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bruised love

Chapter Three

I know I don’t know you
But I want you so bad
Everyone has a secret
Can they keep it?
Oh no, they can’t
    Secret, Maroon 5


Jason had been with Armstrong Shank Advertising for almost six month when his immediate supervisor announced that they would be hiring an assistant for him, someone to work with him on landing and maintaining new clients.  The current big push to grow the business was the reason they had hired Jason and now the reason they would be adding to his staff.

“I think we’ve found someone,” his boss, Charles, said as he stuck his head into Jason’s office.


“Yeah.  His resume looks impressive enough.  He is currently an ad exec with a smaller firm, but wants to start playing with the big boys.  We interview him tomorrow morning.”

“That’s great.”  Jason was less than thrilled that he wasn’t involved in the hiring process, but there wasn’t much he could say about it.  Maybe when he had been with the company longer and had a few more major accounts under his belt.

Later in the week, that he was told that the interview had, in fact, gone very well and his new assistant would be starting the first of next month.


By the time the first of the month rolled around, Jason was ready to have someone to share the workload.

“Jason?  I’d like you to meet Kyle Sutton.  Kyle, this is Jason Lawrence.”  Charles had brought the new hire into Jason’s office.

Jason stood and extended his hand, staring into what had to be the most incredible pair of eyes he had ever seen. He swallowed, hard. “Kyle, nice to meet you.”   He had expected his assistant to be much younger.  This guy was at least the same age as Jason, maybe a year or two older.  Not to mention incredibly good looking.

“Jason.” Kyle shook the offered hand.  Impressed with what he had seen so far, he was feeling like he had made a good career move when he took this job.  Now after meeting his new boss, he was definitely feeling like things were looking up. This guy was hot.

“Well, I’ll let you finish showing him the ropes Jason.”  And with that, Charles left them.

“I don’t recognize your accent.  Where are you from?”  Kyle asked once Charles was out the door.

Jason shuffled some papers nervously. “Accent?  I didn’t know I had one.”

Kyle shrugged, “You don’t sound like a New Yorker is all.”  He took a seat in one of the chairs on the other side of Jason’s desk.

“I’m not.  I moved here from Boston, but originally I’m from Nebraska.”

“Nebraska? Wow. You’re a long way from home.”

Jason simply smiled.

“Is this your wife?”  Kyle pointed to the picture sitting on Jason’s desk.

“Yeah, that’s Sara.”

“She’s pretty.”  He could only hope he was hiding his disappointment.

“Thanks.  She’ll want to have you and your wife over for dinner.”

Kyle smiled.  Breeders.  “That would be nice.  I’d like that, but I’m afraid I’m not married.”


“Nope.  I ended a long-term relationship a few months back.  I’m afraid I really haven’t starting dating again.”

“Oh. Well, you probably don’t want to tell her that.  She’ll want to start fixin’ you up with her friends.”

Kyle only response was a smile.  Straights.  Jeez.

Jason went to work showing Kyle the accounts he would be working on and then going over some of the more pressing issues at hand.   The morning passed by quickly and when Jason looked up it was almost lunchtime.  “Kyle, want to go grab something to eat?  I usually go down to a little diner down the street.  You’re welcome to join me.”

Kyle looked up from the papers in front of him, “Um. Yeah. Sure.”

At the diner, they kept the conversation light and tried to stay away from anything too personal.  Kyle asked more questions about the firm, who was who and what Jason thought of the place so far.  Jason found himself struggling to pay attention to what Kyle was saying as he stared into his amazing eyes.  Kyle kept thinking it was too bad this guy was straight. He would love to see what was under that expensive suit.

“Does your wife work?” Kyle asked.

“She’s a teacher.  She taught second grade back in Boston, but she has only been subbing since we moved here.  She has been looking for something full time, but she’s pretty choosy about where she wants to teach.”

“Do you guys have kids?”

“No.” Jason looked down at his plate.

Kyle eyed Jason for a moment.  “Do you want kids?”

Jason shrugged.  “I don’t know. Not really.”

Their waitress brought over the check. “You boys care for anything else?”


Once back at the office Kyle started getting familiar with the accounts while Jason went to deal with a client who had phoned in complaining about the latest ad they were running.

Kyle jumped when his phone rang.  Who would be calling him here? He didn’t officially have any clients yet and his friends knew better.  “Kyle Sutton.”

“Hi Kyle.  I’m Sara, Jason’s wife.  He said you would be starting today.”   Kyle noticed she had the same accent as her husband.

“Oh. Hi, Sara, um, I’m afraid Jason’s not here right now. Um, can I take a message?”

“No silly, I’m just calling to invite you and your wife over for dinner one night this week.”

He leaned back in his chair. “Oh. Well, thank you. But I’m not married.”

“Okay, well then you can bring a date, or just come on your own.  What night works best?”

Damn, she was serious. “Oh. Really. You don’t need to go to the trouble.”

“Kyle, it’s no trouble.  Now tell me what night.”

“What ever is best for you.”   It wasn’t like he had much of a social life right now.

“Okay then.  How about tomorrow night?”

“Tomorrow night will be fine.”

“Great, I’ll plan to see you then. Bye now.”

“Bye.” He hung up the phone, staring awhile at the receiver. Damn breeders anyway.


The next evening Kyle took a cab over to Jason’s.  He and Jason seemed to be hitting it off and it would be advantageous to work with someone who was a friend, but the whole dinner party with Barbie and Ken was not exactly his thing.

He knocked at their apartment door after they had buzzed him into the building.  Jason answered,  “Kyle. Come in.”  He smiled and took Kyle’s coat. 

“Here, I hope you like wine.  I wasn’t even sure if you drank.”  Kyle hated to show up  empty handed so he had stopped and bought a bottle of wine on the way over.

Sara came out from the kitchen, taking the bottle of wine.  “Oh, of course we drink. Thanks Kyle, this is very nice.”  He recognized her from the picture on Jason’s desk.  She was a petite brunette, with big brown eyes and a lovely smile.

“Kyle, my wife Sara,” Jason returned from hanging up Kyle’s coat.

Sara held out her hand to be shaken and was surprised when instead Kyle placed a kiss on the back of it.  “Nice to meet you Sara.”

She giggled as she felt a blush creep over her face. “Oh my.  And just how are you still single?” Kyle’s reply was a small smile and a shrug.

Not long after he arrived, Sara announced that dinner was ready.  The conversation flowed easily between them and Kyle found that he was actually having a good time.  Sara, like her husband, was intelligent and charming.  Kyle enjoyed her quick wit.  The three of them discussed everything from current events to what movies they had seen lately.

After dessert, they went into the living room to finish their latest debate over the state of affairs in Washington.  Once that topic had grown old, Sara asked Kyle if he had seen any good shows on or off Broadway. 

He frowned, “No, I haven’t gone to a show in some time.”

“I want to see the new one out. I think it’s called Charmed.”  She had been hinting to Jason, but so far, he had not taken the bait.

Kyle nodded, “My ex was up for a part in that.”

Sara perked up at that. “Oh really? Which part?”

“I don’t remember.  He didn’t get it.”  The minute the words were out of his mouth, he closed his eyes.  Shit. He had just outed himself.  Not that he intended to hide it, just maybe not throw it out there just yet.  He didn’t have any issues with his sexuality; he just didn’t feel it was anyone’s business.

Without missing a beat Sara exclaimed, “That’s how you’re still single.  I should have known.”

Kyle looked at her and chuckled,  “Sorry, I didn’t mean to out myself to you just yet.”

”Why? It’s no big deal to us.  Is it Jason?”

“No,” Jason answered, maybe a little too quickly.

Kyle looked over at Jason as the color drained from his face.  Yeah, right.  Jason was definitely uncomfortable with this.  “Thanks,” Kyle said quietly.

Sara stood up. “Let me go get some more wine.”

As soon as she left the room Kyle turned to Jason.  “Jason?”

“It’s okay, Kyle. Really.”

Yeah. Right.




The next week flew by as Kyle adjusted to his new job.  He and Jason worked well together and made a good team. As they got to know each other better, they found they had a lot in common.  If Jason had a problem with Kyle’s sexual orientation, after the initial shock, he hid it well. 

Jason on the other hand was finding it very distracting to have Kyle in the office, but distracting in a good way.  He was dying to ask Kyle about growing up gay.  It amazed him that this man seemed to be so comfortable in his skin, so comfortable with his sexuality.  But every time they were alone at the office, or out at the diner, Jason would lose his nerve as he looked into those gorgeous eyes.

Kyle had just finished meeting with a new client when his phone rang. “Kyle Sutton”

“Kyle. Hi. This is Sara.”

“Hi, Sara.  How are you?”  Kyle leaned back in his chair.

“Good.  I hear you are doing great.”

He smiled. “Yeah?” That was always good to hear.

“Yeah. Jason seems to be impressed with you.  So when can we get you to come to dinner again?”

“I think maybe it’s my turn.”

“Your turn?”

“Yeah.  I can cook too you know?”

Sara giggled, “You can?”

“Yes.  So how about I cook dinner for you and Jason this Saturday?”

“Saturday? Really?  Surely you have something better to do with your Saturday then spend it with a straight couple.”

“As much as it pains me to admit it, no I don’t.  So Saturday, say seven?”

“It’s a date.  Oh and tell Jason to bring home a loaf of bread.”

Kyle smiled.  “How about if I have him call you?”



Saturday night Sara and Jason picked out a bottle of wine to take and hailed a cab over to Kyle’s apartment building.

Kyle opened the door wearing a pair of faded blue jeans and a tight black wife beater. The smells of the dinner he was preparing wafted over them as he invited them in.

“Come in.  I hope you like Cajun. I probably should have asked first.  My ex was from Louisiana and he got me hooked.”

“It smells wonderful Kyle,” Sara said as she handed him the bottle of wine.

“Oh, hey. Thanks.  I’ll go get some glasses and we can get started on this.”

Jason and Sara sat at the breakfast nook sipping wine and chatting with Kyle as he finished cooking.  Jason’s eyes kept lingering on Kyle’s muscular chest that showed through the tight black t-shirt he was wearing.  Kyle looked up to catch his co-worker checking him out.  Jason’s face reddened as he realized he had been caught, but he held Kyle’s gaze as Sara rattled on about some movie she had recently seen.  It was Kyle who finally broke eye contact as he turned his attention back to the food.  Could he be imagining things?

The three sat down to dinner and the conversation continued around movies, books, and current events.  It was decided that the three of them would go out to dinner next week, and maybe try to take in a play next month. 

“So are you dating anyone Kyle?”  Sara asked as she refilled her wine glass.  She seemed to be totally oblivious to her husband’s wandering eyes.  Or maybe she was used to it.

“No. Not currently.”

“You mentioned an ex.”

“Yes, Todd.  We split a few months ago.”

“Oh.  Were you together long?”

“Almost five years.  We met while I was still in college.  In fact this was his apartment.”

“Oh.  What happened?”

“Sara!” Jason was appalled.  “You shouldn’t ask such personal questions.”

“Its okay, Jason.  I don’t mind,” Kyle turned back to Sara.  “He found someone else.”

She frowned. “Oh. That must have sucked.”

Kyle gave a sad smile.  “Yeah, it pretty much did.”


For the next few months, things continued with Jason and Kyle working closely together at the office and having lunch together a few times a week. The three of them would get together a couple of times a month for dinner or a show.

Kyle had caught Jason eyeing him more than once, but since Jason never did more than look, Kyle chose to ignore it.

He did mention it to one of his friends one night.  “I think my boss is a closet case.”

The friend remarked, “You’re kidding. Didn’t you say he was married?”

Kyle nodded, “I think he’s interested in me too.”

“Shit. Kyle, you’d better be careful.”

“I don’t plan on doing anything.”

“Yeah, well don’t put yourself in a position that he can act on his secret desires. Straight boys don’t like it when they realize they are big ol’ queers.”

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