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Give Him a Break

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"And?" prompted Grant. Justin had been talking steadily for the last twenty minutes, a steady, half-whispered eruption of frustration and near-despair. The breeze flowed gently over their bowed heads and rippled the waters of the fish pond. Grant tossed in the last few crumbs he'd brought and watched the water boil as the fish rose again to feed.

"So maybe Yanni will look at that project again ... if I give him a decade or so to calm down."

Grant found himself looking at the back of Justin's neck, distracted by the play of the tendons and the contrast between the cut edges of his partner's hair and the smooth skin adjacent. He was coming to realize that he had badly underestimated the number of ways that their change in relationship would affect seemingly everyday activities. "He'll calm down a lot sooner than that." And then: "How sure are we about not being overheard here?"

"It's not like I really said anything that everyone who's likely to be trying to listen doesn't know already."

Grant punched him gently in the shoulder. "Not exactly what I meant. Can we take a break now?"

"I thought that's what we were doing," and then, at Grant's pleading look: "Oh, all right. What did you want for lunch?"


There was a breathless silence, broken only by the faint lapping of the water. Justin's face abruptly turned bright red. Grant managed not to smile. "What?" he asked, innocently.

Justin's mouth moved silently for a moment, and then he relaxed abruptly and started to laugh. Got you, Grant thought, and joined him.