Neighbors With Benefits
“Well that’s it, the last of my stuff.” Travis used both hands to close the trunk of his beat up Monte Carlo. “I hope I didn’t forget anything.”
“Are you sure you have to go?” His younger sister Marie whined the words. They were very close, and since their Dad died they really depended on each other. His Mom worked a lot and did the best she could, but with him five years older, he basically raised Marie while she worked two jobs.
“It’s only two hours from Escalon, which means it’s a really easy bus trip, Midget.”
“But why do you want to leave so badly? I mean, it’s gonna be really weird around here without you.” Marie was trying to be strong but he saw the tears in her eyes.
“Because this isn’t where jobs for research and development are. When Instagram offers you a job as a produce research specialist, you take it.” Travis wrapped his arms around her shoulders, giving her a big squeeze. “Plus, in case you don’t remember, when I came out, people of Escalon weren’t exactly welcoming. Maybe in San Francisco I can finally feel like I fit in, or at least I will be in a big enough pond, it won’t matter so much. Enough with this sadness, Midget. I’m gonna go, and as soon as finals are over, you are coming to visit! We can check out San Francisco State while you’re up there.”
“You mean it? I can come visit? Did Mom say okay?”
“She sure did, it will help because next year somebody is headed to college! Now one more hug, and I have to go! I don’t want to hit too much traffic.” They hugged once more and he got in the car. He had said goodbye to his Mom before she left for her second job and it was really getting late.
As he pulled his old Monte onto the highway, he rolled the windows down and turned on the radio. He settled in as he drove through Stockton and onto I-5 South towards Tracy, on his way to San Francisco and his new life. His mind raced with thoughts as to what it would all be like. He had an apartment lined up already in Redwood City, and most of his furniture was already there having moved it last weekend with his buddies. It was only his clothes and personal things that he had loaded in his car.
After a two and a half hour drive and a bunch of angry motorists, he finally pulled into the complex. Driving slowly through the gate, he made his way to the back and his assigned parking space. Upon a closer look, there was a BMW parked in his space. Sighing in frustration he pulled into a visitor’s space down the row, and shut off the engine. Just great, this is even farther from my apartment than my actual space.
Unfolding himself from the car and stretching, he popped the trunk and grabbed the first boxes. After locking his car, he headed towards the stairs that would take him to his apartment. As he climbed onto the first step a shriek echoed down the hallway. “Brett! BRETT! Are you even listening to me?”
A male voice, who he could only assume was Brett answered. “Listen Chrissy, it was fun, but I can’t deal with your neediness anymore. Please just go, you’re making a scene.” The exasperation was clear in the words he spoke.
“You can’t just dump me!”
“I’m pretty sure I just did, please leave. I would hate to have to call the cops.”
“UUUURRRRGGGHHH!” After her exasperated grunt, he heard what sounded like heels speeding down the hallway. He took another step and finally hit the top only to have both boxes knocked from his grasp and be thrown back into a wall.
“Watch where I’m going!” The girl, Chrissy, screeched at him and bounded down the stairs, jumping into the very BMW parked in his spot, and peeling out of the parking lot, leaning out her window yelling, “Asshole!”
He heard more footsteps and flinched. “Oh jeez, are you alright? God she is such a drama queen. Let me help you with those.”
“No it’s alright, I-” Travis looked up into the most beautiful golden brown eyes he had ever seen. Realizing he had stopped speaking, he quickly caught himself. Brett grabbed one of the boxes and smiled at him.
“Where are we headed with these.” Brett smiled at Travis, momentarily stunning him again.
“Oh, my apartment is eleven twenty-nine, and thanks for the help.”
“No problem, sorry you had to walk into that. Do you have more boxes? Two of us will make the job go quicker.”
Travis smiled at Brett, “I do yeah, I just moved here from Escalon. I appreciate the help.”
“Escalon, huh? That’s quite a change.” Brett waved off his thanks and spoke warmly, like he was genuinely interested.
“I got a job with Instagram. Plus, I needed a change from the small town mindset.” Brett fumbled in his pocket and grabbed his keys, unlocking the door. “I moved in most of my stuff last weekend, but had to finish my last week at my old job before heading up here.”
They walked into the small apartment, and set the boxes down amidst the Chaos that he and his buddies left last weekend and walked back to Travis’ car for more boxes. “I’m Travis by the way.”
“Nice to meet you Travis. I’m Brett, as you obviously heard Chrissy screech.” Brett rolled his eyes.
“Yeah, I think all of the complex did. How long were you with her?”
“Oh no! I wasn’t with her, with her, no way. Let’s say she wasn’t my type.” Brett chuckled as if what he said were funny.
“Oh. It sounded like a break up.” Travis grabbed more bags and boxes, so did Brett and they headed back to Travis’ apartment.
“Oh it was, but it was me telling her that I wasn’t going to be at her beck and call every second of every day.”
Travis snorted. “Oh she’s one of those, eh? Yeah been there.”
They grabbed the last load and headed back once more, Travis closed the door behind him, and offered a beer to Brett. Brett took in all of the boxes and whistled. “Are you unpacking tonight?”
“Nah, I’m gonna do that this weekend, I moved and packed enough today. I think I will walk down and grab some Thai from that take-out place I saw on my way in and just get my T.V. set up.” Travis stretched. “Can I buy you dinner as a thank you for your help?”
“You don’t need to thank me, it’s what neighbors do. But I have a better idea, let’s get cleaned up and you can come with me to meet some of my friends. I’m sure it will be nice to get to know some people in the area.” Brett finished his beer and walked towards the door.
“Okay, that would be great. Meet outside in a half hour?”
“Sounds perfect. You got bar clothes in those bags? You’re gonna need ‘em.”
Travis gave Brett an innocent smile, “What kind of fresh out of college guy would I be if I wasn’t prepared for the bar?”
“Not a very good one.” Brett quirked a brow at him, “Just curious, but you don’t have a problem with gay men, do you?”
“Uh, no. That would be hypocritical, as I’m in fact gay.”
“Great! This is going to be even more fun!” Brett rubbed his hands together. “Outside in half an hour, wear something pretty!”
Travis spent at least ten minutes, debating what Brett meant by pretty, then rushed to the bathroom. He showered and dressed quickly, looking forward to what the night and his new life in Redwood City were going to bring.
Love in Secret Series
Julien, the youngest son of a British aristocrat and barely twenty-one years old, enrolls in college in Boston. He hopes to find freedom to be himself and some peace from his oppressive, anti-gay family. Maybe having the Atlantic Ocean between them will let him relax.
Darius is a student by day and a bartender at his uncle’s club by night. He is perfectly happy focusing on work and school because there is less of a chance to be hurt if you don’t let people in.
When the two meet, the attraction is instant, but will Julien’s family and Darius’ insecurity threaten it all?
This gay romance is approximately 41,000 word in length.
Buy it here!
Genevieve Wolfe lives in Northern California with her very supportive boyfriend, daughter and their two chameleons, Clyde and Karma. When not writing, she has her nose buried in a book or is probably in the kitchen making something she saw on Food Network. You can reach her on Facebook, Twitter or by e-mail and she loves to hear from readers!