I couldn't tell you if I was relieved to see Tom go away to school or depressed. I mean, what we did together, it was really special for me. But somewhere in the back of my head, even though I wished it weren't so, I knew he couldn't come live with me. I knew we'd have to part someday, and I guess it had really struck me when Nate came back to town. I almost felt regret, like I had ruined Tom's innocence, but at the time I was so happy I had done it.

The nice thing about fixing cars, and maybe any other job, is that you just come to understand it after a while. You know when you need real concentration, and when your mind can just sort of drift around the rest of your life. I was covered in grease already from two morning jobs, and it was feeling kind of hot in the shop. I just parked the third job on my list, a nice black Dodge Charger. Not the most expensive car money can buy, but brand new and shined so well that anyone would think it had cost a hundred grand. It was due for a simple inspection, oil change, and tire rotation. Nothing I couldn't handle.

I got down to business, and my mind drifted back to Nate. I had seen him a couple of times since he first came over to my apartment. We did go out to dinner soon after, and it was really nice. If it weren't for Tom, I could really see a relationship with him. I just didn't know what Tom would think. God, I felt like such an ass. I should have had better control of myself around Nate. At least until Tom had left and couldn't be my lover anymore.

As these thoughts were rolling around in my head, I noticed someone standing over my work bay. I stood up and brushed myself off, assessing the stranger. He was old, gray hair, and worn skin from years of sun. He had to be at least sixty. That said, he was still handsome, and he looked still broad and muscular under his blue blazer. My eyes drifted to the silver ring on his finger, and the silver tie bar. The man must have had money.

"Is there something I can help you with sir? There's a waiting room up front by the showroom."

His facial expression reminded me of that of a statue. "I just wanted to get a feel for the person who's working on my car. You have a lot of experience doing this?"

I put on my best smile. "Enough to do a good job, sir. I should really get working, though. There will be a lot of other cars to take care of after yours."

"That's fine, that's fine. I'll just watch you, if you don't mind."

What the hell was I supposed to say to that? I wasn't thrilled. I looked over to the desk to see if I could get eye contact with Dave or Susan, to get a little help, but Dave was busy with his computer screen and Susan was talking with another customer. Helpless, I went back to work, his shadow palpable over me as if it were a blanket.

"I used to work a lot with my hands. A builder. I did mostly residential homes."

Well, now I wouldn't even be able to sort out my thoughts about Tom. It was all I could do to avoid getting distracted. There was a sort of hypnotic quality to the man's voice. The more he talked, the more I wanted to listen. I was reluctant when I had to rotate the tires. The machinery was deafening, and he had to pause. He went on for quite a while about his younger days, and I think I actually began to find him interesting. In the end I was certainly grateful. I had finished the inspection checklist without even realizing I was near the end.

I turned to him. "Well, sir, everything is done. It was really nice to meet you. I've just got to turn in the paperwork to the desk, and they'll get everything in the system and ring you up." I started the lift to bring the car back down.

"It was nice talking to you, young man. Listen," he stepped closer, even though I doubted anyone else could hear what he was saying anyways, "as, um, fine as this establishment is, I'm sure they don't pay you too much. If you'd like some extra work, give me a call. I've got a task that I think will interest you, and I assure you I can pay quite well." He slipped a piece of paper into my shirt pocket, and his hand grazed my nipple before he took it away. I would have sworn from the glint in his eye that it was on purpose.

Immediately I froze. My heart beat a little faster, and I could feel my cock stirring in my pants. Did he just? He turned to head toward the counter, and I shook my head, then followed. Luckily, I could turn myself on autopilot to relate the details of the work to Susan. There was nothing out of the ordinary anyways. I returned his car to the lot and headed to the break room for a breather before taking on my next assignment.

As I drove home that evening my attention was divided between that strange customer who'd given me his number and what I was supposed to serve Nate for dinner that night. I was very grateful to have his company, but I sometimes wondered if it might be smarter to go out for dinner or just ask him to come over after. And should I tell him about this guy at work? I mean, it couldn't hurt to mention it as long as I didn't relate the last part or tell him that I got the guy's number. I still didn't know what to do with that, either. I should have thrown the damn thing out, but it was still in my pocket. The paper seemed so stiff that I could feel its crease press against my chest.

Of course, when I pulled into my driveway, Nate's car was already there. Nobody was on the porch, and I didn't see him in his car, so he must have let him in with the spare. I wasn't late, was I? I got out of the car and checked the mailbox. Far too many envelopes for comfort.

I found Nate sitting on the couch in the living room, reading an issue of Esquire. I tossed the bills onto the coffee table and sat down next to him. He gave me a kiss and put the magazine down. "Long day at work?"

"It's always long," I laughed. "I didn't think I got back too late. I hope you haven't been here too long?"

He shook his head. I loved the way his black hair fell across his forehead. "I think I just got lucky with traffic today. Plus you work a little bit farther away than I do. I was going to stop home for a minute, but it didn't seem necessary."

"Well," I said, getting up, "I have no idea still what to make for you. Want to come take a look in the fridge with me? Not that there's anything there."

He got up and followed me to the kitchen, and we inspected what I had to offer. It really didn't look like much. I'd have to go grocery shopping after work tomorrow. There were at least some pork chops left. I could cook those up, and it looked like there were some leftover mashed potatoes and frozen peas in the freezer. "Will you be okay if one of them's a leftover? God, I wish it weren't so hard to keep this thing stocked?"

"Yeah, that's fine."

I got everything out and fetched a frying pan. Nate stood by the sink and watched as I put some oil in the bottom and started to cook the meat. "I'm sorry I don't have anything fancy to do with it. If you want, you can see if I've got some dressing that would work."

"It's okay. Man, it must be tough living on your own. You're always in need of food like this, aren't you? Makes me feel like a child for staying with Mom and Dad."

"Don't." The sizzle of the oil filled my ears, and I let the meat sit for a moment while I checked how long the peas would have to microwave. "I just couldn't take it, you know? I mean, imagine if I still lived with my parents and you had to visit me there. Where would we have sex?"

"Hmm, it might be sexy to try the garage. Or you could take a shower and we could pretend I was waiting for you in your room instead of in there with you."

I laughed. "I feel like an addict saying this, but I cannot go back to a life without sex. And especially gay sex. What would they think if, not only did they catch me having sex in their house, but with another man? I'd have to move out anyways!"

For a moment I thought back to what I did with Tom, and I was certain I blushed or frowned or did something to telegraph my thoughts. What a stupid thing to do. We could have been caught. I shook my head. We weren't caught. Mom and Dad sleep like logs, and even if one of them had gotten up, it's not like they were listening at the door.

Nate didn't seem to notice my concern. "Yeah, I guess I feel that way too. I'd love to bring you over to my own place, but I guess I'm just not ready to make the financial plunge yet. It's scary."

"Yeah, it is scary. Maybe we shouldn't talk about it anymore. Got any big plans for the weekend?"

"I wish." Nate came over and wrapped his arms around my waist. He was a small man, but they felt strong and secure around me. Like I could put my worries on hold for a moment. "If I could, I'd love to spend my weekend with you."

"Well, you know I always have time for a date."

"I want something a little more than a date. I'm thinking maybe I'll come over Friday night and stay through Sunday. Maybe there's somewhere nearby we can go to camp for a couple of nights. It would be nice to get some real you and me time."

"Mmm, that would be nice." It sounded wonderful, but I was a little afraid. I knew those envelopes I'd brought in spelled bad news, and I had no idea how much it would cost to rent a campsite for a night. I mean, it couldn't have been too expensive, but it always seemed I was down to my last penny, and I hated asking Nate to pay.

I unwrapped his arms from my body and got out a bowl for the peas. "I'm not sure I can afford it, though," I said, as I poured the bag out and popped it in the microwave. "I just have a lot of bills to pay, and especially if we eat out a weekend trip would be expensive for me."

"What if I covered it? I mean, I don't have a lot of disposable income, but certainly I can afford a weekend out. Let me pay this time. You'll just owe me one."

I smiled and kissed him. "Okay, I've just got to heat the potatoes up, and then we can eat."

It was one of those times where it felt like you exhausted conversation options leading up to dinner, so that there wasn't really much to say when it came time to eat. Nate told me about one of the articles in Esquire, about which foods burn fat best. I had read it, but I let him continue. He had such a soft voice, sweet, so that I felt like I was listening to music when he talked.

"So, did anything interesting happen at work today?"

I paused a moment. "Yeah, some interesting character came in. Older guy, not too expensive car but he kept it up well. You know how customers are supposed to wait out by the showroom? Well, this guy came right up to my work bay and started talking to me. It was weird, because nobody else seemed to notice him standing over me or do anything about it. He ended up being pretty nice, though. Told me about his days as a builder."

"Was he attractive?"

I didn't know how to answer that, though my cock stirred a little as I pictured him in my mind. "Well, the guy had to be at least sixty, but he was in good shape."

Nate chuckled. "You mean you've never looked at older guys that way before?"

"Have you?"

"Sure. College boys can be a pain in the ass. The one you want is almost never interested in you, or if he is, he sure doesn't say anything about it. Older men know what they want, and they just go and get it."

"Well, I'm not sure he wants that," I said, probably to assure myself more than to assure Nate.

"Good." He grinned. "I'm not usually greedy, but you're such a sexy guy that I'd rather have you all to myself!" He scraped the last of food off his plate and ate it. "Good dinner, Aric. Should we go into the bedroom for dessert?" He winked.

The way his Asian eyes twinkled was irresistible. "I'll be right there. Just let me go through the mail so I can get it off my mind."

He sighed and rolled his eyes. "Do come in sometime tonight. I don't want to have to jerk myself off." I watched him walk into the bedroom, then fetched the envelopes and brought them to the kitchen table.

It felt like every damn envelope I opened was a bill, and their due dates were coming up fast. It was stupid of me not to choose an apartment where the landlord was responsible for this shit. Or at least where I could share it between several roommates. It seemed like I was down to my last penny, and the last thing I wanted to do was sublet. Too much responsibility, plus the whole point of renting a house was to live alone. It was sickening.

I looked at the clock. Only 8:30, not too late. "I'll be right there," I called. "I've just got to make a phone call."

I took the slip of paper out of my pocket. There was no name on it, just a phone number. Very little about this seemed like a good idea to me. A stranger who had the nerve to feel me up in public talking about a job offer? But it at least couldn't hurt to call, right? I dialed the number, and as it was ringing I realized I had no idea how to address this man. I struggled to remember the name on the repair order, but I didn't get it in time.

"Hello?"

I swallowed. "Hello, sir. My name is Aric. Aric Brooks. I work at the car dealership. I inspected your car today, and you asked me to call you about a job you had."

There was a pause, then, "Yes, yes, I remember. Do you have a pen and paper? I'd like you to come tomorrow after your finish work, if that's okay with you."

"Yes, sure, fine." I scrambled to find a pen in the drawer. "Okay, I'm ready."

"43 Oakwood Place."

I scribbled it down under the phone number.

"Um, sir-"

"Thank you very much for calling me. I'll see you tomorrow."

Before I could say anything else, he hung up the phone. Well, I had to hope it was in the same town as work, since I didn't really have anything else to go on. Also, I still didn't have his name. Well, whatever. Maybe it would cover the little extra cash I needed to avoid getting in trouble.

Nate was waiting in bed for me, naked. It got me hard just looking at his smooth chest. I closed the door and turned the lights down. He watched me in silence while I stripped for him and climbed in next to him. For just a couple of moments, I sat there next to him, rubbing his torso, flicking his nipple. His head was lowered, watching my hands explore his body. It took a couple minutes, but eventually I could force the issues of my finances out of my mind. I rolled on top of him, entwining my legs with his, and embraced him in a deep kiss.

The next day I was tired as hell after work. There were a lot of bookings that day, and it seemed like I was constantly working on something. The breaks hadn't been nearly long enough. At least it had gone by quickly. I had all day to think of this mystery job I had to do. I came up with about a million different possibilities for this job, from something innocent like helping him with a repair job, or maybe needing a pet sitter for a few days, to some kind of kinky sex slave in a BDSM dungeon. I had to admit that as creepy as hiring me for sex would be, it got me very hard and I had to adjust my boner several times throughout the day.

The place was on the outskirts of town, but thankfully it showed up on my iPhone's Maps app with no problem. It seemed like forever, down a lot of back roads in the woods where the speed limit was 45 but you'd have to be insane to take those turns at that speed. Finally, I came up to a little gate. It guarded a long driveway that disappeared off into the woods. At first I had no idea how to get in, and thought I might have to call him again, but then I saw a little speaker with a button on a pole nearby. Jesus, what kind of place was this?

I rolled up next to it and put down my window. I leaned out of the car and pressed the button. "Hello sir, this is Aric Brooks."

A moment, then the speaker crackled, "Welcome." The gate started opening with a soft whirr. Not a creak.

"Thanks," said, but of course I forgot to press the button down. I drove in.

It seemed the driveway was just as long as the road to get here from town. It was well paved, though. It must have cost him a fortune to get all of it done. The driveway leveled out for a little bit, and then it seemed I was going down the other side of the hill. Then, the forest opened up into a huge green slope with a mansion. For a moment, the evening sun blinded me, but I put down the visor and looked around. My god, it was a paradise. Huge gardens, all seeming to be in full bloom, lined the rest of the driveway up to the house. Giant willows and oaks dotted the lawn, and the grass looked meticulously cut, manicured.

The driveway went up and circled at the front steps. I had no idea where to park, so I just put my car on the side of the road, hoping I left enough room in case anyone needs to get around, then went up to the front door. It had large brass knockers in the shape of lion's heads, but I saw there was also a doorbell, so I rang that.

It seemed like I stood there forever. I was having a hard time sitting still, bouncing up on my toes, swaying back and forth. I tried to picture him again in my head, and I could remember the white hair and the tan skin, and that he had muscles, but from there my mental image was a bit hazy. I leaned over once to look past the rhododendron into one of the windows. The foyer looked glorious: gleaming wood flooring, a grand piano, large tropical plants.

The door opened, and the man stood before me.

"Ah, Aric. Come in."

He stepped aside and I walked in, taking off my shoes immediately. I couldn't bear to think about messing up his floors. He stood there and smiled politely. He was more casually dressed than the other day, in a green and gray plaid button-down that seemed like it might burst at the size of his chest. His collar was open quite a bit, showing his white curls of chest hair, and his sleeves were rolled back over muscular forearms. He wore dark blue jeans that hugged his full ass and quads, and brown loafers. I knew I had a hard-on and I hoped to god he couldn't see it.

"I trust you found the place okay."

"Yeah, fine," I said. My voice felt like it had migrated several octaves higher. "You live quite far out here in the wilderness."

"I like my peace and quiet." He put a hand on my shoulder and steered me into a sitting room. It was decorated with beautiful paintings, quite modern, with bright splashes of color. Some depicted abstract figures of men, others of women, and others just inspiring figures of the imagination. I did recognize one artist. Georgia O'Keefe.

He sat me down on a mauve armchair, studded with brass, then went in the other room, returning with a small black box. "I don't need much work done. I'm planning on throwing a party this weekend and I need the back garden weeded, plus some leaves taken out of my pool. I don't think it should take too long. However, I'd like you to wear this while you work."

He handed me the box, and I opened it. Inside had to be the smallest thong I had ever seen. It was plain white, with a pouch that I was sure wouldn't be able to hold my cock. The thinnest strings would hold it in place.

I looked back up at him. He wasn't grinning; he was serious. I don't know if I was angry or shy or what. I think I was too shocked. "Sir," I said, mustering the politest tone I could manage, "I'm not sure if you have the right guy for the job." I started to stand and hand him back the box.

He reached into his pocket and pulled out a thick wad of cash. "This will be half your payment." He flipped through the bills. They were all Ben Franklins, crisp.

I gulped. "Where should I change?"

When I went out into the backyard, I felt naked. No, I felt more than naked. I think I would have been more comfortable if he had asked me to wear nothing instead of this skimpy bit of cloth. I was hyper aware of the strings cutting into my waist, hugging deep in my crack. My cock couldn't make up its mind. It would harden and soften and harden, and I was terrified it would slip out.

He was lying in a lawn chair, fully clothed, of course. He had kept the button-down on but changed into khaki shorts and sandals, and he sat there watching me. I felt like I was on a stage with the spotlight shining on me. Eventually, he pointed to a bed of flowers and said, "There's a pair of gloves over there, plus kneeling pad. There are shears and a trowel too, if you need them."

I took a deep breath and walked over to the bed. It was in full bloom, just like the gardens out by the driveway, and I had to admit the smell was beautiful. I knelt down, moving the pad to a comfortable patch, and slipped on the gloves.

If you looked from far away, you wouldn't have said his garden needed weeding, but down here I could see there were numerous little sprouts of grass and other plants amid the flowers. There was a basket nearby for me to throw things into. I think, when it comes down to it, I enjoy weeding. I've done it before, at my place and with my mother and grandmother. There's a simple sort of pleasure in seeing your progress. But there was no way that weeding was all this man wanted.

It was as if his eyes were boring holes into my ass. I could feel his gaze drift over my butt cheeks, up my back, my shoulders, brushing the backs of my arms, my neck. He was obviously rich, but there were cheaper ways of getting your garden weeded. I pictured him appearing behind me, stroking my skin. Using me for his pleasure. My cock hardened and made a tent out of the skimpy suit. I turned a little to make sure he couldn't see.

He directed me to several other patches. It was certainly an amazing garden. It grew and blossomed as if it were a jungle. I pictured some sort of tropical paradise in my head. Whenever I ventured a glance over my shoulder, he was still there, watching me. Something inside me felt bold, wanted to give him a special show, but I couldn't do it. Still, I acknowledge that as creeped out as I was, I was very attracted to him. I could only imagine what was hiding under that button-down shirt.

I wondered what he did to get so rich. I mean, I had heard there were ways of making great money in the world without being born rich or being a movie star. Of course, I could use a nice get-rich plan. Maybe he was an inventor of something really famous, and this was what it was like to live off the patent. Maybe he was some sort of famous writer. I wouldn't have known. I don't read much, and I certainly wouldn't remember an author's face. What if he was a pornographer, the guy behind the camera? I wondered if he was auditioning me to be a new model.

When I finished with the gardens, the sun was low in the sky. You could look out over his yard and see the sun over the distant mountains, the clouds purple and gold and red smeared like an impressionist painting. I tossed the gloves down next to the basket and started brushing the dirt off of my arms.

He got up from his chair. "Thanks, you did a really good job." I watched him warily, thinking he might try to make a move on me, but he simply led me over to the shed next to the pool and fished out a skimmer. "I don't think this will take too long, and then I won't have anything left for you to do today."

He went back over to his lawn chair and I turned to the pool. I haven't told you about that yet. The shed was a few yards away, off the true swimming area. Here the pool was wide and round, like a pond with a sidewalk, and cherry trees hung overhead. I started skimming out the fallen leaves, relatively few. The pool was long. The circular swimming area was connected to a wading area, and the whole thing curved like a half moon. At the head, near the stairs to enter, was a crystal clear stream that emptied into the pool. The rush of the water was soothing to my ears. I wanted more than anything to dive in and swim in the crystal clear water. Although late, it was still hot, even though I was practically naked.

I started picturing him in here, in a swim suit, his gray hair slicked and wet, his arms shining with drops of water. I imagined he had a nice ass that filled out his swimsuit. He would be a stud wet. I chuckled to myself. It was insane. Here was this guy, paying me ridiculous amounts of money to do menial tasks while mostly naked, and I was fantasizing about him. I should be running away terrified. If I had, I guess there wouldn't be much of a story, though. I wondered what Tom would think of all this.

I desperately hoped he would have a good time at college. Good enough, even, to forget what I did to him. I had wanted him so badly, and it was an incredible joy to be with him, but I felt like an ass for doing it. I hoped he'd forgive me when we got older. And then, when he left, after I tried so hard to restrain myself, I still went to bed with him. Some older brother I was. Really responsible.

Then there was Nate. He wanted me, he really did, and I didn't want to blow that. Casual sex is nice, but a real relationship is hard to come by. I shouldn't have even come here in the first place, but I really did need the money. I don't know how else I would have made it through the next month. I just wouldn't get involved with this man. I mean, he hadn't even touched me. I was just something to look at and amuse him. It's only fair that he should get some amusement in his old age. He was hot, but with the way most gays I'd seen online are, his age would have been an immediate deal-breaker.

I finished having convinced myself that I had just given an old man a few moments of pleasure, and that he was just giving himself more pleasure by paying me so well with a wealth he'd spent a lifetime earning. After I changed back into my clothes, he walked me to my car, talking about the party he was throwing. Apparently his sister had just had a grandchild get married, and since he didn't have any grandchildren of his own, much less children, he wanted to celebrate. As I got into my car, he handed me an envelope.

"I really appreciate your help here today. I'd like to call on you again in the future. I'll be able to pay you well, I can assure you. Have a safe drive home." He grinned, and I thought for a minute he was going to lean in and kiss me.

"Thank you, sir. I'm very glad I could help." I smiled and shut my door, then drove off. When I got to the end of his driveway, after passing the gate, I pulled over and looked in the envelope. It was stuffed with bills, stuffed, and it was a very large envelope too. I started counting, stopped at 25, and estimated there must be four times that. Around one hundred Ben Franklins. Jesus. I got back on the road and continued home, wondering how you deposit this much money in a bank.

 

Timothy Evans

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