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Josh and Lucas broke their kiss, their eyes meeting, their friends' and families' applause filling the late afternoon sunshine.
"I think you have to make it official, son!" Henderson yelled, Lucas smiling at his father, Josh smiling at Lucas.
Lucas removed the ring from the box, taking Josh's hand in his, their eyes meeting again.
"Forever, Joshua." Lucas said, Josh's eyes filled with tears of happiness.
"Forever, Lucas." Josh said, Lucas slipping the silver ring onto Josh's ring finger.
They wrapped their arms around each other again, another kiss sealing their love.
"Get off that platform you two!! Let all of us have a crack at you!" Lance yelled, Josh and Lucas smiling, taking each other's hand, walking across the platform towards their family and friends.
Lucas was pulled into his sister's arms, Trish hugging him close, Vivian and Henderson smiling at their children.
"The nerves are gone, Trishy. His love fills me." Lucas said, his eyes filled with tears, Trish kissing his cheek.
"Little bro and me getting married! I. . .I just can't believe our happiness."
Josh smiled at both, his mother's arms around him, Karen kissing his cheek.
"I'm so happy for my little boy! Oh, Josh! You look so happy!" she said, Josh smiling at his mother.
"I am, Mom. I've finally found love!" he said, Lucas smiling at him, Trish and Karen backing up, others hugging and kissing the two men, Lucas smiling at everyone's giving congratulations, his and Josh's eyes constantly meeting each other's gaze.
Justin hugged Lucas, the young man smiling at him as Justin kissed his cheek.
"Congrats, Lucas. I know Josh's love fills your heart now." he smiled, Lucas seeing the soft tears in his eyes.
"It's a big heart, Jus. There'll always be room there for you and everyone."
Justin smiled, Lucas kissing his cheek.
Justin moved, his arms going around Josh, the two friends hugging deeply, Lucas smiling at their showing love.
"Congrats, Joshy!" Justin said, his eyes wet with tears.
"You have to be my best man, Justy! There could be no other!" Josh said, his own eyes tearful.
"It would be my greatest honour, Josh."
Lucas smiled, a set of arms going around him, Lucas' violet pools staring into two green pools.
"I wish you both a lifetime of happiness, Luke. Josh will be loved forever." Lance said, Lucas smiling at him, the two hugging, Lucas feeling Lance's giving happiness.
"We all will have lifetimes of love, Lance. Your life
will be just as filling. He'll love you forever."
Lance smiled, backing up and meeting Lucas' eyes.
"And he is. . .?"
Lucas laughed, patting Lance's shoulder.
"He'll be your heart's happiness, Blondie."
Lance laughed, nodding his head.
"Understood. I do like surprises."
Lucas smiled, two arms wrapping around him from behind, the young man lifted off his feet.
"A bear hug for the teddy bear of Joshy's heart!" Joey laughed, Lance laughing as well.
"Put me down, Joe! I'm not an hors d'oeuvre!"
Joey laughed dropping Lucas to the marble floor, twirling him around, his arms wrapping around him again.
"Well Josh thinks of you as his delicious eye candy! Congrats, my friend!" Joe said, Lucas smiling at him.
"What, no kiss?"
Joey laughed, the man's lips going against Lucas', the young man shocked, Joey smiling at him when he broke the quick kiss.
"Not bad, Luke. I see why Joshy's so happy. But give me my Kelly's delicious lips any day."
"Too bad, Joe. You're a hell of a kisser."
Joey smiled, Kelly's arms going around him, she having hugged Lucas right after Andrew.
"I ain't kissing you." another voice said, two men
walking up to Lucas.
Lucas smiled, meeting Chris' brown eyes, Piney moving first, sweeping Lucas into a tight hug and kiss.
"Congrats, Lukey! I see our Josh is beyond happy." Chris Pine said, Lucas smiling at him.
"His path is on its true course, Christopher. The love he had along the way enriches my soul as well."
Piney smiled, Chris moving forward, his hand going to Lucas' shoulder.
"Congratulations, Luke. I mean that from my heart."
Lucas smiled at the man, Piney smiling at his lover.
"Chris Kirkpatrick has a heart? Then those stories weren't true?" Lucas smiled.
Chris laughed, smiling at Lucas.
"Only the ones of debauchery." Chris grinned, Piney rolling his eyes, Chris winking at him.
"Yes, I've heard the cows in Pennsylvania haven't been the same." Lucas said.
Everyone burst into laughter, Chris blushing, softly smiling at Lucas.
"Good one, Luke."
"Yes, I am. Hence your friend's acceptance of my
Chris smiled, patting Lucas' shoulder, their eyes meeting.
Chris pulled the young man forward, wrapping him in a tender embrace.
"He's happy, Lucas. Your love makes him so happy. Love ya both!"
Everyone smiled, hearing the loving truth in Chris'
Lucas smiled, the two breaking their embrace, Chris' lips going to Lucas' cheek.
"There, I'm not a lecherous pervert like Joey. I can control myself around your beauty. Not like Joey."
Joey's hand hit the back of Chris' head, the man yelling ouch.
"Hey! I'm not the gay marshmallow!"
Everyone laughed, Lucas smiling at their friendship.
His eyes moved, meeting two sets of blue walking towards him.
Lucas had seen his parents hugging Josh moments ago, the two now walking up to him; Joey, Justin and Lance smiling at them.
"The first tearful smile I saw, nearly the last to embrace me." Lucas said, Vivian smiling at her son, her eyes softly tearful.
"We wanted you to bask in the love of your friends, Lucas." Henderson said, Lucas smiling at his parents.
"I feel their love and yours I feel even more, Mom and Dad." Lucas said, both tearing up.
"He's a wonderful, loving man, Lucas. And his soulmate is even more loving. We're so happy for you, Lucas. For your finding a lasting love." Vivian said, Lucas tearing up, his mother's arms going around him, the two embracing, Henderson smiling at his wife and son.
"I love him, Mom. He is my life and my love."
Vivian parted from her son, Henderson hugging Lucas, the young man's face showing tearful happiness.
"Love you, Lucas."
"Love you, Dad."
Everyone smiled, seeing the real family love showing before them.
Josh walked up to the group, his parents on both sides of him.
Karen moved forward, the woman hugging Lucas, the young man smiling as she kissed his cheek, Lucas seeing the tears in her emotional eyes.
"My son's beyond happy, Lucas. Thank you for giving him your love." she said, Lucas smiling towards Josh.
"His love gives a thousand times back. I love him,
Karen smiled, patting his cheek.
"Another son. Aren't I the lucky one!"
Lucas smiled, Josh's father hugging the young man next.
"Welcome to the family, Lucas." he smiled, Lucas smiling back, patting the man's stomach.
"Your stomach hasn't seen anything yet!"
Roy laughed, grinning at Lucas, Josh's arm going around his fiancÚ.
"Gaining my father's favour, Lucky?" Josh smiled, Lucas kissing his cheek.
"More like he's gaining my flavour."
Everyone laughed, Roy smiling at Lucas.
"On that note, we should eat. Everything's ready and simmering." Lucas smiled, Trish and Kelly--along with Andrew--smiling at the couple.
"You enjoy the newness of your engagement, Lukey. We'll get your food organized." Trish said, kissing Lucas' cheek.
Lucas smiled at his sister, watching her and Drew heading for the kitchen with Kelly.
Lucas smiled, his eyes looking around, two other sets of blue quietly staring at him.
He smiled, his best friends smiling back, both having walked over from the pool.
Skyler's arms went around Lucas, her lips kissing his.
"Love ya, Lukey. I've never seen you so happy. This day we've longed for." she said, her eyes filled with happy tears.
Lucas teared up, a soft sob coming from his soul, the young woman smiling at him, releasing her hold on him.
"I'll go help Trish. I think Finn wants to show you his love." she said, smiling back at her man.
Lucas nodded, Skyler heading into the house.
Lucas' violet eyes met Finn's blue, everyone around them quietly watching the two.
Finn walked up to Lucas, their eyes glued to each other.
Finn's eyes moved from Lucas' to Josh's, the man staring at Finn, seeing the love in the man's blue pools.
"I love Lucas, Josh. He's my brother, in all ways, in all things. I've waited a long time to see the smile I saw on his face today, that smile of healed love. Your acceptance of his love has healed him completely. I see before me the young man I first met so many years ago. A man of total happiness. I want you to know that you are my brother now as well in my eyes. Your love for him--and his love for you--guarantees that."
Josh smiled, Finn moving forward and hugging him tightly, Lucas' eyes filled with tears.
Finn's eyes went to Lucas' violet pools, the young man staring at him.
Finn moved, the two men embracing each other tightly, Lucas sobbing against Finn's chest, Finn's eyes filled with tears.
"I love you, Lucas. I'm so happy for you! I'm so happy you're happy!" Finn said, beginning to cry, Lucas' hands rubbing his back.
The two men gradually broke their embrace, everyone quietly wiping their eyes.
"I love you, Bro. Will you. . .will you stand with me on that day?" Lucas said, Finn smiling at him.
"Love you, Lucky. And it would be my greatest honour as
Lucas smiled, the two hugging again, Josh smiling at both men, Lucas' hand going to his when Finn broke the hug, the two joining hands.
"Everyone relax, dinner should be ready soon. I've set up a bar on the patio. If you'll excuse us, I need a moment with my man." Lucas said, Josh smiling at him.
"No hanky-panky. Joey looks ravenous!" Chris yelled, Joey leering at his friend.
Chris blushed, backing up behind Piney, Joey chuckling, smiling at Lucas.
"Take your time, Luke. I'll give you ten."
Lucas laughed, pulling Josh into the house, everyone smiling after them.
Lucas became lost in the man against him, Josh's lips feeling on fire.
"Oh, Josh! Calmness, my love! Don't start something I'll want to finish!" he moaned, Josh's lips breaking from his, their wetness going to Lucas' neck.
Lucas' arms were wrapped around him, the young man feeling his lover's groping touch, Josh's hands on Lucas' backside.
The two moved back a little, their eyes meeting.
Josh stared into Lucas' violet pools, the young man's head lowering, the man moving out of Josh's embrace, Josh having pinned him up against the door the moment Lucas had closed it behind them, the two alone in their bedroom.
Lucas walked over to the bed, sitting down on it, Josh watching him for a moment, the man walking over and sitting down beside him.
"That was all so beautiful, Lucas. Every moment is etched in my heart. I'll remember the beauty and love behind it forever." Josh said, Lucas' violet pools raising, meeting Josh's blue.
Josh leaned forward, kissing Lucas' lips tenderly.
"I see the returning nerves, Lucky. Speak from your heart, my love."
Lucas sighed, his head going against Josh's chest, his man's arms wrapping around him.
"I. . .I can't believe you accepted, Josh. I. . .I doubted. . .for a moment. . ."
Josh smiled, kissing Lucas' forehead, holding his man.
"I love you, Lucas. This would have always been the
next step. You just beat me to the proposal."
Lucas raised his head, staring into Josh's blue pools of love.
"You were surprised? You. . .you weren't
expecting. . ."
Josh smiled, silencing his fiancÚ with another kiss.
Their lips parted, Josh smiling at him.
"I was totally surprised, my love. You played all of
my friends against me. They all walked me right into your loving magic."
Lucas smiled, staring at his man.
"I wanted everyone here for the moment. They are our
life, our family."
Josh nodded, staring into Lucas' giving, loving, beautiful eyes.
"I love you, Lucas. I want to spend the rest of my life with you."
Lucas smiled, their lips meeting again.
"We don't have to rush, Joshua. This is your decision, your life. We go at your pace. Whenever. . .whenever you're comfortable with life, with me and our love, then we'll join in total love."
Josh smiled, his fingers stroking Lucas' smooth cheek.
"My pace is dictated by your love, Lucas. I'm
comfortable with you, our love and our lives. And this is our life together.
Let's plan for the future together and as one heart. Our joined soul will be
forever ours on that beautiful day. And it will be an open, free soul. I know it will be a day I've longed for and
it will be filled with the magic of your love."
Lucas smiled, snuggling against his fiancÚ.
"I know it will be special because it will be the day of my dreams. My Joshua's smile mine forever."
Josh smiled, kissing Lucas' forehead again.
"Right now I just want to make love to you for hours. Your proposal today has filled my heart with a need I've never possessed. The need for someone's total love. Your total love."
Lucas smiled, raising his head.
"Well, they're all here. We could get hitched today."
Josh laughed, Lucas smiling at him.
"I thought you said we'd go at my pace?"
Lucas laughed, his hand going to Josh's center, Josh softly moaning when Lucas squeezed it.
"You old guys take too long."
Josh laughed, Lucas moving with lightning speed, upending Josh onto his back, Lucas now on top of him.
"See! Old and slow!"
Josh smiled, Lucas' lips attaching to his, Josh lost in the love he felt flowing from the man.
Lucas broke the kiss, his lover smiling up at him.
"Wow! I want you to propose to me every day if that's my reward."
Lucas smiled, his finger rubbing Josh's cheek.
"I will, my love. For your beauty, love and
friendship stoke my soul."
Josh smiled, Lucas sitting up, then standing.
"Right now we have a house filled with family and friends. This meal needs to be stoked with their love, simmered to perfection. And then later you can eat to your heart's content."
Josh smiled, Lucas offering him a hand, pulling him up from the bed, Lucas' arms wrapping around him.
"I love you, Josh. Whenever you're ready, we'll join
Josh smiled, the two kissing lightly again, both sighing, walking out of their bedroom, walking down to their home's love.
Josh and Lucas walked out onto the patio, everyone standing up from around the tables, applause filling the patio.
Both men smiled, their hands linked, Justin walking up to both.
"Welcome back, my friends. If you'll take your seats, I'd like to propose the first toast." Justin smiled, the two men smiling at him, Justin guiding them to a table, the two sitting down, everyone else returning to their seats.
Justin smiled, looking around the patio, its flowery beauty on full display.
"We stand in the beauty of our Lucas' giving love. A display of flowery love meant to entice and warm the heart of the man he just dedicated his love to. My dearest friend today has taken a step forward in his life. A path of love opens up for him, Lucas' love showing its beginning happiness. Two dear friends now make a commitment to each other, a day of joining love soon upon them. For today and into the future their love will grow, its beauty showing before all of us. We all here will enjoy seeing its beauty and its giving openness. Josh, you've been my friend for all my adult life. Your love has formed myself into the man standing before you. And now Lucas' love guides all of us as well. We are all happy for what we've been shown today. The beauty and love of two of our dearest friends. So everyone, I'd like you all to raise your glasses and toast the love that surrounds us. Josh's and Lucas' love. Here's to the love we'll all know for the rest of our lives. Here's to Lucas and Josh's love!"
Everyone stood, raising their glasses, Josh and Lucas smiling with tears in their eyes at Justin.
The man walked up to their table, the two men each hugging him tightly, the man smiling at both.
"I love you both." he smiled, Lucas smiling at his friend.
Lance walked up to them, Justin smiling at him.
"A second toast to the future. May your love be the light that burns brightest in this home. Its warmth radiating to all of us. To that future, open love!" Lance said, raising his glass, others joining him, Lucas and Josh smiling and thanking Lance.
"A speech from the man of the house!" Chris yelled, Piney seconding his request.
"I'll try." Lucas smiled, Chris yelling back at him.
"I said man, not woman!!"
Everyone laughed, Lucas grinning at Chris.
"You just want to see me in a two-piece bikini, Kirkpatrick!"
Everyone laughed louder, Chris smirking.
"Shave your legs first, Carver!"
Lucas laughed, Josh smiling at his lover.
"I think he wants you to speak, my angel." Lucas smiled, Josh smiling at him, his arm going around Lucas, everyone smiling at their showing love.
"There is no man of the house here, Chris. Lucas and I share our love together and as one. This house is open in our love for all of you. Today my beautiful Lucky asked me to be his forever. He needn't have asked, for the question was on my mind as well. My devious angel beat me to the question."
Lucas smiled, Josh kissing his cheek.
"His love is my love. I would always want it forever, and now I will have it. Today begins the path of our unending love. Today my soul feels so alive. For it's filled with the love of this beautiful man. So I'd like to propose a toast. To my Lucky. To the love he gives to me and all of you. To Lucas' love!"
Everyone stood again, their glasses raised towards Lucas, the young man blushing with giving love.
"I give my love easily when I have so many to share it with. Right now we need to dine on the love of my--and my Beamy's--favourite recipes. I hope their richness fills your souls." Lucas smiled, everyone seeing his trying to divert the attention away from their praise, Chris grinning at him.
"No creamy stuff, please! Ya never know what's in it!" he laughed, Lucas laughing.
"I have a special cream for you, buddy!"
Everyone laughed at Chris, the man blushing.
Lucas smiled at Chris, the young man taking Josh's hand in his, the two newly-engaged men heading for the buffet table that was set up on one side of the patio.
Lucas smiled, seated at the table with his Joshua, the two men snuggled together.
Dinner was over, everyone indeed dining on the richness of Lucas' love.
They'd filled their stomachs, the evening given over to a night of dancing, laughter and happiness.
Darkness had fallen, the backyard filled with lantern light, the mood festive and joyous.
Lucas had danced with his Josh several times, their happiness felt by all.
They'd both been pulled onto the dance floor by others, the two the center of loving attention.
Here now the two were resting, sitting back on the patio in the semidarkness, watching their friends enjoying themselves, the dance floor in front of the pool filled with their dancing love.
"A wonderful day, my love." Josh said, kissing Lucas' neck, Lucas smiling at him.
He saw in Josh's eyes the deep love and need showing.
His Joshua wanted him badly.
Lucas smiled, his body sinking into his lover's chest, their chairs against each other.
"I know the love threatens to overflow, my frisky angel. It won't be long. Feed on my beauty, it will entice your heart's desires." he softly said, kissing Josh's neck.
Josh stared into Lucas' violet pools.
"I love you, Lucky. I need you."
Lucas smiled, hearing Josh's needful words.
"I'm happy you do, tiger." he smiled, Josh smiling at him.
The two smiled at each other, their moment of love interrupted by a shadow falling over the lighting in front of them, both men looking upwards.
"I told you they were back here necking in the darkness, Lancy." Justin said, smiling down at his friends, Lance smiling at his side.
"You were right, Jus! Where are your hands, Lucas? Being naughty?" Lance smirked, Lucas smiling up at him.
"They're attached to my man's ass, voyeurs." Lucas smiled, Lance and Justin laughing.
Josh blushed, Lucas smiling at him.
"They know I love you and want you, angel. Hell, I just proposed to you. It's a wonder I'm not banging you upstairs for the fifth time right now!"
Josh stared at Lucas, the man suddenly bursting into laughter, all three joining him.
"I love you, my pet!" Josh laughed, Lucas smiling at him.
"Feed me with your love and this pet will do some
They all laughed again, Lance smiling at Lucas, extending his hand.
"Let's dance, stallion!"
Lucas laughed, taking Lance's offered hand, the
young man smiling at his Josh.
"Back in a bit, Beamy. I'm being carried off by a green-eyed cutie!"
Josh laughed, Justin laughing as well, the man sitting down beside his best friend.
"Hurry back, my Lucky. I want to finish my grope-fest."
Lucas smiled, looking at Lance.
"I'll get some pointers from Lancy. He looks like a groping machine!"
Lance blushed, Lucas kissing his cheek, smiling at his friend.
"Come on, boybander! Let's put those hands to work!" he laughed, pulling Lance towards the dance floor.
Josh and Justin both smiled, watching the two join together, Lucas guiding Lance's hands to his backside, the man smiling as the two began to dance.
Justin smiled, his blue eyes turning to Josh's blue, seeing his friend staring at Lucas dancing with Lance, the two men smiling and laughing.
"Your man's on cloud nine, Joshy." Justin said, Josh's eyes meeting his.
"He's happy, Justin. I've never seen him so happy."
Justin smiled, his arm going around his friend, Josh smiling at his friend's showing love.
"He's in love with you, Joshy. Totally, hopelessly in love with you. That would make anyone smile. Remember, I've experienced that love."
Josh smiled, leaning forward and kissing Justin's lips.
"You have, Justin. But Lucas experiences all of it."
Justin nodded, smiling.
"I know, Joshy. I finally understand that. I see the love in both of your eyes for each other."
Josh smiled, looking into Justin's blue eyes, remembering their talk on the bench before the day's revealing happiness.
"Thank you, Justin. For loving us and guiding me to my Lucas' surprise today."
Justin smiled, leaning in and kissing his friend's cheek.
"It was my pleasure, Joshy. I hope my own moment of
love down the path is as beautiful as Lucas' was for you."
Josh smiled, their eyes meeting again.
"I'm sure Sheridan's love will be just as magical.
Or if he's not the one, there will definitely be a magical day ahead for you as
Justin smiled widely, Josh's smile increasing.
"I think you should slip into the house and give him
Justin nodded, the man standing up and quietly walking into the house, Josh's blue eyes following him.
Thank you, Justin.
For your truths today and for the love you share now for both of us.
I only want happiness for you, the same happiness I now have.
I think Lucas is guiding you to that happiness.
And Sheridan will reap its benefits.
Josh smiled, his eyes moving towards his lover, Lucas dancing a slow dance with Lance, his man's head laying against Lance's chest, the two dancing.
Josh saw the smile on Lance's face, his own face smiling.
And I know my Lucky's planned something for you as well, Lancy.
The magic flows, boys.
And my man's going to dazzle both of you.
I hope your love of the future holds that great happiness as well, Lance.
Right now, I need the love you have in your arms.
Josh smiled, rising from his seat, walking onto the dance floor, the man tapping Lance's shoulder.
"He's my love, Lancy. Get your own." Josh smiled, Lance's green eyes meeting his blue.
Lance smiled, stopping the dance, Lucas' head raising, smiling at both of them.
"You know there's enough of me to share."
Both men smiled, Lance releasing the younger man.
"You're Joshy's soulmate, Lucas. I'll find my own." he smiled, kissing Josh's then Lucas' cheeks, the man walking back off the dance floor, Josh's arms going around his soulmate
"Yes you will, Lancy." Lucas said, smiling towards his friend, Josh's lips going to Lucas' neck, Lucas becoming lost in the love he felt radiating from his Joshua.
"Let's cut a rug, babe. Then I'm going to have even more fun."
Lucas smiled, his lover beginning to dance with him, Lucas caught up in the love surrounding him.
Lucas' violet pools opened, the man's eyes met with bright beaming light.
He winced, closing his eyes, covering his head with a pillow.
The morning sunshine beamed into the bedroom, Lucas sinking into the warmth of his bed.
He moved back, rolling around in the bed, his arms moving to the right side.
He found himself alone.
He opened his eyes again, searching the room for his Joshua.
The room was quiet and empty.
Lucas stretched, his smooth chest visible from under the light sheet covering his lower section.
He slowly sat up, scratching his chest, yawning.
He glanced at the nightstand, taking in the time showing on the clock.
Lucas stretched again, smiling deeply.
It had been after midnight when he and Josh had finally made it into their bedroom, the two finally alone again.
That moment was the opening of the floodgates of their souls.
For over two hours the two had made love to each other, their kisses, touches and guiding love overwhelming both of them.
Lucas had fallen asleep in his lover's arms, Josh's beauty and love sending him into sleep.
Here now he'd awoken, that love missing.
Lucas stood up, his naked body on full display, walking silently into the bathroom, doing his morning business.
He quickly showered, then shaved, brushing his teeth and gargling.
He smiled, his breath fresh and in need of some love.
He walked out of the bathroom, the bedroom still silent.
He quickly pulled on some briefs, a polo shirt and a pair of cargo shorts, the man glancing at the dresser's mirror, running his fingers through his wet hair.
He smiled, quietly walking out of the bedroom, finding the hall empty of life as well.
He walked down the stairs, the bottom floor radiating some sounds.
He smiled, hearing voices coming from towards the kitchen.
Lucas walked through the living room, smiling at the flowers surrounding it, the decorations still on full view, as they had been on the staircase.
He walked into the kitchen, the room filled with his family.
Josh's blue eyes were the first he met, the man standing at the stove, working on several pans, his mother at his side.
"Good morning, my beautiful fiancÚ!" he said, Lucas smiling and walking up to him.
The two kissed, Lucas feeling the love he'd been seeking the last half hour.
"You let me sleep in, Beamy." he smiled once they broke their kiss, Josh smiling at him as Lucas kissed Karen's cheek.
"You were tired, babe. You didn't stir this morning when I got up, so I let my man get some more sleep. Plus it gave me time to cook breakfast for everyone."
Lucas smiled, kissing his Josh's cheek.
"That's wonderful, sweetie. First day of engaged love and I've got the future wife slaving over the stove already."
Josh laughed, Karen laughing as well.
"Don't get used to it. You can outcook me any day."
"Nah, I like you raw."
Laughter filled the room, Lucas smiling at his parents and Roy seated at the large table, that table filled as well with the rest of the clan.
Trish, Andrew, Skyler and Finn, Lance and Justin all smiled towards him, Josh kissing Lucas' cheek.
"Sit down, my pet. Coffee's on the table in a carafe. We'll just be a few more minutes."
Lucas nodded, lightly slapping Josh's ass.
"Get to it wifey! You made me ravenous this morning."
Josh beamed, returning to the task at hand, Karen smiling at both men, Lucas walking over to the table, greeting everyone with kisses and light hugs, the young man sitting down at the table's head.
Within a few minutes the breakfast was ready, everyone diving into the Chasez fare.
Lucas smiled, offering compliments to both, Karen and Josh smiling at him, Josh seated beside Lucas at the head of the table.
Joey and Kelly and their girls had stayed at Chris' last night, the two friends promising to come by after breakfast.
"I hope you made lots, Joshy. I can guarantee you
Joey will show up soon."
Josh laughed, kissing Lucas cheek, the group hearing the front doorbell go off, Lance smiling and rising from his seat to go and answer it.
"Told ya." Lucas smiled, returning to his plate, everyone staring towards him.
Their faces moved to the people walking into the room, Joey's wide smiling face front and center.
"Sweet! Am I in time breakfast?" he said, everyone staring at Lucas again.
"His love echoes on the path. I felt it approaching." he said, sipping at his coffee cup.
Joey looked confused, Chris and the others staring at the table.
"More than enough guys. Get some more chairs, Lancy." Lucas smiled, Lance and Chris heading to gather more chairs.
Everyone joined them, the meal increasing in its love.
Everyone sat around, the room filled with overfed, contented people.
"You outdid yourself, my love." Lucas said, patting his stomach, his man snuggled against him, the two finishing their coffees.
"I had to match your abundance, my Lucky. What you give in love I'll always want to match."
Lucas smiled, kissing his cheek.
"Then we're the perfect match." he smiled, Josh smiling at him.
Lucas' eyes went around the table, his gaze watching Lance glancing at his watch.
"You were all a little quiet over breakfast, guys. I sense your warmth and pensive love."
Everyone's eyes met Lucas', the young man smiling at all of them.
"Strassman called this morning, Luke. They'll indeed be here at two." Andrew said, Lucas nodding, Josh looking at him.
"I still don't like this, Lucky. We've had such a
wonderful weekend, why does it have to end with this drama?"
Lucas smiled at his Josh, kissing his cheek again.
"Because this drama is a part of my life, Beamy.
Music is--and will always be--half of me. I need them to see the truth in that.
And I also need to reign in the gathering storm."
"The gathering storm, Luke?" Karen said, Lucas looking at her.
"Let's just say that I'm tired of being the prize in all their eyes."
Karen looked surprised, Trish staring at her brother.
"Those eyes aren't beautiful, Lucas. They're filled with greed and envy."
"Well, they'll have to look elsewhere. They need to see that I am the prize in only one set of eyes. And that man's won that prize by showing his love." Lucas said, his eyes meeting Josh's, the man smiling at his Lucky.
"I'm worried about the fact that Addison's got copies of your songs, Luke. It's going to be hard to prove validity of their ownership without documented dates." Andrew said, Lucas staring at him.
"Don't worry, Drew. I'll easily prove their validity. I am never not prepared." Lucas said, everyone staring at him, seeing a calmness in his violet eyes.
"And as for the scheming Adam Levine, his comeuppance begins with his own truths."
Everyone was silent, listening to Lucas' calm voice.
"I'm going to need all of you to remain calm, everyone. I don't want any interference in this. You may attend the meeting, for I'll want your love surrounding me. But please stay out of the actual meeting. I have to face my past alone, but filled with love." Lucas said, taking Josh's hand in his, Josh staring into his violet pools.
"You won't be alone, Lucas. I'll be right at your
Lucas smiled, kissing Josh softly on the lips.
"Together forever. I have to make a phone call, babe. Then I'm going to need some help organizing the arena."
Everyone looked confused, Lucas smiling and standing.
"This gladiator is ready for the fight. And he's bringing his own lion. Excuse me, everyone."
Lucas smiled at everyone, pulling his cell phone out of his pocket, the young man heading towards the patio doors.
He stopped at the door, turning back towards the table.
"Give me five minutes, Drew. Then I need to tell you something."
Drew nodded, his eyes on Lucas, the man smiling, walking out onto the patio, his cell phone opening, the young man closing the door behind him.
Everyone stared after him, their eyes meeting Drew's.
The young lawyer's eyes wore the same look of confusion as theirs.
The front doorbell rang again, Lucas walking towards the foyer from the living room, Josh at his side, their hands joined.
Andrew followed the two, his eyes on Lucas.
Lucas had talked to Andrew alone in the office, everyone else talking amongst themselves.
The three walked to the front door, Lucas' and Josh's hands letting go of each other's.
"Are you ready for this, Lucas?" Josh said, Lucas smiling at him, Josh staring into his calm violet eyes.
Josh saw calmness there, and a steeled determination behind that calmness.
"Life continues, Joshua. And it's going to be you
and me forever."
Josh smiled, Lucas taking a deep breath, nodding at Andrew.
The young lawyer nodded back, opening the front door.
Standing on the other side were three men, all three men staring at Lucas.
"Good afternoon, gentlemen. Thank you for coming." Andrew said, opening the door wider, his hand offering entrance.
The three walked into the home, stopping in the foyer.
Adam Levine's blue eyes were locked on Lucas' violet, the younger man showing total calmness.
"Hello, Lucas. I wish we were meeting on more favourable circumstances, my friend." he said, smiling at Lucas, his eyes glancing towards Josh, Adam seeing the simmering anger showing in Josh's blue pools.
"Hello, Chasez. Nice house you have here." he smiled, Josh staring at him with contempt.
"I'm not happy with this meeting, Levine. And Lucas knows it. I don't want you or this man near him." Josh said, shrugging his head towards Jake Addison, the man's blue pools staring at Lucas.
"Calmness, Joshua." Lucas said, the man looking at his lover, seeing Lucas' calming pools.
Josh breathed a sigh, his eyes glued to the two men before him.
The third man smiled at the three who'd let them in, the young lawyer smiling at Lucas.
"Hello, Mr. Carver. My name is Levi Strassman. I'm the legal representative of Mr. Addison. It was I that filed the writ."
"Yes, so I've been made aware." Lucas said, his violet pools going to Jake's staring, smiling face.
"Hey again, Lucky. I told you this wasn't over." he smiled, his face etched with meanness and mirth.
Josh cringed at the man calling his Lucas that cherished name, Lucas showing no change in his resolve.
"It was over two years ago, Jacob. You just haven't realized that. That's what this meeting is about. The ending of the path of our precarious adventure, Jake. And it ends with the truth."
Jake sneered at Lucas, the man about to say something, the lawyer beside him raising his hand to silence him.
"Calmness, Jacob. He's just trying to bait you with slyness. I will be your voice. Why have you called us here really, Carver? A offer of payoff for silence?" the lawyer said, Andrew moving beside Lucas.
"No, Strassman. There will be no negotiating in
regard to your writ. My client has advised me of that."
The young lawyer smiled at his counterpart, Drew staring at him.
"Then be prepared for a lengthy drawn out litigation."
"Let's discuss this on the patio out back. As the saying goes 'the linen needs to dry and fly in the open air', however dirty it may be." Lucas said, the young man moving, waiting for no reply, the three standing together looking confused by Lucas' remark, the two lawyers trading looks.
"Follow us, gentlemen. Lucas is correct." Josh said, the three looking at each other then following Josh and Andrew.
Josh and Andrew stepped out onto the patio, the three following them looking around in confused surprise.
"What's the meaning of this? Who are these people?" Levi Strassman said, looking around the patio.
In its center was a square table, three chairs on both sides of it.
And surrounding that table was a circular ring of thirteen chairs.
Each chair was filled with a set of gazing eyes.
Justin, Lance, Finn, Skyler and Trish.
Karen and Roy, Henderson and Vivian.
Joey, Kelly, Chris and Piney filling the last four seats.
Lucas stood beside the central table, his violet pools staring at the three.
Andrew behind them closed the patio door, Josh walking up to Lucas, their eyes meeting.
Lucas' violet pools went to the three men staring at him with confusion.
"This is the ring of truth, gentlemen. For all intents and purposes let's call it a circus. And you three are the clowns."
Levi Strassman's eyes darkened, the man staring at Andrew.
"Your client's one for the theatrics, McLaughlin. I won't let my client be subjugated by his threatening bravado."
"Threatening bravado? What an excellent choice of words, Mr. Strassman." Lucas said, the young man's hand going to a portfolio sitting on top of the table, Josh remembering Lucas having set it there moments before the men had arrived.
It was the same satchel that Lucas had carried his music in.
"Threatening and bravado are two words that
truthfully reveal your client, Strassman."
"Are you going to verbally degrade us, Carver?" Adam said, his eyes meeting all his known acquaintances seated before him.
"No, Adam. I am only going to show you the truth. All of you."
The three men stared at Lucas, the young man remaining still.
"Do you have the courage to take me on face to face, Jake? Or do you want to blindside me again?"
Jake's eyes darkened, a malevolence showing on that handsome face.
"I'm not scared of a pissant like you, Lucky."
Trish's eyes darkened, as did Finn's, the young Welshman's fists forming.
"Calmness, Finny." Lucas said, the man's back to his friend.
Finn stared at his friend before him, his fists softening.
"You going to sic your bulldog on me again?" Jake said, Lucas sighing.
"No, Jake. I'm going to face you alone."
Jake's face changed into confusion, his lawyer walking forward.
"What's going on here, Carver?"
"I'm tired, Strassman. I'm tired of the past and the
hidden agendas surrounding me. My life's my own. And I'm going to live it. And
to do that I have to end the hurt in my soul. And I have to make others see
that. Please sit down."
Levi looked at Adam, the man staring at him, their eyes meeting Jake's.
"I don't know what your game is, Luke. But I'm always intrigued by a mystery. Plus, just being here with you is a game within itself." Adam smiled, the man walking up to Lucas, sitting down in one of the three chairs on the front side of the table.
Levi looked at him, then at Jake, the lawyer nodding at his client.
Jake walked forward, he and his lawyer sitting down.
Lucas' eyes met Andrew's and Josh's, the two men sitting down on the other side of the table from the three men.
Lucas remained standing, his chair empty.
"Let's get to it then." he said, his hand still on top of the satchel, his fingers tapping it.
Lucas' eyes looked around the patio, all his friends and family staring at him.
Lucas sighed, his violet eyes focusing on two leering blue.
"You're a liar and a thief, Jake. You always have been."
Jake stood up, he and Lucas standing in front of each other, the table separating them.
"You haven't any proof, smartass. I see it in your eyes. You're still the scared little bitch I made you."
Josh's eyes darkened, his face showing anger, Lucas' hand going to his shoulder, Josh feeling his calmness.
"Have you changed your fists for words now, Jake? I'm a different man now. You'll never hurt me like you once did."
"Hurt you?" Levi Strassman said, Lucas' eyes meeting his.
"I take it your client didn't fill you in on our rather volatile past?"
"He told me you were once together, in all ways." the lawyer said, his eyes glancing at Jake.
"Yeah, but I'd say it was in only one way. His way." Lucas said, staring at Jake.
"You liked it rough, Luke. That's why you stayed."
Finn stood up, Lucas turning and staring at him.
Finn stared at Lucas, the man quietly sitting down again.
"Finn your new master, Lucky? Or are you everyone's whore?" Jake smirked, Lucas staring at him.
"I have no master, Jake. I have someone who loves me for myself and gives me love in return."
Jake laughed looking at Josh.
"Yeah, so I've heard. You could do so much better, Luke. He's too old for you."
Josh's face deepened with anger, Lucas moving around his chair, now standing on the left side of the table, a few feet separating him and Jake.
"Enough of the barbs and taunts, Jake. We're here to end this legal action you're directing at me. I know it's money you're looking for, along with revenge. Well neither is here for you."
Jake's eyes darkened, looking to his right, his lawyer staring at him.
"My lawyer says different. You don't have any proof that those songs are yours. I wrote them at night while you slept. You were so grateful when I gave them to you. Almost as grateful as when I claimed your sorry ass."
Andrew stood up, staring at Jake's lawyer.
"I advise you to tell your client to tread carefully. He's walking on the edge of slander."
Levi stared at Lucas, the young man staring at Jake.
"Sit down, Jake. That isn't helping." his lawyer said.
"Sure it is. Luke's trembling with submissive fear." the man said, smirking at his former boyfriend.
Jake's blue eyes stared into Lucas' violet pools, the man seeing a glaring determination staring back at him.
Jake stepped back, surprised by the look in Lucas' violet eyes.
"I'm done with you, Jacob Addison. You have no hold on me. And what you're doing here--at Adam's guidance no doubt--ends now." Lucas said, the young man's hand reaching for the satchel.
Adam Levine stared at Lucas, the young man ignoring him.
"Watcha got, Lukey? I know you don't got shit but the same unsigned songs I have." Jake smirked, folding his arms, smiling at Lucas.
"Yes, I know you believe that, Jake. Because I know you took my songs and copied them right from this bag." Lucas said, the satchel now in his hands.
Jake stared at Lucas, Levi standing up at his side.
"That's not proof, Lucas. That's your word against his."
"No it's not, Mr. Strassman. For I let him take them."
Everyone surrounding the table looked confused, staring at Lucas.
"What are you talking about, Lucas?" Josh said, staring up at his boyfriend.
"I'm talking about living in fear, Josh. Of being so scared that I lived in fear every moment. And my greatest worry was that the man I thought loved me would destroy me in all ways." Lucas said, staring at Jake.
"I remember the night you took those songs, Jake. For it was a night of immense pain for me. You raped me that night. But the weeks before that night were even more painful. For I saw you one day looking through my satchel. I knew in my heart that you were eyeing my music. And then that night after you'd caused me so much pain you went through it again. I knew you wanted them and that you'd take them. Only you weren't looking at the originals. You were looking at copies I placed there. You copied copies, Jake. The songs in your possession aren't the real ones."
Lucas opened the satchel in his hand, pulling out pages of paper, throwing them down on the table in front of Jake's lawyer.
"If you take a look at these you'll see that they are all dated and signed by myself. If you scan the music and the lyrics you'll see they're identical to the songs I've already recorded with Justin's label. The songs Jake has in his possession don't match up lyrically to the finished music. So you have no case, Addison. You've got a bundle of not quite right songs."
Jake's eyes widened, his lawyer reaching for the papers, glancing over them, taking in their truths.
"So you have no case, Mr. Strassman. You can go to court or you can invalidate the writ. It doesn't matter either way. Lucas Carver is the true writer of the music he's recorded. Any judge in his right mind would throw your case out. Your client's led you on a fabricated journey." Andrew said, his eyes going to Lucas, Lucas having told him earlier about the real songs.
"I knew you were a thief, Jacob. I knew you'd try and steal my soul. Well you've never really had it. All you ever did was hurt me. We're done. Stay away from me and my life. Go back and whore your own self out to whoever would never want you. Goodbye."
Jake's face flashed a deep anger, the man lunging towards Lucas, the young man waiting for him.
Lucas grabbed the man by the arms, picking him up, Jake shocked by Lucas' sudden strength.
In one sudden burst of speed Lucas turned, his arms moving outwards, Jake becoming airborne, everyone rising from their seats in shock.
The man flew through the air, landing in the pool, the large splash covering the pool's marble edging.
Levi and Adam stared at Lucas in shock, the man turning towards them.
"Who'd like to join him?" he said, both men looking at each other.
"See here, Lucas! I didn't know Addison didn't have the original songs." Levi said, Lucas staring at him.
"If you'd taken the time you would have looked at the real music, instead of letting Adam tap your ass." Lucas said, staring at the young lawyer.
The lawyer and Adam both looked shocked.
"I suggest your fish your client out of Josh's pool and get him out of here. You have five minutes or I call the cops and have him charged with trespassing. He's trespassed on my life for the last time."
The lawyer looked at Adam, the singer nodding.
Levi moved, walking past Lucas, heading for the pool, Jake climbing out of the pool, staggering to his feet.
Lucas' violet eyes stared at Adam.
Andrew's phone went off, the lawyer answering it, talking for a few moments.
He closed off his phone, nodding at Lucas, Andrew rising from his seat, walking into the house.
"Next on my agenda is you, Adam."
The singer stared at Lucas, a soft smile crossing his face.
"You're on the top of my list as well, Lucas."
Lucas stared at the man, his violet eyes turning towards Levi and Jake, the lawyer walking beside the wet, soaked man.
Jake's eyes met Lucas', their blueness showing a trembling terror.
"Get out of here, Jacob. You and I have no longer any need to
see each other."
The man slowly nodded, everyone seeing the soft fear in his eyes.
The two men left, Lance following them out.
"I guess I should leave as well." Adam said, rising from his seat.
"Sit down, Adam." Lucas said, everyone hearing the determined authority in his voice.
Adam stared at Lucas, seeing his violet eyes softly glowing, the man's eyes widening.
"What do you want from me, Carver?" Adam said, Lucas staring at him.
"He wants you to leave him alone." a new voice said, everyone's eyes going to the patio doorway.
Adam's eyes widened, Lucas' violet pools meeting two brown eyes.
Standing in the open doorway was Usher Raymond.
End of Chapter 39
Seems our Lucky has it all in hand.
He's called Jake's bluff and won the day.
What is Usher doing here?
Seems our Lucky does indeed have all things in hand.
Lucas and Josh have begun their engagement surrounded by drama.
And now perhaps Lucas' soul can finally find its happiness.
What lays in store for Adam?
And what is Usher's part in that?
Read on, the drama gives way to a dawning happiness.
Orion goes on the road!