CHAPTER TITLE: He Wants to Bad…I Can Tell _Seventy-Five of One Hundred
RATING: this chapter: PG75
WORD COUNT: this chapter: 1,090
WARNINGS: this chapter: depending on your tolerance_some angst_Justin 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: ‘The man was bored, fidgeting and tapping and basically being annoying, so…’
The fates do work in mysterious ways and for Justin, as is so often the case, it can take a long time for the reasons why to be fully appreciated
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
He Wants to Bad…I Can Tell
Two Weeks Later - New York
Brian was kind enough, he’d reminded me at least three times on the way over here just how fucking kind he was, to come with me for my morning meeting with the owner’s of the gallery’s where I’d had my opening a couple of weeks ago. They were impressed, my work had sold well then and was still doing ‘decently‘. While not exactly flying out the door, there was steady interest sooooo…Frankie and Whitney wanted to discuss my future. I apparently had a future and that future needed some sort of discussion. And Brian, who had actually only been in New York for a few months, already ‘had the business down’ which was only fair since, so far, I hadn‘t. An overstatement? Maybe because it wasn’t that I didn’t get it, I did…mostly. It was just that I didn’t like it…much. Well alright, maybe that was an overstatement as well. In truth, I didn’t like it…At All. So, while I was supposedly smart, business and me…not so much and not unlike most other artists hence the invention of agents. Since Brian did like business, he would nicely fulfill that function for me and how seemingly fated was that?
But he was getting bored. The business aspect of our meeting had reached its natural conclusion minutes ago, and we had now moved to a more personal aspect, an aspect that he had absolutely no interest in…whatsoever. The man was bored, fidgeting and tapping and basically being annoying, so when Frankie interrupted us for a call he ‘simply must take‘, I whispered to Brian that if he wanted to, why didn’t he just go wander the gallery? If he wanted to…yeah right. His eyes lit up like the proverbial Christmas tree. There wasn’t any ‘are you sure, Justin?’ Oh hell no. He leaned over and giving me a quick peck on my temple, he whispered back his ‘thanks’ and was gone, after a cursory nod to Frankie and Whitney, of course.
And actually we were able to get the meeting wrapped up in only a few minutes. Frankie’s call required ‘immediate attention’, so I knew Brian was going to be pleased since he was undoubtedly thinking we’d be stuck here another half hour anyway. I was out the door, searching for him and it was weird because just as I saw him, he saw this other guy. I was about to call out to him, but something -- instinct? -- stopped me. Instead, I actually stepped back, partially hiding myself behind one of the gallery’s partition walls and I watched and I waited. Whatever was about to happen was significant, I could feel it.
Brian hesitated, as if he was unsure if he should approach the guy who, turned away from him, was actually closely looking at one of my paintings. And his hesitation was what scared me more than anything. This must’ve been very important to him, this guy must’ve been very important to him, because otherwise he wouldn’t have given a damn, but he did. Apparently deciding, he walked toward him slowly and placed his hand on the guy’s shoulder and the guy turned, he turned from my painting to my Brian and my heart nearly stopped, I actually felt a little dizzy because I could see that it was taking everything in his power not to throw himself into Brian’s arms and everything in Brian’s not to take him up into his arms. Instead, Brian ducked his head toward him, said something softly I couldn’t hear, and he moved into the guy’s personal space, but didn’t touch him. He wanted to…bad, I could tell, but he didn‘t. They talked quietly with Brian glancing around periodically, no doubt looking for me. Finally I couldn’t stand it any longer, so I decided to end it. I walked away from them, stood in the middle of the adjoining space and called out to him, “Hey, Brian, you still here?”
“Justin, over here.”
I went to him and as I rounded the wall, I pretended surprise; I even acted a little flirty. Smiling directly at the guy, I said, “And who do we have here?” Sometimes I amazed even myself and Brian had moved away from the guy, which didn‘t surprise me in the least.
“Justin,” Brian said, “I’d like you to meet Jayden…Jayden Harker. And Jayden meet Justin Taylor, my partner.” And Brian stood smiling between us.
Bowing his head slightly, Jayden extended his hand which I, of course, took. He said, “I love your work, Justin, and trust me, those aren’t just words. I collect small time, but still, a beginning. I already have three of your paintings, two at my house upstate, and one at my place here in the city” – this said for my need-to-know or for Brian’s? -- “and, apparently, I’m captivated by this one as well; I keep coming back to it.” He was obviously nervous, but was handling himself well. And Brian? He just kept shifting his gaze, back and forth, back and forth, between us.
“Thank you,” I said, positively beaming. “That you’re collecting my work is so great. If you don’t mind my asking, how do you know about me? Were you at my opening here a couple of weeks ago? I don‘t believe I remember seeing --”
“No…no,” Jayden said. “Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make it.” And, flicking his eyes quickly at Brian, he looked away and I understood instantly, he hadn’t wanted to run into us…then or now. He was avoiding Brian, but why? Was he afraid? Felt like he was. “I had a prior commitment, so I came today and I’m glad I did. I’ve decided I really must have this one, Justin. And how remarkable is it that I’m finally able to meet the artist.” He smiled to me then, almost shyly.
“Well, don’t let us get in your way,” Brian said.
And Jayden, dropping his gaze to the floor, still managed a grin.
And just like with Mark so long ago, under normal circumstances I would have found him beautiful, strangely like Brian except smaller and with dark chocolate brown hair and eyes yet still very pale. He might have been younger than Brian, but not by much and my overriding emotion was of fear. The man scared me and all I wanted was him gone. “I’d be happy to introduce you to Frankie, I’m sure he’d be delighted to help you.”
“Delighted, huh? Delighted is good so please, lead on.”
After his quick goodbye and his, ‘Nice to run into you again,’ blah blah to Brian, I took him to Frankie and left them discussing business. Oddly, the first thing I wondered, when leaving him, was which of his houses would he hang my painting in and, only secondly, how he knew Brian, I had noticed he’d never answered my question. Probably should have been the other way around, but while the first I’d undoubtedly never have an answer for, the second I hoped to have an answer for very shortly.
Next Chapter: While smart, Jayden still isn’t always the brightest bulb on the block
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