Mason's an Asshole (but he already knew that)
“Mr. Jim,” Mason straightened his tie and nodded at Dad as he sat in the hair that was still warm from his father. He didn’t even glance at Bruce. Which was good. His poker face was great… but nobody in Vegas could have kept a straight face under those circumstances.
“Hey, Mason. I hear congratulations are in order.” Dad leaned forward, buttering the stupid kid up.
Mason moved a few of the binders on the desk around, trying to look important. “Yeah, Daddy thought it was time to open another store.”
“I’m surprised you’re here today,” Dad said. “I figured you’d have gone out partying last night.”
Mason nodded. For a second, he looked tired, but he quickly caught himself. “Me and some of the boys did. Hell, Dex was with us for a while, but he baled right before we went to the titty bar.”
Dad nodded, but Bruce couldn’t tell what was going through his head. For Dex’s sake, he hoped Dad didn’t come to the right conclusions.
“Well, nobody can blame you for that. Might as well get lucky to celebrate. You deserve it.” Dad was laying it on thicker than horse shit.
If his boss’ nineteen year old son had been promoted over him, he’d have been bullshit. It’s no wonder Mason took so many of the guys from the store to the strip club.
“I… well, I didn’t actually…” Mason shook his head. “Never mind.” He made a point of not looking at Bruce. “Anyway, I was promoted. Some might say it’s a little early—”
“Nonsense!” Dad said. “I’m sure you can make good decisions and wield power with intelligence. You know—keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” He paused for a beat then nodded toward Bruce. “And, speaking of that—”
“I’m sorry, Mr. Jim. You know I respect you. And, your other son’s one of my best friends, but I just can’t hire him back.”
He hadn’t even glanced at Bruce, and it looked like he didn’t even want to use his name.
“Look, Mason.” Dad leaned forward. “I understand. Believe me. If anyone knows how worthless my boys are, it’s me. But, he really needs to work, and I swear—” He put his hand over his heart. “This little asshole will do whatever you want, whenever you want. It’ll be nothing but ‘yes, sir, Mr. Keller’ and ‘no, sir, Mr. Keller’ the whole time he works for you.”
Mason raised an eyebrow and finally looked at Bruce. “This true?”
Bruce wanted to punch him and Dad. Instead, he grunted.
Dad’s hand lashed out and punched him on the arm. “He asked you a question!”
Bruce took a deep breath. “Yes, sir…” His insides were having a nuclear meltdown. “Mr. Keller.”
A suspicious—but evil—grin played at Mason’s mouth. “Well, we might be able to work with that. Maybe.”
Dad nodded, encouraged by the way things were going. “Seriously. Anything you want. Mopping, cleaning drains… Hell, if you didn’t get laid last night, my boy’ll suck you off.