dontravis.com blog post #535
Tod’s a goner, isn’t he? Head over heels in love with the dreamiest fellow he’s ever laid eyes on. So how’s he going to handle it? Or is it even something he can handle? Read on and find out.
Baud proved to be such a great guy to work with that I almost regretted having carnal designs on him. Almost. He didn’t put up with slacking or carelessness on the job, but that didn’t matter. I was so anxious to please this guy I earned compliments most of the time. It wasn’t long before he made me feel like a buddy… a special pal.
We didn’t socialize, like run around together, but I got an occasional invitation to stay afterward and sit on the porch with a glass of tea or a soda. I wouldn’t have minded one of the beers he kept in the fridge, but he didn’t offer, and I didn’t ask. When he discovered I played chess, our socializing expanded a bit. I went over most Saturday mornings, not to work, but to play chess. Then we started tossing the football around or trying to burn one another’s hands off by hard throwing a baseball. Yeah, I was a special bud. I’d made it to that stage, but hadn’t figured out how to take it to the next.
Then one Saturday morning, he cut our time together short.
“Gonna have to quit early,” he said. “Myra’s coming over to cook me a dinner.”
My heart plunged.
He leaned in and winked at me. “You know how it is, you gotta pay them some attention or the whole neighborhood talks.”
My heart came right back up again, and I beamed. “I know.”
“You have a steady girl?” he asked.
Time to show him I wasn’t a kid. “Naw. Love ’em and leave ’em, that’s me.”
“That’s the spirit,” he said with a grin. “I better head off to the shower now.”
Gee, I needed a shower too. Wonder if he’d let me use his… at the same time he was in it? My britches filled out a little in the front at that thought.
I peddled home assessing the situation. He remembered my name from the first time I’d met him. Who does that? Someone who’s interested in remembering, that’s who.
He came to me to offer a job, I didn’t go to him. And at the same time, he’d called me a man. Great.
As my employer, he paid very well. Maybe a tad too well, like he really wanted me to hang around.
We sought one another’s company after work and on Saturday mornings. He was older’n me, and could have bummed around with somebody his own age, but no—he picked me.
He was not only a great guy, but he was touchy-feely too. He was always laying a hand on my shoulder, and boy, did that feel good. Got so I did the same thing. When I walked over to ask him a question, I’d put my hand on his shoulder. And he didn’t shrug it off.
And after the weather warned a bit, I’d asked him if he minded if I shucked my shirt to work, he’d said that was a good idea and stripped his off, just about causing me to swoon. I really liked putting my hand on his shoulder and touching naked flesh.
Not only that, but when he’d been explaining something to me about the job—we were working in the dining room now—he’d laid his arm across my shoulders. My knees sagged a little at his touch, but I recovered. Of course, he removed it after a minute, but it was long enough to make my britches bloom. And I’m pretty sure he saw my condition before I turned away.
Damnation! Why did I turn away? That had been my opportunity, and I’d blown it. The word “blown” just about caused me to pedal off into a ditch, but I recovered at the last minute. I made it home without disaster striking, and hopped into the shower. The mental image of Baude in his shower, soaping up and enjoying the feel of water sluicing off his naked flesh put me back in a condition. One I took care of with those delicious mind pictures playing before my eyes. I groaned so loud at the end I was afraid Mom heard me from the kitchen. As I was gasping and recovering from my efforts, I resolved to bring things to a head the next time I saw Baud. Crap, that wouldn’t be until Monday. Wonder if he’d mind if I came over Sunday afternoon.
Naw. We were buds. He wouldn’t mind that. That’s what I’d do after church… and ruin all the preacher’s good works of the morning. I snickered at the thought.
Sticking to my determination, I grabbed the bike and pedaled over to Baud’s, rehearsing how I was going to approach things.
Hey man, you’re sexy as hell, and I get a hard-on every time I see you. I’m tired of jerking off in the shower. How about we get it on.
Naw. Too crude. Needed to be suave… you know, like a man.
Hey, guy, you get my pheromones in an uproar. Let’s go upstairs to the bedroom.
Well, the “pheromone” part was sophisticated enough, but it still wasn’t right.
And so it went until I arrived at his house, still without the right approach. Have to play it by ear. Maybe he’d give me an opening… or proposition me!
He took a long time answering the door, and when he did, he about bowled me over. All he had on were his trousers. His hair, tousled, bare chested, barefooted. The sexiest I’d ever seen him. Even the bare feet.
He ran a hand through his hair. Wow! Talk about manly. “Hi, Tod, what’s up.”
I played it cool. “Wasn’t doing anything, so thought I’d come over to play a game of chess… or something.” I kinda bore down on the “… or something.” Would that be enough?
He kinda glanced behind him for a second. “Sorry, guy. I’m otherwise occupied.”
Then I heard the last thing I wanted to hear. A voice calling from upstairs. A female voice. Pretty sure it was Elena Garcia’s voice. “Who is it, Baud?”
He turned and yelled. “Friend of mine. I’ll be up in a minute.” He faced me again and smiled. “Sorry about that. Maybe we can get in a game after we finish work tomorrow.”
I don’t know what my expression was at the moment, but I’d probably let my feelings show. At the very least, I blushed. “Sure. Shoulda called first. Sorry.”
That bicycle ride back to the house was the longest ride I’d ever made. For some reason, my legs were so exhausted I had trouble pedaling.
I seriously considered not going to work the next morning. Don’t know if I was more disappointed or more embarrassed. But there was plenty of both, I can tell you. In the end, I rode over, and the ride was sure shorter than the one home yesterday. I got there before I wanted.
Baud walked out of the house as I came up the steps and tossed me a Coke. “Let’s talk.” He planted his fascinating butt on the top step. I flopped beside him. He took a drink of his own soda—he preferred Dr. Pepper—and set the bottle on the steps between his legs. He acted uncertain for a minute. Was he going to fire me? Tell me to buzz off?
“Tod with one d,” he started in a halfway joking way. “I think I misled you.” He faced me and speared me with those tiger’s eyes. “Do you know why I hired you?”
I swallowed hard. “Uh-uh.”
“To explain, I have to tell you a story. I grew up in a house with my mother and father and my brother. My younger brother. His name was Steven. I was five years old when he was born, and I resented the hell out of him. It was a drag having him around. As a baby, when he cried, he got all the attention. When he was up and walking, he followed me everywhere. Pissed me to no end. “
Baud stretched his legs and let them dangle down the steps. “But you know what? When I was thirteen, I came down with the measles. A bad case of them. My mom told him to stay away from me or else he’d catch them too. But every night, he’d sneak into my room and crawl up in bed with me. When Mom or Dad caught him, they’d scold him. You know what he said?”
I shook my head.
“I’d rather have the measles than stay away from Baudy. That was his name for me. Can you imagine that? Well, he got them all right, in spades. After that, he had a brother, not a brat who always tried to shoo him off. We got close. Real close. Like brothers oughta be.”
“What happened?” I asked.
He looked at me with a strange look in his eyes. “He died when I was eighteen. Went on a hike with some friends. They were climbing a bluff when part of it gave away. He didn’t fall all that far, but he hit a rock at the base of the cliff… and died.”
“Geez, I’m sorry, Baud.”
“I decided to stay in La Rosa the moment I saw you standing at the side of the Bentley the day I first arrived. I saw Stevie. Or someone who resembled him enough to let me pretend it was him.”
I swallowed hard, gulped aloud, probably.
“And when we started working together, the bond became stronger. You’re a good guy, Tod, just like he was. You’re pleasant and likeable and handsome. Just like Stevie. So I took a great deal of pleasure in your company and started treating you like I treated my brother. And… and….” He fell silent and studied the half-empty coke bottle between his legs. “And I misled you. Made you think my interest was something else.”
“I’m… I’m sorry.” I screwed up the courage to ask, “How…how’d you know.”
“Man, it was written all over your face when Elena called out. Not your fault. Mine. I saw it happening but didn’t know how to stop it without just cutting you loose, and I didn’t wanta do that.” He shrugged before taking a slug of his drink. “I shoulda just had this talk with you so you’d understand. Sorry.”
He slapped a leg and looked at me. “So are we all right now?”
“Yeah, all right,” I lied.
Well, maybe I hadn’t actually lied. I’d always wanted an older brother.
C’est la vie! Or as they say around here, ¡Por así es la vida! How about it? Can Tod with one d accept Baud as a brother rather than a lover? My personal opinion is that his shower is going to continue to get some action until he finds someone of his own.
Now my mantra: Keep on reading and keep on writing. You have something to say… so say it!