One year later.
Justin tried on one shirt after another, having trouble deciding which one was presentable enough for a job interview. Finally deciding on a dark blue, short sleeved one, he glanced at the clock on his bed side table. Fuck, he was going to be late if he didn’t get his ass in gear. He had just finished buttoning the last button when his mom knocked on the door and poked her head in.
“Justin you’re going to be late if you don’t hurry.”
“I’m going” he said, then paused to take one more *once over* in the mirror
She smiled “Honey, you look fine” then shook her head, her smile growing slightly wider at his snarky reply.
Justin gave her a quick peck on the cheek then picked up his portfolio off of the floor “car keys?”
“On the coffee table.” Jennifer answered, pointing toward the living room.
As she watched her son snatch up the keys on his way out, she slowly shook her head and smiled then turned toward her own room to get ready for work. The past year had been hard on them all, especially Justin, it was good to see some of his old self slowly returning.
After hearing about Justin’s injuries, a cousin had offered them a place to stay and two guest rooms had been home for nine months. Justin’s recovery had been slow, hampered down by panic attacks and nightmares. Jennifer had to give credit to her cousin Mary and Mary’s husband Bob for getting Justin through that painful time, something she hadn’t been able to do. Bob was a remarkable therapist and had taken time out of his evening hours to help her son regain the use of his hand and long, late night talks with Mary had aided Justin in rebuilding his confidence, not only in himself but in the people around him.
Through her old colleagues at her previous job, Jennifer had heard of an opening in a real estate agency in Pittsburg and after a glowing recommendation from her old boss, had been hired sight unseen.
They had now been in Pittsburg for three months. Molly was enrolled in a private school, she had a promising career and after a checkup with the doctor, Justin had been given the all clear to resume his work. Best of all there had been no word from Glen.
Life was finally looking up.
Cynthia had just poured herself a cup of freshly brewed coffee and sat down at her desk when Brian came storming in the front door.
“Coffee” he demanded.
She leaned back against the tall back rest of her office chair and crossed her arms “what do I look like, your maid for the day?”
He stopped and one eyebrow shot up “maybe you’d like a change of scenery, the unemployment line perhaps?”
The tall blond actually had the audacity to smile at him “oh, I’m shaking in my high heels” she said, matching Brian look for look. She’d known the ad exec for at least seven years, having first worked with him at Vanguard and now Kinnetik. She was probably one of the very few who really understood him and didn’t put up with his bull shit. The only other person Cynthia knew that had the balls to go toe to toe with Brian in a good old fashioned stare down was Debbie, the mother of Brian’s best friend Michael.
Brian stared for a moment longer before the infamous Brian Kinney smirk appeared on his face and he nodded in silent approval “I can see that. Cyn, would you please get me a cup of coffee?” he asked as he headed toward his office.
As she carried the cup past her desk she grabbed up the resume from the top of the stack of papers sitting on the corner of her desk and carried both to Brian’s office.
“You have an interview with Justin Taylor in twenty minutes” she said handing him the steaming cup.
“Good, send him in when he gets here” he replied, plucking the paper out of her hand.
Exactly twenty minutes later Cynthia was busy at the computer when she heard the door open. She glanced at the clock on the computer screen without looking up, good, right on time she thought. She knew how Brian felt about anyone being late, especially when it came to business. In fact it had been his major pet peeve when he had been at Vanguard. After Kinnetik had opened, he’d made it clear that anyone who made a habit out of coming in late would be receiving a pink slip for their troubles.
When she finally did look up, she almost had to pick her jaw up off the floor. Standing next to her desk was one of the most gorgeous men she had ever seen. Bright blue eyes looked out from a boyishly handsome face, framed by slightly shaggy, light blond hair. He gave her a closed lipped, though friendly, smile which slowly turned into a look of confusion as she continued to gape at him.
Justin shifted uncomfortably from one foot to the other, wondering why she was staring at him like that. He resisted the urge to wipe a hand across his face in case he had any remnants of breakfast on his chin, even though he knew he didn’t.
“Um, hi I have an interview with Mr. Kinney”
His soft voice brought her out of her trance “oh, yes, of course and your name?”
“Justin Taylor” he replied.
Cynthia nodded “just a minute please” then pushed the intercom button “Brian, Justin Taylor is here.”
A second later Brian’s voice came back “send him in.”
“Right through that door Mr. Taylor, and good luck” she said smiling at him.
Justin returned her smile “thanks” and turned toward the door marked *Brian Kinney*
As she watched him head toward Brian’s office she hoped she wouldn’t soon be rooting around in the top drawer of her desk for ear plugs, which still came in handy from time to time. As part of her job she reviewed all incoming resumes first, deciding which ones to give to Brian and she knew that the blond now knocking on Brian’s closed office door was by far the best candidate for the position. She knew her boss didn’t normally go for blonds, but with looks like this kid had, a brick wall would be attracted to him.
Justin nervously knocked on the wooden door and after hearing “enter” turned the knob on what he hoped would be his future.
Brian stood up from his chair and began to walk around the desk gazing appreciatively at the man walking through the door. On the outside he was calm, cool and collected as always, but on the inside, it took every ounce of strength he possessed to keep from openly drooling, the blond was absolutely stunning. A gleam appeared in his eyes as a mental image of the young man naked and bent over his desk, moaning with every thrust into his supple body, flashed in Brian’s mind.
If Justin had any inkling of what was going on inside his potential boss’s head right then he would have turned tail and ran back out the door. As it were, Justin was just as drawn to Brian as Brian was to him. The artist in him took in every detail of the man’s body, auburn streaks naturally highlighted the dark locks while green specks seemed to dance in the hazel eyes. Unconsciously his eyes skimmed downward, the charcoal grey Armani suit fit the man like it had been made specifically for him.
Amused by the blonds slow perusal Brian stood there for a moment before holding out his hand.
“Hello, I’m Brian Kinney.”
“Justin Taylor” Justin replied, grasping the man’s hand and had to hold back a gasp at the electric current that seemed to dart back and forth between their clasped hands. Christ, he hadn’t been this drawn to someone ever, not even…..no, he wasn’t going to go there, that part of his life was over he thought as he let go of Brian’s hand.
If Brian was puzzled by the look that flashed across Justin’s face he didn’t outwardly show it and the look disappeared just as quickly as it had appeared. Whatever it was, Brian realized that Justin was just as good at masking his feelings as he was. This was definitely going to be an interesting interview.
An hour later, Cynthia was filing some papers when the door to Brian’s office opened and Justin came out followed by Brian. She noticed Justin didn’t have that freshly fucked look about him.
“Cyn, say hello to the new head of the art department”
The tall blond closed the cabinet door and walked up to Justin, her heels clicking on the tile floor.
“Congratulations Justin and welcome to Kinnetik”
Justin smiled and clasped her outstretched hand “thank you”
“Why don’t you show Justin around while I get with the accounting department and have him added to the payroll”
She nodded “sure thing Brian” then turned to the blond standing by her side “what do you say we start with the art department”
As they started for the hallway on the opposite side of the room, Cynthia glanced back over her shoulder and was surprised to see Brian staring after them with a look on his face that in all the years that she’d known him, she’d never seen before.
She smiled, he didn’t know it yet, but her boss was so totally fucked.