by Nathan Grant

Book Cover: The Architect's Son
Editions:Kindle: $ 2.99
Pages: 391

Brett is selling an exclusive property in his private community near Palm Springs and has asked his pal Lila to represent the sale. A while back while looking at Lila’s wedding album, a man’s photograph caught his eye; she told him his name is Jimmy.

She was quick to remind him with a grin that he was the same guy who she had mentioned to him several times in the recent past. Since that auspicious moment, Brett cannot seem to get Jimmy out of his mind or understand the unreasonable attraction to a stranger.

With extreme urgency, Lila calls Jimmy, telling him to drop everything to view Brett’s amazing house. Later, during the impromptu showing, Lila confirms her personal insight that Jimmy is a perfect match but not only for the house. What Jimmy will soon discover is that the community is magical, and things are not always as they seem.

Excerpt:

Chapter 1 Jimmy

I have been working my damn fool head off, non-stop, for the last two days with no end in sight.  Well, that’s not true either.  The end now comes in seven days when my current house closes escrow and I’m out on my butt with a lawsuit if I don’t perform per contract.

I’ve been catching up with all the organizing I’ve been putting off for years and finally getting rid of all the stuff I’d collected but didn’t really care about since moving here almost two decades ago.

It seems now like the years have just flashed past and it was only yesterday that I moved here.

My career has always been demanding to say the least but always interesting in one way or another.  However, since I have spent most of my adult life alone and working for others, it is now time for me to follow my dreams.

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My best friend Lila has been after me for the last several years to make a life change and to end the constant stress, slow the hell down as she put it, and start to live my real life and for myself.

Since I graduated from college, I’ve worked in the Entertainment Industry as a screen writer and lucky to have worked non-stop for all those years.  While quite lucrative and along with good investments, I’ve never had much time to enjoy my accomplishments, and certainly not with anyone else other than my big mistake but more on that later.

Following a new department head taking over and as usual trying to make a name for herself, she promptly offended those that had been there the longest and who would have been most helpful to her.

Six months later she was out on her ass along with her inexperienced attitude, but I was tired of the political games.  So, it was then amid all the ‘I told you so’ reminders that Lila finally had convinced me that my long time dream of moving to the desert was passing me by and I decided to listen for a change and act.

In her usual caring and totally sarcastic way, she then made it crystal clear to me that I wasn’t getting any younger, pressing that point to the limit, without bothering to be one little bit delicate about it.

Being honest with myself here, I’ve known for ages that she is right about my encompassing and demanding life, but somewhat comfortable ruts are hard to pull yourself out of, especially when the rut is well-paid as I mentioned.

But I finally woke up and listened to her as I said, then decided to make the move and throw caution to the wind.  Considering her career, she can easily make things happen for me so at least that wasn’t a worry at this point.

So five days ago I listed my house in the Hollywood Hills, thinking I had inflated the price a bit over what my realtor, another pal of Lila’s, had originally suggested to buy me some time to get my act together.

Nope, wrong again.

An insane bidding war began with eleven offers the first day, all solid cash, and the race was on.  Lila, myself, and my realtor all were practically living on the conference phone as they gave me advice and tried to keep me from hyperventilating.

By the end of the first exhausting and emotionally draining day it was down to three offers, two restated their offers sweetening them while shocking me as the figures quickly rose beyond my belief.

By noon the second day, the third, quiet offer that had not changed since this outrageous experience began was suddenly improved beyond all reason, all cash with firm and unchanging demands.

Lila immediately set a stipulation for verification of their ability to perform their outrageous offer from their realtor, however, going along with their mind-blowing deal was the solid unswerving condition that I had to vacate the house in ten days and be out by five in the afternoon of the tenth day.

We were all stunned and even more so when they waved all inspections and accepted the ones I had performed before putting the house on the market.  I had agreed to a ten thousand dollar penalty if I failed to perform exactly as written.

Per day.

That wasn’t about to happen, hence my rush to get things ready to move, therefore me working until midnight before I fell into bed exhausted.  The new owners had no interest in my extensive plant collections in pots but had expressed an interest in any or all furnishings I might want to part with, so all my plants thanks to Lila were now on their way to the desert to be cared for by professionals until I was settled.

One thing out of the way.

Ever since I’d agreed to do this, Lila had mentioned several times that since I was now the owner of my time, it might be a good idea to have someone to spend that time with.  She kept harping on me that I’d been alone for far too long.  She also mentioned, as Annie covered her eyes, that I was always too cranky because I didn’t have any sex with anyone but myself, and certain parts of my much too private anatomy must be about ready to fall off due to disuse or disinterest.

I then reminded her, and firmly, that I was more than capable of dealing with my time as I had for most of my life.  I was also quick to remind her that as we both knew, I’d been down that route once before and neither the outcome nor the result was something I’d ever want to repeat.

I then made it clear that all my anatomy was well anchored and not about to fall off or otherwise leave my body.

I’d again reminded her once more and clearly that I had no interest in complicating my life when I was finally going to start living one on my own terms.  I have a lot of good friends and see no reason to involve someone else in my life that I would have to always consider before deciding in my life situation, so end of story.  She could knock off the matchmaking and get on with finding me a suitable home in the desert.

She just gave me her usual ‘we’ll see about that’ routine and dropped it, at least for the next twenty-four hours if I knew her.

I’d barely taken the time to brush my teeth and wash my face before I fell exhausted into my soft bed, but I was still somewhat worried I wouldn’t be able to get any sleep with all the many thoughts racing around in my head.

Once I did get started on the house, I was pleasantly surprised that the job wasn’t as daunting as I had suspected and my life long aversion to being a pack rat had paid off, and with dividends.

My biggest concern had been having to move my copious potted plants, and to keep them healthy during the transition.  I’d hired a company to do just that, suggested by Lila, and who would also inspect, certify and move the plants for any possible restrictions while relocating into another county.  My worry about them ended today when my plants were taken away until I had a suitable place to grow them.

Surprising myself considering my prediction, I truly believe I was sound asleep before my head ever hit the pillow.  I was so deeply asleep that it took me several seconds to realize what that sound was that forced me awake.

“Yes, it’s me, and yes, it’s early as I already know so wake up and deal Jimmy.  This is too good to wait on and quit talking so much so I can talk to you and let you know what is happening so you can thank me properly with a spectacular dinner.  Now I have some important news, actually quite a lot so just quit yawning, shut up, and listen to me for a change.  After we have finished our urgent conversation Jimmy, you will then hurry like a busy little bee.  At that point you will get your things together, shower so you will be nice to be around as you never know who you will be talking to, and then get your sexy rump here as soon as possible if not sooner.  You are staying at my place here to make things very easy for you like I always do for you.  After all this time, and yes again, many near misses along the way, I know I’ve found what you have been looking for.  I’m proud of myself for my determined efforts on your behalf, and so will you since this is a wonderful opportunity and so much more than you could have ever expected, trust me.  You need to get your hairy ass over here right away Jimmy, there is no wiggle room on timing for this is an opportunity that could very easily disappear in a flash almost like magic I might say, so you never know.  No more damn excuses accepted in the least; I’m not joking this time; this is the one for you including many unexpected benefits that you will just have to anticipate until you get here.  This is not a time for indecision, and you must react to this almost yesterday that just might be arranged if necessary, depending on who you might venture to ask.  You can forget about thinking that I will not keep nagging you if you stop moving forward even for moment as time is of the essence here, I promise you.  I will not let you down and nor will you.  If you have never trusted me before, now is the time I promise you again.  The only reason you have a shot at this amazing property with extraordinary aspects is because of a close friend of mine, the owner actually, who is also quite interested in meeting you property aside, so when can I expect you to be here so I can call him back?  This home is waiting for you and the vibes in there are only tuned for you,” Lila told me acting way out of character even for my overly dramatic best friend.

Oddly enough I hadn’t said more than a few words since I answered her call.  I was feeling dizzy.

I hadn’t even left my bed yet while afraid to move, and what the hell, a house with vibes tuned to me?  What the hell was that all about, sounding like an unusual way to talk about a property?

I could clearly hear her long perfectly manicured nails creating a regular and annoying, impatient staccato on the wood table in her home office, and to be honest I was pretty damn surprised by her being up so early so this place must be something extraordinary to make that happen.

Her unusual excitement and strange choice of words were coming in clear and determined through the strong cell connection, making me wonder just what this all urgent situation entailed.

“Look, just go slow for a minute here Lila, you woke me up from a nice dream and I haven’t had much sleep as you know, so you owe me for that one.  Now back up tell me what is so damn special about this new mystery property of your friend’s that it can’t wait for me to hear about it at five in the morning?  Why are you asking me to drop everything in the middle of my panic attack here?  I’ll get some coffee as you instructed being polite here and not saying demanded, while you talk not that I could ever stop you when you are on a mission.  So, keep convincing me, because right now I’m feeling exhausted, but your enthusiasm is starting to interest me.  I also want to hear about the not so subtle innuendos you are spreading around here about this place being so much more than you are presenting.  So far it sounds like a long traffic laden drive to me for an iffy proposition as you have been guilty of before.  I’m saying this by keeping in mind the several properties when you cried Wolf before, ones I’ve seen that were not even a close miss to be honest with you.  As you know all too well, my place just went into an extremely tight short escrow with penalties, and I don’t have a lot of free time to go on impromptu Palm Springs vacations.  The clock is steadily ticking until I have to be out of here sooner rather than later as I’ve made this perfectly clear to you along with my realtor over here,” I reminded her.

She sighed impatiently, with faster tapping nails probably because that last one hit home, but there it was and the truth.

“You are worrying about administrivia here Jimmy, and all the stuff can be resolved with a few phone calls.  I have told you this before.  I have several connections over there that can get it done in a day if it comes down to that, and from what you told me yesterday, the sticky part about your plants is now history.  But I warn you upfront and all kidding aside, from my professional perspective, it will probably come down to that I’m afraid so just breathe and be flexible; it will happen for you, on my honor.  My old pal you’ve heard so much about through the years, Brett Garrett, inherited a small community of ten houses built around the 1930ish timeframe for a likeminded group of people as is the case now.  His late Great-grandmother Ann Garrett owned the first one that was built there along with her husband, and lived there until she passed back in the early 1980s.  His dad, Richard Garrett, architect, inherited that house from her, and since most of the ten were original owners, some other family members too.  The rest it seems were close friends of Ann’s when they were built, so, as they died along the way to be blunt here being contemporaries of Ann’s, Richard snapped those tired old houses right up, but made sure he did it right to respect their inheriting families, all of whom had no interest in moving to the desert, making things easier for Richard.  He did have to pay a premium for the last two however, since the inheriting families were holding out to gouge him a bit, but that is in the past and they are now history and out of the picture.  All living there still stay in close touch from time to time, all being somewhat otherwise connected as I mentioned a moment ago.  It was about that time that his dad formalized the community since now he owned most of the other houses.  At that point he tied an age restriction of forty to the community, except for his son Brett at the time of course, to keep things nice and peaceful around there with strict property type rules to boot, and at the same time made it an adult community with liberal visitation rights of course.  He wasted no effort preserving the individual ambiance of each property and the acreage behind each home, dividing that land from the actual former homesite, for a buffer that was not built on.  As each home came into his possession, he modernized and, in some cases, expanded each house as they were quite tiny in some cases.  They are each unique in character as they were formerly small bungalows while now each is situated on a quarter of an acre, with the buffer land area mainly behind each property.  This kind of space gives each resident a lot of room to garden if they wish, but within reason and upon approval since all the other properties other than the one I will show you are leased.  They are located in a private, guard gated community, again keeping with the notion that the residents are of a like mind.  It is located close to Rancho Mirage, and each parcel has a very unique feel by their similar designs, while being mainly Spanish and Southwestern in the various themes.  All the homes were then, after the extensive renovation, leased out on long term contracts, creating a very nice income for his father, and now for Brett with everyone living there on the same secure and private page it would seem.  When Brett inherited the properties from his father, each house was starting to become a little dated and was, due to expected and surprise maintenance, they were a pain considering the almost constant maintenance with this or that with his power to maintain things.  He decided it was more cost effective to completely renovate each home as the lease came due, then to offer a new lease to compensate himself for what he shelled out to modernize and update the houses on each parcel.  Just to be fair to the person or persons leasing, when he leased a property that he knew he would update the next time the lease ended, he wrote that exception clearly into the contract as well so they could make plans to re-sign once the updates were complete or to move on.  Again, to be fair, if they decided to sign on for the new more expensive lease, Brett covered the moving and storage costs, and gave them, rent free, one of his other houses in the nearby area until the renovations were complete.  Once again, he offered strict contracts to keep it a great, serene place to live with very little turnover from the subsequent lease owners while each lease is for a duration of five years.  Since Brett planned to live there himself naturally, like his family before him and one or two still are, he felt this kind of community was necessary for his own living space where he had grown up and loved living there.  He also retains possession of the open areas behind the houses and the land surrounding the community to keep it very private, and that is a big deal as you can only imagine how much that primo property is worth in today’s dollars.  Repeating what I said, and this will apply to you as well, there is an iron clad set of rules agreed upon at lease signing, each one discussed separately and witnessed by his attorney or me in your case to avoid a future conflict.  This level of detail is in place to make sure the original ambiance stays firmly in place while each property must definitely adhere to it or face legal action and get themselves booted at their own expense.  He wants to ensure everyone living there is comfortable and feels secure.  His personal and family attorney is there to make absolutely sure no one can claim a surprise later on, and each rule must be initialed individually, or if they had a problem with that, they were free to walk away,” she told me.

All this sure got my attention and quick.

COLLAPSE

Available on Amazon and Amazon Kindle

About the Author

I write Gay erotic HEA M/M romances available on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited. I live in Arizona and love hearing from my readers.



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