Why I Don’t Keep a Daily Planner

When I started writing this universe, I never expected Benji to end up quite the way he did.  He’s homosexual and, in this section of the story, he ended up in a love triangle.  It’s ironic that the prompt spoke about things planned for an not achieved – not putting things off when there’s time to do them – and I ended up with this completely unplanned scene in the story.

It was never easy to tell someone that someone they had cared for was gone forever.  It was a job that Benjamin didn’t envy their friends for having.  Now, however, he wished that he could be anywhere but where he was.  He wondered how he’d gotten roped into staying with the young people as they went through their father’s personal affects.

“His appointment calendar,” the young man said.  He paged through it and then heaved a sigh.  “He was gonna call on me!  The day he died, he was going to call on me!”  He showed the journal to his sister and shook his head.  “What are the chances?”

“Try not to fret it, Joshua,” the young woman said.  She sniffled and dabbed at her eyes with her handkerchief.  She looked over at Benjamin and sighed.  “The best laid plans,” she said, shrugging.  Then, she fidgeted with her handkerchief and shook her head.  “I can’t believe he’s gone.  “It’s not fair!  We didn’t get to say goodbye!”

Joshua ruffled a hand through his hair and put the journal away with the other things they wouldn’t need anymore.  Then, he seemed to think better of that and tossed it into the box of items he wanted to keep.

Benjamin heaved a sigh.  People shouldn’t plan things.  They should just seize the opportunity they had.  If the old man had called on his son the day he’d written it in his appointment calendar, these young people might have gotten to say goodbye to him.

Shaking his head, Benjamin slipped out of the room to give them a bit of privacy.  He blinked in surprise when he found George in the hallway.  “I felt like I was intruding,” he explained, shrugging.  Williams had said to keep an eye on the pair.  He shook his head.  “I can’t imagine either of them had anything to do with their father’s murder, George.”

“Uncle Sam thinks one of them knows something, if not both of them,” George said, shrugging.  He shook his head and added, “Just… keep an eye on them.”

Heaving another sigh, Benjamin headed into the kitchen.  He would brew some tea for the pair.  That would give him an excuse to stay around them.  He was nearly ready with the preparations when he turned around to find Joshua in the doorway.

“Mr. Spinier,” he said, nodding politely.  “I was just coming to see if you or Miss Esther wanted any tea.”

“Esther went to lie down,” he said, shaking his head.  He tilted his head at Benjamin.  Then, he heaved a sigh and shook his head again.  “My father had so many plans that he never got around to,” he said.  “There were so many things in his appointment calendar.  It’s a little… depressing, thinking of all the things he hadn’t gotten around to even trying.”

“It’s… not an easy thing to think on,” Benjamin said, shaking his head.  He gave Joshua a weak smile.  “My father was the same way: so many plans that he never had the opportunity to see through.  My mother always says you shouldn’t spend your life making plans.  You should spend your life making memories.”

“Your mother’s a wise woman,” Joshua said.  Then, he seemed to steel himself before striding forward.  Without saying a word of warning, he caught Benjamin’s left hand and pulled him close.  As he pressed a kiss over Benjamin’s mouth, he set his other hand in the small of Benjamin’s back.

Benjamin tensed for a moment.  Then, as Joshua’s knee pressed between his thighs, he shivered and relaxed into the embrace.  He was unresisting as Joshua deepened the kiss.  Soon, he was trembling and felt a bit light-headed.

Joshua broke the kiss, but he held Benjamin close as they stared into each other’s eyes, panting heavily.  Joshua shook his head slightly.  “Sorry,” he breathed.  “I just… I’ve wanted to do that for a while and… what you said, with Pa dying so sudden like, I had to just… stop thinking about it and do it.”

“I understand,” Benjamin rasped.  His cheeks warmed and he said, “You’ve wanted to do that… do you mean, kiss a man or do you mean, kiss me?”

“Kiss you, I meant,” Joshua breathed.  He smiled, his dark eyes holding Benjamin’s gaze.  “You’re very handsome, Mr. McLaine.”

Benjamin’s eyes widened a fraction and then Joshua was kissing him once again.  This time, Benjamin tried to push the young man away for a moment.  They shouldn’t do this, not when his sister was in the house.  They were both grieving.  He broke the kiss, his heart pounding in his chest.  “We shouldn’t,” he breathed.

Joshua shook his head and then frowned.  “If you think… this isn’t just grief, Ben,” he whispered.  “I’ll admit, if Pa were still alive, I’d never be this bold, but… I am attracted to you.  I’m deeply attracted to you.”

Flushing, Benjamin nodded.  The problem wasn’t Joshua.  Benjamin was equally attracted to the banker’s young son.  The problem was that he was just as attracted to George.  However, George hadn’t made the first move.  Joshua had.

“You’re sister is… in the house,” Benjamin said, his voice hardly louder than a breath.  He shook his head.  “If she were to walk in… if she were to find us like this…” he trailed off.

“Esther’s asleep, Benji,” Joshua said, his voice faint.  “She took some medicine Dr. Crone gave her for her nerves.  She’s not gonna wake any time soon.”  Then, he leaned down and kissed Benjamin tenderly on his mouth.

Benjamin moaned softly and, finally, relented.  He returned the kisses.

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