The Value of A Hundred Thou

Brian and Justin sat on the steps surveying the near empty loft below them. They had enjoyed the celebrations on Liberty Avenue and the thrill of success at defeating Stockwell. But now, back in the confines of their rather barren home, things didn't seem quite so glorious.

"What are you going to do?" Justin asked.

"You mean before or after I slit my wrists?"

"Brian, don't say things like that."

"Sorry, Sunshine, but at the moment that looks like about the only option open to me."

"That's bull and you know it!"

"I do?"

"Of course you do. The world is out there waiting for you to grab whatever you want."

"Jesus Christ, who died and pronounced you Pollyanna?"

Justin snickered. "I'm not a Pollyanna."

Brian gave him a look. "Somehow I find that hard to believe."

Justin punched him in the upper arm. "Ow!" Brian complained in mock pain.

"Big baby!"

"That's kind of what I am at the moment. I feel like I'm starting all over … naked like a baby."

"Brian, it's not that bad." Brian glared at him. "All right, it's bad, but let's take stock and figure out what we can do."

"I'm going to bed," Brian said starting to stand up.

Justin pulled him back down. "You can do that later. Let's figure out a few things first."

"I … don't want to do this."

"I'll make it worth your while if you humor me now."

Brian groaned. He knew Justin could make it worth his while. He could make it so worth his while, so much more than anyone else could. "I'm going to hold you to that."

"Fine," Justin agreed knowing that he had won the first part of the battle.

"So where do you want to start?"

"How much did you charge on your credit cards?"

"A hundred thou."

"Why did you put it all on credit cards? Don't you know that they have the worst rate of interest?"

"Yes, I do know, Mr. Financial Expert!" Brian said through gritted teeth. "But I also know that they don't take personal checks for those amounts, and I had to fucking do it quickly."

"Okay, okay, I get the point. But we need to pay off as much from the credit cards as we can. Reduce that right down."

"We? We?"

"Yes, we. I'm sticking with you on this one. I'll help you anyway I can."

"What are you going to do, sell your ass on Liberty Ave.?"

"If I have to, "Justin replied seriously.

"I … I was kidding."

"I wasn't."

"I would never want you to do that. You know that, don't you?"

"Yes, I do, but I also want you to know that if it came to that, I'd do it … for you."

Brian leaned over and kissed him tenderly. "I know," he whispered. "Ahem … maybe I should consider peddling my own ass instead."

"We'll talk about peddling our asses later. Let's figure out where you stand."

"Okay," Brian sighed.

"How much do you have in savings?"

"I don't know."

"Don't get testy; just give me a ballpark figure."

"Maybe … fifteen thou."

"Any other holdings?"

"I have a few investments."

"How much?"

"I really don't know. Ted always looked after them."

"We need to talk to him as soon as possible."

"What did you get from selling everything in the loft?"

"About twenty-five."

"So in reality you can pay off a huge chunk of the hundred thousand?"

"I guess so, but then I really would have nothing left."

"What other assets do you have?"

"Mikey has my car."

"I know, but if he brings it back you could sell it."

"Yeah, I suppose."

"I didn't necessarily mean physical assets."

"What other kinds are there?"

"I don't know. I was thinking about contacts you've made, people who could help you in some way, people who owe you something."

Brian stared off into space thinking about what Justin had said. "There is one thing I almost forgot about," he said slowly.

"What's that?"

"Brown Athletics. Their contract stipulates that I am in charge of their campaign, not Vangard."

"Do you think they would stick with you without Vangard?" Justin asked excitedly.


"You should call them tomorrow and find out. You could start your own agency, if you already had them as a base."

"I've wanted to for a long time, but I was afraid I wouldn't like the boss."

Justin giggled and smiled at Brian, happy that the man could still make jokes. "So you'll call in the morning?"

"Yes, I'll fucking call."


"Let's go to bed and I'll work on my contingency plan."

"What contingency plan?"

"Well, if I can't start my own agency, I think I'll open a gay brothel. We can sell our asses for big bucks, especially that one of yours."

"Briiiiaaann," Justin whined.

"Look on the bright side. We can use Hunter's contacts and I'm sure I can set up a great advertising campaign in the baths and backrooms."

"Who's going to pay for it when they can get it for free in those places?" Justin asked.

"Quality, baby! We market it on quality, and we'll have them panting to get in."

"Should I call you Madam?"

Brian snorted. "Yeah, that would be appropriate. Now get your bubble butt into that bed and I'll teach you the finer arts of the trade."

"I thought you already had."

"We've barely scratched the surface, Sunshine."

"So much to learn and so little time."

Brian's lips came down on his and the kiss blotted out the rest of the world with all its problems. All that mattered was the two of them and their skin and lips and arms and hearts.

"We'll be all right, Brian," Justin whispered when Brian released him from the kiss.

"I know." Brian said and thought, "As long as I have you."

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