Paul Chapter 2

PAUL

Chapter 2

2:30 AM Seamed a busy hour, as Britt along with two friends were also merging into the small amount of traffic left on highway 101 south.
“That was a lot of fun Britt,” David said looking over at Britt from the passenger seat of Britt’s 325i BMW. “We should do that more often guy.”
David was Britt’s alternate work out partner and both men went to the same high school even though they did not know it at the time. David also had a body that came from hard work and dedication, not that of a body builder by any means but a lean well-defined body, one which his life partner of three years Justin was defiantly in love with, and wished he could have. David, at 25 had a well maintained All-American boy look. With his modern hair styled done just right, and his light brown eyes, he was noticed ever were they went. A fact his lover did not like but had to admit was the main reason he was attracted to David in the first place.
“Yeah, I had a great time,” Justin said looking out the window from his seat in the back.
Justin was the exact opposite of both David and Britt, very thin with a natural definition, not from weights but from genetics. No matter how hard he tried he could not gain weight, but that didn’t bother him at all. Justin had a more mature look than his actual 23 a point that Justin knew would be to his benefit later in life. His father was now 44 and looked all of 30 at the most.
Justin’s job as a legal stenographer was how the group came to meet Britt. Justin was doing a job for Franklin Meyer and Beach, taking steno note at a deposition that Britt was the lead counsel on. After being in the same room with Britt for almost a week Justin felt that Britt was gay and set forth to find out if he was right. After some thought and a few discussions with Britt, Justin noticed that Britt was trying to pick up on him. Justin finally told Britt that he was gay and that he had a lover. As it turned out they both lived in the same area. After Justin invited Brad over for dinner one night the group became fast friends. It was not long after that, that David and Britt found out that they went to the same high school only a year a part. These facts were part of what made the threesome so tight. The fact that there was a mutual attraction that would never be acted on between all of them was a strong influence in keeping the group together.
“Well, I’ll tell ya, if I could do it I would go out every Friday like we did before. But work has been a bitch lately. Lot’s of Saturdays in the office.” Britt said, driving without looking away from the road.
“What’s going on anyway? The last two times I called you this week, you weren’t around or in court.” Justin queried.
“Yeah well, I’ve taken on a much heavier case load, to take up the slack from the two associations that just left the firm,” Britt responded.
“Left or let got asked out the door?” David looked over at their driver.
“Well, I guess I can tell you two this. They were arrested for embezzling firm and client funds. Had a great little scheme going too, but it blew-up last week and Lee had them arrested.” Britt explained.
“No shit.” David laughed.
“How much did they get?” Justin asked, still looking around out the windows.
“From our firm nothing yet, but they were quite close. The firm before us got taken for about half-a-million.” Britt said changing lanes with only needed conscientiousness of his movements.
“I’m sure they’re keeping this very quiet,” David said.
“Oh yeah… So don’t say anything to Lee. Anyway with any luck, though this could actually be a boon for me, it could lead to a partnership. Britt smiled.
“How long have you been at Franklin?” Justin asked.
“Three years now.”
At that revelation there was nothing to say from anyone, they sat in silence for a few moments.
“Who’s after hours party is this we’re going to anyway?” David asked.
“Lee Meyers the guy I was just talking about. He’s a partner, in the firm, you met him earlier at the bar. He and his other half have a huge house in Belmont.” Britt said.
“How long have they been together?” David questioned.
“Ten years. God, I wish I were with someone that long.” Britt looked up at the roof of the car as if to give a signal to some unseen person stuck to the roof. “I’m a nice guy, good job, nice house and damn-it ‘people like me’.”
“If you were with someone for ten years guy, you would have been sixteen when you got together.”
“At least I would have been out of high school.” Britt laughed
“Well, I’ll marry you.” Justin stuck his head up in between the front seats to look at Britt.
“Thanks, Justin, but don’t you think David might have something to say about that.”
“Yeah, I’ll marry you too,” David said smiling.
“Thanks, guys but you know how I hate three ways.” They all laughed as Justin repositioned himself in the back seat and refasten his seat belt.
The car speed underneath a sign mark Ralston Ave Exit, the Belmont exit, and onto the quite deserted city streets. The houses close to the freeway were small nicely groomed places. After a few quick turns and a few blocks, a noticeable difference became quite apparent. As they grew a greater distance from the freeway, and further up into the hills, so did the houses grow in size. Larger and more grand homes were now in view. There was a noticeable difference in the amount of money that went into the upkeep of these homes. The large well-manicured lawns were surrounded by brick and cast-iron fences and gates that closed each one off as if it were royal courts their own individual worlds. Britt turned into a large half circle driveway near the end of the block. He parked his car behind eight others already occupying the semicircle. The three men quickly jumped from the car and onto the porch of the rather large home. Pressing the doorbell brought an almost immediate response from the occupants. The door swung open and there stood a tall man who looked to be in his mid-to-late 30’s, replete with a drink in hand.
“Britt!” The man smiled. “What took you so long?” He asked in a volume seemingly disrespectful of the late hour or is that early hour.
“You know what traffic is like at this hour,” Britt said matter-a-factly.
“Come on in guys.” The man laughed.
As the small clan of people steeped in the main hall Lee stepped to the side. Inside the lighting was subdued and the low persistent drone of music and conversation could be heard in the distances down a long wide entry hallway.
“Lee you remember David and Justin,” Britt said starting down the entry way with out an invitation. The rest of the group followed as Britt, having been to the house before, lead them to the large expanse of a living room. There were about 20 people in the room separated into small groups conversing. As the new group came into view there was a noticeable hush and people seemed to look over the new arrivals for a moment as if there was a need to give an approval. And as if to give their collective O.K., they returned to their conversations.
“Well, guys…Britt, I think you know most of the people here just introduce yourselves around we don’t stand on ceremony.” Lee said passing the group and continuing on to the bar.
The living room was a well appointed large space sparely decorated in a minimalist style. The room was so large that any intimacy one might be used to was gone from this room. But Lee liked things to be spacious.
Britt with Justin and David in tow walked to the bar where a man who looked to be in his late twenties with short cropped hair and a fair white smile stood talking with a small group of men. “Hey, Steve!” Britt called out to the man.
“Hey, guys what can I get for ya’?” Steve said stopping mid-sentence with his current conversation as if he had not been talking with them at all.
“I’ll take a Calistoga,” Britt responded.
“What do you have?” Inquired Justin.
“It’s a full bar, my good man,” Steve said.
“Oh Steve, this is Justin and David, I don’t think I introduced you to them earlier tonight.” Britt Said.
“No, you didn’t-good to know your names guys.”
After the pleasantries, one rum and coke and one sea-breeze, the small group made its way over to the two sofas which sat parallel to one another just next to the fireplace. David and Justin took their spot on the sofa next to one another and Britt across from them on the opposite sofa.
“Okay Britt, I need bylines just give me the Reader’s Digest version of their lives, all the ones you know,” David said putting his arm over Justin’s shoulder.
“Well let’s see. Of those I know, Steve is Lee’s other half, Jake the guy over by the fireplace is with Will the guy next to him but that’s this weekend. Stewart is with Jamie the girl talking to Lee. Stewart and Jamie are the only long timers with the group.”
“What?” David looked confused.
“Well, almost any group of gay people must have there one progressive straight couple. Those two have been around a long time, almost two years. They’re really fun mainly because they’re not wanna-be’s, you know, ‘were progressive because we say we are.’” Britt took a sip of his Calistoga.
“As for the rest of the group, Mark, Bill, Johnny, Russell, and Donald, there, are all single. Very single!”
“Okay Britt, what’s wrong with that group of guys? Are we talking the nerd bunch, like in school?” Justin asked.
“Well if you really want to know, you’ll have to tell me if you’d like that list alphabetically or by worst date countdown. Britt laughed.
“That bad?” David interjected.
“Almost, and no, I have not dated all of them,” Britt interjected just as David started to make a comment
“But after any amount of conversation with any of them you’d see how strange or deranged they are.”
“Well guy, hold on one day your prince will come,” David said with a reassuring smile.
Britt could do little more than smile back. He could never tell them about the one guy he wanted more than any other person he knew. He knew that if David found out how he felt about Paul there would be no end to the jokes that would make the rounds.
“Hi, Britt,” Mark said as he approached the small threesome. Mark’s hair was in its usual disarray, which matched his baby face, making him look all of 14 years old, even though he was twenty-three.
“Hi Mark, what’s up?” Britt said in a near monotone voice. It was all David and Justin could do not to laugh at the exchange.
“Not much,” Mark said seating himself without invitation unconvertible close Britt on the sofa. He made no attempt to enjoin the conversations. Rather he sat in place just look at David and Justin, placing an immediate strain on the group.
“Mark Macy, this is David Copeland and Justin Henry.” Britt hoped this would do something to restart the conversation.
“Nice to meet you. Are you two lovers?” Mark asked so point blankly it threw David off guard. Making his recovery he answered. “Yup, been together for three years.”
“Oh, that’s nice. Are you dating anyone Britt?” Mark quickly turned his head to address Britt changing his demeanor, as if David and Justin were never there. The two men looked at one another in disbelief. Britt, on the other hand, knew this conversation by heart now. It was to be just another of his many encounters with Mark.
“Why no Mark, I’m not, why do you ask?” Britt’s tone and speech were as if speaking to a child.
“Well-I-don-no, I was thinking about doing something this weekend and wanted to know if you’d go with me?” Mark’s tone was without feeling or emotion.
“I’m sorry Mark but I have to go to work tomorrow and then I’m having a private dinner party.
“Okay, well bye.” With that Mark stood up and walked off to another group of people. David and Justin thought it strange that Mark seemed unaffected by the rejection just given.
Britt could tell that David and Justin were blown away by what had just happened, so he explained. “Mark is a strange sort. We have the same conversation almost every time. I made the mistake of going out with him once and that was more than enough to make me see he is a total emotional drain. He just sucks the life out of you.”
“Why is it, the cute ones always seem to be so screwed up?” Justin said looking over at where Mark stood.
“You’d better think that I am screwed up then.” David raised an eyebrow. “That’s if you want to live to see our bed again.”
“You’re an exception to the rule. Cute and not screwed up.” Justin kissed David’s’ nose.
“Good answer.” David chimed.
After finishing their drinks, Britt signaled his readiness to the others. Before leaving they paid their respects to the host.
“Lee I’ve got a ton of shit to do this weekend at the office so I think we’ll be going,” Britt said apologetically.
“Well as your friend, I wish you could stay longer, but as your boss, I have to say. What the hell are you doing out so damn late.” Lee joking slapped Britt on the back.
“Talk to you on Monday,” Britt said to Lee as they exited the house.
“So Britt what’s up for next weekend dude?” Justin asked as the group walked to the car.
“I don’t know about you two, but not a whole hell of a lot for me, I’m going to be in New Haven Connecticut from Wednesday through to next Tuesday.” Britt slipped his key into the door and unlocked his door which intern unlocked all four doors.
“What the hell is in New Haven?” Justin asked slipping back into his seat in the car.
“One of the cases I have is being litigated out there. I’m the assisting associate on the case.” Britt started the car. “I’ll be working with the senior partner of our New York office, on the case. But what’s even more important is the fact that usually only associate who is going to be offered partnerships are sent to other offices to work.”
“Well, good luck dude,” Justin said.
“Thanks, I think I’m going to need it.” Britt laughed as he got back on the freeway.
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