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"Interesting... " Stephanie said looking at the comic panels, "You have changed your style drastically too..." she added
"I am trying new things Steph. It might even work to increase the popularity of the mag"
"True that... Can you grab me some cold root beer Keith?"
"There she goes," Keith thought, "Sure!" he said.
"...While I do realize you have shown improvement over the style, which I personally like in fact..., but there are things that you may not have noticed" Stephanie said varying her tone and pitch throughout the sentence.
"Of course, is there any glitch that has ever escaped your notice?"
"It is not a glitch Keith, and for your information I don't always just criticise the work without praising the worthy" Stephanie said in her usual cold voice.
"Please don't misunderstand Steph, it was a compliment"
"As if! well whatever! the thing is that I like this new style, also I feel this has the potential to increase the range of our general viewers. There are things that need slight improvement though, but good job Keith!, And the story is also kinda very hot" she said as she gulped down the bottle of root beer.
"Thanks Steph, your feedback is always helpful, I am glad you loved this"
"This also makes me wonder... how are things going with Peter and you?" she asked with a big smile
"Please Steph..., I would very much like to keep my personal life separate from work, if you would understand"
"I do... I very much do, but .. sometimes I get curious too... if you don't mind!" "But hell! you two are a hot duo, how can one resist the temptation to ask? I mean you have been living together for almost two years now, it is obvious I would get a little curious, and why deny if you have something going on? It is not like I don't know that you are bi!"
"Again Steph, you are reaching wrong conclusions, there is nothing like that between us. And besides I told you Peter already has a girlfriend and they are going to marry soon too" The last part was a lie on Keith's part but he didn't want Stephanie to intrude any more in his personal space.
"That is too bad... here I was literally shipping you two.."
"That is why I said you are misunderstanding..." "Now let us wrap up our unfinished business shall we?" Keith directed her attention back to work.
"Wanna play some games till your clothes get washed?" Andy said after Dean had changed into his shirt and trousers.
"A compensation for arcade huh? Sure!"
"Come with me," Andy said and led Dean to the second floor to the gaming room. He switched open the lights and Dean was once again taken by complete surprise. The room was full of all kinds of board games, table games, and even had a vintage pinball machine.
"Don't be surprised Dean, but everyone in my family loves to spend lavishly on these things.. and I can't deny it that this is one investment that I really love"
Dean laughed and said he had figured that out.
"Come on Dean.. we don't have much time to waste around," Andy said as he booted his PS4 console waking Dean from his trance.
"Cool man! I don't have a PS4 yet!"
"Doesn't matter, it isn't much different from PS3 gamewise except the video quality... Have you tried the unchartered 4?"
"Yeah, that is one of my fave"
"Great! why don't we begin then?" Andy said as he passed one controller to Dean and took another one himself before dimming the surrounding lights.
"Looks like a mini movie theater," Dean said slowly
"We actually have a separate room for that" Andy said.
"Fuck...! I guess I should stop being surprised at these revelations at this point, but god damn! he is rich" Dean thought as he gripped his controller tighter. Soon both the teens were in an intense showdown of outwitting their opponents. "You are excellent Dean! I am having a hard time keeping up!" Andy said ferociously pressing the controls on his controller. "You are good too, this is awesome!" Dean said continuing to flicker with his controller.
After an hour and a half of gaming, both were tired. "That was amazing Dean! I hadn't had that much thrill in this game"
"Yeah, you are a really good partner to team up with"
"Although I will admit that you are better..." "By the skin of the teeth though" Both were laughing hard. Janice had already put the snacks in their rooms a long time ago. "Please have it Dean" Andy said as he passed a plate full of chicken croquettes to Dean.
"I don't know whether you like them or not, but as I said I am not too much into vegetarian diet so Janice probably had that in mind"
"No, I love croquettes, and sprite goes well along with it," Dean said as he took one and ate it.
"Yes, they are tasty! Andy.." Dean said as he passed the plate to Andy. Andy couldn't hold and began chomping down on croquettes.
"Looks like you like them a lot," Dean said as he took in some of the sprite.
"I am just hungry after all that gaming"
"Me too.," Dean said as he quickly grabbed some croquettes and munched them down.
"I should call Janice for more" Andy said with a chuckle. Dean looked at the empty plate and felt a bit embarrassed that he actually ate that much. Andy seemed to notice that.
"Dean, please don't feel shy or embarrassed about anything you do, okay? I want you to feel at home here so please ask away anything you want"
"It is not that, but.."
"Just relax dude, there is no need to rush things." "You wait here till I call Janice and check for your clothes and call uber" Dean nodded.
After a while, Janice came back with another plate of croquettes but Andy didn't come back for a while. Dean went downstairs to look where Andy was. There were a few servants in other rooms, but mostly it was all empty. Luckily he found Janice on the way.
"Janice, Dean," she said and smiled
"Yes, Janice, did you see Andy somewhere? He didn't come back"
"Master went downstairs to the laundry, should I lead you there?"
"I would like to"
Dean followed her to the basement where she left for another errand. After taking the stairs Dean found Andy looking at the washer.
"Andy..? What are you doing here? You could have asked Janice to take care of it" Dean asked.
"Dean..? I wanted to do it myself, that is all. Besides, it really sucks to call servants for things you can probably do yourself. They are more here for my parents and sister"
"Are your parents out for work?"
"Yeah! they work 8-hour shifts. They are not usually at home unless they take a leave or it is a weekend."
"That.. must hurt.. you know.. not having parents around much?"
"I suppose, but it is nothing new to me. I have grown used to it by now" Andy said as he became slightly unsteady due to his injury.
The machine buzzed as it completed the final stages of washing. Andy took out the clothes and blow dried them with a hairdryer. Dean became a bit embarrassed as the next were his own undies. "That is enough Andy... I think I can do the rest."
"Hmm.. what remains is just this," Andy said as he took out Dean's white briefs and laughed as Dean blushed. "Have it your way then" Andy said as he switched off the dryer and came to relax in the chair.
"I have called an uber for you in thirty minutes, is it fine?"
"Yeah, thanks," Dean said as he dried his briefs.
The next half hour passed in a flash and it was time for Dean to go. He had already changed back.
"I suppose it is time we really say goodbye now," Andy said as he looked at his phone.
"Yeah, but it was really nice hanging out with you, and I really mean that"
"I am glad that you liked it. And quite honestly I can't wait for the next Friday"
"I would love to meet earlier, but I have some commitments if you understand.." Dean said
"I completely understand," Andy said and pulled Dean for a hug. "I am really glad that I got to meet you," he said
Dean too pulled him close as he felt their heart beat in unison. "Me too" They both held each other for quite some time.
Then Andy pulled away. "Would you mind if I make Liz join us the nest time"
Dean looked confused unsure of how to handle it.
"Relax Dean... Just joking. Besides, it would be troublesome if she falls for you again" he said and both of them laughed.
Andy led Dean by his hand to the front of his house where a cab was waiting.
"Until next time," Andy said before Dean sat inside the car.
"Bye," Dean said as the car drove off.
Andy came inside his home. "You made a really good friend master," Janice said trying to cheer him up.
"He is... special" Andy said
"Oh..!" Janice said
"Anyway, don't you have dinner to prepare?" Andy retorted.
"Of course!" Janice smiled and moved to the kitchen.