[personal profile] something_rare
Title: After All (Sequel to Can't Let You Go) - Chapter Thirteen
Rating: R
Pairings: Adam Lambert/Kris Allen
Disclaimer: This story is a work of fiction. The characters and events portrayed are fictitious, and any resemblance to real people or events is purely coincidental.
Note: A huge thank you to [info]bigj52. Thank you for being an amazing beta. I feel guilty for the amount of work I put you through with each story.





Chapter Thirteen

Once the car was firmly planted in the parking lot of the lawyer’s office, Kris finally looked over at Brian and wasn’t surprised to see him looking right back at him. His face was stone cold. He didn’t look too happy about the whole situation, which just infuriated Kris even more. It was a bad situation all the way around and unfortunately for Kris, he needed to set it straight. It had already gone too far as it was and he had no one to blame but himself.
 
The look in Brian’s eyes made him momentarily lose his train of thought. He was making him nervous just by his intense stare. Doing his best to smile, Kris’s heart pounded rapidly against his chest. Despite his stone-faced look, Brian looked hurt. Kris could see it in his eyes.
 
He could feel it in his heart.
 
His hand went up and touched Brian’s cheek softly. He really did love Brian; he just didn’t love him the way he deserved to be loved. To some extent, there would always be a part of him that loved Brian. He was his first boyfriend, his first lover and his first husband, but that was as far as it went. He wasn’t in love with him and he hadn’t been in a long, long time.
 
Kris closed his eyes, still feeling the roughness of Brian’s unshaven face beneath his fingertips. He let himself go back in time, remembering what he could of their once undying love for each other. Just by the time that had passed, it was hard to remember the memories. It was a long time ago. Too long ago and sadly, the memories had faded.
 
Brian may have looked like the same man he’d fallen in love with all those years ago, but at the same time, he wasn’t the same man. He was only a young man then…a boy really, but he wasn’t the same. His hair hadn’t really changed; it was still sandy brown, short and spiky. Besides the new wrinkles, his eyes hadn’t really changed either. They were still the same shade of brown, but they didn’t twinkle like they once had. The spark was gone and no matter how hard they had tried or would continue to try, the spark wasn’t going to come back.
 
Surprised by the feel of Brian’s lips pressing against his fingertips, he opened his eyes. “Can I ask you something?” he whispered, almost afraid to speak.
 
“You’re talking to me again?”
 
Kris shrugged, unable to find the words.
 
“Sure,” he whispered back.
 
Kris swallowed down the lump in his throat and willed himself to continue. He needed to do what he was going to do. “Are you happy?”
 
Brian simply shrugged his shoulders.
 
Kris let his hand fall from Brian’s face and placed it in his lap. Out of the corner of his eyes, he noticed his mother’s car parked in the far corner of the parking lot, just like she’d promised. And for some strange reason, it made Kris feel safe, giving him the encouragement he needed to do what he was about to do. “Brian, you and I both know that no matter how hard we keep trying, this isn’t going to work.”
 
Brian’s body tensed as Kris sat up straighter in his seat.
 
“Us,” he clarified. “We aren’t going to work.”
 
Brian’s gaze shifted from Kris as he stared blankly towards the front of the car.
 
“I love you, I really do,” he whispered hoarsely. “But I love you as a friend and nothing more.” Kris took a deep breath and turned his gaze towards the dashboard as well. “I’m sorry, but I’m not in love with you anymore.”
 
Brian’s head slowly turned to him.
 
“And even if I’d  never gotten married again, I would still feel the same way.”
 
“I don’t believe that for one second,” he stated dryly.
 
“You need to,” Kris confirmed, looking back towards him. “Because it’s the truth.”
 
Brian turned his head away from him. “Is the sex so good with him that you’d give this up?”
 
“Brian,” Kris whispered, placing his hand on Brian’s leg. “This isn’t about sex, it’s about the way I feel and I’m sorry, but I’m not the person for you. You deserve someone who’s going to love you.” Instantly, he could see Brian’s body tensing with every word he spoke. As much as this was hurting Brian, continuing to lie would hurt him worse. He needed to hear the truth. “You and I have both changed in the last almost five years, you can’t deny that.”
 
“If it wasn’t for Adam, this conversation wouldn’t even be taking place,” he huffed, turning to face Kris.
 
“You don’t know that.”
 
“Like hell I don’t,” he spat, blood rushing to his face. “You waited for me for almost four fucking years, Kris. Do you even realize that? Four years!”
 
Kris swallowed hard. Brian was right about him waiting, but even if Adam hadn’t come into the picture, he doubted that things would’ve turned out differently, although he couldn’t really be sure.
 
“You love me, Kris,” Brian said, lowering his voice. “You would never have waited if you didn’t love me. Can’t you see that?”
 
Looking over at him, Kris willed himself not to break down. He needed to be strong if he wanted to put an end to it. “I was in love with what we had, Brian. You were my first true love and more than anything, I didn’t want to let that go so I didn’t and now I realize that maybe that was a mistake for me to stop living, because in a sense, that’s what I did.”
 
“We can get that back,” Brian gasped, reaching out to touch Kris’s face. “We can get that back if we try.”
 
Kris shook his head. Even if he was right, it wasn’t something he wanted to get back. “Brian,” he whispered, grabbing hold of the hand that was on his face. “You and I have both changed…we aren’t the same people we were all those years ago.” He took a deep breath and closed his eyes. “You scared me the other night when you went off and now this,” he trailed, pointing to the car. “I can’t live like this and you can’t either.”
 
Brian’s hand jerked away from Kris’s face, his eyes clouding over. “Just answer one question. Can you do that?”
 
Kris nodded slowly.
 
“Why are you sleeping with him again?”
 
Kris closed his eyes and turned his head away from Brian. It wasn’t the type of question he expected, but then again, Brian was constantly throwing surprises his way. How was he supposed to answer that, when he himself didn’t even know why? Turning his head back towards Brian, he opened his eyes. “I love him,” he whispered. Whether or not it was why he had done what he had done, he wasn’t sure, but at least it wasn’t a lie. He did love Adam.
 
“You’re pathetic!” Brian barked loudly, shaking his head in disgust. “He’ll hurt you again.”
 
“You’re probably right,” Kris confirmed, unwilling to argue over that observation. “But I can’t help the way I feel and you can’t change the way I feel.”
 
“You’re not worth the time anyway, sweetheart,” Brian shot back, laughing out loud. “Now, you’d better get in there,” he trailed, pointing to the door of the lawyer’s office. “Or you’re going to be late for your appointment.”
 
Kris’s mouth dropped at hearing Brian’s first comment. When he wanted to, he could be downright mean. “If I’m not worth the time, Brian, then why the hell are you even here?”
 
Brian’s head jerked towards the entrance of the office building. “You’d better hurry up.”
 
Opening the door to the car, Kris shook his head and turned back to Brian. “Have you even heard anything that I just said?”
 
Brian nodded. “Heard it all. Why?”
 
Kris blew out a breath through his nose and pitched his head forward. “I don’t have an appointment, Brian. I lied,” he stated matter-of-factly. “It’s over, the lies…us…everything…it’s over. Do you understand that?”
 
Brian shook his head earnestly, laughing slightly under his breath. “It’ll never be over, Kris. Can’t you understand that?”
 
“It’s over, Brian,” he said loudly, clearly and slowly. “Over.”
 
“You’ll be back,” he casually said, shrugging his shoulders.
 
His attitude was starting to get to Kris. It was like he was in his own little world. “I will not be back, Brian…you need to understand that and accept it.”
 
“Mark my words,” Brian stated, staring at him intensely. “When Adam grows tired of you or hurts you yet again, you’ll be back and for your sake, you’d better say a prayer that I’ll be willing to take you back.”
 
It was Kris’s turn to laugh now. “Honest to God, Brian, you need help.”
 
“I’m done with getting help, dear,” he remarked, rolling his eyes. “What I need is for you to grow up and realize that no one will love you like I do…no one.”
 
Kris stepped out of the car and then crouched down to see him one last time. “Goodbye, Brian,” he said quietly. It was over. No more pretending, no more lies and no more suffering for anyone. It was finally over. “Take care of yourself,” he said before closing the door. Taking a deep breath, he felt a sense of relief wash over him. It was finally over.
 
Making his way towards his mother’s car, he heard Brian clear his throat. Turning around, he noticed Brian’s window down. He was staring directly at him and pointing to the door of the office building. “You’re going the wrong way.”
 
Kris shook his head and ignored him, pressing on towards his mother’s car. Brian was in desperate need of some help and against his better judgment Kris was going to make sure he called and spoke to his mother about it. As much as he wanted to ignore it, he couldn’t. He couldn’t take the chance of him hurting himself again or worse yet, him hurting someone else.
 
Kris opened the door to the mother’s car and slid into the seat slowly. No words were spoken for a few moments as they sat there in complete stillness. Slowly, he turned his head towards his mom. “It’s over, mom, it’s finally over.”
 
His mom managed a smile and a curt nod.
 
“It should’ve been over before it even started, I realize that now.”
 
Kim placed her hand on her son’s leg and patted. “Sometimes it takes making a mistake before we realize it actually was a mistake, honey.”
 
Kris looked down at his mother’s hand before placing his on top of it. Squeezing softly, he turned his head towards his mother. “Adam gave up on me too soon.”
 
“Adam did what was right for you, honey,” his mother countered firmly, but gently. “I’m sure that was probably one of the toughest things that young man has had to do in his life too.”
 
Kris turned his head to stare out the passenger side window. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see that Brian’s car was still there. Trying not to let that bother him, he took in a deep breath. “That day…when Adam walked out…we talked right before that, remember?”
 
“Absolutely,” his mother replied.
 
“Brian,” he whispered quietly, turning to look at his car. “He was the one I wanted to let go of, not Adam.”
 
“I know that.”
 
Hearing his mother’s reply, a tear slid down Kris’s cheek. Slowly, he managed to turn his head towards her again, pulling his gaze away from Brian. “You did?”
 
“Yeah,” she said, nodding her head. “It took me a few minutes to decipher your jibber-jabber…but I when I finally did, I read what you were trying to say…loud and clear.”
 
Kris’s head leaned in, his eyes wide. “Why didn’t you ever say anything then?”
 
His mother shrugged. “It wasn’t my place to say anything. I figured you had your reasons for not saying anything so I wasn’t about to go and stick my foot in my mouth.” Kim’s eyes widened as her head cocked to the side.
 
Instantly, Kris noticed the change in his mother’s appearance. “What?”
 
“Brian’s at the window,” she replied stiffly.
 
Kris’s heart sped up before even turning around to face him and when he did, he immediately regretted not having his mother pull out of the parking lot the minute he shut the door. Brian looked mad and hell bent on saying something. He wasn’t sure what, but it was obvious by the way his hand was repeatedly knocking on the window and his hooded eyes, that he was hell bent on something.
 
With some reservations, he lowered the window only a fraction. “What Brian?”
 
“Did you tell your mom here,” he said harshly, taking a moment to point to Kim. “How you and Adam have been screwing behind my back?” His head cocked to the side so that he could see Kim. “How’s that make you feel about your son?”
 
“Goodbye, Brian,” he stated firmly, reaching to close the window. When he noticed Brian’s hand shoot up to the rim of the glass, he contemplated still trying to close the window. “Move your hand or else you’re going to get hurt.”
 
“This isn’t over, Kris.” He leaned into the glass and peered at him through heavy eyes. “Like I said before, you’ll be back.”
 
Deciding to save himself the torment along with saving himself the breath, Kris simply shook his head disgustingly and closed the window before turning to his mom. “Let’s go, please…”
 

 
Kris turned to his side again, trying his best to fall asleep before the alarm was due to ring. He was pretty sure that he hadn’t fallen asleep since he lay down a little after midnight, a whole five hours earlier.
 
The bright red numbers flashed across the alarm clock brightly. 5:00. At this rate, he was better off just getting up and heading to work early. Sighing heavily, he sat up in bed and immediately began to cry.
 
He was physically exhausted, but more than that, he was emotionally drained.
 
After leaving the lawyer’s parking lot the evening before, he came back home with his mother, called his father back home at Conway and broke down, answering all of their questions honestly. It was a four-hour question and answer session, leaving him exhausted and overwhelmed.
 
On one hand, it was a relief to finally have everything cleared up and on the other hand, it hurt to see his parents so visibly distraught. They were blindsided by his honesty, never thinking that for one minute their own son would lie to them.
 
But, he did.
He lied to everyone.
 
In the end, his parents were just that… his parents. They loved him and nothing would change that. He never fully understood the bond between a parent and a child until last night. It was a bond that someone couldn’t understand unless they were a parent themselves and experienced it. Unfortunately, it was a bond that he had not had the joy of knowing yet.
 
Without any concern about the time, he picked up the phone and called his father. He needed reassurance that what he was going to do was indeed the right thing, even though in his heart, he already knew it was.
 
“Hi, dad,” Kris said quietly when his father answered. “It’s me.”
 
Neil was silent for a few moments before he cleared his throat. “Kris…is something wrong?”
 
“No,” Kris reassured him, “nothing.” Covering his eyes with his hand, he sighed. “I haven’t been able to sleep all night.”
 
“Son,” Neil said gingerly. “You need to do the right thing, especially where Adam’s concerned. He has a right to know.”
 
Kris moaned his acknowledgment. He knew that what his father said was right, but at the same time, it scared him. “Over the phone though?”
 
“What other choice do you have, Kris?” he asked. “You can’t afford to take time off from work and fly to New York, right?”
 
“Right.”
 
“Then I don’t see any other way than for you to tell him over the phone.”
 
Kris’s hand flew down to his lap. “Maybe I could wait until he’s back in town.” He knew that was out of the question, but maybe if his father agreed with him, he’d do it anyway.
 
“Kris,” his father trailed in a fatherly tone. “You’ve already put this off long enough, you need to tell him.”
 
So much for that. Kris dropped to his back, closing his eyes. “He’s going to hate me,” he moaned, knowing full well that was the truth.
 
“You don’t know that.”
 
“Yes, I do,” he moaned. “Yes, I do.”
 
“Kris, do you want your mother to stay until after you get home from work and be there with you when you call him?”
 
Kris smiled at his father’s generosity. His mother would stay with him for as long as he wanted if he asked her, holding his hand and wiping his tears, he didn’t doubt that for a minute. But this was his problem; his mess he had created and it was his responsibility alone to handle it. Plus, he knew at the age his parents were, they needed one another even more. “Thanks, dad, but I’ll be okay.”
 
“Are you sure? Even I can fly there if you need us to be there for you.”
 
 “I’ll be fine, dad, really. I’ll drive mom to the airport before going to work. She would be there with you before you know it. I’d better get going, though. I need to figure out what I’m going to say and write it down.”
 
Neil slightly laughed. “Don’t rehearse it, Kris…it’ll sound rehearsed if you do that. Just speak from the heart.”
 

 
His day at worked dragged. Dragged horribly. It was one of the longest days of his life. And it was nowhere close to being over. Not by a long shot. His entire day consisted of him rehearsing what he was going to tell Adam once he called him.
 
Silently and not so silently, he played it out…step by step. As much as he tried to keep his mind busy on other things, particularly his students, he couldn’t. All the noise those children made couldn’t even keep him focused. And when his new student, a cute boy named Adam, was introduced to him, he couldn’t think of anything else but his husband.
 
Adam clouded his thoughts, his dreams, his daydreams, his nightmares, his everything. What would his reaction be to hearing his news? One thing he was pretty sure of was that Adam was going to be hurt. That was a definite given. But would the hurt keep him from trying to understand why he did what he did? Would he even give him a chance to try and make him understand?
 
Did he even deserve the chance?
 
Turning into the driveway, Kris immediately noticed the commotion at the front door. Daniel was standing in the doorway, throwing his arms around in the air like a madman while Brian’s father, Bill Whitwam, stood in front of him with his hands on his hips.
 
He quickly parked the car before changing his mind and hightailing it right out of there. Taking a deep breath, he exhaled it slowly, trying to calm his already shot nerves.
 
Stepping out of the car, he noticed Brian and his mother, Julianne get up from the wrought-iron bench on the porch and head towards him. He took another deep breath, readying himself for what was about to happen.
 
“Julianne…Brian…what’s going on?” he asked nervously, looking past them and towards the porch where Bill and Daniel still stood.
 
“Your brother,” Julianne stated, pointing behind her. “Won’t let us in the house to gather Brian’s belongings.”
 
Kris stepped back, lengthening the distance that Brian was closing in on.
 
“What the hell is Daniel’s problem?” Brian asked loudly. “He acts like we’re trying to rob the place.”
 
He dropped his head, replying honestly, “He’s only doing what I’ve asked him to do, Brian.”
 
“And why the hell would you ask him to guard the fucking house?” he barked, pressing closer to Kris. “This is my house too!”
 
Hearing the declaration of his home ownership caused Kris to raise his head slightly. “Brian, it hasn’t been your house for over five years and furthermore, what things have you here to gather? There’s nothing in that house that’s yours.”
 
Brian started pacing the concrete driveway in long strides. “And what about my clothes, Kris or have you forgotten about that?”
 
He shook his head in earnest, trying to remember what clothes Brian might be referring to. “Clothes?”
 
Brian stopped pacing, stomping his foot in defiance. “Where are my goddamn clothes? Did Adam take those too?”
 
“Adam?” Kris questioned, lowering his head again.
 
“First he takes my husband…now my clothes!” he spat, throwing his hands up in the air. “What’s next? He’s already taken everything from me. What’s left?”
 
Julianne put her arm around her son, pulling him close. “Calm down,” she whispered, looking to Kris. “He just wants back what’s his. Is that too much to ask?”
 
Kris tried frantically to recall what clothes Brian was talking about. As far as he knew, he never brought any clothes to the house, except for what he had when he occasionally brought his duffel bag. He closed his eyes, thinking it’d help him think harder by blocking out the looks on everyone’s faces.
 
When he heard footsteps, he gave up and opened his eyes. Shrugging, he watched as Bill and Daniel came towards them.
 
“My son here tells us that you don’t want anything to do with him or us anymore,” Bill stated, protectively putting his arm around his wife. “After everything we’ve done for you…”
 
Kris shook his head slowly, fighting back his anger. He didn’t mean for that to happen. “I never said that, Bill,” he replied calmly. “Never.”
 
Brian pushed away from his mother and kicked the tree next to him. “Like hell you didn’t,” he mumbled.
 
Kris’s eyes widened. Why was Brian trying to cause problems? He never said that. Never. And he knew it. “I didn’t!” he yelled back, unable to control his emotions any longer. “All I said was that…” he trailed, losing his thought when he heard a car door slam.
 
“Jesus Christ!” Brian barked.
 
Kris turned around quickly and his eyes settled on Adam as he made his way towards them. His pulse quickened at just the sight of him. It always did and he was pretty sure it always would.
 
“God,” Brian moaned loudly. “What’d you do…call him in to protect you?”
 
Kris heard his question, but wasn’t able to articulate a reply as he stood frozen and speechless. Was he seeing things? Wasn’t Adam in New York? He narrowed his eyes, trying to focus them better on the tall figure coming towards him.
 
It was definitely Adam.
 
 “Bill, I think we should just go,” Julianne said.
 
“I’m not leaving until I get my stuff!” Brian shouted, breaking Kris out of his trance. He abruptly turned back towards Kris threw himself in front of him, grabbing him by the shoulders. “Get a hold of yourself,” he spat through a clenched jaw. “You’re shaking. You afraid of me or him?” he asked, throwing his head towards Adam.
 
Kris gasped in horror. “Brian, please…”
 
“Take your hands off him.”
 
The sound of Adam’s voice so deep, demanding and close to him, caused Kris to jump - the tone alone indicated he meant business. Serious business.
 
“Obviously,” Brian grunted, dropping his hands to his sides. “It’s you he’s afraid of, Adam.”
 
Bill stepped next to Brian, turning to him. “You can get your things another time.”
 
Kris could read the disappointment and sadness in Bill’s eyes. He was upset with him and more than likely, upset that Adam was now present. Quickly, he placed his hand on Bill’s arm, trying to ease the tension between them. “Please…I didn’t mean for this to happen.”
 
Bill’s arm jerked away from his hand as he slowly turned his head towards him. “I thought of you as our own flesh and blood, Kris.” He shook his head and looked to his wife. “We all did.”
 
Kris dropped his head as soon as he saw Julianne’s face. Maybe it wasn’t disappointment at all. Maybe it was hatred. After everything they’d been through together, he’d never seen a look like he’d just witnessed. “I’m sorry,” he whispered. “I truly am sorry.”
 
“That’s not good enough,” Brian whispered back.
 
It may have been only a whisper, but the meaning came through loud and clear. Kris could feel his emotions coming to a head as his body tensed with every pronounced second that ticked by. He swallowed hard as something squeezed inside his chest. Then, out of the blue, he felt Adam’s hand grab hold of his. He knew what he needed to do. He needed to be strong.
 
With renewed strength, he lifted his head and did his best to smile at the three pairs of eyes staring back at him. It was time to finally let go of his past and time to finally take a step towards his future. “I’m sorry that I’m causing you all so much pain but I can’t keep pretending to you or myself that I’m happy, because I’m not.” He felt Adam’s hand squeeze his but fought back the urge to turn to him. It would only make matters worse. “I waited for you, Brian,” he trailed, catching his breath. “For three years and for way longer than I should have. I didn’t think that I would ever be able to get over losing you so I didn’t even let myself try.”
 
“We need more time, Kris,” Brian said with desperation.
 
Kris couldn’t stop now, even if he wanted to. “It won’t help,” he said with determination. He didn’t want to come off as being insensitive, but he needed to make sure that Brian understood. It was over.
 
Over.
 
“You will always be special to me, Brian,” he whispered quietly, removing his hand from Adam’s and placing it over his heart. “You were my first true love and no one forgets their first love,” he managed to squeak out.
 
“But that’s exactly what you’re doing,” Brian moaned, stepping closer to him. “Have you forgotten the way we were? Because I haven’t and I won’t.”
 
Kris gulped. “I haven’t forgotten anything, Brian,” he said, grabbing his hands with his own. “But what we had is just that…what we had. It isn’t what we have now. What we had is over and I’m sorry but going back isn’t something I want.”
 
“What do you want?” Adam asked quietly from behind him.
 
Kris slightly turned his head, keeping his hands intertwined with Brian’s but looking directly into the eyes of the man he loved more than life itself. “I want to go back to the way you and I were,” he managed to say, laying it all on the line. Rejection or not, he needed to let Adam know what he wanted.
 
Adam’s eyes bored deeply into his, his face remaining unchanged.
 
“You were the one who showed me that I could love again,” he said, finally letting go of Brian’s hands. He wasn’t going to shy away from telling him and everyone else who were present exactly how he felt. Adam needed to hear it. Everyone needed to hear what he had to say and what he should’ve said long ago.
 
Turning around completely to face Adam, he kept his gaze on him and took a deep breath. “You made me feel alive again. I have loved you since the first day I laid eyes on you in Cozumel and I’ve never stopped loving you and the day you walked away was the day I truly stopped breathing.”
 
“Well, isn’t that sweet?” Brian moaned sarcastically.
 
“Are you ready to finally let go?” Adam asked, reaching for Kris’s hands.
 
Kris dropped his gaze for only a moment as their hands met. “I’ve never been as sure as I am right now.” Turning his head, he looked at Julianne. “I’m sorry, but I love him and I should’ve said something sooner because my feelings for him have never changed and never will.”
 
Julianne slightly nodded before looking to her husband and son. “We need to go.”
 
“I want my fucking things before we leave!” Brian exclaimed, throwing his hands on his hips. “What is so hard to understand about that?”
 
“Your things are at Katy’s place,” Adam said neutrally as he looked over Kris’s shoulder. “If you want, we can head over there now and get them.”
 
He wanted those things? “Those are the things that you’ve referring to?” Kris asked, dropping only one hand from Adam’s as he turned around.
 
“For now,” Brian quipped, pointing towards the house. “My lawyer will be contacting you about the house.”
 
Adam squeezed his hand. “There’s no need for a lawyer, Brian. You can have the house.”
 
Brian’s eyes narrowed. “There you go again…making decisions for him.” Shaking his head in disgust, his eyes traveled to Kris. “Then there shouldn’t be a problem with your husband getting his shit out by next week.”
 
Kris felt Adam’s grip tighten ever more. Quickly, he smiled and squeezed his hand back. “No problem at all. Daniel and I can be out in three days.”
 
Brian moaned, crossed his arms in front of him and then proceeded to march right past them, making sure to hit Kris’s arm along the way.
 
Bill and Julianne watched as their son made his way towards the car.
 
Biting his bottom lip, Kris closed his eyes, trying to ease the pain of seeing everyone so upset with the situation. “I’m sorry I let this go on as long as I did,” he said quietly to his former in-laws. “Please believe that I never meant to hurt him or you.”
 
“I just wish it wouldn’t have come to this, Kris,” Bill replied flatly.
 
He stepped over to them, waiting for them to allow him to hug them. He wanted them to know that despite everything, he love them and always would. They were his rock during his most desperate times and he would forever be grateful for them and everything they did. “I guess this is good-bye,” he whispered, looking towards the ground. “I love you both.”
 
Julianne reached out for him, drawing him into the much-needed hug he so desperately craved. “You take care of yourself.”
 
“I hope Brian will understand one day,” Kris cried into Julianne’s ear.
 
Julianne pulled away and looked directly into his eyes. “I hope so too, but you need to start doing what’s right for you.” She kissed him on the cheek and looked past him to Adam. “Would you mind following us to Katy’s house? We’re going to drop Brian off at home first, but if we don’t get Brian’s things now, I’m afraid that it’ll only be worse in the morning.”
 
“No problem,” Adam replied.
 
Bill managed a polite smile before taking his wife’s hand and making their way back to the car where Brian waited.
 
Adam took a few steps towards Kris and smiled, reaching for his hand. “You don’t know how bad I want to hold you right now,” he whispered.
 
“Don’t,” Kris said bravely, giving him a weak smile. “It’ll only make things worse with Brian watching us.”
 
“I know,” he confirmed. Slowly, he turned his head and glanced over at the car. Sighing, he turned back around and raised one eyebrow in question. “So does this mean that you didn’t file for divorce?”
 
Kris smiled back, fighting the urge to wrap his arms around Adam. “Is that why you came here?”
 
Adam nodded, jerking his head towards the house. “Hey, Daniel.”
 
Kris turned around to see his brother coming towards them. “Hey, Adam,” he said, pursing his lips together. “So did I hear you right, bro? Are we moving out?”
 
“Yep,” he said promptly. “We have three days to get the hell out of this place and if I have my way, we’ll only need two.”
 
“Damn,” Daniel mumbled, snapping his fingers. “I guess this means I won’t be buying this house then.”
 
“I guess not,” Adam said, letting out a little laugh. “But we’ll see what we can do about helping you out with buying another house.”
 
Kris threw a look Adam’s way while squeezing his hand. “You better get going,” he said, looking over at the car that was still in his driveway. “Are you sure you don’t mind helping them?”
 
Adam shook his head. “Not at all. Just make sure you wait up for me…we have a lot of talking to do.”
 
Instantly, Kris’s mind traveled down the path it’d visited earlier. They definitely did have a lot of talking to do. Or rather, he had a lot of talking to do. “That we do,” he replied, watching Bill’s car back out of the driveway. “Do you want me to go with you?”
 
Adam shrugged, looking towards Daniel. “I don’t know if that’d be such a good idea. Would you mind coming with me, Daniel? I could probably use a witness.”
 
Kris gasped at hearing the word ‘witness’.
 
“I’m kidding, sweetheart,” he said slowly, winking. “You heard his mother. Brian won’t even be there. Nothing is going to happen.”
 
Sweetheart? Kris smiled at hearing the term of endearment, letting it linger in his head as he closed his eyes and reminded himself to breathe. Was this all just a dream? Was everything really going to be all right?
 
He opened his eyes when he felt Adam’s lips press against his. “I’d better get going,” he said, running his hand along Kris’s cheek. He leaned into him and pressed his lips to Kris’s ear. “I love you.”
 
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December 2011

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