When he woke the sun was shining brightly. He blinked trying to clear the sun spots from his eyes and see where he was. He recognised the place immediately. The house was how it used to be before he stopped caring. He got stiffly to his feet and looked around the garden, the flower beds were weeded and the lawn mowed. The strong smell of chlorine hung in the air and JC remembered that the pool man was due to call the morning of the party, to ensure it was clean for their guests. A sharp whistle made him spin around and duck for cover. He watched as the door to his house opened and a large red setter bounded out.
“Red,” he breathed and ducked lower as the elegant dog was followed by a man. JC choked back a sob. “Justin!” he had to stop himself from calling out to the curly headed young man. He watched as his lover frolicked with his pet then went back inside.
JC crept out of the grounds; he needed to find out what time it was. He knew it was early. The men hadn’t started to erect the marques yet. What he really needed was a game plan. He couldn’t just knock on the door and say ‘Hi I’m from the future and someone is going to kidnap you this afternoon then kill you in the next couple of days so just don’t go out ok.’
No it was no use talking to Justin, he was a sceptic and he would never believe him. There was only one person that would and that person was Joey.
It took JC thirty minutes to walk to Joey's house and by the time he got there he was exhausted, thirty years of sitting around brooding had taken its toll on the once athletic man. It was too early for Joey to be up so JC sat on the short wall to wait. He wracked his brains trying to remember the exact turn of events for the day, working out that he had until 4:30 that afternoon to either stop Justin from being kidnapped or to find out who killed him and stop them.
Impatiently he checked his watch, he couldn’t wait any longer. Taking his courage in his hands he walked up to Joey's front door and rang the bell.
A tall slim woman with long hair answered the door. Her long brunette hair was twisted into a knot and secured with a hair pin.
“Can I help you?” she asked pleasantly.
JC stuttered “erm is Joe at home please?”
The woman smiled. “Sure honey, I’ll just go get him.” She closed the door and a few minutes later Joey's friendly smiling face was in front of him.
“Yes?” he asked.
JC stared at his friend, not able to find the words he needed.
Joey waited patiently then snapped, “look buddy I got a busy day today what do you want?”
“I ... erm … Joey I need you to help me?” JC stuttered.
“What? Why the hell should I help you, who the fuck are you?”
“Joey it’s me JC.” JC waited for the verbal barrage he knew would be coming.
Instead Joey just laughed. “Shit, those two; who are you really and why they get you to play tricks on me?”
JC stepped closer to his friend and spoke quietly. “Joe it’s no joke. I’m JC.”
“The hell you are! Fuck off. I don’t have time for games.” Joey started to slam the door and JC shoved his foot in the way.
“Joe it’s really me. Don’t ask me to explain because I can’t. Please Joe you are all I have. Please help me, don’t make me watch Justin be buried again.”
Joe opened the door fully. “What did you just say?”
JC bit on his lip, his blue eyes wide and desperate. “In about 8 hours Justin will be kidnapped and sometime in the next five days he will be murdered. I need you Joe. Do you remember when we were in eighth grade? Tad Jones and his cronies got me in the locker room and stripped me. You kicked their asses and got back the film before they could show anyone. You promised me that it was our secret. You never told anyone.” JC looked hard at his friend looking for signs that he believed him. “Joe I came back from the future to save Justin. Please help me … please.”
The Italian stared hard at JC not knowing what to think. No one knew about the humiliating and degrading attack in the locker room except him and JC.”
“Tell me,” he whispered. “Tell me what they wrote over your ass.”
JC caught a sob in his throat. “Cum sucking fag.” JC shook and had to calm himself from the memories that came flooding back. “They taped my balls and took pictures but you rescued me. You kicked their asses and got back the film.”
Joey slumped against the door frame. “You are so old!”
JC gave a half laugh. “Last time I saw you, you weren’t so young yourself.” He paused, scanning Joe’s face to see if there was any sign of recognition.
“I don’t know what to believe.” Joey drew his hand down the older mans cheek. “It’s too unbelievable.”
“I don’t blame you Joe but I swear to you its true. Some time after 4:30 Justin will be abducted and I will never see him alive again.” JC began to shake tears welling up in his eyes as he remembered the terrible events all over again.
“I believe you.”
JC couldn’t stop from crying and hugging his friend. He pulled back embarrassed at his weakness. “I’m sorry,” he said tearfully. “I expected it to be much harder to convince you and I’m just so relieved. I don’t want to have to lose him again.”
Joe nodded understandingly. “I think you should come in, we need a game plan.”
The two friends spent the next hour catching up. JC spared no detail or emotion when explaining what had happened during the past thirty years. All the time JC was talking Joey's eyes fastened on the platinum band that encircled JC’s ring finger.
“Can I see?” he finally asked.
JC hesitated then slid the band of his hand, holding it out nervously. “Be careful with it Joe, it hasn’t been off my finger since the day the police gave it to me.”
The Italian read the inscription and then admired the piece of jewellery. “Justin always did have great taste. It’s beautiful.”
JC smiled shyly. “Thank you. It’s the most precious thing in the world to me. He meant it as my wedding ring.”
“Wedding? I didn’t know you were planning on getting married.”
JC nodded sadly. “Nor did I until Justin disappeared. That’s what the party tonight is all about.” JC started to cry again. “He even got a cake.”
Joey crossed the space between them and hugged the distraught older man to him. “What ever it takes Josh, I promise you Justin will not be hurt and you will have your wedding. The first thing we need to do is talk to JC, I mean you I mean … you know what I mean.”
JC paled, “do you think that’s a good idea. What makes you think that I will believe me, us, you? Shit this is confusing.”
“Actually maybe we shouldn’t tell my JC the truth. I think we should just tell him that you are a police officer and that you had a tip off that someone was going to try and interrupt your party because you are gay and they are gay bashers. Another thing maybe you should say your name is Josh. I don’t think we could explain how you are called JC too.”
JC or rather Josh nodded his agreement and with that settled all they had to do was drive over to the house.
When they arrived the men were already setting up the marques and the decorators and florists had arrived and were waiting patiently to be allowed to being doing their job. Josh wavered as Justin came strutting out of the house barking orders and trying to help stop the massive canvas from flapping around in the strong breeze that was blowing in from the east.
“Hey Joe, what the fuck you doing here man? JC is going to shit, he’s still in bed.” Justin eyed Josh warily. “Do I know you? You seem real familiar.”
Josh forced himself to move holding out his hand for Justin to shake. “Josh Jones,” he answered, saying the first surname that came to mind.
“You a friend of Joe’s?” Justin asked curiously.
“He’s a police officer,” Joe said interrupting the pushy blond. “He works with my brother Steve.”
“Really! What brings you all the way out here Officer Jones?” Justin asked.
“We erm … I was given some information that you maybe was going to receive some unwanted guests tonight. It was nothing official and without proof I couldn’t take it to my chief. So I called up Joey here and asked him to bring me along so I can keep an eye on things.” Josh waited hardly daring to breathe, not knowing if Justin had believed him or not.
Justin grinned. “No that’s what I call service. You are prepared to give up your spare time to police our party. I don’t know what to say.”
Josh breathed. “It’s no problem really it’s not. But I would feel better if you and JC didn’t go anywhere alone today.”
“Well there’s no danger of that. I have way too much stuff to do. I also have to keep JC out of that.” Justin pointed to the now erected marques. “I have a big surprise for him. Don’t tell him Joe but I have arranged our wedding. It’s my anniversary gift to him.”
Joey gave Josh a sly look. “I’m sure he will be blown away.”
Justin grinned brightly. “Shit I hope so. Imagine if he says no, maybe I should have asked him first?”
Josh shook his head. “From what Joey has told me JC is a real romantic I’m sure he’s going to adore it.”
“Mmm we’ll see. Well I had better get to it. Just do what you need to do ok.”
Josh watched his lover walk away, a lump forming in his throat as he struggled with his cascading emotions. “He’s exactly as I remember him,” he whispered under his breath. “So beautiful.”