Chapter 33

Blaine stared out the window of his penthouse suite at the Kolstedt Hotel. He was sure he would never tire of the incredible view of the city. He especially loved looking down at the traffic below. Loved how the cars never stopped moving. Even at 3 am there was traffic on the streets. Action. Energy. Movement.

Movement forward.

Moving forward was the new theme of Blaine's life. He was done looking backwards trying to fix and avenge events of the past. It was time to move forward.

Starting by making sure he had the most talented people on his team.

Vince knocked and opened the door. "Natalia's here." Blaine nodded.

A moment later Natalia strolled in with a huge smile. "Hello Blaine Anderson. I'm Natalia. Nice to officially meet you."

Blaine smiled back. "It's nice to officially meet you, too. Please have a seat."

Natalia sat down in the chair next to the couch Blaine was stretched out on. She looked at him affectionately.

"I've gotta say it's really, really good to see you. How are you feeling?"

"I'm alive. Thanks to you. If it wasn't for you, I'd be a rotting corpse at the bottom of a flight of stairs. They might have found me when I started to smell. Thank you for saving my life."

Natalia shrugged. "It's what I do. Glad I was able to help."

"But, it's not the only thing you do."

"I'm a woman of many talents and gifts."

"So, I've learned. First hand and from others."

The two stared at each other for a moment in silent agreement before Blaine continued.

"I asked you here because I wanted to thank you and I wanted to pay you for your time and service."

Natalia held up her hand. "No need. You were my target, not my client. The client has already taken care of everything. You owe me nothing."

"Still, I'd like to show my gratitude and appreciation."

"Unnecessary. Just glad I was able to fulfill my mission after you fulfilled yours. Congratulations by the way on a very impressive and shall we say…explosive take over. I have to ask. How on earth did you manage to get the heads of six New York families in one room, distracted to the point that no one realized the danger of the setup?"

"Greed can be very distracting."

"Very true." Natalia stood up. "Well, if that's all, I should let you rest."

"Actually, that's not all."

Natalia sat back down. She knew what was coming.

Blaine shifted a bit and turned very formal. "As my family settles in to New York I'm looking to bring on new talent. Individuals familiar with the market and the players. People I can trust to run things, especially when I'm in Ohio. I'd like you to come work for me."

"No."

"No?"

"No. Absolutely not. I love who I am and I love what I do, but above all I love being free. Unbeholden to anyone. I work when I want, for those I want. I say yes when I want to, and no when I want to. My freedom means everything to me. So, while I appreciate your asking the answer is no."

Blaine leaned forward. "I figured that would be your initial answer, but let me assure you, I wouldn't bring you on cheap. I'm willing to pay you quite well."

"Unlike those men you disposed of so neatly, greed and money are not motivators for me. Besides, you don't wanna pay me what I make in a year."

"Yes, I do. I'm willing to pay you more. You can name your price."

"Very sweet of you, but no."

Blaine sat back and looked out the window for a minute before turning to her again. He stared directly into her eyes.

"Here's the thing, Natalia. Your clients call you with an assignment and you spring into action. One day someone is going to call you with an assignment that involves taking out the head of the Anderson family, or perhaps his husband, or his consigliere. What happens when you get that call?"

Natalia smiled. This kid was smart. Eliminate the threat by bringing it in house. "Let me be clear, Blaine. There are assignments I take and there are assignments I turn down. Taking out the head of the Anderson family, or anyone connected to the Anderson family is a no for me."

"Can I count on a call warning me if such a request is made?"

"No. That's not how this business works and you know it. Clients have to know that all requests remain confidential, whether I take it on or not. I can assure you I'll never accept a contract to kill you, but I won't play snitch for your team."

The two were locked in a staring contest for several moments. Natalia didn't flinch. Blaine was impressed.

"I have to say I'm not surprised by your answer but I felt you were worth the ask."

Natalia nodded with a strong air of confidence. "I am most definitely worth the ask, but like I said, you have nothing to fear from me. And, if you ever need my help just call."

Natalia leaned over and gave Blaine a quick kiss on the cheek and left.

Blaine laid back and closed his eyes.

Shit. How am I going to lead anything if one meeting exhausts me?

Telio came in and sat down. "Well?"

"She said no."

Telio nodded. "No surprise there. Do you want me to take care of her?"

Blaine opened his eyes and smiled. "You're amazing, Telio, but I doubt you could kill Natalia. She's an older, more experienced, female version of you. You're good, but she's better. Besides, she saved my life and after talking to her I trust her. She won't come after me. I feel sure of it."

Telio scowled. "Fine. Whatever. How you feeling? You sure you wanna make this trip to Ohio? It's only been about two weeks. You really need more rest."

"I can rest in Ohio. I've been gone too long as it is. Plus, it's Thanksgiving and I really wanna spend it with Kurt."

"Are we really having dinner at his house?"

"Yep. The Andersons and Hummels are celebrating Thanksgiving together. Me, you, mom, Kurt, his dad, Carol and Finn."

"Burt Hummel is going to poison us."

"Kurt and Carol are doing all the cooking. Besides, according to Kurt this was partly Burt's idea. Now that he's a congressman, things are bound to come out about his connection to me. We need to get our stories straight. Plus, I need to know if I can trust him. He'd make an outstanding witness for the FBI."

"And if you decide you can't trust him?"

Blaine shook his head. "Don't worry. I have no intentions of asking you to kill Burt Hummel." I'd have someone else do it and only if absolutely, positively, no other option necessary. I'd never wanna do that to Kurt.

"Good." Because I wouldn't do it. I wouldn't do that to Kurt.

Telio stood up. "You look pale. Enough talking. Back to bed."

Blaine reached up to hook his arm around Telio's shoulders for support standing up, but instead Telio scooped him up.

"Telio! Geez. I don't need you to carry me. I can walk."

Telio gently laid him down in bed. "Yeah, I know. And 20 minutes later we'd be here. This was faster."

Blaine settled against the pillows and closed his eyes. He was too tired to argue.

"How the fuck am I supposed to run anything if one meeting exhausts me? This shit sucks."

"Relax, Blaine. It's only been a little over two weeks. You gotta give yourself time." Telio pulled the covers up around Blaine and quietly left. He instructed the two guards in the sitting room and the three in the hallway that Blaine wasn't to have any more interruptions for the rest of the day. He headed to his room next door, stripped down to his boxers and fell into bed.

He may not be recovering from gunshots but he felt almost as exhausted as Blaine. He was secretly grateful they were heading back to Ohio in two days because he'd been moving nonstop since setting foot in New York.

T&NYC&T

Once it was publicly confirmed Chartussi was dead and Blaine was alive, Telio had been running against the clock to secure their position. The first step was to quickly exert control over Chartussi's crew. The Bethensons had already figured out who would be willing to join the Andersons immediately, who might need minimal persuading and who would be an absolute no. The no individuals had to be taken care of swiftly before they could organize themselves into a new crew, and to set an example. Logan and Laurent took care of them while Telio and San Lucas visited the maybes.

For Telio it was a crash course in the neighborhoods, rules and customs of the New York underworld. From lavish Harlem brownstones, to tiny Brooklyn apartments, to lofts in the Bronx and warehouses in Queens, Telio met men who either regarded him with reverence based on their knowledge of the Andersons, or with suspicion and arrogance because of his Ohio roots. What the hell did a cornfed Ohio hick know about New York?

The men he met were loud, honest and straight to the point. He quickly learned that despite his quiet, formal and respectful demeanor, San Lucas did not suffer fools or conversation with patience. Telio was shocked at the speed with which San Lucas would draw his gun and kill someone speaking mid-sentence.

"He sounded like he could be convinced to join us."

San Lucas shook his head. "Either yes or no. Conversation unnecessary. Conversation provides time to be ambushed. Either yes or no. Very simple."

Once Chartussi's men were handled, the heads of the six families were next. The idea that all six family heads would agree to a meeting was incredibly risky and rather preposterous, but curiosity worked in their favor. Chartussi's death alone was a shock, but the fact that an 18 year- old kid from Ohio was responsible was disquieting but also interesting. They'd all heard of the Andersons of course, but few had ever actually met Mario or his son. Curiosity combined with their personal greed allowed the plan to go off without a hitch.

Once the six family heads were killed, Telio and the Bethensons worked fast to install new co-crew chiefs – one loyal to the Andersons and one loyal to the Bethensons. Together the men would run the crews in each borough and the Bethenson chief would help the Anderson chief learn his way around New York. Logan and Laurent would oversee everything until Blaine and Telio graduated and moved to New York in June. It was a huge leap of faith and trust that made Telio nervous, but they really had no choice.

As always Laurent could sense Telio's thoughts and feelings. During their last dinner together, he sought to reassure him.

"Don't worry, Telio. This will work. After everything you and Blaine have done for us, you have our word that we won't betray you. It's an honor to partner with the Andersons. What we'll accomplish together…it'll be the stuff of legends."

Telio gave Laurent a short nod and was met with a warm smile.

Logan said nothing.


Thanksgiving afternoon Alicia stood in the kitchen angrily stirring a pan of gravy while her mother finished icing a cake.

"That gravy should be fine, honey. Go ahead and turn off the stove and pour it into the gravy boat."

Alicia turned off the stove and reached for the dish. Her mother glanced at her and sighed. Why was her beautiful daughter so difficult?

"Jimmy looks very handsome today. He seems to just get better and better looking every time I see him."

"In that case, perhaps you should date him, mother."

"Alicia, don't be rude; and I don't appreciate your tone."

"Well I don't appreciate being forced to spend Thanksgiving here when I was offered a very nice invitation to dinner with a congressman. I would think you and dad would approve."

Annika shook her head. "You know why we said no. As for Congressman Hummel…who knows what he's up to…associating with people like that. It's like they say, politics makes strange bedfellows."

"He's not up to anything. He simply invited his son's boyfriend and family to dinner. The same thing you're doing except Jimmy is not and will never be my boyfriend."

"I thought you were giving it a chance. You've been out with him almost every weekend this past month. Or…was that about getting a car."

Alicia said nothing. Her mother looked disappointed.

"Really, Alicia. That's very dishonest of you."

"That's rich coming from you, mom."

"That attitude and tone are going to get you grounded."

Alicia was quiet during dinner. Jimmy was seated next to her but didn't try to make conversation. As dinner was winding down Jimmy's father looked at her and smiled appreciatively. Such a pretty girl. Smart too. Perfect for his son.

"So, Alicia. Your father tells me you've applied to quite the list of schools. Harvard, Yale, NYU, Columbia. All great schools. Looks like you're Ivy League bound."

Alicia looked around the table. She was in a mood and it wasn't a good one. She was feeling angry, mean and tired of the bullshit.

She smiled sweetly at Mr. Scott. "Yes, I think I am Ivy League bound. So's my boyfriend."

Mr. Scott was surprised. He looked at Jimmy and then at Alicia's parents who were both staring at Alicia with a mixture of disappointment and rising anger. A grin spread across Mr. Scott's face.

"Oh, well. I…I don't think we knew…"

"Oh, yes. Telio is incredibly smart. He wants to be an attorney so he's seriously considering Harvard, Columbia and NYU as well."

"Who?"

"Telio Montgomery. My boyfriend."

Alicia's father was furious but kept his voice controlled. "Alicia, that's enough."

Jimmy's mother was thoroughly confused. "I thought you and Jimmy…"

"No, Mrs. Scott. Jimmy and I are just friends. My parents wish we were dating because they don't like Telio."

"Oh. Well, what's wrong with the boy?"

"Nothing. He attends Dalton, is a straight A student, is incredibly smart and very, very handsome."

"Oh." Mrs. Scott looked even more confused.

Dr. Wilder had enough. "Alicia, you're excused. Go to your room."

"Why? What did I do?"

"Now, Alicia."

Alicia scooted her chair back. "Fine!"

Alicia ran upstairs and headed to her parent's room. She opened her mother's nightstand and took out her phone. Honestly, if they were going to keep it from her, they really should find a less obvious hiding place. She quickly dialed Telio's number.

"Hey. Hi."

"Can you come get me?"

"Where are you?"

"At home."

"On my way."


Burt stood in the doorway of the kitchen and couldn't help smiling at the scene in front of him.

Kurt and Carol were busy pouring and stirring while Finn was chopping. They were talking and laughing and music was coming from the small radio on the kitchen counter.

It was the perfect Thanksgiving Day scene, and in that moment, Burt felt grateful, appreciative and full of love. His family was wonderful. The absolute best. He was a fortunate man.

The doorbell rang.

Well, that was nice while it lasted.

Burt opened the door to find an absolutely stunning Anastasia Anderson standing on his doorstep.

"Hello, Burt. Happy Thanksgiving."

It took Burt a moment to regain his composure. "Uh, yes. Yes. Happy Thanksgiving. Please come in."

Anastasia stepped inside. Burt helped her off with her coat. She held out a bottle of wine. "For dinner."

"Oh, thank you. You really didn't need to bother."

"Of course I did. This is so lovely of you. Thank you so much for the invitation."

Burt wasn't sure what to say. This entire thing had been Kurt and Carol's idea. He just got berated into going along.

"Oh, I almost forgot." Anastasia reached into her large designer bag. "While the wine is for dinner, this is for you." She held out a six-pack of Burt's favorite (and the only one he would agree to drink because seriously, designer beer?) craft beer.

"Now, this was necessary. Thank you."

Finn and Carol emerged from the kitchen and stopped short at the sight of Anastasia. Finn's mouth dropped open. "That's Blaine's mom?" Carol self-consciously patted her hair. She really had to stop doing that. Kurt came out and stepped around them.

"Hi! I'm so glad you could make it."

Anastasia held open her arms and hugged him close. "Thank you for the invitation. So kind of you." She pulled back and looked into his eyes. "I'm so glad my son chose such a loving young man as his partner."

In that moment, Kurt finally felt forgiven. "Thank you." Anastasia smiled warmly and nodded. Yes. They were good again.

Anastasia looked around. "Did I beat Blaine here?"

"Yeah. He called and said there was a transportation change. Something about Telio having to go get Alicia. Oh, I need to set another place."

Kurt hurried off dragging Finn with him. "Would you please put your tongue back in your mouth," he hissed.

"Dude. How is she someone's mom? Moms don't look like that."

"Please stop talking, Finn."

Carol, Burt and Anastasia sat down in the living room. There was a moment of awkward silence before Carol spoke.

"So, how is Blaine? Kurt said he got hurt."

"Yes. His shoulder and his side. With rest and physical therapy, he should make a full recovery."

"So, how exactly did he get hurt?"

Anastasia glanced at Burt and then back at Carol. How much did they already know? She wasn't sure how much she should share.

But at the same time…

Their son had already suffered because of his connection to Blaine. Maybe they understood more than she thought. And if not…maybe it was time they did.

"He was shot…defending himself during an attack." No need to share everything.

Carol leaned forward. "An attack?"

"Yes, but it's over. It's all over. Those who attacked him are dead and Blaine is…well, he's fine. There won't be any more trouble."

Carol was full of more questions, but Anastasia was saved by the doorbell. Kurt hurried to the door.

"Happy Thanksgiving, gorgeous."

Blaine was standing on his own, but it was obvious it was taking a great deal of effort. His driver was hovering close in case he started to fall. Kurt held out his hand which Blaine happily clasped tightly. This was their first time seeing each other since Kurt left New York. They both wanted to wrap their arms around the other, kiss passionately and never let go, but Blaine's injuries wouldn't allow it and of course, their families were right there. Instead they looked into each other's eyes and communicated silently.

I've missed you so much. Thank God you're alive.

I'm so happy to see you. I can't wait for us to have a proper reunion.

The moment Blaine stepped into the house, everyone stood up to greet him a little too loudly. Anastasia kissed his cheek, linked her arm with his and led him to a chair.

"Sit down here, sweetheart. Are you okay? How are you feeling?"

"I'm fine, mom. Don't fuss." Blaine sat down with a heavy sigh. He looked at everyone standing around him with concerned faces.

Good grief.

"Look, I'm fine. A little tired, but fine. Everyone relax."

Carol came to his rescue by asking everyone to help bring the food to the table leaving Blaine alone in the living room. He gratefully sat back and closed his eyes. A few minutes later Kurt came in quietly and sat down beside him. He studied Blaine's face. He was smooth and clean shaven again, his hair trimmed and gelled loosely into place. Seeing Blaine look like Blaine again, sitting in his home in Ohio, made Kurt's heart swell with happiness and relief.

He's alive. Safe and alive.

Blaine opened his eyes.

"Hey. What are you doing?"

"Being grateful you're alive and here. With me." Kurt leaned over and kissed him softly. As he leaned back, Blaine grabbed his shirt and pulled him back in for a slower deeper kiss full of need.

"I'm glad to be alive and here with you and…" Blaine kissed along Kurt's neck up to his ear and whispered, "I can't wait to fuck you. You have no idea."

Kurt moaned quietly and forced himself to pull away. "We have to wait until you're healed."

Blaine fell back and groaned. "Yeah. That seems to be a thing with us."

"Patience, patience."

Blaine shook his head. "I exhausted my patience in New York."

Kurt took his hand in his. "I can't wait for you to tell me exactly what you were doing all these months away."

"I promise you it wasn't exciting."

"I missed you so much."

"Trust me. You didn't miss me half as much as I missed you."

Kurt was about to argue when the doorbell rang. He opened the door and grinned happily at the sight of Alicia and Telio standing there holding hands.

"Oh, wow. This is so…oh my. Hi! Happy Thanksgiving!" Alicia laughed while Telio rolled his eyes. "Yeah. Okay. Hi."

Dinner was a jovial affair. The food was delicious and the conversation light and humorous with Finn telling funny stories about Glee club and the football team, while Alicia shared stories about life at an all girls school. Anastasia couldn't stop smiling at Alicia and Telio. This was her first time meeting Alicia, or even knowing her name, and she found her delightful, charming, incredibly pretty and smart. She was thrilled for Telio who shook his head every time he caught Anastasia grinning at him, but inside he was really happy Alicia was there. On the ride to Kurt's she explained what happened over dinner.

"I've just had enough, Telio. I love you and I don't wanna lie about it anymore. If you're willing to give our relationship a shot despite your fears and reservations, I'm not going to dishonor it by lying. My parents will just have to get over it."

Again, Burt felt grateful as he looked around the table at his happy family and guests. He even felt slightly grateful for Blaine. Strictly for Kurt's sake.

The feeling wouldn't last long.

As the dinner conversation wound down, Burt motioned to Blaine to follow him. "Let's talk."

Blaine nodded and slowly stood up. Kurt jumped up to help but Blaine shook his head. "I got it. Thanks."

Kurt spoke quietly. "Please make nice. Don't…threaten him or anything."

"Relax. We're just gonna chat. It's fine. I promise I'll behave." As long as he does.

Kurt shot his dad a look of pleading and mouthed the words, "Be nice."Burt rolled his eyes and mouthed back, "Of course." Unless he threatens me. Then I'm calling the FBI. It's illegal to threaten a US Congressman.

Blaine slowly followed Burt to the back of the house where Burt had turned a small room into a home office. Burt pulled up a straight back wooden chair for Blaine before sitting down behind his desk. He watched Blaine trying to get comfortable.

"I can have Finn pull in another chair from the living room. One of the softer ones might be more comfortable."

Blaine shook his head. "Thank you, but that's okay. I'm fine."

"The last thing you look like is fine."

Blaine said nothing.

"Alright. Suit yourself."

A moment of silence passed.

"Congratulations on your election."

"Thank you. Still hard for me to believe I won."

"Well, I'm glad you did. Ohio needs good representation."

Burt sat back and looked at Blaine. He was definitely smaller and paler than the last time Burt had seen him, but despite these changes he still came across as intense and in command. Burt decided to get to the point.

"Yeah, Ohio deserves good representation and that's what I plan to provide which means I won't be bought, bribed or threatened by anyone for anything."

Blaine was amused. "I would hope not."

"I know your family has enjoyed…special relationships with several state and federal representatives in the past. I want you to know that I don't work that way. For me you're nothing more than my son's boyfriend. Eventually people are going to figure out the connection between the two of us and I plan to make it clear that we have nothing to do with each other outside of me being the father of your boyfriend. I'd appreciate it if you do the same."

"Of course."

"I don't wanna know anything about your business. If anyone asks me about you, I wanna be able to honestly claim that I have no idea what you're up to. That business in New York…I don't wanna know more than I already do."

"And exactly how much do you already know?" What the hell did Kurt tell you?

"I know how and why you got shot. I know you killed a man."

"It's not like it's the first time."

Burt looked disgusted. "I will never understand what my son sees in someone like you."

"I think the same thing every day. Kurt is…beautiful, and kind, and loving, strong and pure. Don't you know that I know I don't deserve him? Believe me. I look at him and wonder how I got so lucky, but I'm grateful I did. I'm grateful that despite everything he still loves me and wants to be with me. I love Kurt more than anything which is why you have my word that I will protect him, and I will protect you by keeping my distance. I know what you mean to Kurt and I would never want him to think that I did something to harm you or your career. I know I've made threats in the past, but chalk that up to a moment of youthful weakness. I know better now."

"You know, kid, you've been promising to protect my son since the day we met and you've done nothing but fail. Forgive me if I don't buy it."

Blaine swallowed the pang of guilt that always hit him when reminded of what Kurt endured that summer.

"I don't plan to fail ever again. That's why I was in New York. To make it safe for Kurt." Blaine leaned forward and stared directly into Burt's eyes. "I got shot killing the man that killed my father, but I also killed the heads of the New York mob families. I now own New York and do you know why I wanted to own New York? For Kurt. So he can go to NYADA and pursue his Broadway career. Killing Chartussi was for me, but killing the rest was for Kurt. That's just how much I love him."

"Don't you dare pretend this was about Kurt. This was about you. You and your need for power."

"Need for power. I guess that's one thing you and I share."

"What?"

"Isn't that why you became a congressman? To have power?"

"I…no. That's not…it's not the same thing. I wanna be in a position to do good in the world. Protect the arts, make things better in Ohio. You just wanna make yourself rich. You're nothing but a criminal."

"No offense, Burt but I think you're in for a rude awakening when you officially begin your term in congress. Congress is one of the most criminal organizations on the planet."

"Congressmen don't murder people."

"I wouldn't be so sure about that. At least I'm honest about my dealings. Congress hides behind legislation that causes hundreds and thousands of people harm and death. At least I only kill one on one and for a specific purpose."

"You're unbelievable. Do you really believe that what you do can be equated with what I do?"

"No, because as you said at the beginning of this conversation, you're an honest man and you plan to stay that way. I was only speaking to your comments around power."

Burt stood up. "Enough. We're done."

"Wait."

"What?" snarled Burt.

"About New York…"

Burt sat down. "I told you. I don't wanna know more than I already do."

"I understand that but I need to know that you won't share what you do know with anyone."

"You mean will I lie if the FBI asks if my son's boyfriend had anything to do with the murder of a bunch of mob bosses?"

"Yeah."

Burt blew out a breath and sat back in his chair. He was quiet for a minute before finally speaking.

"I'll tell them I don't know what they're talking about."

Blaine relaxed. For a minute he was worried he would have to do the unthinkable. "Thank you."

"Oh, believe me. It's not for you. Like you I'm doing this for Kurt. As much as I dislike you, I know he'd be devastated if something bad happened to you." I on the other hand…

"Whatever your reasons, thank you."

"You can go now."

Blaine stood up. "Thanks for dinner. It was nice of you to invite us."

"Wasn't my idea."

"Still…thank you. It meant a lot to my mom."

Burt watched Blaine slowly walk out. Burt waited a moment before getting up to close and lock the door. He picked up the cell phone on his desk and rewound the recording.

"I got shot killing the man that killed my father, but I also killed the heads of the New York mob families. I now own New York and do you know why I wanted to own New York? For Kurt. So he can go to NYADA and pursue his Broadway career. Killing Chartussi was for me, but killing the rest was for Kurt. That's just how much I love him."

Burt opened a small safe in the corner of the room and placed the cellphone inside.

I'll transfer it to a tape later tonight.

A&A&A&A

While Burt and Blaine were chatting, Finn and Telio disappeared to watch the game while Kurt and Carol finished up in the kitchen. This left Anastasia and Alicia in the living room.

"So, Alicia. Tell me about yourself."

Anastasia listened attentively as Alicia shared details about her parents, senior year at Crawford Country Day and her plans for college.

"And how long have you and Telio been together?"

Alicia sighed and smiled at the same time. "Well…it's hard to say. I mean…technically it's been almost a year, but it's been kind of off and on. Telio has commitment issues. No. That's not fair. It's more that he's really scared about me getting hurt because of…well, you know. He's always been honest with me and I've assured him over and over that I get it and I'm fine with it. I'm not scared, but he still struggles."

Anastasia was intrigued by this very self-assured young woman who seemed to have few reservations about getting mixed up with her son.

"Well, I understand why Telio has concerns. My sons lead dangerous lives. Bringing others into our world is always a concern. For many reasons."

Alicia nodded. "I know. Believe me. I have firsthand experience."

Anastasia wondered what that experience was, but didn't ask.

Kurt walked out of the kitchen right as Blaine arrived in the living room. He tried to get a sense of how things between Blaine and Burt went, but Blaine's expression revealed nothing.

Blaine wrapped one arm around Kurt's waist and pulled him close.

"Come home with me."

"I'm supposed to go shopping with Carol tomorrow and hang out with my dad on Saturday."

"I've been gone 3 months."

"I know, but in a way so have I. I didn't come home much while you were gone. My dad was busy with the campaign so he wasn't around, and…I was nervous about leaving Dalton."

"Really? Why?"

"I don't know. I just…I needed to feel close to you so I preferred staying there, in our room. It still smells like you. Anyway, shouldn't you be resting?"

Blaine didn't answer but in truth he was exhausted. The doctors told him he might experience fatigue as his body worked overtime to heal. Plus, it took a lot of effort to move around due to his injuries. He was supposed to rest as much as possible.

"Come rest with me."

"Blaine…"

"Please, Kurt? Come hang out with me in bed and I'll tell you all about New York."

Kurt felt torn. All he wanted to do was curl up next to Blaine and listen to his voice. He'd missed him so much, but he hated to disappoint his family, especially his dad.

"How about Saturday evening? I'll hang out with Carol tomorrow, spend Saturday with my dad, and come see you Saturday evening. I'll stay all day Sunday and we can leave for Dalton together."

Blaine was pissed. "I've been gone for 3 fucking months, Kurt! Do you have any idea what I've been through? How much I missed you? How much I missed being home? I can't believe I have to beg you to be with me!"

"Keep your voice down," hissed Kurt. "Don't you think I know that? Do you have any idea what it was like for me while you were gone? I was lonely and miserable. Worrying about you; hoping you were still alive and not lying dead at the bottom of a flight of stairs. It was horrible not having you here which is all the more reason why it's important that I stay connected to my family and I have to make more of an effort with my friends. I can't let you become my entire life."

Blaine stepped back. This shit was unbelievable but he was too tired to deal with it.

"Fine. Stay here."

"Blaine…"

Blaine sat down and closed his eyes. "It's fine, Kurt. I'll see you over the holidays."

"Over the holidays? Aren't you coming back to school?"

"Not until January."

"January?"

"Yes, January."

"I didn't know that. Why didn't you tell me that?"

Blaine didn't open his eyes. "I told you that when I left. I can't go back to school like this. I've gotta get better and there's still stuff to take care of in New York. I've told you all along that I wouldn't be back until January. Nothing's changed."

Kurt started with Carol who was enjoying another piece of pie and a cup of coffee. She gave him a knowing smile.

"Oh, sweetie. It was nice of you to plan on hanging out with me, but I knew better. I already made plans to hit the sales with my friend Gracie."

"I don't know if that makes me feel better, or terrible that you know you can't rely on me."

Carol shook her head. "Don't your dare feel bad, Kurt. You're young. Go spend time with Blaine. Separations are hard, especially when you're young. I promise you I'll be fine."

"I hope Dad is as understanding."

Carol's smile dropped a bit. "That I can't promise." Kurt nodded and gave her a kiss on the cheek. "Thank you. For everything."

Kurt found his father upstairs in his and Carol's bedroom. He was sitting on the bed staring at a photo of Kurt's mom. Kurt was surprised. The last time he could remember seeing his father do this was about a year after her death.

Kurt knocked on the open door. Burt looked up and seemed relieved to see Kurt. "Hey kiddo."

"Hi." Kurt sat down next to his father and looked at the photo. It was a beautiful picture Burt had taken shortly after they'd moved into their first house. Elizabeth was standing in the backyard under a tree, smiling happily.

"She looks so happy."

Burt nodded. "She was. We'd just gotten the keys to the house. We felt like real grownups that day. We had our first real home…we were ready to start a family. We were making all our dreams come true."

Burt stood up and returned the photo to a dresser drawer. He sat back down on the bed. "Let me guess? You're here to tell me you're spending the weekend with Blaine."

Kurt sighed. "I'm sorry. I…"

"You missed him. I get it. I understand, but remember, Kurt. Once January rolls around, I'll be in D.C. most of the time. We don't see each other much now, and we'll see each other even less."

Way to lay it on thick, dad.

"I know. I promise I'll be home for the holidays. We'll spend lots of time together before you leave. I promise."

Burt nodded but looked totally unconvinced. They sat in silence for a moment before Burt spoke.

"Kurt…you do realize that eventually Blaine is going to jail."

Kurt was shocked. "What?"

"Eventually everything he's done, everything his family has done is going to catch up with him and he'll go to jail. You do know that, don't you?"

Kurt felt defensive and suspicious. What would make his father say that today of all days?

"Why do you think Blaine is going to jail?"

Burt was incredulous. "Are you kidding me? Kurt, he's a murderer! He's a criminal! And now that he's taking his family's show to New York…it's just a matter of time and you need to be prepared."

"By breaking up with him?"

"That's a good start."

"I thought we were past this. I thought you'd accepted…" Kurt trailed off. He couldn't believe this was happening. "Are we really gonna do this? Can we please stop? I'm tired of having the same argument with you over and over again."

"I just don't want you blindsided when this all comes crashing down, because it is going to come crashing down, Kurt. As part of my preparation for congress I've been reviewing the issues congressional committees are planning to tackle in the new year. Organized crime is on several committee lists. People feel its been ignored for too long and things are starting to get out of control. They're coming for Blaine and all the others and you need to make sure you're out of the way when they arrive."

Kurt suddenly felt a rush of emotions and understanding all at once that settled into one shocking realization.

He could no longer trust his father when it came to Blaine.

Sure, he'd always known his father disapproved of Blaine and his family, but he never thought his father would help put Blaine in jail. Now, that's exactly what it sounded like his father was willing to do.

And, he'd told his father all about New York.

Shit.

"So…have you chosen your committee yet?"

There was a moment of silence before Burt answered.

"No. No, I haven't. It's part choosing and part assignment."

"And if you get assigned a committee that's working on organized crime…"

Burt looked directly into his son's eyes. He wasn't going to lie.

"I'll do my job."

Kurt slowly nodded. Of course his father would do his job. His father was an honest, law-abiding, moral man. It was his son who ran around with criminals and had four murders under his belt.

Burt stood up and pulled Kurt to him in a tight hug. "I love you, Kurt. Always remember that. No matter what, I love you."

"I know, dad. I love you too."

But for the first time in my life I don't trust you.

T&A&T&A

Telio came upstairs to see if everyone was ready to go. Anastasia was chatting with Carol in the kitchen while Alicia was sitting on the couch texting furiously on her phone. Telio figured it was time to take her home before her parents called the police and accused him of kidnapping.

"You ready to go?"

"Yes, but I was thinking." Alicia took his hand and pulled him down beside her on the couch. "How about I go home with you tonight?"

"With me?"

"Yes. Isn't Kurt going to hang out with Blaine? I'll come hang out with you."

"Won't your parents have a fit?"

"Yes, probably. Don't care."

Telio wasn't sure what to say. He'd never planned on bringing Alicia to the compound figuring it was safer for her to never be seen there.

"I don't want your parents to hate me anymore than they already do. I think I'd better take you home."

Alicia shook her head. "I don't wanna go home. I wanna be with you." She moved closer to him and placed her hand on his thigh. "Don't you wanna be with me? It's been a really, really long time. Besides…" She slid her hand up his thigh, leaned in close and whispered, "I'd love to see your bed…room."

Well.

"Okay."


Telio drove he, Alicia and Anastasia to the compound while Kurt and Blaine rode with Blaine's driver. Blaine stretched out on the back seat, maneuvering until he was settled comfortably against Kurt. He hadn't said anything when Kurt came down from his room with a bag. He just smiled and took his hand.

He understands that he belongs with me.

Kurt was grateful Blaine fell asleep minutes into the drive. His head was full, his heart heavy and he needed time to think. Should he tell Blaine about the congressional committees planning to come after him? What would something like that look like? What if his father joined one of those committees and took the lead? What happened to his father running to protect the arts?

By the time they reached the compound Kurt had decided not to worry about it. He couldn't control congress or his father, so why waste time on it when he had so many other things to figure out, like his future? His NYADA audition was right before Christmas break. He was feeling prepared but disappointed that Blaine hadn't applied. Was Blaine really not going to college? Assuming Kurt got into NYADA, would he and Blaine live together in New York? He needed to figure that out so he could give Rachel a heads up since they'd tentatively planned on being roommates.

Kurt placed a kiss on top of Blaine's head.

We have so much to talk about.

K&B&T&A

Alicia watched the heavily armed guards remove the chains and backup the armored Hummer parked in front of the gates of the Anderson compound with a mixture of curiosity and nervousness. Telio glanced at her trying to gauge her reaction. Security was at an all-time high due to Blaine's new position. They may be back in Ohio, but that didn't mean they were safe. If anything, the danger was greater than before. Blaine had gained an entirely new set of enemies.

Alicia stared in awe as Telio came to a stop in front of the house.

"Oh, wow. This place is huge. And beautiful. It's like a modern-day castle."

Telio cocked his head and stared at the house. "A castle?"

"Yeah."

He didn't see it, but okay. He got out, opened the door for her and held out his hand. "If this is a castle, then you're my princess." Alicia smiled happily.

Kurt and Blaine arrived a few minutes later. Kurt stared gratefully at the guards and high gates as he absently ran his hand through Blaine's curls.

We're safe here. He's safe here.

"Blaine? Blaine? Wake up. We're home."

Blaine opened his eyes slowly. He looked up at Kurt. "Hi."

Kurt smiled. "Hi. We're home."

"Good."

Once inside everyone bid each other goodnight and disappeared to their respective rooms. Alicia hesitantly followed Telio downstairs.

"Anastasia doesn't care if I spend the night in your room?"

"Nope."

Telio was nervous. He'd never had a visitor to his room besides Blaine, and certainly not a girl. He watched Alicia moving around the space.

"This room is huge."

"Um…yeah. It runs about half the length of the house so…"

She looked at his workout area. "I see why your body is so perfect. Your gym might be better than the one at school."

"It is."

Alicia looked at the bed. "You have a king size bed."

"Yeah." He walked over to her.

"Don't you get lonely in such a large bed?"

He put his hands on her waist and pulled her towards him. "Yes."

She wrapped her hands around his shoulders and stared up into his eyes. "Maybe I can help with that."

K&B&K&B

Upstairs in Blaine's room, Kurt stood behind Blaine who was standing in front of the mirror staring at the still healing gunshot wounds. One on his shoulder and one on his side. Kurt felt like crying.

"Does it still hurt?"

"Mostly just sore. Everything feels sore. I didn't break anything when I fell down the stairs, but I swear it feels like I did. My whole body hurts."

"Are you taking anything for the pain?"

"No. I don't want any drugs."

They lay down in the bed side by side on their backs. Kurt took Blaine's hand in his.

"Tell me about New York. All of it."

Blaine told him everything beginning with the crappy hotel, being a janitor, his secret meetings with the Bethenson contact, crawling through the vents, poisoning Chartussi and his men, helping Juan, and the actual attack.

"The last thing I remember is looking down at Chartussi and emptying my gun into his body. Next thing I remember is waking up at the Kolstedt to the sound of your voice. Best way to wake up ever."

Kurt made a face. "That was the strangest hospital I've ever been to. The hotel was beautiful, but the hospital was creepy and weird."

"Yeah, but it's also one of the best in the world."

"We're members of that place now. Did you know that? Someone paid for it. It was $350,000 a piece!"

Blaine laughed at Kurt's indignation. "Yeah, I know. The Bethensons paid for me, you and Telio. I already paid them back. Now that we're going to be in New York, it's important that we're members. Just in case anything happens. I was lucky Natalia was able to convince them to let me in."

Kurt rolled on to his side to stare at Blaine. Oh, how he'd missed this view. The way Blaine's curls broke free in the evening despite the morning gel. The slight stubble that always arrived at the end of the day. The strong jawline and long eyelashes. Kurt really wanted to just lie there and stare at his gorgeous boyfriend, but they really needed to talk.

"About us both being in New York…I mean…what happens now?"

Blaine turned his head and like Kurt he took a moment to appreciate his handsome boyfriend. Despite lying in bed, Kurt's hair was still perfectly styled. His skin was smooth and flawless and his eyes…damn he loved those beautiful blue eyes that looked at him with so much love and sometimes, every once in a while, a tiny glimmer of fear. Blaine couldn't help but love that bit of fear. If there was one thing he'd learned over the past year, it was the power of fear. He didn't want Kurt scared of him, but those little, tiny, moments of fear…yeah. Those he loved. It turned him on like nothing else.

"Well, first I've gotta heal while you prepare to murder your NYADA audition. You'll spend the Christmas holidays with your dad because I'm sure you had to promise him that in order to come home with me this weekend. I'll make my triumphant return to Dalton in January to finish out senior year and graduate. Then we'll head to New York. You'll attend NYADA, I'll manage the business, and…yeah, that's pretty much it."

"Um…wow…okay. You seem to have everything figured out."

"Hasn't that always been the plan?"

"Well…yeah. I guess so. I was still kind of hoping you might consider NYADA, too."

Blaine shook his head. "No. At the end of the day, at least right now, it doesn't make sense. I have to establish myself in New York. I'm already risking a lot by coming home to finish high school, but I know my dad really wanted me to graduate. I'm determined to make that happen, but as for college…maybe one day, but not right now."

Blaine's expression changed as his eyes darkened and his voice deepened. "Now that we have that out of the way, can we talk about how much I missed you?"

Kurt scooted closer to him. "I'm sure I missed you more than you missed me."

"Not a chance."

"Trust me. I missed you more."

"Prove it." Blaine placed his hand between his legs and started fondling his cock through his boxers.

Kurt licked his lips. "You're sore. I don't wanna hurt you."

"Trust me, you won't. Just be careful."

Kurt slowly maneuvered himself until he was on top of Blaine, holding himself up with his hands. He lowered himself for a kiss that instantly turned rough and hungry as Blaine pressed a hand to the back of Kurt's head and aggressively attacked his mouth. When they broke apart for air, Blaine placed one hand firmly on Kurt's neck right under his chin. He stared into his eyes.

"The worst part about being gone was not having you. I missed you so fucking much, gorgeous. You have no idea how badly I wanna fuck you. Need to fuck you. My body's starving for you." Blaine pressed their mouths together for another hungry kiss.

Kurt slowly lowered his cock to rub against Blaine's. He smiled wickedly at Blaine's hungry groan. "Why is it that we're always having to wait until one of us heals to have sex?"

"I don't know, but it fucking sucks. I need you, Kurt."

Kurt kissed him again before slowly kissing his way down Blaine's chest. He scooted down a little further and slowly and lovingly licked Blaine's cock. Blaine couldn't help arching up as Kurt's tongue sent tiny shocks of pleasure through his body. He swallowed an "ow" from the protest pain of his shoulder and side. He stilled and dug his nails in the bed as Kurt took his time licking his cock and kissing his balls before finally swallowing his cock. Blaine didn't last long. After all it had been 3 months.

Kurt carefully moved off of Blaine, kissed him softly and went to the bathroom. When he returned Blaine was sound asleep.

T&A&T&A

Downstairs, Telio was marveling at his current situation. Lying in bed with him, sleeping soundly with her head on his chest and her arm thrown across him was a gorgeous naked girl who loved him. Knew all about him and his family and still loved him. How did this happen? Reluctantly his mind reminded him. Because Kurt is an annoying pest. Okay, fine. He owed this miraculous moment in large part to Kurt. Credit where credit is due.

Telio's cellphone buzzed. He slowly reached for it, careful not to disturb Alicia. It was an Ohio number he didn't recognize.

"Hello?"

"Telio?"

"Yes?"

"This is Annika Wilder, Alicia's mother."

Fuck.

"Um…hi."

"I just need to know if Alicia is with you."

"Yes, she is." He could hear Annika's relieved sigh.

"May I speak with her please?"

"Um…well, she's actually asleep."

Silence.

"Could you please have her call me in the morning?"

"Of course."

"Thank you."

"Wait…Mrs. Wilder…I'm sorry. I thought she told you she was coming home with me."

"No. She didn't bother to call, or text, or email, or anything. That seems to be how she's decided to manage her relationship with you. Zero communication with us."

He wanted to be respectful, but that accusation wasn't entirely fair.

"Well, you didn't really give her a choice. Look, I know what you think of me, but…I love Alicia. I really, really do and I would never let anything bad happen to her. I just…I wish you'd give me a chance to prove myself."

"To prove what exactly? Look, Telio…I'm sure in many ways you're a very nice young man. I believe my daughter when she speaks of how smart you are and courteous and caring with her. All of that is fine, but it doesn't change the fact that you and your family are…unsuitable for Alicia. Let's not mince words. You're dangerous. You're a criminal at the least and a murderer at the most. The idea that someone like you deserves my daughter is…it's nonsense. It's unthinkable and you know it. I don't understand why you didn't stay away after leaving before. Why do you continue to stay in my daughter's life when you know you don't belong?"

"Because Alicia wants me and as long as she wants me, I'll be here."

Silence.

"Have Alicia call me in the morning." Annika hung up.

Telio placed the phone back on the nightstand, shifted a bit and wrapped his arms tightly around Alicia.

Fuck off, Mrs. Wilder.


Friday morning was the first happy morning at the compound in months. Anastasia woke up excited and happy that both of her sons were home with their respective girlfriend/boyfriend. She was especially happy about Telio. She knew this was huge step for her extremely cautious and careful son, plus she really liked Alicia. She wondered what her parents thought of Telio…

Anastasia slipped on her robe and walked down the hall to her bedroom. She couldn't sleep in this room. Not yet. Instead she'd slept in one of the extra rooms. She showered, dressed and went to the kitchen where she informed the cook that she would be making breakfast along with all other meals and the cook was welcome to take the weekend off.

About an hour and half later, Anastasia sat quietly enjoying the scene before her. Blaine, Kurt, and Alicia were talking up a storm while Telio looked on in his usual state of quite observation. Anastasia felt deep gratitude whenever she looked at Blaine - grateful her son was alive and back home. For Telio her heart felt happy and thankful. She loved the way he looked at Alicia. It was an expression she'd never seen from him – love and affection.

After breakfast, Kurt and Alicia decided they wanted to hit the craziness of the mall to check out the Black Friday sales. Kurt was surprised when Blaine agreed to let them go while he and Telio stayed behind. Telio waited until Kurt and Alicia left to protest.

"What the fuck are you doing? We can't let them go out alone?"

"Calm down. Of course they're not going alone. I'm gonna send a couple of guys with them. This will give us a chance to check in with Logan and Laurent and catch up on a few things around here. Besides, now that you've decided to take your head out of your ass and make things official with Alicia, she should get used to the whole security thing. It'll be nice for her to experience it with Kurt. He can help her adjust."

Telio looked unconvinced, but he didn't argue. Instead he decided to make sure she had money. As he came down the stairs he could hear her on the phone.

"I didn't realize I had to text you both. Don't you two talk?"

"Yes, I'm staying for the weekend."

"Well, consider this a trial run for next year when I'm at college. You won't know what I'm doing every minute of the day then, so what's the difference?"

"I'm not being smart! I'm making a point."

"Mom…mom…mom…no, don't…"

"Hi dad."

Ten minutes later, Alicia finally hung up and sighed.

"I'm sorry."

Alicia turned around at the sound of Telio's voice. Damn, he was so super fine. He was leaning against the doorway with his arms crossed wearing gym shorts and a mesh tank top. She ran her eyes up and down his body. Forget the mall. She wanted to stay and climb this man like a tree.

"Sorry for what?"

"I'm sorry I cause so much trouble for you with your parents."

Alicia shook her head. "You know what? I honestly don't think they'll ever accept anyone as being good enough for me. They claim to like Jimmy simply because he isn't you. I bet if I really got serious about him, they'd turn on him, too. No one will ever be good enough for their little girl."

"Can't say I blame them." Telio crossed the room to his desk. He opened the bottom drawer and took out a wad of cash. "Here. Buy anything you want."

Alicia stared at the money. "How much money is that?"

"$1,000."

"I…Telio…I don't need $1,000. I…"

"Just take it. Use what you need, keep the rest."

"You know you don't have to give me money, right? I'm not with you for the money."

Telio walked over to her and put the money inside the purse on her shoulder. "I know that. I want you to have it, so take it. And listen, you and Kurt won't be alone. We're sending a couple of guys with you for protection. They won't get in your way. If they do their job right, you'll barely notice them."

"Is that really necessary?"

Telio placed his hands on her shoulders and looked directly into her eyes. "Yes, Alicia. It's very, very necessary. It's very, very important. Remember the guy who broke into your house? Yeah, it's necessary."

Alicia nodded. "Okay."


"It's called the Special Committee on Organized Crime. It was first established back in the days of Al Capone. It's only resurrected when organized crime becomes too active. It's been dormant since the 80's, but thanks to an uptick in activity by our pseudo future son-in-law, it's being reconvened. The head of the committee, Rick Horsehaver from New York has invited me to join."

Carol was sitting across from Burt at their dinning room table feeling incredibly disturbed, confused, uncertain and overwhelmed. She was still reeling from the recording Burt had just played for her of Blaine admitting to murder, and now her husband was laying out his plan to join a congressional committee designed to put Blaine in jail.

"I…Burt…are you…are you saying you plan to turn this tape over to this committee?"

"Yes. Then the committee can turn it over to the FBI. I could just give it to the FBI, but doing it through the committee guarantees an investigation. The FBI can't ignore it if an entire House committee is aware of it. It makes the entire thing public. We'll probably be on C-SPAN."

Carol stared at Burt. He was so excited he was practically on the edge of his seat. What the hell was he thinking?

"What about Kurt? Have you considered what this will do to him?"

Burt become more sober. "I'm doing this for Kurt. To save him. Carol, he can't continue this relationship, but he won't break it off on his own. I have to intervene. If I can save my son and put a criminal behind bars, I call that a damn good day."

"So, you're willing to destroy your relationship with your son in the name of saving him. You do realize that if you do this, Kurt will never speak to you again. You will have betrayed him as well as Blaine."

"Betrayed Blaine? Are you kidding? No, I'm not betraying Blaine. Blaine betrays people like you and me every day. His entire family is a betrayal of…"

"Burt, stop it! Just stop! You're not doing this. You can't do this. I know you think it's the right thing to do, but I promise you, you will regret this if you go through with it. The pain and heartache you will inflict on Kurt…I can't believe you think this is a good idea."

"I know Kurt will be angry. For a while. For a long while, but eventually he'll see that I did the best thing for him. He's about to graduate high school. Start his life. He deserves to be free to do anything he wants and he can't be if he's mixed up with a criminal. He'll start life tainted and under suspicion. He can't see that, but I can, and I'm going to make sure my son gets a fair start even if he hates me for a while."

"No."

"Carol…"

"No. You're not doing this. I won't let you."

"Carol…"

Carol stood up. "I understand your point, and you're right. Blaine is a criminal and being mixed up with him makes Kurt guilty by association, but this…this is wrong. This will backfire in the worst way possible and the fact that you can't see that tells me that your hatred of Blaine is stronger than your love for your son and I…I just can't…"

Carol turned and left the room.

"Carol!"

"Carol!"

"That's not…Carol!"

Burt heard the front door slam.


Kurt couldn't believe how quickly the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas sped by. He also couldn't believe how happy he was considering how depressing the school year had started.

First, there was his NYADA audition. After weeks of debate, discussion with Mercedes and Rachel, and constantly changing his mind every other day, he settled on performing, "Not the Boy Next Door" from the musical, "The Boy from Oz." He absolutely nailed the performance and even earned a terse compliment from Madame Tibideaux. He felt confident about his chances for acceptance.

Alicia became Kurt's new best friend. The two initially bonded over their shared experience of being in love with two dangerous young men who lived dangerous lives, but they soon realized they had other things in common. Like Kurt, Alicia loved fashion so the two enjoyed discussing the latest clothing lines from top designers and trading thoughts on fashion trends and brands. Due to her desire to work for the UN one day, Alicia was very knowledgeable about international law and politics. Despite his father's new role as a congressman, Kurt had never paid much attention to the ways of Washington, but now he found himself asking questions and reading articles Alicia thought he might find interesting as he sought to educate himself a bit more.

They also bonded over their scary encounters with their boyfriend's enemies.

For the first time ever, Kurt finally had someone he could confide in completely about his terrifying summer. He cried as he told Alicia everything he'd endured including the murders. In turn, Alicia was grateful to have someone she could trust with her story.

"What's wrong with us, Kurt?" Alicia asked one Saturday afternoon as they drank coffee and flipped through magazines at the Westerville Coffee House under the protective watch of an Anderson guard. "Why are we in love with two bad boys our parents hate who put us in danger?"

Kurt cocked his head in thought before answering.

"Well…when I met Blaine he wasn't in the mafia, much less in charge. He was this dapper, talented, interesting, handsome boy I loved spending time with. He made me feel safe, and loved, and beautiful." And sex with him is adventurous and amazing.

"And now?"

"It's certainly more complicated, but those things haven't changed. I still love him and I love being with him more than ever. We've experienced so much separation this year. I miss him. I can't wait for us to get settled in New York. What about you?"

"I always found Telio mysterious and intriguing. Of course I was first attracted to him because he's so good looking and his body…yeah. But then I was just really curious. I'd kinda already made up a mysterious backstory for him by the time we met. Anytime Crawford and Dalton held a joint event I'd see him. He was always by himself but near Blaine. Silent and observant. I don't know…it made me want to know more. So, when I learned who he was and who his family was it made sense. It fit the narrative in my head."

"So, you already had Telio pegged as a member of the mob?"

"No. A prince exiled from his kingdom hiding out in the United States."

Kurt cracked up laughing.

The one area of his life that gave Kurt pause was home. He couldn't figure out what, but something was off between his dad and Carol. His phone calls home left him feeling worried. His dad sounded stressed and preoccupied, while Carol sounded like she was holding something back. Both told Kurt they were just feeling a bit stressed about the upcoming changes. Burt planned to move to Washington in January, while Carol would remain in Ohio until Kurt and Finn graduated. Then they would decide their next move. Kurt accepted their explanations, but didn't fully believe them.

And then there was Blaine.

Blaine was focused on healing and maintaining a long-distance grasp on his new empire, but he called Kurt every night to ask about his day, the Warblers and the antics going on at Dalton. He always ended their conversations by driving Kurt crazy with phone sex. Especially since they'd made a pact not to jerkoff. There would be no orgasms until they could have sex. Kurt laid in bed feeling hot and horny, twisting in his sheets, struggling not to touch his rock hard dick.

"I can't wait to taste your hole again. I'm going lick until you're dripping wet and then I'm gonna stick my lubed up fingers inside you and work you open until I can put my whole fist in you. Then I'm gonna pound your gorgeous body into the mattress with my cock for hours, my love. For hours, and hours, and hours…"

Kurt moaned and slipped his hands under his thighs to avoid touching himself. "Blaine…I can't…please…"

"Sure you can, gorgeous. I have faith in you."

"My dick's gonna fall off."

Blaine laughed. "Fall off? No, it won't. I promise. Not before I suck it off. I'm gonna suck your cock like…"

Kurt fell into a sexual dream world every night where he was held captive by Blaine's cock. Every morning his sheets were damp from sweat and wet dreams. He resented his cock for finding relief while he was asleep and couldn't benefit. It was so unfair.


The final week of classes arrived and the Warblers met for their final rehearsal of the semester. It was more of a party than a rehearsal since there were no upcoming performances. The boys sat around contemplating what they'd get for Christmas and arguing about the best Christmas Carol ever. They also bid a sad farewell to one of their own. George's mother had landed an amazing new job in California, so the entire family was packing up and leaving over the holidays.

Leaving an opening in the group.

As the party started to breakup, Wes found a seat next to Kurt. Kurt glanced at him. He knew what was coming.

"So," Wes started nervously. "Blaine will be back in January, right?"

"Mmhmm."

"Good, good. With George leaving we'll definitely need his voice back."

Kurt said nothing.

"We'll probably have to hold auditions when we get back. I hope we can find some good talent."

Kurt remained silent.

Wes glanced at him nervously, but continued. "I can't imagine who we'll find. I mean we had auditions at the beginning of the year. If someone didn't make the cut then, I can't imagine they would have improved by now. Maybe we'll get lucky and they'll be some new students. And then of course there's regionals. We gotta find somebody good, teach them the songs, hope they're ready for regionals, and all while we're preparing to graduate. I don't know…I mean everyone's so busy and…"

Kurt had enough. "Okay, okay! I get it!"

Wes looked sheepish. "What?"

"Timothy."

"Oh." Wes suddenly felt embarrassed and ashamed. "You know what? Forget it. I'm sorry. The guy betrayed you and here I am trying to get you to forgive him to make my life easier. If you're not ready, I completely understand. I apologize for even suggesting it."

Kurt closed his eyes. "No. You're right. We should at least consider it. I was the one that said that a few months ago, and we should. But I need to talk to Blaine. I need to see how he feels about it. If he doesn't want him in, then we shouldn't do it."

Wes sighed. "Yeah. Yeah. You're right."

Later that evening, Kurt put Blaine on speaker so they could discuss. He invited Telio to join them.

"As far as I'm concerned that's a no," said Telio. "Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, I'm a fucking fool."

Kurt shook his head angrily. "You're not being fair. He was trapped in his addiction and Cooper took advantage of that. Off the coke, Timothy's really sweet." Kurt stopped. Wow. Did he just say that?

"I agree with Kurt. Timothy's never done anything bad on his own. It was always under the influence of coke. He's not an inherently bad person. Just a weak one. But when it really counted, he came through for us. He saved Kurt's life. I vote yes."

Telio shrugged. "Fine. It's your group, not mine. In a couple more months none of this will matter anyway."

The next day Kurt found Timothy sitting by himself in the courtyard during free period. He appeared to be watching the birds. Kurt sat down next to him.

"Hi."

"Uh, hi."

They sat in silence for several minutes. Timothy too scared and nervous to say anything, and Kurt trying to decide where he wanted to begin.

"Timothy…how did you meet Cooper?"

"Um…I don't really remember. I guess I just kinda always knew him. Our families all belonged to the same country club. He was always around."

"How exactly did he get you to help him?"

Timothy's cheeks warmed with shame. He told Kurt about Cooper promising him a large bag of coke every month in exchange for information on Kurt.

"I didn't wanna do it, but I hated travelling to Toledo to buy, and back then I needed it every day. Bad. Like, really, really bad." Timothy teared up. "I really am sorry, Kurt. I'll never forgive myself for putting you in danger."

"But when the shit hit the fan you saved my life. I think you've earned forgiveness. I forgive you, Timothy. I forgive you."

Timothy sobbed. "Thank you, Kurt. Thank you."

"And…if you want…the Warblers would love to have you back."

"Really?"

Kurt smiled at him. "Yes."

Timothy launched himself at Kurt throwing his arms around him. "Oh, thank you, Kurt! Thank you!"

"Oomph! You're welcome. Watch the hair."