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the reunion show

Chapter Sixteen

We got onto the elevator, again, alone, and the doors shut. Stepping back I grabbed his ass and rubbed it a bit. “You got a great ass!”

“Yeah, but ease up, Captain Kirk,” he smirked. I smiled back remembering my comment to him the first night we were on the deck at the studio. “My galaxy is still a bit sore.”

I grinned as the elevator dropped down to the lobby.

* * * * * * * * * *

I looked over to the east and my breath was taken away. All of my life I had wanted to do this; had dreamed of it. Never would I have thought it could be this beautiful. The air was cool and crisp as it whipped past us. I took a deep breath and closed my eyes, enjoying the feelings that were going through me at that very moment. No matter how many times I experienced it, those feelings would never change, would never go away. I closed my eyes and lay my head on my arms which were folded across the railing. The rhythm was slow and sensuous, almost maddening. I felt the soft vibrations in the railing and opened my eyes to see the snow capped mountains slowly gliding by as we slid through the Gulf of Alaska. I looked down and the water looked so cold as it frothed and foamed along the sides of the Dawn Princess, just one of the beautiful ships in the Princess fleet.

I felt two hands reach beneath my chest and suddenly I was standing again, this time being pushed a little closer to the railing. My nipples were poking through my shirt, not because of the chilly October air in the Gulf, but because Scott had such a rhythm going in my ass and he kept washing his hands under my shirt and over my chest, taking a moment or two to slowly jack me in time to the great fuck he was hittin’ me with. We were both standing, me with a raging hardon poking through the railing of the ship, Scott with his thick eight sliding in and out of my ass. I tilted my head a little to give him access to my neck, which he always loved chewing on.

We’d been going at it for only fifteen minutes or so when I felt that familiar tingling at the back of my thighs, signaling that my orgasm was near. “I’m about to cum,” I said to him. He said nothing, just held me closer to him and kept the same slow rhythm. In…..out……in…..out….
”Fuckkkk,” I groaned as my cum started to shoot from my swollen dick, coating his ever- pistoning hands. His fist coated my dick with my own milky sauce as he slowly jabbed at my prostate with his dick helmet. God, this is what men were made for! I thought.

After I finished blowing my load all over his hand and the railing, and had a second to calm down a bit, I pulled myself off of Scott, turned around and kissed him. I pushed him back into one of the chairs on our private deck, knelt down beside him, and took his cock all the way into my mouth and down my throat. I held it in for a bit once my lips were pressed against his balls. “God, Logan, how do you do that…” I hummed around it as best as I could and pulled back off. Then I started licking and sucking the head and top of his shaft. After a minute or two of this teasing, with his hands pushing on my head I swooped down and deep throated him again. “Fuck! I’m not gonna last!” I kept the rhythm up; bob, bob, bob…swoop, over and over until he held the back of my head and neck and thrust up into my hungry mouth.

Three years of doing this and I never lost my appetite for the taste and feel of my man Scott. By now I was an old pro at handling his thick, hard girth. I pulled my head back one last time and rubbed his balls as they started churning their batter into my mouth. I swallowed every last drop. Then I tightened my lips around his head and pistonned my head really fast on it. This drove him completely insane. “God. Shit. Fuck. Stop. Please, Logan…” Then I dove back down on him one last time and milked the last bit out of him.

Sitting up I asked him, “How’s your sea sickness now?”

Scott lasted an exhausted laugh and said, “What sea sickness!”

I smiled and said, “See! I think you fucked it right out of yourself.”

“God, I love you so much,” he said rubbing my back, smiling.

“I love you, too. Hang on. Be right back,” I said and pulled my pants back up, then went inside our suite to grab a blanket. I came back out onto our deck and wrapped it around us. Perfect fuckin’ afterglow, I thought. Our suite was on the starboard side of the ship and we were heading north. The sun was setting on the port side of the ship and was casting an orange glow on the mountains in western Canada. I wrapped my arms around Scott, lay my head on his shoulder and watched the coast gliding by in the distance. Closing my eyes I thought about everything that had brought Scott and I to this point….

* * * *

When we got back to the studio from the Plaza we were inundated with questions from Deanna. Where we’d been, what we’d done. I don’t think she wanted details, like serious details, but nonetheless we divulged nothing. Frankly it was none of her business. Since it was the day that was originally supposed to be the end of the show we all sat around just hanging out, waiting to hear word from the producers what the big “twist” was supposed to be. It turned out that they wanted to shuffle some of us out of the studio and replace us with four other people. It seems as though they wanted to see how the people who’d bonded in the first five weeks would get together with other classmates in the last three weeks.

We all thought it sounded kinda dopey, but, okay. We had to draw from a hat the names of the people who’d leave the apartment and go home. None of us wanted to do that. We’d all spent the last 840 hours of our lives around each other and hated to part. Even worse, half of us would be staying. But what could we do? We didn’t really have any say in the matter, except for playing Lady Luck.

Part of me hoped that Scott and I could stay there in la-la land. Let’s face it, reality shows aren’t real. People are put into places and positions that they’d never be in in the first place, only with dozens of video cameras recording every move and utterance. They should change the name to “reaction shows,” because basically all that’s being recorded are the reactions to people who are placed within certain guidelines for whatever number of weeks. Take Fear Factor. On what planet would I ever eat cow brains and a pig uterus? None that I know of. That’s not reality, that’s gross-out television.

The other part of me wanted us to stay inside the studio was because I was a bit concerned about what our lives would be like once reality hit. I lived in Marietta; he lived in eastern Atlanta in Inman Park. Not exactly a close proximity to each other. I was a teacher in a small private school. He was a builder. No big shit, there. Maybe I was trying to invent things to keep us on an uneven level once our Love Boat episode was over, if indeed it was over. I guess I needed to quit thinking so fuckin’ much, since 27 years of thinking had gotten me bobkes.

Okay, shut up Logan. Tell ‘em what happened…

A box was passed around and the first four names pulled were the four people who were going home. Shit. Deanna pulled the first name. It was her own. Her face fell and you could see that she was really disappointed. Next came Charlie. He pulled my name out of the box. Fuck! I walked over and put my arm around Deanna’s shoulders. She laid her head on my shoulder and kept sniffing as the tears rolled slowly down her cheeks. Next up, Jessica. She reached in and I started getting nervous. Only two more names. If one of them was Scott’s…hell, I don’t know what I’d do. If neither was Scott’s, I still didn’t know what I was going to do. Agan, I was backsliding into my old habit of keeping people out and away from me.

Jessica pulled out Freddie’s name. He looked sort of sad too. “Well, Vidalia here I come.” I saw him purse his lips and thought I saw his eyes moisten a little bit. He really was a sweet, good guy. Scott came over and stood next to me, putting his arm across my shoulders and holding me close to his body. Oh God, once again I felt safe and all of my backsliding went out the window. Maybe this would work out after all. I sensed that my breathing was quickening along with my heart beat. Samantha took the box and Scott squeezed me to him a little bit. I looked up at him. He looked back and I saw concern in his eyes.

She pulled her hand out. With a bit of relieved smile she looked up at me. She turned the piece of paper toward us. “Scott Dell,” she said. I put my face in my hands for a second. God is good, is all I thought. Scott put his hands on my shoulders and started playfully shaking me back and forth.

“Yes!” he said. “Ha-HAAA! We’re both going home!” I couldn’t help it; I just started laughing.

“Oh shit!” I said.

He wrapped his arms around me and pulled my back into his chest, hugging me tight. “Is that good ‘shit’ or bad ‘shit.’?”

“What do you think, ramrod,” I snickered at him.

“Ramrod!” Deanna said. “So y’all…” she pointed between the two of us.

“Shut up ho’. I’m tellin’ ya. You’re gonna get that nasty women’s disease if you keep thinking like that.” I smiled and reached out to hug her. “I’m gonna miss you, broad.”

“Miss me! Hell, it’s not like we’re a thousand miles away!” she said.

It became a hug-fest. We were all farklempt but at the same time happy. Those of us going home were happy to get back to normalcy, while those who were staying were glad to have more time to spend together, and get new roommates.

“Well, I’d better start packing,” Deanna said.

I took a deep breath. “Me too.”

All the gals headed into their room and the guys into ours. Charlie lay on his bed tossing his pillow back and forth between his hands. “Shit, guys,” he said, “this is worse than having sex with your biology teacher.”

The three of us turned to look at him. “No fucking way!” Scott said. I just started laughing and Freddie made an Ellen Degeneres face.


“Ewwwww!” I said, faking a case of the shivers. Freddie just laughed.

“Crazy damn thing.” He looked down and away. We were standing next to each other between our beds, filling our suitcases.

“You okay, hoss?” I asked. His mouth twitched a bit and he rocked his head back and forth as if to say ‘so-so’. “Alright baby! C’mere!” I opened my arms to him. “Give daddy some sugar!” I grabbed him up in a bear hug and started twisting back and forth with him in my arms, just being goofy. I lost my footing and fell forward, pushing him backwards onto the bed. I landed on him but braced my hands on his chest. “Damn son.”

“What?” he asked, laughing.

I playfully squeezed his chest and said, “You’ve got those farmer’s muscles goin’ for ya. Hmmm” Charlie busted out laughing as I felt two arms slide around my chest and arms.

“Don’t even think about it,” Scott said playfully, pulling me away from Freddie, who was now laughing.

“But I love a corn-fed boy!” I hollered.

Charlie kept laughing. “Oh man. What am I gonna do without you guys around?”

“Switch hands,” I told him.

Laughing out loud Freddie said, “Ladies and gentlemen, Mike’s back!”

“Come on guys,” Scott said. “We don’t have to lose touch with each other again. High school’s different. We’re grown ups now. Right?”

“Supposedly,” I said smiling.

“Alright y’all, here,” Scott said passing out papers and pens. “Everyone write down their contact information. Personally, I want to keep up with y’all. This has been a great time and…” he looked up at the ceiling for a second. Clearing his voice he continued, “I hate to see it end like this. I’m here in Atlanta and I’d love to see y’all again.”

“Uhm. Vidalia’s quite a ways away from Atlanta, Scott,” Freddie said.

Scott walked up to him and gave him a big hug. “It’s not that far, pal.”

I turned and smacked Scott on his ass. “No farm boy for you, either!”

“Hey,” Scott said, “sore back porch, dude.”

“Aww fuck! I didn’t hear that! La la la la…” from Charlie, putting his pillow over his head. Freddie just shook his head laughing.

We all exchanged addresses but when Scott came up to me I just shook my head. He looked confused and I smiled really big at him. “What?” he asked.

“I’ll give it to ya downstairs,” I said.

“You already gave it to him, Logan,” Charlie said.

I busted out laughing at him, then ran and jumped onto him on the bed. “No, no, no!” he laughed, turning away.

“Your ass is next, stud!” I shouted.

“Scott! Get him offa me!” he laughed as I grabbed his shoulders and started dry humping him. We were just goofing off and Scott knew it.

“Actually, I’m enjoying the show,” Scott stood back. I died laughing at that.

I turned to him and smiled, “Fuck you, Scotty.”

He smiled back. “You already did, Logan.”

“Oh shit, oh no, stop it!!” Freddie and Charlie said. I turned to face Charlie, grabbed his head and kissed him loud and sloppy on the cheek.

“You know you want it,” I told him. He playfully pushed me off of him and got up to head to the bathroom.

“Yeah, that’s him walking off to take a cold shower,” Freddie laughed.

“More like a jitter piss,” Charlie retorted.

Scott and I changed out of our tuxedos and we all goofed off a little bit more before the three of us guys grabbed our bags to head out. I was doing alright until I saw Deanna in the kitchen. She was crying and telling the other girls goodbye. They all had tears in their eyes and were hugging each other. I felt the lump in my throat and the tears pooling up in my own eyes. Deanna looked up and saw me, then walked over and gave me a big hug.

“Hey there gal, it’s gonna be okay,” I said quietly. “We’ll all keep in touch.”

“Yeah,” she sniffed, “just like after graduation.”

“Hey, we’re all older now. I actually think it’ll be easier to keep caught up.”

She stood back and wiped her eyes. “You take care, Mike Logan.”

“I will, baby. I’m gonna miss bein’ around you everyday.”

“Actually I was talking about you taking care of Scotty,” she winked, her eyes still puffy from crying.

“Oh,” Scott said, “he’s already taken care of me—“

“Enough! Enough!” I said, holding my hand up to stop him talking. “You’re worse than a goddamned yente” I laughed.

Everyone hugged and said goodbye, then the four of us headed out to the elevators. Deanna got on first, then Freddie, then myself. Scott stood by with is arm on the elevator door as I passed him. He had a smoldering look on his face.

“What?” I asked. He just shook his head a bit. I was puzzled a little bit.

We exited the building and looked around. There were only two camera guys that had tagged along with us. It was an absolutely beautiful early August day. The humidity was down so the heat was tolerable.

“Well guys, this is it,” Freddie said turning to us. He looked so damned forlorn.

Putting his bags down Scott gave Freddie a big hug. He started mimicking “Someday we’ll be together” from the Supremes. That got a laugh out of Freddie.

“Hey man,” I said, “you’ve got everyone’s number and address. We’re all just a phone call away.”

“I know. I’m just really gonna miss all of this…all y’all.” Taking a deep breath he continued, “But it was a great experience and I won’t forget any of you.”

“We won’t let you, man,” Scott said. What a fuckin’ sweetheart. He really was concerned. Uggg! I was a lucky man. Freddie hugged the rest of us and we walked him over to his truck. He got in, started it up and drove off towards Ponce, where he stopped and then headed west towards the Connector which would ultimately take him down into south Georgia.

“C’mere guys!” Deanna said, hugging us both at the same time. “You bastards better keep in touch.”

I laughed. “We will, gal!”

“Don’t worry about that,” Scott said.

“So what about you two. What’s gonna happen with y’all?”

I looked at Scott and said, “Well, we got a few things to talk about but,” turning back to Deanna, “we’ll be cool.”

She gave us both really big final hugs and then got into her Beemer. I was really going to miss her. Not a lot of people have the personality to give as much shit as I like to give, and she was certainly one who could. Tough as nails—on the inside she was as soft as a marshmallow.

Scott and I watched her pull out of the parking lot. When she was gone he turned and looked at me. Without a facial expression he said, “So we got lots to talk about?”

“No. Just a few things.”

“You didn’t give me your address and number.”

“That’s ‘cause I can’t decide if I wanna head east or if I want you to head west.” He looked somewhat puzzled. “Inman park is east of here, Marietta is northwest,” I reminded him.

“Ohhhh,” he said, finally getting it.

“You see, Scotty, if you give me a tour of your old house then I won’t need you to write down your address, right?”

He smiled real big, grabbed the front of my shirt and leaned over to give me a big kiss on the cheek. “Yes!” he said. We walked over and loaded up our luggage into our trucks which were parked next to each other. We looked at each other and he smiled and shook his head a bit. “Here we go!” he said. “Euclid Avenue here we come!”

“Yassuh!” I replied with a laugh. We pulled out of the parking lot, Scott ahead of me, leaving The Reunion Show behind. Some of our new friends were still in the building and a couple were on their way back home. No more cameramen, no more mikes, no more cameras. From now on we’d be going back to our own private lives. I could sense that a major change would soon be taking place in my life. And I always looked forward to change.

* * * *

Fifteen minutes later we were pulled into Inman Park on Edgewood Ave. Then we zigzagged and were on Euclid. I recognized the street, or at least the houses on the street. The house that I really liked was on the left. Scott parked his truck on the right side, across from it, and I pulled in behind him and turned off the Jimmy.

As we were getting out of our trucks I said, “That’s the house I was telling you about.”

“I was pretty sure that was the one you meant.”

It was a gem that needed polishing. The paint was flaking off on all of the siding and there was scaffolding up on one side. On that side of the upper floor you could tell that all of the loose paint had been scraped off. The first floor of the house was red brick and the siding above was a mix of horizontal boards and patterned shingles. It was a lady waiting to be painted. At one corner of the house was a round tower with the bell-shaped roof above terminating into a decorative finial.

Scott started crossing the street towards it. “Where ya goin’?” I asked.

He flashed one of his gorgeous smiles and said, “I know the owner.”

“Cool! You think he’ll mind?”

“Oh, something tells me it’ll be ok.”

We climbed the steps to the front porch and crossed over to the doors. Scott still had his keys in his hand and was flipping through them. “What are you doing?” I asked.

“I have the key.”

“Ahh. So you’re the g.c. on this house then?”

“You could say that,” he grinned, putting the key into the lock. He opened the door and we stepped in. Wow! It wasn’t often I got to see the inside of one of these Victorians. This one was still in rough shape but you could see that when it was finished it’d be a real beauty. We stepped into a large foyer, or more accurately a reception hall. The stairs were on the left and went up to a landing where a huge stained glass window was covered on the outside to protect it from the work going on with the paint scraping, then they switched back to continue upstairs. The railing was incredible but had been painted who-knows how many times. There was actually a fireplace to the left of the stairs on the side wall of the house. To the front of the fireplace was a rounded area that was the base of the tower. To the right of the reception hall was a really large living room or parlor with a bay window on the front and another fireplace on the outside side wall. There were two oval-shaped windows, one on each side of the fireplace.

“Check this out,” Scott said as he went over and opened one of the front bay windows. “It’s a triple hung window. All of the sashes slide up and into the cavity above, and it’s a full opening that you can step out onto the porch.” He showed me how it worked.

“That is just way too cool.” I turned around and slowly scanned the woodwork throughout the room. The baseboards and casings had also all been painted and looked worn and scuffed. “You got your work cut out for you, hoss.”

“And then back here’s the dining room,” he said crossing through the living room and through a wide cased opening into the dining room. It’s walls had wainscoting up about eight feet tall or so. This room also had a fireplace which was on the rear wall. Here in the dining room the outside window bowed out into a gentle curve and had a stained glass transom window in the center which was flanked by two regular sized windows. These were just double hung, as were all windows in houses of this era. The mantelpiece was different from the ones in the living room and reception hall. Actually, they were all different.

I looked up and around the room. “How tall are the ceilings down here?”

“Twelve feet.”

“Wow. This is really awesome.” Scott just stood there beaming. I chuckled a bit, “You nut, show me the rest of the house.

He took me through another cased opening that took us back to the staircase which was at the rear of the reception hall. There was a pair of double pocket doors that slid back to reveal a study or library behind the stairs. Above the doors was a double transom window. I’d noticed that all of the openings were across from each other and in line with the house’s windows. Obviously the Victorians didn’t have air conditioning and had to vent their houses any way that they could. On the front wall of the room, which backed up to the stairs, were floor to ceiling bookshelves. The outside wall was also a bay window and the rear wall had it’s own fireplace.

“Plenty of fireplaces,” I said.

“Yep. Some of them needed repair, but most had been maintained, luckily.”

“How many total?”


“Well hellfire!”

He laughed, “No kidding.” We continued down the hall towards the rear of the house, through another doorway into a room that looked like it had been used in later years as a den. There was a door on the right that opened into the kitchen. All of the cabinetry was late 40’s style and needed to go.

“Is this metal?” I asked, touching one of the doors.

“Yep. This is all headed to the trash bin.”

I stood and looked around the kitchen. On the side wall were two large windows with cabinets between them, and the rear wall had the back door and another window which overlooked the house’s rear porch. I started studying the room, thinking.

“What?” Scott asked.

“That’s the back of the dining room fireplace, right?” I asked, pointing to a section of the wall that was exposed brick from the floor to the ceiling.


“If I owned this house I’d get one of those old-fashioned looking, gas stoves and hook up the vent pipe to the flue. Then I’d take down this wall,” pointing to the wall between the kitchen and the den, “and case the opening to match the other openings in the front rooms. That way the kitchen and den would be open and inviting, since those are the two rooms where people and their company live anyway. I’d probably put some vintage looking cabinets in here with granite countertops or something. Anyway, champagne taste,” I said.

He just stood there nodding with a big smile on his face.

“What are you smiling at?”

He shook his head. “Nothing.”

“Ya kook!”

“Wanna see upstairs?”

“Yeah! Let’s check it out.”

We walked back to the front of the house and then up the stairs. The room over the stairs was surprisingly an open space that had a doorway to the second floor porch and also a rounded area inside the tower. I say ‘surprisingly’ because I didn’t realize that there’d be such a large open area on the second floor like you’d typically find on the first.

“Dude, this is totally frickin’ awesome.”

“Idn’t it.”

The bedroom at the front of the house, over the living room, also had a fireplace which lined up with the one below. The size of the room matched the living room. Two huge trees in the front yard shaded this side of the house, which faced south. I opened the door and stepped out onto the upper porch. “Dang, it feels like I’m in a tree house.”

“I know.”

“Dude, what the hell are you smiling at.”

“Nothing, nothing.” He walked up to me and kissed me. “I’m just glad that you’re here and not still on your way to Marietta.”

I smiled. “Me too.”

He showed me two more bedrooms as well as another one that had been diced up into two bathrooms. Each bedroom had it’s own fireplace.

“Hmm. This could be interesting,” I said.

“Any ideas?” he asked.

I thought about it for a minute. “I’ll have to think about it some more,” I told him.

We walked up to the last door. “Here are his master’s quarters.”

“Oh brother,” I rolled my eyes. We went into the room where there was a king-sized bed, a dresser and a couple of chairs. This room had a few pictures around whereas the rest of the house did not. “I assumed that the owner would be gone during the renovation.”

“Nope,” was all he said. Suddenly he turned and pushed me onto the bed and started kissing me and chewing on my neck.

“Dude! What the fuck you doin’!”

“I’m a little hungry,” he mumbled into my neck.

I tried sitting up but he just pushed me down. “Scott! We can’t do this here. This is someone’s house! Someone’s bed!”

He stopped kissing me, leaned up to look at me and sighed. Then he rolled off.

“Well don’t get all pissed,” I said as he reached for one of the pictures. He handed it to me. It took me a second but the guy in it with the two older people looked like a younger version of Scott. “Hey,” I laughed “this dude looks like you.” Scott’s mouth dropped open a bit. He rolled his eyes and shook his head, reaching for another picture. This one was a more recent picture. “Dude, is this you?” I squinted. “It sure looks like you.” I looked over and Scott put his face in his hands and shook his head.

He snorted and said, “Logan, do you remember the cd’s I made for you?”

“Oh, hell yeah.”

“Do you remember that at first you thought that Freddie had made the first one.”

I laughed. “Yeah. What a dope I was. But why does this dude have pictures…” Suddenly it all clicked! “Wait a fuckin’ minute! These are your grandparents!”

He laughed again and shook his head. “Logan, these pictures were taken in this house. My grandparents’ house. My house.”

“Get OUT!” and I shoved him back, again like Elaine on Seinfeld. Only he rolled backwards and off of the bed. “Oh shit, are you okay.”

He stood up laughing hysterically. “I love you man, but sometimes you’re such a maroon!”

I couldn’t believe it. I was completely surprised! “You mean to tell me that all these weeks you knew what house I was talking about and you didn’t tell me that you owned it! You are such a shit!” I said good-naturedly, grabbing his head and giving him noogies.

“Stop! Stop!” he laughed. “I didn’t know for sure that this was the one you were talking about until we pulled up.”

“Oh man, you are so damned lucky!”

“It’s a great house, isn’t it.” You could tell how proud he was. “It’s gonna be great when it’s finished.”

“Oh, I’ll bet.”

He sat back down on the bed. “You wanna help me out?”

I smiled really big and sat down next to him. Then I reached over and started rubbing his package in his shorts. “Okay,” I said.

He laughed. “No, I mean on the house. Wanna help me fix it up?” I took my hand off of him but he grabbed it and put it back. “No, no, that too.”

I smiled as I felt his bulge growing in my hand. “Scotty, I’ll help you with anything.”

“Yes!” he said.

I pushed him back on the bed and said, “But right now you gotta help me out.”

“How’s that?” he said in a real sexy voice.

“I’m feeling a bit…empty right now,” I said with a smile.

He grinned back and rubbed my back. “Ride a cowboy, save a horse.” I leaned in to kiss him….

* * * *

The weeks went by and I barely spent any time at my apartment. Surprise! Neither of us wanted me to go back there. What was the point? Scott and I were always together and I was spending a lot of time helping him work on his house. Like I’ve said before I’d always wanted to renovate a Victorian and I was lucky enough to be working on the one house that I saw absolute potential in. And not to sell it. Hell, I don’t think that Scott would have ever done that, and it never entered my mind to ask him to.

I gained a ton of experience working on the cosmetics of the house. There was a lot that I didn’t know and Scott was right there with me…well, most of the time. He still had to make money with his own company so there were times I’d be working on the house by myself. My first major project was to begin stripping all of the old paint from the stair railing. Christ! what a job that was. I could’ve been environmentally friendly and sanded and scraped it but there was probably eighty years of paint on those spindles, so I used lots of chemicals instead. And besides, I’m not a green freak. I wanted to get that shit done, and fast!

Then the time came for me to start back at school. For the first time I had no interest in going back. Don’t get me wrong I loved teaching, I loved American History, politics and social studies, but I really wasn’t interested in spending that much time away from Scott—plain and simple. But then I couldn’t just quit working, either. Scott appreciated my dilemma and asked me if I wanted to work with him and help him grow his company. That was fine with me but stripping the paint off of a railing was a helluva lot different from growing a company. We finally figured out a plan that I’d work side by side with him, almost like an intern, so I could pick up as much knowledge as possible.

I made the move and quit my job at the school. I think five minutes after that I turned in my notice to end the lease at my apartment. I didn’t have tons of stuff but Scott and I hired a few of his subs to move my things to the his house. By now we had known each other for three months and on one hand I was concerned that we were rushing things. On the other hand, we didn’t want to lose any precious time with me being gone!

During the week we’d work on various construction jobs that he’d gotten and on the weekend we’d work on his house. I say ‘his’ because technically it was, and we were still in our own honeymoon stage of our relationship. Finally the day came where we had the exterior of the house caulked and primed and ready to be painted. The previous year he’d had the house leveled, so structurally it was ok. When he inspected the roof, again before I was in the picture, he discovered that there were two layers of roofing material on the house. He stripped all of that off and completely re-shingled the house with the exception of the bell roof, which he hired his subs to do. The shingles were new but laid in a really cool horizontal and diamond pattern. Apparently Scott had located a picture of Euclid Avenue in the 1890’s that showed his house, so any details that may have been missing he was able to at least investigate and try to restore.

When it came to choosing the actual paint, well, that wasn’t exactly easy. We had purchased around fifteen quarts of various colors to see how they’d look on the house. The first floor was brick so we climbed onto the scaffolding to paint swatches using different blends of colors across the side of the house in strips. If you’ve ever renovated and painted an older house you know what I’m talking about. There was siding, window trim, decorative trim, you name it! We wanted a really cool painted lady and had chosen colors from a Victorian home paint book. After we decided on one paint combination we began the task of painting! Working only on the weekends was hard but by Thanksgiving the exterior was complete. We finally had our “Painted Lady.” There were so many neighbors who had offered us support and compliments. Many of these people had renovated, restored or were in the process renovating their own homes.

That Thanksgiving we invited Scott’s sister, Jackie, and her family over to the house for dinner, along with my parents and grandmother. Scott and his sister mainly kept in touch on the telephone but were still somewhat close, regardless of the age difference. Jackie and John, her husband, loved the progress that was being made on the house. She remembered times there growing up before their parents split up and hadn’t been back to see it in several years. Since I’m such a retard when it comes to sports I hung out with her in the kitchen and we both worked on making dinner with my mother. While the inside of the house was clean it still needed some major updating. The only thing inside that was really complete was the staircase, thanks to me. I couldn’t wait until the day we could really start tackling the rooms but we had decided to wait until after Christmas and take a break from it for a while.

During dinner Scott and I made a major announcement. I was pregnant! Just kidding. We told everybody of our plans to combine our efforts officially and start a company together called The Renovators. Our main intent was to purchase houses that were rundown or somewhat dilapidated, fix them up and then try to sell them for a profit. Everyone congratulated us and we all ate and drank merrily. Especially Grandma. She’s such a hoot!

After our Thanksgiving meal I transferred a tradition from my parents’ house to ours (Scott’s and now mine) where we opened up the Christmas Season by playing Christmas music for the first time. Obviously you could go into any shopping mall as early as Labor Day practically, and see the Christmas decorations. But dammit! Let Thanksgiving have it’s day! I had a shitload of Christmas cd’s and put them into the player. Most of us helped clean up the dishes and Scott asked if I minded offering our house to the families every year for Thanksgiving. I reminded him that it was his house. He shook his head and said with all the hard physical work I’d been putting into it, now that I was living there too, I needed to consider it our home. Talk about! I was grinning from ear to ear!

“Sounds like a proposal,” I said.

He thought about that for a second and laughed. “Well, we can’t get married, but you can have my house!” Sounded like he’d had a bit too much wine.

“I accept,” I said, then I kissed him on the cheek.

Just before Christmas we closed on the loan for our first house purchase together. It was a small bungalow north of us, but still in Inman Park. Mostly what needed to be done was cosmetic, with the exception of replacing the bathroom fixtures in the two bathrooms. We finished it in about four weeks, just after the New Year. At the same time we had our other, or Scott’s other, g.c. business going. Brother, were we busier than one-armed paper hangers!

Our sex life continued to be phenomenal. So many times that horny bastard would walk by and rub my ass if he thought nobody was looking, or he’d grind his package into my ass as I’d bend over for something and say “Oops! Fell down!”, then he’d walk off. There’s no telling how many mornings I’d wake up with his mouth exploring my body. I think that we christened every room in our house. We absolutely couldn’t get enough of each other. I think we would’ve crawled into each others’ skin if we could.

We sold our first house and made around twenty-five grand in profit, which we sunk into the next house. All the while we were fixing up our home one room at a time. We ended up opening the kitchen up to the den like I had suggested the previous summer and actually added a bay window on the back of the house in the den. The kitchen took a while longer, and more money, to renovate. We gutted it and replaced all of the cabinets and appliances.

Several months had gone by and it was time for the annual Inman Park Tour of Homes. Every year anywhere from twelve to twenty homeowners open their homes for people to check out during the walking tour. Over near Springvale Park there’s a great big tent with tables, food, etc. There are different food booths and the whole place takes on the look of a carnival for the weekend. Usually different homes are opened each year and you can see restored or renovated houses in various stages of completion. It’s great because people can get ideas from other homeowners for their own projects. Scott and I opened our house. We got lots of compliments on the outside paint selections as well as the den and kitchen renovation. The rest of the house was still not finished but that’s not unheard of. The bungalow that we’d renovated and sold was also on the tour and we actually gained some business from that referral.

I really must say that life was going fantastic for Scott and I. Sure we’d have some squabbles or disagreements here and there, but we always made it a point never to go to bed without solving an argument.

We bought another house and flipped it. This went on for a couple of years, then we bought two houses. That was interesting. Trying to fix up two houses at once. It’s different when you hold the note on the house as opposed to someone hiring you to fix up their house. After we sold those two houses we pooled all of our savings together, along with the profits from the house sales, and bought a fairly big house in Druid Hills.

If you’ve ever seen the movie “Driving Miss Daisy,” it was filmed in Druid Hills, which is and area on Ponce De Leon east of where The Reunion Show was taped. Druid Hills was designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, the man who, along with Calvert Vaux, designed Central Park in New York City. Ponce de Leon gently winds through Druid Hills and there is a beautiful median park lined with huge trees. In the early part of the 20th century lots of upper middle class families built their homes there, setting back on large lots. Our house wasn’t on Ponce itself, but around the corner. This one had to have major work done on it which took around eight months to renovate. When we sold it we'd made a little over one hundred grand in profit.

We took that money and just kept rolling it into houses and in time we had made a lot of money, and had put a lot of money in the bank. It was time to take a vacation...

* * * *

And that’s how we wound up snuggling on our own private deck on the ship.

Everything was really going well. After our cruise we decided to travel around the country a bit and see some sights. Some places we flew, some places we actually took Amtrak. I’d always loved the idea of train travel. We got to see Mount Rushmore, the Adirondacks, we hiked the Appalachians (or at least a couple of mountains), we saw the desert and I got to take Scott to the Grand Canyon. I hadn’t seen it since I was ten and he’d never seen it. We stayed at an incredible ranch in West Texas and took a paddle boat ride up the Mississippi. We had sex like two horny college guys. His appetite was never ending and mine was just about the same.

But then we got bored with traveling. We got tired of not being home, in our house. We didn’t go from one place to another. Sometimes we’d see one or two things, go home, then head out a month later. We were both ready to be home for good though, so after the paddle boat trip we flew back to Atlanta and decided to keep doing what we did best. We got the ‘new money syndrome’ out of our system and headed back to work, buying houses and fixing them. Together.

Since we had met in 1997 we had done everything together. When Freddie called us to be in his wedding, we did it together. Same thing with Charlie a few months after that. Together. Everything was done together. That is until 2001. We didn’t know it but that would turn out to be a nightmare year. For the both of us.

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in Mark's own words - I'm a great big goofball who loves music and loves to sing. I'm in the home building industry and have my own company. I'm not really into sports and am mostly a homebody; I like reading, watching movies and hanging out with friends. Please feel free to e-mail me if you would like to discuss my stories - or anything else for that matter. Markp>

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