Derek was glad that he'd thought of this apartment remodel. It was a project he and his son Luke could work on together. He hoped that it would get Luke to come out of his shell. Ever since his mother passed away a few years ago he'd been closed off and anti-social. Luke gets his handiness from his dad. He loved to work with his hands, and it was not boasting to say that he was pretty good at it too. Fortunately the push, from Derek's dad, to be more took him to state college to study engineering and into a lucrative career afterward. Derek met his wife of 20 years at that college, Theresa was the world to him, and he would have done anything to lay the world at her feet. Fate had a different idea though. Her loss had left a deep scar on their family. It was hard at first, friends and relatives did their best to keep them upbeat and one or two even mentioned that Derek wasn't too old to start again. Those ideas were brushed aside. He would never love anybody like he loved Terri.
Luke took it hard, he was only 14 when Terri found out she had cancer. The doctors did everything they could. Throughout her treatment he would give up being a normal teenager to be home for her when his father couldn't be. She'd get upset with him and tell him to try out for sports at school or join a club, and especially ask a girl that he like out on a date. He'd just brush it off and come home as soon as he could to take care of her. She wasted away before their eyes and in less than a year she was gone. It was a crushing blow to both of them, and as hard as Derek had it, he could tell Luke felt like he was set adrift, and had no guidance. Derek worked, he worked a lot, to keep his mind busy, to keep from thinking about her. Luke just hung around, and kept to himself mostly. He had a few friends but they, for the most part, had moved on after graduation. Luke was accepted to the college where his folks went to and was looking at a similar career to his fathers, no matter how much Derek urged him to do something he wanted. He insisted that he wanted to do what his father does, and build things. He was going to start as a freshman this fall.
Derek, in the interest of keeping Luke from hiding in his room until fall, figured he'd give him a project. They lived in a big house with an large 2 car garage. Above the garage was a space that was large enough to turn into an in-law apartment. He presented Luke with the project to clean it out, and design an apartment. As soon as he had a plan they would build it and rent it out. Thanks to the college there's never any shortage of students looking for off campus apartments. They weren't really close, a few miles, but these days all the kids had cars anyway.
Like anything he put his mind to, Luke had a plan in place pretty quickly. We worked out details for the major demolition and installing plumbing, and electrical etc. He really did his homework, even shopping for materials for finishing like the flooring and appliances. He got it in his head to fully decorate it with the help of some ideas from magazines. What they ended up with was a very nice small 1 bedroom apartment with a nice view over the backyard. Luke had already started school and they didn't think it likely that they'd get a lot of offers right away but they listed the apartment in the paper anyway.
They interviewed a couple students and even a visiting professor who was teaching here for a year, but nobody fit what they had in mind and too many wanted them to come down on the price. There was no way Derek was going to let anybody devalue the work that he and Luke had put into it, the only one who was going to budge on price was going to be Luke. It was his baby.
It was a warm Saturday afternoon when Derek heard a woman's voice call out. He was in the back yard puttering around with a rake. He leaned it against the house and walked around to the front where he saw a lovely blonde haired girl walking towards the other corner of the house heading to the yard. He called out to her and she jumped slightly startled. In only a few moments Derek took in the sight of her. She was very pretty, her blond hair fell around her shoulders. She smiled and held out her hand to shake.
"Hi, I'm Ellie. I was wondering if you've rented the apartment yet?" He let her know that they hadn't yet, and that his son Luke was in charge of that. He went in and got the keys and let her see it, and she ooh'ed and ahh'ed at it. "Who decorated it? They did an awesome job." He let her know that the whole place was done by Luke, from design to decoration. He smiled at her shock, when he told her he was starting school at the local university this year. "This was done by a teenager?"
"He should be home any minute if you want to hang around. A few of the ground rules that we've placed are that guests please park on the street so as to not block the garage downstairs. Use of the yard and pool are a given so long as you keep it down to a dull roar." He said chuckling. "There's a washer and dryer downstairs in the garage that you can use rather than go to a laundromat. As you probably saw in the ad, utilities are provided including cable and Internet. We can get you telephone if you need it but it's not wired for it up here. We figured most students use cellphones anyway."
"It's perfect. Now I see why you're asking so much for it. Any chance we can haggle on the price?" She cocked her head smiling, her eyes sparkling. Derek chuckled.
"That's up to Luke. This is his baby, start to finish." He heard the garage door opener beneath them start up. "You can ask him yourself in a minute. I'll let him know you're here." He stepped out onto the landing and looked at the door as he closed it. He thought for a moment that they may have found the right person for the apartment. He smiled as he trotted down the stairs and ducked into the garage where Luke was getting out of the car. His hair was mussed from driving with the window down, his shirt was tight over his well formed chest and arms. The work had leaned him out and toned him up.
"Hey Luke, you have someone upstairs looking at the apartment."
"I'll guess by the grin on your face it's a girl."
"Is there anything wrong with a girl renting your place?"
"No... I just want somebody normal and quiet."
He passed me on his way to the stairs and his father put his hand on his shoulder. "I have a good feeling about this one. Trust your instincts." He nodded and made for the stairs taking them two at a time. I heard him open the door and close it behind him, and I went back to the yard whistling a little tune. She could be just the thing.
A short while later, Luke popped around the corner of the garage and slowly wandered through the yard.
"She tried to get me to come down on the price."
"Really?" He smiled trying not to laugh. "How did that go?"
"I asked her how much she could reasonably afford, and I halved the difference. She took it." He smirked.
"How much lower did you go?"
"A hundred bucks. Non-smoker, no boyfriend and she says she not a partier. She's a senior in culinary arts and nutrition. She offered to cook for us occasionally if we don't mind being her test subjects. Her name is Ellie Love." Luke grinned, but didn't say that he'd thought about dropping two for the pretty coed.
"No shit?" He laughed. Luke just shrugged.
"She's calling her folks to let them know she's found a place."
Ellie started moving in the next day. Luke was out in the driveway washing his car, the sound of music filtered down from Ellie's open window as she unpacked. Derek watched Luke from the window for a moment and caught him looking up at the window off and on. He would bet anything she was intentionally wandering back and forth to get a look at him too.
"Hey Luke?" Ellie called down.
"Yea?" He replied.
"Any chance you could take me shopping for some kitchen stuff? There isn't much up here in the way of plates, glasses, silverware, you know."
"Sure, let me know when you're ready."
"Give me 10 minutes and I'll be down."
Ellie went and changed. She knew she was older than him by a couple years. His father mentioned he'd turned 19 last month. Luke was hot with his dark hair and dark brown eyes, but he seemed so quiet and shy. After the wild roommates and crazy party atmosphere of the apartment she shared last year, this was going to be a nice change.
She worked in a small café, after high school and found she loved it and thought it might be a cool idea to start her own. So she'd decided that getting it right was going to require some learning and went back to school. Now at 23 she was close to finishing her degree and moving on to realizing the dream. She threw on a striped tee and pushed her sweats off and found a pair of jeans in one of her bags and went to the bathroom to check herself in the mirror. She knew she wasn't a knockout but she was pretty cute. She knew that from the double-takes she got from guys at school. She was short, in her opinion, at five foot three, her sandy blonde hair hung past her shoulders, and her dark brown eyes were always sparkling. Her dad said they were full of mischief. If he only knew.
She pulled the door shut behind her checking that it had locked and bounced down the stairs like she was on springs. She watched Luke for a moment as he wiped down the car, and got a tingling sensation as he leaned forward, his jeans tightened around his cute ass. 'Get a hold of yourself girl' she thought. She reached her hands behind her causing her shirt to tighten across her small breasts, and cleared her throat.
Luke looked over his shoulder at Ellie. Damn she was cute, but she didn't act like she knew it. He gave her a small smirk.
"Sorry about the kitchen. I didn't stop to think that someone moving in wouldn't have dishes of their own."
"Oh, no problem." Ellie countered quickly. "It's just that my last place, everything belonged to my room mates, and as long as I kept them fed they didn't care what I used." She smiled. "I could use a couple towels too. I'm on a budget so let's hit up that little French boutique, Tar-jay."Luke laughed at her joke and reached for the passenger side door opening it for her. He bowed with a flourish.
"After you milady."
Luke was already winning points as she climbed into the car. He hopped in and started the car backing out of the driveway. On the way to the to the store Ellie drew him out asking what he was going to school for, and what he planned for after. He didn't do sports or really anything with friends. She could tell he was one of those quiet loner types, and he had a lot going on in there that nobody ever saw. She decided then and there that she'd make it her goal to draw him out of his shell.
"Maybe you can build my swanky café for me when you graduate." She winked at him.
Luke looked over at her for a moment and smiled. "Yea I'll get right on that."
"Seriously, that apartment is awesome. I bet it wouldn't be much of a stretch. Your dad said you planned it nearly free hand. You don't do something like that without real talent."
Luke just shrugged and said thanks.
They pulled into a parking space and Ellie grabbed a cart and hopped up on the rail, riding it a few feet towards the store like a kid. This gave Luke a great view of her backside and she knew he was looking by the expression she saw when she looked over her shoulder. He looked slightly shocked then looked down and away. She bit her lower lip and grinned. This was going to be fun, she thought.
They made their way into the store and Ellie took the long way around to housewares and chose a cheap set of dinnerware, then some glasses and flatware. She went over the cooking stuff with a fine tooth comb looking at labels and chose a few items. The cart filled up fast with the large items. She decided that she'd done enough damage there and wandered around a corner and started up the aisle. Luke just pushed the cart along behind her watching her walk. He was pretty sure she hadn't wiggled her butt like that on the way in. She reached out to a blouse hanging next to the aisle and felt the fabric and held it out and let it go and she walked past a rack of lingerie.
Ellie let out a little ooh when she saw a little yellow bra and panty set hanging up and took it off the rack. "What do you think?" She asked holding the cups up to her chest, grinning devilishly at Luke. His face turned red and he looked around.
"It's definitely your color." He said and mumbled something after.
"What?" She asked, making him repeat it.
He breathed deep and replied. "Did you want to pick up some food while we're here? The basics at least?"
Ellie gave him a sly smile. "Chicken."
"I don't know if they have chicken, but they've got groceries. You know, canned, boxed and frozen food, stuff like that."
She walked right up close to him and reached over and set the lingerie right in the top of the basket where he was sure to keep it at the forefront of his mind. "Sure, let's go stock the cupboards." She chose some basic dry goods, a couple cans here and there. "If I'm going to be a chef, I can't be relying on packaged goods too much, but sometimes a girl needs a night off." She grabbed a couple cans of soup and found some microwave popcorn piling it all on top of the cart. They made their way to the check out and the lady behind the counter was scanning away and looked up at the two of them noting what they were buying.
"You kids setting up home for the first time?" The lady smiled.
Ellie wrapped an arm around Luke pulling them together and laid her head on his shoulder. "Yes, we're going to be so happy." She peeked out of the corner of her eye and noticed Luke had gone red again. She pursed her lips and slid her hand across his lower back taking her time letting it drop and grazing his butt. The feeling sent a shock through Luke and he wasn't sure how to react so he did his best to forget it happened. They brought their cart out to the car and packed it away. On the trip home they didn't speak, and just listened to the radio. Luke turned off the car and reached for the door when he felt Ellie put her hand on his and give it a squeeze.
"Sorry, I was just..." She said softly, biting her lower lip.
Luke looked at her and nodded, and got out and began unloading the car. The little table was piled with boxes and bags were strewn around the floor.
Luke was about to turn and leave when Ellie stopped him.
"I was just having a little fun. I didn't mean to embarrass you."
"I know, it's okay."
"Are you busy this afternoon? I could use a hand unpacking all this stuff and washing the dishes."
"Sure, I can help." He took the first box and opened it up and brought it into the kitchen and started loading the dishwasher with the plates and bowls. "We forgot cleaning supplies. I'll run downstairs I'm sure we've got plenty. He headed for the door and trotted down the stairs, and his own kitchen.
Ellie decided to get more comfortable and wandered into the bedroom and lost the shirt and jeans. She had just pulled on her sweat pants when the door opened and Luke walked in. She hadn't bothered to close the bedroom door and he got a full on look at her standing there in her sweat pants and a lacy pink bra. His eyes locked on hers and he froze. Ellie just smiled and reached for her hoodie putting it on and zipping it up to mid chest just barely concealing the bra. She walked out of the bedroom.
"Relax it's the Internet age, I'm sure you've seen a girl in lingerie before."
"Uh yea, sorry I should have knocked. It's just that I've been up here so much while decorating that I forgot someone lives here now."
Ellie shrugged , "Mi casa es su casa. You're welcome up any time. I don't make it a habit to walk around like a lingerie model, don't worry. I don't have the body for it."
Luke mumbled something, and Ellie was sure it was a denial of that claim but she just bit her lip to keep from smiling. Luke started running water to clean the larger items in the sink and Ellie started putting things into cupboards. The tight space meant they were brushing against each other often. Luke noticed Ellie used him as a balance whenever he was in reach, a hand on his shoulder when she leaned into a cabinet. She placed a hand on the small of his back again to see what he was cleaning.
"No abrasives, just soapy water on that one. That's a pro quality non-stick sauté pan right there." She winked. "It said so on the label."
As she leaned back Luke got a light scent of her perfume. He hadn't noticed it before but it was sweet and flowery. Had she put it on after he'd gone downstairs he wondered. It was having an intoxicating effect, along with her touch. He was glad he was facing the sink to hide the bulge that was forming in his jeans.
"I'm going to go throw these towels in the wash real quick."
"Okay I'll just stay here and slave away in your kitchen like a drudge." Luke's response was surprising causing Ellie to bust out laughing.
"Yes! I have my own kitchen drudge!" She did a little fist pump in triumph.
Luke peeked over his shoulder as she made for the door watching her cute little butt with the store name plastered across the seat of her sweats. He'd better get out of here fast or he wasn't going to make a safe exit with the tent in the front of his jeans. He wiped down the last dish and headed down the stairs and poked his head into the garage telling her that he was done, and if she needed anything else to just let him know. She thanked him and he rushed into the house.
Ellie went back up to find the dishes all cleaned and laid out waiting for her to decide where they'd be put. She worked efficiently putting things in their logical places and had just enough room to fit everything she'd bought. She saw the yellow lingerie she'd bought and smiled. She hadn't intended to buy it, but wanted to tease Luke. They were cute though so she put them in with her wash.
The weekly grind began, everybody leaving the house and heading off in their respective directions. Ellie got home late from her job at the little café, and hit the books for an hour or so before taking a shower. She wandered into the bedroom and looked out the window hearing something moving around. She spied Luke hauling a trash can and recycling to the curb.
Luke turned and looked up at the light in the window and saw her outlined in soft yellow light. She stood there in a long sleeve shirt, unbuttoned part way down the front. She lifted a hand and gave him a little wave and he waved back.
Ellie noticed that after he waved he didn't go back inside right away and she pointed to the door and beckoned him. She smiled when he knocked on the door this time.
"Come on in. You already know I'm dressed this time."
"Well I couldn't tell if you were wearing pants. What's up?"
"Nothing, I was bored and wondered if you wanted to hang out and watch TV or something."
"Sure, I guess."
"I'm in a junk food mood. Would you like some cookies and ice cream?"
"Yes, please." He replied with a little more gusto.
"I baked the cookies myself. The ice cream is store bought." She chuckled. "Go ahead and turn on the TV, find us something to watch."
"What do you feel like?"
"Anything really, nothing to cerebral I get enough of that from school books." She scooped up a couple bowls of the ice cream, adding a couple cookies to each, and added spoons.
She walked into the living room handing him a bowl and sat next to him curling her legs under her. The fact that her nipples were rock hard from standing in front of the open freezer wasn't lost on Luke, but he didn't stare. They sat watching the last few minutes of a sitcom, only the sounds of spoons tapping bowls and an occasional chuckle interrupted the silence. When the show ended Luke took the bowls into the kitchen and rinsed them out. When he came back Ellie noticed he had a little ice cream on his lower lip and did her best not to laugh.