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Lance's eyes raised, as did everyone else's, all eyes going to Justin walking from the hallway into the living room, everyone seated around the room.
Lucas was the first to rise, the young man smiling at his friend.
"Are you hungry, Jus? I've got supper simmering but I can make you a quick sandwich."
Justin smiled, his eyes scanning everyone's concerned, compassionate faces.
"I can wait, Luke. I'm alright."
Everyone smiled at him, Joey rising from his seat, Lance looking at Justin as their friend walked up to him.
"Glad to hear you're doing okay, Jus. I know it's been a hard day for you." Joey said, gently putting his hand on Justin's shoulder.
"Yeah it has, Joey. Today I realized I can't judge people." Justin said, Joey smiling at him.
"You judge people with your giving heart, Justin. You can't fault yourself for having a trusting soul. We all know the depth of that giving, trusting soul. That man wasn't true to you. And he's the one who's paid in the end. You're still you."
Justin smiled at his friend, Joey pulling him into a protective, loving hug.
Everyone smiled at the touching scene, Justin smiling towards Lucas.
"Joey's right, Justin. We all know you and love you." Lucas said, Josh smiling at him, the man now at Lucas' side.
"Thank you all for not judging me." Justin softly said, Finn rising from his seat and walking up to Justin.
"Friends don't judge each other, Justin. All we can do is be there for you. No one was more there for you than Luke. As I know he's here for all of us." Finn said, Lucas smiling at his friend.
Justin smiled at Lucas, the young man lowering his eyes.
"A truer friend we'll never have." Justin said, Joey smiling at his friend.
"Words I spoke earlier, Justy." Joey said, Lucas softly smiling.
Finn smiled at his friend's obvious reluctance.
"Come and sit with your friends, Justin." Finn said, the man smiling at him, his eyes going to Lance seated on a couch and quietly staring at him.
Justin walked over to everyone, everyone rising, the man gently hugged by the ladies, the men patting his back or gently hugging him.
Vivian hugged the younger man, kissing his cheek.
"Life moves on, Justin. We all know there will be happiness ahead for you." she said, her eyes going to her son's shining violet.
"Your son has given me hope in that regard, Vivian." Justin said, his blue pools glancing at Lucas, the man smiling and looking at him.
"Sit here, Jus." Lance said, Justin smiling and sitting down beside Lance, Josh smiling.
Joey sat down beside Justin, the man surrounded by his old friends' love.
Everyone sat down, Lucas returning to Josh's waiting arms, the man's love surrounding him, the two sitting across from Justin.
"You're welcome to stay here tonight, Justy. I know it's been a long day for you." Josh said, Justin smiling at his friend.
"Thanks, Joshy. But I have to go forward. That means facing my loneliness."
Lance's arm went around his friend, their eyes meeting.
"You're not alone, Justin. We're all here for you. Why don't you stay at my place tonight? Joey's there as well." Lance said, Joey agreeing with him.
"Thanks, guys. But I'd feel more comfortable in my own home." Justin said, the two men nodding.
"Then I'm going to stay with you. You're not staying alone tonight. Quietness gives a man time to think." Lance said, Justin's blue eyes meeting Lance's green.
"Thanks, Lancy. I'd. . .I'd love the company."
Everyone smiled, hearing Lance's friendship for his old friend.
Lucas and Josh both looked at each other, knowing there was more growing there than friendship.
Lance smiled at Justin, the man relaxing beside him.
Grayson's brown eyes met the man's blue, the lawyer softly smiling at him.
"I'm sorry for having to show you the truth, Justin."
"You were only acting on Lucas' behalf, Grayson. My friend's love guides all to face life." Justin said, Lucas smiling at him.
"I'm sorry my nephew led you on a path of hurt,
Justin's blue eyes met Grayson's with surprise.
Lucas smiled at Justin, Justin seeing the love shining back.
"Tell Justin everything, Gray. I'll go check on dinner." Lucas said, the man rising from his seat, Josh smiling at him.
The lawyer looked at Josh, Josh nodding his head.
The man began to tell Justin of his nephew's deceit, Justin's eyes going to the swinging kitchen doorway.
Lucas pulled the cover off the large bowl of Caesar salad, tossing its contents with a large set of salad forks.
Two arms wrapped around his waist, a soft kiss touching his neck.
"You should be in Justin's arms instead of rubbing my ass, Lancy."
A hand slapped Lucas' ass, the young man smiling.
"I know your touch, my beautiful Joshua. Lance's hands are softer."
Josh lightly laughed, his lips kissing his man's neck again.
"I love you, Lucas. My rugged hands are yours forever."
Lucas smiled, turning around, two lips meeting his, the man feeling his lover's soul.
"Then I should put those rugged hands to use."
Josh smiled, his hands running across Lucas' chest, the young man staring into his needful blue irises.
"Take these forks and toss that salad, biatch!"
Josh began to laugh, Lucas smiling at him.
Lucas smiled, his arms going around his man's waist, pulling him against him.
"You'll need no loincloth. I like my slaves naked."
Josh beamed, their eyes meeting with love.
"Later my slave of beauty. I want a dance of seduction."
Josh smiled, kissing his man's soft lips again.
"I will always please the master."
"The salad's getting soggy. Toss away, slave."
Lucas smiled, Josh taking the forks out of Lucas' hand.
Lucas laughed, the man watching as Josh began to toss the salad, the young man going to the fridge and pulling out two trays of vegetables and fruit.
Josh smiled at him, watching his man preparing their supper.
He smelled the aromas and felt the warmth coming from the oven, some culinary treasure cooking.
"My man's a culinary master. I'm going to get so fat."
Lucas smiled, his hand going to Josh's left butt cheek, squeezing it gently.
"I'll keep that amazing body firm, my Joshua. My energy will burn yours."
Josh smiled, feeling his man's warmth beside him, the two working on dinner.
"I love this, Luke. You and me working together,
creating a meal for our friends."
Lucas smiled, looking into Josh's blue eyes.
"A greater meal we create is our love, Josh. They all dine on its deliciousness."
Josh smiled, loving Lucas' way with words.
"That's beautiful, Luke."
"A song's brewing in my heart, my love. I think I'll call it Dinner in Heaven."
Josh smiled, his hip touching Lucas'.
"I've feasted on that quite a few times."
"We should take a drive sometime, babe. Then it will be Meals on Wheels."
Josh began to laugh, Lucas smiling at his lover.
"Or we could go for a swim. Wet Noodle Surprise." Lucas said, Josh losing it, the man bursting into laughter.
Joey walked into the kitchen, smiling at Josh's obvious happiness.
"What's so funny, Luke? Josh looks like he's about to piss himself."
"Just a private joke. I was telling him about one of my favourite meals." Lucas said, Josh staring at him, still laughing.
"Wow, cool. I hope I get to taste it."
Josh lost it again, this time Lucas joining him, the two laughing as Lucas wrapped his arms around his man.
"Sorry, Joe. This meal I cook for only my man."
Josh laughed, his eyes meeting Lucas'.
Joey smiled at the two, a confused look on his face.
"You two are twisted. Something tells me I walked into something perverted."
Lucas laughed, Josh smiling at his friend.
"No, Joe. You just walked into my man's happiness. Into his making me happy." Josh said, Lucas smiling at him, Josh kissing his lips.
Joey smiled at the two, seeing their total love.
"How goes things in the living room, Joe?" Lucas said, Joey looking at him.
"It was as much a surprise for Justin as for us, Luke. Justin now knows the true deceit that man shows."
Lucas nodded, Joey's brown eyes meeting his violet.
"The truth is told, the path can now begin again for Justin." Lucas said, Joey nodding.
"And I believe you've guided Justin onto a better
Lucas smiled at Joey, Josh staring at his friend.
The man smiled, his hand going to Lucas' shoulder.
"I haven't seen Lancy looking happier, Luke. Thank you for finally making those two see what's right in front of them."
Josh's eyes widened in surprise, Lucas' remained calm, the young man smiling at Joey.
"I see knowledge and happiness in your eyes, Joe. I can easily tell that you have loving, watchful eyes. My Josh has a dear friend in you."
Joey smiled, looking at Josh.
"You know I've always been the protective, watchful one, Joshy. And in so I've always sat back and watched all of you. Guarded you with my love, and with my protective gaze. Lance has always shown a giving love to all of us. And I've always seen that most of it was given to Justin."
Josh looked surprised, his friend smiling at him.
"Lance has loved Justin for a long time. I saw that
love blossom in the open when he decked Sheridan. Lance was hitting the man that
hurt his Justin. His love showed itself easily."
Lucas smiled, looking into the man's indeed intelligent, watchful eyes.
"I. . .I never saw it, Joey." Josh said, Lucas' arm going around him.
Joey smiled at his friend.
"That's because your own eyes were staring at Justin. You were just as much in love with him."
Josh nodded, a soft blush coming to his cheek.
"Love blinds all of us, Joshy. I just have a better eyesight. I see easily that Lucas has captured your gaze completely."
Josh smiled, Lucas kissing his cheek.
"The man's totally blind, Joey. And so delicious."
Joey laughed, Josh smiling at Lucas.
The two men looked at their friend, Joey smiling at both.
"I see a new look in Justin's eyes as well. I take it Lance told him the truth?" Joey said, Lucas smiling and nodding.
"Yes, Joe. Justin now knows that Lance loves him." Josh said, a look of wonder showing in his eyes, Joey smiling at his old friend.
"That's wonderful, guys. Will Justin accept that love, Luke?" Joey said, Lucas looking into his brown searching eyes.
He saw his total love for his friends, and his wanting them to be happy.
"Justin has to walk his own path, Joe. He has to see for himself Lance's giving love."
"Will. . .will Lance's love be enough, Luke? I don't want my friends to be hurt."
"Their love will never hurt each other, Joe. I see only life for both of them."
Joey smiled, leaning forward and kissing Lucas' cheek.
"Thank you for guiding them to their hearts, Lucas."
Lucas blushed, Josh smiling at him.
"Their love guided them, Joey. I only cleared the path for them."
Joey and Josh both smiled, Lucas smiling back.
"Dinner's almost ready, Joey. Get out of here before you eat half of it." Lucas smiled, the man laughing.
"It smells wonderful. I only had noodles for lunch."
Josh burst into laughter, Lucas smiling widely, Joey looking confused.
"Twisted. Totally twisted!" Joey said, smiling and walking out of the kitchen.
Lucas smiled after him, his lover beside him laughing his head off, his arms going around Lucas' muscled chest.
"That was. . .that was so Joey!" he laughed, Lucas smiling at him.
"That was his giving love, my Joshua."
Josh smiled, looking towards the kitchen door.
"He sees so much. . .so much more than me." Josh said, looking a little concerned, Lucas kissing his lips, Josh's feelings calming.
"He sees with calm eyes, my love. Your eyes see with love. He was correct. At that time you were in love with Justin as well."
Josh's eyes met Lucas' violet.
"I did love him, Lucas. But it wasn't the total love I have for you."
Lucas smiled, kissing his lips again, Josh calmed by the returned love.
"I know, Beamy. Your love beams out to everyone. I'm the only one that's felt all of its light."
Josh smiled, Lucas handing him the salad forks again.
"Get back to tossing, biatch."
Josh smiled, Lucas winking at him.
"Later--if you're good--I'll make noodle surprise."
Josh laughed heartily, Lucas smiling at him.
"I like my noodles wet."
"I like mine firm."
Josh laughed, the two men going back to their preparations.
Lance heard a knock on the bedroom door, the man sitting on his bed, having just taken off his shoes.
"Enter." Lance said, Justin's head popping into the room.
"Are you still awake, Lancy?"
Lance smiled at him, Justin slowly walking into the room.
"Yes, Justin. I had just stood out on the balcony for a half hour or so, taking in the cool breeze." Lance smiled.
"It is a beautiful night." Justin said, leaning against the door frame.
"I thought I put you to bed. You are exhausted, Jus." Lance said, seeing Justin wearing only a cashmere robe.
The two had returned to Justin's condo, Lance taking charge of the man's needs.
He'd made Justin a cup of warm tea, the two sitting together on a couch, Justin snuggled against him.
The two had talked for over two hours--their feelings, love and friendship showing for both.
Lance had held him while Justin told him of his relationship with Sheridan.
Lance had talked to him, the man's feelings drawn out, Lance seeing the real Justin's soul.
He felt the hurt and pain of his friend's soul.
And Justin in return had felt Lance's love surrounding him.
The talk opened up his heart, Lance the first person Justin had truly been open with.
He told him of all his failed relationships, of all he's been searching for, and all he'd never found.
Their souls opened to each other, the truth sapping the energy out of Justin's soul.
Lance had gently kissed his cheek, the two staring into each other's eyes.
Justin had leaned forward, his lips meeting Lance's.
They both tenderly kissed each other, their love flowing at a gentle pace.
Lance had broken the kiss, the man smiling at his friend.
"You need sleep, Jus. Let's get you into your bed."
"Lance. . .I. . ."
Lance smiled, leaning forward and kissing his cheek again.
"I love you, Jus. You need only sleep."
The man smiled, hearing the giving love in Lance's voice.
Lance had pulled him up, guiding him with love to his bedroom door.
"Goodnight, Justin. I'll cook you breakfast in the morning. I think you'll sleep right through."
Justin nodded, Lance kissing his cheek again.
"I'm right next door if any bad dreams rear their
head. But take my love with you into your dreams. It protects you there and
Justin had teared up, the man smiling at him, walking into his bedroom across from Justin's.
Justin had walked into his bedroom, removing his clothes and climbing into bed.
He'd lay there for a half hour, staring out into the moonlit night, the moon high in the sky and shining down on him.
His mind flew over the last few months, his thoughts going to Lance often.
He stood back in his memories and saw the man's giving love showing, in ways he hadn't seen before.
The closeness of his friendship, and yet the farness of his love.
Justin sensed in his soul that that love wasn't so far away anymore.
And Justin's heart sensed it needed it even closer.
For its warmth was flooding Justin's soul.
Justin had risen up from his bed, pulling on his robe, standing outside his friend's bedroom door, his thoughts flying through his mind.
A new voice entered it, Justin feeling his soul in that voice.
Life is about taking chances.
About opening your soul to another.
His soul is pure of intent, and full of life.
Trust in him to open your heart to life's beauty.
This is the only chance you have to take.
His love is your love.
Justin smiled, taking a deep breath, rapping on the door.
Lance's beautiful voice answered him, Justin walking forward to his future.
Lance's green eyes stared at Justin, taking in the man's beautiful face.
"Have a bad dream, Jus?"
"No, Lance. I just felt so. . .so alone. I needed to hear your voice again." he softly said, Lance rising from his bed, walking up to his friend.
"Let's get you back to bed, Jus. I'll sit with you till you fall asleep." Lance said, his hand going into Justin's, their eyes meeting.
"I. . .I love you, Lance."
Lance smiled, Justin's blue eyes filled with tears.
"I love you, Justin. Come with me." he said with tenderness, his arm going around Justin's waist, guiding the man out of the bedroom.
The two walked back into Justin's bedroom, Lance's eyes going to the dishevelled bed, seeing the blankets tossed everywhere.
Lance sensed that Justin had tossed and turned since he'd left him earlier.
The day's drama clouding his mind.
"Your bed looks like you tossed in trouble, Jus. The day's drama clouds your mind."
Justin's blue pools met Lance's green.
"No, Lance. I've accepted the truth of what today
means. Of what he did to me."
Lance nodded, Justin's blue pools meeting Lance's green again.
"I've been tossing and turning because of you."
Lance lowered his eyes, Justin's fingers going to his chin, raising them so that they met his.
"I'm. . .I think I'm. . .I'm falling for you, Lance.
Your love's entering my soul."
Lance smiled, Justin smiling back at him, tears showing in his eyes.
"I want to trust you, Lance. I want to let you love me." Justin said, Lance's arms going around him.
"I already love you, Justin. And you can always trust in my love for you. I shall never hurt you."
Justin teared up, the man's head going to Lance's shoulder, Lance holding him in his arms.
"Let's get you into bed, and then I'll help you sleep."
Justin raised his head, Lance staring into his blue eyes.
Justin's fingers went to his robe, the cashmere warmth leaving his body.
Lance's eyes trailed down his naked form, Justin's muscled beauty on full display.
"I offer you everything, Lance. I am yours if you want me."
Lance's green pools teared up, the man's hand going to Justin's naked shoulder, their eyes meeting again.
"Climb into bed, Justin." he said, Justin hearing the love in Lance's voice.
Justin dropped his robe, climbing into the bed, laying in its center, his naked body on full view, his blue wet pools meeting Lance's green.
"Close your eyes, Justin."
Justin closed his eyes, the man waiting for Lance to climb on top of him, waiting to give the man right of ownership.
Justin lay in wait, offering himself to the man he hoped would love him.
He felt a movement, a sudden warmth covering him.
He felt this warmth wasn't flesh but cotton.
He opened his blue eyes, staring into two green irises hovering above him, Lance's hands on the quilts he'd pulled over Justin's naked body.
"I love you, Justin. I would never take from you anything I didn't feel I deserved. You are beyond beautiful, a vision of dreamed love. But I will never use you. I will only ever love you."
Justin began to cry, staring into his green pools of love.
"I love you, Justin. I want our physical love to be ours alone. Not a phantom moment of remembered pain and hurt. I will love you as you need to be loved. As I want you to love me. That moment can only happen when we both really truly need each other. Sex can't happen without love and commitment."
Justin cried, Lance leaning down and kissing his lips, Justin feeling his giving love.
"You need rest, my Justin. Close your eyes and I'll sit with you."
Justin nodded, staring into his green pools.
"Lance. . .will you. . .will you sleep beside me?"
Lance smiled, rising from the bed, Justin staring quietly as he watched the man pull off his sweater, his smooth torso coming into view, Justin staring at its total toned smoothness.
He'd never really looked at Lance's body, Justin seeing a smooth body of sculpted beauty.
Lance lowered his head, a soft blush on his cheeks, the man quietly removing his pants, Justin's eyes going to the black boxer briefs he wore, Justin seeing no large tent showing there, only a mound of hidden love.
That entered Justin's heart, the man seeing that Lance wasn't wanting him, he was only wanting to love him and be there for him.
Lance clicked off the lamp on the nightstand, Justin's room thrust into moonlit shadows.
Lance climbed into the bed beside Justin, climbing under the covers, laying beside Justin.
"Close your eyes, Justy. Let me sing you a soft song of love."
Justin nodded in the moonlight, Lance's green eyes looking towards him.
Justin closed his eyes, a soft voice filling the quiet room.
We've only just begun to live
White lace and promises
A kiss for luck and we're on our way
We've only begun
Before the rising sun we fly
So many roads to choose
We start out walking
And learn to run
And yes! We've just begun
Sharin' horizons that are new to us
Watchin' the signs along the way
Talkin' it over just the two of us
Workin' together day to day, together
Justin lay beside Lance, hearing the love and meaning in Lance's song.
He opened his eyes, staring into two green pools staring at him beside him.
Justin moved, Lance opening his arms, the man beside him moving close to him, Justin's head going to Lance's smooth taut chest, Justin feeling the warmth of his body and love.
Lance smiled, kissing his forehead, holding the naked man close to him, his soul feeling only love for him.
Lance continued to sing, his voice filling the
quietness of both their souls.
And when the evening comes we smile
So much of life ahead
We'll find a place where there's room to grow
And yes! We've just begun
Sharin' horizons that are new to us
Watchin' the signs along the way
Talkin' it over just the two of us
Workin' together day to day, together, together
And when the evening comes we smile
So much of life ahead
We'll find a place where there's room to grow
And yes! We've just begun
Lance's voice silenced, the man staring down at the man laying against him.
Justin was sound asleep, his lips laying against Lance's left nipple, Lance feeling the man's breath against his nipple, the nub hardening.
He smiled, feeling Justin's calmed soul, the man sleeping a deep sleep of contentment.
"It has only begun, Jus. Our love begins today. I know you can truly love me. . .as much as I love you." He softly said, the man against him not hearing.
Lance lay in silence, his green eyes staring out into the moonlit night, the large moon shining down on his green eyes.
You are so beautiful, Justin.
It took all of my soul to not take you.
But I want it to mean something more.
I don't want to take you. . .I want you to take me.
To the edge of life and to love beyond.
I need your love so much.
I am so alone.
The man against him moved, his arms wrapping around Lance, pulling him close.
Lance smiled, feeling Justin's familiar clinging possession.
So many nights through their singing careers Lance had slept with Justin, feeling the man's clinging need for love.
Tonight it felt like something more.
Tonight, Justin was needing all of his love.
And Lance was willing to give all of himself to make this man totally happy.
I love you, Justin.
I will give you all of me.
And I will take all you can give, even if it's not all of yourself.
A small part of you will be paradise.
All of you would be heaven.
Lance smiled, the man closing his green eyes, feeling the warmth of the man laying against him.
His heart filled with love, his mind flowing on the path of dreams.
Ten miles away two violet pools opened, a soft wetness showing in their violet centers.
"You will have heaven, Lance. As great a heaven as I have." Lucas softly said, his eyes going down to the sleeping face laying against his chest.
Josh lay sound asleep against him, the man's soft breath blowing across Lucas's smooth chest, its warmth warming his heart.
The two had made slow love to each other when they'd returned to their private room of love that evening, Lucas feeling all of Josh's giving soul, and the man's giving touch.
Lucas smiled, remembering the passion and mirthful love his Josh's soul meted out for hours.
There were no wet noodles, only pasta of hardened love.
Lucas smiled, remembering Josh's total ownership of his body and soul, and the hours of heated beauty.
The two had fallen asleep against each other, their love joined on so many levels.
But Lucas' own love still moved out into the world, the man drawing from the love of his friends and family.
He'd been awakened by the love coming from ten miles away, and perhaps even closer.
Their budding love had opened the flower of Lucas' love, the intensity of their hidden hopes awakening him.
He'd felt Lance's love as he fell into slumber, his life laying against him.
Lucas smiled, gently moving Josh from his chest, the man murmuring, laying back on his back, Lucas moving against him, taking in the moonlit vision of the man's naked beauty showing.
Lucas loved Josh's body, every inch of it sending his heart on a searching need.
He smiled, his fingers rubbing the smoothness of his chest, the warmth of his beating heart below the skin sending his own heart to the warmth of Joshua's love.
The young man smiled, gently moving from his lover's warmth, the man rising from their bed, pulling his robe around his body.
He felt a presence on the path of his love, Lucas smiling.
The man quietly walked into the bathroom, stopping for a moment of relief, shutting off the light as he quietly walked back out into his bedroom, Josh having not moved from his spot, his soft snore the only sound in the room.
Lucas felt the flow of love again through his soul, the young man smiling.
He quietly walked out of the bedroom, walking down a hallway of darkness, into the living room, which was bathed in soft moonlight.
His violet eyes looked towards the dining room, seeing the door of its balcony slightly ajar.
He smiled, walking across the room, going to the door.
He stared out into the moonlit night, seeing a shadowy form against the balcony's railing, the young man smiling.
His smile widened, seeing who stood alone in his thoughts in the darkness.
He walked out into the fresh air, his hand going to the man's naked shoulder, two blue eyes turning and looking into his violet.
"Couldn't sleep, Finny?"
"Yeah, something like that, Lukey." he said, Lucas smiling at him.
"I felt your love, my friend. You okay?"
Finn's blue eyes stared at Lucas' face, seeing the returned beauty.
The black eye was gone, only Lucas' handsome face showing as always.
"I see Josh's love has healed all of you again."
Lucas smiled, leaning against the railing.
"His love heals my soul. As Skyler's fills yours."
Finn smiled, staring out into the darkness, the New York skyline still showing a lot of lights.
"What troubles that giving heart of yours, Finny? I
feel your doubts."
The man's head lowered, his eyes and body turning towards Lucas.
Lucas' eyes took in the man's rugged chest, his friend wearing only his usual pyjama pants.
"You're right, Lukey. I feel all of Skyler's love in
Lucas smiled, his hand going to his friend's shoulder.
"You're more than worthy of that love, Finny. As she
is of yours."
Finn nodded, Lucas seeing a soft worry in his eyes.
"I don't believe it! Our Finny--the most masculine guy I know--is head over heels in love!"
Finn blushed, Lucas leaning forward and kissing him on the lips, Finn feeling Lucas' familiar love.
"You and your damn senses." Finn said, Lucas smiling at him.
"What's going on in that giving heart of yours, Finnegan?"
The man sighed, going over to a settee, sitting down.
Lucas smiled, sitting down beside his friend.
"I love her, Lucas. I've never doubted that. I'm. . .I'm just. . ."
Lucas' arm went around his friend's naked back, Finn feeling his giving love.
"You're just scared that you can't live up to what you think she expects of you. And of what lays ahead for you. The birth of your son and your own fatherhood."
Finn's eyes raised, meeting Lucas' violet pools.
"I feel your soul, Finn. I know the depth of your love for her, and the capability of that love giving itself to that child. You're worrying about something that doesn't exist. Your own inadequacies."
The man sighed, Lucas watching him.
"You've known me for a long time, Lucas. You've seen the mirthful, gregarious man I am. Sky's seen even more. How can a wild guy like me ever be a father?"
Lucas smiled, hearing in those words the depth of what was bothering his friend.
"By being yourself, Finn. I truly envy that child."
"You envy him?"
Lucas nodded, taking his friend's hands in his.
"That child will have a life of happiness, fun and merriment. He'll have an older brother to make all his happiness bear fruit. The merriment of your soul will make that child a man of giving happiness. The trail of Delaney mirthfulness will go forward. I envy his having to see all that joy and laughter."
Finn smiled, looking at his friend.
"You'll see it too, Luke. My boy's going to have a wonderful uncle."
Lucas smiled, nodding his head.
"He'll find two in myself and my Josh."
Finn smiled, looking out into the darkness, Lucas smiling at his friend.
"Ask your question, Finnegan."
Finn's eyes turned, staring at his friend.
"Lucas. . .I. . ."
"I felt the confusion, Finn. So I'll answer that question for you."
Finn stared at Lucas.
"Yes, Finn. At one time I was in love with you."
Finn looked stunned, Lucas smiling at him.
"Lucas. . .I never meant. . ."
Lucas smiled, leaning forward and kissing the man's cheek.
"The beauty of your soul, of your giving love, never meant to do anything, Finnegan. You, in your kindness, in your friendship, did nothing wrong. It was myself. It began the day I first met you. You were so beautiful, funny and giving. I was drawn to the beauty of your soul, to the friendship of your love. And yes, to the beauty that is you."
Finn blushed, Lucas smiling at him.
"You're a beautiful man, Finn. But you're something more."
Finn's eyes met Lucas'.
"That soft lust and love I first had for you matured into something more. You became more of a friend than the dream I had of your becoming something that never existed. Friendship won over lust. The man seated before me has a greater soul of love. A greater vision of beauty is the love within you, Finn."
Finn smiled, seeing the loving friendship in Lucas' eyes.
"But I have so much more to offer."
Lucas laughed, Finn softly smiling at him.
"I. . .I always felt there was something more there once, Lucas. But I know you'd never have acted upon that."
Lucas nodded, his hand going to Finn's naked shoulder.
"Friendship is the heart of us, Finnegan. That young love was won over by the real you. A brother you became in all ways."
"So you don't have the hots for me anymore?"
Lucas laughed, Finn joining him.
"Let's just saw it's a hidden envy. I envy the love Skyler owns."
Finn smiled, looking out into the darkness.
"So, when will you ask her your other question?"
Finn looked into his friend's eyes, Lucas smiling at him.
"The doubts center around it. It is the core of your sleepless nights."
Finn lowered his head, Lucas leaning against him.
"Talk to me, brother."
Finn raised his head, Lucas seeing the tears in his eyes.
"Oh God, Lucas! I love her so much! I can't live without her!"
Lucas smiled, feeling the truth in Finn's soul.
"And what makes you think you will?"
Finn's eyes met Lucas', Lucas seeing the doubt shining through.
"She loves me, Lucas. I sometimes can't grasp why."
Lucas smiled, shaking his head.
"My giving, needful Finnegan."
Finn stared at Lucas.
"You are everything to her--her man, her lover, her soul and her heart. I feel within her the depth of her love for you. It matches my own for my Joshua."
Finn teared up, Lucas smiling at him.
"Phantom doubts are just that. Phantoms. They only exist if you let them exist. The love you both have for each other should never be doubted. She loves you, Finnegan. Love, mirth and beauty."
Finn smiled, looking out into the darkness again.
"I want to marry her, Lucas. She hasn't asked, and she's always known my views on marriage."
Lucas nodded, patting his friend's shoulder.
"And those views have now changed. For my friend's seen the beauty of my own happiness. And of others."
Finn nodded, smiling at Lucas.
"I see the total happiness you and Josh now have, Lucas. Your cementing your love to each other, in the promise of the future, makes my own soul hunger for that."
Lucas nodded, smiling at his friend.
"I'll ask Josh, but I'm not sure if he'd welcome a second fiancÚ."
Finn stared at Lucas, the young man's laughter filling the quietness of the balcony.
Finn smiled, then laughed, slapping Lucas' head.
Lucas smiled, Finn smiling at him.
"I meant that I hunger for a deeper commitment, Lucas."
Lucas nodded, kissing his friend's cheek.
"And you doubt the depth of the commitment she could return?"
Finn sighed, nodding.
"She loves you, Finn. That's all I can offer to your doubts. You alone have to bring that truth to flower. And the flower of that truth will destroy those doubts. She'll say yes."
Finn nodded, Lucas smiling at him.
"Would you. . .would you help me do it, Lucas? The showing of my love? I'm not that good at. . .showing romance."
Lucas smiled, kissing his cheek again.
"With all my heart and love, Finn. I want both of
you to be happy."
Finn smiled, leaning forward and kissing Lucas on the lips, the man's arms pulling the younger man close to him, Lucas lost in the love he felt flowing through him.
The man pulled back, smiling at Lucas.
"There. That'll keep you happy for the rest of your dreaming life." he said, winking at Lucas.
Lucas looked surprised for a moment, staring at Finn, a smile crossing his mirthful, handsome face.
"Screw Sky! Marry me, Delaney!!"
Finn laughed, Lucas' laughter joining his.
The two wrapped their arms around each other, their friendship showing.
"So what have you planned, brother?"
Finn looked at Lucas, the young man smiling as his brother of friendship opened his dreams to him.
An hour later Lucas quietly walked into his bedroom, disrobing at the end of the bed, glancing at the clock, reading four-thirty.
He sighed, quietly climbing into bed, settling down beside his Joshua, his head going against Josh's shoulder, as he pulled the covers up over their naked bodies.
"Where were you, my love? I awoke to the loss of your warmth." Josh said, his blue eyes opening, staring into Lucas' violet pools.
"I just needed a breath of fresh air, my Beamy." Lucas said, Josh moving in the bed, his naked body moving on top of Lucas'.
"And what about Finn?"
Lucas looked surprised, Josh smiling at him in the moonlit darkness, his pearly white teeth glowing.
"I heard the two of you hugging in the hallway. I believe two friends were opening their hearts to each other."
Lucas smiled, his fingers going to Josh's smooth cheek.
"Love woke me, Josh. I felt paths of love in need of reassurance."
Josh smiled, his head going to Lucas' chest, Lucas wrapping his arms around him.
"You feel Justin and Lance's new love?"
Lucas looked surprised, Josh raising his head, his lips meeting his.
"I'm beginning to sense what lays in your soul, Lucky. Their new love awoke me, too. I felt you leave me, and I felt your soul."
Lucas teared up, staring into his man's blue irises.
"I also felt Finn's doubts as well. I knew your love would reassure him of what he needs."
Lucas smiled, leaning upwards and kissing Josh's soft lips.
The two parted, Josh staring into Lucas' confused pools.
"I. . .I never wanted that part for you, Joshua. This joining of our souls. Not if it means your awareness of my worries."
"We are two of one soul, Lucas. We share life, love and total openness."
Lucas nodded, Josh smiling at him.
"I felt their new beginning, Lucas. It's as beautiful as our
Lucas smiled, the man moving, flipping Josh over, his smooth muscled body now on top of his.
"That beauty still thrives in our lives, Joshua. You love me as the day you met me. And I love you more each day."
"So do I, Lucas. I love you in so many ways."
Lucas smiled down at him, Josh smiling back.
"We go forward together, Lucas. The past is the past, the present is more beautiful."
Lucas smiled, Josh's fingers now on his cheek.
"Finn is a beautiful man, Lucky. I see easily why you once loved him."
Lucas teared up, Josh's fingers wiping his wet cheeks.
"I hold no jealousy in the love you once held for him. Or the
love you now feel for him. For it mirrors my own. He's my brother as well."
"I love you so much, Josh."
Josh smiled, Lucas' lips meeting his, the man's hands wrapping around his soulmate.
"Show me how much, my Lucas. We need only our own love tonight. Finn and Justin are memories of our true soul. Their love only enriched it."
Lucas moved forward, his lips going to Josh's earlobe, his hands going to the man's smooth chest.
"I love you, Joshua. It's all the love I now need."
Josh smiled, then gasped as Lucas' lips took hold of his earlobe, and his hand wrapped around his stirring center.
"I need only you, Lucas. Oh God, show me that love!"
Lucas and Josh's lips met, their love echoing off each other.
End of Chapter 50
And so love echoes throughout lower Manhattan.
Two new souls join together, four others carry on on their own paths.
Justin and Lance close in on their own new love.
Its awakening beauty may make their lives unbelievable.
Finn takes Lucas' words to heart and readies to take Skyler's love forever.
What proposal plans has he created with Lucas' help?
Will Skyler accept that proposal?
Josh and Lucas open their hearts as one and join as one.
Josh is beginning to feel the magic of Lucas' soul.
The two are now joined as one soul of magic, love and life.
Fifty chapters of mystery, love and romance.
I'd like to thank Mike and his editorial prowess.
My words flow but his editing makes it readable.
How long the path continues, I know not.
But I'm in for the long haul, I hope you'll join me.
Up next: The path moves forward.
Music, love and happiness continue.