Mark Matheson is a rather timid and somewhat introverted college graduate who’s in need of a place to live. He’s just landed his first post-collegiate job and can no longer stay in the dorms.
Coincidentally, real estate agent Aaron Culver is looking for a tenant to rent an apartment in the building that he owns and happens to live in himself.
The price is right, well within Mark’s budget. The location is perfect. The apartment is suitable to accommodate Mark’s needs. The only problem though, is that Mark happens to have a serious crush on his would-be landlord.
Is there any way he can overcome or even conceal his secret fantasies about the successful, confident and very attractive man-of his dreams? Does he even really want to conceal them, and what would Aaron do if he were to discover Mark’s secret? When the two do in fact actually become landlord and tenant, they quickly discover there is more than one way to collect the rent.
He looked down at me, being only inches away and then simply dropped the broom without concern. It bounced off the wall and fell to the floor, making a loud clanging noise behind us, but neither of us really paid attention. We were staring at each other. I felt his hands on my shoulders as he inched his way closer to me, still saying nothing. He slid his fingertips up my neck, eventually cupping the back of my head as he leaned into me. Then oh-so-gently, he brought his face closer to my own, pressing his lips carefully against mine. It was such a tender kiss, so very sweet, and as he pulled away from me I stared up into his eyes, noticing for the first time how penetratingly blue they were.
“God you’re cute!” he said.
He pulled me into himself again, this time not kissing me, but instead embracing me, sliding his hands down my back, pressing his body against my own. I could smell him again, that purely clean, intoxicatingly masculine scent. I slid my hands around his back then, grabbing a hold of him and feeling the hardness of his body against my own. This wasn’t actually happening, was it? Surely, it was a dream, I thought. He pulled away from me, not attempting to kiss me again, but instead leading me over to the couch.
“Sit down,” he said, “You want something to drink?”
I shook my head as I looked up at him. “No thanks,” I finally said. He sat down on the sofa beside me, and we shifted our positions so that we were facing one another, me tucking my knees under myself and he resting his arm against the back of the couch.
“Mark,” he said seriously, “I gotta talk to you about yesterday. I was so worried.”
“You were?” I asked, surprised by his compassionate tone. “Why?”
“You left so soon, I thought you were really freakin. I didn’t know why, that’s all.”
“Oh…um,” I looked down into my lap as I tried to formulate an appropriate response. “It’s just—well—um, I never did anything like that before. I’m sorry. Guess I did freak a little.”
He reached over, placing his hand on my shoulder. “Do you wish you hadn’t done it? Are you sorry—”
Immediately I shook my head. “No! No, it was awesome. It was what I wanted, honest.”
“It was hot!” he said, smiling. “You were hot.”
I laughed, giggling a little to myself, as I felt my face getting warm. “But—” I looked up at him seriously.
“But? But what?”
“But I don’t want an arrangement…like you said. I don’t want it to be that way.”
“It was a stupid thing for me to say,” he admitted immediately. “I’m sorry. I…um…I didn’t mean to make you feel bad. I didn’t mean to cheapen it.”
“Okay,” I said, smiling again.
“You know, we don’t know that much about each other really. Tell me about yourself. Tell me everything. Have you ever done anything like this before? I mean I know you just said you hadn’t, but have you known about your feelings? Have you known you are—ya know—into guys?”
“Yeah, whatever you wanna label it.”
“I knew I was into you. I knew it right away, ya know. I just had no idea cuz I thought you had a girlfriend.”
“I do! I do have a girlfriend, but it’s just weird.”
“What do ya mean?”
“Well Robin, she’s been my girlfriend for so long…since high school. I really care about her, a lot. People think we eventually will get married, ya know. I think that maybe even she expects that, but it’s not really, what I want. I can’t see it.”
“Maybe you should tell her the truth,” I suggested.
“But I’m not sure what the truth is. I’ve done things with other guys, well with Joey mainly. I just thought it was experimenting though. I just thought maybe it was a phase, or that I was bi or something. You’re the first person, though, who’s ever made me feel like this.” He squeezed my shoulder gently.
“Like what?” I asked. “What do you mean?”
He sighed as he looked into my eyes. “You’re just so cute!” He told me that the day before, and now twice today. “I can’t get over the way you look at me, the way you seem to be almost…I don’t know...worshipping me or something. It just makes me—how can I say this—it makes me like totally rock hard!”
“Really? Does Robin make you rock hard?”
He shook his head. “No, not really. Sometimes, I guess, but it’s different. I like her. Maybe I love her, I don’t know, but it’s just different. All I could think about today was you. All I could think about was your smile, your laugh, the way you look at me. I wasn’t gonna call you tonight. I thought I should wait, let you call me if you wanted to, but I was down here by myself just thinking and thinking about you. I couldn’t help it. That’s why I started beating on the ceiling with that stupid broom.”
I laughed right out loud. “I couldn’t figure out what you were doing. It sorta scared me!”
“It scared you? Ya think it was an earthquake or somethin?” he said, laughing.
“I didn’t know what to think. It was funny though. Now you at least know how to get my attention. I want to tell you something though.” I shifted slightly in my seat, feeling really nervous and awkward, but also willing myself to be brave and to say what I needed to say.
“I think about you, too, all the time. It’s true what you said. I do sorta…um…worship you.”
“Why do you say that?” he asked, leaning into me. “What is it about me that there is to worship?”
“Everything!” I answered, a little too quickly. “You’re just so confident, so good looking. You are successful, smart and a good dresser. You seem to always know what to say. You’re funny. I first started thinking about you all the time that day I met you, when I first cleaned your apartment. It made me so excited to clean for you.”
“Wow, it made you excited to clean for me?” He laughed hard at this statement. “Why would that excite you?”
“I don’t know,” I said, now a little embarrassed. “I guess it sorta made you seem superior or something that I would be below you, having to clean up after you.”
“But you didn’t have to clean up after me. You were getting paid for it, ya know. I don’t think it makes you below me to be hired to perform a service.”
I shrugged my shoulders. “I pretended what it would be like to not get paid for it, to do it just cuz you are superior.”
“Do you want a guy who is superior to you?” he asked, sounding rather intrigued by the mere suggestion.
“I don’t know,” I said again. “I’ve never had a guy of any kind. All I know is you...um...really turn me on.”
“So if I boss you around, you think that would turn you on?” he asked, smiling slyly at me as he said it.
I looked at him wide-eyed and simply nodded.
“Get over here, now!” he ordered.
Immediately I slid closer to him. He once more grabbed my shoulders and pushed me backward. My legs slid out from underneath me as he leaned on top of me, pressing my back against the seat of the sofa. He was on top of me now and pressing his body hard against my own. I felt the weight of him as I sunk down into the cushions. His lips connected with mine again, this time with far more fervency. Our mouths parted and he slid his tongue into my mouth, kissing me with genuine passion. I responded, reaching my arms around him, trying to press my body as closely to him as possible, even though we were already practically conjoined. His kiss was long and passionate, unlike anything I had ever experienced. When he pulled away from me slightly I gasped for breath and moaned.