one has been quite a mess...
First I was very busy with my last year studying law and with my internship with Laura, which was coming to an end. She's been trying to make me accept becoming a lawyer on her firm, but I stood my ground and told her that I would only represent Brian and Kinnetik. I was so busy that I had to leave Hunter in charge of the art gallery- the little rascal graduate from Carnegie Mellon with honors from their art department, I turned him into the manager of my gallery when it became too much for me to handle.
Luckily, for Rage, I only had to overview the shootings- which were also coming to an end. I decided to stop drawing Rage after it's fifth volume, so the cinematic universe of my comic consisted on: one movie and four seasons of a T.V show. Jonas and Even have been insisting on me creating one last one, a semi-short volume that they could turn into a movie- one last goodbye for Rage. I might accept, but not for at least a couple of years more.
Kinnetik became the best ad agency in the country and started accepting offers to represent big accounts INTERNATIOANLLY! Of course, Rage continued being the account he puts first all the time. I lost count of how many award ceremonies I had to accompany Brian to, or how many he won. But the huge smile full of pride, was enough for me to stand the boring ceremonies and the fake conversations... the celebratory sex afterwards was a good motivation, as well.
The kids grew happy and untouched by the evil of teh world, we made sure of that. Gus turned ten this year and Abby was six already. Time flew by without us noticing. They were very good friends with Ethan and Aiden, who were seven by now. Jessica and I joke around about marrying them to each other. Ethan has a big hero crush on Gus, thinking that he was the best, and he already was showing signs of liking the same sex. While Aiden, though of himself as Abby's knight in shinning armour ever since he saved her from a scary spider. Brian and Jackson, on their side, were very overprotective of their children and scolded us every time they catch us touching the topic. It is very funny to mess with them, they look so cute worked out!
The second generation of kids came from, not that surprising, Isak and Even. It seems like Isak has the same carrier gene as me, and got pregnant two years after me. Their sweet boy Kevin was the sweetest baby boy with the most enchanting blue eyes ever, his blond curls made everyone fawn at him. He'll be such a heartbreaker when he grew up. Now he was only three-almost four years old boy, and his parents had nothing to worry about. Evan also fell pregnant, but she was already pregnant when I was carrying Abby for everyone's surprise. A few months later, Jonas received his own little princess: Flora.
Emmett was devasted when he found out he couldn't carry children, and Blake was no better. My heart broke for them, but was so happy when I received the news that they were accepted by two mothers to adopt their children. You see Blake works with drug addicts, and this year he received two teenager girls who wanted to turn their world around when they found out they were pregnant. However, they didn't want to keep the babies... they couldn't support having them. So, Blake took a chance and it worked out well. Noot only did we have two adoptions this year, but also two weddings- they wanted the kids to be raised in a married family.
Another issue of big commontion was the fact that Abby and Flora were starting primary school. Eva and Jonas were having it easier than us, because their daughter already went to kindergarten. At Brian's insist we taught Abby home, he was too worried that something might happen to her. But she was now six and we couldn't keep her lock inside the house for ever. We were worried that she wouldn't fit in, the daughter of two gay men that never went to school before.
The fear was only with us, Abby had a blast on her first day at school. She soon made a lot of friends and we were never called because she misbehaved or missed us- the latter broke Brian's heart, after all she was the princess of his heart. She was very popular with boys too, something that didn't settle good with neither Brian nor Aiden. I loved seeing Bri so protective and possessive of his family. But Aiden's reaction was hilarious, it was adorable how jelous the little boy could be.
Another thing that made the whole family shake was the release of the unmentionable. It seems that he never learns, because he kept on stalking us and trying to be involved with us even knowing about the restriction order. We ended up being able to prove that there was something wrong in his head and were able to have him locked up in a psychiatric hospital. It was kind of scary and something I'll never forget, no matter how much I want to. He kept on repeating that Brian was his and that he is the one he'll always ONLY love, over and over again. That they were meant to be together. He was out of his mind! It took me over a month to bring Brian back from the depth of his mind, a place the unmentionable put him in.
Melanie on her part was a work in progress. At the beginning, everything seemed to be ok. She accepted that she was no longer Gus' mother and that she was in probation with the gang. It took a couple of years, but we were able to forgive her. The gang started treating her as they used to, she was the big sister I recall and Brian and her built a tentative friendship, which was full of banter and silly fights. However, she didn't realize how much she and the bitch of her ex-wife used to rely on Brian's money- not only to raise Gus, but JR as well. Even with Ben's help, she wasn't able to take the same liberties with money as she used to. She had to cut off some things and she didn't like it... not at all.
She began comparing how was Abby being raised in comparison to JR, and started to get jealous. Mel wasn't able to put her daughter in a privilege school like the one the rest of the kids went to, and the new babies will go to. JR didn't have the last season collection of clothes of the best brands. Her daughter wasn't raised in a palace like the one Gus and Abby were living in.
Mel tried to get Brian to give her some money, he had tons of it so there shouldn't be a problem. She was very angry when Brian refused, stating that JR wasn't his daughter and she had no right to demand that from him. She tried to take him to court, not for that, but for Gus- that way she could milk him for money, and raise JR as she wanted. That made all the animosity of the past back... it was a big fight, one that she lost and caused her to be thrown out of the gang, again.
Under Ben's orders she started seeing her psychiatrist again and began getting better. Still, Brian had enough with her and made me choose between her or him. That caused us to have a big fight, that ended up on us sleeping in different bedrooms. I never made him choose between the unmentionable or me. He had no right to do that to me. But at the end, I forgave him cause I knew where it came from. I decided to finally close that chapter of my life, where Mel took part, and move on. I still see her from time to time, after all Hunter works for me and Ben still is part of the family- also, JR has no fault on her mother's mistake, and she is very good friends with Abby.
Now I stand on the Carnegie Mellon's stage, saying my speech as valedictorian. The whole gang there, cheering for me when I took my diploma. But all along, I could only think of ways to tell Brian... to tell my husband, that soon we'll be welcoming a new member to our marvelous family.
Yeah... life was good.