A knock on his bedroom door woke Tyler; he sat upright in his bed, leaning against the bedrest of his worn bed frame. A pretty brunette woman in her late thirties walked into the room with freshly folded clothes in a basket.
“Ty, you up? Don’t be late. It’s the first day of electrician school! And don’t take too long getting dressed,” his mom sweetly cited.
It was no wonder where Tyler got his good looks from. His parents would have been the “power couple” if they were still in high school. But now, as adults, they’ve settled down into just attractive, practical, and honest people.
“I’ll be ready, mom,” he said as he dashed into the tiny bathroom attached to his room and slipped out of his boxers, readying himself to jump in the shower.
Like his mom, he was a brunette with thick, dark hair. He had skin that was neither too pale nor even tanned. He had a youthful, handsome face, with a tall bridge of the nose and sharp jawlines, pearly white teeth, and piercing green eyes. When he walked by, he knew that he had heads turning in school—males and females seemed to notice him. He was a member of the swimming club in high school and one of the best on the team. It did him good because he could keep his body trim and fit. Still, no one was brave enough to ask him out on a date yet, and no one was really of interest to him, so he remained single and inexperienced.
Tyler was quick to oblige his mother’s wishes, so he quickly finished his shower and dashed out of the house after helping himself to a hardboiled egg and slice of toast.
Walking the streets of Whitefish, Montana, Taylor wondered if being an electrician like his dad could genuinely make him happy in life. He respected tradesmen like his father and knew it would provide him with a good and stable future, but he wasn’t sure if that would be enough for him.
Taylor had just one thing he loved to do most in life, and it was music. He loved singing and even playing the piano, but what he wanted to do the most in life was to play the guitar. If given a chance, Taylor would drop everything to be a guitarist in a band and spend his life touring with an awesome rock band. However, unlike the other musical aspects he was skilled in, his parents forbid him from learning the guitar since they felt it was a crude instrument for playing classical and beautiful music.
Whenever his mother felt that she needed to justify their decision of keeping him away from rock and roll, she’d say, “With a piano, you can write real music and perform exquisitely, not like those skinny, long-haired musicians who need entire rock bands to make noise and get into trouble with the police.” His dad was quick always to agree and add, “Learn a craft and how to fix things, and you’ll never go hungry in life.”
Tyler understood their point of view and figured they were right. Still, the guitar was his instrument of choice, and all he could think about was playing it and having a group of friends to jam with.
“The world will always need electricians,” echoed in Taylor’s head as he made his way through the streets of his small, humble town on the way to trade school to learn his craft.
School continued for months. All was going fine. Taylor enjoyed learning how to install switches, outlets and repair wiring, although he still felt unfulfilled. He knew that writing songs and creating music was his calling, and it saddened him that he needed to pursue another career to survive.
One day, on his way home, things changed for him. He passed a modest tavern that boasted a local in-house rock band on the marquee when he took an alternative route home.
He could hear in the distance the sound of wailing rock music. It drew him to it like a moth to a flame.
What were these incredible sounds? Who in this town knows how to jam like this? Could it be someone just blasting the radio, or is that music coming from that tiny bar?
From that point on, each afternoon on his way home from classes, Taylor took the longer route past the tavern. He would arrive at the bar, stand by the window, and listen to the band rehearse for that night’s gig. Their riffs were solid, and the lead guitarist was masterful. At first, he could only stand by the open window and listen. But one day, the back door was left open.
Dare I look in? What do they look like? Maybe I could catch a glimpse of who is creating those insane tracks?
Taylor cautiously stuck his head into the dark back area, where he could smell the pungent aroma of stale beer. From the vantage point of the back door, he could see the small stage lined with wires, chords, amplifiers, and lights. This modest tavern looked like a magical and forbidden place, not having been in a bar before.
“Let’s fire up the lights. I want to try something new with the spot,” a deep voice called out. Seconds later, a metallic thump engaged a heavy switch. The stage lit up, and the lights revealed four men in their early twenties who could only be described as breathtaking. The glow of the bright amber lights made these men seem almost magical. Each of the men was uniquely sexy in their own ways, but the lead guitarist was too hot for words. Taylor couldn’t look away from this tall, lean rock god. His name was Gavin, and he had an almost boyish appearance that sported a scruffy handsome face. From the T-shirt he wore, Taylor could see his well-defined muscles and his biceps rippled with every movement he made.
He stood there in the shadows for hours, mesmerized at the sights and sounds that they created. Taylor knew that this was what he was meant to do with his life.
The next day, Taylor rushed to the bar after classes. As fortune would have it, he found the door opened every day after that. Was there a janitor who opened the door to air out the stuffy bar, or was someone intentionally leaving it ajar knowing that Taylor would be stopping by? No matter. This was his sanctuary, and listening to this band was the only place he wanted to be.
One day as he daydreamed about the band on his way to school, he absentmindedly stepped and tripped on the pavement. As he stumbled, he grabbed onto a telephone pole close next to him to steady himself and prevent himself from hitting the pavement.
Now propped up against the pole, he saw something that not only caught his attention but captivated his imagination. It was a flier that advertised guitar lessons. The notice was prominent, bold, and taped front and center to his face.
“Want to play guitar? Take lessons NOW.
$90 a month. “Call Gavin” next to a local phone number.
Gavin? Could it be the lead guitarist from the group he’s been watching for the last few weeks?
Although he’s never been close enough to any of the band to know who was who, he certainly knew what their names were just by listening to them talk amongst themselves.
Taylor realized that he had to take these lessons despite what his parents would say to him. Somehow, he needed to secretly raise enough money to enroll in these guitar lessons, especially if one of the sexy musicians from the bar was teaching them!
The cost of the lesson was cheaper than he expected it to be. Still, he was not able to afford it. If he was going to live his dream as a guitarist, he needed to get a job to pay to learn. As fortune would have it, he overheard his parents talking about how their local pharmacist needed a part-time delivery person and paid $5 per delivery.
That day, Taylor applied and accepted a delivery job at HANDER pharmacy. He was grateful for the employment and eager to earn enough for lessons with Gavin. Between his modest salary and tips, he raised a little over $100 within a few weeks.
Money in hand, he excitedly rang the number on the flier.
On the fourth ring, a rich baritone voice came through his phone speakers, “Gavin Mondo speaking,”
The tone of the voice was exactly like the lead guitarist he saw performing at the bar— it must be the same Gavin, he thought. Taylor could feel his heart race. Nervously he continued, attempting to be as cool as possible.
“I called regarding an ad about a guitar teacher ….”
“I want to take guitar lessons. When would be a good time to start?”
“You tell me, I am ready when you are. I’m good almost any morning… that is after 11 AM.”
Taylor rushed to get the words out of his mouth, “Awesome. I’ll be by your place at 11 AM. Just tell me your address, and I’ll see you tomorrow!”
The voice was surprised but kind, “Uh, sure. Great.”
The following day, Tyler arrived at the address given to him for lessons. He was excited to start his secret session with the artist he had admired for months. Adrenaline coursed through his body, giving him a rush. He was grateful that he wasn’t exhausted this morning since he didn’t sleep much the night before due to his excitement.
Peering in the window at the address, Taylor was amused by the modest apartment’s black painted walls and dark light-blocking draperies.
If I didn’t know better, I’d think a vampire lived here. Such is the life of a musician, I guess.
His heart raced as Gavin opened the door and motioned him to enter. This tall, lean stud wore black tattered jeans ripped at the knees and a torn Mötley Crëw T-shirt that had the sleeves cut off.
It seemed that not everything in his “skinny jeans” was thin. In fact, the length and size of what tucked beside his fly seemed almost intimidating.
“Hi, I’m Gavin; you must be the guy from the phone; I didn’t get your name then,” he confessed, stretching out his long, toned arms to a handshake. Taylor nervously introduced himself, “I’m Taylor.”
There was after a moment of awkward silence between the two men as Taylor stole a look at the sexy rocker in front of him. Although roughly the same age, these two young men couldn’t appear more different. Gavin looked ridiculously hot with his long, dark, beautiful hair and tatts up the arm. The clean, sharp ink the ran up his sleeve made out the shapes of a pentagram, an eagle, a cross, and a compass just below the elbow.
Gavin sized up Taylor as well. The young fellow standing in front of him in chinos and a white button-down shirt seemed too clean-cut and almost impossibly proper to want to take lessons from someone him.
Was this young man here to take lessons or sell me an encyclopedia? Gavin chuckled to himself.
At long last. Gavin stated, “Dude, welcome. Let’s get you started with those lessons. Are you nervous, excited, or both? Both are good. Because it’s going to be a lot of work, but you’ll love it, I promise.”
Taylor followed Gavin into the dimly lit but smartly decorated apartment.
This guy has a surprising, cool, unique, and original style.
Taylor was surprised at how clean and trendy everything was. He felt guilty that he expected to be walking into a dirty, unkempt flat rather than a stylish studio.
“Do you have your guitar with you?” Gavin inquired, curious about how someone could arrive for a lesson without an instrument in their possession.
“Oh, no. No, no, no, I don’t,” Taylor replied self-consciously.
Too many “Noes,” man! Gavin thought. He was confused at what was going on with this proper young man.
“Well, what to do?” Gavin replied, strolling into his kitchen, where he grabbed two water bottles from his fridge.
“I don’t own a guitar, but I was hoping I could borrow one?” Taylor replied.
“Borrow one?” Gavin asked; he was still in his kitchen.
“Yeah, till I get enough money to afford one?”
“Hmmm, well, okay then. I’ve got an old guitar around here somewhere; I call her ‘Chainsaw,’ and she’s not been tuned in a while. Look, I can loan her to you, but I’ll cost you more, and you won’t be able to take her home.” Gavin did his best to accommodate this young man who was ill-prepared to be taking lessons from him. “You’re welcome to come here and practice whenever you’d like,” Gavin explained, walking out of his kitchen.
“Wow. How cool are you? How much to rent it?” Taylor asked, hoping that he could come up with the additional money for this endeavor.
“$20 a month”.
“Twenty dollars?” Taylor asked again, hoping the price would go down.
“I can’t just let you use it for free, now, could I?” He replied, holding a bottle of water in Taylor’s direction.
“Of course not. I’ll find the money to rent it. Trust me. Can I see the guitar?” He asked excitedly. Eager to hold the precious item. “Sure, let me get it for you.” Gavin curiously watched Taylor’s every move. He had never seen someone with such passion eager to play before. That is, other than himself.
Gavin darted into what seemed to be his bedroom and resurfaced a minute later with a black DeArmond M-65C.
“I haven’t used it in a while too. She’s my first guitar –The one I learned on. She’s got a special place in my heart. So be gentle.” He chuckled as he continued, “You never forget your first. Right?”
Taylor wholeheartedly agreed although he wasn’t sure what he was talking about.
Gavin continued, “There’s an amp behind that chair; let’s plug it in there. We’ll take her out for a spin after I tune her for you.”
Gavin adjusted the strings and wiped down the body and neck. “Good as new. She’s a beauty alright. I’d be lying if I didn’t say she brings back lots of wonderful memories.” Gavin looked melancholy as he carefully handed over the guitar. Taylor took the guitar and placed it on his lap, slinging the strap over his shoulder. A smile crossed Taylor’s face as he looked at Gavin with an expression of pure joy and excitement.
Gavin couldn’t help but find Taylor’s enthusiasm infectious as he pulled his chair close to him and sat between his open legs. “Here, let me take your hand and show you how to hold the neck. I’ll then give you the finger placement for a few chords.”
Taylor’s breath grew short; having this sexy musician straddled between his legs was driving him crazy. He wasn’t sure what excited him more, the gorgeous guitar on his lap or the hot bad-boy rocker seated inches away from him.
Taylor’s eyes became fixated on Gavin’s biceps that were surprisingly ripped for his lean frame; they had a distinct round, a tight shape that glistened, even in the faint light of his apartment. As Gavin wailed on the strings of his own guitar, almost brutally, savagely, he commanded the instrument as if it were a beast to be tamed. Taylor’s breath became thin at the thought of Gavin controlling him like he did his guitar.
The two men strummed and practiced finger placement for a bit. Finally, Gavin casually instructed, “Keep at it, just get comfortable holding the instrument and strumming. The chords and changes will come to you soon.” Taylor happily focused his attention on the guitar as Gavin got up from his chair to give him some space to practice.
“Stay here for as long as you want; tomorrow, we’ll officially start your lessons. I’ll introduce you to scales. Don’t forget to close the door on the way out. I’ve got to meet the band now.” He grabbed his instrument and headed out with a wink.
“Thank you!” Taylor called after him, not being able to stop himself from checking out Gavin’s spectacular ass as he slipped out the door.
Each day, faithfully, Taylor would leave school and head to Gavin’s, where he’d spend hours reviewing the skills Gavin taught him the week prior and practicing the songs the band played in the bar. Taylor was obsessed with playing and loving spending time at Gavin’s –even if Gavin left him to practice as he went on with his day.
It was on a hot Monday. He had just arrived at Gavin’s apartment when he got a call from the pharmacy. It had been almost a year since he had started doing deliveries there and begun his lessons.
The guitar case was open, and he had not yet finished tuning the guitar. His cell rang with caller ID notifying him it was work calling.
“Hello, what’s up? Is everything okay? Is there an emergency delivery you need me for?”
The pharmacist solemnly answered, “No, I don’t need you to come in. I just wanted to let you know as soon as possible that the drug store will be closing, and we won’t be requiring your services any longer.”
“What? How come?” Taylor was panicked at the thought that his income was about to disappear.
“Mail-order, son! Everything’s being sent to people by mail. I’m retiring. No need for a local drugstore with the big chains moving in,” his boss replied resignedly.
“What will I do for money? How am I supposed to pay for lessons?” Taylor felt like crying; his chance to continue to learn the guitar was slipping away from him.
“I understand, but there’s nothing I can do. What’s done is done. You’ll need to stop by before Wednesday for your last paycheck. Soon we’ll be locking the doors for good… Sorry, Kid.” The pharmacist hung up before he could get a chance to speak.
Taylor knew he had to explain the situation to Gavin, although he assumed he knew what was going on based on his proximity to him while on the call. A usual enthusiastic smile turned into a somber expression as he readied himself to break the bad news.
Gavin smiled before he could get a word out. “Dude. Don’t bother. We’ll talk later about it. Let’s just jam now; we’ll worry when we need to, now’s not the time to be bummed. Now’s the time to rock.” Gavin made no efforts to continue the discussion as he busied himself by plugging his guitar into the amp, unphased by the bad news.
“Alright, if you say so,” Taylor replied, unsure of why he didn’t want to discuss the matter, but he followed Gavin’s instructions and prepared himself to jam.
The two men jammed, playing their favorite songs on their guitars together for hours; From Iron Maiden to AC/DC; they had “Highway to Hell” on repeat until Taylor’s mom texted him to come home for dinner.
“Shit. Lost track of time. I gotta split. My folks are waiting for me to eat dinner.
Taylor took the guitar strap off his shoulder and carefully placed the guitar in its case. He lifted it and handed it to Gavin with a broken expression on his face. “Here you go.” Taylor apologized as he continued with the conversation he dreaded having. “I doubt I’ll be back for a while for any more lessons. I appreciate you loaning me your guitar for all these months. She’s a beauty. I could see why you love it so much.”
Tyler fought the urge to become emotional about not spending time with Gavin.
Hard as he fought it, his eyes swelled with tears. Gavin pretended not to notice as he casually asked, “Bro, what are you doing with that guitar? Why are you handing it to me? – She’s yours now.”
“Mine? What are you talking about? Didn’t you hear, I can’t take lessons anymore. I lost my job.” Taylor was confused.
Gavin was super chill as he explained, “Bro, yeah, last year you started paying me to rent it. I would have let you borrow it for free. I just wanted to see if you were serious about playing. It turns out you were as serious as a heart attack and just as intense. I figure that by now, you’ve given me enough money to have paid for it in full.” Gavin smiled as he spoke, amused at the confused look on Taylor’s face.
Taylor beamed, cautious about getting too excited; could it be that this guitar was now his!?
Gavin’s face told him everything he needed to know. It was clear that “Chainsaw” was now his guitar.
“Thank you, I appreciate it. I’ll take care of it forever. It’s got a good home. I promise”.
“I know it does. I hope you have many years shredding on it as I did.” Gavin replied with an emotional grin.
Taylor still needed to address his goodbye to Gavin. “Guess we’ll have to wait till I get another job before I see you again… I can take lessons.”
Gavin didn’t lookup. Instead, he rummaged through a few papers on the coffee table in front of him.
“If you think I’m going to go through all that trouble to remember to prop open the bar door so you could sneak in to see me, you’ve got another thing coming.”
Taylor was shocked, and a bit embarrassed that he was found out, although he thought it sweet that Gavin enjoyed having him as a not-so-secret audience.
Gavin continued. “As far as lessons… The truth is, you don’t need ’em anymore. You’re quite good. All you need to do is to play. You’ll get great just by ripping through songs with us. You already got the basics all down pat as well as all of our songs.”
Taylor was confused. He had to ask, “So, no more lessons? Even if I could pay you?”
Gavin looked at him intently, with a straight forward honest reply. “No more lessons- even if you could afford to pay me. Two reasons: You don’t need them, and two because I never date my students. Band members, on the other hand, are a different story.
Taylor wasn’t sure that he heard correctly; he stood motionless—confused about what he had just heard.
Gavin laughed and continued, “Dude, don’t make this tougher than it is for me. I’m asking you out on a proper date and to join the band. Don’t leave a guy hanging,” Gavin asked in an almost bashful tone.
Taylor couldn’t believe his ears, which he was more excited about joining a band or going out Gavin.
“Yes! I want to join the band, and HELL YEAH, I’d love to go out with you. Are you kidding me?” Taylor couldn’t answer fast enough; he was practically jumping up and down as he spoke.
Gavin chuckled. “Good, your first gig with us will be Saturday. Now the important question: What’s your Friday like? Want to plan something at six? Chinese food?” He asked sweetly.
Taylor didn’t answer immediately, not because he wasn’t sure if he was available on Friday, but because he couldn’t imagine that this sexy rock-star could be asking him out? Who knew he was even interested in guys?
Gavin wasted no time in offering up another time to go out, “If Friday’s no good, another day is fine.”
Taylor shot back quickly, “Oh, no, Friday’s great, I’d love it! For the last year, I’ve sat here across from you, thinking of you, imagining what it would feel like to kiss you. I just don’t know that I want to wait till Friday to feel your lips on mine.”
Gavin didn’t need to ask twice as he lifted the guitar strap off his shoulder and his instrument on the nearby rack.
He drew Taylor in by the waist, their eyes closing as he kissed him softly, his lips applying the right amount of pressure as he cupped his hand on his face, stroking his long, dark hair, moaning as they kissed.
Taylor seized the opportunity, he had finally gotten his hands on Gavin’s biceps, and he caressed them softly, tracing the fine lines that separated each protruding muscle.
Gavin playfully pushed Taylor against the wall as if he wanted to get more leverage so that he may kiss him deeper. Taylor had never kissed a man before, and the stubble of Gavin’s face made his sweet lips feel even hotter. Dare he place his hand on his chest? He was excited to feel what a man’s body would feel like to the touch. Gavin’s firm pecs under his tee-shirt were impressively tight and muscular. Taylor couldn’t restrain himself as he ran his hand down from his chest over his stomach, feeling his rippling abs, one by one, run over the back of his hand. Taylor could easily count them as they individually were defined under the shirt.
God, I don’t want to stop at these chiseled abs. I’ve got to know what’s in store for me further down. Taylor ached to slip his hand beneath the waistband of Gavin’s jeans.
Then, Taylor’s mother texted him again, requesting him to return home for dinner.
Taylor relented, and the two men broke off from their kiss. Both were craving to go further but aware that it may be best to wait until a proper date before progressing further.
“Friday then?” Gavin asked as he panted, light-headed from excitement.
“Friday,” Taylor smiled as he attempted to regain his composure.
He quickly planted a sweet kiss on Gavin before heading out.
“Looking forward to it!” he called out as he made haste to get home.
Walking home, thoughts of playing with the band full-time filled his mind, as did ideas for several songs. It’s like he floated home that day. Taylor was excited to start a new career, with a fantastic new boyfriend by his side.
Little did he know that a scout from a major record label would be at the bar on Saturday, and soon the band would sign a multi-album deal and release several tracks that would chart at number 1.