The Marzipan Opening by BG Thomas

January 31, 2015

Title: The Marzipan Opening

Author: B.G. Thomas

Pairing: Kit and Nick from Grumble Monkey and the Department Store Elf

Prompt: marzipan

The kid was making Nick St. George nervous.

It was not a good night for anything more to worry about. The opening of Kit’s first big New York art show already had him nervous enough. Having some homeless kid wandering around was not good. Not good at all.

But Nick didn’t dare say anything either. What if the kid wasn’t homeless? Yes, he was dirty. He was wearing torn jeans, and his T-shirt was old and dirty, his hair disheveled and greasy-looking. But this was the art world. These weren’t just patrons here tonight vying to see a potentially important new artist. There were artists here as well and that could mean those who were the very definition of Bohemian. What if he accidentally insulted a John McAllister, or an Armin Boehm, or a new Eric Fischl? That certainly wouldn’t do, would it? Or maybe the kid was an art critic that Nick didn’t know? A good (or bad) review in just the right (or wrong) place could make or break a new artist.

And Kit was a new artist.

One that Nick loved with all his heart.

Amazing.

Who would have ever thought it?

A year ago Nick had wanted to end his life. With Kit, his life was just beginning. And a wonderful life it was turning out to be.

If not frustrating.

First he’d had to figure out if he and Kit were something at all. It seemed like it. And Kit’s family loved Nick—something he cherished since his own family had disowned him some eleven years before.

And then when it was clear that Kit loved him just as much as he loved Kit, that this wasn’t infatuation or a reaction to the magic way they had met, they had to figure out what to do next. Live together? That sounded good to Nick.

But he knew he needed to wait for Kit to finish school. All he wanted to do was make love with Kit night and day, but Kit had to get his degree. Luckily the young man was in his last year at the Chicago Art Institute. He was already making a noise in the art world, and he hadn’t even had a real show until tonight. So he’d had to give Kit time to make sure his final pieces for school were perfect.

And they were, weren’t they? Like nothing Nick had ever seen.

When you walked into the room, the first impression you got was that a huge wind had picked up and thrown several laundry baskets’ worth of sheets throughout the room. They had struck people, objects, tables, and more—moving and flapping about them in the breeze. Except when you looked again, all you saw were the sheets. The objects that had caught them, or seemed to, were gone.

Or invisible.

Some were haunting, like spirits or ghosts. Some humorous—a table with a lovely cloth and a service set for tea awaiting guests… but there was no table! One, a centerpiece for the exhibit, was decidedly erotic. It was the only one where an object was still there with the sheets: a bed. It was the people in the bed that had vanished. And from the way the sheet clung to “them,” it was clear, very clear, that the two people were men. It clung to… everything.

Nick knew that there was no way it would sell. Where would anyone put such a piece of artwork in their home?

But it was causing a stir. Gasps, titters, and erotic stares.

New York would be talking about Keaton Jeffries tomorrow.

Nick didn’t want any of the talk to be about Nick St. George asking some young man what he was doing at Kit’s show—whether he was famous or homeless.

Tonight had to be perfect.

Perfect.

 

 

Kit was nervous. He looked around at the work he’d done over the last year and wondered if it had all been a horrid mistake. None of it was the pretty or silly stuff his family loved so much—like his renditions of the Grumble Monkey, the character his mother had created to teach her children lessons as they were growing up. Nor even the realistic pieces his sisters praised him for—like the fields of lavender. He’d taken a real chance breaking away from the kind of art he’d done for years—and the art that had so interested Nick in his work.

But he hadn’t been able to help himself.

When the idea hit, it had become a fever.

It all started with a marzipan cake.

One his mother had made.

One that had made him blush.

It was a bachelorette cake for his oldest sister, Ambrosia. And who could believe she was getting married? Of course, she was twenty-six. That was plenty old enough. But somehow as far as Kit was concerned she would be the older sister running off to her high school prom.

How wonderful that she was marrying the very same boy who took her to the prom.

But the cake!

“Mom!” Kit had said, shocked.

She had taken a superhero cake pan, one that went from the neck to just below the crotch and could be decorated to be Superman or Spider-Man or whoever the decorator desired. But in this case, she had made it into a man wearing nothing but underwear with a very clear and decided bulge. The cake was covered in marzipan—an icing that could be rolled into thin sheets. It made the man’s skin look very real and the underwear blushingly real as well.

“Oh, don’t be a prude!” his mother had exclaimed. “I thought you’d approve! You do like men, don’t you?”

“Mom!” Kit had cried a second time and turned so red he could feel his face warm from it.

“And you must admit, this man is well equipped!” She had laughed then, and once he’d gotten over his initial shock, he’d finally managed to join her.

It was the marzipan that had begun the idea for his new show.

The second catalyst for his idea happened when he’d been watching an episode of Face Off. The makeup artists had been using a vacuum machine to take thin, rigid sheets of heated plastic and stretch them over a mold.

The next day his idea had totally solidified in his mind while he was looking through a magazine and admiring a fashion photo set done on a windy day. The shoot had made the clothing and bodies beneath very exciting.

All three events had led up to his new creations.

Darn if he couldn’t tell what people were thinking.

But they were certainly talking, and wasn’t that what Nick had said was important?

He looked across the room, and yes, there was his man.

My man, he thought, and glowed.

The year since he’d met his grumble monkey at a rest stop in the middle of an ice storm would forever be in his memory. How wild that he would meet his love at such a strange place and circumstance!

It had also been a crazy year. He’d been so afraid that Nick would lose interest in him. But that hadn’t been the case. Nick would come to see Kit at least every other weekend up at the Art Institute. It had been exhilarating. And so strange. The dance between them. Close, then step back, close, then step back.

It had driven Kit nearly crazy, until Nick finally explained what he was up to.

“This is a critical time in your life! You’ve got to graduate. Then we can think of us.”

“Us?” Kit had asked hopefully.

“Yes,” Nick had said with a whisper. “If you want there to be an us.”

More than anything, was all Kit could say and think.

So he lived with that not-enough time with Nick, and he worked on his art. Worked long into the nights and often into the mornings. Some of the pieces were simple and some rather elaborate, especially the piecemeal crazy quilt at the foot of the bed. A bed that in Kit’s heart was all about him and Nick.

After school there had been the whirlwind of putting together the show and deciding so many things for their lives. They’d finally decided they would live in New York, and nothing excited Kit more than the Big Apple (except for a life with Nick), and they searched for a new apartment. They’d settled on a loft so that the large express elevator could be used to get Kit’s bigger pieces out of the building. It also would allow Kit to work at home.

Soon it would finally be time. Nick assured him that when the show was over, he would take him to Europe. For the art. And for lots and lots of making love!

It was then that he saw Nick stand up quite straight, his expression surprised and excited. He’d been talking to some older man, one Kit hadn’t seen before. Not that that was surprising. There were lots of people he didn’t know. But this one was causing quite a reaction with Nick.

Why then was his love still occasionally looking at the dirty young man who was now staring at the piece Kit called Tea for Two.

Gosh. Nick wasn’t interested in him, was he? Attracted to him?

No. Kit shook off the idea.

And made up his mind then and there to talk to the kid.

 

“You’re serious?” Nick said to Mr. Detwiller.

“Most sure,” the gentleman replied. “We will talk in a few days, but we don’t want anyone else getting it.”

It was more than Nick could take in.

No. No one would want Love—Kit’s bed sculpture—for their homes. But the Art Institute of Chicago?  The second-largest art museum in the United States?

It seemed impossible. But then, was anything impossible for Kit Jeffries? Whatever the young man believed in strongly enough seemed to come true for him. It was a fantasy come true.

And Kit—his little department store elf—was Nick’s dream come true.

 

 

“Hi,” said Kit.

The kid in the torn jeans and the messy hair jumped, eyes wide and frightened. “Ah…. I’m not doing nothing!”

Kit smiled. “It’s okay. Do you like it?”

The kid sighed. “I do. I wish I could do stuff like this.”

“Do you like art?”

“Like it? I love it. It’s all I did in high school—all I wanted to be was an artist—even though my mom and dad said only fags and girls were artists.”

Kit winced at that word—fags.

“I’m sorry to hear that. It’s not true, you know.”

“What?” Suddenly the kid looked like he was about to cry.

“Not all artists are… gay, or girls.”

The kid trembled for a minute. “But I am.” he whispered.

Kit winked. “I assume you mean gay, because you certainly aren’t a girl.”

The kid blushed. “Are you the artist?” He indicated the room with an expansive wave.

“I sure am.” He held out his hand. “I’m—”

“Kit! I need to talk to you!” It was Nick. He eyed the boy-man. Then looked away. “This is big, Kit. Really big.”

“Oh?” Kit said, caught up by Nick’s excitement, but not too pleased with the way he was looking at the boy. No, it wasn’t desire—it was worse.

Oh, my grumble monkey. You’ve come a long way, but

“The Art Institute of Chicago wants Love.”

Kit staggered back.

What?

The Art Institute of Chicago? Wanted one of his pieces? But… but was that possible?

“It might only be a temporary exhibit at first, but do you have any idea what this means?”

Kit staggered again, afraid he might fall. But then Nick was there, arm around him, and then pulling him into a tight hug.

“Yes,” he whispered. “I do know what that means!”

A fantasy come true.

“Excuse me” came a voice.

They turned to see the dirty kid standing there, looking up at Nick with big fear-filled eyes.

Nick stood straighter, and for a second Kit was afraid he might be rude.

“Yes?” Nick said, voice a bit stiff, but not ugly.

Thank you, Kit thought.

“How may I help you?”

“Are… are you Nicolas St. George?”

“Yes,” Nick said. “And who are you?”

“I’m Kenny,” the kid said. “Your nephew.”

 

 

They were sitting in the office in the back of the gallery.

Nephew?

“My mom threw me out.”

His sister? She threw her own son out?

Just like Mom and Dad did to me?

Nick looked at the young man, and yes, he was just the right age. It had been eleven years since he’d seen the boy. Damn. He—Kenny—even looked like Nick’s sister.

“I can’t believe it,” Nick said. “I figured I’d never see you again. Because…. Well, because….”

“You’re gay,” Kenny finished.

Nick nodded dumbly.

“Mom has been saying it for years. That you’re gay. Except she called you a fairy. And I’ve so wanted to talk to you. To meet you! But I knew, I just knew that if I spoke to you before I was eighteen, that not only would she have a cow that I was gay, but that I would get you in trouble. I know Mom. I know what she would have done. Accused you of turning me gay. Molesting me.” He shuddered. “Then a few weeks ago, on my eighteenth, I told her.”

“And… she….”

“Threw me out. Gave me a half hour to pack. I could only take a few things. I couldn’t make it too much to carry.”

Nick could only stare. Be amazed by how calm the young man was.

“How have you made it all this time? Where have you been staying?”

Kenny shrugged. “Here and there,” he replied. And then quite suddenly he burst into tears.

To Nick’s surprise, he found himself standing and going to Kenny. Kneeling. And taking him into his arms.

He looked up at Kit.

What would they do?

They couldn’t let him walk the streets….

“What am I going to do, Uncle Nick?” Kenny wailed.

Then, before he realized he was saying it: “You’ll stay with us. Your mother can’t say anything. You’re legal.”

Kenny pulled back just enough to look at Nick with red, tear-filled eyes.

Nick looked at Kit again, wondering what he would say. They had finally reached the time when they could be alone together. They’d waited so long. But now?

Kit smiled and came to them, wrapped his arms around them.

“I’m so proud of you, my grumble monkey. So proud.”

“You don’t mind?”

“Not at all. I insist. We have our whole lives ahead of us.”

 

 

Later, Kenny pointed at the huge cake that Kit had made and placed in the middle of the dessert and drinks table. No one had touched it.

“Is that marzipan?” Kenny asked.

Kit nodded sadly. “I guess no one likes it….”

Kenny laughed. “Silly. It’s not that. They don’t know it’s a cake.”

“Huh?”

Kit looked again. He’d spent hours making the thin-rolled confection look like one of his flapping sheet pieces. Then it hit him. He began to laugh.

“They think it’s a sculpture,” Kenny said.

Kit shook his head. “You any good at cutting cake?”

Kenny smiled. “I sure am!”

“Because you know what my mother always said?”

“What did your mother always say?” came a familiar woman’s voice.

Kit turned and let out a squeal. “Mom! I thought you said you guys couldn’t make it. Nick said he tried to talk you into it and you said no.”

“We wanted to surprise you. Nick was in on it.”

Then he felt arms surround him from behind him. “Surprise, my little elf.”

He spun in his lover’s arms. “Taller than you!”

“Gosh,” said Kenny. “Even I’m taller than Uncle Nick.”

And they all laughed.

“But what was it your mom always said?” Nick asked.

“Sometimes you just have to cut the cake. People are afraid to be the first.”

“Especially when it’s as gorgeous as that one,” Kit’s mother exclaimed.

Then Kenny cut the cake and even served it.

Everyone was amazed that is was cake, and they loved it.

Later that night they showed Kenny his new room.

“You’re sure you don’t mind?” Kenny asked.

“Not at all,” Kit and Nick chorused.

“But there will be rules,” Kit said.

“Hey!” Kenny cried. “I’m eighteen!’

“And under our roof. No dating boys unless you introduce them to us, no boys in your room after nine unless the bedroom door is open—”

“Kit!”

“That’s Uncle Kit to you, young man!”

And later in their room, Nick asked again. “Are you sure?”

“Surer than anything in the world. I was watching him serve that cake, watching my mom help, and it broke my heart. To have a family that loves me so much and to see what your family has done to the two of you. I just don’t understand.”

“You’re the only family I need now,” Nick said. “I love you, my elf.”

“I love you, monkey.”

“Not grumble monkey?”

Kit shrugged. “I think you’re getting rid of the grumble part. Just like in my mom’s story.”

Nick smiled. “Well, what do you know?”

“What do you know, indeed,” said Kit.

Did you enjoy B.G. Thomas’s story? If so, check out the rest of his books and take 25% off at checkout with the code BGThomasFlash. Coupon code is good for one order per customer through February 28, 2015.

3 Responses to “The Marzipan Opening by BG Thomas”

  1. Shirley Ann Speakman says:

    Great story sad for his nephew and a great ending.

  2. Stacia says:

    I Love this so much!!!! Thank you for giving him a family.

  3. Jean says:

    Thank you for this! Of all the stories of yours I have read, Grumble Monkey and the Department Store Elf is the one I most want a sequel/epilogue for. I always felt the ending was a tentative HFN, so I was very excited to see how the men and their relationship has progressed over the course of a year. :D

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