CHAPTER TITLE: At The End Of The Drive_Sixty of One Hundred
RATING: this chapter: PG
WORD COUNT: this chapter: 1,180
WARNINGS: this chapter: none_Brian POV
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: ‘He arrived to find the celebratory dinner party well under way, everyone already in their little groups chatting and drinking, very civilized, very elegant…’
Brian sometimes fails to see the writing on the wall, especially when it’s written in a new kind of language
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
At the End of the Drive
Two Months Later - Pittsburgh
He wasn’t too late, but still he needed to focus. The star dense country sky was nearly dark and the two-lane road winding through the steep hills was unknown. So, between reliving Justin’s whimpering and begging phone sex from 45 minutes ago and admiring Bruce’s new home, his destination on the hillside just up ahead, Brian had nearly missed the last hair-pin turn. But, fortunately, since the Vette had known just what to do, even when he’d been momentarily distracted, they’d both remained safely on the road side of the abyss. At least for now.
The house itself, though nestled into its hillside, was easily visible from the road that led up to it and he felt as though he were entering another world, like Britin but not. Britin was traditional…horse stables, massive stone fireplaces, rich wood paneling while this house was modern, at least from the outside. It was long and lean with low-slung eaves, wide curtain-windows overlooking the small valley that he and the Vette were now purring through. And it was adorned with little in the way of exterior decoration, at least that could be seen from this distance. He paused, midway up the curving driveway, to take it all in. No doubt about it, Bruce had it made. Liberty Air was doing well, very well, and he and Helena were living the sweet life in their newly-built custom-designed hillside home.
He arrived to find the celebratory dinner party well under way, everyone already in their little groups chatting and drinking, very civilized, very elegant, yet comfortable and there was little doubt that he fit right in, even belonged. Bruce greeted him, introducing him selectively to others, but mainly just showing Brian around his home, satisfying his obvious need to see and know. The sweeping spaces provided uninterrupted views of both inside and out. The contemporary style was offset in part by a built-in sense of history in its use of elegant materials and surface decoration and in part by Bruce and Helena’s extensive collection of Japanese art and artifacts. Only three months old and the house already seemed timeless. After talking, at times almost poetically about ‘his team‘, Bruce, normally a man of few words, promised to introduce him to them after dinner. They ended their informal tour in the dining room where dinner was about to be served.
He was seated near one end of the long table with Bruce and Helena across from him. Otherwise he didn’t know any of the other twenty or so guests except Terry, Bruce‘s old high school buddy and partner in Liberty Air, who was seated near the other end. During the leisurely meal, he talked easily with everyone around him while also keeping an eye on everyone else, in particular, the beautiful man seated next to Terry. After dinner, everyone lingered for a while over coffee in the dining room before once again taking up where they’d left off in the large entertainment area. Finding him, Bruce asked, “Now that you’re satisfactorily full, I assume, are you ready for a little fresh air and to meet my boys?”
He nodded, so Bruce led him away. First through the main house and then, once outside, he headed across the deck toward a small gathering of men leaning casually along its railing, everyone talking enthusiastically. Brian smiled as he realized that the man he’d noticed at dinner was among them. They stopped talking when he and Bruce approached, their attention directed toward the newcomers. He nodded to Terry.
And Bruce made the introductions. “Brian, this is my team…the bulk of it anyway, the men who made my long-held dream a reality. I’d like you to meet Jayden Harker, my architect, Allen Torres, my general contractor, and Luc Jacobs, my landscape contractor. Gentlemen, Brian Kinney, my ad man and owner of Kinnetik, one of the best, if not the best, damn ad agency in the state of Pennsylvania.”
Smirking, he said, “Bruce, I blush,” before nodding first to Luc, then to Allen and finally to Jayden, leaving, at least in his mind, the best for last and as he should have guessed, they went right back to discussing not only the building of Bruce’s house, but also other projects they’d worked on together and separately. He wasn’t bored.
“Brian,” Bruce said, during a lull in the conversation, “you planning on staying in that city forever or had you given any thought to buying land and building a place of your own? I‘ve got all the talent you’ll ever need assembled and ready to go.”
“I’m sure you do, but I’m actually moving in a different direction,” Brian said. “I recently sold the loft I’d had for years and that I actually had a hand in designing, and now I’m living in a fairly nondescript apartment building overlooking a fairly decent park in a fairly nice neighborhood, all still in the city. It’s what works…for now.”
“Seems kind of a dramatic change?” Jayden said, “If you don’t mind my asking, any particular reason--”
“Time,” he said. He didn’t mention any of the other reasons like how the loft had felt haunted or like how the new apartment would be much easier to leave when the time came. He didn’t even mention Gus. “It was just time.”
When it turned suddenly chilly, they moved back inside, seeking the warmth of the fireplace. After a little more talk, a little more networking, he knew instinctively when it was time to go. While always the last to arrive, he was almost always the first to leave. Announcing his intentions, it was like a sign. Several of the other guests followed his lead. He knew some would stay longer, that the select few would linger long into the nigh,t but for the rest, he led the way.
After saying his good-byes to Bruce and Helena and to several of the guests, he followed an older couple down the winding flagstone pathway that led to the curving driveway. He waited while the valet brought them their car and then left again for his, feeling vaguely distracted. He stared off into the darkness beyond the lighted landscape, out over the valley and he quietly asked, “Your place or mine?”
Having followed behind him down the pathway, Jayden moved nearer to him and replied, “Just a little sure of yourself, aren’t you?”
Brian turned just in time to catch the smile that played across Jayden’s lips. “Shouldn’t I be, Jayden?” And seeing his answer clearly in the other man’s eyes, he asked, “So again…your place or mine?”
“I’d say yours, if you still had the loft, wouldn’t mind seeing the place again.“ And now Jayden smirked…at his surprise. “But since it has apparently become a part of your history, I’ll say mine.” And moving past Brian and toward the patiently waiting taxi, Jayden murmured, “Wait at the end of the drive, you can follow me.”
And Brian smiled.
Next Chapter: Brian complicates his life and doesn’t even mind, too much
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