Pairing: Brian and Justin
Summary: The rising star ad exec needs to get the blond he met out of his head...or into his bed.
OUT OF THE SHADOWS
Brian entered Babylon and quickly spotted the gang at the bar. Even in the short trip to meet them, he picked out three potentials for the back room.
“I was beginning to wonder if you’d dropped off the face of the earth,” Michael moped. “I left you like ten messages.”
“Busy, busy, Mikey,” Brian replied, signaling the bartender for his usual.
“Now Michael,” Emmett purred, putting his arm around the shorter man’s shoulders. “You can’t expect Mr. Corporate America here to have time for us peons as he’s climbing that ladder to success.”
Brian smirked. “Climbing, my ass,” he replied. “I’m already at the fucking top.”
“Where else,” Ted quipped.
“Jealousy doesn’t become you, Theodore.”
“So, Brian, tell us all about the senator’s fundraiser,” Emmett gushed. “I hear it was the social event to end all.”
“It was all right,” Brian said with a shrug. “You know how much I hate that shit.”
“But you have an image to uphold now,” Michael said, never able to stay angry with his best friend for long.
“There’s only one image he’s interested in,” Ted interjected. “That of the stud of Liberty Avenue.” He raised his glass and Emmett and Michael joined in the toast.
“Ha ha,” Brian retorted, slapping Ted lightly on the back of the head.
Emmett rolled a cocktail napkin into a makeshift microphone and shoved it in Brian’s face, only to have the other man bat it away in annoyance. That didn’t deter the flamboyant man, however. “Tell us, Mr. Kinney, how exactly do you plan to balance these two very different lifestyles? That of Pittsburgh’s rising star executive and that of the backroom’s rising dick stud.”
The others laughed and Brian grinned. “By paying very good attention to detail,” he murmured as a good looking redhead walked by. “And there’s a detail that’s about to receive some very, very good attention. Excuse me, boys.”
The others shook their heads in amusement as their friend grabbed the trick by the waistband and led him into the backroom.
“You think he picks up tricks at those high society functions?” Emmett mused wistfully.
“Nawww,” Michael replied, turning back toward the bar. “I bet he’s all business at those things.”
“Yeah,” Ted agreed thoughtfully. “I can just picture him. Scanning for new clients like a shark before sweeping in for the kill.”
“That explains why he’s so good at it,” Emmett said with a shrug. “He’s had years of practice here at Babylon.”
Brian returned a short while later and smirked at his friends.
“Any good?” Michael asked.
“He was dreamy,” Emmett said on a sigh.
“He was Ok,” Brian answered nonchalantly.
They all knew that was the highest form of praise coming from Brian Kinney and watched the trick emerge from the backroom with a hint of admiration.
“Wanna dance?” Michael asked his best friend.
“Always,” Brian replied, throwing his arm around the dark haired man’s shoulders. Looking at Ted and Emmett, he smirked. “If you ladies will excuse us.”
Brian danced with his friend, trying to keep his mind on where he was and who he was with. Not even the above average blowjob he’d received in the backroom had been able to draw his mind off Justin for long. Every time he caught a flash of blond hair out of the corner of his eye, he turned, hoping it might be him.
“Something wrong?” Michael yelled over the din of the music.
“Not a thing,” Brian replied with his trademark smirk.
“Looks like you’re looking for somebody.”
He hadn’t realized he’d been so obvious. He had been looking for someone, hoping that maybe Justin would grace Babylon with his presence once again. Realizing that he was probably ‘working’, he doubled his efforts not to think of him. Smirk still in place, he replied, “I don’t go looking for them, Mikey, they come looking for me.”
Michael rolled his eyes, but he was smiling. “Let’s just finish the dance and then you can be the looker or the lookee all you want.”
Brian smiled and continued to dance, but his mind was still far removed from the crowded floor of Babylon.
Justin was still struggling against the man who held him. His screams were muffled behind the large hand over his mouth, but his legs flailed wildly and he felt a sense of satisfaction when he felt his left foot make contact and heard a pained grunt from somewhere in front of him. A moment later, a hard fist to his stomach chased away any thoughts of even small victories and he doubled over in pain, at least as much as he could with the larger man still holding him.
“Here,” the man growled as he shoved Justin toward the driver. “Hold him.”
Justin no longer had any urge to scream; it was enough of a chore just to draw air into his lungs at that point. He felt his arms pulled behind his back and pinned there as the driver held him tight. Bracing himself against the man’s body, he kicked out with his feet in an attempt to ward off the man who could do the most damage.
A blow to his jaw left his head reeling and it took him a few seconds to once again orient himself. The distinctive sound of a switchblade flicking open brought him harshly back to his senses.
“Hold ‘im,” the large man grumbled. “Taylor wants that pretty face marked up good.”
Justin’s eyes widened in terror as he saw the man with the knife advancing toward him. It took his fevered mind a moment to realize he could hear laughter close by.
“Shit,” driver man said. “Someone’s coming.”
Justin’s eyes closed in relief. The alley was a popular short cut to Babylon and he’d counted on his abductors not knowing that.
“Stay here,” the larger man growled angrily. “We don’t need a fucking audience for this.” With that, he moved down the alley to dissuade the potential witnesses.
Justin knew he’d be back as soon as he’d scared off whoever had happened to wander into the alley. Recognizing his only chance at escape, he brought his left foot up, scraping the heel of his shoe down the other man’s shin before stomping as hard as he could on his foot. The man immediately pulled his foot back, cursing at the pain in his leg. Taking advantage of the brief lapse in his grip, Justin wrenched free, turned and kneed him hard in the groin. Without bothering to see how effective his efforts had been, he turned and fled down the alley as fast as he could.
His head reeled from the force of the blow he’d taken, but the sound of footsteps in pursuit only urged him to go faster. The fucking alley had never seemed so long. Just as he emerged onto the more crowded street, a hand grasped his hair, pulling him back and eliciting a piteous yelp from his throat.
“Hey!” someone called. “What the fuck’s going on over there?”
Through eyes blurred from tears, Justin saw a group of men crossing the street to investigate.
“Fuck,” the large man exclaimed. Yanking Justin’s head painfully by the handful of hair he still held, he hissed angrily into his ear, “This isn’t over, Taylor.” Justin had barely registered the words when he felt himself being flung forward, sprawling face down on the cement sidewalk.
The relief flooding through him was peppered with the sounds of running feet and shouting. It took a moment for him to realize someone was at his side, carefully rolling him onto his back.
“You OK, kid?” The Good Samaritan then looked over his shoulder and shouted, “Call 911.”
“No!” Justin barked, triggering a painful coughing fit as his abused abdomen protested. “No cops,” he finally breathed weakly.
“You need to go to a hospital,” the man informed him.
Justin shook his head slightly. “No… no… hospital.”
“You can’t stay here,” the man said somewhat impatiently. “We need to call someone.”
“Brian… Brian Kinney,” Justin managed, the auburn haired man being the first one to come to mind.
“Kinney’s at Babylon,” someone said. “I’ll get him.”
Letting out a breath of relief, Justin closed his eyes. His head throbbed and his muscles screamed with every breath but he felt a strange sense of peace knowing Brian was close by.
Michael, Ted and Emmett were at the bar when a young blond man hurried up to them. “Where’s Kinney?” he asked urgently.
“Where else?” Ted quipped, nodding toward the backroom.
“What do you want with Brian?” Michael frowned.
“Some kid got hurt. He’s asking for Brian.”
“A kid?” Emmett frowned, glancing at Michael before looking at the stranger for more of an explanation.
“Looks about 16 or 17, blond hair,” the man described.
Michael scoffed. “Not Brian’s type.”
“What’s not my type, Mikey?” Brian asked, clapping a hand on his friend’s shoulder as he joined the group.
“A kid got hurt in the alley across the street,” the newcomer explained in a rush. “He’s asking for you.”
“Why me?” Brian asked, genuinely confused. “Call an ambulance or something.”
“He refused,” the man replied, shaking his head. “No cops, no hospital. He just wants you.”
“Don’t they all,” Ted quipped dryly. “Though I’m surprised even you’re recruiting them that young.”
“I told you, blond twinks aren’t his type,” Michael interjected.
As soon as Brian heard the word blond, his expression hardened. Without a word to his friends or the man who’d come looking for him, he left the bar and made his way quickly toward the door.
Justin heard voices all around and realized they were probably talking about him, but he couldn’t bring himself to care. Only when one familiar voice broke through the crowd did he attempt to force his eyes open.
“Justin?” Brian called, kneeling by his side. “What the fuck happened?”
“This big guy was chasing him in the alley,” answered the man who’d first approached Justin. “I saw him grab him by the hair to pull him back in and we headed over to see what was going on. When he saw us coming, he threw the kid down and took off.”
“We chased him,” another voice chimed in. “But he got in a car with another guy.”
Brian was barely hearing them. His focus was on Justin. “Justin?” he asked quietly, “Can you hear me?”
Justin nodded slightly. “Yeah,” he managed in a hoarse whisper. “Hurts, Brian.”
“We need to get you to a hospital,” Brian told him patiently.
“No,” Justin gasped around the pain. “He’ll know.”
“Who?” Brian asked, frowning.
Brian clenched his jaw. Around them he could hear people murmuring.
“That guy was his father.”
“His father did this.”
Brian turned to where Mikey hovered close behind him. “Get the Jeep,” he said, digging in his pocket for the keys. “I’m taking him to the loft.”
“He needs a doctor, Brian,” Michael pointed out reasonably.
“I said, I’m taking him to the loft,” Brian repeated firmly. “Now go get the fucking Jeep.”
Michael hurried off and another man pushed his way into his place a moment later. “I’m a doctor,” he stated.
Brian glanced at him briefly then did a double take, one eyebrow raised. The man was dressed head to toe in black leather and was one of the most menacing bears he’d ever seen.
“Dr. Scott Malcolm,” the man identified himself before turning all his attention on Justin. “Where exactly does it hurt, son?” he asked gently.
Brian shifted to give the man room to work as the large hands tentatively traveled Justin’s body looking for broken bones.
“Head,” Justin said, gasping as the doctor touched his jaw. “Stomach.”
He hissed as the man prodded his abdomen and cried out when he pressed on his lower ribcage.
“I’d guess you’ve got some bruised ribs there, maybe even cracked,” the doctor murmured. “Nothing seems to be broken though.”
“Can you do anything for him?” Brian asked. “He doesn’t want to go to a hospital.”
“Few people do,” the man replied. “But that’s the best place for him right now. He needs an x-ray to be on the safe side.”
“No hospital,” Justin muttered, trying to sit up. “I’m okay.”
“You’re not okay,” Brian countered, gently pushing him back down.
“Brian,” Justin whispered urgently. “He’ll be expecting me to go there. He sent those guys to… to cut me up.”
Brian’s blood ran cold, either from the words or the hitch in Justin’s voice as he said them, he wasn’t sure. Looking at the doctor, he said decisively, “No hospital.”
The doctor sighed and returned his attention to Justin. “Tell me exactly what happened. Did they hit you with anything? Did you hit your head?”
“He punched me once in the stomach and once in the face,” Justin recalled. “I ran down the alley and he grabbed me by the hair. He pushed me down on the sidewalk when he took off.”
The doctor felt his abdomen. “No sign of internal bleeding at this point,” he said. “The muscle wall probably took most of the force of the blow.” He transferred his attention to Justin’s jaw where a dark bruise was already beginning to form. He gingerly moved the lower jaw back and forth while Justin moaned at the pain. “It’s going to be sore for a while,” he said, “but it’s not broken. Did you lose consciousness at all?”
Justin shook his head slightly. “No. My head hurts, but I’ve had worse. I know my name and the date and I remember everything that happened.”
The doctor nodded and turned to Brian with a sigh. “I think he’ll be all right, but someone has to stay with him for a while. If his abdomen begins to distend and gets firm, get him to an emergency room right away.”
Brian nodded. “What about his head?”
“He’s maintained consciousness and he’s lucid,” Malcolm replied. “If anything changes in that respect…”
“Get him to an emergency room,” Brian finished for him. “Got it, doc.”
“Where are you taking him?” the doctor asked.
“My place,” Brian answered.
Malcolm nodded. “The loft on Tremont?”
Brian looked at him with a modicum of surprise, but nodded.
“I’ll follow you there,” he said. “I’d like to check him over once more.”
Michael arrived with the Jeep and Brian and the doctor helped Justin to his feet.
“Put him in the back seat,” the doctor ordered. “I don’t want any more strain on his abdomen than is necessary.”
The crowd slowly dispersed as Brian maneuvered Justin toward the jeep. Getting in first, he braced his back against the door and helped the doctor position Justin so that he was reclining back against Brian’s chest. “How’s that?” Brian breathed into the injured man’s ear.
“Fine,” Justin murmured.
Satisfied, the doctor closed the door and headed for his own vehicle, promising to meet them at the loft. “Ready?” Michael asked, looking at Brian in the rearview mirror.
Brian wrapped his arms around the younger man as securely as he dared. “Let’s go,” he said.
Brian walked the doctor to the door of the loft after he’d checked Justin once more for signs of concussion. “What do you think?” he asked.
“He’ll be fine,” Malcolm assured him. “Those muscles will be sore for a while, but I gave him something for the pain. That should help a little.”
Brian nodded. “Thanks.”
“I think you should call the police and report the assault,” the doctor suggested. “They can’t keep ignoring what goes on down there.”
“This was personal,” Brian explained. “His father doesn’t like the idea of a gay son.”
“All the more reason,” Malcolm said, his expression grim. “I’m required by law to report any and all cases of suspected abuse. He’s just a kid, Brian.”
“He looks young, but he’s an adult,” Brian assured him. “Craig Taylor’s gay, adult son.”
Understanding dawned in the doctor’s dark eyes but was soon replaced by anger and disdain. “I see,” he said simply.
Brian nodded. “I’m not going to make things worse for Justin. If he wants to press charges, I’ll take him down to the station myself, but that has to be his decision.”
The doctor nodded. “Understood. Remember what I said. Any signs of disorientation or a hard, distended abdomen, get him to a hospital. I don’t care if you have to lie about his identity, understand?”
Brian smirked. “Yeah, I got it. Thanks.”
With a small smile and a nod, the doctor left the building.
“Craig Taylor is his father?” asked Michael who’d heard the whole conversation from where he’d been standing a few feet away. “What the fuck, Brian?”
“Keep your voice down, Mikey,” Brian admonished, glancing toward the bedroom where Justin was resting. “Yes, Craig Taylor is his father.”
“How’d he manage to drag you into a fight between him and his old man?” Michael demanded. “Craig Taylor isn’t somebody you want to mess with, Brian.”
“What was I supposed to do, Mikey?” Brian snapped angrily. “Leave him lying on that sidewalk?”
“I guess not,” Michael pouted. “But, Brian…”
“Enough, Michael,” Brian cut him off.
Michael’s mouth snapped shut. Brian only used his full name when he meant business. “Fine,” he said after a moment. “You stay and play nursemaid to the poor little rich boy. I’m leaving.”
“You don’t have to leave,” Brian said, his tone softening somewhat. “I just don’t want any lectures right now.”
Michael took a deep breath, allowing his own anger to subside. “How long have you known him?” he finally asked.
Brian shrugged. “I don’t really. I mean, I see him around at different functions and stuff, but we only really talked once, and not very long at that.”
Michael’s frown deepened and Brian could almost see the question forming in the dark haired man’s mind. “It’s complicated, Mikey,” he said quietly. “I really don’t want to get into it now and most of it isn’t my story to tell. I just couldn’t leave him out there like that.”
Glancing toward the bedroom, Michael’s expression softened a little. “His dad did this because he’s gay?” he asked in a small voice.
Brian didn’t bother telling his friend that Craig Taylor had more than likely intended it to be worse. “Yeah.” He didn’t feel like he was breaking a confidence in admitting that; Justin had as much as told the whole of Liberty Avenue himself. He wasn’t about to voice his suspicions concerning Craig’s motives though.
“That fucking sucks,” Michael concluded with a small frown.
“Yeah,” Brian replied, unable to resist a small smile. Mikey could be annoying at times and often tried to overstep his bounds as Brian’s best friend, but he had a heart of gold.
“What?” Michael asked, pouting at Brian’s smile.
Shaking his head, Brian brushed off the moment of sentimentality. “Nothing. Do you want a beer?”
“I should go,” Michael replied. “Let you tend to your houseguest.” There was only a hint of resentment in the tone and he was smiling.
“I’d offer you the Jeep, but…” Brian shrugged almost apologetically.
“Yeah, I know. You might need it if his abdomen gets distended or he gets disoriented. I heard.” He glanced toward the bedroom again. “I just hope you know what you’re doing.”
Brian smirked. “Don’t I always?”
Michael rolled his eyes but chose not to respond to that. Heading for the door, he called over his shoulder. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”
Continue to Chapter Six