Protecting David-The Brothers 14
I spent the entire night dreaming in a strange way about my relationship with Adam. It was weird, but I didn’t once remember us kissing or even being together in the dream. It seemed like he was always on the other side of the room, or working out on the other side of the gym. I was always looking at him from a distance. I didn’t know what that meant, but I didn’t like it. Every time I tried to get his attention something would happen and he’d never hear me. When the alarm on my phone woke me up, I was exhausted.
But lying there I almost immediately became aware of the smell of coffee, so I rolled out of bed, just wearing my boxer shorts and headed for the kitchen. When I got to the bedroom door I stopped and ran back and checked my phone for messages. There wasn’t anything there so I headed for the kitchen.
Nick was standing with his back to me while he poured a cup of coffee. He too was just wearing boxer shorts, but his were light blue while mine were green. Without any other clothing on I got a chance to really look at his body. His skin was lightly tanned, like he had spent a week someplace warm. Compared to his chest and heavily muscled shoulders his waist seemed really thin and when he moved I watched the muscles in his back shift.
Finally I couldn’t just stand there staring, but when I tried to say good morning it just came out like a croak, but then I cleared my throat and said it again.
He turned around and his face lit up. “Morning, Chris. You sleep okay?” He looked like he had already showered, his hair was brushed and he was clean shaven.
I lied and said, “Yeah, great.”
“How about some coffee? And I can do toast too. Sorry, but I don’t have any normal breakfast stuff here. We can go out and get something on our way downtown though.”
“Toast would be good. That’s usually what I eat.”
Watching Nick moving around the kitchen I just found myself staring at the front of his boxers. There was something big in there that was swinging forward and backward with each movement of his body and on the forward stroke it pushed against the soft blue material and I could see the outline of it. It looked heavy. Of course I felt like a complete perv for doing that, but I mean, who wouldn’t, look, that is?
He put some bread in the toaster, pushed it down and then smiled at me and said, “Sure you’re okay with coming to the office with me this morning?”
I took a sip of coffee and nodded. “Sure. But I just got my jeans to wear, that gonna be okay?”
He came over and put his cup of coffee down near mine and I could smell the soapy clean smell of his body. “Yep. I’ve just got a meeting of the executive committee and then we can get outta there. They gave me an office and you can just hang out in there.” He grinned. “Besides, you look a lot better in your jeans than those guys do in their two thousand dollar suits.”
He stared at me for a moment and then said, “How are you really feeling?”
I stared into his eyes. They were just so blue. I looked down at my coffee. “I guess I feel like somebody punched me in the stomach and I can’t quite catch my breath. You know?”
He took a long sip of his coffee and then said, “Oh yeah…I know.” He shifted his weight and said, “It does get better.”
I shook my head, not in disagreement, but just because everything now felt so wrong. “It feels like the world wasn’t the way I thought it was, like somehow I just didn’t understand it.” I sighed. “Like I was just a big idiot.”
He put his hand on the back of my neck and pulled my head towards him. He touched the side of my head with his forehead and held it there. The room was a little cool, but his hand on my neck felt very warm and his body was radiating heat like a stove.
“You’re not an idiot, and you haven’t done anything wrong.” He sighed. “It’s just that sometimes things get fucked up…but a lot of times something really great comes out of the mess. I think that will happen this time too.”
“I hope so.”
He pulled away slightly and said, “I’m gonna get dressed and put together some papers for that meeting. Why don’t you shower and get dressed when you’re done here, and then I’ll buy you a great breakfast.”
Twenty minutes later when I came out of my granddads bedroom in my jeans and sweatshirt Nick was just walking out of my dad’s old bedroom. He looked awesome. He was wearing a dark gray suit with a white shirt and a dark red tie and my mouth just fell open. He was handsome in casual clothes, but this was different, this was grownup hot.
He looked at me and immediately stopped and looked down at his clothes. “What? What’s the matter?”
I snapped my mouth shut, swallowed and said, “You look fantastic!”
He grinned. “Thanks. My adult clothes. Luckily we don’t have to dress like this in Denver. Well, not usually.” Larry dressed like this every day, but Alex almost never did.
Nick said, “How about we take your car because it’s already in the driveway, and then I’ll call and have someone come and plow the snow?”
There were two snow shovels in the garage and we made paths through the snow drift in front of the garage door and then cleaned my car off.
The building that the bank was in was really tall, like a skyscraper…well, a small one. Nick took me to a restaurant that was right across the street and we sat in a booth facing the street. The booths were a little small and we kept bumping knees.
The first time that happened Nick said, “Sorry. I guess there’s not much room. I’m usually here by myself.”
I grinned and trapped one of his knees between mine and said, “I’m good with it. I mean, we had toast together in our underwear so knees don’t seem like such a big deal.”
He seemed a little embarrassed, but he laughed and said, “You got a point there.”
I had waffles with sausages. The waffles were stacked high, had a huge pat of butter on top of them and were awash in maple syrup. Nick looked at them like they were laced with Arsenic, shook his head and said, “Oh man, I’m gonna need to keep you moving today. We don’t want that cholesterol to start clinging to anything.”
I put on a shocked face. “Whadya talking about? This is my regular breakfast!9” He just shook his head and I laughed. I said, “I really almost never have this stuff.”
Then he took a bottle of ketchup and started shaking it down onto his scrambled eggs.
I said, “Dude, you gotta be kidding me! Why are you doing that?” Actually, Larry ate his eggs the exact same way.
I pretended to pull my knees away from his, “Gimme my knees back!”
He fake glared at me. “I hope you’re not gonna be giving me a hard time about my ketchup!”
Then he smiled and said, “Besides, I may just hang on to your knees.” We both laughed, my penis wasn’t laughing though, he was getting all happy.
I sighed and then laughed. “Larry does the same thing. Ketchup on everything.” I grinned and said, “And now that I think of it, Alex says almost exactly what I just did. I must have gotten it from him.”
I never did get my knees back, but then the booth really was crowded.
In the bank building we took the elevator to the 9th floor. Nick said that the bank used the floors from the first through the 9th and the rest of them were all rented out. When we got off the elevator there was a guard station with an older black guy standing behind a counter that was obviously meant to block access to the offices. When he saw Nick his face lit up.
“Good morning, Mr. Carmichael! I figured I’d be seein you any time now.”
Nick pulled me over. “Morning, Mr. Henderson. This is a friend of mine – Chris, and he’ll be coming in with me. I guess he’ll need a badge.”
Mr. Henderson was handing Nick a badge attached to a lanyard that Nick put around his neck. “No problem.”
He grinned at me and said kiddingly, “You’re not a terrorist or anything are ya?”
I laughed and shook my head. “I wouldn’t even know how to be one.”
He handed me a badge too and I put the lanyard around my neck too.
Mr. Henderson glanced quickly at the door he was guarding and then leaned towards Nick. “Be careful in there, they’re a nervous bunch.”
Nick slowly shook his head. “They don’t have to be. All they gotta be is straightforward.”
Mr. Henderson shook his head and said, “They had it one way for a long time. They don’t change easy. Anyway, stay alert.”
Then he buzzed us through. Inside the door was a very pretty blonde receptionist who glided forward and put her hand on Nicks arm. I wasn’t crazy about the proprietary look she was giving him.
“Oh Mr. Carmichael, they’ve got you in a different office this morning. If you’ll just follow me.” She was wearing a dress that was very tight and I watched her ass swishing back and forth as she led us to an office.
Once we were in there she said, “Mr. Harman will be here in a second. He’s rounding up the committee members.”
Once she left I said, “She’s got the hots for you.”
He laughed and shook his head. “She’s looking for job insurance.”
I started to say something, but the door opened suddenly and a tall bald man strode into the room. The guy was heavy in the middle but had a small head and shoulders.
He said, “Carmichael! I’ve got the….”
Nick interrupted him and indicated me with his hand and said, “This is Chris.”
The man glanced at me quickly, but it was one of those glances where you know the person didn’t really see you, much less care about you. And he just kept talking loudly.
He was saying to Nick, “I don’t understand exactly what it is you…..”
Nick interrupted him again. “Chris is Alex Kruegers son.”
It was like time in the room froze for a moment and then the guy turned to me again, but it was like he was a totally different person.
He was a man who spoke in exclamation points. “Mr. Krueger! I should have recognized you! I’ve never met your father, but of course I’ve seen his picture many times and you look very like him!” I look nothing like him at all. “Will your dad be coming here? Is he in town? I’d love to talk to him! Will you be joining us in the meeting? We’ve got quite a story to tell here at the bank! Your dad will make serious money with us! I think we can even show him a thing or two!”
Nick had to practically pry the guy’s hands off of me to keep me from ending up in that meeting and probably having to sit on Harman’s lap. Nick had no way of knowing it, but it was just that kind of guy who was always trying to get at me. That minister that messed with me when I was a kid, and those people they made me live with, were just like that.
While I was waiting for Nick to get out of the meeting I checked my phone for messages and email. Nada. I couldn’t believe that Adam wouldn’t even send me an email. I mean, what really happened, or was it just that he never loved me to begin with? Now that my phone was charged I thought about trying to call him again, but decided that it was too embarrassing. If he wanted to explain, he was going to have to call me.
About an hour later Nick came back looking relieved to have finished with it. He put his arm around my shoulder and said, “Sorry about Harman. I saw you get a look on your face and I tried to get him outta here as fast as possible.”
I had an urge to just lay my head against his chest, but I decided that it might be a little strange. It’s embarrassing to have people know what happened to me when I was a kid and as far as I know it’s mostly only my family that knows, but there are some people at my dad’s office who also know. Connie and a few others were there for all of it. And I really didn’t know how much Nick knew, so I thought I’d just wait and see if he mentioned it.
I said, “It’s just that he’s kinda pushy and I’ve never had anything like that happen before. You know, somebody trying to get at my dad through me. How’d your meeting go?”
He looked around the room like people might be listening. “C’mon, I’ll tell you in the car.” He sighed. “I’d like to run back to the house first and get outta this monkey suit.”
Fifteen minutes later we were hitting the on ramp to the freeway, Nick was driving because I didn’t know where anything was.
“There were twelve guys in the meeting and about four or five were in Harman’s pocket. He effectively said to me that if we didn’t go along with him that they would all walk out, but I could see that he wasn’t really speaking for everybody, although it didn’t really matter.”
I said, “So how’d you get em to stay?”
“I told em that if they wanted to go, then to by all means do it. That inside of an hour I’d have a private jet lifting off from Denver filled with their replacements from First Colorado Corp. And that the bank would probably be a better place for it. I could see it in their eyes, nobody wanted that.”
“This is really all about Harman, and I’m beginning to wonder if he’s done something seriously illegal. I’m gonna suggest your dad send in a team of accountants to just go over everything he’s ever done. Two-thirds of the people in that room had no intention of going anywhere and I’ve talked to a lot of the middle management and they’re thrilled with the takeover.”
I said, “Well, why did the top guys agree to the takeover to begin with, if that’s the way they feel?”
He laughed. “They didn’t have a choice. The feds came to them and told em what was going to happen. Banking is heavily regulated by the feds, well, in a way.” He lifted an eyebrow and nodded. “But it’s a very good business, if you know what you’re doing.”
He said, “Of course, part of this is because I was about twenty years younger than the next youngest guy in the room. I understand that. Next week Henry Casteel will be coming in and they’ll like him better.”
“Casteel? You never met him?”
“I don’t think so.”
He laughed. “You’d remember if you had. He lives in Boston and he works for your dad. He was a very successful businessman, for really his whole life, but then, maybe fifteen years ago, he lost almost all of it. Your dad met him when your dad was investing in some medical products company out east and hired him to represent your dad on corporate boards. Besides knowing everything about business, he really looks the part. I mean, really! If you called central casting for the perfect actor to play the chairman of the board you’d wind up with Henry. Actually most people think he owns all that stock because he’s on so many boards, but whenever you see Henry, he’s representing your dad.” He laughed. “And Henry has a very devious mind. It’ll be interesting.”
“I usually go in first in these situations, and to be fair, the people I’m often dealing with have just gone through one of the worst periods of their lives. And then this young guy, me, comes in and starts asking them a lot of tough questions they don’t feel like answering. It’s not something I particularly enjoy, but it’s my job, I need to know the truth. So after a few weeks of that, they’re usually thrilled to see Henry. He totally manipulates them, but he’s so fucking charming and smooth that they don’t usually see it that way.”
I asked, “Did you ever find out what happened to the president of the bank?” I really liked the sound of his voice, it had a resonant quality to that seemed very soothing to me.
Nick laughed. “Your dad told you that? It was hookers. There was a bond house in Florida that set the guy up with hookers. Basically they wanted him to buy a lot of crap bonds, which he did, with the banks money. They used hookers to get him. Harman and the other board members thought if that got out it would ruin the bank. And, of course, it sure wouldn’t have helped, but they should have at least told us.”
When we had parked the car in the driveway Nick said, “I’m just getting out of this suit and putting on some jeans. You gonna come in or do you want to wait here?”
“I gotta pee anyway.”
When I came out of the bedroom Nick was standing down the hallway in front of a mirror and had just pulled his jeans up and was fastening the top button. I didn’t really see anything and yet in a way I did. Just watching that dark blue denim form its way around his hard ass, and to seeing his cock and balls settling into the soft fabric made my breathing stop. He was still wearing the white dress shirt that he’d had on with his suit, but he had opened the top two buttons.
He looked at me and grinned. “How’d the peeing turn out?”
I laughed. “It was okay.”
By the door Nick pulled a leather jacket out of the closet and then put on a blue baseball cap and we took off.
Back on the freeway I asked him, “Where are we headed to?”
“Well, I was hoping to get you to help me buy some stuff for my house.”
For a moment I thought he meant my granddads house and I gestured backwards with my thumb. “You mean…..?”
“Oh, no, I mean in Denver. I’ve only had the place for a month or so and I need everything. The thing is that I never get a chance to go shopping, but here, when it’s cold like this, there’s not much else to do, but shop.”
“Whadya mean by everything? I mean you must have like, furniture.”
He laughed. “Some. I’ve got bedroom furniture. Well, for the master bedroom anyway, and I’ve got a leather sofa and chair. Oh and a coffee table. The thing is that I’ve got almost nothing in the kitchen. You know, pots and pans? When I was in Washington I had a little condo and when I sold it, the guy who bought it was with the Polish embassy who had just been transferred here and he wanted to buy the place furnished with everything. So I did it. Anyway, I wasn’t really thrilled with the idea of moving all that stuff across the country, so it worked out. But now I can’t even boil an egg.”
“The mall we’re going to has a Williams-Sonoma store and a Restoration Hardware. I was talking to Connie yesterday and she said that if I was determined to do this, both of them would ship the stuff right to Denver. So that’s where were goin, if you’re okay with that.”
I laughed. “Shopping? Hey I’m gay! I love shopping!” Actually that wasn’t as true as I hoped it sounded, but the thing was that I really, really, wanted to do this. It seemed really important to be helping Nick.
“Okay, so tell me what kind of a house you’ve got. Is it a house or a condo or what?”
“It’s a townhouse, but big, three bedrooms, living room, dining room, family room, office…like that. It’s really nice. I bought it from a professor at the University of Colorado in Denver. Great kitchen, all the latest stuff. I’m pretty close to the office there too.”
He sighed “In Washington, I dunno, it’s like I knew I wasn’t gonna stay there, so the little condo was okay, but I wanted more in Denver.” He turned his head slightly and grinned at me. “I guess I figured, it’s time to settle down.”
The Restoration Hardware store wasn’t really part of the mall, but was built out in the parking lot so we went there first. The parking lot was full of Christmas shoppers, but they mostly seemed to be headed into the mall proper.
When we got to the front door of the store Nick said, “You know anything about furniture?”
I laughed and rolled my eyes. “You’re kidding right? I know how to use it, that’s about it.”
He grinned. “Hey, that’s okay. We’ll fuck this up together. Connie said that if I was doing this in Denver there’d be a bunch of people she could hook me up with, but I figure that if two gay guys can’t buy furniture for a couple of rooms then something’s the matter with’em.”
That seemed right and I nodded. “Of course we can do it.”
Despite everyone seeming to be headed for the mall, the Restoration Hardware store was packed. Once we got inside we could barely move, but then we saw a sign that said there was a second floor and we pushed our way through to the escalator.
It was a lot quieter on the second floor and I guess we were both standing there looking like idiots because eventually an older woman with gray hair came over to us and asked if she could help us.
Nick said, “I need a lot of furniture and I have absolutely no idea of what I’m doing. Can you help?”
As it turned out she could help and she led us over to a quiet corner of the store where her desk was. She got us seated and said, “Exactly what rooms are you trying to furnish?”
Nick said, “Ahh, let’s see, two bedrooms, a living room, a dining room, an office, a kitchen and part of a family room.” I wasn’t listening. When Nick sat down his dick and balls got pushed out against the fabric of his jeans and that image seemed to burn my brain.
I forced my attention back to the sales lady. The woman’s eyes got bright and she said softly, “Well then, we’d better get started. Would it be possible for me to go and see the home?”
Nick shook his head. “It’s in Denver. The thing is that I never get a chance to shop so I need to buy this and have you deliver it to Denver. Is that something you can do?”
She smiled. “Of course, but it would help if I had some idea of what the space looked like.”
“Oh, wait a minute. I got pictures on my phone, would that help?”
“It’d be perfect! Do you have your phone?”
Nick shook his head, then nodded and said, “Yes. Yes, of course. Sorry, I’m an idiot.” He pulled his phone out and started going through it.
“Okay, the pictures start here.” He handed her the phone and said, “Just use those buttons to go forward and back.”
She went through the phone for a few minutes and then said, “This is a large space, you’re looking at quite a bit of money. Are you sure you wouldn’t rather have a Denver based designer come out and look at it.”
He shook his head. “I don’t have time. You don’t think you could do it?”
She nodded her head and smiled. “Oh I can do it. I just want you to be aware of your options.” She stood up. “Let’s start with the living room and I’ll show you what I think would look good.”
It took three hours, and that was only because we rushed through it, and Nick just started agreeing with everything the lady suggested. Almost everything had to be specially ordered because the lady kept giving us all these suggestions about different fabrics and colors. But I also noticed that when I said that I liked something, Nick bought it.
Finally the lady took all of the papers and went some place and came back with a very long bill. Nick took a look at it and just shook his head.
The lady looked worried and said, “Are sure you’re able to….?”
He grinned and said, “Oh yeah. It’s just that I never thought I’d spend that much for anything other than a car or a house.
She said, “Look, it’s not, too late to…”
Nick shook his head. “It’s okay. I really did budget for it.” He looked at me. “Connie’s guess was within $1500 of the total. Damn that woman’s good!”
I grinned at him. “That’s what my dad says too.”
After that we went over to Williams-Sonoma and Nick really seemed to enjoy spending that money. He bought pots and pans and dishes and food processors and on and on. I guess that I had never really considered what it took to cook stuff.
He looked around the store and said, “I love this place. I love cooking too. I love being in the kitchen and planning this crap and watching stuff cook and sipping a glass of wine and smelling all the warm sweet smells of a kitchen.” He stared at me for a second and seemed to start to say something else, but then he stopped.
Finally he put his hands out and rubbed my arms. “How about you, Chris? How are you doing today?”
I didn’t really have to think about it. “I’m good. I feel better.”