The usual disclaimers apply to the story.
David Nearly 13
The front door bell rang and William Jennings called out to his wife, "I'll get it darling." And made his way to the door mumbling under his breathe,
"Who the Hell is it this time, God I wish Rupert were here." Pulling open the front door he was on the verge of telling the person, they didn't want anything that they were selling, and swallowed his words as he saw a young male, tall and slim about seventeen or eighteen years of age standing on the doorstep.
"Yes can I help you young man?" Mr Jennings enquired of the boy.
"Good afternoon sir, I've come about the job that was advertised in the Hazeldene Gazette."
"Ah yes come in and we'll talk about it Mister uh."
"Granger, Angelo Granger."
"That's an unusual name for an English looking boy to have."
"My mother's father was Italian and she was the one who chose my name, I don't think my father had any say in the matter."
"Alright Angelo come in and we'll discuss the job. Oh and my name is Mr Jennings."
Mr Jennings led the boy into the drawing room and asked him to be seated, at the same time taking a seat in his favourite armchair.
"Now," the man began, looking at the boy whose features were so striking that one could not help but stare. The boy had the blackest hair and the most striking green eyes that he'd ever seen in all of his 38years. In reality he'd never seen anyone with green eyes before, yes hazel eyes with extra flex of green in them like his son David had, but nothing like this boy's pure green eyes. Then there was his mouth the lips both full and tinted the faintest of pinks, making one think that there might be a hint of lip make up on them, and to complete the perfection of the mouth the perfectly shaped cupids bow on the upper lip that. "Umm yes," Mr Jennings stuttered as he realized the boy had caught him staring. "uh, we have a vacancy Mr Granger to be an aide to our butler Rupert. He doesn't know that we've advertised the position and will be quite annoyed about it when he finds out. But he is getting old, and has been with our family since I was a boy and I feel the time has come for him to be able to take it a bit easier, not that he will thank me for it when he finds out. I'm not sure what your duties will be that will be for Rupert to decide, it will be up to him to give the orders not I. If you're happy with what I've told you and want the position then the job is yours."
"Yes Mr Jennings, I would definitely like to take the position."
"Alright you'll start on £250 a week 9am till 5pm with one day off in the week and an hour and a half for your lunch break every day. Any hours that Rupert keeps you after that will be considered extra hours and you'll be paid for them.
"Thank you very much Mr Jennings, when do you wish me to start?"
"Umm come in tomorrow. Rupert and my son are away at the moment they've gone into town for the day, and won't be arriving back till later this evening, otherwise I'd have introduced them to you."
"Alright I'll be here 9.00am tomorrow morning Mr Jennings," and the boy stood to make his way out as his now employer showed him to the front door.
As he stepped outside before departing the boy turned and asked Mr Jennings, "Excuse me sir do you know of any establishments that have rooms to let in the village."
"No I'm sorry, but where are you staying at the moment?"
"In Bourneville, at the home for boys."
"Ah I see that is quite far for you to have to travel, and I don't think there's any public transport that comes to Hazeldene before 11.00am.
"That's no problem Mr Jennings I have a cycle if I can't find any lodgings in the village."
"Wait a minute Angelo, you don't mind if I use you Christian name."
"Not at all sir."
"And you can drop that sir business, Mr Jennings will do fine. Okay we have a seven bed roomed house here and only three of them are being used at the moment so if you don't mind living in on the job so to speak you can have one of the rooms and we'll deduct you board from your salary as it will be easier for you if you eat here as well."
"Great sir, umm I mean Mr Jennings will it be okay if I go and get my belongings and return with them today."
"Yes by all means how long will you be."
"About three hours."
"Alright I'll see you when you return."
"Thank you Mr Jennings I'll be as quick as I can," and the boy sprinted down the drive heading back to get a bus back to the home where he stayed to get his worldly possessions.
He couldn't believe it he'd been looking for a job for the past month and couldn't find a thing. But as luck would have it yesterday as he rode the bus home after visiting the employment bureau, another passenger had left a newspaper behind on the seat. He'd picked it up and saw that it wasn't one of the tabloid press but a paper from one of the outlying villages The Hazeldene Gazette. He had looked through it just for something to read on his way back home and just through habit had looked at the situations vacant, and had seen the job that Mr Jennings had advertised, and here he was now no longer one of the unemployed.
Angelo arrived back at the boy's home and went straight to the Superintendent's office telling him of his job and the good fortune of him being able to live on the premises.
Mr Blake congratulated him and wished him all the best handing him £50 from his allowance to tide him over till he received his first pay check.
Thanking Mr Blake he went to his room to pack his belongings, when he'd finished he said goodbye to his friends giving one of them the bike, and left the place that he'd called home for the past nine years.
He arrived back at the Jennings household with a battered suitcase held in his right hand ringing the doorbell with the other.
William Jennings opened the door to see the boy who he'd employed a little less than three hours earlier, standing on his doorstep with a big smile on his face.
"I'm back Mr Jennings sir quicker than I expected."
"Very good Angelo, umm didn't you say you had a bike."
"Yes sir, but I thought as I'm staying here I wouldn't be needing it, so I gave it to one of the boys at the home. It wasn't in very good condition I got it second hand from another boy so I thought I'd pass it on."
"Alright Angelo come on in and I'll show you to the rooms and you can choose which one you want."
He led the boy through the impressive looking hallway up the stairs onto a landing that went in both directions at the top of the stairs. Turning to the left William Jennings led the boy passed the first door pointing out that the room was Rupert's the next door he said was his sons room and then after that the next two were vacant.
After looking at both the empty rooms the boy decided to take the room at the end of the corridor that way not being too close to the other two occupants on this side of the hallway.
"Alright Angelo I'll leave you to unpack your bag and put your clothes away. Your room has a toilet and shower attached to it but if you wish to soak in a bath then the room at the other end of the corridor is a bathroom with where you can have a soak. The bed linen is in the cupboard at the end of this hallway," the man said, "And when you've finished come downstairs and use the door that is directly opposite the front door that will lead you into the kitchen I'll be in there."
Fifteen minutes later Angelo with his clothes put away and the bed made, nervously made his way to where his employer would be waiting. Reaching the bottom of the stairs he noted where the front door was then looked directly opposite saw the door that Mr Jennings had mentioned. Walking down a rather long passage way he came to the door and knocked, and heard a voice say, "Come in."
Angelo entered a kitchen the size of which he'd never seen before. Mr Jennings was sitting at a breakfast table sipping a cup of tea as was the woman who sat directly opposite him. He waved the boy over and when Angelo was standing before him introduced him to his wife Claudette Jennings.
With the introductions over Mrs Jennings made her way over to the big range cooker where some pots were resting at the same time addressing the boy,.
"Angelo get a plate from the dresser over there and bring it here I'll serve you some food you must be starving."
"Thank you Mrs Jennings," and the boy grabbed a plate and went to join the woman at the cooker.
She put a huge steak on his plate added some French fries with peas and carrots. He was then ushered over to the table and took a seat where Mr Jennings had placed a knife and fork.
The boy did his best to answer there questions through mouthfuls of food and had more or less given them an account of his life thus far.
The two adults uttered their regrets on learning of his being orphaned at the age of eight and having to live in a home since then.
He finished his food and was offered a dessert of apple tart and ice cream which he consumed with great relish then settled back with a drink of orange juice.
When the boy had finished his meal the two adults took him into the lounge where they all took seats, Mr Jennings with looks from his wife a bit reluctantly confronted the boy. "Angelo, my wife and I will be away from the house a great deal as we travel to various parts of the world in the course of our work which deals with the conservation of the earth's resources. We have employed you to assist Rupert because of his age, but my wife feels that if you are agreeable you could also be a companion to our son David. He is a bit younger than you; by the way how old are you Angelo?"
"I've just turned seventeen sir, I mean Mr Jennings."
You're few years older than David but I'm sure that if you tried the two of you could get along quite well."
"I wouldn't mind in the least," Angelo responded to their request, "I just hope your son will take to me."
"I'm sure he will Angelo, he's quite sociable." Now if you wish you can watch some television for as long as you want or you can return to your room. I don't think you'll be able to meet my son or Rupert tonight as I think it highly unlikely that they'll be back before 11.00pm if my son has his way, and where Rupert is concerned he always has his way."
After watching the TV for a couple of hours the boy excused himself saying, "I'll go up to my room if you don't mind and get myself settled in," then wishing his employers "a goodnight." He made his way to his room.
The Jennings smiled and looked at each other when the boy had departed. ""I think he'll be an ideal companion for David," Claudette Jennings said, "I just hope he can settle in and get to like it here."
"Oh I'm sure he will dear and although Rupert may huff, and puff, I'm sure he'll be grateful with someone to help him with his duties and also not have to run after David."
Mr Jennings then picked up a folder saying, "Now we had better get our schedule organised for our trip to Beijing, we have to leave within the next week."
"Yes dear," Claudette Jennings responded walking over to sit on the arm of his chair to look at the folder he'd opened on his lap with all the dates of their schedule for their forthcoming trip.
Upstairs in his room Angelo undressed and donned his nightwear then lay on his bed and fished out his copy of Lord of the Rings and opened the book at the marker. He read for over an hour and as his eyes started to droop he closed the book and was just putting it away when there was a knock on his door.
He quickly pulled on a pair of tracksuit bottoms over his night shorts calling, "Come in."
The door opened and in the doorway stood a young slightly built boy about couple of inches under five feet. He had blonde hair, and hazel coloured eyes, and a face which looked familiar to Angelo but he couldn't quite place from where.
The boy stepped into the room smiling and saying, "Sorry to disturb you but I saw the light on from under the door and thought I'd introduce myself now instead of waiting till tomorrow. I'm David,"
Come on in David, and your not disturbing me, by the way my name is Angelo, Angelo Granger, it's nice to meet you," as he looked down from his height of over six feet at the young boy.
David looked at the boy who stood before him and frowned his features were somewhat familiar but he just couldn't place where he'd seen him before. Maybe he just looks like one of those actors on TV he thought then spoke, "It's nice to meet you Angelo. I won't stay long I suppose you've got things to do."
"It's alright I just finished reading, and was getting ready for bed but if you want we can talk."
"Really," the blonde haired boy said, "Great It's been like forever since I had another boy to talk to at night." And he sat down on the bed.
Angelo sitting on the bed beside him asked, "So where did you go today?"
"Oh I got Rupert to accompany me to the movies; we saw Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix, and guess what"
"Rupert fell asleep during the movie and started snoring; I had to wake him to make him stop. A lot of the other kids sitting around us thought it was really funny and were laughing."
"Was the movie good?"
"Yeah, but I've already read all the books so I more or less knew what to expect but the special effects were really good. Have you seen or read anything of Harry Potter?"
No, but I've seen all three movies of Lord of the Rings," Angelo said, getting out his copy of the book and showing it to David, "Now I'm reading the book."
"You've seen all three. Gosh! You're lucky, I haven't seen any, every time they came out my parents were away and Rupert wouldn't take me saying it was too violent for a young boy."
"Oh well hard luck, but how old are you now?"
"Umm13 well nearly why?"
"You should be old enough now; you can rent the DVD's and watch them."
"Oh that's brilliant, if I take you down to the village tomorrow we can rent them."
"I'll be working tomorrow I have to give Rupert a hand with his duties."
"No you don't, mum says that you can be a companion to me."
"Yeah but only after I've finished my work and I think helping Rupert gets priority he is quite old your dad said and he needs the help."
"Yeah okay but if I give you a hand you can finish quicker, then we can go."
"Don't go making any plans yet David," Angelo said brushing his hand over the younger boy's head.
The touch sent a shiver through the boy's body and he looked hard at the face in front of him wondering why the simple act had caused such feelings to stir inside of him, then Angelo's voice came through. "
"You don't know what Rupert has in mind for me; he might get me so tired I won't be able to stand by the end of the day,"
The boy with an indignant look on his face blurted out, "I won't let him work you too hard, and anyway Rupert isn't like that he's really kind, but a bit pompous when we have any important guests visiting."
"Okay if everything goes to plan and your parents say it's okay we'll go down to the village and rent the DVD. Now I think you'd better get to bed it's getting pretty late."
"Oh come on Angelo it's only just gone 11.00pm. I tried to keep Rupert out later but he wouldn't have it and we got back a lot earlier than expected. its Saturday tomorrow so I don't have any lessons, and I can sleep till late, so can't we talk a bit longer?"
"Yeah you can sleep late David, but I have to be downstairs and ready for work by 9.00am and in any case," he said smiling, "Twelve-year-old boys' should be in bed by 11.00pm"
"I'm nearly 13."
"Okay Nearly-thirteen-year-old boys should be in bed by 10.30pm"
"What," David said indignantly, "Why half an hour earlier than twelve-year-olds?"
"Because I said so," Angelo said laughing."
"Huh think your funny," the younger boy said jumping on top of the laughing boy, "I'll teach you to be sarky," as Angelo let himself be knocked backwards onto the bed with David lying on top of him.
Without thinking he wrapped his arms around the younger boy and held him tight not allowing him to move still laughing at the same time squeezing the boy into his body. David didn't move he was frowning and staring into Angelo's eyes.
Seeing the look on the boys face Angelo released him at once concerned and saying, "Sorry David didn't mean to be rough on you."
David didn't move when he was released he lay staring at Angelo till the older boy gently shook him saying, "David are you alright."
He broke the stare then smiled, "Sorry Angelo, but from when I first saw you and when you just held me I thought that I knew you from somewhere."
"Yeah well don't do that again you had me worried," Angelo said lifting himself and the boy to a standing position, "I thought I was going to lose my job before I'd even got started. Now you'd better get to bed David."
"Okay, but do me a favour please Angelo before I go."
"Just name it."
"Can you put your arms around me one more time?"
"Umm I uh," the older boy stuttered, "I mean are you sure."
"Oh come on Angelo just put you arms around me I want to try something."
"Okay," and Angelo wrapped his arms around the boy."
"Lift me up Angelo."
He did as the boy asked and when he had lifted David, the boy wrapped his arms around his neck and legs around his waist.
Putting his head to one side and fixing Angelo with a quizzical look said, "I'm sure I've met you before Angelo, I can feel it when you touch me."
The older boy smiled saying, "Well when you remember let me know, now get down and got to bed, and I'll see you in the morning."
David leaned forward and kissed Angelo on the forehead saying goodnight." jumped down from his arms and left the room.
The kiss on the forehead sent a shiver through the older boy's body, making him stare at the departing boy.
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