tagNovels and NovellasThe Bucket List

The Bucket List


This is the story of a young man and the journey he undertakes in order to help his dying uncle fulfill his bucket list.


It was a cloudy, cool, and windy morning. John and MaryAnn stood grieving, as the coffin of Joe Taylor was lowered into the ground. John was going to miss his demanding, strong willed, adventurous and loveable Uncle. For more than a year he had lived with and worked for Uncle Joe. It had been part of the deal he had accepted. In return for being named his sole heir, John would have to help him complete the ten items listed on Uncle Joe's, 'Things to do before I die', list. Or as Uncle Joe put it, "before I kick the bucket." There had been one further stipulation that he had to agree to; John would have to complete the bucket list with him.

Chapter 1

At the age of 28, John Baker was a loner. He went to work every day in the accounting department of a small manufacturing company. His primary responsibility was to enter invoices received into the computer and pay them when they were due. It was a dead end job with almost no possibility for advancement, but for John that didn't matter. He had no ambition, no drive to climb the corporate ladder. As long as they paid him, provided a couple of weeks of vacation and a few other benefits, he would be loyal to the company and do his job the best that he could. Every day at five o'clock, he would get into his six-year-old Chevy and drive home to his apartment. He would make himself a can of soup or a sandwich and settle onto the couch for a night of watching TV. After the ten o'clock news he would shut the TV and get ready for bed. In a word, John's life was boring.

John wasn't a bad looking guy. He was 5'7", 135 pounds, with a rather slim almost petite build. He had brown hair and brown eyes. He dressed conservatively, as was his nature. His clothes were always cleaned and pressed. He was the kind of guy that never stood out in a crowd. The guy that always got overlooked or ignored. He was shy around women, primarily because growing up no girls were ever interested in him, so he never developed the skills or the confidence to interact with the opposite sex. Naturally, he was a virgin.

His parents had died in a car accident five years ago. He had no brothers or sisters and knew of only one living relative, his Uncle Joe. He had never met Uncle Joe. His mother had once told him that Joe was her only brother, that he had left home at eighteen to join the Navy and see the world. She had told him that they hadn't seen each other since he had left home and that the only contact they had with each other was their annual exchange of Christmas cards, in which she would update him on the family news.

She had no idea where he was living. His mailing address was a PO Box in Los Angeles; but she had been told that the mail was always forwarded elsewhere. That's why it was such a shock when John came home one day to find an envelope sent certified mail from Joseph Taylor, Los Angeles, California. In the envelope were a one-page letter and a one-way first class airplane ticket to Los Angeles. The letter was short and to the point:

Dear John,

I require your presence at my beachfront estate in Malibu. Enclosed you will find an airplane ticket. A car will be waiting for you when you arrive. I have a proposal for you that I believe will be to our mutual benefit.


Uncle Joe

The next day John went into work as always. When his supervisor arrived, John asked to take a week of vacation. He apologized for the short notice, but he had to fly to Los Angeles the following Monday because of a family emergency. Although annoyed, his supervisor granted his request because John never caused any trouble and was a hard worker.

John made arrangements to stop his mail and newspaper, let his neighbor know he would be gone for a week, and arranged for a ride to Newark Airport on Monday morning.

Chapter 2

The flight to LA was wonderful. John had only flown one other time. He had been stuck between two fat men, who both reeked of smoke and booze, and had talked to one another as though he wasn't even there. In first class he had been served a real breakfast, consisting of a cheese omelet, fresh fruit, toast, and coffee. He even had a real knife and fork. After breakfast he had watched a movie and was able to take a nap before his arrival.

After his departure from the plane, on his way to claim his bag, he saw a uniformed man holding a sign with his name on it.

"I'm John Baker."

"Very good, Mr. Baker; I'm Bart, Mr. Taylor's personal driver. Let me have your claim ticket and I'll retrieve your bag."

John followed him to baggage, and upon identifying his suitcase, Bart reached in and took it off the belt.

"Follow me; Mr. Taylor doesn't like to be kept waiting."

Bart led him to a black stretch limousine, held opened the back door, and he got in. After placing his bag in the trunk, Bart got in the driver's seat, leaned back and said,

"Help yourself to anything from the bar."

They drove in silence for about an hour. John felt the car slow down and then turn into a driveway, wait for the security gate to open, and proceed up the driveway to the front of a magnificent house. He was dropped off at the front door, which was opened before John had a chance to search for the bell.

"Hello Mr. Baker. Please follow me, Mr. Taylor is expecting you."

He followed the butler to the back of the house and out onto a large patio. The view of the Pacific Ocean was spectacular.

"Hello John, I hope you had a pleasant journey."

A man dressed in only a bathing suit, rose from a lounge chair and walked over his hand extended. He appeared to be about fifty years old, with brown hair, graying at the temples, about 6' tall with an athletic build and a deep tan.

"I'm your Uncle Joe; I'm so glad you decided to come."

"Hello Uncle Joe. I've heard my Mom talk about you; it's a pleasure to finally meet you."

"Yes, well, it's entirely my fault that I never met you before. I'm afraid in my younger days I was a workaholic and could never tear myself away from my business. Later, I felt that I no longer had the right to enjoy the company of my family."

"I'm sure you would have been more than welcome."

Uncle Joe replied with a water-under-the-bridge wave of his hand, and said, "Please come with me, we can talk in the library. Can I have James get you anything?"

"No thank you, I'm fine."

They entered the house and walked down a hall to a grand circular room with bookshelves lining the walls and large windows facing the ocean. A massive desk stood in the center of the room with two guest chairs in front of the desk. Joe seated himself in one chair and John took the other.

"John, I never beat around the bush; I have a proposition for you. I have cancer and the doctors say I'm dying. I have to get my affairs in order quickly. As you can see, I've made a lot of money in my life and I would like to rewrite my will before I die. I also have a list of things I'd like to do before I die. I've spent too much time making money as opposed to living my life to the fullest. So here's my proposition to you; if you will stay here with me and help me do all the things on my list, I will make you my sole heir. All that I have will be turned over to you -- the houses, the cars, the stocks and bonds -- everything. The only stipulation will be that you join me and do everything that I do."

I just sat there, too stunned to speak.

"I know this is a big decision for you; why don't you think about it tonight and let me know your decision tomorrow. I'm sorry that I can't stay with you today; I have to fly out to a meeting, but I'll be back to join you for breakfast tomorrow. In the mean time, make yourself at home; after all, this may be all yours soon. James will show you to your room. I've left instructions for the cook; your dinner will be served at 8 o'clock."

We stood, shook hands, and I left the room. James was there and led me up the sweeping spiral staircase to the second floor and to my room. The room was bigger than my apartment; the furniture majestic, especially the four-poster king sized bed. James then excused himself, saying that he had to attend to Mr. Taylor.

After he closed the door, I stood in the center of the room, momentarily overwhelmed by its grandeur. 'What should I do?' I spotted my bag inside the walk in closet. 'Unpack.'

The meager contents of my bag looked lost inside the closet and the drawers of the furniture. I walked into the bathroom with my toiletry bag. There was a whirlpool tub and a large shower, each big enough for two people. On one side of the room was a cabinet that took up the entire wall, with two sinks, a marble counter top and, above that, a wall-to-wall mirror.

Now that I had all my things all put away I thought, 'now what?'

'That patio sure looked inviting, maybe there's a pool back there as well.'

I had thought to bring a bathing suit so I changed into that, threw on a tee-shirt and made my way back downstairs and out to the patio. Sure enough, on a lower level of the patio, there was a large pool and a hot tub. The water from the pool appeared to flow right over the edge and out of sight. I eased myself into the pool; the water was refreshingly cool, but not cold. I swam a few laps, floated on my back for a while and then walked over to the stairs and out of the water. When I reached the level where Uncle Joe had been sitting, I found a young woman holding a towel and an iced tea.

"Hello, Mr. Baker; James told me you were in the pool, he thought you'd like an iced tea. I brought you a towel as well."

"Thank you, that was very nice of you."

I could feel myself getting warm; I knew from experience that I must be blushing.

"You very welcome. My name is MaryAnn. If you need anything else just ask."

She turned and walked back to the house. I stood there enjoying the view. She was about my height, maybe an inch or two taller, had a very nice figure and a full head of blond hair. She appeared to be a few years younger than me. I would have liked to talk to her more, to get to know more about her. I wondered if she worked for Uncle Joe; was she a maid, the cook, or maybe his personal assistant?

I spent the rest of the afternoon out by the pool, sometimes in the sun, sometimes in the shade, or when I needed to cool off, doing laps in the pool.

'This is the life,' I thought, and realized that it could be mine if I agreed to Uncle Joe's proposal.

Later that afternoon, I went back to my room, showered, and dressed for dinner. I roamed the house just to see how big it was. There were six bedrooms on the upper floor, a couple of which were behind closed doors. On the main floor were a formal living room, and dining room; the kitchen with a large breakfast area off to one side; the library, two public area bathrooms, and a large game and family room. On the lower level, there appeared to be a couple of rooms for the help; a fully equipped gym with a separate room covered in mats, with a speed bag on the wall and a heavy bag hanging from the ceiling; and the entrance to a four-car garage.

On my self-guided tour of the house, I ran into James and Betty, the cook. I really wanted to see MaryAnn again, but she was nowhere to be found.

I settled back into a very comfortable chair in the family room and watched a little TV. I must have dosed off, because suddenly I felt a hand on my shoulder.

"I sorry to wake you, Mr. Baker; dinner is about to be served."

I didn't realize how hungry I was until I entered the dining room and smelled the food being prepared in the kitchen. I took a seat at the table, noting that there was one other place setting.

Hearing footsteps, I turned and saw MaryAnn approaching the table. I stood and waited for her to be seated.

"Hello Mr. Baker, I'm so glad you'll be joining me for diner this evening."

"Please call me John."

"OK, John. Did you enjoy the pool?"

"It was heavenly."

James brought in the first course, a small salad with a raspberry vinaigrette dressing. It was delicious.

I finally worked up the nerve to speak to MaryAnn.

"So MaryAnn, do you work for my uncle?"

"Yes, I'm his personal assistant and trainer."

For the first time I took a closer look at her. MaryAnn was broad shouldered and her arms appeared to be well muscled, but not like a body builder; she certainly appeared physically fit.

"Yes, I found the gym downstairs while I was touring the house. Very impressive."

"Thank you, I set it up myself."

"My uncle appears to be in excellent shape. I assume that has a lot to do with you?"

"I can't take all the credit, he was already in good shape when I began working with him. Maybe you'd like to join us sometime, I'm sure Mr. Taylor would like that."

"Well, you've already seen that I'm not very physically fit. I really never got into that sort of thing, I was never good at sports. You obviously are in great shape."

I felt myself blush again, when I realized what I had said.

"Thank you, again. I was always into some sort of physical activity when I was growing up; gymnastics, swimming, and aerobics. When I went to college I studied the kinesiology and took other courses so I could get my personal trainer license."

James brought out the main course: filet mignon, a baked potato and steamed broccoli. The steak was tender, juicy and delicious.

I watched MaryAnn as she ate. She really was beautiful. I glanced down at her left hand; she wore no ring. Maybe... no! What would a beautiful young woman like her want with a dull, boring, nobody like me? Then again, if I said yes to Uncle Joe... maybe then she would take an interest in me.

When we were finished with the main course, James came back asking if we wanted dessert. We both declined, but did say yes to coffee.

Our conversation was pleasant; it certainly was easy for me to talk to her. Finally at 10:00, James came in to clear the rest of the dishes. MaryAnn looked at her watch.

"Oh my, it's late; if you will excuse me, I have to turn in, I have an early day tomorrow. If you want to, you are more than welcome to join me in the gym, I'll be there by 6AM."

"I'm afraid I've never tried anything like that before."

"Don't worry, I can teach you. Please join me."

How could I say no to those blue eyes and that dazzling smile? "All right, I'll be there."

We both stood and walked upstairs to our bedrooms. I noted that her room was one of the two rooms that I had seen earlier in the day with the door closed. I assumed that the other belonged to my uncle.

"Good night MaryAnn, it was a pleasure meeting and dining with you."

"Good night John, I'll see you tomorrow."

We each entered our room and closed the door. I quickly shed my clothes, put on a pair of boxers to sleep in, brushed my teeth, and settled into bed. I set the alarm for 5:30 and shut the light. I dreamed of MaryAnn.

Chapter 3

The alarm went off at 5:30; it was still dark outside. I was tempted to roll over and go back to sleep, but then I remembered that I was going to meet MaryAnn in the gym. I jumped out of bed, dressed and was on my way to the gym by ten minutes to six. When I got to the gym, I heard the steady thudding sound of a person running on a treadmill. There she was, dressed in a tank top, gym shorts and running shoes. She looked great; there didn't seem to be an ounce of fat on her.

As I walked in, she must have seen my reflection in the TV monitor, because without turning or breaking stride she said,

"Hi John, I'm glad you decided to join me. I set up the other machine at a medium walk to start; just press the green button and start walking."

I did what she said and soon I was walking at a comfortable pace. Every once in a while I would sneak a glance over at her. Her top was wet with sweat and clung to her shapely breasts. I felt myself beginning to get aroused and turned my head back, chastising myself. After about a half an hour, she started her cool down and told me how to do it on my machine. I was only too happy to.

"OK that's enough of cardio; press the red button. Now we'll start you off on some of the circuit machines."

'Great,' I thought to myself, 'here's where I really embarrass myself.'

MaryAnn set up the first machine for two-arm curls with ten pounds.

"I want you to do twelve reps and then let the weight back down and rest. I'll be working on the other side of the room with the free weights."

I got myself into position and began the exercise. It was pretty easy.

"Slow down, it's not a race; the key is to use good form. If the weight seems too easy, reach down and change it to twenty."

I did what she said, and after changing the weight, did my next set. It was harder this time.

"Good, keep it up, when you're done rest a minute, then do your third set."

I started my third set, when I reached the last curl, I had to strain a little but I got it up.

"Great, John; wait a minute and I'll set you up on the next machine."

I stood up and turned around to watch MaryAnn as she completed her curls.

'Holy shit,' I thought to myself, 'look at her arms, they must be twice the size of mine.'

Now I had mixed feelings about working out with her. I felt so inadequate; she wasn't much bigger than me, yet she was lifting at least three times the amount of weight. But it was also exciting to watch this obviously powerful, beautiful, and sexy woman go through her workout.

When she was finished, she set up a machine she called the lat pull.

"I want you to do the same thing; do twelve reps, then rest. If the weight feels too light add another ten pounds and repeat the reps for the last two sets. I started you off with thirty pounds."

I reached up, grabbed the bar, sat on the bench and began my reps. MaryAnn reached over and spread my hands a little wider and said,

"Good; keep it up you're doing great. I'll be on the bench press."

Again I felt I was able to add another ten pounds. When I completed my third set, I looked over at MaryAnn. I'm sure my jaw would have hit the floor if it wasn't attached. There she was on her back pushing the bar up until her arms almost locked. Each movement was slow and deliberate. I could see the number twenty-five written on the side of each plate. There were three of those plates on each side of the bar. She was lifting one hundred fifty pounds and she seemed to be doing it easily.

When she was done and had re-racked the weights, I said, "Wow that was amazing, that was one hundred fifty pounds."

"You forgot to add the bar, that's another twenty five pounds."

She began her third set as I watched. I could feel my cock becoming erect; she was really turning me on. I was so taken by her raw power that I didn't realize just how evident my excitement was. When she finished her third set, she sat up, and looked in my direction. I saw her eyes drop to the front of my shorts and a smile crossed her face.

I suddenly realized what she was looking at and turned to face away from her. I must have turned scarlet from embarrassment.

"MaryAnn, I'm so sorry."

"John, there's nothing to be sorry about. Its natural and it's rather flattering. Thank you for the compliment."


"Don't think you're the first that I've turned on during my workout. When I was in college, I used to work out in the school gym; I can't tell you how many times I saw some of the guys staring at me as I did my workout; most of them were trying to hide their erections as well. Besides," she continued smiling, "from what I could tell from here, you don't have anything to be ashamed of in that department."

She led me through the rest of the circuit, showing me how to do each exercise, starting me out with a specific weight and asking me if I wanted to increase it.

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