Warning! This is a tale about men loving men. If you find this disturbing - click off. If it's unlawful for you to read this - click off. If you under age - good luck if you can get away with it.
This is not a story for getting your rocks off. Just thought I'd let you know, so you won't waste your time if that's what your looking for. Otherwise, I hope you enjoy my writing.
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Those Golden Eyes
Once again I'd like to express my appreciation to Dave for his corrections of all my mistakes. If there are any now it's because I added more after he did his magic. Thanks again, Dave. JWS I'd also like to add that Jason's history that follows doesn't jive with what little thatwas told bout him when he was first introduced. So please just deal with it.
Pete gently snored as he lay on his back. In the early morning light Jason lay on his side watching him. It had taken him hours to go to sleep with all the thoughts tumbling through his head, and then he'd awakened with the first light. He didn't feel tired, he'd rested well. Last night he'd gotten a call from the woman that was living with his father. The old man was in the hospital. Delirium Tremens she'd said. Cirrhosis she'd said. He's going to die she'd said.
Thinking back to the last time he'd seen his father he recalled the last words they'd had. His father, sitting at the kitchen table in his undershirt nursing a cup of coffee while Jason fixed him some breakfast, had told him again for the hundredth time that it was a damned shame that he hadn't been born a girl.
Jason rolled onto his back and stared at the ceiling. He had often wondered why his dad had married a petite woman if he had wanted a son, large of stature, like himself. Jason had obviously inherited his mom's genes, for he was small like her. After he was born there could be no second try for a big athletic son to please his father, his mom was just too small to risk her health with another pregnancy. Her health had never been good after his birth. His dad blamed him for it. The man had never been physically abusive to Jason, but the verbal abuse had been more than enough to damage his self image.
Jason had just graduated from high school with honors and two and a half months later, he'd turned eighteen. He'd won many a tournament in gymnastics in the last four years. His mother had insisted that he learn to defend himself. By the time he was a sophomore, he'd gotten a brown belt in Martial Arts. He had learned to defend himself, but he knew it would take something really dire to ever make him use what he'd learned against another human being. He'd hurt another kid in practice and had quit. If possible, he'd always run before he hurt someone again. Jason knew that he could have hurt the bum that had caught him the night he'd run from Pete after the infamous kiss. It had been enough to just knock the air out of him and run.
Jason had stood at the stove and imagined using his knowledge and martial arts abilities to wipe up the kitchen with his father, make him pay for all the verbal abuse he'd had to endure since his mother's death. Instead he lashed back at him verbally.
"No matter how hard I've tried I've never been able to please you." Jason had said taking a plate from the cupboard.
"You'd have to be a man to begin with," his father had snarled.
Jason slid the fried eggs on to a plate with sausage patties and buttered toast, the words as often as he'd heard them always stung, fortunately until his mother's death he'd always had someone to counter his father's putdowns. He turned and placed the plate in front of his father. "It is not my fault that I got my mother's genes instead of yours. You couldn't even give me enough of your genes to make me straight." Jason had never said anything about his sexuality to him before.
The man sat the cup down with enough force to slosh coffee half way across the table. "Get out. I'm sick of having to look at such a worthless little piece of shit. I'll not have a faggot living under my roof."
"I'll be gone by the time you get home from work. It will be nice to not have to see your despicable face again." Jason had retorted as he left the man to his breakfast. He hoped it would give him indigestion.
Jason had packed his few belongings into the old Toyota pickup that his mother had helped him buy and without another word to his father, he'd driven across town to the university and moved into the dorm that he'd already signed up for.
He thought about what had occurred since he'd started his life at the university. He'd met Pete, his new roommate, a week
later. He and Pete had been a couple for nearly two years and had lived together as roommates for several months. In all of
that time Pete had always given him all of his attention. Jason loved it, needed it. And if he was going to keep it he was
going to have to dump a lot of the low self image he carried. His mom before her death his junior year in high school had
always praised him. It was only his dad that had always put him down. No one else had ever really demeaned him. Oh, sure
he got teased by his peers for being so small, but they all respected him for his spunk and intelligence.
The house his father had kicked him out of, had been inherited by his mother. She'd told him that one day it would be his. He'd forgotten that until his father had tried to sell the house. It had legally been his since he'd turned eighteen. He thought about the letter he'd received from a lawyer's office. It had been sent to him in care of the university. His father had known no more than that about his whereabouts.
He'd met with the lawyer who introduced himself as Frederic J. Lambert, and grinned when Jason had insisted that Pete be allowed into the office with him. Mr. Lambert had explained what each paper was that required his signature and had then sat back and studied Jason for a moment while he was signing them, and watched. He felt Pete's eyes on him, turned and met Pete's intense stare. He smiled at him. Pete's look softened. Jason signed the last page and pushed the papers across the desk.
Mr. Lambert had double checked that all the right places had Jason's signature, closed the document and sat back in his chair.
"Your mother was a wonderful person, Son. We grew up together. I could never understand what she saw in her husband."
"The bastard." Jason muttered under his breath.
Mr Lambert had grinned. "You want to evict him? I'll be happy to do it for you."
Jason had thought about it, but rejected the idea. "No, sir. His health is failing. I don't want him dying on the streets."
"Well, Son, do you want to charge him rent?"
"No. We don't need the money. Just let him live there until he dies."
"You're a good man, Jason. I'm proud of you and I'm sure your mother would be, too, Son."
Jason recalled how his heart had filled with pride and appreciation for the compliment. Mr. Lambert was the first man to
ever call him a man beside Pete. And Pete had been so filled with pride and happiness, too, that Jason had included him
when he said, "We don't need the money."
Pete had done a double take when he saw the lawyer that was handling the turn over on Jason's inherited house. He was seeing an older version of Jason, Black hair, diminutive in size the same piercing eyes. He wondered then if there was some connection between them.
And he noted how the lawyer, Mr. Lambert, kept calling Jason "Son" instead of by his name. Maybe he was imagining it, but it seemed to Pete that the man put extra warmth into the word every time he used it.
Pete had recently spent an afternoon visiting with Tim when they ran into each other in the cafeteria. Tim was taking a class on forensics and the subject of DNA. As he sat in the big leather covered armchair next to Jason across the big desk from Mr. Lambert, Pete watched the man drop a lollipop stick into an ashtray on the desk. He'd chuckled at Mr. Lambert's explanation that he was trying to quit smoking and that the sucker filled the need to have something to stick between his lips.
When they rose to leave, while Jason and Mr. Lambert were shaking hands, Pete sneaked the lollipop stick into his pocket. Later, he called Tim and told him of his observations and suspicions. Tim assured him that a DNA sample could easily be taken from the saliva on the stick, and that it would be a perfect project for him to do for a requirement in his class.
That night when Jason blew his load all over himself and Pete. Pete was prepared and took a sample of the semen and gave it along with the pop stick to Tim the next morning.
The sky was getting light. Jason turned his head and gazed with his heart full of love at the man lying next to him. He looked so peaceful he figured he'd let him sleep another hour. He slipped out of bed and tiptoed into the bathroom. After slipping into his jeans and a tee shirt, he quietly made his way down the stairs to the kitchen.
He could smell fresh coffee brewing as he entered the kitchen but there was no one there. The coffee maker made a big wheezing sigh as it shot the last of the water into the grounds. Jason leaned against the counter and watched the last of the coffee dripping into the pot.
As he poured himself a cup of the fresh brew, Jake shuffled in. "Morning, Jase."
"Hey Jake, how're you feeling?"
"Great," he said, wrapping Jason in a hug. Jason loved Jake's hugs. He was so big. He was like the older brother he'd never had. He wrapped his arms around him and hugged him back.
"Naw, he's still sawing logs."
"Cool. You guys catch up yet?" Jason asked, giving Jake a smart-assed grin.
"On what?" Jake asked oh so innocently.
"You know on what," Jason was exasperated that Jake out did him. "Lovin' each other."
Jake grinned and shook his head. "We'll never catch up. Guess we'll just have to keep trying as often as possible."
"I know what you mean," Jason said with a sly grin.
"How can a guy sleep with you two pouring coffee smells throughout the house. Can't you keep the kitchen doors closed to contain it?"
Jason and Jake looked up at a grouching, tousle-headed young man standing in the middle of the kitchen scratching his belly and running his fingers through the hair on his head at the same time.
"Don'tcha like the smell of fresh brewed coffee, Pete?" Jake asked.
"Course, I do. Otherwise I'd have just turned over and gone back to sleep."
"Sit down, Handsome, I'll get you a mug," Jason said, jumping up and pouring him a mugful and doctoring it to his mate's taste, while Pete stumbled to the table and flopped into a chair.
"Would you pour me one, too?" Teddy asked, shuffling toward the table.
"Sure, Han...." Jason stopped mid-sentence. "Sure, Teddy, sit down." He glanced at Pete who wrinkled his nose at him and grinned. Jason set Pete's coffee in front of him and slid Teddy's across the table to where he could reach it.
"Is there a reason we're all up so early?" Teddy asked.
"I couldn't sleep. I have to go to the Mercy Hospital this morning to visit my father." Jason informed him.
Jake looked up from his mug. "I don't remember you ever mentioning him before. You've told me about your mother."
"Yeah, well, there's no love lost between us. He's a big brute of a man, and after my mother died he became a lush. Now he's in the hospital with Cirrhosis of the liver and having hallucinations."
"The hospital called you?" Jake asked.
"No, the woman that's living with him called me. She thought I should know that she is moving out and that my father probably won't be leaving the hospital alive."
Pete sat quietly watching his little man. Jason's stoicism jerked on his emotions. He thought about how loving his own father was. Maybe,.......... He left the thought alone. He would call Tim later and find out what the DNA tests had revealed.
"So you're going to be an orphan soon it sounds like," Teddy mumbled.
"Looks like it, not like I wasn't already. He disowned me and threw me out a couple of years ago."
Pete smiled to himself and Jason caught him. "What are you smiling about?"
"I think my parents would be willing to adopt you."
"Thanks, but at twenty years old I don't think I need to be adopted."
"Jason's right. I find I can function just fine as an orphan." Jake said.
Pete grinned at him. "Yeah? Well, you should be able to at your advanced age."
"Hey, I'm only seven years older than you two."
"Ugh, you're nearly thirty.
Jason turned to Teddy. "So are both of your parents still living?" he asked.
"Yeah, they are."
"They don't know about you do they?"
"No, and I'm not going to tell them."
"Don't you think that will hurt them more than knowing you're gay?"
"My dad's an ex-Marine and my two brothers are Marines. They already think I'm a pansy for going into the Air Force."
"So what does that make them? Fucking hollyhocks?" Pete asked.
The four broke up laughing.
"Hey, don't go disparaging the Marines. I was one, too, you know." Charley said as he poured himself a cup of coffee and sat down next to Jake. He planted a kiss on his cheek and then glared at the other three and then smiled to show it was all put on.
"I never came out while I was in, but I know there were a lot of gays in the Marines. Some of them were quite active. Me? I was too scared to even admit I was gay until I met Jake."
"Jake seduced you?" Teddy asked looking straight into Jake's eyes.
Jake turned and looked at Charley. Charley grinned as their eyes locked. "Yeah, Jake seduced me." He turned and looked at Teddy. "Actually, there was no seduction involved. We both knew as soon as we saw each other that we were meant to be together."
"Wow, Why can't that happen to me?" Teddy asked.
"I was shocked that it happened to me. I wasn't looking for a relationship." Jake interjected. "
Teddy glanced up at the clock above the refrigerator. "Oh hell, I've got to go. Gio's taking me downtown to see this new place he's opening."
"We haven't heard anything about it," Pete said, glancing around at the others. "Tell us about it."
"All I know its on top of a new building. I've got to run. I'll fill you in later." Teddy scooted out the door and hurried to his room.
"So he is a french chef, huh?'" Jake asked.
"That's what he told us." Jason replied.
"He looks too young. He can''t be more than twenty-two. And he just got out of the Air Force?"
"He got booted. They caught him Flagrant Delicti with an officer in the BOQ," Jason told him.
"That's so stupid," Jake said.
"What, making it with an officer in his quarters?" Pete asked.
"No. The service kicking a man out after paying for that kind of training. It's such a waste of the taxpayers money."
"Most taxpayers probably would rather waste the money," Charley said.
"Well this taxpayer has got to get ready for class. When do you start to work Charley?" Pete asked, getting up and taking his, Jason's and Teddy's mugs to the sink.
"Not until next week."
"Cool," Pete said making his exit along with Jason.
Charley had told Jake about his first meeting with Roger, the other guard he'd be working with. Charley had thought that having a meal with the guy and getting to know him that he might decide he liked the man, and that he could straighten out Roger's thinking while he was at it.
Jake had thought it was a good idea, and wanted to join them. So Charley called Dave to ask him to please relay to Roger
that their dinner date was on for that evening.
Dave and Joe had just gotten back from their morning run with Johnny and Tim. Even though the morning was warm Johnny wore a zip-up sports jacket to hide his shoulder holster and gun. He'd just pulled off the jacket was removing the holster when the phone rang. Since he was standing next to the phone he answered it. "Gates/Paolini residence. Johnny speaking."
"Hey, Johnny, its Charley. I was going to ask for Dave, but it might be better getting you to do it."
"I assume that I'm supposed to ask, 'Do what?' Correct?"
There was a pause on the other end of the line. He'd thrown Charley for a loop. "Aaah, yeah," he finally answered.
Johnny laughed. "Okay, I'll play. What do you want me to do?"
Charley commenced to tell him about his conversation with Roger. And the postponed dinner date. "So if you would relay to him that tonight is the night it would be really sweet of you."
Johnny could hear Charley's smart-assed grin. "How about Tim and I being so sweet as to join you tonight. I'd love to help set that man on the right track."
"That would be great. Where do you want to go?"
"Where else? Let's keep it in the Family. Gio Gio's."
"See you there."
Dave came into the room. "Who was on the phone?"
"Charley, he and Jake want us to join him for dinner at Gio's."
"That sounds good. I'll call Paul and tell him that I'll need Roger on duty. That way he'll not be expecting anything."
"That would work well," Johnny said imagining how the evening was going to go down.
While Dave's life seemed sedate, Joe's had become a fast track race. Having access to all the money he needed to finance his projects had removed the time he used to spend looking for the money. The partnership he'd set up with Lloyd was off the ground. They had purchased a parcel of prime land, Joe had designed four layouts for models and Lloyd was raising the frames already. The business tower that Joe had started before he met Dave was nearing completion months sooner than originally planned, thanks to being able to front the money himself.
Most of the office space had been leased. The landscaping was finished. And the prime project involving the roof and two top floors of the building was almost finished. His new office was on the third floor from top of the building, which made it the top floor of office space.
He stood and stretched, then walked over to the floor to ceiling window and stared out. The view was toward the university and Tower where he and Dave lived. He liked the idea that Dave just might be looking back from the eyrie. "Maybe I should get a strong telescope. Then I could see Dave when I want to," he said to Johnny who sat in one of the big comfortable leather club chairs on the far side of the room.
"Couldn't that be construed as spying?" Johnny asked.
I never thought of that. Im not about to spy on him. I guess I'll just have to imagine what he is doing."
Johnny chuckled. "He's just sitting home pining for you, Big Bro."
"Cut it out." Joe sighed, and sat back down at his desk and contemplated the near disaster of Dave's tour of the building a few weeks ago. He'd been involved in a business matter and couldn't get away so he'd asked his foreman, Tom Duncan, to take Dave and Jean, Dave's mother, on the tour. He'd forgotten that Tom didn't know about the top floors being a surprise for Dave.
He and Gio with a large consulting firm had designed a grand restaurant, and a café on the roof. The names of the café and restaurant were to be the big surprise for Dave.
But when Dave had seen the grandiose dining palace he had been hurt that Joe had never said a word about it to him. Joe had talked about every other aspect of the building but not the restaurant.
In the beginning of their relationship Joe's closeness with his cousin Gio had disturbed Dave. They had always hugged and
kissed each other when they met. It was an Italian thing. Dave didn't know or understand that, and wondered if there was
more to it that Joe wasn't sharing. It wasn't until Dave had been around Joe's family and seen all the hugging and kissing
that he finally accepted it and even found that he enjoyed greeting friends and family the same way.
Gio would be here with his new Executive Chef in a few minutes. Joe didn't know what to think about this. The man had just walked in off the street and now Gio was wanting to make him the Executive Assistant Chef. He knew that Gio had set up interviews with several well known experienced chefs from around the country and had appointments coming up for all of the other lesser chefs that it took to make a restaurant of this size work.
This guy must be impressive. Even Dave was taken by him. "Well," Joe thought, "I'll just have to wait and see." He put his mind back to business matters, and was surprised the time had passed when there was a light tapping at his door. He looked up to see Gio and behind him one of the most handsome men he'd ever seen. Joe stood and moved around the desk to hug, kiss and welcome his cousin. He had to force himself not to stare at the auburn haired man with him.
"Joe, this Is Ted Edwards. Ted, Joe Paolini." Gio said.
Joe extended his hand, smiling. "It's nice to meet you, Ted."
Ted's handshake was firm. "The pleasure is mine," he said.
Joe looked at Gio. "So have you shown Ted the joints?"
Gio, who was still learning the nuances of the American slang, looked indignant. "I do not do joints."
It took Joe a moment to figure out what Gio meant and then he laughed. "No, no, I meant the restaurants." He pointed at the ceiling.
"Those are joints?"
Joe chuckled. "Forget it. I'll give you an English lesson another time. Let's go up."
Ted wondered what kind of joints Gio was thinking of.
Johnny observed Gio as they both watched Ted's reactions as they stepped out of the elevator into the foyer of the Restaurant. It was obvious to him that Gio was infatuated with the fair young man. Ted looked around at the live potted palms, the hat/cloak counter, the Hostess' black and chrome Art Deco podium, the neon sign above an elevator door across the room that read. "Gateway to Heaven", and another more sedate sign over a pair of large Etched Glass doors that read, "Dave's Place." "This is right out of a Fred and Ginger movie," he muttered.
"You have yet to see anything. Come." Gio said, taking his elbow and leading him to the large etched glass doors to the right. Letting go of Ted, he pushed them open and stepped aside to reveal the huge expanse. Ted's eyes first settled on the forty foot high glass walls across the room. And then he looked up at the black ceiling from which hung six humongous Streamline Deco chandeliers made up of a myriad of glass discs. They seemed to float in the air. There was a stepped mezzanine floor across the back wall where diners could watch the orchestra and dancers below.
The main floor was tiered down to and surrounding a terrazzo dance floor. The terrazzo floor itself was a work of art with its stark white and black swirling patterns. The orchestra stand rose behind the dance floor with the glass wall as a back drop. Across the back wall were booths enclosed in etched glass and cast aluminum in the same repeated designs as the surround of the orchestra stand.
The right wall was one long bar, all polished aluminum and black lacquer. Two dozen chrome and black leather bar stools lined it.
The tables were covered with black cloths under smaller white ones. The black lacquered chairs were a copy of an classic elegant Saarinan design. The floors were carpeted in dark gray.
Teddy smiled. "The dinner guests will supply the color. Very elegant."
Joe smiled back at him. "Thank you. You are perceptive." He said.
"Come, look at the back of the house," Gio said referring to the kitchens. "It is most impressive. The most modern."
Teddy followed Gio through the double porthole doors in to a gleaming white and stainless steel kitchen, the magnitude of which he'd never seen. The mess hall kitchens in the Air Force were big but not like this.
He walked by the plate preparation tables, each with their bain marie where foods were kept hot in baths of steaming water. The elegant pattern of entwined DP on the dinner plates caught his eye. He glanced up at Joe. "Dave, he is your partner, the man I met at Pete and Jason's?"
Joe grinned and nodded. "He doesn't know about this. It's going to be his surprise birthday/anniversary present."
"Wow," was all the response Teddy gave to that.
He wandered past the saute stoves and grills section, past the banks of ovens and glass front refrigerators to the rear of the kitchen. Here it looked like a small separate kitchen with it's own ovens, stoves, work tables and refrigerators. Teddy knew it to be the pastry department.
"This kitchen," he turned around as he asked, "services both restaurants?"
"There is another smaller kitchen above us. Come I'll show you." Gio lead the way to a bank of three elevators. "That one on the left is the service elevator to the ground floor. These two serve only the two kitchens and the restaurant on the roof," he explained as the entered the middle one and were whisked up to the next floor.
The kitchen they entered was only a third of the size of the main one below. There was no pastry department. And there were two big heavy insulated doors into a walk-in freezer and a giant walk-in refrigerator. Looking inside, Teddy noted there was a door connecting the two.
Stepping back into the elevator they went up. Gio led them out of the service area into the rooftop restaurant. Teddy caught his breath as he studied the construction of the movable roof top covering. It was half opened. The movable parts looked like segments of a clear citrus fruit. "How long does it take to completely close?" he asked.
"A little less than four minutes."
"So if there is any chance of rain, it needs to already be closed."
"Yes, a sudden deluge could ruin an evening." Joe looked at Gio and nodded.
"How does the wind blowing into it affect it?" Teddy asked.
"It has to be completely opened or closed if the winds get above fifteen MPH. It double insulated so that during the cold months with it closed it won't affect business."
"It is magnificent." He turned to Joe. "Did you design this, too?"
Joe nodded. Teddy shook his head in wonder, and then looked around, taking in the antique mahogany bar with a dozen new mahogany stools. Teal green was the accent color. The chairs were elegant modern mahogany.
Teddy noted where the public elevators were. As he scoped out the setting he notice that the café took up a little over half the available space. Then he noticed the double doors into another room. He nodded toward them. "Executive dining and VIP room?"
"Yes, and the wine cellar." Gio said pushing open the door. Forest green and dark polished walnut gave the room a luxurious ambiance. Teddy noted that there was seating for around forty in the room. He glanced over the wine racks and noted that there were around two dozen American wines and maybe eight French. As he gazed over the bottles he saw there were even a couple of good Australian wines, too. "I assume this selection will be expanded before the grand opening."
"Yes, by that time we'll have around two hundred selections." Gio answered. Joe and Johnny looked at each other in amazement.
Johnny stood back and just watched as Joe and Gio led Teddy through the restaurants and kitchens. Today he was wearing slacks, pull-over knit shirt and a golfing jacket. He was glad his slacks had reversed pleats to help hide the excited state he found himself in every time he looked at Teddy. Cupping one hand in the other in front of his crotch helped hide it, too. He couldn't help but feel ashamed of himself for his reaction. It was definitely something he was going to have to discuss with Tim.
He cursed himself for reacting this way. He'd always been able to control himself until the day he met Tim. Why couldn't he now? Tim was the only man he really wanted. But when he let his imagination run free he could see himself fucking Teddy. It was only a sexual attraction. None of his emotions were involved in it. It was just that to him Teddy was a sex magnet.
Teddy was one of those innocents that were unaware of how he affected people. It was his naivete that had gotten him booted out of the service. He'd been a sitting duck for the OSI who were already investigating the lieutenant he'd been caught with. But even going through the embarrassment and horror of the process of being given the boot had done nothing to wake up his self awareness. He wondered why Johnny was so stand offish, almost hostile one moment and almost flirting with him the next. He glanced at him standing off to the side as they toured the kitchen. Johnny looked downright angry as he stared back. Gio caught Teddy's attention with a question and he forgot about wondering what Johnny could be mad about.
Once they were all back in Joe's office, out of curiosity Joe asked how many people it was going to take to run the two places. Gio turned to Teddy and asked what he thought.
"Well, let's see. You'd have your Exec. Chef and his assistant. Under them you' have an Exec sous and a four sous chefs, two of them for the café. Another two chefs on the serving line. Four cooks on the saute and grilling stations. Four on the cold foods line. That's fourteen for the dinner shift and half that for the lunch shift. A pastry chef and an assistant. That's thirty five for the kitchens. You also will need dishwashers That's another four.
"In the Dining room you need a Maitre'd, four hostesses. 20 waiters, five cocktail waitress, four barmen. Food runners. Bussers.and upstairs ......" Teddy droned on as Joe sat with his mouth figuratively agape in astonishment. It was then that he realized that Gio had made the right decision. This kid knew his stuff.
Gio was astonished. too. Although he would never have admitted it to Joe. He smiled benignly and nodded his head as he watched Joe and Johnny being impressed with Teddy.
As Teddy rode back to the university area with Gio in his Mercedes, he was deep in thought. Just to think of working in the restaurant was daunting, nearly overpowering. His thoughts were interrupted by Gio asking a question.
"How do you Americans say something about money for what you are thinking?"
Ted glanced at him and wondered what Gio was talking about, and then it dawned on him. "A penny for your thoughts."
"As deep in thought as you were, I'd say they should be worth much more."
Teddy didn't respond.
"So will you tell me what you are thinking?"
"Well, several things."
Gio looked at him, his eyebrows raised.
"First off, the wage that you offered me even after you raised it is ridiculous. A cook gets a hourly wage. And A certified chef gets a salary.
"When I offered you an hourly wage I was hiring you as a cook in my little restaurant. When I saw your efficiency and abilities I knew you would be perfect for Dave's Place.
"As what, a sous chef, a manager chef, what?"
"Executive Assistant Chef."
Teddy didn't respond. He knew that as Assistant he would be running the place. He would be responsible for the whole operation. He turned side ways in his seat with his leg folded, his heel in his groin. He studied his hands in his lap for several seconds and then looked up at Gio. "Why are you doing this? You don't know me. You don't even really know what I am capable of."
Gio searched Teddy's face and turned his eyes back to the street. He wondered why Teddy looked so sad. "You don't want the position? Don't you think you can handle it?"
"You aren't a Yankee." Teddy snapped. "Why are you answering my question with more questions?"
"Yankees answer questions with questions?" Gio as innocently.
Teddy moved to face forward again, dropping his foot back on the floor. "Fuck. The Yankees must have learned from you Italians."
"I'm sorry. I will quit being frivolous. I see great promise in you. The way you tallied up the amount of employees for Joe was impressive. I want to give you the chance to prove yourself."
"But why, Gio?"
They were sitting at a red light. Gio turned and stared at Teddy. "Because I like you."
Teddy raised his eyebrows, but continued to stare straight ahead. He wondered in what context. Gio was so easy going around all the gay couples that seemed to be a close knit group, Teddy wondered if he too might be gay. He sighed. There was no way to find out with right out asking, and he wasn't about to do that.
Gio thought to himself as he drove down the street, "As your employer I can't legally or morally make a move on you. But I can do good things for you, like give you a chance."
"I'm willing to work my way up the ladder," Teddy said. "If I start at the top where do I have to go from there?" He was feeling overwhelmed and bewildered.
"Time will tell Teddy. Are you willing to take the chance?"
"With your faith in me, I cant fail, especially if you're there to guide me.
"I'll be there, Teddy," Gio murmured. "I'll be there to guide you. I won't let you fall."
"I've never met anyone like you. I just can't understand it."
Gio thought to himself as he drove in silence, 'You don't realize yet that I am in love with you.' Aloud he said, "Just accept it and prove me right."
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