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Monday, September 7, 2015

TLR Chapter 9

Early the next morning, Jeff left Mutt sleeping and called Harry.  "Good morning, Harry.  Did I wake you?"

Harry who had reached over automatically was fully awake as he punched the answer button on his phone, used to the assisted living home calling at all hours about his mother. "No, I'm awake," he said.  "What do you need Jeff?"  He put his phone on speaker as he sat on the edge of the bed beginning to pull on a pair of jeans so he could go downstairs and get a cup of coffee, having set it to be ready for when he had to get up.

"Well, am sorry to disrupt your plans for the weekend but I need you to come in to work," Jeff answered.

Harry said, "Sure...Do you need for me to come in tonight or Saturday mornin'?"

"Thanks Harry,' Jeff sighed relieved, "tomorrow is fine."

Harry hesitated, then said, "Umm...Jeff...I'm datin' someone and we sort of had you think it would be all right with James if I brought him along?"

"That shouldn't be a problem, Harry, as long as he meets our conditions," Jeff answered.  "But maybe you should talk to James about it."

The security guard asked, "If we're finished, would you please transfer me to James?"

Jeff chuckled, "Sure thing, Harry.  And good luck.  I'd like to meet your friend."

Harry blushed, even though Jeff couldn't see him. "I'll be sure you meet him, besides you'll have to check him in." the security guard told him. I'll wait for you to transfer now."

"Ok, hang on."

The younger man said, "Okay."

James Herrington here," James answered his phone

The security guard said, "James...this is Harry, Jeff called me into work this weekend. I know I haven't shared this with anyone yet, but I've been dating recently and my new boyfriend and I had some plans for the weekend...I'd like to bring him to TLR."

The resort owner replied, "Really? I'm so happy for you Harry...I wondered when you'd find someone who'd be able to put up with you," he teased.

Harry laughed. "Well, I have. He works at the bank with me. His name is Brody."

James said, "Well Harry, you've been working for us long enough to know our rules and clientele...I'll trust your judgment regarding this gentleman and that you'll let him know how discreet we are here."

Harry nodded, even though James couldn't see him through the phone. "Yes Sir...I have and I do...thank you for trustin' me enough to bring in someone who's never been to the resort before."

"You're welcome Harry.  If I trust you with the security here I can trust you to bring the right sort of person here."

The younger man smiled to himself at the praise. "Thanks James. If he agrees to come I'll let you know and bring him with me when I report for work in the mornin' if that's okay...I'll introduce him to Jeff and have him checked in and I'll help fill out an application...I have some here."

The older man said, "That will be just fine Harry, You know the drill."

"Yes I do Sir and again, thank you."

James chuckled. "You're welcome Harry and I'll look forward to meeting your Brody in the morning."

"Yes Sir, thanks again and good-bye."

"Good-bye Harry and Jeff and I will see you and Brody in the morning."

The security guard hung up from the call and whistled a bit as he finished his coffee and got dressed in his uniform for the day. He'd go over to Brody’s tonight after visiting his mother and he could tell him all about TLR at dinner as they had planned and then when Harry went home he would pack a bag.  He would pick up Brody and they could leave together in the morning for TLR.


James smiled as he hung up the phone and cuddled Heath who had been with him before they were interrupted by the phone. "That was Harry as you guessed. He has a new boyfriend and will be bringing him with him when he reports for work in the morning." He told the young doctor.


Harry pulled into the bank parking lot.  He usually got there just as Owen Williamson, the bank manager, arrived so they could enter the bank together.  They walked to the door and Harry waited as Owen pulled out his keys and opened the bank door and locked it behind them.  Harry opened the employee entrance so the employees could enter before the bank actually opened to customers.  He sat at his security desk for a moment trying to think how he was going to tell Brody about the weekend.

As he became a bit nervous he made his rounds of the bank and watched Owen opened the vault and prepare it for the tellers and bank officers so the cash drawers could be removed and the day's business could start.

Brody had to tell himself to slow down as he walked to the employee door of the bank.  It was Friday and he would get Harry to himself tonight.  Walking in, he saw the reason for his high spirits standing at the front door.

"Good morning, Harry," Brody said cheerfully.

The security guard smiled a bit nervously and called, "Good mornin' Brody."  He walked over to the other man and said quietly, "We need to talk."

Brody looked closely at Harry.  Something was bugging him and Brody just hoped he hadn't scared the skittish man away last night.  "Sure, Harry.  What's going on?"

Harry glanced around the bank to make sure there wasn't anyone about yet and said, "I have to work this weekend. I have this part time job at this exclusive resort...and well...umm..." He trailed off.

"You are canceling on me," Brody said coolly.  He had gone to fast the night before.  The only thing he could do is confront the issue.  "Look, Harry.  I know I pushed too hard last night.  I thought we had that worked out?"

The other man bit his lip. "No...I mean I'm not cancellin' on you...I want you to come with me!" He blurted out. Then he blushed.

"What?" Brody asked.  Then the words Harry had spoken started to sink in.  "You work at a resort on the weekends?  Which resort?  I assume you do security?"

Harry nodded. "'s an exclusive place...very discreet...for people like us." He said the last in an almost whisper and then bit his lip again. "If you're not interested...or don't want to...I'll understand."

"No, no.  Just give me a minute to catch up."  Brody took a deep breath.  He got his thoughts in order.  "Ok. You have to work at this resort this weekend.  You want me to come with you."  Brody made the two statements then smiled.  "When do we leave?"

The security guard smiled. "In the mornin', but I need to tell you about the resort...I thought we could talk about it at dinner tonight as we planned."

The morning was getting better, Brody thought to himself.  Harry was still going to have dinner with him plus they were going to spend the weekend together.  He gave Harry a gentle smile.  "That would be perfect.  I'll grill some steaks and you can tell me about this resort you work at."

Harry gave Brody a relieved look. "Yes, that sounds good."

The day took forever, but finally Brody saw Harry locking the door after the last customer.   "It'll take me just a minute to count out." Brody was right and soon his drawer was counted out and they were leaving the bank.  "So, you'll be over in about a half an hour?"  The bank teller asked Harry. 

The security guard smiled at Brody. "No hurry.  Before dinner I'll stop by Mom's and let her know I won't be at home and let the home know that I'll be working at my weekend job in case they can't reach me on my cell...there are spots up there where one can't receive a signal.  We use walkie talkies to communicate and land line phones, more reliable."

"Ok, that sounds like you'll need an hour if you're going to visit your mom," Brody said.  "Just shoot me a text before you leave your mom's and I can get the grill started."

"Okay I'll go visit before I come over then I won't have to worry about gettin' to her in time. I'll go after work and text you when I'm on the way."


Brody stopped at the store on his way home and bought the steaks and vegetables.  He decided he'd do vegetable kabobs as well as a salad.  Pulling into his house, he checked his watch and saw that he'd spent 30 minutes at the store.  He would have just enough time to shower and then Harry should be texting him.


Harry drove to his mother after work as he usually did and spent a pleasant hour with her. He told her about Brody, even though he knew she'd remember little to none of the conversation when he saw her again. He told her he had to work and wouldn't be visiting her the next two days as well, hoping the information stuck.  Then he kissed her and hugged her tight and left her, stopping on the way out to inform the staff that he was working on the weekend and wouldn't be visiting and where they could contact him in case of an emergency.  When he got into his car he texted Brody. 'I'm on my way. Should be there soon.' Then he connected his phone to blue tooth in his car so if he received any calls he wouldn't have to take his hands off the wheel to answer and talk.


Brody had taken his shower, chopped the salad and had the vegetables on the skewers when Harry sent the text that he was on his way.  Brody was on the back deck, when he heard Harry's car in the driveway.  Walking around to the front, he met Harry getting out of the car.  "Come on back.  I got everything started.  Just need to know how you like your steak cooked."

The security guard smiled as Brody met him and said, "Medium rare, more rare than medium. I like to hear it wiggle." He teased.

With the word wiggle, Brody's mind flashed an image of Harry wiggling beneath him.  Shaking his head to get the image out: or on pause, he could pull it out at a later time.  "Great! That's how I like mine too.  They won't take long, maybe 10 minutes either side.  What do you want to drink?  I have beer, cola, and water."

Harry said, "Cola is fine, thanks Brody."

"Let me grab you one then.  Be just a sec and then you can keep me company while the steaks cook." 

Brody ran inside grabbed a soda from the fridge, and went back outside.  "Here you go."

The other man glanced around at the tidy yard as he waited for Brody to return. He took the soda from him and smiled. "It's nice out here." He commented.

"Thanks.  It’s not much and the bank owns more of it than I do, but it does have my name on the title," Brody said looking out over the yard.  He'd been spending weekends working on it.  The yard didn't have much yet, but he could envision flower beds here and there.  Flipping the steaks over, Brody told Harry of his plans to make the yard look better.

Harry listened attentively and smiled.  "Well maybe you can get some more ideas at the resort. They have beautifully kept grounds. The landscaper Adam is a whiz at that kind of stuff."

Brody took a drink of his beer and looked at Harry.  "The resort.  Your second job.  Why don't we leave that until we are sitting at the table?  I think I need to be sitting down for this conversation."

The other man bit his lip and then nodded. "All there anythin' I can do to help?" he asked.

Brody took the vegetable skewers off the grill and placed them on a platter.  "You can take these on inside while I get the steaks."

Harry smiled. "All right, they look marvelous." He took the platter from Brody and headed into the house.

Brody watched as Harry walked into the house.  He had a flash of their future and this being THEIR home, not just his.  Shaking his head, Brody turned to get the steaks off the grill and headed into the house.  Once inside, Brody slipped one steak off onto Harry's plate and the other onto his own.  "Do you need steak sauce or anything?"

Harry said, "A little A1 would be nice. I don't drown my food in condiments like you do.  I still like to taste what I'm eating."  He said with a teasing grin.

Brody laughed.  "Oh, when it comes to steak, I just want the meat." Once they had started their dinner, Brody said, "Ok, why don't you tell me about this second job you have."

The security guard put a little of the steak sauce on his meat and smeared it around with his fork. He cut off a small piece, put it in his mouth and chewed. "Excellent steak." He told Brody. Then he took a deep breath and said, "I only work weekends and holidays or when the regular security man Duke takes time off. The resort is owned by a man by the name of James Herrington." He told Brody.

"Glad you like it.  It’s hard to screw up a steak. Where is this resort?" Brody asked between bites of his steak.

"The resort’s an exclusive...very discreet place...James designed it just for men who are gay and sometimes other people who have, um, different interests.  It's called Teardrop Lake resort and of course it's on Teardrop Lake."

Brody coughed and almost choked.  Did he hear right?  Did Harry just tell him that he worked security at a resort that welcomed people who were gay?  Brody knew about clubs and bars but never a resort.  Finally getting his breathing under control, he knew he needed to tread lightly.  "Um. Different interests? What does that mean? Sports?"

Harry said quietly, "Well James says it's a safe place for all parties concerned.  Sometimes just being there can help with controlling high stress in some people like big corporate people and jobs like that.”  He told Brody, “There are classes and activities to take part in if the guests want too."

Classes? Brody thought to himself. But then a big thought came to his mind.  Harry had asked him to go stay at the resort with him.  “What kind of classes, Harry?” he asked.  “Do you ever go to the classes or partake in the activities?  I mean, I know you work there but do you get to join in with the others?”

The other man bit his lip and then blushed. "Umm...well, sometimes when I’m needing some stress relief I go to TLR just to get away, but I haven’t really participated.”

Brody looked at Harry and saw all the stress the man was under.  "I'm glad you have a way to relieve some of your stress, Harry.  You have so much on your shoulders with your mom and work and everything."

Harry nodded. "Yes, I do. If you'd like to come with me I brought an application with me and we can fill it out together and when we get there you'll need to meet with the administrator Jeff and he'll check you in and then you’ll see our doctor for a physical, after that we'll need to attend an orientation meeting tomorrow night with some others and then we can decide how we want to proceed from there."

"Orientation?  Physical?  For a resort? What is this place, Brody?"

Harry said evasively, "Like I said it's very discreet and exclusive. I can show you around and tell you the rules so we really don't have to do any orientation, but everyone needs to be checked in."

Brody studied the other man closely.  There was something that Harry wasn't telling him.  It was do or die time-he'd either trust this man that he was starting to fall in love with or not.  He decided to trust him. "Ok, Harry.  What kind of rules are there?"

"Well the reason you haven't heard of the resort is that it's by invitation only and only those who are members of the resort can invite others and then they need to be screened by James Herrington, the owner and founder of the resort. There's to be no abuse and safety of all is the main concern."

"This isn't a cult, is it, Harry?" Brody hated to ask him, but he also wanted to be prepared.  If Harry needed to be protected, Brody wanted to be the one to protect him.

Harry's blue eyes widened in surprise at Brody's question. "No! Of course not!" He exclaimed in surprise and astonishment. The thought had never crossed his mind.

Brody saw the true surprise and honesty in Harry's face.  Still, Brody knew he'd be cautious and keep his eyes open while at this mysterious resort.  "Ok.  So how long does it take to get there?"

The security guard said to Brody, "Only about an hour or so."

"Oh, that's not far at all.  What time do you have to clock in?" Brody asked.  He was thinking maybe they'd have time to walk around a bit.  That would give Brody time to get a feel for the resort.

The other man said, "I need to be there by seven in the mornin', but I can get you checked in and then you can hang with me while I make my rounds at the resort and check the trails in the golf cart."

"Sounds great.  Why don't I pick you up about five then?  It'll give us time to maybe stop off and get a little breakfast," Brody said.

Harry countered, "Why don't I just pick you up instead in my truck? I know the way."

"That makes sense," Brody agreed. 

The other man smiled. "Good, then you're willin' to come with me?"

Brody smiled back at Harry. “Yes, I’m willing to come with you.”


Brody and Harry worked together to clear up after dinner, and soon, the other man was bidding Harry good night.  Walking him to the car, Brody put his hand on Harry's arm and whispered, "I'd like to give you a kiss good night."

Harry smiled. "Sure Brody and thanks for being so patient about fillin' out the application form. I'll pick you up at five in the morning."

Leaning in, Brody captured Harry's lips and gently worked them open.  He let his tongue slip into Harry's mouth and quickly pulled back.  Grinning at the other man, Brody said, "I'll have the paper worked filled out and be waiting for you in the morning."

Harry was a bit startled by the intimate kiss that was over before he’d even realized it. He hadn’t had a chance to return it when the other man had pulled away. He smiled as they made arrangements to meet in the morning.


The security guard got dressed, downed his usual cup of coffee and picked up his packed bag that held his casual clothes and swimming trunks. He brushed off a little lint from his uniform for TLR and after making sure everything in his apartment was secure, pocketed his cell phone and got into the truck he usually drove up to the resort. He pulled up in front of Brody's at precisely 5 am.

As soon as Brody saw Harry pull up, he picked up his duffel bag, locked his door, and jogged out to the truck.  "I think we're going to have a spectacular sunrise.  I'm excited we'll get to see it together.”

Harry smiled as Brody got into his truck. "I'm glad too." He waited for Brody to stow his duffle bag and get buckled up before putting his vehicle in gear and heading out onto the road.

The sunrise was every bit as spectacular as Brody had predicted.  They stopped for a quick breakfast at a truck stop and watched the sun rise above the horizon.  "This is the first morning we've had to spend together," Brody said.

The other man glanced at Brody and smiled. "Yes, and I'm sure we'll get to spend at least the one more together as well."

"That'll be nice.  You and I sitting along the shore of the lake, watching the sun come up."

Harry smiled, "Or on the porch of our bungalow."

Brody felt warmth fill him.  And it wasn't just from the sun; it was from knowing that he'd be sleeping with this shy man.  "Well, we need to get going.  I don't want to make you late for work."

The security guard grinned. "All right Brody." He put the truck in gear and drove on to the resort. He drove through beautifully wooded two lane roads and then turned into a nearly hidden drive that wound through the woods until it burst onto a clearing.  He drove in to the parking area.


Brody looked around at the beautiful countryside.  The cabins and what looked like the main resort were tastefully done.  They didn't detract from the beautiful forest around them.

Harry stopped the truck and got out, then went over to Brody's door and opened it. "Come on Brody...I'll take you inside."

As they approached the administration building where Jeff was waiting, the administrator opened the door and held out his hand, an open smile on his face.  "Welcome to TLR, Brody.  I'm glad to meet you.  I'm Jeff Markham.  Please, come in side, Harry. Relax for a few minutes before you have to rush off.

Brody held out his hand and smiled at the big man.  "Hi Jeff.  This is a gorgeous view you have here.  I've never heard of the resort before."

Harry smiled. "Thanks Jeff and I'm checkin' in for my shift for the weekend."

"The resort is not common knowledge, Brody, just the way we like it." Jeff grinned, “And Harry, I won't turn you in for stopping for a cup of coffee, but I'll understand if you want to head right out."  Then he added, “Harry, we have your bungalow aired out and clean."

The security guard smiled. "Thank you Jeff. Brody, you're in good hands. I'll catch up with you later. I need to head out on my rounds now."

"Wait a minute, Harry," Brody caught Harry's arm before he could dash off.  Leaning over, Brody gave Harry a quick kiss.  Then smiled and said, "Have a good day, honey."

Harry was surprised both at the kiss and the endearment. He blushed a bit and then smiled at Brody. "I will, but I'll make sure to catch up with you after Jeff is finished and you can accompany me on my rounds of the resort." The security guard headed out and left Brody with Jeff.

"Would you like a drink before I show you around?  Or do you need to rest for a bit?  Your things have been brought to Harry's bungalow if you want to freshen up."

"A drink would be great, Jeff.  To tell you the truth, Harry has been so secretive about the resort that I started to get a bit concerned."

"It's a safe place for gay men, Brody.  A place where we can be ourselves and not have to worry about what anyone else says or thinks.  Think of it as a haven."

"That's wonderful.  The world is changing, but not fast enough," Brody said.  He wasn't in to politics but he'd been watching and cheering as state by state the members of the LGBT community were being given the same rights as everyone else.

"Speaking of havens..."  Jeff continued more seriously.  "We have a nondisclosure agreement that everyone signs when they come here.  I know you're Harry's guest but we'd like it if you would read and sign the agreement. There are also some other forms I need to have you fill out as well.  Come into my office.  You can fill everything out and sign them there.  When we’re through would you like a tour? And of course, if you have any questions, feel free to ask."

Brody followed Jeff into an office.  The door said office and there was a desk inside, but it was far from the sterile environment that the word office usually conjured up.  "Nice office," Brody said admiringly to Jeff.

 "Thank you.  My husband helped me decorate it.  All the more whimsical things you'll see in here are his touch."  Jeff replied, pointing to a three dimensional painting of a staircase which went everywhere and nowhere at the same time.  “Please have a seat. What would you like to drink?"

Brody was enchanted with the painting and said absently, "Coffee would be great."

“Please have a seat on one of the lazy boys, or on the couch.  How do you like your coffee?"

Tearing his gaze away from the painting, Brody walked over to the couch.  "Just black with a bit of sugar.  I never developed a taste for the fancy coffees or a lot of creamer."


Harry started on his usual walk around the immediate area of the resort, his lips still tingling from Brody's kiss and that he had called him honey. He smiled and whistled to himself as he watched for anything unusual. After he walked the immediate perimeter he would take the golf cart and patrol the trails.

"Pssst!  Harry!"  Came a familiar, impish voice from behind a bush, "Who's the new guy?  He's handsome!"

Harry glanced around and shook his head. "Come on out of there Mutt. Should I tell you or should I let Jeff tell you?" He teased.

"Tell me!  No one here tells me anything!  Who is he?  I saw you both drive in together.  Is it serious?"

Harry shook his head at Mutt. "Hmm...I think I should let Jeff tell you all...he's so much better at that than I am." He grinned at Mutt who he knew could hardly contain himself.

"Beast."  Mutt growled playfully.  "Tell!  Or else..."

Harry laughed at Mutt and got him into a playful headlock. "You know I'm security around here...maybe I should just march you to Jeff's office?" He teased.

Mutt wriggled free and began to run.  "Gotta catch me first old man!"

Harry had Mutt in three strides and put him over his shoulder fireman style. "Who are you callin' old?" He growled teasingly. "Guess I'll just have to bring my find to the administrator and ask what he'd like to do with this trespasser."

"Ah!  I give! I give!  You're not old!  You're young, virile and sexy hot!  Too hot for me, now let me go!" Mutt laughed.

Harry laughed and let the other man down.  He said softly, "His name is Brody and he’s mine."

Mutt clapped the other man on the shoulder.  "That's wonderful.  If he doesn't treat you like a prince, let me know.  Me and Adam will teach him a lesson."  He laughed.

Harry bit his lip, then nodded. "No one else but James and Jeff know and I'd like to keep it that way Mutt...please don't go around advertisin’' it."

"You know me, Harry.  I don't go around gossiping.  Your secret is safe with me.  But ah... if you go around kissing him in public, don't blame me if everyone else figures it out."  He laughed as he sprinted away.

Harry shook his head as he watched Mutt go then he went about his rounds.


Brody sat back and looked over the paperwork he had been given. The one Harry had given him last night had been a basic application form, but these papers went into much more detail.  The first page was the usual name, age and address.  But the second page got interesting.  Brody tried to school his face not to show his shock.  But right there in black and white were the definitions of discipline partnership.  And what the resort considered discipline and what it considered abuse.

"Do you have a question, Brody?  You look a little distracted."

Brody blurted out the first thing that came to mind. "There's a place for people who want to live like this?  To have discipline in their relationship?"  Brody had read about discipline.  He'd read fictional stories and he'd read online real life blogs.  Brody knew that kind of relationship appealed to him.  He just never really thought of it as real. Now it was spelled out in black and white.

"It's more common than you'd imagine, Brody.  But there are so many people who would consider it... freakish or unnatural.  To us it's completely natural.  As a good friend of mine said, it’s the way we’re wired."

"Yes," Brody gasped out quietly.  "Wired.  Yes, that's how it feels.  It’s like I'm genetically predisposed to want to protect someone."

"And if I were a betting man, I'd be willing to bet that there are more of us out there, unable to say aloud what they think, who they are, what they want.  That's how it is with Mutt, my husband, and myself, and like all of the men and other people who come here to visit."

Brody's mind was spinning.  He wanted to talk to Harry.  Did Harry want this type of relationship? Of course he must, Brody thought.  Or he wouldn't work here.  "Sorry, this took me by surprise.  I knew that Harry was holding back on something, but I never expected this."

“Our security guard is a very private person, and works in a very public forum.  If you are honest with yourself, you'll admit that if Harry's employers found out about his predilection toward discipline, they might find he's not the man for the job.  It's happened before." Jeff said solemnly.

Brody nodded.  The bank was progressive with equal employment opportunities, but the inner workings of relationships should be private.  Brody agreed with that.

"Was there anything you wanted to ask, Brody?"  Jeff asked patiently.

Brody shook his head.  He looked up at Jeff and said, "Not right now, Jeff. But...can I come to you if I have any questions while I'm here?"

"Of course.  My number is on the card attached to your paperwork, so feel free to call me at any time."

"Jeff, to tell you the truth, I'm sure I do have questions, but I don't even know what to ask at this point."  Brody was still reeling a bit at the whole situation.  He was going to spend the weekend with Harry at a resort that didn't just cater to the LGBT community but to those who practiced discipline too.

Brody filled out the papers and when it came to role of relationship, he asked, "Is Top an acceptable answer?"

"Top is fine.  Harry is a quiet man but I've always seen him more as a Brat than a Submissive.  If you believe Top is your role, then please check it."

Brody made a neat check mark in the box and handed the papers to Jeff.  "I feel as though I'm Dorothy and have stepped into the Land of Oz"

"It definitely ain't Kansas anymore” Jeff laughed.

Brody laughed.  What a surprise his Harry was turning out to be.  "Can you show me where we'll be staying?"

"Sure, it's not far from here.  The employee’s bungalows are a little further away from the main campus, so we'll take the golf cart."

Jeff pointed out the main lodge with the restaurant and bar as they drove along, until finally they arrived at Harry's small bungalow.

Brody watched as the buildings and the forest slowly passed by.  He knew he'd want to soak up as much of the beautiful scenery as he could, but right now his mind was on overdrive with all he'd learned today.

"So, do you live here full time?"

"Yes, Mutt and I live here year round.  A lot of tourist places are seasonal... we have activities year round."

"That must keep you all busy.  Have you known Harry long?"  Brody couldn't believe that Harry had been working here and he not know anything about it.

"About six years now, if I'm not mistaken.  He's a real asset to the resort.  We're lucky to have found him.  He's also one of the best friends a guy can have."

Brody smiled softly.  Harry had that effect on people.  He was so quiet and unassuming, but made a big impact on everyone he met. 

"How long is his shift normally?" Brody asked Jeff.

"It's a usual eight hour shift, sometimes a split shift if we're shorthanded.  Our other security man, Duke, will be back soon, so I think Harry will be able to get back to you around lunch time.  Then the two of you can get together for an hour before he has to continue his rounds." Jeff explained.  "In the meantime I'll let you get settled in.”

Jeff handed Brody the key and motioned him forward with a gallant bow.  "The key to your kingdom."  He smiled.

"Beautiful kingdom here," the younger man said as he opened the door.

"Thank you.  We do our best to make the decor homey rather than hotel retro."  He laughed.

Brody laughed and walked into the cabin.  The first thing that he noticed upon entering the bungalow was how homey it looked.  It was nothing like the hotels and motels he'd stayed at during his travels.  The air was fresh and clean.  He noticed the sofa and love seat, chocolate brown suede and very comfortable looking, the patterned rug accenting the colors of the sofa and the curtains, which were vertical stripes in shades of brown, cream and russet.

"Go on in and look around."  Jeff encouraged.

Brody walked around the rooms, the kitchen, neat and clean and noticed that the refrigerator and cabinets were stocked with basic food stuffs and cups and plates.  He opened some of the lower cabinets and saw pots and pans, scrubbed and gleaming.  He opened drawers and found utensils for cooking and eating, also freshly washed.

"Harry lives here?"

"Weekends and Holidays for the most part. We'd like him to stay full time but he wanted to stay closer to his mother, and he said he also had another reason for wanting to stay at the bank for the most part, but he never told us what.  Now we know."  Jeff grinned.

"He's a very private person, I've noticed." Brody observed.

"Yes, getting information from him is like trying to pull teeth from a turtle."  Jeff joked.

Brody smiled and then continued his foray into his home for the weekend.  He walked into the bedroom and saw a queen sized bed, neatly made, freshly aired and covered with a patchwork quilt in shades of brown, goldenrod and rust.  The furniture was sturdy and modest, just like its owner... a dresser, night stand and cabinet of maple that matched the wooden frame of the bed.  He noticed their bags had been delivered to the bedroom and placed in a corner near the dresser.

"Is there anything else I can do for you before I leave?"  Jeff asked.

"Is there a grocery store around here?  I'd like to make lunch for Harry."

"The old barn has been converted into a series of small shops, including a grocery store, butcher shop and bakery, but they only carry basics, veggies, fish and meats, bread, pies, milk and such.  If you want anything more complicated there is a town nearby that has a full grocery.  I'll be happy to take you there."

"No, sandwiches sound fine actually,” Brody replied.  

"Then take the golf cart so that you can get the groceries back here.  Go down this road and take your second left.  You can't miss it."

"If you're sure?"  Brody said, uncertainly.

"I'm sure,” Jeff smiled.  "My office isn't very far and I think I'd like to take advantage of the sunshine.  Get a little exercise."

"Thank you."  Brody replied as Jeff handed him the keys to the golf cart.

You know where to find me if you need me.  There's a directory in the bedside table drawer near the phone and also a walkie talkie if you want anything... or if you need security for some reason." Jeff said with a smile.

With a jaunty salute and a friendly smile, Jeff turned on his heel and left Brody on his own.

After Jeff left, Brody walked back into the bedroom and sat on the bed.  It wasn't too firm or too soft.  He lay down and put his head on one of the pillows, laughing a little as he felt somewhat like Goldilocks, testing the bed to see if it was just right.  It was.

He stood back up and smoothed the pillow and quilt, imagining himself and Harry sharing the bed that evening.


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