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[personal profile] kachelofen

Summary: AU, set in S3. Brian and Justin have yet to meet. Brian is pretty much in the familiar situation, working for Vangard and Stockwell. Most canon events are the same up to that point, with the obvious exception of those involving Justin. One or two events in S3 may be a little out of sync. Also: some things about Justin may seem a bit strange. Just go with the flow for now. ;-)

Mainly Brian’s POV with the odd sprinkling of Justin.

A/N: I was trying out a new style and would class this as hokum. I hope you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. As always the story is already complete and comments of any kind are very welcome.

Also: there will be some credit given later on in the fic.



The room is buzzing with quiet conversations. Occasionally someone laughs and it jars my nerves, which are already somewhat frayed. Here I am with a unique opportunity to network the most influential people in town, but boy! are they provincial and all the more pretentious for that. It should be no different from all the other potential clients I court on a daily basis – all I’m ever interested in is people’s money anyway – but somehow this is much harder. I’ve been schmoozing them for hours – although it feels more like days – and I can always pull it off, but why am I not more buzzed about this? This is just one step removed from achieving my life-long ambition. I shouldn’t hate it so much.

At the moment, I’m cursing all the way to the restroom, albeit only in my head and it doesn’t even have anything to do with the guests. I would have thought that at a five-star hotel and at five thousand dollars a ticket, they could afford to employ waiters who don’t drop canapés on my clothes. Luckily, there‘s just a small drop of mayonnaise on my shirt, but I don’t like the idea of smelling of egg for the rest of the night, so I’d better wash it out.

I weave my way through the crowd of overdressed idiots, smiling with fake sincerity at the people I know and suppress a groan when a look at the ornate wall clock makes me realize we’re only halfway through the evening. At least now there’s no need to go to Babylon afterwards because the waiter made it quite clear how much he’d like to compensate me for the mishap at his earliest opportunity. I’ve been so busy recently that any and all timesaving measures are welcome.

The whole evening would be so much more bearable if Vance hadn’t decided that Vangard needs to be represented by both partners at this fundraiser for his favorite client. Rather than rejoicing at the fact that he takes the most obnoxious people off my hands so I can concentrate on the really important ones, his inane side remarks for my ears only make me want to gouge my eyes out. How did I end up with this guy as a senior partner? Come back, Marty, all’s forgiven.

In a weird sense, Jim Stockwell isn’t just Vance’s favorite client. I can’t stand the smarmy guy or any of his cronies, but if I can get him elected through the campaign I’ve devised, Stockwell has promised Vangard his sponsor list. And I’m determined to become head of the New York office, which Vangard will be able to open if just half the people on that list decide to sign with us. Which, as a side effect, would also remove me from Vance’s scrutiny and his tedious chatter. Does that guy ever shut up?

The election campaign is going well. Stockwell, who was trailing behind, is rising steadily in the polls. There are still some weeks left to go and I have some brilliant ideas, so I’ve no doubt that we’ll succeed. I can’t wait. Never mind enjoying the fruits of success, I’m also looking forward to not having to deal with the pompous ass and his snobby assistants any longer.

Running a political campaign is very different from running an ordinary advertising campaign. There’s a lot more hand-holding involved because, from the self-important man at the top down to the tiniest cog in the party headquarter machine, everyone thinks that I've nothing better to do and no other clients to attend to. I’m expected to be available 24/7. Vance would be so much better suited to this kind of toadyism, but Stockwell is astute enough to realize that I’m the one giving him a shot at becoming mayor, not Vance. Which is good news in one way – the me-personally-reaping-the-rewards way – and bad news in another – mainly having to actually put up with these people.

I’m under no illusion that Stockwell and his team don’t despise me from the bottom of their little homophobic hearts, but they need me and they’ve finally come to realize it – after firing me for a mere two days when they found out I’m gay. I just hate the fact that I need them, too. But I finally have the chance to get out of Pittsburgh and I’m determined to seize it with both hands and consequences be damned. It’s business. I have no problem with that. My problem is more about how much I loathe these people. It’s very taxing.

The restroom is large, with a multitude of lights and mirrors. If it were possible, the diffuse lighting makes me look even hotter than normal. I take off my suit jacket and tie – both of them thankfully mayonnaise-free – and unbutton my shirt. The stain is small and could easily be covered by the tie. It’s the smell that bothers me more than the size. I don’t even like the stuff.

I inspect myself in the tinted mirror for a moment, then decide that it’ll be easier to limit the water stain if I take the shirt off altogether. There’s no one in the room and all the toilet cubicles are empty with the doors slightly ajar. But even if someone does turn up, another look at my chest – which bears witness to the hours I spend in the gym and on the tanning bed – confirms that I can expect admiration or envy rather than scorn even here at Breeder Central.

As if to test my theory, the door opens as I’m just wiping the stain – after dabbing some surprisingly pleasant smelling soap on it – with some tissue paper I’ve run under the hot water. In the mirror, I can see you stop in the doorway. You run your eyes over my body, then smirk and let the door fall shut.

I know that look. No straight man would ever linger that long on my naked skin, never mind smile that way to himself. I look you over. Nice expensive suit, worn with a comfortable air. Blond hair, slightly shaggy, just down to the collar of your pristine white shirt. A little on the short side but so are most people compared to me. Good body, well-proportioned and slim. Unfortunately your package is covered by the suit jacket, but I have no doubt I’ll get a better look soon enough.

We grin at each other in the mirror. Then you move closer and lean your hip against the sink next to me. “Have I come to the wrong type of establishment by mistake?” Your voice trembles with amusement. Your smile is broad and inviting, while your eyes are starting to show that expression of obvious lust that I always engender.

“No, but I think I may have.” I grin. “What is this? Bring your kid to the nice politician’s fundraiser day?”

Your broad smile never falters. “Hey, I’ll have you know that I’m twenty-three.”

“Really?” I dab my shirt with a dry paper towel and put it back on without buttoning it yet. Under the circumstances it would be a waste of time. Then I turn to face you properly. “So, you’re legal?” You look like a teenager, even though your suit and the fact that you’re at this very expensive event are enough to refute that impression.

“Very.” Blue eyes travel up and down my body and your tongue peeks out to wet full lips.

I usually like my tricks more muscular and a little taller – and looking their age – but I’m happy to make exceptions when the other guy’s this hot, in a twinkie kind of way, and so obviously willing. I run a finger down your chest to just below your navel and it makes you shiver a little. Then I pull you closer by placing my hand around the back of your neck and kiss you.

You obviously have some experience because you’re a great kisser. I don’t mind guys who aren’t but appreciate the ones who are. I walk backwards, pulling you by your tie until I hit one of the stalls. Getting caught at this by the kind of sponsors Stockwell attracts is really not such a good idea, so I drag you inside the cubicle and lock the door.

Then I forget all about where I am under the onslaught of eager hands and a very talented mouth. You linger at my nipples longer than I’m used to but under the circumstances I just lean back and enjoy it. Then you slowly run your tongue down my stomach and along the trail of hair leading to my cock. I’m fully hard before you even get there.

While a blowjob is always welcome, there are blowjobs and there are blowjobs. With my long experience I can tell very quickly when things aren’t likely to turn out great and I don’t really like to think about the fact that occasionally I actually get bored. Usually, I just pull the other guy to his feet and fuck him because that gives me more control over my own pleasure. But I have no intention of stopping this any time soon. This… is something else.

I groan when you pull your mouth off my dick and get up. But then we’re kissing again and you pull your pants down and pass me a condom and some lube. Okay, so some guys don’t like giving head when there’s no guarantee of a pay-off for themselves. I can relate to that, although I rarely suck cock nowadays, as I mainly fuck in the backroom. No way will I ever get on my knees for anyone.

I turn you around while I’m preparing myself. It’s hard to shift the feeling that I should prepare you very carefully but that’s just because you look so damned young, like a teenager almost. When I start pushing in, there’s a quick jerk of your hips, which makes me sink in almost to my balls. Nice. Guided by the little noises my fucking elicits from you, I find a rhythm and I’m struck by how well we fit together. That’s not always the case or even very often. Just the luck of the draw. Some fucks are better than others.

When I come, pressed against your back, one hand cramped around the top of the stall partition for leverage, I don’t even try to suppress my moan. It wouldn’t make any difference anyway, because you’re rather loud, too.

For long moments, we just stand close to each other, trying to level out our breathing, basking in the afterglow of our respective orgasms. Then I pull out gently and dispose of the condom in the toilet.

“That was great,” you say, leaning against the partition and watching me wipe myself with tissue paper, and sporting that broad smile that you have.

“Obviously,” I mutter in a bored voice, but in my head I have to admit that it’s true. Maybe it’s just the idea of doing it here, amidst these people who’d have an apoplectic fit if they knew. I grin at the thought of it but listen carefully for anybody in the restroom before I leave the stall. We’re still alone. Which is just as well, not just for the fact that getting caught would probably mean getting fired again but also because my suit jacket and tie are still hanging up next to the hand dryer.

By the time you come out of the stall after cleaning yourself up, I’m already adjusting my tie and checking that I’m generally presentable.

“I’m Justin, by the way.” You smile at me while washing your hands.

I stare at you in the mirror and finally smile sardonically. “Really? How nice for you.”

You don’t seem perturbed in any way, just nod. “Ah, you’re one of those. Fair enough.” You’re just finishing cleaning your hands and walk towards the door, still drying them with a paper towel. “Thanks for making my evening a little less tedious.”

“What do you mean, ‘a little’?” I ask in mock consternation.

You turn around and we grin at each other in genuine mirth. “All right. A lot less tedious. Later.” Neatly lobbing the balled-up paper towel into the trash, you slip out of the room.

I adjust my tie one last time and take a deep breath before I rejoin the freak show that is Jim Stockwell’s election fundraiser.

On Monday, Cynthia can barely suppress her anger when she informs me that Claudia Warner will be arriving at a quarter to nine. The woman doesn’t have an appointment, naturally, but being one of Stockwell’s campaign managers, she doesn’t need one. Luckily, I’ve come in early, as I have every day since Vangard has taken on Stockwell as a client. There’s always something or other that needs to be done for the campaign without delay or prior notice. I usually try to get my other work out of the way as much as I can beforehand.

“Do we have coffee?” I ask in a long-suffering voice.

Cynthia smiles a sympathetic smile. “I’ll get Tim to go to Starbucks. What do you want me to do about the witch?”

“Send her in when she arrives and postpone the finance meeting until she’s gone. Hopefully she won’t have hundreds of requests that I have to attend to before the meeting.”

“Yeah, like that’s likely,” Cynthia mutters darkly before leaving the room.

For twenty blissful minutes, I can concentrate on my other accounts without interruptions. I’m good at shutting out distractions and not worrying about things until it’s the proper time to worry about them. I’ll attend to Ms Warner when she arrives and to finances when the accountants sit in front of my desk. Until then, Potter Leisure Wear has my undivided attention.

I’m in luck that my coffee arrives with five minutes to spare and by that time I’ve already had a fruitful telephone conversation with Henry Potter. Since we’ve progressed to first name terms, I have to suppress the unfortunate urge to call the man ‘Harry’, like Cynthia is wont to do, although she’s too professional to do it to his face, even accidentally.

Ms Warner arrives with the usual flourish, meaning that all the advance warning I have is hearing her slightly nasal voice bidding Cynthia a curt good morning. I sigh and smile at the woman, when she invades my office, nodding to Cynthia, who only has time to follow her to my office door so she can shut it.

“To what do I owe the pleasure of your visit?” I keep my annoyance and any sarcasm out of my voice as much as I can. It’s not easy.

“The fundraiser went well.”

Of course, it did – I helped organize it. Although with the people who attended, there was never any doubt that it would go well. Every single person there almost smelled of money and all of them were only too keen to give it to what they consider a worthy cause. And get a tax rebate in return, of course.

“In fact, we’ve been approached by a sponsor who’s willing to donate a rather large sum of money to the campaign.”

“Oh?” I’m not really very interested in the monetary aspect of the campaign, apart from the money Vangard will get paid at the end of it and my subsequent bonus. Nor does anybody in the Stockwell camp usually discuss this with me.

“We made a decision to accept the money and the condition attached to it.”

I immediately know without the shadow of a doubt that I won’t like this condition – at all. For a moment, I worry that they’ll take the PR aspect off me altogether, but in that case Ms Warner wouldn’t be paying me a personal visit. A simple phone call would terminate Vangard’s contract. No, this is a courtesy call to sweeten me up, probably forced on Ms Warner by Stockwell himself.

I lean back in my chair, cross my legs and look at her with a diffident smile. “Well, let’s hear it.”

“Our sponsor wishes to stay anonymous to the public eye, but I can tell you that it’s one Ethan Gold. He’s the son of Nathaniel Goldstein.” She looks at me expectantly with barely suppressed glee.

“I know who he is.” Billionaire recluse, philanthropist – I don’t feel the need to prove my knowledge to her. “Since when does he involve himself in politics?”

“He doesn’t. His son takes care of all his financial affairs, at least in public. Or rather, he has an agent who takes care of it. Mr. Gold is just the official face of it. All the contacts and all the work’s done by a Mr. Tramayne. He was the one at the fundraiser last night. And he’s the one who approached us.”

“Okay. So Nathanial Goldstein wants to give you a bunch of money. He sends his son to do it but sonnyboy’s too lazy to do it himself, so he sends an agent. Where does Vangard come in?”

“Mr. Tramayne owns a graphics design business. Mr. Gold wants us to use him for the campaign.”

I try to remain calm. So they’re firing me after all? Even Stockwell couldn’t be that stupid. “I understand that the donation will be very welcome, but what good will it do you if you lose the election because of it? You can’t win without me.”

“I beg to differ.”

I shrug and just look at her silently. I’ve been fired before and I try to calculate if there’s still enough time for the campaign to slump and for me to then get re-hired once more before the election. And crucially, will I be able to save them if they leave it too long?

But Ms Warner isn’t finished. “Unfortunately, Jim agrees with you. So he’d like you to just use this guy as your art department. You’ll retain full control over the work and you’ll get all the credit, except obviously for the actual artwork.”

“We don’t work with outsiders. I know our art department and what is more, they know me. They can transform my ideas. And Vangard only hires the best. I don’t even know if this Tramayne guy’s any good. What’s his company called?”

“Uhm… Tramaphics?”

“Never heard of them. Which isn’t a good sign.” That isn’t quite the truth. With Vangard having its own art department, I’ve never had any reason to look at graphic design companies. They could be very well-known and I wouldn’t necessarily know about them. But I really don’t want to share the credit with anyone.

“Well, this is what Jim wants. I’ve asked Mr. Tramayne to come in to see you this afternoon. I’m just here as a courtesy. And I can guarantee you that if you can’t work with him, you’ll be the one left out in the cold.”

“Wow. He must be donating quite a bundle if you’re willing to risk the election on it.”

“You’re overestimating your importance, Mr. Kinney.” She gets up and smoothes her skirt down. The only thing I like about her is her open animosity towards me. At least she’s honest, unlike most of the others in her camp, including Stockwell himself.

“Not if winning the election is of any importance to you,” I say with a false smile. What I would hate the most is for Stockwell to win the election without me. I don’t think it’s likely, but you can never overestimate the stupidity of the American voter. In fact, I’m relying heavily on it to succeed.

“We’ll win either way,” she says and gives me an equally false smile. “It’s your decision. Make this work or face the consequences. Good day, Mr. Kinney.”

I know that Stockwell wouldn’t be quite as happy as she would be if I quit, but the fact remains that without Stockwell, there’ll be no New York. I have to remind myself of that frequently when dealing with these people.

“Wow. That was quick and painless,” Cynthia quips, after Ms Warner has swept out of the office mere minutes after her arrival.

“Oh, it was very painful, believe me.” I fill her in on the newest developments and let her vent her anger as my proxy. It’s always fun to listen to her when she’s riled up. Then I ask her for another coffee and to call the finance meeting. Maybe work will distract me enough not to scream out my frustration. There’s got to be a better way to get to New York, but after having failed with Kennedy & Collins even hot on the heels of winning a Clio award, I really don’t know how.

After a two hour lunch, I arrive back at the office invigorated and mellow at the same time. Two fucks at the baths during my break have taken care of my frustration but also left me pleasantly tired. I needed the distraction after the morning I’ve had. My meeting with Ms Warner was followed by two hours sequestered with two accountants and Vance and another hour where Vance speculated how this new development with Stockwell would impact on Vangard, with very little input from me. We’re both aware that with the artwork being outsourced, our only claim to the eventual success will be the ideas behind the campaign. Good for me as the brains behind it, not so good for the agency as a whole.

As I walk past, I pick up the coffee which is waiting for me perched on the corner of Cynthia’s desk. “Any messages?” I half-expect Stockwell’s team to have come up with some new surprises while I’ve been away.

She nods towards the visitors’ chairs. “Mr. Tramayne’s arrived.”

I turn and nearly drop my coffee when I come face to face with you, grinning widely at me.

“What the fuck,” I mutter to myself, for a moment too surprised not to react. Then I chuckle. “You’re Tramayne?”

You get up and come closer. “I am indeed. Justin Tramayne. Nice to see you again, Mr. Kinney.”

Perceiving the situation perfectly, Cynthia rolls her eyes. I shake my head, still chuckling, and make an inviting gesture toward my office. Smiling broadly, you sashay past me, your perfect butt filling out your designer jeans nicely and I can’t help tilting my head a little, appreciating the view.

“Hold my calls as much as feasible.”

“Will do. Is he as good as he looks?” Cynthia’s lowered her voice to just above a whisper.

I shrug with feigned indifference. “He was adequate.” I never praise my tricks to anyone. It would give the impression that the quality of my sex life depends on how good the tricks are. It doesn’t. Whomever I’m with, always has a great fuck, and so do I.

“Is it going to be a problem?”

“Doubt it. If he wants to work with Stockwell, he’ll keep very quiet.”

When I enter the office, you’re standing in contemplation of the painting behind the desk.

“Have a seat, Mr. Tramayne.” I deposit my coffee on the desk, noticing for the first time that you’re holding a cup of your own, and sit down.

You do the same in the chair in front of my desk, slightly slumped and with your hands folded around your coffee on your stomach. “You’re not going to insist on calling me Mr. Tramayne after you had your dick up my ass, are you?”

I smile and concede the point. “So you found out my name after all.”

“I already knew it at the fundraiser. I make it my business to do my homework. You’re Brian Kinney, thirty-one, father of one, Vangard’s junior partner since last year. You’ve been working on the Stockwell campaign for around two months.”

I purse my lips, amused. “Should I get out a restraining order?”

“Hardly. I googled you, mostly. I knew I’d be working with you, so I found out what I could. Didn’t you do the same? Or did you only just find out that you’re working with me?” There’s a slight pause. “You do know that we’ll be working together, don’t you?”

I smile. “We will not be working together. You will be working for me.”

You nod once in an exaggerated fashion. “I see. I think I have to apologize for insisting on doing the artwork for the campaign. Ethan’s a good friend of mine and he’s doing me a favor. I’m just trying to make a name for myself. Tramaphics has only been in business for a year. But I can assure you, I’m up to the task.”

“That remains to be seen.”

“I was on Saturday night, wasn’t I?” The broad smile reappears and I find myself smiling back almost against my will.

“I’m a little more discerning with my work, than I am with my tricks.”

You smile a little wider. “I find that it pays to be discerning in every aspect of your life.”

Your eyebrows come up, indicating that I fall into that category and I’m annoyed with myself for feeling flattered. Getting praise from my tricks is par for the course, pleasing but unimportant and ultimately no more than my due.

“Show me some of your stuff.” When you smile suggestively again, I glare at you. At this rate, we’ll never get any work done, especially since I can already feel my dick stir at the memory of the fundraiser. “Your graphics stuff.”

You have an extensive resume, a degree from Dartmouth and the Tramaphics website is impressive even by my standards. Although I’ve never heard of the obviously very small companies you’ve done work for, the work itself is outstanding and wide-ranging, including videos, animation and stills. You’re obviously very talented in more than one area.

You’re also indeed twenty-three years old, a fact I would be inclined to dispute even more in the bright light of the office. Your looks make me aware that I’ve passed thirty nearly two years ago, which I didn’t really need reminding of.

However, I’m pleased by your obvious deference to my expertise. You show your work with the air of a student trying to impress his teacher and glow with pride when I make some positive remarks. At no point do you suggest that you’d like some input into the work you’re expected to do, beyond artistic considerations. If you’re really as good as your samples suggest, this collaboration may actually work out because I’m not going to relinquish any aspect of my ideas but don’t really care who carries them out, as long as the execution is up to my standards.

I really hope that you’ll prove to be an asset because I find myself enjoying our conversation. It’s different from working with the in-house staff, who never lose sight of the fact that I have the power to supply them with a promotion or a pink slip according to their work. You’re just full of enthusiasm and admiration for my work, which you know rather well. I try not to be too flattered.

This is shaping up to be a pleasant surprise. We quickly establish a relationship of mentor and protégé and while you have your own ideas and question me when you disagree, in the long run you acquiesce to everything. I can work with that.

After three hours, Cynthia reminds me of the conference call I have scheduled in another fifteen minutes and you power down your laptop and store it in your messenger bag. “So you’ll contact me when you want me to start?”

“Yeah, we’ll probably get going next week. The campaign’s really heating up now.”

“Great. What do you do for fun around here?”

I can’t help but raise my eyebrows suggestively and you laugh. “Besides that.”

“There’s Woody’s on Liberty Avenue. Nice atmosphere and lots of willing men. Babylon’s the club to be. But there are others if your tastes are more specific, like Meathook and Boytoy. Stay away from Poppers.”

“Okay. Thanks. I might check some of those out. Later.” You raise your hand in goodbye and leave the room.

I like people who know when it’s time to go and don’t draw it out unnecessarily. Then I pull out the file to prepare for my conference. Ten minutes ought to do it. I push you from my mind.

Woody’s is exactly the same as it always is. I take a look around with studied nonchalance, marking two guys as ‘possible’ and then make my way over to the bar. Josh, the bartender, smiles invitingly and sets a bottle of beer on the counter for me without being asked. He’s obviously still hoping that I’ll fuck him one day, but the way I look at it, he’ll always be here, whereas some of the patrons may not. So, while I’m considering it, there’s always someone here who needs my attention more urgently. Still, a bit of mild flirting gets me preferential treatment.

When I turn around, my elbows on the counter to study the scene, I see a familiar yet somewhat unexpected face. You’re making your way from the door straight towards me, your trademark smile wide on your face.

“Fancy meeting you here,” you say happily.

“The ubiquitous Justin Tramayne,” I drawl, no longer as bored as I sound. There’s something about your bounciness that makes me want to smile whenever I see you. It amuses me and I wonder if there’s anything that could quash it. Although that would be a shame.

“Well, you said this is a good place to come.”

“Quite.” I raise my eyebrows once at the double entendre.

You chuckle. “Didn’t really mean it like that, but is it?”

“Depends on what you’re looking for.” I take another look around. “I can give you the low-down on most of these guys.”

“Really? Impressive.” You look around as well, then point to one of the tables, suggesting that it’ll be less conspicuous to talk about people away from the bar. I don’t mind. I’m waiting for Michael anyway, and you’re good company.

We spend a good half an hour and another bottle of beer on discussing the other patrons. You laugh heartily at my assessments of their performances and we naturally drift to sexual encounters in general – the amusing and the terrible.

“So, let’s narrow it down. Of the ones you recommended, which one have you done the most?”

“I don’t usually do repeats.” It’s just a habit. I don’t have a hard and fast rule about that. I’ve fucked some guys more than once although never more than twice and even that rarely. I usually get bored after the first time. There’s no challenge once I’ve had a guy.

“Oh. That’s disappointing.” You smile at me seductively.

I already feel my dick starting to pay attention at the thought of fucking you again. We will work together for another three months, so having you as a ready-made fuck source may come in handy with the workload I’m anticipating. On the other hand, it might lead to complications I’d much rather avoid, but either way, I can’t help teasing.

“Why? Were you hoping for an encore?”

“I wouldn’t mind it.” Your smile widens. “But since I have to abide by your rules at work, I can do it outside the office as well.”

I watch you shift your attention to the guys around us and feel a small stab of consternation that you give up so easily. I’m not used to guys being more or less indifferent. Usually I have to fight them off. I’m brought out of my reverie, when Michael slips into the seat next to me.

“You’re late.” I kiss him on the lips, feeling cold skin. “Wow, you’re freezing. How long have you been out?”

“I was looking for Hunter for two hours. The little shit’s driving me nuts.”

“Well, if you insist on doing your charity bit, you’ll have to put up with standing at street corners at night. He is a hustler after all.” I’m still unclear what the attraction is in taking in a street kid. I suspect that Ben’s hankering after a child, especially now that Michael's going to have one of his own. But who knows what goes on in the professor’s mind? Mostly boring shit, no doubt.

Michael nods, eyeing you with suspicion. Then he looks back at me. “Listen, if you’re tricking anyway, I might as well go home. I want something to eat and most of all, I want to be warm.”

“Curling up with hubby under a blanket in front of the TV?” I sneer more sarcastically than intended. Ever since Michael moved in with Ben, things haven’t been the same. It’s worse than it was with David, because Ben suits Michael much better. And the fact that he doesn’t even try to compete with me for Michael's attention makes him very hard to beat.

Michael sighs.

“This is Justin,” I say to keep the peace. “He works with me. Justin, this is Michael.”

You give Michael a friendly smile as a hello and Michael returns it tiredly. But at least, he’s appeased and enters into a conversation with you when you start asking a lot of questions. Your talk soon turns to comic books and you’re enthusing about mangas and animes, which you claim as one of your interests. You say your ultimate goal is to be an animator. I’m surprised how much less geeky than Mikey you seem while professing the same interests.

I lose track of the conversation after a while – who or what the fuck is Square Enix anyway? – and amuse myself by appraising the two guys I marked as possible tricks. But I’m not interested enough to make a move or even just to encourage them to make their move. I return to my companions again and again, not really listening, just watching you and your habit of gesticulating when you get animated.

I still think that you look a lot younger than you are. Your blue eyes sparkle with enthusiasm or maybe it’s your slightly shaggy blond hair that gives the youthful impression. On the other hand, twenty-three isn’t too far removed from being teenager anyway. It’s only that I know that I was never that young. Never mind that I’ve always looked older than I was at that age, I’ve also never been that carefree. At no point in my life have I not been driven.

When you excuse yourself to go to the men’s room – for its intended purpose, I have no doubt – Michael turns to me. “Nice guy.”

“Yeah. Not all the people I work with are stuffy old geezers.”

“Don’t fuck him.”

I bark out a laugh. “What the fuck?”

“Don’t fuck him. I can see the way you look at him. Just remember Kip Thomas. And Justin’s a nice guy. He’s probably looking for a boyfriend. Just leave this one out, for both your sakes.”

“Don’t tell me who to fuck, Mikey. And anyway, I already had him.”

Michael groans. “When will you ever learn?”

I think that’s a little unfair under the circumstances and fill him in on what happened. Michael listens in silence.

“So when you fucked, he already knew who you are?”

“Looks like it.”

“Maybe I got him all wrong then. But still, it’ll only lead to trouble if you do it again. Be careful.”

I pull him closer and kiss his temple. “Awww, Mikey, I didn’t know you cared.”

“Yeah, you did.” Michael pushes me off with a friendly shove and gets up. “I have to go home. Early delivery tomorrow.”

“Right.” It’s always the same nowadays. Michael’s so wrapped up in work and his domestic situation that he rarely manages to spend much time with me. And with me being so busy myself, we’re mostly reduced to phone calls. “Say hello to the professor for me and the littlest hustler.”

“Yeah, if the little shit hasn’t sneaked out again.”

“You should really keep a better eye on Ben,” I quip, willfully misinterpreting his remark.

Michael laughs and kisses me goodbye. On the way to the door, he runs into you and exchanges a few remarks. It’s got to be the first time that Michael actually likes someone that I associate with. In the past, he’s always been either vitriolic or brooding. Ben is obviously a good influence on him. I try to ignore the little pang I feel at the lack of jealousy on Michael’s part this implies. That’s just stupid. Michael getting over his crush is a good thing. It is.

“Do you wanna go to Babylon?” I ask you when you return to the table. I need to let off steam.

“Sure, why not?”

In the old days, I only ever went to Babylon later on in the evening when it’s so busy I have to squeeze through the crowds. But those were the days before Michael decided to settle down and Ted had not yet reached incredible heights with his porn site, only to fall just as low not long after, when he got arrested. I still cringe when I think about Emmett’s diva-worthy appeal to my better nature and even more when I think about Ted’s thank you afterwards. At least, Emmett chose to embarrass me in private.

So nowadays Michael spends most evenings in domestic bliss and Emmett spends them giving support to an increasingly depressed and pathetic Ted. And I’m reduced to spending them on my own. Gone are leisurely games of pool at Woody’s or conversations at the diner before moving on to the main event of the evening. Now I occasionally find myself at Babylon with the early crowd of losers and trolls out of sheer boredom, but mostly I simply stay at the loft until it’s late enough to make an entrance.

Of course, with the other patrons being so pathetic, my entrance causes twice the stir it would later on. Or make that three times, because you manage to draw quite a few eyes all on your own. So tonight it’s all right. I can dance with you and not look like a loser and even when the better clientele arrives, we pretty much stick with each other.

You’re a good dancer and easily one of the best looking guys around. You’re not smoking hot like I am, of course, more like beautiful in a very traditional sense, which makes you hot in your own way. And you seem totally unaware of it. At least, you ignore the looks people are giving you for the most part. We end up touching from about the second or third song onwards, when you put your hands on my hips and I respond by resting my arms on your shoulders. It has the effect that nobody else approaches either one of us.

In between, we stand at the bar and critique the men, the drinks and the music. I realize that I missed this more than I’ve wanted to admit. Someone to talk to when I’m not dancing or fucking, someone to prowl with, someone who comments on what I’m doing. It’s fun.

As the evening wears on and we both get drunker – and hornier, as evidenced by our hard cocks rubbing against each other during our dancing – I begin to wonder when you’ll stop this and move on to what we’ve really come here for. I’m willing to wait and choose my own trick then, because I enjoy having company too much and I can always fuck later. I also want to see you in the backroom.

Finally, one of the guys around us makes his move. I remember him from some months ago and his blowjobs are quite something, although not quite on par with yours. The guy dances close to you, rubbing against you from behind despite my presence until you turn to look at him and give him a short smile. Then you turn back to me, pulling me closer and down a bit by my neck, so you can speak in my ear. “If you don’t want me, I’ll take this guy home with me.”

I’m a little perturbed by the idea that you’ll leave instead of going to the backroom as I expected you to do. But I’m also a little annoyed at the challenge. Why should I care if you take the guy home?

“Are you giving me an ultimatum?” My voice and expression make it quite clear what I think of that idea.

“Brian.” You stroke the hair at the nape of my neck a little and I want to pull away but I also want to hear what you have to say. “I want to fuck. I want you to fuck me. Preferably all night. I want to feel your cock inside me and I want you to make me scream like I know you can. But if you don’t want to for whatever reason, I’ll take this guy. It’s not an ultimatum, it’s an offer. No strings attached.”

We both draw back a little so we can look at each other better and I can barely breathe, I’m so turned on. I frown a little and then you pull my head down one more time and kiss me. I can’t help but respond. You really are an amazing kisser. It seems to go on forever and by the time you let go of me and move away to turn to your trick, I’m nearly shaking with lust. I grab your shirt and yank you back against my chest.

“You’re coming home with me.”

PART TWO HERE: http://kachelofen.livejournal.com/25780.html

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