Finding Lost Treasures

By: Stormy Glenn

Cade Creek 18

All Hector Cruz wanted was a place to call his own, but buying a rundown farm came with more problems than he'd been expecting. Between the needed repairs, the problems at work, and the man hiding out in his basement, he was starting to wonder if finding a place to call home was worth the headache.

Wilson Jacks was hiding. He'd done some really horrible things and now he was paying the price for his crimes. Being alone in the world made him ache for all the things he couldn't have. He had no friends, no home, no one to call his own, but that was a punishment in itself, one he felt he richly deserved.

When his world collides with the one man who doesn't expect perfection, learning to accept that he might not be a monster isn't as hard as accepting the fact that Hector is attracted to him. The fragile peace Will finds in Hector's arms begins to shatter when the chaos he's been avoiding comes knocking on the door.

Chapter One

Staring out over the sun-kissed landscape, Hector Cruz breathed in a deep breath then let it out slowly. He’d finally done it. He’d taken the plunge and used his nest egg to purchase a home of his own. It wasn’t fancy by any stretch of the imagination, but it was his.

Both the house and the barn needed work, everything from paint to new floors, updated electrical systems and upgraded plumbing. The yard and field were so overgrown with weeds and grass, it was hard to tell which were which. The fences surrounding the pastures were old, faded, and broken in so many spots, they might as well have not been there at all.

Hector gripped the porch railing with his hands as he stared out over what years of hard work and sacrifice had brought him. It really wasn’t much, but again, it was his.

He’d had enough savings stocked away to pay cash for the place. If he was frugal, he might have enough left over to do some of the upgrades, especially if he did most of the work himself.

He wouldn’t be able to quit his job anytime soon, though. Not if he planned on eating in the future. And he did. He wasn’t going to give up now that he was finally able to realize a lifelong dream.

He’d have to start with cleaning the place up a little. In order to work, he needed a space to work. The internal workings of the house and barn needed to be replaced first. He wanted a forced heating and cooling system installed to replace the old furnace, which was seriously on its last legs. The damn thing groaned every time Hector turned it on.

It was a little scary.

The electrical system was another thing that needed to be updated. According to the real estate agent, it had been updated once since the house was built in 1910, but that was in the sixties. It needed to be updated again.

The place also needed internet installed, because there wasn’t any. Hector wasn’t much of a TV watcher, but he needed the internet to stay in touch with a few friends and family around the world. Phone calls weren’t always possible.

The plumbing needed an update. Hector had plans to rip out the closet off the master bedroom and turn it into a master bath. In order to do that, the rest of the pipes needed to be replaced to handle the load.

Beyond that, most of the rest of the work was cosmetic. There were already hardwood floors, but they had been hidden under some horrendous green shag carpeting. Hector wanted to rip it all up and bring back the beauty of the hardwoods.

The trim through the entire house had been painted over in white and needed to be stripped and refurbished. And, the walls all needed to be stripped, prepped, and repainted. There was some hideous flower wallpaper in the kitchen that just had to go.

That was the inside of the house. On the outside, the porch railing, porch, and steps needed work. The paint on the house was faded and peeling. It needed to be stripped, prepped, and repainted, as well. The same could be said for the barn.

All in all, the place needed a lot of work. Hector smiled. He didn’t mind a little work considering it was his place. He could do whatever he wanted with it. If he wanted to paint the entire thing day-glow orange—he didn’t—but he could.

Hector stayed on the porch until the sun started to set then turned and walked inside. He had a small sleeping area upstairs, but his stuff was in the living room, off to one side. Most everything he owned was either stacked on the floor or in a storage unit in town. He didn’t want to bring it here until he had the place a little more livable.

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