A Nudge In The Right Direction

Chapter One

I'd lived alone for the last 5 years, making me 29 this birthday, on this the 5th year since the day Brian died in my arms on the side of the road leading into town. He had taken me out for dinner, on my 24th birthday. He had to save for this, this unnecessary extravagance that ended in tragedy.

We were just out of college and without family, and not having made any close friends in this the small town we had decided to settle in after earning our teaching degrees at a college about twenty miles away.

We had grown up together in an orphanage, and although we each had chances to be adopted, we couldn't stand the thought of being separated and no one in our rural area wanted biracial children in their homes so when we realized that we were gay as well, in our 14th year, we made sure the staff at the orphanage in North Carolina knew that, about us, too. We were left pretty much alone after that.

We excelled at sport and used it to our advantage. We both received full-ride scholarships to a small Western Massachusetts college where we played college football for the 4 years of our college education, being passed up by the pros when we wouldn't bulk up to the huge size they wanted their fullbacks to be.

The sport was a means to an end for us, not what we intended to do for our living. We were big enough to intimidate anyone who had a problem with us being gay and lovers, and we certainly ran into plenty of those in North Carolina, but here in Western Mass. we were accepted for what we could provide for the team and for our academic achievements.

We struggled with study, sport, and the "scholarship kids" stigma all 4 years of college, working campus part-time jobs when we could get them, as we didn't have a car, even one to go to our interviews in. When the coach found that out, he offered us his for the 20-mile drive to the small town we had both been offered interviews in.

The school department in Granby offered us teaching positions at their middle school, and when we showed interest in being their new history and English teachers, we were offered the chance to co-coach their soccer team for quite a bit more a year. We thought we had it made. We signed teaching and coaching contracts to start in two months

After our graduation, we rented a nice modern small apartment just a quarter mile down the country road from the school, and some of our former college teammates were willing to help move us and our suitcases of books and clothing out to the country.

The landlord was willing to rent to us as soon as he saw the contracts for our jobs as teachers and coaches at the middle school, and our college coach had lent us the money for the rent and security deposit on the small one bedroom apartment. We would be able to pay him back after our first paychecks were cashed.

We received our first paychecks after we attended our first workshop held for the teachers in the town and we paid our former coach back and had started to look for a reliable used car. We never had our own car before, but we had taken the driver's ed courses in high school and had changed our North Carolina licenses to Mass. ones when we started college.

The accident happened the week after school had actually started. My birthday was on Friday and that night Brian surprised me with a very nice dinner out at an Italian restaurant about a mile from our apartment.

We had driven there in the ten-year-old used car we had just gotten the previous weekend. We had found it for sale on the bulletin board in the faculty room at the school. It was 4 wheel drive and had decent mileage but more importantly, it was something we could pay cash for.

We didn't normally celebrate our birthdays with anything more than a small cake and a few gag gifts, but Brian thought that for our first birthday as adults with real paying jobs and our own small apartment and, it being my birthday, his lover's birthday, he wanted to do something romantic (his would be in a few months).

So during dinner, he had asked me to marry him. He had gotten down on one knee in the crowded restaurant and proposed; slipping a multi-stoned band on my ring finger once I assured him of my love for him and had accepted his proposal. I was so pleased, so much in love with him. The room had erupted in cheers and clapping, from people we hadn't even met yet, but here they were, happy for us and sharing a bit of our total happiness.

Once out of the restaurant we started to walk toward our car and Brian was goofing and for the first time he opened my door for me, still paying me a lot of attention, and then walked around the car to get in his side when a car driven by a young woman on her cell phone slammed into him, running him over, right there in the parking lot.

The memories of that night really blend in together, but one of the best was the way so many of the patrons of the restaurant rushed to Brian's aid and tried to comfort me as it became clear very quickly that Brian had died, even before the EMTs had arrived. My life became a nightmare in a few seconds and I felt that the only way I had to honor Brian's memory was to carry on with the life we had mapped out for ourselves, but alone now.

I returned to my classroom a week later and immersed myself in the classroom atmosphere and, while in there, I was able to hold it together. It was after school that hurt seemed to take me over and I started to get back in the car after changing clothes and drive around town, getting to know my way around and occupying myself until I could face being alone in the apartment.

I began to do written homework grading at my desk in the classroom before even leaving the school and soon this drew the attention of Ken Major, the principal. He and his spouse were there through the whole mess as soon as I had called him to explain the accident and why neither Brian nor I would be in class the Monday after Brian had died.

They were with me when I picked out an urn for his ashes and with me when the urn was interred in the memorial wall at the town's cemetery. Over the next five years, they had me to their family home for meals and sometimes just to let me vent and to comfort me.

I often drove to the fitness center over on their street and worked out to exhaust myself so I could sleep. It was an offhand remark by Ken that got me thinking about moving out of the little apartment. It was also getting a very big check from the insurance Brian and I had signed up for when we signed our teaching contracts with the school system.

The amount was staggering, and when I called the local insurance company that had written up the teacher's insurance benefit I was told that yes, the check included the payout of $300,000.00 we were covered for, but also the out of court settlement from the other driver's insurance company,$3,000,000.00.

I had thought there was a mistake in the check for three million, three hundred thousand, but I now had more money than I had ever expected to see in my life, but Brian wasn't there to share it with me. For five years that money has just sat there, growing every month.

We had always said that one day we would have a real home like other people, something I think every orphan wishes for, so remembering Ken's advice, five years after setting up an investment account at Major Financial with Ken's uncle Sean, I began to actually look at the homes I passed by on my drives, especially if I saw a "FOR SALE" sign posted. I started to get really into this, taking a small netbook with me and linking to the Realtor's office that had the listing. I had driven by a particular property several times and had not seen a sign on it, but the place was really run down and the grounds very overgrown. I did get out of the car and snapped a few pictures on my cell, resolving to find out the story behind the abandoned property.

It was while I was doing this one evening that I found a Realtor's sign buried amid the overgrown hedges and weeds right by the long drive that started by the street's curb. I snapped a picture of the sign and more of the dilapidated property from there. I don't know what it was about the property, just that it appealed to me and I wanted to see it cared for and livable, it needed a lot of attention. The fact that it sat on a side street named Brian's Way probably had something to do with it too.

At home, on the computer, I looked up the Realty company named on the hidden sign and found out the agent listed on the sign was no longer with the realty company and the listing was about to expire in a few weeks. The listing was a foreclosure and consisted of the house, which had 5 bedrooms, three baths, a family room, living room, kitchen and a full basement. The property had 75 acres, two barns, two work sheds, a small pond, and access to a fire road along the back of the whole acreage. The asking price was high I thought, a quarter of a million.

I had a dream about that property that night and it was strange. It started with Brian leading me to the property and showing me around. Then the purchase of it for one hundred and eighty-seven thousand, and then the renovations and the landscaping and finally the repainting of all the buildings, with one of the sheds not whole anymore, but turned into an open carport, but spruced up too. At the end of the dream, I wasn't standing next to Brian though, it was a man about my age with sandy colored hair, very handsome and built, and he had his arm around my waist, we were standing at the top of the drive, by the mailbox on the side of the road and looking back to the finished property, the sun shining and glistening off the freshly painted surfaces, and children were playing in the yard.

The next day was a Saturday and I used the home computer to research other properties in the area to see what they had been selling for and found out that they might be in better condition, but their acreage was smaller and none had sold for more than one hundred and ninety thousand. Armed with this information I called the Realty Company and inquired about the property, asking if a showing could be arranged.

The man on the phone seemed eager to show me the property so we made an appointment for just after noon and I then called Ken to see if he might have the time to view it with me. He told me the rest of his family was at the riding center for the afternoon so he'd be glad to be my sounding board on this viewing. I warned him it was in rough shape and he laughed and told me it had been for several years, but he remembered when it had been a showplace and he'd love to see it. He told me that before he went into education for a career he had been a partner in one of the biggest construction companies in the whole area, and still retained a small piece of the company originally owned by his uncle David.

We drove up Brian's Way to the house and there at the corner of the drive and the road was a young man, trying to free the For Sale sign from the overgrown thicket it was stuck in. He heard us approaching and he stood upright from his crouched position and turned to face us, his grin widening as he stuck his right hand out to shake Ken's hand, saying it was good to see him, and what an unexpected surprise it was.

Ken introduced me to Joe Landon, a curly haired sandy blond haired stud with a very nice smile. Ken told Joe that I was Bret Wolfe, a new history teacher at the middle school and had recently lost my partner of several years in a tragic accident.

Joe shook my hand and expressed his condolences, but pulled out a big ring of keys and walked us up the rather long overgrown gravel drive to the front of the house, explaining that the previous Realtor had retired and that no one had any luck so far getting an offer accepted by the local bank that held the title to the foreclosed property.

He went on to tell us that although the structures on the property were still sound, it would only take another winter of being untended and it could go downhill fast so he would recommend either making an offer for it "as is" or request that the utilities all be turned on and an independent building inspector go through the property, that is if I was interested enough to go through all that after I had a chance to go through the whole property.

He was very forthright in pointing out areas that would need attention soon and very complimentary about the construction of the house as it stood. Ken asked several good questions and I finally admitted to them both that I had never in my memory lived in a house, my only memories were from my time growing up in the orphanage, as Brian's had been also.

We moved from the house to the barns and then the sheds. The structures appeared to be sound and Ken was diligent in pointing out that there really would be mostly cosmetic things to take care of, backing up what Joe had been telling me. Ken happened to tell me that he knew of a few farmers in the area that might be willing to rent the fields or at least some of them, should I not want to deal with them myself, and that there was a riding stable not far from here where I could learn to ride, should I want to have horses for pleasure riding.

He pointed out that there were plenty of acres to explore and with the pond, the fruit tree grove, the woods, and fields; it would be a very pleasurable way to spend some time every day. Joe piped up and said he loved riding at the equestrian center over in Ken's neighborhood, especially before working out at the fitness center over there.

Ken told him I worked out there several times a week and we ought to coordinate our work out schedule and work out together some time.

Joe seemed to like that idea and as we walked around he suggested the next evening, and since my grading and lesson plans for the next week were done we agreed on meeting at the fitness center about 6 PM on Sunday evening.

I thanked him for showing us the property and Ken and I drove over to the riding center so he could meet up with his family.

On the short drive there I asked Ken what he thought it would take to make the house and the property livable again. He thought it might take as much as twenty five thousand to just get it livable again, as long as the plumbing was good, and he thought his father's real estate maintenance company could handle that and getting the grounds around all the structures cleaned out as well.

I told him he had given me a lot to think about and then he left my car to meet up with his family.

That night I had another dream about the property, and Brian was showing me around again and pointing out where I might make the rooms on the first floor flow better by taking out a few walls. He showed me a new kitchen and bathroom on the first floor and how by dividing those huge old bathrooms on the bedroom level you could have a shower bath for each of the bedrooms there and a wonderful master suite made on the top, or attic level. Outside he showed me four horses and four ponies in the barn with a couple of dogs running around. We exited the barn with the horses in it and walked to the pond and there he led me to a man just getting out of the swimming area of the pond, sandy-haired and in a tight short trunk swimsuit, muscles glistening as the water ran off his body, a big welcoming smile as he walked out of the pond and over to me and hugged me. I looked around for Brian, but he was no longer there.

On Sunday morning I drove back to the property, matching what I saw to the images fresh in my mind from the dream from the night before, and resolved to try and make the dream come true.

I left there and went and did my grocery shopping and returned to the apartment and after I put the groceries away, I began my laundry down in the common laundry room, taking a book so I could stay down there with the sound of the washer and dryer to keep me company.

I cleaned up a bit and packed my gym bag with my work out duds and left for the fitness center at about 5:45 and got there about the same time Joe did. We greeted each other in the lobby and after signing in we proceeded to the locker room to get into our workout gear.

In the locker room, we were still talking and we ended up right next to each other as we had adjoining lockers.

Now you know that I had never been with anyone else but Brian, ever, and as I looked at Joe as we continued to talk I could sense he was also a tad nervous about what we were about to do, undress and put on skimpy, and sexy, workout clothes. I made it through that, and I admit that I did peek to see what Joe was packing and I think I was blushing when I saw his big low hangers and the hefty piece of uncut meat swinging in front of them. I have to say right now that Joe had a really tight body, very fit, and muscled in a way that made me wonder what it would feel like to run my hands over the bumps and valleys.

I had given the dream from the night before a lot of thought as I went about my chores that afternoon, and I felt like Brian was fixing me up with Joe, I know, crazy, like how could that happen, and so far there was no indication Joe was even interested in me, other than I did look at a property with him the day before.

But as we worked out he did seem to pay me a lot of attention, spotting for me, as I did for him, but his occasional touches were on exposed skin, like my big upper arm, as I wore a loose tank top, the back of my neck, the side of my thigh as I used the leg lift, and sliding his hand under the untucked tank top as I did crunches, feeling my hard six pack as he did. It was all very casually done.

As we walked back to the locker room he began to fidget and as I stripped and got ready to shower he became a bit more so I teased him and told him to get a move on, I was getting hungry, as we had agreed to eat together at the local restaurant on the same lane the fitness center was on.

The shower was revealing, in more ways than one. Joe's body was insanely ripped and seeing his entire naked body all at once at a showerhead, two down from me, did a lot to wake up my sleeping libido, but we were in public, and I was still trying to get my head around Brian trying to fix me up with Joe from the grave, so to speak. I finished first and didn't wait for Joe, but I told him I'd meet him out front and rushed through getting dressed and waved to him as he walked toward the lockers.

I was talking to Ken's father Noah Major out in the lobby, trying to get his opinion on the foreclosed property I had been looking at.

He said that he himself had once placed an offer on it, but he said he had gotten immersed in another project and hadn't bothered to place a second offer.

Joe came up to us then and we bid Mr. Major a good night and walked over to the restaurant.

We talked about dozens of things over our meal, finding out we had a lot in common, and then, just before we split the bill, he said he had had a couple of dreams about the foreclosed property I had looked at. He said in his dreams he was led to the property and left beside me in various places, in the house, at the barns, by the pond. He couldn't make out who was leading him to me, but he felt it was a friendly presence.

I didn't tell him about my dreams just then, instead, I told him I was prepared to place an offer on the place, for one hundred and eighty-seven thousand, closing at the earliest convenience, and after a thorough structural inspection was done by Chambers and Major, Architects and Builders.

While he retrieved an offer form, from his car, I wrote out an earnest money deposit check for ten percent of the price offered, and since it was the same bank that owned it as the one I banked at, I made it a cash offer.

Joe offered to place the offer with the bank first thing in the morning but also telling me that that wasn't why he had suggested that we work out together, or have dinner together, that those suggestions had been purely personal, a chance for us to get to know one another better.

I assured him that I knew that, but the chance was there for me to get to know him better too. I asked what his schedule was like for the coming week; could we work in another workout?

He knew I was a teacher and what my basic hours were, and it was months away from soccer practice when I would be coaching after school, but as a Realtor his hours could vary from day to day, depending on when showings or listing appointments could be scheduled.

We tentatively set Tuesday at 6 PM for our next workout, and Joe told me he hoped to have a reply from the bank by then.

It was sooner than that. Joe called me Monday afternoon on my cell, just as the last students were leaving the school grounds. He asked me if a closing in a week would be a problem for me.

I laughingly told him it wouldn't; I could get someone to cover my afternoon classes if he could schedule the closing for then.

He then told me that the bank was going to counter my offer, but then for some reason, he had gotten a call that they had re-considered and accepted my $187,000 offer and he had the signed agreement at his office. He suggested that I get my inspector to call him and he'd meet them there to let them in the buildings on the property when they had a time set for the structural inspections.

I told him I'd get back to him on that and went to Ken's office and got the number for his Dad's office and arranged for one of Noah's inspector teams to do the inspections and Noah himself said he'd get it all set up with Joe and he'd get the completed report to me before the end of the week.

I scheduled for his maintenance company to clear the overgrown yard and drive, and the areas around the outbuildings right after the closing. I then asked if I could hire them to do the painting on the exteriors of the buildings, as it was still good painting weather this late in October.

He told me he'd have a separate estimate ready for me along with the inspection report.

I told him that his companies had been highly recommended and I was looking forward to having them do the work for me and that after I got settled in next weekend, I was sure there would be some interior work to be done also.

He thanked me for the business and asked me to thank Ken for the referral.

The next evening Joe and I again worked out together, and we seemed to be over our initial shyness. We ate after and he asked me to tell him about Brian so I related our story.

To Joe's credit, he was dripping tears by the time I finished.

Then I asked about his relationship background.

He laughed and told me his last "relationship" was when he was 15 and was 'fooling around' with another neighborhood boy and when their families found out about them the other family moved to another state, essentially separating the two boys. That experience was hard on him, but through it all his own family had been very supportive and still was. He said they'd like to meet me, as he had already told his parents about meeting me.

He gave me a copy of the signed acceptance of the offer and he told me that Wednesday, the next day, he was meeting an inspection crew at the property.

I told him about hiring Noah's crew to clear the land around the buildings and to begin the painting next week after the closing.

He said he'd love to see the place spruced up and I assured him he would.

That weekend, I went shopping. Not a huge splurging trip, just some necessities I would need to move into the house as soon as possible, because the dreams, since getting my offer accepted, were getting interesting, to say the least.

In the dreams I'm actually doing some of the painting in the house, cleaning where renovations, by a much more skilled craftsman has worked, or shifting furniture around and hanging pictures or laying carpets. Some of the more interesting ones involved me cooking in the new kitchen with Joe and I sharing our meal with each other, sharing a shower in the new master bathroom, sharing our bed in the master bedroom, helping a couple of really cute kids,  getting them dressed in the morning, and playing with them out in the yard and riding our horses with them through the fields and trails on the property.

Although I hadn't told Joe any of this, he told me that he also was still having the occasional dream about the property, about the renovation I had mentioned I'd like to have done, but nothing about a personal relationship between us, but he was getting more comfortable about placing his hands on me as we worked out and I did happen to notice a pleasant looking bulge form in his jock when we were together in the locker room changing.

The following Monday afternoon we had the closing at 1:00 PM and by 2 there was a crew working on getting the landscape under control.

Teams of guys with industrial mowers and weed whackers were all over the place and a small tractor was raking up the gravel drive freeing it from the weeds clogging up the stones in the drive. By 5 PM there was a very noticeable difference and the crew chief told me that they would be back the next morning to finish the yard work and then start on the painting as the weather forecasts were saying warm and dry days and cool but dry nights for the next several days, plenty of time for them to finish the outdoor work before the weekend when I moved in.

Joe took me to dinner on Wednesday, not one of our workout days and asked me if I had ever thought about having a roommate share the house with me.

I told him that the only person I knew well enough to even ask was him, and as far as I knew he was happy still living with his folks, but if he was hinting that he'd like to move in with me, then I would have to say that there wasn't anyone else I would feel comfortable sharing my home with.

He looked at me with that killer smile on his handsome face and I just asked him outright, "Joe, would you move in with me and share the house with me?"

His answer had me laughing, "I do", was what came out of his mouth, but he quickly restated, "Yes Bret, I'd like to".

So we agreed that we'd both share his dad's truck to move on Saturday, as neither of us had that much stuff to move, and that was the day the delivery of the pieces of furniture and some accessories I had bought on my shopping trip were to be delivered.

We met at Joe's house and I was introduced to his parents who were really nice to me, something I wasn't really prepared for, not having parents of my own to judge people by. His were warm and welcoming and had coffee and rolls at the ready between our trips to the truck, moving his things out at 8 AM in the morning, and giving us both hugs when we left to drive over to my place for the stuff I was moving.

I had already gone through Brian's belongings and donated what was still serviceable or presentable to be worn by anyone else. Everything else fit in the bed of the truck and we drove out to the house, keys dangling from my key ring.

When we had parked I remembered to give Joe one of the extra keys to the house and he went and opened the door for me as I lugged in the cooler with the contents of the fridge from my apartment as he went back to the truck for the box his mother had packed, he thought, with plenty of food for the weekend ahead of us.

It was indeed, a whole box of packed meals that only needed re-heating and as soon as those were packed in the fridge we returned to the pickup to lug in the clothing, boxes of books, and other items we had both elected to bring with us.

All of this went into a side bedroom up stairs, with the exception of the items on hangers which we hung in the master bedroom closet, justifying that as the place most out of the way and less likely to be invaded by dust as we cleaned the downstairs and a couple of the bedrooms and bathrooms on the second floor. We were interrupted at that point by the delivery truck and another pickup pulling into the yard, one right behind the other.

I went to the delivery truck and made sure they knew the bedroom suite was to go to the room currently used as the master bedroom, with the rest of the stuff being placed in the downstairs living room.

I turned from the delivery men as they began to unload their van and there was Joe talking to Ken and his father Noah.

They had stopped by to see the painting and yard work the crews had accomplished but I wanted to ask Noah when the inside work we had discussed might start.

He informed me that since the plumbing and the structures all checked out fine he would have two crews out on Monday and one team would start on the attic renovation (master bedroom and bath) and another crew would start on the kitchen remodel adding a large archway to connect the family room to the kitchen and replacing the counters with solid stone ones.

Once the delivery men were done, Ken and Noah departed.

We set about putting the delivered items in the living room in their place and connecting the TV to the cable which, with the internet Wi-Fi, we had already  turned on yesterday, along with the electric and water services.

Once the rug and furniture were in place we went up to the room we had designated the master bedroom on the second floor. Again the large oriental was placed like we had in the living room and the bed then assembled on top of it. The king-sized mattresses put in place and then the two matching dressers and nightstands were put where they were intended to be put. The settee and two slipper chairs were placed on a matching oriental in front of the fireplace.

When I moved to get the contents of the dressers put in place Joe followed, thinking we had another bedroom to assemble. He looked in each of the other bedrooms and noticed they were all empty, save for the boxes of clothing we had both put in one of the rooms.

I told him to grab his clothes and let's get our bedroom finished, and he got the biggest smile on his face and reached over to hug me.

During the hug, he reached up to kiss me and hesitantly I returned it, until I felt his tongue seeking entrance to my mouth and something came over me and I swear I felt someone pushing my head harder against his and we were both really getting into it now.

When I went to caress his beautiful full pecs I found his t-shirt already pulled up to his armpits, his hot flesh waiting for my inquisitive fingers. They found his nips as they caressed his pecs and I spent some time trying to unscrew them from his heaving chest.

I guessed he felt left out of the fun as he started to fondle my hard six pack, working up to my chest and moaning as he tweaked my nips, breaking our kiss to start sucking on the large nipples he had bumped into as he had tried to massage my hard chest.

I regained his mouth and tongue and began to walk him to the only bed in the house, brand spanking new and ready to be broken in, like a bucking virgin colt.

He let me help undress him and then he helped me get rid of the clothing I had been wearing, exposing my smooth skin stretched over the muscles I had been working on for 8 or nine years. My dark black curly hair seemed to intoxicate him as he licked my pits and the triangle between my prominent pecs, following the trail down to my close-cropped pubes and then tried to swallow my 9 inches of uncut meat. He wasn't an expert at that yet, but with practice, he would be just fine.

I eased him back onto the bed and began my own oral assault on him, starting on his earlobes and ended on his nice heavy dick, leaking juice meant to entice me, to help guide that swollen piece of meat into me, but he had other ideas for our first sexual encounter.

He rolled on his back and raised his legs, asking me to prepare him, and when I asked if he was sure, he assured me he had a toy he used every so often and he'd like me to put that toy out of use. I reached over to the box of "accessories" I had dropped on the nightstand nearest the door and removed the tube of lube I had used to masturbate with and slicked up his  hole, having deposited a combination of spit and our combined pre-cum there already, after trying to find his prostate with my tongue and a few fingers.

As I entered Joe my foreskin was retracted and I finally found his prostate with the exposed head of my dick, and when my dick kissed his button I leaned forward and caught his tongue with my mouth and started sucking on it. I began to slowly pump and every few strokes I switched from his mouth to a nipple and then back and forth and as he called my name on the 20th, or was it the 30th stroke, his climax matched perfectly the one I was experiencing inside his bubble butt.

We lay there exhausted, panting and sweaty, but I turned to him and asked if he had any reservations about sharing my bed, and he got that big old smile on his face and just held me.

It was a very cathartic experience for the both of us and we stayed close as we showered together and then when we had redressed, we went downstairs laughing about us both taking a shower together while standing in the old tub in the bathroom out in the hall.

Once downstairs we started going through the food to decide what to prepare for dinner, while also making sure we both had clean clothing for work the coming Monday because otherwise, we would have to do laundry the next day at the town's only laundromat.

Dinner and clean clothes for our next work day sorted we sat to dinner at the coffee table in the living room, watching the evening news on the new TV as we ate and chatted our way through the evening news.

Sunday we spent going through the outbuildings, finding an older riding mower that Joe thought would be workable, judging by the maintenance stickers on it, the last one dated only a year ago, and the same for the snow blower there in the second barn. 

There were plenty of pots that we could change out plants in, depending on the season. There were old hedge clippers and an old weed whacker and rakes and hoes and all kinds of shovels.

Joe said he thought he could get us on Noah Sargent's maintenance company's list for snow removal and yard work, especially as we didn't want to have to deal with that stuff during the week. We could handle some of it ourselves on the weekends, but he many times had showings or listing meetings on the weekends and since I had paid for the house, he was going to pay for the maintenance that had to be hired out.

There were a few other things he wanted to do, like get in a few horses after we had both taken riding lessons.

I asked if he had a steady enough income flow to be able to do all this.

He told me that he had been saving for the last 4 years by living with his parents, and they would not take rent from him, Except for the once a year trip he paid for them to go on, he had saved all his commissions on his sales all that time and had just over a hundred thousand in the bank, then he asked what I had banked.

Without thinking, I blurted out "just about four million, six hundred thousand." He stared at me open mouthed and I realized how that sounded, coming from an orphan, a recent college grad, and a new teacher to boot, so I explained that that was the insurance on Brian and the payout from the other driver's insurance company, invested and reinvested for the last five years since the payout was sent to me.

That seemed to mollify him and we held hands as we walked back to the house.

I told him that when I asked him if there was anything he wanted in the house, I wasn't kidding when I said that any renovations he wanted to have done we could, that I wasn't kidding.

He chuckled and said he defiantly was going to pay for the snow removal and the yard work; he wasn't quite ready to be a kept man.

I chuckled and said that I couldn't foresee that ever happening to us. I was a teacher and I tried to live within the salary I received, that one day when we retired, we could spend our days traveling the world, and we wouldn't even deplete the interest accrued, at that future time, on Brian's legacy.

I asked Joe what his family did for the holidays since I had never been involved in all that, I mean in the planning or shopping stuff, and especially the cooking. Brian and I, of course, participated in the home's holiday stuff, but we were residents there, and while in college our coach had us to his house for dinner, but we still had never had a chance to experience the whole Magilla, from start to finish. And the only presents at Christmas time I had ever bought were token ones for Brian, and he for me and that was after we were in college.

I had never decorated for either Thanksgiving or Christmas and I was afraid I'd go really overboard, so I needed him to teach me what was right and how to plan for the holidays, I really didn't want to make an ass of myself.

We had about a month before Thanksgiving and Joe said he thought we might want to look at a table and chairs for the kitchen and I told him that was something we could hold off on until the reno in there was done or close to done, unless we went and got something to use there now, that we could use somewhere else after.

We settled on a folding card table and 4 folding chairs which we found that afternoon at KMART as we got new sheets and bedding for our new bed (something I had totally forgotten).

We ran the new bedclothes through the washer and dryer at the laundromat before heading home where we took off the loose sheets and blanket we had shared last night and added a washer and dryer to our purchase list for shopping during the week.

On Monday after school was out, we drove to his folks' house and again borrowed his dad's pickup. We were going to get a washer and dryer for the unstocked laundry room just inside the back door. We did decide on big load machines and then proceeded to pick out an iron and an ironing board, laundry detergent and other supplies and then took all the small stuff to the truck and drove to the pick-up doors and watched as the guys loaded up the washer and dryer. It was then I realized we didn't have a dolly to wheel the machines into the house so Joe watched the truck and I went back into the store and purchased a two-wheel dolly for moving heavy stuff around.

We drove right home and unloaded the bags and light stuff and then Joe backed up to the back door and we were actually able to carry the machines right into the mudroom and hooked up the washer and electric dryer ourselves.

Joe went to return the truck and I started to reheat one of the precooked meals his mother had sent over for us. All was ready to eat by the time he returned and we ate at the card table, bumping knees the whole time. It was great.

That night we christened our new sheets before falling asleep. Well, Joe said it was good luck, and who was I to disagree? Besides, I had spent the whole afternoon lusting after his delicious butt and there wasn't much that would have discouraged me from having a piece of that again. He was a bit put out when I wouldn't bring him off, but he was so excited when I invited him to enter my ass and make it a home for his dick. We both slept well that night.

That week went really well. My classes noticed a more cheerful air about me, as did my fellow teachers and Ken. Joe got three listings that same week and he had a buyer for one of them before Friday.

The crews had arrived just before we went to leave for work on Monday. When we had arrived home there were three trunks in the upstairs hall that they had found under the eaves in the attic.

There were several framed paintings in one of them that we hung for now in the living room, and some silver service pieces wrapped in flannel in that one too. Those pieces we stored in a cupboard in the dining room, which we thought would make a great home office at some point, probably after the renovations were finished.

The living room had sliding doors separating it from the central hall, so nothing but the finest dust could get in there while the crew made the connection from the family room to the kitchen, by removing a lot of the hall walls to open up the space downstairs, and replace the backsplash and counters in the kitchen.

We had discussed this work before they had started and decided on a table height counter separating the kitchen and family room, with a nice long harvest table in front of the counter. This was something I had seen at Noah and Chris's house the couple of times I had been there with Ken and his family over the last 4 years and liked it better than a formal dining room.

Joe agreed and said that we certainly had the room for it.

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