A/N: I know - this was supposed to be finished! I just couldn't resist one more jab at Chamberlain, this time from Brian. Hope you don't mind indulging me.:)
Three Months Later – Fall
"You know….I'm going to miss seeing you at work, Sunshine," Brian told his partner, his eyes twinkling like a little boy who had had the pleasure of spending an inordinate amount of time with his favorite toy. Actually, he decided, that wasn't far off. It had been a most pleasurable summer while his very own personal intern had been working for him. Now, though, all good things had to come to an end and all good little artists had to return to PIFA…
"You mean you're going to miss the fringe benefits," Justin pointed out more accurately as he smiled back at the brunet.
"Oh, is that what they call it now?" Brian responded, curling his lips under in amusement. "Well, I have a feeling I'm not the only who's going to miss them," he pointed out as Justin merely shrugged with a slight smile. "Just like Dixie, it was good to see the bath house rise once again." He sighed. "I guess at least the cleaning lady will be relieved to see you gone."
Justin smiled in agreement; the poor woman was constantly having to clean up after their rather enthusiastic 'breaks' twice a day, and that was in addition to lunch if they decided to 'eat in.'
"I have a feeling that Jimmy wasn't too fond of your use of "artistic license," Brian. "The poor guy was afraid to say so much as 'boo' to me for fear the Kinney wrath would descend upon him. I think the cleaning lady's not the only one who'll be relieved to see me go."
Brian's expression took on a more serious note as he told his partner, "Don't let the guy fool you, Justin. The Art Department got twice as much done while you were there this summer. They're going to have their work cut out for them now that you're back in school. I'm going to have to ride their asses hard to get the same amount of work done."
Justin harrumphed as he smirked. "I better not catching you 'riding anyone else's ass' except mine, Mr. Kinney," he huskily quipped as the brunet grinned back at him.
"Duly noted, Sunshine," he told his partner. "Speaking of riding…..did you decide which one I should pick?"
Justin shook his head. "How about none of them?" he suggested hopefully, but he knew it was no use as he sighed in resignation. "I really wish you wouldn't do this, Brian."
The older man rolled his eyes. "We've already discussed this, Justin. You need a reliable means of transportation to go to school, and I need a brand new toy as a tax write-off. Works out perfectly."
Justin turned in his seat to stare defiantly at his partner. "Brian, you know how much I hate it when you spend so much money on me! You're already paying for my tuition….which I am paying you back for," he told his partner adamantly. "Now I'll have a car to pay back, too."
"It's just the old Jeep, Justin. I mean, how much could that thing be worth now? Most of it has depreciated by now." He smiled reassuringly into the fiery blue eyes as his voice softened slightly. "Just let me do this for you, all right? I don't always have time to take you to school and I don't want you to have to cart your portfolio back and forth on the bus. Stop being so ungrateful and just take the damn fucking thing, okay?"
Justin's heart warmed at Brian's tender tone of concern. How could he say no to that voice or that handsome face? "Okay," he grudgingly agreed at last. "But I'm going to pay the insurance on it from what I earned at Kinnetik."
Brian shook his head. "Fair enough, I guess," he decided. He peered through the windshield, noticing the exit ramp coming up for the downtown Convention Center where the Annual Auto Exposition was being held. The great part about attending the show was that by law, no salesman could actually sell you a car there, so they weren't very pushy when you expressed an interest in any particular vehicle. The beauty of it, though, was that you could sit in each luxury car to your heart's content and gauge your interest in it before you bought it; that is, if you could get the sticky-fingered kids out from behind the steering wheel first….
Justin knew that Brian would wend his way directly toward the expensive, upper-end models, but he supposed that was one of the perks of being such a successful ad agency owner. In fact, despite Max Chamberlain's withdrawal of his rather lucrative account a few months ago, Brian's company had barely experienced even so much of a hiccup as a result. Soon after the arrogant man was bodily escorted out of Kinnetik, an old college friend of Brian's had called him with a possible lead toward a new client. Less than a week later, his partner had a brand-new client signed up that more than made up for the gap in business that Chamberlain would have provided.
As he gazed over at his partner, whose eyes were lit up with excitement as they pulled up near the Convention Center, he couldn't help thinking how wonderful it had been to work with him this past summer. Maybe one day, after he had graduated, they could work together again. For now, though, he was more than content being with the man he loved at night and on the weekends.
"This is it!" Brian said, his eyes shining with enthusiasm as he pulled into a nearby parking space and turned the motor of the Jeep off. "Time to go find me some wheels!"
Justin laughed at his partner's eagerness. When Brian was around expensive gadgets, motorcycles, luxury automobiles, or designer furniture, he was like a kid in a candy store. As he looked at Brian's joyful-looking face, he decided he rather liked this rarely-seen side of the other man.
"I'm coming, Speed Racer," he quipped as he disembarked from the car.
Brian frowned. "How do you know about him?" he asked in amazement. "That cartoon was on before you….ur, WE were born."
Justin's face broke out into a wide smile. "Duh….animation," he said by virtue of explanation; it never mattered how old the cartoon was if it was drawn well. Brian smiled in understanding as he placed his hand on Justin's shoulder in a silent signal to hurry him along.
"Fuck!" Justin exclaimed as he stood next to a free-standing display showing the specs and price of a cherry-red Lamborghini that Brian was presently sitting in; his eyes grew big as saucers as he finally found the sticker price. "$225,700!" he cried out, stunned. "You're shitting me," he muttered in amazement. "What's in this car – a gold-plated steering wheel and diamond-studded seatbelts?" He shook his head; now he knew why it was called sticker shock because he was feeling that emotion right now.
Brian pulled his long, lanky legs out from the low-sitting, outrageously-expensive mint on wheels and closed the door, eyeing the sleek exterior as he slowly walked around it. "Sweet ride," he practically purred as he smiled in appreciation. "I could definitely see me tooling around in this one," he stated as Justin walked up next to him.
"If I was driving this car, I'd be afraid to even put the damned thing in drive," Justin told him, shaking his head. "Two hundred twenty-five thousand dollars," he mumbled again, still trying to come to terms with such an ungodly high amount.
Brian smiled at his reaction as he leaned in to whisper in Justin's ear, "That's okay, Sunshine. I'll drive it. You just sit in the passenger seat and look hot. That color would look very sexy on you."
Justin almost blushed the same shade as the car at Brian's huskily-spoken words. Brian chuckled softly at his reaction as he gently took Justin by the wrist and motioned with his head toward another vehicle nearby. "Come on, Speed Racer," he whispered, unable to keep the excitement out of his voice. "Let's go check out how a silver Maserati would look with your skin," he suggested. "I need to find out if you look better with cool or hot tones."
"Brian," Justin murmured in embarrassment as Brian grinned at him over his discomfiture. He wasn't used to shopping for cars based on how they looked against his skin tone. But then again, he had never quite met someone like his partner before, either. He had to smile at Brian's look of fascination with all the fancy car models. Something told him that based on how many such vehicles were displayed here and the inordinate amount of time that Brian was spending in each car, they would probably be spending a lot of time here today. He didn't really mind, though….any chance to spend extra time alone (well, relatively alone, anyway) with Brian was alright with him.
He laughed as Brian began to outdistance him. "Come on, Justin!" Brian chided him. "Chop chop!"
"Okay, okay, I'm coming," he grumbled good-naturedly as he struggled to keep up. "Go on – I'll catch up!" he called out, laughing as Brian nodded once and instantly took off at a run, almost as if he was afraid the car would disappear before he got there. Kid in a candy store indeed, Justin thought to himself, smiling. He slowed down to a more normal walk, realizing that Brian would be easy to find – he just had to look for the most expensive, silver car in the group at the back of the Convention Center and he would find Brian in it.
As Justin slowly threaded his way through the burgeoning crowd of visitors, his movements were being closely monitored by a man who was standing on one of the raised platforms that displayed a new line of luxury models being introduced into the United States in the fall; Maxwell Chamberlain had immediately recognized Justin as he passed nearby, the blond oblivious to his presence.
"Well, well, well…..Will you look who's here," he said in pleased surprise. He would know that fiery, sexy blond anywhere. It was the same hot intern he had set his sights on a few months ago – the same man who had made his rejection of him painfully clear. In fact, he could almost still feel the agonizing stab of pain that had shot through his groin after the blond had kneed him so violently in that restroom. He had not only been injured during that unpleasant episode, but he had also been totally humiliated as a result when Kinney's gorilla security guard had unceremoniously escorted him out.
"Looks like a little payback's in order," he murmured as he carefully tracked the blond with his eyes. "Like they say, good things come to those who wait," he snickered, as he jumped down from the platform and took off in hot pursuit of his target. "I'm not letting you go so easily this time, Taylor," he vowed as he hastily jostled his way through the crowd, elbowing anyone who stood in his way as those he pushed grumbled vocally at his rudeness. At the moment, though, he didn't care – he had an important matter to take care of.
Unaware that he was being followed, Justin slowly picked his way through the ever-increasing crowd, finally reaching the outskirts of the Maserati dealer's display of new vehicles. He quickly scanned the area, noticing only one silver-colored vehicle in the bunch. Unfortunately, Brian wasn't in it at the moment. He frowned, wondering where the luxury car enthusiast had gone. He looked around the area nearby, noticing there was both a Porsche and a Lexus dealership located not too far way. "Should have put a fucking bell on you, Mr. Kinney," he kidded as he sighed. Knowing Brian had to be in the exposition area somewhere, he began to do a quick scan of each luxury vehicle nearby, looking carefully for his partner.
Finally after ten minutes of no Brian, he finally sat down at one of the portable picnic tables set up next to the concession vendors. "You're just going to have to come find me," he muttered in resignation. At the pace Brian was going earlier, and with his long legs, he figured his partner could be way over on the other side of the expo center by now or even upstairs on the second level where the expensive motorcycles were kept. His stomach growled, reminding him that neither he nor Brian had eaten since morning. "Well, while you satisfy your appetite for cars, Mr. Kinney," he said softly with a smile, "I guess I'll just have to satisfy my own."
Standing up, he was about to walk over to one of the vendors when he decided to make a pit stop at the nearby bathroom first.
How fitting, Chamberlain thought smugly as he watched Justin walking toward the men's room. "I guess what goes around, comes around," he said to himself. He slowly made his way toward the entrance door, knowing now that there wasn't any particular hurry – he had the hot little intern right where he wanted him; or he would have soon –his cock would be buried deep inside that tight, luscious little ass of his….
From his perch on the walkway overlooking the main floor of the center, Brian quickly skimmed the vast space in search of his wayward blond; after being unsuccessful in finding him below, he had decided to come up to the upper level in hopes he could find his partner a little easier. "Okay, Sunshine…how am I supposed to see how hot you look in my new car if I can't find you?" he grumbled in disappointment as he cast his glance all around the sea of cars. He actually wanted to see Justin's reaction to the vehicle he had his eye on: a sleek, brand new, top-of-the-line candy-apple red Corvette. After much debate and after sitting in numerous luxury cars, he had decided to stick with his favorite. He figured he could still keep the old classic model he treasured for his normal ride into work, but when he wanted speed or wanted to open up on a country road somewhere, he would take his new, convertible model out for a spin. He couldn't wait to see Justin's reaction. And Justin always did look hot in red, he thought, as he smiled.
He was just about to resort to asking if the P.A. system could call out Justin's name like some lost child when he spotted a familiar mop of blond hair down by one the concession areas. He snickered. "Figures," he said to himself. "I should have checked that area first." He watched as Justin veered at the last moment to head toward the bathroom instead.
He started to turn around to walk toward the escalator to intersect his wayward partner when another person caught his attention and his breath caught in his throat. His eyes narrowed in fury and his heart started pounding so furiously that it threatened to burst from his chest as he recognized Max Chamberlain making a steady but determined beeline for his partner. "Fuck!" he snarled loudly as he turned and began running as fast as he could toward the stairway, knowing it was closer to the bathroom than the escalator. He completely ignored the heated, angry glares of all the people he had to roughly push aside in his frantic attempt to reach Justin before someone else did. I AM going to fucking kill you this time, you son of a bitch, he growled to himself as he took the steps two at a time…..
Alone in the back row of urinals in the men's room, Justin zipped up his pants and stuck his hands under the automatic faucet, pressing the soap dispenser a few times as he washed his hands briefly under the running water. He rather absentmindedly turned to press the hot air button nearby as the loud, noisy blower came on. Rubbing his hands briskly under the burst of air to dry them, the deafening noise effectively drowned out the sounds of approaching footsteps behind him.
He didn't have a chance to turn around before a pair of hands came out to grab him. One hand quickly plastered itself to his mouth to keep him from crying out while the other one wrapped itself possessively around his waist to effectively pin him in as an unwilling prisoner.
He struggled to turn around to see who his attacker was, but the other man was too strong for him. His eyes widened in dread, however, as he heard a familiar voice at his ear. "I've come to finish what we started, Taylor," Chamberlain whispered as he bucked slightly against Justin's ass to reveal his already hard cock pressing against him.
Justin tried to cry out so someone would hear him, but Chamberlain used his shoulder to push the hot-air dryer button to turn it back on again, drowning out his hopes of getting someone's attention nearby. He knew if he didn't do something soon, the man would no doubt drag him into a nearby stall and try to finish what he hadn't even been able to start before. He had to get someone's attention, but there would be no knee to the groin this time….
He finally did the only thing he could think of – he managed to open his lips just enough to reach out with his teeth and bite down hard on the man's hand. Chamberlain yelped in pain and immediately yanked his hand back to suck on it with his mouth. His eyes filled with rage over this same man injuring him twice. "You asshole!" he growled. "You're going to pay for that!"
Justin opened his mouth to cry for help, but the other man was too fast for him; Chamberlain's wrapped his arm around Justin's head and over his mouth to effectively cut off his only chance to yell for someone. He began to drag Justin toward the closest bathroom stall when suddenly the blond felt the man roughly yanked away from him as he was freed from his bonds.
He turned in shock just in time to see Brian cock his arm back and deliver a resounding blow to the man's face, hitting him squarely in the nose as blood spurted from each nostril and from his cracked lip. "You fucker!" he yelled at the top of his lungs. "I really AM going to fucking kill you this time!" Chamberlain shrunk back from the man's fury, noticing Brian's eyes were dark as purest coal as he lunged for him.
Justin was terrified that Brian really would make good on his threat this time; he had never seen his partner as furious as he was at that moment. He suddenly noticed a slender, rather timid-looking, fearful man peering around the corner of the other row of stalls in curiosity and shouted, "Call the police! Do it!" he commanded as the two men began to grapple with each other over control.
He attempted to place himself in between both men but it was no use – he didn't know if it was Brian or Chamberlain, but one of them roughly shoved him out of the way. "Brian, no!" he shouted in alarm. "Don't do it! Let the police handle it!" He moved again to take Brian by the arms to try and pull him off, but he was like a piranha unleashed on steroids; he was not going to let go this time as his hands came up to clamp onto the man's neck and give it a tight squeeze.
Justin's heart pounded furiously as he watched the other man's face darkening and his eyes bulging with fear. "Brian, please!" he pleaded but it was to no avail; Brian was studiously ignoring him.
"Let him go," a deep, authoritative voice unexpectedly called from a few feet away, as Justin turned to see a uniformed security guard holding a gun at both men. "I said….let….him….go!"
Brian's face was red with rage, his eyes flashing with fury as he finally took a deep breath and released Chamberlain, who immediately slumped to the floor in a heap. As soon as Brian had complied with his order, the guard made a motion with his hand and two paramedics rushed in to squat at Chamberlain's side to examine him.
Justin was relieved after a few minutes to see the man stirring as he made a groaning noise a couple of times and finally opened his eyes. After a few seconds, the paramedics helped him to his feet, having to hold onto him when he swayed and threatened to fall as soon as they released their hold on him.
"You're under arrest," the guard told both men flatly.
"But it was his fault!" Justin cried out, pointing to Chamberlain. "He attacked me! It's the second time he's done it!" he revealed. "Brian was just trying to defend me!" he explained urgently.
"You can explain all of that down at the police station," the guard sternly told Justin. "Let's go."
But both partners first needed to make sure of something first. "Are you all right?" Justin asked softly, lightly placing his hand near a cut Brian apparently had just received to his lower lip; there was also an ugly red scar about an inch long right above his left eyelid.
Brian nodded. "Are you?" he asked softly, placing his hand on Justin's cheek as the blond nodded.
"I'm fine," he told his partner, gazing tenderly into his eyes. "Thanks to you."
Brian swallowed and took a deep breath, so relieved that Justin was apparently unharmed. "I saw him walking in here and knew you were inside. I tried to get to you before him, but I couldn't make it."
Chamberlain glared in disgust at the scene being played out before him; he knew that once more he had been thwarted in his attempt to capture the intriguing blond. He finally realized it was never going to happen – not as long as his personal bodyguard in the form of Brian Kinney was around. "Can we cut this tender little scene here and just get on with it?" he snarled nastily to the security guard.
A second guard walked in as backup for the first as both men took Brian and Chamberlain by the arm and led them out of the bathroom, Justin following closely behind them. Justin insisted on keeping his hand on Brian's shoulder as they were led through the crowd and toward the back exit door. Fifteen minutes later, both men were escorted inside Precinct 29 of the Pittsburgh Police Department.
"Come for a tour, Kinney?" a familiar voice asked from a few feet away as they walked in and were told to sit down in chairs on opposite sides of the room.
Brian grimaced at Carl Horvath. "Not quite," he said, rubbing his stiff jaw where Chamberlain had gotten in a lucky punch. "Two of us wanted the same thing at the car show and we had a fight over it," he quipped, looking over at Justin meaningfully. "I won, though," he added as Justin smiled back at him softly.
"You know this guy?" the security guard asked Carl, pointing to Brian.
The older man shook his head. "Yeah….you could say that. What's he in here for?"
"He and that other guy started a fight in one of the restrooms," the guard stated, pointing over to a nearby chair where Chamberlain was glaring over at Brian. "They were both throwing punches at each other and the taller guy tried to choke the other one. I couldn't sort out their stories so I told them they would have to both come down."
Carl nodded as he stared over at Justin. At least he knew the young man would tell him the truth – he sometimes wondered how the blond artist had ever gotten so deeply involved with Kinney, but at least he knew he would be straight with him. "I'll take care of this, Danny," he told the security guard who he obviously knew. "You can go ahead and head back."
The guard nodded as he turned to go. "Better keep an eye on those two," he warned as he stared at Brian and Chamberlain. "They're like water and oil." Carl nodded his thanks as the guard turned and walked out the precinct door.
Carl sighed as he turned to direct his question to Justin, who was apparently the only sane one in the bunch. "What happened, son?" he asked softly.
"Don't listen to him!" Chamberlain called out scornfully. "Those two are in cahoots together! He'll lie for Kinney every time!"
"Will you shut up!" Carl told the other man in irritation. "I wasn't talking to you." He glanced up as one of his officers entered the room. "Hopkins….take that suspect down to the holding cell for a while, okay?"
As Chamberlain sputtered his vehement protests, the muscular-looking policeman helped the injured man to his feet and half-walked, half-dragged him down the corridor, the man's shouts echoing as they eventually disappeared.
Carl let out an exhale of exasperated breath; it was going to be a long shift at the precinct today. "Okay, let's try this again, Justin….can you explain to me what happened?"
Thirty minutes later, the two men walked out of the precinct's door and down the steps after Justin had explained in detail how the other man had attacked him – twice. Carl assured the two partners that Chamberlain would be charged with assault and battery, a crime that could have him locked up for at least the next two years.
"Fucker got off easy," Brian muttered as he wrapped his arm protectively around Justin's slender waist. As they stepped down onto the sidewalk, he stopped Justin by halting his forward movement and gently turned Justin around to face him. "Are you sure you're all right?" he asked again gently, his concern still evident in his voice. When he had seen Justin heading into the bathroom earlier at the center, and watched Chamberlain, all thoughts about new cars had quickly been replaced with much more important matters.
Justin reached up to softly brush some hair back from Brian's forehead. "I'm fine, Brian….really. I'm just relieved that he's going to be prosecuted this time for what he did."
"Well, he's still getting off way too easily," Brian groused, his voice deep with concern over what might have happened. "If I hadn't gotten there when I did….." He let the horrible thought remain uncompleted; the idea of Justin getting hurt was too raw and painful to even contemplate.
Justin smiled softly at him. "But you did, Brian. That's what's important. And I'm fine…..we're both fine," he assured him, placing his hands on Brian's shoulders as he leaned up to place a soft kiss on his lips.
"Ow," Brian cried out as their lips touched. His lip had been cut slightly from his altercation with the other man and it was still painful.
"Sorry," Justin said, opting to kiss Brian on the corner of his mouth instead. "I guess even heroes can be injured," he teased softly.
"That's me," Brian retorted. "Always getting my head in the way."
Justin chuckled. "Not all the time," he responded meaningfully as Brian smiled a little. He let out a sigh of relief. "I'm glad that's all over," he admitted. "That guy really gave me the creeps."
"I could think of a lot of other words to describe that fucker, Sunshine," Brian growled; still livid that the man would have the audacity to force himself on his partner.
"Forget it, Brian; he's not even worth the breath it takes to say the guy's name." He smiled up at his partner. "I think we have some unfinished business to take care of, anyway."
A single manicured brow rose in question. "We do? Here – now – on the sidewalk?" he asked, tongue in cheek.
Justin swatted his arm lightly. "No, not that," he said as Brian grinned. "I think we have enough time to head back down to the expo center to see the rest of the luxury cars."
Brian looked down at him in disbelief. "You really want to go back there after what happened?"
Justin smiled. "Sure…..Chamberlain's not going anywhere. And besides, I need to make sure you don't buy a car that's going to clash with my skin tone."
Brian smirked. "That reminds me…..let me tell you about this convertible I saw….."