Chapter 27 - I Want To Hold Your Hand (The Beatles ; 1964)

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I forgot to show Brendon the sketch when I finished it, but, I'm hoping the display will blow him away when he sees it tonight. The last week and a half had basically gone by in a blur, what with setting up the display and getting an entire floor prepared for the gallery. The gallery's purpose was to showcase me as a rising artist, with reoccurring artist's works supporting me. There would be small exhibits and displays with mine being in the largest showroom on the floor. It was nerve wracking, to say the least, but I was excited nonetheless.

Brendon and I were currently in our apartment getting ready for the night, the both of us running back and forth between the bathroom and the 'bedroom' as we were simultaneously trying to get dressed, shave, and apply the right kind of deodorizers. In short, it was a mess.

After we were in our suits, we stood in front of each other and helped each other do our neck accessories. Brendon decided to be a bit simple in his choice of outfit, adorning a white button-up shirt with some gold, metal accessories on it, an olive colored paisley ascot, black slacks and a wide, brown leather belt. As for myself, I was adorned in black slacks, a white button-up with a black, silk vest, black jacket with a silk, black rose on the right flap with a multi-layered black tie and white finger less gloves. This may be the only gallery I'm featured in, so I might as well go all out on my attire.

Once we were both completely ready, I reached over to cup Brendon's face before pulling him to me and pressing a soft, passionate kiss to his lips. His arms linked around my waist and his hands knotted the fabric of my suit jacket before we pulled away from each other. I smiled softly at him before keeping an arm around his waist and leading us out of the apartment. We met Frank, Gerard, Jon and Spencer in the lobby before we all headed to the limo that was driving us to the museum. The drive there was nowhere near silent as we were all rambling with excitement the entire way. Spencer and Jon kept scooting closer to each other with every passing minute, and it didn't take a genius to figure out what was going on there. I smirked to myself as I reached over and took Brendon's hand in mine, bringing it to my lips and pressing a soft kiss to the back of his hand. He smiled over at me just before we pulled up in front of the museum.

I let out a soft stream of air as the door to our limo was opened and everyone began piling out one after the other. Soon, Brendon was leaving the limo, his hand still in mine as he helped me climb out of the car. Once I stepped out, I was having microphones and notepads and cameras practically shoved in my face. I smiled politely at the paparazzi as we all squeezed past them into the building and I let out another breath of relief.

A soon as we hit the fourth floor, Frank and Gerard began mingling with other artist's and businessmen as Spencer and Jon went about observing the other displays. I kept Brendon's hand in mine as I led him over to the showroom where our display was. Right before we got to the room, I placed my hands over his eyes, earning a chuckle from him as I led him into the room. Once we were inside, I put my lips up to the shell of his ear. "Are you ready," I asked in a quiet, breathy voice, earning a small yet vigorous nod from him.

I gently removed my hands from his eyes and watched in anticipation as he slowly opened them and began scoping the room. I saw his eyes widen and soften at the same time as he brought a hand up to his mouth. I saw tears gathering in the corners of his eyes, and watched them completely fall as his eyes landed on the centerpiece of the entire display. He walked over to the portrait and gently ran his fingertips across the canvas before speaking to me in a quiet, choked voice.

"Is this the on you did when we got back from Nevada," he asked me in a voice that was completely laced in awe.

I nodded slightly, mentally cursing myself because he couldn't see me. "Yeah," I answered in a small whisper. "Yeah, it is." I walked up behind him and wrapped my arms around his waist as I leaned down to whisper in his ear. "You're the first thing I've ever had in my whole life that didn't make me see in black and white. You're colorful and beautiful, just like this picture."

I watched as he continued leaving feather-light strokes over the canvas before he turned around in my arms and wrapped his arms around my neck. "I love you," he whispered against my ear. "I love you so much."

I wrapped my arms tighter around his waist and hugged his body to me securely. "I love you, too, Brendon."

We pulled apart and looked at each other lovingly before we were interrupted by a knock at the entrance. I turned to see Spencer smiling brightly at us, jerking a thumb towards the gathering area. "Your parents are here, Ry," he said in a happy tone. "They've been asking for you for about fifteen minutes."

I nodded and took Brendon's hand in mine, leading us back into the gathering area. As soon as I caught site of my father, my heart rate picked up and a large smile graced my face as we headed toward them. My father opened his arms widely and, upon making it to him, we engulfed each other in tight hugs as my mother and Brendon greeted one another. After a minute or so, Brendon and I swapped parents and we just began talking about the gallery.

My father looked so much better than when we were in Nevada a couple weeks back and he was laid up in a hospital bed. The color had come back to his skin and the copious amount of wrinkles had left the corners of his eyes. I smiled as I hugged him once more before Frank announced for us to head to the showroom to unveil the feature display of the night.

My father smiled down at me as we all headed into the showroom, my mom's hand in my dad's, and Brendon's hand in mine.

* *~~~* *

After showcasing the display and some very kind, encouraging words from Frank and Gerard toward Brendon and myself for the art, as well as Spencer and Jon for the advertisements, the entire crowd of people headed back into the gathering area, sipping from glasses of champagne and talking amongst themselves. Spencer and Jon were talking to a man about some business propositions as Brendon and I were standing around a tall table, conversing with Frank and Gee.

"We meant what we said, gentlemen," Gee spoke softly with a bright smile. "We're very proud of the work you put into this. The sketches are wonderful and the display looks absolutely incredible. The turnout is amazing, and I'm absolutely positive that everyone here is very impressed."

Brendon and I nodded shyly, thanking the both of them before Frank turned to us. "By the way," he started with a smile, "your apartment is leased under your names with an indefinite contract. You guys can go back to San Francisco and graduate and immediately come back here if that's what you wish to do, or you can transfer to University of Chicago and just finish out your studies here. Either way, both Gerard and I will make sure your tuition and living expenses are completely paid for."

Brendon and I looked at each other with wide smiles as we let out surprised gasps. I turned back to Frank and shook my head in awe at him. "T-That would be absolutely incredible--"


My sentence was interrupted by the distressed voice of my mother followed by the sound of glass shattering. I turned to face the sounds, seeing nothing but blur around me but a perfectly clear image about twenty feet in front of me. I dropped my champagne glass to the floor, the sound of the glass shattering added with everyone's jumbled voice becoming muffled around me as I began running forward.


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