Jessica and I were juniors in college when we got our place together. She was 19, I was 20, and we’d been together since high school. We were both country bumpkins from rural Iowa in the big city, and our naïve and trusting childhoods led us down the road from which there seems to be no return. But I get ahead of myself.
Jess was a knockout by a country mile. She was five feet five and weighed 120 pounds of perfectly toned, muscular female hotness. She didn’t have big boobs — she was maybe 33a — but that didn’t matter at all to me, and she had the tightest ass I’d ever seen, huge blue eyes, and honey blonde hair framing an adorable face. We loved each other passionately and were as excited about the apartment as a couple of newlyweds on their honeymoon, which in a way, we were.
The place was nothing to look at — a one bedroom walk-up with a small kitchen/dining area, a living room, and a small bathroom, but it was ours, and we spent days trying to fix it up as best we could on the limited budget we had (which was to say next to nothing). There were a total of eight apartments in the shabby old building, one of which was Jethro’s. Our six neighbors were all young college couples our own age. The neighborhood was nothing much to look at either — what you might call just this side of the wrong side of the tracks, but it was close to campus and it was all we could afford.
Our landlord, Jethro Lincoln, was gruff, seedy-looking and surly, though polite enough when he talked to Jessica. I couldn’t help noticing that whenever he stopped by to talk to “us” he actually talked to me and let his eyes run up and down Jessica’s figure. Made no effort to hide it, either, and smirked at me the first time it was obvious I’d seen him leering. Jethro was maybe 65 and nothing much to look at, though he had ropy, sinewy muscles in his arms and little or no fat that I could see anywhere else.
We’d scraped together the deposit and first month’s rent, which was all we could afford. When Jethro had demanded a security fee equal to another two month’s rent, we told him we didn’t have it. “Tell you what,” he said, “you can pay me an extra week’s rent each month until you’ve caught up with the security fee. Fair enough?”
We’d thanked him and signed the lease. “Now I want to be real clear on this,” he’d said as he was closing the books. “That extra fee is just like rent. If you’re late, you’re out of here and the deposit is forfeited. Says so in the lease you just signed. Understand?”
We were so glad to have the place that we’d signed without reading the lease, but we figured we’d just have to make the extra payments for about eight months and then we’d be caught up. We spent the next couple of weeks settling into a routine of going to classes, studying in the library, and spending evenings at home. The lease and its extra payment requirement were forgotten. As it turned out, we were wrong, terribly wrong.
Time slipped by quickly, and Jess had taken to flirting with our gruff landlord whenever he was around. Nothing too inviting, mind you. She’d wear a short skirt or a pair of short shorts and a tight top with no bra, then bat her eyes at Jethro like he was George Clooney. He took in the show with his eyes, but there was a hunger and meanness in them that I plain didn’t like, and said so to Jess.
“Oh, for Pete’s sake, David, he’s just a horny old goat who’s enjoying the attention. It’s harmless,” she said, laughing off my concern.
Harmless enough, until the rent came due and we realized we were short the extra payment. I took the rent check down to Jethro’s apartment on the first floor and handed it to him. He looked at it, scowled, and said “You’re short.”