Disclaimer: I do NOT own the characters of Queer as Folk. Would that I could – things would have ended so much differently! This is for entertainment purposes only. No infringement intended.
A/N: I wasn't going to start posting this until something else was finished, but decided to go ahead with the prologue. Please bear with me on the updates until I get at least a couple of other stories completed. I will get back to this as quickly as I can. Keep in mind throughout this story - Brian is extremely rich and quite predatory - he might be a bit OOC at times. This story is based very loosely on the film, 'Indecent Proposal'. You'll see a few similiarites, but much of it will be different. I do hope you will enjoy it! Please let me know what you think. That alone motivates me more than anything!
"Mr. Vance? You wanted to see me?" Justin asked, peeking his head in the open door.
"Yes, Justin. Come on in. Have a seat," Vance told him in a much more amicable tone than he had received from him earlier.
Justin took a seat across from Vance's desk, watching him warily, his tension lessening as he viewed the seldom smile that passed over his face. "I'm assuming the meeting with Leo Brown went well, Sir?"
"It did. I've been trying to nail him down for years, and just when I thought it was another losing pitch, you changed the designs that the senior art director recommended – and he jumps to be signed. This coo is all due to you, Taylor. I won't forget this," Vance told him, a voice full of sincerity.
Justin beamed. "It's my pleasure, Mr. Vance. I'm only glad it worked out."
"Perhaps worked out a bit too well," he slightly grumbled.
Frowning, Justin asked, "How do you mean?"
"Leo Brown is very demanding. Such a lucrative account does come with it's drawbacks. When he gets the urge to brainstorm, he expects everything to be dropped to accommodate him," Vance said, with a scowl.
Justin smiled knowingly. "Ah, I get it. So, should I plan on working all weekend, then?"
"Wish it were that simple. As it is, I'm going to have a pissed off wife, but I guess I can soften the blow taking her with me to New York."
Understanding immediately dawned. "That's right. The two of you were going to Vegas this weekend."
"Exactly. Of course, I'm sure shopping in Manhattan will make her just as happy," Vance replied gruffly, apparently not liking his altered plans. "Now, to the reason I asked to see you – other than to congratulate you on a job well done-"
Justin watched him expectantly, wondering when he was going to get to the point. As it was, the hour was late and he should be on the way home by now. He didn't want to think of all the fussing and bickering Ethan would undergo if his lateness home from work caused another ruined dinner. He watched as Gardner Vance pulled out a long white envelope, and pushed it across the desk. Was it a bonus? God, with the wedding a mere three weeks away, and trying to place a down payment on their dream home – that would be ideal. Following Vance's nod, Justin reached out to grasp the envelope, opening it timidly – his eyes widening in confusion as he viewed the contents.
"Uh, I don't understand, Sir. These are your tickets to Vegas, aren't they?" Justin asked, completely dumbfounded.
Vance nodded abruptly. "Yes. They are non refundable, and as it is that I can no longer go I am passing them along to you. Call it a reward for the extraordinary work you've been doing recently. I'm not only referring to how you saved the Brown campaign, I am also talking about all the long hours you've been putting in on each and every project you've been assigned. Don't think that just because I don't get into the art room that often, I don't know everything that's going on here."
"I don't know what to say, Mr. Vance. This is just too much," Justin replied, shaking his head in total bewilderment.
"Nonsense. It's that or they go to waste. I'd rather reward someone who has more than earned it. Now, I refuse to take no for an answer. Your plane leaves at nine p.m. tonight – which gives you two hours to pack and get to the airport, so I'd advise you to hustle. There is reservations for two nights at Caesars Palace – all the check-in info is listed in the envelope. It has all been pre-paid, only expenses you will incur will be what you spend at the casino – and any extras via room service, etc. Now, I'd suggest you be on your way – and have a weekend to remember," Vance told him in what was nothing short of a civilized dismissal.
Justin stood up, gripping the envelope tightly in his hand. "I can't thank you enough, Sir."
"Sure you can. You can have a great weekend, and come back refreshed on Monday, ready to blow my mind once again..."
"I can do that. I hope all goes well in New York with Brown Athletics. If there's anything I can do to help with that – don't hesitate to ask, day or night," Justin offered.
"You just go enjoy yourself, Justin. You've earned this break... and, you can tell me all about it on Monday," his boss answered with another rare smile. "Have a good time."
"I'm sure I will. And, thanks again..." Justin repeated, still lost in wonder at the generous gift, quickly realizing the hard part would be in convincing Ethan they should go. He knew one thing for certain – Las Vegas was most definitely not Ethan Gold's scene, but he hoped he would agree with a minimal of fuss.
"Would you mind repeating that, Ethan?" Justin asked, his jaw dropping in disbelief.
"That's great, Justin. Make me repeat the news of my failure. The demise of my future... when your own is moving ahead with such promise," Ethan grumbled sarcastically. "Fine. I'll repeat it. My recording contract fell through. They completely bailed on me."
"How can they do that? I thought you had a binding contract. What the fuck are we going to do now?" Justin gasped, pacing back and forth.
"What are we going to do? That's rich coming from Gardner Vance's golden boy. You have a paid vacation. Why should you worry about my personal tragedy?" Ethan continued on, holding his head in dramatic fashion.
Justin rolled his eyes, reminding himself that this was not the version of the man he loved... continuing to tell himself this was merely a rough patch – they would get through it and be all the stronger for it. "I have two tickets, Ethan. It's for the both of us. And, now it seems like we could use a getaway."
"To Las Vegas?" Ethan sneered. "Now that's what I call a dream vacation."
Sinking down onto the couch, Justin ran a hand through his hair. He looked despondently at his fiance, uncertain of what to do next. "What are we going to do, Ethan? We are to be married in three weeks, and we have until mid week to come up with the down payment on the house or we lose it."
"I don't know, Justin. It's all hopeless. Maybe we should postpone the wedding..." Ethan began to suggest.
"No. It's too late for that. We have paid all the deposits, and we lose it all if we cancel now. We'll figure something out. We have to," Justin said, standing to pace back and forth impatiently. "Fuck. I've got it."
"What?" Ethan asked, looking at him strangely.
Justin laughed. "It's right here in front of our faces. We have tickets to Las Vegas, and reservations at Caesars Palace. I have the rent money that I haven't deposited yet... 600 dollars. I can also go to the ATM and get about that much. That will tap us out... but, it will be enough to stake us at Vegas."
"Are you out of your mind, Justin? We are in the midst of desperate times here... and you want to gamble away what little we have left? It's total madness, Justin."
"It's our only hope, Ethan. Are you with me or not? Because, with or without you... I'm doing this. Now, I hope you're with me, but if not I'll see you when I get back – with a bankroll to solve our problems," Justin implored him, hoping they could do this together; but, meaning what he said – with or without Ethan he was doing this.
Ethan sighed deeply. "I think it's a mistake, Justin. But, I'm with you. Always."
"That's what I wanted to hear. Now, get your bags packed. We are on our way to Vegas..."
Brian Kinney sat in his Manhattan office, signing one document after another. Bored beyond belief. He looked at his friend, and business advisor – Ted (Theodore) Schmidt with an upraised brow. "Will there be an end to this monotonous paperwork today?"
"I believe that's the last stack, Brian," Ted returned blandly.
With an aggravated scrawl adorning each page, Brian asked in exasperation, "When did my life get relegated to this?"
"Par for the course for being one of the richest men in the world," Ted returned with an eye roll, unable to extend any sympathy for Brian's plight.
"One of?" Brian parried.
Ted nodded. "Point taken. I think you have the edge now."
"Precious little good it does me. It's Friday night, and I'll have to resort to clubbing."
Ted looked at him thoughtfully for a moment. "Why don't you go away for the weekend. You don't have any appointments until mid Monday. Go out, relax... live a little."
"Hmmmm, now there's an idea. Call Blake and tell him to fire up the jet, then call Michael and let him know he's coming along," Brian stated, his decision set.
"I'm a secretary now?" Ted grumbled.
"Quit your whining and hop to it, Theodore. Don't worry... you're coming too."
"The joy overflows in me," Ted muttered sarcastically. "Where should I have Blake submit a flight plan?"
Brian smiled, thinking of a city full of sin and opportunities; not least of which held an unlimited number of hot bodies to explore... and, explore them he would. "Now, where's the perfect place for mindless debauchery? Las Vegas, my dear Theodore. We're going to Las Vegas."