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"BK House," Charlie Salinger answered.
Becket smiled for the first time in a month. "Hey, it's Becket."
"Staying out of trouble?"
"What fun would that be?" Becket rested his feet on the porch railing. "I was wondering, I know I'm not signed up for summer classes, but do you think it would be possible for me to come back early?"
"Why would you want to? The campus is dead this time of year."
"I live in a town of thirteen hundred and thirty-four people stuck out in the middle of fucking corn fields. Believe me, you don't know the first thing about dead." Without a car of his own, Becket was forced to drive the dirt roads of Crescent Ridge, Iowa, in his grandpa's old rusted out pickup. It would be different if his dad actually needed his help on the farm, but with three older brothers, all living and working on the six-hundred and seventy acre spread, Becket's help wasn't needed or wanted.
"Locky's not here if that's what you're hoping for," Charlie informed Becket.
Resident Assistant Lockland Regent was the golden unicorn, the one man Becket continued to drool over but had never been able to conquer. It didn't seem to matter how many times he caught Locky looking at him with lust in his eyes, he always turned Becket away when the offer was made.
"What about Fallon?" The uncle of one of his old housemates may not have been Becket's first choice, but Fallon was hot and rich, two of his favourite things. Besides, for some reason, Fallon's ongoing interest in getting Becket into bed seemed to infuriate Locky.
"Stay away from Fallon. He's too damn old for you," Charlie scolded.
Becket grinned. Forbidden fruit always tasted better. "Will you let me come? I'll pay."
"You'll clean. This place needs a good cleaning from top to bottom before the fall semester, and since I obviously can't do it, and Jack's taken a job at one of the local diners for the summer, we were planning to hire it out. However, since you have the time, you can do it in exchange for room and board. How's that?"
The thought of cleaning the house made Becket groan. He weighed the work involved against his need to be within a two mile radius of gay bars and, as usual, his sex drive won out. "Fine."
<p style="text-align: center;"><strong>* * * *</strong>
Locky loosened his tie after a long day and fixed himself a Jack and Coke. The money he earned practicing law at his father's firm would pay his bills for the rest of the year, but the clients he dealt with made him feel dirty at the end of the day.
"Lockland, are you joining us for dinner this evening?" his mother, Gloria Regent, asked.
"Not tonight. I'm meeting friends." Locky took another sip of his drink and settled himself on the tufted red leather sofa in the den. He cursed himself for giving up his apartment, but it didn't make sense to hold onto the damn thing when he was only home three months out of the year.
"Will Brooks be driving you?" Gloria asked.
The last thing Locky needed was for the family chauffeur to know his business. "No, I'll drive myself."
"Well, be careful, dear," Gloria said before leaving the room.
Locky finished his drink before going up the back staircase to his bedroom suite. He had no plans to meet friends, but he did hope to get laid. It wasn't often that he went in search of a random partner for the night, but he needed to get Becket out of his head and his dreams.
Showered and dressed to impress, Locky left the house. He ate a quick dinner at his favourite restaurant in Portland before arriving at the club around ten-thirty. It was still early for the usual crowd, but that suited him fine. He had a few ghosts he needed to exorcise before he'd be in a party mood anyway.
"Hey, Bobo," Locky greeted the owner. He'd known Bobo for years and had even helped him out of a few tickets early in his career. It was the first time he'd stepped foot in the club since the night that had changed his life.
Bobo's blue eyes opened wide. "Locky?" He grabbed Locky into a bear hug, fitting for someone of Bobo's large size. "I didn't think I'd ever see you again."