Dealing with loss – part 5
This story is about gay relationships and (at times in the future) gay sex. If you're not into reading that kind of thing, not old enough to do so, or it is illegal for you to do so in your region, please do not read any further.
This story is a complete work of fiction. The majority of places mentioned exist in real life. All characters are fictional and any correlation to anyone in real life is purely coincidental. All products and services that are copyrighted or trademarked belong to their respective owners.
The author does not intend to suggest or imply anything about any person, place, product, service or company that exists in the real world as well as the fictional one. Although popular technologies and other products are mentioned, a generalized term has been used in place where possible.
What the characters like to eat or drink, and their views on companies/products/etc that exist in real life are part of who they are. Product placement and character views are not intentional. The author really didn't want to reinvent Starbucks, McDonalds, radio stations, or anything else. If a product/place/company/etc is known to be used in bad light for more than a few paragraphs then a generalized term or made-up thing will be created.
Comments and suggestions will always be greatly received and responded to – albeit slowly responded to – and you can get in touch by leaving them on the JCstories Forum or by sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org (note the new e-mail address). Visit the JCstories website (mirror) and the JCstories Yahoo! Group.
Additional note: Because of my recent computer failure, I may have lost some e-mails. If you have e-mailed me and I haven't responded please e-mail me again because it may be a while before I have access to those files again.
After ten minutes Sam had returned to the room looking pale and sat down in the sofa opposite Dan. He picked up the pitcher of water and ice Dan had made and poured himself a glass.
It was another five minutes before they heard the toilet flush and heard Dave opening the door. He sat in the other sofa and also helped himself to some water. "Sorry Sam. I'll bleach the toilet later once my stomach has settled. If either of you need to go I'd recommend using the bathroom for a while."
Sam nodded his head replying with "I'd also recommend not going out into the garden until we have a massive storm."
They sat in silence for half hour thinking about everything that had happened and what had been said. A while later Dan broke the quietness.
"Look, I'm sorry about telling you two that. I had pretty much the same reaction when I was told as did most of the other staff. I think the staff that already knew raided the local DIY stores buying every bucket that was in stock. At least I'm not one of the cleaners."
"Daniel. Does anyone know who is behind all of this?" Sam asked.
"I've told you everything I am permitted to."
"If my interview is successful will you be able to tell me?"
Dave looked at Sam with shock. "Are you fucking insane? Didn't anything that Daniel told you sink into that thick head of yours? Blimey Sam, you're fucking nuts!"
"David. I have thought about everything. At least this job doesn't sound like it will make me as bored shit-less as the fucking gym does. Well Dan?"
Dan thought for a few minutes. Dave and Sam were both looking at him with anticipation, expecting him to say yes.
"I doubt it. Even if you are successful I really don't think you will be given a high enough security clearence by my employers. You would have to work extremely hard and prove to be both loyal and trustworthy before you would have access to any of that kind of information."
Sam looked crestfallen. He knew he was capable of being loyal and trustworthy and hoped he would give his possible future employer the right first impression. He wasn't certain how he'd achieve it.
"OK. I'd better press my suit, shirt and tie for the interview then," Sam said quietly while rising from the sofa.
"Sit back down Sammy. You won't be needing that. Although I'd better go home in a bit and pick up my work clothes. Tomorrow you will be wearing a t-shirt and tracksuit with trainers."
Sam picked up the leaflet by the side of the phone and threw it at Dan. "I'm not applying to be a fucking gym instructor damn it! If I'm meeting someone that important I need to look my best."
"Mmmm, I'm sure you look good in anything Sammy. Dave, does Sam look as good in the buff as he does with clothes on?"
Dave spluttered covering the front of his shirt with ice water. "What the fuck!"
"Hey. I'm just trying to lighten the mood. Sam, that is what I've been told you must wear to the interview. You won't be allowed into the building in anything else. Security is tight at the moment."
Sam understood that. Of course security would be beefed up a bit. Afterall Dan said he had to persuade his boss to let him leave so all the other staff must still be there.
"OK. But what am I allowed to take with me?"
"Your CV , a book for reading on the way there if you want. Your house key with no keyring or anything attached. Your passport and birth certificate. Nothing else."
"Nope. Nothing else."
"Alright then. Dan can I tell you something?"
Dave just sat there watching the two of them. He wasn't envious of Sam at all. He'd rather sit in an office all day doing paperwork than working for someone that had attracted the wrong kind of attention. He decided he'd fly back on Monday.
"Yeah, of course."
"It's about the other night. It took me years of hard work and practice to get my mind focussed and unlock the parts I wanted to unlock. I don't think you will have that problem. In fact I think you'll be quite a natural once I show you how to do it."
"Really? That'll be so cool. If you get this job, which I hope you do, it'll be something we can do together when Ryan is busy locked away from everyone doing his business stuff. I'd better call a cab and get home so I can get ready for the morning."
"You want me to pick you up?"
"Na man. It's gotta be public transport."
"I don't care. I can pay the congestion charge."
"Look dude. We have to be sardines on the way there. If the recent events hadn't happened then the car park there would be open, but that ain't the case."
They continued chatting for a few more minutes whilst Dan waited for his cab. Upon hearing the horn he hugged Dave and Sam goodbye and headed off for home.
Dave asked if Sam's CV was OK or if he needed any help with it.
Sam responded saying everything was under control and he'd always kept his CV up to date just in case he needed it. All the other things he was going to need were in a fire-proof safe in the safe-room, so that was that.
When it reached one in the morning they both decided to call it a night and head for bed.
The next morning Sam was up bright and early. After he dried himself off from his shower, he shaved. Sam put on his clothes for the day and stood in front of the mirror.
He looked more like a chav  than someone that was going for an interview with a multi-billionaire. He grabbed his pot of texturising gum and spent twenty minutes making his hair look like he'd been in a hurricane.
Sam wondered why he could spend more time making his hair look messy than it takes to make it look neat.
He prepared breakfast and took some anti-hystemines just in case his allergies flared up from being on the stuffy tube. Sam knew that with his luck he'd have someone coughing and sneezing in his face for half hour.
Just as he sat down to start eating the doorbell rang. He sprung up and got the door. He'd never seen Dan in his work clothes before so the sight before him made him feel both a bit uneasy as well as smile a little.
There he stood, 6' 1" wearing the darkest black Armani suit Sam had ever seen, wearing stylish black frameless sunglasses, white shirt and black tie. He had one of those ear pieces in his right ear that bodyguards always seem to wear.
Sam couldn't help but notice the two gun holsters under his suit jacket when Dan raised his arms whilst yawning. Apart from the yawn, he looked like a typical US Secret Service agent from the movies.
"Wow you look great. A bit scary but I guess that goes with the job. A real life bodyguard is escourting me to an interview!" Sam smirked.
"Look good don't I? And just so you know, some of us prefer the friendlier term of Close Protection Officer."
"Close protection, huh? I could probably come up with a few things to say about that."
"Keep your mitts off!" Dan expclaimed in good humor. "Wasn't sure if you were going to be ready or not so I thought I'd just pop over."
"Well I was just going to have breakfast. You eaten yet?"
Dan thought about how much Sam had made for breakfast the day before and what he'd eaten last night. "I think I'll skip it and have something at work. Don't want too much cholestoral in my blood this early in the morning."
"Oh. Suit yourself. As it happens I only made cereal. When I'm working I usually have a light breakfast."
"In that case I will," Dan said, as he walked into the dining room.
Whilst they were eating they somewhat discussed what the plan of the morning was. That is, Dan explained what the plan was until they arrived at the building.
Sam had tried getting some more information out of Dan about his work. The only information he pried from him was that the company was one of the biggest close-protection services in the world and they were worth a lot of money.
The name Groovy Defiance sounded more like a group of skateboarders rather than a private multinational protection agency and Dan had said that was what the founder had aimed for to avoid being too obvious.
The company has a lot of money and dealt with many clients, but stayed away from celebrities. In a way, their clientelle (principals or protectees if that's what you prefer) are the complete opposite of Screen International Security Services.
Dan also said he was well trained and was capable of handling any situation. Sam tried to get him to elaborate but gave up when Dan wasn't giving in.
When they finished eating their cereal and drained the rest of the coffee they got up and Sam grabbed his bag.
Dan told him he'd have to put his things in his tracksuit bottom pockets and carry the book. He was, however, permitted to take his umbrella with him.
Sam had never seen the inside of Groovy Defiance HQ – probably because it looked like any other building along Whitehall. He was, however, fully aware of the massive security presence.
When he got to what looked like an airport security metal detector he was told to wait there whilst two "close-protection officers" man-handled him. One of them asked him if he was ready for the anal probe and Sam turned around ready to run.
All the officers burst out laughing including Dan. "Sammy, don't worry. This piece of machinary here is more than a metal detector. It can see through clothes as well as x-ray you."
"See through my clothes?" Sam asked as he looked towards the guy that was looking at the screen in front of him. The guy just looked back at Sam and grinned.
Once Sam was told he was allowed through, he was led to a row of chairs and asked to sit down. Sam expected he was just waiting to go into the interview but that wasn't the case. This wasn't going to be a regular interview after all.
A few minutes later Dan came over with a clipboard which had over fifty pages of paper on it. Dan explained that Sam had to read, comprehend, and sign everything that was on the pages before he could attend the interview, and that every word on every page could never be disclosed to anyone.
Two and a half hours later Sam handed the clipboard back to Dan and he was issued a security pass that had his picture on. "When was this picture taken Dan?"
"Whilst Bobby over there was looking through your clothes to check you weren't concealing any large weapons," Dan smiled.
"OK. Am I allowed to know what security level zero is?"
"It is the security level you have been allocated. Everyone in the building has one."
"Yeah, but what does level 0 mean?"
"Can't tell ya. You don't have clearance to know. All you need to know is that if someone asks you what clearance you have, you have a level of zero. Got it?"
"Yeah, fine. Whatever. Can we get on with it now?"
They both got up and headed towards the elevator. Dan swiped his security card and the door opened. Sam asked where they were going and Dan told him the interview was being held on level five.
The door closed behind them and the elevator started speaking with a male Queen's English accent. "Good morning Daniel and Samuel. Good luck today Sam. Please select the level you require."
Sam reached to the right of the lift and noticed there was only an emergency stop button. He looked to the left of the door and then realised there were no buttons to press at all. Well this is fucked up, he thought to himself.
"Thank you lift. Level 5 today please. No rush, I've just eaten," Dan said into thin air.
Sam looked puzzled and was surprised to feel the lift rise slowly. Damn, he thought to himself. If I had to talk to lifts and doors all day I'm pretty sure I'd soon feel like Marvin out of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
"Here we are. Level five. Good luck Sam and I'll see you later Daniel," the lift said as the doors opened.
"Cheers lifty," Dan replied.
"Yeah, thanks," Sam said, unsure if he was talking to the lift or someone that was joshing with him.
"Don't mention it Sam. By the way, I don't bite. I just go up and down all day. I'm programmed with a lot of responses but you don't have enough clearence to hear most of them. Ciao!" The lift closed it's doors and sped upwards.
"Believe me, talking lifts and whatnot do take a while to get used to. Luckily I spend very little time in the building so don't have to deal with them much. It's quite amuzing when I'm scheduled for training and heading down a couple of levels and the lifts say 'onwards and upwards'."
Sam felt uneasy and told Dan he didn't feel that this was the kind of place he wanted to work.
Dan reassured him saying that he would probably spend even less time than he did at HQ. He wasn't going to be working for the company anyway so that settled Sam's mind a little.
They walked along the coridoor towards a door where two agents were outside. Sam guessed correctly that behind that door was the room Mr. Chiswell was in. As they got closer one of the agents pulled a gun out of his holster and trained it on Sam. Sam froze in his tracks as did Dan.
"What the fuck is he doing here?" the agent spat. As far as first impressions went, this guy was not making a good one.
"Lower your piece, Brandon. This is Samuel. He is a good friend of mine and has clearance. He's here for an interview with Ryan."
"Samuel Baker?" Brandon asked, giving Sam an ice cold stare.
"Yes. That's my name," Sam paused before continuing, "nice to meet you."
"I can't say the same to you," Brandon replied, still training his gun on Sam.
"Brandon. Lower the weapon or I'll either kill you or fire you," Dan shouted. "Three choices for you. Do you want to make the right one?"
Sam watched as Brandon relented and reholstered the gun. As they approached the room Sam guessed that Dan maybe did have the authority to fire Brandon. Dan had level sixty-two clearance wheras Brandon only had level forty-six.
From the agents Sam had seen, only two had a level anywhere close to Dan's. Dan swiped his card through the card reader on the side of the door and Sam followed him into the room.
It was a rather large room with two black leather sofas on the left wall, and white marble flooring. Sam hadn't imagined such a beautiful room could be an office. There was a maple desk with a keyboard and mouse on – both wireless – but something that Sam did notice was there wasn't a monitor.
One thing that clearly stood out were the walls on both sides of the room, and where Sam had expected the windows to be. There were no windows, and the walls weren't painted. They were completely covered end-to-end, top-to-bottom with highly polished mirrors each at least six feet wide seperated with inch-thick stainless steel.
"Nice to see you again Dan," Ryan Chiswell said, rising from the chair behind the desk. He walked over to Dan, shaking his hand. Ryan hated the phrase 'Good Morning'.
"Same you Ryan. This here is Sam," Dan responded, nodding towards Sam.
"Ah yes. Samuel Baker, the man himself. I've heard a lot about you," Ryan said, shaking Sam's hand.
Sam shot a glance at Dan who just shrugged and went and stood in the corner of the room. "What have you heard about me?"
"Come and sit with me."
Sam followed Ryan over to one of the sofas and took a seat on the one opposite the one Ryan sat down in. "What have you heard about me Mr. Chiswell?"
A grin spread across Ryan's face. "You know, in a way I am a bit like you. You're in this building and have only been told what you're permitted to know. Despite the security around me at the moment, Daniel said he could not disclose some things about you without your permission first. In turn we are both disadvantaged of not knowing certain facts but that is not why we are here."
Sam fished his CV out of his pocket and handed it to Ryan. Ryan subsequently spent a few minutes going over it before putting it on the glass table between the two sofas and looked back at Sam. "So. What do you know about the position?"
"Honestly, only a little about what my role would be. I've not been given any details about what my job description is or anything. I was hoping you'd be able to enlighten me a little today."
Sam hadn't noticed that Dan had moved until he handed Ryan the keyboard from off the desk. Ryan pressed a couple of buttons. Sam couldn't understand why he was using a keyboard without a monitor in front of him. Just then he noticed a light out of the corner of his eye and turned around.
"Holy fucking shit!" Sam gasped as he saw what was on the wall the door was on. "Is that LCD?" he asked pointing to the seven foot high, eighteen foot wide wall which had a desktop background image covering the whole wall and door.
"Not exactly. It's a new technology that Groovy Defiance – with the help of one of my companies – managed to produce. The security company secured a license from Eastman Kodak to produce these, and it took a lot of R&D to overcome the problems."
"Well. OLED, or organic light emitting diode, screens contain polymer materials as well as small organic compounds. The biggest problems with them are moisture and the lifespan of the blue compounds. Moisture isn't an issue anymore, and we've got the blues to last up to 32,000 hours."
At this point Dan remembered a feeling he had during the dream. He didn't mention he knew some of Sam's abilities at the time because it was obvious Sam didn't want Dave to know, especially since Sam was talking about Jason at the time.
The screens are organic. If Sam had any problem with a panel he could probably fix it himself without needing to call an engineer in, Dan thought.
Sam noticed that Ryan had a really high security clearance. Level ninety. Sam wondered how someone that pays to be protected could have a security level higher than most of the bodyguards. Then it hit him. "Mr. Chiswell, do you own Groovy Defiance or something?"
"Not exactly. I do own a portion but Jonathon Evans owns the majority. It's a private company and doesn't get it's finances scrutinised like a PLC would."
"OK. Thanks." Sam said and turned back to the wall/screen.
Ryan opened a document and told Sam that was his full job description. It wasn't the shortest job description he'd seen. Sam took ten minutes reading all of it before turning back to Ryan, saying that it sounded like he would enjoy it.
Ryan discovered that, although Sam had limited marshall arts training (mainly Ju Jitsu and a little Kung Fu), Sam was confident he could look after himself. Not that self defence was a requirement, but after recent events it was somewhat desirable.
They spent another forty minutes chatting. Ryan was pleasantly surprised at how Sam was able to control a conversation and ask the right questions. Despite what GD (Groovy Defiance) had warned him, Sam seemed like an ideal candidate and he was ready to give him the position.
The only thing that stood in the way of hiring him was something GD demanded of all staff that were to be employed by, and in close contact with, any of their protectees.
They both turned when they heard Dan talking but couldn't make out what he was saying. After a minute he turned to them and said he needed to go and would be back shortly.
Not long after he left the ceiling started to glow a bright violet as did the wall that was the display. An alarm started to go off which was interspersed with an automated warning. "Level Two, Code Violet. Level Two, Code Violet."
"What's code violet mean?" Sam asked turning back to Ryan.
"Nothing the guys can't handle. Have you met Brandon?"
Sam then recounted his first meeting of Brandon and how vile and offensive he came across. Aparantly, he was like that to everyone.
A few moments after Sam had finished telling his tale the door swung open behind them. They both turned around and saw one of the close-protection officers approaching them rather quickly.
He reached into his pocket and pulled out a knife and was about to stab Ryan when Sam stood up and threw the suited guy across the room, cracking the mirror he landed against on the right-hand side.
He fell face down on the floor and as he was trying to get back up Sam punched him in the kidney, holding him in the air by his throat.
Mr. Chiswell looked on, shocked at the strength and power Sam had. Sure he had said he could look after himself but he never expected anything like this. He thought Sam was about to throw another punch which he didn't.
Sam looked into the eyes of the guy he was holding and let him feel a mountain of pain. To any observor it would have appeared that the agent was being electrocuted, and that was exactly what Sam was doing to him. Sam was using the electrical current in the agent's own body to electrocute him.
Just then the mirror to the left of them shattered and Sam saw Brandon with a smoking gun in his hand in the next room. He was standing on Sam's left, some other guy in the middle who wasn't dressed like one of the agents, and Dan was standing on the right of him.
"Sam! Let him go now!" Dan commanded.
Sam wasn't going to release his grip. Nor was he going to stop giving this man pain he'd never felt before until he screamed his last.
Sam dropped him and fell to the floor himself. He didn't know what had happened so he looked back to the window. Brandon's gun was smoking again and Sam felt extreme pain in his left shoulder. He turned his head and saw that he was loosing a lot of blood.
That bastard fucking shot me! I knew this wasn't going to be a normal interview, but to die before you were told if you were going be getting the job or not? Shit, Sam thought.
Sam put his right hand on his shoulder and held it there to try and stop the blood. Dan jumped through the shattered glass with a first aid box pulling some bandages and a sling out of it.
After wrapping Sam's shoulder he looked at Sam who seemed to be slightly angry still.
"The bullet went straight through," Dan said, having noticed an exit wound. "Not sure if you'll be able to use it for a while but it don't look like any of your bones were damaged, can't tell about the muscles or nerves though with all this blood. Hopefully this will stem the bleeding but we should probably take you to medical."
"I think I'll be alright. There's a slight throbbing pain still but it doesn't feel like I'm bleeding as much. What the fuck just happened?"
Just then the guy in the next room that was standing next to Brandon walked through the shattered mirror and stood in front of Sam. Brandon helped the agent that was still lying on the floor to his feet.
"I am Jonathon Evans. I'm sorry you got hurt but we had to be sure you were not going to let any harm come to the man you may be working for next week."
Ryan rose from the sofa and walked over to the men. "The man he will be Personal Assistant of next week. Assuming Sam still wants to take the job after that goon shot him," he said, pointing at Brandon.
"I had to shoot him. He was going to bloody kill Steve. You OK man?"
Sam looked at Brandon with puzzlement. Sam assumed he was asking him if he was OK. "Apart from the bullet that went straight through me and the blood loss I'm fine I guess. Thanks for your concern."
Brandon threw a look of disgust at Sam. "I wasn't talking to you, idiot. I was asking Steve. The man that trained me. The man that trained almost everyone that is a bodyguard here!"
"He trained you? He was trying to fucking kill someone that you're supposed to be protecting!"
"Guys, chill," Jonathon Evans said, trying to stop the argument from escalating. "All of you sit down on the sofas, Sam needs to know something."
They all looked at Jonathon and then proceeded to sit on the sofas on the other side of the room. Jonathon pulled what looked like a PDA out of his pocket and started typing something with the stylus.
The room returned to it's normal lighting and then a message was displayed on the wall.
Any Groovy Defiance personnel, principal, or
may know the following:
– Groovy Defiance code. Said
after an alert to inform it is just a drill or training simulation.
– Higher than usual alert status.
Be vigilant and make sure no mistakes are made."
Sam read the message and then turned to Dan. "This was a blimming drill? Why?"
Dan looked down at the table and then back to Sam. "There are some other things you need to know, but, we need samples first."
"What do you mean samples?"
"Retina scan, body prints including fingerprints, a sample of your voice, brain electrical activity, and blood. It is one of the conditions GD has with it's principals. If you are going to be working for Mr. Chiswell this is a requirement."
Ryan nodded as did Jonathon. Sam thought for a few minutes and then agreed to go ahead with it. Before they left the room he apologised to Steve. Brandon also apologised to Sam to which Sam accepted sincerely straight away.
What is with this guy? Brandon thought. How can he be so forgiving to someone that just shot a round into his arm? I was ready to shoot him when we met, so how is he able to forgive and forget so easily?
I know there is something about him he hasn't told us about. And it isn't the details we know about his past. I can't place it. I'm going to have to keep an eye on him until I can work out what it is.
To be continued...