Derrick woke slowly. He rubbed the sheet in front of him, expecting Ty to be there, but no the bed was empty. He lifted his head off the pillow, looking across the bed, empty. It was becoming the story of his life. He sighed dropping his head back into the pillow. A sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach. He had blown this, really, really bad! Never, never fuck the help. Well, at least wait til they're done working. Ugh!

He got up out of bed, walked into the bathroom. He looked at himself in the mirror. Fucking idiot! When you do it big, you really do it big, don't you? Fucking idiot! Derrick brushed his teeth, not that he wanted to lose the sweet taste of Ty, but he thought it might make him feel better. What the hell was that noise? He heard it again, faintly. He finished his teeth, hung up his brush. He turned and walked back into the bedroom, picked up his cargos, slipped them on, buttoning them as he went down the hallway. He heard it again.

What the hell was that? He turned and walked down the back hall toward the backdoor.

Damn, he had blown it with Ty, literally as well, but Ty had left the back door open. He didn't even have the decency to close the door. Derrick was angry as he hit the back door, more with himself than anything else. He pushed it open with a shove. He stepped out on the landing, looking to his right. There was Ty's truck. He was confused all of a sudden. He slowly turned his head, looking at the garage. There, he saw the rafters in place, and then as he came down the steps, his heart beating faster, up on the far wall, the god, himself, standing up on the framing, shirtless, glowing with sweat, nail bags on, looking so hot and ripped. Tears welled up in Derrick's eyes.

"I...I don't believe" Derrick stumbled over the words.

Ty stepped over rafters across the top plate of the wall, to come more into view of Derrick. He knelt down once he could see him more clearly, resting on the top plate of the wall, balancing there.

"How, what?" Ty asked in return.

Derrick gulped. He looked around over his head. A tear escaped, running down his face. He turned and looked back up at Ty.

"How long was I asleep?"

"Quite a while." Ty stood up, walked over to where a ladder was against the framing. He spun around, climbing down, reaching the slab. He walked over to Derrick, standing next to him, looking overhead as well. "Must have been a bad night, huh? Or just long."

Derrick rolled his head to look at him. "Neither. Someone actually wore me out, today."

"Really? I don't know what you're talking about."

"Right." Derrick said flatly. "Let me go get dressed, I'll come back out and give you a hand." Ty grabbed Derrick's wrist to stop him.

"You don't need to get dressed. You're just fine the way you are." Reaching a hand up, he brushed Derrick's nipple with the back of a finger. "We can work on our tans together."

"You are too much." Derrick smiled. "I need shoes at least." Ty looked down at his bare feet.

"Maybe you're right, you do." Ty smiled, brushing the nipple again, watching Derrick's reaction. Derrick sighed softly, then walked away. He looked over his shoulder when he reached the back steps, then went into the house. He returned a few minutes later, putting on his nail bags when he reached the slab. Ty watched him snap the belt around himself, then walked over toward Ty.

"Ready?" Ty asked. Derrick looked at him, smiling.

"Yeah. So, what do we do first, boss?" Derrick asked, Ty smiled.

"Well, if I had my choice, we'd go back in the house," Derrick frowned. Ty grinned. "My second choice would be to start sheeting the walls."

"Why the walls?"

"It'll make the framing more rigid, the building more secure." Derrick nodded his understanding. "You have tongue and groove for the ceiling, right?" A shocked look came over Derrick.

"Oh, damn. I forgot to order it."

Ty smiled. "Don't worry. I'll call a buddy of mine at one of the yards. He'll get it here."


"Sure. It's not a big deal, its in stock at a lot of places. What size do you want? Six or eight?"

"Always go for the bigger one." Derrick said raising an eyebrow.

"Mines bigger." Ty said cocking his head slightly.

"I know." Derrick said, feeling good about this. Ty chuckled.

"You're catching on."

"I'm better than most...when you know the rules." Derrick said, trying to be seductive.

Ty leaned closer and whispered. "That would be fine, except, there aren't any rules." Derrick's eyes widened at that. "I need to go use the phone and call my buddy." Ty walked toward the house as Derrick stood there with his mouth open.

Ty reemerged from the house a few minutes later, coming back over to the slab. Derrick watched as Ty's bags were bouncing and hitting his outer thighs when he walked. He smiled to himself, watching him walk.

"All set. There will be a truck here tomorrow, probably late morning with all of the material for the ceiling." Ty said as he smiled.

"Wow, that quick. I'm impressed."

"Connections." Ty shrugged. "I'm sure you have some as well."

"Oh, I do." Derrick looked back over his shoulder, taking in what needed to be done next. He turned back toward Ty. "You know, it's getting kind of late to get all of this done."

"So, what are we waiting for? Is the night shift going to show up soon?"

Derrick chuckled. "I think I am the night shift." His eyes went wide. "I know..."

Ty laughed. He put a hand on Derrick's shoulder. "I know what you mean. Let's get busy."

They walked off together, passing through studs to one of the stacks at the side. They uncovered the material, revealing sheets. They carried one over to the structure, putting it in place. Ty nailed it at one end then moved down, placing nails every so often. Derrick wanted to nail each sheet fully as they went. Ty smiled and said there was a method to the madness and to wait.

Derrick surrendered control to Ty, knowing deep down that Ty really did know best. And soon, a system was emerging. Sheets were beginning to overlap each other at seams. Derrick now understood what the plan was. He thought to himself, he could design it and draw it, but really had no practical building experience. He was so thankful for Ty being here with him.

One wall was practically done. All that was left was to now was the cuts. Derrick was getting ready, but Ty said no. Again, confusion. Ty explained to get as many full sheets up first, then one could cut and place, while the other nailed everything off with the gun. It would take less time that way. Derrick was beginning to see the light, nodding his head in understanding.

Before too long, most of the full sheets were up and in place. They were both a sweaty mess, moving quickly putting up the full sheet. Derrick loved the hard work, but loved watching Ty more, the way he moved, swinging the sheets aroung, flexing, swinging the hammer with that powerful arm.

They moved up the gable ends, using ladders to get higher, letting the sheets go 'wild' over the framing. Once they were done. Ty showed Derrick how to string a line, snapping chalk to mark the sheets for cutting. Ty climbed up the ladder once it was chalked, set the saw and started making the cuts. He tossed the tail pieces down out of his way, when each sheet was completed. Derrick saw how it was all coming together, and was very happy.

Gable ends completed, they went to the stack, marked out the first sheet, made the cut, and put it in place. The remainder went to the other end of the wall, and it too, was nailed up. It was fast and easy, Derrick was once again amazed. Ty smiled at him.

The sun was starting to set in the summer sky. Derrick was thrilled with all of the progress made today. He thought that he was now a couple days ahead of schedule, just with this. His plan had always been to do this part alone, but, with super carpenter taking the lead, it wouldn't be long before it was complete.

Ty set the last cut sheet in place, nailed it off. He stepped back, looking it over, walking all of the walls, then approached Derrick.

"We should wait until morning to nail it all off with the gun. I don't want to struggle in the dark, having to pull missed nails. It's a bitch and a waste." He undid his belt on his bags, swinging them off. Derrick knew it was over for the day, his heart sank. "I mean you want to string lights up and work all night?" Ty asked with a smile.

"No, you're right. We should wait until morning. Can I take you out to dinner? You must be starving." Derrick said, stepping closer.

Ty put his bags together. "I appreciate that, very much. But, I really should get going."

"I want to thank you for everything here today. Please. I really do want to thank you. Would you have dinner with me?"

"That's really sweet of you." Ty hung his head for a moment, then looked Derrick in the eyes. "I think I kind of complicated things this morning. I don't want any complications. I'm really sorry about everything. Maybe, we should just keep this to business."

Derrick looks so disappointed. "Maybe you're right. Maybe we should keep this to just business. Just so you know, I don't think this morning was any kind of a complication, at all. I loved every minute of it, and the whole day as well." Derrick put his hand out. Ty looked down at it, pausing before he took it. They squeezed each other rather than shaking. "If that's the way you want it, I understand. Well, tomorrow then."

Ty let go, pulling his hand back. "Yes, tomorrow."

They both turned toward the driveway, hearing the sound of a car pulling up. They watched for a minute, then Paul came around the corner. Seeing them, his mouth fell open. He walked toward them.

"Holy, sweet..." Paul said as he reached them, then walked by them to the large doorway. Paul spun around, looking back at the two of them. "You're almost done. Look at this..."

"Well, it's really not even close to..." Derrick started.

"Did you take pictures as you were going?" Paul asked, then smacked himself in the head. "How stupid of me...look at who I'm asking? Mr. It Doesn't Really Matter, and Mr. Ultra Hottie Carpenter, I Do This Everyday!" Paul walked up to them, looking at Derrick. "Derrick, sweetie,'re a mess." Paul rolled his eyes to Ty. "You're fucking gorgeous, covered in sweat and sawdust. I have to take some pictures"

"Paul, I really..." Derrick started as he lifted a hand.

"Derrick, don't be such a prig! You know that pictures are worth more than just paper and permits. You have pictures taken of your finished projects all the time, for your business. Let me shoot this for you." Paul fluttered his eyes at him. "I won't charge you a dime." Paul sang, saying it.

"Only if it's alright with Ty." Derrick replied, making Paul squeal as he rubbed his hands together. "And we're not taking any naked. I know what a slut you are with your camera." Derrick turned and looked at Ty, shrugging his shoulders. "It might help selling what you do as well. After all, it's your work."

Ty took a deep breath, then turned on Paul, leaning close. "No close ups, are we clear?" Paul's eyes went wide. He nodded his head in agreement. "Now, can you move your car so I can pull out?" Ty turned and looked at Derrick. "Night, Derrick. I'll see you in the morning, same time." He stretched out a his hand. Derrick took it, they shook and then Ty walked toward his truck. Paul ran to his car, backing it out of the driveway.

"Night, Ty." Derrick whispered, watching him pull out, disappearing around the house. A minute later, Paul pulled back in, parking as Derrick was walking into the house. He turned and walked down the hall to his room, kicking off his shoes, then dropping his shorts, walking into the bathroom. He started the shower, waited for the temperature to rise a little, as Paul walked in.

"God, Derrick, this is going to be so hot. I mean, I wished I had been here for what had happened today. That would have been great, too, but, tomorrow..." Derrick stepped into the shower, letting the rainhead run over him. He didn't look down, but he knew the floor of the shower was probably covered with brown water. It felt so good to him, the water flowing, only one thing was missing. His eyes opened wide as he felt hands on shoulders, it was Paul. "Let me wash your back. My God, you're a mess. He must have really worked you today."

Derrick smiled wryly out of the corner of his mouth. "You have no idea." He whispered, as Paul was soaping him. Derrick lifted his arms, letting Paul have access to all areas, running the bar all over him, as the rainhead was rinsing as well. "This is nice, Paul." Derrick whispered as he turned around. "It's almost like old times, isn't it? But, by now, you'd be jerking my dick. So, what do you really want, Paul?"

"Oh, Derrick, honey. I'm crushed that you would think I want something else, besides your big bull meat."

"Cut the shit, Paul. What do you want?"

Paul let go of Derrick and backed up a step. He sighed, as the water ran over him as well. "Alright, it's your boyfriend. If I get some good ones of him, I might be able to sell it in a spread."

"No." Derrick growled, leaning in to Paul. "Absolutely not! Deal's off. Now, get out."

Paul handed Derrick the soap and then stepped out, grabbing a towel. He dried himself as he walked out of the shower, and out of the bathroom. Derrick finished the shower, shut the water off, and got out as well. He dried with another towel and went to the closet. He pulled out some slacks, slipping on a nice crisp, white linen button down. He slipped on the slacks, tucked the shirt and pulled a thin belt through the loops. He grabbed his billfold, slipping it into his pocket, then stepped into a pair of loafers. He walked back into the bathroom, fluffed his short hairs, spiking them a little in the front, looking at his shadow of a beard, he turned and walked out of the room. He grabbed his keys, calling out to Paul to lock up as he was leaving.

He got in his Audi TTS, parked in front of the house, fired up the engine, then pulled out of the front circular drive, he hit the main road and zoomed into town. He stopped at his favorite restaurant, Lozano's. He parked and walked in. It was a little crowded this evening, being so late, couples sitting in small boothes against the wall. Derrick recognized one of them, a girl who worked at his office. She had looked up from her date, seeing him and blushed. Derrick smiled back at her.

"Mister Derrick!"

"Emilio! How are you this evening?"

"I am well, very well." The rounded man answered, taking Derrick's hand. "You are alone?" Emilio's accent poured out of him. "That isa tooa bad, looking the way that youa do. Come, I getta you your usual table, eh?" Derrick followed him to the rear corner of the restaurant. It was a small table, shrouded in darkness, lit by a small candle in the middle of the table. Derrick sat, as Emilio offered a menu to him. Derrick held up a hand, to push it back. "You wisha to havea your eh usual?"

"No, I don't think so. Who's cooking tonight?"

"Andre' is our chefa tonight."

"Perfect. Ask Andre' to surprise me with something light, yet to die for. I'll also have a bottle of the Riggio Emilia, the Barbera, if you have it."

"You knowa we do, sir." Emilio bubbled. "You wanta some bread or..."

"I think a salad, with a vinegrette, surprise me." Emilio went to turn away. Derrick reached up and touched his arm. "Emilio."

"Yes, sir?"

"See that couple at the middle booth. The pretty blonde with her back to us?" Emilio nodded, more like bobbing. "How long have they been here?"

"Oh, quitea some time. They are justa talking now. I thinka shesa very pretty, Mr. Derrick."

Derrick smiled. "Yes, she is. She works in my office. Do me a favor, and pick up their checque. I'll take care of it. And, throw on some dessert, if they haven't had it yet with some kind of port."

"Very gooda, sir. Very gooda. I takea care of it, right away."

Once alone, Derrick thought about today. He reflected on Ty and what he had done for him. It was simply amazing, the sex, oh god, the perfect sex made Derrick shift his pants thinking about it, the building as well, what he had done without Derrick's help. All those rafters, They are so heavy, engineered lumber, makes them denser, and he did them all by himself. Wow. There was a definite bonus in the wings for this beautiful, awesome man.

Derrick brought himself out of thought, watching Emilio bringing dessert to the young couple, setting out two glasses of port on the table. Emilio motioned a hand in Derrick's direction, slightly bowing at their table before walking away. The girl, turned and looked over her shoulder, thought about it, then got up and walked toward Derrick. Derrick stood as she reached the table.

"Why?" She asked.

"Think of it as a...bonus."

She leaned forward a little, whispering. "He can't afford it. It took two weeks for him to save enough to come here."

Derrick chuckled softly, leaning down a little, watching the boy at the table, who seemed to be getting very nervous. "Emilio didn't tell you yet, I bet. I've already bought dinner for you two. It's a thank you for what you do at the office. Now, go and enjoy yourselves, before he explodes or something." Derrick went to sit down, but she reached out and threw her arms around his neck, hugging him tight and quick, then kissed his cheek.

"Thank you." She whispered, then let him go. She turned and tried to walk as quickly as she could back to her table. Once seated, she leaned forward and told her date what had just happened and what was said. The young boy kept looking in Derrick's direction. Derrick was now focusing on the beautiful salad that Emilio had just brought him. He was starving to dead. He snapped the linen napkin in the air to his side, then lay it on his lap, as Emilio pulled the cork on the bottle, handing it to Derrick.

"Hmmm." Derrick said as he sniffed the cork. "Is it the '92?"

"No, I'ma sorry, Mr. Derrick, it'sa the '94."

"It should be fine." Derrick replied as Emilio poured a little. Derrick lifted the glass, swirling it in the candle light. He sipped it, swirled it, and then set the glass down. "I think we found a better year, Emilio."

Emilio smiled wide as filled the glass. "I ama so happy, Mr. Derrick. I will call the supplier tomorrow and tell him." Emilio set the bottle on the table, leaning a little closer. "You likea the young ones at the table? Yes?"

Derrick smiled. "Yes. Do you know him?"

"No, I havea never seen hima before tonighta."

"Thank you, Emilio." Derrick said as picked up his fork, starting into his salad. He was almost done with it, when he noticed the couple get up from the table to leave. The boy touched the girl on the upper arm, and walked toward Derrick. It looked as he had a purpose, and was almost angry. He stopped at Derrick's table. Derrick lifted his napkin, wiping the corners of his lips.

"The waiter said you picked up the tab for our dinner." The boy blurted.

Derrick rose up from the table. He was almost a half head taller than the boy. Derrick stretched out his hand. The boy ignored it. Derrick pulled back his hand.

"First, he's not a waiter, he own's the place. Second, your date works for me in my office. I thought it would be nice to buy your dinner. Apparently I was wrong."

"Can't take charity from a stranger." The boy blurted out. Derrick grabbed the boys wrist, squeezing it slightly.

"I don't give charity, boy. It was a gesture, toward her." Derrick leaned a little closer toward him. "I would suggest that you learn to tell the difference. Now, go and have a good time with the rest of your evening. And, you'd better be good to her." Derrick loosened his grip, then removed his hand.

"I'm sorry. I didn't realize..."

"No, I guess you didn't. Have a good night." Derrick said, sitting back down.

"You, too, sir. Thank you."

Derrick went back to his wine, then poured another glass. He watched as the boy, gathered the girl at the table and then walked out, looking back at Derrick over his shoulder. Emilio came to the table and set dinner in front of him. A little linguine in clam sauce. A few open clams on the plate. It smelled wonderful.

"Tell Andre', my compliments."

"I will, Mr. Derrick, I will." Emilio replied, then poured more wine, then walked away.

Derrick set about with his dinner, enjoying every bit of it. The clams were perfect, the pasta done just right to al dente'. The sauce was creamy rather than thin. Absolute perfection.

Derrick was watching as other patrons got up and were walking out. Emilio thanking each and every one of them as they left. Derrick loved this place. It was one of the best decisions he had ever made to become a silent partner here. The atmoshepe and ambiance, was beyond compare. Emilio's staff was like a family. And his chef's, they had actually immigrated from Italy. A little slice of heaven, Italian heaven.

Emilio walked up, as the place was empty now. Derrick motioned him to join him at the table. Emilio took the chair opposite. He never sat down when there were customers here. Derrick had cleaned the plate, Emilio smiled at him. Derrick poured more wine, and some for Emilio, grabbing an empty glass from the next table.

"You looka different tonighta, my friend. What hasa happened? Is your work well?"

Derrick smiled, sipping more of the wine. "My work is very well, thank you. I have some things going on at the house, though."

"Ah, amoire. I knew it. This olda nose, she knows." Emilio smiled, leaning on the table. "So, is this the one? Cause I hopea it is notta likea the lasta time..."

"Oh, don't remind me, please. No, old friend, I'm not sure what it is yet. But, I'll tell you when I know." Derrick had reached in and pulled out a card and set it on the table. "Now, is everything fine here? Do you need anything extra?"

Emilio looked teary eyed through the candle light. "No, no, no, pleasea Mr. Derrick, notta tonight. You are a good customer and an evena better friend. We needa nothing here. Business is good, always a fulla house."

"That's good to hear, my old friend. But, you will tell me of anything before it gets bad? Don't make me wait, like last time."

"Ia promise, Ia promise." Emilio said, getting up. Derrick noticed that the wine hadn't been touched. He stood, picked up his glass and held it out. Emilio followed suit.

"To good friends." Derrick said, touching glasses together.

"To familia." Emilio said, softly.

"Familia." Derrick smiled, and they both drank. Derrick handed the card to Emilio, who was hesitant, but was pushed. He returned with the receipt. Derrick scanned it, than added another hundred to the tab, signed it and handed it back to Emilio. He read it and was shocked.

"For you and Andre'." He placed the card in his pocket, then stretched out his arms, wrapping them around Emilio. Emilio was slapping Derrick's back, hugging him as tight. "Good night, old friend. Tell Andre' I said thank you. I'll see you soon." Derrick walked the door. He climbed into the car and drove back to the house. There were a few lights on, but he didn't Paul's car in the driveway. What surpried him was a truck up near the stacks of materials. His heart raced for a long minute. Could it be? He parked in the circular drive, got out and walked around to the back. There on the steps was Ty, sitting in the dark.

"Hey." Derrick said, softly.

"Hey." Ty replied, his hands clasped together in front of him. Derrick could tell he was wearing jeans, and a different type of shirt. "I thought about what you said. I guess I'm too late for dinner, huh?"

Derrick chuckled softly. "Yeah, sorry. How about a night cap?"

"Sure, that sounds nice." Ty stood as Derrick walked by him, up the steps, unlocked the door, and swung it open. Ty followed him inside.

Derrick flicked the switch for the kitchen counter lights, three pendants that hung from the ceiling. They were dim and only glowed. A light from the living room was beyond and was glowing in through the wide opening on the far side of the kitchen and the hall light toward Derrick's room was on.

"What would you like?" Derrick asked, hanging his keys, his back to Ty.


Derrick turned around slowly, looking at this magnificent man in his house. Tight jeans, a silvery colored button down, that hid his massive muscles. Derrick was running his eyes up and down him, taking in every detail, wanting to leap on him, ravage him right there and then throw him to the floor, doing it again.

"Really?" Derrick turned, teasing now. "I thought we could start with a drink. Something relaxing perhaps. Let me pour you something." He walked throught the entry way out of the kitchen, openning a cabinet on the other side of the wall. Ty heard the clink of glass, and then a stopper being pulled. Liquid pouring, not much. The stopper returning. He watched Derrick come into view carrying snifters, reaching one out, handing one to Ty. Ty took it from him, brought it to his nose.

"Yasou." Derrick said, holding up his glass. Ty lifted his in response. He watched as Derrick sipped from it. Ty did the same. The liquid was cool and yet warm at the same time to his lips and tongue. It was heavy but smooth.

"Cognac." Derrick smiled briefly.

"I've never had it."

"A gift from a client. Its Napoleonic. I don't ususally have it, but this seems to be a special occasion." Ty looked at his glass, then back at Derrick, standing there in his hot clothes in front of him, hand in one pocket, sipping from his glass with the other. Ty was going out of his mind.

"I came back, because..."

"Let me guess," Derrick cut him off. "You felt bad about turning me down for dinner. You're upset about what we did this morning, fucking a client and all, and you don't know where this is going, do you? You live pretty much day to day, letting things happen, dealing with those certain situations as they arise, one at a time. Am I right?" Derrick sipped more of his cognac. "You see, I envy you, living like that. I on the other hand have had my whole life planned out for me, by my parents, and then by me, with no room for anything else. Get the plan done. That's the most important thing, it's all I've ever known."

Ty set his glass down, then charged across the room, scooping Derrick up in his powerful arms. He kissed Derrick passionately, thrusting his tongue deep inside Derrick's mouth, then slowly pulled out and then back. Ty scanned Derrick's eyes, back and forth.

Derrick went to say something, but Ty cut him off. "You need to shut up." As Ty squeezed Derrick tighter to him, one hand on a firm butt cheek. "I'm here because I felt something this morning, making love with you, something I've never felt before. I don't know what it is, and it's driving me crazy to find out. I want you, more than I've ever wanted anyone else. You're so beautiful to me. So, will you? Will you let me have you, again?"

Derrick leaned a little in Ty's grasp, setting his glass down on a shelf. He came back, and went eye to eye with Ty.

"So, what are you waiting for?" Derrick asked.



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