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My phone rings just around noon. I push around the papers I was organizing until I find my phone. I glance at the number before answering it.

“Hello Sir, what’s going on?” I ask. Atlas doesn’t call me in the middle of the day often. Once was for because he left his lunch here, the other was because he was drunk at a holiday party and wanted to hear my voice.
“Hey boy,” Atlas said, “You know how I was feeling kinda low energy this morning?”
“Yes? Are you alright?”
“It’s gotten worse. I feel like total shit. Everything aches, I can’t stop sneezing. Jorge is sending me home before I – quote end quote – contaminate the entire office.”
“That sounds like Jorge,” I snort. “My poor baby, you need me to come get you?”
“No, I can drive…I’m just gonna pass out when I get – AACHOO!”
“Oh dear. Alright. See you soon. Wait did you eat?”
“No…don’t feel much like eating.”
“Good to know. See you soon. Drive safely.”

I hang up and glance at the piles of his paperwork I was organizing and filing. New year, new folders. “Well, I guess this will have to wait.” Secretly, I am delighted though because as his houseboy, I live for moments like these.

I dust myself off and make a detour to turn on the space heater in the bedroom before I hurry into the kitchen. My man is going to be hungry, and that cold food I packed in his lunch won’t do. I take a tupperware container of broth out of the freezer and dump it into a big pot on the stove. I turn it on low, and let it defrost while I chop up carrots and the last potato. I add a few more things from cans. By the time Atlas arrives home, I’m just putting the lid on the vegetable and rice soup to simmer.

Sharky detects Atlas’s presence before I do. I rush to the door where the dog is already waiting for his Master to come home.  Atlas gives our stocky Sharky a pat on his rump, and gives me a “hey boy”. He looks like he’s going to fall over.
“Oh jesus, Atlas, look at you. You’re all flushed.” I press a hand to his head. “You’re burning up. Let’s get you into bed.”

I lead Atlas upstairs to the bedroom. I remove his tie, unbutton his shirt, and have him sit on the bed so I can remove his pants.
“I love that you undress me,” he mutters.
I smile. “I enjoy it too.” I fold his work clothes and set them on a chair to be put away later. “Now let’s get you into paja…” I hear rustling noises and turn around. He’s already curled up in the bed sheets. “No, this ish… ACHOO! ..uughh..”
I toss him the tissue box. Atlas blows his nose.

Sharky sniffs at Atlas’s hand and settles into his cushion next to the bed. He must detect his Master is sick, because normally all Sharky wants to do when Atlas comes home is play.
“My poor baby. You want something to eat?”
“Yeah, I’m hungry all of a sudden.”

I bring him a mug of soup and a glass of cool water. He eats about half of it between sneezes before his eyelids start to drop. “Is it ok if I don’t finish this? I need a nap like nobody’s business.”
“Sure, not a problem. You rest.” I tuck him into bed and kiss his temple. “I’m going to run to the pharmacy, to get you some medicine, some more tissues, and some Powerade or something.”
“K,” he says, snuggling his pillow. I sit on the edge of the bed and stroke his hair. He yawns. “You would make such a good boyfriend,” he slurs before falling asleep.

I sit there, holding the half empty mug, and stare at him. Did he really just say that? Color rises to my cheeks. I’ve heard about this from other houseboys, how easy it is for your man to fall in love with you. I never pictured Atlas as the type. He was too serious, too professional. Everything with him was divided with lines, and nothing contaminated other sections. Work was never mixed with play. His sports socks were always in a different pile than the dress ones. I had accepted I would always be “the help” and nothing more to him.

However, the way Atlas looked at me had begun to change over the last couple months. It was a softer look, as if he was really seeing me and not just acknowledging me. The touches lingered a bit more. On New Years, he kissed me – and it wasn’t a kiss of ownership, or possession, but one of passion and intimacy. It made my cock stir a little, I won’t lie.

I watch Atlas sleep and wonder if he was even aware he said that to me. I smile and stand up, pondering this. I wouldn’t mind being his boyfriend. I enjoy taking care of him, organizing his house, making his meals. He’s handsome, and had a nice sense of humor. He has a nice butt. Besides, someone had to take care of him when he was sick like this. Sharky couldn’t do it. Atlas tosses and turns. I tuck him back in, and turn the space heater down a little. “Poor baby.”

I just hope I dont get sick. The role reversal would break Atlas’s brain. I make a mental note to get facemasks and antibacterial gel on my shopping trip. I would take care of him as if he were a boyfriend. Love is good as medicine isn’t it? I make another note to add chocolate on my list.

Text is fictional. Edited for tense issues.


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