I'm really starting to hate that Stockwell. Watching him on the news tonight, giving his hypocritical little speech about how fags are his best friends and seeing Brian stand there, stoically facing the cameras as the snow falls around him I can feel myself growing enraged. I know I should be annoyed at Brian it's his choice, he knows what he's doing - and I am a little - but mostly it's Stockwell who's really pissing me off. The smug bastard. Brian thinks he's using Stockwell as much as Stockwell is using him, but I can see the difference between them. Brian only thinks he's going to win this one, Stockwell knows he is.
Already I can see the toll it's taking on Brian in the grim emptiness of his stare, and I wonder if he's started to realize it too. In my head I can hear the vitriol in Deb's voice as she rants about Brian's duplicity at the Diner tomorrow, and I haven't forgotten the party at Ted and Emmett's that Brian wasn't invited to last week. For a split second the Brian in the TV screen in front of me looks lost and empty, and I feel my breath catch in my throat before I turn away.
I'm in the media lab at school I was just crossing through on my way to the studio when I caught Stockwell's press conference on one of their ever-present televisions. The internship is taking up a lot of my time these days, once I leave VanGuard, I try to drop by the school and make some headway on other projects.
Since getting back together with Brian, I've been going out a lot how can I resist, when he invites me? But tonight I'm determined to get some work done. I even told Brian I was busy when he paused by my desk earlier to ask, oh so casually, what I was up to tonight. I think it took every ounce of willpower I had to say I was going to stay in and catch up on some schoolwork. It's hard enough for Brian and I to keep our hands off each other at the office, passing up an invitation was almost too much for me. I'm sure he felt my reluctance but he just raised an eyebrow and made some crack about me being a keener and went on his way so I didn't feel too bad about it. Until I see him on the news, and feel this sudden ache to be beside him.
I shake my head and move on. My cell rings as I reach the studio it's Michael, full of excitement because issue #2 of Rage has just arrived. He tells me to come by and check it out, and I can't help it, I'm excited too. I tell him I'll drop by the store once I'm finished at school.
It's after nine when I leave the school and head for the comic store. Michael's just closing the shop. When he shows me the new issue I laugh and wince at the same time the colours make it stand out even more than I expected. Suddenly I'm afraid I'm going to blush. If anyone knows what's going on in that cover drawing, it's Mikey. But he just smirks at me and tells me it looks great. "Make sure you show it to Brian!" he calls after me as I leave. He'll appreciate it."
It's funny, but just as he says it, I realize that's exactly what I'm going to do. I'll drop by the loft and show Brian the new issue. I won't stay it's getting late, and I still have work to do but maybe it'll satisfy my craving. Then I'll be able to concentrate on my art.
I sprint a little to get to the loft, but once I reach the building I pause. Someone is coming out the front door and I'm about to walk in while the door is open, but I re-think and press the buzzer instead. Maybe he has someone there.
"You're early!" Brian snaps through the intercom, sounding cranky.
I glance down at my watch in surprise. It's 9:40. "Huh?" I say into the little grill.
There's a pause before Brian speaks again, and this time his voice is different. " Justin?" he says more softly. He sounds slightly surprised, and he's added a little amusement and a little irony to the mix, but he can't cover up the pleasure entirely. Maybe he's not even trying.
"Yeah" I say, and the door buzzes so I head on up.
When I get upstairs, the loft door is open and Brian is in the bedroom, taking his shirt off. He's wearing jeans, so he must have been home for a while. I walk up the stairs and kiss him hello, then hand him the comic. He laughs when he sees it but doesn't look at it long, he's too busy pulling me in for a real kiss. A couple of minutes later we break apart, and he kind of gives me a funny look, then turns away and heads out of the bedroom.
"Uh, I've got someone coming over later", he says, not looking at me, and I can tell he's trying to keep his voice neutral.
Does he think I'll be pissed? I shrug. "That's okay, I can't stay. I just came by to show you the comic."
He nods and keeps walking toward his desk, so I head to the fridge and pull out a drink. Standing against the fridge door, I watch him frowning down at the computer - is that a picture of the trick he's looking at? Or maybe he's working on another Stockwell spot? Either way, he doesn't look too thrilled about it. I want to go over and put my arms around him, but I pause for a moment instead.
"I saw you on the news today", I offer casually.
He looks up at me, his brow furrowed, and doesn't say anything.
I take a few steps towards him. "Stockwell's news conference."
He glances away, still not saying anything. He did tell me the other day that Stockwell had re-hired him, but he hadn't mentioned the terms it was on.
I pause by the counter. "Did you plan that ahead of time?"
Brian shrugs, looking back at me. "Everything's planned in a campaign."
"Who's idea was it Yours or his?" I keep my voice gentle, but I really want to know.
He turns toward me abruptly. "What do you think? He's not that smart."
"Smart enough to know when he needs someone".
Brian nods, still looking at me skeptically. "Well, he saw my point."
I laugh a little. "I guess you're out to the whole town, now."
He shrugs again. "After my parents, there weren't a whole lot of people left to tell."
I know he's waiting for me to light into him. Like everyone else. But that's never been the way to reach Brian. I look down at the counter, thinking back to a night a long time ago, when the shoe was on the other foot.
"He's just using you, you know", I say quietly. "He'll forget all about you once he's got what he wants. He'll move on. And then where will you be?"
He looks at me sharply. "Up on the 99th floor in our new office in New York, hopefully."
I look back at him, wondering if he really believes it. And this time, I'm not worried about him leaving me behind. His face is impassive, I can't tell what he believes anymore.
I cross the rest of the way over to him and slide my arms around his waist, looking up at him. "What time did you say your company's coming?"
"Eleven," he says, looking down at me. And suddenly I realize what I heard in his voice earlier. It wasn't trepidation at my reaction, it was regret.
I'm already in his arms, my mouth next to his ear. I start to tell him what I know he wants to hear, that he can just send the trick away, I'll stay with him tonight and I can already hear the sultry purr in my voice, I already know I'll win. All I have to do is say it. But some mischievous demon seizes me and I catch myself before I speak. Brian's always in the middle of some game, looking for a way to control it, so sure he can always find a way to play things to his advantage. I know what he wanted to do tonight he wanted to prove that nothing has changed, that he's as free and unfettered as ever. Not to me, for once he's not trying to prove anything to me - he knows I don't need it - but to himself.
Well, if he wants to play the game, maybe I can make it more interesting for him. I smile to myself, feeling his cheek against mine and his hand in my hair. "Eleven?" I whisper. "That's plenty of time."
I can feel him start a little in surprise, but I'm insistent. I pull him in close and cover his mouth with mine, my hands running over his bare skin. He can never hold out for long against me, and it doesn't take much to convince him now. I feel him relax and push back against me, and as soon as he's had a good long taste, I'm leading him back to the bedroom. Before he has time to think about it, we're both naked on the bed. I steal a glance at the clock as I dive for his cock it's about a quarter after ten, just time for one long, slow, mindblowing blow job. But before I can get to work, I realize Brian has other plans. His mouth is on my dick before I can stop him, and for a moment there's a little battle between us, both of us laughing and fighting for control. There's no contest though, I'm younger and sharper, my reactions are faster and I really want a taste of him. I realize I've been thinking about his cock all day, and I'm not about to give up on it now. Anyway, it would defeat the purpose to let him blow me, that would leave him with way too much energy for the trick. Maybe he's figured that out for himself I wouldn't put it past him to try and out-manoeuvre me even now. He's smart, but I'm sharper. I'm relentless, and he doesn't stand a chance.
As soon as I know I've won, I slow down again and decide to take my time. I've got more than half an hour, and I'm going to use it. I stroke his chest to settle him back on the bed, then trace the length of his body with nips and kisses before moving back down to his dick. I realize I haven't gone down on him since I made him drag me into the backroom at Babylon the other night ,which was hot but a little rushed and come to think of it, the only other time since we got back together was that first night at his office, and then he hadn't let me finish.
In those first few days, we just couldn't get enough of each other, but this time I want to relax and enjoy it. I've learned a lot over the last few years, really worked on my technique and of course blow jobs are like bicycles you remember everything as soon as you get back in position. Everything I know about Brian's body, his tastes and desires, comes back to me, all the little things that make him crazy, and I try them all out in succession, slowly, taking my time and spinning it out, bringing him to the brink and then backing him down again. I can hear his quiet moans, and once or twice he calls my name, softly, like a gasp. Only when I start to think about the time do I move into high gear and concentrate on getting him off. I can feel him arch under me, sense his head fall back, and his throat curve backwards above me. Now his hands are in my hair, grasping and twisting, and suddenly he's pulling my head up, forcing my eyes up to meet his. I hold his gaze evenly, steadfastly, with nothing to hide, wanting nothing but to get back to his cock. Finally he releases me and I smile a little as I get back to work, and in a few moments itī's all over, he's gasping for breath, completely spent.
I'm feeling pretty pleased with myself as I pull myself up to lie beside him. I try to tone it down, hiding my smile and glancing away from him. Finally he catches his breath and concedes, "that was fucking hot." We look at each other, and he can't hide how good it was, anymore than I can cover how happy I am, so finally we just slap each other's legs and exchange grins.
I don't know when I've ever seen him this relaxed and happy before, and knowing it's because of me leaves me completely contented. Until he reaches over to the night stand and adds conversationally, "It was just like the, uh"... He's holding up the comic book and trying to keep a straight face, and in the shock of feeling myself suddenly exposed, I cover my face with my hands in laughing confusion. Fuck! I guess he actually did look at it when I showed it to him earlier. "...cover of your comic," he finishes, laughing outright, but the proud look he's giving me makes me feel less like an idiot.
"Michael finally agreed to go with it," I say, "Even if we do get arrested."
He seems to think about it for a minute. "Well" he says languidly, turning back to me, "What kind of artist are you if you don't?"
We exchange smiles, and I lift his arm to curl up under it, when the knock comes at the door. For a moment I really am chagrined beaten at my own game, I guess, but from the sigh and the look Brian gives me, I know my disappointment is nothing compared to his.
"Sorry." He says it lightly, but I can hear the genuine regret. " That's my eleven o clock."
The wistful look he's giving me makes me smile again, and I lean up to meet his kiss. He holds his gaze on mine for a second after he breaks away, and something makes me move my chin up and then down again, in a kind of nod, releasing him to face whatever he's got himself into.
He pulls on his jeans and goes out to the door, and after a moment I get up myself. By the time I'm dressed and out of the bedroom, Brian has given his usual line about tours leaving every hour and the trick is scoping out the loft on his way to the bedroom. We cross paths, and now he's scoping out me.
"Who's he?" he says indignantly.
I glance at him over my shoulder as I cross towards Brian. He's not bad looking, and for a moment I'm almost tempted to suggest a three-way. I'm young, I haven't even got off yet, I could go again anytime, and something tells me Brian would be happy enough to let the two of us entertain him. But I'm not about to let him off that easily. Sooner or later he'll realize that this piece of blond boy ass will wear him out faster than 100 tricks.
I come back to earth and realize Brian has been talking."Given the limitations of the language, the conventionality of most people's thinking..."
I pull on my jacket, looking at Brian quizzically. What, is he trying to explain himself? To a trick? "Um..." He surveys me thoughtfully and I laugh a little at the earnestness of his efforts.
Holding my challenging stare with a steady gaze he says, "Let's just say he's the guy I fuck more than once."
Well, that wasn't bad. Romantic, even. I glance back to the trick. "Unlike you," I tell him amusedly.
The poor guy has no idea what he's up against tonight.
And I'm off. I laugh and give Brian a good-bye kiss, and leave him to the trick and whatever it is he wants to prove to himself. For me, it's time to get some work done.
On my way back to Daphne's, I pass one of Stockwell's posters and pause for a moment to study it. Debbie worries about what this man is doing to our community, but I know Liberty Avenue will survive whatever Stockwell can throw at us. It's Brian I'm not so sure about. I'm afraid for what this campaign could cost him. As I head back down the street I find myself thinking again about that night long ago and I whisper to myself, "not as long as he has me to protect him".