Mason slammed his fist against the wall. The picture frames rattled from the strength of his punch.  “Fuck! I don’t need this!” He gave his hand a hard shake as if it would rid him of the emotional maelstrom brewing inside of him.

***

“What the fuck you do to your hand?”  Mason shrugged and moved past his brother in the opulent waiting room to pour himself a cup of coffee. Ignoring him didn’t work, it never did. “Mase, we’re about to walk-in the most important meeting of our lives and you show up with a busted hand. What the hell happened?” Corey demanded.

“Not important.”

His brother didn’t have a chance to reply as a tall, shapely brunette walked in. “Gentleman, the Mayor is ready for you, please follow me.”  They followed her down the hall. She opened a set of double doors and there behind an L shaped desk sat the Mayor. He stood upon their entrance to greet them.

“Gentleman, can I offer you something to drink before we begin?”

“No.” They said in perfect unison.

“Let’s take a seat.” He pointed  towards a round table in the corner of his office. “I have to say, I’m really excited about this project.”

“We are too, sir.” Corey agreed.

“The design you presented in your Proposal… well it took the entire councils’ breath away. For the first time we had no issues coming to a vote.” He said with a big smile. “And the design, your idea?” he asked, looking up at Corey.

“Huh, no sir, it’s my brother Mason’s.”

“A fine artist. Hope you don’t mind, I’ll be putting my son in charge of overseeing this project. He should have been here by now.” He frowned. “He’s a bit of an artist himself, a musician…”

A knock at the door interrupted their conversation and like a whirlwind he walked in and stopped Mason’s heart in his chest.  “Ah, here he is.” The Mayor said, turning around to invite his son to join them at the table.

“Gentleman, I’d like to introduce you my son, Skyler.” He paused a moment. “Skyler these are the Taylor brothers, Mason and Corey. They’ve won the bid for the city’s commemorative wall.” Skyler couldn’t believe it. Mason sat at his father’s table. He looked cool, calm and collected. And totally hot. His heart pumped double speed in his chest. His hands trembled. Beads of sweat formed on his forehead. “You know, the one I’ve been going nuts about?” his dad coaxed.

Skyler regained control of his vocal chords, “Of course, I’m looking forward to see it through,” he responded. But color didn’t return to his facial features he could tell. Especially when he watched the man he loved looking at him with so much hurt in his eyes. He knew what it must have looked like. Him walking in taking one look at him and turning white as a ghost, sweating, trembling, as if he’d eaten some bad sushi and could barely hold it in. If only Skyler had explained to Mason his reasons for absolute discretion. Out of the two of them – Skyler being the eclectic musician performing on the streets, at country fairs, in bars it shouldn’t be an issue for him to be openly gay. As opposed to Mason, part owner of a masonry business working in construction with hard ass dudes where stereotypes could make or break is business – he lived openly gay and loved it. Of course Skyler had never told Mason about his parents… perhaps if he had, he would have understood and wouldn’t have pushed so hard for an open relationship. Then again, perhaps not, his father’s campaigns always called for equal rights… for everyone. Skyler wondered why he’d chosen to live his life in secret for so long.

“Your hand,” Skyler said with his eyes fixed on Mason’s swollen knuckles.

“Yeah, what of it?”

“What happened?”

“Oh, son I’m sure in their line of work all sorts of mishaps occur.”

“Like the Mayor said just an oversight on the job… Nothing to worry about.” Mason flexed his hand. The radiating pain it caused beat the one of having his soul shattered. He didn’t need to have the man who walked out on him, just that morning, mock him. He could see it plain as day how the sight of him made him sick, sick to his stomach.

“Actually, Mr. Mayor, I’m sorry to say we’ll have to decline that walk through.” Corey said.

“I’m sorry, I don’t understand do you need to reschedule?” The Mayor asked confused.

“No, we’ll actually have to decline the entire project. C’mon Mase. Let’s go.” Baffled, he got up and followed him to the door.

“Hold on a minute. Someone tell me what the hell is going on?” The Mayor yelled.

“Ask your son.” Corey, accused Skyler with daggers in his eyes. His hand hovered on the doorknob. Mason couldn’t believe this. His brother willing to walk away from their first big contract because of his love life. Shit!

“Skyler?” The Mayor turned to his son for an explanation.  Skyler looked contrite.  “Dad,” he took a step towards the door. Towards Mason. “There’s something I’ve been meaning to tell you for a long time,” he said never taking his eyes off of Mason’s. “I am gay, dad.”

“Well I know that son.” Bewildered, he stopped in his tracks. “Skyler, I thought your mother and I raised you to be who you are, son.” The Mayor’s voice sounded sad that he’d failed in this one very important aspect. “But dad.”

“Don’t but dad, me.” The Mayor said and arched his brow. “So, do I get to meet the man who stole your heart?”

Skyler didn’t waste time crossing the room to pull Mason into his embrace. “I love you,” he said and crushed his mouth on his in a bruising kiss. His lips demanded everything Mason had to offer. Mason offered him his love. “I love you, too,” he whispered.

 

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