This is Chapter 26 of the "Queer Realities" series.
Go back to "Queer Theories" for the very beginning of this saga.
The narrator is Brian Kinney, and features Justin Taylor.
Rated R for language and contains no warnings or spoilers.
Summary: The Boys are snowed in. Cardinal Lake. February 2003.
Disclaimer: This is for fun, not profit. Watch Queer As Folk on Showtime, buy the DVDs, videos, and CDs. Read the stories and enjoy.
It's still dark when I wake up on Saturday morning. Dark and cold.
I try to go back to sleep. I try turning over, shifting around, and moving the pillow, but I can't fall asleep again. Every time I move, Justin moves, too, but he doesn't wake up. Instead, he grunts, and sighs, and clings to me like a blond barnacle. His skin and hair smell clean and deep, like something brand new you've just taken out of the box.
I remember that scent from that first morning, even before I opened my eyes. I smelled it and I grabbed for it. I wanted to bury myself in it. Revive myself in it. Make myself new, too.
Then I opened my eyes. And I saw someone so young and so fucking vulnerable that it scared the living piss out of me.
"What the fuck are you doing here?"
"You said I could stay."
Right. I said that he could stay. Like I would have let him leave! Famous last words. "You said I could stay." And here he is.
I unwrap myself from Justin and go take a piss. It's obvious that I'm not going back to sleep so I might as well do something constructive. I get dressed and go downstairs where it's as cold as a fucking meatlocker. I pile on more logs and get the fire going. Then I go into the kitchen and make some coffee. Instant -- but it's better than nothing.
It's strange sitting on this old sofa in front of a roaring fire, drinking coffee and waiting for it to get light out. It feels like I've lived here for about a million years. I suddenly understand what I'll feel like when I'm an old man. I'll be sitting somewhere like this, always waking up early, staring at the fire, waiting for the sun to come up. Waiting for Justin to wake up.
I decide to dig out the Jeep.
There's a shovel in the mudroom. A couple of shovels, actually. There's also a bag of salt to spread on the walkway. But I have to find the fucking walkway first. I'm able to shoulder the back door open enough to get outside and then I shovel the drifts away from the entry. The Jeep looks a lot farther away from the cottage than it did when we got stuck. I make my way over to it, plunging into the hip-deep snow and trying to make a trail with my body and my boots. There's no fucking way I'm going to be able to dig the Jeep out without giving myself a heart attack, so I just push the snow away from the passenger door. The only way we're going to get the hell out of here is to wait for spring when the fucking glacier melts!
I forget about the shovel and work my way around to the front of the cottage, heading towards the lake. The drifts are especially high up against the side of the cottage, so I veer away to where the snow is harder and more packed down. It's so cold that the snow looks like diamonds. I can see where the path to the lake should be and I follow it.
Cardinal Lake is bigger than it looks from inside the cottage, long and narrow, curving around out of sight somewhere northward. I make for the dock. There's a small boathouse near the water and a cookhouse. This must be a great place for a party in the middle of summer. There's another dock directly across the lake and I can see another cottage there, hiding in the trees. I'm sure there are cottages ringing this entire lake, but we might as well be alone in the world for all I see any other sign of life. Except for the cardinals. There's a good reason for the name of this lake. The cardinals are swooping down along the lower branches of some pine trees, scoping me out. Their bright scarlet feathers are impossible to miss against the stark white of the snow and the dark green of the trees.
"Brian! What are you DOING out there?"
I look up and Justin is standing in the doorway of the screened-in porch. He's wearing his sweats and waving at me. Smoke from the chimney is drifting up and I can smell the burning logs.
"I'm sightseeing, what the fuck else?"
"Come IN here! I'm making breakfast!" Justin grins at me. Then he disappears.
I follow my own footprints back to the kitchen door.
"What were you doing out there, Brian?" Justin asks as he piles more bacon on my plate. We're sitting on the sofa and Justin has his feet buried in my lap. His feet are always cold.
"I thought I'd dig out the Jeep, but there's no fucking way," I say. I eat the bacon. It tastes extra good for some reason. "We might be able to clear the snow away from the Jeep, but even the two of us working together would never be able to shovel enough to get us back up the driveway to the road."
"We'll just have to call someone to come and plow the drive. There must be a list of local numbers or a phonebook somewhere in here," Justin suggests. "Hey! Here's a weather report!" Justin grabs the portable radio and turns it up. He found a news/talk station coming out of Cleveland that's reporting on the big snowstorm that is hitting the entire East Coast and spreading well into Ohio. Obviously, since we can see it with our own fucking eyes!
"Let me guess -- it's snowing?" I snark. I take another piece of toast. All that shoveling made me ravenous.
"Be quiet! I'm listening!" says Justin, poking me with his foot. He frowns. "Maybe we should call Earl and ask him to dig us out of here."
"Why? We aren't planning to leave until Monday morning. By then it'll probably be all clear."
Justin slides me one of those exasperated looks. "Right!" Then he stands up. "More bacon?"
"I think I've stuffed myself enough. But I'll have some more coffee." I hand him my cup and watch him stroll out to the kitchen. He's humming. He's in a really good mood for someone stuck inside what is basically a two room shack with a desperate character like me. I pick up the radio and dial around, looking for something other than a goddamn country station. I actually find what sounds like a public or college station that isn't too faint. It's playing jazz so I leave that on.
Justin pads out with my coffee. "You think we should ration our food, Brian? I mean, in case we're stranded here."
I roll my eyes. "From the weight of those grocery bags you brought enough food for a fucking army, besides all the cans stocked in the pantry. We'll have enough," I reassure him. "And if we're still hungry we can eat one of our friends on the wall." I point to the moldy examples of bad taxidermy lining the stairs. "We can start with the woodchuck and go from there. Those ugly things have probably been sitting on those shelves for the past 30 years. They should be nice and ripe by now!"
"That's totally disgusting!" Justin laughs.
"I do my best." I sip the coffee. I'll have to buy Earl a coffee machine for this place so the next poor bastards stuck here won't have to drink instant Maxwell House.
Justin explores the room while I stare at the fire. I brought more wood inside after my trek through the snow this morning. The logs on the porch are frozen solid and you can't burn frozen wood, so I have them thawing out next to the fireplace. But we have plenty of wood, plenty of food, and plenty of lube. I figure that we could be here a week without any problem. In fact, it might be nice to be stuck here for a while. This is the most peaceful I've felt in ages.
Justin is opening up the cupboards along the back wall of the living room. Inside are some old books and magazines. And some old board games. He pulls them out and carries them over in front of the fireplace.
"Look what I found!" he crows. "Monopoly. The Game of Life. Parchesi," says Justin, looking through the boxes.
"Don't they have a plain old deck of cards? Or a pool table hidden in there?" I say. The last thing I want to do is play The Game of Life!
"Mystery Date! I want to play that one!" Justin insists.
"You would!" I snort. "Which one of these tricks is your 'Dreamboat'?" I point to the Sixties-style hunks pictured on the box.
Justin picks out a guy who looks like a Ken doll in a tuxedo. "That one, Brian. He's come to take me to the prom!" And then he leans over and kisses me.
"You little twat," I tell him. "Been there, done that."
"I know," he says quietly. "Thanks." Then Justin turns back to the games. "I wonder if all the pieces are included? These games look kind of old," says Justin. "Candy Land. This one would be a good one for Gus."
"Don't you think he's a little young for board games?"
"Not really. He can already move the pieces around. I was playing board games when I was pretty small." Justin frowns. "No Scrabble. Sorry, Brian. Or Trivial Pursuit. I love that game!"
"The games are probably as old as those stuffed squirrels. They didn't have Trivial Pursuit back in the Dark Ages when I was Gus' age."
"You want to play Monopoly? If all the pieces are here?" Justin is already opening up the box and unfolding the battered board.
"Why do I get the feeling that we are going to play every one of these games before we leave this dump? Including Mystery Date!" I gripe.
"You just don't like losing!"
"Sure!" I snort. "Just TRY to beat me!"
We sit on the floor and Justin proceeds to cream me at Monopoly. The twink is a fucking shark. It's a good thing he didn't go to Dartmouth and study Business. There are enough heartless bastards in the world as it is. And I ought to know, being one myself.
"You owe me rent on Park Place," he says.
"You're cleaning me out here, Sunshine!" I plead. "Would you throw poor widows and orphans out into the snow? Give a poor old fag a fucking break!"
"You landed on Park Place, Brian," he says. He's ruthless. "I want the rent."
"What if you take it out in trade?" I say. "I can spare plenty of that!"
Justin smirks fiendishly. "What if I was straight? Then what would you offer me?"
"The same thing!" I assert. "I've never had my ass turned down by a guy yet, straight or gay!"
"Then why don't we make it interesting, Brian," he says, grinning. "If I win, then that's what I want. Your ass."
"And what do I get if I win?" I frown.
"The same thing. MY ass," he says logically.
"That's not fair! I can have that any time!"
"If you don't want it, then...." He shrugs.
"It seems like I'm screwed no matter who wins this game," I decide.
"I prefer to think of it as both of us winning, Brian, no matter who officially wins the game." He grins at me again. He does have a point there.
Of course I agree. What am I going to do? I'm snowed in here for fuck knows how many days and he's got hotels on all the expensive property. What have I got? One lousy house on Atlantic Avenue!
It doesn't take Justin very long to clean me out completely.
"You want me to drop my pants right now or are you going to wait and do it in front of an audience?" I say as he puts the games away. "Like on the main dance floor at Babylon?"
"I was only kidding, Brian!" he replies. "It was a joke." He pauses. "Kind of." And then he flashes that shit-eating grin.
So why does that make me feel so fucking nervous?
I put some more logs on the fire and Justin peers out the window at the lake. "It's snowing again, Brian. Really hard." There's an edge of anxiety in his voice.
"Let me see." I stand next to him at the window, holding his hand as we both look out. It's almost dark, but I can't even see as far as the dock because the snow is whipping around so hard. And the wind is getting stronger. I can hear it moaning against the cottage and whistling down the chimney. Justin goes and changes the radio back to the news station and then walks back to the window and puts his arm around my waist. We listen to the weather reports. Every fucking thing is canceled and roads are closed all over the East. It's just bad everywhere.
"I'm glad we're here," Justin says. "It's warm. And I feel safe. If I were at the loft all by myself I think I'd be a little scared."
"No you wouldn't," I tell him. "You'd be fine. And you'd have all your creature comforts."
"Maybe." Justin leans his head against my chest. "But I'd be alone. So I'd rather be here. With you."
We stand and just watch the snow fall until it's too dark to see anything and the window is frosted over. "So much for trying to dig the Jeep out. At this rate we really WILL have to wait for spring to get the fuck out of here," I say as we go to start making dinner.
Justin puts the chicken breasts into the oven and starts making stuffing. He has me stirring the gravy, which is about all I'm good for in the kitchen.
Justin starts telling me about a new project he's thinking of doing. "It's for my multi-media class. I want to do a music video."
"A music video?" I'm surprised. "That sounds pretty complicated. Do you have the equipment you need to do that? And where are you going to get the band? Or are you going to use an old song?"
"I'm still thinking about it," Justin says slyly. "The assignment is to do a two or three minute piece using video. Most of the students in the class are doing commercials for either real or fake products, but I thought a music video would be more fun."
"Justin... you aren't thinking of doing a video with 'Baby Blue' are you?" I wince.
He nudges me with his elbow. "I wasn't actually. But it's a good idea!" He raises his eyebrows at my horrified face.
"PLEASE don't!" I plead. "Justin, I'm begging you!"
"What about if I asked you to be IN the video -- would you think about it?"
I look at that face. That little smile. What the fuck can I say? So I say, "Yeah, I'd be in it. But only if you asked me."
"Then I'm asking!" He smiles up at me. Then he takes the stuffing off the stove and starts putting the salad together.
I look out the kitchen window when I hear the wind kicking up. "It's really, really bad out there."
"I'm going to call my mom," Justin says suddenly. I can see that he's really worried now. But all he gets on both the cottage phone and the cell is a fast busy signal. He tries again about ten minutes later and it's the same thing. Then he tries to call Emmett and also gets a busy signal.
"Justin," I take the phone out of his hand and set it down. "The phone lines are probably overloaded everywhere because of the storm. Let's eat and then you can try again later. Okay?"
He nods. "Okay." But he turns away from me.
"Hey!" I turn Justin around to look at me. "Don't fucking worry about it. That's an order. WE are the ones who are stuck in the middle of the wilderness, remember?"
"You're right, I guess," Justin says. He opens the oven and checks the chicken to see if it's done. "Do you want barbecue sauce on yours? Or extra butter?"
"I think I'll have mine plain," I decide. Justin always takes a perfectly good chicken breast and slathers it with anything he can find -- butter, barbecue sauce, honey, satay sauce, you name it. One of these days he's going to wake up and it'll be too late for him to get to the gym because he won't be able to fit through the door!
Justin puts the largest piece of chicken on my plate, along with some stuffing from a box. I don't usually like instant food like that, but it smells okay. I think Justin spiced it up a bit, too. "Gravy?"
"Gravy? You're kidding, right?" That's what I was stirring. It's from a little packet. Add water and apply directly to your gut!
"Come on, Brian! You don't want your food to be dry, do you?" he says.
"Your food is never dry, Justin." I smile at him, but he looks disappointed. I hate it when he looks disappointed. "Okay, A little bit. And I MEAN a little!" He dips some gravy on the chicken and the stuffing. Then we carry the food out to the living room.
"I think this stuffing is pretty good," says Justin, his mouth filled with stuffing.
"Don't forget MY contribution -- the gravy!"
Justin rolls his eyes. "Great stirring job, Brian."
"It's the little things that count," I insist.
But considering that we're stuck here without a wide range of choices, Justin's done a great job on dinner. And he's right -- the stuffing-from-a-box isn't bad at all. A total carb overload, of course, but I might need that if I'm going to have to dig us out of here tomorrow.
"Just out of curiosity, what IS the food situation really like?" I ask. I don't want to seem worried, but Justin was the one who did the shopping before we came here.
"Well," he says, frowning. "I was figuring that we'd be here for three nights. We ate the rigatoni last night and finished up the leftovers for lunch. We have the chicken for tonight. And I have enough ground beef after the meat sauce left to make hamburgers for Sunday. The salad is almost gone, but we have more stuff for breakfast. Eggs and bacon and bread for toast. There are some odds and ends in Earl's freezer and cans of soup and vegetables in the cupboard, too. But that's about it."
"Maybe if we call out for a pizza, they'll plow the driveway so they can deliver it!" I suggest. But I am beginning to wonder how long we really can stay stuck in this place before we seriously run out of food. I can tell that Justin is thinking the same thing. He doesn't take a second piece of chicken. "Go ahead, Justin, you might as well eat it," I tell him. "Then we won't be fighting over it like dogs next week after we've eaten our last frozen french fry!"
"You're goofy!" he says, collecting the plates.
"I knew this would turn into the Donner Party Revisited!" I call after him.
"Shut up!" he yells from the kitchen. "I'm the only one who is going to be eating YOU! Brian, I'm going to try my mom again."
A minute later Justin comes back out. "All I got was that funny busy signal again."
"What about trying to call Earl? At least we'll know we can get through to someone."
Justin tries his cell and he can't connect at all. Then he tries the kitchen phone. It rings but no one picks up. He tries again a few minutes later and gets the same. "It rang at Earl's house, but I can't believe there's no one home in the middle of this snowstorm!"
"Maybe Earl and his wife are stuck somewhere, too?"
"I didn't think of that." Justin decides to give up calling for now and sits next to me on the sofa.
"So, what do you say, Sunshine? Best two out of three at Mystery Date? Or Candy Land?" I ask.
"No more board games, Brian. We have to save some fun for tomorrow!" he laughs. "How about some more music? Let me pick!" Justin jumps up and turns on the old Hi-Fi.
"No Streisand! That's my only rule," I remind him.
"I'm going to tell Emmett what you said, Brian, and he'll have you drummed out of the Faggots' Brigade."
"It's too late for that. Emmett knows my feelings on that subject very well. Besides, I was drummed out of Emmett's wing of the Club a long time ago when I refused to worship Cher!"
"Yeah, Cher IS a stretch." Justin admits. "I think even I may have to draw the line at Cher! So what about this instead?" He puts a record on the turntable and Nat King Cole's silky voice glides out of the speakers.
"Now, THAT is much more like it!" I smile.
"I thought you'd say that," he purrs, sliding against me on the sofa.
His lips are hot. And wet. Very wet. Justin has a nice, big mouth -- and I don't mean only for talking and eating. We kiss for a long time. Just kissing. Kissing is highly underrated as a sex act, in my opinion. Some guys don't like to kiss at all. They want to get right down to the fucking. I've never been like that. You get to know exactly how the guy is going to fuck by kissing him. And kissing fans the flames, if you know what I mean.
And drifting over our heads...
That's what you are,
Though near or far.
Like a song of love that clings to me,
How the thought of you does things to me.
Has someone been more...
In every way,
And forever more
That's how you'll stay.
That's why, darling, it's incredible
That someone so unforgettable
Thinks that I am
When Justin and I set those stupid 'Rules' on the catwalk of Babylon way back when, one of them was about not kissing anyone else. That was important to Justin because he sees kissing as much more intimate than fucking. And it is in a lot of ways. It's about acknowledging the other person, looking him in the eye, sharing his breath. In these days when you can't share your sperm with each other, when you can't fuck without latex, putting your tongue in someone's mouth and having him put his in yours has real meaning. Justin thinks it does and I think it does, too.
We've both broken that particular 'Rule' since then. I know Justin has broken it at least once with some guy at a party. Maybe with that Wade kid, too, and probably with others. And I've broken it myself, of course. With Ron. With Jimmy. With Dorian. I admit it. But that's in the past. I can feel that. Justin erases everything else. And everyone else.
"It's very clear
Our love is here to stay.
Not for a year,
Forever and a day.
The radio and telephone
And the movies that we know
May just be passing fancies
And in time, may go...
But oh my dear,
Our love is here to stay.
In time the Rockies may tumble,
Gibraltar may crumble,
They're only made of clay.
But our love is here to stay."
I push down my jeans and Justin discards his sweats. Justin moves down to my cock and engulfs it. Yes! Justin can suck cock with the best of them. Of course, he had a fantastic teacher, but instruction isn't everything. It takes talent, too. I've had thousands of blow jobs, but no one can make me feel like he does. I've seen him make guys weak in the knees with his mouth. But MY dick was the first one in his mouth, just like my dick was the first one in his ass. That shouldn't make me smug, but it does. Okay, I'm vain like that. Possessive. It's stupid, I know. But it makes it hotter. And I'm the first guy he ever kissed. At least -- I think I am the first guy he ever kissed. Not that it matters -- it doesn't. But I like to be the First, even if I know that I'll never be the Only.
I close my eyes in ecstasy. This is about as fucking perfect as it can get. Until...
"Brian," he whispers. "I want to collect my prize."
"Huh?" I open my eyes.
Justin is stroking his cock. It isn't the longest one in the world, but it's thick, with a big, blunt head. The first time I saw it I thought, 'That's a big cock for such a small kid!' But Justin has definitely grown into it. Justin has grown into everything.
"My prize," he murmurs. "I won the Monopoly game. And now I want to collect on our bet."
I swallow. "What bet?" I say stupidly. Yes, THAT bet. I'm not that old and forgetful. At least not yet. I feel a trickle of sweat crawl down the back of my neck. The seed of a panic attack.
"Your ass, Brian." He grins. He has the condom in his hand already. And he's rolling it down his extremely hard cock. Then he picks up the tube of lube. "I think I'm going to need a lot of this. A LOT!"
"Um, Justin...." I start to say. "I... ah...." I sit up a little. Suddenly the room feels very hot. And very small. I can feel my asshole clenching up tightly. Very tightly.
"I'm going to fuck the shit out of you, little boy!" says Justin, merrily. "And you can't get away. Because I have you right where I want you. And I'm going to have my 'Wicked Way' with your ass! Right now!"
Continue on to "I Feel Possessed".
©Gaedhal, September 2004.
Posted September 9, 2004.