This is a story I wrote awhile ago, when I was dusting off the ol’ writer brain from a decade long break from storysmithing. Leaving the plot points the same, I’ve basically rewritten the prose in the last couple of weeks. In appreciation for those who followed me from LiveJournal, and for your continued support despite my sometimes overly-emo posts, I’m posting this as a free read. I hope you enjoy, and even if you don’t, please to be offering the feedback.

Disclaimercakes: This is a work of fiction intended for adults only as it contains explicit scenes not appropriate for minors. By continuing to read, you are acknowledging you are of legal age to do so. All Rights Reserved. Copyright © 2012 by AJ Rose


“May I please speak with Tyler Stull?” The voice was bored and unfamiliar.

Ty, just in from a run, was red-faced and breathing hard from exertion, sweat pooling at the waistband of his shorts, his chestnut hair plastered to his forehead. He threw the pile of mail on his computer desk in the corner of the living room, leaning against it while uncapping and emptying a bottle of water in three gulps before answering. The phone pressed to his ear slid against his sweaty face. “This is Tyler.”

“Sir, I’m calling in regards to your First Credit MasterCard. Our records show we haven’t received a payment in two months. Have you sent in your statement stub or taken care of this online in recent days?”

A collection call? Jesus, he hadn’t had one of those in years. He wasn’t one of those successful actors who blew the money as fast as he made it, and he paid his bills, sometimes months in advance if he was on location or promoting. Then he wondered if this was a joke, someone playing a prank on him. It seemed too simple for Grady though, and he was the only one who ever pulled this kind of shit.

Frowning, Ty shuffled through the mail more thoroughly, seeing an envelope from FCMC. He snatched it up and ripped it open, his frown deepening into a scowl at the past-due balance glaring at him in red. What the hell?

“No, I haven’t made a payment, but it’s no problem. I usually pay off the balance every month. Come to think of it, I don’t think I received a statement the last two months.” He scanned the letter, informing him his account was in danger of suspension if he didn’t make an immediate payment.

His boyfriend and co-star Grady Dolan had been giving him shit about how he still wrote checks and mailed them, but he hadn’t had time to set up online banking and he refused to let someone else handle his money. He’d heard too many horror stories about others in the business that turned over the control of their finances to ‘trusted’ friends or assistants only to be bled dry while the friend lived the high life.

“Sir, our records show your statement went out as scheduled the last two months. Has your address changed?”

Ty murmured a negative, snatching up his wallet and sliding out his debit card.

“The last payment was received September third. If there’s a problem making your payments, we can set you up with a repayment schedule that works for you.”

“Not necessary. I’ll pay the full balance right now.” He gave the caller his bank information and then called his bank, getting instructions on how to set up online payments. By the time he was finished, his shorts and t-shirt were dry again and he felt disgusting, so he grabbed another bottle of water and headed for the shower.

The spray bounced off his body as he stood under the shower head, scowling in annoyed confusion. He’d never let anything like that slide in the past, and he was irritated to have a ding on his credit. He figured the statements got lost in the mail. The promotional tour for their last film had had him and Grady traveling for weeks and when they’d returned, he’d immediately entered negotiations for another action role. He’d stopped his mail until he could get back and things slowed down. The stack he’d picked up had been daunting, and it had taken him days to go through it all. He probably hadn’t been careful enough and had missed the statements. Hopefully, nothing else had fallen through the cracks.

He heard Grady in his head, calling his methods antiquated and archaic. Have another ‘a’ word for old fashioned? He mentally filled in Grady’s answer, drawing on their months’ long word-sparring games. Antediluvian. Ty snorted to himself, lathering up and muttering aloud, “I have an ‘a’ word for you. Asshole.”

But cursing Grady wasn’t helping and made him feel like a dickhead, so he let his mind wonder when he would be by. They had plans for a whole lot of nothing, since both of them had been so busy lately and hadn’t had time to chill.

Even if he’d heard the bathroom door inch open, he’d only have thought it was Grady letting him know he’d arrived. He didn’t notice the hand slip through the crack in the door and steal his jogging clothes.

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Disclaimer so I don’t get sued: Any resemblance in this work to people living or dead is entirely coincidental and locations are used fictitiously. Registered trademarks mentioned are the property of their respective owners.