Summary of Part 6:  Maybe, Maybe Not:   Justin locates a Gerald Shaughnessy in Boston.  Maybe he’s Brian’s real father, maybe he’s not.  Maybe Justin’s teacher will give him a job recommendation, maybe he won’t.  And maybe Brian and Justin will open up and communicate with each other.  Or maybe not.

Part Seven:  Boomerang


“Mmm,” Justin murmurs as we kiss, “I missed you.”  He wraps his arms around my neck and pulls down my head for another kiss, then murmurs against my lips, “Did you miss me too?”

“It was a quick business trip, I was only gone one night.”

“Yeah,” he agrees, “But did you miss me?”

“Possibly.”  I turn around then and move toward the bedroom, keeping one arm wrapped around Justin and dragging him along with me.  I dump my raincoat and leather garment bag down on the bed, unzip the bag and pull out my suit.  Justin reaches past me to grab my toiletries bag from the bottom and carries it into the bathroom while I hang up my suit and put my shoes on the shoe rack.  He returns to grab my raincoat, shakes out the wrinkles and reaches for a hanger.

I change into jeans and I’m pulling a white tee over my head when Justin says, “Brian.”

“Hmm?”  I smooth down the tee and turn around to see that Justin’s holding my airline ticket stub in his hand.  It was in my coat pocket; I meant to throw that away when I got off the plane.

“You went to Boston?” he asks, surprised.  “I thought you were going to Cleveland.”

“Plans changed a couple days ago, thought I told you.  Do you want to go out for dinner or order in?”

“I had dinner at Deb’s last night, there’s a ton of leftover lasagna in the fridge.”

“Good, I’m hungry,” I announce, moving down the steps and into the kitchen with Justin on my heels.

“How was Boston?”

“Overcast, a little chilly.”  I open the fridge and pull out a bottle of beer.  I hold it up in the air without turning around and ask, “Want one?”

“Sure.  Uh, Brian.  Have you been to Boston before?” 

“Yeah.”  I hand him a bottle.  “We can just eat the lasagna cold, right?”

“You are so lazy!” Justin exclaims, pushing past me to pull a Tupperware container from the fridge.  He pops the lid and shoves it into the microwave.  I congratulate myself for distracting him and take a seat at the counter, sipping my beer and watching Justin pull plates and silverware from the cupboard and set them on top of the counter.

“I was only ever in Boston once,” he says; he’s not distracted after all.  He climbs on the other stool and takes a swig of beer.  “I thought it was a cool city but there wasn’t time for sightseeing, Dad took me to look at colleges on the east coast.  I was going to apply to Harvard but changed my mind.”

“Think you’d have got in?” 

“Maybe,” he shrugs, “But Dad went to Dartmouth so of course that’s the school he wanted for me.”

“You’d have wowed them at Dartmouth,” I tell him, wondering why I don’t feel jealous of the opportunities Justin so blithely dismisses. 

Maybe because I know the price he paid for the privilege of his childhood years.  People sometimes think Justin had it easy growing up, but it’s not true.  I got a glimpse of his life that time I took him home and tried to fix things up, after he was disowned by his dad.  Craig Taylor was just as belligerent and domineering as my own – as Jack was; only he was wrapped up in a more refined, upper-middle-class package. 

Justin’s told me that he felt like he could never measure up to his dad’s high expectations.  Being queer and an artist were the final straws that cost him his father.  And there was plenty of evidence how easily Mother Taylor gave up on her son time after time, fobbing him off on me whenever things got tough.  Just because I was okay with that, and just because Justin wanted to be fobbed off on me, doesn’t change the fact that he was hurt by it.  Not that he’s ever complained about his mom, but I know.

“You really think I’d have done well at Dartmouth?” Justin beams now and his cheeks turn pink; he looks like a smirking cherub.  He doesn’t need a lot of praise, but he always eats it up.

“Sure.  You have above-average intelligence and you’re usually fairly competent.”

Justin grins.  “Don’t overdo it, Brian, or I might get a swelled head.”

Sliding my hand over his thigh and into his lap, I fondle his khaki-covered cock, murmuring, “Let me see if it’s swelling.”

Justin snickers and swats away my hand just as the microwave buzzes.  He jumps down and retrieves the Tupperware and a serving spoon, sets it down between us and peels off the lid, then spoons us each a scoop of Debbie’s homemade lasagna.


I’m curious about Brian’s business trip to Boston.   He’s being casually offhand about it, which either means (a) that it was strictly business or (b) that it was more than business.  Sometimes I can tell when Brian’s hiding something, but not always.  He’s very good at covering his tracks.  I decide to let it go for now, and “What are you doing tomorrow?” I ask, as we dig into our plates full of lasagna.

Brian swallows and shrugs.  “The usual.  Gym in the morning, Kinnetik for a few hours, Babylon tomorrow night.”

“You spend every weekend at work,” I point out.

“I’m the boss, it’s necessary.  Running your own business always takes more time than being an employee.  Besides,” he adds, raising a forkful of pasta to his mouth, “I enjoy it.”

“You’re a workaholic.”

“Yeah,” Brian agrees, “And an alcoholic and a sexoholic.  ‘Holic’ is my middle name.”

“You’re not an alcoholic,” I deny it.  “You hardly ever get drunk any more.  It’s a sign of maturity.”

“Fuck that.  It’s a sign that I need to keep a clear head.  At least sometimes.”  Brian takes another bite, then pushes his plate away, he’s only eaten half his lasagna.  “We can get loaded tomorrow night,” he suggests, “And sleep in on Sunday.”

“Can’t,” I shake my head, “I’ve got early shift at the diner Sunday morning.”

Brian frowns.  “Quit that fucking job, why don’t you?”

Swallowing my last bite, I shake my head.  “I can’t, I need it.  At least until I find something else.”

Exasperated, he growls, “I’ve told you a million times you can work part-time at Kinnetik.”  When I open my mouth to protest, Brian insists, “And it’s not fucking charity, if that’s what’s stopping you – I’d work your ass off.”

“I know, and I appreciate the offer, but no,” I‘m resolute.  “I think it’s really important for our relationship, that we keep our personal lives separate from our careers.”

“Did Dr. Phil tell you that?”  Brian’s annoyed, he doesn’t wait for an answer but gets up abruptly and carries his plate to the sink.  “I’m going to take a shower,” he says as he walks past me.  “Don’t run the water till I’m done.”

Which means that I am not invited to join him, which means that he’s really very pissed off.  This is an old argument between us and I’m not going to budge.  I honestly think it would be a mistake for me to have Brian as my boss.  It’s hard enough maintaining the illusion of an equal partnership, especially when I’m not contributing anything substantial financially, without adding the pressures of work on top of things.

I’m at my computer when Brian finally comes out of the bathroom.  I realize that my shoulders are tense, I’m waiting to see if he’s going to put on his tricking clothes.  But he doesn’t, he just pulls on his black silk robe and pads barefoot down the steps and stops behind me.  He puts his hands on my shoulders and I lean my head backward to look up at him.  “Hey,” he says, and the sultriness of his voice lets me know what he wants.  Then he bends his head and gives me an upside-down kiss.  “Hey,” he says again, “Wanna fuck?”


All day Saturday I purposely don’t think about the promise Dr. Shaughnessy made to call me.  Both my home and work numbers are on the papers I filled out in his office, so if he wants to contact me, he can.  If he doesn’t want to, well that’s okay too. 

I spend two hours at the gym, and though a couple lookers give me the eye in the sauna, I ignore them, preferring just to relax in the steam and think about work.  Cynthia joins me at the office, which she doesn’t have to do on weekends, but she’s as much of a workaholic as I am.

Cynthia’s been loyal and she’s part of the reason Kinnetik has done so well.  Of course I’ve rewarded her financially, and I gave her diamond earrings last Christmas.  But probably I should be doing more of the bullshit appreciative-boss routine.  Or anyway that’s what Justin claims; in fact the little asshole took it upon himself to send Cynthia flowers on her last birthday.  He signed my name to the card but of course she saw right through that.  I was standing at her desk when the flowers were delivered, and unfortunately I was ragging on her about it, suggesting that her boyfriend sent flowers to thank her for a terrific fuck the night before.  When she opened the card and read it, she laughed right out loud.  Then she handed me the card and I barely had time to read “Regards, Brian” when Cynthia noted dryly, “Be sure to tell Justin thank-you.”

We don’t waste time on niceties this afternoon, another thing I like about Cynthia; we immediately get to work on two projects on the front burner for next week, a prospective print campaign for a new client and a proposed new focus for Brown Athletics.  I’m concentrating on a contact sheet of underwear model photos and I’m annoyed when my cell phone rings.  A glance shows that Justin’s the caller, so I answer by impatiently barking, “You know I’m at work, why not call the office number?”

“Because, Brian, you’d let it put me into voicemail, and I wanted to talk to you in person.”

He’s right of course.  “Well make it fast, I’m busy.”

“Okay,” he agrees, “I just wanted to see if you still plan to go to Babylon tonight?  Because,” he adds quickly, “Judy called and she’s invited us to a party.”

“Who the fuck is Judy?”  I drop the contact sheet and pick up another one, only giving half an ear to Justin.

Patiently he answers, “She’s the teaching assistant in my one of my classes, you met her at the art show last month, remember?”

“So, is this is one of your artsy-fartsy school chum get-togethers?” 

Christ, I went to one of those parties before, the most boring evening imaginable, and cheap wine to boot. 

“Yeah,” Justin answers shortly; he’s annoyed.   There’s a pause, then he says, “I guess that means you don’t want to go.  Which,” he sighs, “Is cool.  I just wanted to invite you.”

“I’d rather go to Babylon,” I answer honestly.  The fact that I’m at least a decade older than most of the people at those parties has nothing to do with it of course. 

“Fine.”  Justin pauses again, then asks, “So, will you be home for dinner, or what?”

I’m getting impatient, I need to concentrate on work, and besides, I hate being pinned down.  “I don’t know when I’ll be home.  Just do your own thing and don’t worry about me.”

“Okay.”  I can hear the annoyance in Justin’s voice but I don’t have time to deal with it right now.  “See you whenever,” he adds. 

I stop concentrating on the contact sheet and think about our conversation.  Probably I’m being an asshole.  With a long-suffering sigh, I say, “Justin - “  But he’s hung up already.  I consider calling him back, but what’s the point?  I really don’t want to go to that party. 


Of course I’m not surprised that Brian said no, but I can’t help being disappointed.  I’ve worked hard over the years to fit myself into Brian’s world, with his friends and his adopted family, and I wish he’d make an effort to do the same for me.  Well, he’s fine with Mom, but he’s just not very interested in what goes on at my school.

Not that I’ve made a lot of friends among the other students myself.  I’ve always been something of a loner, in high school and now in college.   I remember telling Ethan once that I’m not antisocial, but I just don’t like people.  That’s not exactly true but it’s close enough.  Daphne’s been my best friend since childhood and of course I’m sort-of friends with the people Brian hangs with.  Still, sometimes I wonder if I’m missing something, not being part of a circle of college friends.  That’s why I accepted Judy’s invitation to the party tonight.

I arrive at the party fashionably late and within a short time, and to my surprise, I discover that I’m enjoying myself.  Judy’s a lesbian and most of the people she invited are gay, though she included some token heteros.  I haven’t known very many gay people my own age and it’s fun to be with people who share my taste in music, and of course we all share our interest in art.  We talk about our classes and our teachers and our chosen career fields.  I realize once again that I’m torn between pursuing fine arts or animation.  I get into a fascinating discussion of print versus screen animation with a straight guy named Charlie, Sherry who’s a lesbian, and Bailey, who’s this cute first-year kid who told us he just came out to his family a few months ago.

The party breaks up about midnight, Judy has some family thing on Sunday; but Charlie, Sherry and Bailey and I are so intensely into our conversation that we bunch together on the sidewalk outside Judy’s apartment and continue our discussion for a while.  Eventually Bailey suggests adjourning to some all-night café, I’m game but the others beg off, they say goodnight and walk away.  Bailey and I look at each other, we’re both feeling a bit let-down that our discussion is ending.

“It’s okay,” I tell him, “You and I can still go for coffee.”

“Could we maybe go to your place?” Bailey asks tentatively.  “You said you’d show me your software program sometime.”

“Oh.”  I glance at my watch and Bailey adds quickly, “If it’s not too late?”

It’s twelve-fifteen; Brian’s at Babylon, I remember he said that he wanted to get loaded tonight and sleep in tomorrow, so he probably won’t be home for a couple hours.  “Sure,” I shrug, “Why not?”

It turns out that Bailey has his own car, it’s an old blue Toyota with a dented fender but at least he has transportation, which reminds me (as if I need a reminder) that I’m almost twenty-one and I’ve never owned a car, not even a piece of junk like Bailey’s.  It’s a short trip to the loft; I make sure to peek into the garage to check that the ‘vette’s not there, then we take the elevator.

Tossing my jacket on the sofa, I lead the way into the kitchen and start the coffee-maker while Bailey moves around the loft checking the place out.  He’s impressed and does of lot of ooh-ing and ahh-ing, which makes me smile, remembering my own reaction to seeing the loft for the first time – I was probably his age back then.  I grab hold of Brian’s desk chair and push it across the floor to my desk and tell Bailey to have a seat, then I fill two cups with coffee.

“Cream, sugar?” I ask and when he says yes, I fix both cups and carry them over to the desk, hand him one and sit down in my own chair.  Then I boot up my computer and begin to give Bailey a demonstration of my software.  I’m really happy with the new version I got two weeks ago.  We’re checking out the features and looking at some of the work in my on-line portfolio; naturally Bailey’s most interested in all my nude sketches of Brian, who wouldn’t be?

“Amazing,” he exclaims, “Just beautiful.”

“Yeah, he is,” I agree a bit dryly – I’m beginning to wonder if asking to see my software was just a ploy by Bailey to get next to Brian.  Maybe he was hoping Brian would be home tonight.  Guys are always hot for him, and this wouldn’t be the first time somebody pretended to be friendly with me just so they could meet him..

“Brian’s out for the evening,” I emphasize; “He won’t be home for a long time.”

The face Bailey turns toward me is smiling, his eyes light up.  “Oh good,” he breathes, then I watch as he lifts his hand from where it was resting on his thigh, and tentatively moves it over to rest on top of my thigh.  Then Bailey leans toward me, closing his eyes. 

Quickly I roll my chair backwards a few inches.  Oh shit.  “What are you doing?” I ask, as if I truly don’t know.

“N-Nothing!” Bailey exclaims, snatching his hand back.  “Only. . .”  When I say nothing, just stare back at him, Bailey’s face is flushed.  “I’m sorry.”  He licks his lips, then adds, “I thought you meant. . .that you wanted me to. . .ummm.”

“No!” I deny it.  Then I shake my head and repeat more gently, “No, I’m sorry.  I thought you knew that Brian and I are partners.”

“Well of course, everybody knows that.  But yesterday Kelly told me that you guys. . .umm, mess around.”  Bailey’s still blushing, now both his hands are clutched together in his lap.

“Who’s Kelly?”

“This guy I met in Woody’s.”

“People talk too much,” I say mildly.  “Let’s get back to the computer, okay?”

“Sure, sure, of course.”  Bailey lifts his cup and drains it and then focuses his attention on the computer monitor.  After a while we both relax and our conversation gets back to normal.


Of all the boring people in Babylon, I get stuck talking to Ted, both of us leaning our elbows back against the bar while we watch the dance floor, while I reject one aspiring trick after another.  Either I’ve had them before or they don’t measure up to my exacting requirements.  At first I think Ted’s staying close to me to pick up on my rejects – he’s used that strategy before; but he’s not doing it tonight. 

Ted’s earned my grudging respect the past year or so.  He earns his keep at Kinnetik and the self-confidence he’s developed there has improved more than his wardrobe, he’s almost (though wild horses couldn’t drag the admission from my lips) sexy.  Or anyway, he’s less of a loser than he used to be, and he snags his fair share of tricks now without having to accept the dregs I’ve kicked aside.

Of course he’s not above harassing me each time I shake my head “no” at some guy.  Finally after I turn away a slim redhead who, I have to admit, is pretty fucking hot, Ted drawls, “Why don’t you just admit that what you really want is waiting for you at home?”

“You don’t know what I want,” I cast a disdainful sideways glance at him.  “Just because you’ll fuck anything that moves. . .”

“So did you, in the old days,” he smirks at me.  “In the old ‘B.J.’ days.”

I won’t gratify him by asking what “B.J.” means.  Besides, it’s obvious he means “Before Justin.”  He’s wrong anyway, I’ve always had high standards.  Okay, maybe sometimes if I ingested some bad dope, I might not have been as selective as usual.  And there were a few times I accepted a second-rate blowjob in the alley if I were in a hurry to get home.  But ninety-nine times out of a hundred, a trick had to be supremely fuckable before I’d shove my cock down his throat.

Ted’s silent for a moment, then he laughs.  “Hey,” he guesses, “I’ll bet Justin’s NOT waiting for you at home tonight, or you’d have left an hour ago.”  I give him a look and curl my lip disdainfully but when I say nothing, Ted laughs again.  “Bingo.  Where’s he at tonight?”

I’m not going to answer him.  Then I do.  I shrug and say carelessly, “Here’s at a party.”

“You weren’t invited?  Or is it a party just for two?”

“Fuck you.”  I keep my voice level, no way is Ted Schmidt getting under my skin.  “I don’t do kiddie parties.  And,” I add, “Justin’s not - “

I stop abruptly; why am I explaining anything to Ted? 

“Justin’s not into anonymous tricking,” he finishes my sentence.  “Some deal you’ve got going there.  You get to fuck around and he stays monogamous.” 

Now Ted’s crossed the line of interfering in my private life.  Something everybody in our meddling extended family does all the damned time.  “You’re just fucking jealous,” is all I can think of to say, though immediately I regret my embarrassingly childish words.  How can some schmuck like Ted Schmidt make me lose my cool?

Ted says something else but I don’t hear his words, instead I push away from the bar and move quickly through the crowd toward the exit, stopping to pick up my jacket and shrugging it on, descending the back stairs and heading down the alley to where I parked the ‘vette.

I cool down on the drive home.  A glance at the dashboard clock shows that it’s quarter to one, and I feel vaguely cheered when I realize that Justin’s probably home from his party by now.  He’s working tomorrow morning but I’m sure I can talk him into sharing a joint and having a long slow fuck before going to sleep tonight.  After parking, I run up the stairs, pausing to swear under my breath when I discover that Justin left the door unlocked again.  I push it open and stride into the loft, pulling off my jacket and throwing it onto the back of my desk chair.

With a blink I realize that my chair’s missing, I’ve thrown my jacket onto the floor.  Then I twist my head around when I hear Justin exclaim, “Brian!  You’re home early.” 

Turning and moving toward his desk in the alcove beyond the kitchen, I ask, “Why’d you move my – oh!”

Justin’s not alone.  Some guy is with him, they’re on their feet now but the chairs they were sitting in are pulled close together at Justin’s desk.  Very close together.

Abruptly I stop in my tracks.  “Sorry to interrupt,” I say coolly.  “I’ll go away and come back later.”

“You’re not interrupting!” Justin assures me earnestly, moving forward to slide his arms around my waist and going up on tiptoe to plant a brief kiss on my lips.  Automatically my arms go around him but I can’t stop staring at the other man, the man Justin was sitting so close to, before I broke in on them.  Then I realize that he’s not a man, he’s a boy.  A very attractive boy.  He looks vaguely familiar.

“Brian,” Justin says, “This is Bailey, he’s a student at the IFA.  I was showing him my new software.”

My eyes move to Justin’s crotch to see if any hardware is visible.  Justin knows what I’m doing, he makes a choking sound, maybe it’s a tiny laugh; he shakes my arm and says, “Bailey, this is my partner, Brian Kinney.”

“I – I know,” the kid stutters, “We’ve met before.  At Babylon.  I mean,” he corrects himself, “In the alley behind Babylon.”

“Oh!”  Justin drops my arm.

“Oh, no!” Bailey adds, taking a step forward and staring urgently at Justin.  “Not – it was not like that!” he exclaims.  “I mean, I thought he was cruising me, but he wasn’t!  Then I recognized him and he said he was your partner and so I knew he wouldn’t. . .ummm, you know.”

When Justin says nothing, Bailey hurries on, “That was before Kelly told me that you guys screw around.  So then I didn’t know what to think.  And when you let me come over tonight, that’s why I hit on you.  Umm,” he pauses to take a breath in the heavy silence, and glancing from Justin’s frozen face to my own, he asks, “Why don’t I just shut up?”

“That’s a good idea,” I agree blandly.

When Justin still says nothing, Bailey grabs his jacket from the back of my chair and clears his throat.  “Well, I’d better be going,” he announces.  “Thanks for the coffee.”

Justin nods and follows Bailey to the door.  “See you at school,” Bailey murmurs and Justin says, “See you,” then I hear him pull the door closed and he walks back to his desk where I’m still standing, unmoving.

“I didn’t know you fucked guys that young,” Justin says mildly as he picks up coffee cups and carries them to the kitchen sink.

It’s really none of his business but I deny it anyway.  “I don’t.  I didn’t fuck him, he’s not my type.”  When Justin says nothing, just turns on the water and rinses the cups, I move to stand beside him, pulling open the fridge and grabbing a bottle of water.  Casually I add, “And I didn’t know you brought tricks home.  I thought that was one of your rules, no tricks at the loft.”

“Bailey’s not a trick,” Justin insists, turning toward me and frowning.  “I told you, I was showing him my software.”

“Mmm-hmm.”  I unscrew the lid and take a long drink of water, then burp and add, “He said that he hit on you.”  I screw the lid back on, then add quickly, “It’s not like I care, I’m just pointing out that you made the rule.”

Justin shakes his head.  “You know,” he says, “This is so fucked up.  You’re tricking all the damn time and I’m supposed to be okay with it, and then one guy hits on me – unsuccessfully, Brian!  One little punk hits on me, and suddenly you’re all self-righteous.”

“I’m not self-righteous,” I deny it.  “And you said you were okay with my tricking.  You know it means nothing and you’ve said it a million times.”

“Well, I’m not okay with it.  What do you think about that, Brian?  I’m not fucking okay with it!”

It’s a standoff, we’re literally standing still and staring at each other, Justin’s face is red and it feels like mine is too, my neck and cheeks are hot.  I don’t do emotional scenes like this, I just don’t.  The urge to turn and walk away, walk out of the loft, is almost overpowering.  Part of me wants to get the fuck out of here, part of me wants to grab Justin and fling him out the door.  But the brat’s a fucking boomerang, no matter how many times I throw him away, he always comes back again.

Except. . .what if he doesn’t, this time?  What if I throw him out, and this time he doesn’t come back?

Always I’ve been prepared for that possibility.  I was always okay with that.  Or so I told myself.  Yet now, somehow, it’s not okay.  Suddenly, the possibility that Justin might go out the door – either thrown by me or of his own volition – and not come back. . .is just too unbearable to think about.  I have to turn away, I turn and walk into the living room, pull back the curtain and stare out into the darkness.  And I realize that I’m – what?  Not scared, nothing like that of course.  I’m not, am I?

For several minutes I stand frozen, staring blindly out into the darkness.  I’m waiting, and I’m aware that I’m waiting, to see what Justin is going to do.  If he threatens to leave me now, what will I do?  I don’t know.  All I can do is wait, and I’m aware that I’m hardly breathing.

Then he’s behind me, I don’t hear his footsteps, but he’s behind me and I jump slightly when I feel his hand on my shoulder.  “Brian,” he says softly, and I hear the defeat in his voice, “Brian, if I have to be okay with your tricking, then I’ll be okay.   I don’t want to lose you.  I love you, I love you with all my heart.”

“No,” I say, but my throat is choked up, no sound comes out.  “No, God damn it!” I growl it out then, turning and taking hold of Justin’s shoulders and shaking him roughly. 

“No?” he’s confused, his eyes are clouded, his forehead furrowed.  “No, what?”

“Don’t you make any more fucking concessions, God damn it!” I curse, “Don’t do it!”

“Brian,” he’s shaking his head, “I don’t understand.”

Pulling Justin hard against my chest, I squeeze him tight until he goes, “Oof.”  Bending my head  until my lips brush his ear, I whisper, “I feel about you like you feel about me.  Okay?  I don’t want to lose you either.  And I don’t want you to lose yourself.”

“Brian,” Justin murmurs against my chest, he can barely speak, he can probably hardly breathe.  “What are you saying?  That I can ask you to be monogamous?”

“No.  I don’t know.”  I pull back a few inches so I can look into his eyes.  “Justin, I don’t think I can.  But maybe I could try.  Sort of.  Or something.  Within certain parameters.”

Justin smiles gently.  “You’re back-pedaling now, aren’t you?”

“Possibly,” I admit.  “But I’m sincere.  Does that count for anything?”

“That counts for a lot,” he assures me, his smile widening.  “And if you’re not careful, you might accidentally slip up and say ‘I love you,’ or something.”

“Hmm,” I keep my face noncommittal, then bend my head and brush a kiss on Justin’s forehead.  “Now can we go to bed?  I haven’t had a fuck since morning.”

“Were you just unlucky tonight,” Justin teases, “Or have you started practicing monogamy already?”  He takes my hand and leads the way to the bedroom, but I dig in my heels and stop him, pull him around to face me.

“Justin,” I say seriously, fixing my eyes on his face.  “I have to be honest.  I really don’t know if I can.  Be monoga- monoga- “

“I know that, Brian,” he assures me.  “You can’t even say the word.  But maybe you could start small.  Show some restraint.  Pretend you’re on a cock diet.”

Nodding, I agree.  “As long as your cock’s on the menu 24/7, I’ll give it a shot.” 

Then I let Justin pull me up the steps, we shed our clothes and he throws himself down on the bed and lies spread-eagled, his beautifully pale skin luminescent against the dark brown sheets.  Justin’s smiling up at me, and my last lucid thought before I throw myself down on top of him is that Ted was right after all:  This is what I was waiting for.   

3/11/05   Revised 3/22/05