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"They're gone, lad, no need to worry" Polly stated, as soon as Finn came to his senses, opening his eyes slowly and flinching at the light that came through the windows. Somehow, he had ended up on the couch, the living room empty apart from his aunt, whose smirk he knew too damn well to underestimate. The realization that she knew, and probably had known the second it happened, what had went down the night before, made Finn shiver once again, and the modest contents of his stomach rise to his throat again.


"Now listen to me, and listen to me good: you cannot tell anyone about what happened between you and the Jesus boy. You absolutely cannot mention it to your brothers, or to anyone, ever. Do you understand that?" she said, before he could even come up with a full thought.

"What does that..."

"Don't you try and bullshit me, child. I know what I'm talking about, and I know you know what I'm talking about. You'd both be going to jail, where you would enjoy much less interesting attention. Sodomy is a serious crime, and one that doesn't grant you any good treatment in prison. Do you understand?" Polly said, making Finn's skin crawl. He hadn't even thought of that, petrified as he was that his own brothers would find out.

"I do" Finn ended up saying, his head and eyes focused on the ground so that he wouldn't have to face his aunt's criticism and disappointment. "I know it's wrong, and I knew it was wrong last night too, but..."

"It's not wrong; just because it's illegal does not mean it's wrong. The law and human nature are two different things, and they often don't coincide. You need to be careful, and I would even advise you to never do it again. But it isn't wrong. And you shouldn't feel guilty about it; plenty of very important men experimented with such things" Polly shrugged, making Finn garner the courage to look up at her, confusion evident in his face. "If this is what you want, and if it's what you..."

"I don't know if it is. I have no idea if that's what I want. I was drunk, and we had been working all day, counting money and doing books. It sort of just happened and then I felt like the most disgusting human being in the world" he confessed, tears flowing to his eyes. If it was anyone else there with him, he would have held them back, but Polly, though harsh and strict, had a soft spot for the boy, and he knew she wouldn't be unfair to him. Besides, she was being to understanding he barely could believe his luck. Never, in a billion years, did he think he would be able to talk to something about it, even if it was eating him up inside.

"Why? It's human nature, boy. You're young and you want to experiment. That's fine. I personally never thought all those girls you hire were doing you much good; one to get you going was fine, but then one a day... a bit excessive" Polly confessed, making Finn sigh. "You want to tell me why you needed sex that badly? Or should I just assume it was the fact that you're a teenager"

"I'm not a teenager, I'm a man, and men have needs" Finn replied, sticking his chin up, trying to look intimidating.

"I don't doubt you, but as you know I didn't have my son by my side when he was going through the same thing. Though I imagine Michael wasn't exactly as red-blooded as you seem to be, given that he did choose to settle rather early" Polly sighed, knowing full well that union wasn't exactly ideal. "My point is that there are plenty of girls you can hire for a couple hours a day to satisfy your needs. And simply for your own protection, you need to keep on doing that, instead of turning to Isaiah to satisfy your needs. I'm saying this as your aunt, who doesn't have it in her to see more of her family going to prison. I couldn't stand seeing you behind those bars."

"I promise I'll do that. It won't happen again" Finn promised, wiping away the stubborn tears that insisted on falling down his cheeks. A man didn't cry, he thought to himself, remembering how Tommy hadn't cried at Grace's funeral, or even when John was shot and killed. The real men he knew didn't cry, and always had a woman nearby, ready to satisfy their impulses. Tommy had Lizzie, Arthur had Linda, and Ada used to have that policeman; but for Finn, who still failed to find a girl he could marry, it had to be the prostitutes. He was a man, and he had plenty to prove.

He was a man, and real men don't fuck their best friends.

He was a real man, too.

Wasn't he?