In My Dreams

The sleeper turned over and sank once more beneath the surface of a dream…

"I've been thinking," Brian began and, somehow, Justin refrained from making some smart-assed remark. "I need to get away." Justin remained calm when all he wanted to do was to shout. If Brian was telling him about his plans, that meant he was planning on taking him. Eyes fixed on Justin, Brian continued. "Maybe New York." He took a swig of soda from the chilled bottle, water beading on the outer surface as it warmed. "Fly up early Friday morning and come back late Sunday night." He still hadn't said anything about Justin going, so the teen waited without comment; but not even Brian could be that cruel. "What do you think?"

Justin's mouth opened slightly but no words emerged. Deb, passing by the table where they sat, said, "Five minutes, Sunshine," reminding him that his break was nearly over.

Brian, showing a great deal more patience than usual, waited for his answer. Finally he found his voice. "Sounds great."

"So you can get out of school for the day?"

"Yeah." He had no clue what would happen to him for skipping but fuck it, if Brian wanted him to go, he'd go and deal with the fallout later.

"Good. This Friday. I've already got reservations and tickets," Brian announced. He stood and placed a five on the table, payment for the soda plus a generous tip.

Stuttering, Justin rose too. "But that's only two days away."

"He's cute and he can count too," Brian teased. "How'd I get so lucky?"

Justin watched as the man exited, sliding on his sunglasses as he pushed open the door. In a daze he collected the payment for the soda and wondered how he was going to explain ditching school to his mom when she found out.

Glancing at the five dollar bill in Justin's hand, Deb remarked, "Nice tip."

Justin looked around. "I'm going to New York."

"Not on that," she smirked.

"I'm going to New York with Brian," he amended. As the implications sank in, a huge smile appeared on his face; they could have had a blackout and there would still have been enough light in the diner to see by, he was gleaming so.

The last time he had flown to New York it had been coach, but Brian didn't do coach. Even though the flight was relatively short, clocking in at around an hour, it was still too long for him to endure "cramped quarters and mediocre conversations going on around me," despite the fact that the airplane wasn't completely full due to the early hour. Brian had wanted to get to the hotel, leave their stuff, and enjoy a full day in the city. Justin had concurred. Especially after Brian had said that it was up to him, what they would do there. "And we can do anything I want?" he had asked, not believing that Brian would leave it all in his hands, relinquish that much control.

"Anything," Brian had replied.

They landed at La Guardia and took a limo to the hotel. "The Michelangelo," Brian told the driver, thrilling Justin with the name. Brian had thought it would.

Although the car had darkened windows, Brian let Justin roll them down in order to see the sights as they journeyed from Queens into Manhattan. By the time they arrived on the West Side forty-five minutes later and pulled up to the hotel, Justin already thought this was the best trip he had ever taken and they hadn't done anything but drive through the city.

Having paid and tipped the driver, Brian left their bags with the concierge, as check-in didn't begin until the afternoon. "So what do we do first?" he asked.

Justin got out the map and after a few moments of studying it said, "We could go to MOMA first, and then the Guggenheim, and the Met."

Brian didn't argue. "Find me some coffee first and I'm all yours."

They were among the first visitors of the morning. Handing over their coats to the attendants, they made their way to the ticket booth where Brian purchased two adult tickets, and took the escalator to the second floor.

Brian stood in front of the Matta, exploring the canvas as if he were wandering inside a cave. He was drawn to it in a way he couldn't explain, not even to himself. Maybe it was the colors, or the movement of the elements, or something else entirely, he didn't know. Justin joined him, observed Brian's interest in the painting. "I would have thought you'd like the Bacon," he said.

"I do," Brian replied. "But I like this too." He read the label, "Le Vertige d'Eros. The Vertigo of Love." Smiled softly. Continued onto another canvas, Justin following behind him, amazed that a piece of art could affect Brian so.

They took a cab to the Guggenheim since it was too far to walk and taking the subway from MOMA to the nearest station would mean transferring lines and then walking a couple of blocks to the museum anyway.

Despite the slogan, "If this is the frame, imagine the art inside," upon leaving the Guggenheim, they both agreed that the building itself was a more impressive work of art than any exhibit piece on the inside.

From there they walked down past the Met to the Mark Hotel, having decided that they couldn't do another museum without fortification. The bar was filled with continental visitors and Upper East Side matrons in their twenties who hardly looked askance at the two new arrivals. It wouldn't have been polite. Sharing an order of spring rolls, they waited for their chicken satay to arrive. Refraining from having his customary straight up shot of Jim Beam, Brian sipped a Bloody Mary while Justin satisfied himself with a Coke, although he did manage to sneak a mouthful of Brian's drink.

Justin caught Brian staring at the woman at the next table and raised an eyebrow, but then he realized that what Brian was really interested in was her Prada shopping bag. Clearing his throat, he suggested they split up for the afternoon. "I can go to the Met and you could go shopping," he offered.

"No," Brian replied without hesitation. "This is your trip."

"Our trip," Justin corrected.

Brian revised his statement. "Our trip. Besides, I have all the Prada I need. For this season," he added before Justin could call him out.

Leaning forward, Justin confessed, "I like to watch you dress."

"And undress," Brian grinned.

Justin agreed. "I like that best."

His comment delayed by the arrival of the waiter with their order, Brian promised, "Later."

Brian thought he had never seen Justin so happy as he seemed to be roaming through the Correggio and Parmigianino exhibit. Even he found himself affected by the powerful drawings. But Justin, Justin's eyes sparkled and he never stopped smiling, even when he was deep in study. Having obtained permission from the information desk ahead of a time, he took his pad from his backpack and rapidly sketched a couple of the pieces, paying particular attention to how certain pencil strokes seemed to magically create light and shadow effects. Or so it seemed to Brian. He had never watched Justin work before. The drawings Justin had done of him had been executed while he slept. Which was just as well. He couldn't imagine staying still long enough for Justin to draw him. When it seemed that Justin would be occupied for a while, Brian removed the William Blake page from his Met program, folded it, and slipped it into Justin's pocket. The teen paused and looked down, saw what Brian had done, and waved as he left.

His sketches done, Justin found Brian wandering around the Blake exhibit. In particular, he seemed fascinated by the prints of Satan. Pausing in front of one depicting Satan protecting his daughter from Death, a strange look came over his face. Justin paused next to him and he glanced over, wonder suffusing his features. "What is it?" Justin asked, dying to know what Brian was thinking.

"Even Satan cared about somebody," he answered. "You ready?"

Although Brian dropped the metal museum tab in the recycle barrel near the entrance, Justin kept his, placing it in his wallet so that he wouldn't lose it.

The day's activities hadn't really exhausted them but they agreed not to go out for dinner, opting instead to order Room Service from the hotel restaurant, Limoncello, which was no loss as the food was delicious and it gave them the opportunity to be together, alone. While waiting for their dinner to arrive, Brian plugged in his laptop and checked his email for messages from Ryder or Cynthia. His expression brightened when there were none.

Justin rummaged through the CDs he had brought and selected one, slipped it into the player they had gotten from the concierge, and pushed 'Play.' "Loving you is so hard to do…" Sounds of The Aloof's "So Good" filled the room. In an instant Brian crossed to him and plucked the front of his sweater, leading him into the middle of the sitting room. They danced, Justin's arms around Brian's neck, until a knock at the door announced the arrival of their meal. The bell boy quickly set the dining table, took the signed receipt and tip from Brian, and exited less than three minutes after stepping across the threshold. Justin, for one, was glad to see him go. Despite his efficiency Justin noticed that the guy still had enough time to ogle Brian. Not that Brian noticed. Sometimes his obliviousness was his finest quality. He was like a lion in that lions would ignore potential prey if they had just eaten. With Brian, even if he had only decided to fuck someone, it was enough, no one else existed. Tonight, he only had eyes for Justin.

The tub was big enough for the two of them. Padding on bare feet over Italian marble, Brian ran the water, adding a generous amount of bath beads. As the bubbles formed, he called Justin. The teen came and stood still as Brian undressed him, lips brushing lightly over his skin. Once he was completely naked, he returned the favor. By the time the tub had filled, they were well on their way to becoming so aroused that bathing might have to wait. But they managed to part, and climbed into the large, marble bath. Of course, they didn't intend only to wash. Still, they wanted to take it slow. So they sat in the tub, Justin cradled against Brian's chest, and relaxed. Soaked among the luxurious bubbles. And then Brian took the soap in hand and began to lather Justin's chest, his arms, his thighs. Justin moaned and turned in Brian's arms, knelt astride his hips, and they kissed as Brian soaped his back, his buttocks. Water splashed over the edge as their kissing became more energetic. Discarding the bar of soap, Brian used his naked hands to wash Justin's body.

They abandoned the tub and slipped on the terry cloth robes supplied by the hotel. Stumbled from the bathroom and into the bedroom. Disrobed and tumbled into bed heedless of the water and suds that still clung to their skin. Justin dried Brian's cock and unrolled a condom over it, lubed it, lifted his legs to Brian's shoulders, and fed his lover's dick into his hungry hole. With Brian safely inside him, he released his lover's cock and held onto Brian's waist and hips, urging him to thrust, to penetrate, to plunge into him with abandon. The bed gave very little as they fucked, the solid cherry wood furniture designed and built to last a lifetime. Brian pulled out of him, flipped him over, and lifted him onto his knees. Justin cried out as Brian mounted him from behind, his breath hot on the nape of his neck. They struggled for a while, one of Brian's hands around the teen's cock, beating him off as he drove his dick deep inside his ass. Finally Justin gripped the headboard and began to mutter. "Oh God, oh God, oh God. Oh!" He whispered, "Brian, Brian. Brian." And Brian kissed the side of his face, knowing that Justin didn't want an answer, only for him to fuck him harder, faster. His strokes ragged, hurried, Brian gave Justin's penis a final squeeze and then held on, caught up in his own climax. As the cum spurted from his dick, trapped by the thin skin of the condom, he felt Justin's cock leap in his hand. Cum splattered the cherry wood in front of them again and again and dripped onto the pillows at the head of the bed.

Justin had the day already planned. Start in Chelsea with the galleries, work their way down to the West Village for lunch, then finish off the day in Soho. "Although Soho's gotten really commercial. All the best people have moved to Chelsea," he pronounced as if he were privy to the inner secrets of the art world.

Impressed nonetheless, Brian allowed himself to be guided from one gallery to the next. They covered most of Chelsea from 22nd to 15th St. hitting "all of the important galleries," according to Justin. Not complaining once, Brian followed dutifully along. Truthfully, he enjoyed himself, or rather, he enjoyed being exposed to Justin's enthusiasm. Even though his interest was primarily in the human figure, Justin seemed genuinely open and interested to all kinds of art. "You never know what's going to inspire you. Sometimes I can look at an abstract painting, and realize something new about the body, something I never thought of before. Never noticed before." They paused, waiting to cross the street. "Is it like that for you, with advertising?"

Brian thought about it. "I guess. Maybe. I do look at a lot of ads to get ideas. And I suppose I have a personal style that influences how I sell things. But I don't have a specialty-like drawing people-I'll sell anything. So it's not quite the same."

They so very seldom talked, about anything, that Justin was just as pleased by their conversation as by being in the city together. "What's the first ad you ever did by yourself?"

Grinning, Brian shook his head. "You won't believe it."

"Try me."

"A condom ad."

The teen laughed. "You're right. I don't believe you."

"Really. It was for an AIDS awareness campaign. They figured I was young and gay, what the hell." He smiled, remembering.

"So what did the ad say? What did it look like?"

"There were these two guys and they were naked, but you could only see their torsos, and one was holding a condom. And the slogan was, 'Nothing comes between me and my man-except this.' " He pressed his tongue into the side of his cheek.

"Pretty good," admitted Justin.

"I got an award for it."

Justin looked at the man beside him and, for the first time, was really aware of him as a person, as someone who had a job and a talent-for something other than fucking-and that people respected him for the work he did. It was a side of Brian that he seldom saw-if ever.

After hitting about ten galleries, they made their way to the West Village and scouted for a place to eat. Every place seemed equal from the outside, so they finally stopped someone on the street and asked him for his suggestion. "Good."

"Good what?" asked Brian.

"That's the name of the restaurant. Good. It's on Greenwich Avenue between 12th and Bank Street. They have a roasted duck quesadilla that is fabulous!" the guy exclaimed.

"Sounds…" Justin paused. "Good."

And it was. Fabulous. Justin had molasses-glazed tuna with collard greens and carrot griddle cakes while Brian sampled the quesadilla with pineapple relish. There were no complaints from their table. Brian, for one, was glad that they still had Soho to explore, otherwise he'd never work off the calories, and he had something special planned for dinner that night.

Walking back up Greenwich Avenue, they took the subway down to Canal Street, got off, and walked up to Wooster to the Drawing Center. Justin's eyes widened and he seemed, to Brian, to be holding his breath. "This place is incredible," he told him. "If I had had a place like this to go to when I was learning to draw…"

"You'd be the toast of the art world today," finished Brian. "Don't worry," he assured him, "your time will come. And we'll be saying we knew you when."

Glancing sideways at Brian as they passed through one of the exhibition spaces, Justin asked, "Do you think…" He hesitated, afraid to go on.


"That we'll… that…" He shook his head.

Brian looked away, then back at the teen. Said softly, "I don't know."

By dinnertime all they wanted was to crawl into bed and rest their bodies for a half hour or so. Taking the F uptown, they got off at the 50th Street station and managed to drag themselves to the hotel and up to their suite. Brushing the Baci Perugina chocolates from their pillows, they collapsed into an exhausted heap.

Two hours later they emerged from the hotel refreshed and ready to take on New York City nightlife. First on the menu was dinner. Brian had already taken care of that. It was, he confessed, the only activity he had arranged without Justin's prior approval. "We've got reservations at Le Cirque 2000," he told the teen and watched his eyes light up. Heedless of the people milling about the sidewalk, Justin gave Brian a huge kiss. Tactfully, the doorman looked away and hailed a cab for them. Although they were in walking distance of the Villard Houses it just wouldn't do to be seen walking to the restaurant.

Dinner was fabulous, but what they had come for was dessert. Jacques Torres was a star pastry chef and, for once, Brian didn't balk at the extra calories. "He'll have the Manhattan and I'll have the Banana Moon Cakes." When the two dishes arrived they spent about a minute or so just admiring the artistry of the presentations. Then they dug in, each sampling the other's dessert. Even after they had finished, and paid the check, and left the restaurant, they still recalled in vivid detail the sublime flavors and the whimsical, architectural designs. In the darkness of the cab, Brian kissed Justin and tasted once more the delicious chocolate cake he had eaten.

When Brian had asked him what he wanted to do after dinner, he had expected Justin to say he wanted to go dancing; but, instead, he had wanted to go to the movies. After scouring the papers, they decided on Memento at the Lincoln Plaza Cinemas. Brian thought Carrie-Ann Moss had rocked in The Matrix, and they both declared Guy Pearce to be a total hottie. "Russell Crowe was in L.A. Confidential?" Brian asked. "Don't remember him."

Not wanting to dilute their dining experience with cheap, movie theatre popcorn, they opted for bottled water and settled down to watch the film. Brian was more than a little bemused. Imagine him, in New York City, at the movies, when he could be dancing the night away at some sizzling Gotham club. The guys would never believe it. Then he looked over at Justin, at the way the light from the screen played across his face, highlighting his cheekbones and his beautiful lips, and he found that he had no regrets at all about his choice.

After the movie they strolled down the street and around Lincoln Center, sat on the edge of the fountain and talked about the past two days, Justin excitedly recounting his favorite moments.

"So what do you want to do tomorrow?" Brian asked.

"I wanna do all the things tourists do when they come to New York," he said.

"You do realize," Brian replied, "that means we'll have to actually be around tourists?"

"I'll make sure you behave."

Brian laughed gently. "We have to be at the airport by nine p.m."

"We'll make it," he promised.

Standing, Brian held out his hand and pulled Justin up. "Maybe you should save something for the next time." He released the teen and walked ahead, leaving Justin to ponder his words. Next time? Justin's mind raced. Unfortunately, his feet remained in place. Brian called back over his shoulder, "Come on."

Brian lowered him to the bed and laid along side him. Ran his fingers through the teen's hair. Drew him closer. Their lips touched in a gentle kiss which grew harder. Justin, his leg over Brian's thigh, exposed his neck to his lover's busy tongue and mouth. At some point he managed to come out of his shirt, giving Brian access to his chest. Mouth slightly open, he sighed as Brian licked his nipples, tugging lightly on the ring through the right one. God, he could feel it in his cock even, it felt like Brian was licking it as well. He worked his trousers open and hoped that Brian would take notice and focus some of his attention there.

Making his way down Justin's torso, Brian smiled when he realized that Justin had anticipated his next move. Sliding the pants down his hips, he removed them entirely as well as the teen's underwear and shoes and socks. "Why do you even bother to put on all this shit?" he asked breathlessly, a silly question since the boy wore no more than he did, no more than was necessary.

Justin replied, "To tease you."

Brian's eyes flared. Pursing his lips, he rose up off the bed and moved a few feet away. Then, assured that he had Justin's attention, he untied his boots and kicked them off. Removed his socks. Paused. Then, one by one, he undid the buttons on his shirt. Turned and let the shirt slide over his shoulders, slowly revealing the muscles in his back. Justin felt his cock twitch, aroused by the play of muscles over bone. Then Brian turned back around and unbuckled his belt, slid it from the loops in his waistband, and dropped it to the floor. He unsnapped his trousers and slowly, so slowly that it seemed to take an entire minute, unzipped them. Let them slip over his hips to pool at his feet. He stepped out of the trousers and kicked them aside. Stood almost naked in his white Calvin Klein mid-thigh underwear. Holding Justin's eyes, he cupped his groin and stroked his still-covered cock for nearly a minute and a half. Justin was mesmerized by the sight of his cock taking on a definite shape beneath his strokes. Then Brian moved closer to the bed breaking the spell. Justin crawled to the foot of the bed and grabbed hold of his waist, opened and closed his mouth over the bulge at Brian's groin. Ravenous, he gorged himself on Brian's cloth-covered cock until the material clung to the other man, wet with saliva, outlining his penis even more clearly. Brian pulled away and hooked his thumbs beneath the waistband of his underwear and eased them down, his brown pubic hair coming slowly into view. And his dick, Justin moaned as his dick was freed from its confines.

Laying head to groin, they fed, one on the other, devouring swollen cocks with abandon. Justin rolled Brian onto his back, his lips closed around the base of Brian's dick and he held it there, the head inside his throat, and licked the topside without moving very much until Brian began to whimper. Letting the shaft slide from between his lips, he applied even greater pressure to the head, hard sucking it before letting it free. Capturing it again and repeating the process until Brian's piss hole gaped open. Then, stiffening his tongue, he dug into the tiny opening, fucking Brian's hole until he reached down and drew him away. They reoriented themselves until they were face to face. Brian asked, slightly dazed, "Where did you learn that?"

Justin whispered, "From you."

As Justin freed himself and crawled between his legs once more, Brian whispered, "Oh, God…"

Justin sucked on his balls, twisting his head and tugging on them until Brian thought he would scream. And then he returned to his cock, licking up the shaft and around the head, sucking on the spot just below the head, where it joined the shaft. Muscles jerking, Brian held onto the sheets as Justin descended between his thighs, pushing his legs apart, and sucking on the part of his dick that extended past his sac. The teen's tongue flicked over his hole and Brian gasped. Again the tongue snaked out and grazed the wrinkled lips of his anus. He felt his hole contract and then relax, open up to Justin's tongue, which coaxed and cajoled him to open wider still.

Opening the nightstand, he felt around inside the drawer for the condoms they had put there the night before. Tearing the package open, he encased his cock in latex and then removed a tube of lube and unscrewed the top. Justin looked up and crawled over him, knees on either side of his waist. He held onto the headboard as Brian pressed the head of the tube against his hole and squeezed. Before the lube had a chance to run down his leg, Brian worked it into his ass with his fingers. Justin lowered himself onto Brian's hand, loving the way the slender digits filled him.

The moment Brian's fingers left his asshole, he positioned himself over his lover's turgid cock and sat down. Brian held onto the base of his dick to hold it steady, hissing as Justin's ass swallowed most of the shaft. They fucked like this for a while, Justin steadying himself with the headboard as he jammed his ass down upon Brian's dick; Brian thrusting upwards, his hands gripping Justin's waist for support.

Without warning, he shifted their positions, tumbling Justin backwards on to the bed, his cock sliding out of his ass. Lifting Justin's legs, he opened the teen's thighs and thrust his cock back inside his hole. Justin, his back arched, gripped Brian's thighs in his hands and held on as they fucked. Crossing his legs around Brian's back, he pumped his hips, working his hole up and down Brian's cock, loving the feel of his pubic hair scratching against the tender skin of his ass. Brian wrapped his hand around his cock and jerked on his pole as they fucked, then curved his back and took Justin's meat into his mouth. Justin cried out as Brian sucked him off, his muscles trembling from the position he was in and from the exquisite blow-job he was receiving.

The next morning they checked out of the hotel, not without a twinge of regret. Their stay had been so magical, they both wondered to themselves if any of the magic would remain once they returned to Pittsburgh. Standing in the foyer of the room, they kissed, holding onto one another fiercely, unwilling to let go of whatever it was they had found here. Neither one of them would give a name to it, but they both knew that this had been something of a honeymoon for them. What would it mean to go home and resume their lives in light of all that had occurred? Could they go back to the way things had been and, if not, could they remain as they were at this moment? Or would they be able to move forward? Thoughts like that were too heavy for this morning, so they put them away and carried their bags downstairs.

Once more they left their luggage with the concierge, planning to return later to claim them on their way to the airport.

After cappuccino and Italian pastries, they took the subway down to Battery Park and stood in line for the ferry to Liberty Island.

"If you're good," Justin told him as they walked across the park to where the ferry disembarked, "there'll be an extra special surprise for you back in Pittsburgh."

Before Brian could answer he saw the line for the ferry. It stretched into eternity. "Fuck!" he swore, earning him a dirty look from a family of breeders from Buttfuck, Iowa, he supposed. Justin gave a weak smile and was rewarded with an even dirtier look which amused Brian to no end. "I guess they figured out we weren't related," he explained. "I wonder what would happen if I kissed you?"

"We're tourists, remember?"

Brian licked his lips. "How special is this surprise?"

Having secured Brian's promise not to make a scene, the ride across the harbor to Liberty Island passed without incident. Brian even told Justin about his family coming over from Ireland during the late 1800's. "Far and Away," he said, referring to the Tom Cruise/Nicole Kidman movie, "was a fucking fairy tale compared to the way it really was."

"My dad's family immigrated from England in 1740," Justin told him. "And my mom's family came over from Sweden in the early 1800's."

Brian ruffled his bangs. "That explains the hair and the eyes."

Waiting for the ferry to dock, Justin asked, "Do you think if we had been born back then, we would have ever met?"

Brian snorted and said with an Irish brogue, "Little Lord Fauntleroy and a dirty Irishman?"

Justin moved closer and whispered, "I like dirty Irishmen," causing Brian to laugh out loud and attract the attention of nearby passengers.

The entire day was a series of photo ops. Brian and Justin looking out of the pedestal at the New York City skyline, and later standing at the bottom of the pedestal; Brian and Justin in the 86th floor observatory of the Empire State Building; Brian and Justin posing by one of the New York Public Library lions; in the main concourse of Grand Central Station; on the steps of St. Patrick's Cathedral; by the statue of Prometheus in Rockefeller Plaza; in front of the Today Show window; at the foot of the one of the neon supersigns in Times Square; and by the fountain in Lincoln Center.

Justin snuggled up against Brian in the back seat of the limo and watched the city lights pass though the open sunroof.

"So, did you have a good time?" Brian asked needlessly, and Justin didn't answer verbally, only stroked Brian's lips and pulled his head down for a slow, deep kiss. Brian groaned and asked, "Have you ever fucked in a limo before?"

But Justin looked at his watch and said, "No time. We're almost there. Wait until we get home."

Home. Pittsburgh. The end of a dream or the beginning of a new one.

They pulled up to Deb's house a little before eleven. Sat in the jeep without speaking. Neither of them knew what to say. Finally Justin grabbed his bags from the back. "I guess I should go in."

"Yeah. Deb's probably wondering where you are."

But Justin didn't move. He looked over at Brian, at his stern profile, then cupped his chin and kissed him aside his mouth, not expecting Brian to reciprocate. Only, Brian turned and their lips met in a kiss that refused to end. At last, Brian pulled partially away. "You should probably go-"

"Just drive," Justin commanded, falling back against the seat; and Brian started the ignition and drove.

"I love you." "I love you." "I love you." The words were whispered as they joined, entangled in the bed sheets, in a whirlwind of emotions. Who was to say who had said what, to whom, or why? The words existed. And, for the moment, that was enough.

The sleeper stirred, disturbed by the images.

Michael sat up in bed, brooding. Next to him, David slept on, unaware of his turmoil.

Forcing herself to lie still so as not to wake Mel, Lindsay stared into the impenetrable darkness.

She checked the clock and saw that there were hours to go before the sun would rise. Turning the face away, Daphne lay awake, certain that sleep would not come again.

Of course, his bed was empty; of course, he was with Brian. Deb trudged to the bathroom. As long as she was up…

Brian opened his eyes to find Justin staring at him. "What are you doing awake?" he asked. And Justin moved into his arms to share a kiss. "Waiting for you."

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