Posted May 29, 2021

The Brilliant Boy Billionaire

The Amazing Journey of a Remarkable Kid, by Altimexis

PART TWO – El Medio Oeste

J.J. Attending to his Studies

Chapter 1: Familia

“Don’t be so glum, Simon,” Steve admonished me. We were crammed together in the bench seat of Papi’s pickup truck, which wasn’t easy given that it had a floor-mounted stick shift. As the skinnier of the two, I was in the middle, and, dressed in only painter’s overalls and flip-flops, my bare shoulders rubbed against both Papi’s muscular arm and Steve’s bare torso. Steve had his left arm around my shoulders, which probably wasn’t lost on Papi. Although doing so made it easier for Steve’s broad shoulders to fit in the cramped space, he knew his son was gay and probably suspected we fancied each other. I imagined it must have been tough, as a Catholic and a Latino, accepting a gay son. As far as I was concerned, family was far more important than religion.

“I really hoped we could order a gazebo and get to work fixing their porch,” I replied. “What we proposed is cheap for a new porch, and the cedar posts will last as long as the house as will the galvanized steel roof. They’ll never have to replace it, yet it looks similar to the design they have now.”

“They’re already paying us as much money to paint the whole house,” Papi pointed out. “That’s already significantly less than what we usually charge for such an extensive job, but it’s all they can afford. Their only income is Social Security, and they have no savings. They just don’t have the money to spend on the porch.”

“An aluminum and cloth gazebo would be a lot cheaper,” Steve pointed out.

“And it would look cheap,” Papi countered. “The owners are proud people, and they care about how their house looks. Yes, I know it looks like crap with a porch that’s practically falling down, but replacing it with something cheap would point out how little they have.” In a way, I could understand where Papi was coming from. How a house appears can make a huge difference in how it’s perceived.

When I was growing up, my dad and I were squatters in an abandoned house, I guess. However, it would’ve looked suspicious if we fixed it up. When it came to maintenance, however, Dad didn’t cut corners. For example, we had a tin roof, which was both expensive and noisy, but it would last forever and yet not rouse suspicions. Most people choose fiberglass shingles for their positive aesthetics even though they had to be replaced every twenty years. We chose tin for its negative aesthetics because Dad wanted to maintain our shack’s dilapidated appearance. He didn’t outright put it in those terms; he said that shingles would have looked out of place on our house, even though they’d have cost less. Perceptions matter!

“Tonight, I’ll call around,” Papi continued. “Maybe I can find someone with excess inventory they’d be willing to part with.”

“We can only hope,” Steve agreed.

Avenida Cesar Chavez became Kansas Avenue, once we passed the state line, but we were already high over the east bank of the Kansas River by then. We continued across the river but remained on an elevated roadway for at least another mile before the roadway dropped down into an industrial area. Had I come this way on foot as I’d intended, it wouldn’t have been the best place for a young boy to be walking alone. It was quite a while before we came to any houses, and then we were in an area of modest houses mixed in with businesses.

“It’s not much to look at, but it’s safe here,” Steve stated abruptly. “On this side of the railroad tracks and the Interstate, it’s mostly Latino. On the other side, almost all black. Kansas City’s pretty strongly segregated. It always has been, and I doubt it’ll change anytime soon.” What could I say to that? Where I grew up, there were hardly any African Americans at all. There used to be more, from what I heard, back when the mental hospital was still open.

The other thing that surprised me was how rural the area looked. I’d had some experience with urban and suburban spots now, but this didn’t look at all like those. If anything, this looked much more like the small-town, rural America I grew up in, except that it seemed to go on forever.

We pulled up in front of a modest, one-story house and pulled into a gravel driveway on the side of it. The house was small but well-kept, although the same couldn’t be said of the other houses on the block. We got out of the truck and walked up a steep set of steps and entered directly into the kitchen, where a very pleasant-looking woman with greying hair was busy taking something that smelled wonderful out of the oven.

Mami, este es Simon,” Papi began, “ el joven que se va a quedar con nosotros por un tiempo.” I guess he’d called or texted her about me.

Looking right at me, or rather looking up at me, since she was several inches shorter than I was, she said, “Goodness, Simon, Arturo didn’t say what a handsome young man you are, but so skinny! I’m gonna have to work on fattening you up.”

“It’s nice to meet you,” I said as I shook her hand. “Is it okay for me to call you Mamá?”

“You better!” she replied. There was something about her that instantly made me feel at home. Perhaps it was the fact that I’d grown up without a mother in the house or that she had such an endearing smile, but she seemed like a very kind woman. Still, there was something about the edge in her voice that told me she could be a terror when she wanted to be.

“Now you men need to wash up,” she added. “I can’t have you smelling like rutting pigs at the dinner table. Supper will be ready in twenty minutes.” I hadn’t noticed it, but I guess we didn’t smell all that pleasant. Even I’d worked up a sweat, which was rare for me. Steve showed me the guest room, which was the smallest of three bedrooms and was little more than a closet with a narrow bed, a chest of drawers and a small window high up on the wall over the chest. He also showed me his room, which he said he used to share with his brother. It had two twin beds, a desk, a dresser and a chest of drawers, as well as a larger window.

Having spent so much time incarcerated lately, the small room seemed way more claustrophobic than was comfortable to me, so I asked, “I know it would be strange since you used to share your room with your brother, but would you mind if I slept in your room instead of the back bedroom?”

“I think I would like that very much,” he replied. “We only have one bathroom, so your shower has to be quick.” At that moment, Papi came out of the bathroom, dressed only in a bathrobe. “C’mon,” Steve said as he pulled me into the bathroom. “There’s room enough to get ready at the same time.”

“You just want to have your way with me in the shower,” I responded.

“I didn’t mean we’d shower at the same time,” he explained. “You can brush your teeth while I’m in the shower and vice versa.” He got me a new toothbrush and showed me where the toothpaste was, and then he pulled off his shorts and hung them on a hook. He shucked his boxers and dropped them into a hamper. He was average in size, I suppose, with only a sparse patch of hair, but what caught my attention was that he wasn’t circumcised. I couldn’t help but stare as I’d never seen an uncircumcised dick before.

“What, you’ve never seen a boy’s cock before?”

“Not one that wasn’t circumcised,” I replied. “Can I touch it?” I asked.

“Maybe later tonight,” he answered, “but there’s no time now,” he added as he closed the shower curtain and turned on the water. It was a good thing, too, as I was hard as a rock. I turned toward the sink and brushed my teeth while Steve took his shower.

No sooner had I rinsed out my mouth than the water in the shower shut off and Steve opened the curtain. He grabbed a towel off an adjacent towel bar and started drying himself. His body was magnificent. Stepping out of the tub, he said, “You can use this towel,” as he pointed to one on the other towel bar, and then he added, I think things are self-explanatory. You can use any of the shampoos in the rack under the showerhead.”

Pulling off the overalls, I hung them on a hook, then dropped my boxer briefs and put them into the hamper. Getting into the tub, I pulled the shower curtain closed and turned on the water, adjusting the temperature. I lathered up my head with shampoo, then used a bar of soap to wash off the sweat from my body. I rinsed the shampoo out of my hair, shut off the water, opened the curtain and grabbed the towel. Steve was dressed in boxers, and finishing up brushing his teeth, rinsed out his mouth, and then said, “I’ll see you at supper,” and left the bathroom, closing the door behind him.

I dried myself off and got out of the tub, but I needed to apply deodorant and didn’t know where to find any. Opening the medicine cabinet, I found several different kinds and selected a bottle of Brut, which had a nice manly scent, and applied it. It was then that I realized I didn’t have any clothes to wear. The overalls were gone and I didn’t see any other robes like the one Papi had worn. I looked in the linen closet and under the sink and didn’t see any boxers. Reluctantly, I opened the hamper, intending to retrieve my boxer briefs to wear until I could find something to wear to supper, but the hamper was completely empty. What the fuck was I supposed to do?

Opening the door just enough to stick my head out, I yelled Steve’s name, but he didn’t respond. I could hear loud voices coming from the other end of the hall, but apparently he couldn’t hear me, so I called his name more loudly this time; he still didn’t respond. His bedroom door was open, right across the hall, so I turned out the bathroom light and made a mad dash for his bedroom and closed the door behind me. I had trouble finding a light switch and eventually found a light I could turn on by a switch on the lamp.

I started searching drawers for something to wear and eventually found a drawer with boxers in it, and so I donned a pair. They were a bit loose on me but not to the point that I was in danger of losing my modesty in front of Mamá. I was afraid to wear any of Steve’s shirts or pants, though, so I cautiously approached the kitchen, where everyone was already seated at the table. Much to my surprise, Papi was still wearing a robe and Steve was still shirtless. I couldn’t tell from my angle if he was wearing anything more than his boxers.

Mamá called out, “Come on in, Simon. We’re ready to get started.”

“But I’m not dressed,” I groused. “I don’t have any clothes.”

“Why should you worry about getting dressed when these two don’t?” Mamá insisted. “After a long day of work, who wants to get dressed up just to get undressed again? Sit down so we can eat.” She obviously wasn’t taking no for an answer, so I sat down. The smells that were emanating from the table were incredible.

“Esteban tells me you’re from Kentucky,” Mamá began as she started passing the food around.

“Indiana,” I corrected her but then realized I’d said more than I meant to. “Near the border with Kentucky and even nearer to Cincinnati.”

“How did you end up in Kansas City?” she asked.

“When my father died,” I began, “I had no living relatives, and I was afraid of ending up in a group home or abusive foster home.” Gulping, I continued, “I don’t know if Esteban told you that I’m gay, but southern Indiana is very religious, and there were horror stories about what happens to gay teenagers in foster care, so I packed up my things and rode my bicycle, looking to start a new life for myself.”

“Wouldn’t it have been easier to go to a major city like Chicago?” she asked.

This was getting into dangerous territory, because I didn’t want to get caught in a lie. I’d already told Papi I was sixteen, and although he didn’t believe me, I didn’t want to admit I’d lied to him, so I sidestepped the issue. “I don’t exactly look like I’m sixteen,” I began, “and there are a lot of folks who prey on runaway teenagers, getting them addicted to drugs and forcing them into a life of prostitution. I like to read and I’ve read a lot about this sort of thing. I was scared of what could happen, so I avoided the cities and traveled mostly on country roads.

“I had a little money to live off for a while, but then my bike was stolen and everything I own along with it, so I arrived in Kansas City, broke and penniless and looking for shelter and work.”

“And God brought you to us,” Papi exclaimed. I wasn’t going to argue the point because I wasn’t sure he wasn’t right. After saying grace in Spanish, we dug in. Mamá made us a feast, starting with a sopa de mariscos, a seafood soup that was incredible. There were deep fried peppers called chili relleno, pronounced reyeno, and there were black beans and something that looked like guacamole, but it sure didn’t taste like guacamole. For one thing, it was way spicier, and it tasted nutty. It was called mole verde, which literally means green sauce. Finally, there was a fruit or vegetable I absolutely couldn’t identify, so I had to ask what it was. Called flor de calabaza, it was a squash blossom filled with cheese. I never knew you could eat squash blossoms.

I spent the whole meal praising Mamá for her cooking but was stunned to learn that she worked during day as a nurse’s aide, so the meal was something she put together after getting home. She was remarkable.

After the meal, Papi retreated to a room he called the den and started making some phone calls. Steve settled in on the living room sofa and switched on the TV and started to watch a soccer match. Although I wasn’t much of a sports fan, I sat next to him and watched it with him. Like most kids, I’d played some soccer in school and actually found I liked playing it. When I was nine, I asked Dad if I could play in a youth soccer league, but he nixed it, saying soccer was for queers. Maybe he was right.

Again, Steve put his arm around me and pulled me close, which was nice. Unlike in the truck, there was no real reason for doing that, but the feel of his skin against mine was electrifying. I was rock-hard, instantly, and I noticed that Steve was hard, too. Since his parents were nearby, I was petrified of the thought of one of them seeing us in our aroused state and could only hope that neither of them walked through the living room.

After a while, Steve said, “You know, we can’t become involved. Not only could it get messy, but I’m your boss’s son, and it could be seen as harassment.”

“Do you have a boyfriend?” I asked.

“No,” Steve replied. “I’ve never had a boyfriend. There aren’t many opportunities in this community.” Then laughing, he said, “I just finished eighth grade. Not many Latinos in middle school are out, you know.”

“It wasn’t any better in my small town in Indiana,” I responded. “Not even in high school.”

“Are you really sixteen?” he asked.

“That’s my story and I’m sticking to it,” I replied.

“I could believe fifteen,” Steve responded, “but sixteen? No way. You’re tall enough, but you don’t look a day over thirteen.”

“It’s hard to look sixteen when you’ve barely begun puberty,” I added. “Until my voice changes, my shoulders broaden, and I get hair in places other than on my head, people are going to assume I’m a little kid, even as tall as I am.”

“Yeah, but your face looks young,” Steve countered, and that truly was the crux of my problem. It’s hard to pass for sixteen when you look more like twelve. “It’s easier to believe you’re tall for thirteen than a young-looking, late-blooming sixteen-year-old.”

“Believe it or don’t,” I responded. “I was a senior in high school when I ran.”

“Now that I can believe,” Steve stated, “regardless of your age.”

Fortunately, my erection had gone down, so it wasn’t obvious when Papi entered and said, “We need to get up early, boys, so you might want to head to bed soon. I found someone with a gazebo who’s willing to give it to us for free if we take it away.”

“Seriously?” I asked.

“Very seriously,” Papi confirmed.

“Then let’s go to bed,” Steve suggested. After switching the TV off, we headed to the bathroom, taking our turns in front of the toilet, and then headed to Steve’s bedroom. Steve dropped his boxers and I followed suit. Again, I was fascinated by his foreskin, and with my staring at it, we both quickly became hard. So hard that we were pointing toward the ceiling. That exposed the tip of his glans, which had been completely covered up when he was soft, but most of the glans remained hidden. It looked so cool.

“Can I touch it?” I asked again.

“We shouldn’t do this,” Steve replied.

“But it’d be different if we were just fooling around, wouldn’t it?” I asked.

“I guess,” Steve answered. Rather than waiting for an invitation, I stepped closer to Steve and wrapped my hand around his shaft. Steve took a sharp intake of breath. Slowly and sensuously, I moved his foreskin down, fully exposing his glans, and then I took my thumb and carefully moved it around the base of his glans, marveling in the soft feel of the rumpled foreskin beneath it. Steve shuddered with that, so I slowly let go, fearing I might push him over the edge before we even got started.

In that moment, I knew exactly what I wanted. It had been months since I’d last had sex with Greg, and though I still loved him in a way, I knew that I’d never see Greg again. It wouldn’t be fair to expect him to remain my boyfriend under the circumstances. I desperately wanted to feel what a difference a foreskin could make in the feel of Steve being inside of me, but that was a line we shouldn’t cross. Besides which, I seriously doubted Steve had any condoms or lube handy, and so I did the next best thing. I took him into my mouth.

I didn’t even need to move at all. Merely the act of sucking on him was enough to cause him to unload into my mouth by the gallon – or so it seemed. His knees nearly collapsed when he came, and so I helped support him so he didn’t fall. Finally, as he came down from his high, I pulled off of him and looked into his eyes and kissed him on the lips. Perhaps kissing was crossing a line, but the look of ecstasy on his face made him look so fuckin’ sexy, I couldn’t resist.

“You shouldn’t have done that,” Steve responded once he was able to speak.

“Would you rather I hadn’t?” I asked.

“God, no,” he replied. “I probably shouldn’t do this, either,” he added, and then he went down on me. He was nowhere nearly as experienced as Greg had been, but he was a fast learner and when I warned him that I was about to come and he should pull off, he doubled down and swallowed all I had to give him, which still wasn’t very much.

“Sorry, but I’m barely into puberty,” I responded.

“So maybe there’ll be more to share by the end of the summer,” Steve suggested. “Maybe we should try to get some sleep?”

“Sounds like a plan,” I agreed.

<> <> <>

I was running as hard as I could. In mere moments, Dad would recover from the pain of me smashing my knee into his crotch. I was still gasping for air, filling my lungs as fast as I could. I ran into his bedroom and reached for the gun I knew he kept behind the headboard, grabbing it just as he burst into the room. I had less than a second before my dad would reach me, and then it would be all over. I’d never fired a gun before in my life. Oh, Dad tried to teach me how to use a rifle, so we could go hunting together, but I’d refused. I didn’t want to have anything to do with guns, whether for hunting and killing innocent animals or for stopping not too innocent humans. Not until now. I figured you just pulled the trigger, right? Aiming the gun right at the center of his chest, I moved my finger inside the trigger guard and tried to pull the trigger, but nothing happened. As he reached me, it dawned on me that I’d failed to release the safety, but it was too late.

Dad knocked the gun outta my hand and grabbed me by the neck, once again squeezing the life outta me. I tried to knee him again in the balls, but he was already on top of me. Desperately I tried to catch a breath, but his hands were huge and his choking me was complete. Slowly, I felt my life slipping away… and then I was in a strange bed and I was gasping for breath.

I heard a voice from across the room call out, “Simon, are you okay?” I remembered where I was and that it was Steve.

“Yeah, I’m fine,” I replied. “It was just a bad dream,” I added.

“Would you like to talk about it?” Steve asked.

“Nah,” I replied. “I’m fine. Let’s get back to sleep. We have to get up soon,” I reminded him.

“If you need anything, just be sure to let me know,” Steve responded, and I was soon again fast asleep.

<> <> <>

When Papi said we needed to get an early start in the morning, I didn’t realize just how early. We had to travel a fair distance outside of the city, completely disassemble an existing gazebo, or so I presumed, load up all the pieces into the truck, drive back into the city to the worksite and unload the gazebo by the middle of the morning. That was a shitload of work to finish in a limited amount of time. Papi woke Steve and me up at 4:00 in the fuckin’ a.m. There wasn’t time for us to eat breakfast.

It was way too early to eat anyway, so Mamá prepared a dish called memelas, which consisted of corn tortillas with beans, salsa verde and cheese. It looked wonderful. For lunch she made tlayuda with grilled tasajo, consisting of thin strips of beef. She packed everything up for us in the cooler with blue ice to keep it fresh, and then she got ready to head off to her job as we did ours.

I didn’t have any clothes to wear other than the dress clothes from the school. Most of Steve’s clothes were a poor fit, given that he was a bit shorter and stockier than I was. Papi had me try on some work clothes that fit surprisingly well, but then I noticed a look of sadness in his eyes.

“Were these Roberto’s clothes?” I asked.

“These were his clothes from when he was Esteban’s age,” he confirmed. “They fit you perfectly, and you need good work clothes, especially for what we’re going to be doing today. You can’t go around in only overalls and flip-flops when you’re doing carpentry. In any case, he would want you to have them, and so do I. Now let’s see if his shoes fit you.” They fit me as if they’d been measured for my feet.

I’d assumed we would disassemble the gazebo and then reassemble it – a task that could take days to complete – so I was taken aback when Papi had Steve and me fill the bed of the pickup with about a dozen heavy-duty truck tires and a couple large coils of thick rope. I could see where the rope would come in handy, but what were we gonna do with all those tires, and where did Papi plan to put the disassembled gazebo with the truck bed filled with tires?

I began to get an inkling when he had Steve and me wheel a flatbed trailer from behind the house around to just in front of the pickup. Next, Papi drove the truck out into the street and then he backed it into the driveway and right up to the trailer, which he then hooked up to the truck. Was he seriously thinking of transporting the gazebo whole? Was that even possible? Was it safe?

As the sky was just starting to lighten, we got on Interstate 70 and headed into the darkness, with the lightening sky behind us. We drove for quite a way, and then, right after passing a huge motherfucker of a racetrack, the Kansas Speedway, we turned off on Kansas Highway 7, which was also U.S. Highway 73, which we took north for quite a way. Eventually we came to a large town, Lansing, but I couldn’t help but notice the name on the sign when we crossed into the City of Leavenworth.

“Leavenworth?” I asked.

“You’ve heard of it?” Papi asked as Steve chuckled.

“Everyone’s heard of Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary,” I answered.

“Leavenworth and Lansing have several prisons, and there’s a large army base, Fort Leavenworth, but this is still Metro Kansas City,” Papi explained. “The airport is just across the Missouri River.” I hadn’t realized we were so close to the Missouri, but then the Missouri, combined with the Mississippi, formed the longest river system in the world. I’d looked it up on a map once and the headwaters originated just this side of the Continental Divide in Glacier National Park in western Montana, right on the border with Alberta. it meandered across much of the western continental United States, merging with the Mississippi just north of St. Louis. As always, I just couldn’t turn the thinking part of my brain off, even when it was so irrelevant.

We turned onto a residential side street and pulled up in front of a nice-looking, single-story house in a middle-class neighborhood. An older gentleman came out to greet us, and Papi introduced himself as well as his ‘sons’.

“The wife decided she wants to plant a vegetable garden,” the gentleman explained. It’s almost too late in the year to get started, but you know how it is when the wife wants something.” Papi couldn’t help but laugh. Leading us back into the back yard, the man continued, “Not much light for a garden either but, wouldn’t you know, the one sunny spot is right where I put the gazebo. Your call came at just the right time ’cause I was looking to pay someone to haul it away. You’re welcome to have it if you just haul it out of here.”

It was a very nice rectangular gazebo but quite a bit larger than what I’d had in mind. The depth looked to be about eight feet, which was just about what we needed, but the width had to be close to twenty feet. It would make a great front porch, but how in hell were we gonna get it back using the pickup? Could the three of us handle it ourselves? Did Papi really intend to move it in one piece as I suspected? Papi didn’t appear to be the least bit fazed by it, however. He just got out a tape measure and set to work making measurements. He got up on a ladder and carefully examined the bolts that were holding the whole thing together, then he got to work.

Pulling the truck into the back yard, he unhitched the flatbed trailer. He had Steve and me grab one of the coils of rope and tie it to one of the support posts, and then we wound the rope around and around the gazebo, maybe ten full times, gradually working our way down from the roof to the base of the gazebo. I had to admit that the rope made the gazebo a lot sturdier. Steve then got behind the wheel of the pickup, and he deftly backed it right up to one side of the gazebo. He was only fourteen, yet he drove like a pro.

After disassembling and removing the steps from the gazebo, Papi used some of the rope to firmly hook the truck’s winch to the foundation of the gazebo. I wasn’t sure how that was gonna work, but he seemed confident in what he was doing. Steve then slowly and cautiously used the winch to lift the end of the gazebo off of the ground. I was afraid the gazebo might break up, but thanks to all the rope, it held. Papi and I then wheeled the flatbed under the raised end of the gazebo; it barely fit.

We then grabbed the tires from the back of the pickup, and we arranged them on the flatbed. Steve then lowered the gazebo as we made sure it was aligned properly. The tires provided a buffer between the gazebo’s foundation and the flatbed underneath, ensuring a resilient coupling between them. It was ingenious. Finally, we hitched the flatbed back up to the truck and reconnected the hookup for the taillights. Once that was done, we used the rest of the rope to secure the gazebo to the flatbed, making sure it couldn’t slide off, and added a Wide Load sign and a flag to the back side of the gazebo, which overhung the flatbed by perhaps six feet.

We were ready to roll. Papi thanked the property owner, who’d watched the entire operation with apprehension. He seemed relieved as he watched us pull away. Papi managed to drive it deftly back down KS-9 to I-70 and then east across the Kansas River into Missouri and right to the house we were working on. It was still barely 9:00 a.m. Amazing. Finally, we ate our breakfast and drank our coffee.

Leaving the truck with the gazebo on the street, Papi asked the owners if they’d like us to replace the front porch with the gazebo for only the modest cost of materials. Of course, they readily agreed, and we went to work demolishing the existing porch, which it turned out was in far worse shape than even I’d guessed. Much of the underlying wood was severely rotted and fell apart when we attempted to remove it. A dumpster would have come in handy, but we’d cart everything away in the pickup when we finished installing the gazebo.

Not unexpectedly, a moderate amount of the front clapboard, just under the porch roofline came loose from the front of the house revealing rot underneath. Fortunately, the area was limited, and we had no difficulty replacing it and the clapboard with the supplies we had on hand. After we’d removed all the wood from the porch, we were left with a stone foundation that was too small, too high, and horribly slanted due to settling of the underlying land. That would have to be completely rebuilt and so we removed all the stones and set them aside. Instead of relying on a stone foundation to support the porch, we set eight steel pylons into the ground – four in the front and four in back, nearly against the house, and secured them in the ground with quick-dry concrete. We then removed all of the rope and removed the back railing from the gazebo. Otherwise, it would’ve blocked the front door and living-room windows. We ate our lunch while waiting for the concrete to dry.

Steve drove the truck and expertly backed the gazebo into place as Papi directed him. Papi then unhitched the truck, and Steve drove it out of the way. Rather than use the winch, Papi instead used a pair of hydraulic jacks, first on one end and then the other, to raise the gazebo up enough to slide the tires out and then roll the flatbed out of the way. We set the gazebo foundation onto the pylons and bolted it down. Lastly, we placed the foundation stones back under the gazebo to give the appearance of a stone foundation and reassembled the steps in front.

It took us the entire day, but everything looked great when we were done. The gazebo was made of cedar that would last for decades. I would have opted to leave it as it was, but the owner wanted it painted to match the house, and we would certainly do that, charging only for the cost of the additional paint. The roof itself was covered with elegant cedar shingles and those we’d take the time to properly seal. We loaded all the old wood from the original porch into the truck bed and took everything to the dump, where we paid a small fee to discard it. We drove home, took long showers and ate a very light supper, going to bed early. We were all exhausted. Steve and I were far too tired to even consider doing anything together.

All in all, it took us a full day to replace the porch, whereas it would have taken at least a week to repair the old one, not that it would have even been possible, given all the rot. It was a day for which we received no pay, but it was a day well spent. Indeed, a number of the neighbors watched us as we worked, and later Papi confirmed that we got two additional jobs out of it, so the time spent paid off in the end.

The author gratefully acknowledges the invaluable assistance of David of Hope and vwl-rec in editing my stories, as well as Awesome Dude and Gay Authors for hosting them.

Disclaimer: This story is purely fictional and any resemblance of characters to real individuals is unintentional. Although it takes place in actual locations, in no way are any official policies, opinions or events inferred. Some characters may be underage and at times engage in homosexual acts. Anyone uncomfortable with this should not be reading the story, and the reader assumes responsibility for the legality of reading this type of material where they live. The author retains full copyright and permission must be obtained prior to duplication in any form.