Three months later
Shane let himself into the apartment and experienced a thrill. He always did when he came home. The thrill filled every fiber of his being and he relished it.
“Babe? Is that you?” Justin said. He was in the kitchen and something smelled wonderful.
Walking towards the scent of something delicious, Shane saw something else equally delicious when he entered the kitchen. Justin stood at the stove, stirring something in a pot. “How was your day?”
“Good, but I couldn’t wait to get home.”
“I couldn’t wait for you to get home.” Justin said. When he kissed him, the thrill that ran through Shane intensified until it seemed to go beyond his body. Shane broke the kiss to wrap his arms around Justin and pulled him close.
They had found the apartment only days after 69B ceased to exist. Shane and Justin had suggested they move in together. Anything had to be better than the two of them staying with their sets of parents. Shane had agreed in a heartbeat.
He had never gotten to the moving in stage of a relationship before and was terrified that he would fuck it up; but he needn’t have worried. It was as if he had been waiting his whole life for Justin and the love that he gave. Shane returned that love with equal intensity.
Shane broke away just to look at Justin, not believing that Justin was his, and that they belonged together. He had always wanted to get to the living together stage with someone he loved-it had just never happened. Now that it had, he didn’t want it to ever end.
“How was your day?” Justin asked. “My big powerful supervisor.”
Shane blushed. He had been promoted to supervisor in the call centre he worked at. Shane still couldn’t believe his good fortune. A job he now enjoyed now that he didn’t have to be on the phones or do shift work and a man he loved more than anything? It was bliss. “It was all right. A lot to learn but I’m happy to do it. I had lunch with Diane and Moira today.”
“How did that go? Are they okay?”
“Yes, never better. Moira and Giles bought a house and are moving in next month. Diane saw Corey, he’s doing well. He opened his new practice finally. No more visiting doctor stints for him. She also said that Petunia and Jo are getting married. We’ll get the invitations next week when they drop by.”
“Looking forward to it. I saw Valhalla, alias Victor, down at the market today. He’s growing his own vegetables now. He said we could have the medical grade marijuana he was growing super cheap.”
Shane laughed and experienced another happy thrum running through his body. It was good to know that they had all been able to put everything behind them. He only wished the dreams would stop. Every night he and Justin both dreamed of what had happened at the apartment building, of the darkness that had tried to claim all of their lives.
“Did you speak to LaWanda today? You were supposed to call her this afternoon.”
“I did. She had an idea about how we can stop the dreams. She thinks my idea might be a good one.”
“Come here, I’ll show you.”
Shane followed Justin into his office. It was really a second bedroom but it let in lots of light and suited Justin perfectly. He stood in front of his computer and pointed at the screen. “I already started. Take a look.”
He looked at the screen and received a shock when he saw his own name looking back at him. Moving closer, he read:
Shane wondered if he was getting carpel tunnel syndrome from clicking his mouse button too much.
God damned mother fucking internet dating sites. He had his profile up on so many of them for a week and still hadn’t heard a response. Shane wondered if this was the Internet version of instant judgement-the physical equivalent of an eye roll or a sneer. He was aware that the world of the Internet held little emotion and there were no social etiquettes-however, he just wanted a response.
But it was like high school all over again, really. You sit there, your picture amongst thousands of others and hope that something about you will catch their eye-then you wait. And wait some more.
“What is it?” Shane asked. “What are you writing?”
“It’s about everything that happened to us. I’ve talked to everyone so I can get the timeline of that evening in order and make sure I get everything down. I didn’t want to leave anything out.”
“What are you going to call it?”
“69B. Appropriate, wouldn’t you say? I’m going to finish it and get out of the romance business, make a bold new move to horror. My agent and publishers are already salivating for it. They’re calling it a paranormal murder mystery. No one but us will know that it all really happened.”
“Why would you want to write it down?”
“So that we don’t forget. So that we always remember.”
“Why would we want to remember that?”
Justin looked at him with a smile on his face that was matched by the one in his eyes. “If you think I’m going to forget our first date, you better think again.”
When Justin kissed him by the glow of the computer screen, Shane let him, feeling that all was right with the world.
Shane kissed him back with all his heart and, for the first time in a long time, he thought he would have a dreamless sleep tonight.