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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
This is a rewrite of a story I posted on another site. I've made the mistake of posting before completing the work, so I'll apologize in advance for the delays between chapters.

Re-birth - 11. Chapter 11

We were crossing the street when Scott realized he would need his suit for our meeting with David. Rather than turning back to get it, we decided he would go home after our workout, knowing that we might be late if we showered together. As I snuggled up to him in my bed, I sighed a contented sigh and fell into a deep, peaceful sleep.

As my mind came to life, I realized there was a hand in my underwear, and I was already too far gone to stop; I let out a loud moan as my body shuddered. I watched, fascinated, as Scott brought his hand to his mouth and licked it clean, then gave me a wicked grin. I pushed him onto his back and pulled his underwear down, and quickly returned the favor, matching his actions by pulling my hand to my mouth and tasting his seed as I leered at him, doing my best porn star impression. I must have failed because he burst into a fit of giggles.

I pushed my lips out in a duck face and tried to pout, but I couldn’t stop the fit of giggles that overtook me. When I could speak, I asked, “Not as sexy as I hoped, huh?”

“Not even close, dude.” He suddenly stopped laughing and, looking down, said in a shy voice, “I’m sorry I did that, Greg.”

Shocked, I pulled back a bit. Was he sorry we were exploring sex? That couldn’t be it; we love each other. Maybe he’s sorry he tasted my stuff; maybe he thinks it tastes bad? I didn’t know what the problem was, but I had to fix it. “You don’t have to do stuff you don’t want to, Scott; you should know that. I love you, not the sex. If we never do anything again, I’ll still love you.”

His head snapped up, and he almost shouted, “No, um… I’m not sorry I did that. I meant, I’m sorry I started while you were asleep, I should have asked.”

Feeling my mood lift, I slid up until I was straddling his hips. I ignored what was growing under my butt as I reached down and caressed his face, saying, “Listen carefully because I never want to have to say this again. You, David Scott Warnick, never have to ask to touch my body. I am yours, mind, body, and soul, do you understand?”

I brushed away the tear that formed in his eye as he said, “Same goes for you, Charles Gregory Fowler. I am yours for as many lifetimes as we can share.”

Scott reached out to touch my face, then put his hand behind my neck, pulling me down into a passionate kiss. Of course, this led to more and our eventually ignoring the alarm. When we finally separated, we decided to skip the workout. Instead, we stripped the bed and headed to take a much-needed shower. As I was loading the sheets into the washer, I mentioned to Scott that we should buy a second set. He laughed and said we might consider getting two extras.

Our change in plans meant that I was in my suit and ready while Scott had to run home and put his on. I backed out of the garage and was waiting on the street when he came out and jumped in, tossing his jacket on the back seat with mine. When he turned around, he handed me one of the sausage, egg, and cheese sandwiches that Donna had made for us. How she knew we had missed breakfast, I’ll never know, but I was glad she did.

I parked in front of Jackson Group, General Contractors, and stepped out of the car, putting on my coat and checking my tie in the reflection in the window. I looked across the car, gave Scott a smile and a nod, and headed for the door. I heard Josh shout my name from where he was using a forklift to load windows onto a truck. Scott and I both gave him a wave, then walked through the door.

David Jackson was halfway down the hall that led from behind the reception desk, and he waved as he continued his conversation with three other men, two of whom were dressed in jeans, T-shirts, and work boots. David and the other man were dressed similarly to the things James had had me buy for job sites. Dress slacks, a polo shirt, and western-style work boots.

We waited as they finished their conversation, and then David waved for us to join him. He led us into a small conference room, introduced his business partner, Don, and asked if we minded his sitting in on our conversation. When we didn’t object, Don proceeded to offer us coffee and donuts. With the social niceties handled, we sat and began the meeting.

Looking at Don, I said, “I assume that David has given you an overview of our conversation last night?” He nodded. “Scott and I are the owners of G&S Enterprises, or GSE for short. Our focus is investing in properties and managing those properties. We have a staff that contracts to manage properties for others, in most cases also handling maintenance and repairs. We’ve decided to add residential development to that list. Aside from asking David to sit on our advisory board, we’re looking to partner with an established construction company that has the knowledge, expertise, and wherewithal to handle the repairs on existing properties, renovations to those properties, and handle new construction when we get to that.

“With all due respect, all I know of Jackson Group, I’ve learned through my friendship with David’s twin sons. We would like first to determine if you are interested in filling any or all of these roles. If you are, we would like to learn more about your company before agreeing to any work.”

David knew me, but Don did not, and his face showed this. He was obviously surprised by not only what was said but who said it. He glanced at David and gave a slight nod, seeming to indicate that he wanted to observe a bit more. When David raised an eyebrow, I knew there was something I was missing, and I noted that Don once more gave a nod, although this one was a bit firmer.

“There is a common saying that ‘timing is everything’, and in this case, your timing might not be the best, Greg. While I’m very interested, right now isn’t the best time for me.” He paused, considering something. I decided I should wait him out. Just before the silence became awkward, he continued. “Don called me last night, shortly after your call, and asked me if I was in a position to buy him out. I won’t go into the reasons, but I’ll assure you they have nothing to do with any problems at Jackson Group. I feel—”

“My wife is a physician and has been offered a position at a teaching hospital in Morgantown,” Don explained. “I’m not willing to drive seventy miles each way, nor is she. We are going to relocate, and I might just retire. The kids are all in college, so we don’t have to worry about schools; we can get a smaller place. Well, the details of my life aren’t the issue, other than to say if not for this opportunity, I wouldn’t be wanting to sell. As it is, I think it’s best.”

Scott said, “Thank you for your candor, Don. Understanding why you want to leave eliminates any concern on our part that Jackson Group might not be the right partner.” Glancing at me and seeing my reaction, he asked, “Would the two of you mind if I called James Warnick? He’s the current chairman of our board of directors. I have an idea, and rather than go back and forth, it would be easier if he listened to our conversation.”

Don and David exchanged a look, then David nodded. Scott pulled his phone from his inside pocket, hit a speed dial number, and after a moment, said, “James, we’re here with David Jackson and his business partner, Don. I would like to put you on speaker and let you hear the situation we’ve run into. Can you spare the time?” Apparently, he could because Scott put the call on speaker, introducing everyone, then asked, “Don, would you please repeat what you just told us?”

After Don expressed his desire to sell and briefly explained his reasons, James asked for their estimate of the value of the company, the debt, and what percentage Don owned. When he had this information, he asked, “And what do you want to do, Greg?”

“That depends on too many unknowns for me to answer right now, James. If David is amenable to it, and it makes financial sense, I would entertain the idea of buying Don’s portion of the business.”

Scott added, “Of course, we’d need Charlie to confirm the numbers, and I would suggest we find an independent party to put a value on the intangibles.”

“Assuming the numbers Don shared are correct, and using your wanting David on your board as my estimate of the public’s perception of Jackson Group, I would say Don’s forty-five percent ownership is worth just under $1 million. Barring anything I’m unaware of, would you agree, Don?”

“I would agree, in principle, to a valuation between nine hundred thousand and one point one million dollars, yes. And as to intangibles, we have the best reputation in the tri-state area.”

There was a silence, and I could imagine James leaning back with his fingers tented, contemplating. Finally, he said, “Scott, I will loan, or guarantee loans, up to $1.5 million for you and Greg, or GSE, to purchase Don’s share of Jackson Group. David, I need you to understand that if you agree, it will be Scott and Greg, not me, who own half of your business. If you have any doubts about your ability to work with them, please encourage Don to find another buyer. Greg, I’ll say the same to you and Scott. If you don’t feel you can work hand in hand with David, don’t buy in. I’ll leave it to the three of you to discuss how things will operate.”

Don said, “If we can come to terms on price, and if David agrees to the sale, I am willing to carry up to five hundred at four percent for up to fifteen years.”

Before James could reply, Scott said, “Thank you, Don, but that’s not necessary. And James, I’m going to say what Greg said on Sunday: I like round numbers, I want two, and I want ten, understood?”

James let out a belly laugh and said, “Agreed, Scott. Two million, zero percent, twenty years. Now, if there’s nothing more I need to hear, I have a car to order. You two can fill me in when we meet this afternoon. One O’clock. Do you need directions?”

“No, sir,” I said. “I have the file. We’ll see you there, and thank you for your time.”

Scott disconnected the call, and we looked up to see Don and David both staring, open-mouthed, at us. After a moment, Don said, “I’m confused, Scott. You said two and ten, and James responded with two million for twenty years; what’s the ten?”

Scott grinned and explained, “That was his counter-offer, his final offer. I asked for ten years, and he countered with twenty.”

Don looked around the table and said, “Unless you three see something I don’t, the rest of this conversation has little to do with me.” Standing and looking at David, he said, “Unless you can’t work with them, I’m going to consider myself bought out. We’ll talk later about timing and sorting out ongoing projects. You and I can go over what I’ve recently bid. And if you can’t work with them, the offer of carrying five hundred is, of course, extended to you.”

David stood and offered his hand, saying, “I appreciate it, Don, but the truth is, I’d have to mortgage my half of the business to do that, and I don’t want to carry that much debt. I’ve known Greg all his life; I’m sure we can work together, so I would agree, consider yourself bought out. I’m tied up all afternoon, but we’ll find time to go over things soon. Go take Janet to lunch.”

I stood and shook Don’s hand, saying, “We’ll have our attorney contact you with our final offer once our team has done their due diligence. It was so nice to meet you, and please congratulate your wife on her new position.”

As he was shaking Scott’s hand, Don said, “When I saw the two of you walk in, I thought David was pranking me. I leave feeling confident that David is gaining two very capable partners. Good luck to you.”

After Don left, Scott said, “I think the best place to start would be for you to go over the scope of your current capabilities, then go into where you would expand and why.”

David leaned forward and explained, “We started out doing residential construction and remodeling, but two years ago, Don got the contract to build an addition to the Credit Union on Brant Road. After that, we started bidding on other small commercial jobs, and now, commercial work is 65% of our current work. We sub-contract any excavation and plumbing work, but we have our own framers, electricians, roofers, and a drywall crew. Last week, we were discussing the purchase of an excavator and a skid-steer loader to have the ability to do that portion of the projects.”

“You never considered bringing on a plumber? If not, why not?” I inquired.

“Don’s brother has a small plumbing business, does good work, and always gives us a fair price. While having a plumber in-house would be convenient, there hasn’t been a need. There’s no reason to assume we can’t continue the relationship.”

Scott was making some notes as I asked, “If I’m understanding you correctly, Jackson Group could handle the remodeling and any new construction we would need. What about the maintenance and repairs?”

“We could. I would likely want to bring on people to dedicate to that task; we would have to evaluate the need before we decide on how many. How many properties are we talking about, and what types?”

Scott pulled out the file and handed it to David. As he looked through them, I looked at Scott and raised an eyebrow. He asked, “For you to take on the excavation, what would you need, and how would you finance it?”

David looked up from the file and said, “To do it right, I would buy a medium-sized dump truck, a small to medium-sized excavator, a larger skid steer, and a trailer to haul the equipment. We estimated two hundred for new; half that for used.”

“That’s all you would need? No loaders or dozers?” I asked, surprised.

“You have to remember, we would only be doing the work needed for the buildings. We have yet to get into larger commercial buildings where there are large quantities of earth to move. Until we do, those larger machines will just sit, collecting dust. You mentioned residential development, are you talking about single homes, or do you have raw land that needs to be improved before building?”

“We’re still exploring a few options; the first one involves raw land that would need utilities and streets,” I replied.

David shook his head, saying, “For one project, I’d contract out the utilities and streets. Until you’re doing several of those a year, it’s just not worth it to have that much iron when there are reputable companies around that need the work; I have better places to put my cash than machines that sit nine months out of twelve.”

Scott jumped on this, asking, “What would those places be?”

“Primarily? We’ve grown enough recently that we’re accepting bids for health insurance and other benefits for our employees. If we can make it work, I’d like to pay for the employee's coverage, along with some other benefits.”

“To clarify that, you mean you want to insure the employee and not their families?” I asked.

“No, Greg, I mean that we would pay for the insurance on the employee, and they would pay what it costs to cover their families. I know some think I should cover it all, but that’s not fair. It means that, say, if you have a wife and two kids, and Scott is single, I’m paying more for your insurance. Should I give Scott money to make up that difference? By paying the employee’s portion and offering coverage for their spouses and children at a discount, that’s a fair system. Well, as fair as any can be.”

“What about domestic partners?” Scott asked.

“If you’re talking about same-sex partners, we have to go with what the insurance companies will do, but ultimately it comes down to cost. If the company that will cover those partners is priced reasonably, of course, I would offer it to them. You’ve met my son, do you think I’d not cover whoever he eventually brings home?” David tensed, then said, “Um, Greg, I just revealed something that wasn’t mine to share, I hope—”

I reached across and took Scott’s hand, saying, “Jake told me last week, and we certainly don’t plan on exposing him until he’s ready. Relax.”

David looked at our clasped hands and smiled, “And I’ll keep your confidences as well. I don’t really know what came over me.”

Scott smiled and said, “You feel comfortable with us; that means we can work together, I hope.”

My phone vibrated in my pocket, and I glanced at it to check the time. As I assumed, it was the alarm I had set. I once read that meetings can drag on without covering the required topics because most people don’t know when to drop an issue and move on. I was glad to see that we were only slightly behind on time. Considering the fact that we had been surprised by the topic of buying into the company, that meant we were covering ground at a good pace. I saw Scott checking the clock as well, so I knew he had taken my advice. I was surprised when David laughed.

“Set yourself alarms to keep the meeting moving along, I see,” he said with a smirk.

Scott blushed while I let out a belly laugh. “Yes, yes, we did. I take it you do that also?”

Pulling his phone from his shirt pocket, David showed us the alarms he had set every fifteen minutes, explaining that he usually allotted fifteen minutes to each topic, then tabled it and moved on. I then asked him what he would expect from us as minority partners in his business.

“That depends on how much of a role you want. No offense, but I don’t think either of you has the background and experience to calculate and write up bids, evaluate projects, do take-offs, or any of the other things you’d need to do to replace Don. That said, he and I were doing the jobs of three people. We could certainly hire two project managers and an estimator, leaving me to handle the rest. If we did that, what would your roles be?”

Scott looked at me, so I replied, “I think we’re going to be busy enough with what we already have. We would likely want to check in once a week to see how things are going and if there are any issues we can help with. We’ll have to talk more about it, but I think we’d be willing to provide the funds for you to do your own excavation.”

David raised an eyebrow, then said, “If you did that, I would consider you equal partners.”

Scott shook his head, saying, “The most we would agree to is fifty-two, forty-eight; otherwise, we risk having an impasse if we disagree on goals. Let’s table that until after we’re finished negotiating with Don. At that point, we’ll have an accurate valuation to work with.”

Realizing that we couldn’t move things forward until Don was out of the picture, I decided to suggest we table all issues until that was dealt with. David and Scott agreed with my reasoning, so we addressed the one remaining issue.

“Regardless of how things end up with Don and your involvement with Jackson Group, I will happily accept a seat on the board of GSE. You can give me the details once you work them out. Now, is this still to be kept from the twins? Because I’ll warn you, Jakey spent most of last night pouting because, after I hung up, I refused to share any details. Expect a call from him when he gets off work.”

“With Dad’s support, I’ve filed for emancipated minor status. The hearing is Friday, I’d like to wait until that’s all cleared up before I tell the guys. I know I’ll have to tell them, but I’m going to swear them to secrecy. I don’t want the whole school to know our business.” I explained as Scott and I stood and gathered our things.

“What business is that?” I knew the voice, but I still had to turn and confirm that Josh was standing in the doorway. I didn’t know what he had heard, and I didn’t want to tell him more than I needed to. I must have taken too long to think about all of this because he asked again, “What business is it that you don’t want the whole school to know?”

Scott saved the day with his quick thinking by asking, “If you heard the whole thing, you heard that he’s going to swear you to secrecy, right?”

“Um, the only thing I heard is you don’t want the whole school to know your business. What’s going on, Greg? Why are you dressed like a lawyer and meeting with my dad?”

Stepping toward him, I said, “I need you to trust me, just for a week, okay, Josh? Please? I don’t want to tell you things that might not happen or might change, so if you wait until Saturday, I’ll tell you and the guys everything. I promise.”

Josh seemed to consider this as he looked from his father to me to Scott, then back to me. He slowly nodded and said, “Saturday, you two, Jake, Chris, Brian, and me. Right here, and you can buy the pizza.”

Scott grinned as he said, “Nope. We agree on who attends, and we’ll buy the pizza, but it’s at Greg’s house, with the same dress code as our last meeting.”

“And you’ve gotta keep Jake off my back until then!” I quickly added.

“Me? Keep Jake from digging his nose somewhere it doesn’t belong. Until Saturday?” Josh shook his head as he laughed, “I’ll be lucky if I can keep him off your back for tonight! But I’ll try, Greg, I really will.”

“Thanks, dude. I’d love to hang, but we gotta meet Scott’s dad across town.”

“Can’t wait to hear what changes you’re gonna make around here,” Josh said as we walked out the door.

Resisting the urge to correct him, we continued out the door, got in my car, and headed across town toward the office of the real estate management company. James greeted us at the door and introduced us to Barbara Smith, who acted as the overall manager, and Sally Leaster, who was the primary property manager. After introductions, Barbara led us to a conference room where she spent the next hour reminding us to call her Ms. Smith, telling us how she would make sure we didn’t make mistakes and how, with her five years of experience in the field, we should count on her to take care of things as she had for the previous owner.

After an hour of listening to her describe how she was going to mother us, I had had enough. I was about to speak up when Scott beat me to it, saying, “I’m sorry, Ms. Smith, but we’ve decided to take things in a new direction. Of course, nothing we say is in effect until all the paperwork is settled. We think it only fair to let you know that we won’t be renewing your contract.”

Of course, she turned to James to argue, but I cut her off. “Ms. Smith, you need to understand that Scott and I will own this, not James. He is our financing and on our board, but the buck stops with me and Scott. That said, we just don’t feel we can continue on the course you’ve laid out. If the transfer takes more than thirty days, consider this your notice. If we settle things before the thirty-day mark, we will be happy to pay you severance.”

Scott and I remained silent after that as she sputtered and complained to James that it wasn’t fair and he was letting us make a mistake. Thankfully, James simply repeated what I had said; he is only the financier and board member. Once she finally left, I turned to speak to Ms. Leaster, but she beat me to it.

“Thank the gods.”

“Would you care to elaborate, Ms. Leaster?”

“Please, call me Sally, and I hate to speak ill of anyone, but, well, the only reason she worked here is she was sleeping with the owner. Now that he’s moving with his wife to Florida, Babs is out on her keister. Hands down, the best thing to hit this office in years.”

I was trying to hide my grin as Scott asked, “Why don’t you show us around and tell us who is who and all about them?”

She did just that, and after an hour of visiting with Sally, we knew that she would be our lead manager. We also were happy to find that she was a licensed agent and only needed two college credits to apply for her broker’s license. We told her to register for those classes and make them a priority, and we would pay the fees. We also told her to let any of the property managers know we would pay for their classes as agents if they signed a one-year contract with us.

After giving us a tour of the office area, we asked Sally to show us the rest of the building. We owned the entire thing, and the real estate office used one end of it, a pizza shop used the other end, and the center two spaces were empty. As we were leaving, I told Sally that we would be using the two empty spaces to expand their offices, then remodeling their existing space to make offices, a conference room, and a reception area for GSE. I even knew where I wanted my desk.

Copyright © 2023 Justin4Fun; All Rights Reserved.
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If you'd like to buy me a cup of coffee, a donut, a bale of hay, or a horse, visit Justin's Ranch
Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
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Chapter Comments

Scott and Greg are really taking charge of their businesses and James is doing exactly what he promised.  He's let everyone know that what Scott and Greg decide, is what will happen.  I'm glad that they are now in business with David.  I think having him on the board, and the construction company as a partner will make things a lot easier.  It was funny that they were worried about Jake, but now have Josh to keep him off their backs.  Getting rid of Barbara and promoting Sally was a great move.  Barbara was very manipulative. I wouldn't trust her in the position or the company.  

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23 hours ago, centexhairysub said:

it amazes me how someone people will see someone that is younger and just assume they have no clue and try to take charge.  Love how they but Ms. Bossy in her place.

'Ms. Smith' made a major Ms-take with her attitude, condescension and forgetting a major tenet of business (especially real estate), never underestimate the person on the other side of the table. Suspect she's 'All Karen, All the time', aka Beotch.

 

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Quite a change from the original. I'm enjoying the rewrite, but a lot is happening without Scott telling Greg the big secret. The timing feels a bit off. It seemed Scott originally had 3 weeks to do it. Gonna trust the process! 

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Lesson here is defer to the most knowledgeable when needed, then kick some ass, and have pizza at the end of the day. Greg and Scott are freakin' badass. :gikkle:

Wait! I've reached the last chapter if this book? This is just unacceptable and must be amended. I mean... Oh, there's a second book. :gikkle:

Edited by Ajbt2001
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26 minutes ago, Ajbt2001 said:

Wait! I've reached the last chapter if this book? This is just unacceptable and must be amended. I mean... Oh, there's a second book. :gikkle:

????

There's a chapter 12

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8 minutes ago, Justin4Fun said:

????

There's a chapter 12

That's exactly what I was saying. I've reached the end of this book. :hug:

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2 minutes ago, Ajbt2001 said:

That's exactly what I was saying. I've reached the end of this book. :hug:

I guess I took it wrong because the comment was posted under chapter 11.
I will say, I enjoy watching someone binge read my work.

:)

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I have really bad ADHD, so I tend to skip around and read various chapters. I've been intrigued but this series and finally got settled enough to read it. I'm glad I did, you've created one hell a of an amazing story. 

I could see your boys fitting in well as friends, and creating a brotherhood with some of my characters. So that makes it even better as I read. 

Again, thanks, @Justin4Funfor creating this awesome world. 

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I think this story is worth bingeing don't you :rofl: But that sure makes it look like Scott isn't going to spill the beans in chapter 12:yes: Great chapter thanks so much for sharing it with us:thankyou:

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