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I'm Not Your Mentor - 7. Chapter 7: Everyone Needs Help

7. Small changes can have the most significant impact

Changes in attitude and behavior have the greatest impact on success. They can also be the hardest to implement. Focus on small, doable actions that build to change.

— Employee Handbook: Mentoring


I didn’t hear from Jonah again that week, and I wondered if he would turn up on Saturday. It seemed very likely that he wouldn’t. In truth, I was thinking things would be a lot simpler for me if he didn’t.

But on Saturday morning, just before 9 am, my doorbell rang and I opened the door to find him standing there.

Jonah acted much like he had on his previous visit; nervous and uncertain, but his wardrobe had changed again. He was wearing jeans and a t-shirt. He looked casual, but he clearly wasn’t trying to look sexy.

From his manner, I had the feeling he wasn’t going to stay.

Jonah gave me a small smile, but he looked very uncomfortable.

“Hey,” he said softly to me.

“Are things okay?” I asked him.

“Yeah, thanks,” Jonah mumbled.

Once more, he came into the entrance and was standing there, seemingly unsure what to do.

“Good,” I said, wondering what to say next. It occurred to me that I should tell Jonah he didn’t need to finish the deck, and give him the option to go.

“I did some checking, and you should get at least three grand for the car,” Jonah said. “So you’ll get your money back. Or most of it.”

“Great,” I said. I hadn’t even thought about selling his car.

“We could go sell it this afternoon,” he suggested.

“One job at a time. Let’s finish the painting?” I replied. The last thing I wanted to do that day was to go and try and sell a car. His car. If Jonah sold it and repaid me, then that was okay, but I wasn’t going to be involved.

“I’m not keeping the car,” Jonah said hotly.

“Okay,” I said, trying to remain calm and neutral. I didn’t want to argue with him.

“If you don’t want to come, I’ll just go sell it myself tomorrow and give you the money.”

“Okay,” I agreed. Jonah was upset, and I didn’t think arguing with him was going to get me anywhere.

“I just…I just…” and he looked around, clearly frustrated.

“What?” I asked gently.

“I just don’t want you to think I’m useless. That I’m just here to get money from you,” Jonah blurted out.

“I don’t think that,” I said honestly.

He took a deep breath and then swallowed. “I wasn’t always this fucked up,” he said quietly, and I could see that his eyes were watering.

Clearly, we weren’t going to get any work done with him in this state. I just wanted to hug him, but I figured that wasn’t the best thing to do at that moment, either.

“I’m gonna have some coffee. Come and have coffee,” I suggested.

“I should…” and Jonah looked around, obviously not sure what to do. He seemed close to turning tail and running.

“Come on, you can make the banana bread,” I said.

“Banana bread?” Jonah repeated, as if it was the strangest thing to have suggested.

“Yeah, you like banana bread?” I asked.

“Ah …it’s okay,” he said. “You’re making it?”

“It’s from a mix,” I admitted, and without giving him the time to think about it, I led Jonah into the kitchen, showed him the box of banana bread mix, and set him to work measuring the oil into a bowl, while I turned on the oven and fetched the other ingredients that needed to be added.

By the time Jonah had poured the banana bread mixture into the bread tin and put it in the oven, he seemed to have calmed down a bit, and I motioned him to sit at the island.

“You had anything to eat?” I asked him.

Jonah shrugged, which I guessed meant no, and I took out a bagel and toasted it, while I started making ham and eggs.

“You might feel better on a full stomach,” I told him.

“Is that another mentoring tip?” Jonah asked shyly.

“Maybe,” I said.


I sat across from him, chewing on half a bagel, as Jonah demolished the breakfast of ham and eggs I’d made him. He washed it down with two glasses of orange juice, and though he was reluctant at first, I toasted another bagel, and Jonah covered that in cream cheese and polished that off as well.

“Feeling better?” I asked him when he’d finished.

Jonah nodded, grinning a little.

“You know,” I began carefully. “I think your real financial problem is that you can’t afford the apartment you have.”

I wanted to ask him what had possessed him to rent such an expensive one-bedroom apartment. Jonah couldn’t easily get a roommate to share the cost, but I didn’t want to point that out to him.

Jonah looked miserable again, and I worried that I had stirred up something he didn’t want to talk about.

“When we moved in, we were each paying half, and it was okay,” Jonah began. “Then Harry broke up with me, and he moved out of the apartment, so I was paying twice what I had been paying for rent and utilities, and he took almost five thousand dollars from our bank account.”

“Was it yours or his?” I asked.

“He said it was all his, but it wasn’t.”

I didn’t think it was worth re-litigating that. Some of the money might have been Jonah's, but I wondered how easy it would be to prove that, and would it be worth going to small claims court to try and get it back?

And anyway, that could take months, and Jonah’s problem was much more pressing.

“Have you thought of moving? Maybe share with others?”

“I have a lease,” he said glumly.

“You can usually get out of those. Particularly if they can find someone to move in. Even if you had to pay a month's rent, it might work out cheaper than staying. How long is your lease?”

“There’s another nine months.”

“How long was the lease?” I asked. I was puzzled because, with that much time left on the lease, they must have broken up about the time they moved in

“The original lease was for eighteen months,” Jonah explained.

“Oh. Well, you should talk to your landlord. Explain the situation. Say you’d like to move out, and ask whether you can do that. Or you might ask if you can find someone that would take it over as a sublease.”

Jonah nodded.

“You need to sort that out,” I continued. “If you had a cheaper rent, if you were paying maybe half what you’re paying now, your financial situation would be manageable, right?”

Jonah nodded, though not enthusiastically.

“So, focus on that this week. Start looking around for somewhere else, talk to your landlord, see what they say. Once that’s all sorted out, we can talk about the car. Maybe you can buy it back from me.”

Jonah grinned.

The banana bread tasted good, and we ended up in the living room watching a movie.

Later he talked about doing the painting, but I suggested it could wait for next weekend. I told him to focus on finding somewhere to move. The weekend would be a good time to call people and look at apartments.

I asked Jonah if he wanted to stay for lunch, but he said he wanted to go home and contact some friends about possible places, and I didn’t attempt to dissuade him.

When Jonah got up to leave, he hugged me quickly, and I kissed him on the top of his head, and it was all oddly platonic. As he left, I wondered if the relationship had changed, and now we were no longer in a sexual relationship?

Maybe that was a good thing.

It wasn’t what I secretly wanted—I wanted to take him upstairs and roll around naked with him—but it was the right thing to do.

And I had to keep telling myself that.


On Monday, Jonah called me in the middle of the day to tell me that he had found a place where some friends-of-friends were looking for a roommate, and the rent would be about half what he was currently paying. Now all Jonah had to do was get out of his lease, but he didn’t want to talk about that.

I told him to call the landlord, which Jonah was clearly reluctant to do.

“Can’t I just email him?” Jonah asked.

“You should call,” I insisted. “Write out what you want to say and rehearse it, and remember, you don’t have to agree to anything then. If he says there’s no way he’ll let you out of the lease unless you pay a penalty, don’t agree. Tell him that you’ll think about it and get back to him.”

There was a long pause that I resisted filling.

“Okay,” Jonah finally said, sounding not so sure.

“If I were you,” I continued, “I’d explain to him that you are having financial problems and you can’t afford the apartment. Tell them that your partner moved out.”

There was another long silence, and I wondered if Jonah was too embarrassed to talk about that.

“I don’t know, I don’t think he liked that we were gay to begin with,” Jonah said softly.

“That’s not the issue. You want to let him know you might not be able to pay the rent.”

“I don’t…” Jonah began, but I knew I had to push through his objection, or he’d dig in and not listen to me.

“I know you don’t want to tell people you’re having financial problems. It’s embarrassing. I understand that. But look at it from his perspective. You just tell him you want to move out, and he thinks you’re a lazy bastard trying to get out of a contract.” I heard a little snort of laughter and was glad my joke worked. Now I just had to clinch the sale. “You tell him you are worried you might not be able to pay the rent,” I continued, "and he’ll be much more likely to want to get someone in there that can pay, rather than have you being late or not paying.”

I waited, anxiously.

“Uh…I guess,” Jonah said, the hesitation still there.

“And you can just explain that you two broke up, which you did. That’s not your fault.”

Jonah was still reluctant, but after a bit of cajoling, I persuaded him to practice telling me what he was going to say; a little bit of role-playing that might actually be useful.

“You okay?” I asked Jonah once we’d been through it a couple of times.

“I think so,” Jonah said tentatively.

“You can do it,” I encouraged him.

“Can’t I just email him?” Jonah tried a final time.

I took a deep breath. I was so used to telling people to do something, and they’d just do it. It was now a real challenge for me to persuade someone that didn’t want to do what I was telling them to do. Maybe I should have taken a course on how to be a mentor?

“Listen, I know you don’t want to call him,” I said, trying to sound as sympathetic as possible. And I was, I felt for Jonah. But he had to do this. “The thing is, he probably doesn’t want to talk on the phone either. So in some respects, it might even be to your advantage. Harder for him to say no.”

“I don’t know…”

“You can do it, Jonah. Give it a try.”

There was another long pause, and I wondered what he would say next.

“Okay,” he sighed reluctantly.

I actually felt a great sense of relief.

Jonah hung up, and then I sat there, anxiously waiting to hear back from him about how it went. Or even if he did it.

I was trying to read a report, but for the next ten minutes, I don’t think I made any progress, and then my cell phone buzzed, and I saw it was a text from Jonah.

'He said okay! :)’ was all it said.

I was so excited, I had to call him to get more details.

“He said I can move out!” Jonah said without any pleasantry when he answered the phone, the excitement—and relief—evident in his voice.

“He did? When?”

“Well, he said he may already have someone that would move in at the end of the month, and he said if they do, I’ll get my deposit back, or if they don’t, he said I can definitely move out the following month, and he’ll give back the deposit!”

“That’s great! See, I told you, you could do it.”

“He wasn’t that happy at first, but when I told him I was worried I wouldn’t be able to pay the rent, suddenly he said he had someone else that was looking for a place!” Jonah finished the sentence, and then he laughed.


“Thanks. Thanks for your help,” said Jonah.

“You’re welcome. Now you need to think about packing up your stuff.”

“Oh yeah,” he said. He clearly hadn’t thought about moving.

Jonah called back two hours later, even more excited. The landlord had called to see if he wanted to move out at the end of the month as someone else did want the apartment. They were going to come and take a look at it that evening.

“That’s great. Do you need to tidy the place up?” I asked him.

“No, it’s fine,” Jonah said.

“You’ve cleaned the bathroom and taken out the trash and everything?”


“You might ask your supervisor if you can leave early to go home and do some cleaning up,” I suggested.

“Yeah, okay,” he said a little unhappily.

“You want to do what you can to make sure they like it, right?” I prompted.

“Yeah, I’ll do it,” Jonah reluctantly agreed, and then he paused. “Can you help me move?” he asked.

I thought about that for a moment. I also thought about the fact that I really needed to stop seeing Jonah.

“Don’t you have friends that can help you?” I asked. Surely he’d have more fun with his friends, and my being there would just be awkward.

“A couple, but the more there is, the easier it will be,” he said, and I could hear the smile in his voice.

“I’ll see,” I replied noncommittally.

Jonah hung up, and I’m not too sure who was more excited; me or him.

I’d actually coached him through a momentous event. I’d helped him practice what he’d said to the landlord.

Maybe I could just be his mentor.


Over the next three weeks, it became apparent that our relationship had changed again. It seemed that I was now just a friend, as Jonah would text me now and again, but there was no move to meet up, and no unexpected visits.

Yes, I was disappointed, but it wasn’t like we’d had a relationship. We’d had sex again, but that was it.

I wondered if I should let Karen know that we weren’t dating, and were now just… ‘friends?’ After some thought, I decided to wait on that. Maybe I was still hopeful—even though I knew I shouldn’t be—but I didn’t want to keep going back to Karen every time something happened between Jonah and me.


The Monday before Jonah was planning to move, he showed up at my office door. It was just before lunchtime.

I hadn’t seen Jonah since he’d come to finish painting the deck, which, I suddenly remembered, was still not finished.

“Hey,” Jonah said a little nervously, and I wondered what this meant. Was there some new problem to be dealt with?

“How’s it going?” I asked him, trying to be casual, even though I was happy to see him.

“Okay,” Jonah said, but from the sound of his voice, I was pretty sure it wasn’t.

I waved him in. I was supposed to be his mentor, it was okay to have him in my office. I just had to remember to keep the door open.

And try not to think about sex with him.

Jonah sat down in one of the chairs across from my desk.

“You ready to move?” I asked him.

“Yeah, ah, sort of,” Jonah said.

“Sort of?” I queried.

“Ah…I wondered if you could help me move on Saturday?”

“Oh…” I started thinking of excuses I could make for not being able to.

“I’ve got one friend that’s gonna help me, but it’s kinda difficult with just two of us, and also…” and he trailed off.


“I need to rent a van.”

“Like a U-Haul?”

“Yeah,” Jonah said.

“Okay. Do you need money?” I asked.

Jonah grinned embarrassedly, but then he shook his head. “Ah, I think it’ll be about one hundred dollars, so I can cover that,” he said. But he was blushing.

“Then…” I began, not sure why he needed me.

“Um…you need to have a valid driver's license,” Jonah said.

I stared at him.

“You don’t have a valid driver's license?” I asked him slowly.

“Not really?” Jonah said, his tone making it sound more like a question than an answer.

“Not really?”

“Well, I have an out of state one, but it’s expired.”

I let out an exasperated breath. “Why didn’t you get it renewed?” I asked.

“Well, ahh…” and Jonah looked uneasy.

I waited.

“It was just…I forgot, and then it was going to cost money…and…” he looked down.

“Let me see it,” I said finally, and I held out my hand.

Jonah took out his wallet, fumbled about for a minute, during which time I wondered if he didn’t even have a license, but then he pulled out a card and handed it to me. It was from New York and had expired almost a year ago.

I handed it back to him.

“You need to get a Massachusetts license as soon as possible. Today or tomorrow if you can,”

Jonah nodded, but then he blurted out, “I don’t know when I can get time off.”

“Well, you better ask for it and find out. You can’t be driving with an expired license…I mean, I’ve done it. I once discovered I’d forgotten to get my license renewed, but…you better see to that.”

Jonah nodded.

“What about your friend? Can’t he rent it?”

Jonah shook his head. “He doesn’t drive.”

I sighed. “All right, I’ll help you rent the van. But you have to promise you’ll get a license.”

“I will,” he said.


That Saturday, I met Jonah at the U-haul, filled out the paperwork, and Jonah paid for the small truck. I was going to, but he insisted.

And then I realized that I couldn’t let Jonah drive the truck. His promise to get a license hadn’t translated into immediate action, but he said that he was getting time off the following Wednesday and would do it then.

“So who’s helping you?” I asked Jonah as we drove to his apartment.

“Oh, Noah,” Jonah said.

“Noah?” I asked, thinking that it was amusing to have a Noah and a Jonah.

“Yeah,” said Jonah obliviously, and I decided not to make a joke about it. Besides, what I really wanted to know was whether Noah knew anything about Jonah and me.

“How do you know him?” I asked.

“From school. We were roommates for a while.”

“Oh, are you moving in with him?”

“No. But they’re friends of his.”

“Ah, okay,” I said.

“He’s bi,” Jonah said, which startled me. I wasn’t used to people announcing other people’s sexual orientation like that. Not really knowing what to say, I just nodded.

“But we’ve never been more than friends….” Jonah added.

I wasn’t really concerned about whether Jonah had slept with Noah. I wanted to know something else, but I wasn’t sure how to ask him if he’d told Noah we had…

“And I haven’t really told him about…us,” Jonah interrupted my thoughts.

“You haven’t …really?” I asked, trying to figure out what he meant by the word 'really.’ Did that mean he had hinted at it, had mentioned something in passing, or he had told him everything? I wasn’t sure, and I didn’t want to guess.

“I told him we had sex, but it was just casual,” Jonah clarified, and the off-handed nature of the sentence threw me for a loop. So he had told Noah everything about us?

“Okay,” I said. What else could I say?

“Don’t worry,” said Jonah, “he’s cool with it.”

“Um, okay,” I said.

“And you can’t have sex with him.”

“What?” I asked, surprised. The thought hadn’t even occurred to me.

“You heard,” Jonah said, grinning.

“Why would I…”

“Cause he’s pretty hot. But he’s got a boyfriend, and you can’t have sex with him,” Jonah repeated, and I wasn’t sure if it was an observation, an instruction, or an order. I decided not to question it further. The last thing I was going to do was have sex with Jonah’s friend.

Noah, it turned out, was about the same age as Jonah, taller, with a thin, wiry build and short dark curly hair. And tight blue jeans and a nice ass, and though he was shy and quiet at first, as the afternoon progressed, he started to relax and become more animated.

The two of them spent much of the time bickering at each other. I tried to stay out of it, even though I found it amusing.

Noah didn’t say much to me, but I got the sense that it was because he was shy, rather than because he didn't like me. Noah didn’t ask me anything about what I did, or about my relationship with Jonah, which only convinced me further that Jonah had already told him everything.

He seemed like a nice guy, but Jonah didn’t have to worry, as good as Noah was to look at, I was only interested in one of them.

We loaded up the truck, and then the three of us got in the cab and drove over to the new apartment where Jonah was moving in with three other people. Jonah had the smallest bedroom, and the apartment was on the third floor, and it was a rather old and tired building. I could see why it cost him so little to live there.

None of the other roommates were about while we unloaded, and the three of us quickly got the bed, dresser, night table, desk, chair, and boxes of clothes up and into the room. There was barely enough room for the table and the bed, but Jonah seemed happy with it.

With everything reassembled, and most of the boxes emptied, Noah announced that he had to go. I offered to drop him somewhere as I had to return the truck, but he said that he would just catch the bus, and after saying goodbye to me, he and Jonah went downstairs, leaving me to unpack the last of the boxes into the bottom of the dresser.

“He’s gone,” Jonah announced, coming back into the bedroom ten minutes later.

I stood up and nodded, and we surveyed the room. Most of the stuff was put away, and the small room looked full, but not overly so.

“He said he liked you,” said Jonah, catching me off guard.

“Oh, he did?” I said.

“Yeah. He doesn’t want to sleep with you, but he thought you were okay.”

“He doesn’t?” I said, feeling oddly insulted. I never imagined Noah would have wanted to have sex with me, but it was somehow still a blow to my ego to be explicitly told that he didn’t want to.

Jonah paused and then looked at me, his brow furrowed.

“You wanted to sleep with him?” he asked, his voice curious.

“No, I just…he didn’t like me?”

“No,” said Jonah, sounding relieved. “You’re just too straight for him.”

“I’m what?”

“Straight. You know.”

“No. I don’t…” I said, puzzled at what seemed to be another veiled insult.

“You act straight when you’re nervous around people or trying to impress them,” said Jonah. “You’re not, but you do,” and he shrugged.

“I act straight?” I asked, confused.

Jonah looked at me, and then he grinned, and he stepped up to me and hugged me briefly.

“Don’t worry. I like it,” Jonah said, before stepping away.

“Ah, thanks?” I said, grinning, not sure if that was a compliment, or what that was. I guess it was nice to know Jonah didn’t think I was a total loser.

Jonah grinned. “Thanks for your help,” he said.

“Well,” I said, “now you don’t need me,” I teased him.

“Yeah,” he said, and then the smile changed to a bit of a frown. “I still owe you the money from the car. I’ll sell it,” he said.

“You’re not doing that,” I said.


“How are you going to come visit if you don’t have a car?”

Jonah shrugged. “I thought you didn’t want me to visit?” he said quietly.

“I’m used to you now,” I said, giving him a comradely slap on the back. I was aware that his new roommates could turn up at any minute, and I wasn’t sure I wanted them to know about our relationship. Though for all I knew, like Noah, maybe they already did.

I had no idea if Jonah would ever come to visit; it wasn’t even a serious invitation. I knew it was best that he didn’t visit again, but I wasn’t going to take his car. I’d only said he could use it to come visit as a pretext for letting him keep it.


“I guess…we shouldn’t really be sleeping together,” Jonah said quietly.

I thought about that for a moment, because he was right, even if I still wanted to.

“Yeah, we shouldn’t,” I agreed. Inside I was disappointed that it was ending here. “I think I’ve been telling you that for a while now. It’s not because I don’t like you, you’re a great guy …it’s just…awkward.”

There was a long silence.

“Listen,” I said, trying to sound optimistic. “I think you’re going to be in a much better situation now. You should take some time to settle in, figure things out. If you need help or advice, I’m always available. We still have those mentor meetings.”

Jonah grinned and nodded.

“I guess,” he said slowly.

“I’m gonna get going,” I said, before my resolve weakened. I needed to leave, and I had to take the truck back to the rental place. “Oh, is your car at the U-haul?” I asked him.

Jonah shook his head.

“I took the bus,” he said.

“Oh. It’s going okay?” I asked, wondering if maybe he had sold it already.

“Oh, yeah. Yeah,” Jonah said.


“Okay. Well, I’m gonna get going. You okay?” I asked him one final time.

“Yeah,” Jonah nodded. “Thanks for your help…and everything.”

“You’re welcome. I’ll see you Monday,” I said vaguely. Maybe I’d see him at work, though it was unlikely, unless one of us searched out the other.

Jonah nodded.

There was no hug or other show of affection. Jonah held his hand up in a fist, and we bumped fists.

It seemed that we were now just friends.


When I got home, I felt oddly lost. Almost the same way I’d felt the day after John had moved out, except that this time, I didn’t have just the hurt. I was definitely sad, but I felt like I was doing the right thing.

When John had left, my primary reaction was anger. This time I felt a real melancholy. I still loved Jonah, and yet, I thought this was for the best.

Maybe I was exaggerating it in my head, but it felt like I’d helped Jonah sort out his life, and that was something. I wondered how many other mentors in the mentor program would have had as significant an impact on their mentees as I had?

And I wasn’t talking about the sex.

But it occurred to me that the company would be pleased that no other mentors had gotten so involved with their mentees.

I wanted to feel happy for what Jonah had accomplished, but it wasn’t easy. It wasn’t just the sex I was going to miss, or the touching and holding him. Jonah was funny and interesting and exciting to talk to, and I just felt more alive when he was around.

I had dinner, watched some TV, and was thinking of going to bed when the doorbell rang.

I looked at the clock. It read 11:15 pm.

I went and opened the door, and Jonah was standing there.

“Hey,” he said, looking hesitant. “Sorry it’s so late.”

“That’s okay,” I said. “Is everything okay?”

I wondered if there was a problem with the new apartment; had we forgotten something? Were his roommates insufferable?

“I can go if it’s a problem,” Jonah offered.

“It’s not a problem,” I said, and he grinned. I thought about telling him I was about to go to bed but decided that was a bad idea. It sounded suggestive, which was the last thing I wanted to do.


“Well, come in,” I said, trying to wake myself up. I’d been starting to drag, and I wasn’t as awake as I needed to be for whatever this was.

“Okay,” Jonah said, nervously, and he followed me into the living room.

“You want something to eat? Drink? Coffee?”

“No, I’m fine,” Jonah said, still grinning.

We were standing in the living room, and I didn’t know why. Why was Jonah here?

I waved at the couch and sat down at one end, and then Jonah sat down, very close to me.

“How’s the place?” I asked him.

“It’s okay,” Jonah said, and he grinned at me, and then he slid closer so that he was right against me.

“Jonah?…” I began tentatively.

Jonah leaned forward, and I could tell he was going to kiss me, and I should stop it right there, but those lips, I just wanted them, and I leaned towards him and we kissed, a long lingering kiss, and then he pulled back just a little.

“Can I stay?” he asked tentatively.

“Stay?” I repeated, mentally digesting the question.

I should tell him no. Tell him that this wasn’t a healthy relationship for either of us.

That’s what I should have done, and I considered it for all of five seconds.

And then I reached out and put my arm around his shoulder, and I pulled Jonah to me, and kissed him on the lips again, exploring his mouth for a few seconds, and then I stopped and kissed along his jaw to his ear, and I whispered: “Of course you can stay.”

Jonah followed me upstairs, and I was pretty sure we were going upstairs to have sex. Why else would he want to stay?

And yet he’d been so distant the past three weeks, I thought he’d changed his mind about us.

Mentally I was trying to prepare myself for any option. Whether it was sex, or just sleeping together. Maybe Jonah just needed someone to hold him?

I turned to face him when we got to the bedroom, waiting to see what he’d do, and he stepped up to me, put his arms around me, and stood up on tip-toes, and I leaned down and kissed him.

“I should shower first,” he whispered.

“Okay,” I said, hugging him. “Come on,” and I led him into the bathroom.

“What are you doing?” he asked me curiously.

“I was gonna watch you,” I said.

“Yeah?” Jonah grinned, as he slowly pulled off his shirt, and then he did a slow and erotic striptease.



Sunday morning, I woke to a mouth licking my nipple, and that didn’t take long to wake me up. And then I spent an hour sucking and licking him, bringing him close to the edge, and then stopping. And bringing him close again, until he was mumbling and cursing incoherently, sweating and thrusting desperately into the air. And then I took him into my mouth once more, and he yelled and groaned, and his body writhed as he came.

After I’d sucked him dry, I lay beside Jonah and pulled him close to me, his wet, warm body practically stuck to me, and I felt his chest heaving as he breathed, and I lightly kissed his face. He looked exhausted, but he smiled at me, and his eyes stared into mine, and that was the most wonderful feeling in the world.


We had a late breakfast, and Jonah asked me if I wanted him to go home.

“You don’t have to go home unless you want to,” I said. “You doing anything today?” I asked him.

Jonah shrugged. “No,” he said.

“We could do something. Anything you want to do?”

“Want to go to a movie?” he suggested hopefully.

“Sure, which one?”

Jonah took out his phone, and we went through the movies and spent several minutes arguing between two films, but I let him win. We went to an afternoon screening, and then brought home Chinese food for dinner and ate it sitting on the couch in the living room, just chatting about things like two good friends.

“Thanks, I had fun today,” Jonah said as we were cleaning up the containers of food from the kitchen island.

“I had fun, too,” I said. It had been fun, even if we had been tentative around each other. Jonah seemed shy again, and I wasn’t sure what he wanted, and so I didn’t push him.

Jonah took the plates over to the sink, and he was standing there rinsing them, and I walked up behind him, and put my arms around him and hugged him to me.

“Should I go?” he asked me quietly, staring down at the dishes in the sink.

“Do you want to go?” I asked him.

Jonah was silent, and I guessed he was waiting for me to ask him.

“I don’t want you to go,” I said, “unless you want to. Will you stay?”

I saw Jonah’s reflection grin in the window, and he turned his head towards me, and we kissed.


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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Ahh, the trials and tribulations of love 💕. I’m enjoying the many shades of maturity, attraction, and growth in their relationship. It’s not inconceivable at all, nor does real life issues separate themselves neatly for protection of pride and privacy. Thanks for sharing this story.

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Nice chapter, Gabriel. Although Brian admitted that he was sad that Jonah was giving him his space, I don’t sense that he has deep feelings for the guy. And Jonah hasn’t expressed those kinds of feelings for Brian, so I guess what they have is a relationship of convenience. Brian recognizes it as a problem but is too conflicted to stop it, and Jonah is just living in the moment, more dependent on Brian than anything else. Thus, I have no idea what to expect in the next chapter.

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Great chapter! I’m waiting for the show to drop! I’m hoping I’m wrong! Thank you!

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The tidbits from the Employee Handbook are true and instructive. I'm not sure if the author made them up or if they are in a real handbook somewhere. If the former, the author deserves credit all the more. Jonah is quite a quirky one, to say the least; I'm kind of done predicting him. Jonah and Noah, huh? Two saviors of the world. I like the cadence of the writing. 

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On 11/10/2019 at 8:46 PM, Homosapiens said:

The tidbits from the Employee Handbook are true and instructive. I'm not sure if the author made them up or if they are in a real handbook somewhere. If the former, the author deserves credit all the more. Jonah is quite a quirky one, to say the least; I'm kind of done predicting him. Jonah and Noah, huh? Two saviors of the world. I like the cadence of the writing. 

They are pretty much made up, though based on things I've come across of found here and there.....

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Hi everyone,

Sorry for the long delay in posting the next chapter. I won't bother you with the details for the delay, but I do hope to get the next chapter up in the next couple of weeks. Thanks for reading!


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I thought this one had died an untimely death. I can’t remember where it left off, it’s been so long.

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