The kid just sorta walked in like he fucking owned the place, like he knew just what he wanted. He knocked on the art director's door and I watched as he suddenly morphed himself into this obedient, inexperienced intern candidate. The art director welcomed him in, then a few minutes later they both exited the office and went towards one of the art department offices. A little while later, I had business there, too, so I got there in time to see Kinney's face grow surprised for some reason when the kid shook his hand. He hid it quickly enough, but I saw it. A few seconds later he was stalking to his office with a furious and dismayed look on his face that I've never seen before, the kid in tow, eyebrows raised.
But the kid stayed. And now I observe them. Well, sort of. I just always seem to be in the right place at the right time. And luckily, I'm one of those unobtrusive people that no one ever seems to notice. Okay, it's not a great thing to be, especially when I'm trying to pick up chicks, but when spying on the boss, it's helpful.
At first, he's a complete ass, moreso than usual. He barks commands at the new intern- Justin Taylor, I hear his name is- and makes him work harder than most, snapping at him if he does even one little thing wrong. Taylor just raises his eyebrows and takes it, face blank. I'm amazed the kid hasn't run crying from the building. That kid has tolerance. I wonder where it came from.
Then, suddenly, Kinney calms down. He's a whole lot nicer. I walk by one of the workrooms and hear Taylor and Kinney talking. The intern gives him a simple little compliment, but it seems to mean a whole different thing to Kinney. His voice softens when he talks to him and after that he cuts the kid a ton of slack. Every once in a while, he comes down to the art department with a small smile and a message for Taylor. The kid always just looks satisfied with himself.
Once, the intern is called up to Kinney's office. When everyone in the room hears that, their eyes widen in automatic fear and they all look at him. Kinney never calls anyone up from the art department unless it's to ream them out about something. But Taylor has this sort of happy look on his face, and looks extremely smug. A few people raise their eyebrows. I think they think he's something of a masochist. I'm not so sure. I've noticed the way Kinney is around him.
It's obvious they've known each other for a while, since before the kid started working here. Once I saw them leaning over a board together. The intern nudged Kinney a little with his shoulder and gave him a look. Kinney smirk and then they both grinned. Kinney even huffed out a little laugh. He smiles at Taylor more than anyone else. And once, I heard Taylor ask Kinney how "Gus was." I have no idea who Gus is; there's no Gus working here at Vanguard. And they seem to communicate wordlessly, as if they've known each other for years.
One day, I'm standing in the break room when Jones sits down in front of me. He takes a bite of his sandwich.
"Hey, Moellering, You seen that kid?" he says around a mouth full. I resist the urge to tell him to chew and swallow before he speaks.
"Taylor, the new intern?"
"I've seen him, yeah."
"He's weird, ain't he? He doesn't seem to give a shit what Kinney thinks. Hell, even challenges him. And Kinney seems to like him. It's weird."
"He always looks so fuckin' self-satisfied. Like the cat who ate the cream. Even when he gets called up to the boss's office. Most interns would be scared shitless."
"And the way they look at each other, it's-" Jones cuts off, glancing up as Taylor walks in the room, grabs some coffee and a bag of chips and sits down at the far end of the table near the wall. He pulls out a sketchpad and box of pencils and immediately starts sketching, this concentrated look on his face. Jones and I make stupid small talk about sports until I have to go back to work.
Taylor really is different. Hell, he's only been working here a few days and Kinney lets him put up the boards during a meeting. Although, according to Kayman, he fucks that up. It's only a few hours till we can go home, and everyone is in their offices, working really fucking hard. It's Friday, after all. There's absolutely no one in the hall. I know Kinney will be pissed because Taylor messed up, so I've been avoiding him all day. I'm pretty sure he's in his office right now, so I go down to the art department to get some stuff to work on so I don't have to bring it home. I hear voices in one office, so I stop. I can barely hear what they're saying, but I can tell it's Kinney and Taylor. They're arguing about something.
What did I say about being in the right place at the right time?
"Your job was to put up the boards- which you could barely do- and keep your mouth shut." Oh. That.
Taylor responds, and I'm pretty sure it's an apology, but it's too soft to hear. Then Kinney says something, and I swear Taylor's voice jumps up an octave or two.
"Are you firing me?" Not so smug anymore, are we, kid?
They're talking about the account. Taylor must've said something-stupid mistake- because the only thing I hear of the next few sentences is Kinney's annoyed voice saying, "And she got my balls." I'm assuming he means the director of the new account.
I step a little closer and hear Taylor asking for a second chance. Kinney tells him he should've never given the kid the first chance- that's a little harsh, I think- and tells him to pack his shit. Then they have this weird conversation that I don't understand at all and it's clear to me, finally, that they definitely knew each other before Taylor started working here, because they're talking about Paganini and running back and romance and a bunch of other weird shit. I shrug, confused, then tune back into the conversation.
"Almost as stupid as falling for his bullshit in the first place." Whose bullshit, I wonder. "But, you're young, and inexperienced." I risk being seen, and peer through the slatted blinds to watch the drama. It's better than a fucking movie. I watch as the intern wheels on Kinney.
"What, and you're so smart? If you had any fucking brains at all, you never would've let me leave." Kinney's face turns interested and he looks at the kid. I cant see Kinney's face, but Taylor looks pissed. "You would've told me I was making the biggest mistake of my life. That I would live to regret it. That what you gave me was worth a thousand- a million- times more than anything he had to offer. You would have told me you loved me. And that you would go on loving me, even after I was gone."
I'm really interested now. I don't give a shit if I get caught.
"Is that what you were waiting to hear?" Kinney sounds annoyed, like he's dealing with a child. They're standing really close together, in each other's faces.
"Yes. But, as usual you never said it. So it's just as well that I go."
The kid puts his knapsack around his shoulder and starts to walk away, but Kinney darts his arm out and grabs Taylor around his middle, pushing him back.
"That is so like you." Now he's fucking pissed. Taylor just looks up at him, exasperated. He definitely wants to leave, but he ignores the boss's annoyed tone, looks used to it, completely unfazed. Kinney is angry as hell, and Taylor is just staring up at him. "You don't hear what you want so you leave. Try standing up for yourself for a change. Have some balls!"
Taylor keeps staring at him, then all of a sudden, he grabs the back of Kinney's head and kisses him. Hard. Kinney leans forward even when the kiss breaks, as if he wants it to go on. Then Taylor stomps out of there. He's pissed, and he moves in the opposite direction, so he doesn't see me. I decide I should probably get the hell out of there, before the boss comes out, but I cant resist one last peek. Kinney is looking off in the direction of the door. He pulls his bottom lip into his mouth like he's trying to taste the kiss, then rubs his lips with a thumb and sighs. He shifts a little, and I bolt, deciding that I can work on that stuff later, I'll do something else first.
I spend most of the night not paying much attention to my work. I just keep replaying the scene I just witnessed over and over in my head. It was always rumored that the boss was gay. Well, there's definite proof now. Unfortunately, I cant tell anyone. If I tell someone, it will fly around the office faster than the speed of light, and Kinney is fucking psychic when it comes to rumors, so I'd be fired fucking immediately. I try to switch off the movie playing in my brain and work on the shit in front of me. I succeed until it's time to go home. I have to get that stuff I was going to work on at home.
I check the hallway first. People are milling about. So, I walk nonchalantly over to the office. No one's in there, thank god. I stay in the office for quite a while, organizing and gathering what I need, and then stopping and just staring at the table while that goddamn scene plays over and over again in my head. By the time I step back into the hallway, most everyone has gone home.
I start to pass Kinney's office and stop. The door's open, and from the angle I'm at in the hall running perpendicular to Brian's office, I can see right in, and hear quite a bit. Taylor is sitting in the chair across from Kinney, and they're staring at each other intently.
"Even though I've made a few mistakes, I think you'd be making an even bigger one not to give me second chance."
Kinney makes a skeptical sort of noise, nods. "I see."
"Because now I understand what it is you want of me." I feel like they're talking about more than a job, here. "And I know what I can expect from you."
"You also understand that you'll be required to work long, hard hours, sometimes deep into the night?" They're just staring at each other. It's like foreplay with their eyes, it's intense.
"It'll be a pleasure to work under you. Sir." There's a hint of teasing in Taylor's voice, and I can see he's trying not to smile.
"And you're never," Kinney sounds a little pained. "To play violin music in my presence again?" They're definitely not talking about the job any more. They were dating? Christ! How did Kinney find someone so young? And more importantly, why would that kid leave someone as beautiful as Brian Kinney? I'm not gay, and even I think he's hot.
"I promise." Taylor whispers. I can just barely hear it. They stare at each other. Man, they are so totally in love.
"Good," Kinney states, then gets up and moves to sit at the edge of his desk beside Taylor's feet. "Well, then, you can start…immediately."
They stare at each other again. Taylor gets up and heads toward the door and I shrink against the wall, but he doesn't notice me. Kinney looks down for a moment, like he thinks the kid is going to leave, but then the door closes and they're alone. My eyes widen and I just have to see what's going on. I mean, come on, who wouldn't? And it'll give me something to tell my wife. She thinks gay men are adorable.
The windows are frosted glass, and the blinds are half-closed, but I can sort of see in. They're kissing, holding each other's heads gently. Then Kinney stands up and turns around and backs into the center of the room, pulling Taylor with him. And they're undressing each other, and laughing and kissing and wrestling lightly. I don't think I've ever seen two people more in love. I wonder why they ever broke up in the first place, because they seem fucking perfect for each other. There's so much passion coming from them, it's like an explosion. They exude sex. I mean, Kinney already oozes sex appeal when he so much as blinks, but together, they're like woah! It's insane. And they just stand there, kissing and touching each other. Then Kinney runs his hands down Taylor's chest and slides down his body to the floor. He kisses Taylor's stomach, open and wet, and then tugs him down and moves on top of him. I suddenly feel like an intrusion, like this is way to intimate for me to see, and not just because of the fact that they're naked.
I get out to my car and then I just sit there. I feel a little sorry for myself, because I know that I will never, ever have a love that strong. I mean, I love my wife, but that back there? That was something special. Like, a one in a million thing. I'm just glad that Kinney is happy. Maybe this beautiful blonde kid will get him off our backs for once.