Queer As Folk FanFic by Morpheus
The Prisoner of Tremont Street
Part 5: Visitors
Almost angrily I turn toward the door to see who’s next in the annoying parade of visitors to my room. Why do people imagine that you want visitors when you’re trapped in a hospital bed, unable to escape? The nurses refuse to close the door, leaving me vulnerable to any asshole who wants to pop in and bore me with cheerful inanities. The most the nurses will do is pull the curtain halfway around the bed, separating me from the (thankfully so far) empty other bed.
Christ, it’s Jesse. “Jesse!”
I’m amazed to see him standing there, hesitating in the doorway. He's in his work clothes, he must be on his way to the office.
“Am I bothering you?” he tilts his head to one side, cocks an eyebrow at me.
“No,” I assure him quickly, “Come on in.”
Actually I’ve been lying here thinking about dinner. It’s surprising how mundane things take on such importance when your day is spent sleeping or watching daytime tv, coping with pain and painful visitors, your brain crammed with worries. I’ve had two painful visitors today, so maybe Jesse will be a respite from the frustration that’s been building up inside me. I don’t even have morphine any more to dull my senses. They took away my morphine dispenser yesterday and I’m surviving on Vicodin and Demerol, in doses too low to provide any kind of pleasurable retreat.
“Bit of an imposition, coming here to see you?” Jesse suggests, coming closer to the bed and glancing around at the vases of flowers on the windowsill and the array of sketches Justin’s taped all over the walls.
“No, not at all,” I reply sincerely, mentally pulling myself away from the miasma of pain and worry clouding my brain. “I’m just – surprised.” Then I add quickly, “It’s a good surprise. Sit down,” I gesture at the chairs, and Jesse pulls one over near the bed and sits down. I’m glad the swelling’s gone down in my lip and I’m able to speak normally now, I would’ve hated for Jesse to hear me talking like some fucking cartoon.
“I read about it in the paper of course, then I had a word with your girl Cynthia yesterday, see how you were doing.” Cynthia was one of today’s painful visitors. When I nod my head, Jesse continues, “Guess we can’t be sharing cigarettes and a drop of bourbon here.”
“No,” I agree grimly. Christ, I miss cigarettes. I miss sex. My dick’s going to explode the first time anybody touches it. I miss pissing in the toilet. At least the catheter is gone now and I can piss in a jug.
“When will they release you? Cynthia didn’t know.”
“Soon, in a couple days. But,” I fight down the self-pity swirling just beneath the surface, “I’ll be stuck at home for a while.” Then I add bleakly, “For a month. Or two. Or more.”
Jesse tsk-tsks sympathetically. “Are you going stark staring mad here, lying prisoner in that bed?” When I merely nod, he asks, “Got lots of folks looking after you?”
“Too fucking many,” I complain, thinking he’ll laugh, but he shakes his head.
“Lots of people have nobody.” He crosses his legs and leans back in the chair. “You’re damned lucky.”
In a way I know he’s right, but I refuse to agree. “They’re smothering me.”
Jesse nods knowingly. “Bet they’re tempted to do exactly that, sometimes.”
That cracks me up, and we laugh together. He’s right.
“Dinner’s coming!” Justin bursts into the room, bustling over to my bed urgently before he stops short when he notices Jesse sitting there. Justin gets more excited about dinner time than I do. He’s got the nurses snowed, they sneak in an extra tray just for him most evenings. Predictably, Justin likes hospital food. After all, he likes the food at the diner.
“Oh, sorry,” he says, “I didn’t know anybody was here.”
“Jesse, this is Justin.” I have no intention of explaining anybody to anybody else.
“Hello,” Jesse stands up and shakes hands with Justin. “Are you the artist?” He waves his hand at the drawings on the walls.
“Yeah, how’d you know?” Justin’s surprised.
“You’re carrying a sketchpad.”
“Oh.” Justin drops his backpack and sketchpad on the other chair and turns to me. “I’ll come back later, when the dinner trays are delivered,” he offers, but before I can say okay, Jesse interrupts.
“Don’t go. You were in the car crash too, weren’t you? I saw your name in the paper.”
“Yeah. But I wasn’t hurt. Well, just whiplash, nothing serious.” Justin removes his jacket and throws it on the chair. “But if Brian hadn’t turned the jeep away, we probably would have been killed.”
“You’re such a drama princess,” I complain; I’m sick of hearing this version of the story. The whole fucking thing was my fault, beginning to end, I won’t be made some half-assed hero after the fact. And anyway, somebody is dead; the other driver.
Justin throws a concerned look at me and asks, “Are you hurting? Did you get your Vicodin at five o’clock?”
“I don’t remember. It doesn’t matter.”
“I’ll go see Karen,” he offers, no doubt reading the pain in my face. “Nice to meet you,” he says politely to Jesse, who nods at him, then he’s out the door and gone to harass somebody at the nurses’ station.
Turning slightly in the bed, I jar my leg, and grimace. I didn’t get the Vicodin, and in a way I’m grateful to Justin for taking care of it, in another way I want to scream at him to stop taking care of things.
“Justin’s one of those ‘too fucking many’ looking after you, huh?”
I just nod, I’ve awakened the pain in my leg and it’s hard to talk and hurt at the same time. I’m aware that Jesse has moved over to the wall and is studying Justin’s drawings. “These are good,” he says. “I’m no expert, but he must be very talented.”
“Yeah,” I mumble, “You sit still for five minutes and he’s made twelve sketches of you.”
“This one of a woman holding a child is beautiful.”
“Yes.” It’s one of my favorites. Surprising myself, I add, “That’s my son. Gus.”
Jesse twists his head around to look at me. After a moment he says, “Hmm.” I’m waiting for the prying questions, but there aren’t any; that’s not Jesse’s style.
“Was this drawn here, at the hospital?”
That’s more his style, and if I weren’t hurting so much, I might laugh.
“Yes. All the sketches were done here in the past few days. He’s prolific as fucking hell.”
“Seems like a nice boy.” When I say nothing, Jesse moves back to the chair but doesn’t sit down. “You must be relieved that he wasn’t badly hurt.”
“But he could have been. It was my fault.”
Christ, where did that come from? It’s the first time I’ve said it out loud.
Jesse does not jump in and deny my guilt, instead he says quietly, “I’ll bet you’ve been playing the ‘if only’ game.” When I look at him quizzically, he adds, “If only I’d done this, that wouldn’t have happened.”
“Justin could have been killed. The other driver was killed.”
“Yes,” Jesse agrees seriously. Then he adds, “I guess everybody on earth plays ‘if only.’ Bet Justin’s playing it too.”
“Justin? Why should he?”
“Oh, I don’t know,” Jesse shrugs. “ But I’ll bet, if you asked him, he’s blaming himself for what happened to you. ‘If only’ he wasn’t with you that night, you would not have been driving him home.”
“That’s ridiculous! He had nothing to do with what happened.”
We’re silent for a moment, then Jesse sighs. “Well, I’ve got to be getting on to work. Just wanted to see for myself how you’re doing.”
I pull myself together enough to say, “Jesse, thanks for coming – I really. . .thanks.”
“Sure.” He comes a bit closer, hesitates, then reaches out and pats my shoulder. “Take care of yourself, and I hope none of your folks end up smothering you for real.”
We laugh, then Jesse turns and gives me a wave before going out the door.
Two minutes later, Justin comes through the door with the evening nurse, who hands me a paper cup with a Vicodin and Justin hands me a glass of water. Gratefully swallowing the pill and letting myself relax slightly, I watch Justin thank the nurse as she leaves, before turning back and coming around the bed to fluff up my pillows. He does that ninety-seven times a night, and I resist the urge to snap at him to stop.
Instead I take his hand and when he looks at me I can’t help asking, “Justin, you don’t blame yourself for the accident, do you?”
“God,” Justin’s mouth drops open and he steps back abruptly, staring wide-eyed at me. “How’d you know?”
I’m dumbfounded and I can’t even answer him.
Justin pulls his hand away and crosses his arms over his chest. He’s silent for a moment, then he whispers, “If I hadn’t come to your place that night, you would have been home, safe. If I didn’t ask you to take me home – you wanted me to stay, but I had a project to do, but if I had stayed with you, none of this would have happened. If only – “
“Shut up.” He stops at the sharp tone in my voice and stares at me. “It was NOT your fucking fault, Justin – none of it.”
“But if only I – “
“No!” I’m almost yelling at him. “It was an accident! It was not your fault, it was not anybody's fault.”
And suddenly I realize - that's why Jesse set me onto Justin. Not for Justin's sake. For mine.
“Oh, Brian,” Justin’s tearing up, but I shake my head at him.
“Don’t cry. Go check on dinner, I’m starving.”
He gulps and swallows hard, then takes a deep breath. “Sure, okay,” he says, and when he turns for the door, he almost bounces out of the room.
As I pull into the agency parking lot, I’m thinking of my visit with Brian at lunchtime, and I realize that Brian’s going to be fighting for his life the next few months - and not because of his injuries. Gardner Vance has never liked him, and he’s going to use Brian’s absence to try and leverage him out of the agency. He’s a fool to try it because he’s going to turn Brian against him if he loses, and if he wins, the agency will suffer greatly. Brian’s absolutely the best there is, and that’s not my favoritism speaking.
Favoritism being a relative thing where Brian Kinney is concerned.
I’d been wanting to visit Brian in the hospital but I was sure he wouldn’t like it, so I held off until today. We talked on the phone yesterday - our first contact, as Brian couldn't - or wouldn't - take phone calls the first few days. He'd called me to check on the status of some of his accounts and to urge me to watch my back with Vance. The day after the accident, Vance had me send a large bouquet of flowers from the agency, and he’s been checking with me daily since then for reports on Brian’s recovery. I’m always cautious with Vance, I don’t trust him an inch and I’d betray him in a second, yet to openly flaunt him would be professional suicide.
Brian’s private life has always been private – I’ve been aware of a few of his risqué adventures over the years, and he’s trusted me enough to let me make some of his travel arrangements, which occasionally include rather ambiguous items on his expense account. And of course I know about his friends, or those that call him regularly. It took me a while to figure out who Justin Taylor was in the Brian scheme of things, but eventually I had a pretty good idea.
After Justin was attacked at the prom and it came out in the papers that Brian had danced with him there, I remember feeling utter amazement. That was so unlike the Brian Kinney I knew, that at first I didn't believe it. In the weeks after that, Brian was a wreck - not that strangers would know, he kept himself pulled together, but he was ragged at the seams for several weeks. I helped him stay on top of things at work, and a few months later he bought me a pair of diamond earrings. He never said why, but I knew.
I was aware that Justin was living with Brian because he'd answer the phone almost every time I called, and we'd sometimes chat about this and that. He's a very charming young man. After Gardner Vance bought the agency, Justin's frequent phone calls stopped - at the same time Brian threw himself into work. At first I thought he'd told Justin not to call because he was so busy. But soon it was easy enough to figure out that it - whatever it was - was over. It was therefore a shock to read in the paper that the passenger in the car with Brian when he had the accident was Justin Taylor. Still, I never jump to conclusions where Brian's concerned, and I was a bit surprised to meet Justin when I visited the hospital today.
I knocked on the open door of Brian's room - hospitals offer no privacy and must be sheer hell for Brian; then I noticed that someone was with him, sitting on a chair pulled close to the bed. They both turned to look at me, and Brian said, "Come in."
"You're growing a beard?" I asked as I approached the bed, and Brian answered, "No, it's going soon."
"He won't let me shave him," the blond boy with beautiful blue eyes told me, as he stood up politely and put out his hand to shake.
"Cynthia Johnson, Justin Taylor."
"Oh, we've talked on the phone a few times," I said.
"I know," Brian scowled. "And somebody who has shaved maybe three times in his life is NOT holding a razor to my throat."
Justin only laughed, then picked up a backpack from the floor and said, "Well, I'm late for life class, I'll see you tonight, Brian." Then he turned and twinkled his eyes at me. "I'd warn you to be careful of Brian's temper, he's majorly crabby today, but I bet you're used to that by now!"
"Yes, I am," I admitted, "But thanks for the warning."
"Fuck off," Brian growled at him - yet I noticed how his eyes followed Justin to the door, and how he almost smiled when Justin turned to wave.
"Sit," he ordered me, so I dropped my purse on the floor and sat in Justin's chair.
"How are you feeling?" I asked.
"Fabulous. Tell me everything that's been happening. I'm so fucking useless in this fucking bed, is Vance doing his fucking lord-of-all-he surveys routine?"
"Of course. But it's worse than that, Brian." I hated to add to his worry and frustration, but he needed to know what Vance was getting up to in his absence. "How long till you can come back to work?"
Brian huffed a huge sigh and shook his head. "Months," he answered bleakly, then trained his hard stare on me. "But that's for your ears only."
"Of course," I said again, but my heart sank. If Brian was away from work for months, for sure Vance would find a way to move his ass out the door.
"He's been in your office, going through your accounts," I started, and Brian erupted with "The fuck!" I nodded and went on to tell him everything.
As if my talk with Cynthia were not enough to ruin an otherwise passable day - passable because the pain is definitely receding though very fucking slowly - I had just dozed off in the early afternoon when I felt somebody enter the room, and I jerked awake. To see Michael approaching my bed, holding a large manila envelope in his hands.
“Hey, Mikey,” I mumbled, only half awake; at last here was someone I wanted to see – or so I thought.
“Brian, I have to get back to the store soon, but I wanted to see you when nobody else was here. For a change.” He laid the envelope on the bed.
“What’s that?” I pointed at it, then fumbled around on the blanket for the bed control, slowly raising myself up at an angle.
“It’s the new issue of Rage.” He undid the flap and pulled out the comic book. Waving it proudly in the air, he asked, “Justin hasn’t shown it to you yet, has he?”
“Fuck!” Michael frowned angrily. “What do you mean, ‘not exactly?’ I told him not to show you, I told him not to show anybody. Probably half of Liberty Avenue has seen it by now, it’s really bad for business. He’s such a fucking show-off.”
“Michael, he showed me a mock-up, about a week ago, not the finished product.”
I’d reached for the comic but Michael grabbed it out of my hands. “I told him not to, he never does anything I say.”
“You’re equal partners, aren’t you?” I asked reasonably, “Why can’t he show it to anybody till you say so?”
“Fuck you, Brian.” Michael dropped the comic, it slipped off the bed and landed on the floor. He turned away and walked toward the window, keeping his back to me.
Sighing, I ran a hand hard over my face, trying to wake up enough to deal with Michael. It pissed me off to be playing referee. “Don’t put me in the middle, I don’t want anything to do with your comic book shit,” I said, more harshly than I meant to, the pain in my leg was making itself felt.
“Oh, now it’s shit, huh?” Michael turned back from the window and glared at me. “I’ll bet that’s not what you say to HIM.”
I shook my head, “Mikey, you know I think Rage is great, I’m just not going to be put in the middle of you guys’ fucking arguments. It’s business, you’re making it personal. Keep me out of it.”
“Keep you out of it! Who was it that put you back into it – him! Why is he showing you the mock-up? Why is he showing you anything? Why was he in the fucking car with you? What the fuck are you doing with him, anyway?”
“Michael. . .don’t.” I kept my voice level, I didn’t let my anger show, but I was fucking simmering with it, inside. I don’t know what the fuck I am doing with Justin, but damned if I’m going to be told by anyone – even Mikey - to explain it.
He let out a huge sigh, threw himself down in the chair by my bed and looked up at me beseechingly. “Why, Brian? He’s already fucked you over once, don’t you know he’ll do it again?”
“Stop.” I looked Michael in the eye and repeated, “Stop.”
He shook his head. “I’m your best friend, Brian. I can’t stop. You’re making a huge mistake.”
We were both silent for a few moments, and when I could speak reasonably, I asked, “Where is this coming from, Mikey?”
Michael was calm by then too, and he answered, “You’re letting him move back in with you. Just like all the times before.”
I shifted uncomfortably in the bed, it was hours till my next pain med. “He’s not moving in with me. He’s only staying nights, till I can be on my own. You know that already, you were here when everybody was planning the next month of my life like a fucking blitzkrieg campaign.”
“Well, I didn’t agree. And I still don’t. I told Ma, you can’t count on Justin to be there when you need him, you should have somebody more dependable staying with you at night.”
“Like who?” When he didn’t answer, I asked gently, “Who?”
“I could do it. I wouldn’t mind. At least you could trust me not to run out on you.”
Oh, Mikey, Mikey. “Thanks,” I told him, looking him in the eye. “Thanks. I will always trust you. But the arrangement stands.”
He’d started to smile, but when I finished, he stood up, grabbed the comic from the floor where he’d dropped it and shoved it into the envelope. “I’ve got to get back to the shop,” he muttered.
“Leave me the comic to read, there’s nothing on tv.”
“Maybe Justin will give you a copy,” he threw back over his shoulder as he went out the door.
Shit. I can’t even be in charge of arguments, tied to this bed. People can barge in whenever they like and they can barge right back out again, and I can’t do anything about it.
What was fucking ironic, and what Michael would not have believed if I told him, was that later tonight, during dinner – eaten from matching blue hospital trays with Justin leaning against the side of my bed, and me giving him all the bits I didn’t want – I asked Justin for a copy of the new comic.
“Sorry,” he shook his head, “I can’t give it to anybody till Michael says.”
I almost laughed. Almost. “And why is that?”
“I don’t know,” Justin shrugged, lifting a spoon loaded with mashed potatoes toward his mouth. “He says it’s bad for business. You going to eat your green beans?”
Half-dozing and half-watching the Power Puff Girls on the tv suspended on the wall in the corner near the window, I hear a cough and turn toward the door. Jennifer Taylor is standing in the doorway.
"I'm sorry, did I wake you?" She's wearing a D&G business suit in a rose-beige color, perfectly suited to her blonde coloring. It's easy to see where Justin got his beauty, certainly he looks nothing like his father, the asshole.
"S'okay," I blink my eyes hard a few times to focus them; the after-breakfast shot of Demerol has made me drowsy. "Good morning."
I try to straighten up in bed without jarring my hip, searching for the button that raises my bed and slowly moving it to a more upright position. It's ironic that the greatest pain I feel is in my hip, yet nothing's wrong there - the doctor explained that it's phantom pain radiating from my broken leg, it only feels like the pain's in the hip.
"Good morning." Jennifer approaches the bed slowly, almost reluctantly, and stops several feet away.
"Sit down," I point at the chairs.
"No. No, I'll only stay a minute." She hesitates and I blink my eyes a few more times, trying to shake off the Demerol-fog.
Why do people have to come by just when my drug haze is at its best? I wait, with a calmness that would not be possible without heavy medication; wait for her to start in on me. I haven't seen her since the accident - since long before the accident - so there's a lot of time unaccounted for that she can rip on me about.
When I say nothing, just sit waiting for her to start, she takes a deep breath. "I'm sorry about your injuries," she begins. Standard opening, just politeness. "I hope you're feeling better?"
I nod my head once, waiting. When she still hesitates, I say, "Gloves off. Say whatever you want."
"Okay," she nods her head decisively. "I want to ask you, just what the hell you think you are doing with my son?"
I don't owe her an explanation. I don't. And even if I do, she's not getting it from me.
When I don't answer, she goes on quietly, "Brian. . .I know you don't intend harm to Justin. I do know that." She's earnest, standing straight and hugging her elbows with both hands. Then she spreads her arms wide. "But can't you see that just being with you, harms him? Not just this accident," she hurries on, as if I were arguing with her. "But you ruin his chances to have a normal, happy life by - leading him on. Making him think he has some kind of future with you." She stares at me, her eyes hard. "When we both know, that's bullshit."
Her ladyship Jennifer Taylor has changed a lot this past year. Hanging around with Deb has coarsened her vocabulary. Dealing with divorce, earning a living, and loving a son who challenges her entire belief system has toughened her up. I admire her, I really do, even while I can't bear to be around her. Nobody in my adult life has ever made me feel so. . .unworthy. It's true. I've never given a shit about other people's opinions - not since I was a kid anyway. But when I'm around Jennifer, I feel like a kid.
Clearing my throat and keeping my face expressionless, I ask coolly, "Do you imagine I have a master plan, or what? We've seen each other a couple times, that's all."
"Huh. You're some kind of magnet to Justin, you know it and I know it. And you use that - attraction - to keep him hanging around you."
She means sexual attraction, but I'm not going to argue semantics. I haven't pursued Justin. Or not exactly. And I don't have to defend myself to her or to anybody else. If she wants to blame me for the accident, she can try. I'll take responsibility for that. But that's all.
"Brian. . .I didn't come here to fight with you, I didn't even mean to be so harsh. I am just asking you to please think about what's best for Justin. I know, I've always known, that you care about him." She takes a deep breath, then says, "So if you're honest, you'll admit that being with you is NOT what's best for Justin."
"Maybe not." She's not going to pull that guilt-and-responsibility shit on me again, not this time. "But Justin's a man now, whether you like it or not. What he does with his life is HIS decision. Not his mommy's."
"He's not a man, Brian, he's still a teenager, for God's sake!"
"No," I repeat, rubbing my hip and trying not to grimace with the throbbing phantom pain. "He may be just nineteen, but Justin's more of a man than most men I know."
Justin's youthful looks and child-like enthusiasms often blind people - even his own mother - from seeing the real man underneath. "Justin can make his own decisions." I really believe that what I've said is the truth. "And it's not my responsibility to protect Justin. Even from me."
Jennifer's frowning, and her shoulder's droop. "No, it's not your responsibility." She turns abruptly and heads for the door, then at the last moment she turns around to say, 'But it's the honorable thing to do. I should have known that you would not acknowledge that." Then she's gone.
And now I'm awake, and my Demerol has worn off, and I'm left with a throbbing phantom pain in my hip. And a throbbing phantom pain in the middle of my chest.
When I get to the hospital after school and enter Brian's room, he's staring out the window, he doesn't seem to hear me come in. "Hey," I say quietly as I approach the bed, not wanting to startle him. He turns his head, and for the briefest moment the look on his face is bleak. Unhappy. Quickly that expression is wiped away, maybe I imagined it, and then he gives me a smile. God, if only he knew what that means to me, seeing him smile as I walk toward him. I drop my backpack on the chair and come close to the bed.
Brian holds out his hand. "Hey," he murmurs, grabbing my hand, then pulling me forward till I'm leaning across the bed. He lets go of my hand and slides his arm around my neck instead, still pulling me forward. We kiss, and my heart goes ka-boom! It's not just a sweet kiss, it's not just a welcome-kiss, he opens his mouth and tickles my lips with his tongue, and when I open my mouth, he sucks my tongue into his, and without a moment’s hesitation, my arms slip - carefully - around his neck, and a moan escapes my lips.
"Brian," I breathe and his mouth releases mine but we stay close together, our noses and lips touching, looking cross-eyed at each other. After a moment, he says, "Ow."
"Oh! Your sore lip!" I pull away but his hold on me stays tight.
"Fuck it," he murmurs, "Kiss me again." So I do, but more gently. He's got stitches on the inside of his lip down close to his teeth. He stops again to whisper, "It's safe, it's almost healed - there's no blood."
It never occurred to me to think of that, but I don’t tell him - I don't want another safe-sex lecture. "But it hurts you," I whisper back and he shakes his head.
So we kiss for a few minutes and I let my body relax against his. He stops me once, and tells me how to put down the side rail of the bed, so I can stand closer, and it's so amazingly wonderful to be in his arms with his lips kissing me softly, that I get all choked up. That's stupid; but almost immediately I feel my dick pushing against my khakis, pushing against the side of the bed.
"Touch me," Brian whispers, and I'm shocked, and then I'm scared, the door is open! But he whispers, "Touch me" again and I can't resist him, I don't want to resist him, so I slip my hand underneath the sheet and slide it over his thigh and between his legs. Brian gasps then, and I stop immediately.
"Don't stop," he tells me. I can feel the hardness of the cast on his other leg, and I'm super-careful not to rub against it, but I slide my hand upwards, cupping his balls gently, and he moans. I caress them for a moment, then he urges, "Grab my cock - jerk me off."
"Brian!" I glance over my shoulder at the open door.
"Do it," he whispers, "Don't stop." Then he pulls me hard against him again and we kiss and kiss while I stroke him underneath the sheet, just the way he likes it, slow-then fast-then slow, in the rhythm I know he likes so much, and he's gasping against my lips and kissing me at the same time. In only moments, just a couple minutes, I feel him ready to shoot, so I keep up the rhythm perfectly, and I feel his body spasm slightly as he comes in my hand. I continue to pump him a moment longer, his head’s thrown back and he’s gasping for air, then he tilts his head forward and presses his forehead to mine.
“Christ,” he exclaims in a whisper, “Christ, I’ve needed that for so long.” His hand on my neck moves up into my hair, caressing my head while he catches his breath.
“Let me clean up, Brian,” I whisper, pulling away to grab the Kleenex box from the bed table. He holds up the sheet and watches me wipe up the come on his stomach, on my hand, there’s a wet spot on the sheet too. I use half the box of tissues cleaning up and he watches me the whole time, smiling. His look is so intent that finally I have to ask, “What?”
He half-laughs. “I was thinking you should climb up on the bed and stick your cock in my mouth.”
I laugh too but I’m shocked. “Brian – that’s the exact moment the nurse would walk in.”
“Or worse,” he nods agreement, “Deb. Or – your mom.”
“Deb would probably just make a joke. Or tell us not to make a mess.”
“But don’t worry about my mother – she won’t be coming here. I mean,” I add hurriedly, “She likes you and all, but I don’t think she, you know, has time to come here.” He just looks at me, a look I can’t read, so I go on, “She’s been working a lot of hours and stuff. And I’m not around as much to help watch Molly.”
“Your mom needs you at home – to watch Molly. Somebody else can stay with me at the loft.”
“I didn’t mean that!” I grab his hand and insist earnestly, “She’s totally okay with me staying at your place. If I lived in a dorm or something, I wouldn’t be home either. She says she’ll manage fine without me there at night.”
“Justin. . .”
I wait, scared of what he’s going to say.
“Justin, if – IF – you stay at my place, it doesn’t mean anything.”
“I know that.”
He pulls his hand away, brushes back the hair off my forehead and stares intently into my eyes. “Do you?”
“It’s only an arrangement. For a short time.”
“Kiss me and promise,” he murmurs.
“I promise,” I whisper, though I’m not sure what I’m promising, then I lean forward and we kiss again.
“Knock-knock.” There’s a loud voice in the hall.
I pull away from Brian and we both look at the doorway, where Nurse Karen leans in to peer at us before walking into the room.
“Ready for dinner?”
“Sure!” I turn to Brian for confirmation and he nods. “Can I help with the trays?” I offer.
“Yes,” Karen agrees, “But – don’t you think you should wash your hands first?”
And with that she turns and walks out of the room, leaving Brian and me to stare at each other. I’m horrified, but he’s laughing. “Brian!” I exclaim, blushing hot with embarrassment. “She KNOWS.”
“Go wash your hands,” he says, still laughing. “And hurry up, I’m starving.”