Ryan and Ben were able to spend some quality time alone by Lake Pontchartrain. And yet there still seems to be unspoken questions between them. Will they ever be able to discuss them? The day arrives for the first gig that Ryan gets to witness. See what's going on in this week's episode of In Pieces.Don't forget to visit the other Briefers and see what's up with them! Their links follow my tale! Enjoy!
In Pieces #27 (8.1)
Thursday night came all too soon. The night of the birthday party in Thibodaux. Ryan's first chance to watch Salvation in action. He was excited and nervous both. Ben had asked him to take photos of the event to use as promo, besides for use in their book, and Ryan hoped he’d do a good job. Not like he was a professional photographer or anything. But his dad had been supportive of his efforts, told him he was good. He’d also bought Ryan a good camera, which should help Ryan’s efforts look better too.
Thinking of his father made him wonder what Dad would think of him and Ryan if he knew. Would he understand? Would he possibly approve? Ryan pushed the thought aside. He’d never know. No use in torturing himself about it.
When the time came to get ready to go, Ben laughingly shooed Ryan out of the bedroom so he could dress in private. He said he wanted Ryan to see him when he was done, not little by little. Ryan pretended to pout, but his protests were all in fun and not in the least serious. Truth be told, he was really dying to see what Ben looked like in his priest’s outfit. So he cooled his heels in the hallway and tried to put together what he’d seen in the pictures with what he now realized was Ben. And when Ben finally opened the door to the room, the evening light serving to silhouette him rather effectively, Ryan decided it had been worth the wait. Ben wore a full length black robe with long sleeves, the darkness broken only by the white on his stiff clerical collar. Around his neck he wore an elaborate gold cross, and a matching cross dangled from one ear. His colorful hair hung loosely about his shoulders in stark contrast to his somber garb. Ben’s beautiful crystal blue eyes were concealed behind maroon contact lenses and framed with kohl guyliner.
He was so stunning he took Ryan’s breath away.
Ben grinned cheekily. “Like what you see?” he asked playfully.
“You know it,” Ryan replied. “You look fabulous.” He was gratified to see Ben’s cheeks pink with pleasure at the compliment.
“You look pretty awesome yourself,” Ben said, eyeing Ryan appreciatively. Ryan had been unsure what he should wear. On the one hand, it was a young man’s birthday party and probably casual. On the other hand, his parents were probably not hurting for money if they could afford to book a live band for the event. More importantly, it was Ryan’s first time with Salvation, and he didn’t want his appearance to reflect badly on them, even if he wasn’t a part of the talent. Nobody would probably even notice him, he reasoned. Even so, he chose to wear the suit Ben had gotten for him. It was a cool gray threaded with a little pale lavender, and came with a matching vest. Ben had chosen a forest green tie to go with it that he said made Ryan’s green eyes pop. How could Ryan say no to that?
When it came time to go, Ryan was surprised to learn that Salvation owned an equipment van. He didn’t remember seeing it before, but maybe that was just him being unobservant.
“How do you think we lug our stuff around?” Abby teased. “You think I strap my drums on my back?” Ryan couldn’t help but blush at her comment. Everyone was standing outside the building where the band practiced while Deacon and Keanu loaded the van with everything they’d need. Cameron was nowhere in sight. Ryan couldn’t help but hope he wasn’t included on tonight’s guest list, then chided himself for being silly. This was a private party and Cameron wasn’t likely to be a friend of the birthday boy.
“Are we all going to fit in that?” Ryan was skeptical of that happening.
“No, we’ll go with Aiden and Abby.”
Ryan thought the band looked great. Their costumes really suited them, and they were unique. At least he thought they were. He’d never seen a band wear outfits such as those. Abby looked pretty, despite being dressed as a nun. Her deep blue eyes sparkled and she seemed happier than she had lately. Maybe it was the excitement of playing in front of an audience again. Ryan thought that must be rather intoxicating.
The van was finally loaded and Aiden slid the side door shut with a clang. “All done, we ready to rock and roll?”
“You know it!” Deacon responded. Glancing over at Keanu, he said, “C’mon, my little bishop. Let’s get going so we can get set up on time.”
“Just because you’re a cardinal doesn’t mean you’re over me,” Keanu said with a laugh.
“That’s not what you say when we’re in bed.” Deacon smirked, drawing laughter from the others. Keanu didn’t seem the least bit embarrassed at his lover’s candor. He was probably used to it. He waltzed up to Deacon and planted a big kiss on him, which evoked more titters. After some moments, Deacon broke the kiss, swatted Keanu on his ass and pointed to the van. “Inside, lover boy.”
Once the van had rolled out, the others walked around to the front of the house where Cameron’s car sat. There was no sign of his pickup anywhere, which only confirmed the man had plans which didn’t include them. Good.
Ryan was walking toward the front seat when Ben unexpectedly stopped him, tossing the keys to Aiden. “We’re in back,” he explained.
Ryan didn’t argue, sliding in behind Ben as Aiden and Abby took the front seat. Ben took Ryan’s hand in his and held it gently. He leaned in to Ryan, his soft words all for him. “Just remember I’m here for you. Always. I’ll make sure nothing happens to you, I promise.”
to be continued
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