Ryan laughed. "Yeah. I came out of the closet when... well, when I got here, really. Michael Halloran became my first lover."
"Michael?" Julia asked, confused.
He looked over at her. "Yeah. Michael. Our Halloran's big brother."
He gave a small, strained smile. "Yeah. Michael. First person to die in the Purges."
"I'm... so sorry. If I'd been here..."
"You were what, 12? Nothing you could've done, dear. I've accepted it. Had you been 20, 30 at the time..." He sighed. "I might hate you. But you were too young to do a damn thing about it." He paused. "She made me watch."
"She made me watch. She brought three of us in there, me and Kristian and Jeramie. To teach us a lesson. Remind us what would happen if we stepped out of line. She brought us there, and she tried to seduce him and when that failed, she had Janos shoot him in the head." His voice was tight - with anger as much as with grief. "I still have nightmares. And... that was my first love."
"I don't know what to say..."
"Nothing to say. I'm okay, Julia. Now! I don't have a serious boyfriend right now; Kieran and I are really just friends with benefits."
He regarded her closely. "That is not a problem for you, is it? That he's bi?"
She was taken aback. "No! Oh, no. I just - he has you, and he has Capri. I don't know why the hell he wants me."
"You are his destined bride..."
"Oh, fuck that shit."
"I'm kidding," he laughed. "Yeah, that was it at first. But he really is getting to know you as you now... and he's every bit as smitten."
"Whatever," she muttered, and looked away.
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