Building Things

Chapter 45

Derrick was sitting at the table, talking with Phoebe. She had cleaned as well as had cooked and Derrick had been thrilled by it all, but wanted the chance to talk to her about her situation with the elder Van Owen, her possible future with that situation. He was concerned about her very much.

“Are you sure, Phoebe, is that what you really want to do?” Derrick asked after he had listened to her and what she thought was the best thing to do. She reached out and put a hand over the back of his as they rested on the tabletop.

“Yes, Mr. Jacobson, I’m sure. The mister will need me there. It is a very large house as you know, and requires a bit to keep up with it. And as he said last night, the decision is mine to make. He has always been very good to me, and I can’t just leave him to take care of himself, it wouldn’t be right.”

“That’s very sweet of you, Phoebe.” Derrick smiled at her, “Would you like me to take you out there?”

“I can make arrangements for that. I would not want to trouble you any further. You and Mr. Caldwell have been so kind to me. You both have done far too much as it is.”

“It’s no trouble, really. What were you going to do, call a cab?” Derrick asked and she lowered her head.

“Look, I’ll get ready to go, if you want, I can take you out there before I go to the office.”

“I would appreciate that very much.”

“You’re welcome.” Derrick said and went to stand, he saw motion and looked over, Ty coming into the kitchen, dressed to the nines. Derrick looked him up and down, “Wow.”

“Yeah, you think it’s a bit much?” Ty asked as he looked down at himself and then back at the two of them.

“Holy smokes, you look really good.” Derrick said.

“Very impressive, Mr. Caldwell.” Phoebe said.

“Yeah, okay.” Ty said, looking at them, “I think I’ll go try something else instead of this.” Ty said and went to turn around. The dress shirt and the slacks along with his polished shoes he was wearing gave him that feeling like he was going to a funeral or off to church.

“Hey, I’m sure Sam will appreciate it very much.” Derrick said, making Ty stop, “You look really, really good.”

“Yeah, well I’m not running for mayor. This seems a bit much, and not me, I think I’ll go change.” Ty said and walked back toward the bedroom.

“He seems a bit nervous, doesn’t he?” Phoebe asked.

“Yeah, he is. I’ll go talk to him.” Derrick smiled and followed where Ty had gone. Derrick came into the bedroom, Ty was ditching the good clothes as fast as he could.

“Hey, I know you must feel nervous, but really you looked great like that.”

“Yeah, but, it’s not really me, you know?” Ty asked as he looked at Derrick, “That’s something that you would wear and do to go to your office. I’m going to see about a construction job.” Ty shrugged his muscled shoulders, “Jeans, boots, that kind of thing, you know?”

“I think you just wanted to make a good impression.” Derrick smiled as he sat on the end of the bed, looking up at Ty, “Sam would have appreciated that.”

“Well, when he was here, I was wearing cargos and a wholly t-shirt. I’ll put on a good one though, no holes.” Ty faked a smile, Derrick folded his arms and shook his head, “So what’s going on with her?” Ty asked as he stepped into a pair of jeans.

“I’m going to take her out to the house on my way into the office. She said she wants to go.”

“You sure you want to let her go?”

“She’s a big girl. Doesn’t matter what I think.”

“Guess you’re right.” Ty said as he snapped a clean t-shirt in the air and then put it over his head, putting his muscular arms through the sleeves. He pulled it down and tucked it in his tight jeans.

“Wow, you look hot.”

“See, now that’s what I was after.” Ty smiled and bent down and kissed Derrick, “Well, maybe this won’t take too long.”

“Maybe you should wear a tighter t-shirt, you might scare him with all those big muscles.” Derrick flashed his eyes.

“Funny. I’ll see you later.” Ty smiled and walked out. Derrick smiled as he watched him.

Ty had pulled up the truck up to Beckett Builders, parking on the street. Before he had left the house, he found Phoebe in the kitchen and gave her a hug and a kiss on the cheek, telling her goodbye and that if she needed anything to just simply call and he would be there. She thanked him very much again and then hugged him wishing him luck. Ty sighed as he looked at the building now. He took his keys and got out of the truck, going to the door and into the office.

A few people were there, some guys who Ty could see by what they were wearing were construction workers, talking to a couple of the girls that were sitting at desks. Ty saw someone coming toward him, the young girl, Annie, Beckett’s daughter. They smiled at one another as she came up to him.

“Morning.” She said, “I’m glad you’re here. Dad’s waiting for you, you’re right on time.”

“Morning.” Ty said, “I was going to ask you, you’re dating that guy that works at Derrick’s office, right?”

“You remember.” She said, showing him the way, “Yes, Terry and I are dating.”

“He seems like a nice guy.”

“He is. My dad’s finally warming up to him.” She said and rolled her eyes a bit.

“Dads and daughters, right?” Ty asked softly as he noticed he was getting looks from the guys and the girls at the desks as they went on their way. They came to the office door and Annie stepped out of the way.

“Dad, he’s here.” She said, making the older man look up. Ty noticed there was another man in the office with Beckett as Beckett stood. Ty stepped into the office.

“Hey, morning, glad you’re here. Thanks for coming.” Beckett said as he had come around the desk and held out his hand, Ty taking it and giving it a firm shake, “This is my foreman, Mike Pershing,” Beckett said and the other older man stood, holding out his hand, Ty taking it.

“Wow, that’s some grip you’ve got.” The older man said to Ty.

“How’s it going?” Ty asked with a nod.

“Mike and I were just talking about you. I was telling him about what I saw at Derrick’s,” Beckett said as he went back around his desk and sat down, holding out a hand showing a chair for Ty. The other older man sat back down, Ty in the chair near him, “I was also talking about that other house you told me to stop at, the Wilson’s. They went on and on about you, couldn’t say enough good things. And what you did with that addition, it was perfect.”

“Thanks.” Ty said, trying to get comfortable in the chair.

“So, with all that said, I wanted you to look this over.” Beckett said, handing a paper to Ty, Ty took it and looked at it. Ty read it and then lowered it and looked over at Beckett, “If it interests you, I would like you to start as soon as you can, before Mike walks off and just leaves me.”

“Now, Sam, we talked about this.” The other older man next to Ty said and shook his head a bit, “You know I’ve got that trip coming up. I gave you plenty of notice, you know that.”

“Yeah, you did, Mike. I was just dragging my feet.”

“Where are you going?” Ty asked as he looked up from the paper.

“Mexico, a deep sea fishing trip.” The older man smiled.

“He’s been planning it forever.” Beckett said as he sat back.

“Yeah, and now that the wife is out of the picture, I can’t wait.” The older man smiled wide. Beckett shook his head and then looked back at Ty.

“So, what do you think?”

“It’s very,…”

“What, not enough?” Beckett asked, sitting forward again, his hands on the edge of the desk.

“It’s just surprising, that’s all.” Ty said.

“Do I take that as a yes?”

“Yeah, I think it’s a yes.” Ty said, looking at Beckett and then the other man next to him.

“Good, how soon?”

“Well, I need about a week to finish the structure for Derrick, and then I guess I can get a start.”

“Perfect,” Beckett said as he got to his feet, “I was hoping so. I wanted Mike to show you around and to get you used to a few things before he leaves me.”

“Sounds fine.” Ty said, getting to his feet. Beckett stuck out his hand, Ty took it, then shook the other man’s hand as well.

“I’ll have Annie give you all the details before you leave. I wanted to say thank you very much for coming down.”

“Well, thanks for the offer.” Ty said and shook his hand again and then the other mans.

Derrick pulled the Audi into the empty circular driveway of the Van Owen house and parked. He looked over at Phoebe who was just sitting there staring at it. He looked at her and then the house and then back at her.

“It’s not too late to change your mind.” Derrick said. She just sat there.

“What would I do if I weren’t here?” She asked softly without taking her eyes off the house.

“I’m sure there’s lots of things you could do if you gave it some thought.”

“Thank you, Mr. Jacobson, but I am needed here.” She said and looked over at him, giving him a brief soft smile.

“Would you like me to see you inside?”

“I’m not sure the mister is here.”

“Well, if you don’t think it’s not right,…” Derrick said and gave her a smile. She looked at him and returned the smile. She took her small bag off the floor of the car and opened the door, he opened his as well. They went to the door together and she used her key in the lock, opening the door. He followed her inside. She led him to the kitchen and had him wait while she went to her room, taking the small bag and leaving it there. She came back out and saw him leaning against the counter, waiting for her. “Does everything look alright?”

“Yes, in here and in my room, everything seems to be fine.”

“Good, well then I should be on my way.” Derrick smiled briefly and pulled away from the counter, going to the front door, she followed him. He reached the front door and stopped.

“Phoebe, there are you are. I was wondering what your decision might be.” The older loud voice said giving both of them a bit of a shock. They turned and looked toward it and saw the older Van Owen standing there, “Morning, Mr. Jacobson. Thank you for bringing her home.”

“Mr. Van Owen, we didn’t think you were here.”

“There’s no reason to go into the office today as it’s shut down probably with the FBI still pouring over documents and whatnot.”

“I see.”

“Sir, had I known you were here,…may I get you something?”

“Yes, if you wouldn’t mind, some coffee and possibly some breakfast, not too much.” The older man smiled.

“Of course, sir.” She gave a slight smile and then a nod and went back toward the kitchen.

“Mr. Jacobson, would you care to join me for a little talk?” The older man asked and Derrick nodded and followed him into his study. The older man showed him one of the overstuffed

big chairs and settled into the other beside it, not taking his usual place behind his desk. Derrick thought it odd and a bit out of character. The older man sat silent for a long minute, Derrick thinking to himself as he gave him a look that he seemed different somehow, less intimidating, a bit more subdued somehow. Derrick waited patiently.

“I wanted to say thank you, again, for being so kind to her with all of this.”

“It was nothing really. She makes it very easy to be that way.” Derrick said.

“Yes, she does, doesn’t she? I also noticed that Mr. Caldwell was a bit overprotective of her last night when I was there.”

“He is a bit, especially over people that can’t really protect themselves. I apologize if he was a little out of line.” Derrick said.

“Nothing to apologize for. He didn’t know what she means to me and to this house. He was only doing what he thought was right and necessary.” Van Owen said.

“I suppose.”

“I am meeting with my lawyers today, this afternoon actually.” The older man sat back in the overstuffed chair and relaxed a bit, he looked over at Derrick, “You and Mr. Caldwell seem to care about her a great deal and so I feel that I can trust you both when it comes to her.”

“I beg your pardon?” Derrick asked slightly confused.

“I am meeting with my lawyers today to make some changes. With my wife being taken out of the picture now, I want to make sure that Conner and Phoebe are taken care of after I’m gone.” He looked over at Derrick, “I need to ask you for your help with part of it, if you would.”

“Of course. What can I do?”

“You know how she is, her manner as it were. If I were to provide for her after I’m gone, she would not readily accept it, I think you know that. That’s what I need your help with, to help her to accept it. There are few people in this world that are truly deserving because of their nature, she’s one.”

“Again, I agree. You need me to convince her of that, is that what you’re asking?”

“Yes, would you?”

“I,…suppose I could, if I had to.”

“Not because you have to, because you’d like to. For her. Is that too much to ask?” Van Owen asked as he raised an eyebrow.

“No,…no, it’s not.” Derrick smiled, standing up, the older man stood as well. Derrick put out his hand, it was taken firmly and given a shake.

“Thank you, I knew I could count on you.”

“You’re welcome. It’s for her.” Derrick said, taking his hand back, “Well, I must be going.” Derrick nodded toward the older man and went toward the door. He opened it and she was standing there. He smiled at her and put a hand on her upper arm. She blushed a bit and then stepped into him, he gave her a hug and then a kiss on the cheek. “If you need anything else, anything at all, you just give me a call, alright?”

“Mr. Caldwell said the same thing to me when he left.”

“We both mean it.” Derrick smiled. He let her go and went to the door and went out of the house and got into the car. He thought about what the old man had said to him and pulled out of the circular drive and headed toward town and his office.

Derrick parked the car in his usual space and got out. He went in through the front door and stopped at the desk where Kim was. She looked at him, giving him a smile and some messages. He looked them over, saying thank you to her and walked away, going toward his own office.

“Morning, boss.” Terry said, his usual smile on his face, the warmth of his eyes with it.

“Morning, bud. How are you today?” Derrick asked.

“Doing just fine. There’s someone in your office, and Claire asked to see you when you came in, she needs some checks signed.”

“God, again with the money vultures.” Derrick said and rolled his eyes, but gave Terry a smile. Terry chuckled. “Who’s in my office?”

“Your friend, Ty.”

“Really?” Derrick perked, “Thanks.” Derrick said and walked toward his office and went in the open door. He saw Ty waiting for him, “Hey, I didn’t expect you here.” Derrick said, closing the door behind him, Ty stood up out of the chair. “How’d it go?”

“Well, here, tell me what you think?” Ty asked as he handed Derrick the folded paper. Derrick looked at it and then opened it, reading it and looked a little surprised at it and then looked up at Ty’s waiting eyes.

“Wow, this is really,…”

“That’s what I thought, a bit much don’t you think?”

“Well, he’s one of the biggest builders around you know.”

“Yeah, he is, but,…”

“I’m really happy for you, babe, if this is what you want.” Derrick said, handing the paper back to him, “What did you tell him?”

“Well, I told him yes.”

“When do you start?”

“In a week. I told him that I needed to finish up with the structure at the house for you.”

“You don’t need to,…”

“Yeah, I do.” Ty smiled, “It’s only right that I finish it first.”

“Well, alright.” Derrick said, looking at Ty, and then stepped closer, putting his hands on his hips, “So, what are you going to do with all that money you’re going to make?” Derrick flashed his eyes.

“I don’t know, but maybe I’ll take this really hot guy out that I’ve been watching for a long time, who knows, maybe I’ll even get lucky.” Ty winked, Derrick chuckled.

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Conner finished his packing, he and Alec had taken his bags down to the door of the house and went out with them. The car pulled into the driveway and came closer making the gravel crunch a bit as it approached slowly. The car stopped and Jean-Pierre got out, wearing a different suit this time, not as dark and hiding his dark features. It was lighter and looked good on him. He was smiling as he approached Conner and Alec. The older woman was now behind them. Conner heard her open the door and smiled at her.

“I should return in a few days’ time,” Conner said to her, “I know you’ll look after him just fine.”

“Do not worry, Mr. Van Owen, he will be well cared for, I assure you.”

“Thank you.” Conner smiled and nodded toward her, Jean-Pierre reached for the bags and picked them up, taking them to the car, placing them in the trunk, then closing it. He went to the door and opened it and waited.

“Sure you have everything?” Alec asked.

“Only one thing I’m missing.” Conner said as he looked at Alec.

“What’s that?”

“You. I’m missing you already.” Conner smiled. Alec shook his head a bit.

“Wow, that was smooth.” Alec blushed.

“Saw it in a movie once,” Conner winked, “couldn’t resist.” He smiled and then wrapped his arms around Alec, hugging him tight, “I’ll call you when I can.”

“You’d better.” Alec said into his ear.

“I’ll be back before you know it.” Conner said and let Alec go, heading for the car. Conner got in the back again, Jean-Pierre closing the door and then going to the driver, getting in. He started the car and backed out of the driveway, Alec waved as the car turned on the road and headed away. He wasn’t sure what to do now, the older woman seemed to know already and eased him by starting to talk to him as they stood there.

“Mr. Van Owen told me that you cooked in a restaurant and that you were going to start attending the Cordon Bleu.”

“Yes, that’s right.” Alec said as he looked at her, she guided him back into the house, “But after sampling what you made us for lunch, I think it will be quite a few years before I can match your skill.” Alec smiled as they walked through the house, she stopped at the bottom of the stairs.

“Very kind of you to say that, Mister Alec, but perhaps you and I could do some cooking together, if you would like.”

“I think that would be great.” Alec brightened up.

“Excellent, I was just going to do some baking, would you care to help me?”

“Yes, very much.”

“Wonderful.” She said and went toward the kitchen, Alec following her. The kitchen was open and airy, and like everything else in the house looked rustic but refined. It was wonderful to Alec and he felt very much at home in it all. They went to work, she teaching him the art of bread making. He watched and listened to her instructions carefully as she was a very good teacher and he was having fun with the experience.

Conversation went on between them, she asked a few questions about the two of them, he and Conner, Alec not revealing too much to her at first. She slowly started to talk to him about herself, her history here at the villa, Alec discovering that her husband had died quite a number of years ago, he being the groundskeeper here, she being the housekeeper for the previous owner before the Van Owens had purchased it, she and her husband and their services being part of the purchase and Alec realized slowly that she thought of this place as her home. She told him that there was another groundskeeper here now, a company that oversaw to the grounds and gardens care. They came only once a week and were due day after tomorrow. She smiled and said that they provided her with some company and she always saw to it that she provided lunch for them when they were here. Alec felt very comfortable with her as she went on with her talking.

“I am very sorry that you have been left alone here on your very first day.” She finally said to him.

“I understand that this is a business trip, and I know that it isn’t his fault for having to go off like that. Things happen.” Alec shrugged as he was slicing up vegetables now.

“I have an idea, how about we make dinner and then we can have it together out on the terrace. It is supposed to be a very lovely evening.”

“That’s a great idea, I’d like that.” Alec smiled. She went over to the oven and pulled out the loaves of bread and set them out to cool. He watched her do it and then went back to his slicing.

She cleared away an area of the wooden counter and pulled out a bowl, reaching for eggs, cracking them into the new bowl, then had him add some of his sliced and chopped vegetables and herbs. She added a few spices to the eggs and then whisked them, bringing air into them, as Alec had made a shell in a torte pan, pressing it into place with gentle fingers. She watched what he was doing with it and smiled at him approvingly. They added the whisked eggs into the shell and set in the oven to bake.

Some various cheeses were sliced or shaved and set to a wooden board along with some fresh fruit that was now sliced. A bit more time went by and she set about making up the table out on the terrace for them. Glasses for wine and water were placed as well, and Alec checked the oven. The quiche was slowly starting to brown now and was almost perfect. It was pulled and Alec carried it out and set it on the table. He played the perfect gentleman and pulled out her chair for her and they settled in having their wonderful dinner together, sipping the delicate white wine and just enjoying each other’s company as the sun began to set. To Alec, this was almost perfection, good food, good wine, and just good conversation. The only thing missing in all of it was Conner, it saddened him a bit, but Alec also knew he would be back soon, as he said, before he knew it.

Alec thanked her for a wonderful afternoon and evening and insisted that he clean up. She argued against it, but he told her that it would make him feel more at home, which she finally conceded to, her primary goal to make him comfortable here in the villa. She slowly headed off to her own little house in the trees off the main path that Alec had seen earlier in the day with Conner, while Alec cleaned up the table and washed the dishes. The kitchen now nice and tidy, Alec closed the doors of the villa and went upstairs to the immense bedroom, taking a shower and settled into the massive bed, alone, wishing that Conner was here with him. He felt comfortable here, leaving the balcony doors open as well as the bedroom doors, knowing he was alone and safe here and had nothing to fear.

Conner called him as Alec had started to settle in for the night, feeling tired from the day’s activity as well as the travelling. They talked about Bern, what it was like there, what Conner had seen so far. Alec found himself getting very sleepy as they talked. He kept yawning, Conner told him he would call him tomorrow and let him know what was going on. They hung up and Alec slipped further down into the thick rough cotton sheets, it rubbing against his smooth skin, loving the feel of the roughness on his body. He closed his eyes and drifted away quickly, so tired he didn’t even dream.

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The next few days were a bit crazy for Conner. He knew it was going to be difficult, but he did not expect that so many issues would arise from just closing down the offices that the company held here. He also knew that these people that worked for the company would be out of jobs and might possibly begin to struggle, even though the company had anticipated this, granting large severance packages for them all. It weighed heavily on Conner’s mind.

These people here were doing the best that they could to complete their jobs and make everything flow smoothly toward the closing of the office, the office in South Africa had been involved of course with the office in Switzerland, the two working closely together, but it seemed to Conner that in closing this one, the other would founder before he could get there and he was beginning to realize that going to South Africa was becoming more of a priority to successfully complete everything.

A video conference was held between both offices and while it happened, Conner got the sense that the South Africa office was dragging their feet a bit over details. The branch director acted as if he was personally being attacked by this closing or even possibly persecuted. Conner tried to explain to him, the older man, clearly of German descent, that it would be necessary to proceed with the plans that had been outlined already and Conner also told him to prepare for Conner’s arrival earlier than what was scheduled. The older man seemed to be even more put out by this, and Conner did not respond to it or his rather incensed manner. The video conference was closed down.

A party was to be held that evening for the closing of the office, a final get together of everyone that worked there. Conner begged off, saying that he needed to prepare in going off to South Africa sooner than what was planned, but he secretly wanted to get back to the villa to see and talk with Alec about this. Jean-Pierre arrived at the hotel that Conner was staying in and collected Conner’s bags and joined him at the office, waiting as instructed. Conner gave his goodbyes to all that worked there, as well as gathering their contact information in case they wanted to come to the States at some point. Conner left the office and the drive back to the villa began in the early evening, it was a day early and he did not call Alec, but instead wanted to surprise him.

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Derrick and Ty had worked together in the evenings on the structure, finishing the minor details to it all. During the day, Ty was laying flooring and it wrapped up pretty well. Derrick liked how it all went down, the feel of it, the look of it being distressed a bit blended with all the interiors and surfaces that Ty had done.

At Ty’s original suggestion of making this a guest quarters, rather than the structure becoming a home office for Derrick, seemed to work for Derrick and he was happy with Ty’s suggestion. The bed in the guest room, where Paul had lived when he roomed with Derrick was broken down and moved out to the completed structure, along with the night stands and the long bureau, making it seem rather homey and comfortable to the both of them.

“I guess now all we need is someone to come and stay out here.” Ty said and wiggled his eyebrows as he had wrapped an arm around Derrick’s waist.

“Anybody in mind?”

“No.” Ty smiled as he looked at him, “But, it might be funny to see the look on your buddy Paul’s face if he saw this.”

“Right. He might want to move in again.” Derrick rolled his eyes a bit. Ty chuckled and let Derrick go. They closed down the lights of the structure and went to the house in the dark. Ty went up the steps to the door and Derrick stopped and looked back at the structure, just staring at it. Ty looked back at him, seeing him just standing there and came down and stood behind him on the next step up.

“Something on your mind?” Ty asked softly.

“I was just thinking, that’s all.” Derrick said softly.

“What about?”


“Yeah, I think that was, uh, part of the plan,…wasn’t it?” Ty asked, knowing what Derrick really meant. Derrick just nodded in silence. Ty put his hands on Derrick’s shoulders from behind him. “You’re not going to want to change it now, are you?” Ty teased. Derrick turned and looked up at him.

“No, it’s perfect, just like you.”

“I know.” Ty winked, Derrick could see it from the lights of the house behind Ty. Derrick smiled.

“Such a smartass.”

“You wouldn’t have it any other way, would you?”

“No, I wouldn’t.” Derrick said softly as he shook his head a bit, “I was just thinking that it brought us together. It seems like forever ago when that happened.”

“It kinda does, doesn’t it?” Ty smirked as he looked down at Derrick, “Hey, that reminds me, I need to give you a bill.” Ty said with a straight face, Derrick laughed.

“Yeah, you do.”

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Conner opened the door of the villa, setting his bags inside, not hearing anything, any sounds inside. He turned and looked at Jean-Pierre, shaking his hand and thanked him very much for bringing him back. Jean-Pierre smiled and replied to let him know when he was to take them to the airport for the flight to South Africa, Conner said he would give him as much notice as he could and watched the handsome man for a minute walk back toward the car. Conner came in and closed the door behind him. He went upstairs, leaving his bags for the moment in the foyer. He saw the bedroom doors were open as he reached near the top of the stairs. He smiled.

Going up further, he could see the bed against the far wall, directly ahead of him, and the body that was in it. Conner smiled wider as it was almost noon now, and he shook his head. He came to the foot of the bed and stopped, looking at the quiet, peacefully sleeping Alec, partially covered by the thick bedding, his head buried in the deep soft pillows, Alec was on his stomach, his arms spread out from his body, the tan color of his skin stood out from the white of all the bed coverings that he was lying in. Conner looked over toward the balcony, the doors wide open, a soft breeze was coming into the room through the open doorway of the balcony. Birds were singing outside somewhere, chirping softly as well. Conner went over to the doors and went out on the balcony, the scent of flowers and from the trees was drifting through the air, Conner took it all in and then looked over his shoulder at the sleeping form. A devilish thought went through his mind.

He came back into the room and saw movement toward the main doors of the room. Madame Julliene came in with a tray, a small carafe and a cup, along with what looked like a croissant and some sliced fruit. She saw Conner and was surprised to see him. Conner raised a finger to his lips, she smiled. Conner stepped over to her as she set the small tray down. Conner leaned close to her.

“Has he been alright?” Conner whispered in her ear.

“Yes, he has. I don’t think he sleeps very well at night though.” She whispered in return, “He doesn’t rise until about now.”

“I think he still might be on American time.” Conner whispered back.

“Is your business concluded?”

“Not yet. I must be off to South Africa very shortly.”

“Is there time to have your suits cleaned?”

“I have not scheduled the flight yet, so I think there might be time. Could they be done in a day?”

“Yes, they could.”

“I would appreciate that, thank you.”

“Can I bring you up something as well?”

“No, I’m fine thanks. My bags are down at the door.”

“I’ll take care of it.” She smiled and left the room. Conner watched her for a moment and then turned back to Alec in the bed. He moved over to it and slowly pulled back the thick sheet that covered him, seeing the toned body and then saw he wore that bikini underwear that Conner loved so much, barely covering the rounded globes inside of them. Conner reached out a hand and gently placed it, rubbing so slowly over the soft cloth. He heard a breath being drawn in through Alec’s nose and a soft moan from the touch that was on him. Eyes began to open and then went wide as they focused on Conner.

“Hey.” Alec said as he rolled a bit.

“Hey.” Conner smiled, “You’re still in bed, sleepyhead, what’s goin on with that?”

“Come here.” Alec said in a sleepy voice, holding up an arm, Conner leaned in, letting it drape over his shoulders, “Did you just get back?”

“Yeah, a few minutes ago.” Conner said and then Alec panicked and went wide eyed, “What’s wrong?”

“Morning breath.” Alec said through clenched teeth and moved quickly to get up and around Conner, making Conner chuckle as he watched Alec hop off the bed and go for the bathroom.

“So, this is what you’ve been doing while I was gone slaving away?” Conner asked, looking at the bed and then looked toward the bathroom door, as he heard the water run. Alec stepped out of the door, a toothbrush in his mouth, scrubbing away. Conner looked him up and down, seeing the look of surprise on Alec’s face, but also seeing the wonderful tanned body that was in the tight bikinis.

“No.” Alec said with being muffled between toothpaste and the brush. Alec was shaking a bit as he moved the brush around in his mouth and then went back to the sink. Conner heard Alec spit and then rinse his mouth and then the water shut off. Alec came out of the bathroom and walked quickly back to Conner, pushing him and tackling him on his back on the bed, straddling over the top of Conner. “I’ve done some other things while you’ve been gone.”

“Like what?”

“Some exploring, some cooking, talking to some of the neighbors around here.”

“Oh.” Conner said and then smiled, his hands going up Alec’s sides.

“So are you here for a while?” Alec was all smiles as he wiggled his hips as he rested on Conner.

“No.” Conner said, “I need to talk to you about that.” Conner’s face went a bit blank.

“What?” Alec asked as he lost his smile and got off Conner, sitting on the bed next to him. Conner sat up.

“I have to leave.”

“More problems?”

“Yeah.” Conner said, “I’m sorry, I know you wanted to go and have some fun.”

“Well, it’s a business trip, right?” Alec asked as he got up off the bed, walking over to the tray and the carafe, pouring the rich coffee into the cup.

“We can be there a couple of days early and then be back as soon as possible.” Conner said.

“How long do you really think this will take?” Alec asked without looking at Conner.

“A few days.” Conner said in a low voice.

“You’re not sure, are you? I know you said the same thing about Bern, but this is different, isn’t it?” Alec asked as he set the carafe down.

“Yes, it is.”

“What’s different about it?”

“This office is the coordination point for all the shipping that the company does throughout the world.” Conner said.

“But you said all that was done from Switzerland.”

“It is overseen by that office, but the office in Port Elizabeth actually has the shipping done. The branch director is dragging his feet about the closing and is making it a bit of a problem.”

“Another problem.” Alec said above a whisper.

“I’m sorry, Alec. We can be back in less than a week, and then figure out about the school.” Conner said. Alec looked at him and then came back over and sat next to him.

“You know, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking while you were gone.” Alec said and didn’t look at Conner, “I really appreciate what your dad did and all, with the school thing, but,…I’m not sure if I want to do it right now. It kinda looks like you’re going to be done with everything before I can really get going with it.”

“Like we talked about, you can do it any time you want, really. We can go to South Africa and,…”

“I thought about that, too.” Alec said, cutting Conner off and then looked at him, “I really don’t want to go. It’s not that I’m scared or anything like that, it’s just that,…” Alec looked down at the floor.

“It’s just what?” Conner asked softly.

“I just really like it here, I mean, really like it here.” Alec said. Conner smiled out of the corner of his mouth.

“I can see that.” Conner said and then leaned over and kissed Alec on the cheek, “It is beautiful here, isn’t it?”

“Yes, it is. You’re not mad or anything are you?”

“No, I’m not mad. I can’t blame you. I haven’t spent much time with you or anything. Whisk you off to Europe and then off to Africa and,…” Conner said, and then took Alec’s hand in his, “and I haven’t even asked if we’re okay.”

“Do you really love me, Conner?” Alec asked, Conner felt his heart sink, thinking it was coming, the breakup kind of question.

“You know I do.”

“Good.” Alec smiled and squeezed Conner’s hand, “Because I love you.” Alec leaned forward, tilting his head a bit, Conner leaned in as well, the touch was soft and tender to them as their lips met, Conner leaned in more, pushing into Alec just a bit, Alec wanting more of him as well, but knew to wait. He pulled back slowly, opening his eyes.

“I thought you were going to break up with me or something for a second there.” Conner said softly.

“Fat chance of that. Maybe after we get home.” Alec shrugged and put up his hands, making Conner go wide eyed and drop his jaw.

“Why do you tease me like that?” Conner asked.

“Because you tease me like that, jerk.”

“Hey, that’s blond surfer jerk, okay? Get it right.” Conner smiled. Alec pushed him on the bed, climbing on top of him, kissing him hard.

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Ty rolled over and looked at Derrick in the light of the room that streamed in from the large window at the foot of the bed. He watched Derrick sleep for a few minutes, loving this man that he shared his life with now. So much had happened and so quick. Ty thought about it, his life before this, his problems that he had before Derrick, the on and off again one nighters, his drinking problem that had begun because of his loneliness, and he silently thanked Derrick for showing him and giving him what they now had together, and what they could have together in the future. Ty sighed to himself, knowing that it was all just about perfect.

Ty thought about that day in the structure, that hot day when he got on bended knee, taking out the ring that he got for Derrick, putting it on Derrick’s finger, proposing to him after their short time together, but was terrified about it at the same time, the commitment of it, the finality of it. It scared him so bad after that he was thankful that Derrick had not pressed it even further to have it happen. Ty knew that the more time that went on, that Derrick might not want to, but Ty thought and came to realize that what he feared most about it was the uncertainty of his own position in their relationship, stability in a real job, about being able to contribute to them financially, and that’s what it all boiled down to for him, money. Derrick did everything, but now that would be different, a new dynamic in their relationship with Ty going to work for Beckett. He had to make that work, he thought, he couldn’t let Derrick down.

“What are you doing?” Derrick asked. He startled Ty, who was lost in his own thoughts that he didn’t see Derrick wake up.

“Nothing.” Ty smiled softly.

“I think I know you better than that.” Derrick said as he raised his hand brushed Ty’s cheek with the backs of his fingers. The ring touched Ty’s skin.

“I was just thinking about some things.”

“Breakfast at the taco truck?” Derrick asked and smiled.

“No, smartass, but it’s a good idea.” Ty smiled back. Derrick rolled on his side to face Ty.

“I’d sooner die first.” Derrick said.

“Well, it hasn’t killed me yet.” Ty said and lay on the pillow looking at Derrick.

“You want some coffee?” Derrick asked as he started to move to get up. Ty put a hand on Derrick’s shoulder and stopped him.

“No, I want something else.” Ty said and Derrick looked at him with narrowed eyes, “I know I don’t ask for much, Derrick, and you’ve been so good to me.”

“There’s a reason for that.”

“I know.” Ty said in a whisper.

“What would you want?” Derrick asked.

“I asked you a question some time back, when I gave you this.” Ty said as he touched the ring with two fingers, turning it a bit, their eyes went to it, “Without any big thing or fuss or plan, would you marry me?” Ty asked as he lifted his eyes to Derrick.

“What? Are you serious?” Derrick asked softly as he got closer to Ty, Ty looked into Derrick’s eyes and nodded as he lay on the pillow. Derrick smiled a brief smile. “When?”

“Today. We could go to the courthouse, have someone there do it for us.”

“You are serious. Why now?” Derrick asked.

“I have been thinking about it. I want to, and I want to be with you, and only you.” Ty said.


“If you don’t want to,…it’s okay.” Ty said.

“Of course I want to. I thought you wanted to wait longer or something.”

“I want to come home from work, and have you come home as well. Make dinner together, watch some TV, make love, then get up in the morning and do it all over again every day for the rest of our lives.”

“I thought we were kind of doing that now.” Derrick smiled.

“We are. But, I want you as my husband.”

“Wow.” Derrick said softly.

“Is that alright?”

“Today?” Derrick asked and then smiled, seeing Ty nod again.

“It’s Friday, and we have the whole weekend for a honeymoon.” Ty said and his eyes flashed a bit.

“Where do you want to go?” Derrick asked.

“Right here.”

“You sure? We could go someplace else.”

“We don’t have to spend any money or plan anything or do anything special, just the two of us.” Ty said with such a serious look on his face. Derrick nodded a couple of times.

“Okay.” Derrick said, “I’ll call the office and tell them I won’t be in.” He leaned forward and kissed Ty. Ty put an arm over Derrick’s shoulder and pulled him in even closer.

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Conner woke up in the deep comfort of the bed, the warmth that was next to him, Alec’s head lying on his shoulder, Conner’s arm around Alec. Conner could hear Alec breathing, feel it on his chest below his neck. He missed this, this closeness with Alec, and it was also hurting him inside. He wanted to do so much more with Alec while they were here in France, but he knew that he had to leave in a few short hours from now on the flight that would take him away to South Africa and God knows what he would have to deal with there when he arrived. Conner reached up and gently stroked the bare skin of Alec’s back with only his fingertips and Alec did not move in his sleep. Conner looked over toward the open doors out on the balcony, no breeze or sound at all in the quiet of the night.

So much had happened with the two of them in their short time together, Conner thought as he looked up at the high ceiling. His thoughts went back to that very first day that he had seen Alec at the store that Alec worked in, their chance meeting, and then Derrick and Ty playing with him about Alec, when Derrick sending Conner off on a mission to get wine for dinner, Conner finding Alec and asking him for his help. Then that first time at Derrick’s house with Alec, right there in the living room, the first time they had sex on the couch. Conner smiled remembering it, and then Conner having to leave and go to New York to close everything and move back home. Conner shook his head at that memory, leaving Alec at the airport after he had dropped Conner off, the feelings of loneliness he had while he was in New York, not being with Alec, missing him so much, the texting they did everyday with each other.

And then Conner finally moving back home, but into Derrick’s house, into the spare room. Derrick and Ty, Conner thought as he pictured them, he missed them as well right now, their friendship to him, the deep caring that he felt toward them both, and he was upset with himself for not saying goodbye to them before coming to Europe. At least he had Alec with him. Thank God they had gotten back together, Conner thought, he was lost without Alec being with him for that week they were separated until his father came that night and explained everything to them both, giving them a new lease on their relationship. Conner thought of his father now.

Growing up as Conner did, being groomed for what was happening to him right now, it was lonely, Conner thought, a kid growing up in different boarding schools, not having many friends or time to make them before having to go off to another one, then at college, meeting James. Conner pictured James in his mind, and for a moment, wondered if he was alright, still living with his parents after they broke it off with each other in New York. He wondered, but thought he wouldn’t do anything to find out. He had what he wanted, and it was right next to him in the dark, lying close beside him and breathing on him. Conner smiled and tried to drift off, but couldn’t, the thoughts of the company took over again in his mind, crowding everything else out.

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“Congratulations.” The older man said as Derrick and Ty pulled back from one another from their tender kiss. They stared at each other for a long moment and then looked at the older man near them, who had his hand out toward them. They smiled at his warm and friendly face, Derrick shook his hand and then Ty did as well. “My, that’s some grip you have.” The older man said, looking at their joined hands.

“Sorry.” Ty said, “Just a little nervous, I guess.”

“It’s alright.” The older man said and then chuckled a bit, “Here are your documents,” He said after Ty let him go, picking up the papers and holding them out, “Your receipt for everything that was filed, and here is your marriage certificate.”

“Thank you.” Derrick said as he took them from him and looked at it. He looked up at Ty and gave him a warm smile.

“Yes, thank you.” Ty said as he looked down at what was in Derrick’s hand. He looked up at Derrick and smiled wide.

“So, what do we do now?” Derrick asked. Ty shrugged a bit.

“Lunch, I guess.”

“The bistro? It’s right across the street.”

“No, I was thinking taco truck.” Ty wiggled his eyebrows, Derrick rolled his eyes and sighed, “Hey, we just got married, why not live a little?”

“Oh boy, I can see how this is going to go.” Derrick said.

“You can have it annulled, you know, it’s not too late.” The older man said and had leaned forward toward them. They both looked at him with shocked looks, “I for one like that taco truck over on Eight St., by the old warehouse.”

“I know the one you mean,” Ty said snapping his fingers once, “they have the best burritos there.” Derrick rolled his eyes again.

“Not you too?” Derrick asked, the older man looked at him and shrugged a bit.

“I’m a cheap date, what can I say.”

“My kind of man.” Ty smiled wider and winked at him, “Where do we get that annulled at? You and I could,…”

“Hey, hey, hey.” Derrick said and stepped in between them, holding up his hands, “Alright, taco truck.” Derrick said, sounding defeated. The ladies that worked in the office that were witnessing for them laughed as did Ty and the older man. Derrick looked at the older man, and held out his hand to him again, “Thank you very much for everything.”

“You’re welcome.” He said as he shook Derrick’s hand.

“Yes, thanks again,” Ty said shaking his hand, “my number’s on the application if it doesn’t work out with this guy.” Ty said as he pointed at Derrick. Derrick frowned and pulled Ty by the arm toward the door, everyone was still laughing as they left, Ty was waving at everyone as he was drug out of the door.

“You had your little joke.” Derrick said as they reached the Audi.

“Who was joking, that older guy was kinda hot.” Ty said, Derrick frowned and shook his head as he opened the car door and got in. Ty got in the car and sat in the seat. Derrick leaned over and got close to Ty’s face.

“I want a kiss,…before you have taco breath.” Derrick said softly.

“Nah, maybe I’ll wait till later, all those onions.” Ty said flashing his eyes and then felt his left hand being touched and then lifted. He looked down, seeing Derrick roll the ring on Ty’s finger that he now wore.

“Do you like it?”

“Of course I do, it’s just like yours. I have really good taste.” Ty smiled a bit. Derrick lifted his eyes, “In not just jewelry, but in men.” Ty leaned over and kissed Derrick. The touch was soft and tender and they pulled back nose to nose.

“You made me very happy, thank you.” Derrick whispered.

“You’re welcome. But, you can’t be as happy as I am right now.” Ty said.


“Yeah, really. And I want to show you off a bit. We have to make a stop.”

“Where?” Derrick asked.

“Your office.” Ty said, “I heard what you told Terry on the phone when you called in.”

“You did?” Derrick asked a bit embarrassed. Ty nodded.

“And I made my own call after you were in the shower. So, let’s go to your office real quick, and then to the taco truck.” Ty smirked.

They walked in the doors of Derrick’s office, Ty going first followed closely behind by Derrick. Ty spun around and grabbed Derrick by the wrists and stepped into him, kissing him deeply, Derrick could hear all the clapping and whistles and cheering going on as Ty let go of Derrick’s wrists and wrapped his arms around Derrick. It was wonderful to Derrick, Ty being open like this in public, but was feeling overwhelmed a bit in being here, his office, with his staff. Ty pulled back, looking Derrick in the eyes.

“I love you.” Ty said and then smiled. Derrick heard a couple of loud pops and jumped a bit. He looked away from Ty and saw everyone that worked there standing around, champagne was being poured and Tom stepped closer to the two of them, handing them glasses. Derrick smiled at his old friend and business partner and shook his head.

“Took a while, but I’m glad you finally found the right guy.” Tom said to Derrick, and held up his own glass touching Derrick and Ty’s. Ty smiled and held up his glass and looked at everyone.

“I wanted to say thank you, for giving this slave driver you work for the day off.” Ty smiled and everyone held up their glasses, “Also, I would like to introduce to all of you, my husband, Derrick Caldwell.” Ty said with a smirk and rolled his head a bit and then looked at an opened mouth Derrick. Everyone laughed.

“I guess that makes you, what Ty Jacobson, doesn’t it?”

“Has a good ring to it.” Ty cocked his head a bit.

“Damn, I forgot the pre-nup.” Derrick snapped his fingers. Everyone died laughing.

“Well,” Tom said, holding up his glass again, “Here’s to the groom and,…groom!”

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Conner was standing in the open shower, letting the water from the large head run over him, his back was to the door of the bathroom. He had his hands on the tiles of the wall, lost in thought and then he felt the touch on his back, the gentle fingers that slid up and down on his warmed skin, and then glided down to his tight narrow butt, and then a slap, making him smile.

“Don’t hog all of the water.” Alec said as he pressed against Conner’s back.

“I didn’t wake you up, did I?” Conner asked.

“No, you didn’t.”

“I know it’s not noon yet.”

“Hey, easy with that, I told you I haven’t been sleeping.” Alec said, Conner turning around, wrapping his arms around Alec, letting the water flow over the both of them.

“I know.” Conner said as he looked into Alec’s face, “Is there something I can do about that?”

“Yes. Hurry and get your stuff done and get back here, then we can talk about what to do next.”

“That doesn’t sound good.” Conner said, letting Alec go. He stepped around Alec and let him have the shower to himself, Conner reaching for a towel and dried himself off and then walked away.

“I’m going downstairs.” Conner said as he got dressed, a pullover polo, jeans and slip-ons. He heard Alec call out okay to him. A couple of minutes later, Alec shut the shower off and grabbed another towel and dried himself off, brushing his teeth and went out and got dressed as well, going downstairs, seeing Conner out on the terrace, looking around. Alec came out and walked up next to him.

“What are you doing?” Alec asked.

“You really like it here, don’t you?”

“Yes, I do.” Alec said as he bent down, touching the petals of a purple flower and then stood again. “You know, I’ve never been anywhere at all, and now with coming here and seeing all of this, it’s just amazing. The air is just cleaner and everything is brilliant. You know what I mean?”

“I do. It’s this way in other places too, you know.”

“You don’t like it here, do you?”

“It’s not that, it’s just,…” Conner said and drifted off with his voice.

“Something happened here, didn’t it?” Alec asked and Conner nodded, “What happened?”

“This was the last place that I was with my parents, together.” Conner said softly.

“Oh. Was it bad?”

“No, but it was the last place I remember my mother laughing. It was at a party that they had here one night. My father didn’t say much, it must have been business, I guess, I don’t remember that part of it, but I do remember my mother laughing a couple of times.” Conner said as he looked out over the gardens.

“It must have been nice then. She was very serious that one day that I talked to her, and when she was at Derrick’s when I first met her. You remember?”

“Yeah, oh I remember that one.” Conner said and rolled his eyes a bit, Alec smiled.

“Look, you can’t change the past or the way they are or were, don’t let it bother you so much. You’re a different type of person than they are. You laugh, joke, tease the shit out of me all the time, like that day in the apartment, you remember?” Alec asked.

“Yeah, I remember that.” Conner smiled and bumped his shoulder against Alec’s.

“See, that’s what I’m talking about, you, the blond surfer dude that I love so much.” Alec smiled bumping his own shoulder back, “I know this whole thing is eating you, but, remember at the end of it all, it’s you and me. You haven’t smiled this whole time till now.”

“You’re right, I’m sorry.”

“Babe, you’ve got nothing to be sorry about. We both knew what this was all about before we came here, the other night in your hotel room with your dad, a business trip, right?” Alec asked and Conner nodded, “Okay, so, get your CEO stuff done and maybe, just maybe we might be able to do something fun before we have to go back.”

“What would you like to do?” Conner asked and brightened a bit.

“I don’t know. Clubs are kind of hot, but we can do that at home, too. There’s sightseeing and all that, but, I think what I’d really like to do is visit your spot that you showed me the other day when we arrived.”

“The hot spring?” Conner asked.

“Yeah, I know we were in it already, but not really in it, you know what I mean?” Alec wiggled his eyebrows. Conner smiled wide.

“Last night wasn’t enough?”

“It was, but that was last night.” Alec grinned.

“Alright, I’ll make you a deal.”

“Okay.” Alec turned toward him and folded his arms over his muscled chest.

“I’ll get there, get everything done as fast as I can and then I’ll take you to dinner one night at the Eiffel Tower in Paris.”

“No way.” Alec said with wide eyes.

“Yeah, way.” Conner smiled.

“Okay, so what’s my part of the deal?”

“You think of something, and make it good.” Conner said and raised an eyebrow.

“Alright, but I can’t tell you, I’ll surprise you.”

“Oooh, even better.” Conner said and wiggled his eyebrows.

“Are you hungry?” Alec asked.


“Alright, I’ll go fix you something.”

“She can do that.” Conner said.

“She and I have an understanding about that. We share the kitchen.” Alec wiggled his eyebrows now and then leaned forward and kissed Conner quickly, “Sit down and make yourself comfortable.”

“Okay, I’ve got to make a couple of calls first.”

“Okay, but when you come back, no more calls.” Alec said and held up a finger.

“I told you about the CEO thing.”

“Don’t whine, you sound like one of my little nephews.” Alec grinned and walked away.

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Derrick was easing his breathing as Ty lay on top of him, Ty was kissing Derrick’s neck up to his ear and then started back down to him, Ty was rocking his hips in and out of Derrick slowly, felling the hands that were on him and the slow motions inside him, trying to get his breathing under control from one of the most explosive orgasms he had ever had with Ty.

“Fuck.” Derrick panted, his eyes had been rolled back in his head, his toes were starting to uncurl.

“You want more?” Ty asked in his soft sexy voice.

“I always want more.” Derrick said through his labored breath, arms and hands were clutching Ty’s muscular back, fingers kneading the muscle that was flexed. “Do it again.”

“Hmmm, we get married and all of a sudden you get all demanding on me.” Ty said as he chewed on the base of Derrick’s neck.

“That’s right.” Derrick moaned as Ty moved in a bit deeper, Derrick dug his fingers in deeper into the muscle, “Fuck me, baby.”

“I kinda like this demanding thing.” Ty pulled off and raised his head up, smiling, and then kissed Derrick deeply as Ty rolled his hips back a bit, pulling out a bit, then slid back in again, Derrick moaning loudly in Ty’s mouth. Ty pulled off and stared intensely in Derrick’s eyes, bathed in the lamp light from the nightstand.

“Feels really good tonight, doesn’t it?”

“You have no idea.” Derrick panted, his eyes rolling a bit with the motion in him.

“You’re enjoying this too much, I can tell.”

“Yes.” Derrick panted and then groaned as Ty rolled his hips rather than rocking them, “Yes, like that,…do that again.” Derrick groaned loudly as Ty did it one more time. “Ohhhh, fuuuck.”

“Yeah, you are enjoying this.” Ty whispered and tongued Derrick’s ear furiously, bringing another deep groan. Derrick clamped down on Ty’s thick long length, making Ty growl a bit in Derrick’s ear. “You keep that up, you’re gonna make me cum again.”

“Cum for me, baby, cum again and again.” Derrick panted and stayed clamped as Ty started to move in and out of him, Derrick focused on staying tight, driving every nerve ending in Derrick insane with deep pleasure at what Ty was doing to him.

“Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, we do this.” Ty said, Derrick pulling his arms tighter around Ty, lifting his legs higher and rocking his hips a bit more, “Yeah, you want it deep, don’t you?”

“Fuck yes.” Derrick said through clenched teeth, his eyes had a deep crazed look to them, Ty smiled and went at it, Derrick’s mouth opened wide but no sound came out. The motion was fast in and out of Derrick, Ty hammering him deeply into the bed, making it squeak loudly with their motions on it. Ty growled again in his throat and buried his face into Derrick’s muscled shoulder and Derrick felt it, deep inside him, Ty throbbing another load into him, Derrick finally able to let out a deep groan that got deeper the more Ty pulsed in him, and then Derrick felt it in himself, as he was rubbing against Ty’s soft skin of his tight abs and Derrick cut loose again, shot after shot between them, Derrick unable to do anything but fall into the deep feeling of what was happening to him. He lost all feeling in his arms and legs and they dropped away from him. Ty still moving and pulsing the last of himself deep inside Derrick. Derrick became like a limp rag on the bed as Ty slowed to a stop, panting himself into Derrick’s shoulder.

“Fuck.” Ty whispered.

“Yes, it was.” Derrick whispered with a pant, Ty chuckled and caught his breath.

“You, my love, are amazing.” Ty said as he kissed Derrick up and down his neck and then his cheek and then his lips, Derrick was trying to catch his breath.

“You’re not so bad yourself, stud.” Derrick smiled, not being able to move his arms at all. “Give me a minute, and we can do it again.” Derrick panted and Ty laughed.

“Yeah, right. I think you’re all fucked out.” Ty kissed him again, “Guess I’ll have to trade you in on a newer model. There’s a paperboy down the street that I saw the other day.”

“You’re such a smartass.”

“No, really, he’s cute.” Ty said with a surprised look.

“Okay, perv.” Derrick said as he slowly lifted his arms and put them around Ty’s neck. They looked at each other for the longest time, Ty staying still inside Derrick but being still hard, but not going down yet, “I love you, Ty.”

“I love you more.”

“It shows.” Derrick grinned.

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Conner had eaten the late breakfast that Alec had made him, loving every bite of it. He would moan and groan through it as they sat across from one another at the little table on the terrace, just staring at each other. Alec knew it was getting close for the time that Conner was supposed to be going, it made his chest go tight at the thought of it but he didn’t say anything, just wanting to spend this time with him, enjoying this until Conner spoke up.

“You know, I was thinking, your passport is good for quite a long time, and once we got everything taken care of and went back home, I do get a months’ vacation every year. Would you want to come back here again?”

“Are you serious?”

“Yes, I am.”

“I would love that, but, I don’t know if I can get away from the restaurant for that long?”

“Hmmm, well, you might be right. But, if you weren’t working at the restaurant we could,…”

“I thought you liked me working for Emilio?”

“I do, babe, but you can’t get away that much. You know we were only able to do this because of what my dad did with him.”

“You’re right. Maybe I can work something out with him.” Alec said, looking a bit sad now, “I would hate to just up and quit him.”

“I know, I love that old guy too.” Conner smiled, “And he’s been good to us.”

“Yes, he has.”

“But that gives me an idea. Let me work on it for a bit.”

“What are you thinking in that CEO mind of yours?” Alec asked with narrowed eyes.

“I’ll let you know when I figure it all out, I promise.” Conner smiled again. Alec smiled back.

“Mr. Van Owen,” The older lady said from the doors of the house, Conner looked over at her, “your suits are back from the cleaners.”

“Oh, thank you.” Conner said, dabbing his mouth with his napkin. He looked over at Alec, “I also wanted to tell you that I’ll ask my dad if I can buy this place, if you love it that much.”

“Are you serious?” Alec asked with wide eyes.


“I didn’t even think about that.”

“I have to get packed.” Conner said, dropping his napkin on the table, “Do you want some help with,…?”

“No, go get packed, I’ll take care of this, then I’ll meet you upstairs.” Alec said but didn’t move yet. He watched Conner walk into the house and out of sight, then thought about what they had just talked about. Alec looked around the gardens that surrounded him and smiled. He got up from the table and collected everything and walked it into the kitchen, and did their dishes.

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Derrick woke up with Ty facing him on his side, sleeping soundly. He looked at the handsome face that belonged to his husband and he smiled at the thought of it, his husband. It swelled Derrick inside, almost bringing him to tears over it, tears of happiness. Derrick gently tossed back the sheet and went into the bathroom, used the toilet and went to the sink. He grimaced a bit and then reached down and put a hand to his butt. It was a little sore this morning from all of the use last night. He looked at himself in the mirror and turned his head back and forth and then brushed his teeth. He rinsed and went to the bedroom and saw on the dresser, his thin low riding pajama bottoms. He looked at his sleeping husband for a moment and then back at the bottoms, smiled, and went to get them and slipped them on. He kept them low on his hips and went to the kitchen to make coffee. He pulled his cup from the machine and heard a knock at the back door. He walked to it and opened it up and was surprised by who was standing there.

“Paul, Matt, hey guys, come on in.” Derrick said, and saw that Paul and Matt both were eyeing him in the bottoms that he wore. Derrick gave them each a one-armed hug as they came in and a kiss on the cheek, “Good to see you guys, what’s going on?” Derrick said as they went into the kitchen.

“Not much.” Matt said, taking in the view of Derrick.

“Mmm, mmm, mmm,” Paul said as he was backing up a bit, taking in a better look of Derrick, “Still hot as fuck, I see, but there’s something different about you.” Derrick gave him a bit of a frown, “Let me think.” Paul said as he put a finger to his lips and then he saw it, he stepped forward, “You’re wearing a ring, and you look like you’re glowing a bit.”

“Paul.” Matt said, shifting his eyes a little.

“No, honey, he is, look at him. What’s going on with you? Where’s Ty?”

“He’s still in bed.” Derrick said.

“Oh, another long night, I’m guessing?” Paul asked as he cocked his head.

“So, what’s going on?” Derrick asked in hopes of changing the subject.

“I have a shoot in Chicago next week.”

“Really? That’s good, isn’t it?”

“Yeah, we’ll be gone for a week or so.”

“You’re going too, Matt?”

“Yeah, he talked me into it. You know me, Derrick, I don’t ever get out much.” Matt said. Derrick smiled and they heard the shuffling of bare feet and looked over, seeing Ty coming out of the hall and into the kitchen.

“Hey, there’s that hottie carpenter. How are you, Ty?” Paul asked and looked at the tight muscled butt in the tight underwear, “God, I miss seeing that.” Paul said and sighed. Matt was wide eyed at what he saw as well, “Maybe I should move back in?”

“Sorry, bud, spare room is becoming an office, I hate to tell you.” Derrick said and Paul went wide eyed.

“No way, what about Conner and Alec? Where are they?”

“Well they got their own place not too long ago, and now they’re in Europe on a business trip for Conner’s work.”

“Business trip, what else did I miss? All this shit happens when I’m not around.”

“I guess I should send you a text every now and then, huh?” Derrick smirked.

“That’d be nice, shithead, leaving me out of the loop like that.” Paul said as Ty came up and slid an arm around Derrick’s waist and pat his butt, Derrick turned and looked at him.

“Morning.” Ty said, kissing Derrick’s cheek while holding his own coffee cup.

“Uh, where’s mine?” Paul asked and Ty smiled at him.

“Sorry, I only kiss my husband now.” Ty said.

“Husband,…husband?” Paul almost choked and then saw the matching ring that Ty wore as he lifted it with his coffee cup and smiled really big.

“Yeah, and it’s our honeymoon.” Ty said and sipped his coffee.

“What?” Paul asked and almost fell over, “You guys got married?”

“Yesterday.” Derrick said and kissed Ty back and then smiled at Paul and then Matt.

“Congratulations guys, I think that’s really great.” Matt said, leaning forward, giving Ty a hug and then Derrick.

“Thanks, Matt.” Derrick said and then looked at Paul.

“What the hell? And you didn’t bother to call?” Paul asked.

“It was spur of the moment, bud, sorry. We did it at the courthouse, and I took the day off.”

“Yeah, and I start a new job on Monday, so I wanted to start it off right, you know?” Ty asked and shrugged, leaning into Derrick a bit more. Paul didn’t know what to say or do about any of it, he was shocked by it all and hurt as well.

“Like I said, it was spur of the moment, before he could change his mind.” Derrick chuckled.

“Yeah, okay, I get it.” Paul said and his face lost its light. Derrick knew him too well and for too many years and could see Paul was bothered by their news.

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Alec walked into the immense bedroom seeing Conner at the bed packing his cleaned suits. He walked over to him and stood next to him watching him pack. Conner was quiet as he finished the suits and zipped up the suit bag.

“I was thinking about what you said, about this place.” Alec said softly.

“And?” Conner asked as he lifted the suit bag off the bed and turned to face Alec.

“And, maybe we could just visit from time to time. There is an airport here, and I’m sure the government will lift the restrictions to fly to it eventually. We could spend a week once a year or so, that would be enough.” Alec said.

“You wouldn’t want to spend a month?”

“As long as it’s with you, every hour of every day, yes.”

“Why are you so sweet?”

“Because I love you, my dipshit blonde surfer dude. When will Jean-Pierre be here?” Alec asked.

“Probably in a few minutes with my luck.” Conner said looking at Alec’s intense eyes. Conner could see the loneliness in them and it started to rip him apart. Conner dropped the bag on the floor next to him, “Alec, come with me, please? There’s time to get your bags together.”

“No. I’ll wait here for you to come back. I also have thought about that, your job, the CEO thing.”

“What about it?”

“I know that it will take most of your time, time from me, I understand that, and if I want you like I do, I’ll have to get used to it, your work taking you away from me so much. It’s okay because I can let my work take me away as well.”

“Where does that leave us?” Conner asked.

“Lonely, but together, if you want.”

“Shit.” Conner said as he kept staring into Alec’s eyes.

“I keep telling you that I love you, Conner. And sometimes with love, there comes sacrifice. I understand that, I don’t agree with it, but I understand it. This is what you do for a living and I know that your company is downsizing and is closing everything down, but, when we do get home, you’ll be just as busy because I know you and how you are with your work. You’re dedicated and driven, qualities that I love and admire in you. I’ve seen it, when you were working at home a few times.”

“What are you trying to tell me, Alec?” Conner asked.

“That I love you and that I understand, that’s all. Now, go to South Africa and come back as soon as you can. I’ll be here and waiting, and then we’re going home, to our home.” Alec said.

“What about school?”

“A dream, but dreams can change.” Alec said softly.


“No, I’ve wrestled with this enough. Do you like my cooking?” Alec asked and Conner nodded in answer, “Good, you’d better.” Alec smiled briefly, “It was nice of your father to do that for me, but, I don’t have the time and neither do you and you know that. We need to go home, we both have work to do.”

“I’ve let you down.” Conner whispered.

“No, I’m letting myself down, and it’s alright. Remember, sometimes there are sacrifices to be made, and I’m willing to make them.”

“It’s unfair.” Conner said.

“Yes, it is, but I get something else out of the deal.” Alec said.


“You.” Alec said and leaned toward Conner as there was a knock on the front door. They paused for a moment with wide eyes.

“Damn it.” Conner said.

“Jean-Pierre.” Alec sighed softly. Conner grabbed Alec by the arms.

“I know I’ve made you some promises in the last few days, but, I promise you this above all else, I’m going to go get on that plane, get down there, kick this guy’s ass, close that office in record time and get back here. Do you believe me?” Conner asked, Alec gave a slight smile and nodded, “Good, then after that, we’re going to Paris and I’m going to show you the best time.”

“I can’t wait.” Alec said softly and smiled slightly.

“I gotta go.” Conner said and kissed Alec long and deep. Conner pulled back and looked at him for a moment and then bent and picked up his suit bag, Alec stood there as Conner went around him and went for his other bag and picked it up, walking out of the room.

"Bye." Alec whispered and then closed his eyes.     



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