Building Things Chapter 36

Derrick hugged and kissed Conner and Alec, telling him that he was totally happy for them, and would certainly stand with them. Alec was in a hurry to get to Ty and ask him. Conner and Alec left Derrick's office in a hurry to get to the house. They pulled into the circular driveway as they saw Bart's truck up toward the back of the house. They got out and walked up the driveway, seeing Ty standing there talking to Bart.

Alec walked up to Ty and put an arm around Ty's waist. Ty looked over at him, as Alec was almost glowing. Ty put an arm around Alec's shoulders as Conner came up on the other side of Ty.

"My, don't you look like you're dressed to kill." Bart said, looking Conner up and down.

"This old thing?" Conner looked down. He looked back at Bart. "I had a job interview."

"I bet you got it looking like that." Bart said.

"It was already in the bag. This just sealed the deal." Conner shrugged his shoulders. He noticed that Aiden was standing there at the big doors, looking at him with wide eyes. Conner smiled at him, and then turned back to Ty.

"What's up with you guys?" Ty asked. "You guys make me nervous when you have looks like that on your faces."

"I'd like to talk to you for a minute, if you have one?" Alec asked. Ty saw it was that look.

"Sure." He said, slowly. "Let's go in the house." They all walked together into the house. Ty reached the kitchen and then turned and looked at them. Conner kissed Alec on the cheek.

"I'm going to go change really quick." Conner said, and walked off toward the bedroom.

"What's going on?" Ty asked.

"Well, I wanted to ask you," Alec drew in a breath, then let it out. "Would you be my best man at our wedding?"

"Seriously? You want me?" Ty smiled.

"Yes, I want you to stand with me. And maybe to hold me up." Alec smiled.

"I would be happy to stand with you." Ty said. "I suppose Conner asked Derrick already, or is going to."

"He did." Alec said as he stepped closer to Ty.

"I guess second fiddle is better than none, right?"

"Hey, I don't see it that way." Alec said, as he put his arms around Ty's neck. "Remember the other day, when we were together?"

"Yeah, when you tricked me?" Ty frowned.

"I told you that if I didn't have Conner, and you didn't have Derrick, I would give you a run for your money, remember?"

"I remember." Ty smiled. He put his hands on Alec's hips. "You're a sexy little fuck, you know that?" Alec wiggled his eyebrows. Alec leaned in and gave Ty a hug.

"Thank you."

"No, sweetie, thank you." Ty said. "Oh, hell, now I've got to get a suit, don't I?"

"No," Alec said, as he pulled back, "a tux."

"Really? Oh shit." Ty frowned. "We can't wear cargo shorts and boots?"

"I'll talk to my husband." Alec grinned. "Maybe we can change it up."

"Yeah, you do that." Ty leaned forward and kissed Alec. "Tux, huh? You're making this rough."

"Why?" Alec asked. "It's been a dream of mine to get married in a tux."

"Well, I'd be the last one to crush that dream." Ty smiled. "So, have you guys set a date?"

"Not yet. We have some other things to do first."

"Oh? Like what?"

"Get the apartment, find the location for the wedding, get a minister lined up that will do it, go and get..."

"I get it, I get it." Ty said. "So, an apartment, huh?"

"Yeah. Space of our own, new bed." Alec was almost squirming thinking about it.

"Man you got it bad." Ty grinned.

"What? I'm crazy about him."

"Well, let's hope you still are sixty years from now. Knowing you, you'll be chasing young boys around, you horn dog."

"Well, I'm not dead yet." Alec grinned. "I wonder if he needs help getting out of that suit?"

"Killin me." Ty said, turning to go to the fridge. He opened the door and pulled out a water, and opened it. "What are you standing there for? Go find out." Alec walked toward the bedroom, blushing. Ty just shook his head. He walked out back to go see Bart.

Alec watched Conner finish getting dressed. Alec loved watching him getting dressed almost as much as loved watching him strip. He was equally hot either way. Alec so loved him, this man before him on the other side of the room, this man that wanted to provide for him, to take care of him, to love him. Alec had calmed himself over the money thing. Conner made sure of that, acting like it was no big deal at all to Conner, but Alec wasn't so sure.

"Sure we need to go?" Alec asked biting his bottom lip. Conner looked up, seeing Alec, knowing what he wanted, and Conner smiled.

"Yes, the sooner the better. I know what you want, babe, and believe me, as soon as we're done, we'll come back here and you can fuck my brains out."

"Oh, no...I want it the other way around. I want you fuck me like you did last night." Alec blushed.

"Really?" Conner wiggled his eyebrows. "I would love to." Conner said, slipping on his shoes. He came round the bed, and threw his arms around Alec, hugging him tight. "But I want to ask you a question."

"Okay." Alec said, as he hugged Conner back tight.

"When do you want to start shopping for that bed?"

"Why you..." Alec gouged his fingers into Conner's side, making him jump and start to laugh. Conner tried to hold on, but Alec was tickling him so hard, Conner laughing so hard, that he had to pull away.

"Alright, I give...I give..." Conner let go and backed up. They looked at each other, smiling wide. "Will we always be like this?"

"We will, if we want it to be."

"I do."

"Remember those two words." Alec said softly as he stepped forward, kissing him. Conner melted with the soft kiss. They pulled away from one another and Conner looked at those beautiful eyes.

"You're killin me. Come on, we have to go."

"Alright." Alec sounded sad. They went out the back door together, Conner yelled to Ty they were leaving and would be back later. They went down the driveway to Conner's rental and climbed in. They backed out of the driveway and then down the road.

Derrick stood at Tom's desk, looking down at the printed file, giving specs of the hotel project. Derrick saw that some of them weren't making any sense. Measurements were adding up. Derrick thought, just using mental calculations. He kept screwing his mouth up tighter and tighter.

"Did you look at these?" Derrick asked.

"At what?" Tom replied, as he was going over some additional line items in the contract.

"These measurements, they're not right. Here..." Derrick said, sliding the sheet over in front of Tom, "double check my figures against the actual that is on the term sheet." Tom looked at them and then started the computations. He could see quickly that Derrick was right. He looked up at him.

"What the hell?"

"Something's not right, that's for sure." Derrick looked at the sheet again. "Where was this supposed to be?"

"Eight blocks from here. The old granary warehouse is there right now. You know the one?"

"Yeah, I do. And we don't have a site map." Tom shook his head in reply. "Alright, I'll go call Marty, and see if I can get a site map. Get this attorney on the phone that called you, let's get some more answers to this. Because right now, all we have are tons of questions."

"Alright." Tom said, reluctantly.

"Problem?"

"No. It just occurred to me who we might really have to deal with."

"Scary, isn't it?" Derrick said.

"After what I heard, yeah. I can't tell how..."

"Save it." Derrick held up a hand, cutting Tom off. "I don't want to hear how 'sorry' you are. Let's just get through this so we can get back to normal around here." Derrick went to the door and walked out. He walked down the hallway, as Terry came toward him.

"Boss," Terry said, turning to walk along with Derrick, "I've got most of everything delegated out. I had to call Beckett. He's pissed."

"Why?" Derrick asked as they reached his office door. Derrick opened it and walked in behind Derrick, closing it behind him.

"Several of these that are not complete, are bid for him, holding him up."

"What? Why hasn't he called?"

"He did, he has. Tom was holding him off."

"Oh fuck." Derrick said, sitting down behind his desk. "Alright, I'll call Sam." Derrick sighed, "No, better yet, I'd better go over there. I need to call Marty first." Derrick looked up at Terry. "Do me a favor, do you have everything printed out yet on all of the outstanding?"

"Just about."

"Get them into separate files, with labels. I'll review them, while I handle Sam."

"Sure, boss." Terry said and then walked toward the door. Derrick picked up the phone and punch a button for an open line. He dialed the number he knew by heart, and waited.

"Good afternoon..." Derrick said to the person that answered, "this is Derrick Jacobson. I'd like to speak to Martin Lockyear, please? Thanks, I'll wait." Derrick leaned back in his chair, holding the phone. It seemed to be forever, finally, "Hey, Marty,...how are you?...glad to hear it...me? Wish I could say that I'm alright, but I'm kind of buried right now....yeah, it'll be fine, thanks...the reason I'm calling Marty is I need a site map for the old granary at the edge of the downtown, you know the one?...yeah, that one...no, Tom has a new project for the site...no, we haven't started a study on it yet...I need the site map for renderings...great, I'm going to go over to Beckett's shortly, I can stop by and pick it up. Thanks, you're the best, Marty. I'll see you in a bit. Bye." Derrick hung up the phone and thought for a minute. He picked the phone back up, punched the line again, and then dialed another number. "Hi, good afternoon,...is Sam still in the office?...great, no this Derrick Jacobson, I was going to stop by and see him,...yes, you can tell him, thanks. Bye." Derrick hung up the phone. He got up and went to the door, he opened it and started to walk toward Tom's office. Derrick was getting mad all over again, hearing that Beckett was pissed, not only from Terry, but from the person on the phone at Sam's office. He hit Tom's door, hard. Tom looked up from the desk.

"There's not a lot of time." Derrick said, almost with a growl. "Get your ass up and get to the Building Department. Marty is getting the site map ready now."

"What's got you pissed now?"

"You, dipshit! I just got off the phone with Beckett's office. She told me on the phone that he was really upset with us, and Terry told me that you've been putting him off! What the fuck, Tom?! He's one of our biggest builders, a friend! You've been holding him up! We can't afford to piss him off. What else haven't you told me?!"

"Honestly that's about it." Tom said.

"What the fuck have you been doing?"

"Obviously...not my job."

"You got that right." Derrick was fuming. "Now get your ass in gear and get over there. I'm going to Beckett's to try and save this and us." Derrick fumed again. "Make this your last fuck up, Tom!" Derrick said, pointing a finger at him. He turned and walked out. He walked toward the front, still fuming, he rounded the corner as Terry was coming out of his office, carrying a stack of files.

"Got it done, boss. This is everything that has Beckett involved."

"Great, good job, bud. Get your stuff, you're going with me."

"What?"

"Problem?"

"Uh, no...who's going to..."

"Run the office? Kim can handle it till we get back. It's getting late in the day, I want to get there quick."

"Sure, boss." Terry said, reluctantly. He followed Derrick up to Kim's desk, stopping next to Derrick.

"Kim, Terry and I are going to Beckett's. Tom is going to the Building Department. He shouldn't be long. I don't know how long we will be, but you're in charge. You okay with that?"

She nodded. "Good. If you need anything, you can reach us at Beckett's, alright?" She nodded again, looking up at him. Derrick looked at Terry. "Alright, let's go."

Conner and Alec were shown to the branch manager's desk. The branch manager was a large man in an expensive suit. Alec was nervous being in his presence, as he seemed to be a bit on the intimidating side to him. Conner seemed to be very focused, Alec thought, as they sat down.

"How can I help you?" The large man said as he sat, giving them an obviously fake smile.

"I'm not sure if you know who I am," Conner began, as he sat forward in the chair, leaning forward toward the desk on one hand, the man folded his hands on the desk, giving Conner a look like he really didn't care, "my name is Conner...Conner Van Owen." The manager's eyes widened a little hearing the name.

"Is your father...?"

"Yes, he is." Conner said, politely, letting it sink in for a moment. Conner saw that the manager's tie seemed to be getting a little tighter, Conner had to stifle a smile that was building in him. "We would like to open several accounts, and as I know that my father has several here as well, we thought it would be best if we followed his lead. As you are undoubtedly aware, my father doesn't do anything unless he is...certain?"

"Yes, Mr. Van Owen." The manager's demeanor changed almost immediately. There was obvious fear that flashed across his eyes. "We are at your total service."

"Excellent." Conner sat back in the chair. Alec just looked at Conner in awe. It was just a matter of seconds that Conner had changed everything around. He had never seen Conner like this before. "We wish to establish a joint checking account, joint savings, and then set up several IRA's as well."

"Of course." The manager said. "May I ask, are you two...related?"

"Not yet, but we will be," Conner said, looking at Alec, giving him a smile, taking Alec's hand in his, "very soon."

"I see. Uh, I would think congratulations are in order?"

"Thank you." Conner said, looking back at him again.

"So, how much are we talking about?" The manager composed himself again.

Conner opened the envelope that was he carrying with him. He pulled the first check, turning it, and placing it on the desk. "This will be into checking. I would also like a line of credit established against that, in both our names, debit cards as well. There will be direct deposit on that account established from the corporation name listed on it." Conner was watching him as he stated his terms. "Am I going to fast?"

"Uh, no, Mr. Van Owen." The manager glanced up and then back to the first check. "And then the savings?" He lifted his eyes, as Conner pulled out the next check, turned it and then put it on the desk, sliding it in front of the man. His eyes completely betrayed him now as he saw the dollar amount of the check. He slowly lifted his eyes to Conner.

"This is to be divided up. Half of it, into IRA's that will all be joint, the other half to be divided equally into separate savings accounts, one in my name, the other in Alec's."

"This is made out to you, solely. I really can't put it in an account for..."

"Given the amount, given what I've just told you, and seeing that it is a certified check...I really don't see a problem, do you?" Conner said, his voice clear and to the point. The manager understood very well. He regained his composure again. "Are there forms that need to be filled out?" Conner asked.

"Yes, there are. Would you care to endorse these for me?"

"After we fill out the forms, yes." Conner said, with an air of politeness, yet being firm. The manager gave Conner a slight nod, and then got up.

"If you'll excuse me a minute, I'll just get them for you."

"Thank you." Conner said, as the manager walked away. Conner looked at Alec, who was still in awe of what was happening. "You alright, babe?"

"I guess so." Alec said, quietly as he looked around with his eyes only, his face was pointed in Conner's direction. Alec could see the manager talking to two other people, and then looking back at them. "We seem to be causing a little bit of a commotion."

"I don't doubt it. It's not everyday someone walks into your bank with two and half million dollars." Conner said, as he smiled at Alec, touching Alec's fingers with his own, drawing Alec back to him.

"I have never seen anything like that before. You almost scared me."

"Really?" Conner shrugged his shoulders. "I guess the business thing just takes over in me from time to time."

"It was... impressive."

"Wait till you see me deal with a car salesman." Conner said, wiggling his eyebrows. Alec grinned, as the manager returned, flanked by two other people. Conner looked up, as the manager introduced them to Conner and Alec, telling them that they would be assisting with all the forms necessary. "That will be fine." Conner said.

Derrick pulled up at Beckett's office and parked on the street. He and Terry got out and walked in. Derrick had been here many, many times over the years, as he and Sam Beckett were old friends. Derrick walked up to the girl at the desk, Terry carrying the stack of folders. Terry's eyes were wide, seeing her.

"Hi, Annie." Derrick said. She had been watching them as they walked in.

"Mr. Jacobson." She smiled her pretty smile.

"Annie, when are you going to start calling me Derrick?" She frowned at him. "Annie Beckett, this is Terry Evans, my office manager. Terry, this is Annie Beckett, Sam's daughter and his... enforcer." Derrick smiled.

She held her hand out to Terry, he took it and shook it gently. Terry almost gulped as she stood. She gave Derrick a dirty look.

"Dad's in his office, Mr. Jacobson," she emphasized Derrick's name, "I would be careful if I were you. He's pretty pissed off."

"Ah, I can smooth him." Derrick said. "Mind if we just go in?"

"Your funeral." She said, cocking her head slightly. Terry almost dropped the files. Derrick walked off, Terry started to follow but couldn't take his eyes off her. She was looking back at him, with a slight frown. Derrick walked to an open door down the way and knocked on the jamb.

"What the hell do you want?!" Terry snapped his head around as he heard the booming voice, coming up behind Derrick.

"How are you, Sam?" Derrick said.

"A little pissed off at you and your partners! You've got me so far behind, waiting on your sorry asses!"

"I can understand that you're pissed, Sam, but believe me, I didn't know." Derrick said, as he went in, standing in front of Beckett's desk.

"So, what the hell? Are you here to give me more promises?"

"Nope." Derrick said, flatly. "I'm here to give you guarantees."

"Yeah, right." Beckett exhaled and sat back in his chair. "You're going to wave that magic wand and everything is going to fall into place."

"Hardly." Derrick said. "Look, I know we screwed up. I talked to Tom about it. I've taken your stuff over. I want to get it on track and help get you there as well. If, you're willing."

"This had better be good, or I'm going to throw you out on your ass."

"Fair enough," Derrick said, "Terry? Could you give Sam those files?"

"Sure, boss." Terry said, as he stepped forward. He set the files on Beckett's desk. Beckett looked at the stack and then back up at Derrick.

"This is everything that is not complete that Tom had, involving you. What I need to know is, what you want as priorities." Derrick paused for a minute, as Beckett moved them around, seeing names on the labels.

"This one," Beckett said, "this one...oh yeah, this one...that one can wait....this one..."

"Hold it a second," Derrick said, "I meant first, second, third, you know that kind of a thing?"

"Nope, not what I meant." Beckett looked up. "I need these all done, right away."

"Come on, Sam, be reasonable." Derrick frowned. "I have only a few people, including myself to work on these. Give me some priorities here."

"Derrick, you guys screwed me, and you screwed my clients. I've got people pissed off at me right now too. Now, if you can't do this, I'll have to find another architect. It's that simple."

"Sam..." Derrick said, but he could see the look on Beckett's face, Derrick knew his old friend was right, he had been screwed, as well as his clients. Derrick went to say something, to throw in the towel, but stopped, as Terry came up beside him.

"Look, Mr. Beckett, I don't think you know what's been going on with Derrick and the firm right now. One of the partners has been murdered, Derrick's been trying to handle the nightmare of that, and trying to keep the staff together, his other partner has got us locked into a nightmare project that Derrick didn't know about and now can't get out of, and to top it all off, he comes here to swallow his pride and does everything but beg you for help. Derrick's always talking about how great friends you are, and when he needs that friendship most, because somebody else screwed up, you're being a total jerk about it. Some friend." Terry backed up and realized that he just probably got himself either killed or fired. He looked over at Derrick and lowered his head. "I'll be outside, boss." He muttered and walked out. He came around the corner of the door and ran right into Annie. Terry grabbed her on a reaction.

"Wow." She said. "You were pretty impressive, no one ever talks to my dad like that."

"Sorry, guess I got a little carried away." Terry said, letting her go. "Sorry I ran into you like that."

"No problem at all." She said, as he went around her and headed for the front door. She watched him walk away.

"Have you had him on staff for a while?" Beckett asked, with wide eyes.

"Uh, a couple of years, yeah."

"If you're thinking of getting rid of him, I'll take him here."

Derrick smiled a faint smile. "No, I'm going to keep him. I might even make him a partner." Derrick said, sounding defeated and reached for the files. Beckett stopped him, by grabbing his wrist.

"Alright. Let me go through these. I'll prioritize them, you can pick them up in the morning, but don't send him." Beckett grinned, "I don't need my ass chewed first thing in the morning." Derrick smiled, as Beckett let him go. Derrick turned his hand out. Beckett reached up and took it, as he stood. "Just make sure you get the shit done, alright?"

"You have my word on it." Derrick said.

"Good enough for me." Beckett took his hand back, giving Derrick a smile.

"Thanks, Sam." Derrick turned and walked out, bumping into Annie, who was watching where Terry had walked out. "Geez, Annie." Derrick said, "I'm sorry. You alright?" She turned and looked up at him.

"Yeah, I'm fine. Who did you say he was, Derrick?"

"What happened to Mr. Jacobson?"

"You know how it is," She smiled up at him. He shook his head at her, with a grin.

"Do you want his number? Or should I have him call you?"

"I'll think about it."

"Annie?!" Came the booming voice from the office behind Derrick.

"The lord and master calls." She rolled her eyes. Derrick gave her a quick hug and then walked away. Derrick walked out of the building, onto the sidewalk. Terry had his arms on top of Derrick's car leaning there, his back to Derrick as he looked away, down the street. Derrick walked behind Terry.

"Hey, come on." Derrick said. Terry turned around, looking at Derrick with fear and sadness in his eyes. Derrick started to walk down the street. Terry started after him and quickly caught up. They walked together in silence as they passed several businesses along the way, and then Derrick pushed open a door, going in. Terry looked up at the sign over the doorway. It simply said 'Nick's'. Terry followed Derrick into the dark bar and joined Derrick on a stool next to him.

"Hello, Nick." Derrick said.

"Derrick...been a long time." The tall good looking man said, putting his hands on the bar, smiling. "The usual?"

"Two." Derrick said, holding up two fingers. Nick turned away and grabbed a bottle and two glasses, putting them on the bar in front of them, he poured into each, then smiled at Derrick and walked away.

"I guess I blew it, huh?"

"You know, I've known Sam Beckett for fifteen years. I've dealt with him as long as I've been an architect. My first project was one that he built. He's a really good builder, and has been a good friend over the years. We were actually neighbors once, when he and his wife got married, they lived across the street actually. I remember when Annie was born and they brought her home from the hospital. My mom took them food." Derrick smiled at the memory.

"Boss, I'm really sorry. I don't know what got into me." Terry said, holding his glass in his hands, rolling it around in his palms.

"I do." Derrick said, sipping from his glass. He set his glass down and leaned against Terry, shoulder to shoulder, bumping him. "And I really appreciate it. I want you to know that. You're a special guy, Terry, and Sam realized that too, after you got done chewing his ass." Derrick chuckled. "You showed him and me loyalty, loyalty to me. That's hard to find these days."

"Boss..." Terry started to say, but Derrick put a hand on his lower arm to stop him.

"You did nothing but speak from your heart, Terry. I can't repay that, nor would I try. All I can hope is that I can continue to keep your loyalty." Derrick said, as he patted his arm with his hand.

"Sam is going to prioritize the files. He wants me to pick them up in the morning." Derrick chuckled again. "He said not to send you, he doesn't want an ass chewing in the morning."

"I guess I owe him an apology."

"The hell you say. He appreciated being slapped like that. He likes it when people stand up for what they believe in. Makes you a person of solid character in his eyes, and his daughters." Derrick said he sipped from his glass again. Terry looked over at him, his eyes wide. "Yeah, you got her attention, bud."

"She kind of said something, when I walked out." Terry said, taking his first sip.

"She will. She's...outspoken." Derrick chuckled again.

"Really. I think she's incredibly..."

"Hot?" Derrick asked. "Easy, killer, she can probably kick both our asses, at the same time. Remember, she grew up dealing with construction workers."

"You're right." Terry sounded defeated, sipping again. "She's out of my league."

"Oh, I don't know about that." Derrick downed the last of his glass. "Finish your drink, we have a business to run, remember?" Nick walked back over to them, giving them a casual smile.

"How are things, Derrick?"

"Alright, I suppose, Nick. How's business?"

"Been quiet lately. That new club around the corner has taken a few away from me."

"Sorry to hear that."

"Happens." Nick said, eyeing Terry. Derrick saw it.

"Nick, this is Terry, Terry this in Nick." Derrick said. "Terry is my office manager."

"Oh, I see." Nick took Terry's hand, holding it a little longer than normal. Terry finally pulled back his hand. "I was going to give you a call, Derrick."

"Really, what for?"

"Some advice."

"About?" Derrick asked.

"Making a change with the place. I think maybe you were right, sprucing up the place a little?"

"Ah. I'm not an interior decorator, you know." Derrick smiled.

"Maybe some ideas, you know?"

"I know someone that might be able to help with that. Remember my old roommate, Paul? A friend of his actually."

"Paul." Nick rolled his eyes. "Is he still around?"

"Yep, he is."

"Still living with you?"

"Not anymore." Derrick smiled. Derrick pulled out some cash and put it on the bar, as Terry put down his empty glass. Derrick got up off the stool and reached out his hand. Nick took it and held it for a long minute. "Good to see you, Nick."

"Even better to see you, Derrick." Nick smiled, "Good to meet you, Terry." Terry nodded and smiled Derrick walked away, Terry behind him. When they got outside in the afternoon light, Terry had to squint his eyes for a minute.

"Is there anybody that you don't know in this town, boss?" Terry asked. Derrick chuckled as they walked toward the car. Once inside, Derrick started it up and drove back to the office. They walked in as the staff was nearing time to go home for the day. Derrick walked up to Kim, smiling at her.

"Hey there. Any problems?" Derrick asked.

"Not really, no. Tom is waiting for you in his office, said he needed to talk to you if you came back in."

"Okay, any calls?"

"None for you, but one for Terry." Kim smiled up at Terry as he was looking around at everybody else. "Annie Beckett called." Terry snapped his head around, looking down at Kim.

"What did she say? I mean," Terry cleared his throat, "what did she need?" Derrick almost died watching Terry and his reaction. Kim was relentless with him in teasing him. "We had a little chat." Terry's eyes were almost bugged. "She just wanted some information, beings on how you weren't here and all." Kim was going way overboard with Terry, he was about to bust. Derrick watched the two and was almost ready to explode laughing himself, but kept control. He shook his head, grinning and walked to go find Tom.

Conner and Alec left the bank, walking out into the parking lot together, looking at each other from time to time. Alec would smile, and Conner would wiggle his eyebrows at him. Conner opened the door for Alec and then went round to the driver side. He opened the door and climbed in. Conner smiled at Alec and leaned over and kissed him. They pulled away from each other slowly, and Alec caught something out of the corner of his eye, he turned saw a young boy, an early teen walking, he had stopped and was watching them. Conner turned and winked at the boy as he started the car. The boy smiled at them. Conner pulled away.

"What now?" Alec said as he almost squirmed in his seat.

"Shopping." Conner said, as he looked at Alec quickly.

"Shopping for what?"

"What you asked for, you're favorite thing."

"The bed?" Alec was now getting excited.

"The bed, my love." Conner drove on, knowing where he wanted to go. He pulled the car into a parking lot of a huge furniture store and parked.

"Here? Are you serious?" Alec was wide eyed.

"Is this okay, or did you want to go someplace else?"

"I just never expected this. I thought we were going to go back to the house."

"Oh, come on, a little window shopping is fun." Conner smiled. Alec couldn't refuse him when he smiled like that. They got out of the car and walked toward the store. "Besides this might give us some ideas for the apartment, right?"

"You're right." Alec stopped, looking at Conner who stopped a couple of steps later, looking back at him. "Promise me, we're not going to buy anything yet."

"We're only looking. We can decide on what we want together, later, alright?"

"Alright." Alec said. They walked into the store, there was furniture everywhere, living rooms, dining rooms were to the rear, and bedrooms flanked each side of the store. Alec was instantly overwhelmed with all of it. Too many choices he thought.

"What kind of style would you like?" Conner asked, looking at the couches and love seats. Conner saw one as he waited for an answer to his question, and sat on it. It seemed to firm to him. He wanted something deep, to accommodate his long legs, and soft that they could curl up on together and make love on if they wished.

"Don't you have furniture?" Alec asked.

"I have a few odds and ends, but not real furniture like this. It's on the moving truck. Mostly it's boxes. And that reminds me, I have to find a storage room. I can do that tomorrow I guess." Conner got up off the couch he was on.

"Did you like that?"

"No, it's too hard." Conner said, and continued to look around.

"Can I help find something?" Alec turned and looked toward the voice, Conner looked up as well, and smiled at her.

"We were just looking, thank you." Alec said.

"Actually, do you have an assortment of mattresses?"

"Right this way." She said, eyeballing them both. Conner wiggled his eyebrows at Alec and nodded his head to follow her. They walked over toward the wall of the store and she started talking about the various types of mattress and boxed springs. She explained the difference between memory foam and conventional spring mattresses. Conner listened as he was getting a bit of an education. She invited them to try them out. Alec was very hesitant, Conner saw it. He got close to Alec and asked him what was wrong. Alec leaned into Conner's ear and whispered.

"If I lay on a bed with you, I'm gonna get all hard, I just know it." Conner pulled back, looking back at Alec, nodding his head in an exaggerated manner, then chuckled.

"Okay, one at a time then." Conner said. "You try it, then I will, if you like it." She was looking at them very strangely, not getting it. Conner saw her look and smiled, leaning close to her while Alec tried a mattress.

"Newlyweds." He said. She blushed, and looked embarrassed. Conner winked at her. Alec wasn't paying attention at all. "What would be your suggestion?" Conner asked her.

"Memory foam. It's what I have at home. My husband and I enjoy it very much."

"Hmmm, really." Conner said, looking at her as he sat on a bed. Alec was horrified.

"Conner!"

"What?" He looked at Alec, playfully. "I'm sure she was talking about sleeping." Conner bugged his eyes at Alec, making him smile, and then shake his head. They tried several different mattresses, but Alec kept going back to the memory foam, trying it again after every one of the conventional types. Conner finally figured it out. "Alright, I get it." Conner said.

"What?" Alec asked, with a smile.

"Turn over."

"What?"

"Turn over. You always sleep on your stomach."

"I do?"

"Yes, babe, you do. Turn over." Conner said. Alec did as Conner said, and then Conner got on next to him, laying on his back. He looked at her. "I always go to bed on my back." Conner saw her smile, and then looked over at Alec. "Well?"

"It's very comfortable. I couldn't feel you at all when you got on the bed."

"Good, then we won't wake each other with our crazy hours we keep, or will keep." Conner smiled at him.

"I have that problem." Alec said softly.

"Really?" Conner asked, with a devilish look on his face. "Okay. I think we'll go look at couches again, or maybe a dining set."

"Okay, I'll be with you in a minute." Alec said, whispering. Conner smiled and got up.

"Well, as we're going to be furnishing a new apartment, I was wondering if we could look at dining sets?" He asked her, trying to lead her away, she looked back at Alec. "He'll join us in a minute, he worked all night long, and hasn't really been to bed yet."

She led Conner to dining room sets, while Alec 'composed' himself rather quickly. Conner was asking about something that was expandable, if they were to entertain guests. She showed him several different styles, and Conner liked the more rustic look of the one set. He sat at it and felt it, the weight of the chair, it was very comfortable. Alec joined them and saw what Conner was sitting at. He smiled at it, and Conner.

"You like it?" Alec asked.

"Yes, I do. Try it out." Conner said, and Alec sat at it. He looked across the table at Conner and smiled again. "You like it, don't you?"

"I do."

"Good. Then I have an idea." Conner said. "You like Derrick's furniture, don't you?"

"Yes, I do." Alec said. Conner wiggled his eyebrows at him, Alec knew it was trouble. Conner turned and looked at her.

"Okay, keeping with this style in mind, I would like to see something in a couch and love seat, masculine, overstuffed, and covered in something that's not really like a slick leather or vinyl, you know what I mean?"

"I certainly do," She smiled, "right this way." Conner followed, Alec getting up from the table, but looked back at it, then he followed. She led Conner to a soft suede large armed couch toward the other side of the store. It had a matching love seat. Conner loved the look and sat on it, it was deep enough and very soft and comfortable. He sank back as Alec came up and stopped, folding his arms over his chest.

"Okay, I see it now." Alec said as he shifted his weight to one leg, giving Conner the raised eyebrow look. "You love the couch more than me." Alec said, not realizing he actually said it out loud, until Conner's eyes went wide. Alec realized what he said and blushed. Conner laughed, and she smiled.

"Come and try this, babe, really. It's incredible." Conner said. Alec came around the table in front of it and sat down, he sunk in and sat back, he melted into the high back with Conner at the other end from him. Alec rolled his head over and gave Conner the dreamy eyed look.

"Okay." Alec said, "I love it more than you." Alec smiled, Conner's mouth dropped open at him, then Alec did the thing that Conner wanted most of all, swinging his body around Alec resting his head in Conner's lap. Conner looked down, grinning from ear to ear. "Could you get me some iced tea, sweetie?" Alec asked.

"Okay, get off me." Conner said, lifting and then pushing Alec off of him, "Time to go to the car." Conner said loudly, putting his hands on his hips. Conner gave Alec a stern look. Alec was sitting on the couch, almost pouting. "Do you like the tables?"

"Not really. I saw one over there that I kind of liked." Alec brightened. Conner broke out laughing. Alec knew he had been had, he slumped.

"See? I knew you'd like this." Conner said, as he stopped laughing. Alec looked confused. "Shopping? You can't fool me, mister. You love the couch, don't you?"

"Yes." Alec said, softly. Conner sat down next to him, leaning against him. "I can imagine this in our apartment, can't you?"

"Yes." Alec said softly.

"Then I guess we need to find the apartment now."

"Yes." Alec said as soft.

"Are you always this agreeable?"

"Yes." Alec grinned and looked at Conner. "You know I am when it comes to you."

"I know." Conner wiggled his eyebrows again. He looked up at her and smiled. "He loves it." Conner got to his feet. "Do you have stock on it, or is it this set?"

"No, we have stock on it."

"Perfect." Conner reached out his hand to her. She took it. "I take it, you work on commission?"

"Yes." She said.

"Then I need your card. We will only deal with you, if that's alright?"

"It certainly is." She smiled. "You two certainly are something."

"I like to think so." Conner smiled at her. She walked off toward a counter area. "Tomorrow, we start the apartment hunting. Then once we get in, we will have this all delivered and set up." Conner said to Alec, and then smiled his million dollar smile.

Derrick pulled into the driveway behind Alec's car. He wondered if Alec was here or not, as he didn't see Conner's rental car, maybe they were together in it. Derrick got out of the car and went toward the house. He came up the steps and opened the front door, closing it behind him, he went through the living room into the dining room, looking at the answering machine, he set his keys down on the small table. He went into the kitchen, not seeing Ty, thinking he must be out back. He went and walked out back, going down the steps and across the yard to the structure. He went through the large doors and saw Ty stand there at the far wall. The wall looked different to Derrick. He walked toward it, and then realized that it was wonder board for tile.

"Wow." Derrick said softly. Ty turned and saw Derrick standing there. Ty stepped up to him quickly, throwing his arms round Derrick's neck, hugging him tight. Derrick hugged him back, gently at first and gradually grew tighter as he felt Ty squeezing him more and more with powerful muscles. "Easy, baby." Derrick said softly. "A little air would be good right about now." Ty eased, but still held him tight. "What's wrong?" Derrick asked softly. Ty was never like this.

"I don't want to let you go." Ty said quietly.

"Okay. We can stay like this for a while."

"No, I mean never, like forever."

"Ty, what are trying to tell me?" Derrick asked. Ty pulled back from Derrick, taking Derrick by the hands. Derrick could that his eyes were wet.

"I'm a little upset."

"I can see that." Derrick squeezed Ty's fingers with his gently. "What's got you upset?"

"Us."

"No." Derrick almost gasped, then regrouped himself. "What about us?"

"Something that I wanted for us, but was too late with." Ty cracked a brief smile. Derrick waited for Ty to get himself together, he could see that it was really troubling to him to say it. Derrick wasn't going to push it. Ty took a deep breath and let it out slowly. "I was going to ask...but the guys kind of beat me to it." Ty lowered his head and sobbed softly. He lifted his face up, looking at Derrick. "And now it looks that if I did, it would be just because of them."

"Oh no, sweetie, don't think that." Derrick said softly.

"You know it's true. They would think that." Ty said.

"Let them think what they want, it doesn't matter to me." Derrick said, looking at Ty's face all over, his torment and agony was over all of it, the whole thing going through his mind.

"I have this." Ty pulled his right away, and reached into his cargo pocket, pulling out a small box. Derrick saw it and his eyes went wide. "I've had this for a while, but was waiting for the right time." Ty looked at Derrick. "Derrick," Ty swallowed hard, "I have nothing to offer you, you have a home, a business, a successful life. The only thing that I have to offer you,...is me."

"Oh my God." Derrick said in a whisper, taking his hand and putting to his mouth. He fought back tears.

"I offer you me, and I hope that in your heart of hearts that that would be enough, as it's all that I have in this world. Is it enough?"

"Oh, it is so enough." Derrick said, lowering his hand. Their eyes were on each other. "I hoped so much that this day would come, I wanted it so bad." Derrick reached out and took Ty in his arms, hugging him tightly to him. Ty hugged him back. "I can't imagine my life without you." Derrick whispered in Ty's ear. "You are more than I could ever hope for."

"May I give you this?" Ty asked softly. Derrick slowly let him go, still trying to fight back tears. Ty was composing himself better. "I was going to do this over dinner out tonight, but, being in here, with you, something that you designed, and I helped you build, it makes it all that much more perfect. This shows what we can do together." Ty got on bended knee, holding the box up with one hand. He fingers of his other hand went to the hinged lid, slowly starting to lift it. "The moment I saw this, I knew it belonged to you and no one else. It was made for you." Ty said, opening the box. Derrick gasped when he saw it.

The ring was platinum, dark in color, almost an ebony. It was engraved with what looked like a feather of a quill around the center of the band, both edges of the band were bordered in what looked like silver, it shone in the dim light of the structure that came through the windows and the large door. Ty took it out of the box and held it in his fingertips. Derrick offered his hand, Ty looked into Derrick's eyes as he slipped it on Derrick's finger, the third finger of his left hand, the ring fit perfectly. Derrick tilted his head back, really trying to fight the tears. He wanted this so much, and he was happy. He wanted to be the one to propose, but was more than happy that it was Ty that was doing it on his own terms, feeling as comfortable about as he could with what was going on around them.

"Derrick Jacobson, would you please do me the honor of spending the rest of your life with me? I pledge you my heart, my soul, my very being to you and only to you. You have become the most important thing to me in this world, and I truly can't live without you any longer. Derrick, will you marry me?"

"Oh my God, yes." Derrick couldn't help himself. His heart was pounding so hard in his chest, he had a lump in his throat that kept him from swallowing. He sobbed and dropped a tear and then dropped to his knees. "Yes." Derrick whispered. "A thousand times, yes." Derrick threw his arms around Ty's neck. He hugged Ty tight to him, feeling Ty's powerful arms go around his waist and squeeze him. "I so love you." Derrick whispered. They hugged for a long minute and then pulled back, looking into each other's eyes. They fell into a soft kiss, and then became tighter with each other, hands and arms wrapped each other, clinging and hanging on each other in love, nothing about sex, just pure love coming from each other, sending the message to the other one that they loved each other deeply, purely. They pulled apart from one another, slowly, as they had heard something. They looked toward the big door, seeing Conner and Alec standing there. Conner had his arm around Alec's shoulders, holding them tight. Alec was crying freely watching them on their knees, wrapped together.

"You guys are so freakin amazing." Conner said, his voice cracking, obviously fighting tears, as he looked away, from them and Alec.

Derrick looked back at Ty and stood, bring Ty up with him, pulling on his hands. They looked at one another and kissed gently again, Derrick cradling Ty's face in both of his hands, Ty putting a hand to one of Derrick's cheeks. They slowly pulled apart but hung there, close, looking at each other.

"I love you, Derrick." Ty said softly.

"Not as much as I love you. You have made me the happiest man on this day of days. I will never forget this for the rest of my life." Derrick said softly, and then smiled at Ty. He kissed him gently again. Derrick pulled away and smiled wide at the love of his life. They looked over and saw Alec standing there, falling apart beside them. Ty reached out and hugged him tight. Derrick watched for a minute and saw Conner coming toward him quickly. Conner and Derrick collided together and clung together as long as Ty and Alec. They broke apart, and then they hugged the other. Ty hugged Conner tight, kissing his cheek through the tears. Derrick totally encircled Alec with his arms. Alec melted into him, loving where he was, feeling warm and protected in Derrick's arms. Alec clung to him willingly, as he sobbed into Derrick's muscled chest. They slowly pulled away from each other.

"So how long have you guys been spying on us?" Derrick asked, with a slight frown.

"Since Ty pulled the box out of his pocket." Conner said.

"You saw the whole thing?" Ty asked.

"We're sorry, it was just so beautiful. I couldn't stop." Alec said.

"I thought I proposed in a hot way" Conner said, and then punched Ty's shoulder. "You way put me in the dirt, dude. Way to go. I would marry you." Conner wiggled his eyebrows. Ty rolled his eyes. He walked over to Derrick and put his arm around his waist and led him toward the house. Derrick put his arm around Ty as well. As they walked, Derrick smiled at Ty.

"You know a song comes to mind thinking about all of this."

" Really, what song?"

"It's really corny, I know, but it fits." Derrick said.

"What song? We've never talked about music before."

"The Sweetest Thing I've Ever Known," Derrick said, "corny, I know."

"I don't know it."

"I'll play it for you in the house." Derrick said, and stopped as they reached the doors. Derrick turned a little, looking back over his shoulder at Conner and Alec. "Oh, and by the way, you guys are grounded for a week for spying on us. No TV, and no staying up late." Derrick smiled, then started walking with Ty again.

"We've got to get our own place." Conner said with a sigh, staring after them. Alec snuggled up next to him, chuckling.

"Well, at least he didn't say that we couldn't have sex." Alec said.

"God, it's like living at my parents again. I haven't been grounded since I was ten." Conner said, rolling his eyes. Alec just chuckled as they walked toward the house.

 

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