Ted called to let me know that Brandon was coming to see me with the account in hand. Brandon only took a week to do it. I was impressed that he never used Kinnetik to get the account. I had Brandon meet me at the soccer field, because I needed to get the girls ready for their first game. So far Miles wasn’t being a colossal shit about Trina hanging out with Hannah. He liked to tell me all the things he felt Justin and he had in common. I let him have his fantasy, because I had the reality. Ted pulled up to the field with Brandon, while I smiled as Miles sat on the sidelines, while the coaches wanted me on the field. Justin and Emmett walked over to see Ted and Brandon, since Justin just didn’t feel like watching the cock contest Miles seemed to want to play with me. It was cool that my kid was the best player on the field and helped me get the other girls to do what they needed to do. I told Hannah to run the drills while I went to see Brandon.
Brandon seemed a bit confused at first that we weren’t meeting in an office. “lt’s good to finally meet you.” He tells me, shaking my hand.
“I needed to know you could back up the words you were spouting.” I tell him.
“Kelly is on board, so I guess you could say it was the truth.” He tells me.
“I have the signed contracts. Kelly is willing to sign for five years. Apparently, once Brandon told her it was your company she’d be signing with, she went from two to five years.” Ted tells me.
“Which I knew would happen when any company hears that Brian Kinney is opening up in Pittsburgh.” Brandon tells us.
“Kinnetik is in Pittsburgh, but the headquarters of Hawthorne-Kinney is centralized in Chicago.” I tell him.
“I was hoping to work with you. I want to be able to get five years by clients knowing I’ll head a campaign.” Brandon tells me.
“I’ll be the one approving Campaigns, and be available, along with Justin, if you need help. I don’t need you to be me, but be ambitious enough to want to be better than me. Kinnetik will be a partnership, with Ted and Cynthia heading it and making the decisions on who will advance.” I tell him, as Hannah runs over.
“Daddy, we’re done for the day.” She tells me.
I had Ted and Brandon follow us to Justin’s house, so we could change and go to Hawthorne-Kinney. I wanted Brandon to see the graphics he could call upon when he needed it. While Justin and I walked Brandon around, Emmett and Ted entertained Hannah for us. Charles came to meet Brandon and approved his hire. Brandon was impressed with Justin’s knowledge of art campaigns and graphics.
“I know Michael seems to only see you as some kid who kept showing up and getting in the way. How did he not see you weren’t an empty headed blond?” Brandon asks.
“Michael couldn’t see past Brian.” Justin tells him.
“I kind of got that. I mean, I let him hang out with my friends because at first I felt bad for him, but he really doesn’t get the whole boundries thing.” He tells us.
“Some of Brian’s friends are like that, they don’t want Brian to have a life unless it includes and revolves around, them.” Justin tells me.
“He’s been out of circulation for a while. I think it has something to do with a guy he bumped into. It’s been nice not to have Michael talking to me in the backroom.” Brandon tells us.
“Brandon, understand that Chicago is still confidential.” I tell him.
“I kind of got that when Ted told me my career would die at Vanguard if anyone found out.” Brandon tells us, smiling about the way Ted must have sounded.
I took a page from Brian’s book and changed my locks. If Michael had a way in, he would have shown up. He complained the first time he had to knock, but I ignored it. It was just hard to listen to him moan over having to pay rent and not having a place to eat at. It really came home to me how much Michael got away with. I went to see the apartment and knocked because he decided that if he didn’t have a key to my house, I didn’t need one to his apartment. Which I never asked him for and pointed that out to him. Lindsay answered the door and let me in. I wasn’t really surprised by it, but seeing Gus in Michael’s house worried me.
“Why is Gus here?” I ask.
“I have every right to have my son visit with me.” Lindsay tells me.
“I guess I’m just wondering why you would bring him here. I would think you would want to spend time with just Gus.” I tell her.
“Michael wanted to see Gus. You know he loves Gus too.” She tells me.
“What do you need, Mother?” Michael asks me.
“I just wanted to let you know that Sunday dinner is canceled. Jen and I joined a book club that has dinner together on Sundays.” I tell him.
“He ruins everything.” Michael mumbles.
“By he, I’m assuming you mean Justin?” I ask.
“Who else. Once again, he manages to change everything by showing his ass up.” Michael tells me.
“Michael, Brian will get tired of Justin.” Lindsay tells him.
“He’d better, because Gus shouldn’t be pushed aside for Justin’s kid.” Michael tells us, in front of Gus.
“Dad just wants to know my sister.” Gus tells Michael, frowning.
“We know Lambskin, but you're his child too, and you deserve his attention just as much as she does.” Lindsay tells him.
“Dad called and I get to see him soon.” Gus tells her.
“I would just like to know where and when, I should know. It worries me that you could be so far away.” Lindsay tells him.
“It’s not far.” Gus tells them.
“I’m sure it’s not, but maybe you could tell us where it is?” Michael asks him.
“Gus, can you stay here while I talk to your mother and Michael outside the door?” I ask him, not happy with what these two are doing.
“Okay, but then can I come to your house, it’s boring here?” He asks me.
“I’ll get your mother to agree.” I tell him, smiling until I turn to the other two. “Both of you outside now.” I order them.
“What?” Michael says belligerently, as soon as the door is closed.
“What!! Is that all you have to say? Are you two really that desperate to bother Brian that you would try to get Gus to tell you something Brian doesn’t want either of you to know?” I ask them.
“My son shouldn’t be allowed to go anywhere without me knowing where he is.” Lindsay tells me.
“There isn’t any reason why where Brian is should be a big secret.” Michael tells me.
“Other than the way you treated Justin. Hell, the way we all did. In case you two haven’t figured out what is flashing in neon right in front of your faces, you fucked up any chance of Brian wanting either of you in his life. Using Gus to get information will only piss Brian off even more.” I warn them.
“Oh and we wouldn’t want to piss off the man who saved your house and kept you from having to work would we?” Michael asks me.
“I don’t want the sons that took care of me when they could have left me on the street, to have to deal with the son who takes everything he can get and still wants more.” I tell him.
“Well then, go find the sons that took care of you. Wait, you can’t, because they aren’t talking to you either.” Michael sneers at me.
“I deserve less than they did, so if it takes them a while to want to be around me, then I’ll give them the space they need. I’m going in to take Gus with me, you two can plot alone.” I tell them, going to get Gus.
“I didn’t say you could take Gus.” Lindsay reminds me.
“If you don’t let me take him, I’ll make sure when Brian sues you that I mention this little episode.” I tell her.
“He won’t get custody of Gus.” Lindsay tells me.
“He will when you can’t support your son. You might want to look for a job, because I’m sure your sister is eventually going to get tired of supporting you.” I tell her.
Deb called me to tell me that Brian and Mel needed to make sure that Lindsay wasn’t alone with Gus. I really didn’t want to tell Brian about this, he wasn’t thrilled with Lindsay now, and this will only make it worse. Brandon looked at me as I sat in the car, wondering how to tell Brian.
“You look like we need to duck and cover.” He tells me.
“It’s just everytime I turn around lately, it’s like something else is going wrong.” I tell him.
“Tell them to fuck off, I mean why let other people’s problems be yours?” He asks me.
“I screwed up with the people who were really my friends, and I want to make things smoother for them. I feel like I owe it to them to stop the morons I thought were my friends from pissing off Brian and Justin.” I tell him.
“Ted, I don’t think they see it as you owing them your life. I mean, you have a life too.” He tells me.
“Work is really all I have.” I tell him.
“It’s all you seem to think you can have.” He tells me.
“Trust me, I’ve never managed to find anything that didn’t disappoint me outside of work.” I tell him, opening my door.
“You don’t seem to even look at the options.” He tells me, pulling me to him and kissing the shit out of me.
“Um, well, that was different, but you know, I prefer this.” I tell him, pushing him back against his door and climbing on his lap, making sure to control this kiss.
The knock on the window and Brian holding his hands over Hannah’s eyes had me realizing what I just did. With as much grace as I could muster, I climbed back to my seat and out the door. Brandon seemed to sit there for a second then shake it off and get out.
“What you two do outside work is none of my business. I don’t ever want to know, understood?” Brian asks, smirking.
“I won’t do anything you wouldn’t do.” I tell Brian.
“Just remember, Justin had to pull me out of that mess, and you don’t have Justin.” Brian tells me.
“Do you like Teddy?” Hannah ask Brandon.
“I didn’t think I did, but yeah, he’s cool.” Brandon tells her, looking at me.
I followed them in, trying to figure out how on earth someone like that wanted me. Justin and Emmett walked beside me. They looked at each other and nodded, in some code they must have developed through the years.
“Ted you rock his world, but then, I always knew you were hot.” Emmett tells me.
“Like Brian believes, it’s all in the attitude, but you have the sweet look, which used to get me laid a lot. Welcome to the club, we’ve waited for you to join.” Justin tells me.
“Keep your head up and be proud.” Charles tells me.
Brandon stopped and turned, looking at me. Justin and Emmett pushed me forward. When I reached Brandon he grabbed my hand and we walked in together.