The box weighed on Adam Potter’s arms as he took his last trip from the moving van, back to the three-story building. A piano store closed for the day - occupied the ground level. Two offices occupied the second floor one vacant and the other Adam claimed his own. The third has an attached apartment to his office Adam will use as his residence.
At thirty, Adam traded in his police badge to become a private investigator. His agency, his clientele and his rules. Adam used his life savings and wise investments to take ownership of the building. The rent for the shop below paid the mortgage allowing Adam to live and work rent free.
He stepped onto the elevator that had an iron gate he needed to close so the heavier door could shut. The grind and screams of the motor bounced Adam’s enclosure sounding as if it was on its last leg while it carried him upward.
He must get a repairman in to make sure the elevator was running without hiccups before he received any clients. The door opened on the second floor, his floor, he struggled with opening the gate, rattling it to catch and release him.
A glance over his hallway that still bore peeling burgundy and gold wallpaper from forty years ago. Adam’s office was to the right towards the back of the building and access to his apartment on the third floor. The vacant office to his left overlooked the front of the building.
Another thing on his list stripping wallpaper, painting, sweeping and buffing the floor; a job he needed to pass on for today. Exhaustion moved through his sore body and he wanted to put the box he cradled with the others he carried up. He opened a door with a frosted glass window and entered his reception area. Big enough for a couch, a minor space for a coffee pot, microwave, and mini fridge and a desk for an assistant. The adjoining room with matching door was his private office.
He walked into his workplace, the room where he’d considered taking or passing on a case, and gazed around at the largeness of the space. High windows overlooked the alley below and a brick wall with a mural of a serene view of a vast forest. The store next door sold art supplies and may explain who painted the wall.
In the middle of the mural, identical windows displayed long purple curtains for privacy. He glanced up to his window’s framework and saw hooks and braces the last owner left and thought of his own seclusion.
Adam moved to touch the wall just behind his desk revealing a door that seemed to blend into it; a conceal latch that with a slight press released the hold, popping open the door without a sound. Adam swung it open and climbed up the polish, dark oak narrow steps towards his apartment. No door at the top, a wide open loft studio that with its finished hardwood floors and modern appeal made Adam’s decision to buy easier.
Tall double windows danced around the studio as Adam sat his last box marked books near a built-in bookcase. His bed frame leaned against the wall; the mattress rested on top of the box spring on the floor. He was too tired to sort through the mess the movers delivered. He was hungry and wanted a shower.
The bathroom had a stand-up shower and separated tub the one window was an exit point, to a vertical spiral fire escape with the ladder retracted. His window also overlooked another window across the alleyway.
This time, Adam viewed the inside of his neighbor’s bathroom and knew he needed privacy sooner rather than later. When he took a shower, he’d be able to see the bathroom and they could see him. He remembered bringing a short screen his dad gave him for his last place years ago but found no use for it until now.
He located it resting against a wall in what will be his living room that had little signs of being livable with the boxes occupying the place. Adam returned to the bathroom placing the screen on the window’s ledge when movement in his neighbor’s bathroom caught his eye.
Across the alley, Adam watched as a young man walked into the bathroom stopping at the mirror checking his face. He touched the sensitive spot under his eye and trailed his finger across it. His fingers weaved through his hair. His brown wavy locks crossed over his eyes. He puckered his lips as if he was blowing a kiss, then in a circular motion he licked his soft rims with the tip of his tongue.
Adam became transfixed gripping the screen as he held his breath. The young male stepped away from his reflection. A tug on his shirt collar that slipped under his black crop designer jacket that draped just above his firm ass hugged by his painted on slacks.
“Where the hell was he keeping his ID?” Adam wondered, staring hard at his conquest package and not noticing him now glaring back. Adam’s eyes scanned the well-stacked torso before locking eyes with young Adonis. He stood in awe as his own heart quickened in his chest at the sight of the person he wanted.
Adam remembered he was looking in someone’s bathroom. The screen slipped from his fingers landing with a smack to the floor as he backed away, but something stopped him. The other male seemed unaffected by the invasion, causing Adam’s jaw to drop when the striking male flashed a grin and waved to him. Adam responded with a clumsy wave of his own. His infatuation turned and walked out of the room leaving Adam with an unbridled requisite to follow him.