Why did he agree every year to this torture? He still saw Joe and Chris on a regular basis and couldn’t care less whether he saw other members of his former class.
Joe dropped by his side and hung his arm around his neck. “You want a beer?” he asked.
Justin shook his head and held up the half empty bottle that he had been intermittently swigging from all morning.
“He’s cute,” Joe said nudging Justin as a redheaded beta strutted past them, fluttering his eyelashes at the broody Alpha.
“Too short,” Justin mumbled into his beer.
“What is it with you? The Betas are either too tall, too short, too blond, too dark; eyes are the wrong colour, too dark or not blue enough. Get over it Justin. JC is gone. It’s been 12 years, he’s not coming back.”
Chris dropped down beside the two men. “He sulking again?” he asked Joe.
“Shouldn’t you be playing daddy,” Justin sniped at the stocky man. “I see Lance and his brats over there.”
Chris blanched. “Shit he’s not is he? Fuck I was hoping that he wouldn’t come this year.”
“How old is Frankie now Chris?” Joey asked, feigning innocence.
“You fucking know how old he is. He’s 11.” Chris flipped the top off of Joe’s hamper and stole a beer.
Justin snorted. “He drove JC away. I fucking hate him.”
“Frankie?” Joe asked confused.
“No Bass; fucking Lance Bass. If it hadn’t been for him JC wouldn’t have left.” Justin shoved Chris hard. “And you, you traitor … you fucking sleep with him on the same day that JC is driven away.”
“Hey don’t blame me. That fucking slut took advantage of me, I was drunk. I don’t even remember fucking him. If it wasn’t for the paternity tests confirming it, I would have sworn that Frankie wasn’t mine.”
“I see he’s pregnant again,” Joe said nodding towards the slightly rounded figure of the former Beta bitch.
“What’s that his sixth?” Justin asked bitchingly.
“Fifth and five different fathers. The fucking whore had the nerve to call JC a bike. The whole fucking country’s been in his ass,” Chris snipped.
A soccer ball landed just in front of them and Justin reached out and picked it up. A tall dark skinned boy with tight black curls came running over.
“Pardon Monsieur. I apologise for interrupting your picnic, could I please have my ball back.”
Justin held the ball out to him and the youth took it with a smile. “Merci Monsieur.”
“I don’t know him,” Justin observed as the youth ran back to the group of young alpha’s he was playing with.
“I’ve never seen him before either,” Joe said.
Chris stood up and gave a long high whistle and beckoned over a preteen boy that turned to look at him. The boy ran over to join his father.
“Hi dad, what you want?” he asked.
“Well first a hug would be nice and then you could tell me who that is.” He pointed at the young soccer player.
Frankie gave his dad a cuddle. “It’s Jamie. He moved here last week from France with his daddy. He’s fifteen I think at least he is in tenth grade. All the Betas think he is really hot and that accent is wild.”
Justin stood up and started walking towards the group of boys.
Chris started to follow him. “Justin?” he questioned.
Justin turned around and opened his mouth to say something then changed his mind. He turned back to where the boys were still playing, his eyes fixed on the dusky skinned youth.
“It’s Jamie,” he said explaining his behaviour. He turned back to face his childhood friends. “He’s back! JC is back.”
“You don’t know that Justin. Just because his name is Jamie, it means nothing. He might not be JC’s kid.” Chris said quietly stepping closer to his friend.
They stood watching the boy as he slapped hands with his team mates and then jogged over to where a couple sat on a blanket on the ground. Justin caught his breath as the boy got on his knees and hugged one of the men, a man with gold highlighted brunette curls and a slender frame.
The threesome got up and gathering their belongings walked away together chatting and laughing. Justin followed at a discreet distance till they got to their car and drove away. His heart was racing, JC was back and he had no idea of what to do about it.
Randy closed his eyes and swore softly under his breath as he saw his son start to follow the Chasez’s. He whispered quickly to Jonathan that he was just going for a walk then set off in pursuit. Randy hoped that this wouldn’t happen, that his oldest son would have got over the pale slender boy that left and broke his heart but from the look on Justin's face it was obvious that he hadn’t. He came up behind Justin.
“He’s been back nearly a month. Jamie is in Jonathan’s class at school.”
Justin chewed the inside of his mouth. “Why didn’t you tell me dad?”
“Roy asked me not to. He didn’t want anything to upset Joshua and make him go away again.” Randy placed a sympathetic hand on Justin's arm. “He’s not the same boy that was driven away son. He’s grown, hardened and he is fiercely protective of Jamie.”
“I have to see him dad; talk to him, explain what happened all those years ago. I never meant to hurt him. He just meant so much to me that I got carried away.”
Randy sighed. “You still love him don’t you? That’s why you have refused every beta that ever tried their luck with you.”
Justin gave his father a weak smile confirming what the older man had suspected for the past 12 years.
“They moved. Roy bought a house by the lake after his promotion. Joshua and Jamie have moved in with him until Josh can find a job.”
Justin turned his pleading eyes to meet his father’s steady gaze making the older man heave another heavy sigh. “Number 28. Justin …”
The shaven headed man paused briefly and then turned back and hugged his father. “I know dad. Don’t get my hopes up.” He kissed his father’s cheek and then strode over to his car.
“Jamie, come and have your supper,” JC stood at the foot of the stairs and shouted up to his teenage son.
“Je veux finir juste ce papa égal.”
“Now Jamie and speak in English.”
Roy stuck his head out of the kitchen. “It will take time for him to remember, don’t forget he grew up speaking French.”
“I know, but it’s better to break him of the habit now rather than later.”
Roy laughed. “When did you grow into such a wise young man?”
JC followed his dad back into the kitchen and sat down at the big oak table that was set for supper. “About the time you sent me away,” he said softly.
“I cried for weeks, putting you and Jamie on that plane was the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life,” Roy said regretfully.
“It saved my life daddy.”
The two men grasped hands and squeezed as they stared into each others eyes, their unspoken words saying volumes to each other. The moment was interrupted by the door bell ringing and the sound of a herd of elephants galloping down the stairs.
“Je’ll l'obtient papa.”
“English,” JC and Roy shouted out together then collapsed into fits of laughter.
“Papa, there is a man at the door asking to see JC.”
JC stopped laughing and looked to his father for support.
“You are not fifteen anymore Joshua. They can’t hurt you now.”
JC smiled and stood up. “Eat your supper Jamie this won’t take long.
Justin hovered outside number 28 Lakeside Avenue for over an hour before he plucked up enough courage to ring the door bell. As the door opened he held his breath and felt the beginnings of panic setting in.
Justin felt his knees start to buckle and he inwardly chastised himself for being such a whimp. He forced himself to smile at the dark skinned boy that stood waiting expectantly.
“It’s Jamie isn’t it?” he said feeling slightly stupid.
“Oui monsieur, do you wish to speak with my grandfather?” Jamie’s thick French accent rolled off his tongue like butter off a hot knife.
Justin stuttered. “You, you don’t remember me do you?”
The teenager gave him a quizzical sideways look and said. “I am sorry monsieur but I don’t recall your face.”
Justin chuckled under his breath at the boy’s impeccable politeness. “There’s no reason why you should. You were a baby when I last saw you.” Justin shuffled nervously. “Is JC, I mean your father?”
“Oui, I shall get him for you.”
Justin turned his back on the door and took deep breaths as he tried to steady his nerves, the seconds dragged like hours and then JC’s melodious voice, exactly as he remembered it floated through the air.
“May I help you sir?” JC like Jamie had developed a thick French accent from the years of living in France with his grandparents.
Justin spun around and gasped, tears filling his eyes. “Jace,” he breathed. “oh god Jace!” he moved trance like and tried to take the thinner man in his arms, desperate to hold him once more but JC stepped back holding his hands up defensively.
Justin dropped his arms down to his sides and met the steel blue of JC’s eyes. “You don’t recognise me?” he said dejectedly.
Justin gave a tiny smile. “You haven’t changed at all. You are still beautiful.”
“And I’m still not going to fuck you,” JC snapped.
“Papa, est tout bien?” Jamie stood in the open doorway just behind his father.
“Oui mon cher, aller manger votre souper.” JC replied.
“Wow you speak French! It is French isn’t it?” Justin said genuinely impressed. “And for the record, fucking you was never on my agenda. Not back then and not now. I just missed you that’s all. I’m sorry I bothered you.”
He turned and started to walk away down the garden path and back towards the lay-by where he had parked his jeep.
“Wait!” JC ran down the drive after him, his bare feet making no sound on the gravely path. “I’m sorry okay. I was surprised to see you, that’s all. “
Justin took JC’s slender hand in his, lifted it to his lips and placed a gentle kiss on his palm. “It’s good to see you again JC.” Unable to resist Justin stroked down the side of JC’s face and sighed. “Goodnight he softly; then he left.
JC watched him go and his heart somersaulted. “Goodnight,” he breathed in a hushed whisper and then watched until the headlights of Justin's car faded into the distance.
As reunions went, that could defiantly have gone better, Justin thought as he drove back towards town. Obviously JC was still defensive and would need time to build up trust again. Justin started to formulate a plan. The first thing he needed to do was get Jamie on side and to do that he would need to spend time with the boy. So he went back to high school much to the delight of the faculty. For years Chris had begged him to volunteer his services to the football team and become the much needed but unaffordable second coach. As he read out the team he smirked smugly to himself as he read out, “Chasez, Jamie, quarterback.” And then watched the glee of the young French boy who whooped happily and slapped hands with Jonathan who also made the team.
The second part of Justin's plan was to ignore JC as much as he could but still be everywhere the beautiful Beta turned. After weeks of avoiding interacting with JC Justin was now ready to make his move.
JC pushed his trolley down the health and beauty aisle looking for the face cleanser he had got used to using over the years. He knew finding it was a long shot and was already kitted out with the name of a substitute just in case. After scouring the shelf for ten minutes he grunted his disappointment and reached out for the substitute bottle. His hand bumped against another and he withdrew it quickly. Looking up he clashed gazes with the brightest blue eyes he had ever seen, then blushed as he realised that they belonged to Justin.
“It’s the last one,” Justin pointed out. “You take it.”
“It’s alright; it’s not my usual brand. I can try something else.”
Justin picked up the bottle and dropped it into his basket. “Thanks.” He started pushing his trolley away.
“Would you like to have a coffee,” JC blurted out and then flushed crimson when Justin turned to face him again. “That’s if you don’t have something better to do.”
“I’d like that,” Justin said smirking.
“You never said goodbye.”
JC lowered his eyes in shame. It was the one thing he really regretted over the past years. “Every thing was organised the night of the picnic. My flight was in the early hours of the morning. I think dad wanted to get me out of the country before I changed my mind.”
“You could have written or phoned.”
Again JC looked ashamed of himself and concentrated on stirring in the whipped cream that floated on top of his coffee. “It was decided that I needed a clean break. I wasn’t allowed to take my phone book with me.” JC laughed. “Not that there was anyone besides you in there. It just made me feel good having it.”
“So what was France like?” Justin asked, stirring absentmindedly at his own coffee.
“It was beautiful. I lived in St Jean-De-Luz. It’s a fishing port on the west coast and not far from the Spanish border. It was an ideal place for Jamie to grow up.”
Justin reached over the table and rested his hand on top of JC’s. “You must have been very happy there.”
JC smiled as he recalled his time in the lively cosmopolitan town. “I was. Grand-pčre and pépé welcomed me and Jamie with open arms as did their friends. School became a joy and I even had a job, it was only barman in one of the local bars but I loved it.”
“I bet it was the most popular bar in the whole town because it surely had the most beautiful bar staff.”
JC blushed and looked up through his long lashes. “I have to go. It’s almost time for Jamie to come home from school.”
Both men stood up and Justin picked up the bill. “Can I see you again?” he asked shyly.
JC chewed on his bottom lip, diverting his gaze to a group of boys down the road. After a long pause he replied, “There is a movie I’d like to see.”
Justin's face lit up. “Tomorrow night?”
The brunette beta nodded and gave a gentle sloping smile that made Justin's heart sing. He reached out taking JC’s hand “I’ll pick you up at eight then.”
True to his word Justin picked JC up at eight the following night and they drove in his jeep to the cinema complex. JC argued black and blue that he was able to pay for his own ticket then conceded graciously when Justin plied him with so much flattery that he almost became embarrassed.
They sat mid way up the auditorium barely acknowledging each other was there. JC’s attention was riveted to the screen and Justin's attention was riveted on JC. Half way through the film JC glanced in Justin's direction and caught him staring. He smiled and reached out offering his hand to hold and Justin took it gratefully. By the end of the movie JC had tears running down his face and as the lights came up he hurried to hide them.
His face flushed when Justin wiped them away with a tissue. “You tricked me,” he pointed out laughing when JC looked confused. “You took me to a Beta movie.”
“Well I figured it was about time you saw what a sensitive movie looked like rather that the Alpha crap you usually go to see.”
“Ouch!” Justin said grasping his hand over his heart. “How harsh your words are. They stabbed me through the heart.” He pretended to stagger against the wall and JC giggled lightly.
“Fool,” he laughed.
Justin lifted himself to full height and squeezed JC’s finger between his, looking into the swirling blue depths of his eyes.
“Only for you,” he breathed softly.
They gazed at each other for a long time and then JC sighed. “It’s getting late. I should go home,” he said regretfully.
Justin heaved a sigh too. “And me. I have work early tomorrow.”
They drove back to JC’s home on lakeside in silence.
“Goodnight,” JC whispered as he got out the car. “Thank you for a lovely evening.”
“My pleasure,” Justin answered softly as again they parted with only a long lingering touch and a promise that Justin would call.
JC yawned and rolled over. He had been having a wonderful dream, one where he and Justin was a couple and they had a shared child. He yawned again sleepily and crawled reluctantly out of bed. He wrapped his robe around his youthfully thin body and padded softly down the hallway to his son’s room.
“Jamie sweetheart, it’s 6, you need to get up.”
The teenager groaned and peered out from under his blankets. “I’ll be down after I have a shower papa.”
JC smiled to himself and made a mental note to call his lazy son again in ten minutes. Resisting the urge to go back to bed JC stepped softly down the stairs and went into the kitchen. Jamie was like him in respect that until the teen had drank his first cup of coffee he couldn’t really function. JC changed the filter in the coffee machine and filled up the water before plugging it in. he went to drop the soiled filter into the garbage and sighed when he realised it was full.
“Jamie,” he cussed under his breath, and yanked the full bag free. He opened the front door and stopped in complete shock.
The whole of his front porch had been covered in blood red roses. There were thousands of stems, some in vases, some in bouquets tied up in ribbons and some just spread loosely around over the floor, table and chairs.
Jamie poked his head out of the door. “Papa I have run out of shower gel. Baise sainte! Did a florist explode on our porch?”
JC stood stunned for a minute and then slapped Jamie over the back of the head. “Baise sainte still means holy fuck whether you say it in French or English and it’s still swearing,” he chastised.
“Owww papa that hurt.” Jamie complained rubbing his head.
“Good! There is a new bottle of gel in the pantry.” JC turned his attention back to the blooms and smiled. It had to be Justin's doing. Slowly he bent down and picked up one of the long stems carefully so that he didn’t prick himself and breathed in the sweet scent.
The rich perfume made him feel light headed for a second and he looked around, making sure Jamie had gone back in side before giggling like a little school boy. He gathered up all the loose stems and carried them inside; opting for the sink until he could find a vase big enough, and then he went back and gathered the rest. He had just placed the last vase on his piano when the phone rang.
“Did you like your surprise?”
“It was a tad over the top,” JC said coolly.
On the end of the phone Justin chuckled. “You looked like you liked it.”
That caught JC’s attention. “You were watching me?”
Justin's southern accent was smooth as silk. “Of course I was watching you sugar. I wanted to see your pretty face when you opened the door.”
“You are crazy.”
Justin chuckled again softly. “Only for you JC. Have dinner with me, tonight.”
JC shook his head. “I can’t,” he whispered.
“Why can’t you?” Justin asked persistently.
“Because,” JC replied.
“That’s not a good reason JC. Have dinner with me?”
“Justin, I really can’t.”
“Have dinner with me?”
JC gave a tiny groan. “I can’t.” Justin was persistent if nothing else.
“I’ll pick you up at eight.” The phone went dead and JC swore loudly then yelped as his father slapped him on the back of his head.
“Just because it was in French doesn’t mean that it wasn’t swearing Joshua,” Roy snapped chastising his son.
Justin was a bundle of nerves. He jumped up and down on the side line watching the boys practicing there tackling techniques. He paid careful attention to the way that Jonathan and Jamie interacted together. For two alphas they were awfully touchy-feely. He pushed the feeling to the back of his mind and shouted at the team to hit the showers.
The only thing on his mind now was his date. He had booked the most expensive restaurant in town and had to cash in on quite a few favours too just to get in the door. He rubbed his hair dry and sprayed antiperspirant under his arms before putting on his shirt. He stood and looked at his reflection in the closet mirror. “You look fabulous JT, he won’t be able to resist you.” he told himself.
He picked up a rose bud and pinned it to his lapel and then retrieved the corsage he had purchased from the fridge.
“Wow honey, you look fantastic,” Randy oozed as he came into the kitchen with the dirty plates from dinner. “You got a hot date?”
Justin rolled his eyes. “No I’m going out with Chris and Joey. We are going to play a little one on one.”
“Sarcasm doesn’t become you sweetie, remember that. So really you have a hot date?”
“So hot,” Justin said smugly. “That I have to be careful he doesn’t singe my hair.”
“Oh my god you are going out with JC!” Randy exclaimed suddenly as he understood what was happening. “Baby be careful. I love JC really I do, but he really isn’t as stable as you think he is. His daddy told me a lot of what he went through and it affected him deeper that you could possibly know.”
“”I’m taking it slow dad. I won’t rush him because I don’t want to loose him again.
“Well I’ll just have to trust you on that. So where are you taking him?”
Justin was almost mesmerised by the beauty that opened the door to him and stuttered foolishly, not able to form his words until JC shook him out of his stupor by asking if he was choking and did he need a drink of water.
The tall brunette was wearing a pair of black pants with a shocking pink shirt that did up with press studs and fitted tightly into his waist. Eight triple pinstripe lines ran from the front of the shoulder and graduated in length till they ran down to the hemline of his shirt. He had topped the whole effect off by adding a plain black jacket and pulling his thick curls back off his face, tucking them behind his ears.
JC blushed prettily as Justin pinned his corsage to his jacket and then rolled his eyes when the shaven headed man kissed his hand.
“You look fabulous,” Justin breathed.
“JC flushed again. “Thank you. You look good too.”
Justin took JC’s hand and led him down to his jeep opening the door for him. The hair on the back of his neck stood on end and he glanced back at the house, seeing Roy and Jamie standing in the doorway glaring in his direction.
“Are they alright with you going on a date?” Justin asked nervously.
“They worry about me that’s all.”
Justin swallowed hard and waved at the two watchers and whispered through clenched teeth. “Why do I have the feeling that if looks could kill I’d be hearing the final rights right now?”
“Probably because Jamie said that if you hurt me he’ll kill you.”
Justin swallowed again and got in the jeep beside his date. “Oh nice; and I suppose you agreed with him.”
“No, I told him that I trusted you.”
Justin met JC’s eyes. “You trust me?” he whispered. “I want you to trust me Jace. I wanted you to trust me twelve years ago.”
“I did what was best for me and Jamie at the time,” JC said sorrowfully. “By the time I was on the plane I realised that you wasn’t trying to take advantage of me and that you wasn’t like the others. But by then it was too late and there was no going back.”
Justin started the jeep. “We can’t change the past JC but we can build on the foundations if you want to.”
JC ran his fingers over Justin's stubbly chin. “We can try,” he said sincerely.
The restaurant was bustling when they arrived and JC’s eyes widened in awe as he realised that this was actually where they were going to eat.
“How did you get a table here at such short notice?” he gasped as the waiter held the seat out for hi to sit down.
“It was no big deal,” Justin said cockily. It was in fact a really big deal and he had called in a lot of favours to get it and still owed a lot of favours in return. “Joe is manager here.”
“Of this place! I had no idea.” JC was very impressed. He had always liked the big Italian and Joe had always been very kind to him.
“Your wine sir,” a waiter said pouring a glass for Justin to try. Justin took a sip and swirled it around his mouth before swallowing it.
“Excellent, he said and the waiter filled JC’s glass before refilling Justin's.
“French, a Cabernet Sauvignon, nice choice,” JC observed smiling.
“I thought it would make you feel at home.”
JC gave a brief laugh and sipped at the ruby liquid. “It does even though an Italian wine would probably have been more appropriate being as we are in an Italian restaurant.”
Justin sipped his wine. “You weren’t supposed to notice that.”
“Oh, “JC replied faking understanding. “I love French food,” he said getting into the pretence of the game. “In that case I will have les moules dans le vin et l'ail blanc.”
“Ummmm good choice. And I will have the frog’s legs in garlic butter.”
The waiter, who had joined the table just in time to hear the conversation coughed politely. “I’m sorry sirs; those items are not on our menu.”
The two men laughed lightly. “I would like the Cannelloni with chicken and tomato,” Justin said reassuring the waiter that he did indeed have the correct menu.
“And I would like the pasta and seafood salad please,” JC said smiling. “And could you please bring me a bottle of La Guardiense Statua Bianco.”
“You are so confidante with the pronunciation, you make me feel inadequate.”
“I … I never meant to do that,” Joshua stuttered.
“It’s okay Jace, really. I know you didn’t. You know a lot about wine.”
JC gave a half smile. “My grandparents are real wine connoisseurs. They taught me everything they know about grapes and wine. What makes a good wine and what makes a bad one.”
The waiter placed their meals in front of them and moved on to the next table.
“It looks good,” Justin observed. He lifted his glass. “To old friends.”
“Don’t you mean to new beginnings?” JC asked hopefully.
“Yeah; to new beginnings.”
They made small talk throughout the meal and dessert, talking about everything that they had both been up to over the past twelve years. JC talked in depth and with complete adoration of his time in France. Justin listened with fascination as JC described the jazz festival that took place annually in St Jean de Luz, and how the streets were flooded with confetti but when you got up in the morning not one flake of the coloured paper remained as evidence.
Before they realised it they were the only ones left in the restaurant. Reluctantly Justin paid the bill and they left hand in hand, leaving Justin's jeep parked in the restaurant’s parking lot and walking home.
When they reached the house JC let Justin's hand fall from his grasp. “I should go in.”
Justin sighed. “Yeah before they come out with the shotguns.”
JC laughed. “I had a lovely night Justin, thank you.”
“Does that mean that you will go out with me again?”
JC blushed. “Maybe,” he said playfully.
“Only maybe?” Justin asked feigning hurt.
“Probably,” JC added.
“Probably?” Justin asked adding a tremble to his voice for effect.
“Defiantly, JC said softly. He leaned in quickly and gave Justin a peck on the cheek. “Goodnight Justin.”
Justin walked home in a dream, his cheek still burning from the touch of JC’s sweet lips.
As he rounded the corner he saw his front door open and Jamie came out. The young French boy stepped off the porch then turned laughing. Jonathan stepped into view and the two boys embraced and then kissed. Not a friendly kiss but a long drawn out passion filled kiss.
Justin's jaw twitched as he watched from the shadows. He felt confused and repulsed, the two boys were Alphas. Alphas didn’t date other Alphas. It was wrong, immoral. His stomach churned as the boys kissed again, their hands joined.
Not wanting to confront the boys Justin stomped down the road. He had to think.
Jamie crept into the house, not turning on the light. He had just put his foot on the bottom step when his daddy’s voice sounded in the darkness.
“You are late.”
Jamie winced at the tone and slunk guiltily into the lounge where his daddy was laying on the couch waiting for him to come home.
“Your curfew was 11 Jamie. It’s 12.30.”
“I’m sorry papa, we forgot the time.” Jamie hung his head sorrowfully. He really wasn’t a bad boy and really had lost track of time.
“Where were you?” JC asked.
Jamie came all the way onto the room and sat at the bottom of the couch. “Jonathan’s. We watched a movie and had pizza.”
“You spend a lot of time with Jonathan.”
“Well he’s my best friend papa.”
JC nodded understandingly. “You like him a lot?”
Jamie never answered.
“I asked you a question darling. Is there something you are not telling me?” JC placed his feet on the floor so that he could move closer to his son.
“I think I already know my darling, but I need to hear it from you.”
Jamie hid his face in his hands. “I love him,” he whispered. “I know it’s wrong and I tried not to, really I did, but I love him and he loves me.”
JC pulled Jamie’s curly head to his chest. “It will be alright my angel.”
“Will it papa? Will it really be alright?” Jamie looked up his chocolate eyes brimming with un-spilt tears.
“It will be hard Jamie I’m not going to lie to you. Alphas do not love other Alphas, and because of that you are opening yourself up to all sorts of ridicule and that hurts.” JC hugged his son to him. “I know what its like to be on the outside and I don’t want that for you but if you are sure, really sure I will support you and accept your choice.”
Jamie released the fear he had been holding on to and buried his face in his father’s chest. “Je vous aime le papa.”
“Et je vous aime aussi l'ange. It’s late; go to bed.”
Jamie kissed JC’s cheek. “Goodnight papa.”
JC watched his son until he was out of sight, then he listened to his soft footfalls on the stair and upper landing. When he heard Jamie’s bedroom door shut he hid his face in his hands and cried.
Justin never slept a wink. Every time he closed his eyes he saw Jamie and Jonathan kissing again. He threw his alarm clock across the room and got out of bed. He could hear his father joking good naturedly with his brother downstairs and he slinked sulkily into the kitchen and sat at the breakfast bar.
“Well good morning sunshine,” Randy said sarcastically. “Date not as hot as you expected?”
Justin scowled at his brother. “The date was fine,” he snapped. “I just saw something that turned my stomach when I got home.”
Jonathan gulped and went white. His eyes met his older brother’s and he shook his head pleadingly, his mouth uttering a silent no.
Justin poured his cereal into his bowl and splashed ice cold milk over it. He took a spoonful and glared at his brother as he chewed.
Randy watched the interaction curiously. In all the time Jonathan had been born, never had Justin been as hostile as he was being now. The older man always doted on his little brother.
“What is going on,” he demanded.
Justin snorted and filled his mouth again with applejacks.
Jonathan’s eyes filled with tears and he faced his father, his mouth trembling. “Daddy don’t hate me,” he begged.
Randy felt the beginnings of panic; something really bad must of happened for his youngest son to be so scared and his oldest son to be so angry.
“Why would I hate you Jonathan? What have you done?”
“Please … I can’t,” Jonathan wiped frantically at the tears starting to spill down his face.
“Tell him,” Justin demanded. “Tell him or I will.”
Jonathan sobbed loudly. “I’m seeing someone … a boyfriend.”
Randy gave a relieved sigh. “Oh my you scared me. I thought it was something terrible.”
“It’s Jamie dad,” Justin shouted angrily. “Jamie Chasez. He’s a fucking Alpha; Jonathan is going out with a fucking Alpha!”
Justin got up and threw his dish into the sink, smashing it. “A fucking Alpha Jon? What the hell are you thinking?”
Randy slumped down in a chair unable to grasp what was happening.
“What is so bad about me loving Jamie? We are all male … all one sex.” Jonathan advanced on Justin grabbing his arm.
“No we are not!” Justin screamed back shoving Jonathan away. “We are Alphas and Betas. Alpha males date Betas. You don’t fuck with your own kind.”
Randy rubbed his eyes and jumped up pushing between his two sons before they came to blows. “Stop it,” He yelled. “Stop it now.”
He hid his face once more as he composed himself. “Go to work Justin.”
Justin glared at his father. “How can I go to work with this hanging over us?”
Randy grabbed Justin by his arm and dragged him to the door. “Go to work Justin please. I’ll deal with this.”
Justin glared at his brother once more then stormed out grabbing his coat as he went and slamming the front door behind him.
Jamie couldn’t take his eyes off his father the next morning. The slim brunette looked as if he had been awake all night crying and Jamie knew it was because of what he had confessed.
Roy placed a plate of croissants and preserves in front of him and nudged him. “Eat your breakfast.”
A lump formed in his throat and he looked up, catching his father’s eye. “I’ve hurt you,” he said his voice trembling.
JC shook his head. “No angel you haven’t hurt me. I just … I don’t want you to go through what I went through. I don’t want you to have to run away and hide.”
Roy stood silently listening. This was between JC and his son and much as he wanted he couldn’t interfere.
“I love him papa.”
JC swallowed the lump that was blocking his throat. “I know you do darling. I’ll have to talk to Randy; we will have to sort this out before it gets out of hand.”
“I’ll talk to him.”
JC looked gratefully at his father. “Jamie is my son, it should be me.”
“And Randy is my best friend. This time let me handle it for you.” Roy gave a forced smile. “Don’t be worried. It will work out. Now Jamie get off to school and Joshua get into the shower. Your interview is in an hour and you look like hell.”
“Justin is furious.”
Randy didn’t mince his words as soon as Roy stepped inside the house he came straight to the point.
“Joshua cried all night but he supports Jamie in his chosen lifestyle. He wanted to come and talk to you but I told him that I would.” Roy accepted the cup of coffee that Randy offered him.
“I can’t say that I’m happy Roy. Alphas do not have relationships with other alphas. It’s just not done. But saying that Jonathan is my baby boy, who am I to deny him his happiness?”
“Of course Jonathan and Jamie are not the only problem. Joshua was really beginning to fall in love with Justin. This could drive a wedge between them.”
Randy put down his cup and picked up a biscuit. “I have thought about that too. Justin has loved Joshua since he first met him but he is a stubborn son of a bitch, he gets it from his father. Somehow we have to change Justin's mind but how I have no idea. I don’t know any other Alpha couples.”
“I do,” Roy said sheepishly. “My father and his partner; Jamie grew up in their household. I guess to him it seemed natural. Joshua tells me that it’s quite a frequent occurrence in Europe. His best friend in St Jean de Luz was living with another Beta. Nobody cared, Jamie thought it would be the same here.”
“You have two Alphas as parents!” Randy gasped in surprise. “But how … I mean, is that even possible?”
Roy laughed. “Only my father is in the relationship, my birth father died about 20 years ago. Pops never thought he would ever love another man and he didn’t until he met Marcelle. He was taking a break in Paris and they met on the Champs Elysees. Marcelle was a street artist; pops said it was love at first sight.”
“I’m home; did you get Jonathan sorted out?” Justin stopped as he caught sight of Roy sitting opposite his father at the breakfast bar.
“I’m just leaving,” Roy said standing up. “Just think about what I said Randy. Is it really so bad that the boys are in love?”
Justin snorted back a laugh. “It’s disgusting.”
Roy shrugged his shoulders and met the irate man’s eye. “Is it really? Do you think that they make love any differently to you or me? All of us Alphas and Betas, we still have the same hole when you come down to basics and most couples share penetration at one time or another. The only difference is that neither Jamie nor Jonathan can conceive and at their ages maybe that is a good thing.”
Roy turned and smiled at his friend of the past 13 years. “I’ll phone you later.”
“Okay,” Randy replied as he walked Roy out of the door.
The persistent sound of ringing penetrated the underwater thickness of the shower. JC swore and grabbed the nearest towel, ran out of the shower and shouted down the stairs for someone to get the phone. When he got no answer he galloped down the stairs snatching the receiver from the cradle.
“Hello,” he panted.
A few seconds passed before a voice said “it’s me.”
JC sat down on the small phone stool and leaned his head back against the wall. “If you are going to yell at me again and tell me what a corrupt deviant my son is then you can get lost. If I can accept them you can.”
“I shouldn’t have taken it out on you.”
“No you shouldn’t have but you did and right now Justin I don’t like you very much.” There was a prolonged silence and then JC said, “I’m in the middle of taking a shower right now but we need to talk.”
“Will you meet me at Peta’s?” Justin asked hopefully.
JC closed his eyes. Deep down he was afraid to face his boyfriend again. Afraid that one more fight might be the one that breaks them apart forever.
“Give me an hour,” he breathed softly into the phone then he hung up. He took a deep breath and then went back upstairs to finish his shower.
Peta’s was half empty when JC arrived, the dinner rush having already abated. He saw Justin sitting in a side booth and crossed the diner and joined him, sliding into the booth opposite him.
Justin took a deep breath. “I thought you had changed your mind.”
“I got held up, sorry.” JC rubbed his hand over his hair, smoothing it back into place from where it had been ruffled by the wind that had began to build up outside.
The two sat in silence not even looking at each other, not knowing what either one of them was doing there.
“Can I take your order sir?”
“Fuck! No, no you fucking can’t. I want another waiter, preferably one that hasn’t fucked the whole town.” Justin slapped his menu on to the table and glared at Lance Bass.
The blond was momentarily stunned and then his face flushed with humiliation, his mouth moving but his words refusing to come out.
“I’ll take the Cajun chicken sandwich with sweet corn relish and fries please.” JC folded his menu up and handed it back to Lance. “He’ll have cheeseburger, fries and onion rings.”
Lance gulped and lowered his eyes embarrassed that the boy that he had driven out of town nearly thirteen years earlier was showing him respect.
“Can I get you some drinks sir?” he asked meekly.
“I’ll just take a light coke, with ice and lemon please,” JC said smiling.
Justin cussed under his breath. “Beer,” he snapped.
“He means a beer please, “JC said correcting Justin's attitude. As soon as Lance left to fill their order JC glared at Justin. “That was rude.”
“I don’t like him,” Justin said angrily and scowled as Lance returned with the drinks.
The two ignored each other again until the food arrived.
JC unfolded his napkin and laid it over his knees then sighed. “This is stupid Justin. Did you just ask me here to ignore me or did you want to talk to me?”
The words were so quiet that JC almost missed them. “You’re sorry? That’s all you can say you are sorry?” JC stood up and tossed twenty dollars on the table.
“JC please don’t go.”
“Why? Why shouldn’t I walk out of here right now? You think that you can say what you did and just expect a sorry will make it all better?” JC’s voice got higher and louder with each word he spoke. “Well sorry isn’t good enough this time.”
Justin stood up and grasped JC’s hand stopping him from leaving. He knew he had gone too far.
He had gone around to see JC and to try and pursued him to make Jamie stop seeing Jonathan but JC sided with his son and refused point blank to get involved.
JC not supporting him had made Justin livid and the words had fallen out of his mouth before he could stop them.
“Just keep your half breed bastard away from my brother.”
The venom he said it with shocked even himself and he had reached out to take JC in his arms, trying to take it back but the damage had been done. He could still feel the print of JC’s hand burning on his cheek and the fury that the slim brunette possessed as he threw him out.
“Please JC. I don’t know what to do. I never meant what I said. I was just so angry and confused. Please JC don’t go. I couldn’t bear to loose you again.”
The words penetrated JC’s angry haze and he slumped down into his chair. “I’m not sure I can forgive you,” he muttered.
“Please try.” Justin had never begged in his life but if that was what it was going to take to get JC back in his life than that is what he would do.
“Your burger is getting cold.”
Justin sat down opposite JC once more and reached across the table covering the brunettes hand with his own.
“I love you,” he breathed.
A tear rolled down JC’s cheek as he sat silently staring into the distance. He never returned the declaration of love but he never pulled his hand away either.