See Chapter One for the rules.
It's Money Honey
"I hate the media"
Mine and Brad's date was a simple movie date at my house with a take-out order of Chinese food. Since we both had class the next morning he couldn't stay over. Even though he couldn't stay over it was still nice spending a couple hours with him, including the time taking him home. The night wasn't spent in vain though, most of the time was spent lying in my bed, our bodies almost melded together as our lips were. He loved the back rub I gave him luckily.
# # # # #
"Hey baby." I said as he answered his phone.
"Hey cutie." I placed the phone in the clip on the visor over my head.
"How was your day?" I asked pulling out of the school parking lot onto the wet road.
"Good, wet. Practice is canceled at least." He said with a sign of relief.
"That's good. Mine, was okay I guess." I sped up to make the light to turn onto the causeway to go to the house before going to the condo.
"Yeah. Where are you?"
"Heading home to get a couple things." The words slipped past my lips before I could even think about them.
"Oh, where you going?"
"The office real quick. I just have to grab some papers and a package that needs to shipped to my aunt upstate."
"Ah. Okay. I was hoping to stop by and see you."
"Don't worry, I'll stop by and see you. Want anything to eat?"
"Not really. I'll make us something here. Diane and April just went shopping yesterday."
"Okay. See ya soon Baby."
"Can't wait to see you Babes." I clicked the end button on my phone just as I pulled up to the gate at the bridge.
Passing through the gate there was a large crack of lightening and then loud booming of thunder. I waited for the guard to open the gate and then quickly pulled through it and was quick to push the accelerator down. Pulling into the garage bay I shut off my G55, jumping out of it to get the box and the black briefcase with the newly signed papers for something. I couldn't remember anymore.
"Jay." Carry's voice said coming through the speaker on my phone.
"Yes Carry." I said walking back into the garage and again to the G55.
"You need to get to the office, now. Something has come up and we need to deal with it." Her tone was firm and serious.
"What is it?"
"We'll talk about it when you get here. I don't care what you're doing, just get here." She hung up after that.
# # # # #
It seemed like every time something dramatic happened in my life it rained harder and harder with each passing moment.
As I pulled into the parking garage lightning and thunder were striking every other minute. The gutters were slowly filling up and it was only a matter of time before the streets were going to be flooding. The last time it rained like this was the day I was told my parents were dead. The same day I drove all the way to this same exact building and stormed into my Dad's office, just to feel a little closer to both of them. That office was the last place I saw either of them. I went there to get the keys to my Dad's car before they left for the airport.
The marble floor of the large lobby was cold, even through my sneakers. The receptionists were on lunch or break I was guessing since none of them were in the lobby or at the desk. The elevators were empty as I rode it to the top floor and found only Carry in the office with Dan and the woman I knew as the president of publicity, Ashlyn Greenwood.
"What's going on that I need to rush over, running a few red lights and I think I cut off a couple cops as well?" I asked, storming into the conference room.
"Nice to see you again Jay." Ashlyn said in a calm, mellow tone.
"Skip the bull and give it to me straight Ashlyn. What's wrong and how does it involve you?"
"Well as you know I not only am I the president of publicity but also your own personal PR manager. Well I have quite a few sources working in each of the large media groups, the local newspaper was given a picture of you and the quarterback of Barry university, Brad Dalton."
"Yes, I know who he is, he is my friend after all."
"Well we also know, because of this photo, that you two are much more than just friends. And in 2 days so will all of Miami." Carry said from my right while Ashlyn was sitting to my left.
"Show me the damn picture."
"This was the only picture my source could get me, they say there's several more to come." She pulled out a picture of me and Brad, lip locked out on my balcony of my house. His arms were around my waist and my hands were cupping his face. This was taken at least a month ago, I can tell because it was also the same day that brad slipped that very shirt I was wearing in the picture right down the middle and then we went swimming, after he decided to toss me in the pool only in my boxers.
"Shit. Where the hell did they get these!?" I asked standing up quickly enough to make my chair fall over.
"We're not sure Jay. But we need to deal with this. I've tried talking to the newspaper, sadly they aren't willing to negotiate. They claim they are about to expose the largest scandal since Clinton. The first gay football player, a star quarterback at Barry University none the less and the new richest man not only in America, but the world."
"Shit!" I said, slamming my fist down onto the table. "Wait what did you mean by the last part?" I asked Ashlyn.
"You didn't hear? Forbes has named you not only the youngest person to ever be on the Forbes list, but also the richest man in the world."
"No. really?" I asked.
"Yup. You were suppose to receive the award today, but we had them postpone it until this all blows over."
"Okay. Back to the issue at hand. What should we do?"
"Beat them to the punch." Ashlyn said firmly.
"Press release. I can have every major media outlet here in 20 minutes. How fast can you have your hunky boy-toy here?"
"10 minutes. Let me talk to him first. No calls to anyone, yet." I got up and walked out of the conference room to my office.
"Baby," I calmly said when I heard him answer.
"Yes Baby-boy?" He asked in his sweet tone.
"I need you to come over to my office, now."
"What's going on Baby?" His tone went from his sweet tone to worried.
"Just come in and I'll explain everything." I reaffirmed.
"Okay, I'll be there in a few minutes." His tone was still a little shaky as we said our goodbyes.
I sat there at my desk for another minute waiting just to think. Dropping my head I caught it in my hands.
"Why does this shit have to happen now? Why now? Of all the freaking times it could have happened why now?" I asked out loud as I shook my head.
I got back up, collecting myself one last time and mentally preparing myself for when Brad got here. I knew he would go crazy and he would not like any of this. I'm not sure how I would be able to control him. I took a quick look in the mirror in my office. In a matter of minutes I had gone from looking great, even in this crappy weather to shit. I was stressed and freaking out. We had 2 days to make a decision on whether or not to beat the newspaper to the punch and come out on our own or let them force us out and have our relationship labeled as the biggest scandal since Clinton. Everything I wanted in this relationship.
"I hate the media." I said walking back into the conference room to find both Ashlyn and Carry still sitting in the same seats with mine picked up.
"Where's everyone else?" I asked thinking of both our assistants.
"I sent them home before the weather got worse." Carry said.
"Okay. Brad said he'd be here in a couple minutes." I took my seat again, sinking back into it.
"Okay. How do you think he'll take it?" Ashlyn asked.
"I have no fucking idea. We've never talked about it. Never had the reason to. Never came up." I sunk even further back not thinking to ask in 3 months of being together. I had no idea how he would even react, shows how much I know about him.
"Jay?" Brad called out from the elevators.
"Back here Babes." I called out as I walked up to meet him.
"What's going on?" He asked, giving me a warm hug as I buried my face in the crook of his neck, as best as I could.
"Someone sent pictures of you and me, together, into the local newspaper. Remember when you tossed me in the pool?"
"Shit. What can we do about it?"
"We have 2 days to make a choice. Either come out willingly or be forced out by the newspaper. The editor is claiming this is going to be the biggest scandal since Clinton."
"Yeah. Ashlyn can have every major media outlet here in 20 minutes she claims, I don't doubt her."
"President of publicity and my personal PR agent."
"Ah. Well tell her to call them. I wanna do this." His smile said it all. "And I'm sure of it, as long as you want to do it."
"Well of course I do, it means I get to show the world not who I am but also that I'm dating the sexiest man in Miami." I said, pulling him down to me and placing my lips against his. He wrapped his strong arms around my waist, holding onto me tightly.
"Ashlyn, call them." I said as Brad picked me up, burying his face in my neck.
"I love you Jason Brian Vutali." He whispered into my ear.
"I love you too Brad Daniel Dalton." I whispered back as I leaned back a bit to look into his beautiful dark brown eyes.
"10 Minutes guys." Ashlyn said sticking her head out of the conference room.
"Okay, thanks Ashlyn. First thing tomorrow morning you're getting a raise."
"Just doing my job Jay, this is what you pay me for." She smiled.
"Thank you." I said as Brad carefully let me down.
# # # # #
"So, how do I look?" Brad asked, walking out of the small room where he was changing into the suite that Ashlyn somehow found for him.
"Hmmm." I said, walking over to him after fixing my own jacket and shirt. "Much better." I said untying his tie, placing it back on the table behind me. Turning back around I unbuttoned the top button of his shirt, opening his collar a bit.
"Thanks." He said, planting a quick kiss on my lips. The black slacks fit his legs in all the right places. The jacket wrapped around his broad shoulders and muscular back.
"Boys, I think we've been stalling long enough." Ashlyn said as she stuck her head into the small room.
"Okay." I said taking Brad's hand in mine. At first his grip was light but then with a quick squeeze it tightened up.
"I'm ready." He said in a reassuring tone.
"So am I." I agreed as we walked towards the door.
We walked to the offstage area to the side of the platform in the media room of the large business building. Ashlyn halted us there as she walked up the steps an over to the podium.
"Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. I called this press release to make an announcement considering the choice of not only Mr. Vutali but also a very special person in his life currently. Some explicit photos were taken and delivered to the local newspaper who decided it would be best to not accept any of the very generous offers to not publish the photos, they were not called and are not welcome at this press release. At this time I would like to introduce Owner, President, and CEO of Vutali incorporated, Mr. Jason Vutali." Ashlyn stepped to the side as she and the various media groups applauded me and Brad while we walked up onto the platform.
"Thank you all for coming in on such short notice. This press release is not only about myself though, to make introductions short this is my boyfriend of 3 months, Brad Dalton. All of you should know him as the star quarterback of Barry University. We are both Gay Americans in this somewhat open minded country. The local newspaper did threaten to release the picture of me and Brad in my own home in a couple days, claiming we were going to be the biggest scandal since Clinton. Upon finding all this out only an hour ago I had my dear friend, Ashlyn Greenwood, call you all to this press release. We do not know who sent in the photos to the newspaper. Now for the questions I know you all have." Just about every reporter shot their hand into the air.
"Yes, you." I said motioning to the black woman in the front row.
"What did you by your comment about the ". . .somewhat open minded country."?" She asked reading from her notepad.
"Simple. This country preaches freedom and the ability to choose how to live your life, if that was true then same-sex marriage would be legalized across the country, yet only a few states have lifted their ban, while California has recently reset their ban on it." I answered calmly.
"You." I said after a few minutes of surfing the crowd.
"Are you two living together?" The man in the gray suit with a receding hairline asked.
"You sir." I motioned to the man in a dark blue suit with dark hair.
"Yes, in the past you have supported mainly Republican and Conservative parties yet you are gay. Will you be supporting more Liberal and Democratic parties?"
"No. I may not fully agree with some of the Republicans and Conservatives views but I agree with them more than I do the Liberals and Democrats."
"You, miss." I said motioning to the older woman to my left.
"Thank you. This question is for Mr. Dalton. How will this affect you playing football and do you think it will?" She asked.
"I don't think it will, it shouldn't, and it won't."
"Thank you." She said taking her seat again."
"Yes, ma'am." I said motioning to the woman in the back row.
"Do your coach and team know about your sexuality?" She asked standing up.
"No, but they will. We have an upcoming booster club meeting where every member of the team will attend." Brad answered like a pro.
"And this will be the last question before concluding this press release." Ashlyn said, stepping over to the podium and leaning over to talk into the microphone. Stepping back she folded her hands behind her back.
"As she said, sir, you will be the last question." I motioned to a man in a black suit with his hair slicked back.
"How do you think this will affect your relations with the many foreign countries and diplomats with whom you conduct many of your larger business deals with?"
"Since I do not personally make most of those deals I don't think it will make much of a difference."
"This will conclude the press release." Ashlyn said, ushering us off the platform as she took over. "Again, I would like to thank each and every one of you for coming out on such short notice. On behalf of Mr. Vutali, Mr. Dalton and Vutali Incorporated we thank you again. Please enjoy the rest of your day and drive safely in this weather." Ashlyn said as she walked off the platform, ushering us the rest of the way back into the small room to change back into our regular clothes.
TO BE CONTINUED. . .