Michael sat heavily down near his brother. Lincoln put down his food and watched him, concerned he may have done something irreparable. Michael looked dazed, like he was trying to process too many information, going into overdrive.

“Michael? Talk to me…”

“I knew it Link, deep down I knew it was you.” His tone was desperate.

Lincoln put his arm around him and pulled him in a bear embrace, shushing him, whispering. “Of course you did. You’re my brother.”

Michael went limp in his arms. Link saw tears welling up in his wide open eyes and stood, half dragging half lifting his brother, to his room, until he sat him on the bed they’d shared the previous night. They stayed there, Lincoln cradling Michael tenderly while he cried, letting go of the accumulated angst from their hardships, of his fear to lose his brother if he ever dared to act on their mutual attraction. Michael fell asleep from exhaustion and still Lincoln didn’t let go, dreaded to let go, scared that Michael would never forgive him the terrible deception.

When Michael stirred later on, Lincoln was still holding him as if his life depended on it.


He tightened his hold then made an effort to let go of Michael. Michael stretched like a cat, stiff from the awkward position. He took off his shirt, revealing the tattoo that was almost a proprietary mark then settled back in his brother’s lap, straddling him. Link put light hands on his thighs, not yet daring to hope. Michael leaned down and tentatively brushed his lips. Their kiss deepened. Last night had been almost desperate, each believing it would never happen again. Now they could finally acknowledge the fullness of their relationship and take the time needed to savor it.

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