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Bound By Fate. by Lorie , Nichelle Wellesly

 

 

CHAPTER 8

 

At five o'clock Justin's buzzer rang. Answering it, he was pleased to hear his little sister's excited voice. "Hey, Justin! I hope your place looks better on the inside,"

 

Brian laughed at the young girl's comment, while Justin just shook his head.

 

Brian opened the door and Justin made the introductions. At the instantly besotted look on his little sister's face, he was very happy that Brian was gay and she was still only thirteen. Jen seemed very impressed by the beautiful man that had seemingly captured her son's heart.

 

While Justin and Daphne were showing his mother and sister around, Harriet asked Brian if she could speak with him privately. When they walked out in the hallway Harriet told Brian that she was telling him this alone first because she didn't want to upset Justin.

 

"Brian, I overheard a couple of your workers talking the other day when I was coming into the building. They were talking about Justin being a hustler, saying that is how he made his money and how he acquired his job at Kinnetik," Brian started to say something but Harriet held up her hand. "I don't care what Justin had to do in his past, if it's even true. What I care about is that that wonderful man in there managed to survive, and that he is now with you and safe. As far as I'm concerned, if what I heard is true Craig Taylor should burn in hell for the part he played in causing his son to have to do something like that.

The reason I'm telling you is because Harlan also told me the same thing. I'm certain that he heard it from that trollop, Laura, since they have been screwing around for quite a while. I also wouldn't doubt that she is the one who started the rumors at Kinnetik. I would never presume to tell you how to run your business, but you might do well to get rid of her, especially if you can prove she started that particular piece of gossip. Who knows what she would also allow to leak out, just to strike out at Justin, and therefore, you. Having not seen his mother or sister in over a year, I know Justin is probably nervous enough about this dinner and that is why I'm only telling you about this. If you want to inform him about this, it might be better to wait until later,"  

 

"Thank you, Harriet. He is nervous about this dinner. I think it's because he's not sure how much to tell his mother about the last year. I really need to find out who started the rumors, and get rid of that person. I will not have someone like that working in my company. Justin has been through enough. And yes, I will tell him about this later. I wouldn't want him to overhear something like that without being ready for it. I'm glad it hasn't changed your mind about using Kinnetik,"

 

"Brian, you are each amazing men individually, but together you're fucking incredible! I would be a stupid idiot to go anywhere else. And I am definitely not that, regardless of whom I married. I also really hope your personal relationship together works out, too. You are beautiful together," Harriet told him with a smile.

 

Brian looked at the older woman quizzically. "How do you know? We've been pretty careful, or so we thought,"

 

"I have eyes. Anyone that really pays attention can plainly see that you two belong together,"

 

Brian gave Harriet a hug and the two headed back into Justin's apartment. Justin raised an eyebrow when the pair came back in. "Sorry, Justin. I had a business question for Brian and didn't want to talk business at dinner, so I dragged him into the hall," Harriet told Justin before Brian could open his mouth.

 

All throughout dinner, Brian sat listening to the conversation around him, joining in when he had to, and watching Justin enjoy having his family, Daphne, and Harriet, around him. But Brian's mind was on Kinnetik, and the vicious bitch causing trouble. He had no doubt in his mind that Harriet had spoken the absolute truth about Laura's involvement. He was a great reader of people and could usually tell when they were lying to him. Undoubtedly, Harriet has many reasons to have a personal vendetta against Laura Wright; her involvement with Harlan while keeping her son on a leash being the primary amongst them.

 

But he had learned that Harriet was also fair in her judgement, and would not unduly cause trouble within his business without a valid reason. What he really wanted to know though, was how did Laura obtain her information? Who had dared to so openly condemn Justin, without knowing all of the facts? He couldn't see anyone else within Kinnetik- even that slimy bastard, Kip Thomas- starting the rumor, based solely on hearsay. They were all much too cautious and fearful that it would get back to Brian, but it seemed Laura had no such compunction.

 

No, there was some way that she had gathered the minimum of fact, while having none of the foundation for why Justin hustled in the first place. He would make her tell him how she found out about Justin. But first, he would make her answer his questions. Brian tuned back into the conversation just as Jennifer began to ask questions.

 

"So how did you two meet?"

 

Justin looked at Brian, who shrugged his shoulders in response. "I had actually met Brian a while ago, although I didn't know his name until the day I filled out the job application to be an errand boy for Kinnetik,"

 

Molly rolled her eyes. "I mean Jesus, Jester, could you be any more vague? Did you meet him when you were hustling?"

 

Justin coughed hard at Molly's question, shifting his panicked eyes towards Brian.

 

"Molly," Jennifer admonished a puzzled looking Molly. "What kind of question was that to ask? And how do you know what a hustler is anyway?"

 

"Oh please, Mom, I'm thirteen. Besides I've heard the rumors about Justin. Some of them I have been able to stop by openly calling Dad a liar. But the others, I couldn't, since I didn't know if they were true or not,"

 

Justin, having recovered his initial shock asked, "Rumors? What are you talking about, Molly?" He saw the speaking glance that Brian had exchanged with Harriet, even though it was over in a flash. Removing his dinner napkin from his lap, Justin threw it on the table beside his plate and stood up. "Out with it! You all seem to know something and are trying to keep it from me,"

 

"Justin..."

 

"Mom, I'm a grown man and have the right to know what is being said about me so that I can protect myself. I've been doing that for well over a year now,"

 

"I know that, sweetheart. It's just..." Jennifer tried again.

 

"It's just what? You know what, fuck this! Yes, Molly. I was a hustler- the operative word being was. Craig made damn sure that I wouldn't have any other means of supporting myself, and fixed it so that I couldn't even go to any of you for help. Even now, I can't go to you for help because I won't allow you to risk yourselves for me. So now that I have answered your question, lil' sister, it's time you answered mine. How did you find out?"

 

Molly took a deep breath. "I heard it at the club from Myra Thomas,"

 

"And who is this Myra that you seem to be so chummy with?" Jennifer asked.

 

"I'm not chummy with that low-bred pain in the ass!" Molly exclaimed.

 

"Language!" Jennifer, Harriet, and Justin all yelled at the same time.

 

"What? Justin said ‘fuck' and you all didn't bother to yell at him,"

 

Before anyone could respond, Daphne snickered and Brian laughed aloud. Yes, the situation was serious. But it was still funny to witness the Country Club set, live and in person. Clearing his throat, Brian turned to Molly.

 

"Don't worry, I say fuck all the time, too. It's a noun and can mean a person, place, or thing. Don't let anyone tell you differently,"

 

"Cursing shows a lack of decorum and vocabulary," Harriet said scornfully, although Brian was right. She had been known to say it occasionally, and always within its proper context. But she couldn't let Molly get away with such an atrocity; she was still in finishing school after all.

 

"I beg to differ, Harriet. Cursing doesn't display either of those things, but comes in handy when another word or paradigm of the English language simply would not do," Brian said.

 

"Good point, Brian," Daphne muttered, barely able to contain her amusement. Justin huffed at the on-going semi-debate.

 

"Look, can we please get back to Myra Thomas, and why she feels it's her job to spread rumors about me?" Justin was clearly out of patience. "Irish, you will not encourage or applaud Molly's vile language. The same goes for you, too, Daphne. Mom, Molly, and Harriet, I apologize for my momentary loss of control. Now Molly, who is Myra?"

 

"I'm not surprised that you don't know her, Justin. Her family is what those of our set call ‘new money'. Anyway, her brother and a friend of his both work for Kinnetik. Apparently, she heard the two of them talking about what a whore you are, and heard them say that you could only have gotten the job if you were..." Molly glanced at her mother, not sure she should repeat what she had been told.

 

"Go on, Molly. Since you are quoting what you heard, I'll let you curse again just this once," Jennifer reassured her.

 

Molly nodded and continued, "They said that the only way you could have gotten your job is by letting Brian fuck you. And since you had already probably had several dicks to date, why should Brian's be any different. When Myra said it to me, I slapped her and she went running to her brother and his friend. I found Mom, who was sitting with Harriet and Ms. Beatrice Wilsher, who had already spoken to Myra several times about how disrespectful she is,"

 

"Although I don't condone violence, Mollusk, thank you for defending me," Justin said quietly, walking over to kneel in front of her and hug her.

 

"Oh Jester, don't you think I would have done so a long time ago? We're a team; we always have been. I couldn't stop Dad, but I could certainly stop that ill-mannered troll, Myra. I think she'll think twice before ever speaking to me again, for any reason. She's already been black-balled at school,"

 

Justin had to smile at his sister's gumption. At first, she had started off as totally annoying but as the years went by, Molly had become his best friend next to Daphne, and more recently, Brian. She was very mature for her age and was always protective of him.

 

"Any idea who her brother is?" Daphne asked. She had been planning to tell Justin about the rumors she happened to overhear yesterday. But she also knew that he was nervous about this dinner, so she was waiting until it was over.

 

She had caught on to the whispering and snickers as she was passing by the watercooler. Jessica had told her the entire conversation of what she, Anne, and Chuck had heard through the grapevine. Daphne had tried to pull the information out of the girl with verbal diarrhea, after telling her that there was no truth to that lie. Jessica didn't squeal on her ‘source' of information, but she did ask Daphne what made her so damn sure that it wasn't true. That's when Daphne decided to give Jessica a little history lesson of the relationship between her and Justin Taylor, followed by an official write up and a trip down to Human Resources. Cynthia had laughed and told Daphne that it looked like Justin had found his very own Cynthia-clone.

 

"Another low-grade loser named Kalpernius, spelled with a ‘K'. I mean seriously, could one person or family be any more pretentious? Anyway, the idiot shortened his name to Kip, thinking that it sounded better. Schmuck!" Molly answered.

 

Brian's eyes darkened as did Justin's. Daphne sucked her teeth loudly, following it with an ‘UGH' of frustration. The twin looks of fury etched on Brian and Justin's faces spoke volumes, but it was Daphne's words that captivated the other three occupants. "Low-life motherfucker! I can't believe that the little slimy worm has the gall- the audacity- to malign Justin's character! That little fuck is going to pay. I want him fired. He's already been given enough chances and saying that his work is mediocre would be a fucking compliment!

"After you fire him, Brian, I want first dibs on making sure that he never uses that fucking belly button he calls a penis AGAIN! Ignorant, self-serving, back-lying bastard!" This went on for several minutes, while Brian and Justin watched. Jennifer was hard-pressed not to laugh, as Harriet and Molly guffawed aloud when Daphne called the man a "Crater-faced cunt". Justin knew he had to stop her, or he would be trying to get Daphne out of jail. No sooner than he had the thought, she was already making her way to her purse.

 

"Daph, put it down,"

 

"No, Justin. That bottom-feeder bitch has crossed a line that I'm going to make sure that he NEVER EVER crosses again!"

 

"How? By committing vehicular manslaughter? No,"

 

"You're just going to let the fucker get away with this, Justin?"

 

"See Molly, I told you ‘fuck' was a noun," Brian interjected to the laughing girl.

 

"Brian! A little help please?" Justin ordered. "We can't let her leave,"

 

"Why? If I knew where the idiot lived, I would be going after him, too," At Justin's blank stare, Brian sighed deeply. "Okay Xena Warrior Princess, your bosses are ordering you to let them handle it," When she started to argue, Brian raised his voice, shocking everyone in the room. It was so forceful that even Justin took notice. He took another deep breath before continuing, "No, Daphne. You're not going to commit murder. And no matter how much I agree with you in this moment, we have to be practical. This started in the professional setting of Kinnetik, so it should end there, as well. Do you happen to know who the friend is?"

 

Harriet gasped. "There's only one person that I've seen him sniffing around constantly at the club. Or I could say it's the other way around. There's no other reason for that bitch to sniff around gay tail,"

 

"Laura Wright?" Justin asked. He couldn't keep the sneer from his face as he spoke her name.

 

"One and the same my boy," Harriet confirmed. "Well Brian, I imagine that you are going to have a meeting. I should like to be included in it,"

 

"Harriet, you can't be. This is company business and as a client, you shouldn't be privy to the inner issues within the company. It upsets the natural order of things and destroys trust between the company and the client,"

 

"Ordinarily that would be true, Brian. And I applaud your efforts to shield me from such dastardly behavior within the vaunted halls of Kinnetik. However, I have a personal stake in this. That she-wolf has been allowed to wreak too much havoc on the unsuspecting members of high-society. She's an undesirable, as is the whole Thomas family. As a member of the elite, it is my duty to see that all social pariahs get what they deserve and restore greatness to our well-ordered society. I assure you, they will not be missed,"

 

"I would also like to be there, Brian," Jennifer Taylor spoke up. "I agree with Harriet about restoring order to our social circle, but I have a bit of a different stake in this, as well. You see, Craig's secretary- one of the whores who he was cheating with when he tossed my son out- is Laura's mother. She's spent years learning how to be a tramp from the bitch that Craig is about to marry. Well, I would also like to hear her come clean of her lies personally. I want to watch her lose everything that she has schemed so hard to get. Not only that, but I think it's poetic justice to watch her fall into the same ditch she tried to dig for Justin,"

 

Looking at all the expectant faces, Brian was tempted to plead with them one more time to let him, Justin, and Daphne handle it. But looking at the determination on Harriet and Jennifer's faces, he knew that he didn't stand a chance. "Fine. But you will keep your words to a minimum and furthermore, do not even think to get out of your seats and scratch her eyes out. If I want to watch women's wrestling or a cat fight, I'll go to a bar or turn on the fucking TV. Am I clear?"

 

"As crystal," Harriet concurred.

 

"I'll do my part, too," Molly said.

 

"No, Molly. You cannot skip school and come to Kinnetik," Justin said.

 

"Who said anything about skipping school? This will be a day that I actually want to be there. Who better to let Myra know that the privileged world as she has only recently begun to know it, is about to disappear along with Kip's job? I think Kip will be getting his ass handed to him more than once, especially when his mother finds out that her club membership has been revoked. I'm sure that Myra will be only too happy- or should we say not happy- to relay it all. Nope! I wouldn't miss school for the world on Monday!"

 

Snickers became full-blown laughs as they all took in the smug look, so reminiscent of her older brother that they couldn't help it. Looking over at Justin, Brian could see the similar sparkle in the matching pair of blue eyes. Laura and Kip were definitely in for a rude awakening courtesy of the little blond Taylors.

 

Later that night, while relaxing on opposite ends of the sofa, Justin looked over at Brian. "Brian, we need to talk," Justin announced seriously.

 

Brian was suddenly nervous. Did Justin want to cancel their new relationship? Was he angry that he had not been told immediately about the rumors? Brian felt like his stomach was twisting. Feeling very unsure, he looked down at his hands, not sure he wanted to face the younger man or hear what he had to say. Reading Brian's posture and countenance, Justin reached out and lifted Brian's chin until the older man was looking into his eyes.

 

"It's nothing bad. Why do you look like that?"

 

Shaking his head and lowering his eyes, Brian answered, "I thought you wanted to end our arrangement. Or that you were upset that I hadn't told you about the rumors immediately,"

 

"No, I don't want to end our ‘arrangement' as you call it. I don't want you to keep things from me, but I assume that is what Harriet told you about when you went into the hall. I can understand why you didn't tell me right away, but I hope you were planning on telling me tonight," Justin stated.

 

Brian nodded. "I was planning on telling you when everyone left. I knew you were already nervous and I didn't want to make it worse. I wouldn't have kept something like that from you,"

 

"Good. I want us to always be honest with each other; that is the only way a relationship like this can work. Now, as for what I want to talk to you about, this is not going to be what a lot of people would call a typical Dom/sub relationship. I will not use corporal punishment on you and I will not order you around, or try to run every aspect of your life. I want this to be a different type of experience for you. Are you familiar with the term Sensual Domination?" When Brian shook his head in the negative, Justin continued.

"In a nutshell, and the way it will apply to us, is that it's all about pleasure and worship. I want you to learn to feel, to know that you are worth more than you think. If I feel you need to be punished, it would be in the form of denial of pleasure rather than spanking. We may use suede or leather floggers later, but not to punish, only to enhance your feelings. Also, I like to use different toys, but as with the floggers, they will be used for pleasure. I will always make sure you know what I'm going to be doing, and you need to let me know if anything makes you uncomfortable or triggers any unwanted memories," Justin explained to Brian, who finally looked calm and relieved.

 

Justin reached for the older man, needing to hold him. Brian moved into the arms that were fast becoming the one place that could always make him feel safe and cared for, more so than anything else in his life. Brian loved to sit this way, Justin would move to the corner of the sofa and Brian would sit between Justin's legs, resting his head on the blond's shoulder while wrapped protectively in his arms. More often than not, they would thread their fingers together, each man taking strength from the other. Many times they would sit like this in the evenings and watch a movie or just sit quietly, relaxing after a long day. Sometimes Justin would ask Brian to stretch out so he could sit in the chair and draw him.

 

Justin's large chair became a favorite place of theirs, too. Justin wanted to know more about Brian's past, but was trying to get it slowly because he didn't want the older man to be stressed about it, or feel like the blond was demanding to know everything at once. In fact, the only reason Justin wanted to know was to try and erase anything he was able to from his lover's past, and make his future happier. When they talked about Brian's past, they usually did it wrapped around each other in the extra wide chair. It seemed to make Brian feel safer to be in the enclosed space with Justin. There were times Brian got the urge to get something out, without even being asked. When he felt that way he would just go sit in the big chair as a signal that he needed Justin to hold him and listen.

 

Sunday morning, Justin woke up alone in his bed. Feeling the cold sheets next to him, he started to worry. Did Brian get upset and leave now that everyone knows what Justin was before he started working at Kinnetik? Was the thought of that too much for the older man to handle?

 

Suddenly he heard what sounded like a deep sigh, coming from the living room. Getting up quickly, he saw Brian sitting in the big chair looking like he had been crying. Justin rushed over and Brian reached out for him. Climbing behind Brian in the chair, Justin held him close and stroked his lover's hair. Kissing Brian's temple Justin asked, "What is it? Why are you so upset? Is it because everyone knows that you hired a hustler to work for you?" Justin asked, hoping that was not the reason for this.

 

"What? No. Not at all. I don't give a flying fuck about your past, or about what anyone else thinks about who I hire. Truth be told, I've probably done a lot worse things. But if it makes them that uncomfortable, then they can find another fucking job," Brian answered, upset that he had worried the blond.

 

"Then what is it? You know I'm here for you and you can tell me anything," Justin said, holding his lover tightly.

 

"I was thinking about the meeting tomorrow and the rumors. More specifically, where they could have come from. Remember the day before we went to the diner?"

 

"Yes,"

 

"Michael and Lindsay came by the office that day. Michael is well known for having no filter between his brain and mouth. No matter where he is or who is around, he says whatever comes into his fucking head. If he was spouting off to Lindsay about you, anyone could have overheard him, especially Laura. I think she spends more time outside smoking than she does actually working. And her ears would certainly have perked up at this one-up on her ‘supposed rival'. That's probably how the whole thing got started,"

 

"Irish, you can associate with anyone you choose. I would never tell you who you can have as a friend. That said, I can't figure out how people who claim to be your ‘best friends' can talk about you and treat you so shabbily, and you let them. It tears me up inside to see you hurt and we have known each other only a short while. They have been in your life for years, and yet don't seem to have the slightest regard for your feelings. Can we talk about this? Because I would really like to hear your side of things,"

 

"Azure, I probably should have told you all of this before now, but here goes... I met Michael when my family moved to this side of Pittsburgh at the beginning of high school. The first day of school, Michael was getting picked on and called names by some jocks, and I stopped them from putting him in a locker. I punched the biggest one and knocked him out. After that, no one would try to fuck with me, so Michael started following me around and we became friends. My home life was for shit, as you know, and I spent a lot of time at his house, especially when my old man went on a bender and I needed to heal from the fallout. Michael decided that he was in love with me, but I saw him only as a friend. I loved him as a brother, nothing more. His house was a safe haven and his mom and his uncle were always good to me. I always had a place to go to escape. If Michael and I did stupid stuff, his mom would blame it on me. But at least, I didn't get hit, so I figured it didn't matter; that the illusion of safety was worth the small sacrifice.

Lindsay and I met in college. We were just friends. We both knew we were gay. Or at least that's the way I saw it at the time. Well, one night after a party, we ended up back at my place drunk and stoned, and well... I fucked her, then passed out. After that, she started to get the idea that maybe we could be a ‘real couple'. I told her that it was only a midsummer madness, nothing more. It took a while, but we managed to stay friends, especially after she met her partner Melanie. I don't know when or why it happened, but somehow both Michael and Lindsay have this warped idea that they need to run my life for me; that I'm incapable of having a life outside of them. The way they treat me... well I never really thought much about it, until I saw the way you and Daphne are with each other. That's when I realized that the way they treat me is the same way Jack did, except for the fists,"

 

By the time Brian finished, there were more tears running down his face. Justin just held and rocked him until he calmed down. Justin then led the brunet back to bed and proceeded to worship and comfort him until, sated, the pair returned to sleep until early afternoon.

 

Upon waking for the second time that day, Justin made them food and they lounged around the rest of the day, playing games and watching movies.

 

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