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Old April 13th, 2014, 02:12 AM
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The Gardener (Part 24)

Author's Note: This chapter gets back to advancing the plot. It's a bit shorter than other parts, just so I could keep up with posting a chapter every two weeks. Thanks to all who commented on Part 23. I appreciate your ongoing support.

Previously on The Gardener . . . Adam and Sam made love in Sam's apartment. They agreed that it was good.


The Gardener
by Reeza

Parts 1 and 2 : Part 3 : Part 4 : Part 5 : Part 6 : Part 7 : Part 8 : Part 9 : Part 10 : Part 11 : Part 12 : Part 13 : Part 14 : Part 15 : Part 16 : Part 17 : Part 18 : Part 19 : Part 20
Part 21 : Part 22 : Part 23


Part 24

�Adam!� Sam came bounding up the back stairs one evening in August.

�What?� I turned around as I dried my hands with a dish towel.

He burst through the door with a big smile on his face. �Ask me what happened at work today!�

�What . . .� He pulled his green polo shirt over his head. �Why are you taking your shirt off?�

�Cuz it's, like, ninety five degrees out there. I'm hot. Are you gonna ask me?�

Confronted by his tanned, sweaty torso, I forgot the first part of that lengthy conversation. �Ask you what?�

�What happened at work today.� He kicked off his sandals.

�Not much. It was boring.� He smelled delicious.

�Not your work . . . my work! Ask what happened to me at work today.�

"Oh! Sorry. What happened to . . ." He unbuttoned and unzipped his khaki shorts. "Are you getting naked?"

"I might. My boys need air." He dropped his shorts and stepped out of them. "Now quit stalling and ask me."

"Uh . . . you really need to get new underwear. That's . . . not doing its job anymore."

"Whatever. Ask me!" He tore some paper towels from the roll on the counter and started wiping perspiration off his inner thighs.

"What is . . . I'm sorry, I forgot again."

"Are you getting Alzheimer's or something?"

"No! I'm distracted!"

"By what? What happened today? Are you okay?" He tugged at his underwear, exposing more pubic hair.

"Nothing. No. I mean, yes. You . . . you're . . ."

He was blotting his armpits with the paper towel. "I think you're overheated. Why are you wearing all those clothes?"

I gave him a blank look. "Civilization?"

"Let's get that shirt off."

"Okay."

"Dave gave me a promotion today." He was pulling my shirt over my head.

"Really? That's great!" I said this from under my shirt. My arms were straight up in the air, and when he drew the shirt past my head, his damp pectorals were inches from my face. I opened my mouth and leaned forward, but he moved away before I got there. I spoke instead. "What kind of promotion?"

"Staff Manager is what he's calling me. Have you ever heard that before? I think he made it up."

"No, I've heard of it. Let me guess . . . will you be managing the staff?"

He smiled. "Yes I will, smart ass!" He shoved two fingers into the waistband of my shorts and pulled me closer. "Why haven't you kissed me yet?" Before I could answer, he pressed his lips against mine, grabbed my ass with one hand, and lifted me off the floor. After a few minutes of rather aggressive smooching, he set me back on the floor and continued the conversation as if nothing had interrupted it. "And he gave me a nice raise. You wanna guess how much?"

"I'm a little dizzy right now."

"Thirty percent! Same as you got for your promotion!" He knelt down in front of me. "Can you believe it?"

"Well, yeah. You deserve it. He says you're the best employee he's ever had."

Sam kissed my stomach. "He said he wants me to think about becoming his business partner some day."

"Wow! That's fantastic! Congratulations!"

He stuck his nose in the waistband of my shorts. "Mmm, I smell cock. What's for dinner?"

"Me, apparently."

"You'll make a good appetizer. What else?" He undid the button on my shorts.

"I made shrimp and cucumber . . . oh! That tongue! I'd swear you're part anteater. That shrimp and cucumber salad you like so much, and some herb . . . bread . . . whatever . . . oh . . . my . . . could use . . . some warning . . . before you . . ."

He came up for air. "Will it keep in the refrigerator?"

"Yes."

"Good." He picked me up as he rose to his feet, pulled my shorts and underwear off with his other hand, and dropped them on the kitchen floor. "Let's go upstairs." He carried me through the dining room . . .

"Why are you so horny today? Is it the promotion?"

"What makes you think I'm horny?" . . . through the living room . . .

"Wha! From the minute you . . . you've been . . . you're like . . ."

"Can't a guy offer a simple greeting when he gets home without being accused of things?" . . . into the entrance hall . . .

"If this is a simple greeting . . ."

"And why don't you ever initiate sex? Aren't you attracted to me anymore?" . . . up the stairs . . .

"Uff!! You don't give me a chance! When would I?"

"All those lonely minutes . . . I'm just waiting for you to suggest something." . . . and into the bedroom.

"Lonely minutes? What the . . ?" He threw me onto my bed, pulled off his underwear, and used it to wipe the sweat off his ass. "I'd like to suggest some things if you would give me a chance to speak before you . . ."

"Why do you talk so much when I'm trying to make love to you?� He crawled over me. �Can't you ever be quiet?"

I glared at him. Why do I always fall for this? "I am gonna beat the living shit out of you."

He smiled. "That's what I wanna hear!" He scooped me up and rolled over so I was on top of him, wrapping his arms and legs around me, encasing me in hot sweaty muscle. "Beat me, Adam! Beat the shit out of me!" He puckered his lips like a fish and made goofy kissing noises at me.

Sigh. So fucking sexy.

***

On the day that I arranged to have the Gothic garden shed moved from Joe's house to mine, I decided to take the day off from work using some of the paid vacation time I had accumulated over the years. I never took any time off, except for my parents' funeral. Of course I had to get Henry's approval.

"Another day off in the middle of the week? You already have Wednesdays off. Why couldn't this be done on a Wednesday?" He was rubbing a tiny scuff mark off his four hundred dollar Italian shoes.

"The crew wasn't available on a Wednesday, Henry. What's the big deal? I have a right to use a vacation day every five or ten years, don't I?"

"We have an office to run."

"Yet, you were able to go to New York last week."

"I had to get out of this shit hole and spend some time in a real city. It was medically necessary."

"Why are you giving me a hard time about this? It's one day. All of my work is on schedule."

"I don't want to be accused of favoritism because you're my best friend."

That made me queasy. "For approving one vacation day?"

"I can't be too careful, with all the accusations being made around here."

"Will you approve it, or not?"

"Alright, but if anyone asks, tell them I gave you a hard time about it."

"No one is gonna ask."

"I need to maintain my reputation."

"For what? Being an ass-wipe?" Oops! I said that out loud!

"Adam!" Henry smiled. "You surprise me! Just for that, you'll have to take me out to lunch."

"I can't this week. I have to get ahead on my accounts before I take that day off, right?" I started to back my way out of his office. "But we'll do lunch one of these days."

"Yes. 'One of these days.' You always say that. Close the door on your way out. I need a power nap."

"Yes, Mr. Vice President." I quietly pulled the door shut and turned around to find Donna standing six inches away from me. "Oh, Christ! How do you do that?"

"What were you doing in there?"

"Having sex. Why do you ask?"

She narrowed her eyes at me.

"I was asking him to approve a vacation day, okay?"

"Why do you need a vacation day?"

"I'm having . . . wait a minute . . . I'm your supervisor now! Who are you to question me?"

"I'm the gal who's gonna crush your balls in my fist until you squeal like a stuck pig."

"I'm having my neighbor's old garden shed moved to my garden." I said that faster than I'd like to admit.

She paused. "Okay. I'll allow it."

"You'll . . . what?!"

She smiled and patted my cheek. "You can go back to your office now."

"I can go wherever I damned well please!" I stepped around her.

"Where are you going?"

"My office!"

"Good boy."

I wheeled around and pointed at her. "I hate you!"

She wagged her finger and lightly sang, "Hostile work environment!"

***

On the day of the move, Sam offered to stay home as well, but I didn't see any reason for both of us to miss work. The contractors would do everything, anyway. In the morning, I sat with Joe on his back porch, watching the crew jack up the shed and shift it onto rollers so they could move it towards the street. It didn't hurt that a couple of the guys were good looking. I took the opportunity to ask Joe about his house.

"Painting this place is gonna be quite a job, isn't it? Have you been getting bids?"

"Yeah, I talked to a few guys, but they're all too expensive. I don't know where I'm supposed to come up with that kind of money. I spent the last of my savings having the roof replaced a couple years ago."

"I hear ya. These old houses can be expensive to maintain. Can you get a home improvement loan?"

"Already tried that. Since the housing market tanked, the value on this place is lower than you would think, especially the way it looks now. On my disability income, the banks don't wanna take the risk." He raised his eyebrows. "Maybe I can get the weasel woman to co-sign for me."

I snorted. "I'd like to be there when you ask her." Stroking my chin, I pretended that I was coming up with a new idea. "I wonder if we could get a bunch of volunteers from the neighborhood to help paint your house."

"Oh, no. I don't think so. Why would people wanna do that?"

"Because it would improve the neighborhood. This is one of the houses that makes this area interesting. If we don't preserve these places, it's gonna affect the value of all our houses."

"Guess I never thought of it that way. You tryin' to make me feel guilty?" He smiled.

"No, I'm just throwing out ideas."

"Y'know . . . one of the contractors I talked to is a young guy here in the neighborhood who's starting his own painting business. He really wanted to do the job, and he was willing to cut his price. I wonder if I could work out some kind of a deal."

"Do you have his name and number? I need to have some work done."

"Doesn't Sam do all that stuff for you?"

"Well . . . he's getting busier with his job. I can't expect him to do everything."

"I'm sure I still have the guy's card." He stood up with some difficulty. "Lemme go look for it." He hobbled into the house.

I sat there feeling satisfied with myself for putting my plan in motion. I was also watching the two cute young guys bending and lifting. Unfortunately, the big hairy guy was overly generous with views of his butt crack. Then I was startled by an unexpected voice.

"Adam?"

"Huh? Oh! Officer Hanson!" He had come around the side of the house.

"It's Carl. Remember?"

"Of course I remember you."

"No, I mean . . . remember to call me Carl."

"Oh, sure! Carl. What are you doing here?" Was he that handsome a few weeks ago?

"I was just patrolling the area and I saw that truck backed up onto the sidewalk."

"Oh, they're here for me. Well, not for me, really. I can walk. They're here for the shed. I'm taking that shed over to my garden to replace the one that was . . . well, you know what happened to the other one. It burned. As you know." Am I babbling?

"Is the homeowner here?"

"Joe? Yeah, he's inside. He knows about this. You don't think I would steal someone's shed, do you? He's giving it to me. Doesn't use it. Very nice of him."

"Okay. Can I speak with him?"

Does he really think I'm stealing this shed? "I'm sure he'll be right out . . . ah, here he is."

Joe stepped onto the porch. "Can I help you, officer?"

"Yes, I was just checking to see why there's a truck parked on the sidewalk."

"There is? Hey, what are they doing to my shed?"

Carl looked at me, and I did a double take at Joe. "He's kidding. He knows about this. Tell him, Joe."

"Do I know you?"

I opened my mouth and looked back and forth between them. "I'm . . ." Then they both started laughing.

Joe put his hand on my shoulder. "We had you going, didn't we? How are you, Carl?"

Why does everyone like to fuck with me?

"I'm fine, Joe. How are you and Susan?"

"We were fine until this guy came along and tried to steal my shed!"

"Do you want me to cuff him?"

"Maybe you should. He seems to be involved in all the trouble in this neighborhood."

"That's what I'm hearing. How are you, Adam?"

"I'm okay. Where's Officer Mansky?"

"He's not my partner anymore. I have a rookie in the car. Now I get to boss him around the way Mansky used to do with me.�

�I imagine you're a little nicer than Mansky was. So how do you two know each other?"

Joe replied, �Carl used to be a volunteer coach at Susie's school. He tried to teach her how to play volleyball.�

�I did my best.�

�You did a great job. Susie still talks about it.�

�Yeah? I miss those kids. The ones I work with now are a different ball of wax.�

This piqued my curiosity. �You do volunteer work with kids?�

Carl smiled. �Don't sound so surprised, Adam. I'm not a bad guy.�

�I'm not . . . I didn't think you were . . . I'm just . . . impressed, I guess. What kids are you working with now?�

�It's a rehabilitation program for juvenile offenders. We help them do community service to meet their sentencing agreements, and we run sports programs.�

"Wow. You're . . . nice."

"Again, sounding surprised." He crossed his arms. There were prominent veins under his tanned skin.

I changed the subject. "Did you find that card, Joe?"

"Yeah. Here you go. Nice fella, seems eager to work."

Carl asked, "What's this about?"

"Adam was asking me about a painter who gave me a bid on the house."

"You're looking for someone to paint your house? Why didn't you ask me, Joe?"

I blurted, "Don't tell me . . . you paint houses when you're not fighting crime and helping kids." It sounded more sarcastic than I intended.

"No. But this might be a good project for some of the older kids in our program. Maybe we could teach them some skills. It would be free labor."

"I was thinking we could get volunteers from the neighborhood, but . . . more is better. Whataya think, Joe?"

"I don't know. I don't want people to think I'm some kind of charity case."

"It wouldn't be like that," Carl said. "These kids need more opportunities for community service, and you'd still have to pay this contractor. He's not gonna work for free. Why don't you let me and Adam talk to him and see if we can work something out?"

Uhh . . . wait a minute. When did we become a team?

"Well, I guess it wouldn't hurt. I've gotta figure out some way to paint this place before the weasel comes after me again."

"The weasel woman?" Carl remembered her. "Is she making trouble for you, too?"

Joe nodded. "She's a piece of work. Carl, come inside for a minute. You've gotta see the flyer Adam made about her. It's hilarious."

"I didn't make that flyer!" They both went into the house, and I turned my attention back to the crew. They were moving the shed across the yard and towards their truck. A short while later they had it loaded and secured, ready to be transported. Carl volunteered to stay around for a while to deal with any traffic issues that might come up while the truck traveled the few blocks to my house.

Joe decided to stay at his house and rest before his daughter came home. "Thanks again, Joe. Sam will come over one of these days to break up that foundation and haul it away for you. I'll see ya, and we'll talk more about getting your house painted."

Carl walked with me to the street. "How is Sam gonna break up that foundation? He'll need a jackhammer, won't he?"

"He has the right equipment." I was purposely vague.

"How are things going between the two of you?"

"Great! Better than ever."

"Oh, good," he said, unenthusiastically, and the conversation ended rather abruptly.

Later, when we were standing in my garden watching the crew move the shed onto the new slab that had been poured, Carl commented, "Those two guys are kind of hot, aren't they?"

"I don't know. I hadn't noticed."

He cocked an eyebrow. "I suppose you only have eyes for Sam."

"Well . . . it's not that I don't notice other good looking men . . ."

"You just didn't notice those two?"

"I . . . okay, I was watching them at Joe's house."

"Then why did you say you didn't notice them?"

I shrugged. "Habit, I guess. I'm not used to being open about these things."

"Oh, crap!" he said. "Is that Sam?" A truck pulled up the driveway. It was one of Dave's.

"Yeah, that's him, but don't worry about it. I told you, he's a big pussycat." Sam got out of the truck.

"Holy cow! He looks bigger every time I see him."

"Really? He looks the same to me," I lied. "Hi, Sam! Are you on your lunch break?" I sounded a little too carefree.

His expression was hard to read. "I was doing a delivery and I thought I would swing by to see how things are going." He nodded at Carl and said, "Carl."

Carl nodded. "Sam."

Sam draped his arm across my shoulders and leaned in to give me a long kiss that was rather intimate considering the number of witnesses. I nearly choked on his tongue. When he was finished he made a point of looking at Carl. "Did someone commit a crime or something?"

"No." I wiped my mouth with the back of my hand. "Carl just stopped to help with traffic while the shed was being moved."

"Traffic? On this street?"

Carl cleared his throat. "I'd better get going, Adam."

Before I could respond, Sam said, "Okay. Bye." His tone was unpleasant, to say the least.

"Sam, don't be like that. Carl was just being helpful."

"Uh huh. But now I'm here and he can go help someone else."

"Y'know," Carl said, "it would be nice if we could be friends." He extended his hand, but I grabbed it before Sam could get his grip on it.

"Thanks, Carl. We'll have to work on that." I stepped in front of Sam to prevent them from shaking hands.

Carl started walking towards the squad car where his young partner was patiently waiting, fiddling with his smartphone. He turned and pointed at me, "Let me know if you talk to that painter, okay?"

"I will. See ya."

"What painter? What did he mean?"

"Sam, you were rude to him!"

"How was I rude? I said hello and goodbye."

"What was that kiss about?"

"I greeted you! What's wrong with that?"

I felt my anger rising. "Don't play dumb! You were being an asshole, and you know it! I won't have you mistreating guests at my house!"

His face turned red. "That's right! It's your house and I'm the hired help. I'm sorry, boss! Please don't fire me!"

The workers were looking at us, so I stepped closer to him, lowered my voice and stabbed my finger into his chest. "That's not what I meant at all! You treat me like I'm your property, and you have the nerve to get angry when I call you on your shit? Go back to work! Maybe Dave can talk some sense into you."

"Fine! I'm sure Carl will come back as soon as I pull out of the driveway."

"Oh, fuck you!"

"Not tonight, you won't!"

When he turned to leave, we were both startled by Agnes, who was standing behind him on the driveway, as stone-faced and motionless as a wax figure. We froze in our tracks, like children who had been caught misbehaving. "Mr. Adam. Mr. Sam."

"Agnes! I didn't see you there."

"Aye. I gathered as much."

Sam was embarrassed. "I . . . I'm . . ." He looked down at the ground.

"Are you finished bickering?" Her expression remained flat.

"Did you come to see my new shed? Isn't it great?"

"Aye. It's a fine, fancy shed. Worthy of a queen."

I'm sure she wasn't referring to me. Was she?

"Mrs. O'Neill sent me to invite you both to lunch next Wednesday. She'd like to celebrate Mr. Sam's birthday, if you'll allow it."

Sam brightened up. "Really? How did she know my birthday was coming up?"

"We have our sources."

"I mentioned it to them," I said quietly. "Hope you don't mind."

"No, it's fine. I'd like that. Is it okay with you, Adam?"

"Sure. That sounds great."

"Mrs. O'Neill also wanted me to ask if Mr. Sam had any favorite dishes I could prepare. I'm not sure why she can't trust me to come up with a menu, but I said I would ask." There was a trace of irritation in her voice.

I smiled a little, and Sam knew how to reply. "I like everything, especially anything you make, Agnes. I'd rather be surprised."

"Excellent choice, Mr. Sam. You won't be disappointed."

"I do have a request, though. Do you think, on that day, you could just call me Sam? Like a friend?"

Something shone in her eyes, and she paused before answering. "I'll have to ask Mrs. O'Neill."

"I understand. I'll be looking forward to Wednesday, but I need to get back to work now. Dave is probably wondering where I am."

"Aye, but not before you patch things up with Mr. Adam. I'll leave you to it." Agnes had a gift for combining deference with quiet authority. She turned to go.

"Thank you, Agnes." I waited for her to get halfway down the driveway before turning to Sam.

He leaned against his truck and folded his arms over his chest. It took him a minute to look up at me. "I'm sorry. Again. I don't know what's wrong with me."

"Apology accepted. I'm sorry I swore at you, but Carl has been nothing but a gentleman. He doesn't deserve to be treated like an enemy."

"I know. I'll apologize to him if I ever see him again."

"Uh . . . you will see him again, but I'll tell you more about that when you get home from work. It's nothing you need to worry about."

"Okay." He sounded skeptical. "I'd better get going." He opened the door and climbed into the truck. I felt like we should have hugged or something, but the workmen had already seen enough. I smiled and waved as he backed down the driveway.

The shed was securely installed with only minor damage from the move. I paid the crew and spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning up the yard and deadheading the perennials that were blooming like crazy in the hot August sun. It was nice to have the garden to myself for a few hours, just me and my flowers and my many thoughts. This didn't happen as often as it did before Sam arrived.

Every now and then I would look up from my work, thinking that I would see Sam puttering with one of his own projects. He had become so much a part of my life that it was hard to believe we met only eight months ago, started eating together only four months ago, and first kissed each other only ten weeks ago. I counted the weeks in my head and started wondering about other milestones. Was our first argument the day before our first kiss? How many arguments have we had now? Is that a bad sign? How much longer can this last? Of course, I always came back to that question eventually. I wondered if I would ever stop thinking that way.

At dinner that night, I told Sam about Carl's friendship with Joe and Susan, his volunteer work, and the ideas we had about getting Joe's house painted. He showed great restraint, didn't ask too many questions, and assured me, once again, that he trusted me. "But you're still gonna include me in this project, aren't you?"

"Of course. That's why it would be nice if you could be friendlier with Carl. I don't want all this tension between the two of you. He's a good guy."

"I know. Remember, I knew him before you did. I wouldn't have had sex with him if I thought he was a jerk. Although I made that mistake with a couple of jerks."

"Yeah? How many guys have you had sex with?"

"I don't know. I'm really looking forward to that lunch next Wednesday. It was nice of Flora to think about my birthday."

"That reminds me . . . I was wondering what kind of present I should get for you. Do you have any ideas?"

"You don't need to get me anything, Adam. You do too much for me as it is."

"Yes, I'm gonna get you something. C'mon! It's your twenty-first birthday. Do you want a case of liquor?"

"Phfft! Yeah, right! You'd regret that."

"You don't have a computer. Do you want a laptop or something like that?"

"No! That's too expensive! Jeez!"

"Well, you'd better give me some ideas or I'll get you something really extravagant."

"Alright." He thought about it while he chewed. "I could use some clothes. I keep busting out of my shirts."

"I love it when you do that, but that's a good idea. How about some underwear?"

He smiled. "That's what my Mom would buy me."

"I wouldn't buy the same kind she would."

His eyebrows rose. "Nothing weird, I hope."

"Weird? Why would I buy something weird?" I grinned. "Do you like leather?"

"Now you're scaring me. Are we gonna have our own celebration for my birthday, just the two of us?"

"Sure. Whataya wanna do?"

"I dunno. Eat. Have sex."

"We do that almost every night."

"Okay. How about, eat more? Have more sex?" He smirked.

"How much more do you think you could eat?"

"I'm not sure. I'd kind of like to find out." He glanced up to see my reaction.

"You mean like the day the neighbors brought over all that food and I didn't get any of the apple pie?"

"I could have eaten more that day. And when are you gonna let go of that apple pie? I said I was sorry."

"I know. You were really charged up after all that food. It took me a couple of days to recover from the sex."

"Was it that bad?"

"No, it was that good! My body just wasn't used to being bent into all those positions."

"I was pretty creative, wasn't I? It feels fantastic when I eat that much, but it does leave me with a lot of energy to burn off. Maybe it's too risky to eat any more than that. I don't wanna hurt you."

"I'm not worried. What if we went somewhere for the weekend, like a cabin on a lake? Would you like that?"

"Wow, that would be awesome! But too expensive."

"Why are you worrying about money? I can afford it after the big raise I got. Do you know how long it's been since I went anywhere? I haven't been out of town since . . . God, I think I was seventeen when I went with my parents to the Grand Canyon. That's just sad."

"Well . . . if that's what you wanna do, I won't object."

"Lemme look into it and see if I can find a place. Do you think Dave will give you that Saturday off?"

"I schedule the staff now, so I can give myself the day off. Dave won't mind if it's for my birthday."

"Great! Sounds like a plan. And I need to go to the kinky underwear store." I was teasing. "Oops! I shouldn't have said that out loud."

He pointed his fork at me. "Remember, your birthday is next month, so it'll be payback time."

"That should be interesting." He continued eating while I watched him.

"Can we make a promise to each other, Sam?"

"What kind of promise?"

"That whenever we have an argument like we did today, that we'll work it out? I don't want us to waste time being angry at each other."

"I know what you mean. I'm glad Agnes told me to apologize before I left or I would've been angry for the rest of the day. So, sure . . . I promise to work things out with you as soon as possible after an argument."

"Okay. I promise not to hang onto my anger, or hold grudges, or give you the silent treatment. Even when I know I'm right." I smiled.

"Did you hafta add that last part?" His eyes twinkled. "You wanna have an argument right now? Cuz I'll give you one if that's what you're looking for." He reached over and curled his hand around mine, and we sat in silence for a while.

�Do you wanna watch a movie tonight?�

�Sure. Whataya have in mind?�

�I dunno. There's a documentary I've been wanting to see about dolphins being slaughtered in Japan. What's it called . . .'The Bay?' No . . . 'The Cove.' That's it. It's supposed to be disturbing.�

�Do we have ice cream?�

�I just bought some.�

He was still holding my hand while he finished his dinner. �Okay. Sounds good.�

Now, seriously . . . how many guys would have watched that movie with me? Curled up together on the couch, sharing a carton of Haagen-Dazs, we watched, we cringed, and we talked about what we saw. Later, as I fell asleep listening to his funny little snoring sounds, I wondered if I really deserved him. Perhaps I didn't. Perhaps no one did. But he was with me for the moment, and that was all that mattered.

*****

To be continued in: Part 25

Postscript: Your comments and 'Thanks' provide motivation for me to continue writing. I hope I'm keeping you engaged.
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Old April 13th, 2014, 04:58 AM
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Another awesome part, excellently written
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Old April 13th, 2014, 10:05 AM
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Interesting that people think it was Adam who made that flyer. Not necessarily a good thing but interesting.
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Old April 13th, 2014, 12:29 PM
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"I wondered if I really deserved him. Perhaps I didn't. Perhaps no one did. But he was with me for the moment, and that was all that mattered."

To me, this is the sort of phrase that you sometimes hear when things are about to take a turn for the worse (foreshadowing 101), especially when coupled with Adam's choice of movies (the dolphins movie that's supposed to be disturbing). Hummm. We'll just have to wait for the next chapter(s) to find out.
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Old April 13th, 2014, 01:05 PM
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I keep thinking that a football coach could spot Sam and ask him if he wanted to become quickly a celebrity, a millionaire, etc.
Sam would then face difficult choices: embracing a career where he would definitly make a splah, leave the city, make a ton of money... but would Adam follow him? The guy could be the best, most unstoppable player in history, of course!
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Old April 13th, 2014, 04:15 PM
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I really love this storie!!!!!!!
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Old April 14th, 2014, 01:00 AM
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Oh, Reeza, do you EVER write a dull story? You, sir, are a master! I check every day to see if you've written something. Thanks!
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Old April 14th, 2014, 06:19 AM
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Awesome chapter!!!! It is getting hard to wait the two weeks for the next chapter! But I understand why. Thank you!!!
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Old April 14th, 2014, 10:53 AM
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Me love Agnes!
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Old Yesterday, 06:35 PM
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I finally got the time to devote to reading another incredible chapter. In response to your hope, of course you keep us engaged. I think if you wrote the chapter about painting Joe's house and we had to read about the paint drying, we'd be engaged.

I do have a question in light of the new developments. If things continue their course, where will we read chapter 25 and the rest? Also, will these past chapters be made available again?

Thank you, Reeza!
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Old Yesterday, 07:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nvb2 View Post
I do have a question in light of the new developments. If things continue their course, where will we read chapter 25 and the rest? Also, will these past chapters be made available again?

Thank you, Reeza!
First of all, I am stunned by the announcement that this forum will be shut down. I was planning to come home from work and write a little more of The Gardener, but . . .

I want to finish this story and share it with the people on this forum who have been giving me such wonderful feedback. I've put far too much time and effort into this to give up on it now, but I doubt that I can finish it without the support of my readers.

If a suitable alternative site is created, I will repost the entire story and then continue to post until it is finished.

Just in case that doesn't happen:

Please send me a private message with an e-mail address where I can contact you.

If there is no replacement website, I will send out copies of the existing story, and will continue sending chapters as I write them. I would be happy to finish the story for a handful of appreciative readers, even if it is never posted or published anywhere else.

Let me assure you that I will keep your e-mail addresses private, using them only to distribute the story. You'll just have to trust me on that. I am a very private person.

I will provide updates here for as long as this forum exists.

Last edited by Reeza; Yesterday at 08:25 PM.
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Unread Yesterday, 11:56 PM
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I'm feeling very hopeful about cmiller's efforts to create a new site for this community. If he succeeds, I will post this story there.

Nevertheless, I just spent a LOT of time copying and saving all of the comments readers made on all 24 parts of The Gardener. I knew I would have a copy of the story, but I was not willing to risk losing your comments.

I am also very angry right now at selfish people who ruin things for others because they think they have a right to complain about the rules set by flexodus, who has been providing this forum to us for free for so many years. Why can't people just fucking leave if they don't like the rules! Grrrrrr!!!

Now I'm going to tap into a box of cheap, sweet wine, and stew in my misanthropic juices. Just like Adam. (Not that we're anything alike. Noooo! Not at all.)
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