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After brunch the group moved out onto the patio, the day's warmth drawing them all to the pool.
They swam together, laughing and chatting, friends united in a calming happiness.
Around one o'clock Chris and Finn walked up to Josh and Lucas, the two men laying in lounge chairs together, shaded under a large umbrella, their toned chests on full display, swimming attire their only clothing.
"Hey, Sunshine Kens! It's getting boring around here. What say we have some entertainment?" Chris said, sitting down on the end of Josh's lounge chair by his feet, Finn standing beside Lucas' chair, smiling down at his friend.
"Sure thing, Chris. Get up there on the diving board, hetero boys! A strip tease is fine with us!" Lucas said, Chris rolling his eyes, Finn chuckling.
"Nah, too many ogling eyes around here. I have enough groupies." Chris laughed, Lucas smiling at him.
"I didn't know there were troll fan clubs out there?"
Finn burst into laughter, Josh joining him, Chris folding his arms, staring at Lucas.
"Ha. . .ha, Carver. I was in N*Sync, ya know! We all had fans, still do."
Lucas smiled, nodding his head.
"I know, Chris. I was a fan as well. Hell, Finny here was even more in love with all you."
Finn blushed, staring at Chris and Josh.
"I wasn't in love with you guys. Just your music. You're the one who was gaga over Josh and Justin, Luke."
Josh smiled at his lover, their eyes meeting.
"I hope I've met your fantasies, my pet?"
Lucas smiled, their eyes glued to each other.
"You've surpassed them, my singing heartthrob."
Chris made gagging noises, Finn laughing.
Lucas smiled at him, their eyes meeting.
"I see your point, Chris. I'm sure there were quite a few people out there smitten with your rugged, old boy, good looks."
Chris smiled, Josh smiled at his friend.
"I was the oldest, but I was also the most intellectual." Chris smiled.
Lucas smiled, looking at Josh.
"Yeah, the younger singing beauties are usually airheads." Lucas said, Josh looking surprised.
Lucas burst into laughter, rising from his seat, Josh rising after him, chasing his man across the pool, Lucas diving into the water, disappearing under the blue water.
"You're fast on your feet, Carver! I don't forget, cutie! Your ass is mine!" Josh yelled at the pool's edge, Lucas cresting the water, smiling up at him.
"Sweet! I'm getting a spanking later!" Lucas said, those around the pool and in the water laughing, Lucas smiling at Justin as he climbed out of the pool, his wet body on full display, Lance swimming up to Lucas.
"You teasing our Josh, Lukey?" he smiled, Lucas smiling at him.
"Only with my love. I never realized you boybanders were so vain."
Lance looked at Lucas, the young man laughing, leaning over and kissing Lance's wet cheek.
"My Josh didn't take well to me calling him and
Justin airheads, what with their beautiful boybander looks. You are in the same
Lance smiled, looking up at Josh, his friend smiling at him, Justin now at Josh's side.
"Our Lukey was comparing us to airheads, Joshy? I think we should punish him."
Justin smiled, looking down at a grinning Lucas.
"Well apparently he's into spanking." Justin laughed, Chris now at their side.
"I ain't touching his butt for nothing." Chris said, Lucas smiling up at him and his friends.
"You're missing a beauty, Chris. My Josh loves it." Lucas laughed, Josh smiling down at his lover.
Joey walked up to the three men, Finn at his side.
"What's this about Lucas trashing the holy shrine of N*Sync?"
His bandmates smiled at him, all eyes staring down at Lucas.
"Apparently our one-time fan has lost the happiness in his heart for our band." Justin said, folding his arms.
"I never said any such thing, my friend." Lucas smiled, the young man swimming towards the pool's edge, Lance swimming beside him.
The four bandmates smiled down at him, Lucas climbing up onto the pool's edge, rising to his feet, Lance climbing out of the pool as well, Lucas standing before the five men.
Lucas smiled at all five, everyone around them staring at his smiling face.
"I never will lose the happiness in my heart that your music once gave me. As it will always give me. Then, here in the present, and in the future."
The five smiled, Josh smiling at his lover.
"I love all five of you, for different reasons, then
and now. Joshua, my love now, my crush then. A vision of masculine beauty and a
singer with a beautiful voice. Justin, the heart of the group--in beauty, music
and in talent--but forever a giving, loving friend to the other four."
Josh and Justin both smiled, Justin smiling at his four friends.
"Lance, the quiet shy one, but steadfast in his loyalty, love and giving nature. And an organized wonder." Lucas said, Lance smiling at him, then at his four friends.
"Then the last two. Chris, the leader, the joiner of the five, the glue that kept all five going. And Joseph, the protector, the huggable bear of the group, whose love was steadfast through friendships and songs."
All five smiled at each other, Chris smiling at Lucas.
"You pegged us all correctly, Luke. We were as you
"You still are, Chris. And you are something more. I easily saw it in your togetherness, and heard it in your songs. A group of brothers of voice and love. Five steadfast friends who went on with that friendship long after the music ended. Seeing the five of you this weekend has shown that. It was the main reason I brought the five of you together. For my Josh's happiness and for all of yours."
All five smiled, staring at Lucas, his words steeped with friendship and love.
"None of you are airheads. You're five now older
friends who will always share a friendship and guiding love. The future is as it
"The future, Lucky?" Josh said, his lover smiling at him.
"Let's leave the days as they are. One at a time. The future verifies itself."
"You're a man of confusing words, Lucas." Piney said, his arm going around his lover, the younger man having walked up to his man, everyone surrounding the six listening.
"I'm me, Piney. And I'm happy. For I see the happiness in all your eyes. I'm sure the future holds happiness for all of you."
Everyone smiled, Josh walking forward, his arms going around his wet lover.
"I've been happy since the day I met you."
Lucas smiled, staring into his man's blue eyes.
"Right now you need to find your own happiness. Chris is getting antsy. I knew it would eventually happen. I always take care of all eventualities."
Chris smiled, staring at Lucas.
"Meaning what, Luke?"
Lucas smiled, his eyes meeting Justin's blue.
"Meaning I've booked tee offs for all of you for two-thirty at Josh's golf club."
Josh smiled, his hand going to Lucas' bikini covered ass.
"That's not the kind of balls. . ."
Lucas kissed his lover's lips, silencing the man's seductive retort.
"Calmness my pet. I think you need to spend some
time with your friends this afternoon. Time enough for your love later."
Josh smiled, Lucas smiling around at everyone.
"There are enough of you here for two foursomes."
Kelly and Trish smiled, Andrew smiling as well.
"How about the youngsters against the old codgers?" Finn smiled, Lucas laughing.
"You're on your own, Finny. I've got too much to do here today. And you may have to eat those words, Finny. They're not that much older than you. And they all look very competitive."
"Aw, Luke. I wanted to play with you." Chris said, Lucas smiling.
"Not in your wildest, wet dreams, sugar pie."
Everyone laughed, Chris blushing.
"I'm sure these other seven will play with you. I
hear you're quite good."
Chris smiled, he and the guys beginning to talk.
Josh kissed Lucas' cheek, his lover smiling at him.
"You always take care of my needs, Lucky."
"I knew you needed to join with your friends, my love. I'll always take care of you."
Josh smiled, the man joining his friends, foursomes being organized.
Ten minutes later Lucas was kissing his lover goodbye, he and his friends--new and old--were heading out for golf.
Two foursomes had been organized, Lucas seeing the joy on all their faces.
Justin, Josh, Andrew and Piney would play against Chris, Joey, Lance and Finn.
Lucas had smiled, seeing Chris' first choice of Finn, the two mirthful men finding an easy camaraderie together.
The eight men were filled with happiness, their mates kissing them goodbye, words of good luck given to all.
Lucas felt Josh's love, the man breaking their kiss at the front door, Lucas smiling at him.
"You sure you don't want to come, babe?"
"I have to get food ready. All these men will be starving when you get back. Plus I want to spend some time with my girlfriends." Lucas said, Josh smiling at the three women.
"Come on, Joshy! He'll still be here when you get back. Then he'll play with your balls." Chris laughed, Piney smiling at him, his lover smiling back.
"I prefer rubbing down his club." Lucas smiled, Josh beaming, Chris rolling his eyes.
"We'll try not to damage him. He never really was a good player, so he won't strain himself." Chris smirked, Finn chuckling, Lucas smiling at both, his eyes meeting his Josh's.
"Rip them a new one, lover. I have full confidence in you and your teammates."
Justin smiled, Lucas smiling at him.
"Have fun guys." Lucas smiled, everyone waving at the eight men as they climbed into two vehicles in the front driveway, Joey driving the first one.
"Later sweetie!" Josh said from his front passenger seat beside Justin, the two vehicles driving out of the front driveway, heading for the opening gates.
Lucas smiled after them, his sister's arm going around him.
"They're beyond happy. Thanks for including my Drew
Lucas smiled, kissing his sister's cheek.
"His own self made that easy. They'll all be his friends, Trishy. We'll be steadfast friends always."
Trish smiled, Skyler looking at Lucas.
"I sense some quietness in you, Luke. What's going on in that mind of yours? You've been saying some confusing things today."
Lucas smiled at his friend, she smiling back.
"Sorry for being confusing, Sky. Just mulling over some things
in my mind. The present and the future."
Trish stared at her brother, Kelly's blue eyes on him as well.
"Let's have a light lunch, girlfriends!" Lucas smiled, the three women smiling at him.
Briahna was in the house, watching Kloey.
"Salads are at the ready. And I need to talk to all three of you about something."
The three smiled, Lucas guiding them into the house, the young man smiling towards the closing gates of his home.
Chris stared at Andrew, the young lawyer smiling at him.
"A ringer! You were a damn ringer!" he said, Josh and Justin laughing, Piney staring at his boyfriend.
"Now, Chris. We won fair and square. Drew told you
on the first tee box that he was good. We adjusted the handicaps right off the
bat. Fair is fair,
Chris took on a look of admonishment, looking at the younger man.
"Yeah, I guess so, Piney. Sorry, Drew. You had an
excellent game." he said, Piney smiling at his lover, Chris being sincere
to the young lawyer.
"A little below par for me, but thanks Chris." he smiled, the man looking at him with wonder.
"Below par? You pared twelve holes and birdied six! That's even better than Justin!"
Justin laughed, the lawyer smiling at him.
"You had a good game also, Justin. You have good form."
"Thanks, Drew. And it's Jus, remember?"
The young lawyer smiled, nodding his head.
The eight men had just sat down in the clubhouse, the game finished, the scores tallied.
Josh's team had won by two strokes.
The four on the losing team had bought the drinks for everyone, the first wager paid up.
"Great game everyone. Even I had a good day." Lance smiled, everyone smiling at him.
"Your game's improving, Lance. You had some excellent chip shots." Joey said, his friend smiling at his compliment.
"I wish Luke would have come. I bet he plays extremely well." Lance said, smiling at Finn.
"That he does, Josh." Finn smiled, Chris staring at him.
"Is there anything that man can't do?" he said, Finn smiling at him.
"He's always been athletic, outgoing. He's competitive, but for him it's the thrill of playing against himself. He thrives even more on life than even you and me, Chris." Finn said, Chris nodding his head.
"I'm beginning to see that. His retorts are bang on."
Finn laughed, smiling at his new friend.
"Yeah, he's even taken me on. In barbs and in sports. But I usually win, although he's been matching me as of late. The boy's growing up." Finn smiled, Josh's eyes meeting his.
"I so wish I'd known him when he was younger." A deep thoughtful look on Josh's face.
Finn smiled at Josh, seeing the man's love for his friend.
"He was a youth of open happiness, everyone. His smile would infect the most hardened soul. When I first met him he was ten. Man, it's been over ten years. Wow, time flies."
"That it does, Finn. I've only known him for two but it seems like eons." Andrew said, Finn looking at him.
"You met him on the downward spiral, Drew. Jake's
hurt took all the life out of him. I haven't seen that innocent, radiant smile in a long
time. You're drawing that smile out of him again, Josh. That old Lucas is
coming back. Your love is healing all of him."
Josh nodded, looking at Lucas' close friend.
"I hate Jake for what he did to him, Finn. I can't change the past, but I'll do all I can to make the future the same as his smiling youth."
Finn nodded, smiling at Josh.
Justin's blue eyes were on Josh, a soft smile crossing his lips.
"We all see that, Joshy. Lucas loves you with all of his heart."
Josh smiled, nodding his head.
"Sometimes I can't believe it, Finn."
"Believe it, Josh. He does, and we know you love him
just as much."
Finn smiled at Josh, seeing the joy and happiness on his handsome face.
"Let's finish our beers and we'll get you back to his love." he said, Josh smiling at him.
"From friendship to love. Today's voyage has been total happiness."
Joey smiled at Josh, the man smiling back.
"And the golfing happiness of friendship will finish with you four paying up the side wagers. I believe you owe me five bucks a stroke, Fatone?" Josh smiled, Joey rolling his eyes.
"That's twenty bucks of my hard-earned dough, Chasez. Next time it's double or nothing!"
Josh laughed, Joey pulling out a twenty-dollar bill from his wallet.
His other three teammates sighed, pulling out their wallets to pay off their wagers.
Justin stared at Josh again, the soft smile on his face widening.
Josh smiled, walking out of the clubhouse's washroom, walking back into the barroom.
He smiled at everyone as they stopped talking, sitting around the large table.
Josh sensed they'd been deep in discussion about something, all eyes now on him.
"Something wrong, guys? Are my pants wet?" he said, looking over his clothing.
"Nah, Josh. We're all ready to go, bud." Justin smiled, the man standing up, fishing the keys to Josh's SUV out of his pocket.
"I'm a bit tired, Joshy. You can drive if you like." he smiled, Josh smiling at him.
"Sure thing, old-timer. It's my vehicle
anyway, Mr. Take Over!"
Chris laughed, Justin looking at him with a smile.
"You're older than him, Joshy." Joey smiled, the man smiling at him.
"Yeah, I guess your right, Joey. Justin will always be the kid of the group. Our little Curly." he smiled, his fingers going to Justin's head, ruffling his short hair.
"Hey, mind the 'do! I am an idol, ya know!"
Josh laughed, the group rising to their feet, walking out of the bar, heading for their vehicles outside.
Josh was laughing and walking with Justin, his arm around the younger man, the men behind them quietly talking to themselves.
"A great day guys." Josh smiled, standing at his SUV's door, Chris' hand going to his shoulder.
"Your man knew we needed this, Josh. He's so in tune with everyone's needs. I'm sure he's got more plans for us today. You've lucked out, my friend."
Josh smiled, leaning against the vehicle's door, a wide smile showing on his face.
"I truly have lucked out, Chris. I love him. No one's ever entered my heart the way he has."
Chris smiled, looking at Justin.
"He's entering all of our hearts, Josh." Piney said, smiling.
"That he has." Joey smiled, Josh smiling at his friends.
"Then let's get back to his love. I'm hungering to hold
him in my arms."
"You're hungering to play with all of him." Chris laughed, Piney smiling at his lover.
"Know the feeling." he said, Chris smiling at him.
"Okay, let's get going. You gay boys all look horned up. Let's get in the back where it's safe, Drew and Finny. You're driving, Lance." Joey said, the two younger men nodding.
The gay men laughed, Joey opening the door to Chris' SUV.
Josh smiled, climbing into the driver's seat of his vehicle, Justin joining him in the front.
Chris and Piney climbed into the backseat.
Josh backed out of the parking lot, the other vehicle following his, Lance driving it.
He wasn't aware of the animated conversation going on inside that vehicle.
Lucas stood at the window, looking down into the front yard of Josh's home, watching a car drive up towards the house.
He felt a hand go to his shoulder, the man turning and staring at the person beside him.
He met two blue pools, his sister's tearing face staring at him.
"How. . .how long have you known, Lucky?"
Lucas stared at her, the man lowering his head.
"Not long, Trishy."
Trish stared at her brother, the man moving, walking over to the bed before them.
He stared at what lay on the bed, his sister staring at him.
"I. . .I still can't believe this, Lucky."
Lucas nodded, hearing the love in his sister's voice and that name she always called him.
"Josh will tease you if you keep calling me that. He's so territorial."
Trish smiled, walking up to her brother, looking down at the bed as well.
"What you've done, Lucas. He will be. . .it will be. . .are you sure?"
Lucas lowered his head again, Trish's hand going to his shoulder.
"I love him, Trish. He has to understand this. I. . .I
hope he can still. . ."
Trish's arms went around Lucas' waist, pulling her brother into her arms.
"He loves you, Lucas. I'm certain he'll accept this."
"I'm so nervous, Patricia. What if he doesn't
Trish smiled at her brother, leaning in and kissing his cheek.
"Life is about being yourself, Lucas. Trust Josh in seeing that clearly."
Lucas nodded, Trish feeling a soft tremble go through her brother.
A knock came to the bedroom door, Lucas bidding enter.
Skyler walked into the bedroom, smiling at Lucas and Trish.
"Everyone's arrived and waiting downstairs, Lucas." she said, looking around the bedroom, her eyes stopping at the bed.
Lucas smiled at her, their eyes meeting.
"Justin picked it up for me this morning. I hope it's okay?" he said, Skyler's eyes going to Trish's, both looking at the bed.
"He'll love it. And he loves you." she said, Lucas
looking into the mirror of the dresser.
Lucas nodded, looking at his watch.
"It's now or never. Life moves on." he said, the young man walking to the bed, pulling out something from his pocket, setting it down on the bed beside something else.
"Life moves on. I've already accepted that."
he quietly said, Trish and Skyler seeing a tear showing on his cheek.
Lucas moved towards the door, Trish and Skyler following him.
They traded looks, their eyes filled with emotion.
Skyler closed the door of Lance and Justin's bedroom.
Josh smiled, pulling his SUV through the gates of his home, the man's face showing a wider smile.
Justin smiled at his friend, his eyes looking back at Chris and Piney behind him.
Both men wore a look of quiet wonder, Justin's eyes meeting Josh's again.
"You three have been rather quiet on the drive home. What gives? Are you all thinking about--and hungry for--Lucas' waiting feast? I'm sure he's totally taken care of all our needs." Josh smiled, driving up the circular drive, Chris' eyes meeting Justin's.
Chris saw a gathering determination in Justin's blue pools.
"I'm sure we'll feast on his love." Justin said, Josh smiling, pulling the vehicle to a stop.
His eyes saw a new car parked behind Joey's rental, the man's eyes meeting Justin's.
"We have visitors. Wonder who it is?" he said, Justin looking at him.
"Haven't got a clue, Joshy." Justin said, opening his door.
Josh smiled, climbing out of his vehicle with his friends, Lance parked behind him now.
Six men looked at Justin, the man smiling at Josh.
Josh smiled at him, then at everyone, beginning to walk towards his home's front door.
Josh stopped, turning around and staring at his seven friends.
They all stood together, Josh seeing soft looks on all their faces.
"Yes, Jus? What is it?" Josh said, Justin walking up to him.
"I need to talk to you in private, Josh." he said, Josh's eyes looking towards everyone else.
"Okay, Jus. Let's go inside and talk in the living room."
"No, Josh. I need fresh air to say this."
Josh looked confused, the other six men smiling at him, walking towards the house.
"We'll be inside when you're ready, Josh." Lance said, Josh seeing a soft look of emotion in his green pools.
Josh nodded slowly, the six men heading into his home.
His blue pools moved, staring into Justin's blue eyes, Justin's hand pointing towards a bench which sat beneath a large oak tree at the curve of the driveway.
The two men walked over to it, Justin offering Josh a seat, the man seating down, Justin sitting down beside him.
"Something wrong, Justin?" he said, their eyes meeting again.
Josh saw a quiet calmness in Justin's blue pools, and a giving love.
"Nothing's wrong, Joshy. Life is right where it needs to be. I wanted to tell you that."
Josh nodded, wondering what Justin was speaking of.
"This weekend we all needed, Joshy. We needed to regain our friendships, our past and our present. Lucas saw that easily, and he did something about it. Just like he's done something about myself."
"About you, Jus?"
Justin nodded, smiling at his friend, his arm going around Josh.
"I love him, Josh. And I love you. But now it's not the love of need and want. Lucas' giving love--and yours as well--guided me onto the path of our joined friendship. I'm not physically in love with you or Lucas anymore, Josh. I've finally realized what's there between us: Total, giving, loving friendship. You two are my brothers of love. I feel so blessed to have both of you in my life. I'll need your love and friendship always."
Josh looked surprised, seeing soft tears in Justin's blue eyes.
"Oh, Jus. You're finally seeing our love in its true
Justin smiled, leaning over, his lips meeting with Josh's.
The two parted, Josh staring into Justin's smiling face.
He saw the long ago friendship of a young man he'd always loved.
Justin was his old self, his brotherly giving self.
"I've waited so long to see that look on your face
again, Justin. The look we both carried in the dawning of our friendship."
Justin nodded, smiling at his friend.
"It's been a path of opening life, Josh. Love, sex, need, want and perhaps hurt. I never wanted to hurt you, to use you. Our path has led us to this moment. To a returning moment of joining life."
Josh smiled, staring at his friend.
"You're beginning to sound like Lucas."
Justin laughed, his face showing a wide smile.
"I'll take that as a compliment, thanks. He's entered my heart just as deeply as you, Joshy. But his is a giving love of friendship. I finally see that. I'm so blessed to have two great friends who love me."
Josh smiled, patting Justin's knee.
"We're here for you always, Jus. Our love is always here."
Justin nodded, kissing Josh's cheek.
"And I'm here for both of you. As is my fine ass."
Josh stared at Justin, Justin bursting into laughter, smiling at Josh.
"I'll always be flirtatious with both of you, Josh. Your showing beauty will always warrant that."
Josh smiled, then chuckled, Justin leaning in and kissing his cheek.
Justin stood up, Josh looking up at him.
The younger man's eyes went towards the house, a soft smile crossing his lips.
"Today your man's asked one thing from me, Josh. He asked me something that surprised me this morning. I finally see why he asked me."
Josh looked confused, Justin's hand going out.
Josh took it, the younger man pulling him up off the bench.
"Asked you what, Justin? What are you talking about?"
Josh stared into Justin's blue eyes, seeing that old friendship shining through.
"He asked me to be your guide."
Josh looked surprised by Justin's words.
"Guide? Guide to what?"
Justin smiled, leaning forward and kissing Josh's lips.
The two parted, Justin smiling at him.
"This weekend has been a path to our rejoining love, Josh. Lucas was the guide to all our joining happiness. Today, I'll be the guide onto your next path."
"Next path? Path to what?" Josh said, his confusion deepening.
Justin laughed, kissing Josh's cheek, smiling at his old friend.
"Lose the look of confusion, Joshy. I know you so well. Just go with the flow, Joshy." Justin said, smiling and moving towards the house, pulling Josh with him.
"What's going on, Justin? Is Lucas okay?" Josh said,
worry now showing on his face.
Justin smiled, one finger going to Josh's lips.
"It's best if you stop talking, Joshua." Justin said, Josh staring at him, the two at his front door now.
Josh reluctantly nodded.
"Lucas is alright, Josh. But the last two days has been draining his nerves."
Josh looked surprised, Justin smiling at him.
"But you are the answer to that. Your love's the answer." Justin smiled, opening the home's door.
"Let's walk onto his path now. The path to his truth."
Josh remained silent, walking into his home, Justin's arm in his.
Josh stopped in the foyer of his home, his blue eyes widening in surprise.
He took in the floral beauty he saw in front of him.
The staircase before him was showing a flowery beauty, Josh's eyes staring at red and white roses.
Two baskets filled with them stood on both sides of the bottom steps, Josh's eyes following the steps upwards.
On each step a red and white rose lay in each corner, a path of flowers leading upwards.
"The path to your beginning, my friend." Justin said, Josh's eyes meeting his, the man guiding him forward towards the stairs.
Josh stopped at the bottom, his head turning towards the living room, the room filled with baskets of roses, red and white.
"Lucas knows the love you have for red roses, his own love for white mingling with them." Justin said, Josh's eyes tearing.
"They're all so beautiful. Why has he done this?" Josh said, Justin's finger going to his lips again.
"Silence takes in a vision of love, my friend." Justin said, the man smiling, guiding Josh up the stairs, the two men following a path of flowery love.
They reached the upstairs landing, Josh seeing baskets of roses lining the hallway.
Justin smiled, guiding the man towards his and Lance's bedroom.
They stopped before it, Josh staring at a wreath of blue roses hanging on the door's center.
"Blue to mark the blueness of your eyes, the eyes that trap his soul."
Josh teared up, Justin opening the door to the room, the two walking into it.
Josh's eyes went to the bed in its center, Justin smiling and closing the door behind him.
Josh walked over to the bed, staring down at its contents.
Laying across the bed was a deep blue suit, its crisp newness showing its expensive beauty.
A small box lay beside it, an envelope laying on top of it.
"Lucas knew I loved this suit. I'd pointed it out to him earlier in the week when we went shopping." Josh softly said, Justin's arm going around him.
"A treasure for his treasure, he said to me this morning. I went out and picked it up for you. My gift for today's love for both of you."
Josh's eyes met Justin's, the man kissing his cheek again.
"This is the starting point for this day's ending
happiness. You need to get dressed, my friend."
Josh looked at Justin with surprise, the man smiling.
"But first you need to read Luke's focusing words." Justin said, reaching down and picking up the envelope that Lucas had pulled out of his pocket and set down on the bed moments before he'd left this room.
Justin handed Josh the letter, Josh slowly taking it into his hands, staring at it.
No words were written on it, Josh slowly opening it, pulling out a single slip of paper.
His eyes met Justin's, seeing a look of gathering excitement in those blue pools.
Josh's eyes returned to the paper, seeing Lucas' neat, crisp writing staring back at him.
He softly read the words aloud.
I call you Beamy, for the ray of love you radiate into my heart.
I call you my love, for the love you give so easily.
Before us lays a moment of life, a moment of truth.
Today is for you, my love.
Tonight is for both of us.
I await you downstairs with a nervousness of needful hope.
Please come to me, my Beamy.
Come and right the path, my path, my love.
My heart aches for you.
Our friend stands beside you.
Let his touching love--and his giving love--lead you to my heart.
I await the vision of your total you.
My heart aches, my soul awaits.
Josh's tearful eyes moved from the letter, two blue pools staring at him with love.
"Let's get you into this suit, my friend. Your Lucky awaits you."
"Why. . .what is he doing? What awaits me?" Josh softly said, two lips meeting his, Josh feeling Justin's calming love, the man's fingers going to Josh's waist, pulling the polo shirt out of Josh's pants.
"Your Lucky awaits you, Joshy. His love awaits you. I'm just so totally blown away by its giving beauty." Justin said, smiling at his best friend.
"Lucas asked me to guide you to him, Joshua. And I need to make you presentable." Justin said, the man pulling Josh's polo shirt upwards, pulling it off the man's body, Justin smiling at him.
"Still as beautiful as the first day I touched you, Joshua." Justin said, his fingers going to Josh's smooth warm chest.
"Justin, you. . ."
"This isn't flirtatious, Josh. Lucas has given me
this gift as well. The beauty of you and your friendship. He trusts me
completely. And so can you."
Josh softly smiled, Justin's fingers going to Josh's waist, unbuckling his belt, opening Josh's pants.
Within moments Justin had helped Josh out of his clothes, Josh standing in only his briefs and socks, Justin going to the bed and picking up the suit and accessories.
Josh remained silent and still as Justin began to dress him, the man's fingers running all over Josh's smooth body, that body disappearing under a vision of blue masculinity.
Justin smiled, tying the tie he'd slipped around Josh's neck, their blue eyes locked on each other.
"As beautiful as always, Joshua. I'll have to thank Lucas for this vision before me, and for the pleasure of creating it."
Josh softly blushed, Justin kissing his cheek again.
The man walked back to the bed, picking up the small box that remained, walking back to Josh, handing him the box.
"A path of flowery love can't flow easily without the flower of his heart in its center." he smiled, Josh slowly opening the box.
In the box was an orchid, its petals a soft baby blue.
"Symbolism entrenched in all of this." Josh softly said, Justin smiling and picking up the flower, pinning it to Josh's lapel, Justin patting his chest, stepping back, taking in the vision of Josh's stunning beauty.
"Amazing, the transformation of your heart and soul. His love thickens the beauty of your soul, Joshy."
Josh softly blushed, his eyes going to the mirror on the dresser, the man taking in his suited beauty.
"Lucas will love this. He always loves me in blue." he said, Justin smiling beside him.
"He loves to look at life's beauty." Justin said, looking at him.
"Stay right there, Joshy." Justin said, the man moving to the closet by the window, opening it and pulling out a garment bag.
"I'll quickly change, Josh. You sit down on the
Josh nodded, looking confused, sitting down on the bed, Justin opening the garment bag, pulling out a black Armani suit jacket, a white shirt and black suit pants.
Justin's clothes left his body, Josh quietly watching his friend's vision of beauty reveal itself, then disappear under the suit.
Within moments Justin was fully dressed, the man quickly tying his own tie, smiling at Josh.
He walked up to his friend, Josh rising from the bed, staring at Justin's suited vision of love.
"Looking good, Jus. But why are you in a suit also?"
Justin smiled, kissing Josh's cheek.
"Onward on the path, Joshua." he said, Justin guiding him to the room's door, opening it and leading Josh back to the stairs.
The two walked down the flowered steps of his home, Josh's eyes taking in all its fragranced beauty.
They reached the bottom, the two walking into the living room, Josh stopping at its entrance.
Standing in front of him were his three former bandmates, the four dressed in black suits.
Lance, Joey and Chris all smiled at their friend, Josh staring at all with surprise.
"How did. . .your suits. . .how did. . .?" he softly said, Justin smiling.
"I was on a mission this morning, Josh. Lucas is nothing if not organized." Justin said, guiding his friend to their friends.
Lance moved forward, his arms going around Josh, Josh feeling his love and emotion.
Lance parted from the embrace, kissing Josh's cheek.
"Welcome to Lucas' surprise, Josh." Lance said, Joey and Chris both taking turns hugging then kissing Josh's cheek.
"Surprise, Lance? What's going on, guys? Why am I--and all of you--dressed up?"
Joey's hand went to Josh's shoulder, smiling at him.
"Lucas wanted to end this weekend with a moment for you, Josh. For the love he's shown us is nothing compared to the love he shows you. He did this weekend for not just us, but for you the most. He wanted to see you happy. And tonight we're going to see just that."
"None of us were aware of this evening, Joshy. Justin informed us at the golf club. This is all a surprise to us as well. And we all easily agreed heartily to our part in this." Chris smiled, Josh actually seeing tears in his older friend's eyes.
"You're crying, Chris? What's going on here?"
Justin smiled, about to admonish Josh into silence, Lance beating him to it.
The man walked up to his friend, their lips meeting.
Josh was silenced, Lance backing up, smiling at him.
"Silence is worth hours of love, Joshua. We four have been asked to guide you to him. As the four of your friendship, as the four of your heart. His own three friends await with him." Lance said, Josh slowly nodding, unsure of what lay ahead of him.
"His love is real, his soul is yours." Justin said, Josh looking at him.
His friends moved, Chris and Joey standing in front of him, Justin and Lance standing behind him.
"Onward to your man's love, Joshy. I just can't wait!" Chris said, Joey smirking beside him, the two men moving, Josh quietly following them, Justin and Lance behind him, the two looking at each other with smiles.
Josh walked alone, his mind filled with thoughts of his Lucas.
Josh saw that both patio doors had been covered with red paper when he'd walked through the kitchen towards them.
Josh had taken in the aromas filling the kitchen, knowing his Lucas had cooked all afternoon.
He and Justin and Lance stopped at the patio doors, Chris and Joey opening them.
Both men smiled, their hands motioning Josh forward out onto the patio.
Josh sighed, walking through the doorway, steeling his soul for whatever lay out there.
His four friends smiled at each other following him.
Josh stopped on the patio, staring around, remembering its quiet beauty this afternoon.
What beheld his vision now took his breath away.
On the patio four tables were set up, their tops covered with white tablecloths, silverware and dishes, baskets of red and white roses in each center.
Baskets of other roses lined the patio's railings, the place transformed into a quaint flowery bistro.
"Your man wants us to dine in happiness." Chris said, Josh staring beyond the patio.
The area between it and the pool was lined with pillars, baskets of roses on each.
At the end of the formed pathway was an arched trestle of blooming red and white roses.
Under the archway stood Finn, Skyler and Trish.
Trish wore a red dress, Skyler a white one, Finn standing between them.
Finn's suit was sparkling white, the suit's vest a bright red, a red rose in his lapel.
"Red and white, the colors of both your favourite roses." Lance said, Josh tearing up.
"I believe Lucas' family wants to talk with you. They await you at the path's end." Justin said, Josh looking at him, Josh moved, walking down the patio steps, walking forward to Finn, Skyler and Trish.
Josh's four bandmates remained on the patio, others walking out of the house.
Piney wrapped his arms around Chris, his man seeing the tears in his eyes.
Kelly wrapped her arms around Joey, their children at their side, Joey surrounded by family.
Andrew walked up beside Justin, the two trading smiles.
Justin turned his head, looking into the house, smiling widely as someone else walked out onto the patio.
Josh stopped in front of Finn, Skyler and Trish.
"Hello, Josh." Finn smiled, Josh smiling at him, taking in their envisioned beauty.
"Lucas asked us to represent the redness of your favourite flower, and the whiteness of his pure love for you." Finn said, Josh nodding his head.
Skyler walked up to Josh, kissing his cheek, smiling at him.
"We also represent his family. His sisters and his brother. The three steadfast of his youth, the three of his maturing friendship. We stand as one in our love for him." she said, Josh nodding his head, seeing the love in all three of their blue eyes.
Trish walked up to Josh, kissing his cheek, her face showing a soft smile.
"I love my brother, Joshy. He was--and will always be--a large part of my heart. And I have always felt the emotions of his heart. Today I felt a surprising nervousness, a quiet fear within him."
Josh looked concerned, Trish smiling, kissing his cheek again, calming him.
"Calmness, Josh. It was a new feeling I felt. For I felt my brother's soul come alive. The nerves, the fear and the throbbing determination within him are a part of all that. In a few moments that will give way to a greater hope, a greater love." she said, smiling at her brother's soulmate.
She saw a tear showing in his eyes, the young woman smiling more.
Finn walked forward, the man standing in front of Josh, what lay behind the three still hidden from him.
"Lucas is my brother, Josh. I've accepted that in my heart. Blood means nothing when you stand against the truth of love. I love him as the brother he'll always be. And as his brother I have long tried to protect him. From the rekindled hurt of the past, and the uncertainty of the future. A few minutes ago I felt the uncertainty and fear that Trish felt, for I saw it in his eyes."
"I. . .I love him, Finn. I would never. . ."
Finn smiled, leaning forward and kissing Josh on the lips.
Josh was surprised, the man never having shown him that great a tenderness.
Finn backed up, smiling at Josh.
"You have shown that to all of us, Josh. We all feel your total love for him. That's why we so easily agreed to help him in all this. In the showing of his love for you. It's time, Josh, that this comes to a close. But first a gift from he that loves you with trembling uncertainty. Turn around, Josh."
Josh looked at the three standing before him, the man slowly turning around, his eyes widening in surprise.
A set of opening arms enveloped him, his face covered in kisses, another set of hands patting his shoulder.
Josh stared into that man's smiling face.
The woman hugging him was half-crying, the two moving back as she broke the embrace.
Josh stared at them, then met two other sets of blue eyes standing behind them.
"Moms. . .Dads? What. . .what are you doing here?" Josh said with surprised wonder, the four smiling at him, Karen and Vivian's blue eyes filled with tears.
Vivian moved forward, hugging Josh as well, her embrace gentler than Karen's had been for her son.
"Lucas invited us, my son." Roy said, Josh smiling at his father, Henderson smiling at the man as well.
"Welcome to my home, Mr. and Mrs. Carver." Josh said, Vivian patting Josh's shoulder.
"You said it already, Josh. It's Mom and Dad." Henderson smiled, Josh smiling at him.
"Yes, Mom and Dad."
Karen and Roy both smiled, their arms going around each other, Henderson's arm going around Vivian.
"Why are you here, Mom?" Josh said, staring at his mother, Karen seeing the confusion in her son's familiar blue pools of youthful love.
"For this moment of love, we are so blessed to witness." she said, Josh feeling a hand go to his shoulder, the man turning around, staring into Finn's blue pools of love.
"He awaits you, Josh. This isn't the end of the path of his love."
Finn turned his body, Trish and Skyler moving back as well.
Everyone else on the patio moved down the steps, the pathway filling with their happiness.
Josh's eyes looked into the opening vision before him, his eyes widening with surprise.
Before him stood the pool, the whole edge around it surrounded by baskets of blue roses, all four sides filled with them.
On the pool's calm surface floated wreathes of blue roses, large white candles lit in their centers.
Josh's eyes looked at them for only a moment, his gaze drawn to something else in the pool's center.
In the center of the pool a white wooden platform had been set up across its expanse, a pathway across the water.
And standing in the middle of that pathway was a vision of total beauty.
His Lucas stood in its center, the man dressed in a soft violet coloured suit, the mirrored vision of his violet eyes.
Lucas' hand was extended forward, a soft smile showing on his face.
"Come to me, my blue envisioned love." he said, his voice carrying across the pool.
Josh moved forward, walking past the blue rose-filled baskets, stepping onto the wooden pathway, walking across the pool, stopping in its center, standing in front of Lucas.
"Oh, Lucas! This is. . .all the flowers. . .the beauty of all of
it! Of you, my love!"
Lucas smiled, Josh staring into his violet eyes, seeing the love shining there, and seeing something else.
He saw easily what Finn and Trish had seen, the man's arms going around his man.
Everyone had walked through the archway, their friends and family lining the pool's edge, all their eyes drawn towards the two men standing in the center of the pool.
"Oh, Lucas! What's wrong, my love? I see fear in your eyes?"
The man's eyes stared at Josh, seeing the blueness of Josh's love shining at him.
The man's violet eyes softly glowed, Josh seeing the fear dissipate.
"I gave you a world of flowered beauty to capture the look that lays now in your eyes. Your total love, Joshua."
"Thank you, Lucas. It is--and was--all so beautiful. This suit
is so beautiful. Thank you."
Lucas smiled, his eyes glancing over Josh's handsome looks.
"You are as beautiful as I imagined you'd be in it."
"As are you my love. That suit is breathtaking."
Lucas smiled, looking around at everyone facing them.
"They're all here, my Beamy."
Josh smiled, looking back behind him, seeing everyone smiling at him.
"Yes, Lucky. Our family and our friends. All that matter most to us." he said, Lucas stepping back a bit, his hands joining with Josh's, the man turning back and staring into Lucas' violet pools.
"What matters most to me is you, my Joshua."
Josh smiled, looking into Lucas' violet pools.
He saw the soft look of nervousness again.
"Why are you nervous, Lucas?" he softly said, everyone around the pool standing in silence.
Trish stared at her brother, a soft smile crossing her face, seeing the moment of Lucas's truth before her.
The young man's eyes met Josh's, Josh seeing a tear fall from one eye.
"I love you, Joshua. We stand surrounded by the blueness of flowered beauty. A symbol of the blueness of the love I see shining in your eyes. And that look, that look I see now, it. . .it scares me."
Josh's hands tightened with Lucas', the young man staring into Josh's soul.
"I would never scare you, Lucas. I love you."
Lucas smiled, Josh seeing so much beauty in that smile.
"I know, Josh. That's what scares me the most. That you love
me so much that you'd never ever hurt me. Someone loves me completely. Someone
wants my soul completely."
Josh smiled, staring into Lucas' violet pools.
"Don't ever be afraid of my love, Lucas. I want to be yours forever. And I want you to love me forever."
Lucas smiled, leaning forward, softly kissing Josh's soft lips.
"I do, Joshua. You just calmed my soul with your giving love." he said, once they'd parted.
Josh smiled, tasting the love on Lucas' soft lips.
Josh saw the fear gone from Lucas' violet pools, that look replaced with a giving determined gaze.
"I'll love you forever, Joshua." he said, smiling at his soulmate.
Josh smiled back, Lucas' eyes moving towards everyone standing at the pool's edge.
"They're all here, Josh. All that love us. All that show us
so much returned love."
"You brought them all here for me, Lucas. I see your love shining behind their presence."
Lucas smiled, nodding.
"Yes, Joshua. I brought them all here to witness the greatness of my love. For the greatness of my love is your love. I am nothing without your love, Joshua. We are one of soul, one of heart and one of life."
Josh smiled, tears showing in his blue pools, love showing for the man standing in front of him.
"I love you, Joshua. And I want your love forever. I only have one question to ask you, one question to join us forever, to heal my soul completely." Lucas said, releasing his Joshua's hands, one hand going into his suit's pocket, Josh's eyes following that hand, seeing it return in front of him, the other opening a small velvet box the hand held, Josh's blue eyes staring at a silver ring shining back at him.
In its center, a violet diamond stared back at him, the emotion catching in Josh's throat, his eyes moving upwards, staring into two matching violet pools of love.
"I love you, Joshua. Will you. . .will you be mine forever? Will you. . .will you marry me? Not. . .not right away. Whenever you're ready. I can wait forever."
Josh sobbed, staring into Lucas' violet pools, seeing the fear risen there again.
Seeing the doubt and truth shining in Lucas' violet pools.
Lucas's old doubts of unworthiness, of the fear of Josh's love rejecting him.
Josh pulled the young man into his arms, wrapping him in his love.
"Let go of the fear, Lucas. My love is more than enough to fill your life."
Lucas was in tears, sobbing against Josh's chest, the man holding him wearing a smile of total love.
Everyone behind them held their breath, taking in the beauty of the joined love before them.
Josh stepped back, raising Lucas' face, staring into the love before him.
"Yes, Lucky! Yes, Lucas of my life! Yes, I'll marry you. I'll love you forever!"
Lucas' face changed into a vision of smiling happiness, Josh staring at a face he'd never seen before.
It was a face entrenched with happiness, with youthful happiness and love.
Josh's lips joined with Lucas', the poolside erupting into loud applause.
Finn stood at the pool's edge, staring at the face he'd just seen.
A face he'd longed to see for years.
He smiled, seeing his brother's healed soul shining.
End of Chapter 38
Well, did you all see that coming?
I'm sure a few of you thought maybe with all the flowers it was a wedding.
If you think this is beautiful, imagine what that wedding will be like.
Our Lucas' soul is finally, totally healed.
Josh's love has accepted him.
And our hero will now take on the world with that love in his heart.
Up next: The meeting of the deviousness.
Adam walks into Josh's world again.
Trust in Lucas show the man his own truth.
But some festivities ahead of that.
A gathering of the love around Lucas and Josh.
And destiny moves as always.