Brad’s Search : Part 48

Night falls before we get back to Seattle. We make our way back home along with the rest of the post-weekend traffic. We get home, bring in our suitcases, and collapse on the bed. Even though we both had a very enjoyable weekend, we are exhausted, but we muster up enough energy for a quick little romp beneath the sheets.

Since my car is still parked at work, James drops me off there in the morning. We make plans to meet up for lunch, and he kisses me goodbye and drives away.

I head up the elevator and see Eric in his office.

“Hey, Brad. How was the wedding?”

“Very touching. I haven’t been to many weddings, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen two people as in love as they are, even after sixteen years.”

“Wow, they’ve known each other for sixteen years and they waited this long to get married?” He then gets a sheepish look on his face as he realizes what he just said. “Sorry. I guess that’s something I’ve never had to think about.”

“Don’t worry about it, Eric. James and I had a great time, but I’m ready to be back here and wrap up the rest of this project. Have we heard anything from the client?”

“Yeah. That Wednesday date you picked works perfectly for them. They’ll be coming in sometime that morning. Let’s all meet this morning to outline what we still need to get done to prepare for that.”

The rest of the team members make their way in, and we all go over what we have left to do. Everyone’s about as stoked as I am to get this project finished. It’s taken up a lot of our time, but hopefully we’ll feel it’s been worth it after we meet with the client.

I spend the next few hours doing development and testing, and watch the clock as it ticks closer and closer to lunchtime. James texts and suggests a place to eat nearby, which sounds good to me. I leave a few minutes after and meet him there.

After we place our sushi order, I look at James. “So, how’s your Monday going so far?”

“How’s my Monday going? You want to know how my Monday is going? As soon as I show up at the office, Dad comes to me and says, ‘Paul called me late last night, and you will never believe what he told me.’”

“Did he shit himself when you guessed right?”

“Just about. We’re both still a little in shock, but I’ve at least had a few days to process the news.”

“What does he think about everything?”

“He definitely wants Paul to come see us soon. It’s not doing him much good just sitting around and waiting for the investigator to get back to him.”

“That’s true. Has he made a decision on when to come down?”

“Not yet, but Dad is going to talk to him again tonight, and maybe they’ll get something set up.”

“Gosh. I wouldn’t want to be going through what Paul’s going through right now. I wouldn’t want my husband leaving me like that, kids or no kids.”

James takes my hand. “If it were me, I’d never leave you like that. Life can be hard to predict at times, but I can guarantee you I’ll always be willing to make things work no matter what situation we’d find ourselves in.”

I squeeze his hand. “Thanks. That means a lot to me. And likewise. I’m not one to give up easily. I’d rather work things out, too.”

“Good.” He smiles at me. Our lunch arrives and we make small conversation while we eat. We finish, pay, and get up to leave.

James hugs me and plants a kiss on my cheek. “I’ll see you home tonight, cutie.”

* * * * *

The rest of the workday goes smoothly. I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel with this project. I’ll be so glad when it’s over.

I get home and am surprised to see James isn’t home yet. He’s usually home before I am. I head inside and text him to see where he is. He responds, letting me know he needs to catch up on a few things at work, but that it won’t take long. He asks if I’d like him to cook salmon tonight. Delightful!

I tidy up the house a bit and relax until I hear the door open and him step in. I stand to greet him with a kiss.

He sets his stuff down on the counter. “How’d your day go, babe?”

I sigh. “All right, I guess. We suggested a meeting date to our client, and they said ‘yes’. They’ll be coming in to see the demo in about two weeks.”

“Damn. That must make you feel excited.”

“It does, but I feel nervous, too. Everything needs to be perfect for that demo.”

He gives me a reassuring look. “Brad, I know you can pull it off. You’re a very smart and talented guy. They’ve got the best person working on this project.”

I feel my cheeks turning red. “Thanks.” I kiss him again.

“I don’t know about you, but I’m starving. How about some fish?”

“That sounds wonderful.”

“It’s going to taste wonderful, too.”

He walks to the kitchen while I put on some soft music. Dinner doesn’t take long to make, and soon we’re enjoying the delectable dish he’s prepared. After cleaning up the kitchen, we lie down on the couch and relax, taking comfort in each other’s arms. We find ourselves nodding off, so we head upstairs, get ready for bed, and crawl under the sheets.

“Thank you for cooking, babe.”

“It was my pleasure, cutie.”

We kiss one more time, then he rolls over and I wrap my arms around him. What a great start to the week.

* * * * *

I get to work the next day and pop myself in front of a screen - well, three screens - for what I plan to be several hours, programming the last few features of our project and testing every tiny thing to make sure all will work impeccably during our demo.

Before I can even load everything up on my computer, my cell phone starts ringing. It’s James.

I pick up. “Hey babe; what’s going on?”

“I just wanted to let you know - Dad just told me he spoke to Paul last night and convinced him to fly up here for about a week.”

“When is that supposed to happen?”

“Paul just bought a ticket for this Friday.”

“Wow, that was quick!”

“Yeah, I know.”

“How do you feel about him coming over?”

“I’m a little nervous. I think it’ll be good for us to see each other, sit down, and talk through some things, but I have a feeling a lot of the past hurt is going to come right back.” He sighs. “Paul needs to be around family anyway. He doesn’t have a lot of support where he is now.”

“That’s true.”

“Anyway, Dad and I will pick him up at the airport when he comes in. Would you like to meet us at Dad’s house after work on Friday?”

“Are you sure you want me to be there on the first day he’s here?”

“Sure. Paul even said he wants to meet you. I think the sooner he sees a happy, successful gay couple, the sooner he can believe that he can find someone and be happy, too.”

“All right, Friday it is. I’ve got to go and get started on my work here.”

“OK, Brad. I’ll see you tonight.”

With that, we hang up.

At lunchtime, I meet up with Gary and Harry and fill them in on everything that has happened since we last saw each other. They’re just as surprised to hear about Paul’s true nature as James and I were. I also tell them all about the wedding and the history between Patrick and Damon.

Harry speaks up. “So Gary, when are you finally going to ask Gina to marry you?”

“I’ve actually been thinking about that a lot. She and I are planning a week-long getaway to Toronto sometime in the spring. I want to go down to Niagara falls one day and propose to her there.”

Harry chuckles. “Oh, that is so predictable.”

I butt in. “Who cares? That sounds like the perfect romantic setting. There’s beauty in the nature all around you. You and Gina can appreciate that beauty, as well as the beauty in the love you share with each other. I’d love for James to plan something like that. I can’t think of a better place.”

Gary looks at Harry. “See? He gets it.”

I turn to Harry. “So how’s your romantic life? Did you go on any dates over the weekend?”

“I went on a couple, but I don’t know if I could see myself with any of them. I have a few more lined up this week and weekend, so hopefully those turn out better.”

“I’m sure they will.”

We wrap up lunch and I head back to the office to stare at screens and tap on keys for a few more hours.

* * * * *

Friday rolls around - the day that Paul flies into town. James didn’t sleep too well the night before. He is a bit nervous about seeing his brother after years and years of not speaking to him. I would be, too.

James texts me in the afternoon while I’m at work and tells me that Paul landed safely. James and Willie are taking the rest of the day off to sit down with Paul and catch up on everything.

Near the end of the workday, Eric, the teams of developers and testers, and I hold our end-of-the-week progress and planning meeting. We have our work cut out for us for the week after, and we have a nice weekend to rest and relax before getting back into the grind. We end the meeting, and I pack up and hop in my car, destined for Willie’s house.

Somehow I don’t think it will be a very relaxing weekend.