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I'm Not Your Mentor - 6. Chapter 6: A Talk Wth HR

6. Celebrate Their Achievements

When a problem is solved, or a project successfully completed, don’t immediately move on to the next one. Take a moment to acknowledge the success. It will provide the energy and enthusiasm to keep working on the next problem and give the confidence to tackle even bigger problems.

— Employee Handbook: Mentoring


I awoke around 9 am the next morning.

The night before, I had thought that this one moment of weakness would be enough. I would have sex with Jonah one more time, and in the morning, reality would set in. I’d have the resolve to send him away. It might be an awkward and curt morning, but it had to happen. I’d rebuff any attempt on his part to continue things, and then he’d leave, probably a little angry with me. But that would be the end of it, and I could stop thinking about him. Stop worrying about him.

Instead, I woke up to Jonah, gently licking and kissing my chest, and then he looked up at me and gave me a sunny smile, and I didn’t even think about pushing him away. Instead, I spent the next hour or so licking and kissing his body, and yeah, 69 is the best number.

And I didn’t want him to ever leave. I wanted him all to myself.

We did eventually get up and have breakfast, and then Jonah announced that he needed to work on the deck. He spent five hours working, while I kept busy doing various things around the house that I’d been putting off, like assembling a storage shelf for the garage, and taking apart an old wooden bench that had been slowly rotting under a tree.

With Jonah there, I had done more work on the house in two days than I had in the past five months. I think it was the guilt from watching someone else work.

As I worked, I spent some time wondering what was going to happen next. Would Jonah just leave? Would he stay the night and have sex with me again?

And what the fuck was I doing? The truth was, I didn’t know, but I spent much of the day with an erection, especially when I was watching Jonah working.

Around five, I went down to the town center and got a pizza, and withdrew some cash from the ATM, and then we ate the pizza at the kitchen table. Neither of us talked about what we’d done that morning, but we were much more relaxed around each other. After dinner, Jonah worked another hour before cleaning things up.

When Jonah had finished for the day, there was still a lot more to be done, but he’d made significant progress.


“You’ve done good,” I told him, as the two of us stood admiring his handiwork. The entire deck had been sanded down, and he’d completed the first coat and started a second. He needed to complete the second coat, and depending upon how that looked, maybe a third.

“I can come back next weekend and finish,” Jonah offered, as he followed me inside. We walked down the hall towards the front door, and the stairs that lead to my bedroom, and I wasn’t really sure where we were going.

“Great,” I said, as I took out the money I had in my pocket and held out the little bundle of notes to him. “Here’s the money for the first two days,” I said.

Jonah stopped in the hallway and looked at the money and squinted at it suspiciously.

“How much is that?” he asked, and I wondered if he had expected more.

“It’s $420. Fourteen hours at $30 an hour.”

Jonah frowned and shook his head.

“That’s too much,” he said.

“No,” I said, stepping up to him and pushing it into his hand. “We agreed. You worked really hard.”

Jonah hesitated for a moment, and then he took the money, but then he looked up at me and pursed his lips.

“I still owe you for the car,” he said softly.

I nodded. “I know,” I said. “But you can pay that back later. You need some money, so you…you know, you’re not getting in more debt.”

Jonah stared at me for a moment, and then he nodded slowly.

“Thanks,” he said quietly.

“No, thank you,” I said, and he grinned at me, and I was staring at him, and he was staring at me, and I was starting to think we might have sex again.

“I’d stay,” Jonah said, glancing towards the front door, “but I’m really beat.”

“Oh, yeah?” I grinned, acting like everything was fine. I was a little disappointed, but I wasn’t going to show it. “Well, you wore me out,” I continued, “and I didn’t even do any of the painting.”

We stood there for a moment, just staring at each other.

“You’re getting old,” Jonah grinned.

“You’re the one that said he was really beat,” I pointed out.

“I painted all day!” he objected.

I nodded, but then Jonah stepped forward, and I wondered what he was going to do. Jonah put his arms around me and kissed me, and as we kissed, I ran my hands down his back to his butt, and then I squeezed those two perfect cheeks as I attacked his mouth. Our tongues wrestled as he rubbed his body against mine, and I started getting hard again.

He’d said he wasn’t going to stay. He’d said he was tired. But now he was practically mauling me, rutting against me, and I was running my hands over his body, and he was moaning into me, and I could feel his erection against my leg, and I was hard, and I was going to do everything that he would let me.

I ran my hand around to the front of his pants, and squeezed his penis through his shorts, starting to slowly stroke it, feeling him move in response to the motion.

My other hand was working to shove down his pants, and when they slid below his waist, I grabbed his bare cock and felt the precum on my fingers, and used that to lubricate the head of his cock as I continued to stroke him.

His arms were around me, holding himself to me. As I stroked faster with my right hand, my left reached around to his butt, and I started sliding my finger over his hole.

Jonah was moaning now, his body sliding against me as he moved his hips, trying to find a motion in sympathy with my stroking hand, and then I felt his body tense, and he was clutching tightly to me and groaning loudly, and I felt warm liquid spurt from his penis, and he collapsed against me. I had to grab him and hold him to keep him from falling, and I held him as he shivered through the last of the orgasm, and then I pushed him up against the wall, and I crouched down and took him into my mouth and sucked the last of the liquid from his cock, and he groaned and shook, his penis was always sensitive after he orgasmed.

I took one last lick of his cock, and kissed it’s head a couple of times, and then I stood up, and he was staring at me with lidded eyes, still lost in a dream, and I kissed him on the mouth again, and he groaned against me.

“I guess you weren’t beat after all,” I said.

Jonah just hung there in my arms, like he was made of jelly.

“You okay?” I asked him.

He grinned. “I’m totally fucked,” he said, breathing heavily.

I leaned in and kissed him again, and then I looked at the time. It was only a little after 8, but I didn’t want him driving if he was exhausted. And besides, I wanted to hold his naked body against me again, even if I didn’t have sex with him.

“You better stay tonight then,” I said.

Jonah frowned. “I’ve got work tomorrow,” he said, the objection not really strong.

“I’ll get you up early, and you can go home and get changed before going to work. Want to do that?”

Jonah still looked unsure.

“I promise, no more sex,” I said, and he grinned. “I’ll let you get your rest,” I added, and I kissed him chastely on the cheek.

Jonah nodded.

“I’m exhausted,” he said.

“Come on then,” I said, “let’s get you to bed.”

“You didn’t cum,” he said softly, almost apologetically.

“It’s okay,” I said, and it was. I’d had a fantastic time, and maybe I’d beat off in the shower. I didn’t care, I just wanted to get him into bed and hold him to me. I took his hand and began to lead him upstairs.

“So you’re not planning to fuck me?” Jonah asked as we brushed our teeth.

I slapped his ass gently, leaving my hand there for a moment, squeezing the warm globe.

“Nah, I really am tired too,” I said, and it was true.

Naked in bed, I kissed him a dozen, maybe a hundred times. I held him close, feeling him breathing and his heart beating as I ran my hands gently over his skin. And it was warm and sensual and caring, and I didn’t want it to ever stop.

And we did finally fall asleep, and woke when the alarm went off at 6.

The morning was a rush, and though he kissed me quickly when he awoke, we didn’t do anything else in the morning. Jonah had a quick shower and left.

I was already trying to think of other jobs I could get him to do. I even wondered if I’d fire the regular pool and yard company.


Jonah and I hadn’t talked about where things stood. We’d had sex multiple times, and he’d slept with me Saturday and Sunday night and then left Monday morning. But we didn’t talk about getting together again, though we had talked about him coming back the following weekend to finish the painting.

Yet when we’d been in the pool, before I’d given in, he’d talked about just having sex one more time. That no one would know, and we wouldn’t do it again.

Maybe he was serious, but I didn’t think he was.

I knew I wasn’t. I knew that if Jonah came back, I’d have sex with him again, assuming he wanted to. But if I continued to see him, it could be a potential problem at work.

Monday morning, I called Karen in HR.

“Hi, Karen,” I said.

“Hi Brian, how are things?” said Karen brightly.

“They’re good. Do you have any free time today? There’s something I need to discuss with you.”

“Sure. Let me just look…” there was a pause. “How about at 10? Would that work for you?”

“Yes, thanks,” I said.

“Do you want to come down here, or I can come up…” she offered.

“I’ll come down,” I said.


I got down to HR just after 10, and Karen was in her office, seated at her desk. She got up and waved me to an empty chair at the table in her room, and she came over and sat next to me. For the first few minutes, we made small talk about her two children, and what was going on in the C Suite.

“So what’s up?” Karen asked me, finally moving the conversation along.

“Well, it’s to do with an interpersonal relationship,” I said, nearly tripping over the word interpersonal when I said it.

“Okay,” she said slowly, almost suspiciously.

“And it involves me,” I added.

“Ah, okay, so you’re dating someone in the company?”

“Yes. Well, I don’t know if we’re dating, but lets’ say …we’ve dated, and I don’t know where it’s going, but…”

“Do they report to you?” she asked, using the pronoun ‘they,’ even though she knew I was gay.

“He doesn’t report directly to me, but he’s in my division, unfortunately. He started recently.”

“So his manager reports to you?”

“Something like that.”

“Were you involved in his hiring?”

“No. We first met after he was hired, but prior to him starting work here. I had no involvement in his hiring at all, and he never told me he was going to be working here when we first…dated.”

“And you’ve been dating since he started here?” Karen asked.

“Ah. We…we met in New Orleans. Kind of by accident. He was going to be starting here the following week, but I didn’t know that when we met.”

“Okay, so you met in New Orleans…” she asked, her voice obviously curious.

“Yeah, I didn’t think it was more than a weekend thing,” I said, feeling myself blush, and wishing I had described it differently. “Then he started here, and I guess you’d say he was interested in pursuing a relationship. I tried to discourage him, but…that hasn’t worked out.”

Karen raised her eyebrows just a fraction, and I couldn’t help wonder what she must be thinking.

“And you didn’t know he was going to be working here?” she asked.

“No, we didn’t talk about it.”

“But he knew you were working here?”

That was the problem. He did know. I’d told him. “Yes,” I said,

“Did he know your position?”

“I don’t know,” I said, thinking about it carefully. Did he know my position? I’m not sure that I told him during our conversations. “I don’t think I told him. I might have,” I said slowly.

“Which would mean he was the one to break the policy…we really like to know if someone an applicant is dating, is involved in the hiring decision.”

“But I wasn’t involved,” I pointed out.

“You’re in the chain. By definition you’re involved,” Karen replied briskly, but then she paused and smiled. “Most of the time,” she said, her voice a little warmer, “it’s not about what actually happened, but about appearances and opportunities.”

I was about to say that he was young and wouldn’t have thought about that, but it occurred to me that was the wrong side of the argument to be making. I did not want to start out by saying he was young and immature.

Then another idea occurred to me.

“But it was before he started. He’d been hired before we met. And he probably hadn’t even been given the company handbook, let alone read it.”

“There’s a link to it on their offer materials.”

“And they’re expected to read it through, prior to starting? And then let you know ex post facto?”

“Probably not,” Karen sighed. “So you’re dating him?”

Well, there was the sixty-four thousand dollar question. Was I dating him?

“I don’t know. Maybe? Or it may have already ended, I just don’t know, but it’s …fluid…and I thought I should report it before…”

She looked at me quizzically, clearly trying to understand.

“It’s…I don’t know what’s going to happen,” I continued.

Karen nodded slowly.

“But I might not know for months,” I went one. “Or maybe tomorrow he’ll decide he’s not interested. I just…there is something there.”

Karen sat there for a minute, and then she smiled purposefully. “Who does he report to?” she asked.

“Ah, Edmund Proctor,” I said.

“Who's’ that?”

“He’s in the database group.”

“What’s his name?” Karen asked, and I realized she meant Jonah.

“Jonah. Jonah Harris.”

She stared at me for a moment, and it was clear she was trying to place him.

“He only joined a few weeks ago,” I offered.

Karen got up and went over to her computer and brought up the employee directory and found his picture.

“I don’t know him,” she said, coming back to sit down with me.

She sat there for a moment, thinking.

“Do you know how old…” she paused, “No scratch that.”

“He’s twenty-four,” I said, and I felt myself blush again. But I might as well get it out in the open as she could easily go and find out how old he is.

“Okay…” and there was another long pause, and I didn’t know what to say. Honestly, I was embarrassed enough as it was.

“Okay,” she began again. “So company policy is that we discourage relationships between people that report to others, and well, because you’re head of the division it’s sort of unwritten that anyone in your division is a problem. You have to report the relationship, which you have. But then, depending on the situation, we reserve the right to move someone or even terminate one or both of you.”

“Ah, does he need to notify you, since I’ve done it?”

“No, this counts as you both reporting it.”


Karen sat there for a long moment.

“I don’t think I can give you a complete answer right now,” she finally said.


“Are you thinking you’re going to be dating publicly?”

“I don’t know. Probably not?”

“I’m just…this is just thinking out loud right now, the problem is that with your position, if it becomes known, people will think he’s going to get treated differently, and that can be a problem.”

“I understand,” I agreed, reluctantly.

“The best thing would be to transfer him to another division if there’s a job he’s interested in. I think that would be the preferred solution. We could make that happen.”

I thought about that for a moment, but I didn’t think Jonah would like that, and it made me uncomfortable.

“That makes it sound like he’s getting preferential treatment because he is dating me,” I pointed out.

“Yes,” Karen nodded. “But it’s in the companies interest to reduce any obvious issues like this. It may be okay to leave him where he is, but I just think that once—or if—it’s known you are dating him, then it’s going to make things…difficult.”

“Because we’re gay or because he’s in my division?”

Karen gave me a look that suggested she was disappointed in me. I guess I had sounded a bit defensive.

“Honestly,” she said, “it’s because he’s in your division and…so junior to you. If he was your age, it probably wouldn’t provoke mention, though it might. If he was female and that age, then we’d have the same problem. It really is the age and seniority difference.”

“It’s not that big a difference. Trump’s wife is 24 years younger than him,” I tried pointing out.

Karen smiled. “Yes, but she’s not 24. It’s all about perceptions…”

“Twenty four isn’t a child,” I said, and immediately realized I needed rein in my annoyance. Karen wasn’t the enemy here. Don’t shoot the messenger.

“I know,” Karen nodded. “I’m not saying you’re doing anything wrong, I’m just trying to interpret how this is going to be perceived, and unfortunately, with interpersonal relationships, it’s not so much ‘are they getting preferential treatment?’ it’s more about the perception that they could.”

I nodded. “So what do we do?” I asked.

Karen looked thoughtful. “At the moment, you’ve reported it, so that’s good, at least we aren’t going to be surprised by it. I’m going to talk it over with the business partner for your division…ah maybe you could encourage him to look for something in another division?”

“I’m not sure there’s anything that’s going to appeal to him, but I’ll ask him to look.”

I was pretty sure that Jonah wouldn’t like the suggestion. I suspected he’d be annoyed and unhappy. He was just starting to feel comfortable where he was, and he wouldn’t like being moved so soon because of me.

Maybe it would be best to hold off until Karen definitively told me we had to move him.

“I’ll check with Talent Acquisition,” she added. “Just in case.”

“The more people that know about this,” I pointed out, “the more likely that word will get out.”

Karen gave me a sympathetic smile. “We’ll do our best to keep it quiet. I can’t promise that it won’t get out. That’s the problem with these kind of things. They get out eventually.”


We chatted for a bit longer, and then I said I had to go to a meeting.

I went back to my office and wondered what I was going to tell Jonah, and when. I realized that I probably needed to tell him something soon, or he might be surprised by a call about a job opening in another division.


I didn’t hear from Jonah for the next couple of days.

He had left on Monday morning, seemingly happy enough, but there had been no discussion about what was going to happen next, other than that he would have to come back to finish the deck.

I hadn’t reached out to him—even after talking to Karen—and he hadn’t texted or stopped by my office, and I wasn’t sure what it meant, or what I should do.

Or even if I needed to do anything.

I knew what I should do. Never see him again.

I think that was why I hadn’t attempted to contact him. Maybe in my mind, I subconsciously thought that if Jonah always came to me, then it wasn’t really my fault. If I wasn’t initiating it, no one could accuse me of chasing after someone so much younger than myself. Someone with less power and autonomy.

But that troubled me. It felt like I was being a coward. But what was the right thing to do?

Besides, I was developing feelings for Jonah, and his financial situation worried me. On the one hand, it was clear that Jonah had spent much of his life taking care of himself, and he liked to be in control of things. But on the other, it was like watching a high wire artist. It was a delicate balancing act, and he seemed right on the edge of falling off.

And there was always the possibility that Jonah would come to his senses and wouldn’t want to see me again.

Would Jonah turn up next weekend, and, if he did, what would happen? Would we act like nothing had happened, or would we end up back in the bedroom again?


Wednesday evening, I was sitting watching a Netflix comedy special and debating if I would even bother having dinner, when the doorbell rang.

I rarely had people ringing my doorbell unannounced in the evening, but every now and again I’d get someone from Greenpeace or another action group coming around with a clipboard and an earnest story, and if they were funny or I felt sorry for them, I’d chat for a bit and give them fifty dollars.

And sometimes I just told them I was sorry, but I wasn’t interested.

I opened the door, getting mentally ready to tell them ‘not today,’ and was surprised to see Jonah, dressed rather plainly in jeans, dress-shirt and hoodie.

He looked a little embarrassed and nervous.

“Uh, hey,” he said, raising his right hand in a little wave of greeting.

“Hi,” I said, almost shocked that he’d turned up without letting me know. What if I had guests or something else going on? I was about to snap at him and ask what he was doing, but there was something about his demeanor that stopped me. It was obvious he was upset about something, so I checked myself.

After all, all I’d been doing was watching television.

“Uh…can I come in?” he asked quietly.

“Oh, sure. Come in,” I said, and Jonah stepped inside, and I closed the door, but he just stood in the entranceway. There was no move to intimacy. No sign of flirting. Not even the confidence to come fully into the house.

Jonah just stood there looking uncomfortable.

“You want to come into the kitchen? I was just thinking about making dinner,” I lied.

Jonah shook his head.

“I won’t stay,” he replied.

“Okay,” I said, puzzled that he seemed so distant. Or that he wasn’t planning to stay.

Had he come to tell me he’d realized it was a mistake? Was that why I hadn’t heard from him? I actually felt a terrible sadness. I didn’t think I’d feel that bad about breaking up with him. It shouldn’t hurt that much.

“What’s up?” I asked, trying to keep it casual.

“I uhh….” and he just stood there.

Now I began to think he really did have something terrible to tell me. My mind raced through the possibilities, wondering if someone had found out about us, and what would that mean?

“Are you okay?” I prompted.

“Yeah…yeah,” he said, but Jonah still didn’t seem to be able to form sentences.

“Is something the matter?” I asked gently.

“I uh…” he began and then paused.

“Just tell me,” I encouraged him.

Jonah pursed his lips, and then in a jumble, it spilled out of him.

“Stupid phone company changed the stupid way they charge for their stupid plan.”

“What?” I asked, totally confused.

Jonah sighed and started again. “They used to put it through at the end of the month, and then the stupid fuckers changed it to the beginning of the month, and they sent me a notice, but I didn’t really read the stupid thing and…” he stopped talking, but he was balling his hands into fists in frustration.

“Okay, so what happened?” I asked gently.

“So they took the money out, and that meant I didn’t have enough money in there for the payment on my loan when that went through, so now the loan company charged me a late fee and a failed payment fee, and the bank’s charged me a fee and it’s like over a hundred dollars, and now I won’t be able to pay rent,” he said, and now he was shaking.

“Hey,” I said softly, and I stepped up to Jonah as he stared at me wild-eyed, and for a second I thought he might lash out, but I reached out slowly and put my arms around him and gently hugged him to me. At first, he was reluctant, almost pulling away, and then he collapsed against me, leaning his head on my chest as he started to cry.

“The fucking bastards,” he mumbled. “How come they charge almost fifty bucks for not paying something?”

I ran my hands up and down his back.

“What happened to the money I gave you?” I asked him.

“I used it to pay some bills, and to buy some food,” he said quietly.

“Well, I can give you money to…”

Jonah shook his head.

“No, no, you’re not just giving me money,” he said.

“Jonah,” I said, but he shook his head again, stepping away from me and wiping his eyes with the sleeve of his hoodie.

“A friend offered me five hundred dollars for my car. Do you want it?”


“I’ll sell it to you for seven-fifty. It’s worth more than that. You’ll get like two thousand five hundred if you resell it.”

“Why don’t you sell it then?”

“I need the money today,” he said.

“What are you going to do without a car?”

Jonah shrugged. “Take public transportation,” he said.

“You do know that you still have to finish the deck? You’d get at least 150 for that. How much do you need?”

“That’s not enough,” he said.

“Why not?”

Jonah took a deep breath. “I’m still overdue on the electricity and gas bills,” he said.

“So you need 750?”

“And you can have the car.”

“I’m not taking the car, Jonah," I said, and I turned and started walking back to the kitchen. “You want a check or cash?” I asked.

Jonah followed me into the kitchen, wiping his eyes some more.

“A check is okay,” he said quietly.

I grabbed my checkbook and wrote him a check for fifteen hundred dollars.

He looked at it puzzled.

“You said the car was worth two-fifty at least,” I said. “If we get more, then you can have it. I’m not making a profit off you.”

Jonah seemed reluctant at first, but then he took the check.

“And you might as well keep the car until we sell it. I don’t want it in the driveway.”

“Okay, we can sell it this weekend.”

“You’re painting the deck this weekend. We’ll deal with the car the following weekend,” I said. Or maybe never.

Jonah took out his phone and used a mobile app to deposit the check.

It was only when it went through that he seemed to calm down any.

“Thanks for this,” he said quietly, and he waved the check in his hand. He now seemed embarrassed.

“You’re welcome. Are you hungry?” I asked him.

“Uh…I should go,” he said.

“No, come on, stay,” I said. “I was going to order take out,” I lied. “You like Thai?”

Jonah nodded slowly, and I went and got a menu and handed it to him.

“Pick something you like,” I said.

The rest of the evening, Jonah was quiet and distant. He didn’t flirt with me, and we sat and watched the comedy special on Netflix while we ate dinner.

He didn’t seem to be in the mood to laugh.

I was sorry when Jonah said he had to go.

I wanted to hug him, and kiss him, and tell him it was going to be okay, but he had sat on the couch a good couple of feet away from me, the entire time giving off ‘don’t touch me’ vibes.

When he’d first arrived, I’d actually thought about having sex with him, of him staying over, of holding his body against mine in the dark, but he clearly wasn’t interested at all.

I felt bad about that.

After Jonah left, I spent some time wondering whether I now wanted him more than he wanted me, and what that meant. Was I now going to spend my time trying to get back into his pants?

Now that would be wrong. If Jonah was no longer interested, I needed to stop thinking about him.

Jonah wasn’t even that cute, now that I thought about it.

And how much money had I given him now? About three thousand dollars? Was I out of my fucking mind? Was he just extorting money out of me? I wondered about that, but Jonah would have had to have been in league with the local garage to get most of that, which seemed unlikely.

I couldn’t believe that he was just using me.

And yet, I thought about it.


To be continued…

Thanks for reading. You can check out my new book on Amazon: They're Watching You. Read my blog or follow me on Twitter.

Copyright © 2019 GabrielCaldwell; All Rights Reserved.
If you enjoyed what you have read, please leave a reaction and/or comment for the author!

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At first, I thought their meeting was all innocent, but I’m questioning it now...,great chapter and I’m loving this story! Thank you!

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Well I admit that the behavior is strange, one could think Jonah was playing Brian. The think that until now makes me think that might not be the case was that he was very uncomfortable in the end, and not trying to distract Brian with sex.

I wonder what happened in Jonah's life that he seems to lack some organization/adult skills... Where is his family? Is he an orphan, or was thrown out by his family?

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Doesn't look like Jonah is a kind of guy who would take undue advantage, but sure Brian could have checked his bank account to see if what he said was true 

Hope Jonah is really an honest person

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Brian seems to be really all over the place. One minute happy and trusting, wanting to help and another suspicious at every turn. It almost seems as if Jonah isn't allowed mood swings.  On the other hand, Jonah can't seem to take a hint - unless he sees something in Brian that betrays his feelings, or if he were actually running a scam. It's a very engaging story - thanks for sharing.

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I really hope that Jonah is on the level. I suspect that he is. I, too, wonder what has happened in his past to bring him to such dire straits. Maybe Brian should discuss it with him. Of course that would make it look like he cares, which I think he does. He’s got a decision to make too. Either cut Jonah loose or reel him in. Then work around the consequences. I know, easy to say…

Good chapter, Gabriel. Thanks.

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Okay, so I don't know about Jonah now. I think he may be up to something awful. His faux reluctance to take Brian's money, after he'd been the one to ask for it in the first place...this is all beginning to seem to me like Jonah is taking Brian for a long ride. I hope I'm wrong because Brian seems sincere. I like this story.

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