Chapter 1

Brendan was sitting in his office, feet on his desk. A week had passed since Steven had given him the letter and while he took a sip from his whiskey he read the letter, what was probably around the thirtieth time.

Dear Brendan,

This is a love letter. I'm writing it because I'm happier than I've ever been, your actions in the last few days have had a life changing effect on me; they made me feel stronger than I ever have before. You decided that you wanted me and you claimed me as your own. You beat every last bit of self respect out of me until I didn't know who I was anymore. Do you know how long it takes to get over that? I started to wonder if that day would ever come, but it turns out…its today. Like I said this is a love letter but it's not to you. Your money's gone; you'll never get it back. And that goes double for me.

Ste

When he was done reading, he opened a drawer of his desk and put the letter underneath a few maps. He didn't need it anyway, he had read the letter so often that he'd completely memorized it. Your money's gone; you'll never get it back. He couldn't help himself, but feel a little bit proud of Steven. This time he really had managed to overplay Brendan, well that's at least what he thought he did.

Brendan stood up and walked out of his office, only to find a very worried looking Cheryl standing at the bar.

"Everything alright Chez?" Brendan asked her.

"Well, yes, but uhm... I saw Ste today and…" she nervously licked her lips.

"And?" he said annoyed when she didn't continue.

"Well..."

"Just say what you've got to say, it can't be that bad," Brendan said, starting to feel a little bit worried that something might have happened to Steven.

"Ste and Doug are back together," she said, worried about how Brendan might react.

Brendan was silent for a moment before he said: "You didn't tell me anything new."

"Oh, well, I was worried that you wouldn't take the news very well."

"What did you expect me to do? To kidnap Douglas, lock him up in the cellar and in the meantime take advantage of a worried sick Steven and talk my way into his bed again?"

She looked like she actually believed that he would do such a thing.

"Really Chez?"

"Well, you once said to me that you would do anything for the people you love, even if they don't see it is for their own good."

He looked at Cheryl for a moment before he said: "Shouldn't you get to Uni before two AM?"

Cheryl looked at her watch and saw she had only five minutes left.

"Oh, dammit, I'm gonna be late," she muttered, while walking to the door. She opened it and turned around to look at Brendan. "Don't do anything stupid, okay love."

Brendan grinned at her and said: "You know me Cheryl, I never do anything stupid."

She looked at him for a moment longer, like she wanted to make sure he really meant it and then she walked out of the club. Leaving Brendan with nothing but his thoughts once again.

Brendan took a clean glass from the bar and got himself another whiskey while listening to Cheryl's fading steps. She was right though, he really would do anything for the people he loved, the sad thing was that most of the time they didn't understand it was for their own good.

Brendan walked back to his office and sat down in his chair. Your money's gone; you'll never get it back and that goes double for me. Steven really thought he had played a smart game. He got his Deli without having to pay Brendan back and he got hislover Douglas. Steven would never think that in the end it was just Brendan who had really won. The moment he'd seen Steven and Douglas kiss, a plan had gotten into his head. Soon he started to put his plan to work. It was easy to get Douglas scared enough to make sure he would tell his secret to Steven. After that, making sure Steven signed the contract and even getting Steven into the restaurant had not been that difficult. He only had to find a way to let Steven find out he'd booked a room for the two of them. And when Steven had insisted on ordering the fish, Brendan knew how to let him know.

The next day all he needed to do was tell Steven how he felt and to his own surprise it was easier to find the right words to say then he had thought it would be. Of course he didn't look at Steven one single time, because it was essential that Steven thought that every single word Brendan said was a lie.

After that he needed a little patience and soon his patience was rewarded when Steven came to him and told him he wanted him back, but only on one condition. And Brendan had to admit that Steven played his part very well, he would almost believe everything Steven said, but of course Brendan knew it were all just lies. When Steven kissed him, it felt like all the passion and desire that Brendan had locked away for months, came back to him. It took Brendan all his strength not to take Steven by his arm and drag him to the closest place where they could be alone and Brendan could do all the things that he had dreamed about doing for months. But he pushed away his feelings and seeing Douglas face after their kiss made him enjoy everything even more.

A few moments later he saw Steven again and knowing that after today he wouldn't be able to kiss Steven for a long time, he gave into his feelings and kissed him once again. And he had to admit that seeing Amy's shocked face was quite funny. After that he and Steven went back to the club to sign the new papers. Brendan had planned everything days ago so the new papers were already there. After signing them he kissed Steven for the last time, but Steven broke of the kiss, probably because, knowing Steven, he was starting to feel guilty about what he had done.

Steven left and Brendan watched him walking away. Soon after that he stood up to walk home, wondering how Steven would let him know he had played him. When he found the letter at his house he got his question answered.

Brendan took a sip from his whiskey and smiled to himself about how good everything had worked out. The first step in his plan had worked out perfectly and he knew it would take quite some time and a lot of patience, but in the end he would get Steven back. And if that meant that Steven had to be together with Douglas for a while, then Brendan was okay with that. Even though he hated the thought of Douglas and Steven together.

Brendan stood up and walked out of the club onto the balcony, it was his favorite place because he could watch out over the whole village, like a king watching his kingdom.

At that moment he saw Steven walking hand in hand with Douglas. Douglas was talking and Steven smiled as if he was happy. Immediately Brendan felt the jealousy and anger rise into his chest and his hands tightened their grip on the railing. But he knew if he would go down there now and beat up Douglas he would ruin all of his chances with Steven. No, he needed to be patient, after all it was for the greater good.

At that precise moment Steven looked up, as if he knew Brendan was watching him and their eyes met. Brendan felt his heart starting to beat faster and his hands gripped the railing even tighter. He felt the burning desire in every part of his body and he knew that Steven felt it too.

Douglas didn't seem to notice and kept on chatting cheerfully, while Steven kept on looking at Brendan until he was out of sight.

When Steven was out of sight Brendan let go of his grip on the railing and he took a deep breath of air. Brendan smiled to himself. Steven still had feelings for him, he didn't want them and he tried to push them away, but they were still there. It made his plan even easier than he had thought it would be. Brendan guessed it was time for step two…