Mark leaned up against the house and stared back at Gil. "Are you ever going to say something?" he asked, really hating the silence. He never liked silences like this unless he was the one giving the treatment. "I mean, this is supposed to be a talk after all."
Gil shook his head. "All these damn years Mark…I've fed you, I've had you in my home, I trusted my boys with you and you never once thought to mention that you not only have a long standing relationship with a psychopathic killer, but you also have happened to have killed people in the past."
"Well…to be fair, I never told you that I didn't have or do any of those things," Mark said with a shrug. "Plus, how exactly was I supposed to bring all that shit up?"
"Don't have good point right now Mark. It ruins the flow of the conversation I'm trying to have with you." He adjusted the hat that was on his head before continuing. "Now I'm going to tell you straight up that I'm not really okay with this little threesome you and your psycho have going on with my son."
Mark sighed. He had been expecting to hear that. "What if it was just me or James that was involved with Jeff? How would you feel about that?"
Gil glared at him. "Well if it was just you and I found all this out, I would have less of a problem."
"And if it was just James?"
"We would have an even bigger problem," Gil replied without hesitation. "I don't trust him. I know you and Jeff do, but quite frankly, he's got a long way to go before he even begins to prove himself to me."
Mark raised his eyebrows. "So wait…you're not gonna like…call the cops on him or anything?" Because if you do Legend, I don't want to say this, but you and will have a BIG problem if you do that.
Gil hesitated. "Not yet," he finally said. "I'm going to be honest with you Mark by saying that I don't think prison would keep him from killing. Hell, he doesn't strike me as the type to even be contained by a prison." He gave Mark a serious look. "Am I right in that assumption?"
Mark nodded. "Yeah. If they ever caught him, they wouldn't be able to keep him. He wouldn't allow it."
Gil sighed. "I hate being right sometimes." He was silent for a really long minute. "Some people would say that there's a demon in him. Whether he was born with it or whether it was created could be up for debate. Quite frankly, I don't really give a rat's ass which it is. What matters to me is whether or not he can control this demon while he's with my son…or better yet, beat it." He took a deep breath. "Sometimes love can beat the demon…I think we all better hope that's the case this time, because I have a bad feeling that this won't end well for any of us if it doesn't." He began to walk away. "Now if you'll excuse me, I've got a pig to go roast."
Mark leaned his head back against the house and waited until Gil was out of sight before sighing and shaking his head. He didn't know what to think about the whole love beating the demon idea. On the surface it seemed plausible, but he knew James too well to have any real faith in him when it came to this. Killing wasn't just something that James did; it was a part of him. It was ingrained into his system utterly and completely at this point.
But maybe this time will be different, a little voice in the back of his head said. For some reason, it sounded a lot like Jeff. Maybe he can really do it this time. Even after all of these years, he's still capable of surprising you.
That last part was definitely true, but he still had his doubts. Of course, in the grand scheme of things, his doubts weren't what mattered. What mattered was whatever James decided to do. Once James made his choice, then he was just going to have to accept it and help everyone deal with the consequences that came afterwards. I'm always dealing with the consequences of James's actions, he thought with a tired sigh. He's lucky I love him so much or I would have stopped doing this kind of shit a long time ago. It's fucking exhausting.
Adam looked back and forth between Jeff and Matt. Neither of them had said a word to each other ever since Jeff had come back from taking James to talk to Gil. It was not only completely frustrating, but it was totally stupid. "Guys come on, this is not even funny even more," he said in exasperation. He was seriously ready to hit the both of them. "There is no reason for you to be ignoring each other."
Matt shook his head. "I'm not ignoring anyone. I just don't want to say anything because Jeff will just get mad at me."
Jeff glared at him. "Are you saying I overreact? How could you say that? You bast--"
"Hey hey hey!" Adam exclaimed, waving his hands and shaking his head emphatically. "That's enough!"
Jeff fell silent…for about two seconds. Then he pointed to Matt and said "He started it!"
"How did I start it?" Matt asked incredulously.
"Oh don't play dumb with me! You know what you did!"
"Okay, what part of that's enough do you guys not understand?" Adam asked impatiently. He was two seconds away from grabbing the hose and spraying both of them. "Look, I know exactly what this is about. Matt, you don't trust Jeff's judgment regarding James because of the whole Dave thing. And Jeff, you're pissed because you think Matt's trying to run your life. But you know what? You both just need to get over it."
Matt raised his eyebrows. "You make it sound so simple."
"That's because it is simple," Adam insisted. "Come on you guys, you two love the hell out of each other. Can't you both be mature for once and agree to disagree about James? At least for right now?"
Jeff smirked. "You're talking to us about maturity Adam? You're the one who's campaigning to get Bananas in Pajamas back on TV."
"Hey! That was an awesome show! And that's not even the point, Mr. I Threw A Temper Tantrum When They Fucked With My Rugrats." Adam smirked at the look on Jeff's face. "Yeah, I heard about that, so don't you--"
"Okay, I'm going to step in here," Matt said quickly. He got out of his chair and made sure to stand in between Adam and Jeff. "I don't want this to get ugly." He gave Jeff a serious look. "Look, you know I just worry about you. Sometimes you don't always make the best choices for yourself--"
"Oh yes, throw that in my face," Jeff muttered. "Like I don't already know."
"Jeff please, I'm not trying to throw anything into your face. I just…I'm trying to watch out for you. James freaks me out and that's just the way it is."
Jeff stayed defiant for a moment before sighing. "I know," he muttered. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath.
"You okay?" Adam asked. To him it appeared that Jeff was pretty worn out.
Jeff opened his eyes and started to answer, but something that caught his attention made him pause. Adam and Matt looked to see what it was and saw that James was coming towards them. "Why didn't he come out the front door?" Adam asked to nobody in particular.
Matt shrugged. "I have no idea." He was giving James a distrustful look, but that didn't seem to phase the murderer at all. In fact, he completely ignored Matt and Adam and beckoned Jeff to come over to him. "We need to talk," he announced.
Jeff nodded and got up to his feet. "Okay. I'm coming."
Adam watched Jeff go to James and then watched as the two of them walked a good distance away so they could have their privacy. "What do you think's going to happen between them and Mark," he asked as he rested his chin on Matt's shoulder.
Matt shrugged. "I don't know." He turned around and wrapped his arms around Adam's waist. "I'm kind of hoping they just go their separate ways, but it's not up to me. Jeff's going to do what he damn well pleases and there's not a whole lot I can do to stop him. Well…not without causing him to hate me anyway."
Adam smirked. "You finally realized that?"
"Oh I've realized it a long time ago. I just don't like admitting it." He pressed his forehead against Adam's. "I just don't want to see him get hurt from all this."
"I know you don't," Adam said with a sigh. He gave Matt a gentle kiss on the lips before shaking his head. "Maybe it'll all work itself out. I mean, stranger things have happened."
"Yes. I mean, Mae Young did give birth to a hand after all so--"
"That was an angle honey. That didn't actually happen."
Adam frowned. "Matt, when I throw an example at you, you are not supposed to shoot it down with facts. Come on man, get with the damn program!"
Matt grinned. "Sorry baby."
"Sorry isn't going to cut it. I need an orgasm to make me feel better."
Matt rolled his eyes before tossing Adam over his shoulder. "Is that all you ever think about dear?"
"Yes it is. Is that a problem?"
"Nope. It's what I love most about you."
Jeff watched Adam and Matt go into the house before shaking his head and looking at James. "We should probably stay out here till they're done," he said. "Those two are obnoxiously loud when they get started."
James raised his eyebrow. "Are they trying to overcompensate for something?"
Jeff shrugged. "I don't know. I've never slept with either one of them." He shoved his hands into his pocket. They were standing under a tree so at least they were out of the sun. Unfortunately, it was still hotter than hell, so it wasn't the most comfortable place to have a conversation. "So um, how did the talk with Dad go?"
James shook his head. "I don't know."
"How do you not know? You were there!"
"But I'm not a good judge at that kind of stuff," James pointed out. "I've never had a real conversation with a parent before." He rubbed the back of his neck. "He did tell me that I needed to make a choice between you and the killing…at least I think he did. He was trying to pull all kinds of ninja mind tricks on me so I'm not entirely sure what--"
"Ninja mind tricks?"
"Yes. Just go with it."
"Okay." Jeff snickered a little before sighing. "So um…where do we go from here?"
James sighed. "I…look, I'm not like Mark. This whole killing thing is different for me than it was for him. When he wanted to stop, he was able to stop. And I'll be honest, I don't want to stop…but I guess if its for you I can…. I can give it a shot."
Jeff's eyes widened. "Are you serious? You would really do that for me?"
James hesitated and then nodded. "I'm not making any guarantees Jeff. I know myself too well to do that."
Jeff shook his head and wrapped his arms around James's neck. "I think you're underestimating yourself. I don't think I've met anyone as strong willed as you are. You put me and Matt to shame."
James shook his head. "I think you're giving me too much credit. When it comes to this, there's only so much faith you can put in me."
"Yeah well, I guess we'll find out which one of us is right soon enough." Jeff took a step back and then grabbed James by the hand. "Come on. Let's go tell Mark the news."
"He's not going to have much faith in me either you know."
"Yeah well, that's why you guys have me," Jeff replied with a grin. He tried to pull James along but quickly realized that he wasn't strong enough to do that. "Well are you going to come or not?"
"I'm coming," James muttered as he began to walk. His eyes betrayed how apprehensive he actually was.
Jeff sighed and kept pulling James along. He made a mental note to talk to Mark alone and make sure the both of them got on the same page regarding this turn of events. He had a feeling that James was going to need more than their full support with this whole thing. Which we'll do provide one way or another, he swore to himself. I don't care what Matt says. I love him too much to give up on him. And if he's willing to try, then I'll think we'll be okay.
So…James is giving up killing for Jeff. And while that sounds noble and sweet and all that good stuff, I'll tell you right now that there's going to be major consequences coming from that decision.
I started doing an outline for what I want to do in the sequel and I realized that I have a hell of a lot of stuff to get through. There's the fallout from the James thing, Shawn and John's wedding, a new twist in the Matt and Adam relationship and I need to have all kinds of fun with Randy and Cody *takes another look at the outline and bangs head against the desk* Oh boy, this is going to be so much fun.