CHAPTER TITLE: And You Are…?_Fifty-One of One Hundred
RATING: this chapter: R-ish
WORD COUNT: this chapter: 2,340
WARNINGS: this chapter: Justin - other_Justin POV_dialogue
DISCLAIMER: Nothing I can say that hasn’t been said already? Not mine.
Originally Beta’ed by herefordroad, all subsequent mistakes are mine
Story throughout contains excerpts from The Brian Kinney Operating Manual including commentary from the Editors
SUMMARY FROM THE EDITORS: ‘So, as a favor to Jake, he took Ricci upstairs. Whatthehell? The kid was cute, maybe 15, 16. Where was the harm? ’
Justin comes across his second lucky break…his first, naturally, having been Sam and, to some degree, Simon
AUTHOR‘S NOTES: This story projects 59 years into the future and reflects all that that entails, many of the loose ends are tied-up. I dance with POV, I dance with time, in essence, I just dance to the song Brian & Justin sang to me.
Contains: Brian_others, Justin_others. They grow old, they are always together for just as long as time allows, but, ultimately, they will die.
As someone wise once said, ‘In the end, it’s all about Brian and Justin’ and I can only agree
A Time From Now
And You Are…?
Two Weeks Later - 8 Months - New York
What was it Alex needed from the store? Unable to remember, he called only to find out that he was at Ellen’s and didn’t need a thing. Alex told him that it was very late and he should just go home, so he started down the remaining three-quarters of a block only to be stopped short, and when tantalizing near his ultimate destination, by a very young someone curled up and asleep in his doorway. And while this would ultimately be remembered as one of those pivotal life-changing moments, now all he felt was annoyance. “Hey,” Justin said, nudging the kid with his shoe. “C’mon, wake up--”
“Hey yourself and don‘t do that. I’m not asleep,” the kid yawned. “I was just seriously meditating, really. Mama taught me when I was like four or something, been at it all my life so no doubts please.” And swatting at him like brushing him away, the kid stood, stretching so Justin stepped away, wary. After scrunching his nose and cocking his eyebrow, looking simultaneously confused and all knowing, the kid scanned him up and down slowly, very slowly, a little too slowly and smiled. He asked, “And you are…?”
“Ex…cuse me? Justin replied. “I find you sleeping in my doorway and you want to know who I am? Who the hell are you?”
“Guess it depends on who’s doing the asking,” the kid said, laughing as if just slightly amused by it all, but then, obviously noting the less-than-amused look on his face, the kid quickly added, “I’m Ricci…Ricci Alden and I’m a friend of Jake’s. I just wanted a little of your time is all, assuming you are Justin?”
So, as a favor to Jake, he took Ricci upstairs. Whatthehell? The kid was cute, maybe 15, 16. Where was the harm? Once Ricci was settled on the sofa, he wandered into the kitchen, asking, “Want something to drink? We have guava juice, water, milk and I guess I could make coffee.”
Ricci moaned, looking forlornly toward the kitchen, “What, no beer?”
“No,” Justin said, glancing at him. “I don’t think so. How about the guava juice?”
“You’re not a very good host, you know. I can see the Dos Equis from here.”
“And you’re not a very good guest, you know. You should select from what your host--”
“I‘d really like a beer,” Ricci said, a little annoyed. “Sooo…why not? Not yours?”
“It’s mine, you’re just too young and--”
“Am not,’ he said, “I’m 20.”
Justin, realizing that this had been a problem for Ricci before, handed him the beer, smiling his sorry and settling in next to him. They both took a nice, long, refreshing gulp before plunging into conversation, which was how he found out that Ricci was from San Francisco, that he and Jake had met there at the Academy of Art, and now he was in New York ‘just visiting’.
“It’s cool, isn’t it when straight boys like Jake don’t mind being friends with gay boys like us? It’s…good, like progress, don‘t ya think?” His smile was both shy and revealing, a smile full of possibilities.
Justin smirked, “Subtle.” Ricci interested him.
“Yeah well, so much potential, so little time, I go home tomorrow, just mentioning.”
“You’ve been here, what? maybe 10 minutes?”
“I often get premonitions about things, did you know that? It’s like I can ‘sense’ what’s going to happen and I’m rarely wrong.”
“How fortunate for you, but you might want to tell me first what brings you to my door?”
“It’s always business with you, isn’t it? Business…business…business. Well, fine. Your art brings me to your door if you must know. Saw some of your work at Jake’s studio. Amazing.”
“Thanks,” Justin said, shifting a little toward Ricci, opening up to him.
“My family, they’re…established, know what I mean?”
“Subtle and yeah,” he said, with a roll of his eyes. “So, while they’re involved in several different kinds of business ventures that I personally have no interest in what so ever and that you might not find all that intriguing either, what you might find intriguing is that we are the proprietors of a fairly large and fairly prestigious gallery. Yeah…that‘s right, we sell art…high-ish end art, but still--”
“You’ve got my attention.”
“I didn’t have it before?” Ricci said. “Please allow me to sulk because, dude, that just hurts. No…seriously.”
“Well, I have premonitions about things too and you’ll be fine. You were saying.”
“It’s always right to the point with you, isn’t it? Fine. So, I’ve actually grown up in the business; it’s a major part of my life. While other kids were out playing games or sports or any number of other outdoor activities, I was learning about different artists and eras and genres and movements using flashcards, when very little, and books and trips or whatever when I was older. I’ve been to every major art museum in the world practically and I know shit, so I hope you’ll take me seriously when I tell you that you are talented. I think you can do this, I think you can make some use of this crazy, mixed-up little world we find ourselves in, but it’s not easy, most fail. I’ve seen it happen all too of--“
“How often in your 20 whole--“
“Okay, maybe I’ve heard more than I’ve actually seen, but often enough I assure you. I think I can help you, I’d liked to try. Oh and just so you know, I‘m not saying any of this just to get you to fuck me…so we‘re clear.”
“We’re clear, “Justin said, chuckling. “Do you really think--?”
“Yeah, I do,” Ricci said, adding, “but understand, not right now, okay? You get that, right?”
“Well, yeah…right.” Justin said, wondering if maybe Ricci and Sam knew each other because it was weird how eerily alike they sounded.
“You need to grow, to mature…right? Get shown in other galleries first, smaller more localized neighborhood venues, art co-ops that kind of thing. Start to get yourself established and then we can help you take it to the next level. I’m serious, Justin; it’s out there for you. What I’d like to do before I leave is take some shots of your work to take back to la familia, find out what they think. Could have done it while I was at your guys’s studio, but not without your permission and Jake, well, he’s lost your cell number. Hence why I‘m here.”
“Sure, of course, I’m just a little amazed, I guess.”
“As well you might be,” Ricci said, “but, reality? Hard work, talent, patience, a couple of lucky breaks and knowing the right people, that’s all it takes. No biggie, right? You provide the talent, hard work, and patience, I’ll provide at least one of the lucky breaks and some of the right people and it’s practically a done deal.”
He was very aware that Ricci had been inching his way toward him, closer, shyly closer, for the past several minutes. He could practically feel his heat he was so close now, sitting sideways, one foot tucked under him, the other propped on the edge of the coffee table, tapping, a nervous, soft tap…tap…tapping.
“It is a business, but it’s more than that, Ricci said. “I’ve watched and I’ve learned. For the first time, they even sent me to school--”
“For the first time?”
“I was tutored through high school. Like home schooled, but with people brought in to teach me.”
“You really are rich.”
“Uh…huh, but point is, I’ve never wanted to bring anyone to their attention before now.”
“No. Jake‘s talented, but his style now isn’t really moving in a direction that jells with what we do and he knows it. Maybe one day. I mean, I like what he does; it’s just a different direction is all. I gotta tell you, when he told me how old you were, I was amazed until he explained some of your story, I hope you don’t mind him talking to me about--?”
“No, no I don’t mind.”
“Good ’cause I’m all like he’s 23? And Jake’s all like yeah, he’s only 23, believe it. And I’m like no way, I wanna meet this guy so…yeah. Anyway, I kind of understood a little better after he told me about all the shit you’ve been through, way too much, but all that comes through in your work. I’m sorry I showed up on your doorstep late like this, but as I said, I leave tomorrow early afternoon and I really wanted to get those shots.” Pulling a very small digital camera from his beautiful black leather book bag, Ricci showed it to him as if it provided proof of his good intentions. “Oh and he asked me to remind you to give him your cell number again just in case of emergencies or weirdness like me. Although I gotta tell you, I‘m glad he didn‘t have it tonight because, otherwise, who knows, right? Also, Jakey mentioned your Brian and how you guys almost got married. How amazing is it to be even thinking about shit like that? But then, how you didn’t.”
“Yeah well, I apparently realized that I needed to be here, needed to be on my own for awhile so…“ His voice trailed away, noticing how there really wasn’t any space left between them, but then maybe there actually was because Ricci somehow found a way to move into what little remained, Ricci’s knee was on top of his, his hand was stroking along his calf, absent-mindedly…and nice.
“He didn’t come with because…?”
“That can tie a person to a place like--”
“Yeah, that’s what worries me. He has his own ad agency…Kinnetik and a dance club…Babylon.”
“Yeah, yeah, I forgot. Jake mentioned Babylon and I freaked. The parents stay on top of what’s happening in the ’community’, guess ’cause of me and AIDS and whatnot. I mean, we are in San Francisco after all, but did you know? They contributed a little money toward the fundraising for that gay and lesbian center and you did two of the paintings. Small freakin’ community, yeah?”
“Seriously? I’d heard there were contributions from everywhere, just didn’t give it much thought. Thank them for me. So anyway with Brian the timing wasn’t right. Now he has too many responsibilities, I don’t know, maybe one day.”
“Only maybe?” Ricci asked. Justin shrugged. “I’ve got someone like Brian. Well, kind of like Brian, but with Brendan, I’m the older man. Don’t laugh; I am, by two entire years. We’ve known each other awhile, I was 16 when we met as I recall it, and we’ll probably die simultaneously one day in like Florida or Palm Springs, probably more like Palm--”
“Ricci, are you rambling? I don‘t know you well enough to be certain, but I‘m pretty sure you’re ramb--”
“Point is, I’m in New York fairly regularly and as I get older I’ll be here even more regularly because it is business and they’re trusting me to handle additional responsibilities. I sense your skepticism, but you cannot even begin to imagine how legitimate I look in a three-piece suit, with my hair tied back, without the kohl. Wait…am I rambling again? Fuck. “And he stopped, he sighed and then he smiled. “So, I was just thinking--”
“What?” Justin asked, leaning into him, nuzzling his cheek. “What were you thinking, Ricci?”
“Weeeeell, that even though I’m not really offering you what might be…may be…could well be your big break into the art world and all that that entails just to get you to fuck me, I really wouldn’t mind if you did.”
“You wouldn’t?” Justin asked, bringing Ricci’s mouth to his.
“Nah, I really wouldn’t.”
Justin led because that was the kind of mood Ricci was in. He wanted to be led, he wanted to be taken any way Justin wanted to take him, knowing, believing Justin would be careful with him. Standing, offering him his hand, Justin led him to his bedroom and once there, Justin undressed him, moving his palms slowly up his stomach, to his chest, and over his shoulders pushing his shirt off, away.
He moved in Justin hands and he felt it as Justin took possession of him. Breathing in small pants, his eyes half-closed, he waited. Next his jeans were removed and then Justin laid him on the bed, on his back, and asked, “Know what I want? I want you to spread your legs for me, I want to see you.” And he could see Justin trembling as he waited, looking down on him.
So he did, inch by seductive inch he spread his legs so Justin could see him as he, all the while, ran his hands, palms flat, up and gradually down his inner thighs, from under his knees to near his balls, his ass, but not quite to them. “Touch me,” he begged and then one last time, Justin ran his hands back up under his knees, pulling them up and just a little back. Justin groaned. He whimpered and closing his eyes, he said, “Please, I want you in me, I want you.” And Justin gave him just what he needed.
When it was early morning still, he took Justin in the warm, clean water of his shower and knew then that in some place deep inside himself, in some small way, he’d fallen in love.
Still, as suddenly as he’d arrived, he was gone. Back home to tell his parents all about his wonderful new find, his entry into the only part of the family businesses that really interested him, the only part he hoped would be his someday and Justin would be his start. Now all he needed to do was to find just the perfect way of telling Brendan that he’d found them a new friend.
Next Chapters: Lindsay & Melanie realize that some opportunities are even worth facing Brian
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