Building Things

Chapter 27

"I can answer your questions, Detective, right here." Derrick said, glaring at Lance and then his eyes scanned the two other officers. "And I really don't care for the insinuation that I had something to do with this."

"Where were you this afternoon?" Lance asked again.

"I was at my office until around three, I told my office manager that I was going home after the days events. I was...a little drained." Derrick looked up at Lance again. "I came home to relax. I changed clothes, and found my friend here working out on the new structure at the back of the house."

"You didn't go anywhere else? You just came straight home from your office?"

"That's right."

"What route did you take?"

Derrick thought for a moment. "The same one I always take. Out of the parking lot, onto Third, down to Main, left, out to Parkins Rd., then left onto Harlow, here to the house."

"See anyone? Talk to anyone that might be able to corroborate your story?"

"No, I saw no one. Well, no one that I know. There were a few people, other drivers, pedestrians." Derrick became angered, "Let me ask you a question?" Lance nodded, still scowling. "Did you speak to anyone in my office?"

"A few, while we were looking for you."

"Kind of sudden, isn't it?"

"What do you mean?"

"I mean, Calvin being shot, as you say, and it's what nearly five thirty now? I left the office at around three. You get the call, and you're already looking for me?" Derrick had a nasty tone to his voice.

"Easy, Derrick." Ty leaned down and said softly into Derrick's ear.

"No. This doesn't make sense. Why come and look for me? Let's think about that for a minute. Someone put you in my direction." Lance looked a little uncomfortable for a moment. "You get the call, go to Calvin's. Who's there? His wife." Derrick gets up from the arm of the couch, standing in front of Lance. "She tells you where my office is, and that there was a dispute between Calvin and I and our other partner. She must have been pretty convincing telling you that there was a major problem at my office as you made a beeline for it."

"Are you through?"

"No." Derrick said, folding his arms across his chest, glaring back at Lance. "Once you're at my office, there are too many people to question, and too many people that knew when I left as I let my key personnel know, and where to find me." Derrick paused for a moment scanning Lance's face, as he was seeing some part of reason beginning to kick in. "I'm afraid that I have too many people that can tell you where and when. Besides, Calvin's house is on the northwest side of town. It takes forty minutes to get there from my office. That would put me here around five or so, if I had gone there. Not even giving the time it would take to produce a gun, which I don't own by the way, getting into Calvin's house, shooting him and then crossing town to get here. Oh, and by the way, when did you get the call?"

"Just before three thirty." Lance answered, quietly.

"Oh, that quick." Derrick said with a snide tone. "It's nice to know that our department can respond so quickly, even if it is in the wrong direction. You see, Detective, none of this makes any kind of sense. Calvin was escorted out of the building a little after two. He left, I know that because I watched him. Barring no traffic, that puts him at his house around two forty, two forty five. I leave the office around three. Follow what I'm saying? Your time table doesn't hold up. " Ty reached up and put a hand on Derrick's tensed shoulder, trying to rein him back. Derrick relaxed a little under Ty's touch.

Lance looked past Derrick to Ty. "And, who are you?"

"He is..." Derrick started to say, but Ty squeezed his hand on the shoulder, stopping him.

"I'm Ty Caldwell. I'm a friend of Derrick's."

"Where do you live, Mr. Caldwell?"

"Right here."

"Here? In this house?"


"I see. Did you know Mr. Sinclair?"

"No. I had never met him."

"He has nothing to do with this." Derrick said, flatly.

Lance turned his attention back to Derrick. "So, if you came home to 'relax', what have you been doing? Has Mr. Caldwell been with you the entire time?"

"What I do in my own home is none of your business. And as far as Mr. Caldwell goes, yes, we have been together the entire time."

"Doing what?"

Derrick became enraged, his face was going red, his neck veins were beginning to pop. He felt like he was going to explode. Ty stepped forward around Derrick, getting right up to Lance. The two officers stepped forward a step. Ty could see them out of the corner of his eye.

"We've been fucking the entire time, if you have to know." Ty said in a cool voice. "You can go to the back bedroom and check the bed, it's quite a mess. Then we moved out here to the couch. Derrick was really hammering my ass when you guys pulled up and spoiled everything."

Lance's eyes were wide at what Ty said. Derrick was hanging his head, just shaking it. Ty turned and looked at Derrick and then back to Lance. Lance gulped and looked at the two officers, who backed up a step.

"I'm very sorry to have asked."

"Don't be. But, you guys have really killed the mood, if you know what I mean? Just want to say 'thanks'." Ty said, then backed around Derrick. "Sorry, babe."

"Detective Lance," Derrick said, composing himself, "I think maybe you should think about the facts and think about checking Calvin's house again. I'll bet any amount of money, that the gun was his." Derrick leaned forward to Lance, "He has quite the collection, you know?"

"No, I didn't know that." Lance said, quietly.

"Didn't even look around the house, did you? Wow." Derrick looked back at Ty. "Taxpayer dollars at work." Derrick walked to the door, opening it. "Now, if you gentlemen, please? I think you have embarrassed yourselves enough. If you actually have an accusation, make it. If not, please leave my home."

"Very sorry to have troubled you, Mr. Jacobson." Lance said, as he stepped to the door, the two officers were following him. "Mr. Caldwell." Lance nodded in Ty's direction. Ty returned the nod. Derrick closed the door and walked to the phone and picked it up. He scrolled through the stored numbers on it, finding the one he wanted and pushed the numbers, it started dialing.

"I am so sorry, sweetie." Ty said, as he crossed the room getting close to Derrick.

"It's not your fault. You told the truth. Actually, I was impressed."

"Not as impressed as I was. You're like a regular Sherlock Holmes or something. You figured it all out, didn't you? You handed it to him. The dumb dipshit, and he was standing right on top of it the whole time."

"Sid?...yeah, it's Derrick, sorry to bother you at home. Are you sitting down?...well, you'd better...the police were just here at the house, Calvin's dead," Derrick held the phone away from his ear with the scream from the other end, "seriously? You think I had something to do with it, after I paid him out? How the hell can you ask that?, but I know who, I can't prove it...but, I sent them in the right direction...hopefully they're not too stupid to figure it out., I haven't called Tom...why don't you do it...I don't know, maybe he already knows, but he hasn't called me, I'm going to go pour a drink and me a favor, keep going with the paperwork as we discussed. I want everything to be above board and legal. I want to hide nothing, in case they ask, got it?'re a good man, Sid...yes, I'll call you tomorrow...thanks, let Tom know alright?" Derrick hung up the phone. He looked at as he hung up the phone in the cradle, smiling. "You were very hot, you know?"

"Really? How's that?" Ty asked putting his thick arms on Derrick's shoulders, raising one eyebrow.

"Giving that poor guy the shock of his life, telling him that we were fucking all over the place."

"Did you see that one? What was his name? Campbell? He was really hot. Did you see his eyes? He kept glancing down at both of us at our crotches."

"Such a horn dog, I swear." Derrick said, smiling, stepping closer, "Maybe we should have asked him to stay and take a different statement?"

"Bad, very bad."

"I don't know, cops are hot. Men in uniform? Trips my trigger, like hunky firemen...that does it for me."

"Thanks, I feel like chopped liver." Ty frowned.

"Not at all." Derrick grinned. "You have the best uniform of them all."

"Really? What's that?"

"A bare ass in nail bags." Derrick wiggled his eyebrows. "Sent me right over the edge."

Ty smiled and then kissed Derrick gently, tenderly sucking on his bottom lip, and then letting go. They looked at each other long and hard for a minute, then Derrick turned away.

"Where are you going?"

"I'm going to have that drink." Derrick huffed.

"Really? What about the couch?"

Derrick stood at the sidebar, turning a glass and then pouring three fingers of scotch. He capped the decanter and set it down. He lifted the glass and took a sip of it, looking at Ty.

"Sweetheart, you have no idea what I've been through today, after lunch that is. And now, I've had the cops at my house, almost accused of murder, and probably every cop in town is hearing about the gay guy that's an architect downtown."

"I kind of see your point." Ty said. "So, I guess sex is out of the question."

Derrick laughed deep and long. He lifted his glass and took another sip and then set it down on the sidebar. "You are just amazing, you know that?"

"How so?"

"Nothing seems to phase you."

"Oh, I don't know about that. Lots of things bother me. Believe me, I've been worked up over quite a few things in my time."

"Really? Anything you care to share?"

"Another time perhaps." Ty said, closing the subject quickly. Derrick got it and left it alone.

"Alright. Are you hungry?"

"Sort of."

"Would you like me to cook?"

Ty stepped forward, coming close to Derrick. This time he put his hands on Derrick's hips, getting closer to him. They looked in each other's eyes for another long minute.

"I am so much in love with you. Do you know that?" Ty said, in a very serious tone. It took Derrick by surprise, as Ty had never talked like that before.

"I have a pretty good idea." Derrick replied. "You know that I love you as well, with all my heart."

"I do." Ty said, softly. Derrick smiled wide.

"You keep saying those two words."

"Is there something you wanted to...?" Ty began, but was interrupted by a knock at the front door, then the doorbell itself rang. Derrick rolled his eyes, then pulled away from Ty. Ty just sighed as he walked away. Derrick opened the door. He narrowed his eyes at who was standing there.

"Terry. What brings you here?"

"Boss, thank God you're here." Terry said, wringing his hands. Derrick reached out and grabbed Terry by the wrist, gently pulling him into the house, closing the door behind him. "The cops were at the office. They wanted to know where you were. They went from room to room looking for you."

"I know, they were here." Derrick said, leading Terry over to the couch. "Are you alright?"

"I'm fine. Just a little scared." Terry said, looking up at Derrick, who was sitting on the arm of the couch above Terry. "They said you shot Calvin and demanded to know where you were."

"Oh, holy shit." Derrick said, looking over at Ty. Derrick pointed at the sidebar. Ty knew, and picked up the glass and walked it across it the room, handing it to Derrick. Derrick took it and handed it to Terry. "Here. Take a drink of this, and we'll start all over again, alright?"

Terry took the glass and tipped it up, taking a deep pull at it, then lowered it. He looked up at Derrick for a moment, and then over at Ty.

"Oh, hi." Terry nodded to Ty. "I'm sorry, did I interrupt something?"

"No." Derrick said, shifting his gaze from Terry to Ty, and then back again. "Are you feeling better now?"

"A little. Boss, what are we going to do?"

"We're not going to do anything. What happened today was business, plain and simple. Everything was legal and above board. The police need to be looking in another direction. I had nothing to do with what happened to Calvin. You should know that." Derrick sounded firm. Terry hunched a little, twirling the almost empty glass in his hands.

"You're right. I do know that."

"Was Tom there when the police arrived?"

"No." Terry thought and then looked straight ahead, and then back at Derrick. "He said he had a couple of errands to run. He came back right after they left, and then went home."

"Did you or anyone tell him what has happened?"

"I didn't. I didn't get a chance to talk to him before he actually left for the day, but I'm sure someone had to have. He loaded a couple of boxes in his car though before he left. He seemed to be in a big hurry." Derrick's eyes went wide at what Terry just said, again, he glanced at Ty.

"Are you sure?" Derrick asked carefully.

"Very sure, boss."

"And you didn't tell the police this?"

"No, they were already gone."

Derrick looked back up at Ty, narrowing his eyes. They all jumped when the phone rang. Derrick got up from the arm of the couch and walked over and picked it up. He could see the number calling on the screen of the phone. He pushed the button, holding it to his ear.

"Hello?" Derrick said, and then paused. "Tom? Are you alright?" Derrick paused, listening to the phone, turning away from Terry and Ty. "Sid called you...yes, it's, the police were here...yes, they questioned me...hold on,, I never said anything like that, Tom...were the police at your house?...okay...they may be coming...Tom, just tell them the truth...answer their, we'll get through this, don't, you don't need to come over, stay'll be alright, I promise...yes, I'll see you in the morning...alright, bye." Derrick hung up the phone and set it in the cradle. He had his back to Ty and Terry. Derrick exhaled slowly and then turned back to face them. He smiled briefly and walked up next to Ty.

"Do you think...?" Ty asked.

"I'm not sure. I hope not." Derrick said, making eye contact with Ty. "We'll talk about it later." Derrick smiled at Ty, and then gave him a kiss on the cheek, then walked toward Terry, who was wide eyed at seeing Derrick kiss Ty. Terry had only known Derrick at the office and had only heard rumor and speculated about Derrick's life at home. Derrick had just confirmed the rumors, kissing Ty like that. Terry smiled at Derrick as he came closer and sat on the arm of the couch.

"Boss..." Terry said, but Derrick held up a hand to stop him.

"Terry, understand what I'm about to say, alright?" Derrick asked, looking at him. Terry nodded. "Ok, for starters, you know part of the history between, Tom, Calvin, and myself, right?" Terry nodded toward Derrick. Ty came over and took the glass, he walked back to the sidebar and refilled it, bringing it back to Terry. "We were all close friends in college, and were all taking architecture classes with architecture majors. I was the only one who had a business background, as my parents were in business here in town. Anyway, when we graduated, we worked for a few different firms, staying in touch with each other, then after a few years, we decided to go into business together." Derrick looked up at Ty, who was sitting on the love seat, near them. "We made it work, each of us contributing to the firm, throwing in what money we had to get it started. We incorporated, each controlling a certain amount of the firm. I had the largest part, then Tom, and then Calvin." Derrick took a breath and then shifted on the arm of the couch. "After a few years, we were becoming very successful, adding employees, gaining new clients, doing very well. All of this you might know. What you don't know is, because Calvin received the lowest portion of the dividend from the firm, because he put in the smallest portion of the buy in, was that he and his wife were having trouble, financially. They had major problems with their home and realized that it would cost about as much to renovate as it would to build new." Terry was just staring at Derrick, then sipped from his glass. "So, Calvin came to me. He asked for my help to secure and help build a new house to the northwest side of town, out near the country club. I agreed, seeing what was going on at the old house. Calvin purchased the lot, and I helped with the construction costs of the house, pulling from my portion of the business and my dividend. I guess, over time, he became greedy about it, which led to him doing what he did while I was on vacation. Which, led to the events of today."

"So, I'm confused...." Ty chimed in. "What does that have to do with his wife?"

"Oh, that's simple." Terry turned, looking at Ty. "Kathy, Calvin's wife hates Derrick...," Terry said, then looked up at Derrick with a shocked look, "oh, I'm sorry, boss..."

Derrick put a hand on Terry's shoulder, smiling at him, "No, it's alright. Go ahead."

Terry turned back to Ty, "You see, she would come in the office every now and then. She would bitch Calvin out about not having enough control in the firm, not making enough money, not doing good enough, it all being Derrick's fault, according to her."

"Wow." Ty said. He looked at Derrick, "That's why you said that to Lance then. You knew, didn't you?"

"Let's just say, I had a hunch." Derrick said, his hands on his knees.

"What are you saying, boss? You think Kathy killed Calvin? Oh my God." Terry's eyes went wide with the realization.

"Now, I didn't say that." Derrick said, looking down at Terry. "What I did say is, I had a hunch, and I said that to the police."

"Oh my God." Terry looked down at the floor, shaking his head.

"Terry, pull yourself together, bud." Derrick said quietly.

"But she had to do have done it. It's the only thing that makes sense."

"That's for the police to find out, bud." Derrick smiled briefly. "Now, are you going to be okay?"

"Yeah. I was just worried about you, that's all."

"I appreciate that." Derrick said, putting his hand back on Terry's shoulder. "I'm going to be just fine."

Terry set the glass down, then stood. Derrick and Ty stood up as well. "Well then, I guess I'll be going."

"Terry, I thank you for coming out here." Derrick said, holding out his hand. Terry took it and held it for a long minute.

"No problem." Terry said. Ty and Derrick walked him to the door, opening it. Terry walked through. "See you in the morning then?"

"You bet. Bright and early." Derrick said, Ty standing beside him. Terry turned and walked off the porch out to the driveway. They watched him climb into his car and back out onto the street, and then drive away. Derrick shut the door and turned to Ty. "Jesus, this just gets better and better." Derrick walked over and picked up the glass and walked it into the kitchen. He poured out the scotch into the sink, rinsed the glass and put it in the dishwasher. He looked up and saw Ty coming around the counter, walking up to him slowly.

"Are you sure you're going to be okay?"

"I don't know." Derrick said.

"What?" Ty asked softly.

"I should be sad about Calvin, I suppose. I'm not angry about it anymore. But, I just don't feel anything about it." Derrick lowered his eyes away from Ty. "Is that wrong?"

"I don't think so." Ty said, reaching his arms around Derrick, giving him a gentle hug. "Give it some time. You'll figure it out. I know you will." Ty whispered into Derrick's ear.

Derrick wrapped his arms around Ty's waist, returning the hug. He buried his face into Ty's thick shoulder at the base of his neck. He took a deep breath, breathing Ty's scent in, then slowly let it out through his nose. He loved the smell of him, the earthy scent through his shirt. Derrick stayed perfectly still just feeling comforted in Ty's arms.

"I'm so glad you're here." Derrick whispered. Ty kissed the top of Derrick's ear.

"I'm glad, too." Ty said softly.

Derrick pulled away slowly. He looked into Ty's eyes and smiled briefly. Ty pulled his arms back and just stood there, looking at Derrick, waiting, not knowing what to do. He shifted his weight, leaning against the counter.

"I not hungry anymore, are you?" Derrick asked.

"Not really, no. Why don't you go take a shower. It might make you feel better."

"Good idea." Derrick said. He kissed Ty softly, then turned and walked away toward their bedroom. Derrick pulled off his clothes as he walked into the bathroom and reached in and turned on the water. He waited for a minute for the temperature to rise, and then stepped in. He let the water cascade down over him from the rain head, putting his hands on the tile wall, his back toward the room. Ty came into the room and just watched Derrick for a minute, watching his beautiful body in the shower, then turned to the sink and picked up his toothbrush.


Alec felt his phone vibrate and tone in his back pocket as he was pulling the pallet loaded with boxes of supplies for the store with the pallet jack. He turned the pallet around and pushed it with the jack to the far wall, getting it out of the way. He let the pallet jack lower the pallet, having it where he wanted it and then pulled it out from under the pallet.

Swinging it around, he pushed it toward the next pallet that the truck driver had placed out on the loading dock just outside the big back door of the store. He ran the jack in underneath the pallet, and then began to pump the handle, lifting the heavy pallet up. Alec felt his phone vibrate and tone again in his back pocket. Someone was really trying to get a hold of him, but he knew he had to get this truck unloaded, as the next truck was waiting to get into the dock.

A total of eight pallets were unloaded and put into place. Alec walked over to the driver and signed his sheet on the clipboard and then handed it back to the driver. He smiled at him and thought he would have a couple of minutes to be able to check his phone. He watched as the driver walked off the dock and went to the cab of his big truck. Alec pulled out his phone. He smiled at the text messages.

"Be there tomorrow."

"Can't find Derrick to tell him."

Alec texted back.



"I'll try and let him know. At work now."


"Yeah. Night shift."

"See you tomorrow."

"Cant wait. Will be at apartment."

"Want me there?"



Alec was hopping from foot to foot, feeling excited. He didn't notice someone was standing behind him. The voice from behind interrupted him. He jumped a little from it.

"Things going alright?"

"Stan! Jeez, you scared me." Alec said, turning around. "Yeah, they're going just fine. Last truck is backing in now."


"You saved me a trip up to your office."


"Yeah. I'm sorry to have to tell you this, but, I need to give you my notice."

"What? Are you serious Alec? Why? Aren't you happy here?"

"It's not that Stan. You know how much I love it here. But, I have this really great opportunity at this restaurant."



"Alec, I think that's great. I know how much you love to cook, I just hate to see you go."

"I'm sorry, Stan."

"Alec, I understand. Good for you." Stan said, looking sad, but stretched out his hand. Alec took it and shook it firmly. "Let me know when you want me to schedule your last day, alright?"

"Alright, I will. Thanks for understanding, Stan." Alec smiled. Stan just briefly smiled in return and then patted Alec on the shoulder. He walked away as the truck backed up against the loading dock. Alec waited for the driver to get out and open the back door. The driver smiled at him, and Alec smiled back.


Derrick shut off the shower and stood there for a minute. He reached out and grabbed a towel and dried himself off. He stepped out onto the cool tile and rehung the towel. He picked up his clothes and walked into the bedroom. He looked around and didn't see Ty. He folded his clothes and put on a pair of underwear, his bikinis. He walked out of the bedroom and toward the kitchen. He walked into the kitchen, looking around and didn't see Ty. He walked into the other bedroom, but it too was empty. He looked in the living room, and then walked back into the kitchen. He went to the back door, but didn't hear anything. He turned round and walked back to the kitchen. He realized that he was totally alone in the house. No note, no nothing. He walked back toward the bedroom. He pulled back the top sheet and climbed into bed, covering himself back up, settling into the pillows. Derrick closed his eyes, just getting relaxed when he thought he heard something. He opened his eyes and then heard the back door open and then close. He heard a little rustling and then he thought he heard plates chinking. He threw back the sheet and got out of bed, getting up and then walked into the kitchen. He saw Ty standing at the counter, next to a brown bag and a few white cartons. Derrick could smell it and smiled to himself. He walked over and came up next to Ty. Ty looked over and down, seeing what Derrick was wearing.

"I like it." Ty said wiggling his eyebrows.

"Obviously you were hungry." Derrick said. "Why didn't you tell me?"

"Because, I'm a big boy, I can take care of myself. And you have enough going on, you don't need to cook just for me."

"So you go and get Chinese."

"You like Chinese. And it's close by."

"I do."

"I know. So go and sit down." Ty said, hip bumping Derrick.

Derrick went and sat at the counter, while he watched Ty begin to open cartons and serve everything up. Derrick waited for Ty to come around the counter and sit next to him. Together they began to enjoy what was in front of them. Ty looked over at Derrick a couple of times, watching Derrick just pick at his plate. Ty leaned over and shoulder bumped Derrick, no response. He waited a minute, then did it again. Derrick stopped picking but didn't look at him. Ty set his fork down, then poked Derrick in the ribs. Derrick looked over at him, raising an eyebrow.

"What?" Derrick asked.

"Come on."

"Come on, what?"

"Eat something. I went to a lot of trouble. Do you know how hard it is to cook this stuff?" Ty asked, with a grin. Derrick just looked at him, then turned back and picked at his plate again.

"I just don't know."

"Don't know, what?" Ty asked.

"I...feel...strange. So much is happening." Derrick said softly, setting his fork down.

"You know what? I think you need a change of scenery."

Derrick looked over at him, raising his eyebrows. "What do you mean?"

"I mean, go some place with me."

"I don't know."

"Come on. Let's go." Ty said, leaning into Derrick. "Let me take you some place. You'll like it, I promise."

"Alright." Derrick said, with a sigh. "Where? I need to get dressed."

Ty's eyes lit up. "Okay. But let me pick out your clothes."

"Really? Don't I dress myself?"

"Yeah, but this is different. We talked about it a couple of days ago."

"We did?"

"Yeah. Now eat something. You're going to need it."

"I am? Okay." Derrick said, raising an eyebrow. He picked up his fork and ate some of the Chow Mein. Ty hurried up and cleaned his plate and then got off the stool. He went around to the sink, rinsing the plate, then put it in the dishwasher. He winked at Derrick and dashed off to the bedroom. Derrick finished what he wanted and then got off the stool. He repacked the containers and put them in the fridge, then rinsed his plate and silverware, loading them in the dishwasher. He turned and walked toward the bedroom.

There, he found Ty going through drawers of the dresser. He turned and looked at Derrick, as Derrick walked up next to him. Ty handed Derrick a pair of running shorts, a little skimpy, but they would work. He handed Derrick a tank top, that was black, and a little small. Derrick hadn't see it for quite a while, almost forgetting that he had it. Ty went to the closet and pulled out a pair of running shoes, then handed them to Derrick.

"We're going running?" Derrick asked, taking the shoes.

"No, something better." Ty said, looking excited with wide eyes.

"Well, it's obvious it's not a bar or a club." Derrick said, sitting on the bed, putting on the shoes. "Or is it?"

"No. It's better than that."

"Okay." Derrick said, knowing where they were going, but he wanted to try and play along. He had never seen Ty look so excited about going somewhere. Derrick stood and pulled the tank top on, pulling it down him, it fitting so snug, it was like it was constricting his breathing. He didn't remember it fitting like that before. With the shorts up and in place, he looked at Ty. "Well, what do you think?"

"You look really good. Verrry hot."

"Thanks." Derrick said. "I think the 80's are wanting their shorts back."

Ty chuckled, but he was wearing a pair very similar, but he was free balling in them. Derrick could see him hanging out, his head dangling slightly. Derrick was staring at it, it was very hot, but he didn't know it was alright to go out in public like that.

"Maybe you should hide that." Derrick pointed. Ty looked down.

"You're probably right. Don't want Lance showing up to arrest me for indecent exposure."

"Well, maybe it will be that other one, the one you thought was hot. Maybe he would like to check it out."

"Hmmm." Ty said, putting a hand on his hip, the other touching his bottom lip, tilting his head like he was thinking about it.

"What a horn dog." Derrick shook his head. "Are we taking the car?"

"Jesus, no. This was my idea. We'll take the truck."

"Do we need to get all your stuff out of the bed? You don't want anything stolen."

"It's well lit, a good area. Have never had a problem there before. It'll be alright."

"Okay. If you're sure."


"Let me go lock up the front door. After everything today, I don't need anything else when we get back. I'll meet you out back."


Alec felt his phone vibrate and tone again in his back pocket. He was turning the next pallet into place and setting it down. He looked over toward the back of the truck. There were two more pallets waiting to be moved. His phone vibrated/toned again. He couldn't stop. He moved quickly across the warehouse area to the back dock and grabbed another pallet. Pumping the handle to raise the jack, watching as the driver moved another one toward him, Alec knew this driver. He was young and had energy and was always in a hurry, moving quickly. It made him good, he knew what he was doing.

Alec pulled on the jack and the pallet began to move. He knew that if he pulled it a little faster, he could use the inertia of the weight to help swing it. Alec was building up a sweat moving so fast. His phone vibrated/toned again. He swung the jack and the pallet, then guided it into place. The driver was setting a new pallet in place where the last one had been. Alec lowered what he had and pulled the jack. His phone vibrated/toned again. He stabbed into the next pallet, looking into the back of the truck. The driver had grabbed another one and was coming. It was becoming a race.

Alec set the pallet next to the last, making a row. His phone vibrated/toned again. He was getting angry because he couldn't pull it out to see who it was, even though he had a good idea. He pulled the jack and went back, grabbed the next pallet, pumping the handle, the phone going off again, he pulled and started the pallet moving, gaining speed, and then swung it and dropped it. He came back with the jack, stabbing the next one, pumping, and started to pull. The phone again. This time the driver stopped.

"Someone is obviously trying to get you."

"Yeah, I know." Alec said with a huff in his voice.


"Hardly." Alec grunted, pushing the pallet into place, then letting it drop. He pulled the jack and came back to the dock, stabbing the next pallet. Pumping the handle, he looked up, seeing the driver standing there behind the last pallet he was moving.

"Oh, boyfriend." He said with a grin out of the corner of his mouth.


"Don't worry about it. I have that trouble, too." The driver winked at Alec, making Alec stop everything.

"You do?" Alec said, catching his breath.

"Yeah, but I'm kind of in a hurry, so..."

"Right." Alec said, starting to pump the handle and then pulled. He looked back at the driver, but in a different light now, seeing him grin wide. Alec put the pallet in place, dropping it down, as his phone went off. He went back and moved the next pallet, and then the last one. He left the pallet jack in the last pallet. He walked over to the driver and signed the paper on his clip board for the delivery.

"Maybe I could get your number." The driver said softly as Alec handed him back the clip board.

"Well, okay." Alec replied softly.

"Unless your boyfriend might object."

"What about yours?"

"He's an on and off thing. What about yours?"

"He's awesome."

"Oh yeah?"

"Very awesome." Alec said, almost cooing. Alec took back the clip board, turning the paper over, writing his number down, with his name below it.


"You're welcome..."


"You're welcome, Brett." Alec smiled.

"See you next time, maybe."


Alec watched him walk away. He was looking Brett up and down from behind. He wore snug fitting jeans and had a button down shirt with the tail out, covering his butt. The sleeves were missing. Alec had seen him before and had noticed him, but now, in this new light, Brett looked even better, friendlier. He watched Brett climb up into the cab, and heard the truck start up. It jerked forward and pulled away from the loading dock. Alec pulled out his phone, swiping the screen, he saw all the text messages. They were from Conner. He smiled at them, and then texted back a reply, covering all of them.

"Cant wait either."

"want it so bad." Came the reply.

"Need it really bad. All sweaty from working. Moving freight."

"stay like that. want to smell you."

"Feel yucky."


"Have to get back. Miss you."

"be there in the late morning."

"Key under mat. I'll be in bed. Wake me up."

"I will."


Derrick saw the sign as they pulled in the parking lot. Ty swung into a space up near the front and parked. The windows were partially blocked with big signs and pictures. Derrick looked over at Ty and gave him a half smile and then got out of the truck.

"Mike's Gym."

"Yeah, Mike's Gym. You're gonna love it." Ty said, getting out and coming around the front of the truck. He and Derrick walked into the gym. Derrick's eyes went wide. There were quite a few people inside, all of them were guys. Derrick leaned close to Ty.

"My God, it looks a muscle head convention. This is better than any gay bar."

Ty chuckled. "Yeah, this is every gay guys dream. I know most of these guys." Ty reached up and put a hand on Derrick's shoulder. "Follow me. We'll go do a basic workout."

"Lead the way." Derrick said. Ty was nodding to a few of the different guys, they were smiling and nodding back at him. They were checking out Derrick as they walked by as well. Derrick caught a few glances and suddenly felt like he was in a meat market. Ty led him to the sidewall. It was all mirrored. They stood on some mats. Ty began to stretch, slowly at first.

"So, this is your idea of a change of scenery?" Derrick asked, as he started stretching.

"I've been meaning to get here, but with everything going on, I haven't had the time."

Derrick got down on the mat and stretched his legs, spreading them out, he reached out and grabbed the toe of one shoe, and stretched, then the other. Ty got down and was doing the same. Derrick half looked up, some of the other guys were watching them.

"Why do I get the feeling that these guys don't like new people around?" Derrick said in a whisper. Ty looked over toward the other guys, casually, then back at Derrick, then smiled wide.

"They probably haven't seen anything as good looking as you walk in here in quite a while."

"I feel like I'm on parade."

"Um, kinda." Ty shrugged his shoulders. "Ignore them. They'll get over it."

"If you say so."

"Do you want to do some free weights?"

"I think I'll do some crunches and then do the leg press. Legs are what I need the most worked on." Derrick said.

"Okay. I'll be over there." Ty smiled and walked away. Derrick sat on the bench of the press machine. He turned and adjusted the weight with the lock pin, then got himself set, hooking his feet into the padded lift arms. He started lifting, crossing his arms over his stomach, trying to sit straight on the bench. He realized it had been quite a while since he had worked out, it was starting to slowly feel good to him, and then the slow burn of his muscles began. He looked up seeing a guy walking toward him.

"Looks good."

Derrick blew out a breath and stopped, looking at him. "Beg pardon?"

"Said, looks good. Your definition."

Derrick nodded then started up again. "Thanks."

"Been watching you."

"That right?" Derrick was watching him with one eye, still lifting with his legs.

"Yeah. Never seen you in here before. First time?"

"Uh huh." Derrick said through pursed lips, breathing out.

"You must work out somewhere else. I know everyone that comes here." He leaned forward extending his hand. "I'm Phil."

Derrick stopped, looking at the hand pointing toward him. He reached up and took it. "Derrick." Phil had a tight grip, squeezing and then shaking Derrick's hand.

"So you're here with him?" Phil rolled his head in Ty's direction.

"That's right." Derrick was short in his answers. He looked Phil up and down. He was huge in stature. His arms were probably twenty four inches when he flexed, and his legs, in the tight spandex workout suit were as big as logs. Derrick just smiled up at him with a brief smile. "If you need to use the machine, I can move."

"No, no, you're fine right there." Phil said, putting his hands on his hips, almost striking a pose. Derrick didn't seem to be impressed. He raised one eyebrow and then went back to his workout. Phil watched him for a couple of minutes and then turned to walk away. He stopped and went wide eyed.

"Something I can help you with, Phil?"

"Ty...uh, are you, man? Haven't seen you in a while."

Ty rolled his eyes down to Derrick and then back to Phil. "Been busy." Ty said.

"Yeah, sure." Phil said, and then looked over his shoulder back at Derrick, then back to Ty. "I can see that." Phil looked a little on the pale side for a minute. "Well, good to see ya. I gotta go."

"Yeah." Ty said, then watched Phil walk away.

"Guess you know him, huh?" Derrick said with a labored breath, then stopped his workout.

"Yeah, I do." Ty said, turning back to Derrick. Ty took a step toward him. "He's really not worth knowing." Ty said quietly, looking back toward Phil, then back at Derrick. "Like you said, a muscle head. There's a lot of them around." Ty said, looking back into the rest of the gym. "Maybe this wasn't such a good idea after all."

"It'll be fine. Maybe if we came here more often, they'd get used to us."

Ty looked down at Derrick, smiling a little. "You think so?"

"Sure." Derrick, said, getting up from the bench, standing next to Ty. "Of course, if I gave you a really big wet kiss, they'd really back off, wouldn't they?"

"Doubt it." Ty said, scanning Derrick's eyes. "They'd probably think it was an invite to an orgy. They only respond. I don't think there's an IQ above sixty five here."

Derrick chuckled. "So, what do you want to do now?"



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