Maintenance Personnel

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“Honey, how many times do I have to tell you? This is really unnecessary.”

“Babe,” Aiden said, matching my tone. “How many times do I have to tell you? I wouldn’t have even suggested this arrangement if I wasn’t okay with it and if I wasn’t concerned about you.”

I shook my head, still wondering how this all happened. One minute, I was telling Aiden how much I missed him and wished he was here to completely blow my back out. The next thing I knew, people were coming over to my apartment every other day for an “initial consultation”. They wanted to see if I was comfortable and if they would be a perfect match to be my “maintenance personal”. In short, they were candidates to keep me sexually satisfied while Aiden and I remained in a long-distance relationship.

Most of them had made this their profession, or at least their side gig. They knew what they were doing, and they took the time to vet not only me and Aiden but themselves in terms of how well they could work in our dynamic based on my needs and Aiden’s concerns. I never had a repeat visitor, but they all left on good terms with the both of us, as far as I could tell.

“Aiden, I don’t want to be with anyone else. I just want to be with you. And if that means I can only enjoy you for one week out of every single year, I’m fine with that.”

“I know you are, baby, and you know how sweet I think it is. But with your… appetite, you deserve to be having more fun than you are. You know you’re a lot less stressed and a lot less depressed when you’re properly fucked.” I couldn’t stop my thighs from clenching together at his husky tone. “Until I can be the one to make sure you live a stress-free, happy life, I care about you too much to not try to find someone who can take my place for now.”

Before I could argue anymore, there was a knock at my door. “He’s here,” I sighed.

“Give him a chance. I really think you’re gonna like him. I love you, baby.”

“I love you too. Talk to you later.”

“Bye.” With that, we both hung up.

I approached the door and took a deep breath before opening it. I don’t know what I was expecting, but this guy certainly wasn’t it. He actually eclipsed Aiden height-wise, and that was no small feat with Aiden clocking in at 6’4”. There was a 90s boy band air to him with his brown pompadour with blonde streaks. A thin silver ring glinted on the left side of his nose, adding an edge to his well-groomed, cardigan-wearing self. But his eyes struck me the most; they were the same hypnotizing blue as Aiden’s eyes. And just as I had with Aiden all those years ago, I got lost in them. I tried to not listen to the little voice in my head saying, Oh shit.

“Hi. You’re Kari?”

“Uh, yeah.”

“Mark,” he greeted, sticking his hand out to offer a shake. I timidly took his hand and tried to suppress the shiver that went through my spine as he gripped my hand, giving a sneak peek at his sheer strength.

“Nice to meet you.” I croaked out.

“Nice to meet you too.” He paused for a second, as if he was waiting for something. Finally, he gave me a curious look and asked, “Can I come in?”

“Right! Sorry um… Brain’s fried from work.” I lied as I stepped aside and allowed this titan to duck into my studio apartment.

I don’t know if he bought my lie, but he laughed like it was convincing. “Yeah, Aiden said that you have a pretty stressful job. Customer Service, right?”

I scoffed. “Sadly. Can I get you something to drink?” I hoped the offer would cover my dazed rudeness of forgetting to invite him in.

“Oh, that’s alright. Thank you, though.” He looked around for a moment, taking my combination living room/bedroom. “Where would you like me to sit?”

“Oh, wherever you’re comfortable. Make yourself at home.”

With that, Mark took the grey-covered love seat while I perched myself on a barstool across from him. “So Aiden explained the situation to me, and I assume he’s told you about me.”

“I mean, he’s told me why you wanted to talk to me, but that’s about it.”

“How do you feel about it? The idea of me fulfilling your needs when he can’t?” He was the first candidate Aiden had presented who had even asked the question.

“I…” Until this giant walked through my door, I didn’t know the answer to this question. “I’m just struggling to connect with someone the same way I connect with Aiden.”

“I understand completely. This is definitely unconventional—I’ve never been hired by a client quite in this way before, so it’s a new experience for me too. But Aiden really thinks that we would get along both platonically and sexually. Speaking of the sex, he gave me a list of all of your kinks and interests—I hope you don’t mind—and not to brag, but I specialize in almost all of them.” I bit my lip before I could stop myself, and the gesture didn’t go unnoticed. Mark smirked. “You want to brat.” I didn’t confirm or deny the accusation. “Go ahead. Let it out, baby girl.” Aiden must’ve also given this guy a list of my preferred honorifics. And though I normally would’ve said Mark should’ve asked for permission to use them, I nearly melted at the term of endearment.

“Prove it,” I challenged.

Mark smirked again. “Come here, baby girl.”

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