“Don’t be mad,” Ted said, pulling up a chair at my table.
We were at Woody’s having a drink. After the last few days I’d had, I needed a keg to forget about it, but settled for a few beers with a whiskey chaser. My clients were easier to fix than HR, she really wanted Justin’s balls. The firing wasn’t even my idea but when you’re a boss you have to make hard decisions. My plan was to let things cool down a little and get him on at another job. I’ve got a few people I’ve met through work that could hire him in an entry level position maybe with an art department.
“I’m sure I won’t care.” I took another pull of my beer.
“Try and speak words.”
After a moment and a long drink, Ted finally spoke. “I hired Justin for the site.”
It took a minute to register what he had said. “It sounded like you said you hired my ex-PA to fuck on your disgusting website.”
Ted’s eyes narrowed. “You didn’t say it was disgusting before. I’ve never seen you act like this. What is this kid to you?”
That was a question I hadn’t predicted. Why was I acting so different with the kid? He was too young, too naive, and too sheltered. Somehow that boyfriend of his had kept him in the dark of the world around him. Justin went from his mother’s kitchen table to an overbearing boyfriend who was possessive enough to keep the rest of the gay community away from him. It was because he knew Justin would find a better offer in seconds on Liberty Avenue. I didn’t have to meet the ex to know that he wasn’t good enough for the blond.
“It’s dangerous,” I answered because it was.
When Emmett thought he was being stalked there was no help for him. Why would they help some gay who put himself in that situation. But Emmett knew how our world worked and he’s a damn good fighter when he needs. I once saw him take down a man twice his side. The guy was hitting on him and wasn’t taking no for an answer. Once he tried to drag Emmett into the back room, he laid him out. Emmett had height and his childhood to aid him. Justin didn’t have any protective instincts it seemed. How could he be so stupid to go with two men to their house who he didn’t know?
“All my entertainers have top notch security. They are walked to their car and if they don’t have one they are drove home by security.”
“So, you’re saying people don’t get attacked in their home?”
“Brian, you fired him. He needed a job. He will make more money at JerkatWork than he ever would making minimum wage at a coffee shop.”
For some reason this answer pissed me off more. “Call him and tell him the job is not available anymore.”
Ted didn’t usually show his anger, but he was getting angry. Good, so was I. There was no way Justin could protect himself.
“Brian, I say this as a friend, stay away from him.”
It was like a physical blow. Why would Ted tell me to stay away?
“I can’t,” was all I said before walking away. If Ted wouldn’t rescind his job offer I would have to get Justin to rescind his acceptance.
Looking behind me I saw Ted looking at me with a pleading look. “What?”
“Let him go. We both know after you fuck him you won’t have any interest in him. Just let him be, let him find someone who can give him what he needs. We both know as soon as he gets attached you’ll break his heart. Do what you could never do for Michael. End it.”
For hours I had been staring at my computer in my office. No work had been done since I spoke to Ted the night before. My eyes went to the clock that I have been ignoring for the past hour. Justin was supposed to have arrived at JerkAtWork an hour ago. By now Justin was probably in middle of an orgy. This was wrong. Grabbing my suit jacket, I left. There had to be something I could do.
As I entered I could hear Ted “directing”, ruining a kid’s life. If Justin ever wanted to be respected as an artist, fucking on camera would ruin it.
“Bend down, Jay,” Ted said so loudly I could hear him before I saw him.
Without thinking I burst into the camera room and grabbed Ted. “Where is he?” I demanded.
“Who? Do you mean Justin?”
“Of course, I mean Justin. Who else would I be talking about?”
“He called and said he couldn’t do it. Something about his boyfriend.”
“He got back with that prick?”
“I didn’t get that feeling. I think he was using the boyfriend as an excuse. I’ve had guys chicken out before. My guess once he was letting his brain do the thinking instead of his anger, he realized it wasn’t something he wanted.”
That was good, it proved the blond wasn’t as dumb as he had been acting. I had done some dumb things in my early twenties but nothing that could have lasting damage like Justin almost did. “Do you know where he is?”
“Don’t know and don’t care. I have a job to do right now. I do know if my ex was sniffing around and I just quit a job I needed, I would probably be at a bar as soon as it opened.”
It was possible that Justin was at a bar. Although he wasn’t 21 yet, he didn’t need to be. His lips and ass would get him anything he wanted from the losers who hang out at Woody’s once it opened.
Woody’s was the first place I looked and got lucky. Justin was nursing a beer that had already got warm. There was a troll that was old enough to be my father hitting on him. Justin seemed to be ignoring him. My gaze dropped to the creep’s hand start to rub the blond’s thigh. Before I could do anything Justin pushed the hand off and smiled. He whispered something in the man’s ear, the man leaped up like he won the lottery. Soon he ran to the door with a huge grin on his face.
“Taking up hustling now?” I asked, annoyed.
Justin’s head swung around and looked at me. For a moment there was a big grin before it was replaced by a scowl. It was as if a kitten was trying to be angry. Best not to mention it to him, he probably has the claws too.
Justin stood up and laughed. “No. I told him I wasn’t interested but I knew a guy looking for a sugardaddy. Told him to come back around 10 tonight and I’ll introduce them.”
“Met a nice guy who just quit JerkAtWork, he said if he was having sex for money he would rather it just be with one guy. Oliver isn’t a creep so I think it could work.”
Anger started to fill me again. “It didn’t look like you were enjoying him feeling you up.”
“If I got mad at everyone who touched me without permission I would be mad all the time.”
Memories of being young and vulnerable came back to me. After I went to college I swore to myself no one was going to touch me without my say so. I guess it’s a right of passage both for gay boys and straight girls. There had to be some straight men too.
“Point taken. I heard you quit your job before you started.”
“I told a few friends trying to work my head around what I would be doing. Someone told Ethan, he came to Daphne’s and called me every vile name in the book. So, I accidently messaged all of his friends and told them he had a small cock and was a premature ejaculator.”
“Is it true?”
“It was a bit unfair actually, I’ve seen smaller. Like his new boyfriend Collier.”
“How do you know?”
Justin started laughing. “Collier is a secret flasher. He flashed a bunch of people near the Andy Warhol Museum. Guess he didn’t see me, but I saw him. When he gets caught Ethan is going to be so embarrassed. He hates anything that makes people judge him.”
I couldn’t help but laugh with him. If the new boyfriend gets caught, Ian will want to crawl in a hole and die. Good. “What are you going to do jobwise?”
“Oh, I was already hired.”
“Do you have to take your clothes off this time?”
“That’s up to you, boss.”
“Cynthia called an hour ago and hired me back as your PA. She said she smoothed it over like you should have. She gave me a signing on bonus to work with you.”
“She didn’t have the right.”
“Really? She seemed to think she had the right.”
She did and now I was regretting it. “I can’t do this again.”
“Take me to bed like you wanted from the beginning. I’m sure after that the sexual tension will be gone and you can act like a boss and not an overly jealous boyfriend.”
“I don’t act like an overly jealous boyfriend.” Yes I was but I wouldn’t admit it. Sleeping with Justin before he started back as the PA did make sense. You know, in the way that it was the stupidest idea in the world. There was no way I would take him up on it.
“So, you want to go back to your place?”
Instead of answering I pulled him up by his hand and led him out, him laughing the whole way back to my flat.