Perfectly Happy and Gay
Brian and Lindsey were celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary. Friends and family all enjoying the wonderful dinner the happy couple had prepared or rather, what Brian had catered so that Lindsey could enjoy herself.
Lindsey had just finished her masters in Fine Arts and was about to start at PIFA teaching art courses and art history. Brian had already gotten his MBA. He was an up and coming ad exec at Ryder's, making a name for himself for his brilliant ad campaigns, winning awards, and raking in million dollar accounts.
The evening was winding down, Joan and Jack were the first to leave. Brian, grateful for the small miracle that Jack hadn't gotten drunk or insulted his in-laws. Lindsey's parents were also preparing to leave with the usual hugs and glib comments of the expectation of grandchildren. Mrs. Peterson gave Brian a kiss on the cheek while Mr. Peterson loudly clapped Brian on the shoulder, reminding Brian to get on with the business of making babies.
The couple started the task of cleaning up their small apartment, putting away dishes, glasses and the wedding albums that were, of course, thoroughly perused throughout the evening. Lindsey picked up the honeymoon album to put back on the shelf and quietly sighed.
"Sometimes I can almost believe it."
"Yeah, me too. Let's leave the rest for morning and go to bed. It's been a long day."
The couple prepared for bed then snuggled together under the warm duvet.
"It's almost perfect."
They kissed then drifted to sleep, hugging each other tightly.
And it was almost perfect.
The couple had met in college. She a tall, slim, golden haired beauty. He, also tall, slim, dark with piercing hazel eyes that brought men to their knees and made women swoon. It was natural and expected that these two bright, intelligent people would find each other, fall in love and marry. They were each expected to have brilliant careers and produce equally brilliant and perfect children.
Perfect, except for one thing, Lindsey and Brian were gay.
They discovered early in their relationship that while the sex between them was loving and tender, it lacked fire and passion. Their suspicions were confirmed while Lindsey was away on a six month art course in Europe, having several affairs with the free spirited young women of France. Brian had his own needs met in the backrooms of Liberty Avenue.
When Lindsey returned, they both confessed their indiscretions. After a momentary bout of guilt, self denial and much sex, it became abundantly clear that the truth of their nature had to be acknowledged, if only to themselves before they lost themselves and their relationship.
The two made a pact. They would remain together, go on as expected by their families and raise children if Lindsey became pregnant. They would keep each other's secret until either one could no longer live the lie. And they did, very successfully.
The years passed and the couple's successes grew. Brian was made partner, the youngest ever at Ryder's. Lindsey's paintings were making a tidy sum at her gallery and her classes were always full, with long waiting lists. They still lived in the same small apartment, fearing that any move on their part would jar the delicate balance of their continuum. And, on occasion, they would make love.
Brian was a gentle considerate lover, filling Lindsey's need for oral gratification. Lindsey too, would offer herself freely, indulging Brian's lust for anal sex. While they both achieved orgasm, they were never really satisfied. After, they would kiss and cling to each other, thank each other then cry together. Both knowing that someday they would no longer be able to keep their pact.
And that day did come.
As it was her habit, Lindsey kept an eye out for new artists who had the potential to make a mark in the art world. She would organize many student shows at the institute and bi-annual shows at her gallery. Early in this semester the work of a young man made a strong impression. His technique was raw but full of detail and passion. Lindsey knew that Justin Taylor would become an important artist.
Lindsey also knew that while artists would sacrifice almost anything to remain true to their calling, they also needed to eat and pay rent. Lindsey arranged with Brian an interview.
Brian had within his power to hire and fire the artistic talents for his team. Actually, the firing was the easy part. Ever the perfectionist task master, Brian was, at best difficult to please. If a fuck up was made he fully expected the fuckee to claim ownership. Brian had no qualms dismissing an entire staff of artists if one did not confess to the misdeed. He expected 110% from his staff and no less than 150% from himself. It's what made him so good, feared and respected. Only the very best worked for Brian Kinney.
Justin was very nervous, he was also very smart, talented, beautiful and only 18. Professor Kinney's letter of reference would take him only so far, the rest he would have to do on his own.
Brian had just finished reaming out the latest in a series of pathetic artists and was working on a migraine when Cynthia, his assistant, buzzed him, reminding him of his interview with a Justin Taylor. Brian was about to respond with a "fuck off" until he remembered Lindsey's sticky note attached to his laptop warning him to be nice. He buzzed back asking for 5 minutes, then to show in Mr. Taylor and a cup of coffee. The 5 minute respite was needed to calm himself, find aspirin and to re-read Taylor's resume or lack there of. The kid was only 18, Brian didn't expect much but he was impressed with the slides of the kid's work. He massaged the bridge of his nose and waited for Cynthia, the boy and the coffee.
Brian became vaguely aware of his door opening, footsteps and the aroma of his own personal blend wafting under his nose.
"It's Justin, sir and you're welcome."
Brian's eyes lifted at the sound of the velvety voice to see a blond blue eyed angel standing in front of his desk with his arm extended and a mug of coffee in his hand. Brian removed the mug from the angel's hand, slightly grazing his tanned fingers over the paler ones. Both men instantly looked down at their fingers, almost hearing the crack of the spark that just ignited.
Hazel met blue.
The mug set down on the desk, was now replaced by Brian's hand in a warm firm handshake. The sparks continued to fly.
"Justin Taylor, my wife has many good things to say about you. She's rather impressed by your portfolio. What makes you think you'd be any good in advertising?"
The grip of Justin's hand never wavered as Justin looked up into the hazel eyes through a vail of his own thick golden lashes.
"Mr. Kinney, I don't know if I'd be any good at advertising. I do know that I love to draw, have an eye for color and perspective and I admire your work. I'd like to try."
The honesty of Justin's answer brought a smile to Brian's face, so used to hearing the patented answers of many applicants. Brian's headache began to ease. He released the boy's hand and gestured to the chair. As Justin sat, Brian took a sip of his coffee.
"I apologize, would you care for a cup? I'll buzz Cynthia."
"No thank you, I'm fine."
Justin was far from fine. Wife or no wife, Justin's gaydar was pinging off the scope. He feared that any intake of liquids at this juncture would cause him to need a restroom and Justin wanted no interruptions. He needed to know if what he felt was real.
Brian picked up his loop and examined one of Justin's slides, a sketch of an attractive young woman with love in her eyes.
"Who's this? She's very pretty."
"Does it have a `D' in the corner?"
"That's Daphne. We grew up together, she's my roommate."
Brian's heart sank a few notches into his chest. He thought he felt something pass between them but now he wasn't so sure. Justin's observant eyes caught the fleeting look of disappointment that flitted across Brian's face and he quickly added an explanation.
"Daphne's not my girlfriend but we are best friends. She took me in when..."
"Um, I'm not sure if I should say, sir, kinda don't ask don't tell thing."
"I'm not quite sure I understand."
Justin sighed his best little princess sigh then offered an explanation.
"Shortly after I graduated from high school I came out, then my folks or rather my father, threw me out. I have a full scholarship to PIFA but no place to live. Daphne asked me to live with her, she had a room and I needed one."
After an awkward silence, Brian picked up another slide.
"I see where you get your good looks from."
Brian made an audible gasp as Justin's smile dazzled him. All of sudden Brian slammed his hand on the intercom making Justin jump.
"Cynthia! Cancel my appointments for the rest of the day. This interview is taking longer than expected and send out for lunch."
"Yes and a...?"
"Cheeseburger and fries for Taylor and do you like chocolate?"
"A chocolate shake for Justin."
"Right away, boss."
Brian shuffled the slides around on his desk, picking up one tinted with blue. A blue that almost matched the angel's eyes.
"And this one?"
"One of my first attempts at oils. It's supposed to be a beach on Maui but it's not quite right. Professor Kinney thought it should be included anyway."
"She's always right, Justin."
The breathy way Brian spoke Justin's name went straight to Justin's cock. Justin became painfully grateful that there was a desk between he and Brian.
"This sketch, M2."
"Let me guess, your little sister."
"Uh huh, I mean, yes."
`Wrong', Justin thought to himself, `this is going all wrong. I'm speaking like an idiot and I have a hard on.' "Shit."
Brian, equally flustered by his feelings for this boy, sensed the boy's discomfort. `Now, what do I do?' Thankfully, no decisions other than eating lunch had to be made. Cynthia came in with Brian's sandwich, Justin's burger and fresh cup of coffee for Brian.
"On my desk, I'm not an octopus, you know."
As fast as you can say Brian Kinney's an asshole, Cynthia was back with Justin's shake.
"Anything else, sire?"
"No thank you, bitch, now get out and shut the door."
A very unladylike snort preceded the snick of Brian's office door closing. Brian shifted the slides and the resume to one side so that he and Justin could eat their lunch.
"Mr. Kinney, may I ask, how did you get into advertising?"
"It's Brian, and I'm not sure. As a kid I'd watch TV commercials and thought , well that sucked. I wouldn't buy shit from that company. Or I'd see a print ad then doodle my own. I can draw a little but no where close to your stuff or Lindsey's. I figured if the assholes could make money from their lame ads I could make more and I was right. Why did Lindsey send you to me? You have no desire for the business."
"True, but I like to eat. Daphne's not charging me a lot for the rent but books, food and art supplies don't come cheap."
"Tell me about it. Well Taylor, after lunch we'll play a game."
"Game, sir? I mean Brian."
"Yes. I'll show you a sample product and you impress me with your ad."
"But I don't know how to write an ad."
"You don't have to, leave the ideas to me. I want to see if you can read my mind."
Lunch was completed in relative silence with a very perplexed Justin trying not to spill his shake or get ketchup on his clothes.
Moving to a table close to the window, Brian placed a sketch pad and several pencils in front of Justin. Then Brian waved an expensive looking, sleek, shiny black pen in front of Justin. Justin followed the pen in Brian's hand, watching the older man finger it, hold it like a pool cue, twirling it like a baton. Justin's eyes remained transfixed as if in a trance. Brian placed the well balanced pen in Justin's hand then simply stated, " an extension of the hand."
Justin's nose wrinkled at the corny pompous statement but then in a flash, he set down the pen and picked up a pencil. Justin began to draw a series of sketches starting with a well dressed executive sitting at his desk. With pen in hand, the exec was signing contracts. All around the man's head were smaller sketches in bubbles. The man playing tennis, shooting pool, in mid swing playing golf. The ad gave the impression, use the pen, make the right deals and the world is yours.
Brian quietly paced then sat and watched the boy hard at work. Concentrating on his sketch, Justin's pink tongue slipped between his lips arousing Brian. Justin was completely engrossed in drawing the ad. Brian became engrossed in the boy. For a moment Brian was lost in images of the boy's pale skin next to his own, the scent of vanilla and the taste of the full ripe...
"Mr. Kinney, uh Brian. I'm finished."
Brian's reverie shaken, he looked down at the completed sketch.
"Well fuck me, that's exactly what I had in mind. I bet you could make a plow look sexy! Here, try this."
Brian crossed over to his desk and pulled out a scarf from a drawer. The silk scarf was a soft seafoam green with bright fushia and lavender flowers screened on it. Brian bent close to Justin's ear and whispered, "The possibilities are endless." Then draped the scarf around Justin's neck.
This time Justin's nose didn't wrinkle. He closed his eyes and gently caressed the soft scarf. Suddenly a shy smile crept across his lips and Justin reached for the pad. He furiously drew a large elegant brass bed complete with fluffy pillows and lavish duvet. The scarf casually draped over the foot of the bed, the caption in scripted calligraphy, "The possibilities are endless!" With a quiet sigh, Justin slid the pad to the waiting Brian.
Brian eyed the sketch and beamed. "Perfect!"
Justin's smile again lit up the room and Brian was blinded.
Shaking all the possibilities out of his head, Brian crossed to his desk and slapped at the intercom.
"Cynthia! Send Justin's application to HR with my recommendations. I want him on my team."
"Right away, Brian."
"Welcome aboard, Sunshine!"
Justin resisted the urge to leap in Brian's arms, instead he stood, smiling from ear to ear and extended his hand to Brian. Brian clasped the smaller hand in his own. Holding it firmly, Brian whispered, "Taylor, I just know you're going to be trouble."
Still beaming, Justin tightened his grip, looking into Brian's eyes that started to deepen to a dark moss green, Justin whispered back, "I hope so."
Both men stared, hazel drowning in ocean blue, barely a breath between them. Loosening his grip, Brian leaned against his desk so that they were eye to eye. He smirked and raised an eyebrow never taking his gaze off the blond.
"Taylor, are you prepared to work long hard hours, perhaps deep in to the night?"
"Yes, Mr. Kinney."
"Then if you're available I'd like to continue this interview at Woody's, a bar on Liberty Avenue. Maybe a little dinner."
"I know it well, and yes I'd like that."
"Since my calendar is free and it's close to 5, let's do this right. May I take you to dinner then that drink. I mean a growing boy has to eat, right?"
At that moment Justin's stomach confirmed it's owners statement with a loud rumble sending both men into a fit of very unbusiness-like giggles.
"Come along Taylor, let's feed your stomach."
As they strode passed Cynthia's desk, Brian barked out his plans.
"Cynthia, I'm taking young Taylor here to dinner to discuss his benefits package. Why don't you go home, I'll see you in the morning."
"Sure, Brian. Goodnight and congratulations Justin. I'll see you around."
"Thank you and I'm sure you'll be seeing me."
Brian chose a small quiet restaurant close to the office where he and Justin could speak without prying eyes and little interruption. Picking over a salad, Brian ventured a question.
"Justin, if you don't mind me asking, when did you know?"
"Know that you're gay."
"I guess I've always known. Didn't do much about until my senior year of high school. I experimented a little but I had to be careful."
"Because of your parents?"
"Yes and I have a friend who was bashed. He's okay now but it wasn't easy. I thought about staying in the closet, it would have made my life easier with my parents but I couldn't live the lie. Besides, all artists are gay, right?"
"Right. Do you think I'm, I mean, me and Lindsey, you've figured it out, haven't you?"
"Yeah, my gaydar is fairly accurate. I don't make assumptions. You and Professor Kinney have to do whatever it takes to survive. I wish I had met you sooner."
"Justin, any sooner and you'd still be diapers. Lindsey and I met in college and we did what was expected by het standards."
"She knows about you?"
"More than knows, she's a lesbian."
"But you two, uh, sleep together?"
"Yes, we do sleep together and on occasion have sex but it's out of comfort and friendship more than anything else. We know each other so well and love each other. We're best friends."
"Kinda like me and Daph. We slept together once, it was a first for both of us, but we knew the truth. Now, I can't imagine my life without her in it."
"It's like that for me and Linds. But we know that sooner or later one of us will meet someone and all will be revealed, so to speak."
"What happens then?"
"We promised to be honest with each other and try to work it out. She wants a baby soon and I promised her I'd be the father if she wants me to be."
"Yeah, wow. You? Do you want children someday?"
"Someday, I think. Daphne always says I'd make a great dad. I think she wants me to make her a mom, someday."
"We have a lot in common."
"But is it realistic? Can something like that ever work out?"
"I don't think it would be easy but yes, I think with the right people it could work."
"I hope so."
The pause in their conversation was taken up by the waiter delivering their main course.
"This is good."
"Thought you'd like it. Save room for dessert."
"I'll have room."
"I bet you will."
The rest of the evening passed pleasantly with Brian and Justin talking about themselves, their lives, experiences, expectations and feelings. Neither man wanted to leave, having no need for the drink at Woody's. They sat and talked until closing.
"I didn't realize how late it is, let me drop you off."
"I can catch a bus."
"No way am I letting a young lad take public transport. I'm driving you home."
"I wont argue with my boss. You still are my boss, aren't you?"
"Yes I am, but we have to be discrete. I will treat you like any other member of my team and I have to warn you, if you let me down I will fire your ass. But that doesn't mean I'd want to stop seeing you. You understand?"
"Completely and I wont let you down, I promise."
"I'll hold you to that."
Justin gave Brian the directions to the apartment he shares with Daphne. At the curb, Justin was about to get out of the jeep.
"Justin I, I really want to kiss you but I'm afraid that if I do I wont want to stop."
"I wouldn't want you to stop."
"I really want to be with you but..."
"Yes, I need to speak with her first."
"I understand and I can wait."
"Yes I can."
"Are you sure you're only 18?"
"Last time I checked."
"Get out Taylor, get some sleep, I'll see you tomorrow after your last class."
"Goodnight Mr. Kinney."
"Hi, must have been some interview."
"Sorry I'm late."
"So, how did it go?"
"He's a remarkable young man."
"I know that, I was talking about his work. Did you hire him?"
"Yes I did and wait a minute, you knew?"
"I had a feeling."
"What were you thinking? This could have been a disaster!"
"Brian, I know you better than that and I know Justin."
"How can you know him, this semester just got started."
"Bri, you know I'm a good judge of character and the minute I met Justin I knew he'd be perfect for you, in more ways than one."
"He's so young."
"He's very mature for his age and he's not a virgin."
"Stop it Bri. Yes he's young but very wise. And his artwork is wonderful, so thoughtful, it touches your soul. Brian, he has so much love in him. You can see it in his eyes."
"Yes. Brian it will be alright."
"How can it? This is wrong."
"No, what we're doing is wrong. I love you so much but we both know we need to tell the truth. We can't go on like this, and I..."
"You met someone."
"Yes, a visiting professor. She's into modernism. I, we've been spending a lot of time together."
"And she knows about us, you and me?"
"Yes, I've told her and she's willing to wait. Brian I haven't..."
"I didn't either. I wanted to talk to you first. Lindsey, I so wanted to be with him."
"I know the feeling. Look, let's sleep on this and discuss it further tomorrow. We can work this out."
"I love you Linds. I don't want you to get hurt. Your reputation at PIFA, the gallery, I'd die if any of this hurt your career. And what the fuck will our families and friends say?"
"Hey, I'm an artist, I can get away with this. You on the other hand will have to be discrete. You may loose clients, your job or both."
"Linds, would it surprise you to know I've been toying with the idea of starting up my own agency?"
"No, not at all. I know how innovative you are. Ryder's can be a little stiff."
"And not in a positive, life affirming way."
"I'd support your decision, whatever it is."
"And babies, you still want me to father your baby."
"Of course, nothing would change that."
"Shit. This is crazy."
"Brian, it will work."
"That's what I told Justin."
"Let's go to bed."
One year later.
"You barked boss."
"Is he in?"
"You screamed, Bri."
"Get your ass in here!"
"Keep your thong on."
"So, what's got your boxer's in a knot?"
"What the fuck is this?"
"The latest mock up."
"And who's the asshole who change the color of the font to orange?"
"I'm the asshole and the client loved it."
"Shit! When did you get so smart?"
"The day I walked in to your office."
"Later, when we get home."
"Brian, excuse me Justin, Bri, Lindsey's on the phone, she's at the hospital."
"Now? The baby?"
"Fuck! Justin, let's go. Cyn?"
"I'll hold down the fort. GO!"
"Lindsey, he's perfect. You okay?"
"Tired but I'm fine. Brian, Justin, say hello to your son."
"Can I hold him?"
"Of course Brian."
"Hiya Sonny Boy. He's beautiful. What will we call him?"
"I don't know. All the names we picked out don't seem right now."
"May I make a suggestion?"
"Gus Peterson Taylor Kinney."
"Yeah, just perfect!"
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