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This Dance We Do (Bonus Scene 2)

This was actually written as Bonus Scene 3. The second one, see, was to go here. And will go here when it is completed later this weekend and posted on the Web site. 'Kay?

Again, set a little bit in the future for the boys. :)




By Micki Bailey


“Well, for the love of Pete……..and Jesus and Mary and Joseph too……..Christ,” Karen muttered, pretty much under her breath, cutting right to the chase in the hierarchy of names worth calling on, as she stood in her wide, full living room in front of the visitor she’d just been introduced to and glanced him over with a quick up-and-down movement of her small, hooded eyes.

Focusing on his face again, she took in all of his features with a fast, once-over scan, but he felt as if she were peering into the most hidden shadowy spots of his inner soul. Her words were crisp, almost prickly, and her tone wasn’t exactly powerful or stern but carried itself with a definitive air of firm, coolheaded authority. Like she totally knew what she was doing.

“He’s just an innocent young boy! When did you take up cradle-robbing, Joshua Chasez?” she hissed, finishing her initial keen examination of the visitor.

Justin only stood there, since standing there was about all he could do. Feeling his cheeks color warmly as he tried to smile, tried desperately to come up with a decent, respectful response, he glanced at JC hurriedly, searching for a clue.

”Joshua”?

JC’s eyes, steeled on Justin, squinted a little, crinkling at the corners. His lips twitched a bit, upward. A subtle, smoldering near-smile all for his lover, instantly recognized by the lover. A silent, gentle reassurance from a few feet away.

That’s my full name, babe. The name she still calls me a lot of the time. Don’t sweat a thing. She’s easier than she might look. I’ve got ya. Don’t worry.

“Mom, please. C’mon. Don’t even go there. He’s not that young. Jeez. Justin has a college degree. So there. Happy now?”

Karen ignored her son and studied his friend again, looking up at him from her shorter, seemingly more daunting stature. “Oh? A degree? And in what state do they let 12-year-olds enroll in higher education schools?”

“Aww, Moms. Cut the dude some slack!” JC laughed, stepping over to sling an arm around his mother’s petite shoulders. He’d hugged her once when they’d arrived from the airport, so this embrace was casual and playful. “He’s only a couple of years younger than me! I am not a sicko cradle thief!”

“A couple. Right, Joshua. In dog years, maybe,” Karen monotoned quietly, still steadily concentrating on Justin’s face.

He stared back at her, still trying to keep up a polite smile, perched as he was here on this giant pedestal of a microscope. Was that a teasing twinkle in her brown eyes he was picking up on? A tiny glimmer of a mischievous smile of her own?

“Dad! Help a cat out here, man!” Still laughing, JC whirled around to his father who had walked over from the wall of bookshelves. “The woman’s gonna scare my new boyfriend right the crap back to O’Hare! Tell her to put a sock in it, why don’t you? Please!”

“I’m not really as young as I probably look, Mrs. Chasez. I’ll be 26 in January. Seriously.” Justin forced himself to breathe out evenly.

Karen nodded as Roy brushed off his son’s pleas for help and laughed behind them. “All of 26, eh?” she shot back, raising an eyebrow. And Justin knew then exactly where JC had gotten that sly look and that sly tone from.

“Yes, ma’am. Twenty-six. I graduated from the university almost four years ago.”

“Well, that’s practically middle-aged then, isn’t it? Wow. Just wow.” Karen looked him over once again. “Are you really old enough to drive?”

“MOM! Enough! Stop with the crucifixion already!” JC snickered, gently pushing at her arm. “I’ll take him to a hotel downtown if you’re so freaked that he’s underage! Are you hearing me?”

Justin heard him. He also heard himself exhale thickly. He hadn’t consciously intended to, or to make an audible noise when he did so. But he couldn’t help it. He was caving in to the social temptation of growing uncomfortably nervous here. Under the chilly scrutiny of JC’s mother. In the Chasez home, here in the Chicago suburbs.

Was it truly possible that she didn’t like him already? Did he honestly look that much younger than he was? Or was he just being his usual asininely sensitive self and tripping when he shouldn’t be?

Mr. Chasez, the father, had been okay from the start. Roy — “Call me Roy, son. Everyone else does. Even this mouthy kid of mine does sometimes,” he’d told Justin right off the bat, grinning and rolling his eyes at JC — had met them at the busy airport gate, grabbed his son up in a brisk, burly hug, and then shaken Justin’s hand with masculine vigor.

On the way back to the house, he had made a lot of small talk with JC, catching each other up on the details of what had been going on in Chicago and in L.A., and he’d occasionally pointed out a landmark for Justin, who had only been to the city once back when he was in high school. They had stopped off at a local pub for a beer because, as Roy had told his “mouthy kid,” “your mother’s making a feast, as usual, and wanted some extra time to finish it all up properly. She loves going all out for the guests, remember.”

Justin had figured that little reason JC’s dad had offered was probably true enough, but that they’d also made a detour for the tension-busting effects of the brewskies. And he, for one, hadn’t minded that added calming advantage one single bit.

Okay, not that he was getting any “uncomfortable with the whole gay thing” vibes from Roy. No, not in the least. JC had assured him on the plane that he’d been out to his family for years, that it was not an issue at all for any of them, and that no one minded openly discussing his sexuality or choice of dating partners since he sure as hell didn’t.

“My dad’s just a little shy or reserved or whatever at first with new people,” JC had told him. “I mean he’s friendly and all that shit, but he might hold back a little in the beginning. He’s always been like that. So don’t let it bother you, J. He’ll warm up to you after you’re around him a while. Trust me, babe.”

And Justin had. He’d learned to always trust JC. He loved JC with his whole big heart, and he knew JC loved him that much too. They were in this together now, for better or worse. Right?

Right. That was what he reminded himself again now as he stood near the roaring fire in the fireplace, his bag lowered and pushed aside next to JC’s on the hardwood floor. He’d prepared himself for Mr. Chasez being slightly aloof at first. That had gone over fine so far. But he hadn’t been ready for this — Mrs. Chasez — at all. And now here he was, on full display, beneath the intense glare of JC’s mother.

At the sound of JC’s shout out to her, she’d come in from the kitchen a few minutes after they’d entered the large house set at the end of a cul-de-sac. Roy had carried their bags in and set them down, and then asked the boys if they wanted another beer before dinner, to which they’d both agreed.

Justin knew he shouldn’t worry. This was going to be nothing, nothing major at all. And he knew too that he shouldn’t feel so damn nervous. Isn’t that what JC was trying to disperse with all the joking and clowning around he was doing? Besides, Justin was used to relaxing people and swaying them to his side, making them believe in him and what he was selling, no matter how strained or intimidating or case-of-the-heebie-jeebies a situation got. Right? He was in advertising, for chrissakes. He nailed this kind of thing — and scenarios far more intense and cutthroat than this deal — every working day of his life. So……..

He put all of his trust in JC again. And, even more so, in himself.

And he smiled. Spectacularly.

“Give me a break, Josh,” Karen was saying and wrinkling her brow at her son as he chuckled and practically danced around her. “You can say that all you want. But I’ve got eyes just like you do, and I can see how young the kid is. Okay?”

“He’s not a kid! Trust me!” JC snickered and gently jabbed at her ribs, trying to get a giggle out of her. “Stop goofing on him, Mom. I’m, like, starving here. No munchies on the plane. Hungry. ‘Kay?”

“Mrs. C, I am, in fact, of legal age to drive. In all 50 states, I believe. And I hope I don’t sound like a smart-alec for saying so, but if you ever need a chauffer to take you anywhere, please just ring me up. I’ll be overjoyed to be of service.” Justin took a step closer as he spoke, softly taking over the conversation like a shroud of cotton. “And I’m honored to be a guest in your home. Thank you so much for having me. It was kind to offer your hospitality when you’d never even met me. I’m grateful,” he feathered out lyrically, without a crack or squeak in his quiet voice, as he bent forward to easily take Karen’s hand from where it rested at the wide waistband of her apron and hold it in his own. “And if I may be so bold, let me just add that something smells amazingly delicious in here and is certainly making my stomach get a mean rumble on.” He smiled again, twinkles in both of his clear eyes now, and brought the backs of her fingers to his lips, brushing them with a cool kiss.

“See, Moms? He’s all kinds of nice just like I said, isn’t he?” JC was going on boisterously in the background, big grin on his face. “He’s totally a keeper, eh? But hey. If you’re still convinced he needs to be bussed back to kindergarten, I’ll haul him over to some hotel room with me so you can stop with your fretting and toying with him. Know what I’m saying?” he giggled.

Karen winced at the refined gentleness of Justin’s tone and the dove-like compassion of his kiss. Almost as if she’d been overcome by the sleek, delicate spontaneity of it all.

The soft sound she made was too quiet for JC and Roy to hear. But Justin had heard. And he felt the jitters that were formerly pick-axing his stomach to shreds begin to reside when he saw her mouth and her eyes start to melt into a warm smile. Just like her son’s often did. Later, when he was told, he’d have trouble believing that she was JC’s adoptive mother who had raised him most of his life rather than being his actual birth mother. The guy was so much like her it was uncanny.

“You’ll haul him where did you say?” she answered, evenly and resolutely, speaking to JC but still focused on Justin, almost grinning now. “You’ll do no such thing, Joshua Chasez. Fat lot of nerve you have even talking about it. This boy — My mistake. Pardon me, Justin — this young man will be staying right here tonight and tomorrow night too, for that matter. There will be no more discussion otherwise. Are you hearing me?”

“Yes, Mother,” JC whimpered cheekily, snickering and winking at Justin.

“And you can make yourself useful by taking his bag up to Tyler’s room and your bag to your own room……..if you still remember where it is,” Karen added snidely and tossed an eye roll over her shoulder at her son.

“Yes, Mother. Anything you say, Mother,” JC quipped and giggled as he started for their luggage laying side by side next to the sofa on the floor.

His mother smirked at him and turned back to beam at Justin. “Did you honestly think I’d let you steal away this handsome gentleman?”

“Um, no, Mother. Guess not,” JC simpered, snickering under his breath.

“Why, he’s been the very reason for you calling home as often as you should call over the past month or so, Josh! And now I can certainly see why!” Karen cooed over him, making JC roll his eyes.

Justin laughed out loud. “Aww, man. Is he bad about not calling you, ma’am?”

“Bad? He stinks at it. We’re lucky to hear from him every couple of weeks or so, if even that much. And my name is Karen, Justin. I insist,” she said, chuckling too.

“Yep, she’s right,” Roy spoke up from behind her, laughing. “You know something is going on in the life of the Sunset Strip Kid out there in California if he rings us up more than once a week. Tyler usually has to keep us up on what the boy’s doing.”

“Hey, hey!” JC piped in, faking a defensive tone. “Justin is more of a swanky wheeler-dealer on the L.A. streets than I am! He’s a hot-shot successful business man! I told you! ‘Sunset Strip Kid.’ Humph. That’s not fair!”

“And I’ll bet he calls his mother regularly too, doesn’t he?” Karen sneer-squinted at JC.

Justin shrugged. “Well, I sort of have to. Or else she buzzes up to fuss at me.”

“See there, Josh? This boy could be an excellent influence on you.”

“He already has been, if you ask me,” Roy chuckled.

“Oh, yay,” JC muttered, quieter now, with his back to them as he reached down for the bags. “Here we go……..Just picture the lions taking down and mutilating the helpless little baby zebra on the Discovery Channel.”

Justin laughed, easily now, and Roy shoved at his son with a grin. “Such drama. Christ. Where’d you get that anyway? Not from my side of the family. That’s for sure.”

Karen nodded, smiling with more and more warmth. “That’s the truth, Justin. He calls a lot more often now. And from the sound of things lately, the most important thing going on in his life has been you.”

“Yep. The number one topic he goes on and on about constantly. Justin this, Justin that, Justin all the time,” Roy added, right after his wife.

“Ugh. Man, just stab me in the eyeball now,” JC groaned behind them, and Justin giggled again.

“So imagine our utter shock,” Karen hissed, continuing where her husband had left off, emphasizing the last word prominently, her eyes widening slowly, “when he announces that not only is he coming out here and it’s not even Christmas!” She pauses to catch her breath. “But that he’s — oh, wow — bringing this new Justin guy home with him too! What a wonderful treat!” She squealed, and, almost as if she couldn’t restrain herself, she reached up and hugged him excitedly.

Justin embraced her back, feeling her warmth flow through him as she held him tightly. She was shorter than his own mother, and he had to stoop just a little to get his arms around her, but he was sure she was equipped with the same bundled, fiery, motherly fire power that Lynn was full of.

“Well, it’s a wonderful treat for me to meet you guys too, ma’am……..Karen. I was really looking forward to it.” He grinned as he pulled away from her. “JC talked about you and Roy a lot too. He said some really sweet stuff.”

Karen rolled her eyes again, and it reminded Justin so much of his boyfriend. She glanced over at JC. “Josh, you said he was really nice, but you didn’t mention that you made him lie for you.”

JC smirked and snorted, standing patiently still and holding both bags, one in each hand, legs slightly spread. “Can I be excused to my room now, please? Dying here.” Justin winked at him and giggled.

“Be right back with a couple of cold ones, fellas,” Roy said and turned toward the kitchen.

Karen sighed, facing Justin again, patting his arm just above the elbow. “Kids. Tsk, tsk. Why do they always say the……..the darnedest things, eh?”

Justin smiled for her, wrinkling his nose in the process, as if the two of them were keeping a little secret. “Your oldest one……..I get the impression he’s always been Mama’s Pet. He loves you lots, you know.”

Karen squinted back at him, considering it. “That’s a possibility, I guess……..He’s certainly a handful, that one.”

Justin chuckled. “Yes, ma’am. I know.”

Karen smiled broadly, pleased. Touching Justin’s arm again, she beckoned as she turned to go. “C’mon, Justin. You look like you know your way around the kitchen, my dear.”

“I do a little, Mrs. C. Ask JC. And I hope you don’t mind if I call you that.”

Karen flipped a wave of her hand over her shoulder. “Ah, I don’t mind at all. It’s cute, coming from you. Josh is right. You’re an original. Come this way. I’ll give you a tour of the whole place later.”

“Thank you, ma’am. Can I ask what smells so fantastic?” Justin went on, falling right in behind her.

Karen chuckled up ahead of him. “Well, we’re having roasted garlic chicken with vegetables and spinach lasagna on the side.”

“Hmm. I love garlic chicken.”

Karen smiled to herself. “Yeah, I could tell when I first saw you. Good boy. You can help me throw together a quick tossed salad, if that’s okay with you, Justin.”

“I’m sure I can handle that, Mrs. C.”

“Aww, I knew you could, hon. Probably just as expertly as you handle my son. On that racquetball court and off.” Karen cackled in a low-key tone as she turned and headed toward the foyer where Roy had vanished, pacing gracefully.

A few steps behind, Justin followed dutifully, slowing as he approached JC, who was stoically watching them saunter from the room. He smiled as JC squinted at him.

“Ass kisser,” JC hissed, biting back a giggle. “She was so playing you.”

“Shut up,” Justin whispered, snickering and diving in to smooch JC’s cheek as he breezed on into the kitchen. “Sexiest damn bellboy I’ve ever seen.”

~x~x~x~x~x~x~x~x~x~x~x~x~

Later……..

……..after a huge, elbows-on-the-table dinner and some friendly family bonding that seemed to just fall in place around Justin easily and settle him in the warm, comfortable folds of it, he stood alone at one of the granite counters in the kitchen stirring Splenda into a second cup of espresso. He felt good now, like he fit in, fully accepted and liked by JC’s parents. Just like JC had promised they’d embrace him and take to him.

He smiled a little, listening to the muffled conversation and laughter coming from the den as JC told his mother all about the night he’d gone bowling with the Austin-Adair clan and the craziness that had ensued when he’d met Justin’s pals — most specifically the part when “that big Fatone dude” had gotten so excited that JC had rolled a strike, he’d grabbed his thin body up and hoisted him over his shoulder and spun him around like a giant human toy.

“The cat was so big and wild, I couldn’t do anything but hold the crap on for dear life! Man, talk about scared!” he giggled in the other room, and Justin could just picture his cute, crinkled up face.

Setting the spoon down now, he was already anticipating padding back in there in his socked feet and baggy jeans and button-down with the shirttails hanging out, moving past the two wide lounge chairs where Roy and Karen sat relaxing, and then slipping silently down beside JC in the corner of the cushiony couch again, snuggling into the curve of that slender frame as JC’s arm, covered in a long-sleeved, soft gray T-shirt, snaked back around his neck in the shadows of the cozy room. He could almost feel the graze of JC’s lips against his temple already.

“Justin. Hi, buddy. I realized after you left that I needed a refill myself. And maybe another slice of that apple-crisp pound cake too. Hmm.”

Justin flinched at the sudden sound, turning to see Roy materialize through the slatted swinging doors into the kitchen to join him. JC’s voice and Karen’s cackles still echoed from the den.

“Oh, hey, sir. More caffeine for ya? I just started another pot.”

“Nah.” Roy scrunched his nose and waved a hand nonchalantly. “I’m here for the harder after-dinner stuff.” He walked over near Justin and reached for a crystal decanter on the countertop. “Ah, yes. Brandy. Good for the soul.”

Justin watched him pour and grinned. “Can’t argue with that. Nice and smooth.”

“How about a shot for yourself, son?” Roy asked him, eyebrow raised with the congenial offering. “Just one with the old man?”

Justin laughed. How was he to refuse? “Sure. And you’re not an old man, Roy.”

Roy shuffled over to grab another brandy glass from the cabinet to his left and then trickled some of the thick, dark amber liquid in it for Justin too, handing it to him. They touched the delicate rims together for a soft clink, watching each other’s eyes, and then swallowed back some of the liquid fire, both men sighing as it burned downward through them.

“Are you, uh, doing okay, son? Have everything you need? ‘Cause if not, you just ask. We’ll fix you right up. Okay?”

Justin nodded his head and smiled. “I’m great, sir. You guys have made me feel right at home. Thank you.”

Roy turned the short stout glass in his fingers and raised it to sip more brandy. “Good. It’s such a pleasure for Josh’s mother and me to finally see him with somebody he obviously cares so much about. He’s always been such a guarded boy when it comes to showing his deepest emotions. But you seem to have opened him right up. It’s amazing, Justin. And we’re glad he wanted to bring you here. It’s wonderful to see him like this. So in love.”

Justin smiled, full red. And he swallowed again, to stall, to hear those last three words pound sweetly in his head again. “I’m glad he wanted to bring me here too, sir. I love him. And I wanted to meet his family. I’m glad I’ve gotten to do that.”

“You guys seem like you’ve been together for much longer than you have. Things feel pretty damn strong between you.”

“They are, sir. We’re planning to be together for a long time. We’re, well, committed in our hearts to each other. Totally.”

Roy smiled too, a little fatherly and a little slyly. “Living together and the works?”

“Yes, sir. Although we still have both of our houses for the time being. We’re working on it.”

Roy formed a fist and gently punched at Justin’s upper arm. “Look. That’s great news, and you’re a great guy, Justin. If my son thinks so, then you must be. He never gets this close to somebody as fast as he’s gotten close to you. I’m glad for you both. And, hell, I may be a rusty, ol’ antique, but I remember a thing or two about young, free love……..all those out of control hormones, all that blood charging and surging……..So, if you get my drift, don’t mind all that mess my wife said about the separate bedrooms upstairs tonight when you and Josh get back from your partying.”

“Um, Roy, I don’t think we’re going out tonight,” Justin put in hesitantly, biting at his lower lip. Because he felt he had to say something. Whoa. “See, Jace — Um, I mean JC — said we’d wait ‘til tomorrow to hook up with a few of his friends.”

Roy nodded. “That’s fine. What I was saying was……..forget about the Tyler’s-room and JC’s-room nonsense……..See, well, his mother and I are really heavy sleepers. So if you two got the rooms mixed up in the dark or something, since they’re just down the hall from each other, then, you know, it would be okay by us. We’re not prudes by any means.” He smiled, a little fatherly and a little slyly.

Justin felt a flush of heat and then a shivery chill. He didn’t know what to say. This was so open-minded, so generous, so understanding, so permissive. He tried softening his stare of amazement.

“Umm, I follow you, Roy.” He barely smiled. “And thank you. A lot. You’re probably the coolest dad a guy could have. Jace is very lucky.”

Roy grinned. “Hey, man. It takes a lot of practice. Glad I’m finally getting it right. So……..a hug for the old man?”

“Of course. But you’re not an old man,” Justin whispered, smiling and moving toward Roy, realizing JC had been absolutely right about the “He’ll warm up to you after you’re around him a while” thing.

~x~x~x~x~x~x~x~x~x~x~x~x~

Much later……..

……..after both floors of the Chasez household have gone dark and quiet, except for an occasional dim-glowing nightlight and the steady log-sawing of Roy’s snores on one end of the upstairs hallway, on the other end, tucked away in the bedroom Tyler claims when he’s home, Justin flosses furiously in the teal-toned bathroom that separates/adjoins that room and the room Heather, JC’s sister, calls hers when she’s home. It’s actually more of a hurried activity than a furious one, and Justin makes himself slow down and concentrate on what he’s doing as he stands there in front of the mirror, pulling gaped-mouth faces at himself.

He’s anxious as hell to finish this insanely monotonous but necessary chore. He must get himself down that shadowy little alcove across the hall, see — down that short little corridor that will take him to another bedroom, JC’s bedroom. Yes, that’s why he’s in extreme acceleration mode. That’s where he wants to be instead of here.

After rinsing and spitting out a jawful of tingling mouthwash, he swipes his chin with a hand towel that’s been folded over the rack there. (Aww, check that out. Aren’t the fat-ass penguins holding hands just the cutest?) Then he whisks out into the bedroom itself and glides over to the chair where his bag is laid open on all sides. He chooses a mango-colored T-shirt, that’s not too wrinkled and creased, to throw on with his dark blue pajama bottoms.

Yep. Matches brilliantly, he decides, glancing at his profile in the full-length mirror just inside the closet door. As if it matters that his ensemble is coordinated before hopping into bed. He rolls his eyes at himself. In the reflection, of course. Then he wonders if maybe he should rush back into the bathroom and squeeze more eye drops in those — Are they stained pinkish? Even a little? — eyes.

Ya think? Yeah, why not? But hurry, man. You’ve so got somewhere else to be, you know.

Hopping into bed isn’t what he’s about right now, though, see. Well, not quite yet anyway. First, he has to hop across the hall to that little recession in the floor plan, built into the corner of the old house, where another door stands shut. Shut for now.

A cool draft skims over his naked toes as he steps out onto the hallway carpet. He knows he’s got it bad. He knows he’s completely addicted, seriously around the bend. And this is not some casual, recreational, once-in-a-while drug either. He’s a full-fledged junkie, he knows. He craves the sensation, desperately wants to feel it coursing through him again and again. He needs JC like he needs his next heartbeat. It’s that simple. Just one more fix, one more sweet bump……..

He doesn’t tap on the door with knuckles when he reaches it. He wants this late-night surprise to be a real late-night surprise. And he can hear his own breath fanning out in the silence of the corridor as he stands there bristling with eagerness.

Pushing the door open and easing inside, he notices first that the room is a little darker than the hallway had been. He’s aware of a flickering candle — maybe even two or three — in at least one distant corner. And he picks up the familiar scent he recognizes as JC immediately.

Then, suddenly, he’s grabbed by two gentle but forceful hands and driven backward and thrust against the solid door by a tall, wiry body that’s much stronger that it looks. A mouth, full and soft, sweeps over his, sucking down on his lips, and a pelvis, definitely male from the feel of that lump in front, shoves hard into his own, pinning him under the overpowering pounce attack. With almost no breath left inside him, he wheezes for mercy.

“Fuck me, Jace……..Why didn’t I see this coming?……..You slamming me into yet another hard surface?”

“Well, yeah. With a hard surface,” JC giggles with lots of energetic hushes of air, sliding on Justin horizontally, almost impossibly, and dragging hot, slippery kisses down his jaw to his throat. “Feel that?”

“Oh, yeah. Fuck. I feel that,” Justin moans.

“What took you so damn long, baby?” JC growls at Justin’s collarbone. “Hmm. Wait. The answer’s right here, at the end of my nose……..Minty-fresh. Yeah. That’s my boy. Always taking care of his pretty pearly-whites.”

Justin writhes into him and makes a face. “JC, you scared the shit out of me.”

“Scared you? Ah, don’t tell me you weren’t expecting that, or — even closer to the truth — fucking looking forward to it, J!”

“But how’d you know I’d be sneaking in here when I did anyway?” Justin frowns. His voice is reduced to a strained rasp. “Does your dad give all your boyfriends the green light to share your room when they sleep over?”

JC slows up and lifts his head to see into Justin’s eyes. “I wouldn’t know, babe. I never brought anyone home for an overnight stay before. You’re the first.”

“Am I?” Justin’s thoughts spin in a vicious whirlwind.

“Yes! Absolutely! Did he give you the go-ahead to come in here?”

Justin swallows willfully, determined to catch his inner balance, watching JC’s eyes and finding nothing but love and truth in their colors. “Yes. And I thought that was unbelievably cool of him.”

JC’s grin washes over Justin’s face, warming him. His hands caress and massage up and down Justin’s pulsing, heaving chest. He whispers.

“Told you the folks would love you instantly.”

“Enough to allow me to come in here and fuck you under their roof?

JC smoothes a warm palm over Justin’s beating heart. “We’re adults, Justin. It’s okay. I swear they’d rather have you as their son over me.”

“Stop it, Jace. That’s not true. They’re just thrilled you have a special someone now.”

JC shrugs, still smiling. “I suppose. Whatever. But it was pretty damn awesome if my dear ol’ dad came right out and cleared the way for you. He’s way cooler than I ever thought. I’m fucking sure he doesn’t roll out the Red Carpet of Illicit Boinking to Heather’s stud muffins when they’re here. Did he lend you a condom too?”

“You’re so crazy, Jace,” Justin whispers, grinning.

“So you were slipping in to surprise me then?”

“Yes.”

“Ah, you’re the best boyfriend a dude could have, J. A fucking lot better than any I’ve ever had before. Guess that’s why I was about to sneak into your room just now too……..Guess I can’t stand the thought of bedding down without you next to me now. You know?”

Justin smiles and reaches up to latch onto JC’s hips, dipping fingers inside the elastic of his tight little boxer briefs, pulling him closer. “Yes. I know exactly. Me too.”

JC glances down for a second. “Cute-ass PJs you’re wearing.” He winks. “Silk?”

“Shut up, Jace. I had to look decent in your parents’ house.”

“You don’t wear them at home. Not that I’ve seen yet anyways.”

Justin kisses JC’s nose and rolls his eyes. “Why bother? You just yank ‘em off me anyway. Over-sexed horn dog.”

JC laughs softly and kisses him back in the reflection of the candle flames. “Who wouldn’t be a sexed-up horn dog around you, babe? Hmm?”

Justin squints. “Needs-a-libido-otomy pervert.”

“Takes one to know one.”

Justin giggles and moves his hands up JC’s sleek bare back, grinding their hipbones together. “You’re so gorgeous you scare me sometimes, Jace. Have I mentioned that?”

JC slips his hand down between them to wrap his hot fingers around Justin’s growing erection. And all of Justin’s veins burn under his skin at the touch.

“Well, it’s too late now ‘cause here you are in my room, you sexy fuck.”

Justin rolls his shoulders and his head back against the door and groans. “All right now, Jace……..You’ve got……..10 damn minutes……..to get your hand off my dick.”

JC snickers and squeezes. “I can make your head explode into a zillion stars twice, at least, in 10 minutes.”

Justin squirms and arches into it, aching, moaning. “I know……..I hope you’ve got lube and a condom……..I left the one your dad passed me back in my room.”

JC growls again, into the slick heat of Justin’s neck. “Liar. Dude’s not that cool.”

“Hmmmm……..I love you, Jace.”

“I love you, Justin……..Bed now? With me?”

Justin shudders, not only from the exquisite feel of JC on him right now — massaging, stroking, licking, kissing — but also from the exquisite reality of knowing that this sensation, this feeling that’s seeping right down into his very core and enfolding his heart, this beautiful love, is his future now. After everything else, this is his.

“Yes, Jace. Bed. With you. There’s nothing I’ve ever, ever wanted more.”

~x~x~x~x~x~x~x~x~x~x~x~x~

Full and Final FINI
:(


Author's Farewell:

Wow. I can’t believe I have the urge to write this, after the completion of my first, majorly-long alternate-universe series.

I have to admit that I had more and more tears in my eyes as I progressed with typing this final scene. For weeks and weeks now, I’ve been so incredibly anxious for this series to be finished, so that I could be out from under the intense, constant pressure of needing to update it. I’ve wanted so badly to get to a time and place again when I didn’t have it and its characters in the forefront of my mind 24/7, so that I could enjoy an evening of television or a weekend at the mall or the park or the movies or even read a book, just like other normal people, without feeling the powerfulpowerfulpowerful pull to get back to this drama and continue telling their story.

But now that I’ve finally, actually come to the end *sob*, I have to admit that I cried with the ache of letting them go. I stalled. I dragged it out slowly. I have to admit that too. Because it was like dragging life out of me slowly too. I’m still crying now, as I write this, because I miss them already, very much, as if they were living pieces of me that I raised and nurtured and now have to set free on their own. Such is the life insane world of a writer, especially a writer of a long, interwoven series like this one turned out to be.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about them and their story at least half as much as I did creating it. And I appreciate every comment of feedback/response, whether via e-mail or LJ reply or private telephone call, that anyone and everyone has been kind and generous enough to offer me throughout the posting of this thing. You’ve been amazingly supportive and encouraging and ego-boosting and appreciate overall, and I am sincerely grateful. I hope you all know that. Thank you from the bottom of my little, weepy, first-time-alternate-universe heart. It’s been a wicked-awesome ride for the past year and two months.

Some of you may be disappointed that I didn’t revisit the other characters and the “reception” party they were planning for JC and Justin when they returned from San Francisco. I simply didn’t have much inspiration for that scene, and I was trying to focus more on the main couple toward the ending of the tale. Please forgive me for not venturing down that road, and do feel free to use your imagination as to what happened at Chris’s loft when the happy “news” was finally shared.

The relief that it’s complete and over hasn’t flooded me yet. I’m sad still to see these guys and their love story together go. Maybe I’ll always feel that way.

Thank you so very kindly and graciously for your exceptional indulgence and for taking this somuchfun ride with me. It's definitely been a labor of love, and I will remember it always.




Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
obsessed_gabby
Dec. 30th, 2005 07:02 pm (UTC)
I am SO sad to see this series end. I really don't even know what to say. I'm that speechless.

You have made this a wonderful journey for all of us and there is possibly no way to thank you properly. I have fell in love with all the characters, all their faults and their beauty, and I do no wish for them to end just yet...even though I know the story doesn't really have anywhere else left to go. BUT...the bonus scenes you've given us were a wonderful look into the future. Like an extra 30 minutes to a movie that's ended happily in the sunset.

Maybe in the future you will feel the urge to bring them back to us for even a short visit. There doesn't have to be a plot. There could just be fucking...um, ahahaha. I was going to say I was kidding, but *hangs head in shame* I am not.

Okay, okay...fucking aside....I really did love every written word of this series and hope that you don't take too long of a break before bringing us a whole new Justin and JC. I mean, you do plan to do so, right?

See...I'm so damn selfish!
nsyncscribe
Jan. 4th, 2006 03:58 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank you sooooo much, sweetness, for this wonderful roundup review of the series. It did my heart sooooo much good. (And I apologize for taking so long to respond to it. I've been a little scattered to start off the new year.)

Thank you for taking the ride with me throughout this thing. I'm more than pleased to hear that you enjoyed it all, all of the characters and the curves and twists life threw them. I'm glad you liked them enough to be sad to see it all end (I felt the same way, trust me) and to want more of them. Yes, I'll have to admit to be already scheming in my evil little head about pulling the curtain back for them to make yet another little appearance in an encore bonus scene in the near future. Maybe just fucking, as you so eloquently put it. LOL. Or maybe a little more. Haha. They were too much fun to just put to rest forever. :)

...bringing us a whole new Justin and JC. I mean, you do plan to do so, right?

Oh, yes. Of course. You know me. I won't go down quietly. Haha. JuC Day is right around the corner, practically. That evil little mind of mine is already plotting for that too. :)

Thank you, my dear, for ALL of the juicy, kind, sweet, insightful, wonderful comments you left me on this one. I appreciate every one. I appreciate you. *hugs*
brighton_girl
Dec. 31st, 2005 01:20 am (UTC)
*sniffle*

I am very sad to see my SOINLOVE boys end, but it was a very good ride and I very much enjoyed these little glimpses and that everyone saw what they saw in each other and that was that they were meant to be. I adore these characters and their intense attraction to each other and how that turned into a deep love...regardless of their obstacles. I sure wounldn't mind seeing Karen and Lynn meet for the first time or to see them get hitched, but you gotta feel it. :)
nsyncscribe
Jan. 3rd, 2006 06:16 pm (UTC)
*sniffle*

I know. I'm sad to see them go too. But, like you said, it was a good ride, and I had a blast with it all the way. It was fun to slowly progress their little relationship along, from before they even met each other up to the point where they're meeting each other's parents and shacking up together. It was great to just "let it grow" from a curiosity about each other to that deep-love bond you mentioned.

I'm pleased to hear you enjoyed it too. And I will certainly keep the Karen-Lynn face-to-face as a potential "revisit" scene in the back of my mind. That might be interesting. ;)

Many thanks all around! *muah*
lukesaysno
Dec. 31st, 2005 11:32 pm (UTC)
*sniff*
nsyncscribe
Jan. 3rd, 2006 04:16 pm (UTC)
I know. I still feel that way myself. I may have to do some "revisiting" of the boys soon. Just for therapeutic purposes. Hehe.

:)
joshtin4lyfe
Jan. 2nd, 2006 10:31 am (UTC)
Oh WoW gurl. it's been a long ride :) it's so worth it. i'm so happy that u have written this story and that u ended it in a good way. on a good note and it feels complete while still leaving room for imagination. it's hard to finish stories as important as this and so many ppl leave um unfinished (myself included, oops, lmao) so i'm really proud of this. and i love this. it's totally awesome. just the extreme and intense love that they share. it's so endearing. and since the updates were spread out, it didn't feel like only weeks, but it felt like months. and it was action packed. like a soap opera that has the same day for the whole week, lmao! but yeah gurl, this is seriously a classic. 1 of my all time faves. excellent writing. oh and gurl, i have to hand it to u. u have great range of vocab and it's all slang. and thanx for the cool ass made up words, haha ;) but yeah gurl, just this has been a great source of entertainment for me and i just love it so much. thanx for it, and i'm sad to see it over. u KNOW i am. but u ended it at a good time :) many props to ya gurlie!

love ya muchas!!!
nsyncscribe
Jan. 4th, 2006 08:01 pm (UTC)
Awwww, I love you muches too, girl! What beautiful, wonderful, all-inclusive feedback. I'm so happy that you were along for the ride too (if I haven't said that already, haha), and that you liked it all, even the way it ended.

just the extreme and intense love that they share.

That's the bottom line here, I have to admit. And, of course, you point out that that's what came through. I'm so glad. Makes me happy. :)

like a soap opera that has the same day for the whole week, lmao!

Don't you just HATE that!!! I scream at the TV when that happens! It's like I'm sick to damn death of seeing everybody in those same stanky clothes forever! Haha

Thank you for such amazing commentary (on these final few chapters as well as all the others that came before now). You've been a rock I could rely on for honesty and your own brand of excellent analysis. Thank you for everything, girlie -- even for all the LA area tips you gave me to work with and add authenticity to this thing!!! See! You made it a better series!

Thank you, sweetie. Love ya for everything. :)
joshtin4lyfe
Jan. 6th, 2006 02:02 am (UTC)
:D you are more than welcome for all the feedback. i know that it means a lot to u, so i always try to say everything that stuck out to me and let u know how awesome of a job ur doin so u'll keep it up ;) but u know...i'm really gonna miss that crazy slang. it's the coolest, lmao!

See! You made it a better series!

omg! that means SO MUCH to me since i am SO in love w/ this story to have ANY type of influence on it and for u to like and appreciate it is just the best thing ever :D thanx gurl :D

*sigh* it's over...but i know u wanted to get back to ur life and do what u wanted w/out feelin like ur missin out. LIVE IT UP GURLIE!!! and u gotta let me know about the fun ur havin and how good it feels to get back into the swing of things ;)

You're welcome again gurlie! Love ya too, for it all :D
xaidenx
Jan. 31st, 2006 03:41 am (UTC)
I'm not even in the States but but reading this again made everything better for a few hours and for thank Micki I thank you so much..
nsyncscribe
Jan. 31st, 2006 05:06 pm (UTC)
Hey, sweetie,

I'm very sorry to hear about your dear loss, and you are definitely in my thoughts and prayers. I'm glad you can be together with your family during this hard time. And if anything I've ever written brings you the slightest comfort and escape right now, then I'm absolutely thankful for that. I appreciate you letting me know. Take care of yourself, hon. :)
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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