Midnight Whispers
QAF Brian and Justin Fanfiction













Christ!  What a fucking cunt that man is!  Using your dead son as a cover for money is beyond heinous and the way he's treated Zee is reprehensible!




We all look up as Faal comes back in.




"Talking, they're in the upper lounge.  She's in the middle of a bro-wich; Zeus is on one side and Zeon on..."  His voice catches.  "I can't take this pain away, I-I would do..."




Hugo has him in his arms in a flash and takes him out followed by Martha and Menno.




"Ted is there anything we can do?"  Brian demands pacing.  "There must be something?"




Ted shakes his head.  "We have to wait for them to make their next transaction. The authorities want to get them badly so need everything to be locked down.  They don't know how many are involved or if it's just the two of them."




"Could this bring down Stark Securities as a company?"  Brian is ever practical.




"No thank God."  We all heave a sigh of relief.




"Maybe we should start the food?"  Debs suggests.




Delia and Deidra come in.  "Good idea Debs, come on let's go.  Alice and Emmy Lou you come too."  Delia orders.  "I need something to occupy my hands."  Emmy Lou and Alice follow them out.




"I think we all do."  Carl sighs.  "What a fucking mess this is."




"Oh shit!"  I gasp as I look at the phone flashing next to me.  "It's Luther!  Whose phone is this?!"




"It must be one of the brothers.  Most likely Zander, since he's the only one that he's bothering with.  Shall I take it up to him?"  Blake asks.




"No let it go to voicemail."  Ted says firmly.  "That fucker can wait."




When it finally stop ringing, we heave a sigh of relief.  Ted starts to pour brandies.




"I'll take it up to them and his phone."  Brian takes a tray.  "Ted come too and someone find Faal and send him to join us.  There's no way in hell we're sitting here and doing nothing."












Zee and Zeon have got to the extremely fucked off part of their grief.  She's pacing giving various scenarios of his slow and violent demise; she's scarily inventive.




The door knocking stops her and Brian and Ted come in, soon after Faal comes in and takes her into his arms with a small smile.




"You would look terrible all in orange my lig.  Now drink this and sit down."  His tone is firm.




It's strange to see Zee, almost obedient, as she does as she's told.  We're so used to her being combative in her own way, especially with him. She doesn't do it overtly, she just says yes dad and does whatever she was going to do her way anyway.




"Here's your phone Zander. He called you."  He places the tray down and takes a seat.




"I can't call him back.  I just can't."  He growls.




"You'll have to or he'll wonder why you're not."  Brian points out.  "But put the call on speaker and as tempting as it is nobody say a word.  And for fuck sake if you're phones are on, put them on silent."




Quickly we all reach for phones and do as we're told.




"Zander my son, how are you?  Where are you?"




"Out of the city.  Having a bit of a stressful time at the moment, friend has had some bad news and..."




"Have you thought more about my offer?  I don't know why you are holding out so much boy."




"Because, I'm a Stark and that's what you taught us, hold out for the best deal you can."




"True.  I can't wait to see that little madam's face when I tell her I'm back on the board and I have some other news but first let's get this business out of the way.  I'm willing to go to $35 million to seal this deal."




Our jaws drop and Faal puts his hand over Zee's mouth and has to carry her to the other side of the room.




"$35 million!  Are you serious?"  He gasps.




"Yes, I want back on the board that badly.  She took away my boy and I want her to feel my pain!"




This time Zeus rugby tackles Zeon to the ground.




"Okay.  $35 million it is."  We all stare at Zander.  "But we don't announce until the December board."




"Why December? There's a shareholder meeting in November right?"




"Yes, but you want her to feel pain right?"




"Uh huh."  He's not the only one confused.




"And you know how much she loves Christmas..."




"Oh very nice.  You are my boy, my boy through and through.  What changed your mind?"




"Just a culmination of things.  You'll send the papers through right?"




"Absolutely!  Let me get on with that..."




"Dad it's only the beginning of November we've got time.  So what was the other piece of news?"




"Well two pieces.  At the end of the month, I should be branching out into the electronics world and I'm not sure if I told you but I have a couple of friends of Zaden's staying at my condo..."




"Friends of Zaden?  Why?"




"Well not friends exactly.  Lindsay Peterson and Michael Novotny. Well anyway seems that Lindsay and Grady have taken quite a shine to each other and had their second date on Thursday.  And by date, I mean they were outside of the bed, you know what I mean."




"Yeah I know what you mean.  Still not seeing why I should be interested in this."




"Simple, I want them to announce their engagement at the board meeting in December."








"Yep.  Oh they're not really going to get married. It's just an additional Christmas present.  I'll bet that having her as my grandson's stepmother would be the last thing she'd want so she'll do what the Starks do in times of need..."




"Throw money at the situation?"  I finish off for him.




"Exactly.  Look I've got to go.  I'll get the papers drawn up by the end of the week.  Bye."




We sit there in silence just sipping brandy and contemplating what has happened.  When my phone flashes, I'm surprised that we've been sitting here for 20 minutes.




"Zeph here."




"Is Zander with you?"




"Yes he is, why?"




"Where are you right now?"




"Ohio with Zeus why?"




She laughs bitterly.  "Because he's just left to negotiate with him in Florida.  For the next three days."  And then she sighs.  "It's my just desserts after what I did to you."




"Just desserts?"




"Never mind.  Anyway, the real reason for the call is to let you know that I'm going to accept the divorce and the pre-nup conditions. I know I've been fighting it for so long but I will sign them and get them sent over to you by Monday."




"Wow I...uh thank you.  What changed your mind?"




"Just desserts remember.  I'll let you go..."




"Wait Talon.  Thanks for the things you've told us.  Are...are you going to leave him?"




"Not without a backup plan.  And I'm working on that.  You know me I'm a survivor.  And let's just say that Novotny is going to regret calling me Talentless and then coming to me for a loan and..."




Ted clamps his hand over Brian's astonished mouth.




"What?  Two things: what loan and where did you get the money from?"




"They wanted the money for the lawsuit and say they'll give me my money back once it's settled.  I know full well that this won't be settled monetarily so put in very small print that he has to give me his collectibles as a forfeit if nothing happens by December 20th and as for her, well I have a special treat for her.  As for where, you know how your father likes to give trinkets...once they are mine I do with them what I want."




I burst out laughing.  "And speaking of trinkets, you know that he is going to get Grady and Lindsay to announce their engagement in December."




She gasps and then laughs.  "Oh that's going to piss Novotny off no end."








"He fucked him.  I always had my suspicions about Grady.  For a man who hates Faal, he'd look at him just that little too longingly and..."




"Oh fuck no!"  Faal snaps and shudders.




We all glare at him and wait.




"Zeph where are you really?"




"Ohio like I said.  That was the TV."




"Honey, I know you and more importantly, I know Faal's voice.  Are you in Pittsburgh?"




I sigh and look at Zeus and he nods.  "Yes we're in Pittsburgh."




"Are you with Zee?"








"Okay then.  I'll leave you to it.  I'll send the papers tomorrow like I said."




She hangs up quietly.




"I'm sorry!  I'm sorry but the very idea of him thinking about me like that!"




"I never thought I would say this about someone in cahoots with Luther Stark but I feel sorry for Grady.  Michael is persistent."  Brian chuckles.












We're all over the shock and almost all of the anger and now we have to just wait.




Emmy Lou, Zee, Alice and I are on the puffs; we've just fried the first batch and I open the door a crack and wink at them.




I call out.  "Oh I wonder whoever we can get to test these king crab and lobster puffs.  They need to be eaten whilst they are extra crisp and..."




Suddenly the kitchen is full and I just about manage to get out of the way of the stampede.




"Were you actually waiting by the lounge door?"  I chuckle.




"Yes, they were.  Every two seconds one of them would go and check."  Jennifer laughs.  "But I can understand why, these are delicious!"




I head to the door when it rings and when I open it a beautiful lady steps inside and looks at all of us.




"So someone want to tell me exactly what the fucker has done!"  She demands.




"Before we get to that, who the fuck are you?"  I demand.




"Talon."  She puts her purse on the counter.  "What's he done?"  She repeats.








By the time we've introduced everyone, closed Tucker's jaw and caught her up, she's just sitting there in shock, which quickly turns to rage.




"He will fucking pay and I think I know someone who can help."  She pulls out her phone.




"Talon.  You reached safely... you were supposed to call me when you got there. I was worried."




"I'm really sorry Ralph.  I didn't mean to worry you."  I notice the way she smiles when she says his name.  "Now, quick question, you know you said you kept guest books?"








"Can you copy them and scan them over to...Solly Sullivan and Adam White?"  Ted nods.  "I'll text you their email addresses."




"Of course, what's happened?"




"I'll explain when I get back.  Let's just say I'm done with him."




"Okay, I'll get on with the scanning.  Have a safe flight."




"Thanks, I'll try.  See you tomorrow."  She smiles at her phone and then notices everyone looking.  "What?"




"I think we've just heard the reason for the signing."




She blushes.  "I don't know what you are talking about.  We're just friends!"




"Uh, Talon you'd didn't smile like that on our wedding day."  I tell her, only somewhat sadly.




"Um!"  She squeaks going redder, much to everyone's amusement.  "Oh shut up Zeph!"




Thomas clears his throat.  "At the risk of sounding like the idiot in the room, what's the significance of the guest books?"




"I'm glad someone asked."  Debs mutters.




"If they show when Copthorne visited Stark and they cross reference that to any time he had an influx of money then that gives more evidence of their collusion."  Ted explains.




"So Talon...oh for fuck sake! Can someone do more puffs?"  Brian snaps in exasperation as Justin takes the last one off his plate.




"Oil just coming to temp."  Zee grins at him.  "So do they get added yes or no?"




"No."  Drew states firmly.  "Not with king crab and lobster, some other seafood but not these."




"Fine.  Okay let's get them fried and Usez, can you get the turf out?"




"Usez, you haven't called him that in years."  Talon says quietly.  "God what a mess he's made of this family. His father would be heartbroken."




"He died heartbroken that Luther wouldn't let little one be happy."  Uncle Luc sighs.




"Oh, speaking of happy."  Talon rifles in her bag.  "Here, signed as promised."




I take the papers from her with a small nod and am surprised when Jennifer gives my hand a squeeze.




"So, Talon, what have you got planned for Lindsay?"  Zee asks.




"Lindsay? What about Lindsay?"  Jennifer asks.  "What have we missed?"




Talon tells them everything that has been happening in New York and Justin cringes when he hears that Grady slept with both of them.




"Oh that's revolting!  Hurry up with the puffs, I need to comfort eat."




"Me too!  Is that Waygu or Kobe?"  Hugo asks.  "Oooh the garlic and chimichurri sauce smells lovely."




"Kobe. Someone has hidden the Waygu."  Faal grumbles.




Menno and Hugo stare at Zee who holds their gaze unflinchingly.  "He couldn't fuck it out of me; you've got no chance."




"Fair enough!"  Hugo blushes.




Jennifer takes a sip of champagne and clears her throat.  "So the deadline is the 20th December for them to give you your money back?  I need to make a call.  But before that, what are you going to do with Lindsay?"




"She likes to make messes. Let's see how she is at cleaning them.  I think a year as a domestic servant should hone her skills nicely."




"Holy crap!"  Ben gasps.  "And they both signed agreeing to this?"




"Like I said very tiny writing. It's not my fault they didn't take the mantra what the big print gives the small- or should we say very small print- takes away, is it?"




"You and Zee are cut from the same survivalist cloth you know?"  Leda tells her.




"How the fuck do you work that out?  I'm pretty sure Zee doesn't think that."




"Actually, I do.  We've both had to fight for what we wanted in order to be happy and to have the rest of our family happy.  Except you started your fight by, well you know.  And when it comes to payback, you just have a bit more evil in yours. I'm more subtle."




"How could you do it?"  Mom asks suddenly.




"I don't know. At first it was the thrill of it all and then I'd feel guilty and stop.  But he kept pulling me back.  I stopped for three years but I was still unhappy but just couldn't leave the lifestyle I had. When you've grown up poor and you go to suddenly rich, it's hard especially with the pre-nup.  We didn't start again until after you left him though."




She clears her throat.  "I'm sorry for what I did to you whilst you were married but I now know what it feels like.  He's cheating on me.  What's the phrase?  Oh yes; when you marry the mistress you create a vacancy.  Only I created a vacancy without being married to him."




"That why you're helping us?"  Zee asks.




"Oh no, that's not why, I've only just found out about that.  No it was when he and Grady were talking and he said he wanted Lindsay to give me a bit more polish; make her shine, help her to be less Brooklyn Babe and more Genuflecting Geisha, were his exact words."




"The fucking nerve of the man!"  Debs barks.  "I would've smacked him in the mouth the moment I heard that and left on the spot."




She smiles and picks up her purse and coat.  "Right. I'm going back to the airport. My flight is first thing in the morning..."




"Stay.  We can drop you off at JFK."  Uncle Luc looks at Zee and she gives a small nod.




"If-if you're sure?"  Zee nods again.  "How are you able to drop me off at the airport?"




"Zee has a plane."








"Now come on let's get your stuff upstairs."  Mom says.  "And I accept your apology."












I can't believe I'm being rocked in the arms of my soon to be former mother-in-law in floods of tears.  I haven't cried this much in years.  Debs is on the other side of me trying to get me to drink the brandy she's brought up.




"H-how can you forgive me like this?"  I sniffle.




"Because he's hurt you too. Part of me- I ain't gonna deny it- is pleased that you are hurting because of what you did to me and my son.  But inside here..."  She taps my chest.  "Under all this slut...had to get that one in... is a good person."




"And judging by the way this Ralph spoke to you, he sees it too."  Debs strokes my hair.  "So how long have you two been..."




"We're not!  Honestly, we're just friends."  I take the tissue she offers and blow my nose.




"How do you know him?"




"He works for Luther as his but..."




"That Ralph!"  Del gasps in surprise and then starts to laugh.  "Oh that will chafe his ass when he finds out about you two!"




"There is no us two!"




"What colour are his eyes?"  Debs asks




"Blue with a hint of...I mean I don't know!"  Debs just looks at me.  "With a hint of green."




"What does he say about you?"  Debs asks




"How did?  He says I'm too thin and when Luther's not there he makes me eggs and bacon for breakfast.  He calls me a wicked woman and I don't feel insulted and..."




"Uh huh."  Debs and Del exchange looks and I frown




"Anyway.  We just sit and talk about stuff. Just stupid everyday stuff..."  I trail off.  "Oh shit!"




"You go wash your face and meet us downstairs."  Del orders and pulls Debs out of the room.












"Zeph, I want you to be honest about something and I mean really honest, you hear?"  He nods at me.  "Did you ever love Talon?"




He appears to war with himself before sighing.  "No.  I loved the idea of her and I care for her, but no, I didn't love her"




"And deep down, she knew that. Everyone knows when they are unloved.  So then you have some culpability in this too, right? You need to apologise too."  He nods.  "Well what are you waiting for? Get to getting!"




"So come on people, let's get this fucking family fed!"  Dee orders.  "Hugo, I know you're the man of the BBQ but this is my little one's house and when we're here we cook!"




"Yes ma'am!"  Hugo grins at her.  "Kobe calls for Chocolate Box methinks.  Emmy Lou, you and Drew are on opening and glasses!"




"God I love this family!"  Emmy Lou cries and heads for the back kitchen.












"Good evening Mrs Stark, I'm afraid that..."




"Oh hush yourself, Ralph!"  Del stops me.  "I want you to meet someone, this is Zaden."




"A pleasure to meet you."  I smile at her.  "Although I'm not..."




Zaden waves her hand to stop me.  "Two things you need to do: one is pack everything you two own or think you are due, now!"




"Ralph come on!"  Talon grabs my hand and pulls me to my quarters.




"Talon what is going on?!"




"Come on Ralph!"




"Where?  No, stop Talon, stop!"  I shake off her hand stand firm.  "Explain!"




"I-I, I'm sorry, I guess I'm leaving.  I thought...never mind, if you..."




"Leaving?  Where are you going?"




"I'm not sure but I can't stay here anymore. He's done something reprehensible and I can't stay anymore. I had hoped that you'd...but...anyway."




She takes a deep breath and turns to leave.  "Talon Stark Kho come back here right this instant!"




"Whoa!"  Zaden whispers.




"Now look at me and calmly explain what is going on.  Why did you want me to scan the guest book?"




After twenty minutes, I can't believe what I've heard.  "Right, let me help you pack Talon. I have nothing here that I want to take with me."




"Of course."  She sighs and heads to her room.




"Oh for the love of all things holy!  Talon get back here!"  Zaden shouts and when she returns, she huffs an annoyed breath.  "Will you two just kiss and have done?!"




"M-me? Kiss Talon..."  I stammer and then I look at her, and she looks so hopeful.  I pull her into my arms.  "What a great idea!"




Five minutes later I let her up.  "Good God where the hell did you learn to do that?"  She gasps.




"Like I said, I'm not just a good butler."




"Right hurry up and pack for fuck sake."  Zaden giggles.




"Where are we going?"  I ask.




"Canada.  There's a little place that's a rather sweet bijou."  She smiles.  "And it will piss Lindsay off no end!"












"Talon, honey I'm home!"








I didn't think she was due to go anywhere.  "Ralph!  Ralph!  I would like some coffee and scrambled eggs!"








I head to the kitchen.  "Ralph why the fuck..."  I look around the room in shock.  Spray painted across the counter tops, the cupboards- everywhere- are the words ‘I Quit!"




And on the table is a note from him.  ‘In case you haven't noticed I quit you odious fucker.  And just to let you know I put bacon products in everything I ever cooked for you!  And I mean everything!'




I scrunch up the note and head upstairs and then I notice the graffiti in Talon's dressing room. ‘Goodbye Luther, I won't be cheated on!'...how the hell did she know I think to myself; I was always careful.




I check the jewellery boxes and they are all empty.  I dash down to the office and quickly open the safe and find the boxes still in there and heave a sigh of relief.  Then I notice the note pinned to the back of the safe door.  ‘See how much they are worth...darling.  I may be a slut but I'm a resourceful one. Be happy fucking whoever she is!'




With a sinking feeling I open the boxes and I see exactly what she's done.












I dry heave into the toilet and sit back on my heels.  I can't believe that!  Taking a steadying breath, I stand up.  I told you not to interfere and you have. Well now you will pay!




I make my way quietly to the lounge and I find what I need before making my way to my bedroom.












"Morning Lindsay, how are you today?"




"Fine thanks.  I'll see you later."  She finishes her coffee and heads off without a backward glance.




"Oh okay."




The front door is shut sharply and I grab my phone but it rolls over to voicemail.




"Grady it's me. I had a great time last night.  I know you said you were going to be busy today but call me when you can.  Speak soon, I hope."








I groaned when I saw it was Michael calling me so I sent it to voicemail.  I got the itch again and this time we topped each other and he's even worse a top as he is at blow jobs!




I'm pacing my kitchen railing against my stupidity.  Foreplay, foreplay for fuck sake foreplay!  He just kissed me and then went for my ass!  When he finally managed inside me, did he hit my prostate? Of course he fucking didn't!  Did he pull on my cock? Of course he fucking didn't!  No, he just shuddered and came immediately!




I felt cheated considering the time I spent working him up into a gibbering wreck of need.




My phone rings again and it's the other half of this duo.  Lindsay.




"Hey Lindsay, how are you?  Uh nothing why, do you want to meet up?  Yeah in an hour, you want to come here?  Sure, I'll text you my address."








Three hours later she's been well fucked and I feel a lot better.












"About Michael, I think I should warn you that he's becoming a little fixated on you." I groan inwardly thinking yeah I'd noticed.  "It might be a good idea for you and me to..."




This is perfect I think to myself.  "Make us official?"




"Yes that's exactly it.  Once he knows you're not available, he'll leave you alone. I'll make sure of it."




"Look there's something I need to tell you..."




"Sssh I already know and it's fine. It's in the past.  Now onto more interesting things."




"Are you kidding me? You're ready to go again?"




"Oh yes."  She giggles.












"Anyone home!"  I call out and soon Lindsay comes smiling towards me.  "Luther how lovely to see you and this is?"




"Bethany.  Bethany this is Lindsay, Lindsay this is Bethany.  Oh and this is Michael."




"Nice to meet you.  Uh what happened to Talon?"  Michael asks, making Lindsay cringe.




"We separated."  I reply and they exchange a look.




"Hey Michael..."




"Grady!  How are you?"  He goes to give him an embrace but Lindsay steps between them and kisses him softly on the lips and Grady puts his arm round her.




"Uh Grady..."




Lindsay smiles at us but her eyes grow cold when she looks at Michael.




"Well since it's a time for announcements.  Grady and I have something to say.  Do you want to tell them or shall I?"




"Lindsay..."  Michael starts to go red.




"I'll do it."  Grady smiles down at her.  "We're a couple."




"For real!"  I clap him on the back.




"Yes Luther for real!  It was Thursday. I just looked at her and thought to myself yes this is the one for me and luckily she feels the same way."




"Well this calls for a celebration, let's get some champagne!"  I declare.  "Michael can you get that sorted out for us?  Come Grady, Lindsay come and tell Bethany and I all about this, leaving out the personal bits of course!"




I lead them to the lounge leaving Michael in the hallway.












Michael's whine cuts through our chatter. "Lindsay, could you come and help me with the champagne please?  You know how clumsy I can be!"




"Excuse me."




I follow him to the kitchen and the moment the door shuts he whirls on me.  "What the fuck do you think you are doing? Grady is mine!"




"I think it's up to Grady who he chooses and he chose me!"




"You do realise that we've slept together twice!"  He hisses at me.




"Of course you have Michael.  Of course you have.  Now let's get the champagne sorted out..."




"We have!   We slept together on Wednesday!"  He hisses back.




"No, Michael, you couldn't have slept with him.  He told me that he went with a guy and it was the worst sex he'd ever had in his life.  Now he couldn't possibly be talking about you now could he?"




I pause and wait for his ego to kick in and when he says nothing I smile.




"I knew you were just making things up.  But isn't it great that with Talon gone at least the loan is no longer an issue.  Now come on let's get the champagne in.  And, please Michael don't let your jealousy that I've found someone and you haven't ruin this relationship or our friendship, okay? Please be happy for me as I would be for you."




As he heads to the lounge with the champagne, I smile to myself. I may not be able to best Zee and Brian but you were a piece of cake Michael Novotny!



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