“Drink?” he asked, turning and walking towards the kitchen.
“Don’t you think you’ve had enough?” Josh asked as he followed him at a respectful distance.
Trace laughed. “There’s never enough, besides my best friend is missing remember. I feel like getting drunk.”
Josh moved closer, careful not to get too close. He needed to be on his guard. The man before him was capable of murder. “When was the last time you saw Justin?”
“Can’t remember.” Trace squinted at him. “Who the fuck are you again?”
“Josh, JC’s uncle.”
“What are you doing here? Shouldn’t you be comforting the grieving widow?” Trace drained his whisky glass and poured himself another.
“I thought maybe you needed some comfort too after all you love Justin too.” Widow, Trace actually used the word widow. Josh carefully calculated his next move as Trace looked up and stared at him before bursting out laughing.
“I thought I was you know. Convinced I was in fact, but I’m not. I think JC is more my type don’t you?” Trace straightened up and moved closer to where Josh was leaning against the counter.
“JC is in love with Justin,” he answered, although he looked relaxed he was ready to move fast if he had to.
“Justin's not coming back.”
“You seem pretty sure of that.”
Trace laughed again. “I am sure.” His eyes narrowed and he took a step towards the older man. “You know he’s here don’t you?”
Josh nodded. “You left the garage door open.”
Trace shook his head and took another sip of his drink. “Now that was stupid of me. Never mind. It’s nothing I can’t put right.” He lunged at Josh knocking the older man backwards onto the floor his fingers closing around his throat.
Josh gasped to get air into his lungs as his airways were cut off. He brought his knee up violently catching Trace in the balls and making him scream in pain and release his grip. He leaped on top of the agonised man taking advantage of the upper hand. He smashed Trace’s head on the kitchen floor following through with a punch to the man’s face.
“You bastard,” Josh hissed, his spittle hitting Trace in the face as he screamed at him. “You ruined my life.” Josh smashed Trace’s head on the kitchen tiles over and over. “Die,” he hissed in the now blood covered mans face. “You fucked my whole life now I’m going to fuck yours.”
Strong hands pulled him backwards and he fought like a man possessed.
“Don’t do it Josh, don’t be like him.”
All josh could think about was he had the man that murdered his beloved Justin within his grasp and he was being dragged away before he could get even.
“Josh stop!” JC’s voice cut through the manic rage that was consuming him and he slumped back in Joey's arms and sobbed.
Somewhere in the room he could hear Steve Fatone demanding to know where Justin was. “His car is in the garage,” Josh said weakly. “I saw it and he admitted to me that he has Justin.”
A shout went out diverting everyone’s attention to an open door. “JC!” Joey and Josh raced through the door and down the stairs. They stopped dead at the sight of JC kneeling on the floor sobbing helplessly with Justin hanging in his arms.
Josh grabbed his heart and staggered back. It couldn’t be! He couldn’t live through it again.
JC stroked Justin's face and kissed him passionately. “I love you so much Justin. You bastard Josh told you not to go anywhere alone.”
“I missed you too baby.”
Josh began to breathe again at the sound of Justin's sweet voice.
“Oh god Justin I thought I’d lost you. I thought I lost you. I couldn’t live without you.” JC littered his lovers face with kisses.”
“But you didn’t,” Justin breathed.
“Because of Josh. He saved you. Justin he’s me.”
Justin chuckled, his laugh turning into a coughing spree because of his broken ribs. “You shouldn’t drink during the day sweetness, either that or take more water with it.”
“I’m telling the truth Justin. He came back in time to save you. He has a ring.”
“I bought you a ring, Trace must have given it to him. He took them.”
Joey handed JC a ring box and he opened it. “It’s beautiful Justin. The inscription reads ‘This ring is like our love JC, never ending.”
Justin gasped, “but how ….?”
JC beckoned Josh to him. “Show him Josh,” he said softly.
Josh knelt by the still bound man’s side and took off his ring letting Justin see it.
“It’s not possible,” Justin gasped again, his eyes fixed on the platinum band. “JC?”
Josh nodded and began to weep. JC moved aside passing Justin to him. The younger man stared at the middle aged man claiming to be his lover’s older self.
“You are JC,” Justin breathed as recognition set in.
“I’m what he becomes without you. I god I’ve missed you so much. “Josh crushed his young lover to his chest and pressed his lips over Justin's, sighing as a familiar taste; a taste he had never forgotten filled his mouth.
“I never stopped loving you Justin. In thirty years I never stopped loving you.” Josh’s world suddenly spun and he grasped desperately to the man in his arms. “Justin,” he cried reaching out. His eye sight faded, and the world dimmed around him to darkness.