Building Things Chapter 37

Derrick played the song for Ty on the stereo system in the living room. Ty had finally remembered it after it started playing. He wiped a tear as he heard it, knowing what Derrick had meant, as the words struck him. Ty smiled at him, as he shut the stereo off when the song ended.

"So, are we still going out?" Derrick asked, as he came closer to Ty, moving slowly. They finally reached each other and just hugged one another. Ty rested his chin on Derrick's shoulder as he slowly slid his hands up and down Derrick's back. Derrick was leaning his head against Ty's as he closed his eyes, keeping his hand where they were around Ty. Derrick slowly exhaled as he felt Ty and the way he held him.

"Did you eat anything today?" Ty asked softly.

"No, did you?"

"No, I didn't."

Conner and Alec were sitting at the table in the kitchen, side by side, looking at Conner's laptop, scanning the various sites for apartments. Conner was looking by location, Alec was scanning by price, but didn't say anything to Conner about it, just giving him side glances.

"Have you ever heard that song before?" Alec asked quietly.

"Yeah, I have. Why?" Conner asked without looking away from the screen.

"They have a song," Alec said, leaning against Conner, putting an arm around his waist, then hooking his thumb into Conner's jeans, "do we have a song?"

Conner smiled, then tilted his head against Alec's. "Several come to mind."


"Yeah. But none that really say what I feel about you." Conner said softly. Alec lay his head on Conner's shoulder, smiling.

"Oh, wait." Alec said, lifting his head. "Go back." Conner back tabbed once to the previous site. "What about there?"

"You like that?" Conner was scanning the site more, looking at it in a professional manner, as a realtor.

"I think they're nice. Go down the screen a little." Alec said, then saw it. "There, take the virtual tour."

"Okay." Conner said. He clicked and it began for them in a smaller window. The camera moved about showing the living room, with the kitchen coming into view, and then the hall. The screen faded, and then the bedroom came into view, moving around the room as if you were in the center of the room. The screen faded again, as you came into view of the master bathroom, a large open shower, separate tub, and dual sinks. Conner heard Alec almost gasp when he saw the shower, and chuckled. The screen faded and then slowly came back with the view in the kitchen now, swinging around showing the wooden cabinets, fridge, and stove, that looked like it had gas burners, not electric. Alec made his gasp sound again, and Conner leaned his over against Alec's again. "Well, I guess you're sold."

"Do you like it?" Alec asked.

"Virtual tour is nice, babe, but seeing it first hand is way better." Conner said, and pulled out his phone. "I'll call them and we can make an appointment to view it." Conner said, as he dialed the number. "Hi, good afternoon, I thought I was going to get a voicemail," Conner chuckled, "we were just viewing your website, and we would like to make an appointment to see a two bedroom, if possible?" Conner asked, and listened to what he was being told, his eyes went wide. "Wow, I think that's great, it doesn't say anything about hours on the site, hmmm, can you hold on a moment while I ask? Thanks." Conner moved his head, turning it toward Alec, who sat straight. "She's there until seven in the evenings, she wants to know if we want to come now?"

"Really? Yes." Alec was nodding, looking excited."

"Yes, that would be fine, thank you. We're about twenty minutes away from you right now. Perfect. My name is Conner. Yes, alright, thank you very much. We'll see you shortly then. Bye." Conner ended the call, looking at Alec. "Perfect. Her name is Connie, she's the onsite manager, and she's waiting for us. Let's go." Conner wiggled his eyebrows and got up, Alec jumped as well.

"Let me go to the bathroom first." Alec said, walking away quickly. Conner turned seeing Derrick and Ty standing in the living room, holding each other still. He smiled at them, and then walked toward them a few steps.

"Hey guys, we're going to go out and check out an apartment, then maybe go have dinner. We'll be back later, alright?" Conner asked. Derrick and Ty turned and looked at him, smiling at him.

"Sure. Where's it at?" Derrick asked.

"Up on Lansing, on the north end."

"Oh, Verona Heights." Derrick said, leaning his forehead against Ty's.

"Yeah, how did you know?"

"Who do you think designed it?"

Conner shook his head. "Figures." He rolled his eyes as he started to turn.

"And don't forget, you guys are still grounded." Derrick said with a broad smile. Conner just shook his head as he walked away, taking Alec by the arm as he came out of the bathroom. They walked out the back door.

"So, now that we have the house to ourselves..." Derrick said, looking at Ty.

"Let's eat something first, then you can fuck my brains out all night." Ty smiled and then kissed Derrick softly.

"Deal." Derrick said, lifting an eyebrow. "Chinese?"

"I was thinking...Mexican."

"Really, alright. I know a great place."

"So do I, but it's a little rustic."

"It's not a taco truck, is it?"

"No." Ty said, poking Derrick in the ribs. "Jerk. I told you that I know some nice places."

"Rustic?" Derrick asked, backing up a step, "how rustic?"

"Better word is probably...authentic."

"Hmmm." Derrick frowned.

"Trust me." Ty said, smiling. "We'll take the truck. The car might get stolen in that neighborhood."

"Seriously?" Derrick asked with wide eyes.

"Where's your sense of adventure?" Ty kissed him softly, turning toward the back door.

Conner and Alec pulled into the complex, seeing the sign pointing to where the office was. Conner saw an open space that said, 'Future Residents', and parked the car. He looked at Alec who was wide eyed, looking excited.

"Imagine that, front row parking." Conner smiled as he opened his door. Alec just shook his head at him and got out as well. Conner looked around as the daylight was slipping away, giving the sky a burnt orange glow to it. He liked the looks of the complex, and saw Alec step up onto the sidewalk. Conner joined him and then they walked toward the office. They walked into the large building, seeing a large lobby with a huge rock fireplace at the far end, large leather couches that faced one another, flanked by high backed leather arm chairs. A large throw rug was under the furniture as Conner and Alec were standing on natural stone tiles.

"Wow." Alec said. He looked about, seeing a small gym off to the right that was glass enclosed. He saw a guy running on one of the treadmills. Alec turned and looked at Conner, all of sudden thinking this was going to cost a fortune to live here. Alec's excitement faded away. Conner saw it and reached out to squeeze his hand.

"Conner?" Making them both turn and look toward the voice. A lady in a dress, came walking toward them. She looked very professional in her appearance.

"Yes." Conner said, holding out his hand.

"Hi, I'm Connie." She smiled at him, and then looked at Alec.

"Hi, I'm Alec." He said, quietly, offering her his hand as well. She smiled at Alec, shaking his hand.

"How do you do?" She took her hand back. "So, you two are the 'we' that you spoke of on the phone?"

"Yes." Conner said, nodding as well.

"Very good." She said, looking them both over very carefully. "You're interested in a two bedroom?"

"Yes, we are. You did say that there is one available?"

"Yes," She said, looking hesitant, making Conner narrow his eyes a little, "It's an upstairs apartment. I probably should have told you that on the phone, I'm sorry, and it's across from the pool."

"Pool?" Alec asked with wide eyes.

"Yes, pool." She said, looking at him.

"There's a pool." Alec said, getting excited again, looking at Conner. Conner chuckled, then looked back at Connie.

"You'll have to forgive him. He has been living in a studio for some time, and they don't have any amenities." Conner said, with a smile.

"I understand." She returned the smile. "Would you like to see it?"

"Certainly." Conner said, looking at Alec, smiling wide at him.

"I'll just get my keys then. We can actually go through the pool area, if you'd like?"

"That would be great." Alec said, sounding excited.

"Oh boy." Conner said, under his breath, rolling his eyes.

"What?" Alec asked, looking at him.

"I know where you'll be all the time now., and it won't be in the kitchen."

"Oh stop." Alec slapped Conner's shoulder, as Connie walked up to them with her keys in hand. She smiled at them again, seeing them play a little.

"If you'll follow me?" She turned and walked toward the glass door that was on the same wall as the large rock fireplace. They walked behind her.

Ty pulled the truck up into a parking lot in front of an old beat up looking building. Derrick half smiled, knowing it was from the 1930's at least, noting the architecture. Ty parked and they opened the doors to get out. The sound of music was in the air, but not too loud. Derrick smiled as he closed his door and walked toward the door, meeting Ty. Ty grabbed the door and pulled it open, letting Derrick go first, as the music grew louder as they went inside. It was softly lit inside, and there a few tables in the center of the room, but booths along the wall, a long counter, almost like a bar was in front of them, running along the wall. Derrick waited as Ty came up next to him. It was Ty's idea, so Derrick let him take the lead.

Ty walked over toward one of the booths as Derrick followed him. Ty sat in the booth and scooted to the middle of the bench. Derrick slid in on the other side, doing the same. An older Hispanic lady came over toward the booth, she was wearing a longer dress, and was a little on the overweight side, her hair was up and almost in a bun style. He held menus and smiled at them, as she lay them on the table in front of each of them.

"Buenas tardes." She said in a soft voice.

"Buenas tardes como estas?" Derrick asked, Ty had forgotten that Derrick could speak Spanish. Ty shook his head slightly.

"Here we go." Ty said softly, under his breath.

"Estoy bien gracias." She smiled slightly, "Podria tenerte algo beber?"

"Tienes un bar completo?" Derrick asked.


"Margarita con Petrone. Con la sal. Mezclado." Derrick smiled up at her, and then opened the menu.

"Senor?" She asked Ty.

"Uh, iced tea, please." Ty replied, and then she turned away.

Derrick stopped looking at the menu and looked around the room. There were a few other diners, scattered about, talking to one another, no one being very loud as the music was about the right level. Derrick noticed the d├ęcor of the place, noting that it seemed indeed, authentic, as Ty had put it. He went back to his menu. She returned to the table, carrying tortilla chips and a small stone bowl of salsa. She set it down on the table, then walked away again.

"How did you find this place?" Derrick asked.

"I did a project a couple of years back right around the corner, used to come here almost every day for dinner. Haven't been here for a while, place hasn't changed at all."

"Has a nice atmosphere." Derrick said, looking up and smiling. "Reminds me of a place in Ensenada."

"You've been to Mexico?" Ty asked, looking up from the menu.

"A few times." Derrick nodded his head.

"Really, where else have you been?"

"Europe, part of Asia, North Africa once, and Canada a couple of times."

"Got me beat."

"I wasn't trying to make it a competition." Derrick said softly. "I'm sorry."

"Nothing to be sorry about, you obviously have had different opportunities than I had, that's all." Ty said, shrugging his shoulders. Ty closed the menu, seeing that it hadn't changes as well. He knew what he wanted.

"What do you recommend?"

"Really everything. It's all really good here. I have never been disappointed. But, I would recommend the chicken fajitas."

"That sounds good right now." Derrick smiled as the woman returned, carrying a small tray. She set Derrick's drink in front of him, and his widened by the size of the glass. She gave him a slight smile seeing his eyes. She set Ty's tea in front of him. She took their orders and walked away toward the kitchen.

"I have been meaning to ask you something, but it keeps slipping my mind." Ty said as he picked up his tea.

"And what would that be?" Derrick asked as he stirred his drink with the straw in it.

"Well, I wanted to ask you what kind of flooring you wanted in the structure?" Derrick laughed out loud, Ty had a puzzled look on his face, then started to laugh as well. "I know, pretty stupid, huh?" Derrick was trying to get his laughing stopped, looking at Ty.

"I'm sorry," Derrick said, holding up his hands, "it's just that with everything over the past few days, I was waiting for another bombshell." Derrick laughed again, slowly pulling himself together as Ty was scanning the other diners, who were looking at them. Derrick wiped his eyes with the back of his hands, and then looked at Ty. "Wow, I needed that." Derrick chuckled, then took a drink of his margarita. "Ah, needed that too, hmmm....ooh, that's good."

"Is it loaded?"

"Oh yeah." Derrick screwing his face up a little. Ty laughed a little. "Dinner better get here before I drink anymore of that." Derrick said lifting an eyebrow.

"Probably the smart thing." Ty said, with a smile. "Good thing you have a designated tonight."

"Good thing." Derrick smiled. "Don't want a repeat of yesterday, now do we?"

"No," Ty smiled wide, " not at all." Ty paused for a moment, then looked at Derrick, "You haven't answered my question yet." Derrick gave Ty a side glance as he saw the woman bringing a sizzling skillet to the table. She set it in front of him.

"Gracias." Derrick said. She nodded and turned away. "Well, to answer your question, I hadn't given it much thought actually. What would you think?" Derrick looked up and grinned.

"Ah, a test." Ty lifted an eyebrow toward him.

"You think it's a test?" Derrick asked as she came to the table again, carrying Ty's dinner as well as a warmer for Derrick's tortillas. Derrick watched as Ty picked up his fork, and then Derrick began as well.

She opened the door of the apartment and walked in, Conner and Alec followed in behind her and stopped at the entrance. It smelled so new to Alec. He was instantly in love with it, but didn't want to show it to Conner. Conner saw that the carpet was new, and vacuumed in rows. Conner kicked off his shoes and left them at the entrance. Alec saw it and did the same. They walked out onto the carpet and Conner crossed the room to what looked to be a slider with blinds covering it. He opened the vertical blinds and looked out on the little deck. He opened the slider and stepped out, leaving the door open.

The view over the pool was spectacular as far as Conner was concerned, as he leaned on the rail. Alec stepped up next to him, leaning his head against Conner's shoulder, looking out and down slightly. The pool was lit up and the water shimmered with the light under its surface. Alec almost cooed at it. Conner looked toward Alec with only his eyes, and then stood. He stiffened and then turned and walked toward the kitchen, Alec slowly followed him back in, looking over his shoulder at the pool, then Alec saw where Conner was headed. Alec walked quickly by him, going in first. Alec walked up to the stove and put his hands on it.

"It's gas." Alec said, looking at Conner. Conner smiled at him. Alec turned and opened the fridge, looking at all of the space inside, then closed the door. He turned back and looked at Conner with wide smiling eyes. Conner thought of him as a little boy with that look and loved him even more because of it. Conner walked up to the counter, thinking it need bar stools, probably something with backs to them...yes, that would work. Alec was opening cabinets, looking inside like he was hoping something was going to be there. Alec finally turned, looking at Conner.

"Stay right there, at the stove, babe." Conner smiled as he pulled out his phone, opening it, going to camera and then took the picture of Alec. "Perfect." Conner said, as he looked at the picture, and then Alec. "Let's go see the bedroom." Conner wiggled his eyebrows. Alec squirmed a little in his jeans and then followed Conner down the hall, into the master. The one window on the wall would look out over the pool below, which Alec was pleased about. Conner saw the size of the room, thinking that Derrick had had a hand in its sizing when it was designed. Conner shook his head slightly at the thought and then walked into the master bathroom. Conner sighed to himself seeing its size. "Babe, you have to see this." Conner said aloud. Alec stepped up next to him and leaned in to see. Alec's eyes went wide at the shower.

"Oh my God...Conner." Alec said, as he stepped around him and then inside, walking up to the shower, which was a large platform, open for the most part, but tiled walls came out to each side about halfway out, the rest was open to the room itself. The floor was wide and long, so no water could escape to the floor. One the ends of the half walls were large hooks for towels to hang from. "My towels suck." Alec said more to himself. "Have to get new ones." Conner chuckled hearing him.

"Try it out, babe." Conner said to him, watching Alec step up into the open shower. Connie came up next to Conner, looking at Alec as he played like he was taking a shower fully dressed.

They both laughed softly watching him. Conner looked down at her. "I guess we're going to take it now."

"I thought so." Connie said, watching Alec. Alec stopped playing and walked over to the tub, looking at its size. Alec climbed into it and sat down in it, putting his feet up on the edge.

"We could really have fun in here." Alec said out loud, and then, just like earlier that day at the furniture store, he tried to catch himself but it was too late. Conner laughed at the expression on Alec's face, as it saddened and went red. Alec looked at Conner with pleading eyes. Conner looked down at Connie, who had actually stepped into the bathroom.

"We will soon be newlyweds."

"I kind of thought so, or that you already were." Connie smiled back at Conner. "You know there is a background check and process that needs to be done first, but..." She said as she looked back over at Alec, "I'm not sure that he can wait that long." She slowly looked back up at Conner. "Tell me about you and what you do." Conner snorted out of his nose and shook his head slightly, then began the tale. She was wide eyed as Alec climbed out of the tub and walked away from them, exploring the rest of the apartment. The second bedroom was large, but not too big. Alec thought his old bed would fit quite well in there, with some of his other things, for guests, if any, that might stay with them. Alec opened up the hall closets, seeing all of the storage space available, then into the front entry, there was a double door closet, Alec opened the right side, there was a stack washer and dryer in it, his mouth opened and he gasped at it, the left side was a coat closet. He was so happy with everything that he could scream. And as the apartment was at the end of the building, the only wall that connected with the neighbor was the dining room and kitchen walls. Alec made a devilish grin, as they could scream their heads off in the bedroom and no one could probably hear them. Alec's heart was pounding so hard and fast. He turned and looked around. This is what he wanted...what he wanted for him and Conner. Conner just had to love this place, Alec thought, he just had to, please, oh please. Alec walked quickly back to the bedroom, as Connie and Conner were standing at the bedroom window, chatting. Conner was coming to the conclusion of their tale as Alec rejoined them. Conner held out an arm toward him. Alec came closer as Conner wrapped his arm around Alec's shoulders, drawing him in to Conner, kissing Alec's temple and continued his talk with Connie. Conner could see that she was near tears as Conner finally finished telling her everything.

"You guys were made for this place." She smiled. "If you want the apartment we need to fill out the paperwork, it won't take very long at all, considering what you just told me, I will push it through and you can move in by the first of next week, if you wish." Conner looked at Alec, who had tears welling.

"Babe?" Conner asked raising his eyebrows.

"Could we?" Alec asked Conner softly.

"Whatever you want." Conner smiled and then kissed his forehead. "It just means more shopping."

"Oh, here we go again." Alec sighed. Conner laughed.

"Come on, let's go, goofy man." Conner said, turning Alec, pointing him toward the door.

Paperwork was done, Conner produced a check for what she required per the needs of the complex for deposits and rent. She looked at the paperwork, seeing where Conner was actually going to be working and lifted her eyes to him, knowing the company well and it being bought out be a major corporation. Seeing the name, Van Owen, she discreetly searched it on the internet and discovered who Conner actually was related to and what it was that he was telling her in the apartment as Conner had left out some details, only giving the general idea. Her demeanor changed almost immediately to one of awe, looking at Conner. Conner noticed something with her.

"Something wrong?" Conner asked.

"Not exactly wrong," She said, then looked embarrassed, she turned the computer screen so they could see it, "I'm sorry, I saw the company name on the application." She turned a little red in the cheeks. Conner read what she was talking about.

"I see." Conner pursed his lips, and then looked at her. "Does this change anything?"

"Yes." She said flatly, as she opened a drawer of her desk. Conner narrowed his eyes, and Alec was looking at him like something was terribly wrong. "It means...that I need to give you these right now." She said, handing keys over to him.


"Several reasons." She leaned forward on the desk. "First, you say you're going to be running the real estate division of the corporation?" Conner nodded his reply. "Well, that corporation, or at least part of it, owns this complex, so I guess,... I'm kind of working for you." She smiled. Conner was floored, his mouth dropping open.

"I didn't know. I don't get my briefing until Monday actually."

"Well, I guess I've given you a little head start." She smiled, and then looked at Alec, who was confused. "So, the application was a formality only. I don't need to do anything. As employees of the corporation, it's policy that they can live here, without all the other normal restraints that average people would have to deal with."

"I see. Are there other people living in the complex that work for the corporation?"

"A few. They are scattered about, as they came in at various times, and I would not have wanted to group them together at all."

"Probably a good idea." Conner said softly.

"Is this going to be okay?" Alec, asking Conner, "Because if it's going to make you uncomfortable, then we can..."

"No, sweetie," Conner turned and smiled at Alec, "it's going to be fine." Conner chuckled a little bit. "If anything, everyone else will be nervous that the 'boss' is living next door." Connie saw the humor in it, bit resisted from laughing herself. Conner winked at Alec and then looked at Connie. "Are you good with it?"

"If you don't mind my saying it...yes, I am," she relaxed a little, "thank you for asking. Having a couple of really good looking guys here in the complex just adds more appeal."

"Nice." Conner said, giving her the killer smile. She could have melted right there in her chair.

"So, you gentlemen are free to move in anytime you like. The power and gas will remain on, until you have it transferred into your names." She smiled and stood up, reaching out her hand, Alec took it first giving it a soft shake and gave her a very warm smile. She took Conner's hand, as he smiled at her briefly. "I am so glad you came this evening."

"As are we." Conner replied, and then looked at Alec, who was nodding his head at her. "Let me have one of your cards, will you?" She handed one to him. "I think we will be having more...discussions in the future."

"I certainly hope so."

"Connie it's been a pleasure, but I have to feed this hungry man of mine." Conner grinned, shoulder bumping Alec.

"Aaahhhh." Alec said, making her laugh. They walked out of the building and got into the car.

"Interesting." Conner said as he started the car. Alec looked at him, with a raised eyebrow. "It's going to be interesting here."

"Don't you like it? Tell me truthfully."

"No, babe...I love it, it's perfect, absolutely perfect." Conner smiled and then pulled out of the parking lot.

"Where are we going?" Alec asked.

"To get something to eat, and I know just the place for a little celebration." Conner smiled as they drove back into town. Within a few minutes, they pulled up in front of Lozano's. Alec could only shake his head. He exhaled loudly as he got out of the car. "We could go down the road to Mickey D's or something." Conner said, standing there.

"I'd kill you first." Alec glared at him, Conner chuckled and they walked to the door. Conner reached it and opened it for Alec. Alec waited for it, and then Emilio yelled at them, giving Alec a huge hug, taking his breath.

"Oha my, it isa so gooda to see you Alec." Emilio was said, patting Alec's back as he hugged him and then pulled back kissing him on each cheek. "Anda who isa this?"

"Emilio, this is Conner." Alec said with a smile, pulling Conner forward. Emilio looked Conner up and down, and smiled wide, shaking his hand.

"Ahh, he'sa the one you werea telling Carltio about? Yes?" Alec nodded in reply. "He'sa tooa skinny, likea you." Emilio grinned. "Come, I getta you a table overa here by the kitchen." Emilio turned and walked, they followed.

"It was your idea." Alec said, looking over his shoulder at Conner. Conner rolled his eyes. They sat at the table. "Who's cooking tonight?" Alec asked.

"Andre isa. You havea notta met hima yet."

"No, I haven't. But, I know I will very soon. I'm getting excited about coming here."

"It's all he talks about." Conner said, smiling at Emilio.

"Oh gooda!" Emilio was about to bust. "I bringa you somea of Mr. Derrick's gooda wine. I be righta back!" Emilio said and went to the kitchen.

"Wow, he's something." Conner said, looking at Alec.

"I love that old guy." Alec smiled. "I want to do the best that I can for him."

"You're so sweet. That's why I love you so much." Conner grinned, getting comfortable in his chair. He put the napkin in his lap. "So, when do you have to be at work tomorrow?"

"Ugh, early." Alec rolled his eyes.

"Won't be much longer, babe."

"No, but I'm trading roosters for owls." Alec held up his hands.

"What?" Conner looked confused.

"Instead of before dawn, I'll be coming home at midnight?"

"Oh, I got it." Conner smiled. "I don't know what this new thing is going to bring for me either. As my father said yesterday, the real estate isn't doing very well. I may have quite a few long nights myself just coming up with a business plan."

"I guess we're not going to see each other all that much. And I was just getting used to you being back and with me."

"I'll still be with you, babe." Conner said, taking one of Alec's hands on the table, squeezing it. "It just may take us a while to get our schedules in line with each other."

"I guess you're right."

Ty and Derrick walked out of the restaurant together. Derrick was feeling a little on the bloated side from all the food and the huge margarita. Ty watched him out of the corner of his eye. Then he smiled as he opened the door, unlocking Derrick's side, watching him get in, as Derrick exhaled heavily.

"Geez, that was really good." Derrick said, "Thank you, very much."

"You okay?"

"Yeah, just kind of overdid it, that's all, way too much food." Derrick sighed. Ty chuckled and started the truck. He pulled out of the parking lot and drove toward the house. "So, what are you doing tomorrow?"

"I guess I'll start the stone on the wall." Ty said quietly.

"What's wrong?"

"Well, we haven't talked about it, and I didn't want to pry..."

"Just say it. I thought we could talk about anything."

"Well, it's just with your partner, you know, being killed and all, seems to me that your plan for working at home is kind of..."

"Circling the drain?" Derrick asked for him, looking out the window. "Yeah, it really put the brakes on it, didn't it?"

"Yeah." Ty said softly. "I'm sorry."

"Nothing to be sorry about, babe." Derrick said, pulling himself together. "I guess I'll just have to wait, that's all."

"So what are you going to do with it?"

"What do you think I should do with it?"

"I don't know." Ty said. They fell into silence until they reached the house. Just as Ty was pulling in the driveway, he stopped, seeing the large dark sedan behind Derrick's car in the circle. "Oh shit." Ty muttered.

"Well, there goes this evening's plans." Derrick said, as he opened the door and got out. Ty pulled the truck up to the structure in the back as Derrick walked over toward the car. "Lt. Murray." Derrick said. "I thought you were going to call me?"

"Mr. Jacobson." Murray's gravely voice cut the night air. "I was wondering if we could have a talk?"

"Certainly, would you care for coffee as well?" Derrick asked.

"I could use it." Murray said, following Derrick to the front door. Derrick put his key in the lock and opened the door. They walked toward the kitchen, the lights went on, as Ty had turned them on coming in the back door. "Mr. Caldwell."

"Lieutenant." Ty nodded. "You keep some long hours. Doesn't your wife get upset?"

"No wife anymore." Murray gave a short quick smile. "She got tired of it, and found something else."

"Sorry to hear that." Ty said, as Murray sat at the counter.

"Water under the bridge." Murray said, throwing up a hand a little. "Mr. Jacobson, ever heard of a Cary Devlin?" Derrick had put a cup in the coffee maker and had pushed the button. He froze and then turned and looked at Murray, Derrick's eyes narrowed.

"Yes, I have. You obviously know that I have, that's why you're here."

"You should have been a detective, Mr. Jacobson." Murray said. He waited a long moment watching Derrick. "That coffee smells good."

"Sorry." Derrick snapped back to it, taking the cup out of the maker and placing it up on the counter. Derrick looked at Ty and then made another cup. "Want coffee, babe?"

"No, thank you." Ty said, and went around the counter to sit near Murray. Ty had a worried look on his face. He didn't know who Murray was talking about. Derrick pulled his cup out of the maker and added a small sugar to it, then gave it a stir. He turned around and looked at Murray.

"So..." Derrick said, as he sipped his coffee, "you want me to tell you about Cary. Well, Cary worked for another firm for a while. He was competent, as far as being an architect. We were kind of overwhelmed for a while at my firm and having trouble catching up. Calvin heard that Cary was looking to jump ship where he was and Calvin made him an offer." Derrick sipped more coffee. "We have a policy with the partners that it takes two of us to make hiring and firing decisions. Calvin went to Tom, they brought in Cary without consulting me. I'll be honest, I was a little pushed out of shape about it."

"Why is that?"

"I own the largest portion of the firm, always have. I would have thought they would have consulted me at least, before he showed up for work, they didn't. I was also aware that Cary had a...questionable reputation in our trade."


"Ethics." Derrick said, sipping more coffee. Murray nodded his understanding. "So, as time went by, we starting getting caught up, but as more time went by I started to realize that our projects that we were producing were showing up at the Builder's Exchange with different architect's names on it. I dismissed it at first, but it kept happening more and more. Traced it back, and found that Cary was double dipping with other architect's not only in our area, but in other cities as well. I confronted Tom and Calvin, giving them evidence, and we had no choice but to terminate Cary's employment."

"I see." Murray finished his coffee. Derrick picked up the cup and refilled it for him. "Thank you."

"And which brings us to why you're here." Derrick said.

"Let's just say, Mr. Devlin is a person of interest."

"I see." Derrick said, as he finished his coffee as well. "And you can't find him, can you? You were thinking I might know where he is?" Murray smiled at Derrick's questions.

"You should have been a detective." Murray said.

"I like to draw too much." Derrick crossed his arms and lifted a hand, putting fingers to his lips, in thought. "It's only hearsay, and I don't know it for a fact, but Calvin was upset for a while after Cary had been working for the firm for some time. Kathy, Calvin's wife, started coming in more frequently. She quit coming in after we terminated Cary." Murray could see the wheels turning in Derrick's head. He finished his coffee and got up off the stool.

"Once again, you have been very helpful, Mr. Jacobson. Thank you for the coffee, I'll see myself out." Murray looked at Ty. "Mr. Caldwell." Murray nodded. Ty nodded back. Murray walked away toward the front door. They heard it close, and Ty was just staring at Derrick.

"Fucking Sherlock Holmes." Ty said, shaking his head.

"Raymond Chandler." Derrick said, raising an eyebrow.


"Phillip Marlowe? Humphrey Bogart?" Derrick asked, holding up his hands. Ty just shook his head looking lost. "Come on, we're going to watch a movie."

"What?" Ty looked shocked.

"You'll love it." Derrick said, as he put the coffee cups in the sink. "Trust me." Derrick smiled. He walked toward the living room, Ty followed him. Derrick opened the cabinet where the large TV was and went through some DVD's and found what he was looking for. He put it in and turned and looked at Ty. Derrick started to get undressed as he walked toward the bedroom. The screen came on and the movie started. Ty threw up his hands and went to the couch and sat down. Derrick came back out of the bedroom and was wearing a tee and running shorts, looking very sexy to Ty. Derrick came and sat beside him as the movie got going.

"It's black and white." Ty said softly.

"It's the best." Derrick kissed Ty's temple. "It's a classic."

"I never would have thought."


"You as being an old movie buff." Ty said softly.

"Grew up with this stuff, my mother is an old movie nut." Derrick smiled. "You'll like it, I guarantee it." Derrick put his arm around Ty, and he settled against Derrick and soon had his head in Derrick's lap, getting comfortable. Derrick gently stroked Ty's hair as the movie went on.

"Whoa, are you kidding me?" Ty asked as he watched. "Did they really talk like that in those days?"

"I'm pretty sure it was close to that, yeah."

"So, who's the tall pretty one?"

"That's Lauren Bacall. She was actually married to Bogart."

"And you grew up with this?"

"What do you think about it?"

"No wonder you're a detective. This is pretty cool, actually kind of hot, when it gets right down to it." Ty said, making Derrick chuckle.

"Wait till you see another favorite of mine, The Maltese Falcon."


"Just as cool." Derrick said, still stroking Ty's hair.

"I could get used to this."

"What's that?"

"Watching old movies like this, laying here, you playing with my hair." Ty whispered.

"The only thing we're missing is popcorn."

"Oh God, that's what we we're missing." Ty said.

"I'll go to the store tomorrow and get some."

The movie was about to wind up. Derrick noticed that Ty was really into it, as he would tense a little at various parts of it. They heard the back door close. Derrick leaned a little to his right, seeing Conner and Alec in the distance coming into the kitchen. They continued in toward where Derrick and Ty were. Conner came into the room, looking at the TV as he kept walking.

"Hey guys, what are you watching?" Conner asked.

"Sshhh." Ty said, making Conner cringe a little. Alec came around Conner and saw the screen.

"The Big Sleep." Alec said, pulling Conner to the love seat, setting him in first, and then Alec sitting against his, so he could see, as he leaned against Conner's chest. Derrick smiled. In a few minutes, the movie was over, Alec and Derrick were smiling. Ty sat up on the couch as Derrick got up and took out the DVD.

"You knew what that movie was?" Conner asked.

"Yeah, I love old movies. I know them all." Alec wiggled against Conner's chest.

"Wow, who would have thought?" Conner asked.

"Same thing I said about Derrick." Ty said. "So, how did the apartment thing go?"

"It's so awesome!" Alec said not being able to control himself. He looked a little bleary eyed to Derrick and Ty. They all laughed at him.

"Guess you like it, huh?" Derrick asked.

"She gave us the keys! We can move in tomorrow!"

"Wow." Ty said. "That's great."

"You don't sound happy." Conner said.

"It's just going to be quiet around here during the day. Good thing I'm almost done out back." Ty smiled. That snapped something in Derrick, something that he hadn't thought of in a while. Ty was right, there wasn't much left to do out there. Just the stone wall, and then some detail work, then it was complete. It choked at Derrick's heart. He tried not to show it. Ty looked at him.

"There's something else we wanted to talk to you guys about." Conner said. Derrick and Ty looked at them both sitting on the love seat together, as Conner wrapped his arms around Alec.

"We talked about it over dinner. We want to have the wedding in the first week of September, at Labor Day."

"Why then?" Derrick asked.

"Well most everyone will be around, hopefully. It shouldn't be that hot outside, and it gives us a three day weekend for kind of a honeymoon. With us starting new jobs and all, we really can't just take time off. It wouldn't be right."

"Good thinking." Derrick smiled. "So I guess we need to go get fitted for tuxes."

"Oh, joy." Ty said, rolling his eyes. "Sure you won't change your mind about cargos and boots?"

"I can't wait to see you in a tux." Alec said, wiggling his eyebrows at Ty. "I bet you look even hotter."

"Easy killer." Conner growled, squeezing Alec in his arms. Derrick and Ty chuckled.

"Where are you thinking of having it?"

"McKenzie Meadow." Conner said. "It's perfect. Alec said he wanted to get married in a meadow with a creek nearby. There's plenty of parking out there. Just need to get a permit from the park. Simple."

"Who's going to officiate?" Derrick asked.

"Haven't thought of that yet."

"I know of someone who can do it." Derrick said. "She's a minister that has married several couples in the area. She's really nice. I think I have her number at the office."

"That would be great." Conner said. He leaned his head against Alec's. "See, babe, it's coming together."

"Not as fast as you wanted it," Alec said, "but, I think it will be better this way. Don't you?"

"Yeah, you're right." Conner whispered in his ear. Alec nuzzled his head against Conner's.

"I think we need to get you to bed. You were up most of last night, and I think you had a little too much tonight."

"Yeah." Alec started to go limp with the suggestion of bed and sleep. He was exhausted. They stood up. Alec went to Derrick and hugged him, and then turned toward Ty, who stood. Alec hugged him as well. "Good night." He said softly.

"Night." Derrick and Ty said, watching Alec walk away. Conner stepped over and gave Ty a hug, patting him on the back. They pulled away, and Conner walked up to Derrick hugging him tight.

"Thank you so much for letting me be here. I'll never forget it." Conner said softly. "Love you."

"You're welcome." Derrick squeezed him tight. "Love you too. See you in the morning."

"Alright," Conner said, backing up, looking at both of them, "night."

"Night." They replied and watched him walk toward the bedroom after Alec. Derrick looked at Ty, smiling, but with a tear in his eye.

"You going to be okay?" Ty asked quietly. Derrick nodded.

"It's kind of like the kids leaving home, you know?" Derrick dropped a tear down his cheek. "Now I know what my parents felt like."

"Oh sweetie, it's going to be fine. We'll see them all the time, you know that." Ty said.

"I guess, but not every day." Derrick feigned a smile. "Got used to them being around all the time, grows on you, you know?"

"I do. I feel it too." Ty smiled and walked up to Derrick, hugging him. "Let's go to bed, Mr. Detective."



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