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Colorado Game - 22. Chapter 22


He took me on a tour of the grounds and I found out that it was indeed a tennis court. The path then led to a guest house, the smallest of four, as he explained.

"Jesus, how big is this place?" I asked, eliciting a smile from him.

"Not as big as you might think. And two of the guest houses are permanently occupied. Maria and Joseph, the housekeepers, live in that one," he pointed, westward, where a few lights could be seen through the trees. “And John, mother's driver and also the gardener, lives in that one." He pointed straight ahead, at the smaller guest house. "The other two are used when we have guests and can't put them up in the main house."

We walked on slowly, talking softly, sipping on the beers and passing the other two guest houses, until the path curved back to the main house. From where we were, we had a great view from the back, as it bathed in soft light.

"Wow," I said softly.

"It's just a house, remember?" Ross said, winking.

"Yeah, I know. I just meant to say that the view is absolutely..." I sought to find the word and couldn't find it.
He inclined his head.

"Thank you, I'm glad you like it."

"So... how many rooms are we talking here?" I asked.
I couldn't resist.

"Ehm... nine, including the indoor pool and the gym," he answered, and then frowned. "No, eight, my office was annexed last year." He grinned when I made a ‘duh' comment. "I know this seems a bit much but we actually use all of it, frequently. Andrew comes by often with his family. Marcia drops in from time to time. And we have a lot of guests, business relations."

"So what you're saying is; a big house out of necessity?" He nodded.

"Yes, that's the best way to put it. There's always someone here, which was always the purpose. As a family, we're pretty close. Well, dad not included, but he doesn't like it here. And Steven keeps pretty much to himself. He comes and goes as he pleases."
I nodded, remembering what Sofia had told me.

"Yeah, your mom told me about your dad." Ross stopped and it took me a few steps to realize that before I stopped and turned.

"Mother told you that?" he asked.
His eyebrows rose when I confirmed it.

"Yes. Why; not good?"
Ross shook his head and smiled.

"No, not at all, it's just... she usually is very private about it. What did she tell you?"

"That he left twenty years ago, to England, where he was born. That he didn't like it here and that you guys opted to stay here, with her."
His eyebrows went up even further.

"Really... she must like you, then."

"What makes you say that?" I asked, as we resumed walking back to the main house.

"Mmm... well, Kyle lived with me for seven years and she never told him anything," he answered. "Okay, granted, she never really liked him. But still; even in the very beginning they got along."

"Tell me about him," I asked. "What was he like?"

"Kyle? Why do you wanna know?"
I shrugged.

"I heard some stuff about him, and I'd just like to know."

"What did you hear?" Ross asked, stopping again. I could tell that he didn't like me asking about his ex.

"That's not important. Just tell me about him."
He looked at me and then shook his head, frowning.

"No, tell me."

"Quid pro quo," I answered, stubbornly. "I'll tell you if you tell me."
He sighed and looked away, staying silent for a long time.

"We met in college," he began. "I was twenty; he was eighteen, two years below me. He was handsome, fun to be with and we spent some time together, but when I graduated, we lost contact. I met him again in Mexico, four years later, during a vacation. We clicked, yada yada... a year later he moved in with me. I didn't have this house yet, I lived alone in Miami."

We remained where we were, standing there in the semi-dark. Ross shoved his hands deep in the pockets of his pants as he continued.

"At first, we had a great time. Lots of friends, I had started a company that was quickly gaining in the market, every night was a party. Then, about two years into the relationship, I found out he was sleeping around. When I confronted him, he blamed me for not being around enough and I believed him and I felt guilty because I was so busy all the time... but he promised me it wouldn't happen again. We moved to Colorado when the company really took off because some of the biggest clients were based here."
Ross emptied his bottle and let it dangle between his fingers as he slowly started walking again.

"I thought we were doing okay. When we were here for about a year, I bought this place. Until then, we lived in the city. Kyle hated it here. He thought it was too quiet and preferred the apartment we had. But I had planned to ask mother to come live with us, to get the family together. That's what I worked for. She agreed and moved in here. But they didn't really get along. I asked mother to try, for my sake, but they ended up simply avoiding each other. Then, three years ago, I had to work late and instead of going back here for the night, I went to
the apartment. I walked in on him and one of my best clients." He sent me a sour grin. "I tried to forgive him. He used the ‘you're too busy' excuse again and I thought he was right. Mother told me to dump him but I didn't want to; I loved him. A month later, he walked out on me. Shortly after, he came to the office with his lawyer and sued me for half of everything I built up in the time we were together. I paid him off for a fraction of it. That's it, in a nutshell."
I closed my eyes; now I understood why Sofia...

"Your turn," he said. I told him about what Janice had told me and when I was done, he nodded.

"That was the day she talked about. Yeah, I guess was a mess. At first, I wanted to give in, give him what he wanted. But my lawyers, and mostly Andrew, kept me from doing it. I didn't really care. I just wanted him gone, no matter what the cost. I never wanted to see him again, and never to love again."

"I would've killed him," I said.
He smiled and took my bottle, which had been barely touched, taking a sip. Then he loosely draped his arms over my shoulders.

"And then, a few years later, the strangest thing happened." He looked at me and I frowned, waiting for the rest. "For years I hadn't looked at another guy, wasn't interested, and then, a few months ago, I met this cute guy with weird eyes and I felt something again."
I rolled my eyes, mockingly.

"Don't you just hate it when that happens?" I said, conversationally. "Just when you're almost dead inside, some dickhead comes along and it starts all over again. If I were you, I'd just buy him an apartment right now and be done with it."

"Funny," he said, making a face at me. "Very funny; someone ever tell you that you're funny?"

"Yeah, I'm comedy club material," I answered. "So where are the keys to my new apartment?"
I patted his pants as if I was looking for them and he laughed, shaking his head and sighing.

"God, I love you."

andr0gene 2004-Present; All Rights Reserved
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I know Mark is 25, but how old is Ross exactly? My guess is he’s somewhere between 33 and 36 but maybe I’m wrong...just curious 🤔

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