“I wanted to get out here early, Thomas,” Gage said, pronouncing his name correctly. “Jase and Hunter are coming home from Alaska later this afternoon and I wanted to be here before they arrived.”
Thomas leaned back and said, “I’m glad you mentioned this. I’ll use my ear plugs when I take my afternoon nap.”
This statement went right over Gage’s head. But he smiled anyway.
Before Thomas turned to go back to his little house on the side of the road, he gestured toward a gravel road beside his house and said, “They just spread the new gravel on the easement road all the way back to the main house. It looks very good. And they even did my little driveway, too. I can’t thank you and Jase enough. I tell everyone I have the best landlords in the world.”
So Thomas was their tenant and they owned the little house. “You’re welcome, Thomas,” Gage said. “I’ll see you later.”
He pulled away from the side of the road slowly, as the old Reverend remained at the mailbox, waving goodbye. Gage turned right into the easement road that had just received new gravel, and continued straight at a very slow pace. The sides of the gravel road were lined with tall trees still in the process of turning vivid shades of red, yellow, and orange. The little dog sat up in the back seat and started sniffing the air and wagging his tail.
When Gage reached what looked like a clearing, the gravel road widened and he saw a small dark green sign with flashy gilded letters that read, “Cider Mill Farm.” He stopped for a moment and gazed at the surroundings. Not far from there, he saw a stately old home that seemed to ramble in different directions. The exterior was white stucco and there were sections, mostly at the corners of the building, where fieldstone was showing through. It sparkled with simplicity, and once again Gage gazed forward with his lips parted and his palm pressed to his throat. He’d imagined something grander for the Virgin Billionaire and his spoiled twin brother, with statues and columns and ornate lamp posts. But this house, though large enough to be considered a small mansion, was as simple as the clothes in Luis’s closet. Even the exterior had a minimalist look: vast green lawns and nothing but perfectly trimmed round boxwoods.
To the right of the main house, down a slight incline, was a huge red barn with a thick cobblestone foundation that looked as old as the house. There were more round boxwoods down there, and beyond that nothing but wide green meadows stippled with fall-colored trees and the occasional tall thin shrub Gage had seen in photos of Italy. His chest caved in when he realized the magnitude of what he was doing. This was their home he was invading, not to mention their lives. And it was far from the vulgar, suburban atrocity he’d thought it would be.
But it was too late to turn back now. He’d already been spotted. The guy he’d met in New York in Luis’s New York house the afternoon he’d gone home with Luis after the reception at the new building for the Angel Association was walking toward a Jeep Wrangler in the driveway. The Jeep was parked beside one of those massive, four-door pickup trucks Gage remembered were so popular back in Tennessee with wealthy farmers. He assumed the truck belonged to the Virgin Billionaire, because he truly couldn’t picture his prissy twin brother driving a truck that big.
The handyman waved and Gage honked the horn. Then Gage continued forward and parked the Cadillac beside the large black truck. Before he got out of the car, he thought for a moment, trying to remember the handyman’s name. He knew it began with a C or a K, but couldn’t remember exactly.
But the handyman made it easy for Gage. When he opened the back door to let Camp out of the back seat, he bent down and said, “Hey, Camp. Did you miss me this week? Cory’s got a big bag of treats for you in the house.” He smiled and gazed into the car at Gage with big brown eyes. “I went to the Feed and Grain this week and picked up a twenty-pound bag of dog treats for him. Hope that’s okay. They told me it was all natural and organic.”
Gage shrugged. He’d been feeding the little runt sugar cookies all day; he couldn’t have cared less what the ingredients in the dog treats were. Though he looked like a hairless rat, Camp was a helpless creature and he didn’t get many pleasures in life. Why make the poor thing suffer through organic dog treats? Wasn’t it bad enough he was bald as a monkey’s ass? If they were lucky, he’d live ten, fifteen years. At least let the poor little bastard eat food that tasted good. But that was Luis for you, always organic and trendy, always following the crowd toward the next ridiculous trend. If the first lady in Washington D. C. said we should all be eating buttered grass, Luis would be the first one to make a buttered grass sandwich on whole wheat toast.
Gage climbed out of the car and walked to the other side where Cory was kneeling and petting Camp. “Thanks, Cory,” he said. “That was a nice thing to do.” He noticed Cory was wearing baggy short pants and a flimsy white T-shirt on this cool, brisk day. He also noticed Cory had hairy, muscular legs and large tan work boots with chunky heels like construction workers wear. His hands were wide, with a few calluses, and looked competent and strong.
Cory stood up and smoothed out the baggy short pants. When he did this, his dick moved to the right and Gage knew he wasn’t wearing underwear. Gage could actually see the outline of the head of Cory’s dick showing through the cotton fabric. He wondered whether or not his twin brother had ever gotten into Cory’s pants. Oh, Luis said he was monogamous, but Gage wasn’t so sure. It would be awfully hard to ignore a handyman like Cory, with his thick black hair, dark almond-shaped eyes, and neatly trimmed beard. Gage could almost smell the masculinity coming from his wiry body.
Cory shoved his hands into his pockets and said, “I had plenty of time this week. I’m still on a break with my boyfriend. We didn’t break up for good, just took a break. I know he was there for me when I was run over by Darius last summer. But I’m just not sure I’m ready for a permanent relationship yet. I have to be honest with him. There are things in the relationship I’m missing.”
Gage smiled, trying not to gape between Cory’s legs. “Well, you have to do what you think is right,” Gage said. “And if you don’t think you’re ready for a relationship, then you probably aren’t.” What else could he say? He’d never been ready for a relationship himself, especially not with Donny Vitelli, his kinky closeted lover who liked to see jewelry wrapped around Gage’s naked ankle. But he had to be careful now, because he wasn’t Gage Weston anymore. He was Gage Weston pretending to be Luis Fortune, who did, in fact, have a permanent, monogamous relationship with Jase.