Brad Besson caught on that he was the only one speaking. All other conversation in the high-flown witty debate on politics and economics had burbled down to nothing but what he was saying. They were gathered poolside on the terrace behind Frederick Gates's residence in the housing compound of the Baker Institute on the banks of the Chesapeake Bay, just to the south of the mouth of the Severn River at Annapolis, in Maryland.
Tom obviously was the sticking point here. Tom was the blemish on the peach. Tom clearly didn't belong here.
Just outside the gates of the Institute grounds, a chapel they all were recorded members of and gave lip service to, was located on one side of the entrance and a museum dedicated to American patriotism was on the other side.
Before Tom had been seen driving up to Brad's house, Brad, who was an assistant professor in the institute's graduate studies program and who also wrote political fiction, had maneuvered himself into a heady discussion circle that included Gates, Evan Peterson, Betty Tau, Tucker Coryn, and Maryam Noor, all members of the inner group. Brad, young and ambitious and a recent arrival at the Baker Institute, was dying to be included in this inner circle. He had worked hard to work his way into being comfortably accepted, even informally, in a discussion group like this.
As if to bring this home, Betty Lau broke the silence by saying, "Your brother has been with you for several months, Brad. Is he settling in?" Brad understood that this was her way of asking when they were going to be rid of the alien presence of Tom.
Brad's eyes went to Frederick Gates. All of the acceptable behavior at the Baker Institute centered on the views of Frederick Gates, and it had been Gates who had brought Brad here and who Brad had completely subordinated himself to. The institute president was looking at Brad, his demeanor neutral. That wasn't neutral at all, though. He wasn't reigning in Tau or Peterson. They obviously were expressing his view, as well—or at least ones he let be floated.
"He's doing more work around Annapolis now," Brad said. "There's a building boom in the region and a high demand for experienced construction workers."
"Where are Louise and the children, Fred?" he asked Gates. "I haven't seen them around this afternoon."
"I'll miss them, but it gives us time to go over that feature you are putting together for the Wall Street Journal , Brad. Perhaps you could stay back after the others have gone this afternoon and we can work on that."
"We of course welcome having your brother here, Brad. It can be quite an advantage having someone who could help with building malfunctions close to hand."
Frederick turned to Betty and deflected her maneuver on her competition for advancement at the Baker Institute against Brad by saying, "I expected the evaluation of Kenneth Peltz's progress on my desk on Friday, Betty. When can I expect to see that?" He already knew that she had done nothing on that yet. Frederick had an excellent network of informants among the institute support staff.
That would take care of Betty. She'd be busy all day Sunday putting that evaluation together.
That left Frederick and Brad, who nodded, knowingly, to each other and each peeled away to join separate discussion groups.
Brad stood by the staircase as Frederick glad-handed the last of the guests away. It was after 7:00 p.m. and the party had been for lunchtime, so it could be racked up to be a success. By 7:00, though, everyone was more than tired of trying to jockey for position on their Saturday in the isolated and insular community. They had all run out of brilliant and witty political observations and of equally brilliant and witty put downs of what their colleagues had to say in attempts to upstage them.
"I thought they'd never leave," Brad whispered.
"Were you serious that Louise and the children are safely tucked away in Harrisburg for the weekend."
Brad waited dutifully in the upper hall, while Frederick went around the second story and closed the doors to the master bedroom and to his children's room until only the door into the guest room remained open. He had already firmly locked all doors on the first floor with access from the outside. The guest room was on the east side of the house and thus the light was dim. The windows were open and an early evening breeze ruffled the curtains. For the following three-quarters-of-an hour, the initial sounds were of the curtains moving and the low panting of the two men slowly developed into heavy breathing, mutual praise and encouragement, and the cries of orgiastic release.
Frederick had had the privilege of coaxing Brad's legs open and fucking him while the two were at Johns Hopkins for over two years before Frederick brought Brad here to the Baker Institute.
Although Frederick did not realize it and was too arrogant to entertain the concept, it had been Brad who had seduced him that first time.
Brad looked across the oval of open meadow at the rear of the houses on Reagan Circle to the parking apron at his own house, seven similarly designed buildings from Gate's dominating residence. Tom was getting out of his beat-up Nissan pickup there, bare-chested and in drooping, worn jeans. He entered Brad's house through the garage, moving around Brad's Porsche Boxster. Brad wasn't the only one watching Tom move into the house. Tom was one hunk of a sexy young man.
To this point, all of the conversations around the pool and barbeque stations had focused on the business of the Baker Institute, a self-contained think tank on conservative public policy, with direct links to the Naval Institute Press up in Annapolis, which published the institute's studies. The institute took studying, writing, speaking, and consulting on public policy on to the point of forming its own closed world in which to pursue its beliefs and pronouncements. The institute included a graduate student center, providing certificates of vetting as conservative pundits, and its own closed living environment. Those connected with the institute worked here and lived here in their own closed, protected bubble. As with any community, there was an inner circle, the one at the Baker Institute, strangely enough, not being based on a hierarchy of conservative pundits but on a small group of institute fellows, led by Frederick Gates, who also wrote political fiction.
Tom, laid back, hippy, pot smoking—gorgeous—was an alien presence in their world.
Realizing that the discussion had paused and all of the rest were watching Tom saunter into the garage at Brad's house made Brad realize for the first time what the sticking point had been on his acceptance in this group, despite the lengths he'd gone to to fit in. It was Tom's presence.
Evan Peterson chimed in with, "Doesn't he work in the Baltimore area? That's rather a long commute from here, isn't it?"
Gates cut an imposing figure. He was a tall, substantial-figured man, who was able to look collectively elegant, formal, and commanding even in a setting like this backyard barbeque. He wasn't a good-looking man, but his features were strong, robust, and dominating. It would be clear to any stranger, if a stranger were permitted to enter this environment at all, that he was the man in charge.
Betty sniffed, and Brad blushed a bit at not being able to establish more about Tom in this community of high-level brain power than that he was experienced in house construction. But, although he now understood where the lines were being drawn on this and the danger he was in, he wasn't ready to give in yet. He still had some leverage. He turned his focus on Frederick.
"Louise has taken the children to Harrisburg for the weekend," Gates said. Louise's father was a Pennsylvania congressman. Frederick and Louise made sure he saw his grandchildren regularly and that he would remember he had them generously covered in his will. And Frederick made sure that Louise was happy with married life and was willing to share in family expenses from her trust fund. On the surface, at least, they were the perfect family. Brad knew that there was more to it—and to his question—than was to be seen on the surface. He had played the card on purpose, and Gates understood and accepted the play.
"Of course, Fred. Whatever you want." Brad answered. The "whatever you want" was spoken with purpose as well. He cast a level and expectant look at Frederick, who delivered, as wanted.
Evan Peterson, who was about to express another concern about the presence of Tom, got the message and clamped his mouth shut, although he looked a little confused, which served to confirm in Brad's mind that Frederick had said something entirely different than that about Tom in a conversation with Evan.
"It's done," Betty said. "I don't know why it wasn't sent over to you. I'll make sure it's on your desk when you arrive for work on Monday."
Frederick turned to Evan Peterson, but he'd already separated from the group and moved to another one. He and Betty had obviously coordinated an attack on Brad's position with Frederick, neither liking how much in favor the "new man" had become with the institute president since he'd arrived, and the arrival of that redneck interloper brother of Brad had given them an opening. But in the face of Brad's successful parry, Evan was adept at realizing what had worked and he too had papers late in arriving on Frederick's desk. He was smart enough to withdraw from the fray for now.
"Glad that's over," Frederick said, turning and moving to Brad. The strain of presiding over the soap opera showed on him. When he got to Brad, he put an arm around the younger, smaller, sultry, dark-haired twenty-six-year-old, and Brad turned his face up to his mentor's. They moved into a deep kiss. Frederick ran his hand down Brad's chest and cupped the young man's package. Frederick sighed and Brad groaned.
"I, as well."
"Yes, they are. Shall we go upstairs? We have the house to ourselves."
They initially stood in the center of the room, kissing and slowly slipping the clothes of each other off their bodies and moving their hands over each other's curves, crevices, and stiff cocks. Brad's body was lithe, lightly muscled, almost perfection. Frederick was taller, thicker, having thickened out and moved toward obesity, without having reached that yet. He had been in better shape when he'd been a senior scholar at Johns Hopkins University's Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies in Baltimore and Brad Besson had arrived there as a graduate student intern. Brad had been a handsome man at any age; Frederick had grown into looking distinguished but had bypassed any hope of beauty.
Neither of them had ever said a thing about how Frederick could reconcile his hardline conservative views with not only adultery but also gay sex. On Brad's part, all he was interested in was advancement in his field and Frederick was his ticket to that. Of course he didn't say anything like that to Frederick. He gave nothing to Frederick but complete submission and the impression that he'd do anything to have Frederick's cock, which was nothing to write home about, inside him.
Brad's ambition put him on his knees in front of Frederick in the guest room of the Baker Institute president's home when they were both naked and that put his mouth on Frederick's cock. And it was ambition more than want or attraction to Frederick that put Brad on his back on the foot of the guest bed, his legs spread and raised and Frederick crouched between them as the sounds in the room became that of heavier breathing, Frederick's occasionally muttered "Oh, baby, oh baby," and Brad's answering of "Yes, yes, yes, like that" at ever increasing decibel levels as Frederick moved an almost adequate cock inside the younger man's channel. "Oh, shit! Ram it deep!" Brad called out, and believing he'd brought Brad to panting passion, he did his best at that.