THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS

"A Queer As Folk USA FanFic"

by Gaedhal

This is Chapter 81 in the "Queer Theories" series.

Go back to "White Knights -- Part 2", the previous chapter.

The narrators are Ron Rosenblum, Sir Kenneth Fielding, and Dorian Folco, featuring Brian Kinney, Justin Taylor, Hughie Marsh, Sir Miles Hadleigh, Kenroy Smith.
Rated R and contains no warnings or spoilers.
Summary: Ron comes to London on an 'errand of mercy.' London, July 2002.
Author's Note: Thanks, as always, to Susan -- even when I throw HER off a cliff from time to time. And also to Alan for his invaluable legal advice and comments.
Disclaimer: This is for fun, not profit. Watch Queer As Folk on Showtime, buy the DVDs, videos, and CDs. Read the stories and enjoy.

The minute I land the first thing I see is a fucking tabloid newspaper with the headline 'Film Star in Melee! Brawl in Camden Club Rocks Ex-Punker' -- with a photo of Brian from 'The Olympian.'

I buy a copy of every paper I can find and read them with growing frustration as the car I've arranged to pick me up takes me into the city.

Well, this certainly proves the studio wrong. They said that Brian, as an unknown actor, had very little publicity value without Jimmy attached to him. All I have to do is show them all this fucking front page coverage! Swell!

Another trash paper features a similar article, featuring a different photo -- Brian looks pretty good in this one, too -- but with a companion interview with some woman, Helene DeMarr, who claims to be the fiancée of the American actor involved. I have no fucking idea who this woman is, but she's spouting all sorts of total horseshit about Brian and their relationship. She obviously knows nothing about him and is using the situation to garner publicity for herself.

Another interview in the same tabloid is with a member of the band Brian appears with in Dorian Folco's film, Davy Davis. This guy makes a bit more sense. He basically describes a situation of a couple of drunks at a bar getting into an altercation with each other -- those drunks being Charley Weston, the so-called leader of this movie band, and his ex-friend and ex-bandmate, Mick Naughton, of something called the Ball Turret Gunners. Both were smashed, stoned, high, whatever the fuck -- and Brian somehow stepped into the middle of it.

The woman, Helene DeMarr, in HER interview, claims that her 'fiancée' was coming to her 'rescue' when Mick Naughton, the rival musician, either hit her or tried to hit her -- her narrative isn't very clear. She refers to Brian as her "White Knight who is tall and handsome and everything a girl would dream of"! THIS is the level of journalism in London -- the fucking cradle of English literature?

Davis clarifies things a little. HE says that he and Brian were having a quiet conversation when the inebriated Mick Naughton picked a fight with the equally smashed Charley Weston and Davis and Brian were caught in the middle when chairs and tables went flying. Then some of the Gunners' fans got into the act and a free-for-all ensued. But that neither he nor Brian were high at the time.

There was some damage to the club, Mick Naughton's arm was either sprained or broken -- depending on which account I read -- Charley Weston got a black eye and other 'injuries' -- and a number of people were taken in. There is mention of drug possession, but what kind of drugs and what charges are pending is unclear. But I have no doubt that Brian had SOMETHING on him -- whether he was high or drunk or whatever makes no difference. Any other charges are bullshit -- it's the drugs that concern me. Always the drugs.

Maybe he can get off with treatment or something like that. Some kind of plea bargain. I need a fucking lawyer here to advise me! Dr. Hall faxed me a letter and some of his records before I left New York. If I can use them to get Brian into some kind of program -- or promise to get him into one when we get back to California, then maybe this whole disaster can have a positive outcome. Somehow.

I get out my phone and call the Dorchester. They have my room ready and I tell them to hold it and I'll be checking in much later tonight. And it's already late on Sunday night and I feel like I've been on the run since 8:00 this morning -- and I have. Even taking the Concorde and saving hours of flight time, I'm still fucking exhausted!

I need to contact Sir Kenneth Fielding. I know Justin is there and Sir Kenneth seems to be coordinating everything. It's his solicitor on the case, supposedly. Where is Dorian Folco? How come HE is not taking care of all this? Does he take this whole thing seriously? It's HIS goddamn film in jeopardy, after all!

I look over the articles once more and re-direct the driver to take me to Holland Park and the Hotel Chatterton. If I can get into Brian's room and wait for him there, I can begin to take charge of this whole operation and set things right.

***

I'm sitting with the boys, listening to some music and trying to make the situation as normal as possible. Hughie went out earlier and collected some of the papers. As usual, the tabloid press is all over this story. In our favor, however, is that Brian is basically unknown here. He's a POTENTIAL story -- but he's not famous yet. And Charley Weston is a has-been who really never was that famous to begin with. Everyone else involved is a nonentity. And that means the story has little potential to continue beyond the first flush of interest during a slow news period. "By tomorrow, this will be forgotten," I declare to the boys. And I believe it's true. I HOPE it's true, because I'm not certain how much more Justin can take. And I don't even want to think of poor Brian.

Even so, I keep the more sensationalized papers out of Justin's sight.

The phone rings. It's my solicitor and very old friend, Sir Miles Hadleigh, calling from his car. "Kenny -- he's out," says Miles.

"What do you mean?" I nod to Justin, who stands up immediately and comes over.

"I mean, Kenneth, that Mr. Kinney is already back at his hotel. I've just left there." I repeat this information to the boys and Justin looks like he can finally breathe again. "Dorian Folco came down and offered a surety that Brian would appear, and he covered the amount set and Brian was released. Considering the charges and the people involved and the confusion over what actually took place in the club, I would be very surprised if all charges were not dropped completely tomorrow -- at least against Brian. Self-defense is obvious in this case, if there is even a question about what actually happened. No one -- except that stupid woman who spoke to the papers -- says that Brian struck anyone or even took part in the ensuing fracas. Charley Weston might be another matter -- but he has his own counsel. Frankly, Dorian didn't seem too concerned about Weston -- his main concern was Brian."

"Obviously," I say. "We all care about Brian, Weston is inconsequential. What about the drugs charge?" Both Justin and Hughie are crowding around me as I try to speak to Miles. I have to shoo them away.

"It would seem to be negligible. Brian claims that he's innocent and was clean at the time of the incident -- and was quite vocal to me on that point. And he did not seem to me a person who was suffering the after effects of either being intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. At the worst, he may be given a order for treatment. But Brian claims that the amount in the drug vial was minuscule. Perhaps only a trace. That he picked up an empty vial and put it in his pocket quite absently."

"That might sound a bit far-fetched to some people."

"Perhaps, but it would fit the facts."

"Yes," I say, looking at Justin. "I believe it would." Kenroy Smith filled me in on a few of the details of their trip to the Chatterton to retrieve Justin's clothes. And I understand why Justin is beside himself with worry and blaming himself for the entire muddle.

"What was the situation at the hotel?"

"What you would expect," relates Miles. "Some reporters and photographers. They recognized Brian immediately, so any hope that we would enter the hotel unmolested was dashed. But he was very good, indeed. He spoke to them briefly and then I said it was all a misunderstanding and was certain the matter would disappear as soon as the facts were known. The only thing Brian seemed thrown by were the statements by that woman in the club, Miss DeMarr. That took him aback. But he acquitted himself very well by fending off the personal queries and referring the rest to me. Dorian also spoke briefly. I believe the press decamped soon after. I would count it as a one-day wonder."

"That's a relief, then. What is Brian's state of mind, Miles?"

"I'd say that he's extremely depressed. He blames himself for this misadventure. Dorian kept telling him that he wasn't at fault -- but he's quite down," Miles admits. "I told him that his friend was staying with you."

"Justin. Yes, he's here." Justin alerts at the mention of his name.

"And," continues Miles. "Brian said that he wouldn't be surprised if his friend never wanted to speak to him again."

"Now, that is simply ridiculous! Of course he wants to speak to him again."

"He feels he's disappointed everyone -- but especially his friend... Justin, is it?"

"Yes. Justin." Justin is practically ready to jump at me by this time.

"As I said, Dorian is there now -- but Justin may want to go over there later. I believe that Dorian was trying to get him to eat something and then go to sleep. I'm sure the stress of the last twenty-four hours has taken its toll."

"Thank you so much, Miles. I'll be in touch." And before I even set the receiver down, Justin is upstairs, retrieving his belongings. I follow him directly.

"Justin -- are you certain you want to go back right now?"

He turns and stares at me. "You aren't saying I should stay here, are you?"

"Well, perhaps...."

"Did Brian say that I shouldn't come? Did he? Because...."

And then Justin's phone, which is hooked to his belt, rings. "Yes?" He's staring straight ahead as the other person speaks to him. He's blinking. "Are you? ... Really okay? But what about the vial? I know. I know! It was a mistake! Really! I DON'T blame you... I'M the one... NO! I AM!" He sits down on the edge of the bed, listening. "Brian... one thing I have to tell you... No! Okay. Okay! I'll be ready. Any time. Yes." He turns his face away from me. "I love you, Brian -- no matter what. I DO! And you can't stop me!"

Justin puts down the phone and his face has a purposeful look. "I'm leaving as soon as Kenroy can pick me up. Brian says Kenroy is on another job right now, but then he's coming here to pick me up." Justin stands and collects his suitcase and Brian's leather carry-all. "Thanks, Sir Ken, for letting me stay here with you. Otherwise I would have been alone. And for supporting Brian. I really mean it."

"You are quite welcome, my boy. You and Brian are very dear to me and I want to see you two safe and sound. Are you certain everything will be all right?"

"It will be as soon as I get back there -- where I belong."

***

Brian is completely silent in the car as we drive back from the police station to the Chatterton.

"Brian, are you certain you want to go back there? You may have to face reporters."

"Yes, I'm sure, Dorian," is all he replies. And when the time comes, Sir Miles Hadleigh handles most of the questions about the actual charges. The reporters can sense that this whole thing is much ado about nothing, as they say.

Brian, who shaved and cleaned himself up quite handily at the police station, seems poised in the face of the onslaught of personal questions. He answers a few about Helene DeMarr and HER statements to the press rather tersely, but with spirit, denying that they have ANY sort of relationship, let alone that she is his fiancée! He fairly charms most of the reporters, if I do say so. And then I answer a few more questions about the continuation of filming for 'Hammersmith.' And we are finished.

"You did very well, Brian. Like a professional."

"I spent a lot of years in advertising, Dorian. You face a hostile audience every day in that game."

"Then you are quite prepared for stardom, I would say."

"Right. Stardom."

We go into the hotel and Brian enters the room, expectantly. He looks around and walks to a corner shelf and then back. "He's gone," he says, dejectedly. "His suitcase is gone." His face is bleak.

"Do you mean Justin? He's at Sir Kenneth's. I believe he stayed there last night. Kenny thought Justin would do better there than here alone. That's where he was when you called the room. But I'm glad you then contacted me, Brian. And I was able to keep everyone informed about what was occurring."

"I haven't thanked you about the surety thing. And about the bail, Dorian."

"No matter, Brian. You are my star, but also my friend, I hope. Kenny was willing to do the surety and provide bail, as well. But it was a mere formality." I pick up the phone. "Let me order some food for you now."

But Brian merely sits on the couch, looking extremely melancholy. "Why don't you call him?" I say. "Have him get a taxi and come back here, Brian."

"You think so?"

"Brian -- don't be an ass. Where else would he rather be?" And Brian calls the driver he's been using to go over and pick the boy up. Then he goes into the bathroom and shuts the door, and I know he's calling Justin.

Now, I'm of two minds about all this. I won't deny that I have more than just a professional interest in Brian. I have let him know it -- and he's made clear that he has no interest in me whatsoever. And that's quite all right. But I still think that I can do him some good. I think his future in film lies more in Europe than in the States. And I can introduce him to people here and on the Continent. Guide him to suitable projects. Bolster his talent and not undermine it.

But I understand Brian's reticence. And I understand a bit of the difficulty of his relationship with Ron Rosenblum. The attempt to work something out both personally and professionally between them was a disaster. Of course, Rosenblum seems a troubled character to begin with -- if the calls he's been making to my office almost daily are any indication. And he's especially obsessed with Brian's relationship with the boy. He's threatened by it. I, on the other hand, have no problem with it at all. Perhaps it's because I'm European and we have a different attitude about such things. I was born and lived my first decade in France and find this kind of jealousy ridiculous generally, and in a gay man unfathomable. Fidelity is mainly a concept suitable for women's fiction and not for sophisticated adults. And especially NOT for gay men. Even in a long-term alliance, lovers on either side should never threaten to a union that satisfies both parties in other ways. My lovers have never posed a danger to my relationship with my wife, Maria, nor have hers to me. Perhaps Brian could be made to understand this perspective, although I doubt the volatile Mr. Rosenblum could ever accept it.

Besides, I quite like young Justin. I'm told he's a talented artist. There are some very fine schools of art and design in London. He could be very happy living here with Brian. I have another small house in Maida Vale that would suit the two of them perfectly. If I could only get Brian to trust in me. If his ex-lover hasn't completely destroyed his ability to trust anyone.

When the food comes, I end up eating most of it -- I missed dinner and find I'm famished -- while Brian only picks at a salad. He keeps getting up and going to the door, wondering why Justin hasn't arrived. Obviously, the driver has been delayed.

Brian goes in and showers. He hasn't asked me why I'm still here -- and I'm not certain myself. I'm just not quite ready to depart. And I don't want to leave him completely forlorn. But it is getting exceedingly late.

Finally, Brian comes out, wearing his jeans and a white cambric shirt, unbuttoned, and his hair wet, just as the door opens and Justin rushes in and almost bowls him over. A portly black man in a dark blue suit follows with the boy's bags. We stand together and observe as they rather consume one another with their mouths, and examine each other thoroughly, oblivious to our presence.

"Kenroy Smith," the man says, shaking my hand. I introduce myself in turn. "I'll be going now, gentlemen," he says.

Brian comes over and squeezes his shoulder. "Thanks for your help in all of this."

"If you'd had me with you on Saturday night then none of this would have happened, Brian!"

"I know, Kenroy -- I'll never make that mistake again!"

"And I won't let him, either!" pipes up Justin.

After the driver leaves, they sit on the couch and seem to forget I'm even here. I know that I should depart, but they fascinate me. Perhaps because I've never myself had a relationship like this -- one that seems all-consuming. My own relationships, while usually based on mutual desire, are quite rational, perhaps even calculated. But no one could calculate this. The boy sits next to Brian on the settee and buries his face into his chest, holding on to him tightly, while Brian just sits and stares into space, clutching him back and stroking his arm. They look like survivors of a shipwreck, sitting on the deck of the rescue vessel, having lost everything but each other. But that seems enough, somehow.

I make ready to leave when there's another knock on the door. I open it and a tall, dark-haired man is standing there. "Who the fuck are YOU?" he says -- and barges into the room. He stops dead when he sees Brian sitting there. "You're out! How the fuck did you get out of jail?"

"It's called bail, Ron. Dorian and Sir Ken's solicitor arranged it." Brian doesn't move from his seat, but he does hug Justin a little closer. "Dorian, this is Ron. He's obviously come on an errand of mercy."

"How do you do?" I say, extending my hand to him.

"You're Dorian?" he spews, ignoring my hand. "How the fuck could YOU let this happen? Huh? Who was keeping an eye on those idiots you had doing the music? Don't you have any control of your fucking set?"

"Nice to meet you, too, Mr. Rosenblum. I'm looking forward to seeing 'The Olympian.' I hear it's quite wonderful."

"It's better than wonderful. It's the best movie made this year." Ron has penetrating blue eyes that brook no disagreement. No wonder that Brian has such difficulty with this man. He's very infuriating. I could be quite attracted to him in the right situation. But then I enjoy the challenge of a difficult man. Or woman.

"Ron doesn't mince words about his own genius, Dorian," says Brian, making no move to leave the couch. Justin hasn't moved, either, except to squirm closer to his lover. Nor has he lifted his face to look at his rival. Perhaps he's afraid he'll turn to stone. "I knew it was more than I could hope for that I could just send Ron a greeting card when all of this was over. But, no -- he's come to 'save' me -- from the cops, from Justin, from you, Dorian -- and from myself most of all. But who's going to save me from YOU, Ron?"

"Don't be a jerk, Brian."

"Takes one to know one," says Brian. "And I know you'll be crushed to find this out, but I'm innocent, Ron. I wasn't drunk. I wasn't high. I was just caught in the middle of someone else's fight. And Sir Miles says he's sure all the charges will be dropped shortly. Maybe even tomorrow. No harm done. So your intervention is not needed at this time."

"Is that so, Brian? And did you tell the judge, the cops, the press, and who-the-fuck-ever that you are NOT an addict? Because I've got the papers from your doctor in California that say otherwise! I can get you into treatment! I'll tell the judge that personally."

"Papers from your quack, Dr. Hall?" Brian says, vehemently. "He'd write a letter stating that I was an armadillo if you told him to! It's meaningless, Ron. I'm clean -- and I plan to stay that way."

"You THINK, Brian! You always say that! I only wish it were true."

"Gentlemen," I cut in. "Is this conversation absolutely necessary? I'm sure you have a lot to say to one another, but this hardly seems the time or place."

"Who the fuck asked you?" Ron turns on me.

Brian finally releases Justin and stands up. Justin remains sitting, pointedly not looking at Ron. Looking anywhere but at him. Brian strides to the door and opens it. "I think it's time for both of you to go. I'm tired. Justin's tired. And we have a movie to finish this week, don't we, Dorian?"

"Yes, Brian," I add. "Filming was suspended for tomorrow, but Tuesday, surely. I'll inform you, Brian. Good night, Justin." And I stand and wait for Ron to make a move for the door. But he stands, quite nailed to the floor.

"You know, Ron, your whole rationale is just wrongheaded," says Brian. "I might have enjoyed prison here. I might have met a better class of guys in there than I'm accustomed to in Los Angeles. And, with my innate natural talents, I wouldn't have even needed any cigarettes to get along just fine! But I don't need to tell you that -- right, Ron?"

"Fuck you, Brian! You don't know what is for your own good and what isn't!" And he storms out the door, pushing by me.

"Good night, Dorian," Brian says, and shuts the door of the suite.

I ask the night clerk to call me a taxi and go out to wait for it. Ron is standing by a hired car. He motions me over.

"I know your game, Folco. You think you have a prayer with Brian? I know you've made a move on him and haven't gotten anywhere. I have my informants. You think you can try again in the future? Well, forget it. You WON'T! Because once this shoot is over I want you to keep the fuck away from Brian. Don't contact him. Don't e-mail him. Don't even send him a postcard. Because I'll know about it."

"Frankly, Mr. Rosenblum, I don't think it's me who is the greatest threat to you."

"You mean Justin? I have him in my inside pocket."

"I didn't mean the boy. I meant YOU, Ron. You are the biggest threat. To yourself. To Brian. You'll end up destroying him if you keep this up. If you don't destroy yourself first. Take my advice and go back to California. Let Brian go his way and you go yours. You have a film coming out soon. Focus your energy on that."

"I don't need any guidance from you, Folco. You have your own fucking agenda! I know where you're coming from. So, stay out of it."

"As you will," I say, and walk back up to stand on the hotel steps. Ron gets into his hired car and it drives away.

***

Because Dorian Folco mentioned that filming was suspended for Monday due to Brian's arrest, I take the opportunity to go first thing in the morning and pay a call on Sir Kenneth Fielding. Besides wanting to thank him for all his help in this whole mess, I need to see to a little business over at his house.

"Why Ronald!" he says, truly surprised to see me there. "To what do I owe the honor?"

"It's all mine, Sir Kenneth." And I give him a little gift, an antique paperweight that I bought this morning over at a shop on Portobello Road. I know he collects the things.

"It's quite fine, Ronald. You shouldn't have," he says. Sir Kenneth is all class, that's certain. Unlike some people I can think of.

"Not at all."

Sir Kenneth has Hughie bring out the tea things and we have a long chat. Mainly about Brian and what the hell happened. I get a bit of insight into the trouble with this band and what's been going on off the set. That's something Folco should have been wise to from the beginning. Just the kind of thing that can throw Brian off course, especially if he starts imagining he's some kind of rock star.

We sip tea and I outline to Sir Kenneth some of the plans for the promotion of 'The Olympian,' including projected opening dates in England in December.

"Right before Christmas, ay? A prime time for all the big award nominations."

I laugh. "Jimmy is counting on winning Best Actor. But he's always thinking about that. And I would say that a Best Supporting Nomination for YOU might not be out of the question." Maybe I'm buttering him up a little -- but he IS excellent in his scenes, however few they are.

Sir Kenneth smiles tightly. 'What about Brian? No nominations for him?"

"Well, Sir Kenneth," I remind him. "Brian's really good. Very good, but it is his first real role in a film...."

"So? Why would that make a difference? From the scenes I saw in Los Angeles and from what I saw on the set, he can easily hold his own with Jimmy Hardy. I believe that he more than held his own in his scenes with me -- and I've worked with some fine actors. Why do you feel the need to downgrade him, Ronald? To negate his own belief in his talent? I've heard you do it more than once -- and heard your own assessment of his abilities repeated by Brian -- to his detriment. Is it really necessary for you to persuade him that the only reason he gets ANY part is because of his looks? Because that simply is not true. There are many good-looking actors, but few who could play this part the way Brian has."

I don't like this conversation at all. This is not what I came here to talk about. "I'm just being realistic, Sir Kenneth. I don't want to over-rate Brian's ability as an actor just because I have a... personal investment in him."

"I thought your personal involvement with Brian was quite finished. I don't believe I'm mistaken. And whether it is or not -- that is no excuse to subvert the confidence of a young man who has the potential to be, if not a great classically trained actor, then a very charismatic and striking film personality. A star, perhaps. And THAT is an even rarer thing than being merely a competent actor."

"Possibly," I say, not sure why Sir Kenneth is telling me all this shit about Brian. Why does HE care? I know he's had an interest in Brian from the start -- but he's also not the kind of guy to play a bunch of games. And I know Brian has no interest in HIM beyond as an important person to work with. Like a mentor. Even if the old man did blow him once or twice.

And my involvement with Brian is finished, huh? Our relationship is NEVER finished! It might be on hiatus, but it's never finished!

Then the phone rings and Sir Kenneth takes the call.

"Perhaps Hughie here can show me around your garden while you're on the phone?" I suggest.

"Splendid idea." And he gestures Hughie to escort me outside to look at the rose bushes.

We walk a little way into the garden. Hughie eyes me, warily. Once we are a distance from the garden door I take hold of Hughie's arm. "What the fuck is really going on here? Tell me the truth for once!"

"Nothing!" he says, pulling away from me. "I don't have any control over anything that goes on here! I just look on, as usual, and then report back to you!"

"Yeah, you let me know SHIT! You didn't know anything about Brian being back on drugs!"

"How was I supposed to know THAT? I never saw him take anything! I'm not on the set at all! How would I know?"

"Doesn't Justin confide in you? Tell you things? Things about Brian? What they are up to? What Brian says to him?"

"Nah, nothing!" Hughie gives me a sullen glare.

"You're supposed to be his pal. Get close to him. THAT was your job! What happened?"

"He doesn't even like me...." Hughie mumbles. "He wouldn't tell me anything."

"Useless. You're totally useless! Well, what about Justin, then? Any luck there?"

"I told you before -- he's not interested in anyone else! I took him to a fucking club that first night! He'd just paired off with someone when Brian came racing in there and dragged him off the floor! He was like a bleeding outraged husband! There's nothing I can do against something like that!"

"Bullshit! Brian doesn't care about that kid for anything but a fuck."

Hughie regards me with his dark, sloe eyes. "Then YOU had better look again. You don't know what you're talking about! You haven't seen them together here. I have!"

"I HAVE seen them together. It's nothing!"

"You WISH! There's another fellow that likes Justin. Rowan. They did scenes together in the film. Even when they were making out, you could TELL Justin had no interest in him! None! The only one he wants is BRIAN!" Hughie pulls away from me. "I'm not doing anything to get between the two of them! I'm afraid of Brian -- he's big and he's strong. He could break me apart if he wanted to. And he would, too, if he knew I was saying things about them. Telling YOU things! You don't know the half of it."

"You little twerp."

"Pardon ME for not doing your bloody bidding! I have to look out for myself, as well, don't I?" Hughie brushes himself off and sticks his straight little British nose in the air.

"Listen," I say, giving him a shake to wake him up. "I can get Sir Kenneth to toss your ass back into some squat in Clapham so fast you won't even bounce! So don't mouth off to me, Hughie!" Goddamn little fucking asshole! "You want me to get that lunkhead boyfriend of yours to spill everything to Sir Kenneth? What's his name?"

"Tony," Hughie whines, miserably.

"Right. Tony. You don't even want to know how fast and how cheap he'll turn you over! I bet it wouldn't even take 100 pounds. But I'd pay him ten times that to fuck you without the benefit of lube -- if I have to. Understand that metaphor, Hughie?"

He nods.

"Good."

I walk back to the house and make my excuses to Sir Kenneth. Hughie has been completely worthless -- except for calling me about the arrest. And he hasn't done one fucking thing to shake Justin off of Brian's ass. Or anything to put Brian off that kid. Which means that I'm going to have to finally play hard ball with Brian before I leave this city.

Continue on to "In My Life", the next chapter.

©Gaedhal, September 2002

Updated September 6, 2002