If anything could go wrong, it did. Now, arriving at their resort high in the Rockies there’s little sign that things will get any better. If things were bad for Ed, there is far worse in store for Gus, who has no idea what’s about to hit him.
“What the hell are you talking about…you don’t have our reservation?”
They’d been standing at the desk for over ten minutes, and Gus had had enough of waving his email confirmation in front of the clerk. His arm was sore, and the sight of the clerk stifling a yawn combined with his expression of nil interest left Gus feeling he may as well be talking through his butt. In a single look, the man had confirmed his level of expertise when it came to dealing with fractious customers, and Gus guessed that with his attitude, he’d probably get a lot of them.
“I’m sorry, Mister McCauley, but the resort has a writer’s conference and is totally booked.”
“But this is the confirmation you sent us…between my fingers…see?” Gus held the sheet of paper a matter of inches from the man’s nose, probably causing him to go cross-eyed.
The clerk simpered. “The computers, Mister McCauley…we do seem to have had a few glitches of late.” He completed his sentence with a pursed smile.
Gus didn’t have a chance to respond before Ed, shy, Social Anxiety Disorder suffering Ed, who’d been standing just behind him, leaned on the desk, almost mounting it until he was nose to nose with the clerk and said, “Lis-s-s-s-sten here you f-f-f…”
Before he could get any further, Gus had dragged him off the desk. Through clenched teeth, he said, “What my friend is trying to inform you is he happens to be the keynote speaker for this little writer’s conference which appears to be causing so much angst. So unless you want to explain to the organizers the reason why they have no speaker due to the hotel’s crap computer system, I’d suggest you find a way to sort this mess out.”
Obviously though, where Gus had failed Ed had succeeded in scaring the bejesus out of the clerk.
“Gentlemen, please allow me to be of assistance.”
“Finally, somebody who might be interested in helping us.” The sight of the newcomer’s nametag, Arnold Copek, Desk Manager, proved enough to unlock Gus’ jaw. “I’ve been trying my best to explain we have a reservation.”
“One moment please, gentlemen.”
They watched as he tapped the keys of the computer and waited in anticipation for round two.
By that time, a line had formed behind them, thereby supplying a ready audience. Most of those queuing, having watched Gus’ exchange with the clerk, appeared justifiably nervous as they awaited their turn.
“Gentlemen, my apologies. The new clerk failed to check our VIP list.” He read from his computer screen, “Mister Munroe and Mister McCauley, you are in suite four-o-six in the West Wing…the one we reserve for our politicians.” He chuckled, however, his misguided attempt at humor failed to relieve the tension, falling flat with only the appreciative sound of a giggle coming from the clerk.
“I’m b-blaming you for this,” Ed said once in the room.
“For what?” Able to guess what might be coming, Gus steeled himself for Ed’s anger.
“No, I don’t…tell me, honey.” It had been a miracle getting Ed to agree to their trip in the first place, and it might have been okay had their flight not run late. Of course, screaming kids in nearby seats for the L.A. leg and a heart pumping run between terminals to make their connection hadn’t helped. Maybe Ed’s luggage failing to appear at the Denver baggage claim and the attitude of the surly airline staff when they’d reported it hadn’t helped. And all the time, Gus had steeled himself, waiting for the moment when Ed would lose it. When they found their limo transfer waiting, ready to whisk them to Vail for the convention, it suddenly seemed the Gods had finally decided to smile on them. Their elation sadly proved to be short-lived as their limo, powering along Interstate Highway Seventy slowed to a halt fifteen miles out of the Denver Airport. Their breakdown meant the two-hour drive ended up taking four, interminably long hours and Ed’s nerves were well and truly frazzled by the time they arrived at the resort.
“How’s it my fault?” Gus shook his head. “I know you’re overwrought, honey, and I guess the stuffing around at the desk didn’t help much.”
“You can say th-that again.”
“But we’re here now, and we’ve got ourselves a whole week in the middle of the Rockies.”
“You th-think I’m going to behave reasonably?” Ed’s expression said otherwise, and he plonked himself on the bed and sat there, pouting. “If it hadn’t b-b-been for you I’d still be safe in our apartment instead of stranded in the Rock-k-kie Mountains with signs every f-f-frigging place telling me to watch out for b-bears.”
Gus sat beside him and put an arm around his shoulders. “It’s going to be fine.” Ed’s outbursts rarely lasted long.
“I don’t want to calm down,” he moaned.
“The only bears you have to worry about honey are ones you’ll find if Vail happens to have a gay bar.”
“You th-think teasing me is going to make up for this hell of a trip?” Ed’s bottom lip protruded.
“I’ve got a way better idea. I might fill the spa and see what happens with the two of us soaking in it?” Gus just about hummed his suggestion, and he gently placed Ed’s hand on his growing erection, a near standard condition when he had his boyfriend close to him. Alas, it was not to be.
“I’m not in the mood for it.” Roughly, he grabbed Gus’ hand and plonked it back onto his own lap. “If I still had a suitcase with some clothes in it, I’d start unpacking.” He huffed. “As the option isn’t available I’m going to shut my eyes and try to get some sleep.”
Gus sighed to himself. “It would have been fun…maybe later when you wake up?”
Ed didn’t answer and instead pulled back the comforter, quickly undressed and carried out his threat.