The Rest of the Story

by Nick Brady

Chapter 2

The month went by quickly for Brian and Lanny. Both were getting ready for their classes to start, and when time permitted, looking for a place to stay. Brian went back to work at Wayne's bike shop, Lanny got his job back at the Walmart. Lanny started going to church with Brian and found himself very much at home at St. Jerome's and was taken with Father Hoover. They were keeping busy and staying close.

"The problem is that the OU Tulsa campus is in too nice a part of town," Lanny complained. "Those are all really nice houses or fancy apartments. Nothing we can afford."

"We don't have to live a block from the school," Brian reminded him. "I know you sold your VW Bus, but I have a car. If we are both doing a version of the Classics program, we should have some classes together. If not, then whoever needs the car can take it. It's yours to drive."

"What if we both need to go in different directions?"

"In that case I can ride my bicycle or you can take me. I don't mind that at all. I'm not suggesting that we move a hundred miles away. I bet we can find something within a few miles of the campus that will work for us. We can make this work, Lanny."

Lanny threw up his hands. "I know, I know. I'm just being the worry-wart again. But how do we find a place we can afford?"

"We can start by looking in the classified ads in the paper. Then there is Craigslist and things like that," Brian suggested. "But our folks have agreed to help us with this. We don't need anything fancy, but it would be nice if it were decent and in a safe area. I don't think we have to settle for a shack in a bad neighborhood."

Brian shrugged. "My go-to guy for anything like this is to talk to Marty. It's scary what that guy knows."

That evening found them talking to Marco and Marty. "I think you understand our dilemma," Brian said.

Marty smiled, "Of course. My first apartment was a one bedroom dump. That was where we started out, wasn't it?" he smiled at Marco.

"To you it was a dump. I thought it was a great improvement over my grandmother's sofa," Marco reminded him.

"I guess that's true. But the question is where should these guys look for somewhere to stay. I can't say that I haven't thought about that," Marty admitted.

It doesn't necessarily have to be an apartment, you know," Marco suggested. "There are people who have a small place as part of their home, say something for a parent who has passed away, or a converted garage. Those can be a good deal if you can locate one. You might even find a little house you could rent."

"Give me a few days," Marty requested. "Let me ask the Realtor who worked with us when we sold the old house and bought this one. Considering the commission he charged us, I think he owes us a little free advice."

"Thanks. Brian said you knew everything," Lanny said.

"Oh really?" Marty laughed. "I appreciate his confidence, but he is exaggerating a great deal."

"Marty only knows half of everything, but I know the other half, so we have you covered," Marco cracked. "We'll help you guys find a place. Don't worry."

Brian was back working for Noah at the bike shop. Noah was curious about the trip to Europe. "That must have been fun. What all did you do?"

"We went down from Scotland through, England, France, Germany and Holland," Brian said. "We kept pretty busy."

"How is this Lanny guy you went with? Did you guys, uh, get along?"

We did OK. We will have some of the same classes together and we are thinking about sharing an apartment when school starts," Brian told him as casually as he knew how.

"So, you are going to be living with this guy?"

"If we share an apartment, then you could say that."

Noah looked away and started working on one of the bikes. He dropped his questions, but seemed a little cool.

"They worked together in silence for several minutes, then Brian asked, "So how are you doing with your business classes. How did that work out?"

Noah shrugged. "It was OK. I got a B grade. Not bad for me."

"Not bad at all. That was the first sit down class you have taken in a long time."

"Yeah. Well, I talked to Wayne about school and all that. He kind of surprised me."

"How's that?"

Noah laid down his wrench and looked at Brian. "I expected him to give me some grief about wanting time off for classes instead of working here. But he was very encouraging. He even suggested some classes I should take. So I'm taking six hours this next term. I'm thinking about completing an Associate's Degree. What a surprise, huh?"

"How do you feel about that?" Brian asked.

Noah smiled shyly. "I guess I'll have to use a word I haven't used in a long time. I feel optimistic. I think I might actually be on track to get myself out of the hole I dug for myself."

"I don't know that your situation is entirely your fault, Noah. But that's great news. I sure hope it works out for you. I know you can do it."

"It turns out that Wayne is an easier guy to talk to than I realized. Once I opened up to him a little, he suggested a couple of things."

"Like?"

"Well, like my apartment. He asked me where I was living and I told him about my dump. He looked around a little and found me a better place for about the same price. I'm already moved. I brought all my old bicycles to the shop here, moved the few things that were decent and left the rest where it was. I don't care what the old guy who owns the place does with them."

Brian laughed. "That's one way of doing it. Those are very positive things, Noah."

Noah looked back at the bike he was fixing. "Yeah. Well, like I said, I'm optimistic, and this is the first time I've felt that way in a long time."

Brian patted Noah on the shoulder. "Good for you Noah. I think things are working out for both of us."

Noah shrugged in his usual non-committal way. "I guess. If it does, I will owe you one for getting me off my ass. You've been a good friend. I'll miss you when your school starts."

Brian was touched by this unusual admission of sentiment. "I'll miss you too, Noah. You have taught me a lot about bicycles, and you've been a good friend. I'll see you again. I will probably want to come back here and fill in for you whenever I have a break in classes. I'll still be around."

Noah shook off the mood. "You'll be here another couple of weeks before you ditch us again. We need to start putting together these new bikes. Let's get busy."

A few days later, Brian called Lanny with some news. "Marty wants to talk to us. Can you come over tonight?"

"Sure. What's the news?"

"He wouldn't say, but he was smiling."

That evening, Lanny arrived after supper, but in time for a piece of Marco's apple pie.

"Your timing is perfect," Brian grinned as he gave him a slice of pie.

"I am here at your invitation," Lanny reminded him with a smile. "Now what's this good news?"

Marty spoke up. "I guess I've got that. I have a couple of places for you to look at, three in fact. The first is a converted garage about three miles from campus. It might be a little snug, but the price is right. The second is a small stand-alone apartment behind the house of the owner. It was a place built for an ailing mother-in-law who has since passed on. It is a little more, but probably nicer. It's closer too. The third is a small two bedroom house over near Riverside. I think it might need some work but that's a nice location with the River Park so close. It has more room than the other two and a fenced in yard for a dog, but is also the most expensive. All three of these are affordable. I have the addresses for you. I suggest that you look them over and tell us what you think."

"Is there anything we should know about these places?" Brian asked.

"I'll tell you what I know," Marty replied. The converted garage is supposed to be 'comfortable', whatever that means. It's the cheapest and in a safe area.

"The in-law apartment is in a very nice neighborhood not far from your campus. I have good news and bad news about it, depending on you. The owner is a lady who knows you from St. Jerome's, although you might not know her. She is Mrs. O'Malley and a very sweet lady. She also treasures her peace and quiet, and is a very neat and tidy sort of person. It's a nice little place but she may have some reservations about renting it to a pair of college students. It's a one bedroom place and she could have some questions about two young guys sharing it."

"The house I have driven by but not been inside. I can't tell you anything about it except that it would have more room, and I think you would enjoy the location. The downside is that it might require some work and has a yard to maintain."

"Can we afford any of these places?" Lanny wondered.

"If both families split the cost, I think any of them would be quite affordable. That was one of my search criteria," Marty smiled. "Go check them out. If none of these fits the bill, we can keep looking."

"Thanks, Marty. I knew we could count on you," Brian said sincerely. "We'll get back to you in a couple of days."

They made the rounds the next day. Having a house of their own near the river sounded like fun so they checked that out first. The location was great but the house not so much. The yard was completely bare and when they peeked in the windows they could see that the interior was shabby. There was a privacy fence around the back, but it was sagging in several places.

"This could be nice if it were fixed up," Lanny said. "Do we need another project?"

"Not to fix up somebody else's rent house," Brian replied. "I like that it's close to the River trail though. We first got to know each other walking over there."

Lanny smiled. "Let's keep looking."

The garage apartment was clean and neat, but tiny. It consisted of a single room with a bed on one side and a little kitchenette on the other. A very small bathroom was built into one corner.

"This would be OK for one person, but awfully cramped for two," Brian frowned.

"Well, it's cheap, but I don't think this is it," Lanny agreed.

They knocked on the door of a two story house in a good neighborhood. There were big old trees and a nice yard. The place had a comfortable look about it.

Mrs. O'Malley was a petite lady with curly white hair. When she answered the door, she was smiling. "Yes?"

"We understand that you might have a small apartment to rent," Brian explained politely.

"Well, I might," she focused on Brian. "Do I know you?"

"I think we go to the same church," Brian suggested. "I'm Brian Montgomery and this is my friend Lanny Walker."

"Oh yes, Marty and Marco's boy, and I've seen you at church too, Lanny. I know you now. How are those twins?" She opened the door and motioned for them to come in.

"They are fine, thank you. Lanny and I will be attending classes together at OU Tulsa and are looking for a place to stay." Brian explained.

"I suppose you are interested in my little mother-in-law apartment. It suited Martha, but might be a bit small for two."

"Could we see it?" Lanny asked.

She led them out the back door to what looked like a small house connected by a covered walkway. Inside were two rooms – a living room with a kitchen on one side, and a bedroom with a small bathroom. It was nicely furnished and very tidy.

"Gee, this is nice," Brian looked around. "The bathroom is cool."

The bath had a sink and stool on the left with a walk-in shower on the end. On the right behind the bathroom door was a tall storage cabinet with louvered doors. The bottom half of the walls were covered in white bead-board with the walls above painted blue. The shower surround was white with clear glass shower doors. There was a light in the ceiling above the shower and mirrored medicine cabinets above the sink and stool which made it look larger than its actual six by eight foot size. It was a small jewel.

"There is no tub," the old lady apologized. "Martha used a wheel chair and found the shower safer."

"We wouldn't use a tub anyway. The shower looks great," Brian assured her.

Mrs. O'Malley paused, "There is only the one bed."

"It looks like a queen. That's fine. There is room for two," Lanny said quietly.

"I suppose that's your business and not mine." The old lady hesitated and looked thoughtful. "But you should know that have never had renters before. Martha was very careful to keep her apartment nice and clean. I don't know that I would appreciate seeing it left untidy."

"Just because we are guys doesn't mean we are sloppy. I think we could keep it up," Brian assured her. "That is, if we were to rent it."

Lanny smiled, "Brian is an Eagle Scout. Scouts are clean."

"Oh are you now," Mrs. O'Malley returned his smile. "I know about boys. I raised three of my own. I know all your tricks."

"Do they still live here?" Brian asked politely.

"No. They are all over," her face sobered. "One is in Chicago, the other is in San Diego. I lost my youngest in that Gulf war."

"I'm sorry. That must have been tough," Lanny responded.

"Yes. Well, we just carry on. But of course that was very difficult. The following year I lost my husband and it was just Martha and me in this big house. Now it's just me." She was quiet for a moment. "You do seem like nice boys and I like your family, Brian. Do you suppose you could keep things clean?"

"Yes Ma'am. I think so. We would try to be good renters," Brian assured her.

She smiled again. "I suppose you might. It might be nice to have some boys around. But no parties. I don't like a lot of noise."

Brian liked this lady. "You won't even know we are back here, Mrs. O'Malley."

"Hmm. You might work out. But if we are to be neighbors, I would prefer that you called me Irene. Mrs. O'Malley is too formal, and besides, it makes me feel old."

"Irene? That was my grandmother's name," Brian told her. "That's kind of nice."

"Was it now?" Irene smiled again. "I probably should ask for a deposit in case you break something."

"Whatever seems fair to you," Lanny said. He exchanged looks with Brian who nodded his head. "This would be a good fit for us. I think we would like to rent your little house."

"I would like fifty dollars a month, and I would expect that you pay your rent promptly on the first."

"That sounds more than reasonable," Lanny agreed. "Will you rent to us?"

Irene sighed, "I suppose we can try and see how it works out." She was trying to look stern, but her affection showed through. "I hope I won't regret this."

"I hope this isn't a problem for you," Brian hesitated. "But we want to be open about this. We are both gay, and we are sort of a couple."

"One of my sons is gay and lives with his partner in San Diego. I don't know why that's the way he is, but it is, and he is a good boy. If you pay your rent on time and take good care of the place, then I have no problem with that," Irene said simply. "You can come and go using the side gate, and I'll give you a key. When would you like to move in?"

"As soon as we can," Brian grinned. "We won't need any furniture, just our clothes and personal stuff."

"I see. The décor is a little fussy for two boys. It was furnished to suit an old lady. Will you be comfortable with that?"

"That's fine. Maybe old ladies and gay boys have a few things in common," Lanny chuckled.

"You can park your car in the driveway," she told them. "It's a double drive and I keep my car in the garage. Just don't block the doorway. I would like a one hundred dollar deposit which I will refund when you move out. That will keep you until the first when you start paying rent. The utilities are still on. Do you need phone service? I had that discontinued when Martha passed." Now that the decision had been made, she moved on to the details.

"No Ma'am. We both have cell phones. All we need is gas, lights and water. What will we pay you for utilities?" Lanny asked.

Irene smiled. "I will have to look at that and let you know." She handed them a card with her name, address and phone number. "I'm afraid there is no separate address for the little house. If something comes for you I will have to pass it along."

"That's no problem. We use the internet for almost everything. Our parents live in town and we can continue to get our snail mail there."

"I have Wi-Fi. My Chicago boy has three children. When they visit it seems they cannot live without the internet."

"This is perfect," Brian said enthusiastically. "Can we give you a check for the deposit?"

Irene smiled wryly. "Perfection is an elusive goal. I will settle for a handshake."

They shook hands on the arrangement and returned to Brian's home to tell the family about their new place.

"Fifty dollars a month? She must have really liked you. I was told it would be much higher," Marty exclaimed.

"For that price you guys should try to help her around the place," Marco suggested.

"Sure. I figure we can at least mow her yard or something. She is really nice," Brian said.

Classes started the next week and they moved in over the weekend. Some of Martha's personal things were still in the closets and Irene took care of those. Other than their clothing, there wasn't much to move. The rest of their limited possessions were left with their parents. Sam and Ben helped them move, more because they were curious to see the new place than to help. On the last trip, Marco and Marty came along to introduce themselves to Mrs. O'Malley.

"Of course I know you," Irene told them. We know each other from church. Please come in for some refreshment."

They all sat in Irene's living room where a platter of freshly baked cookies was on the coffee table. Milk was served to the twins and coffee to the others. Sam and Ben were polite and were not noisy. This was a good sign.

It was evening by the time Brian and Lanny were finally alone in their new little home.

"How do you like the décor?" Lanny asked.

"Fussy old lady works for me," Brian grinned. "She had good taste. This stuff is nice. Comfortable too."

"A place of our own. Who would have guessed last summer that we would be here?" Lanny asked.

"Not me. This has happened pretty fast. Any second thoughts? How is your father with all this?" Brian wondered.

"Resigned is probably the right word, I think. Mom is bringing him along."

"Your dad is a good guy. He will be OK I think."

"Yeah, I think so. Now the real test begins."

"How do you mean?" Brian asked.

"I mean the time we spent in Europe was filled with adventure. It was like we did our honeymoon first. Now that we are in classes and the daily slog, it might not be as exciting," Lanny explained.

"I don't know. First comes the honeymoon, then you settle into being married, or at least a couple of some sort. Isn't that how it works?"

"What do you think about Mrs. O'Malley?"

"I like her. She was trying to be all businesslike, but you could tell that she was sort of pleased about having us here. She is probably lonely and misses having her family close to her."

"I'm used to doing yard work. I can mow the grass and help with that. I bet you can find some ways to be helpful too."

"I'll find something useful to do." Lanny sat and looked around.

The living area had a paneled window on one side that looked out onto the back garden. There were trees and shrubs set around a wooden privacy fence, providing a peaceful view. In front of the window was a round coffee table with a love seat facing the window and a wing-back chair on each side to make a nice sitting area.

On the opposite side was a small kitchen with a table and three chairs in one corner and the entry on the other. The walls were pale blue with framed pictures on the wall and little knick-knacks on a shelf.

The bedroom was just big enough for a queen sized bed, a long dresser with drawers, and a padded chair. A night table was on each side of the bed with little brass lamps and white ruffled shades on each. There was a decent sized clothes closet with plenty of room for their stuff. On one side of the bedroom was the jewel-like bathroom, well equipped with grab bars to help steady the previous occupant, but very functional and attractive.

"This is really nice," Lanny said.

"It's ours," Brian said quietly. "This is the first place we have had together."

"Is this going to work out? I mean are we going to work out?"

Brian smiled, "Sure. Why not? I love you Lanny. You are what I have been looking for all my life and didn't know it. This seems so right to me. We can make it work."

Lanny leaned back and sighed. "I imagine that work is the operative word. I think we have to work at this. The sun doesn't shine every day. We will get crosswise with each other and get our feelings hurt. It is the way that we deal with those times that will make the difference.

Lanny continued. "I read somewhere that couples who manage to stay together for a long time, practice the three C's; Communication, Compromise, and Change. Communicate means talking through stuff and being honest. Compromise means considering the other person and not always trying to get things to go your way. Change is about growing with the relationship. People aren't the same after twenty or thirty years as they were when they started out. I guess the trick is to grow together."

Brian nodded. "That makes sense. I think we do pretty good on communicating. We talk about everything and are usually honest about how we feel. Compromise is harder for me than for you. I can be pretty hardheaded. Time will tell if we can change and grow together."

"I think it has to do with basic values. We share the same faith and sense of right and wrong. We are in sync on most things. I think we can make it. For sure, the sex is good," Lanny grinned.

"Speaking of which, it has been some time since we were alone with a bed and a shower. What do you think?"

Lanny smiled and stood to remove his shirt. "I think I'm ready to check out that shower."

"I'll be right with you," Brian started to undress.

Lanny slid open the glass door to the walk-in shower and turned on the water. As he adjusted the temperature, Brian stepped up behind him and wrapped his arms around Lanny's naked body. "I think this is going to be nice," he said as he kissed Lanny on the back of his neck.

Brian grabbed his bar of soap, they stepped into the enclosure and closed the shower door. From inside the shower, they were in an all-white capsule with a clear glass wall on their left and chrome fixtures in front from which fell a gentle cascade of water. There was a matching white stool on the other end with plenty of space for two in between. After they both soaked themselves in the hot water, Lanny sat on the shower stool and looked at Brian with admiration. "You are so beautiful," he said quietly.

Brian turned to him and smiled. "I'm sure glad you think so," he said modestly.

"It's not just my opinion, Brian. You are a damn fine looking guy. But if you realized how sexy you are, you might be conceited."

Brian spread his arms with the hot water flowing over his shoulders.

"This is yours," he said. "This body, this soul, is yours to enjoy as you wish. Just be careful not to break my heart. I'm giving that to you too."

Lanny took a deep breath and stretched out his arm to cup Brian's loose balls in his hand. Brian was soft, but began to stiffen as Lanny pulled him closer to the little stool. When he took him in his mouth, Brian became erect very quickly, and leaned forward until his stomach was resting on Lanny's head. The soft cascade of hot water poured over Brian's back, flowed around his body and over Lanny's face as he enjoyed Brian's penis in his mouth.

"Oh yes, this will work just fine," Brian moaned softly as he humped himself into Lanny's face.

Lanny's hands were busy with Brian's butt cheeks, while twisting his head and working his tongue on Brian's hard cock. He wasn't sure if he most enjoyed sucking Brian or being sucked by him. He loved Brian and found great pleasure in doing things that made Brian jerk and shiver with ecstasy. It was as if they were one body. What gave one pleasure also pleased the other.

After a few minutes, Brian pulled away. "I'm too close. If you do any more of that I'll shoot. I want to play some more."

He knelt down as Lanny spread his legs wide to receive Brian's hot mouth. He looked down to see Brian's blonde hair lying wet across his face as the water splashed over Brian's shoulders and over Lanny's chest. The warm water flowed over Lanny's stomach and down Brian's face as he worked Lanny's cock in and out of his mouth. Lanny took Brian's face in his hands and watched as Brian sucked him with eyes closed.

Lanny pushed him away. "Any more of that and I'll cum in your mouth. Let's get clean and go to bed, OK?"

Brian sat back and grinned. "Want to wash my back?"

Taking the bar of soap, Lanny washed Brian's chest, arms, stomach and all areas below with care. Then he stood and turned Brian around to wash his hair and backsides, paying careful attention to the area between his crack. Lanny rinsed himself off then turned and attended to Lanny. As he soaped his friend from head to toe, he took a deep breath and inhaled the wet soapy mist.

"That soap really smells good. What is that?"

Marco buys that for us at Sprout's. It is an old brand of Chinese soap called Bee and Flower. This is Sandalwood scent. We all like it."

"It's good soap too. It leaves your hair nice and soft and rinses off easily. I need to get some of that."

"Well," Brian grinned. "Since we will be living together, I guess you can use mine."

"I guess that's right. I have to remind myself that isn't just a nice hotel room. It's almost too good to be true."

"I think I can get used to this," Brian smiled as he dried himself off and handed Lanny the towel. "Ready for bed?"

Lanny hung the damp towel on the hook next to the shower and walked to the bed, his erection swinging from side to side.

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