I've been organizing events for the Endowment for the Arts foundation for years and you quickly become a student of human nature with a job like that.
So of course I was intrigued when Harold Wren who had been donating to several foundations for years but had never attended many events began to show up on my guest lists out of the blue. When he began to actually turn up I wasn’t terribly surprised with what I could make of him. He was quietly intense in his appreciation of the arts. He was whip smart and a little acerbic if pressed. But most of all he was just a touch shy. It was refreshing as usually a man with Wren’s money is of the arrogant sort.
He was obviously a people watcher and a bit lonely in those first few outings. Even in a gallery full of people he seemed so...separate. Then he began to arrive with his companion in tow.
John is the only name I’d caught for the man without deliberately trying and they’re both fairly discreet, hence the label companion, but at the same time it was obvious if you watched them just what they were to one another.
John was protective and adoring. Harold often seemed flustered by his attentions.
Harold watched John appreciatively when they were apart and spoke almost exclusive to him when they were together.
Harold would glare fiercely when some socialite would attempt to flirt with John.
John in turn would, it seemed, occasionally forget they were being discreet and keep a possessive hand on Harold’s back for the majority of their attendance.
It seemed to me John was both encouraging Harold to get out into the world more rather than just funding it and then chaffing at having to hide their relationship once they were there.
I’m not one to gossip but I made a mild effort to learn John’s last name at the last function the pair attended. It was worth the work to watch Harold pink up when I asked where Mr. Wiley was this evening.
He’d mumbled something about John not being fond of the opera and then pinked further as if that had been revealing.
I’m not very clear on what business either of them is in, and perhaps it doesn’t matter, I suppose. Discretion is likely the best policy no matter what, but it still seems a bit ridiculous if you ask me. They are, after all, adorably smitten.