The Ties That Bind – Chapter 3

Chapter 3 – Everything’s Golden, Part 3

Aug 24, 2004 – Los Angeles, CA (North Beverly Park Suburb) – The Home of JT and Justin Poole-Tanner – Howard’s Guest Room

“I’m so glad to be back here,” Howard stated as he walked over to the closet and then placed the suitcase inside.

“Okay baby, is there something wrong?”  Chad asked as he and Howard moved over to the bed and then sat down.

“Did you notice how JT and Justin were acting when you got here?”  Howard asked as Chad shrugged his shoulders.  “I—I caused some trouble earlier with Joshua Charles and now I think it’s caused an issue between JT and Justin.”

“Did JT or Justin say something to you about it?”  Chad asked as Howard shook his head.  “If they didn’t say anything to you about it, then don’t worry about it.  You know JT and you know if he has a problem with something you’ve done, he’s going to tell you about it in his own dramatic fashion.”

“You have a point there,” Howard stated as he looked down.  “You know, since he married Justin, he’s been a bit mellowed out.  He—he doesn’t overreact to things like he used to.”

“I don’t think that’s Justin, I think that’s because he has a son now,” Chad stated with a small smile.  “He told me about what happened that night we met when Caleb almost drowned.  He told me that Caleb was so scared of him while he was raging that it almost took his son away from him.  So, he’s trying to do better with controlling his anger.”

“That’s a good thing,” Howard stated as he looked at Chad and then leaned in close and kissed his lips.  “I talked with him a bit earlier and he told me that Brett Hammond performed his and Justin’s wedding ceremony.  He gave me the information needed to contact Mr. Hammond and we can go from there.”

“Sweet,” Chad stated as he yawned and then stretched his arms.  “Are we going to bed or are we going to shower first?”

“Are you all dirty and grimy?”  Howard asked, leaning in as he teased Chad’s bottom lip.

“Not yet, but I’m sure I’ll be dirty in a few minutes, after I get my hands on you and we start having some fun,” Chad replied as he unzipped Howard’s pants.  “I think a shower sounds good right about now, if you join me of course.”

“Cool baby, let’s do it,” Howard stated, laughing as he and Chad removed their clothes quickly and then rushed into the bathroom, starting the water in the shower.

Down the Hall – JT and Justin’s Bedroom

“Are you done ignoring me?”  Justin asked as he sat down on the bed, kicked off his slippers, moved the covers back and then rolled over on the bed to face JT.  “If you’re done, I’d like to talk to my husband about our plans for the rest of the week.”

“What plans are you referring to Justin?”  JT asked as he looked down the bed at Justin.

“I’m referring to your two friends down the hall,” Justin replied with a sad look on his face.  “Are they really going to get married or is this just some—some quick fling that’s going to end badly?”

“What are you getting at Justin?”  JT asked.

“Wes and Todd told me about Chad’s history with other men,” Justin stated as he shook his head.  “They both think that Chad’s proposal to Howard was—was just his way of getting into bed with Howard.  Was that the case baby?”

“I don’t think that was the case and I don’t believe we should be discussing that,” JT stated as he glared at Justin.  “What’s going on between Chad and Howard isn’t our business.”

“Really, it’s not our business?  If it’s not our business, why are they here, in our home right now?”  Justin asked as he glared back at JT.  “We shouldn’t be privy to…”

“Why are you acting like a jerk Justin?”  JT asked as he folded his arms across his chest.  “Are you acting this way because I won’t talk about your friend Joshua?”

“No, I don’t want to be a part of your friend’s heartbreak scandal,” Justin stated as he shook his head.  “If he only proposed to Howard because he wanted a piece of ass, I want no part of that…”

“Chad proposed to Howard because he loves him,” JT stated as he turned his back to Justin.  “Hell, they had already had sex before Chad even asked to marry him.  Hell, they had sex on their third damn date.”

“They what?  I—I thought Howard was a prude and…” Justin stated as JT shook his head.

“Just shows what you know,” JT stated as he pulled the covers up and adjusted his pillows.  “I’m going to sleep now.  Good night Justin.”

“No baby, don’t go to sleep angry,” Justin stated as he moved up behind JT, rubbing his shoulders.  “I’m sorry about what I said.”

“I’m sure you are,” JT spoke as he made no move to acknowledge what Justin was doing.  “Good night Justin.”

“Baby,” Justin said as he slid his hand under the covers, manipulating JT’s manhood as JT moved his hand away.  “Come on baby, you’re stopping me from…”

“Go to sleep Justin, it’s almost two in the morning and one of us needs to be up before seven in the morning,” JT stated as he yawned.  “So, I’m going to bed, like you should too.”

“Fine, good night baby, I love you,” Justin said as he kissed JT’s neck and then laid his head on his pillow.

“Good night Justin,” JT stated as Justin lay there, waiting for JT to say more, but nothing more was said and then he heard snoring.

“Oh God, he didn’t say he loves me back,” Justin whispered as he rolled over in bed as the tears fell from his eyes.

Down the Hall – Josh’s Bedroom

Josh’s POV

Thank God, I’ve finished my resume.  With that taken care of, I wonder how long it’s going to take to find a job around this town.  This place is way bigger than what I expected and there are so many suburbs to keep track of.  I used to think Jacksonville was a big place, but this place is four or five times bigger than what I’m used to.  Hell, when I was in Jacksonville, I was used to living in Arlington and going to work on the Southside of town which was ten miles away.

Now that I’ve moved out here to LA, how will I ever get a hang of things?  We live in North Beverly Park and from what Justin told me, this is the ritzy area, where most of the celebrities live.  Had I known this before I decided to move out here, I might have changed my mind about coming here.  Am I really going to fit in around with a lot of celebrities?  I’m not a celebrity, I’m just some guy that’s biologically related to one.

“Alright, I got my resume finished and I have all of my reference letters ready to go out,” I said, looking at the computer screen, wondering if I needed to add more to my resume or not.

Hell, I’ve listed every damn job I’ve held over the last ten years.  Is that a good thing or should I leave a few of those off?  Then again, should I just lie, because I don’t think I’ll get a favorable decision for jobs with some of the things that took place at those telemarketing companies I worked for.  Being that we’re way over here on the west coast, would a job over here actually call the east coast, just to check my work history?  Hell, being that we’re in the ritzy area of LA, they just may.  Damn it, why is this so hard?  Maybe—maybe I should just wait awhile and see what I want to do.  I got my savings to use if I need spending money and I really don’t need to spend money on anything here.  I’ll sleep on it and then I’ll decide what I’m going to do later on.

A Few Hours Later – The Family Room

“Good morning Justin,” Chad spoke, walking into the room as he sat down on the sofa.  “Justin, are you okay?”

“I—I’m fine,” Justin replied, turning the page of the paper.

“Are you sure?”  Chad asked, moving closer to where Justin sat.  “JT’s not here and I—I noticed that you two hardly said anything to each other this morning at breakfast.  What’s going on with you two?”

“Nothing’s going on with us Chad and I’m sure we’re all right,” Justin stated, not moving his gaze from the paper.  “How are things going with you and Howard?”

“Things are great,” Chad replied with a smile.  “I’m so happy that we’re here, getting ready to take that…”

“Are you sure that’s what you want to do Chad?”  Justin asked as he put the paper down and looked over at Chad.  “Is marriage what you want or is Howard just a slowly passing phase in your life?”

“Excuse me,” Chad said as he looked at Justin strangely.

“Are you really going to marry Howard?”  Justin asked.

“Yes, I’m going to marry him.  I love him and my goal here is to marry him.  What in the hell is wrong with you Justin?”  Chad asked as he stood up quickly.  “Why in the hell are you asking me something like that?  Did—did Howard say he doesn’t want to marry me?  Did JT say something?  What—what’s going on here?”

“It—it’s nothing like that,” Justin said, quickly trying to diffuse the matter as he stood up.  “I—I asked because some people tend to rush into things and I’m just making sure you two aren’t rushing…”

“We’re not rushing into anything Justin,” Chad responded, watching Justin as he sniffled and then wiped at his eyes.  “What’s really going on here Justin?  Do you feel that you and JT rushed into things before you two were actually ready to be married?”

“This conversation has nothing to do with JT and…” Justin said as Chad shook his head, interrupting him before he could say more.

“Are you sure?  Why are you questioning me all of a sudden?  Are you the one that’s having second thoughts about marriage?”  Chad asked, looking over at Justin.  “I love Howard and I hope he loves me just as much as I love him.  I’m going to marry him and I don’t feel like I’m moving too fast to be tying the knot with the man that I love.  What happened Justin?  You don’t feel that love spark with JT anymore?  Is that it?  Has the love gone?”

“I already told you, this has nothing to do with JT and I,” Justin stated as he shook his head as Chad frowned and then shook his head, pointing his finger at Justin.

“No no no, there’s something going on here.  What’s the deal Justin?”  Chad asked, watching Justin like a hawk.

“What’s going on is I don’t want to see anyone get hurt here,” Justin stated, sighing as he ran a hand through his hair.  “I don’t want this house plagued with drama for anyone.”

“Well it seems like someone has gone ahead and created some already,” JT’s voice was heard as he walked into the room.  “What’s going on here you two?”

“No JT, what’s going on with you and your husband?”  Chad asked, walking past JT, heading out of the room as he glared at Justin.  “Talk to him, quickly.”

“Justin, what’s going on here?”  JT asked as he walked further into the room and then stood next to Justin.  “What’s gotten into you?”

“No baby, the question is, what’s gotten into you?”  Justin asked as he looked at JT strangely, his expression changing to a sad one.  “You’re the one that’s keeping secrets from me and—and you’re angry with me because I’m concerned about your friends’ actions.”

“No Justin, I’m not angry with you because of your concern, I’m mad because you’re not minding your own business,” JT stated, crossing his arms across his chest.  “Why are you so hell bent on making sure that Chad and Howard get married?  What’s going on here Justin?  You’re acting as if you don’t want them getting married or something.”

“I so definitely want them to get married,” Justin replied as JT looked at him strangely.

“If you want them to get married, why are you acting so…  Justin, what’s really going on here?”  JT asked, grabbing Justin’s hand and leading him over to the sofa as the two of them sat down and then JT pulled him into his lap.  “Talk to me here.  What’s going on husband of mine?”

“Baby,” Justin said, sighing as he closed his eyes, not looking at JT.

“What’s going on here Justin?”  JT asked as he turned Justin’s face to his and then kissed his lips.  “Why are you questioning Chad’s motives with Howard and what has you asking questions about their private lives?”

“I—I’m scared,” Justin replied, averting his eyes as JT had to physically turn his head back to face him.

“Justin, what are you scared of here?”  JT asked.

“I’m scared that you’ll get tired of me and give Chad the chance he wants… The chance he never got,” Justin spoke as he looked down with a frown on his face.  “Todd and Wes told me that he’s always loved you and that he always wanted…”

“Baby, I think someone has fed you the wrong information,” JT stated as he shook his head.  “Chad had his chance a long time ago, but he didn’t take it.  Chad always saw stereotypes more than he saw me.”

“Stereotypes,” Justin said as JT nodded his head.

“Chad was more concerned with the interracial aspect of things,” JT stated with a frown as he kissed Justin’s lips.  “Something you aren’t.”

“I see,” Justin responded as he and JT kissed again.  “What about what’s going on with you and Josh?”

“Why are you asking about him?”  JT asked as he turned his head away from Justin this time.

“Tell me baby,” Justin said, turning JT’s face back to his and kissing his lips quickly.  “Baby, tell me what…”

“No, I don’t want to tell you.  You want to know, tell Josh to tell you,” JT stated as he sighed.

“No baby, I’m asking you.  You’re my husband, he’s not.  I should hear whatever it is from you,” Justin stated with a pout.  “I don’t like it when my best friend and my husband are always fighting.  I would like to know why they can’t be in the same room together without trying to obliterate the other.”

“No, talk to Josh about that,” JT said as he shook his head.

“Baby…” Justin whined as JT flinched and then sighed.

“We fight because Josh is jealous of what we have, and he’s scared to be himself,” JT stated as Justin looked at him funny and then turned up his nose.

“He’s jealous and scared to be himself?  What are you talking about baby?”  Justin asked.

“He’s always been jealous of me,” JT stated with a frown.  “From day one, he’s always been—been an evil prick.  He couldn’t stand the fact that I was around and the others liked me being on the show.”

“I don’t think that’s true baby,” Justin said as JT shook his head.

“Justin, he’s always been pissed off that I’ve had the chances to get what I’ve wanted, and he couldn’t,” JT stated as Justin looked at him funny again.

“What is it that you have that he doesn’t?”  Justin asked.

“I have love with a man,” JT answered as Justin looked at him strangely and then got up out of his lap.

“Josh isn’t gay,” Justin stated as JT stood up.

“He may not be gay, but he is very much bisexual,” JT stated as he sighed and then scratched the side of his head.  “Josh has always been jealous of me and his jealousy started on the Mouse.”

“Oh, not that again,” Justin said, shaking his head.

“You should be saying that to Josh, not me,” JT stated as he turned around.  “If you don’t want to believe me, all you have to do is talk with Marc, Tony, Kevin, Blaine or Ricky.  They’ll tell you the truth about things.”

“I—I don’t think I’ll have to do that,” Justin stated as he looked down and then sighed.  “I—I already suspected that, but I don’t think I really wanted to believe it.”

“Why?”  JT asked.

“I overheard a bit of your conversation yesterday and plus I had seen some things in the past that I couldn’t quite explain.  After listening to what you said and putting the pieces together about the Liberace comment, things started to fall into place,” Justin answered with a frown on his face as he shook his head.  “Does Nikki know?”

“I don’t think so and it’s not our place to say anything to her about it,” JT stated with a frown.  “That’s his secret and even though he outed me, I am not going to out him to the person that loves him.”

“Yeah, it’s his secret baby, but she has a right…” Justin said as JT shook his head.

“No, if she finds out, it will be from him or someone else, not the two of us,” JT stated as he pointed at Justin.  “Are you okay now?”

“Yeah, I’m okay, I think,” Justin replied with a frown.  “I—I’m just scared that Chad… I’m scared that he was trying to make a play to get back to you, being that he’s here and—and this is the place that you two shared your lives for a bit of time.”

“Justin, you never have to worry about losing me to someone else,” JT declared as he moved closer to him and then rubbed his stomach, tickling him a bit.  “You married me and you’re stuck with me until the end of time.  It’s way too late for you to be changing your mind.  You already said ‘I do’ and you can’t go back on what you said.”

“I’m not planning on doing that,” Justin stated as he and JT kissed again as someone cleared their throat behind them.

“It seems someone has perfect timing,” Justin said as he turned around to see Josh standing there, watching them.  “Ah hi Josh, what’s up buddy?”

“I—I was wondering if I could borrow the car to…” Josh stated as JT shook his head and went back to snuggling with Justin.

“Baby,” Justin said as JT stopped.

“What are you asking for?”  JT asked as he maneuvered he and Justin around, so he could see Josh.

“I’m asking because it’s your car,” Josh stated as JT shook his head again and then waved his hand dismissively.  “What are you waving me off for?”

“You don’t have to ask to use a car,” JT stated as he looked at Josh.  “You know where the keys are and you have a driver’s license.  There’s no reason for you wasting time, trying to ask permission to use anything around here.  You’re a grown man, the cars are parked out back in the garage.  Grab the keys for the one you’re going to use and use it.  It’s really that simple bro.”

“I… Ah… Okay bro,” Josh replied as he smiled, waved and then walked out of the room.

“I’ll be glad when he mellows out,” JT stated as Justin looked at him and raised an eye.

“Mellows out?  Do you think that’s going to happen baby?”  Justin asked.  “You two got a lot to learn about each other.  I don’t think that’s just going to happen anytime soon.”

“Maybe, who knows,” JT stated as the sound of a throat clearing was heard again.  “Josh, what do… Oh, hey Howard, what’s up?”

“Is everything okay with you two?”  Howard asked, walking into the room.

“Yes, everything’s okay with the two of us,” Justin replied as Howard frowned a bit and then sighed as JT shook his head.

To Be Continued…