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Chapter 1

Noah Blake was feeling aimless in the week after high school ended. College wasn’t going to start for another three months, and he didn’t know what to do with his time. He had gone on a couple of interviews but was turned away due to lack of experience. The eighteen-year-old was feeling frustrated because he needed money to take out his girlfriend Amy and was getting tired of asking his parents for cash.

“What about a fast-food job?” Noah’s mother Lara suggested over breakfast with Noah and her husband, Sam.

“I don’t want to be on my feet all day,” Noah groaned. “And I’ve heard it’s so hot in those places. No, thanks.”

“It can be difficult for sure, but it’s good honest work,” Sam said. “Both your mother and I worked in restaurants to pay our way through college.”

“Thankfully, my parents have money,” Noah laughed to his parents’ dismay. “What? I’m kidding! I just want to do something… easier, I guess.”

“Sam, isn’t there something you can do for Noah at the site?” Lara suggested. Her husband ran a successful construction company that had several projects going on throughout the city, but he has long said he wasn’t enthusiastic about nepotism.

“If he had some muscle on him, I’d have plenty of things he could do,” Sam said as he stirred his oatmeal.

“I may be thin, but I am stronger than I look,” Noah said, flexing his thin arms in an attempt to show off some muscle. “Um… see?”

“Impressive,” Sam said, unimpressed. “I don’t know.”

After five minutes of constant pleading on the part of Lara and Noah, Sam gave in and said he would discuss the matter with Chuck Crowley, the foreman at one of his sites. Noah was ecstatic, jumping out of his chair and doing a ridiculous happy dance in the kitchen.

Later that day, Noah was hanging out at Amy’s house, watching a movie, and eating whatever they could find in the fridge. Noah was disappointed that their relationship had not become physical, but he was patient because she recently began hinting that she was almost ready to take the plunge. The teenager hoped it would be soon because his dick was perpetually hard.

“Holy shit!” Noah exclaimed on the couch.

“What?” asked Amy, leaning over to look at her boyfriend’s phone.

“Dad got me a job!” Noah said. “I start on Monday!”

“Where at?” Amy’s twin brother, Ethan, said as he walked into the room.

“At one of my Dad’s construction sites,” Noah said excitedly. “Shit yeah! Babe, we’re going to finally have some cash to do stuff!”

“Any chance he has anything for me?” Ethan asked.

Noah and Ethan had become good friends since he started dating Amy as a sophomore, but Noah often got the feeling that Ethan wanted their relationship to be a romantic one, especially in the last few months. Noah didn’t say anything to Amy about it because Ethan hadn’t made any overt passes at the teenager.

“I can ask,” Noah said, texting his father to make the request.

“Is he the scrawny one?” Sam texted back. Though an adult, many people mistook Ethan for a much younger person because of his size.

“Yeah, but he’ll work hard,” Noah replied. “How come?”

“Bring him with you,” Sam texted. “I’ve got something for both of you.”

“Awesome!” Noah yelled. “He has jobs for both of us. We start on Monday!”

“Nice,” Ethan said. “I haven’t had any luck finding anything since school ended.”

“Well, our luck just changed, buddy,” Noah said, smiling.

 

On the following Monday, Noah and Ethan arrived at the Vierge Promenade, a new shopping center that had recently broken ground and was expected to open in the coming year. Sam had not yet informed the teenagers how much they would make, other than confirming that they would be paid handsomely and would walk away from the site with practical work experience. The young men were to report to the foreman, Chuck.

“Wow, this place is huge,” Ethan said, parking his car. “Did your Dad explain what we would be doing?”

“Not even a hint, actually,” Noah answered. “He said this Chuck guy would fill us in and that we needed to do whatever he said.”

The teenagers walked onto the site where dozens of men were working machinery, standing at tables over blueprints, and moving equipment from one area to the next. While the men all appeared to come from various backgrounds and were aged between their early twenties to their mid-forties, they had one thing in common: they were all stacked with muscle.

“Jesus,” Ethan said. “Where does your dad hire these guys from? Gold’s Gym?”

“I know,” Noah replied. “I’ve never felt more inadequate. I think I need to start doing pushups or something before I go to bed.”

“Boys!” a gruff man shouted. “Over here!”

The man wore a red hard hat and was a mass of muscles. He was a fortyish construction worker with thick arms that shined with perspiration. His face was handsome and rugged, with a rough five o’clock shadow. Noah noticed right away that the man wasn’t smiling when the teenager extended his hand for a greeting.

“I’m Chuck,” the man said with his hands on his hips, staring the young men down as though he were examining them. “You boys look perfect. You must be Noah.”

“Um, yeah,” Noah said, putting his unshaken hand down. “This is Ethan.”

“Hi, sir,” Ethan said, leaving his hand at his side.

“So, my dad didn’t say exactly what it was we would be doing here,” Noah said.

“I’m not surprised,” Chuck said. “Follow me.”

Chuck didn’t say anything else as he walked the teens to a secluded area of the construction site where four other men wearing red construction hats were standing beside a large black table that stood two feet off the ground. The men were practically bursting from their shirts with muscle, and all of them looked equally as pleasant as Chuck.

“All right, guys,” Chuck said. “Here they are, the boys Mr. Blake promised us.”

The foreman introduced the four men. Dixon was a blonde surfer type in his mid-twenties whose arms were covered in tattoos. Burke was a handsome man with blue eyes and wavy black hair that Noah figured was a few years younger than his father. Trey was a tall African American man in his thirties who wore a buttoned sleeveless flannel shirt that looked like it was made for someone half his size. And then there was Link. The Latin man wore his dark brown hair tight and close, and his tanned body chiseled with hard muscle.

“Guys, this little guy is Ethan,” Chuck noted. “And this one… you won’t believe it… but this is Mr. Blake’s son, Noah.”

“You’re shitting us,” laughed Trey.

“Kid, are you really, Noah Blake?” asked Burke.

“Um, yeah… has my dad talked about me or something?” Noah asked.

The men began to laugh. There was a sense of malice to their raucous response. Even Chuck couldn’t contain himself as he slapped Trey on the back and wiped a tear from his eye. They eventually calmed themselves and became quiet, letting the constant and overpowering sounds of the bustling construction site fill the air.

“What do you need us to do?” Noah asked.

“Sit here on the table, boys,” Chuck said.

“I don’t understand,” Ethan replied, looking uncomfortable.

“You will when you follow our orders,” Chuck said through gritted teeth. “I can be very impatient, boys. Get. Up. On. The. Table.”

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