There were a surprising number of available spaces at the college. They had built it with the intention of expansion, so there were a lot of empty rooms scattered all over the place. Of course, the spaces that were closer to the college's main buildings were more expensive to rent, so Arnold focused on the outlying buildings. There was a smaller one with several rooms, practically at the very end of the property, and it was near his dorm building.
One of the other departments had abandoned it when a better spot became available and gave them more exposure and prominence, so it was relatively cheap to rent. Arnold didn't want to rent, though. He did the math and if the professor was right about it being years of work, then buying the building was actually the cheaper option. At least then the building would be owned and years of rent money wouldn't be wasted.
Since it was the college and it was going to be paid for by a grant from the college, there were no lengthy negotiations on the price or even working out the financing. The contract was just handed to Arnold to present to the bank and he took it, along with the keys. It was the easiest money the college ever spent, since it was staying in-house and wasn't going anywhere. It would look great on their taxes and income revenue returns, too.
Once they had the space reserved for their use, Arnold, Pam, and Janet went right over to it. It was only a couple minutes walk from their dorm and the building looked fine on the outside. Inside... was kind of a mess. The trio stood in the middle of a fairly large room and looked around.
“Boy, they left here in a hurry!” Pam said and looked at the electrical cords that were haphazardly strewn about for equipment that was no longer there. The spots the equipment used to be was a darker color than the rest of the walls, which meant they had been there for a while.
“This place definitely needs a good cleaning and maybe even a paint job.” Janet said and walked over to one of the several doors. “A small office, same state. The carpet's a mess, though.”
Pam opened another door. “Huge bathroom and it stinks! Whew!” She shut the door. “I think we'll need a professional cleaning crew.” She opened another door. “This looks like a meeting room. There's still half a dozen chairs. No table and the carpet's gone.”
“Another office that's pretty big and they left the desk.” Janet said and closed the second last door. “All in all, it's not too bad. I can see why it's only eighty grand, though.”
“Yeah.” Pam said and opened the last door. “Basement access.” She closed it and walked back over to Arnold. “Janet, lock the door. Our best friend is about fit to burst out of his pants, he's so horny for us.”
Janet locked the front door without question and walked over to them. “Arnold, do you still have a blanket on you?”
Arnold nodded and took off his backpack and pulled out the two thin blankets.
“Perfect.” Pam said and started to strip. “I'm horny for you, too.”
Both Arnold and Janet stripped off and Pam laid down for Arnold to take her. He easily slipped in and she moaned.
“Th-thank... you.” Pam said between moans. “You didn't... have to... hire us.”
“Yes, I did.” Arnold said and kissed her. “I need help and you can help.” He said and sped up his movements.
“Oh, god!” Pam exclaimed and came. “I really will!”
Arnold slipped out of her and sat back to give Pam a rest and presented himself to Janet. Janet straddled his waist and sat down on him without a worry about him just being inside Pam. She was long past caring about that, because they both shared him equally. Making him clean up or wearing a condom between them was as pointless as it was unnecessarily wasteful.
“We both will.” Janet said and kissed him as she rode him.
They barely finished christening their new place by the time the next class was about to start. They had to rush to clean up and get dressed again, using the stinky bathroom briefly. Luckily it looked clean and they didn't spend much time in there, thanks to how prepared Arnold was for cleanup and the supplies he always carried.
They met again for lunch and discussed the best cleaning business to hire. They needed the space done as soon as possible, so Arnold called his account manager at the bank. He needed to get the grant settled and put through to get access to the money to pay for the cleaners.
“I didn't even think of that.” Pam chuckled. “We're here making plans and we don't even have any money yet.”
Janet chuckled, too. “It's hard to not get all wrapped up in it, isn't it?” She asked. “It's all so exciting.”
“The bank is open late, so he's going to stay and wait for me.” Arnold said.
“Wow, really?” Pam asked. “I wonder why?”
“I'd say the million dollars a year follow up grant.” Janet said with a smile and Arnold nodded. “His bank is going to just love him for the next few years!”
“Not as much as us.” Pam said and kissed him. “Are you sure you're only going to keep us to working school hours?”
“For now.” Arnold said. “We have enough free classes during the week for meetings.”
Pam nodded. “We can get a lot of the details hammered out for the work space during this week.”
“You have to use the large office for the dissection room.” Janet said. “There's enough room in there that you can make it into a small biology lab with all the necessary equipment.”
“I wonder if there's enough room for specimen storage in that meeting room?” Pam said. “No, wait! You can make that little office room into a full storage unit. We can use the meeting room as a communal office and put our desks and things in there.”
“That leaves the huge main room for desks, computer setups, and anything else we need.” Janet said. “We'll have to get the floor plan or something to get the logistics worked out.”
“We also have to figure out what computer setups we need and the amount of room needed for them.” Pam said.
“I did the first model on my computer.” Arnold said. “We can buy more of them.”
“That's not a bad idea.” Janet said. “Your computer is pretty top of the line.”
“It's also expensive.” Pam said. “I've seen similar setups and the cost alone might be too much for the budget if we get too many.”
Arnold thought about it and nodded. “I need to hire my third assistant for that.”
“Who?” Both Pam and Janet asked.
“Kelly.” Arnold said.
Janet took in a deep breath and let it out. “Arnold, you need to be very careful.” She cautioned him. “She might think you've changed your mind and want to get back together with her.”
“What Janet is trying to say is that you need to be clear and concise right from the beginning.” Pam said. “Don't give her false hope or let her think that she can worm her way into your bed in order to kick the rest of us out of it.” She leaned in close to whisper. “I am never giving up on my best friend. Kelly has a reality check to cash if she thinks she can stop me from loving you.”
Arnold smiled and gave her a kiss. “Okay.” He said and took out his cell phone. He typed up a message and showed it to both Pam and Janet, who nodded. He sent it and waited, then heard a bit of a shout from across the cafeteria.
'Are you serious?' Kelly send back.
'Yes. I'm at the tenth table from the cafeteria entrance.' Arnold sent back and then raised his hand.
“Here she comes.” Pam whispered as Kelly shot to her feet, said something to the other people at her table, then started walking towards them with her food tray. Heather stood up as well and followed her.
“With company.” Janet whispered and Arnold put his hand down.
“So, what's this about offering Kelly a job and not me?” Heather asked as she beat Kelly to the table and sat down across from Arnold.
“Geez, Heather.” Kelly sighed and sat down next to her. “I showed you the text.”
“Yeah, but it's a new building, right?” Heather asked. “You need a decorator.”
Pam rolled her eyes and Janet barely held in her laugh.
“Hey, it's a legitimate profession.” Heather said at their reactions. “My class project is to design a living space that's both welcoming and relaxing.”
“It's going to be a computer lab and an office.” Janet said. “There's not going to be a lot of living or relaxing there.”
“Tell me about the layout.” Heather said and started eating again.
Janet looked at Arnold and he shrugged. “All right. It's like this...”
Heather nodded her head occasionally as Janet described everything, then she shook her head when Janet mentioned making the small office a storage space for specimens.
“Nope, not a good idea.” Heather said. “It'll be too expensive to convert the small office for that and the cost to keep it chilled will skyrocket in the summer months.” She looked at Pam. “What's the basement look like?”
“We didn't go down there.” Pam said.
“Well, depending on what it's like, a section or even the whole thing can be adapted for storage.” Heather said. “It's below ground, so temperature regulation should be easy to maintain. A cold storage generator or even just an air exchange and dehumidifier could be enough.”
“The biology lab has their storage in the basement.” Arnold said.
“Exactly.” Heather said with a smile. “Look, you don't have to hire me for full price, since I just started the Liberal Arts course. You definitely need someone to make sure that the place doesn't sap all of the excitement out of people when they enter the lobby.”
“There's no lobby. It's just a big main room.” Pam said.
“Then that has to change. You need a partition or something and put a desk for the secretary to answer calls and a small waiting area for chairs.”
“A waiting area for what?” Janet asked.
Heather laughed. “You don't want people just walking through the door and coming right into people's workspace, do you? How disruptive is that?”
Arnold, Janet and Pam couldn't argue the point.
“I can not believe you are actually convincing them.” Kelly said in disbelief as she ate.
Heather laughed a soft laugh. “I'm only saying what needs to be said.” She pat Arnold's arm. “When can I come over and look at the place?”
“It needs to be cleaned first.” Arnold said.
“Depending on what needs to be done, it might be better to strip it first.” Heather said. “Cleaning it and then stripping it is a waste of money and time, especially if it has to be cleaned again.”
Arnold exchanged looks with Janet and Pam. The three of them remembered the professor saying that they needed to scrimp and save for the construction of the computer lab.
“I have a free class this afternoon. I can take you over there then.” Arnold said and Heather beamed a smile at him.
“We can talk budget then, too.” Heather said and Janet let out a groan. “It's all right. I know it has to be as cheap as possible and it also needs to look good.”
“Just don't screw us over.” Pam said. “If we blow this part, the second part of the grant won't come into effect and none of us will get paid.”
Heather opened her mouth to tell her that she wouldn't do that and Kelly touched her arm. “I was going to say I wouldn't do that.”
“Arnold's your ex-boyfriend and you haven't been too fond of him since then.” Janet said.
Heather let out a sigh. “Yes, I was angry at him for a while.”
“Uh huh.” Pam said. “You didn't take him dating Kelly very well, either.”
“He told you that?” Heather asked, a little surprised.
“Arnold tells us everything.” Janet said. “We're his best friends.”
“We tell him everything, too.” Pam said, seeing how Kelly and Heather reacted to the 'best friends' comment. “Even when it's our time of the month.”
Both Heather and Kelly took in sharp breaths.
“It's information he needs to know, especially if we're irritable.” Janet said and took Arnold's hand. “We apologize beforehand if we overreact to something while it's going on and we apologize after for acting a little crazy.” She smiled. “Of course, the simple solution is to just not see each other for a couple of days and then we have nothing to worry about.”
“For the last couple of months it's been on the weekends, thankfully.” Pam said and took his other hand and gave it a squeeze. “He goes home, has a great time with his mom, then comes back and everything's good.” She let his hand go and finished eating.
“It's been absolutely perfect.” Janet said and let his hand go, too. She slid her tray over to Pam and she stacked their things together. “Now to the actual business we should be discussing.” She looked at Kelly. “Arnold says you were the one that got him his computer for such a great deal.”
“I did.” Kelly said and remembered that time. She had been so happy then to help out. “I'm sure that I can talk to the guy and try to use my discount to get you a few more of them.”
“I want ten of them.” Arnold said and the four women around him gasped.
“Arnold, that... it's a little excessive...” Kelly started to say, doubtful that she could swing that much.
“I also want the full dive systems as well as the normal gaming VR helmets and controllers.” Arnold said and Kelly gasped. “Despite what the professor said, I'm not skimping on required equipment. They can easily be upgraded later as well, so the investment now is worth it.”
“T-ten. You want ten full dive systems.” Kelly whispered.
“Once they are all set up, they will have to be tested as well.” Arnold said and let an angelic smile spread across his face. “Who wants to play Fortune's Favour in the full virtual reality experience?”
The four women stared at him for nearly a full minute, then Kelly smiled as well.
“I'll take the bus to the electronics shop after classes and see what he can do for me.” Kelly said.
“I'm going home as well.” Arnold said. “I need to get things set up at the bank.”
“We can go together.” Kelly said and Janet and Pam gave her a look. “Arnold and I understand each other now.” She reassured them. “I can't bring myself to accept him sleeping with someone else if he sleeps with me and he can't accept that I want to be his only bed partner.”
Heather thought about saying that she was in the same emotional boat and stayed silent. Pam and Janet didn't need to know that was how she thought about Arnold as well. She also kept Arnold sleeping with her mother to herself as well. It was just a bit too embarrassing for her to admit that Arnold had sex with both her and her mother.
“As long as you know that we will do everything we can to protect him.” Pam said. “Even if it means protecting him from you.”
Kelly looked surprised for a moment, then she sighed and nodded. “I wouldn't expect anything less from his best friends.”
“Great!” Heather said and everyone turned to look at her. “Arnold, I'll meet you this afternoon at your dorm to get that tour of the place.” She stood up with her empty tray. “Kelly, let's go. We have business management in fifteen minutes.”
“Right.” Kelly stood up with her tray. “I'll meet you at the dorm after classes.”
“Okay.” Arnold said and both of them walked away and watched them bring the trays to the counter.
“All right, now you need to be careful around Heather, too.” Pam said. “She pretty much ran away after Kelly's declaration.”
“I agree.” Janet said and looked at Arnold. “Even if she yanks your pants down and sucks you off, do not sleep with her. She's even more possessive than Kelly is.”
“She's allowed to suck me off?” Arnold asked with slightly raised eyebrows.
“Only if you want her to.” Pam said. “We know how much you enjoy that.”
“Don't ask her, though. You'll give her the wrong impression.” Janet reminded him. “If she offers, you can accept. Just don't accept anything else.”
“Okay.” Arnold said. “Thank you.” He gave her a kiss and then kissed Pam. “We need to get to class.”
Arnold took their trays and dropped them off at the counter and the dishes into the tray. The three of them left the cafeteria to go to class and went their separate ways.