For: The Tea Room's Business Trip Challenge
OC: Link & Wes, and a visit from Ken & Jess
"Nice job, bud," Ken commented as he approached Wes, "and finished just in time
Wes felt the heat crawl up his neck as he blushed with pride. "Do you think the
Petersens will like them?" he asked his boss as he finished tightening the last
"They'll love them, Wes." Ken ran his hand over the surface of the larger of the
two cherry armoires. "You do have a real gift for working with wood."
"Unless there's something else you need to do, I'd like you to go with the guys
when they make the delivery," Ken said with a smile. "I think it's about time
for you to see one of your creations in its new home."
"Really?" Wes asked. "I'd love to go with them. I don't have anything that
needs to be out for a couple of weeks."
"Yeah, I noticed you were caught up. And that's perfect timing too."
Wes gave his grinning boss a questioning look before asking, "Why's that?"
"I've been meaning to talk to you about something," Ken answered. "Next week is
the Builders Show in San Francisco. Jess and I are going and I'd like you to
"What's a builders show?" Wes asked. "And how long does it last?"
"It's like a convention. New ideas in building and business. Vendors with new
products. There are some lectures we can attend. We should meet old contacts
and hopefully make some new ones. This is the first year Jess and I will be
going together." Ken paused, then continued, "Maybe, that man of yours can get a
couple of days off and come with you. It's a three day show starting on
Thursday. Saturday is more for the general public so I thought I would get rooms
till Sunday so we can spend a day or two looking around the city."
"I've never been to San Francisco," Wes revealed. "I'll ask Link tonight if we
can go. He`s been saying he wanted to show me around the city. "
"Great!" Ken exclaimed and Wes felt the bigger man slap his back. "Now, you
better get your armoires wrapped so you can get them loaded and on their way."
Ken led the way as they walked the short distance from their hotel toward the
brick building in the middle of the block. "I have a membership here," Ken
explained, "It's not your typical gay bar as they do have special services but
part of the club is set aside for the calmer crowd."
Wes felt Link pull him closer, keeping his hand on his neck, gently tugging his
curls when they passed a man leading another man by a leash. Jess looked back
in disappointment when Link told Wes, "Babe, we can find another bar if you're
"No, it's ok. It`ll be fun," Wes told him trying to keep his voice from
cracking. Jess's frown turned to a grin. Then he laughed when Ken patted his
ass before leading them up the steps to the club.
The big guy at the door greeted Ken like a long lost friend. "Hey, it's great
to see you again Ken." Then he turned to the other three men. "You guys in town
for the construction convention?"
"It has been a while, hasn't it, Rick? What are you doing out here greeting
members? Did you sell the place?" Ken asked.
A warm friendly laugh filled the night. "No, she's still mine, Ken. I just
like to be more hands on from time to time. Friday nights I usually put in an
appearance to set the pace for some of the, um, I'll just say, less experienced
patrons. Just to let them know I won`t put up with any trouble."
"If I remember correctly, your presence always had a calming effect." Ken
pulled Jess forward. "I'd like you to meet my partner, Jess Meyers." Wes
watched as Jess and Rick shook hands. Jess seemed to test the other's grip
until he gave a slight nod releasing Rick's hand. "And this is Wes Cooper, my
shop manager and Link Walker, his partner."
"Hello, Rick," Wes said extending his hand.
"Nice to meet any friend of Ken's," Link added, firmly shaking Rick's hand.
"We came into the city for the convention but are looking for a little fun and
thought we would take in some of the culture while we are here," Ken said.
"This is Wes's first time to your fair city and I couldn`t think of a better way
to start the weekend than with one of you famous burgers."
"Well, you came to the right city, Wes, San Francisco is loaded with, um,
culture," Rick stated winking at him. "And we do have the best burgers in town,
if I do say so myself."
Rick opened the huge carved oak door. "The Friday night crowd might be a little
rowdy but I'm sure you'll enjoy yourselves gentlemen."
When a smaller man with spiked blond hair and a carefully trimmed Fu Manchu
appeared in the doorway, Rick reached out and pulled him closer, kissing his
forehead. "Ken, this is my partner, TC."
"Nice to meet you, TC."
Something about this man seemed familiar to Wes, but he couldn't place the face.
"TC, find a special booth for our friends," Rick instructed his partner.
"Sure thing, Rick. Follow me please." TC led the way into the club.
Wes looked up sharply when he heard TC's voice and couldn't help calling out.
"Timmy, is that you?"
Wes stared as the other four men stopped. TC turned back to him. "Wes?" He saw
a smile slowly spread across Tim's face and the next thing he knew he was in a
bear hug a foot off the ground. He felt Link's firm grasp on his upper arm as
his old friend released his hold. "Wow, I didn't think I would ever see you
Wes stepped back against his partner. "I didn't think so either, bro. I always
thought you would head to Florida. What are you doing here?"
"That's a long story," Rick offered sternly, "and one that can wait until you
seat our guests, TC."
"Oh, yes, of course, Rick. Sorry. Follow me please." Tim guided them to a
booth in a quiet corner. "Wes I hope we can talk more later. I'd love to hear
how you ended up in Frisco."
"I'd like that, Tim. But first," Wes responded, realizing he hadn't made all
the introductions, "Rick introduced you to Ken. Ken's my boss and Jess is his
partner. And this is my partner, Link." Then turning to the others he
explained, "Tim and I went to high school together." He saw the recognition in
his lover's eyes.
"Nice to meet you all. Now let me get someone to take your orders before Rick
gets the idea I`m not doing my job."
Wes tried not to be too obvious as he looked around the dimly lit club. He sat
between his lover and the wall. Link's arm protectively over his shoulder. His
partner's strong fingers tugging on his soft curls. Ken and Jess were across
the oak table. Wes had been excited to go to a club, hoping to dance a bit with
Link, but now he wasn't so sure this was where he really wanted to be as he
looked around the room. He watched as some men dressed in leather moved along
the far wall toward the back of the building. Wes shifted closer to his
partner. Just then the waiter returned placing a beer in front of each of his
companions and a soda in front of him.
"I can't believe you come here and only order a soda, kid," Jess teased him.
"He doesn't drink, Jess. His choice not yours," Ken cautioned. "Drink your
beer." Jess picked up his beer, glared at Ken, took a drink, then tried to
casually look around the club. Wes almost chuckled out loud.
Wes just finished the last bite of his burger when he felt the call of nature.
He leaned over and whispered in Link's ear and the big man nodded and stood up
letting him slide out of the booth. Intending to go to the restroom, Wes
stopped short when Link put his hand on his arm, "Why don't I go with you?"
"Link, for goodness sake, I'm not a child. I do NOT need you to take me to the
john," Wes growled.
Link's eyebrow rose. "Wesley, I know you're not a child." He bent down kissing
Wes firmly. "Be careful and hurry back, babe." Adding a gentle smack to his
On his way back to the table Wes saw Tim who said, "Hey, bro, I'm heading out
back for a smoke, got time to talk?"
"Sure, but only a couple of minutes. I need to get back to the table."
Once, outside they got lost in memories until one of the waiters stuck his head
out the door, "Tim, Rick's looking for you."
"Crap, I`ll be right back."
Wes looked down at his watch noting he'd been away from the table over 15
minutes. A large hand stopped him as he turned toward the door. "Hey, boy,
where you going?"
Wes felt the man pushing against him. "Back off." He pushed back but the
larger man didn't move. The smell of cigarette smoke and liquor burned Wes's
nostrils. He tried hard not to gag.
"Come on, boy," the man demanded in a slurred voice. "Come with me and I'll
show you a fun time."
Wes tried to twist away but was held firmly. He was just about to knee the guy
when Jess stepped in swinging. The first punch connected and Wes`s aggressor
went down. "Crawl back to the cave you live in, asshole, this boy's out of your
league," sneered Jess. The man slumped back, trying to get his split lip to
quit bleeding. Jess shook out his hand and flexed it. "Shit, jerk, you better
hope I didn`t break anything," Jess threatened.
Bent over, hands on his knees, Wes closed his eyes trying to make his head stop
spinning. He was scared and pissed. "Why the hell did you do that Jess? I can
take care of myself," he spat out.
Jess spun back to Wes. "You dumb kid! You couldn't even pour piss out of a
boot without help. What the hell are you doing out here without Link?"
"I came out to talk to Tim."
"Then where is he?" Jess demanded looking around for the other man.
"He had to go back inside."
"So you just decided to stay out here alone?"
"Damn, Jess, when are you going to see me as a man? Link certainly has no
trouble seeing me that way."
"When you act like it," Jess bellowed. "I don't need the mountain man blaming
me for any shit you get into." Jess stepped back giving Wes some space. "Are
you ok? He didn't hurt you did he?"
Starting to shake, Wes was thinking of what would have happened if Jess hadn't
shown up when he did. "No, no he didn't." Sucking in a deep breath, Wes slowly
let it out hoping to calm himself. "He didn't hurt me because you stopped him.
"Um, yeah, fine, kid, just don't go off alone anymore."
"I told you I wasn't alone."
"Fine. Let's get you back inside before they come looking for you."
Wes heard a noise and turned to see his man standing with Ken, Rick, Tim and
another man just outside the door. "Um, I think it's too late, big guy," Wes
Link started across the patio toward the guy on the ground but stopped when Rick
stepped in front of him. "Link, take care of Wes." He waited until Link
nodded. "Jim, get Chuck back inside. Clean him up and take him to the office.
I'll be there in a bit." Wes watched as a man he didn't recognize pulled Chuck
to his feet and disappeared back into the club with him.
Wes was rubbing his arm when Link reached him. "Are you ok?" He pushed Wes's
sleeve up seeing the bruise already forming.
"Yeah, I'm good," he whispered, burying himself into Link's chest. "Thanks to
"What were you doing out here, babe?" Link asked, not releasing his hold.
"Um," Tim spoke up, "we came out to talk." He was looking between Rick and
Link. "I got called back inside. I told Wes I would be right back." He was
looking at his partner. "I should've had him come back in with me. I'm sorry."
Rick held his arm out to his partner. "It's ok, love. It's not your fault Chuck
tried to play macho man tonight." Tim plastered himself to Rick. Kissing the
top of his brat's head, Rick added, "I'm sure Wes and Link aren't going to blame
"No, no we aren't Tim." Link agreed. "I'm sorry for the trouble tonight, Rick."
"No trouble, Link. This doesn't happen much and luckily Jess was there to stop
it before it got bad."
Jess didn't look comfortable being in the spotlight and tried to move behind
Ken. "I didn't do much." Wes noticed he was still flexing his hand.
Ken held out his hand, demanding, "Let me see your hand, Jess."
"It's ok, you don't need to see it."
"NOW!" Ken snapped his fingers, he was definitely in top mode. Jess relented
and produced his hand. Ken examined Jess's fingers, "I don't think you broke
anything. Rick, can we get some ice for these two? Might as well get some on
that bruise too," he added, nodding in Wes's direction.
"Good idea, maybe that'll help ease the pain," Link agreed.
"Now that the kiddies are calmed, can we go in and have some fun?" Jess
demanded trying to take the attention away from himself. Ken held him back,
letting the others pass. The quiet was interrupted by a sharp crack, and a gasp
Wes tried to look back but Link whispered in his ear, "Nothing to see back
Entering the club again, Rick kissed TC. "Back to work for you, love. Please
get a couple of ice bags for the guys," he added, nudging him in the direction
of the bar. "If you will excuse me, gentlemen, I have pressing business in my
"Sure thing, Rick," Ken replied. "Stop by our table later and I'll buy you a
cup of coffee."
"I'll just do that, Ken. Wes I hope the rest of your visit with us is
Wes blushed. "Thanks."
"Can we go back to the table now?" Jess demanded.
"Come on, brat." Ken grabbed Jess and led him back to the table.
Link started toward the table, too, but Wes stopped him.
"You ok, babe?" Link asked.
"Yeah, but, um, I need to make a pit stop."
"Come on then," Link said as he led his lover in a new direction.
Wes pulled back. "I can go by myself."
"Wesley, let's make this perfectly clear." Grasping Wes's chin, his dark eyes
looking straight into Wes's green eyes, he continued. "You are not leaving my
sight the rest of the evening. If you need to piss, I'm going with you. GOT
"No buts, Wes, unless you want me impressing my demands on your butt."
Link waited for Wes to understand his meaning. "Well?"
"No, sir. I mean yes, sir. I got it."
Wes grinned. "So you coming or what?"
"Wes, how do you like our fair city?" Rick asked from across the table.
Wes was leaning against Link, eyes almost closed when he heard his name.
"What…oh, um, well it's a nice place to visit but I wouldn't want to live here."
He yawned. "This city is too big and crowded. It`s nothing like our home."
Rick's warm laugh flowed across the table. "I can understand that. TC wasn't
fond of the city when he first came here."
"Yeah, but the place grew on me," Tim added smiling at his lover. "Or I guess
I should say once I met Rick the place didn't seem so bad."
"I think it`s great you found the life you were searching for, Tim. I still
can't believe we found each other again." Then shaking his head, he added,
"and we ended up living less than an hour apart."
"The two of you will have to come for a barbeque some weekend soon. I know our
partners need to spend some time getting to know each other again," Link said
to Tim. "Wes has told me what an important part you played in his life, Tim.
You are a special friend."
"Thanks, Link. That means a lot but we helped each other." Tim paused then
smiled at Wes. "We had good times."
"Yeah, we did." Wes yawned. "Man, that seems forever ago."
"It's great meeting you Rick and finally meeting you Tim, " said Link, "but
now, I'm going to take Wes and head back to our room. It`s been a bit stressful
and I think we could use an early night."
Rick stood grasping the hand Link offered. "It's always great meeting any of
Ken's friends. And we will take you up on the barbecue soon."
Ken moved to get up and join them but Link stopped him. "You and Jess stay and
enjoy yourselves, Ken. We can find our way back." Pulling Wes to his feet,
Link dropped his arm over his sleepy brats shoulder. "Come on, babe, let's get
you into bed."
"Good night. Nice meeting you Rick." Wes yawned again. "Hope your hand in ok
"Yeah it's good. Get some rest, kid." Jess told his fellow brat. "I'll tell
you all the gory details in the morning."
When Link flagged a cab, Wes gave him a questioning look. "We're both tired,
babe. Besides I want to show you something before we leave the city." They
slid into the back seat. "The Presidio please," Link told the driver.
Once they were settled in the cab, Link pulled Wes close to him. "So, what did
you think of that club?" Link softly asked him.
Wes laughed, "It's a nice place to visit. I'm glad we went even if that Chuck
guy scared the shit out of me," Wes said snuggling down into his mountain man.
"I'm glad I saw Tim again. Do you think they will come out for a barbeque?"
"Yes, I'm sure they will."
"I think I might have misjudged Jess. He sure came through when you needed
him." Link kissed the top of his lover's head. "I don't even want to think of
what could have happened if he hadn`t stepped in when he did."
"Me either." Then Wes asked, "You don't think he'll be in trouble with Ken do
"No, babe, I'd go so far as to say Ken was proud of the way Jess responded."
The cab slowed to a stop. The driver left them alone and Link nudged his sleepy
brat. "Look, babe."
The view was breath taking. "Wow."
"That's the Golden Gate Bridge. Over there is the Bay Bridge."
The moon was full and they could see forever. Link pulled Wes into his lap,
pressing his lips against his lover's temple. Then he moved down and nuzzled
Wes giggled as Link's beard tickled him. "I love you, babe."
"I love you too, T-man."
Calling the cabbie back, Link kissed Wes again. "Let's go back to the hotel,
babe. I want to be alone with you."
Sleepy as he was Wes couldn't stop his goofy grin from spreading across his