Kirk sat in the back of the court room, eyes riveted to the defendant. The man was a deviant. He could see it in the way he held his shoulders, though he couldn’t see his face, not to mention the arm length police file on the guy. His hazel eyes wandered over to the witness. He could see the fear in the young man’s face. The witness would be Kirk’s responsibility once the trial was over and today was the defendant’s sentencing, the last step. Kirk liked working for the Jefferson County Witness Protection Program. Of course, it helped being a Federal Marshal as well. It gave him more freedom to place witnesses. The judge’s gavel brought him out of his musings. Kirk held in a smile as the man was given life without parole. He stood and exited the courtroom quietly.
The local law enforcement would bring the witness to him. He already had the witness’s new paperwork in an envelope under his arm. He strode down the hall, his boots echoing despite the press of bodies. He sideswiped several media people and entered a small room near the end of the corridor. Minutes later, the door opened to reveal the witness, two police officers flanking him.
“Mr. Parness.” Kirk greeted the man. They sat at the small table, the officers standing by the door. He explained the program, pulling the information from the packet he carried and watched the young man’s face carefully. He didn’t look happy. But who would, knowing they were to start a whole new life, leaving their old one behind and having no contact with anyone they knew, family, friends, coworkers. But if the man wanted to live, it was what had to happen. Just because the defendant was going to jail for life, didn’t mean his associates would allow this witness a moments peace until he was dead.
Task done, he left the man in the company of the officers to begin his new life and headed out to the parking lot. The Kentucky humidity hit him full in the face, though the air was cool. He was meeting Lori for dinner and didn’t want to be late. He hurried home, intent on getting a shower in before heading to the restaurant. He’d just started his car to go to the restaurant when his cell phone rang. He glanced at the caller ID and groaned. He really didn’t want to speak to his father right now. It wasn’t that they were estranged, but Lawrence Mathison supported Kirk’s brother’s career. A career that was demeaning and dangerous and Kirk despised it. It wasn’t Sander’s lifestyle that Kirk objected to; he knew his little brother was gay since they’d been teenagers. Hell, he could hardly object when he’d had his share of blowjobs by men at the academy. But to be in porn? To be fucked by strangers for money? As far as Kirk was concerned, it was glorified prostitution and the fact that their father supported it was beyond what Kirk could understand.
“Mathison” He answered his phone as he drove to the restaurant.
“Kirk.” Kirk hated the hesitation in his father’s voice.
“Yea dad.” He replied, trying to ignore the guilt. He’d not spoken to his father in weeks, hadn’t spoken to Sander in months, nearly a year and he’d never speak to his mother or sisters again.
“Um, I just….well, Sander’s….” Lawrence started and then trailed off.
Kirk sighed, loudly. “What dad? Is he ok? Something happen?” Once Kirk asked, he felt an icy knot of fear in his stomach. He may hate his brother’s choice in a job, but he loved his brother.
“No! No…I mean, he’s fine. Actually, he’s better than fine. He’s….met someone.” Lawrence started again, and then paused, letting Kirk absorb that information.
“Met someone?” Kirk repeated.
“Yes, he’s, well, he’s getting married. As married as he can, anyway.” Lawrence said, and then added “He’d like you to be there.”
It didn’t escape Kirk’s notice the wording that his father had used. It meant Sander had met a man. A man he apparently fell in love with. Kirk had never thought that could happen, not with Sander being in porn. What man would put up with and tolerate his spouse…partner…significant other…whatever…being fucked every day by others? “I don’t think that would be a good idea.” Kirk answered; well aware it would disappoint his father and possibly Sander.
“Ok, son. I just had to ask. Chastity and Marilynn will not be there as well. Nor your mother.” Lawrence said.
Kirk sighed again. He knew his mother wouldn’t be there, her religion making her think Sander was an abomination against God. There was nothing he could do about that. He also knew his younger sisters had the same frame of mind, enough so that he didn’t think Sander had ever met their nieces and nephew. He shook his head as he pulled into the restaurant parking lot, looking for Lori’s Camry. He saw she was already there. “I have to go dad.” He said as gently as he could and heard his father’s sigh.
“Yea, ok son. I’ll talk to you…whenever.” Lawrence hung up.
Kirk tried to ignore the churning in his stomach that happened every time he talked to his father. Usually, he could ignore the guilt associated with his family. Seemed tonight he wasn’t going to be able to do that. He was happy for Sander, but couldn’t fathom the idea of his little brother getting married. How could someone tolerate Sander’s choice in employment? Thoughts swirling around the implications, he walked into the restaurant. Lori was waiting by the door and gave him a peck on the cheek.
“You’re late.” She said, somewhat annoyed.
“Sorry. I was working, and then got a call from my dad.” Kirk replied absently. They were shown to a table, both silent for the moment. Once they ordered, Kirk looked up to see Lori watching him intently.
“Are you going to tell me why your father called you?” Lori asked, glossing over Kirk’s job completely. She knew not to ask about Kirk’s work. He wasn’t in a position to tell her anything anyway.
“Sander’s getting married.” Kirk said, watching Lori’s face.
“Really? Nice. So who’s the lucky woman?” Lori said in a conversational tone. Kirk had never told Lori his brother was gay. He’d heard enough derogatory comments from her over the few months they had been dating to know better. It angered him, but he kept his mouth shut then and now. He shrugged, ignoring the question. “So, how was your day?” He asked to change the subject. He watched Lori’s surprised look change to animation.
“I am so excited. We have a new exhibit opening up at the museum.” She started and Kirk gave an inward sigh that his ruse had worked. He didn’t want to discuss his family with Lori. They’d only been dating for about six months. Much too short a time to go into private matters. And Kirk’s fucked up family was never something he wanted to talk about anyway. Especially as it would lead to the huge blow up that kept Kirk from going home, even for holidays.