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Vivian Carver's blue eyes stared at her son, watching his violet eyes scanning the living room's decor, his hands working on a large vase of flowers situated in the middle of the condo's dining room table.
Lucas' hands were pushing the flowers outward, Vivian smiling at him.
"You'll have to replant them if you think you can get any more life out of them, Lucas." she said, Lucas' violet eyes meeting hers, the young man softly blushing.
"I just want it perfect." he softly said, Vivian's eyes scanning over the centerpiece's beauty.
"It already is, Lucas. You always work magic with your hands." Henderson said smiling, Lucas' father sitting on one of the living room couches, Finn beside him, the two having been talking about English football.
"Yeah, Josh says Lukey's hands are very magical." Finn grinned, Lucas softly smiling towards him.
It was late Saturday afternoon, Lucas having spent the whole day cleaning, the young man up at an early hour.
Josh had helped him, the man not voicing anything about the already clean look of the whole condo.
Lucas had spent the last few days doing the same cleaning for his own parents' arrival yesterday.
Lucas' parents had arrived late Friday afternoon; Trish, Lucas and Josh meeting them at the airport.
Justin had taken all of them out for dinner last night at his restaurant, the man smiling at the togetherness of the Carver family.
Lucas had worn a wide smile all evening, Justin seeing his happiness at having them close again.
He'd also seen Josh's happiness at seeing Lucas happy.
Here now Lucas was waiting for the second influx of family love.
Justin had driven Josh to the airport to pick up his own parents, Lucas remaining at the condo.
"I hope they like me." Lucas said, Trish smiling at her brother, the young woman having walked out of the kitchen.
"What's not to like? Either the beauty of your welcoming flowers or the decadent feast awaiting us? Or just my incredible brother?" she smiled, Lucas smiling at her.
Lucas had been cooking all afternoon, the young man insisting that Josh's parents deserved a home-cooked meal their first night in the city.
Josh's parents were booked into the same hotel as Lucas', just down the street from their condo.
Lucas and Josh were both hoping the two couples would become friends.
Josh had smiled at Lucas' focused emotions, the man kissing him often all afternoon.
Josh had felt Lucas' soft nervousness at meeting Josh's parents, the man sensing the young man's quietness as well.
Josh's parents were unaware of Josh's new romance, Josh having no real time to voice his love for Lucas to them.
That in itself added to Lucas's nervousness, and Josh's as well.
His parents knew Josh was gay, and about his relationship ending with Bryce.
Josh wasn't that nervous about telling them of his new love, just the nervousness of the approaching moment entering his heart.
But one look into Lucas' violet eyes calmed Josh's nerves, his love the focus for him.
Josh couldn't wait to show them his love for Lucas.
The two had parted with many kisses, Lucas awaiting the return of his Beamy.
Vivian's arm went around her son, kissing his cheek.
"You need to relax, Lucas. Josh's parents will love
the real you."
Lucas softly smiled, his mother leading him to a couch, sitting down with him.
"I love Josh, Mom. No one's ever captured my soul
as he has. I want his family to love me as well."
"They will, son. We all know the specialness of your heart. They'll see that easily, as everyone has. Just be yourself, as your mother said." Henderson said, Trish sitting down beside her father, his arm snuggling around her, Andrew smiling at her, she smiling towards him, he and Skyler seated at the dining room table, playing cribbage.
Last night's dinner had ended with the young couple springing their news on Trish's parents.
Vivian had been reduced to tears, the woman hugging Andrew deeply, the young man overcome with her welcoming blessing.
Henderson had hugged his daughter, his eyes filled with tears.
Josh and Justin had stood back, smiling at the flowing love the family was giving Andrew.
The young man was welcomed into their close family circle, a group hug cementing the moment.
Josh had smiled at Lucas, knowing one day he'd receive that total welcoming love.
It was a family he longed to be a part of.
His blue eyes had stared at Lucas all night, taking in the young man's love.
The flowing love of the happy evening had flown into their hearts at the end of the night, their lovemaking deeply moving and soul-binding.
Josh had fallen asleep wrapped in Lucas' warm embrace.
And his dreams were filled with the future.
The phone rang, Finn answering it, talking briefly and smiling, closing off the phone.
"They're here, Lukey." he smiled, Andrew and Skyler smiling, getting up from the table, removing their game, heading to the couches, Andrew sitting down beside Trish, Skyler falling into the familiar love of Finn's welcoming lap.
Lucas stood up when the door opened, Justin's smiling face the first seen.
Justin walked into the room, his arm around an older woman, her smile warm and welcoming.
"We're back, Luke." Justin smiled, Lucas smiling at him, and meeting the woman's gaze.
Behind her and Justin walked an older man, Josh at the man's side.
"You made fast time, guys." Henderson said, standing up, everyone else standing up as well, Justin smiling at Lucas' father.
"Saturday traffic was light." he smiled, the woman smiling at everyone.
"Mom, Dad. I'd like you to meet Justin's new find. An amazing singing group and their friends and family." Josh said, his blue eyes on Lucas, the young man smiling, walking forward.
"Hello, Mr. and Mrs. Chasez. My name is Lucas Carver. These are my bandmates, Finn Delaney, Skyler Templeton and my sister Trish. We're Orion, Justin's new shining star." Lucas said, the young man smiling at both.
Karen smiled at him, her eyes looking towards her son.
"Yes, Lucas. Josh told us about your blossoming career. And Justin seems so proud of you four. We'd love to hear your music this weekend." she said, Lucas smiling at her.
Josh introduced everyone, his parents smiling and shaking hands with everyone.
"May I take you're coats?" Lucas said, playing the good host.
Karen smiled, removing her coat, Lucas taking hers and her husband's.
"Thank you, Lucas." Roy Chasez said, smiling at his son.
Lucas hung the coats in the foyer closet, Josh guiding his parents into the living room, Karen's eyes scanning the room.
"A beautiful home, everyone." she smiled, she and her husband sitting down on one of the couches, Lucas smiling at them.
"It's Justin's actually, he's offered full use of it
for all four of us."
Karen smiled at Justin, the man's arm going around Lucas.
"You four needed a safe haven. The tempest is
heating up. Home you'll relish after this weekend." Justin said, Lucas
smiling at him.
"Yes, your big video debut's tomorrow night, Luke." Josh smiled, sitting down beside his parents, Lucas smiling at him.
"Excellent! So we shall hear your music!" Karen smiled, Lucas smiling widely.
"Please give us your honest opinion." he smiled, Roy smiling at him.
"We're not your demographic, Lucas. But we're always honest." he said, Lucas smiling at him.
"My sentiments exactly, Roy." Henderson said, smiling at the man, the older people smiling at each other.
"Music is the joy of any soul, young or old. We don't have a demographic. We play because we love it." Lucas said, his bandmates smiling at him.
"Good answer, Lucas." Karen said, Lucas smiling at her.
"Would you like a drink, Mr. and Mrs. Chasez?" Lucas said, smiling at the couple.
"Please, Lucas. It's Karen and Roy. And we'd love a refreshment." Karen said, Roy nodding his agreement.
"Mom likes a nice glass of white wine, Luke. Dad's a beer lover." Josh said, his parents smiling at him.
"I have Budweiser, sir."
"My favourite brand, thank you." Roy smiled, Lucas smiling and walking into the kitchen.
"I'll give Luke a hand, Mom." Josh said, rising up and walking into the kitchen.
Karen smiled after her son, Vivian smiling at her, the two beginning to chat.
Lucas felt two arms wrap around him, the young man pouring a bottle of beer into a pilsner glass.
"They like you, Lucky. I see it in Mom's eyes." Josh said, kissing his neck.
Lucas smiled, turning around, his lips meeting Josh's needful ones.
"I think so, Josh. I take it you haven't talked to
Josh nodded, his eyes lowering.
"Whenever you're ready, my love. Talk with your heart, and I'll be inside it."
Josh smiled, Lucas' arms going around him.
"I love you, Luke. I so want them to see that."
"They shall, Joshua. They shall."
Josh smiled, picking up the glass of beer, Lucas picking up two glasses of wine, knowing Justin would like a glass as well.
The two men walked back into the living room, Lucas giving Karen her glass, Justin saying thank you as Lucas offered him one.
"You own this condo, Justin?" Karen said, Justin smiling at her.
"One of my investments, Karen." Justin said, Karen giving him an admonishing look, Justin smiling.
"Sorry, I mean Mom."
Karen smiled, Justin smiling back, looking at Lucas and his friends.
"Mom here's been Mom to all of us boybanders. She
took all of our gregarious fun in stride. Even though her son was the most
Karen laughed, patting Josh's knee, her son at her side again, Lucas sitting across from them with Finn and Skyler.
"You five were all angels. Youthful angels with hyper hearts. We loved you all. And we still do!" she smiled, Justin grinning.
"It seems like a lifetime ago." Justin said, meeting Josh's eyes.
"People grow, Justin. That's life." Roy said, Justin nodding.
"Yep, life moves forward." he said, his friends smiling at him.
"So you're all from Britain! That's so nice!" Karen said, Vivian smiling at her.
"Wales actually, Karen. Born and raised." she said, smiling towards her daughter, her blue eyes meeting Lucas' violet.
"It's so beautiful over there. Josh sent both of us on a trip for a month over there, we visiting London, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. So beautiful."
"It's just home to us." Trish smiled, Karen smiling at her.
"Home is always beautiful." Lucas said, Josh smiling at him, Karen taking in their soft glances.
"Forgive me for asking but what is that heavenly aroma coming from the kitchen?" Roy said, Karen lightly slapping his shoulder.
"Forgive my Roy. His stomach overpowers him at times. I told him to eat this morning, plane food is atrocious!" Karen said, softly blushing, Lucas laughing.
"That would be my seasoned lamb chops. I marinade
them in oregano and olive oil. Then sear them with tarragon. It's an aromatic
enticement. I think I've led one into the trap."
Everyone laughed, Roy smiling at Lucas.
"Feed me and I can be led anywhere." Roy smiled, Lucas grinning.
"Like father, like son." Lucas said, Justin laughing, Josh smiling again at Lucas, his words steeped in flirtatious love.
Everyone laughed again, Lucas smiling and standing up.
"I'll check on my creations. It shouldn't be that much longer. Prepare for a feast. I so want your first night here to be enriching."
Karen and Roy both smiled, Lucas walking into the kitchen, Karen smiling towards his sister and her friends.
"Your son wears a cloak of giving happiness, Vivian." she said, Vivian smiling at him.
"He is love, and he is happiness."
"But he wasn't always that?" Karen said, Josh looking towards Vivian.
"No, not always. My son's seen more pain than most. But his heart remains strong." she said, looking towards the kitchen doorway.
"Yes, Josh told us he had gone through some troubles."
Trish smiled at her mother, the younger woman rising up and walking over, sitting down beside Karen.
"Let me tell you the truth of my brother's soul,
Karen. My brother's soul saves many."
Karen and Roy traded looks, Karen's eyes going to Josh, seeing the calmness and happiness in his blue eyes.
Trish began to talk, everyone reliving her brother's life.
Lucas walked out of the kitchen, smiling towards everyone, his arms filled with plates and cups.
Justin and Finn rose up from their seats, Lucas smiling at both when they took the dinnerware from him.
"Could you set the table guys? I've got everything else ready on the counter--silverware, glasses etc." he said, smiling at both men, both men smiling back with love in their eyes.
Lucas felt a hand go to his shoulder, the young man turning around, staring into Karen Chasez's blue glistening eyes.
Her husband stood beside her, his eyes showing a soft gleam as well.
"So strong, so giving!" she softly said, the woman pulling Lucas into her arms, her arms tightening around him, Roy softly smiling at Lucas.
Lucas' eyes went around the room, seeing everyone softly smiling at him, the young man sensing that they'd informed Josh's parents about Lucas' past.
"Thank you, Karen. But I'm just me." he said, the young man breaking apart from her hug, Josh's blue eyes on his lover, the man standing beside his father.
"Trish--and all of us--told Mom and Dad about your life, Lucas. And about the present and future." he said, Lucas smiling at him.
"So much courage, son. Risking your life for your mother and your friends." Roy said, Lucas smiling at him, his violet eyes looking around at everyone.
"What is life without family, what is love without life?" he softly said, Josh walking up to him.
Their eyes met, Karen smiling at her son.
"I see easily why my son's fallen in love with you, Lucas."
Josh's eyes widened in surprise, Lucas' violet pools increasing in size as well.
Karen smiled, then lightly laughed, Roy smirking a bit as well.
"I've always known when my son's in love, Lucas. A mother always knows." she said, Roy chuckling.
"That, and the fact he talked non-stop about you on the car ride over here." Roy said, Josh blushing, Lucas smiling more, their eyes meeting.
"Love radiates from a smile, son. You've been smiling all afternoon." Karen said, Josh lowering his head for a moment, his blue eyes lifting.
His parents smiled at him, their eyes going between Lucas and Josh.
"Mom, Dad. Lucas is the best thing that's ever happened to me. I'm in love with him, and he loves me. I've never been so happy." Josh said, tears showing in his blue pools.
Karen smiled, seeing the total love showing on her son's face.
Her blue eyes met Lucas' violet, Lucas seeing a soft compassion and worry there.
"I love your son, Karen and Roy. My past can't hold
a candle to the love he gives me. And the future will be even greater with that
love surrounding me."
Both nodded, Lucas' hand going into Josh's.
"You said that I had courage, Roy. I do have that. I also have determination, strength and a forming destiny. I promise you that you son will never be exposed to the danger that may enter my destiny. I love him too much to ever risk his being hurt."
Both of Josh's parents nodded, Karen's blue eyes meeting her son's blue.
"Joshua is our life, Lucas. Our children are the center of our love." Roy said, Lucas nodding.
"I know that, sir. I feel your love in Joshua."
Karen smiled, looking at her son again.
"He's everything to me, Mom. I love him."
Karen's smile widened, looking at both men.
"We'll accept your promise, Lucas. We see your courageous love for our son."
Lucas smiled, Karen winking at her son.
"Well kiss him, son! You've been chomping at the bit, your love about to explode. But be gentle." Karen smiled, Josh grinning, pulling Lucas into his arms.
The two kissed deeply, everyone in the room smiling at the two, Justin smiling from the side of the table, Finn standing beside him wearing an identical smile.
The two men parted, their lips soft and needful, Lucas' violet eyes meeting Karen's.
"I know how to tap that faucet, Karen."
Karen laughed, Lucas grinning.
"Yes, his love has always overflowed. I'm glad you can control it."
Lucas laughed, Karen kissing her son's cheek, then Lucas'.
"Welcome to the Chasez family, Lucas. Take our
concerns, and friendship with grace."
"I shall, Karen. And it's just Luke."
Karen and Roy both smiled, their arms going around each other.
"Luke it is. And we're Mom and Dad."
Lucas smiled, Josh tearing up, his parents looking at him.
"Well enough loving! Where's this feast?!" Roy said, clapping his hands together.
Everyone laughed, Karen rolling her eyes.
Lucas laughed, his arm going around Roy's shoulder, guiding the man into the kitchen for a quick taste.
Emerson's green eyes moved to the doorway, his library's door opening, Grayson walking into the room quietly.
"You're back, Grayson. Good. How was New York?" the older man said, seated in the wing chair in front of the fireplace, a book in his hand, Grayson nodding towards him.
The man's eyes scanned the library, his eyes widening when he looked up at the portrait hanging over the fireplace.
"Prudence suggested its removal, my old friend.
Something a little more cerebral for the moment."
Grayson's eyes took in the woman's portrait, her beauty shining in the late evening's soft lamp glow.
"She was an intoxicating vision, Emerson."
"She was my heart, Grayson. Long have I missed her." Emerson said, Grayson's hand going to his shoulder, rubbing it.
He felt the gauntness of the man's shoulder blade, his body thin.
But he also felt a hardness and strength there beneath the gauntly facade.
"I am strengthening, Grayson. Sit my friend. Let us talk of the path."
Grayson sighed, sitting down in another wing chair across from his old friend.
"How finds the bear?"
Grayson's eyes met Emerson's, the older man smiling.
"Your eyes are a gateway to your truths, my old
friend. Haven's fit to be tied, I take it?"
"He's not very happy, I assure you that. I had to listen to an hour length tirade yesterday at the company's shareholders meeting."
Emerson smiled, revelling in that vision.
"I'm sure he was vocal. And the shareholders?"
"They gave in to the reality of the moment. As long as the company's divested and operational, their losses will be minimal if nonexistent."
Emerson nodded, his hands going together, the man resting his chin on them in thought.
"And the findings of the IRS?"
"So far there are conflicting reports.
Irregularities and dubious statements have come to light. I am the only one
who's been kept informed, as your solicitor."
Emerson nodded, his green eyes looking at the man.
"And your take on all that's coming into play?"
"My take is that Haven Marlowe is an envious, power-hungry, disillusioned man. He was taking over the company at an alarming rate."
"Yes, the well was bleeding dry of honour. The moratorium came as a saving grace." he man said, looking up at the portrait above him.
"People change, Grayson. But I never envisioned the depth of his change."
"Was he ever truthful, Em? Was he always a simmering monster waiting for his chance?"
"I don't know the answer to that, Grayson. I sense in my heart my son perhaps knew the truth in that."
Grayson nodded, the man's eyes going upwards to the woman's beauty.
"He has your eyes, Em. But he has her beauty."
Emerson smiled, meeting his friend's blue, tired pools.
"Francesca's beauty echoed through time, my friend. She lived too shortly." he softly said, Grayson staring at him with compassion.
"Even the briefest of love's time can entrench a
soul for eternity."
Emerson smiled, nodding his head.
"Your young beauty tires your soul, my friend. It is late. You need your rest."
Grayson nodded, standing up, smiling down at the man.
"Did you see him?"
"No, Emerson. I didn't connect with him. I shall
when you need me to."
Emerson nodded, Grayson leaning down and kissing his cheek.
"You need rest as well, my old friend."
"I shall be right behind you, Gray."
The lawyer nodded, quietly looking back at him as he closed the library door behind him.
Emerson rose up from his chair, leaning his hand against the fireplace's mantle, his eyes rising to the portrait of his late wife.
"He has my eyes, my loving Franny. But your beauty doesn't shine in his looks. You and I know the truth of that."
The man's head lowered, his hand moving on its own, rubbing against the bison's head at the end of the mantle.
He pushed on a recess at the back of the bison's horns, the head moving downward.
The bookcase at the end of the fireplace moved forward, the man sighing, moving towards it.
He pushed it back, looking around the room.
He entered the small passage behind the bookcase, grabbing the handle on the back of the bookcase, pulling it shut inwards.
The library was silent, the flickering fire in the fireplace softening.
Emerson walked down the steps at the end of the passageway, the circular stairwell sinking downward into the bowels of the earth.
He needed no light, his green eyes seeing quite well in darkness.
A few minutes later he reached the bottom of the staircase, a large oak door standing across from him in the small room he stood in.
His eyes looked downwards, taking in an array of circular stones on the floor, each stone carved with an alphabetic initial.
He took a steely breath, the man moving forward, stepping on certain stones, hearing an audible click when he stepped on the last stone.
He walked forward to the door, opening it, looking back, then smiling.
He picked a broken stone up off the dusty floor, smiling and tossing it back onto the carved stones.
It hit the letter C carved in one stone, the room suddenly erupting in motion.
A pendulum swung across the room, a razor sharp axe making a singing swoosh sound as it arched across the room.
"Still works, after eons."
The man smiled, closing the door behind him.
Emerson's eyes looked around the large room, taking in all that lay before him.
His eyes scanned the walls, portraits lining the circular room.
Torches had lit when he'd closed the door, the automation ancient but sufficient.
He walked to the center of the room, a large slab of smooth white marble in the room's core, bearing a resemblance to a church altar.
On top of the marble slab were three small pedestals, each encased in a glass canister.
Two of the velvet inlaid pedestals held objects, the central one showing its soft velvety bed empty.
"He has your treasure now, dome of magic. What of the other two?" Emerson said, his eyes scanning the other two glass enclosures.
"Long have I desired to hold you in my hands, his truth denying me that gift." the man said, his hands resting on the white marble.
His eyes scanned around the room, the man feeling a breath of coolness on his old wrinkled neck.
"You know they are not of your warrant, Emerson."
The man's head moved to his right, the voice on the cusp of the cool air, no one shown.
"Ghosts shimmer through both worlds, shades play tricks to ease their heartache. Show yourself, Franny."
Emerson's eyes saw a shimmering cloud congeal on the other side of the altar from him.
He took in the vision of the two shining pools shimmering into existence before him, those eyes sunken into a face of regal beauty.
"Why do you walk across my heart, my love?" Emerson softly said, his hands trembling against the altar, holding onto it tightly.
"I walk to your love, Emmanuel."
Emerson's head lowered, that name long lost to his hearing.
"I have forgotten the beauty of your voice, and the vision of your beauty."
The woman smiled, her striking eyes staring at him.
"Eternity is a soulful existence when one walks alone, my love."
Emerson nodded, lowering his eyes.
"I shall see you soon enough, Franny. The path ends for me soon."
"No path ends that isn't meant to, lost soul of my never forgotten love."
Emerson's head raised, staring into her haunting eyes.
"Why are you here, Francesca? Do you taunt me with what I've lost, with what I long for?"
The woman smiled, walking up to the altar, she only feet away from him.
"What you long for you've always had, my husband."
Emerson nodded, the man feeling the love he'd so longed for seeping into his soul.
"I come to the beginning of his path."
"His path? You mean. . .Tristan's?"
"No, Emmanuel. I mean the true one. The one of existence and of balancing reality. Nothingness formed into a greater reality than any of us ever imagined. We shadowed the truth from our own eyes. Here now on the other side I see the truth in what is to come. All shades here and there feel the echo in our souls. The time approaches. And the being comes."
"No. . .it's too soon! We were promised a thousand years! He said that truth to Joshua!"
The woman nodded, looking into her husband's confused green eyes.
"Even our great Joshua was deceived, Emmanuel."
Emerson lowered his head, staring at the object before him.
"I must get these to him. He must be protected, he must have strength."
The woman laughed, Emerson's eyes meeting hers.
"Oh, my loving husband. We stand upon the threshold of life. Of truthful existence. And the long hidden shadow will be called into the light."
"Joshua. . .he. . .he searches for the truth."
"Yes, as he's long done. But a greater truth is already out there. He just hasn't grasped onto the true meaning of his soul."
"The meaning you helped me find myself?"
The woman nodded, Emerson staring at her.
"I am sorry, Franny. I never thought that I'd have to bargain your soul for it. If I had I never would have risked all."
The woman's hand moved across the altar, clasping his.
"You took the path your son took as well. Both of you felt the pain of the reality of your life. He ran from it, you locked it away."
The man looked around the room, his eyes lowering to the altar.
"I feel the truth echoing around me. How can we stop this? How can anyone or anything end the path of destruction coming forth?"
"With love, my husband. With the love that's echoed behind us and echoes ahead of us. And I know the truth of the greatest weapon we have. Even Kurucu had not foreseen its existence."
"You mean it doesn't know?"
The woman shook her head, Emerson trembling against the altar.
"No, Emmanuel. It doesn't. We have the element of surprise."
"But he must. . .he must be told. We can't let him walk into truth like I and my son did."
"He shan't, my love. There are two locked behind the barrier.
Once he releases them, the weapon will be armed."
"And our time will end." Emerson said, the woman quietly walking around the altar, her hand going to her husband's shoulder.
Emerson felt a softness in her touch, but no real warmth.
"I know not the truth in that ending, I only know the being knows not of what's to come. Perhaps we can achieve our dreams, the dreams of all shades."
Emerson nodded, his green eyes looking down at the altar again, staring at the glass boxes.
He raised his eyes, the woman beside him smiling.
"Fate has given us the weapon of our dreams, Emmanuel. It is
your task to arm it."
Emerson nodded, the woman smiling a soft smile, the man seeing her vision of beauty beginning to fade.
"I wait for you, our love remains."
The vision disappeared, Emerson's green eyes looking around the silent room.
"I only hope when it's loaded that weapon of our dreams doesn't explode."
Emerson looked down at the three glass cases, taking in their treasures.
He saw the indentation on the velvet pedestal of the Blood Drop pendant missing from the middle box.
His eyes went to the left, seeing the ancient leather-bound book laying on the pedestal in that glass case.
His eyes moved to the right staring at the silver key laying under the glass case on its velvet pedestal.
"Words and opening truths. I am sorry, my grandson. I am
sorry for creating your existence."
The man's eyes went to one portrait, staring into a painting of a young beautiful man.
"I'm sorry if your life will end, but your sacrifice may give us all life." he said, lowering his head.
Emerson felt a tremble go through the altar, raising his head, staring again at the glass cases.
All three were now empty.
"The weapon I now arm. It begins."
The man began to cry, falling down upon the altar, his sobs echoing in the silent stone room, his soul alone.
New York City, New York
Lucas smiled, Karen Chasez hugging him at the doorway, her husband smiling at him.
"You, son, are a master chef! That was so delicious!" Roy said, his wife beside him, rubbing his stomach.
"A nice introduction to our family for Lucas, Roy. Three plates?"
Josh laughed, smiling at his father, he standing beside Lucas, their hands entwined.
"I matched your hunger, Dad."
The man smiled, nodding at his son.
Justin smiled at the Chasezs' relaxing comfort now with everyone, his blue eyes going to Lucas' violet.
The group had talked throughout Lucas' delicious dinner, his and Josh's love story now known to the couple.
And throughout the conversation the two people had felt Lucas' love entering their souls.
They saw easily the man's love entrenched in all those surrounding him.
His violet eyes showing so much love and calmness.
"You wowed us with your food and your love." Justin smiled, Lucas nodding.
Josh smiled at his friend, the man snuggling against Lucas, his arm going around him, Josh's parents smiling at them.
"My son looks more than contented, Luke." Karen smiled, Lucas smiling at his love.
"My love fills him with happiness."
She nodded, kissing both on the cheeks.
"Thank you for everything, delicious and giving."
"Thank you for coming and for welcoming me into your family."
Both of Josh's parents smiled, Roy hugging Lucas gently, then hugging his son with fatherly love.
"We'll see you both for brunch tomorrow." Josh said, kissing his father's cheek.
"You're cooking again, Luke?" the man said looking at Lucas, smiling.
"Yes, Roy. A Mother's Day brunch for Karen and Mom." Lucas smiled, Vivian kissing her son's cheek.
"My boy wows us indeed." she said, Karen smiling at her.
"I'll drive you all over to the hotel." Justin offered, Lucas thanking him, Justin now back at his own condo, Jessica having left yesterday.
The two had parted as worrisome friends, their friendship still tentative but growing.
Lucas had seen the signs in Justin yesterday, the sudden freedom showing in his blue eyes.
"You're welcome to stay here again, Jus." Josh said, Justin smiling at his friend.
"Thanks, Joshy. But I've got to get used to being alone again. My condo's fine." he said, Lucas smiling at him, patting his shoulder.
Vivian and Henderson kissed everyone goodnight, Lucas feeling their love.
Karen's arm went around Vivian, the woman smiling at her.
"They think we're going back to the hotel to bed, us old codgers retiring early. What's say we hit the hotel bar? Roy looks like a dancer!" Vivian grinned, Roy laughing, smiling at her.
"That I am, madam." he grinned, the younger ones laughing, everyone saying goodnight, the parents leaving with Justin.
Josh and Lucas waved goodbye in the doorway, Josh's arms going around Lucas.
"I think our families are going to get along smashingly, my love."
Lucas smiled, the two closing the condo door.
Justin sighed, closing his condo's door, throwing his keys into the glass dish on the stand by the door.
He flicked on the lights, the condo coming to life.
He looked around, the place showing a bleakness, and solemn quietness.
He walked into the living room, sitting down in an overstuffed chair, sighing again.
His eyes went to the answering machine beside the phone, which he saw was flashing.
He reached over to it, hitting the replay button, then stood up, going over to the bar, fixing himself a drink.
He listened as the first message came on.
"Hey, Justin. It's Zac. Adam told me about Jessica. Need someone to make you forget her? I'm game for more fun. Call me, you have my number."
Justin's eyes went to the machine, the next message playing.
"Hey, Justin, how ya doing? Nicky here, man. Heard the news! I'm having a fuckfest tonight at my condo. Come on over. Call me back."
The message finished, Justin sipping his drink, sitting down on one of the bar stools, staring at the answering machine.
He heard the need in both men's voices, the need for his body.
The next message came on, Justin feeling a more forceful need in the voice.
"Timberlake. I'm in town until tomorrow. Get your fine ass over here. I know you need me. Now."
Justin lowered his head, hearing the masculine power in Usher's rugged voice.
Justin remembered how forceful the man had been, how domineering, Justin feeling his soul give in to the man's total control of him that night at Adam's condo.
Usher had been the most dominant.
The next voice on the machine made Justin's skin crawl.
"Hey, Timberlake. How's that fine ass? Still yearning for lots of cock? I can arrange myself or any others you want to try on. You know you love mine and you loved our last time together. Or is Lance your stud now? I heard about Jessica. All my friends know. You're fair game again. Just start the ball rolling. I'll take care of you. And I know you want Carver. We can have him, too. Call me, Timbersnake."
The machine went dead, Adam's condescending voice filling Justin's mind.
Justin stood up, throwing his glass against the far wall, the glass shattering.
The man trembled, then rushed forward, picking up the answering machine, throwing it against the floor, the man beginning to cry.
Justin sank to his knees, crying alone in his condo.
I'm. . .I'm not a slut, Adam.
I. . .I don't want that!
I can't be that, don't make me be that!
Justin cried, a knock coming to his condo's door, Justin wiped his eyes, the man slowly rising from his knees, looking around the room.
He wiped his eyes again, going to the condo door, leaning against it.
"Who. . .who is it?" he said, his voice trembling.
"It's me. Open up, Justin. Are you alright?"
Justin sighed, opening the door, staring into two concerned eyes.
The man walked into the condo, looking around, his eyes meeting his again.
"Are you okay, Justin? What's happened? The mess?" he said, seeing the shattered glass on the floor, Justin's eyes tearing again, the man beginning to sob.
Justin sobbed, falling into the man's arms, the man embracing him tightly.
"I'm so alone! I'm so alone!" he sobbed, the man rubbing his back as he closed the condo door.
"I'm here, Jus. I'm here now."
Justin's lips moved, the man's meeting his, both feeling a
tenderness and need in each other.
Justin broke the tender hold the man had on him, his eyes staring into the man's green pools.
"I need you, Lance. I need to please you. Let me show you my
Lance Bass' green eyes widened as Justin pushed him up against the door, their lips meeting, Lance feeling the intensity of Justin's desires.
He felt the need and lust in the man's trembling body.
Lance felt the man's hands going over his body, Justin then pulling him to the floor.
End of Chapter 25
Seems our Justin has shown his love towards Lance.
Will Lance give in to Justin's needs?
Is Lance going to use Justin as the offers over the phone suggested?
Is Justin really that submissive?
Lucas has now been welcomed by Josh's family.
Our twosome of love are joining in all ways.
A lot of mystery is now surrounding the mysterious Emerson Belmont, or Emmanuel.
His wife is a shade, gone of this world.
What lays in the room hidden deep within the earth?
What is the significance of the book and key that lay under glass?
And where have they mysteriously disappeared to?
Questions in need of answering.