"This isn't a fairytale Sunshine" Brian said calmly staring into the hurt eyes of his young lover. "I'm not a prince. I never claimed to be one. I never promised you a happily ever after."

"But…I thought…" Justin whispered placing his hand on Brian's face, begging him silently for what he needed.

"You thought I would change. You thought if you just loved me enough; you could fix me" he continued finishing Justin's thought. Justin smiled at Brian finishing his sentence knowing how much he detests when couples did that. "I'm not broken Justin; I don't need fixed. I like my life. I like what we have." Brian continued still eerily calm.

"This isn't what I want" Justin finally asserted running his hand through his blond locks the stress visible in his face and body "I need more"

"Well there's no chain on our door" Brian offered sincerely "If you're not getting what you want from me then I want you to go find what you want".

Justin, tears welling up in his eyes, turned away from the only man he thought he could ever love. His head resting on his hands, he closed his eyes and sat quietly on their bed. How many times can I do this?

"Justin" Brian said quietly placing his hands on Justin's shoulders offering him what little comfort he could. "I can only offer you what I am. I know I don't say what you want to hear but I try to show you the best that I can. I want you here. I want to come home to you."

Justin turned to look at Brian as he continued "When you left for Ethan it nearly killed me but I thought you were going to be happy so I didn't try to stop you. When you came back I thought you understood…." His voice breaking, Brian stopped to compose himself.

"Understood what?" Justin whispered hoping Brian might be reaching a breakthrough.

"I thought you understood that it's all bullshit: Love, Marriage, Romance… I thought you realized it doesn't mean anything; they are empty words, empty gestures... That what we have; what we mean to each other was worth a million times more than red roses and violin music."

Justin couldn't believe what he was hearing. Love was bullshit? He flashed back to his conversation with Brian the night after they first met I don't believe in love; I believe in fucking….

"You'll never change" Justin spurted, shaking his head in frustration.

"Justin" he said exasperated "For fucks sake I have changed! Before you, I never had a boyfriend, a partner. I never asked someone to share my home or my life. I've lived by the rules you asked for: I've never fucked anyone more than once, never kissed another man's lips; I'm home by three every night no matter what. You can't….." Brian stopped before finishing his thought.

"I can't what?" Justin pushed; not sure he wanted to hear the end. His heart was already in his throat.

"…..you can't say the same" he finally said as lovingly as he could. Brian searched Justin's face for a response before continuing, "you set the rules for me and you've broken them at least three times."

"Not three" Justin protested defiantly.

"Really?" Brian said questioning "Daphne's party….I know you kissed your little virgin"

"Yeah plus Ethan…that's two" Justin answered.

"….and Cody?" Brian questioned softly "are you telling me his lips never touched yours?" Brian moved closer to Justin running his finger over his perfect pink lips as he spoke.

"That was different" Justin continued to protest "that wasn't real"

"It was real to me" Brian started "and now you want monogamy, a husband….Why? So I won't fuck anyone else but you get to make up your own rules, then what?"

"It's not like that" Justin answered "I want to be with you"

"You ARE with me!" Brian disputed "I'm here and I'm here because I WANT to be here. I WANT to be with you. Do you want me to promise you an eternity?….I won't do that…I won't make a promise to you that I can't keep and I don't want you to promise me that you're going to feel a certain way in thirty years. I don't want us to lie to each other ever again."

Justin struggled to get his point across but he couldn't find the words.

"Sunshine" Brian smiled sensing he might be getting through to Justin "you think you want monogamy? You think you want just me but then what? You see a hot guy; you fuck him or let him fuck you. You start lying to me. Just like with Ethan. Only we end up hating each other"

Justin shook his head in protest but Brian issued an insistent plea "I can't lose you like that"

Justin was dumb-founded. All this time he thought Brian was the one who couldn't commit to him; but he was right, it was him. He was the one that couldn't even follow the rules that they agreed to.

"Brian" Justin said "I love you so much it kills me to know you're out with someone else. That I'm not enough for you"

"That's not because you love me" Brian argued "that's your own jealousy and insecurity. Even if I promised you faithfulness; you would still have to deal with that. I know because I deal with it too. Remember how jealous I got when I saw you in bed with Michael? I'd rather know…" he paused, taking a deep breath, thinking of the best way to say what he needed to say.

"Know what?" Justin said prompting him.

Brian grabbed Justin's waist and held his gaze before explaining "I'd rather see you happy enjoying some beautiful boy-toy than wondering what you're doing when I'm not around. I love seeing your face when you're getting your dick sucked. I love hearing you come with a nice nine inch cock inside you. Do you know how hot it makes me when I see that look of lust and desire on your face? Hell maybe I'll even join in on occasion. I don't want you to deprive yourself of a hot ass you want to fuck because of some bull shit promise you made me. Why? So you can come back to me and think about what you passed up? Fantasize about some other guy wishing it was his cock inside of you. Is that love Sunshine? No, I want you to enjoy it and come home and get me all worked up telling me about it. Why would you want to limit yourself when there are so many men out there? Fucking someone else doesn't change what we have or how much we mean to each other. Monogamy is just unrealistic, a fantasy that straight people came up; and it only leads to disappointment and frustration."

Hearing Brian's impassioned speech about maintaining their open relationship confused Justin. Despite what his heart told him he wanted; his brain sided with Brian. Monogamy wasn't easy; look at Mel and Lindsay? Did he really know any lasting gay couples that were completely faithful? Maybe it was unrealistic. Could Brian be right?

"Brian" Justin said gently leaning over for a chaste kiss "I need some time….to figure out what I want".

Brian ran his hand over Justin's head, pulling him close to his chest and wrapping his arms tightly around him. Brian held his breath. He wanted to get through to Justin; he wanted him to understand. He wanted to be enough. Why can't I say it? Just say it already….

"Do what you need to do Justin" he said kissing him deeply to reassure him "Look, I know I'm far from perfect. I know I'm not as romantic or sensitive as you want me to be. I hope you understand; this isn't some game that I'm trying to win. This is me. This is who I am. I don't want you to sacrifice what you want, to be with me, and so take some time…."

Justin nodded, saying nothing with a look of unfulfilled desire still burned on his angelic face.

"Justin" Brian whispered in his ear "I hope you will decide that I'm enough for you."

Justin was lost in a frenzy of raw emotions. In that moment he wanted Brian so deeply. He sighed with uncertainty. His lover's eyes were so sincere; his words so honest, yet still uncomforting to Justin's mind and heart. He poured himself into Brian's lips offering him what assurance he could about their uncertain future. His tongue searching out answers in the warmth of Brian's awaiting mouth. His hands roaming freely, possessing the parts of Brian that he had been offered. Justin grasped his flawed lover in heated desperation; he touched his skin, his chest, his cock, wishing he could penetrate the surface to reach his heart. Brian felt the urgency of Justin's movements. Freeing himself and Justin of clothes, removing the physical obstructions to the closeness they both craved. Brian accepted each touch with soft groans and encouraging whispers. He returned Justin's passion hoping to convey his still unspoken confession with his mouth, tongue and hands; manipulating their bodies maximizing his lover's access to his. They continued this dance of unspoken compromises; offering each other what they could in the moment; pleasure, comfort, passion until Brian could no longer resist. He entered Justin taking ownership of their love-making; thrusting deeply hoping to fill whatever void his silence might have left. Justin gasped upon the swift intrusion but quickly relaxing converting the familiar pain into pleasure. He let out a slow breath filled with Brian's name ceding his remaining resistance to the moment.

As Brian moved, he relinquished control over his thoughts allowing them to be released, "I love you" he whispered softly into the air; the words rushing into Justin's soul before Brian could contain them.

"Stroke yourself" Brian prompted his lover regaining control over his thoughts as he grasped his lover tightly bringing his lips to Justin's mouth "I want you to come with me".

Justin followed the command taking him over the edge; the heat and wetness spilling onto Brian's stomach as he feverishly pumped his own load releasing it with a visceral moan. Exhausted, Brian collapsed onto Justin, wrapping him in a tight embrace extending their physical connection as long as possible.

"Say it again" Justin begged; fearing the words were just frivolous utterances of a man about to climax "please, say it again for me"

Brian searched his mind seeking to explain the complexity of feelings that overwhelmed him whenever he held Justin. You love him, just say it his thoughts continuously betrayed him. Brian released Justin from his embrace so that he could search his face. Justin's plea still evident in his sapphire blue eyes he again pleaded "Please"

Overtaken by the aching in his chest and summoning all his courage; Brian presented the last elusive gift he had to offer, "I love you" he murmured purposely, erasing Justin's fears.

Justin accepted the words, drunk on the meaning of the moment. He smiled, kissing Brian first as a thank you, then more intently to convey the confidence that he had in his answer. He didn't want rings or vows. He didn't need monogamy. He wanted Brian; his stunningly beautiful, unabashedly honest, fiercely passionate, and deeply flawed Brian.

"Then that's enough for me" Justin sighed committing himself over to Brian once and for all.