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    Elite Member GoinLong's Avatar
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    Lessons

    I'm posting chapter 1 for CMM of an erotic novel I've written. Feedback will be, lets just say, interesting.

    Lessons - Chapter 1: Josie

    “Lessons are the paving stones of our path through life.”

    The day was sunny and warm but not yet humid. Just an all-around nice spring day in late April. It was Friday about 2 pm and I was rolling up I-95 north of Baltimore to a ritzy little town called Bel Air. I looked at my MMF. (‘MMF’ was what I called my company cell phone, slash, blackberry, slash, 10 mega pixel digital camera, slash, GPS device and so on.) I had seen them at the contractor show in Vegas and talked the boss into getting me and him the deluxe models and the rest of the project managers the basic version. They were awesome. It said to take state route 924 off the interstate and head west.

    So with the windows down in the big old white box truck and the radio playing rock and roll, I headed west to meet with Sonny, my friend and boss and owner of Sunnyside Custom Builders, and my next clients. The clients were a piece of work, I had been forewarned, A former major leaguer, and current Baltimore Orioles Coach, Mr. Rusty Caitlin and his wife, who was from all reports, a raging bitch. Great, I always got the winners. I followed the MMF (Oh, MMF stands for Magic Mother Fucker if you hadn’t guessed already) down and around a couple of side streets and found myself in a very high end neighborhood with mansions and ‘want-to-be castles’, the norm.

    Up and down one rolling hill after another, I was seeing some impressive spreads out there. I was getting close because the MMF was counting down in point/miles and the addresses were approaching the target number. I saw Sonny’s White Hummer at the bottom of the next hill. He was standing next to it talking on the phone while smoking a cigarette. I had plenty of time to look to my right, as I headed down the hill I could see just this huge stone Mansion with a vast green lawn out in front. There was, however a 10 foot high stone wall that ran next to road and stretched, at least, on up to the top of the next hill. The wall effectively blocked the view of the property as the road neared the bottom and started to level out. Where Sonny was parked there were two large square pillars about 30 feet apart and roughly 18 or so feet high with an archway between them. I pulled up behind Sonny and jumped out.

    “Hey boss, 10 minutes to spare.”

    He nodded acknowledgement that I was there and put up a single finger indicating he would be one second or so on the phone.

    So I took a moment to look through the big iron gate that stretched between the pillars and took in the view. Sonny wrapped up his call and came over to me and joined me in silence as we took in the house and perfectly manicure grounds.

    “Damn,” I said in mock awe, “I didn’t think he was that good.”

    “Me neither,” Sonny agreed, “Maybe he had a good agent.”

    “Or good investment dude.” I added.

    “Or both.” Sonny pondered further.

    I looked at the two entry security cameras, one for the passenger and one for the driver, and the video screen with card access system below it. Then I looked up at the top of the wall, pointed iron spikes about every foot or so with a security camera, in a 360 degree swivel mounted weather proof case every 50 yards or so. Damn, I’d seen the entrances to Embassy compounds down in DC that were less impressive.

    “I see this guy takes his security seriously.”

    “Josh,”Sonny was giving me a warning, “This guy takes everything seriously.” Lovely!

    Sonny announced us at the video screen and after a few seconds the iron gate began rolling to the right and disappearing into the column and wall. I rolled my truck through the archway, with more clearance than I expected, and followed Sonny down the driveway. The driveway was almost 40 feet across, enough room that if there were a row of cars parked on it there would still be enough room for two way traffic, and there were posh flower beds on either side all with colorful spring flowers sprouting up in organized clumps. The path continued down to a drive around circle with a fountain in the middle that was directly in front of the covered main entry, then it continued on around the right side of the house to the rear where there were 3 garage entry doors on the rear of the house, to our left and 2 more garage doors in an adjacent building directly in front of us, which I would soon learn was the back half of the pool house building.

    We pulled over to the side and I watched Sonny get out and cart out a couple of large binders, which I knew contained his copy and the customer’s copy of the contract along with the engineering details and product specs, job schedule and the like. Then he brought out 2 rolled up copies of the blueprints. One was the original approved and signed copy that had to remain on the jobsite, under lock and key, and the other was the customer copy. I also had 2 binders, and 2 rolls of blueprints. 1 of mine was the ‘working copy’ that was mine to work off of and mark up etc., and the other was the set that I would divide up amongst the sub-contractors and the various company employees that would actually be doing the work. We carted our wares back up the driveway and around to the front entry. I dare say we looked official all loaded down with all our documents.

    We didn’t have to knock as Rusty was waiting for us. I had seen him play, but in person he looked a lot bigger. I was 6 ft. 5 and around 260, not a small man by any measure, plus I lifted weights regularly and felt that I was in pretty good shape, but Rusty was a little taller, maybe an inch or so and at least 30 pounds heavier, most of that weight in his arms and chest. I remembered he had been with the Orioles for 13 of his 15 years, playing outfield, some first base and occasionally DH. He had been an all-star a couple times, but never really threatened Cooperstown. As he wound down his career I think he went to Toronto or Boston where he pinch hit and rode the bench. A decent career, and now that he was Baltimore’s strength coach he looked like he was in phenomenal shape. I smiled to myself, I bet they don’t check coaches for steroids. Rusty had a reputation for being a hot head and for loving the ladies, neither quality led me to the conclusion that he would end up living on a huge estate in an upscale neighborhood. My inner genius told me that the close cut patch of bright red hair, now showing a touch of gray, he sported under his cap, may have led to his nickname. Duh!

    At least he seemed friendly; he stuck out his hand and grabbed Sonny’s.

    “Hey, Sonny, we’re finally getting this show on the road.” He punctuated the greeting with a pronounced up and down shake.

    Sonny turned my way and introduced me, “Rusty, this is Josh Miller, he will be your on-site project manager, and I dare say; one of the best, if not ‘the best’ in the business.”

    I kind of half laughed and half scoffed, Geeze,” thanks boss.” As I shook Rusty’s large hand, I looked directly into his steel gray eyes and said “He’s never said anything that nice about me before, I guess I don’t have any choice but to do a good job here.”

    Rusty smiled. “Good to meet you, call me Rusty.”

    I replied “Rusty, it’s an honor to meet one of the Baltimore area’s sports legends.” I was being overly admiring but usually it worked out okay, especially on the first meeting.

    A woman’s voice shouted down from upstairs.

    “Are those god damned contractors here yet?”

    Rusty turned to us with an ‘I’m sorry’ expression on his face and looked up at the top of the stairs and to the balcony overlooking the entryway, towards the voice that was still hidden out of our view he half shouted; “Um, yes honey, the god damned contractors are right here.”

    Sonny and I were looking at each other and smiling. She appeared at the end of the balcony from what I took as the bedroom area. She walked deliberately across the balcony all the while glaring down at Rusty. As she started down the steps I found myself almost staring because even though she was wearing a conservative business suit, she was a very attractive woman. I’m guessing she was about 5 ft. 10 or 11, hard to tell exactly since she was wearing heels. Her brown hair was pulled back and up into a bun and her tan was very, um, I guess for a lack of a better word, ‘expensive’. Her face was just beautiful and highlighted by her deep green eyes. I got a strong sense that I had seen her before, but since I didn’t really travel in their circles, I let the thought drift off. She could have been enough to melt any man’s heart but the expression on her face sent shivers down my spine, I swear as she got closer the temperature dropped about 10 degrees, maybe more.

    “You could have let me know that.” She snarled at Rusty.

    He stammered and mumbled, “You were in the, um,...”and he let it drift off because she shot him a warning glance “You were busy, I guess.” He tried to save the moment but failed.

    “Honey this is Mr. Sorenson and Mr. Miller, gentlemen, I present my wife Veronica.”
    
    Sonny stuck out his hand, “Just ‘Sonny’ is fine.” and he shook her hand gently.

    I extended my hand as well, “You can call me ‘Josh’.” I said with a smile. Her hand felt cold when we shook, then I found out why.

    “You may call me ‘Mrs. Caitlin’ if it’s ever necessary.” She turned to her husband “I don’t know why you always want to be on a first name basis with the hired help.” She shook her head as if there was no hope for him.

    Sonny nodded at me, “Josh here, um, Mr. Miller, will be running your project so we are here to go over some of the details and the time line as well as getting the contract signed and answering any questions you might have.”

    Mrs. Caitlin, or as she would soon be dubbed ‘the Ice Queen’, snapped around at her husband. “I thought you said the main guy was going to oversee our project personally. Uh, to me that would be the owner, not one of his flunkies.”Oh boy was this gonna just be a big ol’ barrel of fun, not even 30 seconds into the meeting and she already insulted me.

    Sonny spoke right up. “Ma’am, Josh is my vice-president of operations and is generally considered the best project manager on the east coast. He alone, has won more awards for quality and customer satisfaction for our company than any other company has won as a whole. He has been with me for over 7 years, and most of all he is a good friend. I assure you he is a step or two above a ‘flunky’, I mean he’s at the very least a ‘lackey’, but all in all, I think he’s settled into the role of ‘minion’.”

    Sonny was smiling. There was something very likable about him. He had blue gray eyes that were very warn, kind of trustworthy, his wavy hair was all white and he was a little portly with round cheeks. We joked sometimes that he reminded us of ‘Papa Smurf’. Sonny also had, as he just demonstrated, a great ability to avoid conflict while getting his point across. I had learned a lot from him over the years. His remark had loosened the tension and everyone seemed to relax a little.

    I tried to sound official, “First we will start outside with the excavation and foundation work. Then we move to the exterior tear out. I’ll keep the inconveniences to a minimum but once we break through, I’ll have to shut down the kitchen area for a couple of weeks until we get the new products up and running.” I thought I was off to a great start. The Ice Queen interrupted and proved that thought wrong.

    “No,” she looked at her husband and then over at Sonny like I wasn’t there, “Your designer promised me there would be no interruption of service, at all. He said I could use the kitchen at any time, even all throughout the remodel. He said you guys were the best at that and the only company that could do it. That’s the only reason I agreed to let Rusty do this.”

    I looked at Sonny, probably with my mouth open. The look I got back kind of told me that Sonny had not read through the whole contract either. Ted, our hotshot designer-slash-salesman would promise the clients anything and almost always did. I had bitched about it to Sonny and suggested, hell, even insisted that Ted be made to come on the job site for a week or so and see what kind of hell he put us through. Sonny always replied that he would do that if I would spend a week on sales calls to see what Ted had to go through in order to sell the job. I wasn’t quite willing to go yet, but I was getting close. During my last trip to the office, earlier in the week, after I picked up the contract and plans for the Caitlin job, I asked Ted if there was anything I should be on the lookout for and he just smiled and told me that I would love the Misses.

    Sonny looked helplessly at me, like I was supposed to fix it, usually I always did. I looked at the Ice Queen and took a deep breath. “You know, Ted was right. I’ll make sure you have your kitchen every evening and on the weekends. If something comes up and you need the kitchen for anything during work hours I just ask you give me a day’s notice and it’s all yours.”

    “Well, if it’s going to be available every evening, why do I need to give you a day’s notice?” Came the frosty reply.

    “So I can send the guys that would have been scheduled to work here somewhere else so they don’t lose a day of work.” That seemed to be a reasonable request to her.

    “Okay, but what if something comes up in the morning and I need the kitchen for lunch? That happens once in a while in my business.”

    Great, think quickly. “Well, if you give me a call, I’ll do everything I can to get it ready for you. If it just can’t be done, then I’ll call the office and we’ll put a caterer at your disposal.” I put out my hands pleading, “That’s the best I can do.”

    She nodded, thank god. “I guess that’s okay. But you said it would be dusty, is everything going to be cleaned every day?”

    “Oh, absolutely, plus at the end of the job we have a cleaning service that details the whole job, inside and out.” I wrapped that up nicely, now I had tof igure out how to do it.

    I looked over at Sonny, “If want to go over the contract and payment details, I got some measuring to do in the kitchen, so I can order the dust and protective, um, uh, special items, that we will need to make happen what I just promised.”

    Sonny nodded and we all headed to the end of the entry hall and into the kitchen. Sonny took the Caitlins over to the table and he rolled out all the paperwork. Then I got the MMF, as long as there was a reference in a photo, i.e.; a tape measure, then the MMF, when hooked to my laptop, would automatically give me any measurement in the photo if I pointed and clicked on it. I took about 4 shots of different angles, sitting the MMF on the opposite side of the room and using the remote I had in my pocket. When I was finished, I was just collecting the MMF, when I heard the front door open. From where I was in the kitchen I was the only one who could see the front door down and at the other end of the hall. I watched as a young woman came in from around the door.

    She was tall, 5 foot 11, maybe 6 foot, and slender but not skinny, more of an athletic build, and wearing what looked to me to be a soccer uniform. A pair of cleats was draped over her shoulder, one in front and one in back, while she was toting an athletic bag on the other shoulder. I found myself staring at her long golden tanned legs, my eyes lingering as she turned. I looked up at her stunning face. She had those blue eyes that were so bright they looked like they had back lighting, and her shoulder length sandy blond hair was pulled back, but not in a pony tail, it looked like she had about a 3 inch wide hair clip that allowed her hair to spread out a little in the back but wouldn’t stray into her eyes. Suddenly I realized that those dreamy looking eyes were looking right at me. Oh crap, I was busted checking her out! I immediately averted my gaze, but she was smiling with that ‘you’re so busted’ look. I just stood there like I had been struck by lightning, she was the most beautiful creature I had ever laid eyes on.

    “Mom?, Dad?” Like a songbird’s melody, her voice traveled past me into the kitchen.

    Rusty came out from behind me, “Hey honey, I didn’t hear you come in the front gate.”

    She shrugged, “It was open.”

    Rusty looked at me with an alarmed guilty look, I guess he didn’t close the gate behind us.

    The Ice Queen appeared just to the left and a little behind me. “Why are you home so early?” It sounded more like an accusation than a question.

    “They canceled our game. The other team’s bus broke down and they were over an hour late, so the girls’ game gets canceled, but the boys’ lacrosse team got to play theirs, it’s not fair.” She was obviously disgusted with the injustice of the situation. Silly me, it was a lacrosse uniform, not soccer.

    Rusty caught himself not being a good host, “Oh, Jocelyn, this is Mr. Sorenson and Mr. Miller, gentlemen, this is our daughter Jocelyn.” I stuck out my hand and politely shook hers. As my hand came in contact with her skin I got this weird warm feeling that gave me goose bumps. Again, coming to my senses I said, “Call me Josh.” Sonny shook her hand delicately and just said simply, “Sonny.”

    Jocelyn smiled, I could feel my heart melt and drip down inside my chest, I was getting dizzy, getting lightheaded. I was desperately thinking I needed to do something, say something witty. Honestly I think in retrospect, I panicked, but it was an honest screw up. I looked at Rusty and gave my best smile,
    “Well, they say that a beautiful daughter is punishment for being a naughty boy when you were a younger man, from the looks of it you were extremely naughty.”

    The last part of ‘naughty’ kind of trailed out of my mouth because right then, as I saw the look that the Ice Queen shot at Rusty, that ‘death stare-ice dagger’ look, that I realized where I had seen her before. About 10 years back there was an ‘incident’ involving Rusty, and a few other big leaguers, as I recall. An issue of Playboy came out with some little blond bimbo exhibiting her wares, only there were about 7 or 8 candid pictures of her hugging and smooching some baseball player's. The players all said that she was just a fan and they were merely publicity shots, but the pictures all looked like the girl and the players had been getting a little freaky with each other. Of course in her interview she shamelessly boasted that she was banging all of them, but that wasn’t the best part. It turns out that after the magazine hit the stands, the girl’s parents wigged out when they realized their 16 year old was the centerfold. I guess the little wench swiped her older sister’s ID and manager to fool the editors. Still to this date it is the only Playboy to be recalled and of course instantly became a classic collector’s edition.

    Getting back to Rusty, after the shit hit the fan, in the fallout there was an investigation of all the players involved. The authorities declined to press any charges, the obvious reason being a built in defense. If the girl lied to Playboy, then all the players would say she lied to them. There were a couple of civil suits filed by her family, however, and Rusty was one of them. The Orioles’ PR team started the spin doctoring and held a new conference explaining that even though they blamed the girl for tarnishing their player’s reputation by getting him drunk and taking advantage of him when he was at a vulnerable time in his life, they were settling out of court an undisclosed amount in order to ‘put the matter behind them’. Rusty sat there and sheepishly explained that he was sorry to let down his fans and his family and would re-dedicate himself to improving his relationships. I saw the press conference on ESPN and there next to him was the Ice Queen with her ‘death stare’ aimed right at Rusty. Since nothing had ever surfaced involving Rusty and other women, I assumed he either decided to keep his dragon in his pants or found higher quality bimbos, meaning ones who could keep their traps shut. From the look on the Ice Queen’s face there in the entry hall, it was apparent that she believed the latter.

    I looked around, the Ice Queen was staring at Rusty, Rusty was staring at the floor, Sonny was staring straight up at the ceiling and Jocelyn was looking at me with a spoof face that said ‘I can’t believe you said that, you doofus’. She did break the silence, however, “Just call me Josie, Jocelyn is too formal.”

    That was too much for the Ice Queen, since she was already sporting an ugly mood, what came next was no doubt, not going to be pleasant.

    “They will address you as ‘Miss Caitlin’, not that there should ever be any reason to address you at all, since you will not ever be here when any of these lowlifes are working here.”

    Josie looked disgusted, “But Mom.” She started to protest.

    The Ice Queen cut her off, “No, that’s final. Then she looked at me and Sonny, “She is not allowed here when there are workers in the house, I hope we are all clear on that.”

    Josie looked at me with an expression of ‘can you believe what I have to put up with’, and my silence response on my face said ‘Damn, I feel for you’. And with that Josie turned and headed up the stairs.

    Things quickly broke up, Rusty had a game to get to and Sonny and I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. I know I tried to apologize, but I also know I wasn’t very successful. Rusty had an off day on Monday, so I would be going over the security access and the location for the trailers and all that, first thing in the morning.

    Sonny and I walked in silence out to our trucks. He looked over at me and asked if I wanted a drink, I just nodded. Sonny lived up by the Pennsylvania state line somewhere, I think near a town called Black Horse, I had been there once, it was more of a farm than a house with a big barn and lots of land. Anyway, near the Interstate inside a strip mall that Sonny stopped at every night on the way home, was a little place called simply The Local Tavern. We had met here at least a hundred times over the years and they knew us well, Sonny more so than me since he was an every night regular. I had a 40 minute or so drive south to Columbia where my house was so the Tavern was not on my route home every day, but I managed to make it in a couple of times a week or so.

    One of the bartenders was a wild child, a sweet thing by the name of Anna. Around 30 or so, she was an attractive blond, and if we stayed late enough and the crowd started to thin, she would do some shots with me and Sonny and start bragging about her boob job, and after enough begging and, of course, excessive tipping, she would pull her top up and allow us a moment or two to admire them. Always the highlight of our night and usually the signal that it was time to go home.

    “Hey guys!” Anna was always cheerful. “A little early for you,” as she slid a couple of bottles of Icehouse in front of us, “something to eat?”

    We got one of the happy hour specials, chicken fingers and fried shrimp. Sonny took a long sip off his beer and looked at me and just started laughing.
    “Nice going Ace, way to start things off on the right foot.”

    I hung my head. “Oh man, I can’t believe I said that. I was trying to be funny, I guess.”

    “Oh, it was funny alright.”

    “Yeah?” I said scoffing, “The Ice Queen didn’t seem to think so.”

    Sonny was laughing pretty hard now, “The Ice Queen? That’s so fuckin’ perfect. Did you see the look she gave him when you said that? Christ, it almost froze all the blood in my body.”

    “Oh dude,” I agreed, “I swear that woman made the whole room freeze.”

    We both snickered at the image of her. Then Sonny said “And did you see that sweet little cupcake? Oh my lord, what a heart breaker.”

    “Uh, yeah,” I didn’t want to go overboard with enthusiasm, but I didn’t want to play it off too much, lest I give away how much I was entranced by her. “That cupcake wasn’t exactly little.”

    Sonny shook his head. “Son, if you even look at that cupcake funny, hell, if you even look like you are going to look at that cupcake funny, The Ice Queen (He picked up on that fast) will turn you to solid ice with that stare of hers, if you’re lucky.”

    “Yep, of that, I have no doubts.” As I nodded in agreement.

    We went over some paperwork and payroll for the week and after many attempts and many shots, finally got Anna to flash her rack.
    As we were leaving she said, “Sometimes I think that’s all you guys come in here for.” We laughed and after we got out the door, Sonny said, “Duh, what does she think we come here for, the great food?”

    I just raised my eyes as if to agree that that was pretty much the only reason. There was one small thing I wanted to touch on before we left, “Sonny, I almost let this slide, with what happened in there and all, but you told the Ice Queen that I was a Vice President, is that a done deal?”

    “Oh, not quite,” Sonny put his hands in his pockets after setting the paperwork inside on the Hummer’s dashboard. Sonny’s dashboard was like all the rest of ours in construction, so crowded with papers it took massive reorganization to even get the defroster to work. “The corporate papers got filed this week and as soon as they come back I’ll have a meeting with you, Ted and Mary Ann, and we’ll go over all of it. Should be in a couple of weeks or so. I’ll let you know, anyway, have a good weekend, I’m sure everyone will have forgotten about today come Monday.”

    “You too boss, sorry again.” And off we went in our separate directions.

    It was late enough now, after 9 pm, that all the traffic had cleared and I had a smooth shot down I-95 to State Route 175, the exit I took to Columbia. The drive would have been well over an hour in rush hour, with the harbor tunnel and all, but now, with everything moving at speed, it only took about 35 minutes. I bought my home about 4 years ago, about 6 months after I divorced my ex-wife, who I will forever refer to as ‘The Greedy Whore’. I got it at an estate sale, almost 2 acres and an old beat up pile of junk that the old couple who finally passed away, called a house. No one wanted the place except a couple of developers who were going to have to go through hell to try to subdivide the property and build new homes on it. I had the low offer but since I said I was going to fix the place up, the children (of the old couple) decided they wanted me to have it. So for a little over 75 grand, I walked away with one hell of a steal, and one hell of a project. The house was barely visible from the street, set back into forest land with a gravel driveway maybe 500 feet long. I loved it, I had privacy, plenty of parking and a built in project to keep me busy. I eased the box truck down the gravel driveway, through the trees, and pulled up next to my jeep and in back of my bike, where the driveway ended right in front of the garage.

    I set all the paperwork on the kitchen table and the plans, poured a glass of wine and got out the company laptop. After using the bathroom and checking messages, there was one from Dave, reminding me I had pool practice time, scheduled with the team, tomorrow afternoon. I got The MMF out and plugged it into my company laptop and uploaded the pictures from the Caitlin’s kitchen. After hitting a few buttons I got all the dimensions I needed to put the order together for the protective shielding thing I was going to have to build in their kitchen. I placed the order on line, and it took only a few seconds to come back that it was confirmed and would ready for pick up on Monday morning. Life was good, I hit the delete all images on the MMF and I almost blew through the confirmation screen when I noticed it was asking me if I wanted to delete all 3950 images. I laughed, I only took 6 shots, what were the rest of?

    I started with the next picture, the scaling function was off and it was one of the wall in the kitchen and another and another with the next couple of the floor and then the other wall and so on. Oh crap, I must of hit the ‘auto’ function on the remote before I put it back into my pocket, which meant he MMF would take a picture every 5 seconds for as long as it had storage space. I found out a while back that it would go for almost 12 hours straight. Luckily I had stopped it after about 5 and a half hours when I uploaded the images onto the laptop. I clicked next and there was some more of the wall and then some of the hallway and then I stopped and tried to remember, was this when Jocelyn came home? I started getting sweaty palms and my heart was racing, did I accidentally get some shots of that adorable little slice of heaven? I pulled my hand back off the keyboard slowly and went to refill my wineglass.

    I sat back down and took a deep breath, I started clicking the next button and in a couple of frames, the door opened and a hand appeared. Then a face, and then she was standing there. I must have had the MMF pointed in front of me. I groaned inside my head as I turned here and there and she dropped out of the frame and then cheered when I turned back. I saw what must have been when I switched hands to shake her hand and then got to relive the painful memories of my stupid comment complete with a shot of her spoof face and then the annoyed look she had when the Ice Queen told her she couldn’t come home during working hours. Then the glance that she gave me in order to recruit my sympathy and I guess I walked forward and turned around because I had a couple shots of her heading up the stairs. Then there was a shot or 2 of Rusty and the Ice Queen with Sonny and finally some detailed shots of the floor as I clipped the MMF on belt. And, for the next 5 hours or so the MMF captured close ups of the Caitlin’s driveway and my truck seat and the bar’s parking lot and bar’s floor next to a bar stool and so on.

    Well, that was awesome. I went into my office/spare bedroom and got my personal laptop. I uploaded all the clear images of Josie. There were exactly 24 crystal clear, ultra hi-definition shots of her and I studied, centered and zoomed and cropped each one of them. I sat and shook my head at how beautiful she was, her smile, her captivating eyes, her long tan legs, especially on the last 2 shots as she went up the stairs. I could tell her ass was something special even with the loose fitting sports shorts on. I scrolled back, to the shot when she was about to shake my hand, the look in her eyes and her smile, that had to be my favorite. Finally; I had tortured myself enough and closed up the file, when the computer asked me to name it, I simply named it ‘Josie’.

    Enjoy!! - GL
    Last edited by GoinLong; 19th September 2018 at 23:06.
    Don't Drink And Post It Never Ends Well For The Post!!
    So Many Dreamy Models So Little Time To Post All Their Sets !!
    Apparently it's okay to love hate. Who knew?

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  3. #2
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    Re: Lessons

    "Lessons" Chapter 1 gets an "A".
    Good prose and style.
    It was longer than I expected it would be (that's what she said), but what else should I have expected from someone named "GoinLong".
    I should have known there would be a carpenter in the story.

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    Re: Lessons

    In Chapter 1, Josh fails to notice that Jocelyn is packing a Lacrosse stick: "Silly me, it was a lacrosse uniform, not soccer."
    Tell me there isn't a "Crying Game" scene in Chapter two before I continue.

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  7. #4
    Elite Member GoinLong's Avatar
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    Re: Lessons

    Chapter 2 - I Didn’t Care

    The weekend went by without much excitement. I worked on my house a little, I put the finishing touches on the tile work in the new master bath, and pool practice went well on Saturday. I shoot pool in a league and our team was doing well, I was the ‘go to’ guy on the team and had been playing ever since I was in the Army when there was nothing better to do. So now every Thursday night at 7 pm sharp, I could be found at any number of pool halls throughout the area, depending on whether it was an away match or a home match. For home matches we would be at the ‘Pool and Brew’ in Columbia. Briefly going into the setup of the league, there were 8 pool halls that supplied 4 teams per, and every 6 weeks there would be a ‘position round’, meaning that at that point in the standings, number 1 played number 2 and number 3 played number 4 and so on down the line. Then, after the last week of the regular season, when you played the final team that was part of the regular schedule and the last of the other 31 teams in the league, there was another position round, this time within your own division, to determine the division champions and the playoff teams. The 8 divisions were selected at random at the beginning of the season, the whole name in a hat process.

    So then, there would be a round of quarter finals, with the higher seeded team hosting it and then semi-finals and finally the league championships, where the league champs, runner-ups and third place finishes all qualified for the state sectional tournament. The top 3 teams in the sectionals went to state and the top 3 from state went to the National Regionals and the top four from the 8 regionals went to the nationals. We took second at state two years running and our team had made the National Regionals, last year coming in fifth, so this year our goal was to at last finally get to the Nationals. The Regionals were being held in Philly and the Nationals were going to be in Vegas. The funny thing about the whole system was that it took so much time to get through all the rounds of playoffs and such that the next season actually had started before they crowned a national champ from the prior year. Anyway, the season was winding down, we were so far in first place overall that not only could no one catch us but we had ‘home table’ advantage throughout the playoffs. Enough about that for now, and I know that it was more on the subject than anyone wanted to know.

    It was very early Monday when I pulled into the supply house. They got me loaded up quickly and I was back on the road to the Caitlin’s. I had to ring the buzzer at the gate, the clock on the radio said 6:52. The Oriole’s schedule said they had a night game that day so I’m sure Rusty really appreciated being woken up that early. I parked and went in. Rusty was in his bathrobe, but the Ice Queen was hustling around barking orders. I got a glimpse of Josie here and there trying to keep up, obviously mornings were not her strong suit. I noticed that she was dressed very conservatively, almost like a private school uniform. I still don’t know what it was about her, I mean, I had spent many hours over the weekend staring at her pictures, analyzing every detail, every curve, every little change in her expression and yes, she was beautiful, but there was more to it. Just being within visual range of her made me feel all mushy inside. I tried not to look at her but I couldn’t help it. A couple of times she looked at me and rolled her eyes as soon as her mom’s sharp voice cut through and demanded something. I don’t think she realized that I was staring at her. Finally Josie was rushed out the front door by the Ice Queen and there was an eerie silence, my heart rate returned to normal and Rusty and I got down to business.

    I put the building permits in the front window, and even though Rusty said the Ice Queen would object, I told him that it was the law and there was no choice. He kept up the protest but I stopped listening, it wasn’t my problem anymore, I told him she could call the county if she wanted the permits down. We went over the security system. He told me that he had given the alarm company Sonny’s and my names and told me our codes for the alarm system, also he gave me a card for the front gate. Then he handed me what looked like a cross between a remote control and a cell phone, explaining that if I were on the roof or down in the trailer that it was not only a remote announcing unit, but it let me talk to whoever was at the front gate and also buzz them in if need be. He said that the computer automatically kept track of who was in the house and when, so if I left at night and no one was home, as soon as my truck cleared the front gate, the alarm would be set, likewise, if I arrived and no one was home my card would automatically disarm the alarm. My code was to basically to give to the alarm company in the event somehow the alarm was triggered.

    He said all the doors and windows were alarmed and there were glass breakage detectors in all the rooms with windows. I asked about the motion detectors throughout the house and he said that they were always off except in the vacation mode because of their cats. “Cats?” I asked.

    “We have two, they are free to come and go when they want, there’s a couple of cat doors upstairs and one in the garden door.”

    The garden door was a glorified name for a side door at the opposite end of the house from where we would be working.

    “And do me a favor, if for some reason one of the cats gets killed, please just make it disappear. A missing cat is a common thing, but a dead cat is a huge tragedy that I would rather not deal with.” I smiled and nodded, I took it the cats were not Rusty’s.

    He mentioned that the alarm guys would be coming on Tuesday to remove and disarm the equipment that was attached to the kitchen windows and 2 kitchen doors that we were tearing out. I noted it in my book.

    We went over the placement of the trailers, my office/supply and tools trailer and the trash trailer. They were to be located at the end of the driveway to the far right which was to the rear of the property. We would end up blocking one of the garage doors in the back of the pool house but he said that there was an antique car in there that he wouldn’t be driving anyway. He also agreed to clear out one of the garage stalls in the main house, the one farthest from the basement stairs, for storing materials like lumber, steel, cabinets, appliances and the like. We covered pretty much everything, I gave him my card with my cell (MMF) number, and my home number and said the only thing left was the first installment check. He smiled, “I got it, over here, along with an access card for Sonny.”

    I went down to my truck and put the check and access card on my dashboard, then called Sonny to tell him everything was all set. He said for me to have lunch and he’d send the trailers up, they’d meet me at the front gate at 1. I looked at the MMF, 11:46. I told Rusty I was going to lunch and the boys would be here at one or so. He shook his head and said that he was leaving for the ballpark before that, but could I please be careful and make sure the trailers didn’t stray off the driveway and mess up his wife’s planter boxes. Oh my God, I didn’t need to have that woman any more pissed at me than she already was.

    For the rest of that day and Tuesday, the guys were busy tearing down the back wall of the kitchen, and digging out for the footers and foundations for the two big main steel columns. One footer had to be down about 7 more feet than the other because it would sit under the swimming pool extension that we would be building later in the project. I spent that time up in the kitchen building the temporary protection system that would allow us to turn a construction zone into a living space every night. I had to answer a few questions here and there for my foreman, Carlos Rivera. I think Hispanicly speaking, ‘Carlos Rivera’ was the equivalent of ‘John Smith’, but the funny thing about him was that he was a third generation American, had a degree in construction management and I think he spoke less Spanish than I did. He was still in his twenties, but he was going to be a very good Project Manager soon. I was most likely going to move him up within the next year.

    Wednesday and Thursday went by smoothly and actually left us ahead of schedule. We got the columns set in concrete early on Thursday afternoon and both the cross beams installed. We had a prefabricated gable section made out of steel that, with everyone pitching in, we were able to set in place on the top of the columns and bolt down. So, I told the guys that on Friday, as soon as they could set all the rafters and sheath the roof, everyone would be cut loose early and get paid for the whole day. I always found that about twice as much work got done when that offer was on the table, but the roof wasn’t called out to be up until the next Tuesday so if they made it, then it would be worth it. As they were hopping around and flat out jamming, I went to the trailer to figure my orders for next week, schedule the trash guys to come get, what would be by then, a full dumpster, start collecting the time sheets for this week from the other job sites, and have them fax over their hours, you know, all that fun stuff. I couldn’t help thinking about Josie as I leaned back in my chair. On Monday I had shown up at about ten ‘til 7 and the Ice Queen was hustling her out the door, so Tuesday I arrived at 6:40, but they had already left. Wednesday I got there at 6:30, but still they were gone. I had the feeling that the Ice Queen was keeping her promise that Josie would not be there when we were.

    The guys worked through lunch, funny how that worked, on a day that was turning into a beauty, a little over 80 with no humidity and a lot of sunshine. By 1:00 they had the last sheets of plywood in place and were sawing off the wild ends. (For those not in construction, there is a reference end where the row starts and that is almost always straight, at the other end of the row, the length is only estimated and then precut a few inches longer than necessary. After the whole roof is sheathed, then the corners are measured out to their exact lengths and a straight line is drawn from corner to corner and the entire end of the roof is cut off at once making it straight.) The nail guns were banging away without stop and a couple of laborers were already picking up fallen pieces of plywood and putting them in the dumpster. I told Carlos that as soon as the roof was nailed out, all the equipment was rolled up, and a tarp was pulled over the whole exposed area and a typical Friday cleanup, meaning that everything was swept and vacuumed, I’d hand out checks and cut everyone loose. He looked slightly disappointed about the cleaning part, but I told him that I would stay and roll up all the canvas covers and do the detailed dusting in the kitchen. That was enough to make him happy and he went off to tell his guys the good news.

    The checks were distributed and all Carlos’ guys headed out the gate at 1:45, man those guys could move when they wanted to. Carlos and I went down to my office, which was one half of the trailer that we used to store equipment, a partition separating the two halves. It had a bathroom that was private to my office and a lot nicer that the three port-a-johns that were built into the outside wall of the other half that were for use by the rest of the workers. In fact, Sonny and I were the only ones that used the inside john that was about as close to a regular bathroom as a trailer got. I would, on occasion, let Carlos use it if he were in my office for official business when I was there, which seemed to be getting more common, but he didn’t have the key and if I were out and about he had to use the ones that everyone else used. Carlos grabbed a couple of beers out of the small fridge I had over in the corner and handed me one. I checked the fax for timesheets and the only lead carpenter/project manager who had not submitted them was Jimmie, who was a great carpenter but a lousy paperwork guy.

    I looked at Carlos and shook my head, as Carlos pulled out his crew’s time sheets and put them on my desk.

    “Everyone but fuckin’ Jimmie. Damn it, I’m got to light a fire under that boy’s ass.”

    I sent Jimmie a text message, ‘Dude, you know time sheets are supposed to be sent to me by 1:30 every Friday, it’s 1:50, if I don’t have those sheets all printed on my fax machine by 2:00, you and your guys will not get paid next week and you get to explain to them why they have to wait another week for their checks.’ I hit ‘send’, then I hit ‘poll’ and ‘copy’ and checked every guy’s name that was on Jimmie’s crew and also hit send with the pre-message, ‘To Jimmie’s crew, FYI.’

    I showed the MMF to Carlos, then I sent Jimmie another text, ‘Oh, and by the way, just so you do go and try to play fuckin’ stupid again like last time, I hit the poll button on my new Magic Mother Fucker and sent a copy of that last message to your whole crew. Aren’t modern electronics cool?’

    Again I showed the message to Carlos and he started laughing. “I figure that Jimmie will have the time sheets here by 2 or his guys are going to lynch him.”
    I plugged the MMF into the digital remote speaker sitting on my desk, usually I only used it for conferences, but I made an exception in this case. I looked at Carlos, both of us were smiling.

    “Dude, when he calls, be very quiet, that thing (I pointed to the speaker/mic) picks up everything.”

    Carlos nodded right as the MMF started making its sound for incoming call. I hit ‘send’ and while smiling right at Carlos, talked into the air.

    “Jimmie, good to hear from you, finally.” Carlos make the sound of someone gagging while trying not to laugh out loud. I glared at him slightly and silently made the ‘shush’ motion with my finger over my lips.

    “Dude,” Jimmie sounded annoyed. “What’s with you always all casing me out about the time sheets?”

    “Well, Jimmie,” I was using my best calm voice, “It seems that we have some confusion on what time your crew’s time sheets are supposed to be on my desk.”

    “Dude, that was so not cool, all my guys are over here all in my face, wiggin’ out about their checks, man, you have to take a chill on that, I’ll get your sheets over to you, besides, you know what? My sister is an accountant, and her company uses the same check service as y’all do, You know what she says? She says that the time sheets don’t have to be over there until 3 o’clock, so you don’t need to be getting all uptight at 1:30 every Friday.”

    Carlos was gagging and making the spoof face that said Jimmie was about to get it.

    “Oh man, that is such a relief.” I said, again with my calm voice.

    “What is?” Jimmie was a little confused.

    “Oh, that you’ve got it all figured out, I mean Fridays are such a wildly busy day for me I get confused, it is so comforting that you have all the answers for me.”

    There was silence coming from the speaker, I was sure that Jimmie was starting to get a little worried that he might have gone a little too far with me. Carlos, on the other hand, had no confusion about it, he knew Jimmie had gone too far and was about to get his ass handed to him, so Carlos got another beer and sat back to enjoy the show.

    "See, on Fridays all the subs have to have their pay requests on my desk by 1, and it usually takes me until 1:45 to get through them all, then I review all the time sheets to make sure no one does anything silly like put in for, say 401 hours.” One of Jimmie’s guys did that a couple of weeks back accidentally putting his one hour of overtime at the end of his 40 regular hours instead of over in the overtime column.

    I continued, still using my calm voice. “So once I get all that in order, I send it over to Mary Ann by 2. Now Mary Ann takes everything I send her, plus whatever else the other department heads send her, you know, admin, marketing, basically the whole rest of the company, and she has to load all that into the computer and transmit it to the check company by 3.”

    Jimmie started in, “Dude, I wasn’t trying to get into all that stuff, just uh..”

    “Shut up Jimmie.” I said, still using calm mode. “See Mary Ann used to wait until the very last minute to send everything, but, this is funny now, a couple of years ago, one Friday there was a glitch, the glitch wasn’t even on our end, it was on theirs, but it caused the batch file to not get there in time. Now Mary Ann re-sent it, but the check service has an ass load of clients and their computerized system rolls over at 3 every Friday. So no one knew anything was wrong until the next week when checks didn’t show up. Think about it, you’re catching hell from your 4 guys for just the thought of having their checks being late, but Mary Ann had to deal with everyone in the Company and all the subs and all the folks we owed money to and explain that it would be another week. Poor Mary Ann picked a bad time to fuck up, it was the end of the month and all the bills needed to be paid, like vehicle payments and insurance and workman’s comp and everything else. We tried to stop the checks from going out and have our accounting department issue hand written checks, but the check service, while they would be happy to pull the checks, were going to charge us $50 per check. Sonny and I spent all weekend going through everything trying to figure out which checks being late were going to cost us more than $50 in late fees or penalties, there were only 5. Sonny made Mary Ann pay back that $250 to the company, but she got off cheap, we figured it cost us around 7 grand when it was all said and done. I think Mary Ann is still smarting from that, because now, she makes sure everything is over there early, so in case of another fuck up, she has time to resend it.”

    I paused for dramatic effect, and then got ready for my finale, “But none of that’s important now because you have it all figured out for us. In fact I tell you what, next Friday I’m going to come over to your job site and send you over here, then at 1:00 you can start reviewing sub requests and then at 1:45 you can start looking over the time sheets. But see, I’m going to send you the time sheets from your job site when I get around to feeling like it, and when that phone rings at 2, it will be Mary Ann, 5 different kinds of pissed off. Then you’re going to get dragged down to the office and Sonny and Mary Ann are going to climb all the way up your ass, all because one of your fucking lead carpenters thinks he knows the god damned system better than you do.”

    I changed my tone from calm to shouting and pissed off for the final sentence there. Carlos was half on the floor with tears flowing down his cheeks from laughing with both hands clamped over his mouth.

    There was a very nervous voice on the other end of the line, “I’m, uh, sending them right now.”

    “Well thank you Jimmie, I appreciate that.” I was back in my calm voice.

    ‘Hey boss, I’ll make sure that I get those to you on time from now on.”

    “Excellent Jimmie, but I want to be clear on something, as much as I enjoy our little talks and having my face turn bright red and the veins popping out on my forehead and having violent thoughts race through my mind like ripping someone’s throat out through their ass hole, are you saying that we don’t get to have this conversation again?”

    “Uh, No sir.” Came the reply.

    “Fantastic Jimmie, you have an awesome weekend.”

    “Uh, yeah, you too boss.” And with that the connection was terminated.

    Carlos looked at me and we started laughing, then he said in a mock street tough, punk style, voice, “Yo dude, lighten’ up man.” And the laughing continued.

    I said, “I bet Jimmie gets his time sheets in on time now.”

    “No shit, he probably crapped his pants. Hey I got to get rolling.” I tossed him my empty beer bottle, “Chuck this in the dumpster for me, would you?”

    Carlos asked me if I wanted help rolling up the tarps and dusting. “Naw, I got it, I have to meet Sonny at the Tavern later on so I’ll be hanging out until 4 or 4:30, besides, it’s a nice day, get out of here and enjoy it.” And with that Carlos rolled his truck out.

    I finally got all the time sheets transmitted to Mary Ann, it was a little after 2. As I walked out of the trailer and towards the house, I chuckled a little to myself because the big blue tarp covering the back of the kitchen wing of the house almost made it look like a circus tent. I ducked under the back edge of the tarp and climbed up the temporary stairs we had set up. At the top of the stairs was an open door we had put into the temporary plywood wall that stood where the old exterior wall was. It served 2 purposes, 1; to hold up the old roof edge until we got it all extended out and 2; to keep the illusion of security that a closed in house provides people. I got started rolling up the tarps we had draped over the counter tops and in front of the cabinets. It was a simple system I had designed, a ΒΎ inch galvanized pipe suspended about 2 inches off the ceiling with a tarp attached to a 1 Β½ inch PVC pipe slid over it. The pipe with the tarp was rolled up every night and a pin was inserted to hold it in place. We had 5 of these tarps that we rolled down in the mornings and rolled up at night. They covered the entire 3 walls of the existing kitchen and when we rolled them up and moved the moving blankets off the floor and if you ignored the back wall now made of plywood, the kitchen looked unaffected by the heavy construction going on all around it. But some dust would get in behind all that and it took about 20 minutes of dusting with a hand swifter to get it all presentable for the Ice Queen.

    I had rolled up the second of the five and was swiftering off the counter top behind it when I heard voices coming from the bottom of the temp stairs. I went over to the door and looked down as Josie was lifting up the blue tarp and holding it for a guy and another girl to enter. As much as I was surprised to see her I was not caught off guard. I pulled the MMF off my belt and pointed it, discreetly in her direction. It was a nice day, sunny and in the mid 80’s, and they were all dressed accordingly. Josie had on a tube top, it gave me the first good look at what a perfect figure she had. I was guessing 34C-24-34 maybe, and she had on white cutoffs. Now these shorts where not as short as say, Jessica Simpson wore in Dukes of Hazard, but they were short enough to make my breath get shorter. I got off a couple of shots of her climbing up the stairs.

    I backed up as they entered and for lack of something better to say, “I’m surprised to see you here.” She looked at me with her bright eyes and a smile that melted my heart.

    “Hi Josh, sorry to bother you but I forgot something in my room this morning.” Then looking past me at her friends said, “Guys, hang out here for a sec, I’ll be right down.” And with that she ducked under the roll up that I hadn’t rolled up yet, that covered the hallway access.

    I turned to the other two, the girl was a very voluptuous strawberry blond with a huge set on her. Maybe 38DD, I was estimating. She looked to be about 5 ft.10 and had green eyes and a slightly freckled face with a very cute smile. She was definitely cute enough to be someone’s dream girl, but she was a tad too curvy for my tastes.

    “Jessica,” she stated as she put out her hand.

    I delicately accepted and replied, “Josh, pleased to meet you.”

    She looked around and said “Damn, you guys tore the shit out of this place.”

    “Yeah, well, that’s the fun part, but we still have to put it back together.” I gave a little laugh.

    The guy was wearing a white polo shirt with some sort of crest on the front, I assumed it was from a country club or sailing team, something like that. Something about the guy that gave me the feeling that he was a little snooty, I was right.

    He stuck out his hand as if obligated. “Thurston Parker Connery the fourth.” I smiled, I knew this kid was pretty full of himself and the only thing he’d done so far was state his name.

    “I’m just plain Josh the first and only.” I said with a jovial tone.

    “So Josh, do you own the company?” I wasn’t quite ready for that question, I felt like telling him that I was a vice president, but I didn’t want to stoop to his level, besides, I didn’t think it would impress him anyway.

    “No, I’m just the on site manager, but on this job site, that makes me god.” I was curious what he would say to that.

    “I’ll remember to genuflect when I leave.” He said it sarcastically.

    “Jesus Thurston, you dad doesn’t own his bank you know.” Jessica obviously didn’t like his attitude either. He pulled out his I-phone, waived his hand as if to dismiss us, pulled out a cigarette and went out and headed down the stairs.

    Jessica looked at me kind of disgusted, “Never mind him, he’s an ass hole, he’s going to Harvard next year so he thinks he’s all that. It’s a shame Josie’s mom only lets her date Ivy League guys, they’re all such jerks.”

    I just snickered a little, she was so right.

    Josie re-appeared from under the hall tarp and handed something to Jessica, it looked like a mini disc, best I could tell.

    “Here, you’ll love this.” She said to Jessica about whatever it was. “Where’s Thurston?”

    Jessica pointed outside “Out smoking.” Then Josie said, “Could you give me a minute?” to Jessica holding up one finger and clearly indicating that she should go on outside and wait for her.

    After Jessica bailed, Josie came over to me and had a serious look on her face. “Can you do me a favor? Don’t mention to my mom that I was here? I mean she’ll get all whacked about it.”

    “Josie, this kind of puts me in a tough spot, your mom said you were not allowed here and she said it not only in front of you and your dad but also in front of Sonny, if she finds out you were here and I don’t say anything, you might get grounded, but I could lose my job.”

    She looked disappointed, “Dude, come on, you see how she treats me, I mean I’m almost an adult and she treats me like I’m five, she doesn’t trust me at all.”
    
    “I don’t think it’s you she doesn’t trust, I think it’s us.”

    She looked up at me with those heart melting eyes, “She trusts you just fine, or you wouldn’t be allowed in the house. Please, there is no way she’s going to find out.”
    
    I looked right at her, my heart was pounding, I couldn’t do anything to cause this girl sadness, there was no way I was going to say anything but I had to at least appear to put up a fight, besides, I wanted her to come around more so I could admire her.

    Josie, I’ve learned in life that things like this have a funny way of coming around and biting me in the ass. How do I know that Jessica won’t say something or Thurston won’t get pissed off at you and rat you out?”

    I think she knew she had me, she smiled, I swear I felt the whole room warm up. Kind of the opposite of her mother’s effect.

    “Jessie won’t say anything she’s my BFF, and Thurston, oh my god, he’s so self-centered it wouldn’t occur to him to do something, good or bad, to someone else, everything has to be about him. Besides, do you think I actually tell my friends that my mother doesn’t trust me and treats me like a kid?”

    “Alright,” I was giving in. “This stays between you and me, okay?” She smiled and nodded.

    “But, do me a favor, if you want to come around in the future, let me know in advance so I can make sure no one else sees you, I don’t want my guys or the subs to have to lie for me too, all right?”
    
    “Okay, deal. Thanks” And she turned to leave.

    Before she got out the door I said, “Hey, how’d you guys get in here, the security gate didn’t announce you?”

    At the door she turned with an impish smile, “I have my secrets, see ya.”
    
    I got to the door in time to take a couple more shots with the MMF, I was pointing and clicking away from the waist so it wouldn’t appear that I was actually taking pictures. I remember staring, I mean just locked in on the way her butt would swing from side to side. It was hypnotic. She had what I called ‘nice sway’, that beautiful side to side motion, and with the short shorts and her long tan legs ending in low top tennis shoes with those tiny socks that had the little ball just over the rim of the shoes, I shut everything else out. She and her friends disappeared out under the blue tarp, I shook my head and cleared out the fog. I wrapped things up there and headed to the Tavern to meet Sonny.

    I got there a little early and had some time to think. I had to stop obsessing about a high school chick, a smoking hot high school chick, but a high school chick none the less. I mean really, I was 29, and assuming she was about to be 18, I was way, way too old for her, not to mention that she was a client’s daughter. And she had a boyfriend, an Ivy League snot nosed one at that. Even if something did happen between us, which I knew it would not, she would be going away in the fall to collage and crush my heart and the topper is that her Mother was the Ice Queen and I didn’t even want to think about the consequences. Ever since the divorce I had taken a very distant approach to women, not letting any of them get close enough to wreck my emotions again, it would be best to just enjoy looking at the sweet cupcake, but stay far away otherwise.

    Sonny finally came in and sat down next to me and Anna brought him as beer.

    “Hey Josh, I heard you tore Jimmie a new one this afternoon.”
    
    Oh god, Sonny was smiling like a cat with a fresh fish.

    “And how, may I ask, do you know that, I swear news travels fast in this company.”

    Sonny smiled, “Man, I know everything.” He was going to play with me for a minute. “Alright, I was at his job when you did it.” He started chuckling aloud.

    “Oh crap, it figures. Why didn’t the little shithead say something to me?”
    
    “No, it was just perfect. The dumb ass put it on speaker and then figures that since I’m there he can talk smack to you. Everybody there heard it, it was a classic. When it was over he just looked at me like some moron that just grabbed a lion by the tail and got his arm bit off, and wanted sympathy or something. I told him if I were him I would be sending the time sheets over there.” We both laughed.

    I didn’t stay for the Anna show, I kind of felt like getting more drunk than I needed to be around Sonny, and definitely didn’t want to be driving the company truck home in that condition. Once I got home I changed and grabbed my pool cue and headed out to the P&B.

    When I left my house, I just felt like getting drunk and laid, but not in any particular order. Usually when those are the goals I succeed at one and not the other, this time was no different. You guess which one. I started out the night with the intent of taking one of the waitresses, Melanie, home for a good old fashion roll in the hay, as I had done on other occasions when she was on the outs with her boyfriend. And that was the case on that evening. But the longer I sat there and the more I drank, I kept flashing back to all the other times with her and it was always the same. We would go at it hot and heavy, we’d finish, she’d feel guilty, call her boyfriend, who would never answer and she’d get dressed and go try to find out what he was doing. In fact the last time she was over, while she was sitting up on top and enthusiastically banging my brains out, she stated that one of these days she would ‘leave that bastard for good’. And she then asked me, if she did, could she come and stay with me. Like most guys, at a tender moment like that, I would have agreed to anything. So with that threat playing in my head I decided to take a pass on Melanie that night, but she was so damn cute, a sweet little 25 year old brunette, about 5 ft. 4, maybe 110. Just a compact little package who I kept watching bounce back and forth past me. By the time I decided to nix the deal with Melanie, I was too drunk to put forth much of a sales pitch to the remaining prospects, so it was a solo ride home and a mild hangover on Saturday.

    I spent the rest of the weekend working on my master bath, grouting and putting in the shower fixture’s trim, and I worked out in the basement weight room I had set up. That was the total of my exciting weekend. I actually loaded the pictures I took of Josie on Friday when I got home, but I did it in a single batch file and didn’t look at the individual pictures. After Friday’s little ‘swearing off Josie’ bender I managed to hold out until after my Sunday night workout, when finally curiosity got the best of me. I got a glass of wine and sat down with the laptop on the couch. There was only like 7 pictures, so I studied each one intently, not wanting to miss a single pixel of her perfection. The tube top she was wearing was virtually the same shade of blue as her eyes and they complimented each other. With some very intent studying I could barely make out the silhouette of her nipples, it appeared that they pointed up slightly, man, just perfect.

    When I got to the final shot, when she was near the bottom of the stairs, I sat upright in my chair. It was while I was mesmerized by her amazing ass swaying back and forth. I was so transfixed that I never saw her turn head around. But there in the photo was Josie with a coy glance over her shoulder, completely busting me checking out her tush. Now there are two ways a woman will react to catching a guy scoping out their ass, if they hate the guy, they react with disgust, if they like the guy, they react with something almost resembling pride. The look on Josie’s face was the latter, thank god. But I still got busted, so I needed to be more careful.

    Monday morning came and I got to the Job at 6:30, no sign of Josie, the Ice Queen had napped her off to school, I was wondering what time they actually were leaving now. The Ice Queen did leave a snotty note about how she had to call the maid service in for an ‘emergency cleaning’ on Saturday, I wasn’t sure what I could have done better, but I would have to try. Rusty had his bags packed and was heading out for a road trip, they played an early evening game on Monday Night Baseball at Cleveland so he was taking an early flight. Our goal for the day was to set all the floor joists for the kitchen addition bump out, it was a 16 foot extension, so we doubled up 2 by 12s on 16 inch centers. It was being built extra solid because of the stone work and the stone island that would hold the indoor/outdoor grill. It was about 2:15 and while I was helping Carlos and the boys hoist up the Ύ T&G plywood for the sub floor, the MMF rang. It was a 410 number.

    I answered, “Sunnyside this is Josh.”

    “Hey,” came the reply, a slightly familiar female voice that I almost recognized right before she said “This is Josie.”
    
    “Just a sec.” and I indicated to the guys that I had to take the call, and I slipped outside the blue tarp.

    “Well hey there to you too, Miss Josie, what can I do for you?” I said in my best mock formal tone.

    “I was wondering if it would be cool with you if I could go hang out in my room for a couple of hours.”

    As much as I would love to see her again, I had a full house. I had plumbers down below doing their ground works, I had masons setting the foundation and slab for the generator and transformers that went under the kitchen tucked in behind the hot tub area, along with electricians laying conduit and running some cables.

    “Uh, I have a boatload of guys here, what time did you have in mind?”

    There was a pause and then, “I’m behind the pool wall on the opposite side from where your guys are at. Could you open the side door?”

    That was funny request, I thought, I was pretty sure her card key would open up the side door. I went up and through the kitchen and into the hall, out of the work area. Down the hall and to the right and around a corner and past the back stairs to the other side of the family room there was a glass door that they called the garden entrance. It was far away from the work area and any activity there would be unnoticed by anyone working over with us.

    As I approached I could see her on the other side of the glass, she was wearing tight hip hugger jeans, a button down collared blouse, in light yellow, and her cute little pull on tennis shoes. She was holding a couple books tucked up under one arm and her athletic bag slung over the other shoulder. She was waving with that little ‘hi, it’s me’ wave that made me smile. I had the MMF pointed in her direction and discretely snapped a shot off. I swiped my card and opened the door. At the same time the remote unit on my belt and a speaker by the door announced, ‘Garden Door Open!’ I looked around like big brother was watching.

    I looked at Josie a little confused, “Won’t your card open this door?”

    “Yeah, but the system will show that it was my card and I’m not supposed to be here.”

    I smiled, “Oh there’s that. So you’d rather just set me up, huh?”

    She looked hurt that I would accuse her of that. “No, I mean don’t you have some reason you would need to open this door, to go around or something?”

    I thought about it for a minute, “Yeah, I guess I could say I needed it open for ventilation, you know to like air things out.” I shrugged, it sounded innocent enough.

    “Thanks.” She said as she walked by me towards the back stairs.

    As she stepped up the first step, I asked, “Hey, what’s the deal, I mean why are you engaging in this risky behavior here?”

    She stopped and turned around, thought about it for a second then explained herself. “Well, lacrosse season is over, we didn’t make the playoffs, so I’m supposed to go to the library to study and wait for my mom to come pick me up on her way home. Only the library is, well it’s just, I don’t know, it’s too public.”

    I smiled and laughed a little bit, “Um, might be why they call it the ‘public’ library? Just a thought.” She made a face that said she didn’t appreciate the sarcasm.

    “Fine,” She was saying it in a manner that indicated that I was forcing information out of her, “There’s this guy that won’t leave me alone, he always sits at my table, and if I move he follows me, it’s just creeping me out, so I’d rather hang out here.” And she made a hand gesture as if to say, ‘there, is that good enough?’.

    “So, you want to do this on a daily basis then, huh?”
    
    She smiled, it felt good inside to make her smile, like warm or something, tough to describe.

    “Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, I work on Tuesday and Thursday.”

    “Oh yeah?” I was trying to figure what kind of job she could have, fast food? Maybe a lifeguard at a community pool. Maybe retail, a clothing shop or a shoe store, wait, I had it, a book store. “So what do you do?”

    She smiled again then she gave me a look that said she was proud of what she did, but I might not believe her. “I teach martial arts, the kids’ beginner class at 4:00, kids’ upper belts at 5. We have a dinner break and at 7, I have adult beginners and then at 8 adult upper belts and the last class is competition sparring at 9.” I wasn’t ready for that, I must have looked surprised. “I’ve been doing it for a long time, and I compete, plus the pay is really good, $25 an hour.”

    I couldn’t think of anything witty to say, I guess I said the only thing that came to mind, “I can’t see how that would be something your mother would be too thrilled about.” Looking back it was kind of a stupid comment, I mean really, why would the Ice Queen care one way or the other, but as it turned out, Josie took it as me being quite insightful.

    “Funny you would say that, she doesn’t even know, my dad and I tell her it’s competitive aerobics.”

    “Yeah?” I replied, “How do you explain the bruises and the black eyes?”

    She smiled, again I felt warm inside, “I don’t get hit.”

    “Oh, my bad.” I laughed inside, she was confident, I had to give her that.

    “Hey, could you do me a favor and come get me when you leave? If you set the alarm while I’m here, I can’t get out.”

    “Yeah sure.” I guessed I could do that for her.

    She took another step and said as an afterthought while pointing up and to the rear of the house, “My room is the one all the way back up there.” I nodded and managed to get a shot of her as she scooted up the stairs. The jeans really looked good on her but I was careful to not get caught checking out her butt again.

    I went back to the work site and helped hoist up the remaining sheets of plywood. We got done what we had set out to and by 4:15 I was punching in the code to let the final truck out of the gate. Before he left, Carlos had helped me roll up all the screens and dust the counters. I went out with him as if I were leaving but at the last minute I said I forgot something, and for him to go on and leave. I went upstairs and Josie’s door was closed.

    I knocked lightly and said softly, “Hey, I’m getting ready to take off.” From behind the door there was movement and after a moment or two she opened it up. She had on a terrycloth robe, one of those full length jobs and it was tied up tight. I didn’t manage to get a shot of her with the MMF, but there wasn’t anything really to see as the robe didn’t reveal much. Her face was glistening and a bead or two of sweat was dripping down behind her ears and on her brow. I figured she must have been working out or something.

    “I’m gonna hop in the shower for a sec, I’ll be right down okay?”

    “Yeah, okay.” I nodded and turned and went down and waited in the kitchen. True to her word, she came bounding down the stairs in about five minutes.
    She was wearing clothes that were very conservative again, like she had on in the morning, I was guessing that she changed her outfits during the day and then changed back in order to keep the Ice Queen off her back. I locked up and set the alarm. As we walked down the back steps I asked her where she was going.

    “Back to the library.”

    “Do you want a ride?”

    “Yeah, but the camera at the gate will show me in the truck.”

    “Oh, there is a pass through to the back, you can just duck back there until we clear the gate.” She nodded.

    After we hit the main road, she pointed to the right, we went for a while and she guided me to a lunch diner and said, “Pull in there and go around to the back.”

    I did as told and in the rear corner, there was a cinder block, U shaped wall with a gate on it, obviously to hold the restaurant’s dumpster. Beside that there was almost enough for a parking space, but too small for me to get the truck into.

    Pull, up there,” she directed. As I did, I could see a gap in the fence at the corner. She pointed to the back of the building on the other side of the fence, “That’s the library, and up there,” she pointed to a terrace off the second floor, “is the smoking area.” There was a cascade of concrete planter boxes down one side, easy enough to climb up like large steps if one wanted to.

    “I have to go back in that way.” Before I could ask why, she said, “I signed in when I got here and ducked out over the wall, to go home, if I go back in the front, they’ll know I left.” She was really paranoid, but at least she’d thought it out. “It’s easier than climbing up the balcony at home.” She smiled.

    “So, tomorrow you have martial arts, I guess I’ll see you on Wednesday?”

    She nodded, then with some expression of thought said, “I’m really good you know. There’s a tournament in a few weeks down in DC, you should come watch me compete.”

    “I’ll see what my schedule looks like when we get closer, but that sounds interesting.” I left it as open as I could because who knew what could happen.

    With a last flash of a smile, she closed the door and slipped through the fence and was up the planters and disappeared from sight. I took a deep breath and headed home. If I kept this up, she was going to get me into trouble. I knew it at the time, but she was so beautiful, so gorgeous, so pleasant to be around, I guess I didn’t care.
    Last edited by GoinLong; 16th August 2018 at 13:16.
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  8. #5
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    Re: Lessons

    Chapter 3 - Excuse Me?

    On Wednesday we were supposed to have the roofers come in and start putting tar paper down and shingling. So, we had everything all opened up, the blue tarp pulled back, but by noon, with the skies in the distance darkening and the weather report calling for a nice little storm to come through, I was getting a little concerned. I got Andy Gonzalez, from Gonzalez Roofing on the phone. Now Andy was what I would call my problem child, or at least one of them. He was an excellent roofer, but sometimes getting him to show up when he promised could be a little tricky. He seemed to over extend himself and used Peter to pay Paul and sometimes our jobs got caught in the fallout.

    “Andy, what the fuck dude, you said that your guys would be here bright and early, now its noon, we have the roof all opened up for you, you’re nowhere in sight and it looks like it’s going to fuckin’ rain.”

    “It’s not going to rain until after five.” Came Andy’s pleasant voice, more like a used car salesman’s voice. My guys will be there before the end of lunch and we’ll get you all buttoned up today.”

    It wasn’t a huge job, but it was a tricky one so I was almost sure they couldn’t get it banged out by the end of the day, even if we stayed late, which would no doubt set off the Ice Queen. “Yeah, right, I’ll believe it when I see it.”
    
    A little about the job, we were extending the kitchen out about 16 feet, and there would be an island made of stone with a barbecue and a sink. Now the unique thing about this kitchen was the back wall. It was about 20 feet across and standing at the back looking in, the left side, about 6 feet overlooked the end of the driveway where the trailers were and where we parked. The other 12 feet were overlooking the pool area. The new part of the kitchen would be tied in with the roof extending out past the edge 4 feet, and the floor would be made of stone and line up with the existing. The back wall would be made up of 2 - 8 foot movable glass panels that extended from the floor to the ceiling. On the right, there was a knee wall with cabinets and a bar height counter top and on the other side of that was an entry hall with a glass door at the end and in line with the glass panels. That was in the closed position, for winter, the glass panels would be inside the island and a pin system would be used to secure them to the island. A row of base cabinets would be run on the inside of the glass panels, and they would also be movable. In the open position, which I imagined was for entertaining purposes, the glass panels split in the middle and slid to the sides and pivoted. They became the side walls and the cabinets were pivoted to extend out both side counters. This opened up the kitchen to the outside putting the barbecue in the middle. It was a masterful design and while I did help Ted with some of the technical details, I had to give him the credit. No doubt it would win awards and be featured in a couple of high end construction trade magazines.

    The roofers finally showed up after 1. And even though they got right to work, I was still a little edgy with the storm approaching rapidly and the sound of thunder getting closer and closer. Carlos only had one helper that day, since it was supposed to belong to the roofers, and they were busy laying out the island and marking hole in the floor for plumbing, electrical and HVAC. I called him over for a second.

    “Hey, if you even think it might start raining, kick those fuckers out of here and get that roof covered, I don’t want this place to flood out, we’d never hear the end of it. Go down to the trailer and get some rain gear out and put it on standby.” He nodded and complied.

    I got a call from the window supplier who was fabricating the glass panels and the glass door that would be at the end of the kitchen’s entrance hall. I had e-mailed over the order this morning with dimensions and a scaled photo, but they wanted one that detailed the door and I guess I had forgot to send that. I set the MMF up on the counter that looked down the hall and got my stick rule and held it top to bottom. I clicked the remote and then held the rule sideways and clicked off another. Carlos came back in with the rain gear.

    Sure enough, at around 2:00, the thunder got close and big drops started pelting the whole job site. Great, Carlos and his helper scrambled up the ladder and gave the boot to the roofers. By the time I punched them out the front gate we had a full on hurricane going on with wind and sideways rain. I looked around at the mess, I had some serious clean up to do. We had moved the door in the temp wall to the end of the hall and the steps along with it.

    Carlos stuck his head down from the roof, he was soaked, “Josh, can you grab the corner of the tarp and pull it down and secure it, the wind is making it impossible to do it from here.” I nodded and grabbed the tarp and pulled it down all the way, I would have to secure it so the temp door was covered and I guess we would have to go through the basement and then out the garage. As I rolled a 2 by 4 up in the tarp and got ready to nail it down, I heard a panicked voice from behind me coming up the steps.

    “Wait, please.” It was Josie.

    I was surprised to see her, glad, but surprised. She was absolutely soaked, she couldn’t have been more wet than if she had just jumped into the pool. She had on jeans and one of those strapless frilly tops on that consisted of three fluffy layers that overlapped and quite apparently she had no bra on. I opened the tarp up and let her by me. Now let me tell you something about those tops, when they are dry, they look very nice and fluffy and you might get the slim hope that with a good wind, it may blow the layers up and you could catch a glimpse of something good. On the other hand, when they are wet, they offer the visual protection of say, clear plastic wrap. I got a great look at her rack as she went by and my mind must have been on it’s ‘A’ game because I realized the MMF was still set up pointing at the door and I got the remote out and clicked about 5 shots of her coming up the hall to the kitchen. I pulled the blue tarp back down and nailed it into place, closed the door and locked it. I went down the entry hall and around the new knee wall into the kitchen, when she came in, she had a couple of books she was holding over her head in a vain attempt to keep dry. The books were on the counter, and she was standing outside of the half bath that was just off the kitchen, drying her face and hair with a white towel.

    She looked up at me, “The garden door was locked, I thought you were going to leave it open for me.”

    “I didn’t think you were coming today, besides it was a little chaotic here, the storm came in real fast and kind of caught us off guard.”

    She nodded in agreement, “Yeah, me too.”

    Then I asked her ,”Why didn’t you just call me?”

    “Oh,” She replied, “I left my phone in my backpack.” I had a confused look on my face so she followed up on that, “They have lockers at the library that you can use it you are going to the bathroom or out for a smoke, or to get something to eat.”

    “Oh.” I nodded as she turned her whole body towards me, and I got another look at her visually exposed bosom, I realized the guys were about to come down off the roof and I imagined that they would be in a hurry.

    “Um, you might want to go look in the mirror.” She looked at me and immediately patted her face like she was looking for something there to be wrong, “What is it?” She asked and headed into the powder room. It took a couple of seconds for her to notice, I figured like most women she looked at her face first before glancing down and seeing the real problem.

    “Oh my god.” She said it with an embarrassed tone in here voice. She came out with her arms folded over her boobs effectively blocking any further viewing. “Just great.” She said it while shaking her head.

    I tried to lighten up the mood a little, “I do have to say that that’s a very nice set you got there.” I put a lot of emphasis on ‘very’.

    She turned and looked at me with a slight look of horror on her face. “Is that supposed to be funny?” Then she faced me and dropped her arms, almost daring me to look at them.

    I couldn’t help myself, I mean they were so beautiful, perfectly round, no sign of a tan line, the areolas were all scrunched up and her nipples were rock hard and sticking out. I imagined that when they weren’t cold and wet, her areolas were about the size of half dollar. They were so perfect, but I forced myself to avert my eyes and look down towards the floor like a first grader getting scolded by his teacher.

    “It’s embarrassing enough that you have point it out to me, but then what, you make fun of me too? So what are you trying to do, totally humiliate me as well?”

    Lovely. I felt about 2 inches tall. I notice that the ladder behind her was moving which meant that the guys were starting their descent.

    “Uh, no,” I said in a very humble voice, “I got guys coming down from the roof, and I thought you would like to know before they got here in case you didn’t feel like sharing with the rest of the crew.”
    
    Carlos’ foot appeared at the roof line rung and then the other leg came into view as he took another step down. She looked exasperated, made a sound that was a combination of a ‘sigh’ and a ‘huff’, turned quickly and ducked under the roll down tarp that let her out into the entry hall. Well, you handled that well, dumb fuck.

    As Carlos reached the bottom, and with his helper about halfway down, I noticed that Josie’s books and the towel she had used were over near the powder room, sitting on top of the roll up which had been pushed back enough so that it conformed to the counter it was protecting. I rushed over and stuffed them behind the roll up tarp and grabbed the towel, by the time Carlos turned towards me, I was drying off my face with the towel. He was soaked, I tossed him the towel.

    “It’s the customers’, but go ahead, I’ll take it home and wash it.”

    He wiped off his arms and face and handed it to his helper and said something to him in Spanish, then Carlos looked around, “Oh shit, what a mess.”

    There was water on the exposed area of the tile floor, the moving blankets had been whipped around by the wind and were bunched up here and there, there was roofing debris everywhere.

    “Hey, just take the blankets down to the garage and throw them in a corner, you guys can shake them out in the dumpster tomorrow, I’ll get the rest of this mess cleaned up.”

    “You sure boss? We’ll help.”

    “No, because once I mop the floor, I’m going to have to sit around and wait for it to dry so you guys just put everything away and call it a day, I’ll pay you for the rest of the day. Since you got the rain gear on you could get the mop and bucket out of the trailer for me.”
    
    Carlos issued the order in Spanish and they grabbed most of the blankets and headed down the basement steps. In a few moments the helper reappeared with the mop and gathered up the remaining blankets, “Adios, Senior.” he said to me as he left.

    “Adios, Juan.” I said to the sound of boots going down the stairs.

    It was still pouring outside, the sound of the rain hitting the tarp sounded like static on a radio cranked way up. There was so much water that I actually had to empty the bucket and start on a second bucket full before I got it all. Then I did the roll up tarps, and when I did the one next to the powder room I moved Josie’s books over to wipe the counter top off. I noticed the books were a little wet so I took a towel and dried them too. I noticed one was a chemistry book and the other was a physics book. That brought back fond memories of my senior year in high school. There was also a catalog of fall classes at the University of Maryland Community College at Baltimore. Huh, I would have thought that she would be university bound. And finally there was a flier, or program something that said “Maestro Richard Berlin Presents - A musical night at the park, Featuring the melodies of Miss Jessica Monroe’ The reason it caught my eye and I remembered it was because there was a photo of Josie’s friend Jessie on the cover. I set all those items aside after I got them dried off and continued rolling up the protective tarps and wiping everything down. I did one last pass with the mop, this time to clean the floor and not just get up all the water. It took me a total of 45 minutes to get the kitchen presentable and the floor still needed to dry.

    I took off my boots, so as to not track dirt through the rest of the house and went up to Josie’s room, the door was open and I could hear a blow dryer coming from an open door on the other side of the room, I assumed it was her bathroom.

    “Josie!” I yelled but she couldn’t hear me through the noise. I didn’t want to go in lest I catch her in a more embarrassing situation than I did earlier. I gave one of those loud ‘cat call’ style whistles. The blow dryer shut off.

    “Josh?” I guess she heard me.

    “Uh, yeah, hey it’s still raining pretty hard out and there’s no sign that it’s going to let up. I figure you probably don’t want to walk back in the rain.”

    “Thanks, come in and have a seat, I’ll be out in a sec.”

    I looked around, clockwise there was a desk on the wall to my immediate left, then a dresser, around the corner and a down a couple of feet was a door half open, probably a walk in closet, then another dresser with a vanity next to it, on the other side of that was the bathroom then around the back corner was a nightstand, then a queen sized bed. Then the rest of the wall was glass with what looked to be a fixed glass panel then a sliding glass door which went all the way into the corner. From there, coming back towards me was an end table with a light on it, and finally a love seat. What was on the other side of the glass doors was visible because the curtains were open, it looked to be a deck or a balcony or maybe more like a rooftop terrace about 16 foot square with the railings made of stucco that made them into little walls. A table with an umbrella with a couple of chairs sat alongside a lounge chair and a couple of aerobics mats were rolled out on the ground.

    I felt a little uneasy about waiting in her room, but I didn’t want to argue with her after what had just happened. I sat on the love seat, but lightly, you know, on the front edge like I was waiting. The blow dryer shut off again and she came around the corner wearing khaki slacks and a plain white bra.

    As soon as I saw it I turned my head and mumbled, “Sorry.”
    
    “Oh, so now you’re all embarrassed? You can’t even see through this.”

    I had to think about what I was going to say next. “Look, I don’t even know how to begin to apologize for that, I feel, I mean, um, it was just really childish.”

    “Don’t worry about it." She shrugged. "Honestly? If I were a guy, I would have looked too.”

    “Yeah, well, that doesn’t exactly excuse what I said. So, from the bottom of my heart, I am really sorry.” There, I said it. I didn’t think it would help much, but I finally managed to spit it out.

    “It’s all good, it’s not like you got me wet, right?” She was letting me off the hook, but I didn’t really feel much better. Josie was finishing buttoning up her blouse, and from nowhere said, “You know, I feel like a prisoner here anymore.”

    “What?” I had no idea what she meant.

    “Oh,” She sighed with a wistful sigh. “I used to be able to go out whenever I wanted, I always left that door open,” She pointed to the sliding glass door. “And my folks would set the alarm and bypass that door. But I think my dad got wise ‘cause he started making sure it was closed and then set the alarm, and if I opened it all hell would break loose. But even that was okay because my mom would still bypass it when my dad was on the road. But he checked the security records and figured that out so he changed the system so that my mom can’t bypass it anymore. I used to be able to go out and climb down the drainpipe and get out the back gate, but now, I’m stuck here. I have to have you let me out of my own house.”

    I smiled, “So basically you can’t sneak out anymore.” She shook her head sadly as I continued, “And right in the middle of your prime sneaking out years.” She put her hands out as if she was pleading, but then added the extended jaw drop that made the whole gesture say, ‘Can you believe it?’

    I saw my chance to redeem myself. “Do you have any super glue?”

    She looked at me funny, then she said, “Yeah, I think I have some in my desk.”
    
    I went over to the glass door and slid it open. The remote speaker on my belt squawked, “Slider, bedroom 2, open.” As I suspected, a simple barrel magnet in the door and a contact in the frame. I pulled out my Leatherman tool I wore on my belt and dug the magnet out. Josie appeared at my side with the glue. I cleaned off the magnet and glued it to the contact. Then I scraped out all the silicone from the magnet hole in the door. After a couple of seconds I opened and closed the door and there was no announcement from the remote speaker.

    “There you go, problem solved.” She smiled at me, again I had the warm gooey feeling inside.

    “Awesome, thanks!” She was really happy. Cool

    “Um, you do know that not only is that door not alarmed anymore, but if your folks set the alarm and see that door open, they will figure it out.”
    
    “No, they won’t, they don’t think I’m that smart.”

    As we passed through the kitchen on the way to the basement steps Josie saw her books, “Oh my god, I almost forgot these, that would be smart, I think my mom might wonder how my books beat me home.”

    I picked up the towel and she looked at me inquisitively, “Oh, I’ll take this home and wash it and bring it back tomorrow.”

    “Don’t be silly, give it.” She snatched it out of my hand and took off upstairs.

    When we got downstairs the garage door was open and we stood just inside of it looking at the torrential downpour a few feet in front of us. It was about 50 feet to the truck. I looked around for something we could use to cover ourselves with since it was apparent that both of us would be completely soaked in less than half the distance we needed to go. I found a couple of large clear plastic leaf bags, so the two of us looked like a couple of loonies running out to the truck. The bags did their jobs and she hid in the back until we cleared the main gate. Once on the road she sat down in the passenger seat and pulled out some mirrored sunglasses and a baseball hat and tucked her hair up inside.

    “What’s that supposed to be?” I asked in a jovial tone.

    “A disguise,” She was laughing and her voice sounded musical, “The other day we pulled up next to a car that had a couple of guys in it that I recognized from school. No big deal, but I got to thinking what if it were one of my mom’s friends. I don’t think I want to have to explain what I’m doing riding around in your truck when I’m supposed to be at the library.”

    I looked a little taken aback, like are you kidding?

    “Hey, seriously these rich housewives got nothing better to do that gossip.”

    I had to agree with her, “Uh, yeah, I don’t want to have to explain that to your mom either.” She nodded and smiled in agreement.

    We rode in silence for a few moments, I stole a glance and she looked deep in thought. It felt good just to be near her, I can’t really explain the feeling, I guess the closest thing would be serenity, but that didn’t hit it exactly.

    “Can I ask you something?” Her voice snapped me out of my serene like trance.

    “Sure, shoot.” I was ready to field any question she might ask.

    “When you said earlier that I had a nice rack, were you just saying it as like something nasty to say or did you mean that you really thought my boobs were nice?”

    Let me revise my earlier thought, I was ready to field any question except that one.

    “Uh, when I apologized earlier, I really meant it, do we really need to drag me through the mud again?” I wasn’t sure where she was going with this but I wanted to play it as safe as possible.

    “No, I’m serious, I want to know what you think about them because I’m really considering having them done.”

    Oh my God, what was she saying!?!

    I pulled the truck over to the side of the road rather abruptly and looked at her with true horror on my face.

    “No, please, I’m not a religious man by any stretch, but God gave you the perfect set of breasts, trust me, for the sake of all men everywhere and in the name of everything that is beautiful in this world, please, please, don’t ever do anything to those.”

    She dropped her jaw and let out a nervous laugh as she turned her whole body towards me, she flipped her hair back on the side of her face nearest me and asked, “For real? You’re not messing with me?”

    I looked right into her beautiful eyes and said in my most serious monotone, “As serious as I can be, really.”

    “So I guess that means you like them.” She chuckled partially to herself and partially out loud.

    I pulled the truck back out into the travel lane and continued on. We didn’t say anything else in the remaining few blocks. I pulled into the parking lot and went behind the restaurant, rolling to a stop in the corner. I cut the engine and looked at her.

    “I can’t believe we had a conversation about my boobs, but I just felt comfortable talking to you about it, anyway, thanks, I promise I won’t do anything to them, and..” She leaned over and kissed me on the side of my face, a move that completely shocked me.

    “That was for fixing the door in my room. See you Friday.” And with that she got out and closed the door. She grabbed one of the plastic bags and just draped it over her head and ran out into the rain. She turned and waved right before she slipped through the fence.

    I sat there for a minute trying to process what just happened. The most immediate concern was the bulge in my pants. When she leaned in to kiss me I caught her scent, it was a light lilac. I don’t know whether it was perfume or body wash, but I almost got lost in it when she was close. Poor Woody, yes I had a name for my penis, was all ready for action and I had to drive home.

    I looked down at my crotch, “Hey, don’t get all excited there, nothing is happening, and do yourself a favor, don’t get your hopes up with that one.”

    But as much as I tried not to think about her, my mind kept circling back around and her face appeared in my mind. The whole drive home I kept going over it. What was my goal with her? My dream was easy, I wanted to spend the summer dating, go for some bike rides, take a trip to the beach, drive through the mountains. Then in the fall I fantasized that she would come move in with me while she went to school in Baltimore, all this without her folks finding out about it.

    Yeah, right.

    But there is a difference between dreams and goals, dreams were just that, but a goal had to be something that had a real chance of happening.

    Until then, the goal had just been to see her and be near her, but after the kiss, I felt that I actually had a legitimate shot of sleeping with her. The risk that would be associated with attempting to sleep with her was huge, loss of job, probably have her parents try to torture me to death, or worse. So it would only be worth it if I actually sealed the deal. Guys in general are plain stupid, throughout history they have slept with women they shouldn’t have and right then I acknowledged my own stupidity. I wasn’t going to entertain the thought of walking away from the chance of sleeping with a woman as beautiful as Josie, because frankly, whatever it cost me it would be worth it. So I figured since she already said she could talk to me about anything, I was ‘in’ as her friend. I concluded that my best shot would be to take her for a ride on my Harley and use the time tested method of plying her with alcohol, and if she had a fight with her folks or a bad day or a fight with her douche-bag of a boyfriend, then maybe I could get her under the sheets.

    I finally made it home, two and a half hours later, thanks to the rain. Thank god I didn’t have to pay for the gas in that beast of a truck. I was drained from the frustration of sitting in stop and go traffic for that long. I changed clothes and immediately got out the laptop and MMF. I grabbed a beer and sat on the couch and uploaded the pictures. I lingered over those ‘wet t-shirt’ shots admiring her beauty, how perfect she was. I leaned back and closed my eyes and replayed her leaning over and kissing me, over and over again. I gave into the obsession with her for a half hour, then put it all away and vowed not to think about her again until Friday.

    Come Friday morning I was in an absolutely foul mood. Andy, that fucking ass hole, blew off Thursday and after I reamed him out for that, swore there would be two trucks at the job first thing Friday morning. It was almost noon and he wasn’t answering his phone. I called his office and got Marta, his hot little Brazilian secretary, and left a couple of nasty messages with her. Carlos and the guys cleaned up and I sent them to another job to help out on framing. If the roofers ever showed up, they would have to pull back the blue tarp themselves. Sonny had called me twice to find out their status and I could hear him cursing out Andy’s name even when he was trying to muffle the phone.

    “Dude, that’s it, I’m going to get a new roofer, fuck that guy.”

    “Sonny, look, I’m not going to excuse his actions but I do know his wife is going through some health issues right now, some I’m cutting him a little more slack than normal, but he’s almost pushed me too far.”
    
    “Alright, you handle it, but if that psycho-bitch from hell you got there calls me and starts yelling, Andy is history.” Nothing like a good old fashion conflict to deal with.

    I sat in my office doing the sub request when I saw three of them for Gonzalez Roofing. Two of them were legit, for jobs they completed earlier in the week. But the third was for this job, the nerve of that prick. I vetoed the Caitlin request and flagged the other two, requesting that Mary Ann have the checks sent to me instead of to Andy's office. I went to use the can and when I got back there was a fax printed out in the tray. I looked at the clock, 1:15. It was Jimmies crew’s time sheets, I had to laugh, I guess he took what I said last week to heart. By 2:00 I had all the time sheets and requests ready and sent them all to Mary Ann. I had left the garden door open for Josie, but I still wanted to be up there to see her when she came in. The phone rang and it was the glass company. Even though they had detailed drawings for the window that fit into the gable, they wanted a scaled photo to be extra safe. The gable was made out of iron and was one piece for structural support, so I could understand that the photo would help, but I swore I sent them one, but reviewing everything in the MMF I couldn’t find it, so I would have to figure out a way to get them another one.

    I walked out to the pool area and looked up. The big blue tarp covered the gable end but extended out past a frame we had put up so that there was room to work. If I undid all the cleats we had holding the tarp in place and tried to pull it up I still couldn’t get a clear shot at the window opening, plus, I doubted that I could do it by myself. From where I was standing, by the pool, the house looked like a large upside down ‘U’ with the leg to my right extending 30 yards further down than the left side. The kitchen, and garages below, were at the tip of the ‘U’ on the left and Josie’s room on the second floor, the family room on the main floor and a rec room at the basement or level with the pool made up the tip of the ‘U’ on the right. The family room and the rec room extended out past Josie’s room by the 16 feet that made up her terrace, which was on top the end of the family room, if all that makes any sense. The reason I mention it is because the roof level on the right side of the house was a lot higher than it was over the kitchen area. There was no third floor on the left leg of the ‘U’. From what I could tell, if I released the tarp at the top and rolled it carefully down past the gable end I could tie it to the frame and from the other end of the ‘U’, way up above Josie’s room I would be able to get a shot that was not obstructed, and then I could unroll the tarp back up to the top and do it by myself. Sounded like a plan. I called the glass shop and told them it would take me about an hour to get the picture to them.

    Well it damn near took an hour to get the tarp rolled back and secured. I hadn’t seen Josie, I didn’t know if she was home or not, since I had been up on the roof for the last hour. The peak of the kitchen roof ran into the main roof about halfway down. The pitch was fairly steep so I had to be extra careful. I wished I had on tennis shoes instead of boots. I made it to the peak of the main roof and straddled it and made my way around to the other end of the ‘U’. I sat down and kind of scooted my way down to about 3 feet from the end. I had a perfect view of the gable and took my photo. I sat there with the MMF and transmitted the photo and made sure they received it before I climbed down. While waiting for confirmation I took the opportunity to look around. It was a beautiful day, crystal clear sky about 85 degrees and no humidity, just about perfect. The view was awesome, out past the pool there was a lightly wooded area maybe 50 yards deep and then a 10 foot chain link fence with barbed wire on top of it that extended as far as I could see through the trees. Then there was a small maintenance area that serviced the park beyond. Soccer fields and picnic areas gave way to more forest area and I could not see another house in that direction. I leaned over to look down onto Josie’s terrace. I could see what looked like a hand, hell if she was out reading or something I’d call down to her. I had to slide my butt over another foot and a half and then lean out over the roof edge to see. I’m glad I was sitting because if I weren’t, I would have fallen off.

    Josie was sunbathing, in the nude. My mouth went dry as any thoughts of calling down to her were replaced by the desire to be as silent as possible. She was lying on her tummy and I had the runway view of her, from her toes. Her legs were slightly spread. My palms got sweaty just looking at her. I swear, her ass looked phenomenal in those shorts she had on the other day, but seeing it like this left me breathless. Never in all the years of strip clubs and looking through men’s magazines had I even seen an ass so perfect. I had to get a grip, what was wrong with me? Here was a sweet, innocent high school girl, doing something on her own terrace with the expectation of complete privacy and I was sitting there just staring at her. What was I thinking? I held a 10 mega-pixel high resolution camera with a 10x zoom in my hand. Instead of staring, I could be recording these moments so I could enjoy them forever. I didn’t use the view screen on the MMF much since it took such high resolution photos, I would always put it on the widest setting and just point it in the right general direction, then later edit the photo to what I needed. In this case I wanted to actually take some good shots, so I flipped out the view screen and swiveled it to the best angle. Laying on my stomach I was able to take a full body shot then, sweaty palms and all, zoom in for an extreme close-up of the most masterfully crafted ass in history. After getting that shot I continued to look at the viewer, when suddenly she propped herself up on one arm. I guess I jumped and hit the take button because I have that picture but don’t remember ever taking it.

    I pulled myself back from the edge so I could not be seen from where she was. I waited what seemed like forever and, holding the viewer only I slowly slid the MMF out until I could see her on the screen. She was sitting up with her knees bent up and her feet up close to her, it looked a bit odd for a second until I realized she was putting on lotion on her legs. I got the shot and pulled the MMF back from over the edge. Man, if she looked up and caught me taking nude pictures of her I was a dead man. Never mind ever trying to get her into bed, I’d be lucky if she ever talked to me again. I debated whether to risk any more shots. If she were on her back she would be basically looking right at the camera, well, she would have to lean her head forward but, it wouldn’t take much. Stupidity won out and I went over for another shot, her head was down and her eyes closed, I breathed a sigh of relief. I got that shot and a close up of her perfect rack. They looked good in a wet t-shirt all tight and all, but they made my mouth dry in the buff. So perfect, my god. Then I panned down to her private area and took another close-up. I had to do a little bit of a double take, on this perfect goddess like creature, I had finally found a flaw, well not a flaw, I was nit picking, it was just something that could be improved on. Her bush was rather wild, I don’t think it had ever been trimmed. It wasn’t like she was a hairy girl or anything, but she had this big mop of light brown curls between her legs. I smiled, nothing that a quick bout with the trimmer couldn’t solve.

    I decided that there was no more benefit to remaining there any longer. I had the fantasy shots of a lifetime and it wasn’t worth any more risk. As I got back around to the lower roof on the kitchen side, the MMF rang. Oh Jesus, If that had rang when I was taking those shots I would have been so busted. I shook my head at my carelessness as I answered. The glass company said they got the scaled photo and it was good to go. So I started the task of rolling the tarp up and anchoring it back down. I looked at the clock, not bad, it was a little before 4, the kitchen just needed a minor touch-up, and when that was completed I took off my shoes and went upstairs, hoping on the way that her door was open and she was still outside.

    It wasn’t, but there was a note on its that read, “I’m in the shower, come in and sit, I’ll only be a couple of minutes.” It was signed with a J and a heart shaped smiley face. I knocked lightly, just in case, as I went in. I could hear the shower running, the door was not closed all the way, but I thought better of going over there and pressing my luck. After a minute or two, the shower stopped and she came into the room with a towel around her and another wrapped around her hair.

    She saw me and smiled, “Hey, how’s it going?”

    “Great,” I couldn’t tell her just how great, “I’m fixing to get out of here and I thought I’d see if you wanted a ride or not, now that you can leave at you leisure.”

    “Well,” she said with the charming tone of a woman that wanted something, “Today would be a good day to get a ride. If you don’t mind.”, again flashing her charming smile.

    She grabbed something out of a drawer, I assumed underwear, and went back into the bathroom, but didn’t close the door.

    From inside she half shouted, “I’m going to this thing they’re having tonight for Jessie.” And then the blow drier came on for a couple of minutes. When she came out she was wearing a very stylish black cocktail dress, strapless and revealing, but not sleazy at all.

    “Wow, you look fantastic,” I drooled with no attempt to hide my admiration.

    “Thanks,” Again the smile that could melt a heart. She put in a couple of dangly earrings and came right over to me and turned around. The dress was form fitting and I got so lost staring at her flawless backside that I almost put my arms around her to hug her, thankfully I managed to catch myself at the last second. “Will you zip me?”

    I smiled at my stupidity, it had been a long time since I was anywhere near a woman getting dressed into something nice enough to require my help to ‘zip her’.

    “Oh, can you hook this too, please?” She turned and batted her eyes at me intentionally to look extra cute. I fumbled with the tiny clasps on the necklace, and my palms were getting sweaty, but I got it. She turned with a big smile and kissed me on the cheek again. She backed up slowly and gave me a wonderful series of smiles. I wanted to jump into an ice cold shower right then and there. Then she put on some semi flat dress shoes and a little purse. When she stood up she was easily 6 ft. 1, I imagined that if she put heels on she would be looking me in the eyes.

    On the way to the library, she said, “Thurston is picking me up in a half hour.” It was a bummer to be reminded of that ass wipe, I know he had no appreciation of this siren from Olympus. As we pulled into our now designated drop off spot, I said, “Have fun.”

    She made a face, “Yeah, like that’s going to happen. This night is all about Jessie, it’s her first concert that she’s featured, so since it’s NOT about Thurston, he’ll spend the whole night telling me how great he is, how great his car is, how great Harvard is, how great his family is, anything that will get me to focus on him instead of Jessie, or anyone else playing. I’m so fucking tired of it.”
    
    “Well, try to have fun anyway, and um, you do look great.” She nodded and smiled again and then disappeared behind the fence.

    I drove off thinking about her so much that I actually pulled onto I-95 and had to turn around at the next exit and come back to get to the Tavern.

    When Sonny got there the main topic was Andy, with Sonny again, insisting I fire him.

    “Sonny,” I looked at him with a very serious look. “I remember a year and a half ago, we were sitting right here, on these stools, just before Anna’s boob job,” Sonny started grinning.

    “Remember that night? We got her way drunk and she finally gave us a ‘before’ peek. We even got her to agree to a photo.”

    “I have the before and after pictures framed in my office.” Sonny barely got it out before cracking up.

    “Okay, well,” I continued. “Do you remember that you were so pissed at one of the plumbers that it took you 4 shots of Jaeger to stop shaking?”

    Sonny nodded sadly.

    “That was the night you made me the ops boss. You didn’t want the hassles of dealing with the subs anymore, and I agreed to take over but we had a deal. If a sub went behind my back and tried to get you to change one of my calls, you would tell them no. And dude, we both agreed it had to be that way, or I would have no real authority. Like the other day when I bitched out Jimmie, I probably scared the crap out of him.”

    Sonny was nodding. “Oh, trust me, you did, the poor boy was shaking. I think that with me there he thought he could be cool and try to slide, but I told him that if he pissed you off and you canned him, that was the final word. He called me ‘sir’ the rest of the day.” We both started laughing.

    “You know that Jimmie was the first one in with his time sheets today.”

    Another round of laughing ensued. Sonny’s face was getting red from the laugh fest. “I’m surprised he didn’t sent them in on Monday.”

    This time I had to wait for the laughing to subside. “Well, did I sound pissed on the phone?”
    
    Sonny nodded, “I don’t think I have ever heard you more angry.”

    “Good, but what you didn’t see was Carlos, sitting in my office, laughing so hard he almost fell out of his chair. When I hung up, the stress was gone, you box it up and leave it in the office and you don’t take it home with you. You get it up the next morning and unpack it and deal with anything that needs dealing with."

    “Alright Josh, point made, what are you going to do about Andy?” He had a slightly defeated tone in his voice.

    “Well,” I took a sip off my drink, “Andy has played hide and seek the last two days, and like I said, he has some issues going on right now so I’m cutting him a little slack, but if he fucks me on Monday, I’m going to hit him in the head with a sledge hammer and it will hurt.”

    Sonny looked at me puzzled.

    “I had his checks from the Summers and Barton Street jobs sent to me.”

    Sonny looked at me with his eyes wide.

    “And if his guys show up like they are supposed to, I will give them to him. But if not, well, he’ll probably be on the phone to you whining about how unreasonable and inhuman I am.”

    Sonny was almost pissed again. “If that fucker calls me I’ll can him.”

    “No.” I shook my head slowly, “You won’t, you can tell him that if it was up to you, you would but it’s not anymore, and you can talk about the,” Sonny joined in with me for the finish of the sentence, so like a chorus, “weather, sports, fishing and bike riding or anything else that does not involve either the jobs or money.”

    Anna looked over at us and said “Sounds like you guys are practicing for a play.”
    
    We laughed, I added, “Yeah, one we’ve performed too many times.”

    Sonny and I clicked our glasses in salute and slammed whatever was remaining of our drinks.

    I agreed to stay for the ‘Anna show’, apparently last week for some reason she developed sudden shyness and Sonny had to go without. Carlos surprised me and showed up bringing in Lewis, who was another project manager. Lewis had been with the company about three years less than I had been and it was generally understood that when Sonny retired, as he had threatened to do often, Lewis would move up and take my spot.

    I greeted him with, “Louie! What’s up bro, your old lady let you come out for a change?”

    “She took the kids to see their grandma, so I got a pass tonight.”

    We all laughed. And then before the next round of drinks was served, Jimmie came in with another lead carpenter, a very good craftsman named Chip.

    I looked at Sonny, “What’d you do, call a company party?”
    
    He just shrugged, “I guess.”

    It was clear that Jimmie and Chip had been out drinking somewhere prior to their arrival. Soon enough it was ‘Anna time’ and everyone else had cleared out except our little party.

    She came over to me and Sonny, “If you two think that I’m going to show them in front of all these guys, no, there is no way.” She was shaking her head emphatically during the end of her statement.

    Sonny looked at me and said, “You’re on, make me proud.”

    So, it was my task to get her to do her show for all the guys there. Great. I called her over. “Anna, sweetheart, I want to buy you a shot.”

    She retorted, “You just think I’m blond and stupid, and you know if I get drunk I turn into a party girl, well it’s not going to work.” She was very firm about that.

    “Anna, I don’t think you’re blond and stupid.” I just think you’re stupid. “I think you are a dedicated bartender that deserves a little reward at the end of a rough day.” I said it in my most sympathetic voice I could muster.

    She looked at me intently, I had to maintain until I sold it.

    “You’re right, I do deserve one drink, but just one, there is no way.”

    I nodded trying to be understanding. We did a shot of Jaeger and I went over to Sonny.

    “Dude, I’ve done ‘phase one’, if I try any more, she’ll get wise. I figure she needs three shots in her before she gets unhinged, I got one down her. You have to do number two. Here’s the plan. Go over and order seven shots of Jaeger, when she brings them out, pose a toast to her for being the best bartender we ever had.” He looked at me, ”Do you know what that costs?"

    “You wanted a solution, up to you. If it makes you feel any better I’ll pick up the tab for phase three.” With a disgusted look he headed down to the end of the bar and whispered something in Anna’s ear.

    When she brought the tray with the seven shots, Sonny stood up, as she put a shot glass in front of all of us, and announced, “Guys, gather around.”

    Conversation stopped and the guys all came over.

    “Anna has been our bartender here for many years and I just want to drink a salute to her for her wonderful service.”

    I put my glass up and said “Hear, hear.”
    
    We all picked up and drank, and Anna, her face flush with embarrassment picked the remaining glass on the tray and drank it down, faster, I might add, than some of our guys. I gave it a few minutes and then went over to her.

    “Look, I’m kinda the real boss of these guys and I don’t want Sonny to be able to take all the glory. I have to do a salute to you too or I’ll lose respect.”

    She was getting tipsy, but she looked at me and said in a very sober voice, “I understand, no problem.” Jesus, this was too easy.

    She came out with seven more shots in a few minutes.

    “Gentlemen,” I announced while offering up my glass, as everyone followed suit I continued, “As your TRUE leader,” I looked right at Sonny when I said that and he started laughing, “I would also like to make a toast to the finest bartender to ever serve this motley crew. Here’s to Anna!” She got a little red faced but she drank down the shot with the rest of us.

    After about five minutes, Anna was in the back cashing out, Carlos weaved his way over to me. “God damn boss, you guys do this every Friday?”

    I nodded my head, “We work hard, then we play hard.”

    He laughed then asked quietly, “I heard that sometimes that bartender, um, she uh, gets a little wild, and um you know.”
    
    I looked at his drunk ass, “My god man, spit it out.”

    He took a deep breath, “I heard she like takes off her top.”

    Well, I wasn’t sure that she’d ever taken it all the way off, but she would pull it up all the way, but one could always hope. I handed Carlos a buck and pointed to the juke box.

    “Only when there’s music playing. Put in 174 and then 308, then whatever, it won’t matter after that. He was busting up while he went over and punched in the numbers for ‘Starry Eyed Surprise’ and ‘Jump Around’.

    Now both those songs have very distinctive openings so when the first notes from the synthesizer played and the vocal came over ‘Hey DJ’, Anna came bouncing out of the back, “I love this song.”
    
    I looked over at Sonny and he already had a five out, I pulled out a folded over stack of bills from my front pocket and slid out a five myself. Anna had on one of those tank tops held up by spaghetti straps and a floppy bra underneath it also with thin straps. When I say floppy bra, I mean one with no under wire or support, after she had her puppies done they had enough lift to probably do well in five times gravity. The shirt showed a modest amount of cleavage, at least when she wasn’t leaning way over the bar and mashing them together as she was doing right in front of Sonny. He slipped the five between her boobs and she moved over in front of me, after a little more jumping around and leaning over I obliged by slipping in my five as well.

    Jimmie was next followed by Carlos and on down the line, however, right before Lewis was about to get his little dance in front of him, he came over to me with Jimmie right next to him.

    “Hey Josh, do you think she’ll lose the shirt?”
    
    I smiled, they had not seen the ‘Anna show’ before. Lewis really needed to get out more.

    “Dude, I tell you, I’m thinking that if you get another drink in her and get her up close when she gets to you, and you wave a twenty in her face, well, there’s just no telling what that girl will do.”

    Jimmie tapped me on the shoulder, “Hey boss, she’s locking up all the liquor cabinets, maybe we should try to buy a bottle.” Oh boy this was getting serious.

    I leaned over to Sonny who’s attention was hyper-locked on Anna, “Hey,” I had to bump him, “Hey, does this here qualify as a ‘team building event’?”
    
    He looked around and appeared to be counting heads, he knew what I was really asking. He slowly nodded, “Abso-fucking-lutely!”

    I called real loud and got Anna over. “Hey darlin’, you got a full bottle of Yeager-Meister chilling back there?”

    She smiled and gave a goofy nod, the alcohol was taking effect.

    “Well then could you bring it out for us before you close us out? And everything is on one check,” and I handed her my company corporate AMX card.
    
    “Sure thing, sweetie.” She said that last comment in a way that made me think maybe she wasn’t as drunk as I thought she was.

    She came out with the bottle and asked me to come to the end of the bar. All of a sudden she was pure business. The tab was $181.500, but before my slightly impaired mind could process it and reply, she started a very professional accounting of it.
    ,
    “Look, here I charged you for 2 bottles at $75.00 each, the charge per shot is $5.50 and so far we’re at 16 shots, (I quickly did the math and 2 rounds of 7 only equaled 14, but I was willing to let it slide to see where she was going.) so I charged you for a bottle since it’s a little cheaper.”

    It took me a second to calculate but 16 shots at $5.50 per was 88 bucks, 2 shots at $5.50 was $11.00 subtract and I came up with $77.00 which was still a deal, a 2 dollar deal but a deal still.

    As I signed the receipt and tipped her $40 on the company card I said smugly, “I only counted 14 shots, but I added it up and it still worked out, so I let it slide.”

    She smiled at me said in a sweet, but condescending tone, “Babe, you and I did a shot to start it off, remember? Besides, since I charged you for the bottle I figured you should get the rest of the bottle.” And she handed over a bottle with about a third of it left. At that moment I realized who was playing who. I did a rough count and she had already got around 65 dollars in tips from us, plus 3 shots with more coming of both. I smiled, it worked for me.

    I looked up at her “Sorry, my bad.” Just then ‘Jump Around’ started playing and she looked right at me and accused me, “You did this on purpose.” And then she started jumping around.

    Her shirt came off the next time she got near Lewis, somehow Jimmie became the new bartender and announced rounds were ready every few minutes. She kept pulling her bra up and down and rubbing her boobs on guys faces probably in a ratio to how much they offered her. I know I saw a few trips to the ATM by a few of us, and, uh yes, me included. I clearly recall a moment when she was sitting on my lap and banging me in the face with her boobs, but they felt hard and not natural, and to be honest, I couldn’t help thinking that Josie’s would have been so much more pleasant.

    After a couple more rounds, things got a little blurry. I remember taking a picture of Sonny getting a ‘boob facial’ and Anna’s bra was looped around his neck. There was a great shot of Chip with his glasses fogged up and she cleaned them off, with, well, you know what, both of them. There must have been a lot of cash involved because I had photos on the MMF of her nude dancing on the bar with me holding her G-string, and then lap dances for everyone. There was one clear moment I recall through the haze, when Anna was gyrating her body and grinding her shaved pussy hard into my crotch, I was holding a twenty in my mouth. As she was banging her boobs against the side of my head, I kept thinking about how hard they were. Titties were supposed to be soft and supple, not feel like I was having my brains beaten in by a couple of coconuts. Then again, I had seen what they were like before she had her boob job and they looked like couple of misshapen water balloons that someone had stepped on, so in her case it was an improvement.

    I couldn’t help but think about the two perfect little round mounds I had the privilege to view earlier in the day and wonder how soft and supple they were. Unfortunately, thinking of Josie made Woody stand up and start straining to get a better view, an event not lost on Anna who took the compliment as her own. She started rubbing and gyrating harder and harder, I guess trying to make me come through my pants. Her plan apparently backfired as she ended up making herself come and almost fell over backwards. I grabbed her fast and kept her upright, pulling her back up and having her boobs hit me in the face again. While the guys cheered, I tongued each one of her nipples and tipped her. She moved along to torture Jimmie and grind on him for a while, which was good because I had to rearrange my pants a little to gain a semblance of comfort. There was a little bit of a wet spot on the front of my jeans where Anna had ‘creamed’ on me.

    She kept it up for a little while then it appeared that she might get hurt by falling off of someone, so Sonny and I got her calmed down a little and dressed her. We gathered up the guys and she was able to lock up and set the alarm, but we determined that she was a little too drunk to drive. The next thing that I remember there was a brief problem because Chip and Jimmie got into it over who got to take Anna home, but calmer heads prevailed, mainly me and Sonny’s, and we loaded her into a taxi looking fully clothed, well almost, as the taxi pulled away Sonny turned to me and had Anna’s bra in his mouth. I about choked from laughing so hard. Sonny could be a goofball sometimes. Sonny and I made everyone walk across the parking lot to the Denny’s and we ate and drank buckets of coffee before driving home. I got home at 3:30 in the morning.

    I was amazed the next morning, barely still morning, and what a hangover, but anyway, that everyone made it home safe, including Anna. Sonny was always so proud that he got to take her bra home, so I never mentioned that I found her panties in my pocket a couple of days later while doing laundry. My Saturday’s crowning achievements were sealing the tile in my new master bath and setting the toilet. Sunday, however, I was off to a swap meet in Philly, bright and early. I was bummed because I couldn’t take my bike as the chances of scoring went up dramatically when I was out on it, but I couldn’t figure a way to drag the ‘73 shovelhead motor that I had rebuilt up there on the bike. I was only asking $2500, and it didn’t take long, I got an offer for $2300 and took it. The wrecked bike cost me $500, and I put maybe $125 into it, so I was happy to turn the profit. The best part of the day was that I hit the 50-50. I had never won it at an event that big, and I only bought five bucks worth of tickets, but the payout, holy shit, it was over $750. I got home with a pocket full of cash and some sweetie’s number promising to go for a ride with me. Life was good. I did manage to finally upload Josie’s pictures to her file, but honestly, I didn’t want to look at them. I felt a little guilty in the first place for taking them and then, well, the weekend was a huge distraction, probably a much needed one.

    Monday came and I rolled into the Caitlin’s around 6:50, needless to say the house was deserted. Rusty was on the road and the Ice Queen wasn’t taking any chances. Carlos showed up before 8, but no roofers. With countless calls in to Andy’s cell not being answered, just before noon I sent Carlos over to Chip’s job and, well, Andy had finally pushed me to my limit. I stewed around for a couple hours getting madder and madder, and finally just before 2:00 I called Marta again.

    “Josh, please, I’ve told you, he’s not available, I’ve given him every message and he’s sworn to me he would call you as soon as he gets a chance. He won’t tell me but I think he’s at the hospital with his wife.”
    
    I had heard enough, this was it. “Well, Marta, understand that I’m not pissed at you, I just don’t have the time anymore to be sensitive and understanding. My sympathy for his situation bought him a couple days, but he screwed that up on Friday, and now, this is it. If I don’t get a call from him in 10 minutes, I am going to cancel every job he has with us and I will have a new roofing contractor by the end of the day. Not only that, but I will cancel Sunnyside’s endorsement of him at the Roofer’s Supply meaning he will no longer have a line of credit there. And, by the way, don’t bother looking in the mail this afternoon for the checks from Barton Street or Summers, because I have them in my back pocket, and at exactly,” I looked at the time and added 10 minutes . “2:11, I will tear those checks in half, and if Andy thinks he’s been playing ‘hard to find’ the last few days then just wait until he tries to find me if he thinks he’s going to get those checks re-issued.”

    There was a stunned silence, then Marta said with a matter of fact tone, “He’s really gone and screwed up this time, hasn’t he?”
    
    I was nodding, even though she couldn’t see me, “Uh, yeah, pretty much. Ten minutes.” And I hung up the phone as she was saying, “I’ll do what I can…”
    I started pacing back and forth, telling myself that if he didn’t call me I was really going to follow through with my threat. It was 6 minutes later when the phone rang, Andy was a little more than pissed.

    “God damn it Josh, I’m at the fuckin’ hospital waiting for my wife to get out of surgery, what is so fuckin’ important that it couldn’t wait?”

    So Marta could reach him, if it was important enough. I loaded up both barrels and took dead aim.

    “Andy, I don’t give a rat’s ass in hell if you’ve been in a meeting with the fucking pope himself, you brought this on yourself by being a selfish bastard and not bothering to pick up your god damned phone and giving me the courtesy of a fucking phone call.” I was yelling and just getting more pissed off, but it didn’t stop Andy from continuing to try to roll the excuse train in.

    “When did you become a heartless bastard Josh? I’m at the hospital hoping my wife doesn’t die and I’ve had to take care of my kids since Wednesday, I guess it didn’t cross my mind to call you to chat.”

    The tone of his voice got under my skin, no indication of remorse, he was going to try to take the high road with me and use his wife’s health as an issue again.

    The real issue was that the Caitlin job wasn’t a huge moneymaker for him, and not only that, but we were the only contractors that gave him a ‘draw’, that’s an advanced payment for materials and supplies. No one else trusted him anymore, that’s why I talked Sonny into backing his line of credit at his supply house. So not only were we giving him cash up front for future work, but we were risking possible financial losses so he could do jobs for other contractors as well. One day Marta told me when I was over there dropping off plans for him and he was in the can, that we were his favorite contractor. When I asked why, that’s when she spilled the beans. Part of the agreement we had with him for setting him up with the credit line was that we always got priority service, which he agreed to vigorously. But the reality was, as soon as cash got tight, he would blow us off and do another job. I was sick of it, and I was furious that he would try and accuse me of being ‘uncaring’ and then use his sick wife to cover for his actions.

    “You know Andy, if you can’t handle the responsibility and commitments then I’m going to have to find someone that will.”
    
    “Give me a fucking break, Josh.” He was starting up again, I just stared out the window overlooking the driveway and the trailer, fuming.

    “I’ve shut everything down since Wednesday, I’m bringing her home from the hospital tomorrow, and I promise, first thing on Wednesday, I’ll make sure that you guys are taken care of.”
    
    He just lit my fuse, I caught him in a big fat lie and now he was going to suffer. “Fuck you Andy, do you think I’m fucking stupid?” Now the stupid idiot was starting to get scared.
    “What are you talking about? “ His tone was more nervous and not so high and mighty as before.

    “You see Andy, I have a friend of mine named Dave, you know Dave, he’s the General Manager over at Apex and he was telling me how you had all three of your trucks over there on Thursday and Friday, filled with guys who claimed to work for you. He even said he thought he saw them this morning, I asked him if he could go out and double-check for me, just so when I called you a lying, cheating, low life cock sucker, like I now know that you are, I would be sure I was right.”
    
    Barely audible was the “Oh shit.” he mumbled. Now I was on a roll.

    “Why I don’t shit can your lying ass right this second I don’t know, but here’s the deal. I am not having this ‘Bitch from Hell’ up here get all up in my face and crawl up my ass because she still has a blue tarp over her house because her roof isn’t done. So you will have every truck you own and every one on your pay role, with the sole exception of Marta, sitting outside this gate at 6:45 tomorrow morning saddled up and ready to rock, or I swear to fucking god, I will fuck you so hard up the ass financially, that you'll wish I used my big-ass real fucking cock!” I was shouting out the last part and hung up before he could reply.

    I put my hand over my forehead, this time the veins were sticking out, and I was so mad I was still shaking. I took a couple of deep breaths to calm down and slowly turned to go down to the trailer, I stopped and froze in mid-stride. There, sitting on the job box, with a very amused look on her face, was Josie. The expression on my face was a classic ‘oh my god, no’ look.

    “Uh, h-h-how long have you been sittin’ there?” I managed to stammer out. There may be a chance she didn’t hear much of the tirade. A huge cat-got-the-bird grin spread out over her face.

    “She is the ‘bitch from hell’, don’t sweat it.” She was laughing.

    Never mind, she heard enough. I sighed and hung my head, then she added, “I guess there’ll be roofers here tomorrow.” Again with a laugh.

    “Oh man,” I was having a little trouble finding the right words. “I’m sorry about that, there was probably a few choice phrases that I used that tender ears on sweet young things should not be exposed to.”

    “Please, my dad’s a baseball player, I’ve heard way worse in the dugout, besides it sounds like to me, he had it coming.”

    “He did,” I agreed, “but I shouldn’t have, um maybe been more careful with…”

    She interrupted. “Josh, can I ask you something?” I was happy to change the subject. “Sure, shoot.”
    
    “Do you think I’m attractive?”

    I was ready for this one. This was a standard question that all women asked in various forms. Do you think I’m pretty, does this dress look good on me, do you like my haircut, and so on. As a man, you are always expected to say ‘yes’, or ‘of course’, or any other sort of reaffirming statement. So for sheer shock value, I always went negative first and came back with a bigger positive.

    “No,”She looked a little hurt and slightly surprised. “No, calling you attractive would be like calling Mount Everest a bump.”
    
    It took a second or two for her to process the veiled compliment, but when she did, a big smile spread across her face. I felt so slick, like I had just hit a pinch hit home run or something. Making her smile like that was, well, it just made me feel really good inside. So Mr. Slick followed that comment up with attempting to clip the MMF back on my belt, and missing. As it fell to the floor, I hung my head and reached down to retrieve it.

    Nice going Josh. That was real smooth. As I was picking it up I heard the words that would change my life forever. Her voice was musical but nervous, “Would you pay fifty dollars to have sex with me?”

    My eyes bugged out, and my head snapped up as if someone had just rammed a huge ice cycle up my ass with no warning. I opened my mouth to speak, but the only words that came out were, “Excuse me?”
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