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Dedication: This story is dedicated to my special friend, Ry, who provided the inspiration for its creation, and to Don Hanratty, who encouraged me to post it here.
If you would like to comment on the story, I'd love hearing from you. Thanks to those of you who have done so. Your words are very encouraging. John Tucker --- JETjt@aol.com
RON AND BRIAN
Richard Adams was escorted into the Chairman's office promptly at 8 AM on Saturday morning, as directed. He looked at the young man who sat at the massive desk, and who had orchestrated the coup that placed him completely in control of the Company. On one hand, Richard was gratified that he had not only survived the shakeup, but had been elevated into the position of President. On the other, he was internally terrified of this stranger who wielded such power and strength that he could grab the neck of those who opposed him and toss them aside. This was the same man who was the friend of his son Bryan, who Richard himself, had cast away, years before, when the youth had come out to his father.
A voice rolled from across the huge desk.
"Sit down, Bub!"
It was an ominous beginning. Richard waited for the Chairman to speak. The powerful man looked intently at the new arrival, surveying his face and upper body.
The resulting words that broke the silence came from unsmiling lips. "Yes, the resemblance is strong. I know where Bryan got his good looks!"
The meeting was not starting well for Richard. Small beads of sweat appeared on his forehead, and he felt his armpits soaking his shirt, hidden from sight by his suit coat. He had slept little and fitfully over the night, and his face reflected the tension that he felt within.
"Richard, I have asked you to meet with me this morning, to determine if I made the right or wrong choice yesterday, in choosing you the head the Company. I feel sure that you have the intellect and skills to do the job properly. I just want to find out if you have the attitude, that will assure your success with me! "
"If your speaking of my ex-son you can forget it," Richard said recklessly and suddenly bold." I don't need this job, nor the money the job promises. I want the job, yes, but nobody is going to dictate the terms to me. And further, I don't want anything to do with that faggot."
Ron spoke slowly, his eyes set in determination. "I suppose that you might have guessed that I am gay too," Ron said.
Pausing, the reply came carefully, "That is your affair, not mine. I only deal with the hard cold facts of business!"
"Well Sir, I'm making it a hard cold fact in this business! What do you say to that?"
"Then, I'm not sure that I want to remain!"
"And I'm not certain that you have much choice, Sir!"
"What do you mean?" Richard said, fearing the worst.
Ron placed four sheets of paper on the desk facing Richard. He did not hand them to the man, but left his hand covering the small stack.
"Under my fingers lies your future! These are the missing last pages from the RET report you saw yesterday, the report that was given to the Justice Department and the S.E.C. They detail your involvement in the whole affair, including the money you received to keep your mouth shut."
Shocked, his balloon of arrogance deflated, Richard said suddenly contrite, "I ...I didn't do anything!"
"By not doing anything against what you knew was going on, you made yourself an accomplice and profited personally! That is a Federal crime! I might add, that the release of these pages to the authorities, will lock up every single asset you own, just as it will result in your incarceration. You will also be sued by this Company, civilly and when we get through with you, you will be also penniless and your wife on the streets! Sir, I do not mess around! You should realize that the only reason you are not now in custody, is that Bryan still loves you! Don't make me throw that reason away."
Richard slumped his his chair, his haughty spirit broken. "What do you want me to do?', he asked in complete surrender.
"First, I want you to see a social psychologist and discuss your feelings toward gays and any other group that you think is inferior. Blacks, Jews, I don't know who and I don't even care about knowing. You cannot be the President of one of my companies, and carry the burden of bigotry and hate! We choose only the best people, even if they are purple and wear polka dot panties! We choose people with character, ones who can inspire the best out of the best. My people don't follow their leaders because their boss is their boss, they follow their leader, because their boss gives them the inspiration, leadership and tools, to do their best, and win! Their boss congratulates their victories, and makes a small thing of their defeats. Their boss is forgiving and nurturing. Their boss makes them want to be better people, ...then, better workers! Good people do good things, especially when their leaders make them believe that he thinks they are better than they, themselves think they are. People will rise to expectations. I know! Your son Bryan has taught me that.!"
"I think that basically, you are a good man. If I didn't believe that, you would not be here. Why do I believe that, when I hardly know you?" Because I know your son. Bryan is a good and gentle man. I don't believe he got to be that way by accident. Someone had to teach him or show him. I choose to believe that it was you."
"Bryan is gay and I am gay. Neither one of us are gay because we "chose" to be gay. I was raised in an atmosphere socially, where it was dangerous to be gay. I did not want to be gay! I wanted to be what I thought was 'normal'. I went to a lot of trouble to 'get over' being gay." I should have saved myself the effort. The shrinks were fighting a battle that was not possible to win!"
"Bryan's social circle was accepting of gays, and for him it was easier to accept himself for what he is sexually. He was hurt badly when you threw him away! What you've must realize, is that the part of the Bryan you hate, is just a small part of a wonderful and intelligent young man. You have thrown away the meal, because you didn't like the dessert! And you were too pigheaded to even consider the dessert! Somebody pounded in your head that the dessert was bad! Would you make a business decision that way? Not if you want to be the President of one of my companies!"
"You may think that being gay is against the teachings of God. You may think that being gay is against nature. Let me say this. I believe that God loves all that he makes, or allows to be made. Do you think that God doesn't love Jews, or Blacks, or the mentally deficient. Of course not! No modern educated man can really believe that! Being different from you is not a crime in God's eyes.
And being gay is not against nature. It is the opposite of that. Trying to convince yourself that you are not what you are, is against nature. A zebra cannot be a camel, no matter how much he may wants to be. Could you be gay, and I mean gay on the inside, in your thoughts and desires, just because most people around you said that being heterosexual was wrong! If your sexual thoughts really are centered on the opposite sex, you know that you couldn't be changed, not if you're honest. Being gay is the same, you are what you are! Being gay has very little to do with which sex you go to bed with. It has to do with which sex you think about! I have had sex with women, and during that time, my friends would have bet their last buck that I was straight. But it wasn't for me. I found that I had to be honest with myself, even if it wasn't what I wanted socially".
"I would like to tell you about your son, Bryan. He is one of the most wonderful men I have ever met. No, I haven't had sex with him, if that's what you are thinking. He has a great partner, Alan Kent, who has my every respect as truly good man. Bryan never would consider anything but being true to his partner. They are in love each other. Do they have sex together? Sure, but that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about being in love. The same love that you might have had with Bryan's mother, if you were truly fortunate. I'm not talking about lust, I'm talking about love. The kind of love that gives and gives and gives. The kind of love that results in your happiness by making your partner happy, whether that act is as mundane as being considerate enough to clean up your own mess, or to cook a meal for your tired partner, or remembering small things that will make your partner know that they are thinking of them, or whether the act is the wild and wonderful act of sharing your body with your partner, and using that body to make her, ...or him, happy. Bryan is in love his partner, but there is a lot more to him than just that. He shares his attitude of loving, with others around him, with no trace of hate. I am one of the fortunate ones, who have benefitted from being on the receiving end of that loving attitude. I am truly honored."
"Now Sir, you know what I meant when I said that I wanted to make sure of your attitude. Your attitude will determine of you have a future with me!"
"How do I start?" Richard asked hesitantly.
"You have an appointment with a Doctor Carrington at 3:00 P.M. this afternoon. Here is her address. You have another appointment every day this next week, beginning Monday at the same time! Do not miss these meetings! It's my ball game and I make the rules! One strike and you're out! You may continue to go after this week, as often as you need, but if you stop entirely, I will assume that you are ready for the next step! That step is, when you are ready, to meet with your son Bryan, here in my office, with me. You see, he is your son. If you cannot accept him as he is, then I cannot accept you for what you have let yourself become, a thief! At least Bryan had no choice in being what he is. You did! This meeting is when we will really have the attitude check! If your attitude has changed, and, mind you, I'm not expecting complete perfection, ...you stay, ... if not you don't. You should not delude yourself into thinking that you can fool me, so don't even try."
"It's very simple really. If you pass you win, if you fail you lose! You've got two things going for you. First, I believe that you are a natural winner, and the rewards of winning are great, both for your career and for your personal happiness. Second, I won't let you lose, unless you refuse to let me help you! You get to choose the time to meet Bryan, except that the maximum time that I will allow, has an upper limit of 90 days from now. I might allow an extension of time, if I am convinced by Dr. Carrington that you are making major progress, but I'm an impatient man. I'm not going to fuss with this nonsense indefinitely!"
"The only other thing I want, is the $500,000 back that Tillingham and Presswood gave you, and a private letter to me expressing your regrets at having cooperated with those thieves! All the letter will guarantee is a reduction of your time in the poky, if you fuck with me!"
Ron's face visibly lightened as he said with an reassuring smile, "I'm sure that's not going to happen, so I'll just put these away in a safe place."
He picked up the papers and put them back in his briefcase.
Now, I'd like to congratulate you on your appointment as the new President of Construction Leasing! I'll see you in a few minutes in the Board Room!"
* * * *
Ron had returned to his hotel arriving at 2:30, after the Emergency meeting of the Board and another two hour with Richard Adams, and the Vice Presidents, who had also come in on Saturday. Both meetings had gone well. Will Nuggent had arrived from Las Vegas and was introduced before the Board meeting, formally. The Board had to agreed to meet in another month to review the details that Ron would prepare for the proposed buyout of the stock held by the public. Even though he held controlling interest, he wanted the involvement of other members of the Board since they not only represented numerous stockholders, but also held substantial stock in the Company in their own portfolios.
The meeting with the the Senior Staff, was run by Richard. Ron listened attentively to the reports and discussions. Richard himself, delivered the report on Operations, the leadership of the Division that he had just vacated. Ron was highly impressed with most of the staff and their grasp of their areas of responsibility. Ron was also impressed with Richard's handling of the meeting and his treatment of the other staff members, who were now his subordinates. At the end of the discussions, Richard asked Ron if he would like to address the members there. Ron agreed, and spoke to the participants about the recovery of the lost assets, of his personal support of the Company, and of his support of Richard and of them. Then he thanked them for coming in on the weekend. After the meeting, he remained for a short while to chat with a couple of the executives who wanted to get to know him. He made sure that Richard was included in the informal chats, to avoid any attempted 'end runs' around the new President.
On returning to his room, Ron took off his coat and relaxed. In an hour Matt was getting off work and they had planned a late afternoon and evening alone together. Ron decided to take a shower then take a quick power nap before meeting Matt in the hotel basement garage.
Ron got up at 2:45 and began to dress. He put on nice slacks and a buttoned down, collared shirt and slipped on his feet, casual italian loafers. Then he took a matching coat from the closet, and slipped it on. Satisfied, by a last look in the bathroom mirror confirming that he was presentable, he exited his room and headed for the elevator.
He was standing by the waiting limo, as Matt appeared through a doorway into the basement. They shared a warm hug, and climbed into the vehicle and closed the door. The long car, gracefully began to move though the garage, then out onto the streets, heading for Matt's small apartment, as the two men kissed unseen behind the dark windows.
The ride to Matt's apartment was otherwise uneventful. Holding hands, the young men chatted about the events which had occurred in the several days that had past since they had last talked on the phone. Matt talked about his school, his classes, and a couple of amusing incidents at work. Ron told of Rich's recovery, the trip to New York and the happenings at Construction Leasing. He didn't go into detail about the power struggle, but simply said that the Chairman had resigned and that he was elected to the post, which would require periodic trips to the City.
Upon their arrival at Matt's building, Ron dismissed the limo and the young men entered the home located below grade, down a short run of exterior stairs. After closing the door, Matt exchanged a welcoming kiss with Ron and took his guest's coat and hung it, along with his own, in the tiny coat closet located just inside the outer door. He joined Ron in the small combination living, dining, and kitchen, main room. This room was separated from the bedroom containing a double bed, and a small study desk, by a 7 foot high partition and a pair of cafe doors. The balance of the apartment space was taken by a clothes closet and a little bathroom. Ron quickly surveyed the small home, which was neat and clean, and found it charming regardless of it's size, because it also reflected caring and good taste. Inexpensive, but tasteful artwork pieces were hung appropriately on the walls giving the room a feeling of warmth. Other decorator items were placed carefully around room, giving accent to the small scale furniture, which loaned the room a spacious, masculine feel, belying the room's modest dimensions. The lighting was low, as the men came together, held each other, and kissed tenderly.
Matt looked at Ron and said quietly, "It's so good to hold you again."
"And I've missed you too. I only realize, now, how much," Ron responded.
"I hope that it is O.K., but I've planned to cook dinner for you here tonight, instead of going out. It may not be 5 star cuisine, but I've had some help from the Head Chef at work, and I've had a lot of fun shopping, and getting things ready for the final preparation. I hope I can do justice to this meal, it's a little bit out of my league."
"Don't worry about me," Ron quipped, "I'm from the wild west and there we barely survive on red-eye coffee, cowboy steaks, beans and biscuits!"
"Yeah, sure," Matt answered," tell me another story."
"O.K. Ron said, but you'll be sorry!" " --- A guy goes into a cafe and asks for a bowl of chili. The waitress said, "the guy next to you got the last bowl." He looks over and sees that the guy is nearly finished with his meal, but the chili bowl is still full. He says, "If your not going to eat that, mind if I take it?" The other guy says, "No, help yourself." He starts to eat it, and about halfway down, his fork hits something. It is a dead mouse, and he vomits the chili back into the bowl. The other guy says, "That's about as far as I got too!"
Matt exploded in laughter. Gasping for breath, still laughing, he choked out, "Did you have to tell that joke right before dinner? Yuck!"
Ron couldn't help laughing too, even though he had told the joke.
"I didn't know that you were a jokester," Matt commented, after he had gotten his laughter under control.
"You don't know the half of it babe. You just don't know the half of it!"
"How about a drink. I bought a small bottle of your favorite single malt scotch. You take it with a little water, right?"
"Right, but why don't I fix one for the both of us, then we can relax a few minutes before we start cooking?"
"We? I was gonna cook for you!'
"Well, suit yourself, but if you need help call on me. I may have plenty of dough, but I can smash a spud, with the best of em, and I'm not too good to take out the garbage, neither."
The men settled with their drinks on the sofa, and talked a bit about themselves. Matt disclosed that he was developing an interest in becoming a Chef, due to his work experience in the fine hotel, even though he was studying business in college. Ron mentioned, with a wink, that there was a fine school of Hotel Management, which include a great school for Chefs, at UNLV in Las Vegas. They continued their conversations, when Matt looked at his watch.
"It's time to start dinner, or we're going to be late."
"Late for what?"
"Well, I got us tickets for 'A funny thing happened on the way to the Forum', which has reopened, playing off-Broadway, at a theater this is easily accessible by the subway. The tickets were not too expensive. I hope you don't mind."
"Why would I mind, my sweet man. I could be happy with you, strolling through the City dump, ....and your plans for the evening, are a whole lot more appealing than that!"
The men got up from the sofa. At the insistence of Matt, Ron freshened his drink and sat at the bar counter, facing the kitchen. Soon he watched in amazement, as Matt deftly charged around the kitchen, demonstrating a dazzling display of dexterity. With arms and hands flying, he assembled and put the finishing touches on a mouth watering collection of dishes for the evening meal. The table had be set, before Matt had gone to work, and so was ready to receive the first course which was the appetizers. Timed perfectly, Matt poured himself another half glass of scotch, and the men enjoyed the oysters on the half shell with a tangy red sauce, and crispy bacon wrapped stuffed dates. When they were finished, Matt poured them glasses of a light fruity Beaujolais from the vineyard of Moulin-a-Vent and served a crusty french onion soup topped with croutons and melted Gruyere cheese, taken hot out of the oven. Ron ate heartily. Clearing the bowls, Matt remove the refrigerated salad ingredients started earlier, and quickly heated leek rings in a skillet placing them hot, in a salad bowl with cold watercress, cabbage, shallots, soy sauce, walnut oil and sherry vinegar. He tossed the mixture, and placed it on one side of two large cooled plates from the refrigerator. The main course was placed next to the salad. Quail with Asian Spices was the perfect combination with the salad. Stir fried asparagus was placed on small elongated plates, as a side dish. The offerings were beautiful and delicious. Ron recognized the Quail as a famous dish from the Knickerbocker Hotel. Matt had changed the wines, as he believed that a Pinot Noir would complement the dish perfectly. For dessert, Matt served a gorgeous and wonderfully sweet setting of Bananas with caramel and Honey roasted nuts, served with vanilla ice cream. Ron was sated with the wonderful richness and palette pleasing cuisine. Matt had done himself proud.
The men retired to the sofa where snifters of Grand Marnier brandy were served, accompanied afterward, by hot coffee. Ron kissed Matt tenderly complementing him for what must have been the tenth time, for the fabulous meal and for caring enough to spend the immense amount of time its preparation must have taken. Matt smiled, accepting the complements with a simple 'thank you' and another kiss.
The evening at the theater, was a great success. After the trip on public transportation to the theater, which itself was unusual for Ron, the men enjoyed the performance of the talented actors in a play that Ron had enjoyed years before, but not as better presented than on this occasion. The two young men visited the Green Room, with their special passes, to congratulate the players who had done such a marvelous job in the show. Thirty minutes later the Limousine, which Ron had called, arrived near the stage entrance for their trip back to Matt's apartment.
The black car stopped in front, delivering the men to their destination. The driver waited for a signal from Ron that he should leave, as the men walked down the steps to the apartment.
Turning at the door, Matt looked into Ron's eyes as he reached to grasp the hands of his wonderful companion. Matt's eyes filled with tears.
"Before we go any further, I have to tell you something!"
Ron looked back lovingly at his beautiful friend and said quietly, " It's all right, you can tell me anything!"
"....I'm sorry, ....but I've fallen in love!"
* * * * * *
Gnashing of teeth, biting of nails! Stay tuned for the next exciting episode of "Sparky and the attack of the killer bunnies!" Drop me a note, if you're having fun, like I am! JET