Chapter Five: May
My work is a game. A very serious game.-M.C. Escher
“Thanks for inviting us,” Justin said, hugging Lindsay and then Melanie.
Eric took his turn hugging both women and then sniffed the air. “Something smells amazing.”
“That’s the oatmeal cookies for dessert,” Lindsay replied, leading them into the living room. “Jenny helped make them.”
“Where are Jenny and Gus?” Justin asked.
“Gus’ first soccer practice was today,” Mel explained. “Brian should be dropping him off in a few minutes. Jenny is staying at Michael’s tonight.”
“So I get to finally meet the infamous Brian Kinney?” Eric asked, wrapping his arm around Justin.
“You’re actually looking forward to it?” Melanie asked, surprised.
“I’d just like to meet the man who constantly takes up my partner’s time,” Eric said, his tone hinting at jealousy. “And who is the subject of most of the gossip I heard while in college.”
Justin shifted in his seat and took Eric’s arm off his shoulders. “I’m hot,” he explained. “It’s eighty-nine degrees outside but Eric refuses to turn on the air conditioning in his car.” Had Justin known this would be the case he would’ve driven his own car separately.
“You know my rules on that, Justin,” Eric reminded. “It has to be ninety-degrees before I’ll turn it on.”
Justin rolled his eyes. “It was one degree off ninety. I’m sure your environmental heart could’ve taken turning it on. Besides, rules are meant to be broken.”
“Sorry,” Eric said genuinely, surprised to see Justin get so upset in front of the two women.
“Don’t worry about it.” Justin stood up abruptly. “Lindsay, can I use the restroom?”
“Of course,” she replied, uncomfortable for the two men. “You know where it is.”
“Thanks.” Justin quickly left the living room and took the stairs two at a time.
Justin pissed and was in the process of zipping his pants up when he heard Brian and Gus’ voices as they came inside. Justin looked in the mirror and noticed he was grimacing. He wasn’t looking forward to being in the same room with both Eric and Brian but didn’t know exactly why that was.
Unnerved, Justin made his way back downstairs. The moment he hit the last step, Gus came running down the hall and slammed him into a hug, nearly knocking Justin on his ass.
Gus shoved a large toy airplane out to Justin. “Look what my dad got me!”
“That’s cool,” Justin said enthusiastically.
“Come on, Mommy said dinner’s ready.” Gus pulled Justin down the hall into the dining room. “And Daddy’s staying for dinner too.”
Justin halted at the end of the large wooden dining table. Gus took his seat and Justin had to force himself to smile when he saw he would be sitting between Brian and Eric.
Brian gave Justin a nod. “Hey.”
“I hope you like avocado tacos, Justin,” Lindsay said. “When I saw Eric at the market and invited you two for dinner he suggested it. He said that he often makes it for you both.”
Justin hated Eric’s vegetarian dishes, but he wasn’t about to be rude. “Yeah, he eats it all the time.”
“Not all the time,” Eric said. “Just about once a week.”
“I think it’s a great recipe,” Melanie told him. “I’m glad you turned us on to it.”
“Come on Mel, no one here needs to know what turns you on,” Brian groaned.
“Brian!” Lindsay admonished.
“This is gross!” Gus whined.
“See, my son agrees with me,” Brian said.
“He was talking about the food,” Mel retorted. “And it’s not gross, Gus.”
“I don’t want to eat to it, Mama.”
Justin snickered. He didn’t want to eat it either. He looked at Brian’s plate and saw that he hadn’t touched his taco.
“You have to eat it,” Lindsay said gently. “Just try a bite.”
“Next time, Gus, I’ll make sure I suggest pizza,” Eric said, feeling bad that he’d suggested such an adult dish.
“Okay.” Gus pouted but listened and took a bite of his food.
Justin figured that if Gus was going to force himself to eat it, he’d have to do the same. Surprisingly it tasted much better than Eric’s ever did.
“You too, Dad,” Gus prompted Brian to eat.
Brian sighed in resignation and took a bite. “It’s actually good,” he commented. “So you do the cooking, Eric?” Brian teased.
Justin rolled his eyes. “You know I cook too,” he told him.
“Justin and I cook together,” Eric spoke with pride.
“Mel and I love to do that too,” Lindsay added.
“Aww. You guys are so ‘coupley’,” Brian sing-songed.
Justin stuck his food laden tongue out at Brian.
As disgusting as half-chewed black beans, peppers and avocado looked on Justin’s tongue, it didn’t stop Brian from wanting to kiss Justin. The only thing that did was Eric getting there first. Brian garnered all his years of cock sucking and expertly suppressed his gag reflex.
Brian kissed Gus’ forehead. “Go right to bed or your moms will think I shoved candy down your throat all day.”
“But you did let me have lots,” Gus whispered.
Already a smart ass, Brian thought. “Goodnight, Gus.”
“I don’t want to go to bed. It’s isn’t even a school night.”
Brian felt for his son, it was only seven o’clock. “How about I read you a book before bed?”
“You’re gonna read me a story?” Gus asked, sounding as though the concept was foreign to him. It was, at least at home. Gus thought his Daddy was shy whenever he came over to his house because he acted a lot different toward him when they were at the loft.
“Yeah.” Brian walked over to the bookshelf and grabbed the thinnest Golden Book he could find. “How about this one?”
“Jenny likes that one,” Gus told his father.
Brian turned toward the shelf to choose another book. “Okay then…”
“But I like it too, Dad,” Gus quickly said, afraid that Brian wouldn’t read to him.
“All right,” Brian agreed, sitting down on the bed. “‘The Poky Little Puppy’ it is.”
Gus only half listened to his father reading because he started to think about how his father looked at Eric all night. Eric had always been nice to Gus the few times that he met him before, but he got to feeling that his dad didn’t like him.
“The End.” Brian closed the book and kissed Gus’ cheek. “Now it’s really time for bed.”
Gus was nervous but he knew he had to ask Brian before he left, otherwise he might forget and he didn’t want Justin to be friends with Eric if he was bad. “Is Eric a bad man, Dad?”
Brian coughed, “What?”
“Is Eric a bad man?” Gus repeated.
“Why do you think he’s a bad man, Gus?” Brian asked worriedly.
“You don’t like him,” Gus stated. “Do you?”
“Do you like him?” Brian asked.
Gus shrugged. “If you do.”
Brian sighed. “Is Eric ever mean to you?”
“He made Mommy cook nasty food,” Gus huffed.
Brian chuckled. “It wasn’t that bad. But besides that, has he ever been mean to you?”
“Then there’s no reason for you not to like him.”
“But if you don’t like him then I don’t want to like him and I don’t want Justin to be his friend if you don’t like him.”
Brian wasn’t sure where to go from there. It seemed perfectly logical to him too. “Well, why do you think I don’t like Eric?”
“Cause you kept pretending his name was Aaron and you looked mad at him all the time.”
“I was teasing him when I called him Aaron.” Brian hated to lie to his son but he really wasn’t sure he had a choice. “And I was a little mad at him for giving Mommy that taco recipe. But don’t tell anyone, okay?”
“I won’t,” Gus promised, leaning up to give Brian a hug. “Goodnight, Dada.”
“Goodnight, Gus,” Brian replied, laying Gus down. He fixed Gus’ covers and made sure his night-light was on before turning off the lamp and leaving the room.
Brian was surprised to only find Justin, Lindsay and Melanie sitting in the living room. “Where’s your boyfriend?” he asked Justin.
“He had to go home early,” Justin replied. “He doesn’t like to get off his school schedule on the weekends.”
“How responsible of him,” Brian spoke dryly. He grabbed the last oatmeal cookie and stuck it in his mouth.
“Is Gus asleep?” Melanie asked.
“He will be soon,” Brian told her, spitting cookie crumbs on the floor.
“Napkin,” Lindsay said, shoving one at the man.
Justin stood up. “Brian, we took Eric’s car here. I figured you’d be going to Woody’s and Babylon, do you mind if I tag along with you?”
“We’re going back to your place first so you can change.”
“What’s wrong with what Justin’s wearing?” Melanie asked, trying to defend her friend.
Justin looked down at his clothes and repeated Melanie’s question. “Yeah, what’s wrong with what I’m wearing?”
“You look like your boyfriend dressed you,” Brian stated.
Justin wasn’t going to tell Brian that in a manner of speaking Eric had dressed him. He’d bought him the outfit for his birthday. “Whatever.”
Brian saw Justin’s blushing face and knew he’d hit the nail on the head. “So he did dress you?”
“Fuck you,” Justin growled.
After a few drinks at Woody’s and a few more at Babylon, Brian and Justin found themselves fucking the newest arrivals to Gay PA.
Justin’s jeans were around his ankles and his shirt was somewhere on the floor. He had his muscle-stud bent over the arm of a couch in the VIP room and was plowing his ass at a fevered pace. Brian was sitting on the couch, his shirt unbuttoned and his legs splayed while his noisy trick rode his cock.
Justin was always extra horny when he smoked pot, which he and Brian had done in his office before coming out and picking out their tricks. He blamed his urgent need to watch Brian on the marijuana. It was the only explanation for his heightened arousal and the desperate need to come he felt every single time Brian would softly moan or grunt. Justin rarely heard Brian express his pleasure when he fucked or got his dick sucked. Maybe the music in the VIP room was usually louder or something, because this time, Justin heard every single noise Brian made.
The annoying loud trick on top of Brian, whose ‘Oh yeahs’ would drown out Brian sometimes, started to stare at Justin while jacking his cock. “Can I have a round with your boyfriend when he’s done?” he asked Brian, loud enough for Justin to hear.
“You haven’t even gotten through this fuck and you already want him to fuck you?” Brian asked, looking over at Justin.
The trick being pounded by Justin responded to Brian, “I’d love to switch it up and have some of you.”
The whole situation was too weird for Justin and he stalled his fucking motions. “Would you two shut the fuck up?” he barked.
“I’m sorry,” Brian’s annoying trick apologized, speeding up his riding motion. “It’s just that you two are the hottest couple in the place.”
Brian laughed. “Yeah, we know.”
Justin took that to mean that Brian was saying he knew the two of them were the hottest men in Babylon. He knew that. But it bothered him that Brian had two opportunities to deny that they were boyfriends, that they were a couple, and yet he hadn’t said a word. But Justin realized that he hadn’t either.
Frustrated with himself and with Brian’s long drawn-out moan that Justin knew was signaling his quickly coming orgasm, Justin began to fuck his trick faster than before. He closed his eyes and listened to the trick underneath him moaning and begging for his cock. He didn’t imagine that it was Brian’s ass he was fucking. Brian’s deep groan as he came didn’t replace his trick’s groan and it certainly did not cause his orgasm to come on with more intensity than he was prepared for.
Brian was late to work; he was supposed to be in a meeting with Ted going over his investment options but he made his way into Justin’s office first. He set his briefcase down and held up the drink tray. “I figured that since we didn’t drive together you probably didn’t stop to get one of these.”
“Oh, thank you,” Justin said standing up from his desk warily. “You’re a lifesaver.” He took the cappuccino Brian indicated was his and drank a healthy gulp. He looked up at Brian and teased, “You know the only reason I spend five bucks on coffee is because you’re a bad influence on me.”
Brian got a good look at Justin and hated the immediate concern that exploded out of his mouth, “Are you sick?”
“No,” Justin assured. “I’m only exhausted.”
“I thought you were having dinner with your Mommy? What happened, did you make a pit stop at Aaron’s before going home?”
“No, I didn’t see Eric. We went shopping all day; mind you I had a hangover from hell when I left the loft yesterday morning. Then, we went back to my mom’s and I helped her make dinner. Afterward, she insisted on me helping her write out her fucking invitations.”
Brian laughed. “Why didn’t she just have them printed out?”
“She wanted them to be personalized,” Justin whined, slumping back into his chair. “My hand is cramping up and I don’t know how I’m going to get the design done for the Wax Wave account.”
“Personal would mean she was the only one writing them out,” Brian said, walking around Justin’s desk. “Why didn’t you just tell her no?”
Justin set his cup down and started to massage his right hand. “She knows that at first I didn’t like Tucker.”
“Tucker?” Brian snickered.
Justin sighed. “Yes, Tucker. I want her to be happy and I don’t want her thinking I’m refusing to help because I don’t like him and I’m against their marriage or something.”
Brian placed his cappuccino beside Justin’s and grabbed his hand. He began to massage it and ignored the rising boner he immediately achieved when Justin moaned. “Next time tell her no. Explain to her that your hands are your second best asset and you can’t overwork them.”
Justin grinned. “What’s my best asset?” he asked.
Brian dropped Justin’s hand, grabbed his cup and briefcase. “If I told you, you might threaten a lawsuit,” he answered, leaving Justin’s office and closing the door behind him.
Justin smiled to himself, took another drink of his cappuccino and decided that he felt much better than he had a few minutes ago. He wasn’t going to dwell on why that was.
“First Daphne and now you,” Justin groaned.
“I’m sorry, Justin. I didn’t know that was the weekend of your mom’s wedding. If I would’ve known, I wouldn’t have planned on going. The plane ticket is non-refundable.”
“It’s a great opportunity for you,” Justin admitted. “I should’ve told you the date for her wedding sooner.”
“I wish I could take you with me,” Eric whispered, licking the shell of Justin’s ear.
Justin laughed. “No. You really don’t.”
Eric grinned. “You’re right, I don’t. You’d hate it there.”
“So who are you going with?” Justin asked.
“The three other teachers who also sponsor the Environmental Club and some of the students who just graduated.”
“What a senior trip for them,” Justin teased. “Most kids go to Mexico or something, but your kids have chosen to go to D.C., sounds like fun!”
Eric rolled his eyes. “You know, if you don’t want me to lecture you on the importance of caring for our Earth, then you shouldn’t make fun of my passion, Justin.”
“I’m sorry,” Justin said sincerely, giving his boyfriend a long deep kiss. “You’re right.”
Eric wasn’t convinced of Justin’s apology. “You think that all of it’s a joke,” he said sadly.
“No, I don’t,” Justin assured.
“You practically fell asleep in your chair during the award ceremony,” Eric reminded him.
“You didn’t tell me that we’d be watching a three hour movie about conservation efforts, Eric. Even if the narrator’s voice wasn’t dull, I would’ve found it hard to stay awake. You know I can’t see a movie in a theatre that lasts more than two hours. I always fall asleep.”
“Ask Daphne, she had to wake me up like six times when we saw Titanic. Not even Leo could keep me awake.”
Eric shook his head. “See, there you go, turning it into a joke. The movie was something I developed with my students and that was my voice narrating.”
Justin gulped. “You didn’t tell me that was your voice.”
“It wouldn’t have mattered if I did,” Eric said angered. “You equated it to a meaningless blockbuster.”
“Eric, I didn’t mean it that way,” Justin tried to kiss Eric but he pulled away and stood up from the couch. “You should leave.”
Justin bolted upright. “You’re kicking me out?”
“I just….” Eric sighed and turned away from Justin. “An old friend is coming over in a few minutes and I’d rather you not be here when he gets here.”
“Why?” Justin asked, standing up and touching Eric’s shoulder.
Eric jerked away from Justin and bluntly stated, “You two wouldn’t get along.”
“Why is that?”
“Because you smoke, drink, eat red meat and drive a fucking SUV.”
“Fuck you.” Justin took a step back and asked in a cool voice, “You’re embarrassed by me because I’m not a fucking tree hugger?”
“I’m embarrassed that I have a partner who couldn’t give a shit about the one thing I’m most passionate about.”
Justin stalked past Eric and threw open the front door. He looked back at Eric and said softly, “I should be the one thing that you’re the most passionate about. When did that change?”
“It hasn’t,” Eric answered, but his words were drowned out by the sound of the door slamming behind Justin. “It hasn’t,” he spoke again, hoping it was true.
“….and we finished the night off walking around the park in the moonlight. It was so romantic.”
“I’m happy for you, Daphne. Steven sounds like a really nice guy,” Justin said.
“He is,” Daphne said. “But we’re taking things slow. Neither one of us have time for anything serious quite yet.”
“Well, you tell him that there’s a fag in Pittsburgh that’ll make a trip up to Philly and kick his ass if he breaks your heart.”
“Didn’t you just hear what I said?” Daphne asked. “There’s no heart breaking that’s going to happen. We’re not serious.”
Justin chuckled. “Daphne. I hate to break it to you, but I think you’re in love from one date.”
“I…” Daphne stuttered. “Fuck you.”
“Been there, done that, never will again,” Justin joked. “You have to take a picture with him the next time you go out and send it to me. I’m dying to see what he looks like.”
“I will,” Daphne promised. “You know that conference I have to go to?”
“Yeah, the one you’re missing my mom’s wedding for?” Justin mocked a crying voice.
“Steven is going too. His sister lives out there and he wants to take me to meet her.”
“You two are so getting married, Daphne. On your first date he already wants to introduce you to his family,” Justin teased.
“Just because it was our first date, it wasn’t like we haven’t talked before,” Daphne replied.
“How could I forget about the three hour conversation you two had on the phone about Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman.” Justin laughed hard. “I can’t believe a black man watched that.”
“Ah… Justin. I’m black,” Daphne informed him.
“Yeah, but you watched it with your gay best friend.”
“And he watched it with his mom and dad, who by the way are both white.”
“Steven is white?” Justin gasped. Daphne had never shown much attraction to Caucasian men besides him and that was a fluke.
“Yeah, he is.”
“When you described him as tall, dark and handsome…” Justin trailed off. “Your mom is going to flip.”
“Yeah, probably but I don’t fucking care.”
“You want your mom and dad to meet him,” Justin sing-songed. “You’re so in love with Steven.”
“Oh shut up and tell me about your fight with Eric last week. I’ve been dying to know what happened, text messages can only explain so much.”
Justin let out a long breath. “I’m sort of over it.”
“What exactly are you over?”
‘Him’ was the first thing Justin wanted to say and that shocked him. “I’m over the fight.”
“You seemed pretty upset when you texted me about it. What happened?”
“I don’t want to get into it,” Justin said. “It was a stupid fight.”
“You’re not breaking up, are you?” Daphne asked gently.
“No,” Justin said. “However, we haven’t seen one another since then. But we’ve been texting and he called me last night.”
“Did you talk to him?”
“I didn’t hear my phone. I forgot to put it on vibrate and I was at Babylon with…”
“Brian,” Daphne finished. “I figured.”
Justin didn’t like her disappointed tone. “Why did you figure?”
“Justin, we talk what, three, four times a week?” Daphne asked.
“Yeah, about that.”
“Well, you’re almost always just leaving doing something with Brian, or about to do something with Brian, or you’re actually hanging out with Brian.”
“Well now that my favorite person to go to clubs with lives in another city, I had to find someone else to hang out with,” Justin defended. “Besides, most of the time I’m hanging with Brian is for work purposes.”
“Don’t get all pissy,” Daphne said. “I was just making an observation. I know you work your ass off at that job.”
“I do,” Justin affirmed.
“I’m glad you’re friends with him,” Daphne said sincerely. “You needed a guy to hang out with that you actually had shit in common with.”
“You don’t think that Eric and I have anything in common?” Justin asked.
“Like I haven’t told you that before?” Daphne asked. “Maybe opposites attract.”
“They do,” Justin said firmly, wondering who he was trying to convince.
As Brian pulled out the sofa bed, he wondered when he’d grown so comfortable sleeping at Justin’s house. Sure, the sofa bed was a lot more comfortable than he expected it would be the first night. But his bed at home was much more comfortable. Tonight, he wasn’t planning on staying at Justin’s. He was pulling the sofa bed out because they’d decided that it was much more comfortable to stretch out on it while they worked.
The desk in Justin’s bedroom was too small for them both to work at and the kitchen table’s chairs made their asses numb if they sat in them, same with the dining room table set, which is what they used at first. Working in bed came about one night when Justin had woken him up and climbed onto the bed beside him to show him the graphics he’d sketched. Apparently, he’d dreamt the idea and woke up dying to get it on paper. Brian smiled to himself as he recalled that night and how in sync they were popping ideas back and forth. They fed off one another’s energy and by the time the sun streamed in through the windows, they’d devised almost every part of Eyeconic Optics’ new advertising campaign.
Justin brought the pizza that was just delivered into the living room. “I’m starving,” he announced. His mouth salivated from the smell of the pizza. Not at the sight of Brian bending over in front of him to retrieve the throw pillows.
Brian straightened up and lifted his t-shirt. “I’m losing my abs because of you.”
Justin laughed. “Brian, you’re neurotic about going to the gym. Your abs are just fine. Are you done arranging your fucking pillows so I can set the pizza down?”
Brian fixed the last pillow. “Yes, Asshole. I’m done.”
“Good, then go grab some beers before you sit down.”
Justin’s doorbell chimed through the house and a light tap was heard at the door.
“Shit. That’s my mother,” Justin groaned.
Brian laughed and took the pizza box away from Justin. “Since you’re getting the door, you can also get us some beers. Did you know your mom was coming over?” he asked.
“Nope,” Justin replied. “She has a special ring-knock thing,” he explained walking down the hall.
Brian placed the pizza on the side table and sat in the red chair. Justin had told Brian how supportive his mother was when he came out, but he doubted Jennifer would want to meet him while he was in the bed.
Justin opened the door and stepped back to allow his mother to enter. “Hey, mom.”
“Hey, sweetie,” Jennifer kissed Justin’s cheek. “Sorry to come by unannounced but my cell went dead and my car charger is in Tucker’s car.”
“It’s all right,” Justin said, walking to the fridge he grabbed a couple of beers. “Brian, my boss is here. We’re about to eat before we get started working. Do you want to join us for some pizza and beer?”
Jennifer shook her head. “Tucker will have dinner made when I get home,” she replied. “I just came to drop off these.” Jennifer dug into her purse and handed Justin a set of keys. “I had this set made just in case you needed to go over to the condo while Tucker and I are on our honeymoon. I didn’t want to forget to give them to you. There’s so much stuff to be done before the wedding.”
Justin grabbed the keys and put them into his kitchen junk drawer. “Thanks. Brian’s in the living room, do you want to meet him?”
“I’d love to,” Jennifer said. She was curious about the man Justin talked so highly about.
Brian stood up as Justin and Jennifer made their way over to him.
“Mom, this is Brian Kinney. Brian, this is my mother, Jennifer Taylor,” Justin introduced.
“I’ll be Jennifer Langley soon,” Jennifer corrected and held out her hand to Brian. “Nice to meet you, Brian.”
“You too, future Mrs. Langley,” Brian said charmingly while shaking the woman’s hand. “Congratulations. I’m sure your wedding will be fantastic.”
“Thank you.” Jennifer said warmly. “It’s just a shame Justin has to come without a date.”
“Mom,” Justin warned, he knew exactly what she was doing.
“Your boyfriend isn’t going?” Brian asked.
Justin shook his head. “He has a conference to go to.”
“You should find another date,” Jennifer said, eyeing Brian. “You’ll need someone to dance with at the reception.”
Brian laughed. “Is that a subtle way of inviting me?” Brian boldly asked Jennifer.
“Yes, it was.” Jennifer grinned.
“It wasn’t subtle at all,” Justin corrected. “And I don’t need a date.”
Brian laughed. “Going dateless to your mother’s wedding is pretty pathetic,” Brian laughed.
“Shut up,” Justin hit Brian’s chest. “It’s not like you’d actually consider…”
“I’ll go,” Brian interrupted, wanting to spit fire the moment he offered.
“You will?” Justin asked.
“As long as there will be good food and cheap booze,” Brian bargained.
“Oh there will be,” Jennifer said. “Thanks for saving my son’s dignity, Brian.”
“Dignity!” Justin yelled. “Mom, it’s time for you to go.”
Jennifer and Brian both shared a look and started to laugh.
“I hate you both,” Justin pouted.
“Nah, you love us,” Brian teased.
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