Mother’s Day Mayday
Brian leaned back on the sofa in the loft. He took a sip of his Beam and flipped to another page of the GQ magazine that lay across his lap. A smile curled the corners of his mouth as he stared at the ad on the page in front of him. It was his ad … for Brown Athletics, and it had earned him and Leo Brown a fortune.
Leo had been reluctant to waste his money advertising in Gentlemen’s Quarterly. It wasn’t a magazine for people who needed sports equipment, Leo had informed Brian. Brian had had to do some fast talking to convince Brown that an ad in GQ was a route that would make sense, and money, for Brown Athletics. The line of workout clothes and equipment that the ad represented had gone through the roof after the ads had started to appear. As a result, Kinnetik had shot to the forefront of the advertising game.
“Life is good,” Brian whispered to himself, taking another sip of his bourbon.
The phone ringing shook Brian out of his happy place.
“Fuck,” he muttered as he got up from the sofa, setting his drink on the coffee table.
He walked towards the computer desk where the phone rested on its base. He had been enjoying the peace and quiet of the empty loft while Justin was at his mother’s place making Jennifer a Mother’s Day dinner. With a sigh Brian picked up the phone, wondering which one of his motley group of friends dared to disturb him. They should all be looking after their fucking mothers.
“What?” Brian barked into the phone, making his displeasure clearly evident to whoever was stupid enough to have called him.
“B…Brian?” a trembling voice asked.
“Justin?” Brian asked with a frown. “What’s wrong?”
“You … you yelled at me.”
“I did not.”
“Yes, you did. Why are you yelling at me?”
“I didn’t know it was you,” Brian said by way of a sort of apology. “I didn’t want to be disturbed.”
“Sorry,” Justin said sadly.
“What is it? You sound like something’s wrong.”
“There is something wrong.”
Brian waited. When no further explanation was forthcoming, Brian demanded, “Justin, are you going to tell me what the fuck you’re calling here for? Aren’t you supposed to be cooking for your mother?”
“I was trying to,” came the whispered reply.
Brian frowned and ran his hand through his hair. “Did you burn the dinner?” he asked.
“No, I fucking did not! I’m a good cook.”
“Then what’s wrong? Tell me for fuck sake.”
“Can you just come over here?” Justin asked sounding pathetic.
“No I cannot come over there. This is your day with your mother.”
“That’s what it’s supposed to be, but it’s all … gone wrong.”
“Justin, tell me what the fuck happened.”
“I need you.”
“You don’t need me.”
“Yes, I do.”
“What do you need me to do?”
“Help me make dinner for Mom.”
“I don’t cook. You know that.”
“Yes, you do … when you want to,” Justin replied. “You make good scrambled eggs.”
“You want me to make scrambled eggs for your Mother’s Day dinner?” Brian asked incredulously. “Sure! Why not? And maybe I’ll even throw in a few delicately buttered slices of toast to go with it,” Brian added sarcastically.
“This isn’t funny,” Justin protested.
“No shit! I haven’t found anything funny since I picked up this fucking phone.”
“Mom’s oven won’t work and I got the chicken all ready to roast and it’s been sitting in the oven for forty minutes and it hasn’t even started to cook and Mom’s going to be here soon and I have nothing to feed her and it’s all ruined. Come over here please, Brian,” Justin begged.
“I am not coming over there,” Brian declared.
“You like my mother, don’t you?”
“Don’t go that route,” Brian warned. “Your mother and I get along, but she was looking forward to having some time alone with you. I promised to stay out of the way.”
“You … promised? When did you talk to my mother?”
“I … we … talked earlier this week,” Brian admitted reluctantly.
“You did?” Justin asked with a smile. It was good that Brian and his mother were starting to get along.
“Yes, we did,” Brian repeated hearing the smile in Justin’s voice. It made him smile too. “What are you going to do … about dinner I mean?”
“I thought you could think of something,” Justin said hopefully. “Maybe you could use your connections to get us a reservation somewhere?”
“As influential as I may be in the culinary establishments of Pittsburgh, I doubt I can get you dinner reservations on Mother’s Day,” Brian said ruefully. He did, however, want to help Justin.
“What am I going to do?” Justin moaned.
Brian knew that Justin was fighting back tears. The kid had been planning this dinner for weeks. Brian wracked his brain trying to come up with something. “Stay put, and answer the door when someone knocks,” Brian ordered.
“Are you coming over?” Justin asked, the pleading tone clear in his voice.
“Just wait … patiently.”
“But…” Justin never got to finish that thought as the line went dead.
A knock at the front door of the condo startled Justin. He looked at his watch. His mother would be home any minute. He hoped that wasn’t her, but she wouldn’t have knocked anyway. She had a key. This was her house after all. Justin shook his head as he wiped his hands on a towel. The salad he had made for the first course of the meal looked really good. If only he had a main course to serve with it.
Justin pulled open the front door hoping to find Brian standing there holding a great dinner from some elegant restaurant.
“Wha…what are you doing here?” Justin asked.
“Brian said you had sent out a mayday, and since I can make a party out of nothing, I am here to perform a much needed miracle,” Emmett stated brushing past Justin and heading up the stairs.
“Point me in the direction of the kitchen,” Emmett ordered.
Justin ran up the steps behind Emmett and pointed towards the kitchen door. “Can I help?”
“You bet your fine butt you can,” Emmett said confidently. “Let’s make something fabulous for your mother.”
“Justin, the salad was delicious,” Jennifer gushed as she put her fork into the last piece of spinach on her plate.
“Glad you like it, Mom,” Justin said with his patented Taylor smile.
“What I like even more is being here with you,” Jennifer said as she put the forkful of salad into her mouth and then squeezed her son’s hand.
“It’s nice being with you too, Mom,” Justin said fondly. “How did you get Molly to be away for the day?”
“She’s with your father and his girlfriend.”
“Oh,” Justin said making a face. He immediately regretted that he had brought the subject up at all.
“Molly gave me a new sweater and a card before she left,” Jennifer added not wanting Justin to get the wrong idea about his sister.
“That’s good.” It sounded like Molly had shown her mother some appreciation before bailing and going to her father’s.
“And now it is my pleasure to serve you your fabulous chicken dinner,” Emmett said bringing in two steaming plates of food from the kitchen.
“Are you sure you won’t join us, Emmett?” Jennifer asked.
“No, madame, for today I am your chef and waiter. Enjoy you’re chicken poached in wine … on top of the stove,” he said giving Justin a wink. “Enjoy!” he commanded before disappearing back into the kitchen.
“How did you get him to do this?” Jennifer asked Justin.
“It wasn’t me. It was Brian.”
“Yes, I have some bad news for you, Mom. Your oven is dead.”
“Damn!” Jennifer reacted. “It’s been acting up lately, but I thought it was all right.”
“Well, I couldn’t get even one degree of heat out of it, so I called Brian in a panic. He sent Emmett over. Emmett was able to make the roast chicken into this delicious poached chicken.”
“The sauce is divine,” Jennifer said taking a bite of the chicken.
“It certainly is,” Justin agreed savoring his food. “Brian always comes through.”
“That man…” Jennifer said shaking her head.
“He told me he had been talking to you this week.”
“Oh? That man…”
“I tried to talk him into coming over here, but he said you wanted some time with me alone.”
“He told you that?”
“Yes, he did.”
“That was supposed to be between Brian and me,” Jennifer said. “That man…”
“He was staying away so you could have the perfect day with me,” Justin interrupted.
“I know. That man … is a gem.”
Justin almost choked on his chicken. “You better not say that in front of him. He’ll have a coronary.”
“Or rip my head off,” Jennifer laughed. “How crazy do you think I am?”
“I think you’re pretty sneaky … and so is Brian.”
Jennifer merely smiled and squeezed Justin’s hand once more.
“So everything’s fine?” Brian asked.
“They’re having a lovely time,” Emmett replied into the phone.
“My, my, is that a compliment I hear?”
“Could be,” Brian snorted. “I owe you one, Honeycutt.”
“You don’t owe me anything,” Emmett said sincerely. “I don’t have a mother of my own to fuss over, so fussing over Jennifer made my day.”
“Thanks anyway,” Brian stated.
“Not a problem,” Emmett said before cutting the connection and starting to dish up the dessert.
Brian set the portable phone down on the coffee table. He picked up his copy of GQ and flipped it open to his ad for Brown Athletics. He took a long sip of his Beam and savored the familiar flavor. He chuckled to himself as he thought about Justin’s mayday phone call. Brian might not be able to cook, but he certainly knew how to delegate. Emmett had been the answer.
Brian turned the page of GQ and looked at the latest Armani suit on a handsome model. He just might have to get himself one of those.
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