When Justin woke up that morning he felt that things were starting to fall into place for him. He slipped on a pair of cargos that were made for a girl and threw on a pink t-shirt that had princess written across it in glitter. Personally he thought the shirt was a hoot. At the last minute he grabbed a hoodie and was out the door. Today he felt was ripe with possibility. Justin caught a bus to King St. where Debbie had told him to go. He was relieved that it was still in the Liberty Ave. district. Other places were sure to make a fuss on how he was dressed.
When Justin got to the building he took a deep breath to calm himself then yanked the door open and went inside. He needed to do this; his future depended on it. A half an hour later Justin was skipping to the diner. His talk with the guidance counselor had gone even better than he expected. Justin was given an information packet and all the required forms he'd need to sign.
When Justin walked into the diner he was a little ray of sunshine as his name tag proclaimed. He had a big smile for everyone and the tips flowed into his cargos. Justin practically floated around the diner.
"What has you so fucking happy, Sunshine?"
Justin's smile widened if that were possible. "I got the forms for night school; it's nearly a done deal."
"Well good for you, kiddo. I'm proud of you. Education should always come first."
"The best news is I think I'm only lacking a few credits."
When Justin could break for lunch he packed up the pink plate special and headed for the little park across the street. It was such a nice day and he wanted to enjoy it. He could begin filling out the forms while he ate. Justin walked through the park and found himself a somewhat secluded bench. He sat down and drew up his legs. Justin arranged his food beside him and his sketch pad on his lap to use as a desk. He ate a few fries and took a quick bite of his sandwich before he looked at the first set of questions.
Brian was about to go into the diner for lunch when a little blond caught his attention. He decided to bypass the diner and follow Sunshine instead. Justin was nibbling on his fries and filling in all the blank spots on the form when a shadow fell over him. Justin looked up and instantly smiled.
"Mind if I join you?"
"No, not at all."
Brian got a quick look at the forms Sunshine had been filling out. "So you're going back to school. That's great; good for you."
Justin smiled. "I only needed a few more credits. I decided I'm not goen to let the assholes back home win."
"Good." Brian reached up and rubbed Sunshine's back. Part of the forms were sticking out of the sketch book and he noticed the name space was still left blank. He was mildly disappointed. He shouldn't even care what the boy's name was but curiosity was getting the better of him. Brian snitched one of his fries.
Sunshine laughed. "I saw that. Want to share my lunch?"
"Are you kidding; that has a zillion calories in it?"
Justin gave Brian the other half of his sandwich. "You need to eat."
Brian was a bit hungry so he gave in and ate. He noticed Sunshine's sketchbook.
"You're an artist?"
"Kind of, sketching helps me relax and get my mind off things."
"Mind if I have a look?"
Justin hugged his sketchbook to his chest and blushed. "Uh, I just have a few doodles in there right now, nothen of interest. I'll draw you somethen later."
"Sunshine, if you ever want to talk about what happened back home, you can talk to me. I promise I won't judge you."
"Thank you, that mean's a lot. I haven't told anyone. I just want a fresh start."
Brian plucked at Sunshine's pink shirt. "But you're hiding."
Justin gave a helpless little shrug. "It seemed like a good idea at the time. I don't know; it feels safer this way."
Brian slung his arm around Sunshine's shoulders. "You do what you have to, but know you have some pretty good friends here." To lighten the mood Brian leaned in. "So what flavor are you today?"
It took a moment for Justin to figure out what he meant; when he did he blushed slightly. "You'll just have to kiss me and find out," he said a bit breathlessly.
"You're pretty bold Sunshine, I like that." Brian kissed Sunshine teasingly drawing out the kiss.
"Vanilla almond," Sunshine corrected.
Brian leaned in and kissed him again this time slowly opening up Sunshine till their tongues touched and massaged each other. Sunshine's toes were practically curling in his sneakers and he felt the bloom of his erection in his cargos.
Lindsay couldn't believe what she was seeing but here it was right in front of her face. Brian was kissing some high school girl. She just couldn't wrap her mind around that one. She became positively green with jealousy. When Brian slowly pulled back she got a better look. Although very beautiful, it was indeed a boy and not a girl Brian had been kissing. Somehow it didn't make her feel better. Brian never went for the fem boys before.
"You shrieked?" Brian arched a brow pointedly.
Brian was having fun watching Lindsay splutter out an explanation but he'd rather spend the time holding his son.
"Hey, Sonny boy." He leaned down to free his son from the confines of the stroller. Brian cradled the boy to his chest. "This is daddy's new friend, Sunshine," he said more to Gus than Lindsay. "Sunshine, meet my son, Gus."
Justin's surprise was momentary then he smiled one of his special smiles that earned him his name. "Wow, you have a son."
"Now I know why they call you Sunshine," Brian murmured. He tucked a long lock of hair behind Sunshine's ear. "Anyone can jerk off in a cup; nine months later Gus was born."
"He looks just like you."
Brian couldn't help a shy smile of his own. "So they say."
Lindsay huffed and grumbled, tired of being ignored.
"Sunshine, this is Lindsay, one of Gus' mothers."
"Hello, you have a really beautiful son."
Lindsay smiled. "Why thank you, Sunshine is it?"
"Yeah it's sort of a nickname. I'm Dee's cousin."
"Oh that's how you look so familiar."
"Sunshine here is a budding artist."
"Really, anything you could show us?"
Justin nervously pushed his sketch book to the other side of him. "Not at the moment."
Brian playfully ran his fingers through Sunshine's soft blond locks. "You know kids; it's probably full of dick doodles."
Justin's cheeks flamed red while Brian smirked.
"Would you like to hold Gus?" At Sunshine's eager nod Brian put Gus in his arms.
"So, are you just visiting?" Lindsay asked.
"Uh no, I think I'll be here more permanently."
"He's from Georgia, Lindz. You know what kind of shit they do to fags in the south."
Justin rocked Gus gently in his arms trying not to think about the past.
"Deb gave Sunshine a job and he's going back to school," Brian said with a hint of pride in his voice.
"Emm also hired me to cook for his catering business."
"She can cook too!" Brian teased and patted Sunshine's thigh.
Justin stuck out the tip of his tongue; he knew Brian was just teasing him.
"I was thinking of blowing off that fucking business dinner but if you're going to cook I'll be there. I trust you won't be serving rubber chicken?"
Justin laughed. "It's chicken but I promise my chicken is anything but rubber."
Brian leered, "I'll hold you to that."
Lindsay couldn't believe her eyes. Brian was openly flirting with the teen.
"I have to go. Deb will have my hide if I'm late." Justin gently passed Gus back to Brian. He quickly gathered up his stuff then bent down to place a little kiss on Gus' cheek then boldly gave Brian a quick peck on the lips. "It was nice meeting you, Lindsay."
Brian watched Sunshine walk back to the diner.
"Brian, what in the world are you doing with that…. boy?"
"None of your business. He's kinda sweet once he grows on you."
"He's clearly confused, Brian, and you shouldn't make it worse."
"He's not fucking confused; he's hiding. When he feels safe and comfortable he'll stop hiding so just butt the fuck out of it."
The night of the dinner Brian dressed in his best Armani and wore his red shirt and tie. He felt like a million bucks and looked like a billion. He smiled at himself in the mirror. He was planning a little visit with Sunshine when the dinner was over. He picked up his trench coat and the keys to the Jeep and left the loft.
At the banquet hall Emmett was having a fit. They had been able to get all the chicken into the ovens, but there was no way he could roast the potatoes the way he wanted to. There simply was not enough oven space.
"Fuck!" Emmett barked after another unsuccessful attempt at rearranging the chicken. "What the fuck am I going to do?"
"Um…" Justin said hesitantly. "The potatoes are all peeled. If we had some big pots we could boil them and make mashed potatoes. My mother makes the best mashed potatoes."
"What does she add to them?" Emmett asked suddenly interested.
"Lots of butter and cream and some garlic."
"You sold me. The potatoes are cut fairly small so they should boil quickly. Now, if we take the carrots and cut them thinner we could stir fry them with some rosemary. This will work. Vic, you and Justin, cut the carrots smaller and I'll start the potatoes boiling."
Like a well oiled machine they all jumped into action. Less than ten minutes later everything was ready. The potatoes were boiling, the carrots were cut, ready for a quick stir fry and the chicken was baking.
"Good job, team," Emmett said as Dee and another girl walked into the kitchen.
"Uniforms are over there," Emmett pointed. "Get dressed. We will start serving hors d'oeuvres in ten minutes.
Dee and Sandra went into the office to change. Emmett did a last look around and then said he would be out front welcoming the guests. He left Vic in charge of the kitchen.
The first person Emmett ran into was a rather unusual looking young man with straggly hair carrying a violin case. "Are you the strolling violinist?" Emmett asked.
"What gave me away?" The guy asked holding up the case. "I'm Ethan Gold."
Emmett looked him up and down and finally shook his hand. The kid was kind of cute, but it was beyond Emmett's comprehension as to why anyone would want a violinist playing when food was being served. He certainly wouldn't have hired this guy, but the powers that be didn't ask him, merely said there would be a violinist. "The guests should be arriving soon, so get tuned up or whatever you do."
At the front door the first guests were starting to arrive. Emmett showed them the diagram of the tables and gave them the number of the table they would be sitting at. Each person picked up their name tag from the table next to the map. Things were moving along nicely and the bar was receiving a lot of attention from the patrons. Emmett was about to go into the kitchen to tell Dee and Sandra to get their asses and the hors d'oeuvres out to the guests, when he saw each of them emerge from the kitchen carrying a tray. Emmett smiled. Vic was a good partner and organizer.
"Hey there, Honeycutt, how's it going?"
Emmett turned to see Brian Kinney smirking at him. "Just fine, sir. You're kind of early, aren't you?" he said pointedly. He knew Brian was usually the last to arrive so he could make a grand entrance.
Brian ignored the barb. "What are you serving at this shindig?"
"Since when do you care about food?"
Brian sneered at him. "I just might be hungry."
Emmett snorted but rhymed off the menu. "A mixed green salad with poppyseed dressing, free range chicken breast stuffed with gorgonzola and asparagus and served with whipped garlic potatoes and carrots a la Emmett."
"A la Emmett?"
"You heard me."
"Like you care. It's a surprise."
"No shit! Does that mean you haven't made it yet?"
Emmett gave him a scathing look. "May I give you your table number, sir?" Brian arched an eyebrow, and nodded. "You'll be at table twelve."
"Twelve? I expected to be at table one."
"If you will, look at the diagram, sir, you'll see that twelve's the very best table. It has an excellent view of the speaker and is near this exit if you want to make a quick getaway."
Brian smirked. "Nice one, Honeycutt."
"It … it's the least I could do since you suggested my company as the caterers for this dinner."
"I merely gave the association your card. It was up to you to sell yourself."
Emmett smiled to himself. "I look after those who look after me."
"I don't know what you mean," Brian declared tongue in cheek. "I need a drink."
Emmett watched Brian saunter towards the coat check and then head for the bar. He knew Brian had had a lot to do with him getting this job. The advertising association would never have even considered an unknown company like his without Brian's recommendation. Brian was shaking hands and schmoozing his way along. The guy was a major enigma. That was Emmett's last thought about Brian Kinney as some more guests arrived and he had to show them their table.
In the kitchen things were ticking along. They had found some hand mixers to whip the potatoes. That made them even more light and fluffy than mashing them would. The potatoes would be done soon. The chicken had been turned off. It was golden and ready and they didn't want it overcooked. The carrots were ready to be stir fried.
Emmett came rushing into the kitchen. "Chop, chop, we need to serve the salad in two minutes. They're all seated. Sunshine, you need to put on your shirt and tie. You're helping the girls serve."
Justin quickly did that while Dee and Sandra stacked the mostly empty hors d'oeuvres trays. Justin had refused to wear the short skirted outfits Dee and Sandra were wearing. They were just a bit too much for him. Emmett and Vic started dishing up the salad onto the salad plates and arranging them on the serving trays. Dee and Sandra had taken the first two trays out when Justin reappeared dressed as a waiter.
"I really appreciate you doing double duty, Sunshine," Emmett said as he helped Justin shoulder the heavy tray.
"No problem," Justin said as he disappeared out the door. They had given him the row of tables closest to the door and he started serving immediately. At the second table he saw Brian smirking at him and he felt his dick harden.
As he stepped close to Brian to place the salad plate in front of him he heard Brian whisper, "Nice look, Sunshine."
Justin grinned but didn't say anything. He served the rest of his plates and went back for another tray.
"What was that all about?" Cynthia asked looking strangely at Brian. "Do you know that kid?"
Cynthia knew there must be a lot more to this story than Brian was prepared to tell her. He had called the kid, Sunshine, and he never usually acknowledged the existence of serving staff unless he was going to fuck them. She choked on her salad.
"Too much vinegar?" he asked her.
"No, not at all," Cynthia said taking a drink of water. "The salad's delicious."
Brian nodded. It was quite good, better than he had expected.
The salad plates were being cleared, and Brian managed to cop a feel of Sunshine's ass as the boy removed his plate. None of it was lost on Cynthia who watched with some amusement. Much the same thing happened when the main course was served. Then Sunshine disappeared from sight.
"This chicken is orgasmic," Cynthia raved.
"Not bad," Brian had to admit.
"And the potatoes are the best I've had in a long time," a man across the table commented.
"The carrots are delicious and just a little crunchy," the woman seated on one side of Brian said. "Usually they are mush at these kinds of affairs. I should get the caterer's name."
Brian handed her one of Emmett's cards.
Cynthia watched her boss. He seemed different tonight. She wasn't quite sure why but he was.
"I wish that violinist would give it a rest," Brian griped. "It sounds like a fucking cat is dying."
"I have to agree," the woman beside Brian said. "Everything has been perfect so far except I hate violin music."
Brian watched Sunshine serve the last of his dinners. As Justin turned to get his tray, Brian noticed the violinist speaking to him. Justin shook his head and frowned. He seemed a little agitated. Finally he grabbed his tray and hurried into the kitchen. The violin music started up again.
Cynthia had watched Brian watch the kid. She shook her head in disbelief. She could tell Brian was interested in the blond and was about to leap out of his seat, just as Sunshine had suddenly hurried away. Who was this blond kid?
As people finished their main course, Dee and Sandra began clearing the plates. Dee worked Brian's table and Brian looked decidedly disappointed that Sunshine wasn't doing it. Meanwhile Justin was in the kitchen dishing up ice cream onto his dessert. The girls would have to serve all the desserts. Emmett had started serving coffee and tea and the girls would help him when they finished serving the desserts.
"Ladies and gentlemen, if I may have your attention," someone was saying into the microphone. "I want to introduce tonight's speaker, Mr. Adam Lyons of the prestigious ad firm of…" The door swung closed behind Dee and they couldn't hear the rest of it.
"Thank God," Brian whispered to Cynthia. "No more violin music. A droning speaker is preferable by far."
Cynthia laughed. "He seems like a talented kid."
"Who's finally … done!" Brian added emphatically. He noticed the guy putting his violin in its case over by the door.
Vic and Justin finished putting ice cream on the last desserts. Dee and Sandra carried out the trays. Justin helped Vic set more coffee out to be served.
"I need to use the rest room," Vic said with a sigh. "I'd forgotten how hectic it is serving a meal like this."
"It went really well," Justin smiled.
"I think so too, Sunshine. Emmett was going to hire that Cody kid who had worked at the diner for a while, but he would have been a disaster. I'm glad you said you would do double duty."
"I actually had a lot of fun," Justin confessed. "It's kind of like a puzzle getting everything to turn out just at the right moment."
"Good way to think of it," Vic laughed. "Could you put the rest of that bucket of ice cream in the walk-in freezer while I take a piss?"
"Sure," Justin said. "Take your time. The rush is over."
Justin put the lid back on the large tub of ice cream and carried it over to the freezer. He opened the door and felt himself being pushed inside.
Justin stumbled under the weight of the heavy tub of ice cream. He released his grip on it and spun around just in time to see the door slam shut on him. A little whimper of panic escaped his throat. Justin rushed to the door and tugged on the handle. Just as he feared, it wouldn't budge.
"No, no, NO, HELP! Please. Someone HELP!!"
Justin pounded on the door to no avail. He suspected that no one would hear him; the door was too thick. He wrapped his arms around himself as he began to shiver. His thin waiter's shirt wouldn't be much protection from the cold. Puffs of vapor escaped his lips every time he exhaled. Justin surveyed the room to see if there was anything he could use to help himself get out. He was surrounded by frozen food on tall shelves. Justin whimpered and began to cry. He knew he shouldn't because it was so cold his tears would freeze almost instantly but he couldn't help it. He was very frightened.
Out in the dining room Cynthia was near speechless. She'd never seen Brian eat dessert before; he looked like he was enjoying it too.
"What? I happen to know the chef and wanted to show my support by eating it. God, he's a fantastic cook. He's going to be a bad influence on my waistline."
"It's the blond you've been gazing at all night, isn't it?"
Brian gave her a fierce look then ate another bite of ice cream letting it melt on his tongue.
Even though it was fruitless Justin pounded on the door with his fists and screamed himself hoarse. He was convinced no one would find him until it was too late. Momentarily giving up he sank down to the floor and huddled in a ball trying to keep in what warmth he had left. His body trembled and shook as the frigid air swirled around him. His fingers were numb and tingly. Justin absently glanced at his hands and saw that his knuckles were bruised and bloody from pounding on the door. He'd exerted so much energy struggling to get out he was growing tired though it was more likely due to the cold. Justin knew if he went to sleep he might not wake up again. A few minutes later Justin's eyes fluttered shut.
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