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Marcus was pacing anxiously, listening out for a knock at the door, a ring of the door bell, anything at this point. His stomach was overflowing with the feeling of butterflies; he couldn't wait to see Anderson's handsome face. Marcus took a deep breath, and almost, as if it was on cue there was a knock at the door.
"I think that's him!" Marcus exclaimed, biting his finger nail nervously. "Do I look ok?"
"You have a massive zit in the middle of your face." Scott laughed, giving Marcus' shoulder a firm grip and giving him a reaffirming shake. "I'm kidding, you look adorable, now answer the door."
Slowly walking towards the door, Marcus took a deep breath and wiped his sweaty palms on his pants before opening it. "Oh, it's you two." Marcus said sounding disappointed, letting out a sigh.
"Thanks for the warm welcome." Nathan said in a sarcastically, a wide grin across his face. "I guess we're supposed to be Anderson?"
"Yes you were." Marcus said giving Nathan a hug and kiss on the cheek. "Hello Simon thanks for coming."
"Thanks for having me." Simon said giving Marcus a hug, it came across as somewhat forced and uncomfortable. "It smells great in here."
"Hey, where's the Turkey at? I'm starving." Peter said unexpectedly as him and Adam arrived soon after, Peter had his arm around the small of Adam's back, a bottle of white wine in his other hand. "I've pretty much starved myself all day to make room for this feast."
"Good I'm glad; Shane's been busting his ass all day making it." Marcus replied giving Peter a kiss on the cheek. "Adam, you look good." Marcus smiled, giving Adam a kiss on the cheek. "Nathan, you remember Shane Brooks right? He's our chef tonight."
"Oh my god, I had the biggest quasi crush on him." Nathan said excitedly. "Don't worry babe, you're still my number one." Nathan said giving a jealous looking Simon a kiss on the lips. "I only have eyes for you."
"Speaking of eyes, I'm keeping mine on this Shane guy." Simon replied sounding amused but still an undeniable hint of jealousy to his voice.
"He's right Simon, I mean you've given him plenty of reasons over the years to leave you, but he's always stood by and been faithful to you." Marcus said giving Simon a somewhat forced grin.
"Ugh... Thanks?" Simon said not sure if he should take Marcus' comment as a compliment or insult.
"Awkward." Scott mumbled as he took a swig of his scotch. "So, how are my two favourite boys?" Scott asked looking to Peter and Adam, trying to change the conversation.
"Good, same shit different day." Peter replied taking a glass of champagne as a tray waiter came over to serve champagne to the group. The waiter was around late twenties, early thirties and had a stocky build and was on the shorter side at about 5'9. He had a nice olive complexion, likely Italian, slicked back black hair and the most smoldering pair of brown eyes. He wore black dress pants with a black vest over a white dress shirt that was all neatly pressed and tucked in.
"Thank you." Adam said taking a glass; he took a long sip of the Moët which bubbled and fizzed, touching the tip of his nose. Adam was deep in thought, who was this waiter, he knew him, but how? Adam let out a cough and choked back his champagne; his eyes watered up as he snorted slightly, some of the champagne came through his nose. "Holy shit..." Adam said clearing his throat, his face red as coughed once more.
"You ok bud?" Peter laughed, rubbing Adam's back. "Don't die on us."
"Yeah and don't waist a drop. That's good shit." Marcus grinned. "It's a vintage bottle I stole from my dad's wine cellar."
"I know you..." Adam said looking at the waiter intently. "You're the guy from the company jet, the one we took to Vancouver, you're Nicholas right?"
"Ah, yes. You're Mr. Logan's son." Nicholas said a wide smile coming across his face. "You don't have very good luck with drinks do you? You spilt one the plane and now you've got champagne on your shirt."
"Actually if I remember correctly, I'm pretty sure you spilt the drink on me." Adam fidgeted nervously, blushing. "Or maybe not?"
"I can help you change your shirt if you'd like?" Nicholas smiled; hungrily looking over Adam's fit young body, the champagne making his white shirt a little see through in places.
"That's ok, I'm his boyfriend, and he'll be just fine thanks." Peter said standing in front of Adam and crossing his arms over his chest looking down at Nicholas with an intimidating stare. "Maybe a napkin though?"
"Adam, how on earth do you know this guy?" Marcus asked sounding bewildered.
"Oh, I know who he is." Nathan smirked. "I've heard the story, but what are you doing here in White Oaks?"
"Good question." Peter asked sounding defensive, his muscular arms still crossed as he glared down at this possible threat to his manhood.
"I know Shane, Mr. Brooks's son. Mr. Brooks is also an executive at the company Mr. Logan works for." Nicholas said looking nervously at Peter, between looking to the others. "Shane asked if I could help serve at the party, I've got a stopover and lots of time to kill; besides he's paying me so I said yes."
"Well this is just delicious." Marcus said awkwardly. "Nicholas, do you want to check if they're any hors d'oeuvres in the kitchen ready to come out?"
"Yes, of course." Nicholas said excusing himself and walking away quickly, still looking nervously at Peter over his shoulder.
"So that's the dude who gave you a handy on the plane?" Nathan asked, looking shocked. "It's a small world."
"Handy on a plane?" Scott laughed, looking stunned. "You little whore; I thought you were all innocent."
"Yes, it just sort of happened." Adam said looking at Peter; he leaned up to give Peter a kiss on the chin. "You're so cute when you get jealous and all protective of me."
"Yeah, well that dude thinks he's gonna flirt with my boyfriend in front of me? Fuck that." Peter said putting his arm around Adam and pulling him in close. "Like hell he was just going to help you change your shirt."
"I guess that means Shane is a member of the mile high club?" Marcus said looking amused. "He must fool around with all the executives' sons."
"Well in that case Adam, can your dad get my old man a job at the company?" Scott said studying Nicholas who was off in the kitchen, as he bent over the oven removing a tray of savory pastries. "Sexy little Italian stallion."
"Why do I get the feeling you're going to hook up with my waiter guy?" Marcus said in utter disbelief. "At least wait until after dessert is served before you poke him or vice versa."
"At least I can focus on this Nicholas dude, I swear Brad is trying to get under my skin." Scott said nodding towards the kitchen.
"I can't tell, is it because he's talking to his ex Shane?" Peter laughed.
"Please... Before you guys got here it was like overkill watching him let Shane spoon feed him mash potatoes." Scott said sounding disgusted.
"Just like when I visit my grandma." Peter said looking amused.
"Dude...What the fuck are you doing with your grandma?" Scott said looking grossed out.
"She has Alzheimer's you asshole." Peter laughed. "Sometimes when I visit her at dinner I'll help her eat."
"Peter, that's the sweetest thing." Adam said looking like he was overflowing with a warm fuzzy feeling and could turn to mush in Peter's arms at any second. "Is it weird that I'm turned on a little bit, my hot guy who has a huge heart."
"Let's agree to disagree." Scott grinned, giving Adam a questioning look.
"Whatever dude, I love my grandma." Peter said sounding slightly defensive. "I love visiting her; we'll watch Golden Girls for hours. Sometimes she'll tell me that she thinks my mother is a tramp, and out to kill my dad. It's good times."
"Oh crap..." Marcus said abruptly. "Sorry Peter, not you. Anderson just sent me a text message saying he's running late and to start dinner without him."
"Aw, don't worry babe." Nathan said putting his arm around Marcus' shoulder. "He'll show up."
"I know, I just wanted him here for the fancy dinner, show him what a classy bunch we are you know?" Marcus pouted, letting out a sigh.
"Trust, he knows." Scott said softly. "Besides, it will be nice for him to come when everyone's chilling after dinner. Meeting everyone over a formal dinner can be a little off putting."
"I guess so." Marcus said flatly, sounding disappointed. "Well at least he's still coming right?"
Scott had finally escaped Brent and his endless reel of stories which revolved around how awesome he was. He'd wanted to pee for what seemed like an eternity. He felt sudden relief standing over the toilet and spelling out the letters in his first and last name with the warm stream of urine, a look of intense concentration on his face like this was fine art he was creating.
Scott ran his hands under the warm water. Shaking the excess from his hands he reached for the towel and dried them off thoroughly placing it on the rack and turning off the taps before opening the door. Standing in the doorway he pulled his pant zipper up before joining the dinner party again.
"Thank god, I've wanted to get you alone all evening." A voice came seemingly out of nowhere.
"What the fuck!" Scott blurted, his heart was in his throat. "Dude, you scared the shit outta me."
"Sorry man, But it's the only way I could get away long enough to speak to you alone." Shane said checking down the hall to make sure they were alone.
"What's so important it couldn't wait?" Scott asked, his heart was still pounding as he got his bearings.
"Dude, you've gotta get your boyfriend away from me." Shane said in a hushed tone, once again checking over his shoulder. "He's driving me crazy."
"You mean Brad?" Scott asked sounding annoyed. "What are you talking about? You two have been practically fornicating all over the kitchen."
"Fornicating?" Shane blurted out with a laugh. "Hardly man, if giving a guy a kiss is fornicating than you need to get laid more."
"I get plenty of action thanks." Scott scoffed, crossing his arms, giving Shane a questioning look. "And you forgot spoon feeding him, being all affectionate with each other, clearly trying to make me jealous."
"It was his idea; I didn't go along with it intentionally. I knew something was up when he was constantly looking in your direction to see if you saw us kiss or he'd ask me if you were looking before he'd do something." Shane said looking to see if they were still alone.
"He was trying to see if I was watching, to see if I'd get jealous? I fucking knew it!" Scott said with a manic grin, he was thrilled he'd been right.
"Look, I was fooling around with him, I grabbed his butt, gave him some tongue action when we kissed but not to fuck with you man." Shane pleaded. "I wanted to get in his pants, we use to date, we're definitely not a good match as boyfriends but I missed that ass, not going to lie."
"So go for it. He's single." Scott said a jealous tone to his voice.
"No way, I'm not getting involved in both your drama. You need to keep him off me, tell him you're sorry for whatever you did." Shane said in a hushed voice. "Clearly he likes you; he's just too proud to say anything."
"How do you know he likes me?" Scott asked sounding a little softer and less annoyed.
"The fact he's trying to make you jealous, a lot of people would take that as a guy trying to be a dick." Shane began. "And yeah, it's kind of a douche move but I think he just wants a reaction out of you, he wants any excuse to get you to talk or focus on him."
"Whatever man, I'm over him." Scott said bluntly.
"Please, you were clearly jealous, that shows me you still have feelings." Shane ginned. "Just talk to him. Brad and I didn't work out, but that was just us, he really is a good guy."
"We were just fuck buddies, I feel like everyone is blowing this out of proportion and making it a bigger deal than it needs to be." Scott said taking a deep breath.
"Fuck buds don't get jealous when there so called "buddies" go sleep with other guys." Shane smiled giving Scott a firm pat on the shoulder, before turning to walk away. "Just saying man... Anyways, I better check on dinner."
"He really has no idea." Brent said, his smile made his lip curl. His eyes were vacant as he watched Nathan from across the room.
"What, that we're fucking around?" Simon said in a hushed yet cool tone. "And it's going to stay that way."
"Ease up with the temper." Brent said sounding bored. "You don't have to always loose it so easily with me."
"I'm sorry; it's hard to make pleasant conversation when I'm being constantly blackmailed by you." Shane spat, his face was starting to turn red.
"Do you ever think of me while you fuck him?" Brent asked, the question sent shivers down Simon's back.
"Never." Simon took a long swig of his drink.
"I'm wearing my jock strap." Brent whispered into Simon's ear.
"Fuck you." Simon said bluntly as he felt his cock grow hard.
"I know it makes you angry, how much I turn you on, and you have no control over it, because you know deep down that I'm a way better fuck than your boyfriend will ever be." Brent began. "And if you had the balls, you'd be with me."
"If you think that's true, than you are the most deranged psycho I've ever met in my life." Simon said calmly, he didn't want to attract attention.
"I'll call you sometime this week. We can meet at my place or yours, but one way or another I'll have your cock." Brent smiled, looking Simon up and down.
"You're a fucked up kid Brent." Simon said in a smug tone. "I've been doing some thinking lately."
"You have, have you?" Brent said sounding somewhat irritated.
"You think you can treat me like a puppet, blackmail me into having sex with you?" Simon smirked. "Trust me Brent, you think you've got me right where you want me and really you don't."
"You're pretty ballsy, Is this you or the scotch talking?" Brent asked, his eyes were narrowed, if looks could kill, Simon would have had his throat slit right then and there.
"You dangle this supposed career opportunity with your dad's company over my head; you think I give a shit?" Simon laughed. "Look here, I'm twenty three years old, I've got a fat bank account and the world within my reach. You on the other hand, have a full year of high school with these guys, and trust me Brent, if they find out you're fucking Nathan's boyfriend, they will make your life a living hell."
"You think so huh?" Brent said looking cocky. "You sound so sure."
"You know what Nathan is capable of." Simon said firmly gripping Brent by the shoulder and leaning into him. "So I hope that clears everything up? I'd hate for you to get the wrong impression and think you actually control this situation?"
"How dare you." Brent spat, looking humiliated. "I should go and tell him right now."
"But you won't, because deep down you're chicken shit." Simon said placing his drink on the buffet table; he took the decanter replenishing his glass.
"Don't try me." Brent said in a hushed tone, his voice sounded a little shaken.
"So we're good now?" Simon said looking to Brent, a smug look across his face.
"Like hell we are." Brent said giving Simon a dirty look. "I'm not going to be in high school forever, and when that time comes I'll drop a bombshell on you and your boyfriend."
"Have I ever told you about a woman by the name of Lana Hughes?" Simon asked, he was still calm and collected, even after Brent's latest admission.
"No, and what does that have to do with anything?" Brent replied his tone was cold.
"Why don't you ask your daddy who she is?" Simon said with a smug grin.
"What's that supposed to mean?" Brent said sharply. "You are making no sense."
"Turns out your father Eric, has a taste for cocaine and high priced hookers. However there is one woman who he is very fond of, her name is Lana Hughes, she's your fathers mistress." Simon paused. "It's amazing what you find out when you do a little digging."
"You're lying." Brent said defensively. "My father would never cheat on my mother."
"I'm not lying; I've got pictures to back it up." Simon said calmly, adjusting his tie. "I know your mother Vivian would be heartbroken, she'd probably end up drinking more than she already does. And your daddy, Eric Van Straten, billionaire, CEO, it would be printed on every magazine, newspaper, blog, you name it. The shareholders and the board would call for him to step down, his public image become shit. All because his son Brent thought he could pull one over on me. Have fun with that one, keep testing me and I will ruin you." Simon patted Brent on the back hard before turning to walk away leaving Brent stunned and speechless.
With an abundant spread of food across the table and the turkey nicely browned, seasoned and sitting centre, it seemed more than any of these body conscious jocks could begin to eat. The two silver candelabras at either end of the long dining table created a warm glow that reflected off the crystal chandelier above as silence came over the room, the guests taking in the amazing feast that Shane had labored over for hours.
"I can't thank you enough Shane." Marcus said as he closed his eyes taking in the full flavour the brine had given the turkey. "I don't know for one second how I thought I could have pulled this off myself."
"Seriously man, this is amazing." Peter said, his mouth half full with food. "I thought you were nuts when you told us the other day you'd basically given up on football, being that you're an awesome athlete, now I see why."
"Thanks guys." Shane smiled, taking a sip of his wine. "So, we should go around the table and everyone share what they are most thankful for. For starters, I'm Thankful for the opportunity to start my own business doing what I love."
"Good idea!" Nathan exclaimed. "I'm most thankful for Simon, my partner in crime, but also my group of friends."
"How about you Brad?" Marcus asked, trying to keep the topic alive. "We'll work our way around the table and end with Simon."
"I'm thankful for my family." Brad replied putting his arm around his twin brother Charlie and pulling him in close.
"Same as what he said." Charlie said giving Brad a kiss on the cheek.
"Very cute guys. What about you Brent?" Marcus asked, Brent seemed distant and unmoved by the whole thing.
"I'm thankful for..." Brent paused, thinking for a moment. "Trust funds and Capitalism." Brent forced a smile and raised his glass before drawing back a sizable gulp of his Syrah. "And I guess you could throw in my cars."
"That was really heart warming Brent." Scott said sarcastically with an amused look.
"Whatever, like you guys aren't thankful for luxury cars, big houses and lavish holidays in Europe?" Brent laughed, rolling his eyes. "The way you're all carrying on, you all sound like you're a paycheque away from Old Navy..." Brent's rant was cut short by a knock at the door.
"Excuse me for a minute." Marcus said getting up from his seat and placing his napkin on the table. As whistles and cats calls came from a few people seated at the table. "Guys stop it." Marcus laughed blushing a little.
"Go get your man girl!" Scott said amused by how flustered and nervous Marcus suddenly seemed as he almost raced to the door.
Taking a deep breath, Marcus took a hold of the door handle and turned it. His heart was racing, his palms were sweating again. Pulling the door towards him revealed the handsome face he fondly remembered. Anderson's broad smile greeted him.
"Hello again." Anderson said pulling out a bottle of wine from behind his back, in his other hand was a single white flower. "I was in such a rush to get here, I was going to get you flowers."
"You don't have to get me anything." Marcus said shyly; he felt a feeling of warmth well up inside him, feeling lost in Anderson's blue gray eyes.
"Well, I totally just picked this out of your garden." Anderson smiled as he handed Marcus the flower with the bottle of wine. "And a client just gave me the bottle of wine, I never like to show up empty handed."
"Aw so you're re-gifting me wine and a flower from my own garden." Marcus grinned. "At least you're honest. Come in, we're still eating."
"Hope you don't mind that I wore jeans." Anderson said as he stepped over the threshold. "I thought it might give me a more youthful vibe, you know, since I'm going to be the oldest guy here by a decade."
"Oh, that won't do." Marcus said straight faced. "Didn't I tell you I have a strict dress code in place?" Marcus broke face giving a smile.
"Just please tell me one thing." Anderson said, sounding almost like he was pleading.
"Of course, anything." Marcus replied.
"Do you have pumpkin pie?" Anderson asked.
"Are you kidding me? It's Thanksgiving, how could I not have pumpkin pie." Marcus laughed. "And it's homemade."
End of Chapter 12