Brandis Redemption - 2

Written by Jonny Mac
With a major assist from the most excellent Luckylou

Warning: This is a fictional story, describing erotic relations between consenting adult men. If this makes you uncomfortable, or if it is illegal for you to read something like this, then go find something else to do.

The following story is entirely a work of fiction, and is not intended to imply anything about any real people. All of the characters in the story are fictional, and must not be confused with any real people. The characters in this story may have the same names as some real people, but the characters are in no way supposed to actually represent any real people.

Authors Note: I would like to thank all of you who are still reading this story and putting up with the delay. Writing in Ireland on a thick pad of paper doesn't get my story posted to Nifty. I'm very sorry.

I would also like to thank my editor, advisor, and friend Luckylou. Without him, this story would not have gotten off the ground. I advise you to go read his story Boy Meets BSB if you haven't done so already. It combines great writing with a wonderful plot.

To "the guys" I really miss our nightly chats. I can't wait till I get home to rejoin the group.

And one final note. Yes, I'm almost done! To my favorite guy in the whole world--I love you with all that I am. I miss you with my entire soul. And you're right. I should have written about us, instead of this.

- Jonny Mac

Jon woke up early--the opposite of what his hangover advised, with the bright morning sun shining on his face. He turned his head to the side to avoid the brightness, but to no avail. With a loud sigh, (or maybe it was a groan), Jon turned over and pulled the blankets up over his head. He tried to get back to sleep and let his headache disappear, but too many thoughts were clamoring for his attention.

The thoughts were rather jumbled. One minute he was thinking about his mother. Then he was wondering about the movie that he had just finished. Then his thoughts went to his phone bill, which was a lot higher than he would have liked, again leading to thoughts of his mother. Two additional thoughts kept repeating amongst the mix.

One was Joey. Jon kept picturing his shiny blonde hair, cut short, sun bleached, and combed to the side. He saw those green eyes sparkling as the luscious pair of red lips curled up into a smile, parting to show a beautifully white set of teeth. Even his teeth were gorgeous.

Then he saw the look on Joey's face, as he was packing. He put all of his things into boxes and then loaded everything into the van. Remembering that last look that Joey had given him made his headache return, full force. Standing there at the door, Joey had looked at him with pity. Those red lips were not parted, nor were they curled into a smile. The eyes, well, the eyes had no sparkle, no love. They showed pity. Pity for what was standing there in the doorway. That young man, standing there, hung over from yet another night of drinking. That poor young man that was so easily angered. He kept anyone from loving him, from getting close.

"Sure. Nice excuse Joey, blame me for your fucking around." Jon's words broke the silence of the room.

Jon shook his head to rid himself of the image, the very idea. He groaned as his hangover sent a wave of sickness throughout his body. He slowly turned over onto his left side. He let his mind wander again and it settled onto another topic--Jared.

Jared was unlike Joey. Joey was quiet, not shy or reserved, but quiet. He would not argue at all. Well, not as one might expect. Joey would just speak his point of view in a calm, civilized voice… he had much more power than someone who yelled.

But Jared. Well, Jared would, from what Jon had seen at the club, yell and fight at the drop of a hat. No not a hat, a beer. He seemed to have a fire inside him, but not entirely in a good way. He seemed to be filled with anger for some reason. It wasn't obvious to everyone, but it was there nonetheless. Something big in his life had gone wrong and it had stuck with him.

Jon sighed. He had always been able to read people well, but, for some reason, he could read Jared more easily than anyone he'd ever met before. It was weird. The first time he had met Jared was at the club, looking for Joey. And now… now he was going to meet him at that same club tonight for a beer. Weird. Well, I hope that for once I am wrong. That kind of anger can hold him back so much. It would be such a shame to see someone not succeed because of an inability to let things go.

Jon looked out from under the covers. It was 8:30 according to the alarm clock that was sitting on his oak night table. He realized that he wasn't going to get anymore sleep so he pushed back the covers and sat up. The sun struck him in the face again.

"Damn! Why did Joey have to take the blinds?"

Across town Jared was wide-awake. In fact, he was at work. They were loading up the delivery van for yet another day of delivering expensive furniture to those with money. It really got to him, seeing all those people who had gotten their lives together and achieved their goals. He didn't hate them. He didn't have anything against them. In all honesty, he envied them. He wanted what they had. Not the money necessarily, but the satisfaction that he could see in their faces. Satisfaction from working hard and having what they want work out for them. I guess what it all boils down to is attaining their goals. Or at least, they still had the hope they'd attain their goals.

What have I got? I'm delivering other people's furniture. All I wanted was to be a programmer, and all I get is "Sorry son, you don't have the experience." So, I go into acting and I still can't make it. Hell, I don't even have anyone to love.

Jared tossed an ottoman into the back of the van much harder than he should have.

"Hey man! Take it easy."

Jared spun around to see his partner Rob staring at him. He had been so lost in his own thoughts and the monotony of the job that he had no idea what Rob meant. "What?"

"I said take it easy. There's no need to go throwing around other people's stuff like that. You know it'll only come out of your paycheck."

"Yeah, whatever."

"Jared, what is wrong with you? Christ! Are you back on that whole 'my life sucks thing'? You do this at least once a week. Can't you get over it?"

Jared laughed lightly. "Get over it? Ha! My God Rob, how many times have we had this conversation? You know I can't 'get over it' just like that. I gave up almost everything I had, put myself thousands--no, tens of thousands of dollars into debt to try and get somewhere and what have I got to show for it? A dead-end job and a small apartment. Not what I had in mind."

"Hey, I work at this dead-end job too. I know it isn't great, but it is what we have. We need to make the best of it. Things take time Jared. Don't rush your life away."

"Oh, nice one Confucius," snapped Jared. He immediately noticed that his quick snub had been a mental slap to Rob's face. "Look, let's just get the van loaded and get to work. We have a lot of deliveries to make today. Okay?"

Rob figured that this was as close to an apology as he was going to get from his friend. He simply muttered "Yeah" and returned to loading the van.

Jared sighed lightly and continued with his work. This is going to be a long, hard day. At least I have something to look forward to.

With the thought of meeting Jon later, he smiled. Jon was so cute. The problem was, he knew nothing about his personality other than what he had seen on the TV from interviews. How much of that could you really believe? The only times he'd seen Jon, he'd been drunk at the club. At least then he seemed very carefree. No, not carefree. He seemed more unconcerned. The first night it was in a good way. He'd had no worries--well at least until their little argument. Not even the disappearance of this Joey guy bothered him. But the second night--he looked as if he just didn't care about anything. Almost as if nothing mattered to him. He looked like he had lost everything.

I hope he doesn't have a drinking problem. I've seen him twice and both times he has been drunk off his ass. Guess I should watch and see tonight just how much he drinks. It would be a shame for someone that young, with so much to offer, to have an alcohol problem.

Jared and Rob finished loading up the van in virtual silence. It was only 8:50 according to the clock on the van's stereo console.

Oh well thought Jared as he started the van. I'd better try and block Jon out of my head or it'll seem like the date tonight will never get here. He slipped the vehicle into gear and the two workers began their routine. They were a bit later getting going this morning, as they usually loaded the van at night.

It seemed to Jon that the day passed very slowly. His hangover was pretty much gone by eleven, so he'd gone shopping to replace the things that Joey had claimed. It was a long and tedious process. Every few minutes he was stopped by someone wanting an autograph or to shake his hand. Or, some crazed girl came up to him screaming and telling him how cute he was and how she wanted to have his baby or some such shit.

After several hours, and another headache, he finally made it to the check out desk. He had a few small items and the order numbers for the larger items. He paid for his new household thingies and asked to have them delivered.

"Yes sir. However they will have to be placed on tomorrow's delivery schedule. All of our vans have a full schedule today. I'm sorry." The manager of the store had a wonderfully fake, apologetic expression on his face. He was good.

"Yeah, sure. As long as I get it in perfect condition." Jon was not impressed by his 'sincerity.'

"Of course, sir. No worries sir." The smile was sickeningly kiss-ass quality.

Jon turned around and walked out of the store. He slipped on his shades and hailed a cab.

When he arrived home it was six thirty. He decided to make something for dinner and then get ready to go to the club.

Half an hour later, as he was eating, he was thinking of only one thing. Am I really looking forward to going tonight? After some quiet thought, Jon realized that he really was.

Jared's day was just as bad, or even perhaps worse. It seemed that every customer had a problem. Someone groaned that the delivery was late. Another complained that their lawn was getting trampled by Jared and Rob's boots. Yet another customer demanded 30% off because the guys had left fingerprints and smudges on the wood. It had been just one of those days in the delivery business.

By lunchtime, Rob and Jared had started speaking to each other again, on non-work related topics. When they parked the van back in the lot, it was as if nothing had ever happened. They were both tired, so they left the loading of the van until the next morning again.

Jared walked into his apartment and glanced at the clock. "Eight fifteen? Fuck! I have time for a shower and that's it. I don't even have time to eat anything." Jared laughed. "And I'm talking to myself now!"

Jared quickly dropped his coat on the baby blue sofa (his favorite color) and headed for the shower.

Jon stepped out of the cab and paid the driver. His driving sucked, so the driver didn't get a tip.

Walking towards the club door, Jon took a quick look around for Jared. He had taken too long washing the dishes. Joey had taken the dishwasher. He was about ten minutes late.

He's probably inside already. Might as well get in there. He went in through the door and walked over to the bar. He ordered a beer and sat on a stool. He slowly swiveled around in a full circle, looking for Jared. He was nowhere to be found.

Oh well, he must be late. Might as well get started. Jon lifted his beer bottle and took a nice long drink as the stool finished its revolution and positioned him facing the bar again.

Jared ran from his apartment and out into the street desperately trying to hail a cab. He was lucky and got the first one that came by. He quickly got in and told the driver where he wanted to go.

Jared looked at his watch. Okay, it's ten to nine. Hmmm, the cab ride takes about thirty minutes so… I am going to be really fucking late. Great, just great. Jon will probably be gone by the time I get there. Or, maybe he'd be drunk. No, don't think like that Jared. Just sit back and stop worrying. Listen to the music, and don't think about where you're going.

The music was good. It was Du Hast by Rammstein. Jared could see that the driver had a cassette playing. Well, I finally managed to get a good cab. Jared looked up to notice the driver glancing at him in his rear view mirror.

"I've been driving this thing for a few years now, and I've seen that expression before. You, have a date. And, you are late for it. Am I right, or am I right?"

Jared rolled his eyes. Great, a nosy fucking cabbie. This is just what I need right now. Why did I have to try on four different outfits before I picked one? If I had settled on the first thing that I had taken from the closet, I'd be there by now and I wouldn't have to deal with this nosy, fucking, God-damned…

"Hey buddy, you hear me?"

"Uh, yeah. I hear ya."

"So, do ya have a date?"

"Well, I guess you could say..."

"I knew it. You're late too aren't ya?"

Jared looked at his watch again. "Yeah, I'm about two minutes late right now."

"Ouch, not good. Wish I could help you out, but if I get one more speeding ticket I'll lose my license."

"We don't want that to happen." Hell yeah, I do. If it means getting one more asshole off the road then by all means go faster.

"I've been in your shoes before though."

"Oh really?" Please just shut up. Just shut up and drive.

"Oh yeah! I remember once…" the driver started. So, for the remainder of the trip Jared had to endure the driver's tales of dating. When he finally arrived at the club, he was so happy just to be out of there that he tipped the guy five bucks.

Jared walked up to the door and stopped. Well, here it is. Either Jon is here, or he's left. Jared took a deep breath and pulled open the door. The music hit him instantly, as it usually does in every club. The music was nice, very upbeat.

Looking around as he walked through the club, Jared went to the bar. It was there that he noticed Jon, resting against the bar with his beer held in both his hands. Jared breathed a sigh of relief and sat down beside Jon.

Jon looked up from his beer and smiled. "You made it after all."

Jared blushed a little at the sight of Jon's gorgeous smile. "Yeah sorry. I was late getting home from work. You know how it goes."

"Oh yeah, I know that one. Thanks to re-shoots I've missed quite a few dinners with Jo… ey." Jon's face turned bright red, not that it was entirely noticeable in the dim light of the club. Great Jon, just great. Fuck yourself over before you even get to know the guy. Jon looked back down at his beer, as if the answer to his current predicament lay within the golden liquid.

Jared's eyes opened a little wider. So, is this the Joey that he was looking for before? Exactly how close are they? Could Jon be gay? No, that wasn't possible. But then, you never know. Jared's mind was racing--thoughts, images, more thoughts. Whoa, okay Jared calm down. Don't blow this yet. Just play it cool. "Yeah, I have missed a few dinners with friends too."

Jon looked up again quickly. He didn't freak on me. Cool. Well, it means he didn't make the connection, he's cool with it, or else he's gay too. Play it cool for now Jon, just let this happen, whatever it is. "So, you wanna grab a table?"

"Yeah sure." Jared smiled. "Just let me get a beer first."

"Good idea, I could use another one."

Jared signaled for the bartender. "How many have you had?"

"This was number two" Jon said when he finished off the beer.

"I see. So, how long you been here?"

"I got here about fifteen minutes before you did. Wait a minute, you aren't thinking that I am drinking too much are you?"

All right, careful now Jared. "No, I was just wondering how long I kept you waiting. That's all."

"Uh huh."

The bartender's perfect timing kept the situation from turning bad. "What'll it be guys… wait. You two aren't going to start anything tonight are you?"

"No," answered Jon and Jared at the same time.

The bartender chuckled. "Okay, so what'll it be?"

"I'll have a Molson Canadian" Jared said.

"Give me the usual Brad."

"Sure thing. One Canadian and one Budweiser coming up.

The usual? Jared considered that. He knows Brad, the bartender's name. He has a 'usual' that Brad can remember. With all of the people that Brad sees, he can remember what Jon always has. How usual is this usual?

Jared didn't have time to think about it any longer. The bartender placed two bottles on the bar top. Jon and Jared paid for their respective beers. They walked over to a table that was against the wall farthest from the door, over by the dance floor.

To be continued....

Well, that's it for now guys. Sorry to have to leave you like this, but I can only do what work permits me to do. I will try and have the next part up within a month. Again, I apologize for the delay. But, while you are reading all the rest of the fine stories that this archive contains, make sure you check out the story by Luckylou. And once you've read that one, try 'N Sync Love, Bring Your Own BSB, and Brian and Justin (a very cool series). If that isn't enough, let me know. But that is all from the Mac for now, so I'll catch you on the flip side.

Oh yeah.  I would love to hear from you guys. And don't forget to send a line to my editor just because he rocks!

- Jonny Mac