Dean debated going to the theater Monday morning. It was everyone’s day off because there was no show on Mondays—although sometimes he, the other designers and whoever was directing the next show would take advantage of the relative peace and quiet to get some work done. Since he had to rework his designs to accommodate the changes Vince wanted, he decided to spend the morning there and take the rest of the day for himself to do chores before he was supposed to meet Kirby.
After showering and dressing, he stopped long enough in his small kitchen to brew some coffee, which he poured into a large travel mug, and make some cinnamon toast. He ate it while he made certain he had what he needed to take with him, because he planned on grocery shopping on his way home.
The morning passed quickly. When Vince showed up around eleven, Dean showed him his revisions. The new director was enthusiastic, made two small suggestions which Dean incorporated, and that was that.
Once he’d stored the designs in his drawing table, and checked his supply of fabrics to see what he’d need to purchase, Dean was ready to call it a day. He got into his car, tossed his bag on the passenger seat and then leaned back to stare out the windshield at the gathering storm clouds.
Not raining on my parade He chuckled. Just hold off ‘til I get home and I’ll be happy.
Perfect timing, he thought an hour later when he carried the last of the bags into the foyer of his apartment building—just as the skies opened up. He got everything upstairs, deposited the grocery sacks on the kitchen counter and the mail on the small dining room table, before going to the bedroom to kick off his shoes and change into a pair of old, comfortable jeans.
He put the food away, started a fresh pot of coffee and went to check his mail. Three advertisements went onto the pile of paper to go into the recycling bin; two bills were tossed onto the desk in one corner of the room. That left one medium-sized envelope with no return address and, he suddenly realized, no stamp either.
How the hell did this get into my mailbox, he wondered as he opened it. All it contained were three pictures. Photos obviously taken the previous evening when he was with Kirby. One showed the two of them at the restaurant table. The second had been shot at the moment Kirby had leaned close to whisper to him. The angle gave it a curious sense of intimacy, as if at any second Kirby would take the next step and kiss him. The third showed Kirby standing with his hands on Dean’s shoulders. Again it looked like an intimate moment between two men who cared for each other.
Dean sat down hard on a chair, staring at them, his hands trembling as he picked one up to look at it again. He dropped it, grabbing the envelope to see if there was some message, a note or something, still inside. Nothing.
“Jones,” he growled, suddenly more angry than scared. He pulled his cell out, punched in Kirby’s private number, and waited for him to answer.