“I’m so glad that you’re on board with this, dude…” grinned Leroy, as he met Brad outside the offices of the Big Brother Little Brother charity.
“I think I’ve convinced myself that this is a good idea…” shrugged Brad.
“What about Blake, is he okay with having a lodger come and stay?” asked Leroy.
“Yeah, totally…” nodded Brad. “We talked it over, and we know it’s going to require some adjustments for us both, but if it’s going to help us pay the bills then it’s a bit of a no-brainer really…”
“Awesome…” grinned Leroy. “Well, how about you wait here and I’ll go and get the kid that the charity has matched you with. His name’s Zach — you might remember him, he was a student at our school for a couple of years.”
While Leroy headed into the offices of the charity to collect the lodger that had been allocated to them, Brad waited outside in the sun, racking his brains to try and remember any of his past students called Zach.
“Hey, Brad…” said Leroy, emerging back outside. “This is Zach…”
“Good to meet you, Zach…” greeted Brad, shaking the kid’s outstretched hand. “Actually, now that I’ve got you standing in front of me I think I do remember seeing you around school a while back. I don’t think that you were ever in my class, though. Is that right?”
“Good to meet you, sir…” replied Zach, politely. “No, I don’t think you ever taught me at all.”
“Please, call me Brad…” insisted Brad. “It makes me feel way too old when guys your age call me Sir.”
“So, how about you two guys go and grab a coffee or something?” suggested Leroy. “I’ve got some paperwork to catch-up on here. If you get along okay, then we could get everything finalised and Zach could move in today?”
“Sure!” nodded Brad. “Is that okay with you, Zach?”
“Yes, Sir… I mean, Brad…” stumbled Zach. “Coffee sounds good.”
Zach followed Brad to the car, and they drove a short distance to a nearby donut and coffee place.
“So, tell me a bit about yourself…” suggested Brad, as they found a table in one of the quieter corners of the restaurant. “What led you to getting involved in the Big Brother Little Brother scheme?”
“It was a combination of factors, I guess…” shrugged Zach. “Things were a bit messed up at home, and my grades were suffering at school. Mr Johnson suggested that the people at Big Brother Little Brother might be able to help me out…”
“Always sounds weird when people refer to Leroy as Mr Johnson…” smiled Brad. “Was it a good move for you? Have they been able to help you get things back on track?”
“Yeah, absolutely…” nodded Zach. “But once you get to my age, and you’re finished with school and stuff, it’s time to start thinking about getting a job and being a bit more independent… I really appreciate that you’re making your spare room available to me.”
“Well, it’s a good deal for us as well…” explained Brad. “It’s not like we’re doing you any huge favours — the charity is picking up the tab for renting the room, and that helps us pay the bills. Don’t feel that you owe us anything, or that you’re obligated to us in any way. Have you started looking for work at all? Any idea of the type of job that might suit you?”
“I’m not sure, to be honest…” shrugged Zach. “I was thinking maybe a bar job or something could be fun. I’ve always been a pretty good dancer, so I was thinking of maybe giving that a try.”
“You mean, like, dancing in a bar?” asked Brad.
“Yeah…” shrugged Zach. “Do you think that’s a good idea?”
“Um, well — you’ve certainly got the right look for it…” replied Brad. “But you’d have a lot of guys wanting to… push the boundaries with you…”
“I think I’d be okay with that…” winked Zach. “I don’t mind a bit of… having my boundaries pushed…”
“So, you’re into guys then?” asked Brad.
“Yeah… I’m into guys…” confirmed Zach.
“Cool, I just didn’t want to assume anything…” smiled Brad.
“I guess that’s why they’ve placed me with you and your husband?” suggested Zach. “So you can give me a bit of… guidance?”
“Oh, Blake and I aren’t married…” corrected Brad. “Although, we’ve been together so long that sometimes it feels like we are. Plus, I don’t think that we’re in any way qualified to be giving you guidance about anything. Maybe you can learn from some of the mistakes that we’ve made along the way, but we’re definitely not experts on anything.”
“Does that mean that you’re happy to rent the room to me?” asked Zach.
“Yeah, totally…” nodded Brad. “Look, you seem like a good kid. If we can help you out by giving you a place to stay while you find a job and get yourself sorted, then that’s the least we can do.”
“Awesome!” grinned Zach. “It will be like having two Dads, or something…”
“That’s too weird!” laughed Brad. “We’re not old enough to be father figures! Maybe you can think of us as uncles or something, that’s only slightly less weird.”
“Do you want me to call you Uncle Brad?” suggested Zach.
“No!” laughed Brad. “I definitely do not want you to call me Uncle Brad! Just plain old Brad is going to be perfectly fine. Come on, finish your coffee. We’d better get back and tell Leroy that we’re good to go.”
Can I call you Uncle?
We’re currently serialising the story. This is the fourth instalment — read earlier episodes here.
We want to hear your opinion
“Why are you limping?” asked Hamish, as he met Charlie for drink after work. They met in Howl At The Moon – it was busy with the after-work crowd.
“It’s a bit embarrassing…” mumbled Charlie, taking the pint of Guinness that Hamish had bought for him.
“A fisting accident?” asked Hamish.
“Nothing like that…” dismissed Charlie. “I’ve got a new job.”
“That’s great news!” said Hamish. “Why is that embarrassing? How is this related to you limping?”
“Um… well, I’ve taken a job with Sweatbox…” explained Charlie.
“Sweatbox?” repeated Hamish. “Sweatbox in Soho? Sweatbox the sauna?”
“Yes, exactly…” nodded Charlie. “They’re renovating at the moment. They called me in for what I thought was some training before they re-opened, but it turned out that the place is still a total building site so I spent the day lugging heavy boxes up and down stairs. Obviously, I’m not really used to manual labour, so now everything hurts. Everything.”
“Back it up…” said Hamish. “What do you mean you’ve taken a job with Sweatbox? What sort of job?”
“Um, just a general kind of team-member job…” shrugged Charlie.
“What the fuck?” laughed Hamish. “Why would you take a job like that? Are you that desperate for money?”
“Pretty much…” nodded Charlie, taking a long drink from his pint of Guinness. “It’s not just that – I thought it would be good for my writing and stuff, but mostly it’s for the money.”
“You are full of surprises…” grinned Hamish. “Wait, isn’t that going to be kind of awkward if I go to Sweatbox and I see you working there?”
“Why would that be awkward?” asked Charlie.
“Because I’m going to be in a towel, about to get my rocks off, and you’re going to be swishing around with a mop and bucket!” exclaimed Hamish. “It’s going to kind of kill the vibe a bit if I know that it’s you who’s going to have to wipe up my cum.”
“When you put it like that, it is a bit awkward…” agreed Charlie. “How often do you go to Sweatbox?”
“Not that often…” shrugged Hamish. “But probably more than you might expect. When do you start?”
“Not sure, to be honest…” replied Charlie. “I think they’re hoping to have it all open by the start of February. Anyway, how was your day?”
“Not bad…” said Hamish. “I spent most of my time working on Brexit-related stuff. Then, this afternoon, I had a meeting – I guess he’s technically my client, but he feels more like my boss. Without the money I get from him, I wouldn’t be able to pay my bills.”
“He’s definitely your boss…” decided Charlie. “How did the meeting go?”
“I don’t know, it was weird…” shrugged Hamish. “He just kept saying how tired he was. How stressed he was. I’d gone in there thinking that I was pitching for more work and more money, but he just spent 30 minutes talking at me, telling me things that I already knew. After 30 minutes, he stopped, like he’d run out of things to say. So I said, is there anything else that you need from me today? And he said no. Total waste of time.”
“That’s probably how Theresa May feels…” said Charlie.
“Do not compare me to Theresa May!” declared Hamish, slapping the palm of his hand down onto the bar to emphasise the point. “Are you going to be able to get me a friends and family discount at Sweatbox?”
“I don’t know, to be honest…” shrugged Charlie. “I guess so. They give free entry if you’re under 25.”
“Are you suggesting that I could possibly pass for being younger than 25?” laughed Hamish. “You’re as delusional as Theresa May!”
This is the latest episode of the serial, Hoxton Street.
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