Pairing: Brian and Justin
Summary: The rising star ad exec needs to get the blond he met out of his head...or into his bed.
OUT OF THE SHADOWS
All through dinner, he found his gaze straying to where the blond sat at another table with his much older companion. He took note of how they leaned toward one another when one of them would speak and the way Justin’s blue eyes sparkled when he looked into the other man’s face. During the brief lull between the main course and dessert, the young blond excused himself from the table and headed toward the restrooms.
Not one to let opportunity pass him by, Brian immediately followed.
“Well, well, well,” he drawled upon seeing the blond standing in front of the sinks. “Just when I thought the evening couldn’t get any more… interesting.”
Justin watched Brian’s reflection warily in the mirror. “Hello,” he said politely.
Brian smirked. “After all this time, running into you almost everywhere I go, and that’s the best you can do?”
Justin turned slowly to face the other man. He was, without a doubt, the most beautiful man Justin had ever seen. Auburn hair styled just so, hazel eyes that bore into him with an intensity that was both arousing and dangerous, and full raspberry lips that begged to be kissed. Trying to will his obvious interest away, Justin cleared his throat.
“I should get back,” he said simply.
“To your date?” Brian asked, distaste dripping from his lips at the very word. “Haven’t seen this one around before. You importing them from out of town now, Sunshine?”
The tone of voice turned what could have been an endearment to insult. Unwilling to let the other man see the way the words had cut, he straightened his shoulders, meeting the flashing eyes steadily. “Not that it’s any of your business,” he stated dryly. “But Lawrence is an investment consultant here in Pittsburgh.”
“Ah yes, investment consultant, lawyer, successful entrepreneur. Doesn’t much matter as long as they have money, huh? What’s the matter, Daddy cut back on your allowance, little boy?”
Brian knew he was being cruel, but couldn’t seem to stop himself. The kid was driving him crazy without even knowing it. Looking into those deep, blue eyes, he wanted nothing more than to get lost in them for hours at a time.
And the prospect both excited and scared him.
“You don’t know anything about me,” Justin hissed.
“I know you have money,” Brian countered. “I know you can be seen at the most exclusive functions, usually with a different old goat each time. What I don’t know is why. What can you possibly see in someone old enough to be your fucking father? Or is this all just a big game to you? Seeing how fast you can work your way through Pittsburgh’s social register? Do you and your snotty little high-school friends have a bet going? Which one of you can fuck your way through the rich and famous in the shortest time?”
Justin had paled considerably as Brian rambled on. “Fuck you,” he whispered through clenched teeth.
Brian laughed mirthlessly. “I don’t think so, Sunshine. I’m not your type, am I? I still have all my own teeth and don’t need any chemical help getting it up and keeping it there.” He smirked cruelly as he moved toward the blond man. “Or is that what you’re afraid of?” he prodded.
Justin backed into the hard vanity and quickly glanced around. There was no place for him to go. As his eyes darted back to the hazel ones regarding him so intently, he wondered if he actually would escape if he could. The man’s close proximity was setting off signals through Justin’s whole body. His breathing grew more ragged, his throat constricted, his heart beat a little faster.
And his cock twitched inside his expensive tailored slacks.
Brian saw the combination of lust and fear in the blue eyes and smiled wickedly. “What’s the matter? Afraid someone young and virile might be too much for you?” he taunted quietly.
Justin opened his mouth to protest but nothing came out.
Brian had planned to taunt the kid and then let him leave, but being so close to those full, pouting lips, looking into those clear blue eyes, his body betrayed his mind. Leaning in, he brushed his lips against those of the blond, reveling in the sweet, fleeting taste. Before he had a chance to pull back, Justin was leaning forward, pressing their mouths together, his hands reaching around to pull the taller man even closer.
With a low moan, Brian enveloped the younger man in his arms and pulled him close. As his lips descended once again, he put everything he had into the kiss, deepening it as he felt the other man responding to his ministrations. When they parted a few moments later, they were both out of breath.
Justin was staring at him with a combination of surprise and longing.
“Come on,” Brian urged in a whisper, leading the smaller man toward one of the stalls.
It only took Justin a moment to regain his senses. “No,” he protested weakly. “I need to get back.”
Brian looked at him for a moment. He wanted this man, there was no doubt about that, but he wasn’t about to force him into something he didn’t want. He stroked his hand idly across the blond’s crotch, smirking at the hardness hidden beneath the clothing. “I think you want it,” he whispered into the shell-like ear. “And I think you want me to be the one to give it to you.”
Justin’s knees nearly buckled at the sensations the other man was creating. The touch on his dick would have been enough, even without the hot breath on his ear and the seductive words. “I can’t,” he whispered hoarsely.
Brian pulled back and looked into his eyes for a moment. What he saw there was real regret. “Fine,” he said, taking a step back to leave the other man standing on his own. “Run along, little boy. Go back to daddy or grandpa or whoeverthefuck. Just get out of here.”
Justin looked as though he’d been slapped. Before the tears had a chance to spill, he whirled and hurried from the bathroom, leaving a very frustrated Brian behind.
“Fuck,” the ad exec muttered under his breath. He glanced down at the erection tenting his pants and knew that he couldn’t return to the table in such a state. Resigning himself to having to take care of it without help, he stepped into the nearest stall and closed the door.
When he rejoined the party a few minutes later, his physical problem had been solved, but his mental frustration remained intact. Nobody ever turned Brian Kinney down, but this little blond twat had done it … twice! And twice was more than enough. It was time to forget about the irritating little slut. Brian might not have been born with a silver spoon in his mouth, but he’d worked damned hard and had made a successful life for himself. If he wasn’t good enough or rich enough for the spoiled blond brat, that was his problem. There was no way Brian Kinney was going to let a piece of blond boy ass make him feel like he wasn’t enough.
He’d already had enough of that to last a lifetime.
By the time dinner was over and the speeches underway, Brian was feeling pretty proud of himself. He hadn’t glanced the blond’s way once since returning from the bathroom and had managed to convince himself that he didn’t care if he ever saw those damnable blue eyes again.
That resolve proved short-lived, however, when he heard the sound of slightly raised voices coming from the direction of the blond’s table. Looking over, he saw an irate man standing beside Justin’s chair. Smirking, Brian couldn’t help but feel vindicated by the scene. Young Justin had obviously stepped on some toes while playing his little games. The angry looking man was older, just like the rest of the blond’s companions, and the perfectly tailored Armani suit he wore hinted at substantial means. He looked vaguely familiar to Brian, not someone he’d ever actually met, but someone he’d undoubtedly seen pictures of. When Justin got angrily to his feet and stormed toward the hotel lobby with the older man in pursuit, something urged Brian to follow. By the time he got to the lobby, the verbal battle was already in full gear.
“What in God’s name are you doing here with Lawrence McGuire of all people?” the older man demanded.
“Exactly what you think I’m doing,” Justin shot back.
“Parading yourself around town on the arm of any faggot rich enough to buy your time?” the stranger fumed.
“I’m a whore, remember?” Justin yelled back furiously. “That’s what we do!”
No one saw the hand coming until it connected sharply with Justin’s face, sending him stumbling into the nearby wall.
“Hey!” Brian shouted, no longer willing to remain a spectator. Seeing Justin held accountable for his little games was one thing, but when it came to physical violence, Brian drew the line. “I think you’ve had your say,” he said to the other man. “Let’s leave it at that, shall we?”
“This doesn’t concern you,” the man sneered.
“Hit him again and it will,” Brian warned quietly.
The man looked from Brian to Justin and back again. “He’s not worth it,” he hissed before pushing past the ad exec to return to the ballroom.
Brian watched Justin for a moment as the young man steadied himself and straightened his clothing. “Is it true?” he asked shortly.
When Justin’s eyes met his, they were full of anger and defiance. “Is what true?” he snapped.
“They pay you?” He was so livid he could barely get the words out. Hustling on the street for food money was one thing, but a kid with Justin’s means wasn’t doing it out of necessity. That made all the difference in Brian’s books. He was selling himself for the sheer thrill of it and that realization only made Brian angrier.
Justin was silent for a moment. “Yeah, they pay me,” he finally said angrily. “So, what?”
Brian remained silent, studying the blond man. He couldn’t believe the angelic face and bright smile that had captivated him belonged to nothing more than a high-priced rent boy. “Fine,” he finally said, reaching into his pocket for his wallet. He drew out two hundred dollar bills and held them out to the blond. “Here.”
Justin’s initial shock quickly turned to anger. “So you want to buy me now?” he demanded. Then, with a harsh laugh, he added, “Well it’s not enough. Not nearly enough.”
“That’s for the kiss,” Brian said in a dangerously quiet tone as he allowed the bills to drop from his fingers. “Brian Kinney doesn’t sponge off another man’s dime.”
Without another word, he turned and left the building.
The next day, Brian was in his office, still brooding over the events of the previous night, when Cynthia buzzed him. “What?” he demanded harshly.
“Justin Taylor is here to see you,” she said through the intercom.
“Tell him I’m busy,” Brian replied without hesitation.
A minute later, his door flew open and an angry Justin stormed in.
“I’m sorry,” Cynthia said, hurrying in behind him. “He got by me somehow.”
Brian sighed. “Leave us alone, Cyn,” he said quietly.
Once alone, Justin took the two hundred dollars from his pocket and slammed it down on the desk with the palm of his hand. “Keep your fucking money. I didn’t earn it.” Without another word, he turned to leave the office.
Brian was on his feet in an instant, grabbing the young man’s arm. “Why didn’t you tell me?” he demanded.
“Because it’s none of your fucking business,” Justin retorted. “It’s not like we’ve ever had an actual conversation. You don’t know the first fucking thing about me so what makes you think I owe you any explanations?”
Brian’s own anger refused to dissipate in the face of the younger man’s. Though he hated seeing the bruise that marred the creamy white cheek, he couldn’t forget the circumstances that had put it there. “I don’t need a fucking conversation to know your type,” Brian sneered. “Let me guess. Daddy doesn’t give you enough attention. You need a father figure in your life.” His voice had taken on a mocking tone that he abandoned for one of disdain as he continued. “Or maybe you just derive some sort of thrill from thinking that rich ass of yours is worth more than any street hustler’s.”
The words cut, just like he’d intended. “Fuck you,” Justin snapped, angrily wrenching his arm from the other man’s grasp. He opened the door violently and then turned one more time to face the angry ad exec. This time his voice was a broken whisper. “Fuck you.”
Brian didn’t even have time for a sarcastic response before the other man was gone.
Justin refused to allow the tears to fall until he was out of the building. Even then, he quickly brushed them away with the back of one hand.
He turned to see Prescott Pendleton heading toward him. “Hey,” he said miserably.
“What brings you here?” Prescott asked.
Justin glanced up at the building then replied in a flat tone. “Business.”
Prescott frowned. “Something wrong?”
Justin hadn’t planned on saying anything, but the man’s compassionate voice, combined with the anger and frustration he was feeling had the words spilling from his lips before he could stop them. “My dad showed up at the senator’s fundraiser last night. He was supposed to be in Milan until next week.”
“Ahh,” Prescott nodded sympathetically. “I take it he wasn’t too pleased to see you there.”
“We don’t exactly travel in the same circles these days,” Justin scoffed. “You know I never would have gone if I’d known he would be there.”
“I know,” Prescott soothed with a comforting hand to the younger man’s shoulder. “Was it ugly?”
Justin barked a harsh laugh. “He practically called me a whore in front of …”
“Your date?” Prescott asked when the blond’s voice trailed off.
Justin shook his head. “Lawrence didn’t hear it.”
Taking a deep breath, Justin let it out on a sigh. “It doesn’t matter, now,” he said quietly.
Now? That implied that it had mattered at some point. He saw the anguish in the young man’s eyes and felt a stab of sympathy for him. What he knew about had been rough enough; who knew how much there was that he didn’t know. He lightly touched the bruise on Justin’s cheek. “He gave you this.” It was more statement than question.
Justin pulled away from the touch. “It’s not the worst I’ve had,” he said quietly. “I have to go.”
“Want to go for a drink later?” Prescott asked hopefully. “It might make you feel better to talk about it. I’m a good listener, you know.”
Justin managed a small smile. He did know. Prescott had been the only one Justin had ever talked to about what happened. He’d also been the first man to pay for Justin’s company. “Just a drink?” he asked shyly. “My treat?”
“Deal,” Prescott agreed with a smile. “I’ll meet you at the Silver Pagoda at 4.”
Justin nodded then continued on his way. Prescott watched him until he rounded the corner before turning to enter Kinnetik.
The last thing Brian was in the mood for was a meeting with Prescott Pendleton, but the fact that the man had millions of advertising dollars to spend overruled what he thought of men who paid for sex. More precisely, what he thought of men who paid Justin Taylor for sex. He was glad he didn’t have a lot of time to ponder the difference before Cynthia announced Pendleton’s arrival.
“Come in, Prescott,” Brian greeted him, gesturing toward a chair.
“Brian,” Pendleton said, shaking the other man’s hand before taking his seat. “It’s been a while.”
The clenching of Brian’s jaw didn’t go unnoticed as the ad exec took his own seat. “Yeah, the launch,” he said flatly.
Prescott thought of the launch party and the beautiful young man he’d had on his arm that night. The same young man whom he’d just seen leaving this building. A small smile graced his lips as the pieces began to fall into place. “Yes,” he said with a nod. “The launch. I do so enjoy those formal affairs, don’t you?”
Brian grimaced. “They’re more what I’d call a necessary evil.”
“I was deeply regretful that I wasn’t able to make it to the Senator’s fundraiser last night.”
“You didn’t miss much,” Brian said, his jaw clenching so hard Prescott expected to hear teeth crunching at any moment.
“Oh, so you were there?” Prescott said, feigning surprise.
Brian’s eyes narrowed. “What’s the Senator’s fundraiser got to do with anything?”
“Nothing, nothing at all,” Pendleton replied, shaking his head slightly. “Though I hear there was a bit of drama involved. I’m sorry I missed it.”
Brian couldn’t get the vision of the man slapping Justin out of his head. While he’d hated to see it, maybe it would be enough for the blond to realize what a dangerous game he was playing. “Like I said,” he intoned. “You didn’t miss much.”
“I’m sure Justin would disagree.”
Brian’s eyes flashed. “What happens between Justin and his tricks is none of my concern,” he said flatly.
The other man was slightly taken aback at the fire in the hazel eyes. Brian Kinney, stud of Liberty Avenue, was jealous!
He was quiet for a moment as he thought about how to play it. As much as he’d enjoy watching Kinney squirm, he hated the despair he’d seen in Justin’s eyes. If he could somehow erase that, it was worth passing up an opportunity to get back at Kinney for his decided lack of interest. “Are you sure he was a trick?” he hinted.
Brian smirked. “Whatever it is you’re calling yourselves these days.”
“When I was with Justin at the launch, he was my companion, just as I suspect he was Lawrence’s last night.”
“I don’t need a name by name rundown,” Brian snapped irritably. “Like I said, it’s none of my business what he does or who he does it with.”
“It’s none of his father’s business either, but that didn’t stop him from leaving that bruise on Justin’s face last night,” Prescott said as a matter of fact.
He saw the flicker of surprise in Brian’s eyes before the usual mask of indifference took over. “That asshole was Craig Taylor.”
“One and the same,” Pendleton replied with a nod.
While the image of Justin being slapped remained the same in Brian’s memory, the feelings it now provoked were far different than they had been. It was one thing to believe it was an angry client, but quite another to know it was the boy’s father. He’d suffered enough beatings at his own father’s hands to know that the physical pain was fleeting but the emotional damage could never really be repaired.
“I take it Daddy wasn’t too happy with his son’s choices,” he muttered angrily.
Pendleton considered how much he should reveal to the man before him. While his association with Justin had started out to be strictly business, he found himself actually caring about the kid. “That would be putting it mildly,” he finally said in reply, enough to hint at more but without divulging details that weren’t his to discuss.
“You seem to know a lot about it for a paying customer,” Brian quipped cynically.
Pendleton smiled. “Yes, but I didn’t hear any of it from a third party. Everything I know, Justin told me himself. If you want details, you’ll have to get them from him.”
Brian leaned back in his chair, trying to maintain an air of indifference. “Why should I care about the details?”
“Why, indeed,” Prescott replied, a knowing smile touching the corners of his mouth.
All talk of Justin and his father was set aside as they got down to the business at hand. Halfway through Brian’s initial proposal for a new campaign, Pendleton’s pager vibrated. Taking it out of his pocket, he read the number and frowned. “My secretary,” he mused thoughtfully. “She wouldn’t bother me in a meeting unless it was important.” As he took his cell phone out, he looked at Brian. “Do you mind?”
“Not at all,” Brian replied. “Feel free to step into the conference room if you need some privacy.”
Prescott waved his hand in dismissal of the notion and then punched in the number of his head office.
Brian made a few adjustments to the layout on his computer screen while he waited for his client to conclude the call. When that happened a couple of minutes later, he could see concern on the other man’s face. “Everything OK?”
“Actually, no,” he replied, getting to his feet. “There’s been a robbery involving one of my stores. I need to get a flight as soon as possible.”
“I’m sorry to hear that,” Brian offered politely. “Call my office once things calm down and we’ll reschedule.”
Pendleton nodded and shook Brian’s hand. “I’ll do that,” he promised. He was halfway out the door when he remembered the meeting with Justin. Just as he was pulling his cell to call the young man, another thought occurred to him. Turning back to face Brian, he said, “I wonder if I might impose on you for a favour.”
Brian raised an eyebrow expectantly.
“I have an appointment later this afternoon that I’ll obviously not be able to keep.”
“So call and cancel,” Brian suggested simply.
“Justin doesn’t have a cell phone and I have no way of reaching him.”
Brian’s expression hardened.
Seeing the change in expression, Pendleton added, “He was upset about what happened last night. We were going to meet for a drink and talk about it, that’s all.”
Brian considered that for a moment. “How does this concern me?”
“I’m supposed to meet him at the Silver Pagoda at four. If it’s not too much trouble, would you call and have him paged? Just tell him that I send my most sincere apologies and that I’ll call when I get back.”
“Fine,” Brian acquiesced after only a brief hesitation. “I’ll tell him.” He would have suggested the man have his secretary make the call, but in light of what he’d learned, he had an urge to speak to the young blond himself.
Prescott tried to temper the satisfied smile that threatened to emerge. “Thank you. I’ll be in touch.”
Brian waited until the man left before lowering himself into his chair, the whole time wondering why he’d agreed to be Pendleton’s messenger boy. As though in response, his mind produced an image of Justin leaving his office earlier in the day, the blue eyes filled with pain and sadness rather than the anger that had been evident when he’d first arrived.
He had to talk to him. And the phone just wouldn’t do.
Continue to Chapter Four