Fandom: Queer as Folk US
Timeline: Post 5.13; POV's
Word Count: 4.162
Disclaimer: I don’t own anything. It’s all CowLip and Showtime.
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As always: Every comment is welcome. I Love to read what you think. Thanks!
01. Listen to me
02. Trust me
03. Babylon Part 1 | Part 2
04. Find a way Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4
05. ...remember what's missing?
06. The Party
07. Thanksgiving 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10
08. 1 wedding, 4 rings... 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12
09. The first Webcam Sex Chat
10. The first call
11. Expectations - Happy Valentine | Revenge
12. March 18th 2006
13. Aftermath - 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
For some reason I can’t explain, I wasn’t as upset as I thought might be. I was shocked, of course, but the police said that the culprits didn’t break in. All they did was throw a burning piece of wood over the fence, and since we’ve had very dry spring, the tree just started burning, too. It was a shame because it was a very big and beautiful tree, but I was kinda relieved that they come onto our property.
Brian on the other hand was very upset and had a really intense discussion with the police officers on scene that already knew us from the last time.
After the fire was extinguished and everyone was gone, we were allowed to go in the house.
“Fuck!” he threw his jacket on the floor. I picked it up after I closed and locked the door and followed him to the living room.
“Brian, calm down.”
He turned around and looked at me as if I were an alien or something. Okay, I admit I was confused about my reaction, too. It was horrible what they did and as I said, I was shocked, but I wasn’t scared. Obviously the fence worked well, otherwise – I had no doubt about that – they would’ve gotten in and tried to burn down something else…
“They didn’t get in,” I said, and took his hand. He let me, but he was still upset, breathing hard and his face was like a mask. “We do have a camera outside, don’t we? We’ll check them tomorrow… maybe we’ll see something. The fence worked. They would’ve burned down the house without it.”
While saying that I got scared. If they had been able to get in again, they would have probably really tried to burn down the house, no matter if we were in it or not. I swallowed.
We were staring at each other. There was a tension, but it was not our normal sexual tension, it was different. He put his hand in my neck and pulled me into his arms and held me close, a little too tightly. He was still breathing very hard and I knew he was thinking about the ‘what if’ – I practically gave him the what if with mentioning them burning down the house.
“Guess the moat around the house with a drawbridge and sharks in the water wasn’t such a bad idea, hmm?” I mumbled against his neck. He intensified his touch, held me even closer. I let him, even though there would be some bruises on my arm the next day. I new he was shocked, angry, and scared.
“I’m going to talk to Carl about all of this,” he said, still holding me.
“This is not his district.”
“Debbie will take care of that.”
I sighed and I think I even laughed. “Let’s go to bed.”
He rubbed my back, my arms, and looked at me.
“I’m fine,” I said and kissed his neck. I could smell the smoke from the fire, just like last year after the bombing. I shivered.
He shivered, he wasn’t fine. He was pretty calm, yes, but he wasn’t fine. Some fucking idiot had burned down our tree - they had attacked us, again! Just because they didn’t get into the yard to burn our house doesn’t mean they didn’t threaten us, they did! They had the power to.
“We’ll put on the lights tonight,” I said.
He nodded against my neck.
The night was already over, it was almost 5 AM.
“We should take a shower,” he mumbled.
I was tired, but I couldn’t sleep.
We had showered, went to bed, and after a few minutes, Brian fell asleep with his arm draped over me. I knew he was trying to make me feel safe and I did feel safe in his arms. I had no doubt that he would do anything to make sure that no one could hurt me, but I wasn’t scared that anyone would try – not as long as I was here… at home.
I lay there for a while thinking about everything that had happen. Chris, Ethan, Cody, Hollywood, the bomb, New York… essentially my whole my life. Then I looked at Brian sleeping right beside me. He was still beautiful and amazing, and I wondered how I had made a man like him fall in love with me. I knew I wasn’t exactly the type of guy he normally picked up, so why did he pick up me that night?
And Michael – he waited 16 years for Brian to change, to admit his feelings to him, to fall in love with him and to want to be with him – I got everything within 5 years, most of it even sooner.
I turned on my side and stroked his hair. It was soft and he had got it trimmed lately. It was almost the same cut he had when we first met.
When the sun rose, I got up. Brian was still asleep, and I had no intention to wake him up. I took some clothes and went downstairs. I turned the lights and the alarm off and walked down the driveway until I reached the tree. There was only a black stump left.
“Do you know who did this?”
I turned around and saw a young woman standing in front of the fence. She had brown hair and was wearing glasses. She was on rollerblades so I assumed she was out for some morning exercise. I have never seen her before.
“No, not so far,” I answered.
“Do you think it’s been the same people who threw the stones?”
Okay… it was obvious she knew a lot more about me then I knew about her. “Maybe.”
“Did anyone get hurt?” she asked.
I shook my head. “And you are?”
“Oh… I’m sorry.” She laughed and put her hand through the fence. “I’m Diana. I live in the small apartment building down the street. I saw the fire last night and I heard about the stones. You know it’s a pretty small neighborhood so… it’s pretty hard to keep secrets around here.”
“Good to know.” I took her hand and nodded. “Justin. Do you have any idea who could have done this? Do you know the neighborhood? Is there anyone who has anything against… mh…”
“Gays?” she raised an eyebrow.
She shrugged. “Not really, no. I mean, maybe someone is homophobic … but I can’t imagine anyone doing something like this. Most of them are older and the only family around here is the Grouchers, but they only have two daughters… and no…”
“The Grouchers?” What kind of stupid name was that?
“Yeah, and trust me, it fits.”
“I’m sorry about that,” she said,“most neighbors are really nice.”
“It’s okay. Sooner or later we’ll get them.”
“I hope so.” She nodded. “It was nice to meet you Justin.”
“Yeah, you too.”
I stood there for a while looking at the tree and wondering if they really had another plan in mind, if they had really wanted to burn down the house and if they had really wanted to hurt us, maybe even kill us.
After a while, I went back to the house and set the alarm, and I got myself some Cheerios and walked over to my studio. The painting from the day before was still sitting on the pillar and while looking at it, the yellow line Brian had made looked pretty impressive. The bright color mixed up with the dark and it looked as if the line was a light shining out of the darkness. It was inspiring and somehow encouraging.
I took the painting and walked back into the house. I went upstairs to the bedroom and took off my shoes before I crawled onto the bed. I put the painting aside and started to kiss Brian’s face and neck. After a while he started to groan and sighed. “You can move a little lower.”
I laughed and put my hand under the duvet, and let it slide over his stomach until I reached his half-hard morning wood. He moaned again and I had no idea if he was really horny or maybe he had an erotic dream before I came in or if I’m really just a genius when it comes to his dick. Every time my thumb stroked the head he got harder and moaned louder and after only two minutes he came all over his stomach and a little over my hand.
Unfortunately – as much as I loved it to watch him come and to make him come – this was making me rock hard, too. I sighed and put my face on his neck.
“Is there a reason why you are fully dressed?” he breathed into my hair.
“I was already up.”
He turned me around, so that I was on my back and pulled my pants down. “But you totally ignored your little friend.”
I smiled down at him. “I can’t take care of everything.”
I had problems trying to keep from coming for at least the two minutes by the he started to blow me and let his tongue play with my dick.
After I came, he crawled up on me and kissed me hard, before he lay down beside me. “Good morning.”
I sighed, my eyes still closed and nodded, “You could say so.”
After I calmed down again, I pulled up my pants and got up. I took the painting and put it on the bed. “What do you think?”
He looked at it and just like me a few minutes ago, his face changed from It’s for shit into it’s interesting.
“I thought I should call it hope.”
I called Carl on Monday morning and told him what had happen. We met for lunch at the diner so that I could tell him the details. I had no idea what I expected him to do. I think I wanted him to calm me down, but I knew that was impossible. Of course he didn’t have any solution for our problem.
“So far it looks like a hate crime”, he said after I told him everything.
“So, what can we do?”
“Did the cameras catch them?” he asked.
“Yes. But they were wearing masks.”
“This proves that it’s not just a prank.”
I sighed. “What do you think?”
“Well… it’s hard to tell.” He leaned back while eating his fries. “Maybe it’s been some stupid homophobe assholes who tried to get you out of the house and out of the neighborhood, which would mean they are neighbors.”
“That’s what we assume so far,” I answered. Who else would want us to leave if not the neighbors? But why now? Why not as soon we bought the house? Why not as soon as I furnished it?
“Maybe they just want to threaten you or Justin and it’s personal and not about the neighborhood.”
“Something… personal?” I swallowed. What if he was right?
“Do you have any enemies?”
I frowned. “I’m not everybody’s Darling.”
“But as much as know you never were, so as long as you haven’t offended anyone in the last few weeks, we can assume that it’s not you. What about Justin?”
“Well, he is everybody’s Darling.”
He laughed. “If it’s none of the above, it really could be a prank. Some stupid kids who just have homophobic attitudes threatened you… just for fun.”
“Great.” I rolled my eyes. I really had no idea what I expected him to do or to say. “So what are we suppose to do? We can’t do nothing. Who knows what they’ll do next.”
“I know you’re worried and I understand that. Debbie told me what Justin had been through.”
Thanks for reminding me. As if those idiots that burned down the tree hadn’t already done that. I looked down and closed my eyes briefly.
“Keep the lights on by night, every night, even when you’re not there. Light often frightens them, it’s the darkness that makes them feel safe. Use an automatic timer for the living room and the kitchen.”
“They can’t see the house from the street,” I said.
“That doesn’t matter. If it’s personal, they’ll find a way to see it, trust me.” He had this fatherly listen to me, boy look and I just nodded. “You could also put some lights on the fence, so that the street is illuminated, too.”
I sighed. “Fuck.”
“I’m sorry I can’t do more. But as long as we have absolutely no clue who they are and as long as they don’t leave any evidence behind… we can’t do anything.”
I knew Brian was worried. It was obvious. He brought me to the airport - he had never done that before - but he said ho wanted to. So of course I let him. He also made me promise to call him as soon as I arrived at the apartment in New York.
I also knew he would talk to Carl as soon as possible, but I knew as well as he did that Carl wouldn’t be able to do anything.
So I tried to not think about it, at least not with panic. I tried to concentrate on finding an agent for me and Noelle helped me to create a new portfolio. It looked amazing. I decided to show them in person and not via application.
When I told Zack about it he started to brighten up and told me about a friend of his who worked as an agent. Honestly… he had a friend working for a TV-station and a friend working as an agent? Maybe I should ask him about a friend working as a Bodyguard…
Anyway, he gave me the address and the phone number. His name was William Weston.
The first he told me was “Call me Bill or Billy, but never William.”
I nodded. He seemed nice. He was pretty young, probably Zack’s age, and he was very good looking, definitely worth a fuck. But he was also married and had two photos of two really cute baby girls on his desk.
He had dark blond hair, a beautiful smile, and green eyes. He looked like a surfer boy, not like an agent. As Zack told me, Bill was pretty new in the business, but very ambitious.
“Zack told me you’re an artist and that you’re very talented and that you want to become famous in New York.”
“So to speak,” I nodded. It seemed as if I my boss was also my fan – well, at least I had one that was not part of my family.
“Why New York?” Bill asked.
“Well, every artist dreams about making it in New York.”
He took my portfolio and looked through it. For some reason I was nervous. I was definitely not over Nadya. I was also not over every single rejection because I hadn’t finished school. He was an agent, too, so he would probably tell me the exact same thing.
“Not bad, I think.” He looked at me and laughed, when he saw my worried face. “Don’t worry. Art and me… we don’t like each other. It looks pretty good for what I can say.”
I tried to relax, it didn’t work.
“Okay, Justin… am I allowed to call you Justin?”
He nodded. “I’ll be honest with you. I know artist, actors and practically everyone is dreaming about New York and the possibilities here and blah blah blah… so am I. Okay, my family does live here, too, so I had a reason to move back after college, but I’m not sure if I would’ve moved back if I came from Iowa.”
I smiled at him, he was really nice and so far he hadn’t said anything about my school or money he wanted to have before he even started to work for me.
“But New York is full of people who want to be successful, so the competition is immense and the rivalries can be pretty… bad. Nine of ten people who ask you to be your friend just want to destroy you, they want you to fail.”
I could still hear Nadya’s laughter. Okay, she never told me that she wanted to be my friend, but I could easily put her into that league he talked about. I just nodded. “Yeah. I already met some people who… well… lets say, weren’t nice to me.”
“And since I have absolutely no interest in making you feel bad, we’re going to start your career somewhere else. New York is not the right place for that.” He shrugged. “No one knows you here.”
I raised an eyebrow. “That’s what you’re supposed to change.”
“That’s what I’m going to change”, he nodded and pointed to the article from Art Forum, which I had put into the folio as well. It’s still a very good review, even though the guy who wrote it was a cunt. “Is this your most recent review?”
“Yes. It’s also the only one.”
He smiled at me. “You packed your stuff and moved to New York after one single – I admit, pretty good - review?”
I rolled my eyes and sighed. “Now I know, it was a stupid idea.”
“I would call it very brave. But… it’s more than a year ago, so we can not really use it anymore, at least not as a stand alone. We need something new. That gallery where he saw your paintings… where is it?”
“Pittsburgh,” I answered. “The Sidney Bloom Gallery. A friend of me was working there and so I got in there pretty easy.”
“Is the painting still hanging there?” he asked.
“No, it’s sold. Far over the asking price, actually.” I decided to not tell him that my father had bought it. “After that I was asked to hang some more paintings there.”
He seemed to like what he heard. “Yes. Sidney Bloom, the owner, is… sort of a fan. I guess.”
“Can you give me the address of the gallery please? So I can contact him and then we can use the next show at his gallery for a little promotion. Hopefully you’ll get another good review, which we then can use for New York. But that’s my job to take care of it.”
He had a plan. Just from talking he already had a plan and not a bad one for what I could say. Okay, it was not New York, but… fuck New York, it was a plan. Finally, after all those months… “Really?”
“Sure.” I cleared his throat. “Look… mh, this might not be very productive for my job, but… you’re not living from selling paintings, are you?”
I shook my head. “No. I’m working for Zack, too. So far my contract is just for one year, but maybe… who knows. It’s a good job.”
He seemed to be very relieved. “Good.”
“I can pay you, don’t worry”, I laughed.
“Well, that’s good to know, but that was not what I was worrying about. At least not all.”
I bit my lip and swallowed. “You don’t think I could live from it? I mean, honestly… do you think my stuff is good enough?”
“I’m not an art expert, I won’t answer that question,” he said and shook his head. “I think you are very talented, there’s a feeling spreading over every single painting. I like that. But it’s pretty hard to live from selling art. That’s barely a matter of talent. You’re young so the chances are good that you’re going to be a popular artist one day – hopefully during your lifetime.”
“There are ways to push you, we can do that. It’s not expensive and it’s very helpful. People want to know the artist, they want to reach you, to understand you, you know? They want to have a face, a life, a character, something they can relate to.”
“I do have a personal website. If that’s what you mean.”
“Yeah, that a good thing. Okay, why don’t you just put all of your info together, website, galleries, names… everything I need to know and send it over to me?” He gave me his card. “You can email me, and I’ll work through it. Give me, well, lets say, two weeks and then I’ll call you.”
He was really good. I had such a bad feeling when I decided to look for an agent, but after talking to him I wondered what kind of idiots all the other agents had been. “Okay.”
“Don’t lose heart,” he said. “It’s not easy, but it’s not impossible.”
I was totally enthusiastic when I left Bill’s office. I wanted to celebrate – I wanted to fuck – I wanted to fuck Brian. Fuck the long distance thing. I sighed and took out my cell phone. Maybe the good news would lighten up even his mood.
Unfortunately I only reached his voicemail so I left him a message. “Hey darling,” I started with a sarcastic tone and laughed. “Call me back okay? I have some good news, I think and… I want to see you. I’ll be waiting at the webcam tonight. But call me back before! Love you.”
I went home and I was in a really good mood. Noelle was studying for some upcoming exams, but when I told her what had happen she danced with me through the living room.
Brian didn’t call me back so I tried again after an hour. I still went to voicemail. “Hey, me again. Okay, I guess you’re in a meeting which seems to be way more important then calling me back, but… if you could sacrifice at least five minutes of your time to call me back, it would be very nice! Still love you.”
I invited Noelle for dinner. We went to the small Italian restaurant she loved so much and it was great. It was a long time ago that we had done that – I couldn’t say why, but it was.
“There’s this student on my literature class and he’s looking out for a place to live. He’s twenty years old, just moved to New York, he’s from Omaha. You will love to hear that he’s gay, too. His name is Josh. Maybe you want to meet him?”
I took a bit from my pizza and shrugged. “Why would I?”
“You have someone else?”
What weird conversation was that? She knew I had spent last weekend in Pittsburgh and she knew I went there to see Brian. “I still have the same guy I already had when we met.”
She rolled her eyes. “Idiot! I do not want to fix you up with him. As I said he’s looking for a place to live and I thought maybe you want another roommate after I’m gone. On the other hand you earn enough money to pay the whole rent…”
“What? You want to leave?” What the fuck?
“Sure, if I get through the exams – and I think I will – I’m gone. I told you that I will move back to Boston when I’m done my degree.”
“And you’re done this year?” I asked her.
“If I wouldn’t be done what reason would I have to already tell you that I would move back to Boston? Honestly Taylor, do you listen to me when I’m talking to you during breakfast?”
Obviously I didn’t. “Fuck…”
When she went to the ladies’ room, I tried Brian again…still no answer! It had been two hours since my last message, three hours since the first. That was not really typical for Brian. I left another voicemail, “Okay, this is my third call, I’ll try to reach you at home now.”
Maybe his cell phone was broken or the battery was dead. I called the loft and got the… answering machine. I sighed. “Hey Brian, me… again. Are you okay? Did anything happen? Anything with the house? Call me please, I’m waiting. Later.”
“So?” Noelle sat back at the table and smiled at me. “Do you want to meet him?”
“It’s not only a breakfast problem; you’re also not listening during dinner. And I thought gay guys were different… you’re still guys.”
I laughed. “Yes, I want to meet John.”
“Josh, of course.”
We went home and a few minutes later she left again to meet Charlie, her boyfriend. So I was alone at the apartment, still waiting for my boyfriend to call me back. I turned the webcam on and waited. After another two hours, I really started to worry. Not calling me back was so not Brian. I tried to reach him again on his cell phone, at the loft, and also at the house, but everywhere I only reached the voicemail inboxes.
It was almost 10 PM when my phone finally rang. I looked at the caller ID and I knew something had happened…