Justin was doing some homework at his apartment when the phone rang. He picked it up absently, "Hello."
"Hey mom, what's up?"
"Well I wanted to ask you something."
"Sure, go ahead."
"Well my firm has decided they want to try and attract some more high profile clients, so they are holding a semi-formal reception next week. I'd like you to come."
"Of course, I would love the chance to show off my beautiful son."
"Well with a reason like that how could I say no?"
"I was hoping you would say that. There's one more thing."
"I want you to bring Brian."
Justin was not expecting this, "What??"
"I know the two of you are back together, even though you didn't say anything, so I want you to bring him."
"Let me get this straight, you want your gay son to bring his lover to your work reception?"
Justin was floored, "Well I will definitely be there, but I'll have to ask Brian."
"Ok, let me know, I need to let them know how many people I'm bringing."
Justin had no idea how to ask Brian about his mom's request. Attending this reception would be a very "couple" thing to do, and he didn't know if Brian saw them like that, and Justin didn't want to push. He'd learned the hard way what could happen if you pushed Brian too hard. He would have to tread very carefully.
Brian pushed his final thrust into Justin before he came. He collapsed onto Justin's chest and laid there for a moment before rolling off. He didn't want to crush the young blonde under his weight.
The two were lying side by side on the bed. Brian looked over at his young lover before leaning into a kiss. Justin knew this was the best time to broach the subject of his mom's reception.
"I need to ask you something."
"Well my mom's firm is holding a reception next week to try and court some new clients, and she wants me to go."
"She wants me to bring you."
This caught Brian's attention, "What?"
"She told me she wanted me to bring you."
"I think you need to clear the cotton out of your ears."
Justin smacked his lover, "I'm serious. I think this is her version of an olive branch. Look I know that you never want to talk about it, but it's different this time. Even though you would rather be struck by lightening than admit it, we are different this time around. I want it to work and I know you do to, but that means there are some things that need to happen. One of those things is your relationship with my mom. If we are going to have a chance, the two of you need to get along, because unlike you, my mom is a big part of my life. I think this is her way of making the first move."
Brian didn't know what to say, the fact that Jennifer Taylor was actually requesting him to be a part of a social gathering, as her son's lover floored him. "Justin, I need to think about this."
"Look, this is a big deal, and I need to think about it."
"I understand, and I will understand if your answer is no."
Brian knew that Justin was speaking the truth, his lover was that in tune to him, "Can we go to sleep now?"
Justin answered by snuggling up to Brian. The two men promptly fell asleep.
Jennifer questioned the wisdom of showing up at Brian's loft uninvited, but her phone call with Justin made he decide that she and Brian needed to talk. Justin told her that he would be at the reception, but Brian needed to think about it. Jennifer decided it was time to lay down her cards to her son's lover.
The downstairs buzzer was broken, so she knocked on the loft door. Brian answered quickly. She noticed that he looked tired, and just a little bit surprised to see her. He gestured for her to come in, and offered her a drink.
"I took a chance that you would be here."
"Well this is pretty much where I hang out until I have to hit the unemployment line."
"How's the job search going?"
Brian couldn't believe she was asking this question. "Well, I've sent out resumes, but firms are reluctant to talk to me when they find out I was fired for undermining a client."
"You did the right thing."
"Yeah, that's what everyone keeps saying, but that doesn't pay the bills. Although " Brian was reluctant to talk to Jennifer about this, he hadn't even talked to Justin yet, but she looked at him with the same expectant eyes that Justin used when he told her about Debbie's visit to the "orgy party."
"My former assistant, Cynthia, has been keeping me posted on things at Vanguard. It seems that many of their high profile clients were quite upset to learn I was no longer with the firm, regardless of why. She seems to think I should go out on my own."
"Why don't you?"
"Well first of all it will involve a great deal of money. I've made good investments, and I'm nowhere near needing welfare, but starting my own agency would put a considerable dent in my savings. I'm not sure if I'm willing to do that for something that may not work out."
"I thought the 'great Brian Kinney' didn't worry about things like that?"
"Well, I guess the man behind the myth is a little bit different."
"Well my firm has been shopping around for an ad agency, let me know if you decide to do it."
Brian looked at her suspiciously, "Which brings us to the matter at hand. Why do you want me to come to your reception? I wasn't aware that you even knew that Justin and I were back together."
"I know my son. The last few months he has been really happy. I haven't seen him like that since he was with you. He was happy with you, well before "
"I thought you would have been all for the great romance with the fiddler. I mean, isn't he more 'appropriate' for your little boy than me?"
"Brian, I was an English lit major in college, and I am reminded of a quote from one of my favorite Shakespeare plays, Macbeth. 'The lady doth protest too much.'"
"The first time Justin introduced me to Ethan, he was so adamant 'Isn't he great, isn't he talented, isn't he handsome?' My bullshit meter went off right away."
Brian was surprised to hear this, "What?"
"When Justin was with you, he didn't give shit what I thought. He was with you, he was happy and he didn't care if I approved or not. When he constantly sang Ethan's praises, it seemed like he was trying to convince himself more than me."
"And you deduced we were back together how?"
"Well I told you, he was happy again, more content, more at peace. Then there was the ambush at the GLC. I know my son is smart and clever, but it was clear he had help on that one. The way you kept your distance at Woody's that night was very telling. I figured it out that night."
"So what's changed, I'm all of a sudden 'appropriate?'"
"When you and Justin first got together, I'll admit, I didn't like it. But you were the one he wanted, you were the one he trusted. I've come to the realization that the two of you are good together. You support each other, take care of each other and love each other. A mother couldn't wish for more. So I decided that I needed to do my part, and accept you as my son's partner."
Brian hesitated for a moment, "I'll be there."
Jennifer listened absently to the conversation going around her. She was anxiously awaiting Justin and Brian's arrival. She kept glancing at the entrance to the reception hall. They finally arrived. Justin looked beautiful. He was wearing cream colored linen slack and a royal blue silk shirt that brought out his eyes. Brian was dressed in his customary black, but looked no less beautiful.
The two men spotted her and headed over. They both kissed her cheek, and Jennifer introduced them to the group, "This is my son, Justin and my son-in-law, Brian."
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