Richie and Jimmy

by Jobe

Chapter 10

"Guys I'm going to take a shower and then hit the bed." And that is what I did. It wasn't long after I had been in bed, when I heard the shower. Soon Rich crawled in bed and then I heard the shower again followed by Nick crawling in bed. We all assumed our normal positions, Nick's back against my back, Rich's back against my front. I put my arm around Rich and pulled him into me, I kissed the top of his head. I heard the sigh as I dropped off to sleep.

Since I didn't have to get up in the morning, I took advantage and slept in a little. I felt Nick getting up, taking a shower and then I smelt the coffee. Rich stirred and turned to look into my eyes. I didn't know what he was thinking as his eyes seemed to be twinkling. Then I felt his lips against mine. I was a little shocked but what shocked me most was my dick getting hard. Rich looked into my eyes as he pulled away from the kiss. I pulled him back and kissed him. When Rich smiles, he's the most beautiful man I have ever seen. Right now, I couldn't take my eyes away from his eyes.

"Are you guys going to get up or stay in bed all day."

That broke the spell. "Rich you go and get your shower and then I'll get mine." The little shit knew why I said that. I had one of the biggest hard ons I have ever had. There was no way I was going get out of bed like that.

Rich looked at me, smiled that knowing smile, kissed me on my nose and got out of bed. He kept his back to me as he went to the dresser to take out clean clothes, then holding them in front of himself went to take a shower. I guess I wasn't the only one with a problem.

While he was showering I kept thinking weird thoughts to allow my dick to softened. I thought of having sex with a witch, the walking dead and finally it went down. As soon as Rich was done, I went to take my shower and get dressed.

Walking into the kitchen, I took a cup of coffee, "Have you guys eaten already?"

"Yes, you were to lazy to get out of bed. So we ate."

"Ok, I'll just go down and have Miss Marie fix me some waffles with strawberries."

The look on their face was priceless. Nick opened the oven door and took out a plate of eggs, bacon and hash browns. I sat down to eat, "Did you guys really eat?"

"No but since you said Miss Marie was making waffles we decided to go there."

"You won't get any unless I go there. She only makes those for me. So you better take the other plates out of the oven and sit here and have your breakfast."

"Smart ass."

"Such talk. I may have to wash your mouth out with laundry soap."

Laughter is the best medicine I know because we laughed all through breakfast. Nick started to tell us about his school and some of the things going on there, I told about my school and Rich told about some of the schools he attended. "Rich how many schools have you attended?"

"Each year I started in a different school. Dad would move with the job and Mom and I would follow when school let out. After Mom died, I just followed Dad, so I must have gone to 14 different schools."

"That must have been hard."

"It was. I was always the new kid. Never really had a close friend till I came to your school and that only happened because you and Mike took me under your wing. Why did you take me under your wing?"

"Mike and I always took the new kids under our wing, as you say. It's hard to transfer to a different school so we always watched out for them. I remember walking into the cafeteria your first day and saw you sitting at the table all by yourself. Mike said you were in his classes, so we headed to your table. And when I saw your eyes, I knew I wanted to be your friend. The rest is history."

"Well, I'm glad you and Mike came to my table. I went home and told Dad, he had the biggest smile on his face. I guess it always worried him abut me making friends since we moved so much."

"What are we going to do today?"

"I'm going to do the washing and then wash the car. If you have anything that needs washing, put it into the clothes bag."

We spent the next few minutes gathering up all of the clothes, I took the towels and bed sheets. Put everything in the car and headed to the laundromat. Gram said we could wash our clothes at the big house but I knew she'd have Miss Marie do it.

I pulled into the Laundromat parking area, went and grabbed a buggy, loaded the dirty clothes in the buggy and headed inside. "We need to buy soap and the next time we go shopping I'll make sure it's on our list." I went to the coin dispenser and got enough quarters to buy soap and to use the machines. Each machine took 4 quarters for a complete wash and rinse and each dryer would need 4 quarters as well.

"It"s expensive to wash clothes here. There isn't much choice, we could save by buying laundry detergent at the supermarket but the money for the machines are the most expensive, so we need to maximize the washing machine loads."

As it turned out we were able to get by with three washers and two dryers. While the laundry was being done, Rich and Nick took a walk to an arcade not far from the Laundromat. I brought a book and started to read.

"Is that a good book?"

I looked at the young man who sat next to me. "Yes, it's an account of what led to World War 1."

"I'm not into history. Art is more my cup of tea."

"Actually engineering is more my cup of tea. But understanding the way a man's mind works gives me an insight into the machinations of the mind. In some ways the mind is really an engine that operates on sensors similar to a computer." By this time I knew I lost him.

"My clothes are ready, nice talking to you."

"Yea, see you around." I was sure the next time I saw him he'd be moving away rather than toward me.

I heard my washing machines shut off, I took the wet clothes and put them in the dryers. Now I had to wait another 45 minutes. I went back to my book.

Soon I heard Nick talking to Rich as they entered the laundromat. "Here we bought you an ice cream cone."

"Thanks guys." The cone looked like it was well licked when they handed it to me. They noticed I looked at it.

"It was melting so I kept licking it to prevent it from running down the cone."

"Thanks Rich. I know you look out for me and my ice cream." Then we all started to laugh.

Just then the dryer with the sheets and pillow cases shut off, Nick open the dryer and he and Rich folded the sheets and pillow cases. The rest of the clothes need another 30 minutes before they would be dry.

While we waited for the remainder of the clothes to dry, Rich sat next to me. "At the end of this small shopping mall there's a book store. Want to walk there with me?"

"Sure, Nick we're going to the book store. There's another 30 minutes for the other two dryers, we'll be back by then."

It took us about 5 minutes to walk to the book store. They had mostly magazines, a few fiction novels and newspapers. I picked out a local newspaper, Rich looked at the magazines. He didn't see anything, so I paid for the newspaper and we walked back to the laundromat, slowly. I think Rich wanted to take my hand, I know I'd like to have taken his hand. Instead I put my arm around his shoulder and when we saw anyone coming our way we acted like kids.

Nick was just taking the laundry out of the dryer. We pitched in and in no time we had everything folded and ready for the car. "I think I should buy some laundry baskets. It'd make it easier."

"We have time, let's do it now."

I drove to a strip mall and found a Dollar store, we bought two laundry baskets for 3.50 each. "I thought everything in a dollar store was a dollar."

We just laughed, there wasn't much you could buy for a dollar anymore.

We took the laundry home, "Let's go and get lunch."

"What do you feel like, pizza?"

"No what I'd like is an old fashion hamburger and french fries."

" We need to sort out a diner then."

"When we were driving up here we passed one just before we entered the town."

"Do you remember where it's located?" Nick nodded yes, "Then you show us."

It was an old style diner made to look like a train car. We sat at a table, ordered and when they brought us our burgers, it would have made three of McDonalds. French fries were served in a basket. We all had milkshakes and they were rich and cold. "We have to come back here again."

"Maybe tomorrow since I don't work this week. Nick, how long of a ride was it from your home to here."

"Brandon said if we didn't need to stop to pick up Rich, it would take 6 to 7 hours."

"Do you know if they are planning on leaving on Sunday or Saturday?"

"I don't know. I could ask. I'd really like to stay here till school starts but I'm not sure how I'd get home."

"Unless Brand and Charles made another trip back to see Gram and Gramps."

The light went on in Nick's head. He looked at Rich and I and smiled.

"Do you work the summer back home?"

"No, there isn't much to do. Sometimes I go to the office with Dad or Charles. I generally stay with Charles in the summer."

"You know what you have to do." That was the end of the discussion.

After saying that I wasn't sure if I really wanted Nick to stay, it would mean sharing the bed again. On the other hand he is good company for Rich when I'm working, I'm not going to worry about it, let's see what happens.

Rich and I took part of our lunch for home, Nick cleaned his plate. "Were you hungry Nick?"

"I wasn't when we first arrived but one bite out of that burger set off the hunger pains."

On the way home, "Jimmy, didn't you say you wanted to wash your car?"

"Yes, why?"

"There's a car wash."

"I don't want to run it through a car wash, the bristles on the brush could scratch the finish. I'll wash it at home. It won't take long."

Rich had a smile on his face all of the way home. What he was smiling about I had no idea, but I thought I'd soon find out.

I pulled into the garage, there was a bucket, some sponges and of course a small water hose. The garage had a drain so the water wouldn't lay.

"There's no soap?"

I opened the trunk and took out a small bottle of car wash and another sponge. "Put some water in the bucket, I have an extra sponge and soap." As Rich and I soaped, Nick rinsed with the small hose. It didn't take us long to wash the car. "I'll leave the car in the garage to dry so it doesn't get spotted."

I still haven't figured out why Rich was smiling. I expected to have water dumped all over me.

Dinner that evening was very interesting. Brand sat next to me and Rich sat next to Charles. "You think your smart separating us, Dad."

Brand started to laugh, everyone looked at him, I didn't crack a smile and looked at him as well. It was like saying, what are you laughing about. Brand put his arm around my shoulders and pulled me to him. Then everyone knew I must have said something. Rich looked at me shaking his head.

"James after dinner, may I see you in my office."

"Of course Gramps."

Dinner was excellent again. I told Miss Marie as she brought the food out, "You continue to outdo yourself." She just smiled and patted me on the head. Gram smiled at me she knew I just paid Miss Marie a complement.

After dinner, I followed Gramps into his office. "I'm assuming there was a reason for Brandon sitting next to you tonight."

"Yes, he's trying to separate me from Rich. It's all good nature fun. Brandon would never hurt me."

"That isn't what I wanted to talk to you about, the CEO of that firm you uncovered called and wants to meet. He just wants it to be him and I. What do you think about that?"

"I'd be suspicious. If you decide to meet, I think you should wire the room and record both voice and visual. I can do that for you. I have done it at school for special classes where they wanted the students to see how they act and sound. It was a very effective tool. If you don't want to do that then I would assist on having your attorney there. After what we found concerning the shipments, I wouldn't trust him. If he really wanted to make amends he'd be open and above board."

"How long would it take for you to do that?"

"A day at the most, where are you going to meet?"

"He wants to meet out of the office, but not a hotel."

"He has never seen me, do you know that diner just before you come into town?"

"Yes"

"Suggest that place to him, I'll talk to the owner and see if he'll let us set up a scam."

"No, you don't need to do that. I'm the owner."

I must have looked shocked. "When Gram and I first moved here the diner was for sale. Miss Marie worked there. I had some money plus Gram had some money, so we bought the diner. Then once it was up and running, making some money, Miss Marie came and worked for us. When we first bought it your Gram and Miss Marie were very close friends. She really is a companion to Gram but she just loves to cook."

"So as the owner, can I have your permission to set it up."

"By all means."

"Do you need equipment?"

"Yes, I saw an electronic store in the mall, They'll have everything I need."

I left Gramps with a project. I knew I could do it as I did so many for the handicapped classes. I remember how amazing it was to watch those kids looking at themselves and trying to correct the way they walked or moved their hands. Of course there were trained therapists there working with them.

"Guys we have a project if you want to help."

"What kind of project?"

"I'm going to hook up a system to record a meeting."

"Why do you want to do that?"

"I can't tell you yet but I promise I'll tell you after."

"OK I'll help you."

"Thanks Rich, how about you Nick?"

"I'm not sure what I can do but I'll help."

"Good, I have to go to that electronic store we saw at the mall."

I knew that the trip to the electronic store was going to cause a lot of questions. I couldn't tell them anything till after the job was done. I needed a special camera and a small voice activated recorder. When we arrived at the store I told the manager what I wanted, he quickly pulled together all of the equipment. He suggested a new microphone that could pick up a voice over a fairly high back ground noise. It was quite small and could be easily hidden.

With all of the equipment I needed, we headed to the diner. Rich and Nick were surprised when we arrived at the diner and even more surprised when the manager asked me if my name was James Ricardo. I said it was and he led me to his office. When we entered the diner I noticed a clock on the wall that faced the door. "We have to go back to the electronic store I need something else."

"How about we stay here and wait for you."

"Ok, see you in a little while." At the electronic store I bought a clock about the same size as the one in the diner only this clock had a built in camera. Returning to the diner, I explained what the new clock provided. The manager thought it was a good idea and asked if I could hook it up to a security recording system. "Yes, that's easy."

I got to work and quickly had the new clock installed, I had to drill a small hole behind the clock through the wall in order to run the cable for the camera to a recording device. "Do you have a small TV in your office?"

"No why would I need that?"

"I could feed the pictures from the clock to a TV and you could see what's happening out front without leaving your office." I watched the manager as he thought about this. "Think about it, I could do that anytime if you want to do that."

Now I needed to select an appropriate booth to set up the recording device. As I looked over all the booths I noticed one in the corner that seemed rather isolated. There was a fire extinguisher hanging there on the wall next to an emergency exit. I took the microphones and installed one behind the fire extinguisher which made it look like a part of the extinguisher. The other microphone I installed in the juke box which sat on the wall. Each of the booths had a remote juke box which permitted a customer to play any of the songs on the list. I also took a small mike that looked like a black flat spot which could only transmit a short distance. I had Rich sit in a booth close to the booth which I was wiring to test the strength on the transmitter. Once he indicated that he could hear me, I then played some music to be sure he could hear over the music. He said he could hear my voice but it was very low. That was ok because this was a back up. We were ready.

Driving home I told them what was happening and the role I wanted them to play. I wanted Rich and Nick to take separate booths. The camera in the clock would record them coming into the diner and the voice recording will pick up the vocals. Gramps was covered.

When we got back home, I called Gramps and told him we were all set. I'll tell him everything when he gets home this evening.

"Why are so excited Nick?"

"I talked to Dad and he said I could stay if I could find a way home."

"And what happens if Brand and Charles aren't coming back before school starts?"

"Well, you have a car and it could be a nice trip before school starts. Have you ever been to Iowa? I could show you where I go to school, where I live and you could visit Brandon."

I looked at Rich and he was laughing while shaking his head yes. "Ok I'll take you home but you have to keep the apartment clean."

The smile on Nick's face said he'd do anything to stay. He was becoming a best friend for Rich and a good friend for me. I don't think anyone could fill the shoes of Mike as a best friend. "I need to get something to eat, you guys ate at the diner."

Rich went and fixed a sandwich for me and a glass of orange juice. I thanked him and sat at the table to eat. Nick and Rich sat there as well waiting for something. "Don't you have something to tell us?"

"Oh, yes ,thanks for the sandwich Rich." I knew what they were waiting for but I like to tease a little.

"That's not what I meant."

"Ok when I was working the other day on the dock, I noticed a discrepancy between what was on the invoice and what was on the cases being unloaded. There were also discrepancies in the invoices from this company. Gramps contacted them and told their CEO what we found. The CEO wanted a private meeting and Gramps and I think he'll try and offer a bribe. He wanted it to be just a meeting between Gramps and him in a remote place. Gramps was to offer the Diner as the place. So we hooked up visual and audio recording devices."

"How did Gramps get the diner's owner to agree?"

"That was an eye opener for me. Gramps and Gram are the owners. They bought it when the previous owner was going to close and Miss Marie was the cook. Gramps and Gram worked the diner and then Gramps got involved in his current business. Miss Marie and Gram became very close friends and when Gram and Gramps left the diner, they hired a manager, Miss Marie came to live with Gram and Gramps."

"Wow that's some story. Are you sure you didn't read that in one of the magazines you bought."

"Very funny Nick, you better start treating me nice if you want a ride home."

Nick got out of the chair, fixed another sandwich and crawling over to me, offered the sandwich. Rich began laughing so hard I thought he might pee his pants. That was when Brand and Charles walked into the kitchen.

"What's going on?"

"Nick is paying his penance for being a bad little boy." That just started Rich laughing again. Now even Nick was laughing. As hard as it was I didn't laugh but looked at them as if I didn't know what was so funny.

Brand knew there was more but he left it alone. "If you guys could be serious a moment, we wanted to tell you we're leaving tomorrow to go home. Charles has to be back for a client. So Nick get your stuff ready."

"I'm not going with you. I talked to Dad and he said I could stay as long as I got a way home. Jimmy has agreed to drive me home."

"Then you better be nice to Jimmy and maybe if you keep serving him like you're doing with the sandwich, he might overlook your faults."

"Nah he's a good friend."

"What time are you planning on leaving tomorrow?"

"Right after breakfast that way we'll be home in time for dinner."

"Then maybe we should all have breakfast together."

We sat around chatting, Brand told me he would send driving directions once he got home. I told him I would let them know when I would be leaving. "Nick maybe you should sleep at Grams."

"There is no need for that Charles, we nest very well in our bed. Who else will get up and make coffee and serve us in bed."

Rich began to laugh again, even Nick laughed.

That evening after dinner which was very special since Brand and Charles were leaving in the morning, I asked Gramps if I could talk to him in his office. He agreed and after dessert, he and I went to his office.

"Gramps we are all set at the diner. When you enter look at the clock and get the guy to look at it as well. The clock has a remote camera and we'll record you entering and leaving. Take the booth by the exit door, it's a little remote. I have two mikes hid there. I'll be sitting in the closest booth and be checking the sound. If he becomes suspicious, play some music from the remote juke box. I'll still be able to record the conversation."

"You are quite the man James, I didn't know you could do all of that."

"Modern technology Gramps, I'm going to leave the clock and I suggested to the manager he install a small TV in his office where he can monitor the front door. For now it'll be recorded on a tape. But both methods will increase security."

"I'll talk to him about that. Why don't you just buy a small TV and hook it up for him? I'm sure he wouldn't mind."

"Ok I'll do that. It'd be nice to have it before the meeting. I think I'll do that after Brand and Charles leave. Nick is staying here the rest of the summer and I have agreed to drive him home. I think it'll give me a chance to see Brand again. I miss him, he was my mentor in many ways. Having him here has been great."

"You two have always been together unlike many brothers who are competitors."

"Maybe because of the age difference, but Brand and I always got along and if I had any problems, I could always go to him. That hasn't changed."

Gramps gave me a hug. I left to look for my cohorts in crime.

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