Disclaimer: I own nothing! This is done for entertainment purposes only!
A/N: *Sigh* I was going to hold off on posting this for a bit longer, but I just couldn't resist it. The first chapter has been finished for a couple of weeks now, with the second chapter almost completed as well. I will slip this into my story rotation now. I hope you enjoy it. I'll give this warning just one time - story premise considering... this is Dark!Brian, OOC as a result. In fact, I believe this to be my most ruthless Brian ever. Comments are greatly appreciated and what keeps me moving forward.
Sabotage or Destiny
Justin sat across from his father's desk, his jaw dropping down in surprise. "You want me to do what?"
"I want you to deliver a check to a casino owner in Las Vegas, Nevada. You don't need to stay." Craig Taylor looked at his son impassively, concentrating on downplaying the importance of the task. "It's in this envelope, along with a letter explaining this is just an installment and that I'll make arrangements to pay the rest soon."
"You're in debt to a casino in Vegas? How the fuck did that happen? I – I mean, surely those are dangerous men to be indebted to..." Justin sputtered in disbelief.
Craig let out a belabored sigh. "Yes, they are dangerous. This one's thugs have been calling me. I have to give them something before they come here."
"Come here? That sounds really bad. Does Mom know?" Justin asked, his astonishment continuing to escalate.
"No!" Craig shouted. "She can't know about this, Justin. Not now or ever! Do you realize how much she would freak out?"
"Uh huh." Justin ran a hand through his blond locks, looking at his father in disbelief. "I can't believe you did this. These kind of men play for keeps. They don't just come after you when you don't pay up... they attack you through your family. Why the hell would you even risk that?"
Craig shook his head, giving the impression he was lost in a long ago time, yet one that he held intently in his memories. "Taylor Electronics has been stagnating for some time now. I went on an impulse. One that has cost me dearly." He laughed morbidly. "I was winning for the longest time. Then, the losing streak set in, as it always does. I kept thinking if I just hit once I could turn it all around. At the very least, get back to where I started. I'd win a little back, then go bust all over again. I was almost down to nothing when my luck started to change. The owner of the casino sat next to me, and I won a couple of hands. Luck is very big to gamblers, you know."
"Right. I thought you'd gotten over this gambling addiction years ago..." Justin muttered in disgust. "So, the owner sat next to you. What happened next?"
"I didn't know him from the Man on the Moon. He struck up a conversation. Of course, he had access to the stats of everyone in his casino. I was checked in to stay for the weekend, so he could have even pulled up my credit card information..."
Justin eyed his father dubiously. "Are you saying he robbed you?"
"No," Craig answered with a weary sigh. "I walked right into his trap. He is in the business, Justin... he knows when someone is both desperate and on the hook. He told me he'd bankroll me. I just had to sign a waiver that I would honor it."
"What exactly did you sign?"
Craig averted his eyes briefly, the lies tumbling easily from his mouth... knowing his only hope was gaining Justin's cooperation. "I established a payment plan before I left. I honored it for awhile, then things got slow at the store and I missed a few. Right now I'm a couple of months behind in my payments. The check you're taking him is only half of what it should be. If he isn't satisfied he'll come after me. I don't think I need to tell you what that means."
"I can't believe you did this to your own family," Justin muttered in disgust. "I get that you have this gambling addiction – one that you never got help for – but, now you have risked the lives of your family by getting tangled up with these career criminals! I should just let it all fall down on you. They won't come after me. It's common knowledge the two of us don't have a relationship."
"You'd do that to your mother?" Craig asked coldly, knowing his ultra sensitive and unmanly son would never allow his mother to be placed in harms way. "It won't take more than a night of your time, Justin. Surely your mother is worth that much."
Justin stood up, his eyes moving over his father in disgust. He snatched the envelope out of his hand, his eyes staring daggers into the uncaring eyes of Craig Taylor. "Fine. I'll do your little job... but, I'm not doing it for you. I don't give a fuck if these men come after you... but, you're not taking my mom down with you!"
"Thank you, Justin..." Craig told his son, a cunning smile curving his lips as he anticipated his troubles now being over.
He watched as Justin left, wishing he'd thought of this before he had begun making the exorbitant payments that he should have never agreed to meet from the very beginning. Craig smiled coldly as his mind played out the scenario he was certain would happen. This would be the last check he would need to write to Brian Kinney, aka owner of The Optimus. Craig sneered. Optimal indeed. The deck had been stacked against him from the very start. It was a casino not designed for the tourist trade, but for the elite that could afford to lose a small or large fortune in one night. It was an establishment reeking of high class, readily visible before stepping through the revolving glass doors. He should have stayed far away from it... and Brian Kinney.
One thing had been blatantly obvious in his weekend at The Optimus. Brian Kinney was a fag – out, proud and completely immoral in his lascivious pursuits. The final night of his stay he had been seated at the bar, the comings and goings of the crowd more than fascinating to him; none as much as the plotted maneuvering by the flagrant casino owner. In the span of an hour, he'd lost count of how many men he had lured away, returning a short time afterwards - all to secure another. Some of the men were even with female companions. However, that didn't stop that vulgar man.
Craig smiled maliciously. One look at his pretty little queer son and Kinney would be salivating. Justin thought he was delivering a check with a promise to pay... what he was really doing was offering himself up to a shark. He would resolve multiple problems in one stroke. Justin would be out of his sights for awhile; the debt would either be placed on hold or cancelled – depending on the casino owner's interest in Justin... and his wife would be none the wiser. Craig knew that Justin would play the game with Brian. He was weak and all too susceptible to one of Kinney's charms. And, the bottom line for Justin would be in protecting his mother. For the first time he found it to be an advantage having a gay son.
Regardless of the outcome, he would never open his heart up to his disgusting faggot of a son... but, use him he would. Even if it turned out to only be a temporary reprieve... the time would be a gift. One that he desperately needed.
Brian looked up from the report his collections manager had placed on his desk several days ago. He quirked an eyebrow at Ted, asking in his most droll tone, "Why haven't you brought this to my attention before now?"
"I have tried on a few separate occasions to engage your interest in the matter; however, whenever I have secured a moment of your time, your attention has become otherwise diverted..." Ted replied blandly, already understanding by the tone in Brian's voice, this would quickly turn into one of those talks.
"Is that so?" Brian snapped. "In case you had forgotten, this is not a charity organization! It would do you well to remember that... if you wish to continue living in the manner you currently do now."
"Calm down, Brian. It's only a few accounts. I have been trying to contact all of them. Only one of them has eluded me so far," Ted told him.
Brian's eyes scanned over the figures on the report, his lips twisting into a slight sneer. "Taylor. He's two months behind... in a week it will be three months. You didn't think it pertinent to make sure I was aware of it?"
"Your men have been on it, Brian. I've tried to tell you... but, you haven't been openly available," Ted retorted, both of them knowing exactly how Brian had been spending the bulk of his time.
"It's been a good tourist season... both in the weight of my wallet, and the relief in my dick." Brian laughed as Ted snorted from the other side of the desk. His eyes pulled to the monitors, narrowing when he found a couple of candidates with some prime ass to explore. "What can I say? I'm a queer. I know what I want... and I take it."
"No apologies, no regrets..." Ted deadpanned.
Brian nodded. "Exactly. Now, back to Taylor. Who is handling it?"
"Kip," Ted replied bleakly, knowing exactly how inept Brian often found him to be.
"Well, that explains it..." Brian growled. "Why do I keep him around?"
Ted quirked a dubious eyebrow. "I've often wondered the same. I assumed he was one of your past fucks."
"He should be so lucky," Brian answered. "You know how I feel about tricking with the staff. No matter how hot it isn't worth the payoff later."
"Right. So, what do I do about Taylor in the meantime?"
Brian sighed, tapping a finger against his temple in thought. Those who knew him realized he was agitated then. If quick results weren't found, unpleasant ones would be swift to follow. "Tell Kip to be on standby. He might be making a trip to Pittsburgh. We'll give it a few days. If we don't hear from Taylor by then, it's time to play a bit rougher."
Ted winced, yet understood that Brian had no choice. In this town a man lived or died by his reputation – most especially one in a position of power such as Brian. It couldn't be known that The Optimus had been scammed. It most definitely could not be revealed that Brian had allowed a nobody like Craig Taylor to walk away with a sizable debt left unpaid. Such would affect his position of power in the most negative of ways. "I'll let you know when I have word from either Taylor or Kip."
"Make sure that you do. I will not be made to look the fool by one such as Craig Taylor," he hissed. "This matter is to have your full attention until it's resolved. You will monitor Kip's every move."
"Of course," Ted answered, knowing Brian wasn't playing around. As he made the descent down the elevator and to his office, he told himself he was grateful he wasn't Craig Taylor. That man was soon to be placed in a position that no man wanted to be in.
Little did either of them know that a man was soon to step on a plane that would be another determining factor. A man that had become an unknowing pawn in a dangerous game. Soon a chain of events would begin, ones that would affect all of them for a long time to come.