"Can't you change it?" Mona begged. "Please."
"The Browns were on a tight schedule, Mona," Gina reminded her. "And if you want me to keep your house on my books and sell it quickly, and at a decent price, you need to be more flexible. This is the third time you have wanted to cancel an inspection at the last minute," Gina added, sounding annoyed. And that was that. The Browns were coming.
Mona bundled the kids off to her sister and set to tidying the house as best she could tidy a house that had been tidied obsessively almost every day for the last six weeks.
"Tonight, at seven," she wailed at Grant, as soon as he got in the door. "The Browns," she explained, "The only time they can come is tonight at seven."
"You told Gina, didn't you?" he replied. "You did tell her?" he sounded angry and knew he was entitled to be.
"I did tell her it was the worst time. I tried to get her to change the time, but she said they were on a tight schedule and it was 7:00 p.m. or not at all. She was getting annoyed with me . . . with us, for trying to cancel again at the last minute. She hinted she might even drop the property off her books."
"Damn," said Grant.
He wondered if they should cancel anyway. But they were getting desperate. He had to be half way across the country starting a new job in two weeks' time, and the property market was almost dead. So, he just got out the mower and vented his frustration on the already-short lawn. He was sure he had mown it more times in the six weeks since the house had been put on the market than he had in the whole of the previous four years.
At ten to seven Mona and Grant were pacing restlessly in the entrance hall, wearing their best casual wear and with their house looking as good as if it were going to feature in a Home Beautiful magazine spread.
At 7:00 p.m. exactly the doorbell rang. Grant opened the front door, smiling. Mona came up from behind him, babbling effusively.
"Hello, Gina, and you must be the Browns. How nice," Mona gushed, as Grant stood back, his duty done and now trying to slip into the background.
Mona looked at the Browns and saw the mature, yet on him sophisticated, grey streaks in his hair, and the first signs of wrinkles on her heart-shaped face. With the conservative dark suits the Browns both wore and their healthy and well-off look, Mona felt even more depressed and hoped to god there wasn't an even more embarrassing disaster coming than she feared. She shuddered under her chatty smile and Grant's heart sank.
Now if the Browns had just been a bit younger, they both thought. Or had looked "alternative" or been gay, or anything but what they looked like. But make the best of it, they both thought, Grant pulling his shoulders back as he tried to offer Mona moral support.
"Come on in, please. Come in," Mona said.
"We're in a hurry," Mr. Brown said as he and his wife stepped briskly inside, just as Gina's cell phone rang.
"Sorry," Gina said and stepped back outside to answer her cell phone on the front porch. The sound of gasps and "Nos" and "Can't you handle it?" floated in before Gina reappeared.
"I'm sorry, everyone, but I have an emergency and have to dash. Can you . . . Mona? Grant? Can you show the Browns around?"
Mona and Grant froze in horror.
"Sure, sure," Grant croaked, recovering first.
They spent a lot of time making sure the Browns examined the ground floor rooms, the kitchen the formal living room, the dining room, with their matching chocolate suede-covered furnishings. The family/game room, the garage, with space for a workshop. Grant enjoyed doing woodwork on weekends and asked if Mr. Brown did also.
"We are short on time, you know, Grant," Mr. Brown said, flashing a gleaming smile at the Petersons. "Maybe we can see upstairs now."
"Oh, yes, well," Grant said resignedly, leading the way upstairs.
"The master bedroom," Grant said, waving an arm at an open doorway and moving on to the next door.
Mona was pushing the Browns forward along the hallway from the rear, but Mrs. Brown sidestepped her and slipped inside the master bedroom.
"Good size," she said her eyes roaming up to the high ceiling and to the king-size bed.
Mona went rushing in behind her, "See the walk-in closet," she said, throwing the doors wide open to reveal a spacious, fully fitted palace for clothes and shoes.
Mrs. Brown glanced in the closet but was more interested in heading to the big picture window ,where she opened the curtains and looked out. She stood very still, and Mona crept up beside her, not wanting to look, but unable to stop herself from glancing outside.
The window overlooked the pool in number 86's back garden, where a party was in full swing. Naked young men and women were cavorting in the water, and several couples were even fucking on the sunbeds along one side of it. They were too far away to see in detail.
But from where Mrs. Brown was standing she also had a close-up, direct view of the next-door neighbors' rear deck and right into their hot tub. And she had a crystal clear view of the young blond man leaning over the edge of the tub as the older neighbour, Dennis, covered his back and fucked his ass with long strokes. Both men were obviously enjoying the activity. Young Liam's cries were audible even through the closed window.
Mona let out a strangled gurgle. "Oh my god. They are usually such a quiet couple. I . . . I have never seen that behaviour there before," she squeaked, fearing she might faint. "But they are married, you know. In Maryland."
Dennis reared back, hands on Liam's hips and pounding away, so the length of his cock as it moved in and out of Liam's channel was obvious. It was a monster. No wonder Liam always made so much noise, Mona couldn't help thinking.
Mrs. Brown stood frozen at the window for a few minutes then gave an audible ; "Hmmm," and finally let Mona drag her away from the window. Mona bundled Mrs. Brown into the hallway and toward the main bathroom as Grant waved frantically at her from the door of the second bedroom, and all Mona could do was roll her eyes and grit her teeth. She hoped Mrs. Brown had been sufficiently impressed by the walk-in-closet to . . . forget the rest.
Grant was not having any more luck than Mona. He had got Mr. Brown as far as the second bedroom, hoping he'd be satisfied with a quick look before moving on, but instead of following Grant, Mr. Brown had tweaked the second bedroom's curtains open and glanced out of the window. He half turned away then turned back and stepped closer, and stared out of the window.
In the back garden of 84 they were very obviously filming a gay porn movie. Lights were directed on two sunbeds surrounded by oversized blow-up pool toys, and the gate to the adjoining garden and pool area of number 86 was open. Two men in tiny Speedos, who had been reclining on the sunbeds and eyeing each other off, were obviously the stars. One was now getting up and going over to the other. The guy on the sunbed did not object when his visitor pulled his Speedo down and dipped his head to explore its revealed contents. The man on the sunbed obviously enjoyed whatever was being done to him, as Mr. Brown and Grant watched, and was running his hands through his attacker's hair and lying there taking it as the attacker's head started to go up and down on his pole.
A naked man wandered in from the pool area to watch them, his cock obviously growing in appreciation of the show they were putting on and his hand very obviously stroking it, as he ran his other hand over his chest and belly. Yet another naked man casually wandered in behind him and wrapped arms about the first man's chest and then reached down to join his hands to the one already stoking a very large cock, while pressing himself hard into the first man's back. If Mr. Brown could have seen between them, he'd have seen the second man's dick stiffening and pressing up between the man in front's cheeks. On the sunbed the man lying down had now lost his Speedo completely and had spread and bent his legs so a camera could move in close and get a bullseye view of his hole and the fingers entering it.
Mr. Brown, straightened his jacket and gave a "harumph" before moving away. Grant was past trying to save the situation and tried to sound as if nothing untoward was occurring over the back fence. "There are two more bedrooms and a large family/play room up here."
"Ah a family room, upstairs."
"Yes. But it's a mess, I am afraid. You can't see it," Grant said, moving off quickly, heading for the stairs and the safety of the ground floor, but bumping into Mona and Mrs. Brown exiting the bathroom instead.
"Family/play room up here, dear," Mr. Brown said to his wife, both of them turning and walking toward the end door.
"No, no, it's a mess," Mona and Grant cried in unison. "No, you can't go in there."
But the Browns ignored them and headed directly for the door, throwing it open. The Petersons fell on each other and clung together like lost souls, unable to endure the strain.
Lights blazed out from the door to the family room silhouetting the Browns in the doorway.
"Hi, guys," a voice from inside the room said. "Can you close that door? What are you doing here?"
"Having a look at the house," the Browns replied.
"We couldn't stop them coming in," Grant said angrily, pushing the Browns aside and entering the family room.
Inside, two assistants were putting the final touches to the rope bindings on two young blond men. Both were naked. From the ceiling hung a sling, on one wall was what looked like a steel climbing frame, and on the floor was a large gym mat disguised under imitation grass.
Mona pushed forward. "My husband is a good man, but he's been out of work. They pay to use the room when they are short of space. And it is not illegal. There is nothing illegal about it in this state. And we need the money," Mona shouted. "We are good people. Now go. Go!" she yelled at the Browns, her nerves totally shot.
The assistants and the bound men looked at her uncertainly.
"It's OK. Just get on with the shoot," Grant said, as he physically pushed Mr. and Mrs. Brown out of the room, closed the door, and literally pushed them down the hallway. At the top of the stairs Mr. Brown turned.
"Hold on. No need to push us down the stairs, Grant. We can see you are upset, but there is no need to be. We have not been offended by what we have seen here."
"It's OK, Mona," Mrs. Brown said reaching out to touch her shoulder in a motherly way. "There is no need to be upset, dear."
"It's so hard to sell this house with the . . . the neighbors. It's a lovely house and most days it's quiet as a grave around here. But when the neighbors have a shoot on or the boys are in the . . . the mood, its like living in a porn movie. I mean we believe in live and let live and we are only too grateful for the extra money we get letting them use the upstairs family room to shoot in, but. . . . but now that we want to sell the house, its . . ."
The Browns both laughed politely. "But that is why we have to have this house. Because of the neighbors. We . . ." here Mr. Brown looked a bit embarrassed, "we are voyeurs. We heard on our chat group about this place and that it might be worth looking at but . . ."
Mrs. Brown interrupted him. "But we never dreamed it would be so perfect. Perfect. We both prefer watching men do it. And . . ." Mrs. Brown was briefly lost for words, "Well, this setup is ideal for us. We like to have plenty to watch, not just catch odd glimpses. Yes it's the perfect house."
"You like it . . . so are you going to make an offer?" Grant asked.
At that moment, as if on cue, the doorbell rang and they found Gina had returned.
"So, what did you think? Beautiful house isn't it? Great area and great schools. We have a terrific bus service in Meadowbank also . . . and there are four more couples desperate to see it."
"We like it very much, Gina," Mr. Brown said, ushering her out of the door, "Now let's talk business."
"Perfect. Perfect house. And I do like the walk-in closet in the master bedroom," Mrs. Brown said, smiling at Mona, before she followed her husband out.
* * * *
When the Browns and Gina had left, Grant and Mona walked around like zombies, afraid to believe they might finally have a buyer.
The phone rang very soon, though, and it was Gina.
"I don't know what you did showing the Browns around. You will have to give me your secret," Gina said with a laugh, "but they wanted to sign up immediately at the full price. Then I informed them that we had five more groups wanting to see through, who all found out about it on some Internet group, and they offered another $20,000 if they had a twenty-four-hour contract and fourteen-day settlement. Quite amazing in this economic climate. So, are you agreeable to go ahead on that? Can your lawyer work that fast?"
Grant was stunned. "Um great, urm . . ." An Internet group, Grant thought. So the Browns weren't lying. He mulled for a moment on the joy of having a buyer at last and the possibility of holding out for a better price from one of the other groups, but suddenly realized that the shoots might not happen again for several weeks. And as Mona had told the Browns, in between the area was quiet as a grave. "Yes, Gina. Thanks. Yes, go ahead. Sign them up. We'll put a bomb under out lawyer. Fortunately, he's Mona's brother."
When Grant got off the phone, Mona jumped for joy and they hugged and kissed, fell to the floor, stripped each other naked, and fucked like maniacs on the living room carpet in full view of Dennis and Liam, who were themselves now hanging over the railing of their hot tub deck in yet another fuck.
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