Not SO Straight—SAMPLE

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CHAPTER 5

“A man, Brandon? You kissed a fucking man?”

Brandon is going crazy pacing from one side to the other in his office, with his hands holding tight to the back of his neck trying to squeeze the weight on his shoulders away. It’s almost time to leave when Patsy tells him he has a visitor, “Mr. Lincoln, I know you don’t want any disturbance, but Miss Vera is here, should I let her in?” Vera, Brandon’s sister, is chirpy, overly dramatic, and opposite to him “Yes Patsy, I’ll come outside and meet her. I am done for the day, anyway.”

Grabbing his briefcase and suit-jacket, he heads to the reception area. On his way there, he spots his sister talking to a man, Seb! You’ve got to be fucking kidding me, is the first thought to come to mind; it’s like he can’t get away from the man. Putting on his ‘bullet-proof’ face mask, he keeps walking until he steps next to Vera.

“Vera, sweetheart!”
“BRAAAANDON!”

“Easy there!” He laughs when she jumps to hug him, “I’ve missed you!”

“Oh my God, me too! And where did you have this handsome one hidden? I’d have come long ago if I knew something like this was working here.”

He looks at Seb, embarrassed, but trying to play it cool. “So, let’s go have some drinks. Oh, wait! I have to tell you about Channel. I heard she is back.”

“Vera, I don’t want to hear about Channel.”

“Oh, come on! Don’t you want to hear about her miserable life after she broke your heart? Come on, where’s Matt?”

“Oh wait, Seb,” she jumps, changing the topic, “you should come with us!” Vera’s extra bright, chipper personality has always put Brandon’s nerves on edge. I should have seen it coming; she is a forever romantic that thinks life is excellent, and the perfect man is waiting out there for her. He can already tell she thinks Seb could be that man.

“No, Vera, I’m sure Mr. Burke has better things to do.”

“I don’t, Brandon... Vera, I would love to join you and your brother for drinks. Maybe I can get some dreadful childhood stories I can use to blackmail him.” Looking in Brandon’s direction, he winks.

“All set then! I’ll get Matt. You two, do not move! I’ll be right back,” She leaves to go get Matthew, and the two of them stay there, alone.

“Couldn’t have you just said no?”
“Listen, about earlier—”

“We are not talking about this here, or anywhere else for all that matters, ok? That was a mistake, a colossal mistake!”

“Ok, Brandon, whatever you say... consider it forgotten. But I already said yes to your sister, so I’m coming with you.” Vera and Matthew approach them, and they all make their way to the usual spot.

“Hey boss, I finished the reports you mentioned you needed. Should we review them at home later?” That bit of information caught Vera’s attention immediately.

“Wait a minute. At home?” says Vera, gasping and looking from Brandon to Matt. “He lives with you?” Matt nods “with you and my brother?” once again, he nods, “Brandon and Seb, and you, Matt... like, in the same house?”

Tired of the topic already, Brandon answers, “that is usually what living together means, Vera. Seb is renting that extra room from Matt.”

“Ugh! I was hoping I could avoid driving back home. I was going to crash in the futon. Although I guess I still could, Seb, you don’t mind sharing, do you?”

Wait. What? Brandon looks between the two, trying to figure out if there is something more there. Matthew, also questioning what could go on, doesn’t look pleased at all. For as long as they can remember, Vera has been what Matt likes to call ‘the love of his life.’

“The hell you are!” Shouts Brandon, confused and not knowing if he is mad because his baby sister is trying to hook up under his roof, or because it is Seb, his Seb, that she is putting the moves on.

Hold on! My Seb? Brandon’s brain rewires at the thought; he is not my Seb; he is not my anything. Before anyone gets into any crazy idea, Brandon commands, “you are sleeping in my room. I’ll sleep in Matt’s room.”

“Oh, baby! If you wanted to cuddle with me, you could have just said so,” Matt responds, taking everything as a joke. At the same time, Brandon tries to make sense of the situation, which sets him off even more. ”The fuck I want! I’m not gay, man!”

At any other time, he would have followed Matt’s teasing with a sarcastic comment, because that is what they do, they joke all the time.

“Wow there! What’s up with the attitude, man? I was just joking, what’s gotten into you?”

“Oh, Matthew, don’t take it personally. I told him Channel is back; I’m sure that’s what’s got him on edge.”

“That bitch! I keep telling you, man, you need to find a rebound.”

“Maybe he already found it.”

Seb lets the words out before even he can realize it. It’s too late now. Everyone has stopped and is staring at him, including Brandon.

“What? You know us, men,” he says, quickly recovering. “We can’t keep in our pants. Isn’t that what all women think?”

“Ok, gross! The last thing I think about is my brother letting anything in or out of his pants.”

“Can we stop talking about my pants? Please?” Everyone gets over the entire thing and moves on. Time passes, and soon everyone has gone home.

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