tagRomanceHe's Not What You Think Ch. 01

He's Not What You Think Ch. 01

byCap007©

This is the first story I have ever written. Many thanks to my patient editor. All mistakes are mine. This being an erotic sight, you're most likely looking for that erotica. There is no sex in this first part. Sorry, it will come later. Please, let me know your thoughts. Of course, it is fiction.

*****

Chapter one

"Linda, please meet with him. It took me almost two weeks to convince him to agree to this," Cathy's pleading eyes look down as she takes the first bite of her lunch.

Linda points her fork like a baton moving in rhythm with her irritated response. "Cathy why? What is it this time? What has this new boyfriend of yours done? I've never even heard you talk about him before today." She sighs disappointment showing in her emerald green eyes. "You really should have been the lawyer with the likes of the men you date."

"He's not my boyfriend," Cathy pauses then looks back at her friend with a smile and desire, "yet." She lightheartedly chuckles. "Anyway you know I could never be a prude lawyer. I'm doing what I love. People pay me good money to spend their money on designing the perfect space. It's a win, win."

Linda raises a brow, "So this is some great conquest?" ignoring the comment about carrier paths. "When are you going to go after someone different?" She forces out a breath, "Let me guess tall, dark, handsome, and a bad boy of course."

"After twenty-five years, you think you know me so well." Cathy quips brushing a strand of blonde hair behind her ear, "Well, he is kind of different than the usual. He is not tall maybe 5'10" or 11 just a little more than me. He has jet-black hair, and big light brown eyes. He wears baggy clothes so it's hard to tell what his body looks like, but I imagine nice. He's definitely not rich, but I am pretty sure he is a bad boy." Cathy looks down speaking lower, "He acts like he doesn't want to have anything to do with me. Of course we both know that can't be the case so he must be playing hard to get which is something new. But, he will fall," she states staring off with a determined glare swirling the red liquid in the wine glass.

Linda gives her friend an inquisitive look before laughing, "that my sweet Kit Cat is a little different. Fall, really? This guy's got you off your game. He knows you're a sure thing right?" Linda caring eyes admire her friend with amusement knowing she is very determined and will eventually get the man in her sights. But there was never a struggle and for her to work at catching the next victim Linda blurts out, "maybe he's gay."

Cathy perks up, "Oh, he's not gay, married or in anything close to a relationship. I checked with Rick, he's just quiet and keeps to himself, they all say what a great guy he is and assures me he is not gay just picky and maybe a little old fashioned. Rick hired him even with his background. Yep, a bad boy," Cathy smiles, "pretty sure."

"Yeah but he's not a rich bad boy that you always go for and usually snag. OK, tell me the story." Linda sighs, "We only have about twenty minutes before I need to get back to the office." Linda stares past Cathy thinking about the friend she has loved from three years old. We've been like sisters, yet in all that time I haven't figured out how you're able to maintain an emotional wall in relationships. You keep them fun, and never anything close to being serious. I wish I could act or feel like you not allowing myself to get hurt. Me, I am the complete opposite the heart broken lover.

Cathy breaks Linda out of the thought of her failed relationships continuing her story, "...well, working as a designer I work with all kinds of different trades, as you know. I had one of Rick's crews do some work for me. I show up to inspect the progress and see a new guy on this crew. I don't think much of it. Rick and the guys gather around and we talk business then have a few laughs."

Linda looks at her friend mockingly, "always the center of attention."

"Of course," Cathy giggles. "I noticed the new guy busy working instead of being in the crowd."

"You mean interested in you."

"Yes," Cathy groans, as if admitting Linda knows her too well. "So anyway, I walk over to him to introduce myself. I stand next to him, but he keeps working not even acknowledging me."

Linda rolls her eyes, "Well we can't have that." She tries to picture her friend snubbed by a male. It never happens. Well, this is becoming interesting.

"I clear my throat so he knows I am there. Still, nothing, he doesn't acknowledge me. Finally, I say my name is Cathy, and hold out my hand to shake his. He says hi, not even looking at me, and continues to work on something on the floor. Like something on the floor is more interesting." Cathy's forehead and nose wrinkle, "OK, now I am a little pissed. All he needs to do is look at me, and he will be talking away. I know men, especially these types." Cathy raises her hands making quotation marks with her fingers. "I tell him it's rude not to introduce yourself face to face. He sighs, can you believe that, like it's some great chore. He slowly stands up, turns, and looks at my hand then into my eyes. Linda he has a handsome face, but his big brown eyes looked like they were searching my soul. I had a hard time breathing." Cathy leans forward giggling, "I even got a little wet."

"Cathy Strickly! Shhh," Linda lets out nearly chocking on her bite blushing for her friend. Few things will cause Cathy to blush. Describing her excitement is not on the list. Handsome? Linda tilts her head. She never uses that word. This guy must have been something. Of course he was this is Cathy. The girl that gets a man, loves him, leaves him and turns them away when they come groveling. She loves to break the bad boys mostly because of me. We really will do anything for each other. Her explanation, 'love 'em then leave 'em before they do it to you.' I wish I could think, and feel that way. Linda looks down, I know it would have saved me a lot of heartache.

"Linda," Cathy waits for Linda to look at her, "I'm telling you I was caught a little off guard. He was saying something about his hands being dirty and did not want to shake. Then he said 'Rick's not paying me to stand around and talk.' We just stared at each other. I didn't know what to say. I was glad I wasn't drooling. He finally said it was nice to meet me and went back to work. Shit Linda I was speechless."

"You speechless? I don't believe it." Linda laughs, but wonders about this guy and what exactly is making her so infatuated. Maybe I should check him out. "Cathy, get to the point of needing me. We only have about ten minutes left."

"OK, Rick put his best crew on the job at Eighth Street. No Michael. Did I mention his name was Michael? I had to find out why. Rick explained that some of our customers have specific requirements pertaining to contract labor and Michael could not work this job because of his background. He had him on another job with a different crew."

"That makes sense," Linda interjects with a pointed finger. "It's actually a –"

"- Let me finish, forget the fascinating legal stuff. We only have ten minutes left. About a week later, I noticed Michael missing one day on the fifth street job. I told you about that one didn't I? Never mind of course I did. I tell you everything. I confronted Michael and asked him why he wasn't at work. I finally got him to talk," Cathy smiles victoriously. "He explained that he was with his parole officer and cleared it with Rick. He said something next that caught me off guard, again. He looked at me with those big brown eyes and spoke in a soft voice. 'I'm not the kind of guy you should be talking to or be seen with.' He was concerned for me? Most guys are the complete opposite. You know try anything to get in my pants. I was touched, but he ruined it by saying thank you for noticing but it's really none of your business you should check with Rick next time. Then he just walks off ughh."

"Are you sure he's not gay?" Linda scrunches her nose amused, "How do I fit into this?"

Cathy's eyes lighten, "He finally started to talk about three weeks ago. Since then, I made sure we talked every time I saw him. I came up with the idea to get him on more of my high-end jobs despite his background. After two weeks of telling him you could help him legally, he's agreed to see you." Cathy smiles in triumph then looks away avoiding eye contact. "Oh, I also said he didn't need to pay for it. You would do it as a favor for me." Cathy pouts, "So, please will you meet with him? I've never asked you to meet a potential boy toy before, well actually man toy."

"God Cathy!" Linda lets out in defeat. She knows I would never refuse her... She's right this is a first. "You understand I can't talk to you about his case, and I won't." Linda stares, "Don't even ask. I will look at it and talk with him once. Then we will go from there. Have him call the office and talk to Jan."

"Thank you. When you meet him you will see." Cathy tilts her head, "Hey maybe I should try to set him up with you. You know, get rid of the cobwebs between your legs." Cathy smirks, "Just kidding, I want this one." However, in the back of Cathy's mind the idea takes hold that maybe I should.

Linda adjusts her brunette ponytail. I can't believe she has me thinking about this guy now. Damn her. "Don't do me any favors. No cobwebs as long as I have fresh batteries thanks to you." Linda blushes standing "lunch is on you. Love you Kit Cat."

"Thank you Sis, Love you. Oh, I am free for our usual lunch on Thursday."

Chapter 2

Rick looks at his quiet dust covered men going through the motions of cleaning knowing they are counting the minutes to quitting time. Damn it's been a long day. We've got about twenty minuets why not, Rick thinks, this will be good for a few laughs at Michael's expense. The kid can take it. Rick watches Michael quietly working. You would think the kids a mute on the job, such a contrast to life outside of work. It's always fun watching him clam up when we talk about single women. "So, what do you think of Ms. Cathy Strickly?" Not hearing a reply, as expected, Rick raises his voice. "Michael, what do you think of Ms. Strickly? She seems to have the hots for you. I see her three to four times a week now, and she always asks about you."

Michael sighs looking away, knowing he'll have to answer sooner or later. Rick finds a reason to bring up the subject of women and me at least once a day. "I'm not the reason. It's all the jobs you have with her. That's why you are seeing her more, and I'm sure she is worried about my background."

"That's not the question. So what do you think of her? Let's hear it." Rick goads with a smile.

Michael shrugs his shoulders, and tightens his hand around the broom imagining it was Rick's mouth. "She's all right I guess, just not my type." Not my type? He always thinks after saying the words. What is my type? My type... is a woman I can love, and who loves me, only me. Faithful? Fat chance I find the girl next door, even in this big ass city. He sighs, I'll never admit she reminds me of Tina. Damn what's wrong with me? It's been five years.

Rick bellows, "Shit, she's everyone's type. She's hot, blonde, blue eyes, nice long legs, thin with curves, and rich. You can't get any better than that. Hell Michael, what's stopping you?" Shouts of agreement ring out supporting Rick's argument. "I told the woman you're not gay, don't be proving me a liar. Not that there is anything wrong with it." Rick raises an eyebrow, and smirks continuing in a lower voice, "You know it's OK to admit it."

There it is again, Michael looks up throwing his hand in the air, "how many times do I need to tell you guys I am straight and picky! I might introduce you to an ex's one day just to shut all of you up. Before you even ask," he grunts, "Yes, she's a woman. Rick the only reason you like Ms. Strickly so much is she give you work, and she reminds you of your wife."

Huh, that could be true. Rick looks at Michael with a wrinkled brow and pointed finger, "Don't go changing the subject. That answer is getting old, and," Rick whips his finger around to the other men causally listening to the daily goosing. "That won't last long with these guys. If I had your looks, I would be sleeping with a new woman every night. How many women hit on you a day, three, four?"

Michael rolls his eyes, "You're exaggerating." He replies as past memories flood his thoughts. I should sleep around. No, that is a lonely existence. I've been there done that worried I'd catch something. What was it? 'I was going through the motions, or I couldn't commit isn't that what they told me?' Shit, I'm a mess. I want a woman I can open up to and trust. My parents had it. Rick has it. Why can't I?

Jeff's shout brings Michael back from his pity party, "Dude, if you don't want them, send a couple my way. I welcome any help. We're the only single ones of this group. We need to stick together."

"Yea, Ok great." Michael smirks before looking at Rick, "you have a beautiful wife and great family. I don't think Mrs. Stephens would like you sleeping with a different woman every night."

Jim's voice rings out, "Mrs. Stephens would cut Rick's dick off if she thought that was true." Everyone agrees laughing at Rick's grimace.

"All right, enough already," Rick scowls, "You jack-offs are lucky no one is around to hear this, or I would fire the lot of you. We're done for the day. Let's get out of here."

In the alley, Rick's hands are steadily moving stowing the last tool. He looks at the guys, and lets out a slow exhale, the weight of the day's work leaving with his breath, then pats each man on the back saying good night. "Michael why don't you come over tonight and have a good home cooked meal. The kids would love to see you. You can help them with their homework and be around family. You like that don't you?"

"Why not," The words jump out of Michael, "that would be great I don't have anything planned through the end of the year except a meeting with a lawyer and my monthly parole visits. I'll even put off working out for one night."

Rick chuckles holding his cell away, "glad you can fit us in," then returns to his conversation. "Honey, I'm bringing Michael home for dinner. Yes tonight. Yes that Michael. OK, be home in an hour. Love you to." Rick rolls his eyes, "OK, all set, we have permission. Let's get out of here."

Michael takes a couple of deep breaths after he sits down and takes a firm grip of the armrest wondering how many times he will be closing his eyes praying. The dreaded drive from the city to the suburbs is the normal traffic nightmare. Michael contemplates Ricks white knuckled driving, perplexed at the prediction of being home in an hour.

Rick, on the other hand, is happy he is able to use the express lane for a change. Rick debates his case about it's use through gritted teeth the entire ride. In an hour, the truck parks in the driveway of the three year old, two story house designed by Rick's wife and Ms. Strickly. Rick happy to be home doesn't notice Michael's slow exhale, or him lifting his numb fingers that have left an indention in the armrest.

*****

Michael scans the cherry dining table large enough for ten. The smell of the mouth-watering food emits from the middle. The king of the castle, Big Rick sits proud at head of the table. Trisha and Rick Junior sit across from Michael filling their mouths full of macaroni and cheese. Janet sits next to Rick and a chair away from Michael insuring everyone is taken care of. "Thank you Mrs. Stephens for having me over everything is wonderful. I hope I'm not imposing."

"I've told you Michael, quit making me feel old, call me Janet or Jan," Janet frowns. Mrs. Stephens is Rick's mother. Anyway, I am not that much older than you. What, fifteen years? We are glad to have you. If we didn't see you at least once a week, we'd think something is wrong."

Rick smirks, "Fifteen years? You know you still got it." Rick leans back taking a break from eating, "Honey, I told Michael if I had his good looks, I would be going out with a different woman every night."

Michael stares at Rick wide eyed, and closed mouth. It's not exactly word for word, but he doesn't think the husky six foot four Rick needs to be corrected. After working for Rick a few weeks, he realized that Rick is a lot like my dad. This must be why I like him so much, even though he does give me a hard time about dating.

Janet leans in giving Rick an evil smile, "a date every night? Yeah, you know what would happen if I even thought that was true."

Trisha, unable to sit still, blurts out, "I'll go out with you Michael." Both mother and father raise a brow look at their daughter then turn to Michael staring trying to hide a smile.

Shifting in his seat, Michael radiates a deep shade of red. He looks at the cute ten-year-old red head with a dusting of freckles across her nose, the hair a dead giveaway that she is Rick's daughter, "I've already told you. I'm too old for you, and most important, not good enough." He give her a relaxed smile, "Once you are old enough to date, the poor boy is going to have to get past your dad and me."

"Hey, and me!" Twelve-year-old Rick junior shouts.

The parent laughs watching Trisha point at Michael with a determined stare. "We are going out buster you just wait and see."

*****

Michael strolls to the living room after helping the kids with their homework. He thinks back to the day Janet had a finger pointed at his chest stating. "You are the most educated person in this house. You will help RJ and Trish with their homework. In turn, you get a home cooked meal and leftovers. A year later, Michael relaxes in the love seat happy, the kids now call if they need help if he is not here. It's one of the many reasons he feels welcome.

Rick and Jan saunter down the stairs after tucking in the kids, to sit on the couch. Janet cozies up to Rick laying her head on his shoulder. Once settled in, Rick announces, "Honey we need to help Michael with is pick-up skills. You know learn something from the old pro. Cathy has the hots for him, but he's not making a move. Oh, and Michael said Cathy reminds me of you. So, I must think you're hot. He thinks you're Ok." Rick concludes with a frown.

Janet looks into Rick's hazel eyes smiling. "You know you didn't have any moves. I allowed you to go out with me."

"Hey, think what you want; I know I got the prettiest blonde in the world to go out with me. How else would that happen if I didn't have game?" Rick states pushing out his chest.

Michael leans back in the loveseat admiring the couple's banter. He can only imagine, after thirty year of marriage, how they still have the passion for each other. The devotion in their eyes is obvious, as well as the excitement in their voice. That's what I want.

Janet's warm reassuring brown eyes look at Michael. "Don't listen to him. If you don't want to go out with Cathy, then don't. Cathy likes rich troublemakers anyway. You're definitely not a troublemaker. You'll find the right girl."

"What?" Rick throws his fingers up counting. "She is hot, rich and wants him. Of course he should go out with her. What else could he want?" Rick looks at his wife questioning her sanity.

"I want what you have." Michael blurts out. I said it might as well finish. "I want the passion, the comfort, and the love you have with each other. You two are the luckiest people in the world," he let it out surprised and relieved.

"Aw, I don't know about that," Rick pulls his wife close to him. "When I was a few years younger than you, I was a ladies' man, you should have seen me - "

Janet cuts him off before he could continue his embellished story. "- Don't even try it, Rick tell him the truth. It's more than a few years, almost a decade. Anyway, we were -"

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