[DISCLAIMER: If you're not of legal age to read stories of male-to-male intimacy, or if it is illegal to do so where you are, right now, this very second ... then please ... leave, and return ONLY when and where it is legal for you to do so. If reading about sexual intimacy, feelings, yearnings and the like, between people of the same sex offends you, the author asks that you, too, leave and find expressions to your likings elsewhere. And remember ... "Judge not, that ye be not judged." Comments, both pro and con, including constructive criticism, are welcomed.]


By Zeke Housemann (zekehousemann@yahoo.com)

CHAPTER ONE (of four)

August. -- 2:30 pm. -- Indian Wells. -- The southern California desert. -- Hot. -- Damn hot. -- Stinking sweaty hot! -- 124 sweltering degrees hot!

Leaving a completed job, I'd just finished packing all my stuff in my new red Ford Ranger F-150 with white camper shell -- one each of the ladders: 12 ft., 8 ft., 6 ft., 4 ft., and two 2 ft. ladders; four 5-gallon buckets of paste; two tool boxes of spatulas, smoothing blades, Olfa knives (similar to exacto's), various sized screwdrivers, smoothing brushes made with real, genuine horse hair; an 8 ft. collapsible wallpapering table; a bucket or two of rags, sponges, newspapers, and trash bags, and my constant friend while on the job -- my paint- and paste-splattered boom-box.

I closed and locked both the upper and lower tailgates and smiled at the new magnetic sign on the back of the truck: HUNG RIGHT WALLCOVERING SERVICES, below that -- my phone and contractor's license numbers. That should attract some clients, I thought, as I started around to the driver's door. It felt like a furnace in the cab as soon as I opened the door. I hopped in, both my legs jerked up and my knees hit the hot black plastic of the steering column as the back of my thighs below my short denim cut-offs touched the fiery hot leather of the seat. The leather-covered steering wheel was too hot to touch, even with the silver sun-shield sitting in the window.

Gingerly turning the key in the ignition to avoid touching the little bit of metal on the steering column, and as soon as the motor started, I immediately turned on the air conditioning to the coldest level, and the fan to the highest speed, then jumped back out of the truck. Quickly closing the door, my fingers went to the cloth on top of my tits, and pulled my sweat-drenched wife-beater away from my chest, and I repeatedly blew down inside, hoping for a little relief. Then I pulled the bottom of the undershirt out of my shorts and flapped the bottom of it, trying to cool off just a bit more.

While the inside of the truck was cooling off, I walked across the street to the common green belt area and to the shade of a Pepper Tree. Sitting on the somewhat cooler, just recently sprinklered grass and leaning against the tree, I reached inside my left sock and retrieved my pack of smokes -- a little trick I learned in the Navy a few years ago. Tapping out a fag ( just love that British term for a cigarette -- something to suck on, you know!) and lighting it with my trusty ol' Zippo, I drew in a lung-full of the mentholated smoke, held it for a moment, then slowly blew it out in upward-floating rings. Then I returned the pack to my sock; I stretched, allowing the backs of my legs to luxuriate in the cool, damp softness of the grass, and sank back into the rough, strong comfort of the tree. I love hugging and resting against trees; they seem, somehow, to understand my need and return that love.

Looking up and down the street, I marveled once again at the manicured beauty of the country club grounds. I had lived in the desert for fifteen years, and never ceased to appreciate both the natural and the man-made beauty there.

About a block away, I saw a white van. Squinting to get a better focus for the distance, I could just make out some large lettering on the side -- TED'S PAINTING & WALLPAPERING. He was new in town. I'd seen his truck frequently in the posh country clubs, but hadn't had the opportunity of meeting him yet.

Snubbing out the fag on the bottom of my old black motorcycle boot, stained and streaked with paint and wallpaper paste, I got up and carried the butt with me to put in the ashtray in the truck. I care about the environment ... and the grounds maintenance crews. Oh, yeah!

It was now considerably cooler in the cab. I drove up the street and stopped at the driveway where the white van was parked. I was gonna go and try to meet Ted.

As I walked through the entry patio, I noticed there were no potted plants, no patio furniture and no overhead sun screen, so I assumed this was one of the new condos, unoccupied as yet. The front door was open. Figuring that only workers would be there, I walked in -- didn't even knock or ring the door chime. No floor coverings had been installed yet, bits of trash lay about the concrete slab of the floor, a few saw-horses were scattered about the entry hall and living room, a few tool boxes here and there, and a radio was on, somewhere in the house, playing country music. I could smell the musty odor of fresh plaster wafting in the hallway which I supposed led to the sleeping wing of the condo. Nice floor plan, I thought. Must be about 4,000 square feet.

Looking into each empty room as I walked down the hallway, I finally entered what must have been the Master Bedroom Suite, and there ... <gulp> ... there on a twelve-foot ladder applying a long strip of oriental looking, beige Grass Cloth, was the hunkiest, most gorgeous paperhanger I had ever seen in my life ... TOTALLY NUDE ... except for his boots and tool belt ... and a tool below his belt that made my mouth water! I immediately felt a stir in my tight cut-offs.

Closing my mouth and swallowing my spit with some difficulty, I said, "Hi ... uhhh ... You must be Ted." I'm sure my face turned red, and all of a sudden I found it difficult to breathe. I also reached down and adjusted my rapidly growing bulge.

"Uhhh..." he uttered, almost dropping the strip of wallpaper. "Uhhh ... Hi," he stammered. "Can I ...uhhh ... help you with something?"

Oh, yeah, I thought. Methinks we could both help each other ... with SOMETHING.

Then I said, "You must be Ted's Painting & Wallpapering, right?"

"Yesssssss ... And you are ... ?"

"Oh ... me!" I exclaimed, as I gave a nervous chuckle and pounded the center of my chest a few times with my right-hand finger-tips. "I'm ... uh ... I'm Zeke Housemann; also a paperhanger. Been wantin' to meetcha, seein' your van around town an' all," I said, trying to be a little more comfortable.

"Yeah, I've been wanting to meet you, too, Zeke. You've got quite a good reputation here in the desert. Don't know if I'll be able to build up a clientele with you around." He chuckled and appeared a little more relaxed now, and continued working with the paper before the paste dried so much that it wouldn't adhere to the wall. "Excuse the way I'm dressed ... uhhh ... UNdressed, rather."

"No problemo, amigo," I replied with an exaggerated Mexican accent, smiling. He turned to look at me and I winked. "You always work ... uh ... like this?" I gestured toward his man-tool, which seemed to be thicker and more up-right than just a few seconds before.

"Oh, no," he shot back with a stupid, shit-eating grin on his face and gave a nervous little chuckle. "The electricity hasn't been turned on yet, so there's no air conditioning in here. It seems nobody else wants to work in this damned heat, so ... while I'm here by myself, not expecting any visitors, mind you" he looked at me with raised eyebrows, then back to his work; "well ... uh ... I've been working like this the last couple of days, and it's so fuckin' hot, that, between strips of paper, I go in there," he thumbed toward the bathroom, "and stand in the shower to cool off a bit."

"Makes sense," I retorted. "I've worked without AC; yeah, I can dig it, man, just never had the guts to be as bold as you." I panned his muscular arms, broad furry chest, and his very nice waist (with no love handles, even!). He must be in his early 30's; 32 probably. Short light brown hair. A brown and gold spread-winged Eagle tattooed across his shoulder blades, and a black, red and blue tribal band around his left biceps. God, he'd look hot in a black leather harness. Bet he's got a Harley, I thought to myself. And those gorgeous hiker's legs -- must have climbed a bunch of ladders to get those. He could wrap'em around my ears any day -- 'till I couldn't hear myself think!

Without thinking, I licked my dry lips, even though I was drooling, wickedly. Be still, my heart! I looked up and he was looking back at me, almost studying me. He had caught me. Cautiously he turned his head and continued working. I went back to panning; and drooling. Nice cock, I thought. About 6 inches now. Wonder how big it does get? Not too much bigger I think. Just a good mouth-full. I could handle that easily. And that ass! Not a bubble-butt, but not sunken cheeks either. Yeah. Real nice. Kissable, lickable cheeks. Maybe I should climb up the ladder behind him and lick off that sweat that's dripping down his back into his hot ass-crack. Oh, yeah; sweet, I cooed to myself, taking a deep breath, imagining the intoxicating aroma of man-sweat, pheromones, and anal juices I'd find, given the chance. My cock ached in its tight enclosure. I quickly slid my hand down inside my shorts and tighty-whities and straightened it up, laying it against my belly and almost out the tops of the waist-bands.

Again, I noticed that Ted had caught me dreamily devouring his naked derriere. He stepped down a few rungs on the ladder as he continued professionally to lay the grass cloth to the wall. "Ya like what ya see?" he asked, looking back at me again.

What does he mean? Him? Or his work? I wondered.

Jerking my eyes back to his face, I truthfully replied, "Yeah. Hope you don't mind?" Brazen huzzy that I am. "And your work looks great, too," I hurriedly added.

"View's not bad from here either. You`ve got a nice build, yourself. You a swimmer?" he asked as he stepped down another couple of rungs and began the finishing touches on the strip. As he stepped off the ladder onto the floor, he grabbed an old rag, wiped his brow and face and then wiped his hairy chest, then both pits and the dark trail leading down to his neatly trimmed pubes. Lifting up his slightly softening member, he wiped under his clean shaven balls. Ummmmm. Wish I had done that for him. All he had to do was ask.

But in answer to his question, I said, "Oh, I do about fifty laps in the pool each morning as it's getting light, before this damned summer sun comes up." As he then knelt down, brushing the final inches of the paper, trimming off the excess, and sponging the paste off the base-board, I asked, "How late ya gonna work today?"

"I've fuckin' had it." He looked totally exhausted from climbing ladders, kneeling on the hard concrete floor, and sweating his ass off trying to apply the delicate wallcovering before the fuckin' paste dried out. "Think I'll get another quick cooling-off in the shower, close up shop, and go home."

"Home to the wife and kids," I queried, hoping against hope.

"No kids, that's for sure. And the wife's gone to the Blue Whale for a couple of days." He removed his tool belt and put it on the pasting table, then kicked off his untied boots. Totally nude -- walking around as if it were as normal as homemade apple pie. Oh, my God! Another jerk inside my shorts. DOWN, Omar, I mentally commanded, using my pet name for little junior.

"Blue Whale?" I asked, mystified.

He laughed and scratched his balls as he headed to the shower. "Oh, sorry; thought you would have known, your being a paperhanger and, I'd imagine, working closely with decorators and interior designers." I shook my head. He continued, "That's the local nick-name for the L.A. Design Center on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood. It's a monstrosity of a building completely covered in blue-tinted glass. A couple hundred wholesale decorator shops under the same roof.," he explained. "Becky -- that's my wife -- she's an A.S.I.D. Interior Designer, and she went in town to do some buying for some clients."

Interesting, I thought. "Maybe this time I'll get lucky ..." I thought of the lyric from the movie, Cabaret.

"You got a pool at the house to relax and cool off in?" I innocently asked.

"Well, not really," he started hemming and hawing. "It's not really a house we live in. Just a little three room bungalow, they call it, in Bermuda Dunes, about fifteen miles from here." He sighed disappointedly. "We've only been here a month and a half, and it's the only thing we could find right away. There IS a pool, a small pool, but it's always crowded with all the neighbors' screaming little kids."

Don'tcha know -- I just wanted to throw my arms around him and hug him to death. He really needed a friend; a helping hand, ya know. <evil grin>

Knowing the business, I started closing the paste buckets for him, and picking up scraps of paper on the floor, tying off the trash bags, and tidying up the work area.

"Thanks, man," he offered as he stepped out of the shower and started drying off, using a towel he must have brought from home. "I appreciate the help."

"My pleasure," I countered. "Say, listen ... If you're not doing anything this afternoon or evening, whatdaya say we stop, get some take-out, and some beer ... You do drink beer, don'tcha?" He nodded and I continued, "... and come on up to the house? I've got a little place up in the cove..."

"The Cove?" he interjected. "That's up the hill in Cathedral City, right?"

"Yeah. `Cat City' the locals call it. I've got a lap-pool and a hot-tub with Jacuzzi ... It's even cooled, for this time of year ..." Kinda shocked, Ted responded by raising his eyebrows, and I seemed to hear his thought, Really? THAT's impressive! I nodded in the positive as I continued, "... and I've got a misting system which really cools the courtyard off."

"Sounds great, man." Then he added, "Zeke ... we've just met. I don't wanna put you out, man. I really appreciate it, but ..."

"But, NOTHING," I interrupted. "I don't have any plans for the rest of the day, and you look like you really need some nice quiet relaxation. I wouldn't offer if I didn't want to. And besides, since we're both in the same business, it'd be nice to get to know each other a little better ... Oh, yeah! ... so maybe we can refer business to each other when we're busy."

"O.K. It really sounds nice," he, seemingly, appreciatively, replied as he slipped into some VERY tight white short-shorts and a black cut-off T-shirt, revealing his tight abs -- not a six-pack; not even a four-pack; but tight and tanned, as was the rest of him; TOTALLY, dude! And I do mean EVERYWHERE! <big sigh> I was beginning to twitch and itch all over.

"You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To" began playing on the radio, and I just sorta quietly snickered to myself at the coincidence, as Ted, oblivious to it all, walked over to turn the music off. He gathered what he needed to take with him, and as we walked out, he turned, and then locked the front door.

"What do you like?" I asked. "American? Mexican? Italian? German? French? We got'em all, here."

"How about Mexican?" he asked in answering.

"The best," I grinned and replied as I pulled my cell phone away from my belt clip. "I'll call ahead and it'll be ready when we get there. Have you and Becky eaten at Olga's El Besame Mucho yet?" He shook his head, and I continued. "Best Mexican food this side of the border. Olga's Swedish, but she came to the desert and married a Mexican guy who had been chef to the President of Mexico years ago. Then her husband taught her how to cook REAL authentic Mexican food. Delicious! Been eatin' there for near fifteen years now; at least once a week."

I pressed the pre-programmed number on the cell phone, and soon Olga answered. "Hi, darlin'," I began. "It's Zeke." After a couple minutes of pleasantries, I ordered the usual take-out -- for two this time -- Quesadillas, Frijoles, Chiles Rellenos, Enchiladas con Pollo, her own delicious recipe of Spanish Rice, Soft Tacos, and the most mouth-watering Flan that ever crossed Gringo lips, with her "secret" ingredient ("secret" supposedly, to everyone but me, because it had been my suggestion, years ago) -- Grand Marnier Liqueur.

Flipping the top of the cell phone closed, I asked Ted, "What's your poison? I've got plenty of Corona, XX, Heineken and Michelob; anything else and we'll have to stop off and pick some up." We headed for our vehicles.

"Corona for me," he said as we got to his van.

"Great. Me, too. I'll pull on out, you just follow me over to Olga's, and we'll pick up the food. Stay close; the traffic's a bitch today, even with the heat."

"I'm on your tail."

Hmmmmm. Really? <grin> I didn't know whether to shit or grope him. Another little jerk in the bulge down below. Ted got in his van and I continued to my Ranger. When I knew he couldn't see me, I did a quick fist jerk in the air. Yeaaah! Jumping up into the ... once-again ... hot oven of the cab, I thought, Screw the hot leather! My sweet back-side's gonna burn more'n this by nightfall! Ride'em cowboy! Yah-hooooo! Yee-haaaaaa!

It took about 25 minutes to drive out of ritzy Indian Wells, then through Palm Desert and into Rancho Mirage and Olga's El Besame Mucho. As Ted promised, he stayed right on my tail, and in the parking lot, backed in and parked close enough for the two vehicles to kiss. How romantic!

Olga's usually wasn't open this early in the afternoon, but knowing we were coming over, she had left the front door unlocked for us. We entered the quaint little restaurant and I once again immediately felt that I had stepped into Guadalajara; all the décor was authentic and had been purchased from that garden city.

"Buenos dias, Senor Zeke" she said, extending her arms out, coming to greet us.

"Buenos dias, Olga" I replied, giving her a friendly hug and a kiss on the cheek. "I'd like you to meet a friend of mine, Ted, a new paperhanger here in the desert, and I hope to bring him and his wife in for dinner in the very near future."

She graciously extended her hand in greeting, and as he took it she said, "Buenos dias, Senor Ted. Any amigo of Senor Zeke es mi amigo, and is welcome here anytime. Mi casa es su casa." As a true gentleman, he lifted Olga's hand and kissed the back of it. She genuinely smiled at his charm and winked at me.

The food was ready as promised and carefully packed in take-out containers. I paid her, gave her a little extra, and stole another little kiss as we said our good-byes, and then left.

"Another ten or fifteen minutes and we'll be up at the house," I said as we walked to our vehicles. "Just follow me again and pull in the driveway behind me."

I led. And he followed. Oh, yeah. Signs of things to come, I hoped. And got that twitch again. Without thinking, and to myself, I began whistling a tune from West Side Story -- "Tonight, tonight, won't be just any night." I was happy for the first time in a very long time.

A couple of miles later, we passed out of Rancho Mirage and into "Cat" City. Then we turned left and began our climb up the steep, curvy drive to the top of the mesa, and home. After pulling into the driveway, I started grabbing some of the boxes of Olga's yummy-smelling dinner, and Ted came to aid me in carrying the remainder into the house. "God! This is beautiful," he exclaimed as he noticed a view of the entire Coachella Valley and its several towns and villages.

"Here, we're about 2,000 feet above the valley floor and on a clear day, you can just begin to make out the Salton Sea to the south over there," I nodded my head toward the direction to our right, "and the windmills up at Windy Point to the north," I nodded my head to the opposite direction. "Come on, let's go inside."

We approached the classically curved wrought iron twin gates seated in the center of what looked like two solid stucco-covered adobe privacy walls draped in red Bouganvilla, white Jasmine and bluish-purple Wisteria. I fidgeted with the key to unlock the gates, and we entered a small covered entryway which led to the totally private rectangular courtyard -- longer than it is wide.

"Oh ... my ... God!" Ted exclaimed again as his eyes took in and feasted on the sight in front of him. First there is a relatively small square water-lily pond with a number of exotic aquatic plants blooming profusely. Then there is a statue/fountain of a boy peeing into the lily pond. Just beyond that is a circular Jacuzzi/hot tub which can accommodate twelve rather intimately, and as the soaking guests would discover, the first thing they would notice while looking toward the entrance is the little bubble-butt of the peeing boy. Cute.

Then beyond the hot-tub is a twenty-six-foot long lap-pool which serves as a reflection pool when not being used. On either side of the pool is a patio with a round Mexican table and six chairs. And the piece de resistance stands just beyond the pool -- a ten-foot tall Marble replica of Michelangelo's `David,' in all his magnificent glory, sans fig leaf, overlooking the entire garden courtyard.

Surrounding all of this are plantings of short exotic Palms, Tree Ferns, Birds of Paradise, and ground-covers and blooming annuals filling every square inch available, except for the polished Mexican paver paths and porticos which have an abundance of potted and hanging plants and flowers. It closely resembles a sub-tropical jungle setting.

Ted had slowly been moving to the left, then to the right, then back and forth, again and again, trying visually to absorb every delicious morsel. "Un-fuckin'-believable," he proclaimed. I knew he was mine at that moment, and I just stood there and lovingly (or should I say "lustily") smiled at him. Mine -- at least for tonight!

"Come on. Let's get this stuff inside. I need a beer." Like a puppy-dog, he followed again as I led us along the portico to our right. I stopped at a set of sliding glass doors, and with my elbow, slid one open and entered the Kitchen / "Morning Room" / Dining Room / Family Room combination. He was right behind me.

"Great house, man. How'd ya find a place like this?" He sat the food cartons on the chopping-block island in the center of the room. We decided we weren't hungry yet, as it was only a quarter `till four. I got us both a cold one, Coronas, as I answered his question, "Picked it up for a song from a tax/lien sale about fourteen years ago. It was a total wreck. I've done most of the restoration myself."

I took him on the twenty-five cent tour, showing the four Guest Bedrooms (each with its own Bath); the Music / Entertainment Room; and the Master Suite which included a Cedar-lined Sauna, a mirrored Work-out Room, the Master Bath with double-basin vanity (and even a Bidet), and the Bedroom, itself, with Hollywood King bed covered by a Mink bedspread, the walls and ceiling covered in padded, muted gray suede, and the black-out curtains in dark brown leather. The floors throughout all the rooms are more polished Mexican pavers, and brightly colored and patterned Mexican area rugs and paintings are used in each room.

Ted remarked that all the rooms, including the bath off the pool, had sliding glass doors opening onto the portico completely surrounding the courtyard. "Yes," I remarked, "none of the rooms, except for the Utility Room, have any openings to the outside of the house, but they all open to the garden/courtyard. If anyone wants privacy from any other guests, their room has either drapery or Plantation Shutters which can be closed across the glass doors. Total privacy here. The only actual opening is through the gated entrance we came in."

"I must sound like a real estate agent trying for a sale," I added, "but I'm a little proud of the way it's turned out."

"You should be," Ted came back. "It's beautiful. Oh, God, I'd love to live in a place like this."

We had completed the walk-around and had returned to the kitchen. I got us both another Corona, and taking a swig, leaned with my back against a counter, and studied him for a moment.

"What?" he asked as he saw my expression.

"Just wondering about something. Let's go sit out on the patio for a bit," I answered as I motioned for him to follow me.

We stepped outside and in a slightly stronger voice, I said, "Lurch?"

From out of somewhere, nowhere, everywhere, a slow, deep masculine voice (almost identical to that of "Lurch" on The Addams Family) answered, "Yes, Master Zeke?"

"SHIT!" responded the shocked Tim. "Who said that? Where is he?" He stopped dead in his tracks!

"Enable overhead mist ... medium," I answered the `voice,' trying to keep from laughing and trying to keep a straight face at the same time.

"Right away, Master."

"What? ... Who? ... Where?" Tim continued, stammering, jerkily turning here and there looking for `someone!"

Slowly, a light mist of cool water began spraying out from the edges of the portico's overhangs all around the garden/patio. I doubled over, laughing, holding my belly. Then I motioned for Tim to follow me over to one of the patio tables.

"What? ... What? ...What just happened? ... Who were you talking to?"

I roared hilariously. "That always happens the first time. I love it." I took another swig from the phallic Corona bottle.

"V.A.C.C. -- Voice activated computerized controls," I tried to answer with as matter-of-fact and unpretentious an expression as I could possibly conjure up.

"Huh?" he asked in a calmer voice as we sat at one of the tables.

"I've only got the patio controlled for right now. Eventually the entire house will be under voice activation."

"Oh. ... Really?" I nodded affirmatively to his curiosity, then he continued, "This is gonna be right out of a Star Trek Holodeck!" I laughed again.

"You familiar with Creative Electronics, on El Paseo, in Palm Desert?" I asked. He shook his head. "Kyle Taylor, the owner is a good friend of mine. I tell him what I want, and he works out the computer details and then he does the actual installation."

"Whew!" he quietly whistled, and then, sorta under his breath, added, "That must get a little expensive."

"No, not really," I said. "I work it out in trade with him; ... with most of the guys who've worked around here for me."

"Everybody want wallpaper?" he asked, interestedly.

"Ohhhhh ... Some of them, but not many. There are other ways to trade off ... `services,'" I answered. He looked at me with a great big question mark on his face. Wondering. "Another cold one?" I continued, not reacting to his quiet inquisition.

"Yeah, thanks. I gotta take a leak. I forgot ... Where's the ...?"

I pointed to a door behind the statue of `David' as I carried our empties to the kitchen. "Lurch?" I spoke aloud again.

"Yes, Master Zeke?"

"Damn! That's scary," Ted shot back. "I can't get used to that."

I laughed as I continued, "Lurch ... `Yanni, Live At The Acropolis' ... soft ... entire patio ... then continue with Light Classics."

"Right away, Master," `he' replied, and almost instantly, the CD began playing in complete stereophonic surround-sound.

"Wow!" I heard Tim respond as he disappeared behind a door and as I entered the kitchen. I grabbed four bottles, uncapped two of them, and as I returned to our table, Tim was just taking his seat again.

"Ready to eat, yet?"

"Not right now, but soon, if you don't mind, Zeke."

"No problems. That's fine with me." Then I continued, "Lurch?"

"Yes, Master Zeke?"

"T and T."

"Right away, Master ... The time is now 5:37 P.M.; and outside, the temperature is 118 degrees; temperature in the garden is now 98 degrees and ... going down."

Ted quickly sat up straight, looked pleasingly shocked at `his' emphatic expression, and said, "... Going down? You have a pornographic, talking computer?"

I chuckled at his reaction, and added, "`He' still has several little tricks of the trade up `his' sleeve. I find `him' rather adoreable, don't you?" Ted smiled and nodded in the affirmative. Then in a more somber tone, I remarked, "Sometimes I think `he's' even starting to think for `himself.'"

"God forbid!" Tim feigned fear, though humorously. It was obvious he was finally starting to relax.

Frequently sipping the beers, both of us finished at about the same time, and I asked, "Another one?"

"Sure, why not?"

I realized I hadn't brought a bottle opener with me, so I took the bottle, encircled the cap with my right index finger, held the bottle with my left hand, and opposingly twisted both wrists; the cap came off.

"Ummm, strong!" proclaimed Ted, as he reached over and felt my left biceps.

"No. Well, maybe a little," I grinned and winked at him once again. "But it's really all in the leverage."

"Whatever you say ... Master Zeke!" joked Ted, as he tried to mimic Lurch's slow, deep voice.

Our eyes met, seemingly for the first time in the short four-and-a-half hours we had known each other. The moment lingered.

I cleared my throat. "What say I go nuke Olga's goodies in the microwave before we get too wiped-out?" Tim nodded in agreement, and I continued, "Come on, buddy, keep me company."

We both got up, grabbed the bottles and proceeded back to the kitchen. Tim sat on a stool at the breakfast bar between the kitchen and the Morning Room, while I futzzed about with the food.

"How about some coffee now? We're both getting pretty relaxed, I'd say, and I want to talk something over with you."

"O.K. to both," answered Tim. "O.K. to the coffee, and O.K. to the talk about something."

I put the food in the two microwaves, and began fixing the coffee. "Tell me about your wife ... uhhh ... Becky ... is that right? I'm sorry. I forgot her name."

"Yeah, that's right ... Becky." He removed his wallet from his left hip pocket, and flipped right to the first picture, then pushed the wallet on the counter toward me. "That's her."

"God! She's HOT, Ted." I shook my hand in front of my chest, as if I had just burned my fingers on something HOT.

"Yeah. Good piece of ass, too, if I could ever get it," Ted complained.

"Uh oh! Problems in paradise, buddy?"

"Well, like I said -- she's in L.A. for two nights; then when she gets back, she'll only be here for one night, then off to San Francisco for three nights. Then back here for ..."

"I see. I see. I get whatcha mean, buddy," I interrupted.

Ding! One microwave broke into the conversation. And as soon as I took everything out and put the goodies in serving plates ... Ding! ... The second one was ready to be emptied.

"You OK with eatin' here at the counter, or you want to go back out on the patio."

"Here's fine," Ted replied. "Need any help?"

"Nah ..."

He then continued, "Becky's a damn good designer, ya know? Very respected in A.S.I.D. She's got clients in Honolulu, Beverly Hills, Seattle, Lake Tahoe, La Jolla, Scottsdale, Denver, Dallas ... all over."

"Sooooo ..." I laid my battle plan carefully as I also laid out the plates, silverware, bowls of steaming, piping hot, mouth-watering goodies, and poured the freshly brewed java. "Let's see if I have this straight ... You've been here for six weeks. Y'all're livin' in a small place that YOU don't care too much for. I take it, she's gone more than she's with you. And you feel stuck between a rock and a hard place? That about say it, my friend?"

"Yeah, you got the picture, Zeke," Ted disgustedly answered, then added, "Umm! This smells good!"

"Tastes even better. Be careful -- it's HOT!" I went around the counter and sat on the bar stool next to Ted; so close that the soft hairs of our legs rubbed together -- almost tickling the other person. Ted didn't bother to pull his leg away. My ass twitched tightly, and the mound started rising in my crotch once again.

Forking it up, we each blew several quick breaths of air on our forkfuls, (is that really a word?) trying to cool the savory food to a comfortable temperature.

Enjoying every morsel of Olga's delectables, I watched Ted out of the corner of my eye, and on occasion looked directly at him.

"Is everything OK Zeke? You have something to do? Or some place to go, and you don't know how to ask me to leave?"

"Oh, no, no, no, no, no, Ted; it's not that at all."

"Then what is it, man? I'm starting to feel a little weird with your glances, not knowing."

Finishing the last bite of that fantastic Flan, I put my fork down, and swiveled the bar stool seat so that I was facing Ted straight on. I placed each foot on a different rung, spread my knees apart, subliminally opening myself to Ted, and said, "So you like my little hacienda, here, do you?"

"Little, my ass!" Ted shot back, and as he turned to face me straight on, his own knees were now between and so close to mine that I'm sure we both felt the warmth of the other's flesh. "This place is huge. How many square feet do you have here?"

"Well, the area within the outside perimeter gives me right about 7,000 square feet of living space, but if you deduct the garden/courtyard, I've got about 3,200 square feet under roof."

"All for one person? That's not fair."

I chuckled. "Yeah, you're right, Ted. It does seem a little obnoxious at times." Gently I put both my hands on both of Ted's bare knees, leaned in very close to his face and said, "Come'ere. I wanna show you something'" Then I moved my hands off Ted's knees, and with my left hand on Ted's right arm, pulled him off the bar stool and led him back out to the darkening courtyard through the opening of the sliding doors.

We turned left and headed toward the wrought iron gated main entry and I spoke, "Lurch?"

"Yes, Master Zeke?"

"Open sun screen."

"Right away, Master." The soft whirring of a motor, somewhere, could be heard.

"Look up at the sky, Ted." My arm went around his shoulders and turned him toward the center of the courtyard.

Ted looked up. "Oh, wow!" he said as he noticed a billowy screen slowly moving from over the front of the courtyard to the rear. He hadn't even noticed it earlier when the sun was bright. Now as it rolled back, he could see the brightest stars that had just appeared after the sun had descended into the watery bowels of the Earth. "Beautiful," he exclaimed.

"Now!" I almost whispered into his right ear as I slowly moved behind him, never letting my arm or hand leave the touch of one or both of Ted's shoulders. I moved back of him so closely, that for a brief moment, he felt my firm crotch slide lightly across his ass, and he felt my breath on his neck. I know he did, because of the little delicious moan that escaped his throat. "Now! Take a look at THIS!" I whispered in his left ear, as I led him through the opened gates.

For more than twenty-five miles we could see the string of brilliant tiny house lights, street lights, parking-lot lights, air port lights -- all the way from Desert Hot Springs in the north to Indio and beyond in the south. "Wow! I didn't know the desert could be so beautiful at night," Ted remarked. He put his left arm around my shoulders, too. "God, I'd love to stay up here and look at this all night."

"Then why not do it?" I asked. "It's cooler up here than it is down there, and not nearly as noisy, I bet. You said earlier that you'd love to live up here. Right?"


"I've been thinking all evening ... all this enjoyable evening for me ... about making a ... uh ... a proposition to you ... to you and to Becky."

"Ohhhh? ... About what?"

"First, how about another drink?" Ted nodded approval. "Want another beer? or Brandy? Liqueur? Champagne?"

"You start me on any of that shit, and there's no way in hell I'm drivin' down this fuckin' hill."

"Then don't. Spend the night." I paused, then continued, "Let me seduce you with liquor." He smiled as I jokingly enticed him, while at the same time revealing my ulterior motives; he could never say that I didn't warn him. "I've got plenty of room -- four empty bedrooms over there ... OK, it's settled. You're staying. What do ya want?"

"Got any Kaluha?"

"Sure. Two Kaluha's comin' right up, my new bosom buddy," I slapped him on the back. "Stay here if you like and look at the night-time sights. Most gorgeous lights in the world."

"What about Vegas?" he asked as I headed back toward the kitchen.

"Too bright. Too crowded. Too vulgar," was my brief, concise answer.


"Yes, Master Zeke?"

"Soft courtyard lights."

"Very well, Master." Lights in the lily pond, the Jacuzzi/hot tub, the lap pool, and little unobtrusive lights along the clay paver paths came up, softly illuminating the garden/courtyard, now filled with the fragrance of night-blooming Jasmine and honeysuckle.

I soon returned to the entrance where he was still observing the blanket of multi-colored diamonds spread at his feet, trying to identify familiar landmarks.

"Here we go, Ted," I said, handing him a Cordial glass and poured the Kaluha for us both. "Ever see anything like this?" I gestured across the Valley.

"Yeah, I have," he answered. "Up on Mulholland Drive in the Hollywood Hills, looking down over Los Angeles. The lights go from horizon to horizon and as far as you can see. But this is clearer -- no smog to diffuse the beauty. Here, the darkness of the surrounding hills seems to be caressing the life of the valley."

"You must really be a poetic lover, 'cause you really do like it up here, don't you?"

"God, yes! I'd give my left nut to have this every night."

"Well, I don't think you'll have to do something that drastic," I chuckled. "Listen ... I usually take a long, relaxing dip in the Jacuzzi every night before retiring. Care to join me? Then I've got one more little surprise for you."

"Sure, that would be nice, Zeke, but I don't have a swim suit with me."

We turned away from the Valley panorama and re-entered the courtyard. I closed and locked the wrought iron gates for the evening and said, "No need. Just us guys here. And besides, I have a standing rule -- no clothes allowed in either of the pools -- EVER! Just don't pee in'em." We both laughed at the old joke.

"OK. Strip, get in, and I'll be right back with some towels for us for later. And, here! Take these over and just set them on the decking." I handed him my Cordial and the bottle of Kaluha. "Feel free to help yourself, whenever. Make yourself to home." We smiled and -- coincidentally -- winked at each other... once again.


"Yes, Master Zeke?"

"Discontinue music."

"Right away, Master."

Silence overtook the garden -- silence, that is, except for the sounds of the crickets and the cicadas, and the occasional chirps of a couple of neighboring bats, swooping down, gathering little mouthfuls of water from the stillness of the lighted reflection pool.

Ummmmm, yeah, I thought, licking my lips and once again rearranging the bulge as I entered the Master Suite to get the towels.

By the time I returned, Ted was already in the Jacuzzi, laying back with his arms stretched out on the edge of the decking, and looking at the starry reflection of the Valley lights in the velvety blackness of the sky above. He looks so peaceful and innocent, I thought to myself. "Be my love, for no one else can end this yearning ..."

I'd already kicked off my boots and socks and wife-beater in the bedroom, and after putting the towels near the Kaluha, I began lowering my tight cut-offs; slowly, as if performing a strip-tease for him. Ted noticed my slowly enlarging man-tool, and smiled slightly, but said nothing.

Then, stepping into the Jacuzzi, I spoke, "Lurch?"

"Yes, Master?"


"Right away, Master." Bubbling jets of water began flowing, erotically massaging whatever parts of the body that was near them.

I sat on the underwater ledge opposite Ted.

"Lurch sure has a limited vocabulary, doesn't he? You ever get tired of the same expressions, over and over and over?" he asked.

"Yes," I chuckled. "We're working on that -- Kyle and I. It's gonna take some time, though. ... Hey! That one more little surprise I've got for you? You ready?"

"Well ... Uhhh ... Alright. Go ahead. I'm game. Sock it to me."

"Watch." With that, I spoke again. "Lurch?"

"Yes, Master Zeke?"


"Right away, Master." Ted's eyes went immediately to the marble statue of `David,' reflected in the long, narrow pool between them.

A dozen little strobe lights each spot-lighted different areas of the white statue through the "Passionate Pink" gels covering them. (Passionate Pink gels are used in theater productions to bring out the very best skin tones under the bright lights.) With the shadows they created, and with none of the pulsing light being in synchronization with any other light, it appeared as if `David's' "skin" was moving, rippling, and also pulsating ... inherently causing "other things" to pulsate as well.

"Oh, fuckin' shit!" exclaimed Ted as he stood up in the water, not realizing that a good-sized portion of him had also begun rising, itself, at the surface of the water. "This is too fuckin' unbelievable! He looks like he just came to life!" As his hand began to caress his stiffening member, he realized what was happening, and said, "Oops," as he quickly sat back down.

"No problem. Don't worry about it. Everybody has basically the same first reaction," I consoled.

"Once you calm down from that," I continued, as I stretched my leg out and gently rubbed the inside on Ted's leg, "I'd like to talk to you about the ... uhhh ... proposition."

"What kind of proposition?" he asked, extending his other leg to gently rub the inside of my leg, as he finished off his Cordial, and refilled both our glasses.

Our feet and legs stopped ... "caressing," ... shall we say, and I sat up, leaned forward a bit, and answered, "What would you say ... my friend ... if I offered to rent part of this ..." I swept my arms around, indicating the entirety of the house and garden, "... to you and Becky? I've got rooms I don't use. You'd have complete access to the kitchen and laundry facilities. You could use one of the bedrooms as yours and Becky's, and use another as an office for either or both of you. Use the game / family / entertainment room; even the work-out room, if you like."

Ted started to say something, but I held up my hand and said, "Shhhh. Wait just a minute, let me finish." Then continued with, "Of course the pools, AND you wouldn't be bothered with screaming little kids, either. The only drawback, that I can see, is that you'd be stuck with me, probably most of the time when Becky's on one of her business trips. So ... Whataya say, huh? Whataya say?"

"Are you fuckin' serious with that offer?"

I slowly kinda walked on my knees across the bottom of the Jacuzzi to between Ted's wide-spread legs, placed my hands tenderly on Ted's knees, pushed, and slowly raised myself up, sporting a very firm erection with its singular eye praying to the heavens; then spreading my own legs, I moved further forward, placing my hands on Ted's shoulders, and slowly sat down on his thighs, pressing my own cock between our bodies. Slowly I began rocking my hips forward and backward, causing Omar to throb with each renewed pressure, and I felt Ted's rising interest sliding back and forth, back and forth, along my ass-crack. Please Ted. Please say "Yes."

I put my Cordial on the decking, firmly squeezed Ted's shoulders, pressed in closer, and whispered in his ear, "yesssssssss." Then I smiled, straightened up, leaned back a little, and in a strong voice said, "Lurch?"

"Yes, Master Zeke."


"That ... does ... not ... compute."

We both roared with laughter, enjoying the closeness and the moment. "He is beginning to think for himself," I declared.

"But I'll have to talk to Becky when she gets back, bring her up to meet you and to see everything."

"And if for any reason she might say, `No', ... ?"

"Then I'm filing for divorce, and if you want me ... I'm all yours, lover boy."

I moved off his thighs and stood up, pulling him with me. "Then let's seal the proposed deal with a kiss."

We embraced strongly, tightly pressing our cocks together, our faces drew closer and soon, lips were touching, tongues were exploring, all four hands were roaming, rubbing backs, caressing muscles, grabbing butt cheeks.

With a huge sigh, catching my hot labored breath, I softly said to Ted, "Let's go to bed."

He hesitated for a moment, expressionless, and looked me straight in the eyes; then with a smile and a grin growing across his face, he said, "I thought you'd never ask."