About: Tommy, Justin/Tyler, Tommy/Julia, Chad/Jason, Kevin/Scotty , Saul
Disclaimer: I don’t own anything
Extra: This an AU (Alternative Universe) story, so remember : The more things change, the more they stay the same. Here are part 01, part 02, part 03, part 04, part 05, part 06, part 07, part 08, part 09, part 10, part 11, part 12, part 13, part 14, part 15, part 16, part 17, part 18, part 19, part 20, part 21, part 22, part 23, part 24, part 25, part 26, part 27, part 28, part 29, part 30, part 31, part 32, part 33, part 34, part 35, part 36, part 37, part 38, part 39, part 40, part 41, part 42, part 43, part 44, part 45, part 46, part 47, part 48, part 49, part 50, part 51, part 52, part 53, part 54, part 55, part 56, part 57, part 58, part 59, part 60, part 61 and part 62
Tommy quickly goes through the papers on his desk, sorting them out. What should go to Sarah and what should end up on his father’s desk. The letter of resignation is burning in his pocket, but it isn’t until he acknowledges how little there is still left for him to do, that he starts to realize that he’s been working towards this for quite a while.
He is done with Ojai Foods… No, that is not true. He still loves his work, but it is William Walker he is done with and there’s just no turning back. He places post-its on the papers for Sarah, so she’ll know what to do with them. Then he goes into his father’s office and places another batch of documents on his father’s desk.
He takes a deep breath. This is it. This is the end. He pulls the letter of resignation from his pocket and carefully places it on top of all the documents. They cover William’s keyboard, so William cannot possibly ignore them. Tommy then turns around and switches off the lights in his dad’s office, but leaves the door open.
He continues to say his silent goodbyes to Sarah’s office, his own office, Saul’s office, the meeting-room, passing the reception to enter the warehouses. His footsteps are eerily loud on the quiet concrete floor. In the middle of the warehouse he stops and looks around, overcome with emotion.
This is where he started at the age of 14 years, lifting crates, loading trucks, checking the picked fruits. He had been way too young to be on a forklift truck, but no one had ever said anything about it. He had worked during the summers, but also the Christmas holidays when personnel had taken time off.
He knows this company. Every inch of every room. He has seen it, smelled it, lived it. He had hated it, he had loved it. Ojai Foods is in his blood, in his heart and in his mind, but he knows he can no longer be with William in this firm. Not just personally, but also business-wise William and Tommy had nothing left to say to each other.
Tommy and Sarah had many good plans, but all of them had been refused by William. Only now can he see that William kept them on a tight leash with promises, that he didn’t keep and Tommy wants to be in a place where he is respected, not treated like the town’s fool.
He turns around and walks back to the offices. At the door he looks once more over his shoulder to the place where he had spent so many years, then he resolutely closes the door, grabs his coat and leaves… Only inside his car does he dare to let go of his tears.
“You what?” Tyler asks. Justin sighs.
“Sorry, forget I said that. It’s been a weird day.”
“Talk to me.” Tyler replies, dropping down on the couch, tearing open a bag of popcorn.
“Long story.” Justin warns, but then he starts talking.
As Tyler listens to Justin’s account with the appropriate amount of interest, consideration and care, Justin even repeats to her what happened between Jordan and him.
“… I guess I just felt sorry for him or something… I mean.. I am not attracted sexually or something, … but it is weird.” Justin finishes his account.
“I think,..” Tyler replies, holding the popcorn in her hand. “.. you’re used to a certain physicality. Your family, or at least your mother, your sister Sarah and your brother Kevin are very generous with their hugs and their care. You’re very protective of Kevin. The fact that he’s gay is something that is hardly a matter of discussion for you.
Add to that, that you’ve been probably more exposed to physical affection between men, it’s not so strange that it doesn’t bother you as much as it might a straight guy, who never saw two men cuddle before..” She stuffs the popcorn in her mouth and thinks about how to move on.
“… and… alright, if you actually meant to kiss Jordan, it feels weird to me, because I don’t understand what you hope to accomplish by it… You’re straight. It’s not like you will want to have a relationship with Jordan that goes beyond friendship. … Leading on Jordan isn’t fair either… But I don’t think he’s that stupid.
With a little luck he won’t remember anything in the morning, anyway… If he does remember, be honest. Tell him you didn’t mean to hurt his feelings, just wanted to be friendly and went about it a bit ... clumsily.” She advices. Justin nods and remains in deep thoughts for a while.
“I personally blame the lack of sex in my life.” He then says, more to himself than as a matter of discussion for him and Tyler. Tyler however, nearly chokes on her popcorn.
“Well, sorry, about that, Justin, but the line that you have so little sex, that you feel the need to turn to another man, somehow doesn’t work with you.”
“Why not?” Justin wants to know.
“Because you’re cute and handsome and clever…”
“So is Jordan, it doesn’t get him a man any more then it gets me a woman.” Justin sighs.
“Well, here’s a thought. Get your butt off this couch and go out and find a woman.”
Justin thinks about these words long and hard.
“Not tonight. I have a headache….” He then replies and Tyler starts to laugh, as Justin gets up. “I’m going to bed…” He bends over and gives her a quick kiss on the cheek. “Thank you for the talk. Goodnight.”
Julia is immediately concerned when she sees Tommy come in. He’s pale, looking sick, he cried, that’s for sure. His eyes are red and puffy.
“It’s done.” He says with a broken voice. “I put the letter on my dad’s desk… And said my goodbyes…”
She nods. Tommy has decided to break all the ties to his dad. She should be happy, but she’s not. She doesn’t care about William or Ojai, but she’s worried what it will do to Tommy. Despite the trouble with his dad, Tommy loves his work at Ojai Food, loves his colleagues and loves the business.
Looking for something else will be so hard for him to do. He has never known any other job or company. She sighs and follows him to bed. Tommy looks up at her, almost as if he wants to tell her something, but then he changes his mind. Once she’s in bed, he lies as close to her as possible, seeking comfort, but she’s not sure she can give him want he needs.
Chad sees Jason in the same place he dropped him off earlier. He doesn’t look good, he’s very stressed and pacing up and down. Chad opens the door to the passenger-side.
“Get in.” He invites, Jason seems hesitant. What Chad doesn’t know is that Jason spend the last 30 minutes re-considering whether he wants to be with Chad or not.
He changed his mind at least 20 times and now he has to make up his mind. Does he get in the car or not? Can he trust Chad or not? He sees Chad’s face, the kind smile and the concerned look in his eyes. Jason prays he’s making the right choice. He takes a deep breath and then opens the car-door further to sit down next to Chad.
Scotty smiles when Kevin comes out of the bathroom. He watches Kevin slip under the sheets and he wraps his arms around Kevin.
“Still mad?” he asks, but Kevin shakes his head.
“No. I’m tired… disappointed… but I’m not angry anymore. I’m past that feeling.”
Scotty kisses Kevin’s lips softly.
“Get some sleep then, things will look better in the morning.”
“They always do, when I wake up next to you.” Kevin mumbles, already half-asleep.
“Aww, my husband is a poet and he didn’t even know it.” Scotty teases.
“You bring out the best in me, sweetheart.” Kevin chuckles under the blanket. “Including the poet… not sure that’s the best of me though.” Now Scotty laughs as well, planting another kiss on Kevin’s hair. He feels Kevin’s grip around his waist tighten momentarily, but then he releases Scotty to drift off to the land of dreams.
Saul just needs one file and then it’s off to bed and get some sleep. He spent ten hours with his mother and that was nine hours too many. He would have preferred to spend it at Nora’s party, but, alas, it wasn’t to be. Passing by Tommy’s office, he notices that the desk looks rather empty.
Weird. He goes in and finds all personal pictures are missing. There are no files on Tommy’s desk. The office supplies are neatly stacked on the desk. And then he notices the added paperwork on Sarah’s desk. Is Tommy sick? Is he scheduled for some prolonged time off?
He walks into William’s office to find an envelop with Tommy’s handwriting on it on top of the desk. The envelop is open, so without further hesitation Saul takes the letter and reads it. There isn’t much going on in this company, he doesn’t find out about sooner or later, but this shocks him.
Tommy is leaving?! Just like that?! At first Saul is shocked, but as the letter goes on, it expresses the inadequacy that Tommy feels and it breaks Saul’s heart. He stares at the letter, not knowing what to do, until he decides that it would be better to discuss this with Nora in the morning. She’ll know what to do.
END OF PART 63
SNEAK-PEEK FOR PART 64
He pushes the handle down and to his surprise the door is unlocked. That is unlike William and Nora to leave their door unlocked for the night.