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Disclaimer: A work of fiction; the recognizable people in the story belong to themselves and have never performed the actions portrayed here. I do not know the actors nor am I associated with them in any way. If you are underage, please do not read this story. I am not making any profit from these stories, nor do I mean any harm.

Title: Grace Is Gone. 3
Rating: PG-13 to R
Fandom: Lotrps
Pairing: BB/DM
Notes: one / two / three / four




"I kid you not, Sean, a tax accountant for an insurance firm. I don't know what my family was thinking."

Billy held the phone between his shoulder and ear, flipping through the mail that had accumulated on his kitchen counter. He had just come in from a meeting with his agent and was happy to hear Sean's familiar voice.

"I didn't know there were any gay tax accountants. I always imagined they were more like eunuchs," Sean joked.

"They're all gay and I've been out with most of them in the last two months. It's an affront to gay men everywhere. Good God, the man was discussing actuary table. On a date. Just shoot me, please, it would be less painful."

Sean's laugh sounded so good. Billy dropped the mail and gripped the phone with both hands to hold it tight to his ear. Something akin to homesickness washed over him and he sighed into the phone.

"Is it that bad, Billy?"

"Mmm…"

"Come out for a visit." Billy turned, leaning his back against the counter. He crossed his arms, sandwiching the phone between his shoulder and ear again. He wanted to say he'd be on the next flight but instead answered, "No, I don't think I could."

"Come on. The second most eligible bachelor in Scotland shouldn't be spending his evenings talking taxes."

"Damn the upstart prince."

"He could be surfing with hobbits instead."

"I don't think he knows how."

"You, ya comedian."

Billy smiled at the sarcasm in Sean's voice but shook his head. "Tempting, Sean, but no."

"Billy."

"Aye."

"Can I ask you a question? And you can totally tell me to butt out."

Billy took a deep breathe and thought of Sean's face, of the care he would find there. He sighed again, not in the mood for this tonight. The night had been bad enough.

"Aye, Sean, butt out."

There was silence over the line and Billy closed his eyes.

"I'm sorry, Billy," Sean said quietly.

"No, don't be." Billy cleared his throat before asking, "How is he?"

"Wretched."

"Is he?" Billy opened his eyes in surprise.

"Out and about a lot. Drinking a lot. Always talking Lij or Orli into going out to some club or goes by himself."

"Doesn't sound any different to me."

"No. It's different. He's… He doesn't… It's just different. I think he'd like to see you."

"Did he say that?"

"No. We…we don't talk about you. He gets this look when your name is mentioned. Like someone's kicked his puppy. It's . . .we just don't."

"No. It's okay. I understand," Billy answered, not really wanting to understand, not wanting to consider Dominic miserable. The line was silent for a few minutes.

"At least think about coming over. The family would love to see you. So would Elijah, he mentions it every time I talk to him."

"I miss them. I miss you all terribly."

"He'd want to see you," Sean said.

Billy shook his head into the growing darkness of his kitchen as he said, "No. He's made that clear." They were silent again.

"I've got to run, Sean. Meeting someone in an hour and I still need to shower."

"Not the accountant?"

Billy laughed quietly. "No. No, an old friend from school in town for the night."

"Alright then. I'll talk to you soon."

"Right. Sean?"

"Yeah?"

Billy was quiet for a moment, considering his next words before saying, "You'll watch out for him. Make sure he's…"

"I will, Billy."

"Right. Well then…until soon."

"Bye Bill."

Billy hung up the phone and stood looking out the kitchen window for a long time, his mind elsewhere.

__________________________

*"Neon shines through smoky eyes tonight / It's 2 am, I'm drunk again, you're heavy on my mind"*

Elijah was pissed at him, Dominic knew. Knew, but didn't care.

He sat at the end of the bar, slumped forward on the stool. Swirling the last of his drink in the glass, he tried desperately to remember what the girl sitting next to him had said her name was. Not that it really mattered, though he supposed it might to her. He swallowed his drink and motioned to the bartender for another.

The girl turned towards him again, in what she must have thought was an alluring way. She ran her manicured fingers through her straight blonde hair and looked at him through hooded eyes. Not even close, he thought. She smiled again with her perfectly straight, blinding white teeth. She said something and he had to lean in close to hear her.

"Say something," she says. Fucking accent. The bartender set down the fresh glass and Dominic picked it up and emptied the contents. He stood and threw some bills down on the bar.

"Let's dance." He held his hand out to her and led her out to the middle of the floor. The music was fast and loud. It pulsed in time with the flashing lights. The girl pressed her body against his and they moved against the other bodies. Dominic felt someone rubbing against his back, felt the girl move her hands against his chest. He felt dizzy-nauseas from the heat and the alcohol. His shirt clung to his back and his legs felt prickly hot inside his jeans. He lowered his face to the girl's neck and put his hands on her shoulder blades.

Sometimes. . .sometimes, if he was careful, he could close his eyes and pretend. Easier with boys than girls but what the hell. Just needed enough alcohol and to remember not to breathe too deeply. He ran his fingertips down her spine very gently, something Billy had loved. He heard the soft laugh and turned his head to capture lips. Don't breathe, he told himself, don't fucking breathe.

He felt her tongue, tasted the sweetness of the wine cooler she had nursed for an hour. He grabbed her upper arms and pulled her closer, plundering her mouth, willing a different taste. They had stopped moving and people were bumping into them. He ended the kiss but didn't open his eyes. She wrapped her arms around his neck and licked the curl of his ear. She was talking again in her flat American accent. He squeezed his eyes tighter and tried to focus on her words.

"Show me your tattoo?"

Dominic forced his mouth into a smile and opened his eyes to look into her face, her blonde-haired-blue-eyed-California face. Not even fucking close, he thought.

"Sure love," he slurred.

___________________________

*"One drink to remember then another to forget / How could I ever dream to find sweet love like you again"*

The last call from Elijah had really gotten to him. Billy stopped cramming clothing into his suitcase and clutched his stomach with his hand. Afraid to leave him during his upcoming shoot? What was that supposed to mean? Surprised he hasn't wrapped himself around a tree yet? My God, the very thought.

He looked up at the clock on the bedside table and cursed. Furiously packing again, he used a pair of socks to swipe at his eyes. I should have demanded that he speak to me, he thought. I should've told Elijah to quit lying for him.

A car horn sounded outside and he rushed to finish. Outside, his sister waited to take him to the airport. Opening the door, he waved at her to give him five minutes. He picked up the phone and dialed the familiar number. Christine answered and went to get Sean.

Billy grabbed his keys, wallet, and passport while waiting for Sean to pick up the phone.
Hearing the phone being picked up on the other end but not waiting for Sean to speak, Billy said, "I'm leaving now. I should be there at six something day after tomorrow. Or the day before…"

"I know, Billy. I'll be there to pick you up."

"I could take a cab."

"I'll be there."

"Does he know I'm coming?"

Sean hesitated before answering. "No. We thought it best if he didn't."

"Jesus, Sean. Is it really as bad as Elijah says?" Billy pinched the bridge of nose, feeling the beginnings of the now familiar ache beneath his temples.

"I don't know. He won't talk to me either but I'm going over there tomorrow to wait for him. It'll be all right, Billy. I promise."

"Aye. I hope so. Thank you, Sean. I should have come over long ago. I shouldn't have let him go."

"Don't blame yourself."

Billy cut Sean off, shaking his head. "I have to go, my sister is waiting."

"I'll see you soon then."

"Until soon."

Billy began to pull the phone away from his ear when he heard Sean again.

"It's not your fault. It's nobody's fault. We'll make it right."

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