This is Part 1
The other sections in "The Angel Stream".
Pittsburgh, March 2005
Jennifer Taylor stared, open-mouthed, at her son, Justin, who was sitting at the kitchen table drinking a glass of milk.
"Justin! What are you doing here, honey?" Jennifer set down a bag of groceries on the counter. The last person she had expected to see on that sunny March Saturday was her son.
"I came down from Dartmouth for the weekend," said Justin, getting up to refill his glass. "I needed to get something from the house, so I thought I'd wait for you to get home. Is Dad at the store?"
Jennifer nodded as she began to put the groceries away. "He'll be so surprised to see you!"
"Well, if you don't mind, Mom, I'd rather you didn't tell him I was here. It... it might be too hard to explain," said Justin.
"Explain?" Jennifer frowned. "What do you mean? Why didn't you call before you came home? Is something the matter, darling?"
"No," said Justin. "Nothing's the matter. Far from it. Everything's great." Justin smiled to himself. "Really, really great."
A cold feeling crept through Jennifer as she began to realize what was going on. And why Justin was home from college in the middle of the term. "Did you get a ride from New Hampshire with someone?"
"No, actually," Justin replied coolly. "I flew. From Boston. And I'm flying back on Monday morning."
Jennifer swallowed. "How can you afford to fly from Boston to Pittsburgh, and then back again, just for the weekend?"
"I can't," said Justin, looking directly at his mother. "But Brian can afford it. He bought my ticket."
"Brian," Jennifer repeated. A man who Justin had been seeing over Christmas Break. A man more than 10 years older than her son. Jennifer knew that Justin had slept with this man -- in fact spent every night of his vacation with him after they had met on Christmas Eve. But Jennifer had assumed that when Justin returned to school that would be the end of it. Obviously, she had been mistaken.
"Brian paid for my ticket and that's where I'm staying," Justin drank down the rest of his milk and rinsed the glass out in the sink. "At Brian's loft. That's why I came home this weekend -- to be with my boyfriend."
Jennifer winced when Justin said that word. Boyfriend.
"Justin, please think about what you're doing," Jennifer pleaded. "This man is... he's in his 30's! He's much too old for you! What would your father say if he ever found out about what you're doing?"
Justin licked his lips nervously. "He will find out, Mom. If not now, then as soon as I graduate. Because right after Commencement I'm moving in with Brian. I'm going to live with my boyfriend and I don't care who knows it. So I'm telling you now. If you want to tell Dad, that's fine. My tuition is paid up until the end of the year. Which means that Dad can't pull me out of school. Winter Term is almost over, and all I have to do is finish up my final credits for Spring Term and I'm done. Finished. Finally! Then I'll have my precious Dartmouth degree, just like Dad wanted."
"And what you wanted, too, darling," Jennifer added.
Justin turned away from his mother and gazed out the kitchen window. The sun was shining brightly and it really looked like spring was on its way.
"No, Mom. It isn't what I wanted -- and you know it. I wanted to go to the Institute of Fine Art here in Pittsburgh. That was my dream. But Dad killed that dream. And you helped him. But you two are not going to kill the rest of my fucking life! I'm moving in with Brian and there's nothing either of you can do about it. I'm 22 years old. I'm not a child. I'm a man. A gay man. That's the reality. And if you don't like it, you can fucking lump it!"
Jennifer recoiled at Justin's rudeness. He had never been confrontational. Far from it! Justin had always been a quiet, well-behaved child. The perfect son. It had to be the influence of this Brian person that was turning her beautiful son into a stranger!
"I better get going," said Justin, reaching for his coat, which was hanging on the back of the kitchen chair. "I got what I needed. Here's the number of Brian's loft." Justin jotted it down on his mother's shopping list. "You know my cell number."
"You said you came here to get something," said Jennifer, trying to keep Justin there, as if holding on to him for five more minutes would make a difference. "Do you need more clothes, honey?"
"No," said Justin. "I have plenty of clothes, Mom. I came to get my passport. Brian is taking me on a trip over Spring Break."
"A... a trip?" Jennifer's heart was skipping. That man was taking her son out of the country!
"Yeah, to the British Virgin Islands. We're going to a gay resort," Justin smirked. "Nothing but sand, sun, and wall-to-wall gorgeous guys -- all clothing optional!"
"Clothing... op... optional?" Jennifer stammered. "You mean... a nudist colony?"
Justin rolled his eyes. "Nudist colony? Jesus, Mom! That is so fucking 'breeder'! It's a resort for gay men! What do we need clothes for? Brian and I are going to have our own cottage with a deck and a pool and 24-hour room service! We're going to do nothing but lie in the sun and swim and eat and drink big cocktails with fruit in them -- and fuck our brains out! In other words, the perfect vacation."
Jennifer sat down at the kitchen table. She suddenly felt lightheaded. "Oh, Justin! You can't be serious!"
"I'm very serious, Mom," Justin countered. "This is my first real vacation with my boyfriend and I'm planning to enjoy every minute of it! And I don't care what you, or Dad, or anyone else thinks!"
There was a soft tone and Justin pulled his cell out of his pocket. "Brian? Yeah, I'm ready. I got my passport. And I told my mom about the big plans. Okay, I'll meet you in front of the house." Justin put away his cell. "Brian's turning down our street, Mom, so I have to go. I'll call you when I get back to Dartmouth. Bye!"
And before Jennifer could respond her son was out the back door and down the driveway, on his way to meet his boyfriend.
Pittsburgh, March 2005
Justin rushed out of his parents' house like it was on fire.
Every time he came home he found himself getting more and more angry over the way they had treated him over the past four years. It had mainly been his father, but now this argument with his mother proved to Justin that she also didn't get it.
Justin hated fighting, but his mother wasn't even trying to understand! And if it was that bad trying to deal with Jennifer Taylor, who was at least sympathetic to her son, Justin thought, how much worse will it be when Craig Taylor, who often spouted homophobic sentiments and was a firm supporter of Mayor Stockwell's 'Family Friendly Pittsburgh' campaign, found out that his own son was one of the 'degenerates' he loved to denigrate?
Justin shuddered to think about it. That was a confrontation he was anxious to postpone for as long as possible.
Then Justin saw the dark green Corvette pull into the driveway.
"Brian!" Justin yanked open the door and slid into the bucket seat. "Just in time!"
"Did you miss me, twerp?" Brian smirked. They had been apart less than two hours.
"What do you think?" Justin grinned back.
Brian leaned over and kissed Justin softly on the lips. Then Brian put his arms around him and kissed him harder. And Justin kissed Brian back as hard as he was able.
Justin felt a thrill surge through his body. It wasn't only Brian's presence, but the fact that they were making out in the driveway of his parents' house. That his mother might he watching from the front window. Or that his father's car could pull up at any minute and he might see his son and his lover, kissing in front of the house! Justin almost wanted it to happen, right there and then. It would save him having to come out to his father later. But, of course, Craig Taylor was still at the store and not due home until much later that evening, so it was a moot point.
"Are you hungry?" Brian asked, putting the Vette into gear and backing out of the drive.
Justin laughed. "You already know the answer to that! I'm always hungry."
"Let's hit the diner," said Brian. "Then we can decide what we want to do tonight, okay?"
"Sure." Justin reached over and squeezed Brian thigh as he drove. "Whatever you want to do is fine with me. I'm all yours until Monday morning."
Brian glanced down at Justin's hand, which was inching up his leg toward his crotch. "You better watch that or I might run off the road and we'll spend the evening in the Emergency Room!"
Justin moved his hand back down, closer to Brian's knee, but he didn't take it away completely. "Sorry about that."
"Listen, Justin," Brian began. "After I dropped you off at your mom's place I went down to the office to pick up a few things. And Gardner was there -- working."
"On a Saturday?" Justin made a face.
Justin's father was always at the store on weekends, but Justin had thought of an advertising agency as a weekday, 9-to-5 kind of job. However, after spending time around Brian, Justin had soon learned that his boyfriend almost never stopped working. He frequently stayed late at the office or took clients to dinner or to sporting events to entertain them. And at the loft Brian was often on the computer until very late, working on an account.
"Yes," Brian replied. "Gardner practically lives at Vangard. It's his baby and he's obsessed with it. That means the poor bastard has very little social life. I don't know what the guy does to blow off steam -- and I don't want to know. What breeders do in their spare time is one of those peculiar territories I'd rather not explore."
"Maybe he bowls?" Justin suggested. "Or goes to Civil War Re-enactments? Or hangs out at strip clubs? That's about as 'breeder' as I can think of."
"No," Brian shook his head. "Gardner is a Brit, so I doubt that the Civil War and bowling are on his radar screen. And as for chasing pussy... if he indulges, he does it very quietly and -- thank God! -- doesn't confide in me about it."
"That's good," Justin agreed. "My roommate is always bitching to me about his girlfriend and telling me stuff about their sex life that I'd rather not hear."
"Thank God for small favors," said Brian. "But... here's the thing. Our trip... for your Spring Break...." But then Brian paused and looked away as he stopped the Vette at a red light.
Justin got a sinking feeling. "What about our trip, Brian? Is there a... a problem?"
"Yeah, there's a problem," Brian sighed. "Gardner just told me that Leo Brown, one of our biggest clients, is coming into town. Brown Athletics is one of my accounts and I'm involved in every aspect of their campaign. Which means that if Leo Brown comes to Pittsburgh, I have to be there."
Justin swallowed. "And he's coming into town the week of my Spring Break? Is that it, Brian?"
"Yes." Brian nodded. "That's it, Justin. I'm sorry. Really fucking sorry."
"So our trip is off," Justin said, almost to himself.
"It's business, kid," said Brian. "The irony is that I haven't been on a vacation in almost three years. And after all the time I had to take off because of the cancer, I almost hesitated to ask for it this time, even though I have the time coming to me. But now, when I really want to take that time off... Shit! It's fucked up, I know. But it's also out of my control."
"That's all right, Brian," Justin tried to smile. He didn't want to show Brian his disappointment. And Justin knew he had no right to feel disappointed. Brian had already done so much for him already, much more than Justin had a right to expect. Brian had paid for plane tickets so that Justin could visit him on weekends. He'd taken Justin to great restaurants and clubs. Included Justin in events with his Liberty Avenue family, such as Debbie's Christmas dinner. Brian had even shared time with his son, Gus, with Justin. Not to mention all of the amazing sex!
But the thought of just the two of them going away together to a tropical resort had seemed so romantic, so exciting to Justin! Like they were a real, true couple. It was almost like... like a honeymoon. Justin didn't dare say it aloud because he knew Brian's cynical thoughts about marriage, but that's how it had felt when Brian told him the plans. Like the perfect honeymoon. And now it wasn't going to happen.
"It doesn't matter, Brian," Justin said stoically. "We'll have a whole week together. I mean, if you still want me to hang around during my Spring Break. If I won't be in your way?"
Brian looked at Justin seriously. "If you still want to, even without the trip. Maybe there's something else you'd rather do? Or somewhere else you'd rather go -- with your college friends? Where do the Ivy Leaguers party these days? Cancun? Aspen?"
Justin moved his hand up Brian's leg and brushed his fingers softly against the crotch of his worn 501's. Brian's cock jumped at the touch.
"This Ivy Leaguer will be partying in Pittsburgh for Spring Break," Justin explained. "At a very exclusive gay resort called The Loft. It's secluded and clothing-optional. And invitation-only. That is, if I have an invitation?"
Brian smiled. "Yes, you have an invitation, you little twat. You really know how to twist me around your little finger, don't you?"
Justin leaned against Brian, his lips as close to his ear as Justin could get without interfering with Brian's steering. "It isn't my little finger that I'm thinking of. It's something much larger that I want you twisted around. MUCH larger! And much more insistent!"
"I think that can be taken care of," Brian said, turning the Corvette around and heading directly back to the loft. The diner could wait until later. Or they could always order in. Afterwards. "And we don't need to leave the country to do it. In fact, it can be worked on tonight. And tomorrow, too."
"Good," Justin whispered, squeezing Brian's cock gently. "Let's get started right away."
Pittsburgh, March 2005
After Brian dropped Justin off at the airport early on Monday morning, he spent the rest of the week burying himself in work at Vangard.
Leo Brown's impeding visit to Pittsburgh had everyone scurrying with the proofs for the new underwear campaign featuring Ironmen quarterback Drew Boyd. There was new copy to write, new photos to approve, and a new presentation to prepare. Gardner was yelling at everyone in sight and no one left the building before 7 or 8 in the evening, with Brian often staying on much later, working at his desk alone in an empty office.
On Friday Cynthia brought Brian a large envelope and laid it in front of him.
"What's this?" Brian frowned as he picked it up.
"I don't know, but it just came. And it's marked 'Personal,'" Cynthia said, raising her eyebrows. "Got a new penpal, Brian?"
Brian noted the New Hampshire postmark. "Maybe."
He opened the envelope slowly and pulled out a large piece of cardboard. Then he smiled. And then he laughed.
"That little son of a bitch!" he said.
"What?" Cynthia was dying to know who it was who was sending Brian personal mail at the office. "Let me see!"
Brian hesitated for a moment and then showed it to her. Why the fuck not? She'd find out eventually. It was impossible to keep secrets from Cynthia for very long.
It was a mock-up for an advertisement.
"'The Loft,'" Cynthia read aloud. "Exclusive Gay Resort! Centrally located in Colorful Pittsburgh, Near Liberty Avenue and the Fun-filled Gay District. Open Bar. Personal Services Available 24 hours. Clothing Optional. By Invitation Only. B. Kinney, proprietor.'" There was a sketch of a large platform bed in the center of the ad and another very life-like line drawing of Brian at the bottom.
"Well, what do you think of my new campaign?" Brian asked her.
"This is actually good, Brian!" Cynthia exclaimed. "I've seen a lot worse coming out of our own Art Department."
Brian grinned. "I know. It is pretty good, isn't it? I think I'll have it framed."
"You're not going to hang this in your office, are you? Vance will have a fit!" Cynthia giggled at the thought of Gardner Vance's reaction. Brian's sexuality was no secret at Vangard, but she could tell that it made the Big Boss very uncomfortable.
"No, I won't hang it in here," Brian replied. "I don't want Gardner or any of his rich homophobic clients to freak out. Besides, this is mine. I'm going to put in on my desk at home."
"So," said Cynthia. "Are you going to spill -- or just let me keep guessing? What's going on? Who is this guy, Brian?" She tapped the envelope. "New Hampshire? Are you seeing a ski instructor? Where did you meet him? I want to know all of the gory details!"
Brian shrugged. "There's nothing to tell," he said vaguely.
"Nothing to tell?" Cynthia almost shouted. "Brian, don't bullshit me! You had me make reservations for a week at a very fancy gay resort down in the Caribbean -- until I had to cancel them when you found out that Brown would be coming that week. Now you going to a hot gay resort isn't so strange -- except that it was a reservation for TWO. Brian Kinney and...? Once upon a time I might have thought you were taking your friend Michael, but not since he's a married man. And not to a place like that. You don't go to a place like that with a friend. You go to a place like that with a lover! So, are you going to tell me? Or do I have to beat it out of you?"
Cynthia waited for a response, but Brian was silently regarding the cardboard mock-up.
How much did he want to tell Cynthia? Brian kept staring at Justin's ad. It really was good. Justin should have been studying art instead of wasting four years of college on Business courses he had no intention of using. Still, no knowledge was ever truly a waste. Maybe he could work here, at Vangard? With an artistic eye and a Business degree he'd be perfect for an entry-level position in advertising. Except that wasn't what Justin wanted to do with his life. He didn't want to be an ad man. He wanted to be an artist.
"Cynthia," Brian said finally. "I want you to do a little research for me. Find me a place -- a resort, a hotel, a bed-and-breakfast, something like that. Out in the country, but also not too far from the Pitts. I don't want to have to drive too long. For the end of that same week I had reserved for my vacation. Leo Brown is scheduled to leave on Thursday, so that gives me the weekend at least."
Cynthia took out her pad and made some notes. "Gay only?"
"Not necessarily," said Brian. "But it has to be gay-friendly. I don't want any nasty surprises when we get there."
"We?" asked Cynthia. "Is this a replacement for your Caribbean fuck-fest?"
Brian wrinkled his nose. "You're making something beautiful sound so... so sordid. Hot, but sordid."
"That doesn't answer my question, Brian," Cynthia asserted. "About your ski instructor? Who is he?"
"He's not a ski instructor," said Brian, gazing at Justin's ad for 'The Loft.' "He's a student. At Dartmouth. Hence the New Hampshire postmark."
"Dartmouth, huh?" said Cynthia. "Getting a little class into your life, I see."
Brian snorted. "Spoken like the true snob you are, my dear. Well, you may have graduated with Honors from Sarah Lawrence and I may only be a scholarship boy from Penn State, but I'm still your boss. So get the fuck to work."
"Aye, aye, chief," Cynthia saluted. "I'm really sorry that the Virgin Islands trip didn't work out for you. But I'll do my best with this new assignment."
"Thanks, Cynthia," said Brian as she turned to leave the office. "Oh, one more thing."
"Yes?" Cynthia held up her pen, awaiting instructions.
"This... place," Brian added. "This hotel... It should be... sort of... you know?"
"What, Brian?" Sometimes Brian was so damn infuriating! Most of the time, actually. "Sort of what?"
"Romantic," Brian said in a low voice.
Cynthia blinked. "What did you say?"
"Are you really going to make me say it again?" Brian sighed.
"Yes," Cynthia insisted. "I want to hear you say it again. I didn't quite catch it the first time!"
"Bitch," Brian whispered. "Romantic. I said I want the place to be romantic!"
Cynthia took a deep breath. She had to meet this Dartmouth student! "Romantic," she repeated, laughing. "Okay, I got it!"
"Good," said Brian. He'd said that word three times and not choked on it. "Romantic. It has to be romantic."
And then Brian smiled to himself. The more he said, the easier it got.
Continue on to "Spring Break -- Part 2".
©Gaedhal, June 2005.
Posted October 29, 2005.